‘River' runs again; U-M's AM, FM broadcasts mixed

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Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, September 10, 2006

By: Art Vuolo


On The Radio

Somebody across the river at the CHUM Radio Group must love Coca-Cola. As you may recall, Coke admitted it made a mistake and brought back the original taste of America’s favorite soft drink, renaming it “Classic Coke.” Well, “pop” CIDR-FM (93.9) is back to calling itself “The River.”

CHUM dumped its under-performing Lite-FM music to return to a form of adult album, which some insiders feel may be too similar to the alternative rock format of sister station CIMXFM (88.7) best known as 89X. Since the 93.9 FM signal with 100,000 watts screams into Toledo, it might get confusing for the ratings companies, as soft hits WRVF-FM (101.5) also is called “The River.” Let’s see (and hear) if this latest format adjustment, well, floats.


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After two University of Michigan football games, fans seem to like the clarity of the rich and powerful signal at WOMC-FM (104.3), but some lower-row fans tell me they’re better off with Ann Arbor’s U-M affiliate sports WTKA-AM (1050). Talk CKLW-AM (800) also carries the games. What seems to be the most annoying is the seven second delay so any obscenities can be deleted after the FCC’s imposed stiff new fines. TV also is delayed, so the two mediums are almost in sync.


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Jayne Bower at news WWJ-AM (950) says, “Sonny Eliot will throw out the first pitch at the Sept. 13, 2006, Tigers vs. Texas game to mark his 60 years on WWJ. He claims to have been a pitcher about 50 years ago — remarkable given that he is only 38!”

Well stated, Jayne, and kudos to the man who invented “the funny TV weatherman.” These days, Sonny is delivering his witty forecasts at 4:20 and 5:20 in the afternoon on Newsradio 950.


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Classic rocker WCSX-FM (94.7) is celebrating the release of Bob Seger’s “Face the Promise,” his first new album in the past 11 years. The station is giving away the new CD all weekend long, and at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Seger will join morning host Jim “J.J” Johnson for a live, 90-minute one-on-one. It’s not to be missed.


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Who knows where home improvement guru’s Murray Gula and Glenn Haege are? Haege is expected back to radio soon, and Gula may show up in your neighborhood in the weeks ahead, taping segments for his new role at WXYZ-Channel 7.


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Regular readers — and even a few who use laxatives, harhar — know that along with a great deal of talented local morning radio shows, one of my favorites is Bob & Tom. This duo, who actually met Up North in Harbor Springs, originate their very funny show from down in Indianapolis. At 9 p.m. Saturday, they’ll be seen nationally with a one-hour special on Comedy Central. It’ll be loaded with hysterical comedians and should be lots of laughs. Bob & Tom can be heard in various parts of Oakland County on Toledo’s rock WIOT-FM (104.7), Flint’s rock WWBN-FM (101.5) or Lansing’s rock WJXQ-FM (106.1).


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In Milwaukee, a station owned by Clear Channel is asking listeners, via the Internet, to “help them build a new radio station.” Gee, where have we heard that before? Stations still seem to be unable to come up with original ideas.


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Bloomfield Hills High School station WBFH-FM (88.1), known as “The Biff,” wins more awards than any such station that I know of. On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, it’ll be celebrating its 30th anniversary. More details coming soon.


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Crazy Al, the wacky jock who once graced the airwaves at talk/oldies WPON-AM (1460), has picked up another great station for his syndicated program. He’s now on Long Island’s legendary oldies WLNG in Sag Harbor at the far end of the island. According to station owner Paul Sydney, they love him back East. You can hear Crazy Al at www.industrialinfo.com.


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Set your dial: The music of bandleader Oswald George Nelson, whom you may remember from “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriett,” is profiled 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5).


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Tomorrow is a most solemn five-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on America. I invite any readers with a computer to visit www.vuolovideo.com and hear a 13-minute mini-documentary that I was proud to produce for a talk radio seminar in February 2002. It showcases what radio did in New York and D.C. on that awful day. It’s very strong, but it must be heard. It’s also downloadable for radio stations who may want to air it, and there is no charge to anyone.


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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 September 10, 2006 11:14 AM.

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 8 - 10, 2006 was the previous entry in this blog.

Channel 955's Mojo in Morning to replay 9/11/01 broadcast is the next entry in this blog.

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