May 2005 Archives

35 Years and Still Going Strong

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Tomorrow Active Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit afternoon jock and radio legend Arthur Penhallow will mark 35 years of being on the airwaves of Metro Detroit. It's a rare feat to log so many years in one town -- let alone in a career -- these days. It's hard to believe that Penhallow's WRIF career started back in 1971... when WRIF itself was still basically in its infancy as a rock station.

Throughout his reign on the Detroit airwaves, "Big Daddy" Arthur P has developed relationships with numerous rock and roll acts across the decades, including Bob Seger, The J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, Metallica, and Kid Rock. Here in Detroit he has built his legend not only with his trademark phrases (“Baby!”) but also with his annual “Maui Time” trip where select winners each year head off to the warm sun and sand of Maui for a week long vacation with the “Grand Poobah”.

The long running tenure of Big Daddy along with his legendary party animal personality have brought him numerous honors, such as being inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, an honor typically reserved for musical acts only. And more recently, he also had a supporting role in the Mike Binder film “The Upside of Anger” in which he played himself as the afternoon drive host on, where else, WRIF.

In celebration of his unmatched achievement of 35 years on the air in the same time slot, 101 WRIF will be running a special afternoon drive show tomorrow starting at 3pm when Big Daddy takes over the Riff rock ‘n’ roll controls. A variety of guests from Kid Rock, Sammy Hagar, and Rob Halford to Iggy Pop and Peter Wolf will all be calling in to wish Arthur a “Happy Anniversary” and reminisce about the last 35 years on the air.

It's great to give some recognition to a personality that rock fans of all ages remember growing up with. Congrats Arthur!

 

Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press

By: Art Vuolo


There are a great number of very talented and unique radio personalities who have graced the airwaves of the Motor City. Detroit has always been a great radio town, but to my knowledge no rock ’n’ roll DJ has had the longevity of Arthur “Big Daddy” Penhallow at rocker WRIF-FM (101.1).


As one who has chronicled radio jocks via video for more than 25 years, I was pleased to be in the ’RIF studio this week to capture the “Grand Poobah” in his element doing his 35th anniversary show. It was great to witness a true professional who still loves what he does.


Originally hired by WRIF’s first program director, Dick Kernen (now best known for his long tenure with the Specs Howard School), Arthur P. is on a first-name basis with dozens of rock stars and is famous for his signature growl of “Baaaby!”


When Penhallow first started at 101.1, it was known as WXYZ-FM — back in 1970.


Kudos from one Art to another.


The Greater Media Building in Royal Oak Township is rockin’ with even more excitement as their three radio stations, WRIF, classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) and soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1), are in the running for seven industry achievement awards from the national trade publication Radio & Records.


Nominated from the ’RIF are morning personalities Drew & Mike; program director Doug Podell (whose first name is not to be confused with that other FM station); music director Mark Pennington; veep and general manager Tom Bender; and the station itself. Also nominated is the Jim Harper morning show from WMGC (known as Magic) and, as a top classic rocker, WCSX itself.


Other local stations and on-air talent nominated include Alexander Zonjic at jazz WVMV-FM (98.7); Jamillah Muhammad at adult-urban WMXD-FM (92.3); Dick Purtan at oldies WOMC-FM (104.3); and former classic hits WDTWFM (106.7) nationally syndicated funny guys Bob & Tom.


Rounding out the roster of local nominees are Clear Channel’s WMXD (known as Mix); soft hits WNIC-FM (100.3); and Fred Jacobs, founder of nationally renowned Jacob Media Consultancy.


The awards will be given out at the Radio & Records Convention in Cleveland next month. We’ll let you know about local winners.


Hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) midday host Gregg Henson is a father for the second time. He and wife Nicole have named the baby Cooper Blu. It’s a boy, but whatever happened to names like Mike, Jeff and Tom? Still, kudos on the child.


Organizers of The Last Motor City Broadcast Reunion, scheduled for this September, are stunned by the huge number of people who’ve expressed a desire to attend. You can review the guest list at www.vuolovideo.com by clicking on “reunions.” If you worked locally in radio, television or the record/music business, you can register at the Web site for an invitation.


