Metro Detroit: December 2006 Archives

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 2, 2006



WMGC hits Toys for Tots goal

WMGCSoft Rock WMGC-FM's (105.1) Jim Harper & The Magic Morning show exceeded their goal in raising 25,000 toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves' Toys For Tots Campaign. The annual Toys For Tots Campaign toured Twelve Oaks Mall, Laurel Park Place, Northland Mall, Macomb Mall and Oakland Mall, collecting new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps program.

The 2006 totals: 25,591 toys and $13,954.00 in cash donations.

On-air sponsors of the 2006 Toys For Tots collection program are Rock Financial and Holiday Automotive. Toys can still be donated at Art Van, Chicken Shack or Farmer Jack until December 14, 2006. Participating toy drop off locations are listed at

WJR's annual Christmas Sing set for Dec 9th

WJREveryone is invited to join WJR morning host Paul W. Smith and Santa as they host the 41st Annual WJR Christmas Sing at the Somerset Collection North in Troy. This is a great holiday tradition that is bigger and better every year. Bring your family for a morning of Christmas caroling and fun.

WJR and listeners helps those in need

WJR is joining with the Salvation Army bell ringers in raising money this holiday season with a Virtual Red Kettle on! offers a secure point for listeners to donate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With thousands of metro Detroiters face poverty everyday, WJR has set a goal to help keep the Salvation Army's services running 365 days a year. Go to now to donate.

Also, WJR is again helping Volunteers of America Michigan with an on-air “Adopt-A-Family” drive with the goal of adopting 2,500 families throughout Michigan, which will include more than 10,000 children and 200 seniors. For $140 you can provide toys and warm clothes for the children and food for the family's Christmas dinner. If you are unable to adopt a family for $140, other donations are welcome as well. Every dollar counts! Donations will be taken up until December 24th so call (248) 353-4VOA(4862) to donate today.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 7, 2006



Detroit News:

Diana Lewis, anchor of WXYZ-TV's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts, is a native of Coatesville, Pa., the same hometown as Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton. After graduating from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, with a degree in psychiatric social work, Lewis studied writing and journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her first broadcast news position was at WPVI in Philadelphia. The Channel 7 anchor also has been seen on the big screen, as well... Get to know: Diana Lewis (Thu 12/7)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 8, 2006



Have Baby, Will Trade for PS3

WKQIHow far would you go to get your hands on a brand-new PlayStation 3? Would you trade your car? Your pet? Your child? Apparently some people are willing to go as far as the latter, "Mojo In The Morning" of Contemporary Hits WKQI-FM 95.5 discovered on the radio this morning. The Detroit morning show posed an on-air challenge, asking if anyone would be willing to trade in their baby for a period of time in exchange for a new PS3.

Much to the Mojo's surprise, people were more than willing to take him up on the offer. Dozens of women lined up to offer their children even if they wouldn't know who was watching the child or where the child was being held for the day. The station's call lines were jammed with people willing to exchange their babies for one of the impossible-to-obtain new game consoles. Needless to say, the station did not actually give away any PS3's, nor did they confiscate any babies.

After 30 minutes of screening potential babies, Mojo In The Morning explained that it was a "social experiment" and took calls to further discuss the shocking response from listeners willing to hand over their babies!

Detroit News:

For nine years, Windsor-Detroit alternative rock station 89X (CIMX-FM, 88.7) has been throwing holiday parties for its listeners; at this point, its "The Night 89X Stole Christmas" concerts have become as much a part of the holiday season as eggnog and candy canes. But this year they're adding a twist. In addition to the annual Cobo Arena show, they're holding a second holiday concert, dubbed the 89X Nutcracker, at Detroit's State Theatre the night before "The Night"... 89X will rock the holidays with 2 really big shows (Fri 12/8)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 10, 2006



Detroit News:

It was a meeting of the generations. The lad was 22, eager and ambitious for a job in sports journalism. He showed up armed at the winter baseball meetings with a microphone and some sort of primitive recording apparatus. The plan was to interview Connie Mack, nearing 78, gray-haired, with his high, starched collar, and still active as a major-league baseball manager with the Philadelphia Athletics. Mr. Mack -- that was how he was addressed throughout baseball -- granted the lad his interview. The youth introduced himself as Ernie Harwell... Harwell shares some treasured memories with fans (Sun 12/10)

Ann Arbor News:

WDIV-Channel 4 meteorologist Andrew Humphrey loves his job, and on Monday, he appeared at Bessie Hoffman Elementary School to tell students that things they are currently learning could be the foundation for their own enjoyable careers. Humphrey spoke to nearly 200 students in grades two through five about how he turned his childhood interest in math and science into his current job as a weatherman... TV weatherman promotes learning Andrew Humphrey speaks at Bessie Hoffman Elementary School (Sun 12/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 12, 2006



