Local radio could have shown more SBXL class




Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, February 5, 2006

By: Mike Austerman

On The Radio

It’s been quite the week in the media world with nonstop coverage of Super Bowl XL and all the events leading up to it. While dialing around this week, I was disappointed to hear a couple segments that just made me cringe. Tuesday on sports WXYT-AM (1270), “Big Show” hosts Art Regner and Doug Karsch were interviewing ESPN reporter Suzy Kolber. What was a decent interview quickly went into the land of embarrassing, when the topic of the infamous Joe Namath kiss request from two years ago was brought up by Regner. With Kolber taking the high road by essentially dismissing it, the “Big Show” folks went ahead and played back audio clips of the event, accompanied by hosts laughing at their own attempt at humor. As a listener, I was embarrassed at the bush-league treatment they were giving Kolber. There was nothing at all funny about how the ’XYT hosts handled that interview.

Then on Wednesday, hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle of talk WKRK-FM (97.1) played an absolutely horrible clip that’s floating around the Internet that ridicules Detroit and Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis. There was no comedic value in the segment and it had no business being played on a major market radio station. In a town that is hyper-sensitive about its image, why do these members of the media insist on adding fuel to the fire?

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If you ever doubted that radio programmers have less and less control over their own stations, here’s proof enough. WKRK owner CBS Radio has announced that Jim Cramer, host of the syndicated financial program “Real Money,” will begin airing on a number of the company’s stations across the country beginning Feb. 13. The show will run 1-2 p.m. on WKRK — right smack in the middle of Jay Towers and Michelle McKormick’s “Motor City Middays” program, which is currently airing 11 a.m.-3 p.m. How’d you like to be WKRK boss Rich Homberg? Does he run MCM on a split schedule or move Penn Jillette to the 2-3 p.m. hour — where he’d air live — from his tapedelayed spot at 10 p.m.? Although Cramer’s show is a bit edgy when it comes to money-talk shows, it hardly fits with the rest of WKRK’s weekday lineup. Radio is a strange business indeed.

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Classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) continues its great work for the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, raising more than $210,000 during last weekend’s 28-hour radiothon, hosted by morning voices Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison. The gang at ’CSX has now raised more than $2.7 million for CLF over the years and will continue their efforts by restoring another vehicle this spring and summer in another Stone Soup project. WCSX.com has details on the selection of a new project car.

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Country WYCD-FM (99.5) is helping host a fund-raising event with country superstar Clint Black at the Melting Pot restaurant in Troy on Thursday. The “Clint Black Tie Affair” will raise money to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and its fight against childhood cancers. “Each year, WYCD raises funds for the hospital, and this year we’ve added a new exciting and fun event to help the kids,” says program director Tim Roberts. “Clint Black is a huge artist and he’s been very generous to devote an evening to helping these kids,” adds WYCD morning host Doctor Don Carpenter. Tickets are $100 per plate through WYCD, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 26555 Evergreen, Ste. 675, Southfield.

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Rocker WRIF-FM (101.1) will help out one of its own Feb. 16 with a concert at the Emerald Ballroom in downtown Mount Clemens to benefit former sports WDFN-FM (1130) reporter Sabrina Black. Sabrina, the wife of ’RIF weekend jock Steve Black, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 2000, and since then has been fighting the disease with two bone marrow transplants and numerous chemo and radiation treatments. She continues to fight an unfair amount of complications but, remarkably, hasn’t given up hope. In addition to a rockin’ lineup of local bands and ’RIF’s Doug Podell as host, there’ll be a silent auction with rock and sports memorabilia. Arthur Penhallow will broadcast live from Johnny G’s restaurant next door from 3 to 7 p.m., and evening jock Meltdown will host his 7 p.m.-midnight show from the Emerald that night. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 with all proceeds benefiting the Sabrina Black Fund. Visit www.wrif.com.

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Check out Glenn Haege of WDFN’s “The Handyman Show” and dozens of household helpers at the Ultimate Home Show next weekend at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn. Haege will broadcast his weekend shows live from the event. Admission is free. Find details at www.wdfn.com.

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Set Your Dials: For an alternative to the Big Game, tune into WRCJ-FM (90.9) from 10 a.m. to noon today for Chris Felcyn’s “Listening Room Symphony Bowl Preview Show and Tailgate Party” ... Girl groups from the 1940s and ’50s are featured on this evening’s “Somewhere in Time” with hosts Tom Wilson and Alison Harris. Tune in at 6 p.m. on WMUZ-FM (103.5) ... Ralph Valdez welcomes self-described “gender-terrorist” Stephanie Loveless (formerly Tom Ness) and her wife of 20 years, Susan Trescott, to his program 10 p.m. tonight on WDET-FM (101.9).

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Columnist Mike Austerman has covered radio for The Oakland Press since 2001.







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on February 5, 2006 9:43 AM.

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