WJR paints the town maize and blue for last U-M game

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Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, November 13, 2005

By: Art Vuolo


With only one more regular season Michigan football game scheduled for this Saturday on news-talk WJR-AM (760), morning host Paul W. Smith wants to go out in style. Smith, a 1975 U-M grad, will conduct an old-style Michigan/Ohio State on-air pep rally during his Friday show in the “maize and blue” tower of the Fisher Building. You’ll hear clips of exciting UM-OSU moments with the late Bob Ufer and WJR’s own Frank Beckmann. Tune in, Go Blue and Beat the Bucks!


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Meanwhile, the guessing game continues as to where the Wolverines will end up on the radio dial, now that WJR has opted to carry the Michigan State Spartans in 2006. Rumors also are flying that Detroit Pistons games, currently on sports WDFN-AM (1130), also will have a new radio home next season — and it might not be on the AM band.


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TiVo Alert! Mark your calendar for a TV special you may not want to miss. On Dec. 2, WTVS-Channel 56 will broadcast an award-winning documentary, “Radio Revolution: The Rise and Fall of the Big 8 CKLW.” It’s a great behind-the-scenes look at one of the most legendary Top 40 radio stations in North America. Can’t wait until then or want to get a copy for a Christmas gift? It’s available on DVD at radiorevolutiondvd.com.


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Clips of that CKLW special were featured at the recent Motor City Broadcast Reunion, which raised more than $16,000 with proceeds going to the Gail Purtan Ovarian Cancer Fund. A two-hour DVD of that event, loaded with laughs and dozens of radio names you’ll remember, is now available. But as K-Tel used to say, it's “Not available in stores.” For more information, go to vuolovideo.com and click on “reunions.”


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Last weekend’s prestigious Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Chicago honored Abbott & Costello, radio storyteller Jean Shepard, Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman, Pittsburgh Steelers color commentator Myron Cope and ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton. Want to be a part of next year’s festivities and learn how you can vote? Go to www.radiohof.org.

Last year, oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) morning man Dick Purtan was voted into the Hall, joining such local legends as J.P. McCarthy, Ernie Harwell, Karl Haas, Fran Striker and Jim Quello.


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Public Exposure: Public radio’s WDET-FM (101.9) reports that its fall pledge drive has topped a half-million dollars; the campaign runs through the end of this month ... classical/jazz WRCJ-FM (90.9) debuts its live local daytime hosts on Monday — and they’re familiar names. It’ll be Dave Wagner (6-10 a.m.) followed by Chris Felcyn (10 a.m.-3 p.m.) and Ann Delisi (3-7 p.m.) The station airs classical music during the day and jazz at night ... down in Dearborn, Henry Ford Community College’s WHFR-FM (89.3) is preparing for its 20th anniversary Dec. 3 at Fifth Avenue Downtown. Kudos to WHFR on this milestone.


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Doing Good: Blaine and Lisa at pop WDVD-FM (96.3) are heading up the station’s second annual Holiday Cards for Kids event benefitting Children’s Hospital of Michigan ... WOMC’S Dick Purtan hosted a Military Moms Lunch on Friday in Birmingham and it was a huge success.


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Sad News: The son of longtime WJR mid-morning host Jimmy Launce was killed in an auto accident in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Jimmy and his wife Brigitta currently reside south of Tampa Bay. Sympathy notes can be sent to jimmykl@gte.net.

A story with a happier ending finds rock WRIF-FM (101.1) overnighter Screamin’ Scott Randall recovering from a recent heart attack. Hey, Scott, glad you’re on the mend — but less screaming and more sleep is recommended.


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It’s Never Happened Before: When the only adult standards station in Las Vegas changed to country music, listeners went nuts. Stations never admit they were wrong, but a new 100,000-watt country FM on the adjacent frequency quickly grabbed the altered station’s name and returned the standard fare for the 55-plus crowd.


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Set Your Dials: Financial icon Charles Schwab will be Rick Bloom’s guest from noon-3 p.m. today on talk WDTK-AM (1400) ... the late Ed McKenzie, radio’s first “Jack the Bellboy” on WJBK, will play the big band music of Tommy Dorsey at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5).


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

 

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on November 13, 2005 8:00 AM.

Radio Reunion DVD was the previous entry in this blog.

Metro Detroit: In the News Nov 11-17 is the next entry in this blog.

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