Detroit News:

The turbulent Michael Coleman era at WDET-FM (101.9) is officially at an end. The general manager, who was hired by Wayne State in July 2005, confirmed Monday that he has resigned his job. WDET-FM (101.9) staffers came to work Monday to find that their general manager had cleaned out his personal effects, down to the last Superman tchotchke. Coleman's resignation is effective Dec. 31. Reports had trickled out of the station that a group of disgruntled WDET staffers went to Wayne State managers a month ago demanding change in the g.m.'s office, but Coleman insists that he left because his job was done... WDET-FM manager's rocky reign comes to end (Tue 12/12)

Christmas has caught up with WJBK-TV, Channel 2's Monica Gayle. That's the reverse of how you'd tend to think of these things, wherein we're all scrambling to catch up with the holidays. But for Gayle, the Fox 2 evening news co-anchor, the Christmas season began when there were still pumpkins on her porch. Along with the discarding of jack-o-lanterns, her Yuletide preparations also have included short-circuits, soap scum, temporarily blinded neighbors and her husband, Dean Grevé, doubled over with back pain while he climbed a ladder for the greater glory of the station... Anchor's Christmas arrives a little early (Tue 12/12)

The Fox Detroit To Raise 10,000 Toys: CLEAR CHANNEL Country WDTW (106.7 THE FOX)/DETROIT is teaming up with SOUTHLAND CENTER to raise 10,000 toys for the MARINE CORPS' TOYS FOR TOTS. They are currently in the middle of a 3-day broadcast that will wrap up tomorrow (12/13) at 6p (ET). All listeners who drop off a toy at the SOUTHLAND CENTER are eligible for a grand prize of $10,000 in cash. (Tue 12/12)

Broadcasting & Cable:

TV station owner Granite Broadcasting (owns WMYD TV 20 Detroit) has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company has been trying to stave off the move for months as it worked to make interest payments on its debt. An interest payment on its $400 million-plus in debt was due Dec. 1. Granite did not make the payment, deciding instead to roll it into the restructuring. Granite spokeswoman Sandy Novotny said that current management would remain in place. She also said that Granite "did not see any problem" in continuing to program its stations and "everyone seems to be content"... Granite Files Chapter 11 (Tue 12/12)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 13, 2006



Detroit Free Press:

Wayne State University said Tuesday that Nabelah Ghareeb, an administrator in the WSU office of business operations, will oversee WDET-FM (101.9) temporarily now that general manager Michael Coleman is gone. Francine Wunder, director of corporate and public affairs for WSU, said she was unsure when Coleman tendered his resignation and she said only that it will be effective Dec. 31. WSU is looking for a veteran radio executive to run the station and report to Ghareeb while the university conducts a national search for Coleman's successor... General manager leaves WDET (Wed 12/13)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 14, 2006



Detroit News:

According to WDIV's Web site, Bernie Smilovitz represents Channel 4's entire sports department. But here's a breaking news alert: The number of women sportscasters on local network television has doubled. Move over Jennifer Hammond, you're no longer the only female sports broadcaster in the Metro Detroit area. Welcome, Katrina Hancock, who started as a WDIV sports anchor/reporter last week. She is the weekend anchor and host of "Sports Final Edition." "This is my dream job. I have been working really hard the last six years to get to this point," said Hancock, a Kansas native who worked in Cheyenne, Wyo.; Topeka, Kan. and, most recently, Toledo... Woman's voice hits Detroit (Thu 12/14)

Radio and Records:

Adult Urban WMXD has a solid trend, moving ahead of the pack in the second fall 12+ ratings numbers. News-Talk WJR, Urban WJLB, News WWJ, and Contemporary Hits WKQI rounded out the top 5 stations among listeners age 12 and above... Fall phase 2 ratings trend (Wed 12/13)

Detroit Free Press:

What to note in this month's Arbitrend radio ratings tote for September, October and November? Clear Channel-owned R&B station WMXD picked up almost a full ratings point among all listeners to solidify its No. 1 position. WJR's arrow also pointed upward, giving the ABC-owned station a firm second position among all listeners... Radio rich get richer in latest Arbitrends (Thu 12/14)

Ann Arbor's 107one Collects Food For Needy:
CLEAR CHANNEL AAA WQKL (ANN ARBOR'S 107one)/ANN ARBOR has broken its own record for the amount of food collected in its "ROCKIN' THE HUNGRY" food drive this season. The station, working with local charity FOOD GATHERERS, and grocery chain BUSCH'S, collected more than 150 tons of food over five days this year for needy families. (Thu 12/14)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 15, 2006



Detroit Free Press:

WDIV-TV (Local 4)said late Thursday Ruth Spencer will anchor its new 4 p.m. weekday newscast starting Jan. 8. Meanwhile, Jeff Vaughn, a familiar news face at WDIV for 7 1/2 years, is homeward bound Jan. 15. He'll go to Kansas City to anchor the morning news at KSHB-TV. Vaughn is a Kansas State grad and will be working about a two-hour drive from his hometown, he said... Spencer to anchor 4 p.m. news (Fri 12/15)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 19, 2006



Detroit Free Press:

Reported: By WNIC-FM (100.3), that it has inked a long-term deal with evening personality Alan Almond. Length and salary terms were not disclosed. Almond's "Pillow Talk" -- a collection of romantic tunes with Almond's commentary and dedications -- has been an evening staple at WNIC for 25 years, although Almond has left the station for periods when management thought something else would work better... Names and Faces (Tue 12/19)

Alexander Zonjic and Kirk Whalum headline New Year's Eve party at Seldom Blues

ZonjicJazz flutist Alexander Zonjic and saxophonist Kirk Whalum will hit the right notes at a musical New Year's Eve bash at Detroit's premier jazz supper club Seldom Blues.

Zonjic and Whalum, who are constant performers on the smooth jazz scene, have collaborated on CD recordings and many live performances over the last few years. Both were discovered by smooth jazz pioneer Bob James and also share a musical chemistry that plays itself out on the stage to the delight of audiences.

Seldom Blues is the setting for the Dec. 31 party which overlooks the Detroit River. Along with a main course of music, the award-winning restaurant will serve up a special menu featuring twin Australian lobster tails, Porterhouse steaks and ending with Baked Alaska and Crème Brulee. The $450 price per couple includes a four-course dinner, an open bar, and breakfast.

Zonjic, who is part owner of the jazz supper club, is also its entertainment director and a regular performer at the venue that bears the same name as his latest CD. He is also the host of a popular morning radio show on Smooth Jazz V98.7 WVMV-FM.

Reservations are essential for the evening. Call Seldom Blues at 313-567-7301. The restaurant is located at 400 Renaissance Center in the General Motors international headquarters. It is on the main floor near the Marriott Hotel. Valet parking is available.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 20, 2006



WRCJ names new afternoon drive host

WRCJClassical/Jazz WRCJ FM 90.9 has named Carmen Garcia as its new weekday afternoon host, effective Tuesday, December 26th. She may be familiar to some Detroit-area listeners as an air personality on the former WJZZ FM 105.9. Garcia, who has made some recent guest appearances on the classical and jazz station, will follow Dave Wagner (6-10a) and Chris Felcyn (10a-3p).

Detroit News:

A familiar voice on Detroit sports-talk radio was silenced Tuesday when "Big Show" host Art Regner was fired during the latest retooling at WXYT 1270. The "Sports Inferno," hosted by Detroit News sportswriter Terry Foster and Mike Valenti, moves from mid-mornings to the 2-6 p.m. drive-time slot. The "Big Show" will air 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., pairing Scott "Gator" Anderson and Doug Karsch... WXYT fires Regner (Tue 12/19)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 21, 2006



Detroit News:

Audience ratings doubled on Tigers telecasts during their 2006 surprise season that saw baseball's regular whipping boys ride into the World Series. And on WXYT 1270, ratings jumped dramatically. The question is whether success on the field -- and on the airwaves -- will factor into additional telecasts or in radio broadcasts. The answer four days before Christmas: Maybe. "We're working on it," said Duane McLean, senior vice president for business operations for the Tigers. "It's too early to tell"... Who'll carry call? It's up in the air (Thu 12/21)

As we all know, Santa keeps track of who's naughty and nice. The same goes for the world of sports, which has kept Santa busy this year. The results are in. The nice list … Ann Arbor's Mike Tirico, for keeping up a maniacal pace and skillfully broadcasting seemingly everything ... Tigers radio broadcaster Dan Dickerson, for achieving a lifelong dream. He's a native Metro Detroiter who grew up a Tigers fan ... The naughty list … WXYT 1270, for changing its lineup faster than Paris Hilton goes through boy toys. It's difficult to build listener loyalty if people don't know what's on the air... Tirico, Dickerson were nice in '06 (Thu 12/21)

Radio & Records:

Jason Alexander, a.k.a. Jason Dusho, died Dec. 19. Alexander was the creative director for WJLB/Detroit and did imaging work for a number of other stations nationally. There was no word yet on the cause of his death, but friends close to him told ST he had entered the hospital with a sinus infection... Street Talk (Wed 12/20)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 26, 2006



Greater Media/Detroit names Williams Director of Interactive Marketing

Greater Media, Inc. has announced that Jennifer Williams has been promoted to Interactive Marketing Director of Greater Media's Detroit-based radio properties. Williams has been the Marketing Director for WCSX-FM for the past 10 years. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the interactive sales and database marketing efforts for the WCSX-FM, WRIF-FM and WMGC-FM.

