October 2005 Archives

Ann Delisi to join Classical/Jazz WRCJ

Detroit Public TV run Classical and Jazz outlet WRCJ-FM 90.9 will add another high-profile host to its lineup when Ann Delisi takes over the station's afternoon drive timeslot later this fall. Delisi is a veteran of Detroit radio who most recently was hosting a weekend program on WJR AM 760. Her resume also includes stops at WDVD-FM 96.3, CIDR-FM 93.9, and at her first radio home, WDET-FM 101.9.

The station previously announced former Classical WQRS host Dave Wagner as the station's morning host and program director.

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FSN Detroit welcomes back Red Wings with power play programming lineup

FSN Detroit is airing a combined 25½ hours of hockey specials and games from Sept. 29-Oct. 9 to welcome back the Red Wings and the NHL. Following are show descriptions and schedule, most of which falls
during FSN’s “NHL Premiere Week” Oct. 3-9:

  • Hey, Hey Hockey's Back: Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond take fans through the various rule changes and discuss some of the new looks to the Red Wings and the National Hockey League in this half-hour special. The show includes visits with Red Wings players Kris Draper, Brendan Shanahan, Mathieu Schneider, Robert Lang and Chris Osgood.
  • Red Wings Season Preview: Features include the return to Detroit of goaltender Chris Osgood, who has seen his career com full circle; a behind-the-scenes and wired-for-sound segment with new head coach Mike Babcock; the reconnecting of the Red Wings players with their fans; and an introduction to the 2005-06 playing roster.
  • Red Wings Weekly: This season-opening episode includes a two-part interview with captain Steve Yzerman, conducted by John Keating. Host Trevor Thompson tells us what’s new since we last saw the Red Wings.
  • Ice Warriors: This 60-minute film documentary follows Igor Larionov and the Red Wings Alumni team on a wild ride through the former Soviet Union as they competed in seven games against some of the greatest Russian players of all-time.
  • Red Wings Hockey: FSN Detroit begins its 65-game regular-season schedule with three season-opening contests– two pitting the Red Wings against division rival St. Louis, the other against 2004 Stanley Cup finalist Calgary.

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WDET Program Highlights

Tune in to the Jon Moshier Program this Saturday, October 1 at 11 PM
for a performance and interview with Portland's Fruit Bats. The band, propelled by the songwriting of Eric D. Johnson, chat and play songs from their new cd, "Spelled in Bones" which is out now on Sub Pop Records.


Detroit Free Press:

Some of Detroit's grand old voices and faces got together Saturday night and raised $15,000 for the Gail Purtan Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at the 3rd Detroit Broadcast Reunion at the Sheraton Novi. Guests at the private party numbered over 300... Names and Faces, (Tue 9/27)


Steve Harvey's syndicated morning radio show debuts Monday on Detroit's Clear Channel-owned WMXD-FM (92.3). He's been at this incarnation of his radio career since mid-September, broadcasting from New York's WBLS-FM. He previously helmed a Los Angeles morning show for five years and did a week here recently to warm up the audience for this effort. Harvey is best known for stand-up comedy and hosted his own TV show, which featured unusual acts, last season... King of comedy on Detroit radio, (Fri 9/30)


Detroit News:

Reality TV can't resist casting Metro Detroiters.Who can forget when Ferndale gave the world Bachelor Bob Guinea or how West Bloomfield Township blushed when chef and survivor Keith Famie burned rice in the Australian Outback? Detroiter Naima Mora made her fellow Cass grads smile when she became America's next top model and Lisa Shannon of Bloomfield Hills looked to "Cupid" for love not marriage... For Michiganians, starring on TV this fall is reality, (Tue 9/27)


The good news is, there are three cool new radio stations on your FM radio dial, and more on the way. That's FM dial, as in free. The bad news? You can't pull in the stations on your radio unless you're a geek, or work for a radio station. That's because these stations are broadcast in high definition -- "HD" -- and your regular old radio and mine just won't pull the new signals in. But in the next year, as more consumers buy HD radios, regular "terrestrial" radio and satellite radio will be duking it out in a pitched battle for your ears that should freshen the radio landscape tremendously. It's a long-overdue change, as radio has lagged behind other media in upgrading both its content and the technology through which we listen... Brave new waves, (Fri 9/30)


WDIV Local 4's Rhonda Walker will host a celebration of powerful Michigan women on Sunday at Detroit's Seldom Blues during the inaugural Moving with Success Empowerment Brunch. Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Cathy Hughes of Radio One and Swin Cash of the Detroit Shock are among the women who will be honored during the noon-3 p.m. event to benefit the Rhonda Walker Foundation. The 3-year-old organization's mission is to empower inner-city teen girls to become strong, moral leaders... Empowerment brunch honors women, (Fri 9/30)


Tom Joyner, the popular nationally syndicated talk show host who can be heard 6-9 a.m. weekdays on WDMK-FM (105.9), is now stretching his hand as a TV host on the new variety series "The Tom Joyner Show." Detroit will be featured prominently in the debut episode of the show, airing at 5 p.m. Saturday on Detroit's WB 20. The hour-long program will feature comedian J. Anthony Brown visiting downtown's City Slickers Shoes and the legendary Motown Museum. Detroit co-stars in Joyner's new show, (Fri 9/30)


Daily Oakland Press:

This past weekend was one I’ll personally never forget as the Last Great Radio Reunion took place. Since I was one of the organizers, it seems more appropriate for my colleague Mike Austerman to fill you in on the details in his next column. Suffice to say it was amazing to gather over the weekend with several hundred of the biggest names to ever grace the Motor City radio dial... MSU, U-M fans get your game fix on radio this weekend, (Mon 9/26)


Flint Journal:

It looks as if we can finally bid adieu to WFDF. The station and its call letters have been in the Flint area since it signed on in 1922. But ABC Radio, which purchased WFDF for $3 million in 2002, is finally moving the station, now a Radio Disney affiliate, to Detroit. The license will transfer to Farmington Hills, which could signal the end of the historic call letters (FDF took its name from the initials of station founder Frank D. Fallon)... WFDF finally sets departure from Flint, (Fri 9/30)


All Access:

It wasn't YANKEE STADIUM, but it'll have to do for INFINITY Talk WKRK (LIVE 97.1)/DETROIT DEMINSKI AND DOYLE Producer (and YANKEE fan) BILL "BEAVER" TORTORIELLO, who threw out the first pitch at WEDNESDAY night's DETROIT TIGERS game at COMERICA PARK. No injuries were reported as BEAVER tested his pitching arm in front of a crowd that included Rev. JESSE JACKSON. (Fri 9/30)


CITADEL Top 40 WIOG/SAGINAW-BAY CITY-MIDLAND-FLINT, MI names JERRY NOBLE their new PD. NOBLE previously served as PD for LIGGETT COMMUNICATIONS Hot AC WBTI/PORT HURON, MI. (Fri 9/30)

 

WQTX Switches to Smooth Jazz as WJZL

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The Lansing radio changes continue! Mid-Michigan Radio Group has ended the simulcast of Sports Talk outlets WTQX-FM (92.1) and WQTX-FM (92.7), by flipping the latter to a Smooth Jazz format. The former WQTX (now WJZL) recently received FCC approval to proceed with plans for a COL change to Grand Ledge and frequency change to 92.9, which will provide the station with substantially better coverage of the Lansing market. In the meantime, however, it appears that MMRG has decided to proceed with programming changes for 92.7 FM. WJZL is airing the Smooth Jazz format from Jones Satellite Networks.

Lansing Community College's WLNZ-FM (89.7) currently offers Jazz programming in the daytime. The last commercial Jazz outlet in Lansing was WXMX-FM (now WTXQ), which programmed the format from 1991 to 1993.

WTXQ continues with Sports Talk as "The Ticket".

 

Bill Humphries, former WGPR-TV 62 sportscaster, passes

Bill Humphries, one of the first African American TV sportscasters in Detroit, has passed away. Humphries spent most of his broadcast career at WGPR-TV, the original channel 62 in Detroit. Humphries also once worked at WEMU-FM Ypsilanti and was active in the Detroit Sports Broadcaster's Association. He also served a term on the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

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WJR upcoming events:

The Paul W. Smith Show will broadcast live tomorrow (Oct 7) from 6-9am at the Goodfellows Tribute Breakfast 2005 from the Riverfront Ballroom in the Cobo Conference Center in Detroit. Detroit Goodfellows, an organization that raises millions of dollars yearly for underprivileged Detroit area children, will honor Detroit businessman and former Detroit Piston Dave Bing with the “Goodfellow of the Year” award.


Detroit Free Press:

Talk radio geared specifically for women -- a trend in the mid-'80s that later fizzled -- may be resurrected by satellite radio two decades later. XM Satellite Radio, which says it reached 5 million subscribers last week -- is launching a new channel today aimed at female listeners. It's No. 155 and called Take 5... XM to launch women's channel (Mon 10/3)


Don't you love intrigue? Detroit's WKRK-FM (97.1) is fanning radio intrigue by keeping talkers Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick off the air from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays and playing reruns of their shows. Station boss Rich Homberg says, "Following comments made on the show last week," they're off and an announcement will come ... whenever. What did they say? Er, no further comment from Mr. Homberg... Radio hosts off the air, but why? (Wed 10/5)

When was the last time you heard a radio station called "a balm for the soul" and the source of "an argument-free ride in the car"? That was the way newly upgraded and Disney-formatted WFDF-AM (910) was described at a rollout breakfast at Henry Ford Museum on Wednesday. And the speaker was Gov. (and mom) Jennifer Granholm. AM 910, which strengthened its daytime signal this week, becomes the latest means for metro Detroiters to receive Disney's music and entertainment package intended for 6- to 14-year-olds... Disney powers up in Detroit, (Thu 10/6)


All Access:

Detroit Middayers On "Vacation": INFINITY Talk WKRK (LIVE 97.1)/DETROIT's "MOTOR CITY MIDDAYS" hosts GREGG HENSON and MICHELLE MCKORMICK are off the air this week, and while the "best ofs" are running, the market is talking about what led the station to yank the show for now. The show went into reruns after last WEDNESDAY's show (9/28); chatter in the market is that on-air comments about a personality at another station may have led to the hiatus. (Tue 10/4)


Radio and Records:

Infinity spokeswoman Karen Mateo has confirmed that Greg Henson & Michelle McKormack, the midday team at Infinity FM Talker WKRK/Detroit, have been off the air since the end of their shift on Wednesday, Sept. 28 in connection to some questionable comments made during the show... WKRK/Detroit Midday Team Suspended, (Tue 10/4)


Billboard Radio Monitor:

Clear Channel top 40 WKQI (Channel 95.5) Detroit is considering legal action against crosstown Infinity FM talker WKRK, according to WKQI OM Dom Theodore. Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick allegedly made disparaging comments about WKQI night host Tic Tac on the air and referred to him by his real name... WKRK Midday Team Silenced Following Remarks About Competitor, (Wed 10/5)

 

WWJ Newsradio 950 goes one-on-one next week with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and mayoral challenger Freeman Hendrix to discuss the issues facing the region. WWJ City Beat reporter Vickie Thomas will host the one-hour special with challenger Freeman Hendrix on Thursday, October 13 (moved from Mon. 10/10) and with Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Wednesday, October 12. Both broadcasts will air commercial free from 8-9:00 PM.