A broadcast from a local mall also is being planned so the public can come out and meet the media legends for pictures and autographs. It should be fun.


Don’t forget Mother’s Day. Buy her another radio ...


On a not-so fun topic, it was sad how few radio people were at the standing-room-only memorial service for Mark Scott last week.


TV coverage of Scott’s career also was disappointing, as this reporter provided (at no cost) excellent video with good audio to local stations of Scott when he was at WXYT-AM (1270).


To my knowledge, WXYZ Channel 7 aired nothing, while WDIV Channel 4 ran the video with the news anchor providing narration — and covered Scott’s distinctive voice. WJBK-Fox 2 was the only station to let viewers actually hear Scott’s unique on-air style. Too bad.


Tuesday brought more sad news: the death of U-M’s former athletic director Don Canham in a car accident caused by an aneurysm. He was 87.


But he’s no doubt trading stories right now with radio greats J.P. McCarthy and Bob Ufer, both of whom interviewed the Michigan marketing maven numerous times.


Set Your Dial: Big Band’s most famous drummer Gene Krupa gets profiled by hosts Tom Wilson and Alison Harris at 6 p.m. Sunday on WMUZ-FM (103.5).


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

Monday, May 9 will mark a new era in radio broadcasting for Northern Michigan. At 6:00 a.m., WWTH-FM 100.7 Oscoda will officially sign on the air with a Contemporary Country format. As part of the True North Radio Network based in Alpena, the station will operate under the name of ThunderCountry and be heard on three frequencies in Northeast Lower Michigan. In addition to flagship WWTH 100.7, AM 960 Rogers City will simulcast the new format as well as a translator at 94.1 FM in Alpena.

Rich Spicer has been announced as the station's new morning host and program director and will anchor the new station's lineup with a fun-filled morning broadcast featuring the hottest country music of today along with news, lots of interesting information, and games. A veteran of Country music radio, Spicer’s roots are in Northern Michigan and his program will be designed to relate to hometown interests. Prior to landing the gig at WWTH, Spicer worked for Midwestern Broadcasting Company's WATZ-FM 99.3 Alpena. Prior to that, he was at WCEN-FM 94.5 Mt. Pleasant. According to Spicer, “ThunderCountry will be like no other radio station in the market. The music and information are all blended to meet the interests of today’s radio listener. We’ll be contemporary all day – every day.”

The new station will launch with one of the largest consumer promotions ever initiated locally. Titled the "All-American New Wheels Give-Away", one lucky listener will have a choice of one of three brand-new vehicles, which will be on display at the respective dealerships in Alpena:
- 2005 R45R Ranger Edge Super Cab Pick-Up from Dixon’s Alpena Ford/Lincoln/Mercury
- 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix from McCoy Pontiac/Buick/GMC
– 2005 Colorado 4WD LS Crew Cab Pick-Up from Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet/Cadillac.

Listeners will be able to register at over fifty local businesses participating in the promotion- there is no limit on the number of business listeners can register at. Then every week for six weeks a lucky name will be drawn from each participating business. Over ten names will be drawn every weekday. The person whose name is drawn will have sixty minutes to call the station and verify their entry. Those who have verified entries will then be included in the car give-away drawing that will be held at the Alpena band shell on July 4th after the holiday parade. These qualifiers will also win a ThunderCountry T-shirt and State Street Auto Wash certificate.

WWTH – ThunderCountry joins True North Radio Network’s other stations: WHSB-FM 107.7, The Bay and WHAK-FM 99.9, The Wave. According to Don Barnard, True North’s General Manager, "ThunderCountry adds an important dimension to the Network’s offering. The Bay features Hot Adult Contemporary music, while The Wave offers Oldies. The addition of ThunderCountry’s New Country sound allows us to offer radio listeners their choice of America’s hottest radio formats.” While proud of all the Network’s stations, Barnard is especially excited about ThunderCountry. “There is very dedicated group of radio professionals that pooled their talent to develop this radio station. And, while Rich Spicer deserves great credit for his leadership, he was and will continue to be supported by a group of radio professionals who are committed to providing top-quality radio to their local communities. I am proud to work with them.”

