Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, September 19, 2005
By: Mike Austerman
Country WYCD-FM (99.5) once again is looking for a new program director with last week’s exit of Chip Miller after less than a year at the station. Word is the decision for the quick exit was mutual after WYCD couldn’t nail down a long-term commitment from Miller, who’s seeking to get into station ownership in Tennessee.
Instead of a launching another nationwide search, maybe WYCD should start by looking at two highly qualified country programmers with strong roots in the area: W4 Country alums Barry Mardit and Joe Wade Formicola, both of whom know what it takes to win with country in the Motor City. Already blessed with a strong on-air roster, WYCD could easily reach new heights with the experience and loyalty of guys like Mardit or Formicola. Maybe that’d be too easy.
Premiering at 1 p.m. today on Public Radio WUOM-FM (91.7) is a new, local call-in talk show hosted by Jack Lessenberry. Famed for his acerbic weekly Metro Times column, the veteran journalist and social commentator promises an edgy and fast-paced program that’s “a little fun, as well.”
The “Where Are They Now?” file: Former Pop WDVD-FM (96.3) morning man Rocky Allen is back in New York City at WPLJ-FM, where he enjoyed considerable ratings success in the 1990s doing afternoon drive. Allen, who’d been living in Rochester Hills, will once again help commuters get home during afternoon drive in the nation’s No. 1 radio market.
Lansing temporarily lost its only Top 40 station last week when WHZZ-FM (101.7) suddenly became Mike FM, yet another station that’s jumped on this year’s hot format of “playing anything.” So now in Michigan, we have Doug FM in Detroit, Joe FM in Saginaw and Mike FM in Lansing — how long before George moves to Grand Rapids?
Quickly taking the Top 40 torch was Oldies WJIMFM (97.5), leaving the Capital City without an oldies outlet. Longtime WJIM morning voice Rich Michaels moved to sister station Classic Rock WMMQ-FM (94.9) along with the broadcasts of Michigan State University football and basketball. I can already hear the howling from MSU fans used to getting the games on 97.5, which covers a lot more ground east of Lansing than 94.9 because of the proximity of our own Classic Rock WCSX-FM on 94.7.
Is anyone else having a hard time keeping up with all of the technology that can deliver content that used to be the sole domain of radio? Podcasting, the ability to download programming from multiple sources for playback whenever you want to hear it on your computer or MP3 player, has really caught on. Radio stations themselves have recognized this and are now offering podcasts from their Web sites. Check out www.wwj.com, the Web site for All-News WWJ-AM (950), for extra reports that don’t make it on the radio. Now how long will it be before radio stations charge us to download the content we want?
Urban stations WDMK-FM (105.9), WHTD-FM (102.7) and WCHB-AM (1200) get kudos for helping the UniverSoul Circus collect a tractor-trailer full of food and clothing, which was shipped over the weekend to hurricane victims in Louisiana.
WDFN-AM (1130) handyman Glenn Haege will host his annual Fall Home Show from Oct. 7-9 at the Ford Arts Center in Dearborn. It’s the area’s only free home show that features numerous home improvement experts discussing products and services with area homeowners. Haege will broadcast his weekend show live from the event 5-8 p.m. Oct. 7, 10 a.m. -6 p.m. Oct. 8 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 9. Check www.wdfn.com for more details.
Top voice talents Randy Thomas and Peter Rofe will be teaching aspiring voice actors Friday and Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel in Novi. Geared toward beginners and experienced pros alike, this class can be invaluable to those seeking a voice career. Call (248) 737-3000, Ext. 11, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just out is the latest WJR/ Michigan Radioguide produced by my radio column colleague Art Vuolo. Sponsored by GMAC Mortgage, the guide lists every station in the state by region and also the University of Michigan football and men’s basketball schedules for the season, along with affiliate station listings. Get the guides free at Big Boy restaurants across the state or for just $1 mail to the following address: WJR Michigan RADIOGUIDE, P.O. Box 880, Novi, MI 48376-0880. Be sure to include your return address to get yours ASAP.
Set Your Dials: Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is the featured essayist on NPR’s “This I Believe” series during today’s “All Things Considered” news show, 4-7 p.m. on WDET-FM (101.9) and WUOM.
Ray Anthony, one of the remaining members of the original Glenn Miller band, will be featured on “Somewhere in Time,” at 6 p.m. Sunday (9-25) on WMUZ-FM (103.5).