Mike Austerman: March 2006 Archives

Cincinnati Classical Public Radio has reached two separate agreements that will allow the broadcaster to exit Michigan once these two deals, plus one announced earlier this year, are completed.

In the first deal, Coltrace Communications, owner of Classic Hits WUPS-FM 98.5 Houghton Lake, will be purchasing WVXH-FM 92.1 Harrison for $200,000. The second deal will see WVXM-FM 97.7 Manistee move to Synergy Media, owner of Classic Rock WWKR-FM 94.1 Pentwater, for $380,000. Both transactions are subject to FCC approvals and closing and both stations will be converted to commercial status. Cincinnati takes away a total of $991,000 from the sales of its three Michigan stations (WVXH, WVXM, and WVXA-FM 96.7 Rogers City).


Ann Arbor News:

WUOMThe University of Michigan Department of Public Safety confirmed Thursday that an investigation into operations at the university's public radio and television service is under way. DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said she could not disclose the nature of the investigation or what role it might have played in the resignation Wednesday of the director of Michigan Public Media, the umbrella organization that covers WUOM, 91.7, affiliated radio stations in Flint and Grand Rapids, Michigan Television and the Michigan Channel, which carries U-M programming on the local cable system. "DPS is conducting a criminal investigation into the operations at the radio station, but I can't comment any further at this time," Brown said... WUOM facing criminal probe (Fri 3/3)

The free-speech rights of controversial Ann Arbor radio personality Thayrone were violated when he was fired in April 2003 by WEMU, a state Court of Appeals panel has ruled. "The Bone Conduction Music Show'' - which aired on WEMU (89.1 FM), the public radio station at Eastern Michigan University, for 17 years - left the station under disputed circumstances. Thayrone, whose legal name is Theron Ethan Hughes III, said the program was canceled because he voiced support for President Bush and the war in Iraq on his show. The station said the show was axed due to Hughes' refusal to run National Public Radio news updates. The 15-page decision, dated Feb. 28 and including excerpts from the broadcast in question, came on a 2-1 vote by a panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Judges David H. Sawyer and Stephen J. Borrello wrote that WEMU violated Hughes' rights because existing laws clearly establish "that a public employer could not terminate an employee based on the employee's exercise of his First Amendment right to speak regarding matters of public concern"... Thayrone's rights violated, court says (Thu 3/2)

Donovan Reynolds, coordinator of the University of Michigan's public radio and television services, has resigned effective Wednesday. Reynolds was director of Michigan Public Media, the umbrella organization that covers WUOM, 91.7-FM; affiliated radio stations in Flint and Grand Rapids; Michigan Television, the public-TV channel that broadcasts as WFUM from Flint; and the Michigan Channel, which carries U-M programming on the local Comcast cable system. The news was confirmed by Julie Peterson, U-M spokeswoman, who offered no explanation for his departure. Reynolds did not respond to messages left on his home answering machine Wednesday... Public radio's Reynolds quits (Thu 3/2)

WRIF presents “Riff Rock Girl” search

WRIFThe “WRIF Rock Girl” search officially commences Saturday, March 4th at 3pm as hopeful candidates will converge at Gameworks inside Great Lakes Crossing. WRIF on-air personalities Doug Podell, Scott Randall and Anne Carlini will personally interview the women to find out why they consider themselves to be a good candidate for The WRIF Rock Girl. Those interested in participating must attend one of the casting calls to be considered. Bring a photo and bio / resume.

Tomorrow's is the first in a series of three casting calls. The others will be held at Andiamo / Second City in Novi on March 13 from 6p-10p and Oakland Mall on March 18 from 10a-2p. After the three casting calls, 32 women will be selected to go on to the semifinals where WRIF listeners will vote for their favorite contestants online at www.wrif.com. At the end of the contest, one lucky woman will have the opportunity to represent WRIF for one year. As the WRIF ambassador, she'll attend concerts, VIP parties and events. She'll also receive a $30,000 salary, an ad in Stuff Magazine, a 1-year lease on a new car and she'll star in a WRIF commercial. The contest is open to Michigan residents 21 years of age and older- for official contest rules log on to www.wrif.com.


WJRThe Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) and News/Talk 760 WJR have teamed up to develop a new radio program that celebrates the auto industry and the individuals working to keep it successful. The one hour show, named "In the Driver's Seat," will be heard at 6 p.m. Sundays beginning March 5, 2006. The announcement was made today by WJR President & General Manager Mike Fezzey. Each show will feature three segments: automotive retailing/auto dealer community; manufacturers and Tier One suppliers; and auto shows and events. Hosted by industry veterans Rod Alberts and Joe Rohatynski, the first show will be recorded and produced today at the 76th Annual Geneva Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland... News/Talk 760 WJR Launches Weekly Auto Industry Radio Talk Show (Thu 3/2)

Detroit Free Press:

"Fred Thompson ... goooooooood day!" That's the way it's looking at ABC Radio. The network -- WJR-AM (760) is the Detroit purveyor -- has signed the actor and former U.S. senator as special program host and senior analyst. The Republican from Tennessee is perhaps best known for his role as District Attorney Arthur Branch on television's "Law & Order." He will be based at ABC Radio's Washington, D.C., bureau... Fred Thompson will back up Harvey (Tue 2/28)

Soft rocker WNIC ended up on top of the Detroit radio heap in Tuesday's Arbitrend ratings report for November, December and January. Why? The residual effect of playing all holiday music during November and December will last for another month in the drop-the-oldest-month counting practice... Echos of the holiday make WNIC No. 1, Arbitron radio ratings (Wed 3/1)

Here, by key time period, are Detroit results from Nielsen Media Research's February period, which ended Wednesday. It's one of four months when ratings are used to set ad rates... Nielsen February TV ratings (Fri 3/2)

Detroit News:

Like jilted lovers throwing each other's clothes out the window, CBS Radio (formerly Infinity) and Howard Stern have taken the gloves off and are openly brawling over his departure from free, "terrestrial" radio to Sirius Satellite Radio earlier this year. On Tuesday, CBS filed suit against Stern, his company One Twelve Inc., his agent Don Buchwald, his agent's firm and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. for "multiple breaches of contract, misappropriation and unjust enrichment," in a 43-page complaint. CBS charges, among other things, that while under contract to CBS, Stern concealed the fact that he would benefit financially if certain Sirius subscriber targets were met, while he promoted the satellite company on the air... CBS sues Stern and company over Sirius deal (Wed 3/1)

XMSome readers have e-mailed that they're anxiously awaiting Bob Dylan's much-ballyhooed debut as a radio host on XM Satellite Radio . But they'll have to wait a bit longer now. The show is still happening, but instead of premiering in March, Dylan will now be making his radio debut presenting a weekly one-hour show on XM channel 40 starting in May ... The sad news of the Detroit church shootings on Sunday prompted Mildred Gaddis , host of "Inside Detroit" on WCHB-AM (1200), to raise $30,000 from her listeners on behalf of Victoria Davis , who was widowed when her husband, Alarie Davis, was shot and killed while trying to help his wife from being carjacked by a gunman... Bob Dylan postpones his debut on XM Satellite Radio to May (Thu 3/2)