The 100.7 frequency has been off the air in recent months- prior to going silent, the station featured the call sign WCLS and its last full-time format was Adult Contemporary as 'Sunny 100.7'. The True North Radio Network is owned by Edwards Communications, which purchased the 5-station group late last year for just over $1.3 million.

 

In another blow to fans of play-by-play coverage of the Detroit Tigers, the team's Grand Rapids affiliate has pulled the plug on the broadcasts, leaving the state's second largest city without a local radio outlet for Michigan's only Major League Baseball team. WMFN-AM 640 changed its format to Adult Urban Contemporary this week, and along with blowing out the old lineup of talk, sports, and comedy shows, Tyrone Bynum, WMFN's new general manager, has decided that the Tigers don't generate enough ratings or ad revenue to keep on the schedule of the revamped station.

Since the Tigers and Red Wings move off of WJR to WXYT several years ago, it has become increasingly difficult for fans to pick up the games -- both in the metro Detroit area because of reception problems on WXYT and outstate because a good number of former affiliates no longer carry the games. The Tigers also lost their over-the-air TV deal this season when WKBD-TV 50 Detroit couldn't reach an agreement with the club.

For those that *really* want to listen and watch, there are still options-- but you'll have to pay. Fox Sports Net Detroit will air nearly 120 Tigers' games on cable/satellite TV and XM radio provides radio coverage of every game (though you won't be able to hear the Tigers' announcers all the time).

The Tigers poor performance on the field in recent years has no doubt has helped stations make the decision to drop the games -- lack of fan interest leads to poor ratings and that usually means less money. In the broadcasting biz these days, keeping a non-performer on the schedule is increasingly difficult as the bottom line becomes more and more important. So it's understandable what is happening -- but still kind of sad for someone like me that grew up being able to hear the Tigers on free radio no matter where you were in Michigan.

 

Citadel Seeks Operations Manager for Two Lansing Stations

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Citadel Communications is seeking an operations manager for two of its Lansing radio stations, WMMQ-FM and WJIM-FM, according to a listing in the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Job Bank. WMMQ (94.9) currently programs a Classic Rock format, and WJIM-FM (97.5) programs an Oldies format with emphasis on the 60's and 70's. According to the listing, the person hired for the position would oversee programming for both stations, as well as maintain an airshift on one of the two. Anyone interested is asked to send resume materials to Robert Striker, Citadel's Lansing GM.

 

Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, May 13 2005

By: Mike Austerman


Country WYCD-FM (99.5) evening host Jyl Forsyth has been missing from her 7 p.m.- midnight shift because of asthma complications. But she wants her listeners to know that she’s recovering and plans to return to the air on May 30.“I’ve been off for three weeks now and I can’t believe how many e-mails I’ve received expressing concern,” she says. “I am so touched by our wonderful listeners.”


Forsyth, who will have been at ’YCD for 12 years on June 14, explains that a bad cold “went into my lungs, and with asthma, I just couldn’t get it under control — so my boss told me to take some time and get well. I really miss my show and I’m going nuts just waiting and waiting to get better ... please let my listeners know that I love them and appreciate their concern and prayers.” Consider it done, Jyl.


If you’re a fan of classic country music, tune in to WYCD’s Mike Williams every from 8 p.m. to midnight every Saturday. His “Classic Country Saturday Night” is a very listener-driven show; he takes calls all evening and tries his best to spin your favorite county tunes from the 1960s through the early 1990s, making it a fun listen each week.


For those with different tastes, check out Tom Leykis in “The Tasting Room” on talk WKRK-FM (97.1) from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays. The lifestyle-themed show is targeted toward men and features the usually boisterous L.A. radio host Leykis sharing his opinions on everything from wine to high-tech gadgets. According to one listener, “He’s light years away from the chauvinist swagger of his other (self-titled) show,” which airs 3- 6 a.m. on WKRK, “and he really seems to know his vino.”


Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Among those writing in about changes at CKWW-AM (580) was Linda of Rochester Hills. Seems the station recently adjusted its format, dropping all of its Big Band/adult standards music weekdays in favor of a more contemporary sound. Instead of “580 Memories,” the station now calls itself “Motor City Favorites,” and to my ears, the new programming is kind of a cross between 1950s-’70s oldies and soft rock that includes hits up to the early ’90s.


Program director Charlie O’Brien says that CKWW is now positioned to become Detroit’s “easy listening station,” and although the sound of the station has been refreshed, the lineup still includes “When Radio Was” at 11 p.m. weeknights and the weekend specialty shows “Sounds of Sinatra” and “Elvis Only!” My only wish is that they could put the new sound of CKWW on CIDR-FM (93.9) instead of having it trapped on AM 580.


Frustrated when DJs don’t identify songs? A new service called Song Identity might be an answer. Using a wireless phone, just record 5-10 seconds of a song and Rocket Mobile will identify the name, artist and album of the track at the punch of a button. The service says it already has more than 1 million users in North America. Check with your cellular carrier to see if they offer the service and how much it’ll add to your bill.


Former Flint DJ and author Peter Cavanaugh will be at the Ann Arbor Book Festival on May 21 signing copies of his book “Local DJ”, a must-read for radio fans. Check out www.wildwednesday.com for info.


Set Your Dials: For a program of patriotic music from the World Wars played on the theater pipe organ on “Somewhere in Time,” at 6 p.m. Sunday on WMUZ-FM (103.5).

 

Liners on WSAE and recent sign on WJKN are promising a big change coming to WSAE on Wednesday, May 18th. The change is a new station to be called 'Home dot FM'. It isn't quite known exactly what kind of changes will be made with the new station, but I will be sure to report on any changes when I hear them on Wednesday!

 

Rumors once again became reality when earlier today Spring Arbor University (Jackson County) changed the format of its FM flagship WSAE-FM 106.9 to a hybrid of Hot Adult Contemporary and Contemporary Christian as "Home.fm". The previous format titled "Power Praise FM", offering more traditional Christian fare, has been moved to SAU's new signal, WJKN-FM 89.3. WSAE and WJKN-FM share the same broadcast tower west of Jackson and enjoy similar coverage areas.

Spring Arbor hopes the new format will provide a platform for Christian values through a blend of mainstream and Christian music. Listeners will hear familiar music that is appropriate for all audiences. “The most important element of our music is that anyone can listen to it,” says general manager Carl Fletcher. “Every song we play on HOME.fm is ‘family safe’ because we won’t play music with questionable material.”

Accompanying the new sounds of HOME is a revamped format that supplies relevant news and entertaining features for the entire family. “WSAE is being totally transformed to relate to our community in a culturally relevant, relationship-building way that has not yet been explored by other markets,” says Rachel Ryder, music director and assistant program director of HOME.fm.

GM Fletcher, formerly of WONU/Chicago (Shine.fm), WLGH/Lansing (Smile.fm) and WHPO/Hoopeston, IL, will co-host "The Breakfast Table" mornings with Suzanna McGraw. Middays will feature Bill DeWees beginning in June with afternoons hosted by Ryder.

In addition to WSAE, the station is broadcast on 4 translators in southern Michigan: 104.7 Lansing, 99.5 Kalamazoo, 92.5 Battle Creek, and 96.5 Adrian. The station's web site also features a live web stream.

 

Contemporary Christian broadcaster Smile FM continues to expand their signal throughout Michigan with the recent signal upgrade to 89.3 WTLI Bear Creek Twp/Boyne City. The increase from 6 kW to 17 kW provides better reception to Gaylord, Petoskey and Charlevoix areas. Smile FM is asking listeners in the WTLI listening area to provide a reception report via email at info@smile.fm.

Currently waiting transmitter site upgrades, 103.7 WCZE Harbor Beach/Bad Axe very soon will be fully operational. This new outlet will provide the Thumb region with a 43 kW signal. In December 2004, 104.9 WAIR Lake City/Cadillac came online with a 1.6 kW signal.

