Michigan Almanac: November 2006 Archives

Soft rock stations WNIC FM 100.3 Detroit and WOOD-FM 105.7 Grand Rapids have launched their full-time Christmas music formats in what has become an annual early-November tradition. Both WNIC and WOOD-FM are owned by Clear Channel.


Michael Patrick Shiels will originate morning show from Israel

The Michigan Talk Network's “Big Show…with Michael Patrick Shiels,” will broadcast live from Israel November 13 through 17. The daily statewide morning news-talk show, airing weekdays from 6-10 am, originates on WJIM AM 1240 in Lansing and is heard via-satellite on 9 other radio stations across Michigan.

“Israel is obviously at the geopolitical crossroads of the Middle East. It is the ‘Promised Land' to the Jews and where the faithful believe Christ was born and the Prophet Mohamed ascended to heaven,” said Shiels, host of the show and an accomplished travel journalist who has visited 32 countries. “As Michigan prepares for the holiday seasons of Christmas and Passover, we feel the Holy Land is an appropriate place to explore and investigate – a strategically, politically, culturally, and economically sensitive area.”

The morning radio shows will originate from Jerusalem and Haifa, near Israel's northern border with Lebanon. Shiels will interview elected officials, tourism ministers, international journalists, government affairs experts, cultural figures, religious leaders and Richard H. Jones, the United States Ambassador to Israel.

Israel is the meeting place of three continents and two seas…located between the Mediterranean and the deserts of Syria and Arabia, with the mountains of Lebanon to the north and Jordan to the east.

The Michigan Talk Network's Morning Show features interviews with newsmakers, public officials, professional and college athletes and coaches, entertainers and experts of every variety. News anchor Gary Austin and sportscaster Tim Nester, along with Channel WILX-TV 10 meteorologist Darrin Rockcole add their own unique spins and provide the service elements listeners have come to depend on. The Big Show airs from 6-10 a.m. and is heard across the state, including radio stations in Lansing, Kalamazoo, Mount Pleasant, Petoskey, Marquette, Muskegon, Greenville, Hastings, and Ishpeming.



Clear Channel Says Yes To A $26.7 Billion Deal:
The CLEAR CHANNEL BOARD has agreed to a bid of $26.7 billion by private equity firms THOMAS H. LEE PARTNERS and BAIN CAPITAL, including the assumption or repayment of approximately $8.0 billion of net debt. CLEAR CHANNEL will still be run on a day-to-day basis by Chairman LOWRY MAYS, CEO MARK MAYS, and President/CFO RANDALL MAYS.

The bid values CLEAR CHANNEL, which has about 1,150 radio stations, at $37.60 a share, representing a premium of approximately 25% over CLEAR CHANNEL's average closing share price of $29.99 during the 30 trading days ended OCTOBER 24, 2006, the day before CLEAR CHANNEL first acknowledged that it was evaluating strategic alternatives.

CLEAR CHANNEL retains the right to solicit other offers until DECEMBER 7 and negotiate with other bidders until JANUARY 5, which leaves the door cracked open for further bids.

Radio Outside Of Top 100 Markets And TV Group To Be Sold

Additionally, CLEAR CHANNEL has announced plans to sell 448 of its 1,150 radio stations, all located outside the Top 100 ARBITRON markets -- 90 markets are affected -- as well as the company's 42-station TV group. Collectively, these properties contributed less than 10% of the company's revenues last year.

ALL ACCESS hears that a few of the markets may already be spoken for, with rumors swirling that MARATHON MEDIA has dibs on CC's NORTH DAKOTA, MONTANA, WYOMING, and IDAHO (except BOISE) properties and WEST VIRGINIA RADIO CORP. is lined up to buy CC's WEST VIRGINIA stations.

CLEAR CHANNEL CEO MARK MAYS said, "We are very pleased to announce this transaction which provides substantial value to our shareholders. We look forward to working with THOMAS H. LEE PARTNERS and BAIN CAPITAL PARTNERS to continue our business plan to provide exceptional programming to our audiences and value to our advertising partners."

