WNIC thinks Yule want to be in Christmas mood now




Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press, November 6, 2005

By: Mike Austerman

On Tuesday afternoon, soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3) ditched its regular music format and once again launched into wall-to-wall Christmas music, trying to take early advantage of the fondness many have for the “songs of the season.” Nearly a year ago in this space, I complained strongly about this rush to Christmas — only to be proven wrong about how listeners would respond. Last year, WNIC, and fellow soft rocker WMGC-FM (105.1), scored huge ratings increases during their Christmas carol marathons.

Though many readers agreed that it was too much Christmas too soon, it’s clear that there are plenty who just can’t get enough of Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” — even if they’re each played about 1 million times between now and Christmas Day. The bottom line? As long as advertisers like the idea and listeners respond the way they have, get used to hearing about Grandma getting run over by a reindeer.

One glimmer of hope: WMGC didn’t switch to all-Yule immediately after WNIC did, but it’s expected that Magic 105.1 will follow suit sometime soon — if it hasn’t happened already this weekend. I still say we need to ho, ho, hose all this Christmas stuff off until after Thanksgiving — and hold out hope that maybe this year, listeners will say, “Enough.”

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Think the jocks at WNIC and WMGC bring in MP3 players so they’ll have something else to listen to while they work? Although you’ll never hear any of ’em complain, this has to drive them batty.

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Gerald McBride’s waycool Saturday Night Live oldies program on adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3) has been renamed the “Old School House Party” and been syndicated to a number of stations across the country. Program director Jamillah Muhammad notes the show “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.”

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Tim Roberts has made his way back to Detroit radio and is the new program director for country WYCD-FM (99.5). Roberts was at the helm of WWWW-FM (106.7) when that station dumped the cowboy hats and spurs in favor of a rock format in 1999. He had been working in Toledo, but commuting from here, before scoring the ’YCD gig.

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Urban WJLB-FM will team up with the Salvation Army next weekend to collect winter coats and cash donations to help keep kids warm this winter. The “Coats for Kids” Radiothon will be at Oakland Mall from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. R&B and hip-hop artists Genuwine, Marques Houston and Cee-Lo will be on hand to lend their support.

Can’t make it to the mall? Area Salvation Army locations will serve as drop-off sites; visit www.salvationarmyemich.org or call (877) SAL-MICH.

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Michigan Radio, heard locally on Ann Arbor’s WUOM-FM (91.7) and Flint’s WFUM-FM (91.1) as well as in Grand Rapids, raised more than $920,000 during its recent fall fund drive, setting a new record for the stations. Pledged dollars provide about half of Michigan Radio’s current annual operating budget of more than $5 million, making the drives critical to the stations’ success. “In these times, people have many options for their charitable giving,” notes general manager Donovan Reynolds. “We’re very pleased that our audience continues to value our service enough to support it with their dollars.”

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Acoustic guitarist Billy McLaughlin drops by Pam Rossi’s “Over Easy” program at 10 a.m. Saturday on classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7). McLaughlin enjoyed a rising career before contracting by an incurable disease that attacked his right wrist and hand. But instead of giving up, he relearned his craft by becoming left-handed.

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Set Your Dials: Hosts Tom Wilson and Alison Harris present Britain’s Henry Hall Orchestra at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5) ... Philip Glass goes live with his nontraditional music on Judy Adams’ show 9-11 a.m. Tuesday on WDET-FM (101.9) ... National Public Radio will serve up its first-ever live opera broadcast at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with George Gershwin’s legendary folk opera “Porgy and Bess” on its 70th anniversary. Because neither WDET nor WUOM carries the show, visit www.npr.org/music and listen in on your computer.

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Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Oakland Press for 4 years.







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on November 6, 2005 8:00 AM.

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