Flint Journal:

I have joined the satellite radio revolution. This comes as no small surprise to my friends, who laugh at my refusal to own a cellphone. I didn't do it because of Howard Stern's jump to Sirius Satellite Radio in January, though the King of All Media's departure from old-fashioned analog, or terrestrial, radio after 20 years certainly gave satellite a boost... Sounds from the sky (Thu 3/2)

WDET introduces on-demand streaming of popular music programs

WDETWDET-FM 101.9, Detroit Public Radio, has announced that on-demand streaming of its popular music programs is now available at its website, www.wdetfm.org. This new feature allows listeners to hear WDET's music programs at their convenience and means they never have to miss one of their favorite shows. The service archives all music programs from the previous seven days, which makes the previous five programs of weekday music hosts Ed Love and Liz Copeland available on-line in addition to the previous programs of weekend hosts like Matt Watroba, Larry McDaniel, Chuck Horn, Robert Jones, Ralph Valdez and others. WDET believed the benefits of this service to its listeners was well worth the financial investment in new technology necessary to make it a reality.

"We're extremely proud of the outstanding music programs produced at
WDET, and by making them available on-demand, more people will have the opportunity to hear them," said Allen Mazurek, WDET Program Director. "This new feature is another step in expanding our service to listeners."

Whether listeners want jazz during the day, electronica at lunchtime,
or bluegrass on a Monday morning, they can decide what to listen to at the time of their choice. All of WDET's music programs are now available on-demand along with WDET local news features and NPR news, at the station's website.


Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, March 5, 2006

By: Mike Austerman

On The Radio

That huge whining sound you heard out of New York City this week was from the top brass at CBS Radio. They filed a 43-page lawsuit against former employee Howard Stern, his agent and Sirius Satellite Radio seeking compensation for the deal that left CBS without its main radio man. CBS claims Stern violated his contract by constantly chatting up Sirius during his final months on terrestrial radio; failing to properly inform CBS about his contract talks with the satcaster; and failing to turn over recordings of his programs aired by CBS. Talk about crying over spilled milk!

I know it’s easy to rip Howard, but in this case, I don’t see how CBS/Infinity stands a chance of winning. They allowed Stern to continue broadcasting his seemingly non-stop promotion of Sirius during his last months on CBS, when they could have — and maybe should have — pulled the plug. That he was moving to satellite was one of the worst-kept secrets in the business. “We had tons of discussion about my plans,” Stern said on his new show. “You know what they want? They want alimony from me.”

Either that or both parties have agreed to drum up some controversy to help draw attention to their new offerings. CBS Radio’s stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago all showed huge audience dropoffs in their first month without Stern and could use the attention. And Stern needs all the buzz he can get to keep people signing up for Sirius’ pay-to-listen service. Betcha after a bit more posturing, they’ll reach a quiet settlement.

 * * * * 

Stern’s former home here, hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1), didn’t suffer the same ratings fate as its out-of-state brethren in its first month of ratings without Stern — only a slight drop in daylong ratings. But that’s probably because the morning tandem of Drew & Mike on rock WRIF-FM (101.1) continue their stranglehold on pretty much the same audience targeted by WKRK in morning drive.

Speaking of ratings, the top-rated station in the latest ratings trend was soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3) thanks to its all-Christmas music blitz, followed by news-talk WJR-AM (760), smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7), adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3), and oldies WOMC-FM (104.3). Country WYCD-FM (99.5) also saw a nice bump up in its ratings along with WNIC; notably slipping was contemporary WKQI-FM (95.5).

 * * * * 

ABC Radio apparently has found a replacement for commentator Paul Harvey, heard locally on WJR, who’s halfway through a 10-year contract. Former U.S senator and current “Law & Order” star Fred Thompson has been tapped as Harvey’s principal fill-in host and senior correspondent. Guess when your featured host is 87 years old, it’s best to be prepared, but let’s hope Harvey keeps his gig till he’s 100. The deal also means that ’JR morning man Paul W. Smith, who’s often filled in for Harvey, will remain in the Fisher Building — at least for now.

 * * * * 

With the classic rock and oldies formats moving closer together in playing hits of the ’60s and ’70s, you’ve no doubt heard many of the same songs on WCSX-FM (94.7) and WOMC. But have you noticed a difference between the same songs on each station? The oldies format typically features the shorter, singles versions of songs, while classic rock plays the longer album cuts. For a great example, pay attention the next time you hear the Eagles’ “Lyin’ Eyes” on each station and see if you notice the missing stanza on the version ’OMC plays.

 * * * * 

Quick Hits: Former talk WDTW-AM (1310) morning host Nancy Skinner has announced she’s seeking the Democratic nomination to run against U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, who serves western Oakland County ... Paul Edwards, formerly of religious WRDT-AM (560), returns to the airwaves March 13 as he takes over the 5-6 p.m. hour on religious WLQV-AM (1500). The station was recently purchased by Salem Broadcasting, also the owner of talk WDTK-AM (1400).

 * * * * 

Set Your Dials: Hosts Tom Wilson and Alison Harris bring you the swingin’ dance music of the Bobby Sherwood Orchestra at 6 p.m. on Christian music/talk WMUZFM (103.5) ... afternoon host Ann Delisi talks movies with Detroit Film Theatre curator Elliott Wilhelm at 5 p.m. Thursdays on classical/jazz WRCJ-FM (90.9).

 * * * * 

Columnist Mike Austerman has covered radio for The Oakland Press since 2001.


Grand Rapids Press:

The 2005 Broadcast Excellence Awards were announced recently by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. The winners are ... Special congratulations to the students at Rockford High School on winning their third Television Station of the Year award. GR Press columnist and Rockford High teacher Colleen Pierson wants to comment on how proud she is of her students at Rockford on taking more awards than any other school in the state of Michigan... Local stations win excellence awards (Sat 3/4)


WSYM Names New GM

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Journal Broadcast Group, the owner of Lansing Fox affiliate WSYM-TV 47, has announced the appointment of Lyle Schulze as the station's new vice president and general manager. Mr. Schulze arrives at WSYM from Evansville, Indiana WB affiliate WAZE-TV 19, where he served as GM.

Schulze replaces former WSYM VP/GM Judy Kenney, who recently assumed the same responsibilities for newly-acquired Journal Fox affiliate WFTX-TV in the Fort Myers/Naples, Florida market.

You can read the official JBG press release here.