 

Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, October 9, 2005

By: Mike Austerman


Tongues were wagging last week about the suspension of midday hosts Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick from talk WKRK-FM (97.1). Seems Henson made some questionable on-air comments on their Sept. 28 program about Top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5) evening jock Tic Tak. The brouhaha made it into national trade pubs and even garnered a comment from WKRK syndicated morning shock jock Howard Stern.

Brass from WKRK owner Infinity aren’t commenting, but one wonders if all the furor is simply a prelude to some pending lineup changes at WKRK with Stern’s leap to satellite radio looming ever closer. WKRK has been airing “best-of” programs from Henson and McKormick during their absence from live radio.


The soothing evening sounds of Johnny Williams has returned to the Detroit airwaves on soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1), pitting him against fellow baritone jock Alan Almond, who returned home to crosstown rival WNIC-FM (100.3) less than a month ago. Both guys have been in town and available for a long time and while it’s great to have their local voices back, what the heck took so long? And if you ever needed evidence that radio is a copycat business ...


Radio Disney has now officially started full-time operations of WFDF-AM (910) from the Detroit area, making it the area’s eighth 50,000-watt daytime signal, on a radio band many considered dead and buried years ago. Station management for WFDF — could that stand for “We’re for Disney Fun?” — promises programming safe for the entire family but targeted at kids ages 6-14 with pop music hits, events, and contests with awesome — a word often heard on Radio Disney — prizes. For now, the best reception will be during daylight hours, as engineers have yet to complete the necessary work to boost the stations after-dark output.


More than 330 people attended the “Last Motor City Broadcast Reunion” on Sept. 24, helping to raise more than $15,000 for the Gail Purtan Ovarian Cancer Fund. The wife of popular oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) morning man Dick Purtan, Gail has survived more than eight years of the deadly disease. In so doing, she’s offered hope to countless other cancer patients.

The event drew an aweinspiring number of famous radio names, including Casey Kasem, former WKNR jocks Gary Stevens, Jerry Goodwin, Paul Cannon and Pat St. John (now at Sirius Satellite Radio). Also on hand were Big 8 CKLW talents Big Jim Edwards, Johnny Williams, Bill Hennes, Brother Bill Gable, Grant Hudson and current all-news WWJ-AM (950) morning co-host Joe Donovan, and scores more.

One of the highlights of the evening was the introduction of WKNR’s original owner, 88-year-old Nellie Knorr, who looked great, spoke to the crowd and hugged all the former Keener Key Men of Music. Famous WXYZ night DJ Lee Alan also provided a solemn introduction to the memorial video, produced by Art Vuolo, honoring the many broadcasters whom we’ve lost. Vuolo also made a video in tribute to legendary names, faces and stations of Detroit radio.

Big Al Muskovito and Jackie Purtan wrote hysterical sketches with TV pitchmen Irving Neusbaum and Mr. Belvedere, and the evening ended with comic/singer Heywood Banks, who was outrageously funny. Everyone agreed it should not be the last time Detroit radio people have a gettogether. Maybe the committee of Vuolo, Mike Seltzer, Terry Holmes, Millie Felch and Dick Kernen will reconsider calling it the “last.” One thing’s for sure, everyone who was there will remember it.


Home improvement buffs take note: The weekend lineup at sports WXYT-AM (1270) has been tweaked. The new schedule: “Ask the Handyman” with “Appliance Doctor” Joe Gagnon now airs 7-9 a.m. Saturdays and 7-8 a.m. Sundays. The men’s lifestyle show “G-3” airs 9-11 a.m. Saturdays, and “Hire it Done” takes the 8-10 a.m. slot on Sundays.


Set Your Dials: Tom Wilson’s “Somewhere in Time” show takes a look back at songstress Peggy Lee at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5).

 

"Rock the House" Returns to WOES

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Locally-produced music program "Rudy and Dolph Rock the House" returns to WOES-FM (91.3), Ovid-Elsie, on October 21st. "Rock the House", which features a mix of Oldies and Classic Rock with emphasis on B-sides and seldom-heard tracks, will air Fridays at 9:00 pm, or immediately following the Ovid-Elsie football broadcast. The program will repeat Saturdays and Sundays at 6:00 pm on Clinton County Radio, and on WITT, Comcast cable channel 12 in the DeWitt area.

 

Metro Detroit: In The News Oct 7-13

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BHSD Radio Students Win Nine John Drury High School Radio Awards

WBFH Wins First Place, Best High School Station
Pete Bowers Wins First Place, Best Radio Station Advisor

Bloomfield Hills School District radio broadcasting students and staff won a total of eleven awards in seven categories at the Fourth Annual John Drury High School Radio Awards ceremony held October 8, 2005 on the campus of North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

The John Drury High School Radio Awards were created to recognize excellence in high school radio broadcasting. These awards were named in honor of award-winning ABC-Chicago news anchor, John Drury. The awards were presented by North Central College and their student radio station WONC-FM.

WBFH students were nominated for fourteen awards, the most of any high school entering this national competition. WBFH students won three 1st Place awards, two 2nd Place awards and four 3rd Place awards:

* Best Newscast, 1st Place: Wade Fink, Andover junior
* Best Public Service Announcement, 1st Place: Ryan Fishman, Andover senior
* Best Promotional Announcement, 1st Place: Ryan Fishman, Andover senior

* Best Newscast, 2nd Place: Ryan Fishman, Andover senior
* Best Sportscast, 2nd Place: Ryan Fishman, Andover senior

* Best Newscast, 3rd Place: Rachel Fishman, Lahser senior
* Best News Feature Story, 3rd Place: Ryan Fishman, Andover senior
* Best Sportscast, 3rd Place: Wade Fink, Andover junior
* Best Public Service Announcement, 3rd Place: Lauren Edelman, Andover senior, Rachel Fishman, Lahser senior, and Erin Kashawlic, Andover senior

WBFH Station Manager Pete Bowers was nominated for Best Radio Station Advisor and won 1st Place. The award was based on a 500-word essay and three supporting letters.

The Best High School Radio Station award was based on the number of awards won by students from high school radio stations in the United States. WBFH won 1st Place this year after taking 3rd Place last year. WGBK of Glenview, Illinois took 2nd Place.

“This was the second year we sent entries to the John Drury Awards,” said Bowers. “I’m very proud of the students who won and for WBFH finishing first for Best High School Radio Station.”

Andover senior and WBFH Operations Manager Ryan Fishman won a total of five Drury awards and made the trip to Naperville to accept his awards. “It was definitely worth the trip”, said Fishman.

WBFH, also known as The Biff, is a non-commercial, educational radio station broadcasting at 88.1 on the FM dial. The WBFH management team consists of Bowers, Assistant Manager/Chief Engineer Randy Carr and Remote Supervisor Ron Wittebols.

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WRCJ bolsters lineup

Classical and Jazz WRCJ-FM 90.9 has announced that Chris Felcyn will be midday host when the classical and jazz station begins live broadcasts from its studios in the Detroit School of Arts in November. The weekday classical lineup is set with Dave Wagner 6am-10am, Chris Felcyn 10am-3pm, and Ann Delisi 3pm-7pm. The station also announced that former WQRS host Jack Goggin will join as its primary fill-in host.

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Congresswoman Miller Produces Informative TV and Radio Campaign to Inform Seniors

United States Representative Candice Miller has announced the distribution of a TV and radio public service campaign to inform seniors about the new Medicare prescription drug program. Congresswoman Miller and Dr. Mark McClellan, Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, star in the 30-second TV production. The PSA includes critical dates, phone numbers, and website information those interested in signing up for the new prescription drug plan. It will air on stations in the Detroit and Flint television markets and will also be available to radio and TV stations statewide.

"High-quality healthcare and reliable access to prescription drugs is - and will remain - a top priority," Rep. Miller said. "It's important that our seniors have access to this critical information about our nation's new Medicare prescription drug program. I thank our fine Michigan broadcasters for stepping up to the plate to support their viewers and listeners," she said. "Once again, our local radio and TV stations are supporting their communities by using the public airwaves to serve the citizens and the public good."

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MIX92.3’s Frankie Darcell will take part in making of history at the 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March this weekend

Adult Urban Contemporary WMXD-FM 92.3 host Frankie Darcell will take part in making history this weekend at the 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March at Washington’s National Museum in Washington D.C. MIX92.3’s Frankie Darcell will broadcast LIVE, Saturday, October 16th from 9a.m – 3p.m. MIX 92.3 invited the city of Detroit to join us at this monumental event. Bus loads of participants will depart Friday, October 14th, at approximately 4 p.m. from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

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Local Fans Find “Lost” Facts, Figures & Fiction On New Blog

“Lost” fever has infected Jim Johnson (JJ) and Lynne Woodison, hosts of the Classic Rock Morning Show on 94.7 WCSX and their listeners. Each week, the duo, joined by listeners, compares notes and theories on the popular television show now in its second season. In response to listener demand, JJ & Lynne have extended the discussion beyond their show by creating an island of “Lost” information on-line at http://jjandlynne.blogspot.com. Fans of JJ & Lynne and “Lost” can read show news, find out the latest theories, exchange speculations and comment on all things “Lost.” The Classic Rock Morning Show can be heard weekdays from 5am to 9am on 94.7 WCSX.

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WDET enhances programming access

Public WDET-FM 101.9 has launched "WDET On Demand," a new service that allows listeners to subscribe to WDET news stories, special features from their favorite music programs, NPR news and other station information. WDET On Demand includes podcasting, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and a streaming archive service.

WDET's award-winning local news is available in both audio and text forms and listeners can have stories automatically delivered to their computers where they can read or listen at their convenience. RSS feeds of NPR programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered are also available via WDET On Demand. A popular feature of this new service is a subscription to WDET's program highlights feed, which informs users about upcoming live music performances, ticket or CD giveaways, news stories and features other important station information. There are also archives containing streams of recent live music performances for listeners who missed a performance or want to hear a favorite artist again.