In the works, Smile FM has construction permits to upgrade 88.3 WEJC White Star/Gladwin from 30 kW to 80 kW, upgrade the home station 88.1 WLGH Leroy Twp/Lansing from 2.5 kW to 10 kW, upgrade 88.1 WDTR Monroe from 900 W to 1200 W, and introduce Smile FM to the Eastern U.P. via a 5.5 kW signal at 91.5 WJOH Raco/Sault Ste. Marie.

Smile FM is the product of the merger of operations in June 2004 of Joy FM and The Light. Smile FM can be heard in several Michigan communities such as Monroe, Lansing, Flint, Lapeer, Midland, Alpena, Gaylord, Grayling, Mount Pleasant, Cadillac, Houghton Lake and Petoskey.

 

There is a new radio station in Jackson today. Spring Arbor University has made the long-awaited changes to 106.9 WSAE, the station formerly known as Power Praise FM, they are now calling known as 'Home dot FM'.

Home dot FM promises to bring family friendly music to the airwaves in South Central Michigan. The station still has a christian lean however, playing about one or two religious songs in the time that I listened today. Most of the playlist would probably best be described as positive and encouraging types of music. Artists I heard on the station this afternoon included John Mayer, Earth Wind & Fire, and Sting. The station seems to be running jockless right now. Liners on the station are pitching more programs coming on June 1st. Some people may argue that this is the same format as K-105.3, but in my opinion, 105.3 has more of a Hot AC approach.

Power Praise FM is not dead though. Many people speculated a Christian CHR/Rock format on 89.3 FM. However, a listen on the radio this morning showed the station now sitting in the non-commercial band. Also, the large network of translators owned by Spring Arbor University that used to repeat the former Power Praise FM on 106.9 are now repeating the new Home dot FM. Power Praise is now only listenable for those within listening range of 89.3. But I think the translator switch is a good idea. Most of the Power Praise translators were located in towns that although did not receive 106.9 with a good signal, listeners could hear the same kind of music elsewhere on the dial. Bringing a fresh format to these cities will put better use to these translators.

Home dot FM may not be done expanding either. There are still more translator construction permits for Spring Arbor University. New stations at 98.3 in Chelsea, 107.7 in Deerfield, and 97.1 in my hometown of Coldwater are still on the dock.

 

Today's Grand Rapids Press reports that Detroit Tigers broadcasts have returned to WMFN-AM 640 as of yesterday's game. The station dropped the team's radio play-by-play 10 days ago when it changed its format from talk to adult urban. Commenting at the time of the format change and decision to drop the Tigers, the station's new general manager, Tyrone Bynum, told the Press that he wouldn't air the games if the station had to pay for them and that there wasn't much advertiser or listener support for the broadcasts. In today's story, Bynum now claims "the Tigers' return to the station is based upon a groundswell of support from local baseball fans and advertisers in the West Michigan community." "I'm not paying," Bynum said. "I wanted to put them on in the first place, but I'm trying not to go broke. This is a business. We've got sponsors who are deferring that cost, and we've got more sponsors coming on board."

One thing seems certain... the Tigers flagship station, Infinity-owned WYXT-AM 1270 Detroit, plans on holding its affiliates to its contracts.

 

Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, May 20 2005

By: Art Vuolo


For those who cover the ever-changing world of electronic media, it’s always fun to be the first to report on something exciting — and this news is an Oakland Press exclusive. Over the past three years, I’ve written about the rise of Murray Gula, from doing a home improvement show on tiny Christian WEXL-AM (1340) through several small stations to his current home at mega-power news-talk WJR-AM (760). Now this helpful guy has been tapped by WXYZ-Channel 7 to bring his expertise to the tube.


Next month, he’ll bring his decades of knowledge in home maintenance and repair to primetime TV with an hourlong special called “At Home with Murray Gula,” scheduled to air 8 p.m. June 15. On it, Gula and a panel of top local experts will help viewers tackle tough home improvement and remodeling projects. The program will feature advice, demonstrations and questions from a live studio audience. Free tickets can be secured via www.wxyz.com.


