Free Press: Bandyke out at WDET-FM

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From today:

Martin Bandyke, who hosted a hip alternative music program on WDET-FM (101.9) weekday afternoons from 1-4 p.m., has resigned from the Wayne State University-run station, his attorney said Monday. Bandyke — a 22-year station veteran with the last 15 years full-time — referred all comment on his departure to Mike Novak, a well-known area entertainment lawyer. Novak said Bandyke “resigned, no reason given.” WDET-FM general manager Michael Coleman referred all WDET comment to Louis Lessem, Wayne vice president and general counsel, who said “because it is a personnel matter, I can’t comment other to say that Mr. Bandyke is no longer working at WDET-FM.”

Before saying Bandyke resigned, Novak held up some hope that Bandyke’s fans might cause the station to reconsider. “Hopefully there’ll be an outpouring. He has a huge listenership. There’ll be a tremendous backlash,” he said. Bandyke has been off the air most of November and all of this month. Novak denied that Bandyke was simply using up vacation days. Listener Laura Steiner of Commerce Township had wondered about his long absence and lamented “I can't imagine WDET without him.” While Arbitron ratings are not generally available for public radio, the station usually has enough listeners to rank somewhere between 15 to 20 among Detroit market stations, depending on the time of year.

Bandyke, whose free lance music reviews appear in the Free Press, is well known on the Detroit music scene. Visiting guests who were stars of the station’s AAA music format (adult alternative album) regularly dropped by for live performances and often recorded cordial on-air promos for his show. Coleman said there was no permanent replacement host and would not specify when one might be chosen. Coleman, formerly with Michigan Radio, which runs public stations licensed to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Flint and Grand Rapids, took over the station earlier this year, replacing Caryn Mathes, who was a champion of the AAA music format. She now heads up a public station in the Washington, D.C., market.

During his short stay at WDET-FM, he has restored two non-musical programs that Mathes dropped. He brought back “This American Life,” a quirky and award-wining slice-of-reality show. A Friday airing of “American Life” cut an hour off of Bandyke’s music show. Coleman also restored commentator Tavis Smiley to the station’s lineup with his new public radio show on Sundays. Smiley’s former daily NPR effort was another Mathes casualty.



Very strange.........can't help but think Michael Coleman had something to do with this. Did something inappropriate go on during the last pledge drive? Was Martin upset about losing an hour of his show on Fridays? Was there a slight push towards more "ethnic" music that wasn't appreciated?







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on December 5, 2005 1:50 PM.

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