WDET On Demand can be accessed through the WDET website at wdetfm.org.

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Coming Up On News/Talk 760 WJR

Friday October 14th The Paul W. Smith Show broadcasts live from 6-9am at the WJR/Jeep Commander Breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Birmingham. WJR and the Southeast Michigan Chrysler Jeep Superstores invite you to stop by as they introduce the new 2006 Jeep Commander and enjoy breakfast on them!

Saturday October 15th and Sunday October 16th the WJR Home Improvement Show will broadcast live from the 2005 Fall Remodeling Show at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi. Saturday's broadcast will run from 10am-noon and Sunday's from noon-3pm.


Detroit Free Press:

Heating up -- and clearing up -- is the Gregg Henson/Michelle McKormick situation at WKRK-FM (97.1). The radio trade site FMQB.com reports the duo was suspended for on-air utterances involving WKQI-FM (95.5) personality Tic Tac. The nature of the offense? They reportedly used Tac's real name and alleged things not worth repeating here... Names and Faces, (Fri 10/7)


Gregg Henson is out and David Lee Roth may be in at Infinity-owned Detroit talk station WKRK-FM (97.1). Monday, vice president and general manager Rich Homberg confirmed talk show cohost Henson was jettisoned after making on-air accusations about WKQI-FM (95.5) evening voice Tic Tac. Henson's cohost, Michelle McKormick, survives, Homberg said. She will be paired with a new cohost and they will continue "Motor City Midday" from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays "in a day or two," Homberg said. That show had been in repeats for about 10 days since the Tic Tac incident. Henson did not respond to requests for comment... Gregg Henson out, Roth may be in at talker WKRK, (Tue 10/11)


Jay Towers was undone by the Doug-FM, personality-less format at WDRQ-FM (93.1) back in April. But Tuesday, radio trade site AllAccess.com reported that he might be the lead candidate to replace the dismissed talker Gregg Henson on "Motor City Middays" on WKRK-FM (97.1) 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays. Towers remains under contract to WDRQ parent ABC Radio but has been doing only morning news and traffic updates... Towers might cross over to WKRK, (Wed 10/12)


WRCJ-FM (90.9), the public radio station owned by Detroit Public Schools but run by Detroit Public Television (WTVS-TV, Channel 56), announced the addition of two more staffers when it switches from satellite to live programming sometime next month. Chris Felcyn, longtime host of an eclectic Sunday morning show on WDET-FM (101.9), will host the 10 a.m.-3 p.m. weekday show, programmer and morning host Dave Wagner announced. Jack Goggin, who worked for years with Wagner at 105.1 when it was classical WQRS-FM, will be the chief fill-in host, Wagner said... Names and Faces, (Thu 10/13)


Detroit News:

WDIV news personality Rhonda Walker worked the room at Seldom Blues, and 25 inner-city teenage girls wearing pink T-shirts did some impressive networking as well. The Oct. 2 occasion was the first Moving with Success Empowerment Brunch, Conversations with Powerful Women of Purpose event to benefit the Rhonda Walker Foundation... TV news' Rhonda Walker helps out teens, (Tue 10/11)


Oprah Winfrey exposed "America's dirty little secret" -- poverty -- on her show Wednesday, and in doing so, turned a harsh light on Detroit. The show referred to Detroit as America's poorest big city, where one in three people live beneath the poverty line. CNN's Anderson Cooper filed a report from the city in which he interviewed people living in freeway underpasses and spotlighted two local families and their struggles with poverty and homelessness... Oprah takes on Detroit's poverty, (Thu 10/13)


Daily Oakland Press:

Tongues were wagging last week about the suspension of midday hosts Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick from talk WKRK-FM (97.1). Seems Henson made some questionable on-air comments on their Sept. 28 program about Top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5) evening jock Tic Tak. The brouhaha made it into national trade pubs and even garnered a comment from WKRK syndicated morning shock jock Howard Stern... 97.1 team’s trash talk nets suspension, wide attention, (Sun 10/9)


All Access:

The ever-vigilent ALL ACCESS PITTSBURGH spies spotted former WDRQ/DETROIT PD ALEX TEAR enjoying an IRON CITY BEER last night at the HI-TOPS Sports Bar, just over the scenic ROBERTO CLEMENTE bridge from downtown PITTSBURGH, home of CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WKST (96.1 KISS-FM). Will MR. TEAR be landing - or blasting off - soon? (Fri 10/7)


INFINITY Talk WKRK (LIVE 97.1)/DETROIT has fired midday co-host GREGG HENSON after a supension for comments made on the air about a host at another station, WKQI evening host TIK-TAK. HENSON's "MOTOR CITY MIDDAYS" co-host MICHELLE MCKORMICK remains with the station and will get a new on-air partner; the station's website MONDAY (10/10) mistakenly listed afternoon hosts DEMINSKI AND DOYLE as handling both middays and afternoons, but they'll stick with afternoon drive. HENSON was moved from the PD post at WKRK sister station Sports WXYT-A to the FM side as a host in NOVEMBER 2003. (Mon 10/10)


Live 97.1/Detroit: Adding Towers? With GREGG HENSON (as reported yesterday at ALL ACCESS) gone from middays at INFINITY Talk WKRK (LIVE 97.1)/DETROIT and MICHELLE MCKORMICK temporarily solo for "MOTOR CITY MIDDAYS," ALL ACCESS hears that former crosstown WDRQ morning man JAY TOWERS, who did vacation fill-in for HENSON last month, is the leading candidate to take over for HENSON. Stay tuned.... (Tue 10/11)


Former MICHIGAN TALK RADIO NETWORK host TONY TRUPIANO is running for Congress. TRUPIANO, a Democrat, is running in the 11th MICHIGAN Congressional District currently served by Republican THADDEUS MCCOTTER. (Tue 10/11)


Radio and Records:

R&R has confirmed that WKRK/Detroit midday co-host Gregg Henson has been fired from the Infinity FM Talker, reportedly in connection with on-air comments he made on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Henson and partner Michelle McKormack have been off the air since they finished their show on that day... Suspended WKRK/Detroit Host Fired, (Tue 10/11)


Billboard Radio Monitor:

Infinity FM talker WKRK Detroit has fired Gregg Henson following an internal review into disparaging comments made by the midday co-host about crosstown WKQI (Channel 95.5) night host Tic Tak... WKRK Fires Midday Co-Host Over Disparaging Comments, (Tue 10/11)


FoxNews.com:

Official: Diamond Dave Gets Howard's Job- The rumors were true. I can tell you exclusively that sometime next month, Infinity Broadcasting will announce that David Lee Roth is taking over for Howard Stern. The one-time lead singer of Van Halen will assume the microphone in New York and several other markets where Stern's radio show is heard... David Lee Roth to Succeed Howard Stern, (Mon 10/10)

 

News-Talk WJR AM 760 and Michigan State University have reached an agreement that will move coverage of MSU football and men's basketball to WJR starting with the 2006-07 seasons. The agreement is for 5 years.

Spartans' sports were heard for years during the 1960s and 70s on WJR before the station agreed to become the flagship for University of Michigan sports in 1977. The Wolverines are left looking for a new flagship station for next fall - much to the surprise of everyone.

MSU press release:
Michigan State University and News/Talk 760 WJR radio today announced a five-year agreement that, in the words of MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, “represents a mutually beneficial partnership with the Great Voice of the Great Lakes.”

WJR will become the flagship radio station for MSU, effective in the 2006-07 seasons, Simon and Michael Fezzey, president and general manager of News/Talk 760 WJR, announced at MSU. WJR will bring live coverage of Spartan football and men’s basketball games produced and distributed by MSU. In addition, WJR will broadcast weekly in-season call-in shows with Spartan head basketball coach Tom Izzo and head football coach John L. Smith.

Fezzey emphasized that “the collective clout” of WJR and MSU throughout the state and beyond will serve listeners in “historic” ways.He added that WJR was MSU’s flagship station from 1963 to 1976.

“MSU developed an exciting partnership plan with WJR that proved beneficial to both. Combining assets to reach and serve people is at the heart of our respective missions,” he said. “And we are impressed that almost 90 percent of MSU’s undergraduate students come from the state of Michigan. There is great momentum here—in athletics, academics and research—as MSU celebrates its sesquicentennial.We look forward to being a part of it all.”

“MSU’s relationship with WJR in recent years has been a valued one and athletics now becomes part of that relationship,” Simon said. “Our faculty have been regular guests on Paul W. Smith’s, Frank Beckmann’s, Warren Pierce’s and Mitch Albom’s shows. I am personally aware of the impressive reach and breadth of WJR ‘talk’ through my own appearances. Expanding this relationship is a prime example of the Team MSU concept—one area negotiating to benefit the entire university.

“As we tell our story to the state, region and nation—and as that story continues to build momentum with students, alumni, donors, policy makers and others—we really can say this is a partnership of a Great Voice and a Great Choice.”

Ron Mason, Spartan athletics director, said WJR also has the rights to broadcast additional MSU athletic programming, and that MSU and WJR will pursue “creative and substantial opportunities” to host events that leverage MSU’s total-university assets. “We pursued a relationship that would optimally reach, inform and serve the thousands of fans and supporters of MSU; that was our consistent aim,” Mason said. “This will be MSU outreach at its qualitative and quantitative best."

 

WJR repaints Blue room with Green paint

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In a stunning turn of events, the University of Michigan will have to find a new radio home for their football and basketball games next season as 50,000 watt WJR-AM (760) abruptly announced late yesterday that they would no longer be carrying the games. Even more shocking is the news that The Great Voice of The Great Lakes has signed a new five-year deal to carry the Michigan State Spartans!

This will thrill the Green and White MSU fans and cause great distress to thousands of Maize and Blue Michigan fans at the same time. The deal was put together by, WJR’s president and general manager, Mike Fezzey. Sources say that Michigan State has been lusting after the mega-power WJR for some time. It is also thought that the station was not getting as much “love and respect” from the Wolverines as they felt they deserved. Many feel that can be a sure-fire recipe for defection.

Reports say that upper management at the University of Michigan were surprised at this action and did not see it coming. The trio of broadcasters who cover the U of M Football games; Frank Beckmann, Jim Brandstatter and Steve Courtney, were also stunned by the news.

The staff was reportedly taken by bus to East Lansing unsure of what was going to happen. They were treated to a warm reception at the MSU stadium and an elegant dinner. It appears that the Spartans wanted to express their appreciation for this new association in a first class manner.

