It happened again Wednesday night. The Tigers were locked in a close one with the Yankees. ... My General Electric Super Radio was tuned to 730 (WVFN-AM). ... The Tigers put the potential tying run on base. ... Pudge at the plate, ... the wind-up and the pitch ... Suddenly Barry Manilow's voice was seeping into Dan Dickerson's play-by-play, getting louder and louder - "Oh, Mandy, you came and you gave without taking ..." Dan was quickly losing ground. Soon, it was all Barry and no Dan - "well, you kissed me and stopped me from shaking ..." Signal fade spoiling Tigers radio broadcasts (Sat 9/2)
Mid-Michigan: September 2006 Archives
The fall TV season is upon us. In addition to the new shows and season premieres offered by the major networks, local stations use the occasion to tweak their daytime and late-night lineups with syndicated shows and reruns. Long-term contracts being the norm these days, there aren't many major changes afoot, but there are some noticeable tweaks... Prime-time programming not the only time frame changed (Fri 9/1)
It's been a long while since mid-Michigan viewers watched weather forecasts made "better looking" because a woman was delivering them. Decades of Saginaw Valley newswomen are applauding CBS news anchor Katie Couric as she makes broadcast history today as the first solo female anchor on a major network's prime-time newscast. Watching from the inside track, they also bring an interesting perspective... Saginaw Valley's TV news groundbreakers await history (Tue 9/5)
A new face joins the early morning team Monday at Channel 5, WNEM -- meteorologist Mike Cameron. Jocelyn Connell, who has filled Mike Redford's slot on Weekday Wakeup, also officially joins the crew, which includes Erica Donerson, Angela Howard, Jay Brandow and Julie Banovic... Forecaster joins WNEM (Sat 9/9)
For WITL 100.7 morning show hosts "Banana" Don Jefferson and Stephanie McCoy, it's all about NASCAR, deer hunting, and garage sales. And that is just fine with them. "We don't want to stir the pot," McCoy said from the WITL-WMMQ "White House" studios off Pine Tree Road in Lansing. "We're fairly stable," Jefferson said. "That's the whole thing: Just be stable. People wake up and they know what we're going to do. We just try to do the best we can." The two have been on air together since January 2002, making for one of the oldest on-air duos in the local radio market... WITL morning show duo just try to be themselves (Sun 9/10)
Soon-to-be CW affiliate WBSF Channel 46 Bay City fired up its new transmitter earlier this week, just in time for the debut of the new CW network on Monday. WBSF will likely be the last new full-power analog television station to ever sign on in Michigan - and one of the last in the USA with the coming conversion to digital broadcasting for TV.
WWCK PD Exits: BRIAN "FIG" FIGULA exits the PD post of CUMULUS Top 40 WWCK/FLINT. No replacement has been announced. (Mon9/11)
MacDonald Broadcasting Names Mike Scot OM: MACDONALD BROADCASTING/LANSING/SAGINAW, MI names KCDU (CD 101.7 THE BEACH)/MONTEREY, CA PD MIKE SCOT for OM duties covering Country WKCQ, Adult Variety WMJO, and AC WSAM. MIKE starts on MONDAY (9/25). (Tue 9/12)
Just Bob Named WWCK APD/MD: CUMULUS Top 40 WWCK/FLINT night slammer JUST BOB has been promoted to APD/MD, effective 9/16. In an exclusive interview, JUST BOB reacted with a hearty "Boo Yah!" (Thu 9/14)
The testosterone level just shot up at sports talk WTRX-AM (1330). The infamous and hugely popular "The Opie & Anthony Show" is on the air. It began in the 6-9 a.m. Wednesday. It replaces "The Big Show," a good move since that Michigan-oriented program wasn't very interesting and didn't really fit the format well. "O&A," known for outrageous stunts and taste-challenging comedy, should go over well on a station that caters to that beer-swilling, babe-loving, stat-obsessed male demo (of which I am occasionally a part)... National 'Opie & Anthony Show' joins WTRX lineup (Fri 9/15)
Lansing's Mid-Michigan Radio Group has seen the departure of two mainstay employees in the last month, sparking discussion about the future directions of two of the group's four stations.
WJXQ-FM (Q106) PD Bob Olson exited last month, after 16 years with the station. Olson, at one point, held the position of operations manager for all stations in the MMRG Lansing cluster, and was well-known by Q106 listeners as the midday personality. According to an aritcle in the Lansing State Journal, the parting was mutually amicable, and may have had something to do with disagreements over the programming direction of Q106, which has been a well-performing (sometimes dominant) Album Rocker since its debut in the Lansing market in March 1981. In addition to his PD/on-air duties at WJXQ, Olson also lent (and continues to lend) his voice talent to local production.