Speaking of TV, is it my imagination or are more and more radio personalities popping up on the tube? Former WDRQ-FM (93.1) morning guy Jay Towers has been seen on Fox 2 and the hits WKQI-FM (95.5) wakeup crew of Mojo, Spike, Sara and Chad have been seen frequently on Local 4 News. Is this a trend?


Last weekend, something truly unique aired on classic hits WDTW-FM (106.7), known as The Drive. The Clear Channel-owned station paid tribute to Arthur Penhallow of rocker WRIF-FM (101.1), owned by Greater Media. The show featured an authentic Arthur P. sound-alike played by the multi-talented Kevin O’Neill from soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3), who really nailed the Penhallow persona — while noting that ’RIF didn’t play all those hits anymore.


Interestingly, while this prerecorded tribute was on The Drive, O’Neill was doing his regular afternoon shift on WNIC through the magic of radio. Um, perhaps we shouldn’t say it was “magic.”


More news from the strange but-true was the rescue performed last Friday by Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick on hot talk WKRK-FM (Live 97.1). Sister station sports WXYT-AM (1270) was running a radiothon for Prostate Cancer Research, and the response was soft, so the “Motor City Midday” duo urged their audience to call the WXYT number and pledge. Instantly, the phones began to ring as the FM talker significantly helped the AM sports station reach its goal. It was great radio.


Urban pop WMXD-FM (92.3) just picked up a new afternoon show, “Love, Lust & Lies,” from ABC Radio Networks. Hosted by Michael Baisden, it pushed Frankie Darcell into the Mix’s midday shift, which displaced Oneil Stevens, who moves to weekends.


Now comes word that Mix morning man Tom Joyner will shift, next month to urban oldies WDMK-FM (102.7). What does that do to legendary Kiss morning jock John Mason? Personally, I’m all “Mixed” up.

Jennifer Purtan, Dick’s oldest daughter, has resigned as a senior veep for ad sales with ABC Radio Networks in New York to relocate back to Detroit. She was with ABC for an impressive 13 years. Now, she’ll be closer to her husband who works at WDIV-TV, and her mother, Gail.


Reports say that the Pistons were not pleased when sports WDFN-AM (1130) went off the air during a recent playoff game because of technical problems. Meanwhile, WKRK’s Rob Parker is touting a “Ban the Fan” drive, urging the team to segue over to the clearer FM band. As the Pistons advance, WDFN should seriously consider simulcasting the basketball games on a Clear Channel FM station, since WDFN’s nighttime signal is somewhat limited.


WJR’s Paul W. Smith is broadcasting from Japan today — so he should sound especially good on your Sony radio. Earlier this week, sports personality Steve Courtney hosted the ’JR morning show with Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon, and you could almost smell the pizza sauce coming out of the speaker. The next day, guest host Warren Pierce interviewed Domino’s founder Tom Monaghan. And later that day, I had Domino’s for lunch. Ah, the power of radio.


Set Your Dials: Indie rockers the Decemberists (see Page E-7) play on the Martin Bandyke program at 2 p.m. today on WDET-FM (101.9) ... hear the swing music of Fletcher Henderson on WMUZ-FM (103.5) at 6 p.m. Sunday.


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

Cha-ching!

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Detroit media outlets are reporting tonight that former WYCD-FM 99.5 midday host Erin Weber has been awarded $10 million in her civil suit against the station. Weber developed an allergy to strong perfumes after an exposure to nail polish remover in a WYCD studio and was eventually fired from the station after it appears the accommodations needed to deal with the allergy caused strained relations between Weber and station management in place at the time. The suit had asked for "only" $6 million - apparently the jury that heard the case believed that either enough harm was caused to Weber that the award asked for wasn't sufficient enough to cover the damages or that they wanted to punish the station severely for its actions.

Of course WYCD and parent Infinity Broadcasting will appeal the decision -- but this certainly has to send a message to more than just the bosses at WYCD...

The hard part for the people currently at WYCD will be overcoming the actions that were taken by people that are no longer working there-- the person that fired Weber has since moved on as has the former general manager. It'll be interesting to see how long the legal eagles from Infinity can drag this process out before having to pay up- if they ever do.