Fans will no doubt compare this to when the Tigers and the Red Wings were moved from the powerful WJR to the far lesser signal on sports WXYT-AM (1270). The teams lost all of their fans in Indiana, Ohio and Ontario. The same will be the case now with Michigan fans in these areas. Regardless, WJR will no doubt be perceived as a “turn-coat” by U of M fans. They have been broadcasting Michigan football and basketball since 1976 when the late Bob Ufer segued over from Ann Arbor’s WPAG, now WTKA-AM (1050).

One theory says the games might move to WJR’s new sister station Radio Disney WFDF-AM (910) also with 50,000 watts and arguably now the second best signal in the state. This way the same company would actually have both Michigan and Michigan State games. The other theory is that Infinity Broadcasting group manager Rich Homberg will go after the U of M broadcasts and offer to place the games on BOTH all-news WWJ-AM (950) and hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) which is the exclusive home of the Detroit Lions. Both the AM and FM are 50,000 watt stations and would give Michigan fans excellent coverage, within the metro area.

Stay tuned. This is going to get interesting.

Spartans knock U-M off WJR (Detroit Free Press)

Spartans moving to Wolverines' longtime flagship station starting in 2006-07 (Daily Oakland Press)

MSU in, U-M out on WJR (Detroit News)

 

The first televised debate between Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and challenger Freman Hendrix will air live on WDIV-TV on Monday, October 17th at 8:00 PM. The hour-long Decision 2005: Mayoral Debate will be hosted by Wayne State University in conjunction with Local 4 and Clear Channel Radio WMXD 92.3 FM.

Decision 2005: Mayoral Debate will be moderated by Local 4 News anchor and Flashpoint host Devin Scillian. Local 4 News anchor Carmen Harlan and Dean Frank Wu of Wayne State University’s Law School will act as panelists firing the questions to the candidates. The candidates will also be asked to answer select questions submitted by community members. The audience for the debate will consist of invited guests and members of the community with advanced reservations to attend.

 

Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, October 16, 2005

By: Art Vuolo


Talk about a quarterback sneak. Late Thursday, personality WJR-AM (760) dumped the Wolverines and picked up the Spartans as the station inked a five-year deal to broadcast Michigan State football and basketball games beginning next fall. University of Michigan officials didn’t see the play coming — they’d been negotiating to keep U-M on The Great Voice of the Great Lakes “and we thought we had a deal,” said a disappointed Michigan athletic director Bill Martin, who first heard about the change on WJR radio.

’JR apparently saw Green — or more green, as it were — coming from East Lansing. Though no money figure’s been revealed, the deal was sweeter to go with MSU rather than continue to broadcast UM games on ’JR, which the station has done since 1976. Locally, MSU games have been heard on sports WXYT-AM (1270). You can bet that Rich Homberg, general manager for news WWJ-AM (950) and hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) is running like an Olympic track star to Ann Arbor with an offer they can’t refuse. Stay tuned for the second half.


In another surprise move, Chris Felcyn from public radio WDET-FM (101.9), has jumped from his long-running Sunday morning “Listening Room” show over to host middays at classical/jazz WRCJFM (90.9) when they go local and live next month. Classical station veteran Jack Goggin also has signed up to do fill-in at ’RCJ when needed. Why don’t they just reclaim the old WQRS-FM call-letters? They’re available.


After extensive separate conversations with Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick, I’ve gained a great deal of perspective regarding the radio debacle which led to Henson’s demise on WKRK-FM. I also spoke, at length, with Tic Tak, the night jock on top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5) who could not have been kinder and more understanding about the entire situation. Henson admits what he said was bad judgment on his part, but it’s amazing how intolerant station management has become. Recent FCC changes and fines have greatly changed the radio industry. One look at his Web site (www.gregghenson.com) and it’s evident he has a huge following. Perhaps he’ll resurface soon.


Speaking of Tic Tak, the popular Channel 955 night jammer has a Friday night feature that you need to hear to believe. Frankly I’ve heard it and am still not sure how to describe a strange character by the name of “Mr. Positive.” He offers encouragement, via poetry, to the mostly teen and young adult audience. Make a note to check it out between 8 and 8:30 p.m. next Friday night and see if you can figure it out. I’m still workin’ on it.


The biggest station owner locally, Clear Channel, has the industry buzzing over the recent firing of two program directors for accepting “pay for play” better known as payola. Detroit manager Dave Pugh assures me he’s running a clean ship and it was no one under his command. The two were from New York’s WWPR and San Diego’s KHTZ. As previously mentioned there’s little, if any, “wiggle room” left in the business.


Click On: The popular ABC TV show “Lost” has infected the J.J. & Lynne morning show on classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7). Joined by listeners, the duo compares notes and theories on a new Internet blog. Check it out at jjandlynne.blogspot.com ... Public WDET-FM (101.9) is now offering “on demand” podcasting and a streaming archive service. Learn more at www.wdetfm.org ... Remember Crazy Al from WPON-AM (1460)? He’s offering his 8-11 a.m. Internet oldies show to terrestrial and/or satellite radio. Tune in at www.industrialinfo.com.


Unfinished business regarding the Detroit Radio Reunion: Former Keener 13 owner Nellie Knorr, a special guest at the event, recently suffered a heart attack, so keep her in your thoughts. Better news — see dozens of photos of the reunion and its many attendees at www.vuolovideo.com. Just click on “reunions.” That’s also where to go to get audio and video of the reunion and the oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) broadcast about it that day. Too bad no one from Fox 2, Local 4 or Channel 7 showed up to give this star-studded fund-raiser even 20 seconds of news coverage. A sad commentary, indeed.


Set Your Dials: For the hits of World War II on Tommy Stark’s Wurlitzer organ on “Somewhere in Time” at 6 p.m. tonight on WMUZ-FM (103.5).

 

Hot AC WDVD-FM 96.3 will help raise money for the Karmanos Cancer Institute with its 3rd Annual "Call to Care" Radioathon to fight breast cancer on Thursday, October 20th. The station will broadcast live from 5:30 AM - 7:00 PM from Gordon Chevrolet in Garden City and will accepting donations all day at the dealership, by phone at 877-850-5777, or online at www.karmanos.com/wdvd. The 14-hour event will feature tons of great prizes, including a different prize every hour. Any donation amount is welcome to help out and join the fight against breast cancer.

Last year's radiothon raised over $14,000 with 100% of the proceeds going towards programs to provide mammograms for women who can’t afford them and breast cancer research. The station this year has raised the bar and hopes to raise over $20,000.

 

Metro Detroit: In The News Oct 14-20

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MIX 92.3 raises breast cancer awareness with 8th Annual Sista Strut Walk & Rally

Adult Urban WMXD-FM 92.3 will celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by presenting MIX 92.3’s 8th Annual Sista Strut – “I Will Survive Walk” and Rally, Saturday, October 22nd, 2005 at Belle Isle Park – Remick Bandshell Area. Registration is free.

This stimulating day of honoring survivors, remembering loved ones, and raising awareness will kick off with MIX 92.3’s Frankie Darcell broadcasting live from 8a-9am; followed by an inspiring rally and morning stretch routine conducted by The Powerhouse Gym. In addition, MIX 92.3 will award the “Biggest Team Award”, give breast cancer prevention information, and present post rally entertainment.

Last year’s Sista Strut had nearly 1,000 participants walking the 3k stretch against the continuous battle against breast cancer. This year an even greater turn out is expected and the route has been extended to 5k. Check-in begins at 7:00 AM, the rally and live broadcast will start at 8:00 AM, and the Strut will begin at 9:00 AM. Closing ceremonies are scheduled for 11:00 AM.

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CKWW Hits the road with Jukebox Classics Roadtrip

AM 580 Motor City Favorites is taking the "Jukebox Classics" show on the road as Howling Harry and Bel Air Bill broadcast on location. The "Jukebox Classics Roadtrip" will be at Casey’s Bar & Grill in Windsor on Thursday, October 27th from 6-8 PM. Harry and Bill will do their AM 580 radio show live and take 50’s and 60’s song requests and dedications directly from the audience. There will be classic cars on display in the parking lot, prizes, free munchies and drink specials. Casey’s is located at 1760 Huron Church Road just minutes from the Ambassador Bridge.

"Jukebox Classics" is a weekly all-request 50’s and 60’s music show heard Thursdays from 6 until 8 PM on AM 580, Motor City Favorites.

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Magic 105.1 to host it's 2nd Annual Halloween Dance Party

Grab your candy bag, find a costume, put your dancing shoes on and get ready to celebrate Halloween with Magic 105.1! WMGC-FM 105.1 is set to celebrate Halloween with their 2nd Annual Halloween Dance Party and the only way in is to win. Listeners cannot purchase tickets to this event; instead tickets can be obtained by listening to the station for details on how to win entry tickets. Tickets will be awarded throughout the day everyday on Magic 105.1.

The party will take place on Friday, October 28th at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom at Andiamo Italia in Warren. Doors open at 7pm and the party runs from 8pm until 11pm. Featuring a spooky ambience, huge costume contest, Andiamo’s famous chocolate fountain, hors d’oeuvres and plenty of great music, it'll be a howling good time and great way to celebrate Halloween. Vacations courtesy of Funjet Vacations will be awarded to the top 3 costumes.

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CRTC approves technical changes to CKUE Chatham and Windsor

The Commission approves an application to change the authorized contours of CKUE-FM Chatham and its transmitter CKUE-FM-1 Windsor, by decreasing the effective radiated power (ERP) of CKUE-FM from 42,000 watts to an average ERP of 36,400 watts and by decreasing the antenna height, and by increasing the average ERP of CKUE-FM-1 from 400 watts to 1,950 watts and by increasing the antenna height.