On the other side of the building, WVIC-FM (Classic Hits 94.1) morning co-host Brad Walker has left the station after nearly 10 years at the building on Cedar street. Walker arrived as music director and afternoon personality for Country-formatted Kix-94 (WXIK) in 1997. Prior to that, he held the same position at WITL-AM/FM. During his tenure at MMRG, Walker also served as PD for Kix-94, and later WVIC, and was also the program director for the Hot AC format on then-WKMY (My 92.1). MMRG OM Paul Cashin is reportedly filling in as the interim morning co-host for WVIC. The decision to dismiss Brad Walker was, according to an LSJ article, a cost-cutting move on the part of MMRG.
All of this has sparked discussion on the Michigan broadcasting message boards about the future directions of both stations. Some listeners have already noticed a difference in the sound of WJXQ, moving away from an Active Rock direction, and more toward Mainstream Album Rock. In any event, the recent departures of both Olson and Walker demonstrate how radio in general tends to operate differently than more traditional businesses. In many job arenas, it can be said that, the longer you've been with any given company, the more security you have, but in this business, the opposite tends to be true more often than not, especially when it comes to on-air talent. We've seen a lot of air talent changing stations and/or companies in the last year - most of whom had been in their positions for a considerable amount of time. It shows that radio, by its very nature, is probably not the business to get into if you're looking for the gold watch and the full pension at the end of the road.
Dave "Mad Dog" DeMarco will have his own local radio show again, after a half-year pause. "I am absolutely tickled," he said. Working for Citadel Broadcasting stations, DeMarco has:
- A special from 2-5 p.m. this Saturday on WJIM-AM (1240). That will be from the Forest Akers clubhouse, as part of the prolonged preview to the Michigan State-Notre Dame football game.
- The debut of his show Monday. That will be 6-9 a.m. weekdays on WVFN (730-AM)... 'Mad Dog' returning to local radio (Wed 9/20)
Brad Walker is out of local radio, for the first time in almost a decade. Walker, 36, was still co-host of the WVIC (94.1-FM) morning show Wednesday. Then he was told he was being dropped. "It was a cost-cutting move," Walker said. "It's not like I stole something." Paul Cashin, the operations director at the Mid-Michigan Radio Group, then filled Walker's morning spot, alongside Mary Turner on WVIC. He was not immediately available for comment... Brad Walker fired from WVIC (Fri 9/22)
After a successful effort to bring old-fashioned programming back to the local airwaves, a Central Michigan University graduate student is preparing to launch the second season of his radio drama show.
Under the direction of Lucus Keppel of West Bloomfield, the fall 2006 season of "Central Audio Theatre" will premiere at 9 p.m. Sept. 28 on WMHW Modern Rock 91.5, CMU's student-run radio station. For those outside of the Mount Pleasant area, WMHW offers an online broadcast at www.bca.cmich.edu/wmhw. A podcast of each episode will be available for download at feeds.feedburner.com/centralaudio.
The 36-member cast of "Central Audio Theatre" includes CMU students, faculty and staff members, as well as local community members. The schedule includes:
* Directed by Keppel, "Molly Mevster: The Alchemist Murders" by broadcast and cinematic arts faculty member Will Anderson will air Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. It tells the story of a young university chemistry professor who must deal with a difficult dean, students who don't understand why Kitchen Chemistry is important, and the rising price of gasoline and oil.
* Directed by junior LeAnne Walker of Sandusky, Mich., "Tribulations" by Joel Pierson will air Oct. 12 and 19. In this mystery, a man is arrested for burning down a church and proclaims his innocence despite being the only possible arsonist. His case becomes stranger when he claims that the devil set fire to the church.
* Directed by sophomore Benjamin Ruetenik of Lansing, "Havencroft's Secret" by Michael Giorgio will air Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. The play, a science-fiction mystery, focuses on Havencroft, a town where the friendly citizens welcome people but never let them leave.
* Directed by senior Christopher Powell of Brighton, "Easy Terms" by Joel Pierson will air Nov. 9 and 16. In this thriller, a young woman struggles with her telemarketing job; she dislikes annoying people with her calls, but she enjoys her coworkers too much to leave. Things change when she makes one last call to a man who won't let her read her script and instead forces her to act as a person.
* Directed by Keppel, "Murder and Mistletoe" by Juliet Youngren will air Dec. 7 and 14. Combining murder, mystery, comedy and romance, this play features a newlywed couple visiting one spouse's parents. When the mother is found dead, the inheritance depends on exactly when the couple was married - and multiple wills are found.
For more information about Central Audio Theatre, visit its Web site at digielfproductions.com/AT.