Regarding the divestiture of radio and TV properties, MAYS added, "Our decision to divest these broadcast properties was reached as a result of the ongoing optimization of our diverse portfolio of media assets. These are profitable and well-managed properties in excellent markets. We believe that the sale of these stations will allow us to position our business to provide even greater value to our listeners and shareholders."

THOMAS H. LEE PARTNERS Co-Pres. SCOTT SPERLING stated, "CLEAR CHANNEL is one of the nation's truly great companies that has the finest collection of outdoor and radio assets in the industry. We are extremely pleased to be partnered with the management team led by MARK and RANDALL MAYS and to have the opportunity to work with them and to grow this company that was created by its Chairman and founder, L. LOWRY MAYS. CLEAR CHANNEL has tremendous long term growth opportunities in both the radio and outdoor businesses and we look forward to partnering with MARK and RANDALL to create value in the years ahead.”

BAIN CAPITAL Managing Dir. JOHN CONNAUGHTON added, "We are very impressed with CLEAR CHANNEL's strong management team and the company's leadership positions in a variety of markets and media formats. CLEAR CHANNEL is an exceptional media franchise that is well-positioned to grow thanks to the solid foundation the MAYS family has created. We look forward to partnering with CLEAR CHANNEL as it continues to innovate in meeting the changing needs of the audiences and advertisers it serves."

Clear Channel Michigan markets to be sold:

Ann Arbor
Battle Creek

No buyers have been announced for the stations in these markets.

Clear Channel to go private; CMU broadcasting professor not surprised

Central Michigan University School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts faculty member Heather Polinsky, an expert in media economics and policy, is available to discuss Clear Channel's decision to become a private company by selling to Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and the Clear Channel-founding Mays family.

A few of Polinsky's initial thoughts on the subject:

* "The Mays family, founder of Clear Channel, has not made any secret of wanting to take Clear Channel private, so this sale is not a surprise."

* "The most profitable enterprise of Clear Channel has been and continues to be its outdoor advertising. Clear Channel acquired its radio station holdings very quickly after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and was never able to turn a huge profit with its radio station holdings. Clear Channel was famous for buying several stations in a market and streamlining the stations' personnel and equipment to the bare minimum."

* "Clear Channel found that radio programming is not done well on the cheap, so it is no surprise that it is selling off its medium to smaller market stations. Larger-market radio stations tend to do better because these markets have a larger number of advertisers to support a larger number of media outlets."

* "It will be interesting to see what happens to Clear Channel's radio networks. Its Premiere Radio Network has some of the bigger names in talk radio. And its music networks serve a significant number of automated stations across the country in small to large markets. These may continue to turn a profit for Clear Channel."

Polinsky is an expert on audio recording technology and the convergence of computers and broadcasting. She assists with WMHW-FM, the CMU student radio station, and teaches basic and advanced audio courses. Polinsky's research interests include media economics, media policy and new media technologies.


Michigan coach Bo Schembechler dies at 77



Bo SchembechlerLegendary football coach Bo Schembechler passed away Friday morning (Nov. 17) at Detroit Providence Hospital at the age of 77.

As the winningest head coach in Michigan football history, Bo Schembechler's teams won or tied for an impressive 13 Big Ten championships during his 21-year tenure. Under Schembechler's guidance, Michigan's 96-10-3 regular season record through the decade of the 1970s was the nation's best. He guided 17 teams to postseason bowl games – including 10 Rose Bowls – and another 17 to top 10 finishes in the final wire service polls (AP and/or UPI).

In his 27 years of coaching, Schembechler's teams never had a losing season. Upon stepping down after the 1989 season, Bo retired as the winningest active coach in the nation (234-65-8) and fifth on the all-time list, behind only coaching legends Paul ‘Bear' Bryant, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Glen ‘Pop' Warner and Woody Hayes. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Schembechler served as Michigan's Director of Athletics between 1988-90, and is a past president of the American Football Coaches Association.