Detroit Free Press:

Mojo pitches in: The Oprah-philes at the "Mojo in the Morning" show on WKQI-FM (95.5) took Wednesday's Winfrey-cast (4 p.m. weekdays, WXYZ-TV, Channel 7) that portrayed Detroit as "America's Poorest City" especially seriously. The usually mirthful show got the featured families on the air (from a Highland Park homeless shelter they stay in). Better still, Mojo et al helped Steve Douglas, who sells his blood twice a week so he can afford gas money to drive his kids to school, get some job offers and find a new place to live in Detroit. More helpfulness expected today... Names and Faces, (Fri 10/14)


Veteran Detroit radio personality Jay Towers has been named to replace Gregg Henson as cohost of Infinity-owned WKRK-FM's (97.1) "Motor City Middays" talk show (11 a.m.-3 p.m.), effective today. Towers had been the morning DJ and host on WDRQ-FM (93.1) until April, when the station switched to a no-DJ/mostly music format... It's official: Towers to WKRK, (Tue 10/18)


The Detroit radio market received its verdict Tuesday on summer 2005 with Arbitron ratings figures that showed Infinity-owned smooth jazz station WVMV was the area's new No. 1 station, unseating ABC news/talker WJR-AM. But the big story was just a bit lower in the standings. Syndicated star Tom Joyner's move from Clear Channel's WMXD-FM to Radio One-owned WDMK-FM propelled WDMK to a tie for 8th place overall; Joyner's show was fifth among all morning listeners... Smooth jazz connects with summer listeners, Arbitron radio ratings, (Wed 10/19)


Taped: For public station WTVS-TV (Channel 56), a pilot episode for a proposed series to be hosted by former WDIV-TV (Channel 4) anchor and current Detroit Medical Center spokesman Emery King. It'll feature King's interviews with Detroit Pistons General Manager Joe Dumars and NBC correspondent Anne Thompson, also a WDIV alum. Look for it in December... Names and Faces, (Wed 10/19)


The Detroit broadcasting career of Gregg Henson formally came to an end Tuesday when he announced he had verbally accepted a position at an unnamed sports talk station somewhere in Texas... Henson to head out, (Wed 10/19)


Detroit News:

One of the local families spotlighted on Wednesday's "Oprah" episode on poverty in America is getting some help in their lives -- and a little Mojo, to boot. WKQI-FM (95.5) devoted two hours on its "Mojo in the Morning" show Thursday to discussing the episode and trying to get help for the Douglas family, headed by Steve, who sells his blood twice a week to afford gas money to drive his children to school... 'Oprah' family gets help from radio show, (Fri 10/14)


The very same John Penney hosts weekend afternoon programs on public radio WDET-FM (101.9), which does not have a snappy marquee but just put out a terrific limited-edition CD culled from three years of in-studio performances at the station. "WDET Live! Vol. 4" includes tracks by Shelby Lynne, Los Lobos, Coldplay and 14 others, and is yours as a thank-you for any donation of $60 or more... WDET CD a winner, (Tue 10/18)


In Detroit radio, smooth jazz is the stealth format. It isn't flashy or glamorous like rock, hip-hop or talk radio, but while the Detroit radio market is in deep churn, with listeners trying to keep up with format and frequency changes and the Tom Joyner tsunami remaking the morning landscape, Infinity-owned smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7) quietly took over the overall No. 1 spot in the summer Arbitron ratings, released Tuesday... A smooth ride to top at jazz's WVMV, (Wed 10/19)


Former WDRQ-FM (93.1) personality Jay Towers already has started as host on WKRK-FM's (97.1) "Motor City Middays," the slot left open last week after the sacking of Gregg Henson for statements he made on the air about WKQI-FM's (95.5) nighttime host Tic Tak. Henson always was outspoken, giving "Motor City Middays" a bit of a shock-jock vibe, much as he pushed the envelope in his previous jobs at sports stations WDFN-AM (1130) and WXYT-AM (1270)... 'Motor City Middays' picks its guy (Wed 10/19)


Daily Oakland Press:

Talk about a quarterback sneak. Late Thursday, personality WJR-AM (760) dumped the Wolverines and picked up the Spartans as the station inked a five-year deal to broadcast Michigan State football and basketball games beginning next fall ... After extensive separate conversations with Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick, I’ve gained a great deal of perspective regarding the radio debacle which led to Henson’s demise on WKRK-FM. I also spoke, at length, with Tic Tak, the night jock on top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5) who could not have been kinder and more understanding about the entire situation... WJR now plays for the other team; Henson admits mistake, (Sun 10/16)


All Access:

Towers Starts at WKRK/Detroit; Henson to Texas
As first reported on ALL ACCESS, former WDRQ/DETROIT morning man JAY TOWERS started TODAY (10/18) as midday co-host of INFINITY Talk WKRK (LIVE 97.1)/DETROIT's "MOTOR CITY MIDDAYS" alongside MICHELLE MCKORMICK. Meanwhile, the guy he replaced at LIVE 97.1, GREGG HENSON, writes on his blog that he's verbally accepted a position with a sports station in TEXAS. Stay tuned ... (Tue 10/18)


CUMULUS/MIDWEST OM TIM ROBERTS, based out of TOLEDO and overseeing YOUNGSTOWN and WESTERN PA stations, has resigned and will be joining INFINITY Country WYCD/DETROIT as its new PD, beginning NOVEMBER 4th. ROBERTS told ALL ACCESS, "I'm thrilled to be joining a great management team at INFINITY and WYCD. (VP/GM) DEBBIE KENYON has build great momentum with this brand and we've got a lot of exciting things planned for DETROIT's #1 Country station." A native of DETROIT, ROBERTS began as an intern at WRIF, and later went on to program WWWW. He's also had programming stops at KHAK/CEDAR RAPIDS, WLVK/CHARLOTTE, and at both KSAN and KNEW/SAN FRANCISCO. (Thu 10/20)


ALEX TEAR has been named PD of CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WKST (96.1 KISS-FM)/PITTSBURGH, replacing MARK ANDERSON, who recently resigned to join the AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT GROUP. CLEAR CHANNEL PITTSBURGH RVP JOHN ROHM made the announcement and said, “We’re fortunate to have ALEX on our team. His knowledge, talent, skills are a great match for the challenge we face in taking KISS to the next level of performance.” TEAR added, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the CLEAR CHANNEL programming culture. In a short 2 years, 96.1 KISS has become a market leader with a strong foundation. I look forward to working closely with SVP/Programming GENE ROMANO, RVP JOHN ROHM and the entire 96.1 KISS team, including some of the best next generation talent in the country with morning guys MIKEY and BIG BOB, SCOTTY in afternoons and BONICS at night. The CLEAR CHANNEL resources that support and surround 96.1 KISS are endless; I’m looking forward to a long Kiss.” TEAR most recently served as PD of ABC Top 40 WDRQ/DETROIT. Previously, he held programming posts with ABC-owned WHYT and WPLT/DETROIT. He begins in PITTSBURGH on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7th. (Thu 10/20)


FMQB:

WDRQ/Detroit morning show host/APD Jay Towers is crossing the street and changing formats as he joins Infinity's FM Talker WKRK/Live 97.1, hosting Motor City Middays with partner Michelle McKormic. Towers and McKormic will handle the 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. show starting Tuesday (10/18)... Jay Towers To Host Infinity's Motor City Middays, (Mon 10/17)


Billboard Radio Monitor:

Clear Channel top 40 WKST Pittsburgh (Kiss 96.1) appoints veteran Detroit programmer Alex Tear as PD, effective November 7. He succeeds Mark Anderson, who has programmed WKST since 2003. Anderson, who also carried OM and top 40 brand manager titles, announced in August that he would leave his post in November, at the end of his contract, to join Audience Development Group (ADG) as director of contemporary formats... Alex Tears Out Of Detroit For Pittsburgh (Thu 10/20)


Radio and Records:

Tear most recently spent eight years as PD of ABC's WDRQ/Detroit, which flipped from CHR/Pop to Adult Hits on April 1. He'll now take the programming helm at the Clear Channel CHR/Pop known as "96.1 Kiss FM."... Alex Tear Joins WKST/Pittsburgh As PD, (Thu 10/20)

 

Michigan Oldies Podcast is On the Net

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Tony Clark and Art Van have announced the debut of the "Michigan Oldies Podcast", a weekly program with the flavor of classic Top 40 radio. Clark and Van, who produce and co-host the two-hour program, feature plenty of Oldies, mixed with classic jingles, commercials, and other elements of Top 40's golden age. Van is host of the "Weekend Oldies Party" on WOAP-AM (1080) in Owosso, and Clark is the owner of Tony Clark Production Services of Rosebush.

The Michigan Oldies Podcast is currently being streamed on two Live 365 internet stations, Cruisin' Oldies Radio and Clinton County Radio.

Cable TV subscribers in the DeWitt area can hear the program on WITT, Comcast cable channel 12.

The podcast will be available for download beginning in January 2006.

 

Metro Detroit: In The News Oct 21

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WYCD announces Tim Roberts as new Program Director

99.5 WYCD Detroit’s Best Country, announced today the appointment of Tim Roberts as Program Director of the station. Roberts joins the station from Cumulus Media where he held the position of Midwest Regional Operations Manager overseeing radio stations in Youngstown, Toledo, Western PA and Southern Michigan. In announcing the appointment of Roberts, WYCD Vice President/General Manager Debbie Kenyon said, “It’s great to have someone with such passion and a great body of knowledge about the format and radio in general. We look forward to continued fun and success with WYCD.”

Roberts, a graduate of Central Michigan University, has also held previous positions as: WWWW-FM Detroit-Program Director, KSAN/KNEW San Franciso-Program Director, WLVK Charlotte, NC-Program Director. “It’s incredibly exciting to return to my home town of Detroit and join the great Country team at WYCD!” said Roberts. “Debbie Kenyon has built tremendous momentum and I’m thrilled to be working with talents like we have with the Dr. Don Morning Show, Mike Scott, Edwards & Lee, Jyl Forsyth and the rest of the seasoned on-air team. Infinity has a tremendous brain trust, and it’s awesome to be reunited and working again with Infinity Country Format Director Jeff Garrison as well.”

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U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow Launches First Podcast

New service will help inform constituents of senator's activities and priorities

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is launching a new service to help her constituents throughout Michigan stay informed about her activities in the U.S. Senate. Stabenow plans to offer regular podcasts on hot topics as a way of communicating with constituents at their convenience. A podcast is an audio file that can be downloaded and listened to on a computer or portable MP3 player. Podcasts can be downloaded either as individual files or listeners can subscribe to a podcast and get automatic updates when newer versions are released.

Stabenow's first podcast, which will focus on her efforts to help Michigan's manufacturers, including GM and Delphi, will be available Friday, October 21, 2005. Listeners can hear the podcast by going to Stabenow's senate website. They can also subscribe to all her upcoming podcasts through various podcast directories, including Yahoo! and iTunes.

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Every Picture Tells A Story… Classic Rock Art Show To Open November 22nd

94.7 WCSX will showcase a collection of 125 pieces of original art, lithographs, photographs, handwritten lyrics and animation cells from the greatest classic rock artists of all time at the 94.7 WCSX Classic Rock Art Show & Sale. The event will take place Tuesday, November 22nd through Saturday, December 10th in a specially designed space inside of the Oakland Mall in Troy. The show and sale is open to the public during mall hours and every piece of art is available to purchase.