Update 5/24:
* DJ takes in sweet smell of victory- Detroit Free Press
* Radio DJ wins $10.6 million in stink over perfume- Detroit News

 

Detorit rocker WRIF-FM (101.1) will join the countless numbers of radio stations across the country featuring 'shuffle' programming when this weekend it offers up a special "Memorial Weekend Shuffle". The RIFF will open up the music vaults to showcase some of the greatest rock tunes from the last three decades in a celebration of the Motor City's love of all things rock.

The station promises to play all the RIFF rock you’ve loved since taking over the 101.1 airwaves 34 years ago. From deep cuts, B sides and your favorites to current hits, the Memorial Weekend Shuffle will highlight it all, from “oh wow” to right now and everything in between. The weekend special will also feature giveways to see Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith along with copies of the new Star Wars video game and a limited edition Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith movie poster. The station will be in shuffle mode from 6pm Friday 'til 11:30am Monday and then plans on airing a similar specialty program every Saturday from 6-10am.

 

Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, May 27 2005

By: Mike Austerman


It’s not the kind of publicity that country WYCD-FM (99.5) was looking for. This week, a federal jury in Detroit awarded $10.6 million to former midday air talent Erin Weber who was fired by the station in 2001 — after complaining that a co-worker’s perfume made her sick. Weber charged that she’d been discriminated against after she suffered disabling complications from an allergic reaction to the perfume of her afternoon co-worker. Doctors later determined that her sensitivity was brought on after exposure to acetone (nail polish remover) spilled in a WYCD studio in 1999.


Weber’s suit claimed her violent reaction to the chemical caused burns in her airways, vocal-cord swelling, difficulty in breathing and laryngitis. After missing work and calling in sick for a weekend airshift in 2001, she was fired, despite top ratings and a successful career at the station. Weber also claimed she was retaliated against because she filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission while still employed. In addition, she claimed that her $66,000 annual salary was two to three times less than those of her male counterparts.


An all-woman jury awarded Weber nearly $1.6 million for lost pay and benefits, $2 million for distress and stuck a $7 million price tag on punitive damages against Infinity Broadcasting, WYCD’s owner. That $7 million will likely be reduced to $300,000 by the judge, as federal law limits the amount of punitive damages in cases such as this. The jury further decided that Infinity did not violate the Family Medical Leave Act or discriminate against Weber because of her gender. Infinity spokeswoman Karen Mateo says the company planned to appeal.


The folks at XM satellite radio have been celebrating after announcing they’ve now signed up more than 4 million subscribers and are on their way to 5.5 million by year-end. They’ll get help from carmaker Hyundai, as that company will add XM as an option this fall instead of rival Sirius; a survey of Hyundai owners showed they’d prefer XM to avoid hearing shock jock Howard Stern when he lands at Sirius in 2006. Just how many of Stern’s listeners will follow him to Sirius? An Edison Research Study says 1 in 5 are likely to follow him to the satcaster. Wonder how many people that is anyhow?


John Mason of urban oldies WDMK-FM (102.7) takes his morning show on the road and live to the Motown Historical Museum in Detroit every Saturday in June. Broadcasting from the West Grand Boulevard site of musical memories, he'll have interviews, musicians, prizes and more.


Soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1) will celebrate its fourth annual “Women Who Make Magic Awards” by paying tribute to the 34 nominees at a special banquet June 6 at Andiamo’s in Warren. The program recognizes area women who have made a little “Magic” in the lives of others; since January, the station has honored two local women each Friday from listener nominations. Each woman took home a $50 Kroger gift certificate and two tickets to the banquet. Donny Osmond will present the honorees with plaques and sing a few songs from his new album, “What I Meant to Say.”


Thanks to all-news WWJ-AM (950) morning drive producer Scott Ryan for pointing out that last week’s column failed to mention that WWJ anchor Pat Vitale also can been seen as a reporter for WJBK-Channel 2. My favorite TV reporter with a radio background? Fox 2’s Jennifer Hammond, who once did sports updates on WDFN-AM (1130) before moving to the small screen.


