Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, July 25, 2005
By: Mike Austerman
So, what do listeners think of “Doug FM,” the “we play all kinds of stuff” format at adult hits WDRQ-FM (93.1)? According to the Arbitron spring ratings book — not much. The station sank to 15th place overall among all listeners with a 2.5 share of the metro Detroit radio audience. And Doug’s former competitor, Top-40 WKQI-FM (95.5)? It zoomed up to a fourth place finish with a solid 5.1 share.
Tops among listeners ages 12 and up were newstalk WJR-AM (760), followed by all-news WWJ-AM (950) and urban WJLB-FM (97.9). The rest of the top 10 stations included adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3), oldies WOMC-FM (104.3), smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7), country WYCD-FM (99.5), rock WRIF-FM (101.1), and soft rockers WMGC-FM (105.1) and WNIC-FM (100.3), which tied for 10th. Morning show ratings also reflect the changes at 93.1. Although WRIF’s Drew and Mike continue on top, WKQI’s “Mojo in the Morning” gang is putting the pressure on, scoring the number one slot among women ages 18-34 and 18-49.
While it’s probably too early to call Doug FM a failure, these numbers might not please the bosses in the Fisher Building (though running a radio station via computer might be their idea of success no matter what the ratings are). But maybe listeners are looking for something more to go with the music, commercials and constant barrage of cutesy “Doug” sayings. When the station first was launched, I was excited because of the music variety. But three-plus months later, I don’t listen much, mostly because of the way the station presents itself: There’s simply too much clutter to put up with for more than a song or two. It looks as if other listeners feel the same way — and advertisers will take note, too, if the ratings continue to be soft.
Sports WDFN-AM (1130) afternoon hosts Mike Stone and Bob Wojnowski reached their goal of accumulating $1 million throughout their eight years of helping the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during this year’s recent 28-hour long radiothon.
Meanwhile, former WDFN reporter Sabrina Black continues her fight against cancer. First diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in early 2000, Black continues to undergo multiple treatments as doctors search for success. She’s been through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, in addition to two bone marrow transplants and numerous side effects and complications. Keep her and her husband, Steve Black of WRIF, in your thoughts as they fight for Sabrina’s recovery.
Public WDET-FM (101.9) has once again been nominated for noncommercial Adult Album Alternative Station of The Year by the trade pub Radio and Records. Program director Judy Adams says the nomination “validates our efforts to program WDET differently than other stations in our market, or in the entire country.” The station’s news department also scored several awards recently from the Detroit Society of Professional Journalists. “It is a real honor to be recognized by fellow journalists for your work,” said news director Joan Silvi.
Quick Hits: WRIF will host the seventh annual Arthur Penhallow Golf Scramble on Aug. 5 at Devil’s Ridge Golf Course in Oxford. The cool combo of rock and golf will benefit Jack’s Place for Autism. For more, visit www.wrif.com ... WOMC evening host Bob Vandergrift exits stage left to become a program director at a Bloomington, Ill., station that’ll be launched later this summer. The search is on for a new nighttime host in fabulous Ferndale.
Set Your Dials: Former WPON-AM (1460) morning man Crazy Al and co-host Larry Matthews return from 5-7 p.m. today during David Washington’s “20 Grand Review.” It’ll be like Crazy Al’s Radio Party never left the airwaves — and he wants former listeners to know he’s still doing the show daily on the Internet, at www.industrialinfo.com ... host Tom Wilson goes jitterbugging and Lindy dancing as he welcomes Terry Tickle & the Swing City Orchestra at 6 p.m. Sunday on WMUZ-FM (103.5).