The show will feature works from Classic Rock artists such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jerry Garcia, John Entwistle (The Who), Jimi Hendrix, Ron Wood (Rolling Stones), Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Carlos Santana, David Bowie, Robby Kreiger (The Doors) and dozens more. In addition, the 94.7 WCSX Classic Rock Art Show & Sale will also feature the works of local classic rock photographers Thomas Weschler and Steve Galli as well as special pieces from renowned music poster artists Gary Grimshaw, Carl Lundgren and Mark Arminski. Also featured in the show well be handwritten song lyrics, album cover artwork, concert tour posters and animation cells from Yellow Submarine and the Beatles ABC Saturday Morning Cartoon series.

An important portion of this event will be a Silent Auction of select pieces to benefit Gilda’s Club of Metro Detroit, located in Royal Oak, Michigan. This non-profit organization provides a home-like meeting place and free program where anyone living with cancer can: build friendships, share the collective wisdom of experience, and develop strategies for living with cancer.

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99.5 WYCD and Chrysler Financial Present Country Cares for Hurricane Relief Holiday Concert

99.5 WYCD and Chrysler Financial are teaming up to present a holiday event guaranteed to satisfy country music lovers everywhere. Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood will light up the stage with their undeniably raw talent and All-American beauty. Country Cares is scheduled for December 8th at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Tickets for the concert go on sale to the general public on Friday, October 28th at 10:00 AM and will be available through all TicketMaster outlets, by calling (248) 645-6666, and at the event's Web site, www.countrycaresconcert.com. All net proceeds from Country Cares will go to benefit Habitat for Humanity as they help those specifically affected in the Gulf Coast communities damaged by recent hurricanes.


Lansing State Journal:

In the dizzying seconds after Michigan State marketer/dealmaker Mark Hollis learned WJR was to become MSU's flagship radio station, he remained composed. "But I was about ready to bust out of my chair," said Hollis, an MSU senior associate athletic director who saw years of wooing pay off last week, when the powerful Detroit station agreed to drop Michigan and join MSU's radio network for five years starting in 2006-07. WJR President Mike Fezzey gave the word to Hollis, MSU athletic director Ron Mason and MSU President Lou Anna Simon in Simon's office... Big 'revenue potential' key to WJR deal


There had to be more. More to the story. More to the deal. That was the immediate and natural reaction last week when Michigan State trumpeted its coup of WJR. After all, it wasn't easy to see why the powerful Detroit radio station would ditch Michigan football and basketball after 30 years to plop their microphone down in front of its perceived little brother. Surely, the Spartans must have shelled out big bucks to secure the WJR signal, which stretches south and east throughout the Midwest and into Canada, as its flagship. Uh, no. MSU is giving WJR about the same deal as the 30 other stations in its radio network... Being MSU good enough


Detroit News:

Chris Felcyn, longtime host of the WDET-FM (101.9) program, "The Listening Room," is joining WRCJ-FM (90.9), Detroit's new classical and jazz station, as midday host, airing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Felcyn will start on WRCJ, located in Detroit's School of the Arts (behind The Max), in November... Chris Felcyn joins WRCJ as daytime host


Ann Arbor News:

Lovers of classical music will soon be able to hear the resonant tones of longtime radio host and Brighton Township resident Dave Wagner. Wagner won't be singing baritone to a Wagner (no relation) opera, but he soon will be back on the air as morning host at radio station WRCJ-FM. A professor of music since 1998 at Madonna University in Livonia, Wagner, 56, also has been appointed program director at the radio station. In addition, he is the organist at St. Paul's Church in Grosse Pointe Farms and has performed on organ and harpsichord with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Wagner will continue in his position at the university while assuming his new role at WRCJ, 90.9 on the FM dial... Wagner, Dave, that is, returns to the air


FMQB:

As first reported by FMQB yesterday, Alex Tear has been named Program Director for WKST (96.1 Kiss)/Pittsburgh, starting November 7... Alex Tear Named PD At WKST


Billboard Radio Monitor:

Cumulus Midwest regional OM Tim Roberts, who is based in Toledo, Ohio, heads home to the Motor City as PD for Infinity country WYCD Detroit. He replaces Chip Miller, who recently exited after a year on the job. A Detroit native, Roberts started as a part-timer at heritage rocker WRIF while still in high school. He later returned to the market to program what was then Clear Channel country WWWW (W-4). He joined Cumulus as OM of its Toledo cluster in ’99 after W-4 flipped to classic hits as WDTW (the Drive)... Roberts Heads Home To Detroit


Radio and Records:

The Cumulus Media Midwest Regional OM is returning to his hometown of Detroit to program Infinity's Country WYCD. Roberts' programming background includes stints at KSAN & KNEW/San Francisco and WLVK/Charlotte. He programmed WWWW/Detroit from 1997-99 and became OM of Cumulus/Toledo in Oct. 1999... Tim Roberts To Program WYCD/Detroit

 

WVMV smoothes its way up to 1st place

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Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, October 23, 2005

By: Mike Austerman


The smooth jazz sound of WVMV-FM (98.7) was the ratings winner over the summer as the station finished tops among listeners age 12 and older in the recently released Arbitron quarterly ratings book. News-talk WJR-AM (760), the top station in the spring, slid to a second place tie with urban WJLB-FM (97.9). The remainder of the top 10 included oldies WOMC-FM (104.3), news WWJ-AM (950), Top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5), country WYCD-FM (99.5), adult urban WDMK-FM (105.9), rock WRIF-FM (101.1), and adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3).

The biggest news of the summer was the dramatic ratings swing for WDMK, which more than doubled its overall listenership with the addition of the syndicated Tom Joyner morning show. Joyner’s former home, WMXD, saw a notable decrease in its listeners, but still maintained a Top 10 position, offering a strong base for new morning man Steve Harvey upon which to build. All in all, it sets up an interesting fall ratings battle.

In the closely watched morning race, top billing once again goes to WRIF’s Drew & Mike, followed by Joe Donovan and Roberta Jasina on WWJ, Dick Purtan on WOMC, Paul W. Smith on WJR and then Joyner. Meanwhile, WRIF claimed supremacy in daylong ratings as well as in mornings in the advertisercoveted 25-54 age breakdowns.


Jay Towers now sits in the seat Gregg Henson formerly had as co-host of Motor City Middays on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1). Towers, who was morning show host at Top 40 WDRQ-FM (93.1) until April when the station went jockless as Doug FM, joins Michelle McKormick, who remains with the show.

All that controversy over Henson being fired because of remarks he made about fellow radio personality Tic Tak of WQKI? Turns out that might have just been a little attention-getting ploy as Henson claims he was let go for a different reason.In my opinion, management thought Gregg wasn’t going to fit in with the station’s new direction of being less shocking and more attractive to women listeners.

What’s clear is that Towers’ approach will be much different from Henson’s as their radio personalities are 180 degrees apart. Couple that with morning man Howard Stern’s pending exit to Sirius satellite radio and the dramatic shift in topics I’ve observed with afternoon guys Deminski & Doyle and it seems pretty clear that 97.1 is well on its way to becoming a “kinder and gentler” talker. As for Henson, he’ll be moving to Austin, Texas, where he’s scored a gig with an all-sports station.


Public WDET-FM (101.9) is now providing an “On Demand” service that allows listeners to subscribe to WDET news stories, special features from their favorite music programs, NPR news and other station information. Find more details at wdetfm.org.


WJR is building a remote broadcast studio at the GM Wintergarden inside the Renaissance Center to be used for special events in addition to live broadcasts. Scheduled to be operational in time for Super Bowl XL, the new studio also will serve as a remote location for the station’s news operations and provide visitors an insider’s view into the world of broadcasting. The new locale also will make it real easy for Paul W. and the ’JR hosts to score interviews from GM execs. Cue the Cadillac brand manager!


Soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1) will host its second annual Halloween Dance Party on Friday at Andiamo Italia in Warren — but you’ll have to tune in to the station to win tickets to the event. Featuring a spooky ambiance, huge costume contest, Andiamo’s famous chocolate fountain, hors d’oeuvres and plenty of great music, it’ll be a howling good time and great way to celebrate Halloween. And dress up this time — vacation getaways will be awarded to the top three costumes.


Thanks to an incredible outpouring of support by listeners, WJR, Radio Disney WFDFAM (910), pop WDVD-FM (96.3) and WDRQ raised more than $1 million for survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. All of the funds raised have gone directly through the Salvation Army to those affected, and donations are still being accepted at the three stations Web sites (wjr.com, 963wdvd.com, 931dougfm.com) or by calling (877) SAL-MICH (725-6424). Unfortunately, the needs will likely only increase with the pending strike of Wilma.


Set Your Dials: Check out the South American big band sound of Xavier Cugat on “Somewhere in Time” at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5) ... Adult CKWW-AM (580) will broadcast its “Jukebox Classics Oldies” program live from Casey’s Bar & Grill in Windsor from 6-8 p.m. Thursday. The event features classic cars, prizes, munchies and more along with hosts Howling Harry and Bel Air Bill playing requests.

 

FM Talk WKRK-FM 97.1 owner Infinity Broadcasting has made its strategy for replacing morning man Howard Stern official. Here in Detroit, current WXTM-FM Cleveland morning man Rover will move to Chicago where he will host mornings for WKRK in addition to WXTM, WCKG Chicago, WAQZ Cincinnati, WMFS Memphis, and WNZE Rochester.

Some of the big names taking over for Stern across the country include David Lee Roth in New York and other eastern cities (and Dallas) and Adam Carolla in Los Angeles and other western cities. Jimmy Kimmel has been signed as a consultant by Infinity and will contribute to Carolla's show as well. Stern's last day for live shows with Infitinty has been set for December 16th.

Infinity will also rebrand several of its stations as "Free FM", including WKRK locally. A web site has already been developed with the new moniker at freefm971.com.

WKRK will also be adding a one-hour daily show starting in January hosted by "Penn and Teller's" Penn Jillette.

Speaking about all the pending changes Joel Hollander of Infinity commented, “when we set out to find a replacement for Howard Stern we took the opportunity to cultivate a wide array of talent, from both in and out of the radio industry. With Roth, we’ve found someone who continues to evolve his career and deliver for his legion of fans. Adam’s depth of entertainment experience is unmatched in radio. And Jimmy has a proven track record of creating winning shows for both radio and television. Couple that with an impressive roster of emerging talent and formats and we have all the necessary elements for Infinity to continue as the major player in morning drive.”

