WDET Detroit makes big changes, weekday focus shifts to talk

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Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM has announced a new program schedule that begins tomorrow, Tuesday, December 13th. Gone from the weekday lineup are music programs hosted by Judy Adams and Chuck Horn as the station moves to primarily an all-Talk format. Former weekday music host Martin Bandyke exited the station last week. The new lineup of talk-based shows mark the end, at least for now, of the station's focus on Adult Alternative music- a format for which the station won numerous industry awards and developed a fiercely loyal following. No doubt the fans of WDET's music programs will feel abandonded by today's changes.

The new offerings on WDET include the return of many steadfast public radio programs such as Car Talk, Fresh Air, This American Life, Afropop Worldwide and The Tavis Smiley Show. WDET is also bringing some new programs to Detroit listeners such as News & Notes with Ed Gordon, Democracy Now!, Day To Day, BBC's World Have Your Say, Here & Now, Studio 360 and On The Media. WDET also welcomes back three of its heritage music programs with Folks Like Us with Matt Watroba, Arkansas Traveler with Larry McDaniel and Deep River with Robert Jones. Longtime music host Chuck Horn stays with the station and will host an electronic-based music program called Seventh Journey from Midnight til 5 AM Sunday nights/early Monday mornings.

"I believe these program additions will help give Detroit the kind of premier public radio service it deserves," said Michael Coleman, WDET General Manager. "Our entire community needs access to intelligent, thoughtful and diverse voices about the issues and challenges facing all of us. I'm also delighted to welcome back Matt Watroba, Larry McDaniel and Robert Jones who hosted enormously popular programs on WDET for many years."

Many NPR and specialty music programs were discontinued at WDET in September 2004. Those changes did not meet listener's expectations and posed challenges for station fundraising and audience growth. The new schedule reinstates many of the programs previously discontinued and adds eight programs never available on WDET. "WDET now offers the kind of programming one expects from a public radio service," said Allen Mazurek, interim WDET Program Director. "Programs like Fresh Air, Car Talk and NPR news define public radio for millions of listeners nationwide."

"NPR is thrilled that our programs are extending their national reach with WDET, a great radio station that has a long and distinguished history of service to the Detroit community," said Jay Kernis, NPR's Senior vice President for Programming. "We hope that WDET listeners find them valuable and enjoyable and, if they cause listeners to remain in their cars a little longer, we'll be happy and sorry at the same time."

The new weekday WDET lineup:
5-10 AM: Morning Edition
10-11 AM: News and Notes with Ed Gordon (new)
11 AM - Noon: Democracy Now (new)
Noon - 1 PM: Here and Now (new)
1-2 PM: World, Have Your Say (new)
2-3 PM: Day to Day (new)
3-4 PM: Fresh Air (new) / This American Life (Fridays)
4-7 PM: All Things Considered
7 PM - Midnight: Destination Jazz with Ed Love (new time)
Midnight - 5 AM: Music Overnight with Liz Copeland (new time)

Changes to WDET's weekend schedule include the departure of hosts Willy Wilson and John Penney.

Saturday Lineup:
5-5:30 AM: The Treatment (new day/time)
5:30-6 AM: The Business (new)
6-7 AM: On the Media (new)
7-8 AM: The Motley Fool (new day)
8-10 AM: Weekend Edition
10-11 AM: Car Talk (new)
11 AM - 2 PM: Folks Like Us with Matt Watroba (new)
2-4 PM: Arkansas Traveler with Larry McDaniels (new)
4-5 PM: Fresh Air Weekend (new)
5-6 PM: All Things Considered
6-9 PM: The Gene Elzy Program (new time)
9 PM - Midnight: The Jon Moshier Program (new time)
Midnight - 5 AM: Music Overnight with Michael Julien

Sunday Lineup:
5-6 AM: Infinite Mind (new time)
6-7 AM: Living on Earth (new time)
7-8 AM: Car Talk (new)
8-10 AM: Weekend Edition
10-11 AM: This American Life (new time)
11 AM - 1 PM: Detroit Symphony Orchestra (new time)
1-3 PM: Deep River With Robert Jones (new)
3-5 PM: The Tavis Smiley Show (new time)
5-6 PM: All Things Considered
6-7 PM: Studio 360 (new)
7-8 PM: AfroPop Worldwide (new)
8-10 PM: The W. Kim Heron Program (new time)
10 PM - Midnight: The Ralph Valdez Program
Midnight - 5 AM: Seventh Journey with Chuck Horn (new)

*** *** ***

Things are about to sound a lot different at Detroit's public radio station. Today (Tue 12/13), the weekday schedule at WDET-FM (101.9) will go all news and talk -- including a hefty dose of National Public Radio (NPR) -- and replace the locally generated music shows that had long distinguished the station from most of its national peers. The changes, announced Monday afternoon after weeks of speculation among radio insiders, will find syndicated programs such as "News & Notes with Ed Gordon" and Terry Gross' "Fresh Air" in the slots previously held by Detroit music hosts Judy Adams, Chuck Horn and Martin Bandyke... WDET amps up NPR, tunes down local music, Detroit Free Press

In the latest WDET-FM (101.9) tsunami of ch-ch-ch-changes, former 'DET blues host Robert Jones is back with a new gospel/spiritual Sunday show "Deep River," and WDET's daytime schedule has been scrubbed of music in favor of news/talk. The 101.9 portion of your radio dial will sound distinctively different starting today as general manager Michael Coleman, hired in June, continues to revamp Detroit Public Radio into what he believes is a "premier public radio service," away from the "adult alternative" musical variety that former general manager Caryn Mathes and program director Judy Adams touted... Latest WDET shake-up restores favorite shows, Detroit News



I was wondering what happened, and I read it in The News.
Wow, what a shake-up.

I am sorry to hear the great music spots leave(including the personalities???)
Sounds very desparate to me.

Let me not dwell on how I came of age and grew up with Judy, and her stuff, since ' 75, nor Martin's mix of odd ball and good old stuff that I enjoyed for the most part.

It's gone from daytime radio and now WDET has the same Micigan Public Radio programs as at least 3 other local stations.

I am reliving my stint(hard time) in Wabash Indiana one summer, where once in a while, I could get some Chi- Town station with something other than religious, talk, sports, or country, 18 hours per day(off air at night).

So sorry for many listeners and for me.


I am profoundly sorry to hear of the changes at WDET. The musical format was original and revered by Detroiters and in latter years worldwide musical enthusiasts who were searching for a quality musical experience that was not shaped by commercial impulses. It was a musical trust that has been sadly taken from us. I for one will no longer contribute to WDET as a means of protest against this stain upon a once great institution.

I too am disappointed in the programming changes. Now WDET sounds like Ann Arbor, Flint and Lansing. The only unique NPR station in SE Michigan and Michael Coleman had to ruin it.

I only wish I was aware of the changes before I sent in my donation for the last fund drive. I have donated to the station since moving her in '92, but will not donate again. They done me wrong. But "those in charge" probably won't acknowledge this until the public funding levels reflect a complete abhorence for the new manager and his decisions.

WDET has become a 24 hr per day propaganda machine in accordance with the left's continuing attempt to discredit the current administration leading up to the '06 midterm and '08 presidential elections. What WDET fails to realize (due to arrogance) is that they are going to lose even more listener donations. Does WDET expect to continue to receive more and more funding from tax dollars as listener donations diminish? There is no way that this sort of programming could sustain itself in a commercial market. I for one will be encouraging all my elected representitives to do all they can to eliminate federal funding for NPR.






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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on December 12, 2005 6:15 PM.

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