Detroit Free Press:

The University of Michigan is investigating the school's public radio and TV stations after the recent departure of two key staffers. U-M administrators and the campus police department said they have launched investigations of Michigan Public Media, the umbrella organization for Michigan Radio (operating as WUOM-FM, 91.7), Michigan Television, the Flint-based public TV channel broadcasting as WFUM-TV (Channel 28), and the Michigan Channel, a cable affiliate... U-M radio station probed (Sat 3/4)

At 1 p.m. today on Detroit's WKRK-FM (97.1), stock market tub-thumper and TV wildman Jim Cramer launches his new live weekday radio hour on CBS Radio talk affiliates nationwide. The goal? Threefold... Stock market guru to debut on WKRK (Mon 3/6)

All Access:

Brown Rises To Dir./Sales For CC/Ann Arbor: CLEAR CHANNEL/ANN ARBOR, MI GSM SHANNON BROWN has been upped to Dir./Sales for the cluster. "In the past two years, SHANNON has done a great job rebuilding our sales team and helping the team elevate to an even higher level of customer service," said GM BOB BOLAK.



Citadel Spins 11 Stations Into Trust For Sale: CITADEL announces which stations it's putting into a trust for divestiture, and the list of 11 stations includes: Sports WWLS-F and Regional Mexican KINB/OKLAHOMA CITY, Talk KARN-F, and Gospel KPZK-F and KVLO, Adult Alternative WCLZ and Alternative WCYI/PORTLAND, ME, Urban AC KNEK-F (MAGIC 104)/LAFAYETTE, LA, Classic Rock WYLZ (WHEELZ 104.5 AND 101)/SAGINAW (simulcast WILZ stays), Classic Rock KBZU/ALBUQUERQUE, and Urban AC WMGL/CHARLESTON, SC. The stations, being spun off as part of the company's purchase of ABC RADIO, are being transferred to the LAST BASTION STATION TRUST, headed by MEDIA VENTURE PARTNERS' ELIOT EVERS, and will be operated seperately while EVERS shops them to potential buyers.


Detroit Free Press:

The former director of the University of Michigan's public radio and TV stations said Monday he blew the whistle on suspicious business practices at the stations, spurring criminal and internal probes. Donovan Reynolds, who resigned Wednesday from his job as director of Michigan Public Media, said when he learned in November of "suspicious business practices," he reported it to U-M administrators and the U-M Department of Public Safety... Ex U-M stations chief calls practices suspicious (Tue 3/7)

DJ's book could be a film- Peter C. Cavanaugh, a big noise on the radio in Flint back in the rockin' late '60s and early '70s, wrote a book about his experiences called "Local DJ." PCC says he has signed film option rights to Kathleen Glynn and her new production company, Blue Lake Entertainment... Names and Faces (Wed 3/8)

Detroit News:

Steve Harvey, who presides over the WMXD-FM (92.3) morning show, is flying in to Detroit on Tuesday to appear at a red-carpet premiere of his new movie "Don't Trip, He Ain't Through With Me Yet ," a recording of a performance he did at the Mega Fest Conference in Atlanta, hosted by Bishop T.D. Jakes. The film is Harvey's first since "The Original Kings of Comedy," but, apparently, in his new movie, Harvey's cleaned up his act considerably for the church folk. The film, due for general release on Friday, starts at 6:30 p.m. at the AMC Star Southfield 20, with Detroit glitterati such as Anita Baker set to attend. Some 700 fans will get to see the film, but only through WMXD giveaways... Steve Harvey coming to town Tuesday (Thu 3/9)

WDET programming notes

WDETThis Sunday night, March 12 at 8pm on the W. Kim Heron Program, Detroit native Alex Harding performs live from WDET's Studio A. The quartet includes: bass clarinet, baritone saxophonist Alex Harding featuring bassist Marion Hayden, pianist Ken Cox, and drummer Billy Higgins. The performance is part of the Detroit Rebirth Radio Concert Series. The W. Kim Heron Program airs Sunday nights from 8pm to 10pm on WDET-FM 101.9 and at wdetfm.org.

Also Sunday, March 12, WDET's Ralph Valdez interviews film maker Rupert Murray who's controversial new documentary 'Unknown White Male' - about a friend struggling with amnesia - explores issues of identity, rebirth and memory. The second hour of The Ralph Valdez Program will spotlight local musicians taking part in the annual WDET Benefit at 313.Jac March 16-18 in support of WDET's Spring On-Air Fundraiser, which begins March 31. The Ralph Valdez Program airs Sunday evenings from 10pm to midnight.

Michigan Radio issues release to listeners addressing investigation

WUOMYou may have heard news reports about Michigan Radio. The University of Michigan is conducting a full review of the radio station as a result of concerns raised by former Director of Broadcasting Donovan Reynolds in November of 2005. As a public radio station, we are committed to serve the community through our news and information service. Our mission is to act with the utmost integrity at all times. We are able to fulfill our public mission because of the engagement, the support, and the trust of our members and underwriters... A Letter To Our Listeners And Members (Wed 3/8)

Haege named to “Talkers 250” list

Glenn Haege, host of the nationally syndicated radio program “The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege” has been named to the “Talkers 250” list, the 250 most important radio talk show hosts in America, by Talkers Magazine. Haege is one of only three radio talk show hosts in the “Home Talk” category, which includes home maintenance, improvement, gardening and economics. This is Haege's ninth consecutive year being named on this prestigious list.

The list is compiled from over 5,000 radio talk show hosts across the country considered by the Talkers editorial board. When evaluating candidates, editors look at courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, rating, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness. The list took on a new format this year, from the “Heavy Hundred” to “Talkers 250” to reflect the industry's expansion and to include more stations, participants, format genres and technological platforms.

“It is a great testament to the quality of our radio program, and listeners, to again be included on the list of the most important radio hosts in America. We must be doing something right by delivering ‘clear and concise, how-to advice' all across the country,” stated Haege.

Haege has more than 30 years experience in the home improvement industry and his radio show, “The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege” is nationally syndicated by Troy, Mich. based Handyman Productions, LLC, and can be heard on more than 160 radio stations nationwide. In addition, Haege is the author of 11 home improvement books and writes two columns each week for The Detroit News.


Serch Exits WJLB/Detroit Morning Show: CLEAR CHANNEL Urban WJLB (FM98)/DETROIT morning show host SERCH, who was once part of the rap duo 3RD BASS, has exited. The other two players in the morning show, CO CO and FOOLISH will remain in place. (Fri 3/10)


High Definition Television Transition And The Growth of HD Radio Are Key Topics For Michigan Broadcasters During Annual MAB Convention

MABThe high-tech future of broadcast television and radio will be “front and center” in the hallways, conference rooms, and exhibition hall of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC), which will be held Monday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 14 at the Lansing Center located at 333 E. Michigan Ave. in downtown Lansing.

