Detroit radio stations news-talk WJR-AM (760), we-play-everything WDRQ-FM (93.1) and modern hits WDVD-FM (96.3) will move from the Disney Co.'s ABC Radio Network to a renamed Citadel Communications in a $2.7-billion deal long rumored and finally announced Monday. Citadel already owns 17 stations in Saginaw, Flint, Lansing and Grand Rapids. All three stations are expected to continue with their current formats -- WJR was tied for the top spot among listeners age 12 and over and will become the flagship for Michigan State University sports starting this fall -- as the deal is finalized. Officials from the Detroit stations and air personalities declined to comment; corporate executives were unavailable Monday... Citadel to get 3 ABC radio stations (Tue 2/7)
To be honored: Five Michigan TV veterans at the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 19th Annual Silver Circle Awards Luncheon, set for noon Feb. 26 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Those to be feted are: Frank Biondo, a 35-year veteran sound mixer for WTVS-TV (Channel 56); Steve Garagiola, WDIV-TV (Channel 4) anchor and reporter; James Gaver, program director at WFUM-TV in Flint; Lee Van Ameyde, co-news anchor at WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids and Fran Victor, one of the creators of "Good Afternoon Detroit" on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) back in the 1980s... Names and Faces (Fri 2/10)
"ABC World News Tonight" anchor Bob Woodruff, who grew up in Bloomfield Township, is still sedated but is making progress from injuries he suffered from a bomb attack while covering the Iraq war last month. Woodruff, 44, and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, 46, were wounded Jan. 29 when a roadside bomb exploded near the vehicle they were traveling in near Taji, 12 miles north of Baghdad. Woodruff suffered injuries to his upper body, face, neck and shoulder... News anchor Bob Woodruff continues healing (Wed 2/7)
The long-awaited ownership change for ABC/Disney's 22 top-drawer radio stations, including Detroit's WJR-AM (760), went through earlier this week, pending FCC approval of course, as current owner ABC/Disney merged with Citadel Broadcasting to form a new company, Citadel Communications . It's a complicated deal involving stock and cash, and, to confuse you even further, essentially the company is still majority-owned by Disney shareholders. Many of the stations involved are flamethrower, historic AM stations such as WJR, including WLS-AM Chicago, WABC-AM New York and KGO-AM San Francisco. Locally, WDVD-FM (96.3) and Doug FM, WDRQ-FM (93.1), are also part of the deal... New co-owners for Great Voice of the Great Lakes (Thu 2/9)
Torino, Italy, is approximately 4,200 miles from Detroit, but WDIV-TV (Local 4) is doing its best to bring the Olympics home. Local 4 begins its coverage of the Winter Games today with live broadcasts throughout the day from Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. The coverage begins early with Local 4 News Today (5-7 a.m.). Guy Gordon and traffic reporter Beth McLeod will be joined by three-time Olympic figure skater Todd Eldredge and members of the Detroit Skating Club. The station also will broadcast its noon and evening broadcasts from Campus Martius, site of last weekend's Motown Winter Blast. Local 4 will continue to broadcast many of its Olympic Zone specials (Monday-Saturday, 7:30-8 p.m.) from Campus Martius through Feb. 26... From Campus Martius, Local 4 will enhance Olympic coverage (Fri 2/10)
Last year, an institution that was part of the Flint area for eighty-three years, broadened its reach and shifted its target audience toward Detroit. Flint's first radio station, WFDF, now better known as Radio Disney broadcasting on the AM dial at 910 kHz, moved its transmitting facilities from its long time Burton location at the corner of Bristol and Howe, to newer larger transmitting facilities near Carleton in Monroe County, southwest of Detroit. While the station has applied to change its city of license from Flint to the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills, the legal station ID at the top of the hour is still “WFDF, Flint/Detroit”... Goodbye, WFDF (Feb 2006)
Rover's Screener Draws FBI Scrutiny: The FBI was called out when CBS syndicated morning man ROVER's phone screener DJ JAZZY JIM said he wouldn't be going to DETROIT for the SUPER BOWL with the rest of the show's crew because he was afraid of a terrorist attack. The comment caught the ear of the FBI's SUPER BOWL operations team, which sent agents to ROVER's WCKG/CHICAGO studio to talk to JIM. After a 90 minute interrogationm, the agents concluded that JIM had no actual knowledge of any attack; nevertheless, JIM did not goto DETROIT for the game.