Set Your Dials: “Somewhere in Time” hosts Tom Wilson and Alison Harris try their luck singing along with Mitch Miller on WMUZ-FM (103.5) at 6 p.m. Sunday.

 

FCC Approves COL Change for WJXQ

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The FCC has issued an order approving Mid-Michigan Radio Group's application to reassign the city of license for WJXQ-FM (Q106) from Jackson to Charlotte. The order, which was issued Wednesday and released today, paves the way for two other pending COL petitions to proceed: the reassignment of MMRG's WQTX-FM from Charlotte to Grand Ledge, and the reassignment of Christian Broadcasting System's WLCM-AM (1390) from Charlotte to Holt. WQTX is planning a new transmitter site, power increase, and frequency switch from 92.7 to 92.9, while WLCM plans to add nighttime service from a second transmitter location closer to Lansing.

So why all the shuffle? With both current Charlotte stations applying for COL changes, the Eaton county seat would be left without a licensed radio station, and under FCC guidelines, there must be at least one station licensed to a municipality once it is allocated. Enter WJXQ, which will now be, at least on the FCC books, a Charlotte station; however, I wouldn't expect to hear any farm reports on Q106 in the near future.

 

Detroit News:

Warren and Detroit are strange bedfellows in a knuckleheaded television production that ought to result in the yanking of their licenses to produce cable programming. The two communities collaborated on a short video attacking Steve Wilson, the attack-dog reporter for WXYZ-TV Channel 7... Warren, Detroit Wrong to Use Cable Show to Target Reporter, Tue 5/31


Detroit Free Press:

The chairman of the Detroit Cable Commission says the city is broadcasting an attack on a local TV reporter over the chairman's objections, and despite his concern that the program could cause trouble with the Federal Communications Commission... Report attacks TV newsman; official frets about sanctions, Wed 5/25

Here, by key time period, are Detroit results from Nielsen Media Research's May sweeps ratings period, which ended Wednesday... MAY SWEEPS RESULTS: Channel 7 rules the A.M.; 'Today' show slips, Fri 5/27

Ruminate over last week's monthly Arbitrend report card on radio ratings and your perspective changes... Clear Channel, Infinity lead local radio ratings, Mon 5/30

When I broadcast baseball play-by-play, I had two major hobbies -- playing golf and writing music. My partners and I always welcomed anyone connected with either endeavor into our radio booth. Sometimes our visitors went on the air with us. More often, they simply enjoyed watching the games.... ERNIE HARWELL: In booth, hobby was music to my ears, Tue 5/31


Oakland Press:

It’s not the kind of publicity that country WYCD-FM (99.5) was looking for. This week, a federal jury in Detroit awarded $10.6 million to former midday air talent Erin Weber who was fired by the station in 2001 — after complaining that a co-worker’s perfume made her sick... Country station says it will appeal $10.6 M suit, Fri 5/27


All Access:

Today (5/31), ABC Hot AC WDVD/DETROIT, MI held their "PEDAL FOR PISTONS TRYCYCLE RACE" at the PALACE in AUBURN HILLS, home of the DETROIT PISTONS. Ten contestants competed for a pair of playoff tickets to see game 4 of the PISTONS and MIAMI HEAT series tonight.


More stories:

NEWS/TALK 760 WJR TO BROADCAST LIVE FROM THE 2005 DETROIT REGIONAL CHAMBER MACKINAC POLICY CONFERENCE

News/Talk 760 WJR will again bring live coverage from the 2005 Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference. The three days of meetings, discussions and speeches traditionally result in a number of breaking news stories heard first on WJR. Tune in to hear a Who's Who of guests as Paul W. Smith (5:30am-9am) and Frank Beckmann (9am-11:30am) broadcast LIVE on Thursday, June 2 and Friday, June 3 from the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Then, join Paul W. Smith LIVE as he hosts the annual "Big Four" on Saturday, June 4th from 10:30 AM-Noon. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Macomb County Commission Chair Nancy White will participate in this lively, topical, roundtable discussion, surrounding significate issues facing southeast Michigan. The Big Four will be re-broadcast on News/Talk 760 WJR on Sunday, from 4:30-6pm.

 

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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