GLBC is the annual convention for Michigan's broadcast industry. More than 1,000 broadcasters and related industry professionals from across the state will attend the event, which covers a broad range of industry related issues. The MAB conference comes at a time when the broadcasting industry is facing some of the most complex and sweeping changes in its history. Among the key issues being discussed by broadcasters during GLBC are:

The Transition to Digital Television (DTV) – New federal legislation makes February 17, 2009 the official shut-off date for analog TV transmission. There are many complex issues that must be dealt with over the next three years to ensure that consumers can successfully make the transition to digital television in advance of the government-imposed deadline. Barry VanDenBerg of Orlando Digital TV will lead a seminar called “Collaborating to Grow the HDTV Market,” in which he will discuss how broadcasters and early HDTV adopters in Orlando worked together to create the greatest market penetration of HDTV in the country.

HD Radio On The Horizon – HD Radio has hit the air in many markets. When will affordable receivers hit the market and lead consumers into the HD universe? Is HD radio a format that will doom
emerging competitors including satellite radio? Joseph D'Angelo of iBquity will lead a discussion of HD radio.

An HD Radio receiver and high definition television technology will be prominently displayed in the GLBC Exhibit Hall. The MAB booth will feature a display of HDTV, as well as a “souped-up” 1965 Pontiac GTO that is equipped with HD Radio.

Other GLBC conference highlights include:
• A keynote speech by Jason Jennings, founder of the nation's largest media consulting company and author of the book “Think Big-Act Small.”
• The annual Broadcast Excellence Awards Presentation, which recognizes outstanding news and programming and public service performances by Michigan radio and television stations;
• The MAB Foundation Career Fair, during which broadcasters will meet with and offer advice to students seeking positions in the industry;
• The MAB Foundation's Michigan High School & College Broadcast Awards; and
• A luncheon speech on Tuesday, March 14 by Ron Bachman, whose life was featured in a documentary titled “Walk This Way.” Bachman, whose legs were amputated when he was four years old, has worked as a broadcaster in Michigan, and will speak on diversity issues, relationship building, disability concerns for the able-bodied, bullying in the workplace and related issues.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters represents more than 300 radio and television stations, serving nearly 4,000 individuals employees in the broadcasting industry. MAB is one of the largest broadcast associations in the nation and offers educational, informational, and cost-saving services to its members. The MAB is dedicated to helping its members serve their communities, advertisers and staff by providing solutions to industry problems and satisfying members' needs.


Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, March 12, 2006

By: Art Vuolo

On The Radio

This past week, the trade publication Radio & Records presented the 11th annual Talk Radio Seminar in Washington, D.C. The confab drew nearly 400 attendees from around the country, but sadly, Detroit was very underrepresented. Aside from myself, the only other local radio guy was Pat Sheehan from Glenn Haege’s “Handyman Show” on WDFN-AM (1130). Embarrassing. Where were the folks from the various local news and talk stations?

It also was the last year for ABC Radio to be there, as the company has been sold to Citadel Communications. While the ABC name is being retained for TV, in name ABC Radio will no longer exist. It’s the end of an era.

The seminar underlined how huge talk radio is, while various sessions addressed such topics as FM talk, non-political shows and, in one feisty session called “What Do Women Want?,” how to target women listeners. That’s because talk stations aimed at women are popping up across America, usually on FM. We don’t have a dedicated female talk station in Detroit, although Jim Harper and his show on pop WMGC-FM (105.1) attracts a lot of women, as does Chris Edmonds on pop WNIC-FM (100.3).

Last week, Mike Austerman mentioned Fred Thompson, who’s been slated as Paul Harvey’s eventual replacement. At the conference, Thompson pointed out that while he’s been chosen to succeed Harvey, talk’s elder statesman is “irreplaceable.” Highlighting the seminar was a keynote address by Rush Limbaugh, who was very candid about his addictions and even fielded questions from the broadcasters. (He’s heard locally on WJR from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays.) The seminar also featured lots of publicity on Dave Ramsey, who makes talking about money fun and truly entertaining. He’s now on talk CKLW-AM (800) from 8 to 9 p.m. weeknights and is well worth a listen.

 * * * * 

Ever wonder who does the radio ratings? A tour last week of the headquarters of Arbitron, the giant audience ratings company that measures who’s listening to what and when all across the country, provided a fascinating inside look at how scientific the process is. Seeing firsthand how selected listeners fill out ratings diaries and all the various ways listeners remember the names of stations is eye-opening. I could have spent an entire day reviewing and learning about how the ratings are taken, tabulated and tallied for stations and advertisers. Time well spent and highly educational for this reporter.

 * * * * 

Longtime area radio pro Dave Barber has exited Flint talker WWCK-AM (1570) and moved to Providence, R.I., powerhouse talker WPRO-AM. In addition to his many years on the Flint airwaves, Barber once held court on WXYT-AM (1270) and, more recently, on liberal talk WDTW-AM (1310). He’s one of a kind.

 * * * * 

This past week, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer named radio station owner Entercom in a suit over the payola scandal profiled recently on ABC-TV’s “Prime Time Live.” Entercom does not own any stations in Detroit, but expect to see other companies that are locally represented to also be named.

 * * * * 

Meanwhile, the investigation continues at Michigan Public Radio WUOM-FM (91.7) following the departure of station boss Donovan Reynolds. We’ll be watching how this affects station fund-raising.

 * * * * 

Speaking of which, Wayne State’s WDET-FM (101.9) is inviting listeners back in to answer phones during its spring fund-raiser starting March 31. The station, which recently put its music programming online at www.wdetfm.org, had been using a professional phone service recently. Call (313) 577-4550 for details on how to pitch in.

 * * * * 

The Rock Girl Search for WRIF-FM (101.1) continues with a casting call Monday at Second City inside Andiamo Novi. Listen in or check out www.wrif.com for more details. By the way, whatever happened to Kelly Harmon, ’RIF’s original bay-buh?

 * * * * 

And don’t forget the very special premiere of Steve Harvey’s new movie on Tuesday at the AMC Southfield 20 complex. You can win tickets only via urban pop WMXD-FM (92.3). Harvey, the ’MXD morning host known as the “King of Comedy,” will personally be on hand, bringing a touch of Hollywood to Oakland County.

 * * * * 

Set Your Dials: For the music of Les Brown and his Band of Renown at 6 p.m. tonight on WMUZ-FM (103.5) ... Detroit native Alex Harding and his jazz quartet perform live in-studio on the W. Kim Heron show at 8 p.m. tonight on WDET.