Schembechler was a prep all-state player at Barberton (Ohio) High School. He continued his football career at Miami of Ohio where he was an offensive tackle for three seasons, playing under George Blackburn and Woody Hayes. Schembechler was also a lefthander on the Miami baseball team.

He graduated in 1951 and received a master's degree in 1952 at Ohio State where he served as a graduate assistant coach. After serving in the U.S. Army, Schembechler was a line coach at Presbyterian College in 1954, a line coach at Bowling Green in 1955, and then joined Ara Parseghian's staff at Northwestern in 1958 before serving as an assistant at Ohio State. He was appointed head football coach at Miami of Ohio in 1963, a position he held until taking over the Michigan program prior to the 1969 campaign.

MichiganStatements from University of Michigan Officials

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman
"This is a tremendous shock and an irreplaceable loss for the University of Michigan family. Bo Schembechler embodied all that is best about Michigan – loyalty, dedication and the drive for ever-greater excellence. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him, a number as great as the Michigan community in every corner of the world.

"This university's deep tradition is our immense pride and our common ground. No one represented Michigan tradition better than Bo," President Coleman continued. "Bo was the icon of Michigan football. But he was connected with this university far beyond athletics. We watched with pride as he received an honorary degree. We watched with gratitude as he extended his considerable talents to the University of Michigan cancer center and so many other worthwhile programs. And even this semester we watched with a smile as he enjoyed becoming a student again in the Ford School of Public Policy.

"Bo had an unmistakable twinkle in his eye, and I will miss that spirit and so much more. I am grateful for this remarkable man and all his contributions that make Michigan Michigan."

University of Michigan Athletics Director Bill Martin
"This is a profoundly sad day for Michigan athletics, for the University of Michigan, and for all of college football. I find it difficult to express what Bo has meant to this program for close to 40 years. He was a giant of a coach and giant of a man. His life touched generations of players, families, staff, students and alumni. His energy fueled not only athletic success but the incredible pride of all Michigan fans. His impact was immeasurable. On behalf of the athletic department, I express our deep sadness at his loss, and extend our sympathies to his wife Cathy and their sons."

Football Legend Bo Schembechler Passes Away, University of Michigan Athletic Department

U-M mourns death of Bo Schembechler, University of Michigan

• • • •

Schembechler dead at 77, Ann Arbor News

• • • •

Legendary Michigan coach Schembechler dies, Detroit News

• • • •

Bo Schembechler, 77, dies, Detroit Free Press

• • • •

Schembechler collapses, dies at 77, ESPN.com

• • • •

In remembrance of University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, Channel 7 will broadcast special reports Friday evening and Saturday morning. A special program, following 7 Action News, will honor Bo's legacy Friday night. Then Saturday at 10 a.m., Channel 7 will present a 2-hour special program celebrating the life and times of the legendary U of M coach... Channel 7 to Remember Bo with Special Programming, Bo Schembechler has Died, WXYZ-TV


2006 Broadcast Excellence Awards



MABThe 2006 Broadcast Excellence Awards recognize outstanding achievement in broadcasting by Michigan radio and television stations. The competition is open to all FCC licensed commercial, public stations, and statewide broadcasting networks in Michigan, and is presented by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and sponsored by Verizon. The competition is established to encourage the highest standards of reporting, community service and production creativity. It brings the ultimate prize -- peer recognition -- to members of the broadcast industry of Michigan.

The 2006 Broadcast Excellence Awards deadline is January 11, 2007 at 4:00pm. Visit the MAB web site at www.michmab.com/awards/awards_be.html to find out more information about the awards and to enter.


With a network of over-the-air and cable television stations and radio stations, the Detroit Pistons are ensuring their fans throughout the state of Michigan and in northwest Ohio will be able to enjoy the 2006-07 season from the comfort of their homes or while traveling. The team has agreements with five out-state and N.E. Ohio television stations and 16 radio stations, which will reach the majority of its fans.