He continued, “Infinity’s Free FM stations will feature an eclectic mix of personalities, whose distinct creativity, perspective, sense of humor, intellect and unpredictability do not fall under the guiding principals of any particular narrowcast theme or ideology. An entertaining hybrid of provocative, political, pop culture, news, music and lifestyle formats, our next generation of FM stations will be personified by their conviction, passion, originality, fearlessness and innovation which is not heard anywhere else on the radio.”

 

Metro Detroit: In The News Oct 22-27

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Channel 9-5-5 Morning Show "Trick Or Treat Mile Of Meet"

Friday morning, the Mojo In The Morning show on WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit will help single men and women to mix & mingle with an unorthodox twist. Starting at 7:00am, 95 men will be numbered and lined up in a mile-long row while women drive by the line-up in their cars and "window shop" for the man of their dreams. When they see a guy they like, they call in to the radio station and reserve him... and the radio station pays for the date. The event takes place at the Lakeside Mall parking lot in Sterling Heights.

---- ---- ---- ---- ----

Featured on WDET-FM

It rears it's ugly head once again ... the Jon Moshier Program yearly Halloween Special! The show will air this Saturday night from 10pm 'til midnight and feature novelty records from the 50's, hilarious sci-fi and horror movie trailers, and giveaways. Host Moshier boasts that every year the show just gets better and invites you tune in and hear for yourself- It's more Halloween Shlock than you can shake a broomstick at!

*

Ed Loves welcomes Urban Transport to his program on Tuesday, November 1st. Urban Transport is a four year old quintet who performs over fifty original compositions from Bebop, Swing, Modal Jazz, Afro Cuban, Latin and R&B/Hip Hop flavored music. After winning the Heineken Jazz Search in 2002, Urban Transport has performed at the last three Detroit Jazz Festivals. Destination Jazz: The Ed Love Program airs weeknights from 7 - 10pm.

*

"The Tavis Smiley Show" and "This American Life" added to schedule: Smiley's program will air Sunday mornings from 10am to noon and 'American Life' will be broadcast from noon to 1pm on Sunday and again from 3-4pm every Friday afternoon. Both shows will be broadcast for the first time this coming Sunday, October 30 and the first Friday broadcast of "This American Life" will be November 4. "We're pleased to be bringing both of these programs to Detroit," said Michael Coleman, WDET General Manager. "I believe that having a voice like Tavis Smiley's on the air in Detroit is critically important when discussing significant issues that impact us all. In our constant review of how WDET can best serve our community, we believe these programs will be embraced and supported by listeners."

Tavis Smiley was excited when he found out his two-hour weekly program was going to be carried in Detroit. "I'm delighted to be back on the air in Detroit," Smiley said. " I'm looking forward to bringing new perspectives, fascinating guests and high-energy radio to WDET listeners."

"This American Life" continues to be a long-time favorite with public radio listeners everywhere. "Ira Glass' unique ability to tell fascinating stories about contemporary American life and culture is something that could only be showcased on public radio," Coleman said. "We're excited to be offering this one-of-a-kind program to listeners twice a week."

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Jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic re-visits classical roots

Alexander Zonjic will premiere a new work in a concert featuring music by Reformation composers on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 4:00pm at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township.

Classically trained Zonjic, who is primarily known as a smooth jazz flutist, will perform "If God Were Not Beside Us" by Michigan composer Terry Herald. Zonjic will also perform Bach’s Double Concerto in a concert that includes music by Buxtehude, Pachelbel and J.S. Bach. The concert will feature a full orchestra, two children’s choirs, two adult choirs and a deaf choir. Concert proceeds will benefit programs for the deaf and hard of hearing administered by the Ephphatha Lutheran Mission Society.

Over the years Zonjic has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded three classical music CDs and is also the morning show host on Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM 98.7 in Detroit. "Growing up in Windsor, Canada, I was excited by the music of the British invasion, played in a high school rock band, but found my passion when I discovered the flute," says Zonjic. "I received my bachelor of arts in classical music at the University of Windsor before I branched out into jazz."

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CKWW to air "The War of the Worlds" on Halloween night

Join CKWW-AM 580 Halloween night at 10pm for a special treat as the station airs the original classic radio drama "The War of the Worlds" without commercial interruption. Based on the H.G. Wells science fiction novel, this incredibly realistic radio show starring Orson Welles had a nation convinced aliens were invading the world when it was originally broadcast in 1938 on the "Mercury Theatre On The Air" program. It is one of the most famous radio broadcasts of all time, and was so believable that fear and panic gripped America as thousands thought Martians had really landed in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.

---- ---- ---- ---- ----

MIX92.3’s Gerald McBride goes syndicated:

Saturday nights on WMXD-FM, MIX92.3, is unlike any other radio program in Detroit with the station's Saturday Night Live with Gerald McBride. The “Old School House Party” has now been syndicated to WKUS in Norfolk, VA; WTMP in Tampa Bay, FL; WJTT- in Chattanooga, TN; WDKX in Rochester, NY; and Star99 in Charleston, SC as part of each station's weekend line-up.

Since 1997, “Saturday Night Live” with Gerald McBride listeners have been entertained with music from the 70’s and 80’s, in addition to offering exclusive celebrity guest interviews with recording artists, such as Earth, Wind and Fire, the O’Jays, Temptations, Whispers, and others. Gerald offer special segments throughout the show, such as the “Battle of the Old School” where listeners can vote for their favorite old school artist plus the “Remake Retakes” and the “Lost 45’s. “The Old School House Party” offers the same features to a national audience with a toll free number for listener call-ins. The show airs from 7pm 'til midnight every Saturday night.

“It is another opportunity for Detroit to showcase the talents we have on a national level. We congratulate Gerald for his outstanding accomplishment and look forward to the growth of his show in other markets,” said Jamillah A. Muhammad, Program Director-WMXD.


Detroit Free Press:

A series of major schedule changes swept across the Detroit's radio scene Tuesday. First was the surprise news that Howard Stern's replacement on Infinity-owned live talk station WKRK-FM (97.1) come January won't be rocker David Lee Roth or comic Adam Corolla, as previously believed ... Then, public radio WDET-FM (101.9) general manager Michael Coleman announced his first major schedule change since taking over in August. Tavis Smiley's talk show, which centers on current events from a black perspective, will air on Sundays from noon to 1 p.m...


Detroit News:

No one was more surprised than Emery King on the March day security guards abruptly escorted him out of WDIV-TV (Channel 4), where he had worked for 19 years. The veteran newsman couldn't have imagined he'd receive that sort of treatment over a breakdown in contract negotiations. Neither could Metro Detroiters, who ran to King's rescue calling for a Channel 4 boycott. This wasn't just another ousted television anchor; this was King, Metro Detroit's longest running co-anchor of the 6 o'clock news with Ruth Spencer... Emery King gets a royal salute, (Sat 10/22)


After a 10-month search, Infinity Broadcasting announced Tuesday its choices to replace Howard Stern's morning show in Detroit and 26 other markets. Stern, the popular, wildly raunchy morning host whose FCC fines for indecency could fund a Third-World nation, is bolting for Sirius Satellite Radio. The shock jock's last live broadcast on Infinity will be Dec. 16... Broadcaster announces Howard Stern replacements, (Wed 10/26)


The new general manager at Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM (101.9) is already putting his stamp on the station. On Wednesday, Michael Coleman announced a reversal of part of the controversial September 2004 purge of several local and national programs, with the return of "The Tavis Smiley Show" and Ira Glass' "This American Life"... WDET adds new old programming, (Thu 10/27)


Daily Oakland Press:

The smooth jazz sound of WVMV-FM (98.7) was the ratings winner over the summer as the station finished tops among listeners age 12 and older in the recently released Arbitron quarterly ratings book ... All that controversy over Henson being fired because of remarks he made about fellow radio personality Tic Tak of WQKI? Turns out that might have just been a little attention-getting ploy as Henson claims he was let go for a different reason... WVMV smoothes its way up to 1st place, (Sun 10/23)


All Access:

Finally, INFINITY announces its "HOWARD STERN Replacement Strategy,' and as ALL ACCESS was first to confirm, the station is relaunching several stations as FM Talk "FREE FM." As part of the new strategy, DAVID LEE ROTH and ADAM CAROLLA have been officially announced as STERN's replacement in NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, respectively, starting JANUARY 3. STERN will have his last broadcast on the INFINITY stations DECEMBER 16. ROTH's show will also air on KLLI (LIVE 105.3)/DALLAS, WYSP/PHILADELPHIA, WBCN/BOSTON, WRKZ/PITTSBURGH. WNCX/CLEVELAND, and WPBZ (103.1 THE BUZZ)/WEST PALM BEACH. CAROLLA will air on new FM Talk convert KIFR/SAN FRANCISCO, KPLN (THE PLANET)/SAN DIEGO, KZON/PHOENIX, KUFO/PORTLAND, and KXTE (EXTREME RADIO)/LAS VEGAS. CAROLLA's longtime comedy partner JIMMY KIMMEL will serve as Creative Consultant for CAROLLA's show and an advisor for INFINITY.

WXTM/CLEVELAND morning man ROVER will add WCKG/CHICAGO, WKRK/DETROIT, WAQZ/CINCINNATI, WMFS/MEMPHIS, and WZNE/ROCHESTER and will be based at WCKG. THE JUNKIES will move to mornings at WJFK/WASHINTON and will also be heard on WHFS/BALTIMORE. KITS (LIVE 105.3)/SAN FRANCISCO will replace STERN with "THE MORNING MUSIC CO-OP," a music-intensive show. Rock WYSP/PHILADELPHIA, Classic Rock KPLN/SAN DIEGO, and the new KIFR/SAN FRAOCISCO are launching the "FREE FM" Talk format TODAY (10/25). WXRK (92.3 K-ROCK)/NEW YORK will flip to Talk as "FREE FM" in JANUARY, and FM Talk KLSX/LOS ANGELES, WCKG/CHICAGO, KLLI/DALLAS, WJFK/WASHINGTON, WKRK/DETROIT, and WHFS/BALTIMORE are all being rebranded "FREE FM" as of TODAY as well. Part of the new programming will be a one-hour daily show starting JANUARY for "PENN AND TELLER"'s PENN JILLETTE. The show will air on WXRK, WCKG, KIFR, WJFK, WKRK, KPLN, WHFS, and KSFN-A/LAS VEGAS.