 * * * * 

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


Grand Rapids Press:

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters recently passed out awards in radio ... Who says there is no future in radio as a career? Certainly not Gary Allen, morning co-host at WOOD-AM (1300). He recently celebrated 25 continuous years at WOOD. Allen and John Matlak host the area's all-news and information morning program, "Grand Rapids Morning News" ... As one of the market's top television executives, Diane Kniowski of WOOD-TV (Channel 8) says she feels a need to help other aspiring women... Broadcast Notes: A time of awards, anniversaries (Sun 3/12)


Fox Sports Net Detroit to broadcast 112-game regular season Tigers' games

FSNFSN's comprehensive coverage of the Detroit Tigers in 2006 is highlighted by a network-record 112 regular season telecasts, including at least one game from every series on the team's schedule. Regular season telecasts begin with the April 3 season opener at the Kansas City Royals. FSN Detroit also has the April 10 home opener against the defending World Champion Chicago White Sox. FSN provides the only regional television coverage of the Tigers at spring training, originating two Grapefruit League contests in Lakeland, FL: Thursday, March 16 vs. the New York Yankees and Monday, March 27 against the defending National League champion Houston Astros.

Mario Impemba returns for his fifth season as FSN Detroit's play-by-play announcer, joined for the fourth consecutive year by analyst Rod Allen. This marks the ninth year for Tigers telecasts on FSN Detroit, which earned a 2005 Michigan Emmy for “Best Sports Play by Play”. In addition to the road and home openers, here are other highlights of FSN Detroit's Tigers regular-season telecast schedule in 2006:

• At least one telecast from each of the 52 series on the Tigers schedule.
• 50 games against their Central Division counterparts – Chicago White Sox (15), Minnesota Twins (13), Cleveland Indians (12), Kansas City Royals (10).
• A total of 12 telecasts featuring the perennial powers of the AL East – New York Yankees (6), Boston Red Sox (6).
• A strong lineup of 15 inter-league contests including games against the Cincinnati Reds (3), Chicago Cubs (2), Milwaukee Brewers (2), St. Louis Cardinals (3), Houston Astros (2) and Pittsburgh Pirates (3).
• Holiday telecasts on Memorial Day, May 29 vs. New York Yankees and Independence Day, July 4 at Oakland Athletics.
• The Tigers final game of the season, Oct. 1 vs. Kansas City.

A one-hour Tigers Season Preview special premieres Saturday, April 1 at 6:00 PM. Most regular season telecasts are preceded by the 30-minue Tigers Pregame, hosted by John Keating. The Emmy-winning Tigers Weekly returns April 8 and airs most Saturdays throughout the season at 11:30 AM. The Tigers also are covered nightly on the Detroit Sports Report at 10:00 PM or immediately after the game. Following FSN Tigers telecasts, DSR goes into post-game show mode with highlights, analysis, manager Jim Leyland's media session and player reaction. And, FSN's profile series Spotlight will have episodes featuring Tigers personalities during the course of the season.

FSN Detroit's coverage of the Tigers goes to 3.2 million cable and satellite homes throughout Michigan and portions of Northwest Ohio and Northern Indiana.

Magic 105.1's first-ever bowling party is coming to Canton

WMGCWMGC-FM, Magic 105.1, has announced its “Magic Bowling Party” scheduled for Saturday, March 18th at Super Bowl Lanes in Canton. The event will be hosted by many of Magic's personalities- Cyndy Canty, Mitzi Miles and Linda Lanci will host the first bowling session that goes from 1-3pm. Jim Harper, Jim Paolucci, Mike Bradley and Fay Samona will host the second bowling session which lasts from 3-5pm.

Listeners can win a spot for themselves and three guests to attend one of the two bowling sessions taking place at the “Magic Bowling Party” by listening to WMGC or visiting the station's web site at detroitmagic.com. There will be door prizes and special contests, as well as food, soft drinks and fun for all.

Detroit Free Press:

Steve Harvey was a little nervous. The comic actor and radio show host had decided to come clean. Harvey was on the verge of making a significant change in his life, and even though he's a public figure, he didn't exactly want to do it in a public way. For two decades, he had been known for delivering foul-mouthed, hilarious dialogues on life, including many in the smash comedy concert film "The Original Kings of Comedy." But he was ready to switch gears, become closer to God and do away with his otherwise un-Christian-like devices. He decided he wanted to become a better man... Steve Harvey is the new Mr. Clean (Sun 3/12)

A pool table and Persian rugs given to a former salesman for the University of Michigan's public radio and television stations as performance bonuses last year are among the things U-M police and administrators are investigating in a criminal probe of the stations' fund-raising, a lawyer for the man said Sunday. Meals provided to staff members and a Christmas party at a local restaurant are also part of the probe, said Tom Moors, an attorney for Jeremy Nordquist, an account executive who sold airtime and was fired from Michigan Public Media in January. The meals and the merchandise were provided in exchange for announcements on the station, he said. Nordquist, who is appealing his firing, and his supervisor, Justin Ebright, development director for Michigan Radio, have both been questioned by police, according to their attorneys. Ebright left the station in November after eight years... U-M radio, TV subject of probe (Mon 3/13)


* Low power FM station Oldies/Community Service WDLP-LP 92.9 Fenwick has changed frequency to 93.1 FM.


WUOMStephen Schram, a seasoned business executive with 30 years of experience in radio, television and electronic media, has been named interim director of Michigan Public Media at the University of Michigan. Michigan Public Media includes Michigan Radio, an NPR news station broadcasting in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Flint, and Michigan Television, a PBS member station broadcasting in Flint. “I am very pleased to join the team at Michigan Public Media,” Schram said. “These dynamic broadcast voices educate and inform their listeners at the very highest levels of excellence. I look forward to growing their impact and success.”

Schram replaces Donovan Reynolds, who resigned as director of Michigan Public Media effective March 1. Schram will serve as interim director while a national search is launched for a permanent replacement. As interim director, Schram will be responsible for continuing Michigan Public Media's high-quality news and information programming, as well as overseeing all aspects of business operations. “Our public radio and television stations make an important contribution to community education and an informed public dialogue in Michigan,” said U-M President Mary Sue Coleman. “I am pleased that Steve was available to contribute his business expertise to the stations during this period of transition.”

Schram has 17 years of senior leadership experience in the Detroit radio and TV market, including executive positions with Infinity Broadcasting, Clear Channel Broadcasting and WJBK-TV Fox 2. Currently he is president of Schram Communication Group, a newly formed media and management consultancy. In 2003 he was hired as vice president and general manager of three FM radio stations in Detroit, and was promoted to senior vice president and director of sales for Infinity Broadcasting's six-station Detroit radio group where he served until 2005. From 1996-2002, he was vice president and general manager for Clear Channel's seven Detroit-area radio stations. He was director of marketing for WJBK-TV Fox 2 from 1988-1996. Schram served as director of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in 1999-2002 and 2003-2005. He holds a B.A. degree in television and radio from Michigan State University.