In addition, Fox Sports Net (FSN) Detroit is carrying 31 remaining regular season games. It is picked up by nearly every cable system in Michigan. My TV-20 is televising 27 upcoming regular season games and WDIV-TV 4 is airing six selected weekend Pistons match-ups. The remaining 11 contests will be aired nationally on TNT cable or ABC-TV. For those who can't tune in for the live broadcasts, My TV-20 will replay their game broadcasts at midnight and 3 a.m., and WDIV-TV 4 will replay the games played on its station at 1 a.m.

George Blaha enters his 31st season as the voice of the Pistons, and will handle all of the television announcing duties this season on My TV-20, as well as cable provider FSN Detroit. Greg Kelser will join Blaha and provide color commentary, marking his 10th season on FSN Detroit and his first on My TV-20.

The Pistons TV network includes key additions WNEM-TV My-5 in Flint; WMNT-TV My TV-48/58 in Toledo, Ohio; and WWLZ-TV 12 in Traverse City, joining longstanding holdover WXSP My-X in Grand Rapids. Also carrying some games is WHTV My-18 in Lansing.

The Pistons out-state over-the-air broadcast television network will televise all games carried on My TV-20 or WDIV-TV 4 for the 2006-07 season. The network includes:

WXSP-TV - My X (Grand Rapids)
WMNT-TV - My TV 48/58 (Toledo)
WNEM/DT - My 5 TV (Flint)
WLLZ-TV12 (Traverse City)
WHTV/My18 (Lansing) will broadcast 19 games. All of these games are listed on Pistons.com.
(Check your local listings for specific games and times.)

Pistons fans will get to know their team even better during Prime Time Pistons, a 30-minute program being aired on My TV-20 every Saturday night during the season (check your local listings for start times).

“We've got powerful stations in Grand Rapids and Toledo now, and the great thing about WNEM in Flint is their signal runs all the way up to Oscoda and Alpena and beyond,” said Pete Skorich, senior vice president of broadcasting and multimedia for Palace Sports & Entertainment. “We used to get a lot of letters from the Bad Axe-Cass City area in the Thumb. They just weren't covered before. We have a greatly increased reach this year.”

The Pistons' radio network also has broadened its reach, said Glen Kwiatkowski, director of broadcast traffic at Palace Sports and Entertainment. “We have radio affiliates throughout Michigan and into Ohio,” said Kwiatkowski, instrumental in putting the radio network together. “We're proud this year to have added major markets such as Traverse City, Saginaw and Toledo. We're also in the process of negotiating additional markets.”

The Pistons' flagship station, WDFN-AM 1130 will continue to provide game coverage, as well as pre and post-game shows each game night. With Blaha handling all the television duties, play-by-play veteran Mark Champion will handle the call on the radio with former Pistons Bad Boy and current Shock Assistant Coach Rick Mahorn providing color commentary. Radio listeners can also pick up the action on .the following stations throughout the state, five more stations than previously could be picked up during the 2005-06 season:

· Ann Arbor: WTKA AM 1050
· Ann Arbor WLBY AM 1290
· Battle Creek: WBCK AM 930
· Battle Creek: WRCC FM 104.9
· Escanaba: WCHT AM 600
· Flint: WTRX AM 1330
· Grand Rapids: WBBL AM 1340
· Greenville: WSCG AM 1380
· Jackson: WIBM AM 1450
· Kalamazoo: WKZO AM 590
· Maumee, Ohio: WDMN AM 1520
· Muskegon/Fremont: WEFG FM 97.5
· Petoskey: WWKK AM 750
· Port Huron: WPHM AM 1380
· Saginaw: WSGW AM 790
· Traverse City WCCW FM 107.5







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Michigan Almanac category from November 2006.

Michigan Almanac: October 2006 is the previous archive.

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