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.