Hannity hears local followers demand ‘all three hours'

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Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, March 26, 2006

By: Art Vuolo


On The Radio

On Wednesday, more than 700 conservatives jammed the ballroom at the Marriott Hotel in the RenCen to see superstar Sean Hannity, making it the “right” placed to be. The introduction was by newstalk WJR-AM (760) morning personality Paul W. Smith, who was warmly received. Hannity is now heard afternoons 3-5 p.m. on the mega-power talk station, but interestingly, when Smith announced the on-air WJR schedule, everyone received applause — except Mitch Albom, who follows Hannity from 5-7 p.m. Demand had been strong from both listeners and ABC Radio for WJR to air the program live. It had been running on a tape-delayed basis at night, as Hannity runs 3-6 p.m. nationally. Two hours of Sean and two hours of Mitch seemed like a good compromise, but the crowd chanted, “All three hours!”

Hannity’s keynote was repeatedly interrupted by applause, but his willingness to meet fans, sign autographs and pose for photos for more 45 minutes was impressive. He was then whisked off to a studio to do his Fox TV “Hannity & Colmes Show.” Unlike some of Hannity’s counterparts he’s genuinely a nice guy.


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On Tuesday, the Detroit Automotive Press Club had a demonstration of high definition radio. The price of the new radios is dropping and many stations are offering, what they feel is, unique and provocative programming. Sadly, I believe the formats on these HD-2 stations are far too similar to what’s being offered on their respective primary FM channels, which are available to everyone. HD on an AM station, such as news WWJ-AM (950), makes it sound like FM, and with HD radio, AM can broadcast in stereo.


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The blood is still flowing outside the building at talk WAAM-AM (1600) in Ann Arbor where avant-garde host Thayrone was dropped by the station, in addition to Steve Ames, its vice president and general manager. Locals fear this marks even more the demise of “local radio.”


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Detroit’s favorite “Double D’s,” Deminski and Doyle at hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1), hosted a memorable St. Patrick’s Day Party. They invited me to provide video coverage on a slew of big screen TVs at Malarkey’s Irish Pub in Westland. The wacky crew, with a very strange menu of bizarre audience participation, complained they are never mentioned in this column. So I did them one better, putting a tape in the camera and captured video “suitable for framing.”


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Quick hits: The Michigan Associated Press recognized public WDET-FM (101.9) with seven awards, including the General Excellence Award for the fifth consecutive year ... Bloomfield Hills School District radio broadcasting students won 16 awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB). Andover’s WBFH, known as “The Biff,” was named the 2006 High School Station of the Year by the Broadcasters. This was the fourth year in a row that WBFH won or tied for the honor. Station Manager Pete Bowers and Assistant Manager/Chief Engineer Randy Carr are understandably proud ... Nostalgia CKWW-AM (580) now broadcasts “The Blue Plate Special” at noon, featuring five songs with a common theme. Check it out with Wayne Stevens on the little Windsor station that needs more power ... “Somewhere in Time” with Tom Wilson plays memories from the early 1950s on WMUZ-FM (103.5) at 6 p.m. today.


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Have you noticed that dyedin-the-wool Michigan alumnus Paul W. Smith now works at the new MSU flagship station WJR, while proud Michigan State Spartan Steve Schram becomes manager of Michigan Public Radio in Ann Arbor? Schram had a ready explanation: “They may be blue, but they pay in green.”


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Sad news is always difficult, but as Mike stated last week, it’s particularly hard to handle as we have to report the passing of Sabrina Black. She was a proud Specs Howard grad who worked in research at rock WRIF-FM (101.1), later at “The Bear” WWBR-FM, now WHTD-FM (102.7), and at sports WDFN-AM (1130). Her husband, Steve Black, who hosts the “Chop Shop Guitar Show” on The Riff, said, “It’s comforting to know that we did not waste one single day in our nine years together.” Sabrina was remembered by an extraordinary number of friends and radio colleagues this week at an emotional memorial service in Clawson. Cards may be sent to: Steve Black c/o WRIF, 1 Radio Plaza, Detroit 48220.


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Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on March 26, 2006 12:14 PM.

WDET music host Gene Elzy retires from broadcasting was the previous entry in this blog.

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