WRCL Says Hello, Goodbye: REGENT Top 40/Rhythmic WRCL/FLINT welcomes KELVIN WASHINGTON for middays and Promotions Director duties. PD NATHAN REED moves to afternoons. Meanwhile, night slammer CHRIS CRUISE leaves for a new gig, which means the hunt for a replacement is on. (Mon 9/18)
Rick Walker Exits WKCQ: MACDONALD BROADCASTING Country WKCQ/SAGINAW OM/afternooner RICK WALKER has exited after six and a half years. As ALL ACCESS reported previously, MIKE SCOT has been tapped as new OM, coming from KDCU (CD 101.7)/MONTEREY. He'll be starting this MONDAY (9/25). Aside from WKCQ, the MACDONALD/SAGINAW cluster includes Adult Variety WMJO and AC WSAM. (Fri 9/22)
The Flint Generals aren't back on the airwaves just yet. But it won't be long before fans of the United Hockey League team will again be able to listen to Generals games on the radio and Internet. After failing to broadcast their games last season for the first time in team history, the Generals have reached an agreement with WWCK (1570-AM) to air nearly all road games. The road games will also be simulcast on the Internet, where all home games will be broadcast... Gens arrange deal to broadcast games (Thu 9/21)
Vegas In Michigan: MID-MICHIGAN Active Rocker WJXQ/LANSING, MI brings in SHERRY VEGAS as new PD. (Fri 9/29)
A Central Michigan University tradition continues this fall with the induction of the CMU Journalism Hall of Fame's Class of 2006, and tickets for the celebration are now available.
Tickets for the Nov. 4 event at The Embers, 1217 S. Mission St. in Mount Pleasant, cost $50 apiece or $450 for a 10-person table and can be ordered by calling 989-774-3213. Deadline for purchase is Oct. 25.
Individuals to be inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame are:
* The late Norris Ingells was a longtime Lansing State Journal reporter, photographer and columnist. Ingells, a 1955 CMU graduate, worked at the State Journal for 41 years following a six-year stint as editor of the Mount Pleasant Daily Times-News. Throughout his career, Ingells was perhaps best known for his nature photography. He died in December 2005 at age 72.
* Sarah Opperman of Midland is the business public affairs vice president for The Dow Chemical Co. A 1981 CMU graduate, Opperman has held a number of communications and public affairs positions at Dow during her 25-year career. She also has received the company's Genesis Award, the highest honor Dow bestows upon its executives.
* Michael Petrick of Mount Pleasant is a CMU professor emeritus. Petrick taught in the university's journalism department from 1978 to 2000, serving as department chair from 1978 to 1983. He also taught journalism at the University of Maryland in the 1970s and periodically served as a newspaper reporter, editor and writing coach during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
* The late Lem Tucker, a Saginaw native, was a two-time Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist whose career included stints at all three major networks. Tucker, a 1960 CMU graduate, is regarded as a pioneer in the broadcast journalism field. He died in 1991 at age 52. In his memory, CMU's Lem Tucker Journalism Scholarship - a four-year full scholarship - has been awarded to an incoming freshman during each of the last 10 years.
The fifth annual Journalism Hall of Fame induction banquet will begin with a 6 p.m. reception; a 7 p.m. dinner and 8 p.m. induction ceremony will follow.
Established in 2002 by the journalism department and its alumni in cooperation with CMU President Michael Rao and College of Communication and Fine Arts Dean Sue Ann Martin, the CMU Journalism Hall of Fame honors alumni and faculty who have made a difference in the world and shown outstanding dedication to the communities they serve while remaining true to the ethics and expectations modeled at CMU. For more information, including a list of previous inductees, visit the CMU Journalism Hall of Fame Web site at www.ccfa.cmich.edu/jrnhof.
Peace Presbyterian Church in Clayton Township and the local radio stations operated by Cumulus Broadcasting re teaming up today to help the 27 families who lost everything in Monday's fire at the Boulder Creek Apartments. The church, 1521 N. Elms Road, will serve as a collection point for donations until 9 tonight and from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, said The Rev. David Galbraith. The morning show for WWCK-FM (105.5) did a live remote from the church this morning to promote the drive. Other Cumulus Broadcasting stations in Flint are WWCK-AM (1570), WDZZ-FM (92.7) and WRSR-FM (103.9)... Church, radio stations help fire victims (Wed 9/27)
GREAT SCOT: It didn't take Scot Johnson long to land another job on local TV. He replaced Scott Kuhl as sports director at WNEM (Channel 5) last week. He most recently was news co-anchor at WEYI (Channel 25) and was WEYI's sports director for six years ... MASS A-PEEL: In a long overdue move, Banana 101.5 (WWBN-FM) has moved its popular night team Eric and Carson into the afternoon drive slot from 4-8 p.m. Tony LaBrie moves up, Brian Beddow's show loses an hour and Eric and Carson sidekick Garrett Evans get his own show... Local teen part of CW's 'Girlfriends' (Fri 9/29)