INFINITY's JOEL HOLLANDER says “when we set out to find a replacement for HOWARD STERN we took the opportunity to cultivate a wide array of talent, from both in and out of the radio industry. With ROTH, we’ve found someone who continues to evolve his career and deliver for his legion of fans. ADAM’s depth of entertainment experience is unmatched in radio. And JIMMY has a proven track record of creating winning shows for both radio and television. Couple that with an impressive roster of emerging talent and formats and we have all the necessary elements for INFINITY to continue as the major player in morning drive.”

At KXBT (THE BEAT 104.3)/AUSTIN, STERN's replacement will be the syndicated STAR AND BUC WILD. ALL ACCESS hears that the lineup at the new KIFR/SAN FRANCISCO may include some former morning shows in the market. (Tue 10/25)


Michael Spears Succumbs To Cancer: Everyone at ALL ACCESS is very sad to report the passing of legendary programmer and personality, MICHAEL SPEARS (aka HAL MARTIN), following a long battle with cancer today (10/25) in DALLAS. Among the many highlights of SPEARS' career, he was a personality at CKLW/WINDSOR-DETROIT, was PD at KFRC-A/SAN FRANCISCO, KHJ-A/LOS ANGELES, and was a personality or PD at many DALLAS stations like Top 40 KLIF-A, Top 40 KNUS/DALLAS, Urban KKDA (K104), and KRLD-A. He was a staiton owner at WPLP/TAMPA, and had his own consultancy, THE BEAM. MICHAEL SPEARS touched the lives of many, and he will be deeply missed. The funeral is set for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6th, at 4p at EAST DALLAS CHRISTIAN CHURCH. A reception will follow at the church. A Celebration of MICHAEL's Life" is also planned at a nearby restaurant. (Tue 10/25)


Media Week:

The long wait for Howard Stern's replacement on 27 stations owned by Infinity Broadcasting ended today... Infinity Reveals Stern's Replacements, New Strategy and Logo, (Tue 10/25)


Billboard Radio Monitor:

The long wait for Howard Stern’s replacement on 27 stations owned by Infinity Broadcasting ended Tuesday...Roth, Carolla, Rover Carve Up Stern Empire, (Tue 10/25)


FMQB:

Putting the rumor mill to rest, Infinity Broadcasting has launched "Free FM" and made clear its plans for replacing Howard Stern... Infinity Announces Howard Stern Replacement Strategy, (Tue 10/25)


Radio and Records:

After months of speculation, Infinity Broadcasting confirms that the replacements for Stern — who will air his final broadcast radio show on Dec. 16 — will be current Loveline host Adam Carolla and former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth.... Infinity Confirms Howard Stern Replacements, (Tue 10/25)

Observing that his company's broad-based plan to replace Howard Stern in 27 markets, beginning Jan. 3, is likely the first time any radio company has faced that type of challenge, Infinity Chairman/CEO Joel Hollander said this morning that it could take up to two years for the new shows Infinity unveiled today to fully develop... Hollander: Infinity's New Lineup Needs Time To Grow, (Tue 10/25)

Infinity Chairman/CEO Joel Hollander said this morning that while Howard Stern's morning show has generated about $100 million in annual revenue for Infinity, Stern's departure opens the door to new advertisers who eschewed the host's bawdy brand of radio... Infinity Eyeing New Ad Money After Stern's Departure, (Tue 10/25)


Radio Ink:

Tom Joyner has issued the following statement on the death of Rosa Parks: “One of my proudest moments as a broadcaster is my involvement with Tavis (Smiley) and his campaign to ensure that Rosa Parks received the Congressional Gold Medal. It reminded me of a few things: The power of black radio and how, like back in the day, radio was used to inform our listeners and rally them to a good cause. It proved that we are still willing to take stand about something important... Joyner Pays Tribute To Rosa Parks, (Wed 10/26)


Infinity Broadcasting has unveiled their plans for life after Howard Stern. The announcements came in the form of a conference call by Infinity Chairman/CEO Joel Hollander, who was briefly interrupted by the voice of the Stern character known as Beetlejuice... Handling Howard's End: Infinity Unveils Post-Stern Strategy, (Wed 10/26)


Is Rock Dead? “No way,” Says Rock’s Leading Consultant

Despite press speculation that the recent announcement of format changes by Infinity Broadcasting represent a death knell for Rock radio, the genre is alive, and in most parts of the country, as healthy as ever. Rock radio consultant and Classic Rock pioneer Fred Jacobs observes that Infinity’s moves represent decisions that were made because of the unique circumstance of losing Howard Stern. Formatic decisions that have followed have their unique strategic purpose, and obviously look for ways for Infinity stations to stand out in uniquely competitive environments. Their “Jack Attack” is along the same lines.

According to Jacobs, “Infinity had some tough decisions to make. It’s not every day you lose one of radio’s major talents. But to connect those moves with the decline of an entire genre is completely overstating the case. Infinity still owns some of the great Rock stations in America.”

“Look around the country – Rock formats of all types are among the leaders in overall listening and in their specific target demographics. Alternative stations have enjoyed a revival in the past year, making a comeback in markets like Atlanta, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Portland. Active Rock stations, while being challenged by a shortage of great new rock, are performing in markets as diverse as Sacramento, Des Moines, and Detroit. Heritage Rock stations like KQRS inMinneapolis, KSHE inSt. Louis, and WMMR in Philly are thriving. There are also new innovations in Rock, including The Hog in Milwaukee, which just had a spectacular debut, and at KBZT in San Diego, which is a pioneer in our Neo-Radio values-based programming philosophy. Finally, there’s Classic Rock, the gold standard of Rock radio. Classic Rock has been the most stable, profitable of all the formats, and is dominating in too many markets to mention.”

“In smaller and medium sized markets, the number of Rock offerings is even greater than in larger markets. These markets, despite having a fraction of the population of New York City or Los Angeles, can have upwards of five or six Rock stations. Rock listeners in those markets don’t think that Rock is dead.”

“Part of the problem is that Rock has been so popular over the years that there are markets that have simply had more stations than the local economy could support. In those cases, station casualties are expected, and are in fact, very normal. This has been going on for years.”

“Rock radio, like radio overall, is facing unprecedented challenges from new technology and shifting consumer demands. When you couple this with the heightened scrutiny from the FCC, the impending departure of Howard Stern, and the temporary shortage of great new Rock product from the record companies, it’s easy to conclude that Rock is in trouble. But despite these challenges, the ratings don’t lie, and it would be a mistake to leap to the conclusion that Rock is dead.”

“This is very much a case of Rock being Mark Twained – the format’s death has been greatly exaggerated. Just ask the millions of Rock radio listeners in every market in the U.S.”

 

Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, October 30, 2005

By: Art Vuolo


The chatter continues about the defection of news-talk WJR-AM (760) from the Wolverines to the Spartans and what the future might hold. Many readers seem more concerned about the current broadcast team of Frank Beckmann, Jim Brandstatter and Steve Courtney staying together than which station winds up carrying the games. For the record, ’JR signed a five year deal to air Spartan games, beginning next year. U-M fans just want it be an AM and/or an FM station with a strong enough signal to make games easy to pick up both locally and out in Ann Arbor. Got suggestions about which station(s) should get to broadcast U-M football and basketball games? E-mail ’em to me at artvuolo@aol.com.


Another big story garnering far too much press concerns who’s replacing Howard Stern on nearly 30 Infinity stations, including hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1), when the legendary shock jock departs for Sirius satellite radio. (Not helping was that conference call last week in which a couple of Infinity corporate honchos sounded like their greatest concern was the stockholders rather than the listeners.) When the dust settled, it was revealed that comic Adam Carolla would air on Infinity’s West Coast stations, rocker David Lee Roth would get the East Coast, and a number of Midwest outlets will get a new guy named Rover.

Well, clear the doghouse and refill the water bowl, folks, as Detroit gets Shane French, a boyish-looking young guy who calls himself Rover. He’s radio’s current “flavor of the month” and he’ll relocate from Cleveland to his native Chicago to do the shows. Incidentally, the last syndicated show out of Chicago heard on WKRK was Steve Dahl, who was dubbed “Steve Dull.” And that saga did not have a happy ending. One syndicator I spoke to noted, “You don’t want to be the show that follows Stern. You want to be the show that follows the show that follows Stern — and fails.” He’s right. Stern’s last live show is set for Dec. 16 and Rover starts on Jan. 3. Good luck.

The new moniker for WKRK — “Free FM” — could be a knock at both subscription-based satellite radio and the McDonaldization of radio, as stations across the country are truly sounding the same these days. Also, as I read about ABC-TV late-nighter Jimmy Kimmel acting as a consultant for the new spate of morning shows, I thought, “Why?” With so many talented and creative radio broadcasters currently unemployed, this makes no sense at all.


With Jay Towers now on ’KRK’s Motor City Middays show, some of you have asked whatever became of his former radio partner, Rachael Hunter. Amazingly, this talented woman has yet to be picked up by a local station. And I don’t think she and Jay are the close friends they once were, either.


Last month, oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) morning man Dick Purtan emceed an unforgettable Motor City Broadcast Reunion at the Sheraton Hotel in Novi. Now, cable TV viewers in select parts of Oakland County can tune in to the event as Bright House Network subscribers in Farmington, Farmington Hills and Novi airs the event on Channel 12 from 8-10 p.m. Saturdays and Mondays over the next few weeks. Learn more at www. swoccstudios.com. Plans are also being made to release the gala on a special two-hour DVD with part of the proceeds going to the Gail Purtan Ovarian Cancer Fund. Details coming soon — and in time for the holidays.


Sad to report that early 1970s “Big 8” jock Hal Martin from variety CKLW-AM (800) has died of cancer 58 in Dallas. His real name was Michael Spears and he’d hoped to make last month’s radio reunion, but couldn’t. He’ll be missed. More on his career at www.michaelspears.com.


Pop adult WDVD-FM (96.3) morning guy Blaine Fowler reports that the station’s recent radiothon raised $26,524 to fight breast cancer — up from $14,000 last year. Good going, guys — and all who pledged.


In other benefits news, tickets just went on sale for the country WYCD-FM (99.5) Country Cares For Hurricane Relief Holiday Concert on Dec. 8 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes and the 2005 “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood are scheduled to perform. Learn more at www.countrycaresconcert.com.


Set Your Dials: For the music of Grand Rapids’ Beltline Big Band and their Glen Miller favorites at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5) ... Standards CKWWAM (580) will air the original “War of the Worlds” at 10 p.m. Monday — Halloween night. This is the radio play that sparked panic when broadcast by Orson Welles on Oct. 30, 1938. It’s a classic, not to be missed.

 

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