Michigan Radio, the largest public radio station in the state, serves more than 450,000 listeners through its three broadcast stations: WUOM- FM 91.7 in Ann Arbor, WVGR- FM 104.1 in Grand Rapids and WFUM - FM 91.1 in Flint. Michigan Television, WFUM Channel TV 28 in Flint, reaches more than 3.3 million households in mid and southeast Michigan. The two stations have won numerous state and national awards for their innovative programming. Michigan Radio was named Public Radio Station of the Year on March 14 by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for the seventh time in the last eight years.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2005 Broadcast Excellence Station of the Year awards. The awards are based on the cumulative number of points scored from the Broadcast Excellence competition's 13 categories and is given to the station with the most points in each radio and television market. The following stations were the recipients of the 2005 Station of the Year awards:

Market 1
Television: WJBK-TV, Detroit
Radio: WJR, Detroit

Market 2
Television: WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids
Radio: WOOD-AM, Grand Rapids

Market 3
Television: WWTV/WWUP, Cadillac
Radio: WLEN-FM, Adrian

Market 4
Television: WLUC-TV, Marquette
Radio: WSJM-AM, Benton Harbor

Public Television Group 1: WKAR-TV, East Lansing
Public Television Group 2: WTVS, Detroit

Public Radio Group 1: WGVU-AM/FM, Grand Rapids
Public Radio Group 2: WUOM/WFUM/WVGR-FM, Ann Arbor

The MAB also announced the winners of its Broadcast Excellence Award competition. The winners were selected from 807 entries submitted by Michigan radio and television stations from the commercial and public sectors. For a complete list of all winners, visit www.michmab.com. The Broadcast Excellence Awards, one of the largest state awards programs in the nation, was judged by members of the Illinois Broadcasters Association on a variety of criteria including presentation, delivery, and production values. On Tuesday, March 14 more than 200 people attended the awards presentation at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.


The Detroit Free Press' web site this afternoon is reporting that felony embezzlement charges have been filed in Washtenaw County against three former staffers of Michigan Public Media, the umbrella organization that oversees radio stations WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor, WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint, WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids, and WFUM-TV 28 Flint along with Washtenaw-county based cable-TV outlet The Michigan Channel.

Charged are Michael Coleman, currently the general manager of public WDET-FM (101.9) Detroit, along with Jeremy Nordquist and Justin Ebright.

Ex-Michigan Public Media workers charged with embezzlement


Detroit Free Press:

A new way to get your favorite radio stations has quietly been going on the air in Detroit. Not only does it feature crystal-clear quality -- FM stations sound like CDs, AM stations sound like FM -- but it also includes second channels featuring everything from local artists to deep tracks. And it's not satellite radio. It's free, high-definition radio, or HD radio. All you need to get it is a special receiver... Digital Life: HD the future of free radio (Tue 3/14)

WXYZ-TV news anchor Frank Turner is asking people to pray for divine intervention to sway Channel 7 to allow him to host a religious radio show on Christian WEXL-AM (1340). Turner bills himself as "America's First Evangelical Anchorman" on www.frankturner.org, a site devoted to his off-camera religious pursuits. There, he wrote that WEXL has reserved a weekday time slot of 10 a.m. to noon. "The only problem," he continued, "has been securing a letter of release from WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) acknowledging an exception to our contractual agreement that will allow our daily radio ministry to be broadcast... Turner asks help toward evangelism (Tue 3/14)

Getting their shot: Coco and Foolish, on Clear Channel's WJLB-FM (97.9) morning show. The station parted company with morning show main man MC Serch last week, and Coco and Foolish will get a tryout. Station officials said they couldn't discuss Serch's departure, but a source who requested anonymity said the departure was not a contract nonrenewal issue... Names and Faces (Tue 3/14)

The Federal Communications Commission proposed an indecency fine of $3.6 million against CBS, its owned and operated stations including Detroit's WWJ-TV (Channel 62) and affiliates Wednesday. At fault was a "Without a Trace" episode that aired in December 2004. It was cited because of graphic depiction of "teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy." Also, the FCC rejected an appeal by CBS, and upheld its $550,000 fine against 20 of the network's stations for the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl two years ago... FCC proposes fine for CBS (Thu 3/16)

The sedate, urbane world of public broadcasting was rattled Thursday as prosecutors charged three former employees of Michigan Public Media with illegally accepting golf club memberships, Persian rugs, airline tickets and massages in exchange for on-air considerations at the state's top public radio station. Each of the men -- current WDET-FM general manager Michael Coleman, Jeremy Nordquist and Justin Ebright -- was charged by Washtenaw County prosecutors in Ann Arbor with embezzlement of under $20,000 while working at Michigan Public Media-controlled WUOM-FM (91.7). Each could face up to five years in prison if convicted... Scandal shakes public radio (Fri 3/17)

Michael Coleman, the embattled general manager of Detroit Public Radio, told the Free Press today that he didn't take food, alcohol, airline tickets and hotel rooms in exchange for on-air acknowledgements while he worked for the University of Michigan's public radio and television stations. Coleman was one of three former Michigan Public Media employees charged Thursday in Ann Arbor on one count of embezzlement under $20,000. He faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted. He may also be required to pay a fine of $10,000 or three times the amount of the alleged embezzlement, according to court records... Detroit Public Radio's general manager says he's innocent (Fri 3/17)

Detroit News:

Turner wants jobs at WEXL and WXYZ: WXYZ-TV Channel 7 anchorman Frank Turner wants viewers and fans to pray that his employers will allow him to host a morning program on WEXL-AM (1340), a Christian station. The plea for prayer can be found on Turner's religious Web site, www.frankturner.org. On it, Turner says the only thing stopping him from spreading the ministry as "America's First Evangelical Anchorman" is a letter of release from WXYZ... Newsmakers (Tue 3/14)

The news had been percolating through channels for a week that veteran Detroit radio executive Steve Schram was being considered for Donovan Reynolds' job as director of Michigan Public Media at the University of Michigan. Finally on Wednesday, U-M made it official. Schram was named interim director effective immediately, replacing Reynolds, who departed March 1. His hiring brings stability as U-M tries to move past the recent dust-up over fundraising irregularities at WUOM-FM... Interim U-M media boss named (Thu 3/16)

A government crackdown on indecent programming resulted in a proposed fine of $3.6 million against dozens of CBS stations and affiliates on Wednesday -- a record penalty from the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC said an episode of the CBS crime drama "Without a Trace" that aired in December 2004 was indecent. It cited the graphic depiction of "teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy." CBS said it strongly disagrees with the FCC's finding. The program "featured an important and socially relevant storyline warning parents to exercise greater supervision of their teenage children. The program was not unduly graphic or explicit," the network said in a statement... CBS fined $3.6M for alleged indecent programs (Thu 3/16)

The head of public radio in Detroit was charged with embezzlement Thursday, accused of accepting money, airline tickets and lodging while he worked as deputy director of a radio station owned and operated by the University of Michigan. Michael Coleman, general manager of Wayne State University's WDET-FM, was charged in 14A District Court in Ann Arbor with one felony count of embezzlement while at his former job at Michigan Public Media's WUOM-FM (91.7). He could face five years in prison, a fine of $10,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is more... WDET chief faces embezzling charges (Fri 3/17)

