The Oakland Press - On The Radio, April 1 2005
By: Mike Austerman
Happy April Fool's Day! As you listen to your radio today, don't believe everything you hear, as pranks could be prevalent - especially as it's also Friday.
ne of my favorite April Fool's gags ran several years ago on personality/ news WJR-AM (760), which ran a story about condos being built as part of the Detroit Zoo's water tower. Many bought the story hook, line and sinker - only to find out it was a well-choreographed whale of a tale.
It'll be fun this morning to find out what the oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) teaser that's been running all week ("You won't know Jack") is all about. Could it be a test of that new format that mixes a wide variety of pop and rock music - or will 'OMC underline its heritage as an oldies outlet? Or is all a hoax?
Remember, he (or she) who laughs last ...
Sparty down: Sports WDFN-AM (1130) is hosting a Michigan State pep rally 3-7 p.m. today at Mr. Joe's in Southfield.
The Stoney & Wojo show will broadcast live from there as part of the high jinks, with one lucky Spartan fan winning a brand new couch in case the old one gets torched as part of the Final Four celebration.
The battle's heating up between terrestrial and satellite radio as the new medium becomes more prevalent.
Ed Christian, president and CEO of Grosse Pointe Farms-based Saga Communications, has started dropping syndicated shows from his group's stations - none are in Michigan - if they're also heard on satcasters XM or Sirius.
According to trade pub InsideRadio, Christian canceled the show by local "Handyman" host Glenn Haege but rescinded the move when Haege agreed to come off the satellite after being faced with the loss of listeners on the 12 Saga stations that carry his show.
Christian promises similar moves by other land-based radio companies and asks the syndicators of the show this pointed question: "Who feeds you?"
"When a person gets in the car the choices are AM, FM or satellite," he says. "So make your choice - them or us. I challenge other group broadcasters to stand up and say, 'Enough of this crap.' "
Christian Adds: "They think they can dis terrestrial broadcasters. Can you imagine CBS saying to 'Survivor,' 'Hey, we don't mind if you run at the same time on Lifetime'? They wouldn't stand for it."
Could be an interesting time in the halls of XM and Sirius if this radio war escalates.
On Monday, National Public Radio begins presenting "This I Believe," a project highlighting the core beliefs and values of America. It's based on the popular 1950s radio show of the same name hosted by broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow.
Every week, it'll feature a different 3-minute essay read by the people who wrote them, with former President Bill Clinton, actor Robert Redford and boxing champ Muhammad Ali slated to contribute.
The essays will be heard locally on Detroit's WDET-FM (101.9) and Ann Arbor's WUOM-FM (91.7) during either "Morning Edition" or "All Things Considered" in the next several months.
In other public radio news, WUOM and Flint's WFUM-FM (91.1) will add NPR's "News and Notes" show by Michigan native Ed Gordon to their lineup beginning 8 p.m. April 18. The show presents newsmakers and opinion leaders on the events, trends and ideas that shape the African-American experience.
Set Your Dials: Financial guru Rick Bloom returns to the local airwaves beginning 3 p.m. Sunday on WDTK-AM (1400). Previously heard on WXDX-AM (1310) and WXYT-AM (1270), he'll provide answers to financial questions and regular features on personal finance ... host Tom Wilson profiles jazz singer June Christy as well as the "Let's Pretend" kiddie show 6 p.m. Sunday on WMUZ-FM (103.5).
Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.