“Jennifer will be able to help us take our Detroit based radio stations to the next level in the area of new media. We are thrilled to have her on our team,” said John Long, Director of Sales for Greater Media's Detroit-based properties.

Fig Adds Duties At WDVD: Following the exit of ABC RADIO Hot AC WDVD/DETROIT Production vet CHRIS CONN, late night personality FIG moves into interim position of Production/Imaging Director. (Tue 12/26)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 28, 2006



Detroit News:

There's something about a new year that inevitably leads to resolution making. Starting things fresh and clean, with a new sense of purpose, somehow makes us feel more evolved. Some promises are kept, but many more are broken within the month of January alone. Call me optimistic, but I think a few resolutions and some determination to be open to change could actually make things better for everybody in the sports world... Let's clean up the airwaves (Thu 12/28)

Monroe News:

Look for some major shake-ups in Detroit sports radio in the new year. Art Regner, one of the signature voices at all-sports-talk WXYT, was fired last week in a cost-cutting move. The man whose rants are legendary was the best thing going for the station, but the size of his contract made him the most expendable. Regner was one of the original talkers when all-sports radio began in Detroit at WDFN 12 1/2 years ago. WDFN (1130-AM) and WXYT (1270-AM) are still limping along, leaving us to wonder how much longer the Detroit market can support two sports talkers... Detroit sports radio changing (Wed 12/27)

TalkRadio 1600 WAAM-A Taps Priebe As OM: BIG D Talker WAAM-A (TALKRADIO 1600)/ANN ARBOR, MI Production/Imaging Dir. DREW PRIEBE has been named OM. He will oversee the day-to-day operations of the radio station, including on-air programming, production, and consulting with the news and sales departments. Drew will also continue as the Producer of WAAM's "LUCY ANN LANCE In The Morning." (Thu 12/28)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 29, 2006



Big changes coming to FM 97.1

WKRKTalk WKRK-FM will be starting 2007 with some big changes to its on-air lineup. Rob Parker and Mark Wilson, 'Parker and the Man' have been released from their 7-11pm show, fueling speculation that FM 97.1 will soon be the home of play-by-play coverage for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, perhaps as soon as the Red Wings game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday evening (Dec 31, 7pm).

Both the Wings and Tigers have been heard on sports WXYT AM 1270 for the past several years but that agreement will expire with the end of the current Red Wings season. Discussions on a new agreement for the broadcasts have been underway for several months and part of those discussions likely dealt with numerous complaints from fans that WXYT's nighttime signal was subject to interference and fading in many parts of the metro Detroit area. Moving or adding the games to FM 97.1 would address those concerns.

At least one other personality change at WKRK has been confirmed as Michelle McKormick has been released from her role as co-host of Motor City Middays, which had been running from 9 AM - 3 PM weekdays. There is no official word on the fate of Jay Towers, the show's other co-host, but there is speculation that Towers will remain with CBS Radio in Detroit but transition to another station in the group.

CBS Radio management has not yet commented on the changes at WKRK-FM, fueling much speculation on Internet message boards about a possible change in the station's overall format and on the status of the station's highest rated show, afternoon drive's Deminski and Doyle along with the syndicated Opie and Anthony program heard during morning drive.

Detroit News:

The Detroit sports talk radio firing season continues. WKRK 97.1 fired Rob Parker and Mark Wilson Thursday, marking the immediate end of the duo's seven-year run on the station. This move could signal WKRK's intent to make a run for the broadcast rights to air the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings. The Tigers contract with WXYT 1270, a sister station of WKRK also owned by CBS Broadcasting, expired at the end of the season. The Red Wings contract, also with WXYT, expires at the end of the season. The two teams are owned by Mike Illitch and the radio contract will be a package deal with one station. The station currently broadcasts Detroit Lions games... 'Parker and the Man' is canceled (Fri 12/29)

Detroit Free Press:

WKRK-FM (97.1) could be ready to simulcast Red Wings and Tigers broadcasts. WDIV-TV Local 4 reported Thursday that WKRK -- which handles Lions games -- had parted ways with weeknight sports talkers Mark Wilson and Rob Parker to make room for the broadcasts beginning with the Wings' New Year's Eve game. The Channel 4 report would indicate that CBS Radio, WKRK's parent, had maintained rights to Tigers games... WKRK clears way for pro teams (Fri 12/29)

Michelle McKormick is apparently the latest voice to exit CBS-owned WKRK-FM (97.1). The dismissal of Jay Towers' midday talk cohost was first reported on the website of former WKRK voice Gregg Henson, now a Philadelphia radio personality. Station GM Kevin Murphy, programmer Craig Schwab and CBS Radio corporate spokesmen did not respond to inquiries... McKormick joins the ousters at WKRK, WXYT (Fri 12/29)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Metro Detroit category from December 2006.

Metro Detroit: November 2006 is the previous archive.

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