You can believe this and take it to the bank: Steve Harvey is coming clean. Yes, the veteran standup comedian, one of the "Original Kings of Comedy," known for his uproarious blue jokes and hilarious takes on life, says he's strengthening his relationship with God, praying daily and reading his Bible. He's also working really hard to stop cursing in his comedy shticks. The 49-year-old, who's also a syndicated morning radio show host heard locally on WMXD-FM (Mix, 92.3), says the change came when he pondered these questions: "What does it profit a man to gain the whole word and lose his soul? What is it all about?... Harvey cleans up comedy routine (Fri 3/17)

Ann Arbor News:

The criminal investigation into University of Michigan public radio station WUOM involves the station's fundraising and whether employees improperly received gifts from businesses mentioned on air, said an attorney representing a former employee questioned by police. Dan Geherin, the attorney for Justin Ebright, the station's former development director, confirmed Monday that Ebright was recently interviewed by investigators with the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety... WUOM probe checks gifts, fundraising (Tue 3/14)

Just two weeks before a key fundraising drive, Michigan Radio officials are hoping to minimize the fallout from revelations Thursday that three former employees took gifts ranging from airline tickets to golf club memberships in exchange for on-air mention on the popular public radio station heard across the state. Officials at the University of Michigan-operated station said they will keep the public's support by relying on the service's reputation for quality programming and by a quick response to criminal charges that exposed glaring weaknesses in financial reporting and oversight... Ex-WUOM staffers charged (Fri 3/17)

The next step isn't yet clear following a recent state appeals court decision regarding the firing of outspoken WEMU radio personality Thayrone in 2003. The decision, announced earlier this month, overturned a June 2003 ruling by Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge Timothy P. Connors, who had dismissed the DJ's lawsuit against the station. Now, Eastern Michigan University could appeal the reinstatement of the suit to the Michigan Supreme Court; however, the case will more likely return to Washtenaw County for further proceedings - likely a trial... WEMU weighing options in Thayrone case (Fri 3/17)

All Access:

PD Maguire Takes Afternoons At WTKA/Ann Arbor
CLEAR CHANNEL Sports WTKA-A/ANN ARBOR afternoon host DENNIS FITHIAN exits, and PD RYAN MAGUIRE is taking over the afternoon show 3-6p beginning MONDAY (3/20). 6-7p will feature a new show, "IN CASE YOU MISSED IT," a replay of the station's best interviews and guests from the rest of the day hosted by Exec. Producer JOSH VERNIER. MAGUIRE will continue to oversee programming and operations at WTKA and sister Talk WLBY-A. (Fri 3/17)


MSU student radio station is college station of the year

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Broadcast Music Inc. have named Michigan State University's WDBM-FM 88.9 – or IMPACT 89FM as it is commonly known – the college radio station of the year. The Gold Record Award was presented at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference at the Lansing Center on March 14. This is the sixth time in the past seven years that WDBM-FM has won the award. “This competition is so important because of everything going on in the broadcast industry,” said Gary Reid, professional general manager of the station. “Being judged by commercial broadcasters as the state's best for six of the past seven years is a true honor from a profession that many of our students hope to get jobs in.”

Jeremy Whiting, the production director, received three individual awards, and Brock Elsesser, the program director, received two individual awards. Impact staffers took first place in four categories: Joey Levine, Lauren Filo and Matt Schuler for the daily newscast/news feature category; Jeremy Whiting for the sportscast/play-by-play category; Jason James, Pat Wharton and Brock Elsesser for the public service announcement category; and Patrick Bowen, Katie Greer and Jeremy Whiting for the promotional announcement category. All entries were judged by professional radio and television broadcasters in Michigan.

“With this win, the legacy of an excellent program is firmly established,” Reid said. “We are seeing high school students choosing Michigan State due in part to the quality and success of the station.” Approximately 120 students, ranging from freshmen to doctoral candidates, are working at the station.

WDBM-FM may be found at 88.9 on the FM dial and may be heard via streaming media on the Web at www.impact89fm.org. The Gold Record Award, along with the previous five, may be seen at the station located in G-4 Holden Hall on MSU's campus. “The thing that's important about an awards program like this is the rallying cry that happens within our staff,” said Reid. “We've created such a legacy over the past seven years that it gives our students something to aspire to, and it helps motivate our staff like nothing else would.”

Out of more than 13,000 radio stations in the country, WDBM was the 132nd overall and the first college station to begin broadcasting the new HD digital signal last fall. WDBM also produces Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm's weekly radio address and podcast.

Great Lakes Radio Consortium Wins Two National Headliner Awards

GLRCThe Great Lakes Radio Consortium, a production of Michigan Radio, has been awarded two National Headliner Awards for news segments produced in 2005. These awards, judged and presented annually, recognize and celebrate outstanding achievements in journalism.

The report “Up Close and Personal with a Prairie Fire,” produced by GLRC Editor Mark Brush, was awarded second place for best “Feature, Human Interest Story or News Series” on broadcast radio networks and syndicators. “Up Close and Personal with a Prairie Fire” is a visceral exploration of the action and sounds of a prescribed “prairie burn.” Controlled fires are used throughout the country to help restore natural areas to their former beauty and diversity. Aired without narrative, this piece draws the listener into the heart of one such fire, letting the characters and sounds alone move the story along.

The series “Ten Threats to the Great Lakes,” created by GLRC editorial staff Lester Graham, Mark Brush, and Rebecca Williams, received the third place award for best “Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event” on broadcast radio networks and syndicators. “Ten Threats to the Great Lakes” is a comprehensive 33-part series illuminating the ever-present problems facing the world's greatest freshwater resource. Featuring contributions from 18 different reporters, “Ten Threats” goes on-location throughout the region to explore these issues and the efforts being made to confront them.

“We knew that Mark Brush's audio postcard of a prairie burn was a real winner when we heard it,” GLRC Senior Editor Lester Graham said. “It's nice to see Mark get this recognition. We're also thrilled about the “Ten Threats” award. The GLRC felt the series was important to do and we're happy the effort is seen as some of the nation's top journalistic work.” The Great Lakes Radio Consortium is a production of Michigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan. The GLRC is a modular environmental news service that produces six to eight environmental stories each week. These stories are distributed free of charge to more than 140 public radio stations in 20 states (most stations are located in the Great Lakes region).

Michigan Broadcasters Present Robert G. David MAB Associate Of The Year Award

robdavidThe Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented Robert G. David of Northville, MI with the organization's first “MAB Associate of the Year” award. The presentation was made Tuesday, March 14 during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Lansing. The new award was created by MAB to recognize the significant contributions made by associate members, and to acknowledge their efforts in enhancing the quality and integrity of broadcasting while supporting their community.

“Rob David has given generously of his time and vast expertise in serving as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the MAB Foundation,” said Julie Koehn, MAB Board Chair and owner of WLEN-FM in Adrian. “He has also been an outstanding committee member, program moderator and panelist through the years.”

David serves as President and General Manager of Handyman Productions, LLC, syndicator of the Handyman Show with Glen Haege, a home improvement program that airs on more than 150 radio stations, including 20 stations in Michigan. He is a broadcast sales and management veteran who has worked for CBS-Infinity, Fritz Broadcasting and ABC. The Radio Advertising Bureau has recognized David as a Certified Marketing Consultant at the Diamond level.


Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, March 19, 2006

By: Mike Austerman

On The Radio

Earlier in the week, the Federal Communications Commission released a bunch of fines against television stations for broadcasting what the FCC determined to be indecent programming. The government’s next target will be radio, and there are predictions of big fines coming soon that will put the indecency controversy back on the front burner. Traditional broadcasters will likely take this fight to court for at least some of these fines to get clarification on just what constitutes an indecent broadcast and, more important to them, seeking the same kind of regulatory control over media such as cable TV, satellite radio and the Internet. I’m sure this is one issue you’re going to be reading more about in the coming weeks.

 * * * * 

The king of indecency fines himself, Howard Stern, has continued his expected self-publicity tour, both on TV and radio. After pretty much taking over an entire David Letterman broadcast last Monday, he made a two-hour appearance Tuesday on Sean Hannity’s talk program.He spent the time defending himself against the lawsuit CBS has filed against him for moving to Sirius satellite radio, blasting his former employers at CBS — and trying to lure Hannity into a discussion about his sex life.

Listeners to news-talk WJR-AM (760) missed the 5-6 p.m. hour of the Hannity/Stern chat, as ’JR switches to local talk with Mitch Albom at that time. How’d you like to be running WJR when something like this happens? On the one hand, your audience expects and wants local programming. But on the other, there were probably a bunch of people upset that they couldn’t hear the ending of Hannity’s show that day. Mind you, those with satellite radio could hear the entire show — both XM and Sirius carry the ABC News & Talk channel, which carries the show in its entirety each day.

 * * * * 

The University of Michigan has tapped Steve Schram as the interim director of Michigan Public Media, the organization that oversees radio stations WUOM-FM (91.7) in Ann Arbor, WFUM-FM (91.1) in Flint, WVGR-FM (104.1) in Grand Rapids, and PBS TV station WFUM-TV (28). Schram has 17 years of senior leadership experience in the Detroit radio and TV market, including executive positions with Infinity Broadcasting, Clear Channel Broadcasting, and at Channel 2. Currently, he is president of Schram Communication Group, a newly formed media and management consultancy.

“I am very pleased to join the team at Michigan Public Media,” Schram said. “These dynamic broadcast voices educate and inform their listeners at the very highest levels of excellence. I look forward to growing their impact and success.” Schram replaces Donovan Reynolds, who resigned earlier this month in the midst of a criminal investigation at Michigan Public Media. A very proud graduate of Michigan State, I wonder if they’ll make Schram trade in all his “S” apparel for those bearing the Michigan “M” before they let him in the building?

 * * * * 

It’s never easy to report on illness, but this story is especially distressing. Former sports WDFN-AM (1130) reporter Sabrina Black is now in hospice care as reported in an e-mail sent by her husband, rock WRIF-FM (101.1) weekender Steve Black. He said the year 2006 has not been kind to Sabrina, with multiple trips to the hospital for heart failure and pneumonia, all as a result of her battle with Hodgkin’s disease. Steve states that her strength is gone and she’s now “ready for heaven.” I found Sabrina to be inspiring throughout her illness. She never felt sorry for herself and has always been most gracious in sharing details about her battle with cancer. Former WDFN co-worker Gregg Henson shared two personal stories about Sabrina that I found especially touching on his blog at www.gregghenson.com. His Web site is usually a source for much negativity by visitors, but in the case of Sabrina, you can see by their responses how highly people think of her.

Current WDFN afternoon hosts Stoney and Wojo showed a lot of class with their pledge to donate a $10,000 first prize to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society should they win ESPN’s NCAA tournament bracket contest. If there ever was a time for a miracle, this is it.

 * * * * 

Congratulations to the local winners of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year awards — WUOM/WFUM/WVGR won in the public category, and WJR was the recipient among commercial radio stations. Station of the Year awards are based on the cumulative number of points scored from the MAB’s Broadcast Excellence competition across 13 categories.

 * * * * 

Set Your Dials: Tom Wilson and Heather Novak host “Somewhere in Time” at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5). Tune in to hear Charlie Balogh play Big Band music on the world’s largest Wurlitzer theater pipe organ, located in Mesa, Ariz., and featuring more than 5,500 pipes.

 * * * * 

Columnist Mike Austerman has covered radio for The Oakland Press since 2001.


Grand Rapids Press:

Local radio host Robert S testified Wednesday that robbery suspect Michael Jackson's violent rap lyrics don't make him guilty. Jurors viewed a videotape of Jackson singing, "I Am a Robber," when Robert S, a former New York recording artist and now program director for WJNZ-AM (1140), took the witness stand for the defense. He said Jackson's lyrics don't make him a robber any more than the Oscar-winning hip-hop song, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," put writers Three 6 Mafia on the street corner selling women for sex... Radio host defends robbery suspect's rap lyrics (Thu 3/16)

What's black and white and heard all over? A new weekly radio show about diversity on WTKG-AM (1230), debuting March 27. "Radio in Black and White" will air 8-9 a.m. Mondays and aims to be the most "integrated hour of the week," according to hosts Skot Welch and Rick Wilson. Their goal is to showcase diversity, giving the community a chance to take part in a positive dialogue about multiracial models in business, community life, law, health care, education and faith ... Syndicated in Maine: Want a little Free Beer and Hot Wings with your freshly caught lobster? On Monday, the popular, locally produced WGRD-FM (97.9) morning show of "Free Beer and Hot Wings" added classic rock stations WHXR/WHXQ (106.7 and 104.7 The Bone) in Portland, Maine, to its stable of stations airing the show... Diversity dialogue debuts March 27 on WTKG-AM (Sun 3/19)

When kids his age were learning to read, Red Kingman was into the spoken word. And no one sounded better to Kingman than Wolfman Jack, the howling disc jockey with his distinctive gravelly voice. "Ever since I heard Wolfman Jack as a 6-year-old, I knew what I wanted to do," explains Kingman, finishing a late breakfast at Holland's Windmill Restaurant after a recent broadcast. After a morning of entertaining listeners, he is subdued as he sips his coffee... Radio announcer finds his niche: WHTC personality enjoys banter with listeners (Sun 3/19)

Terry Ficorelli (“Fic” the voice of the Muskegon Fury) and game broadcast announcer/Vice President of Communications is in need of a broadcast engineer for the home games throughout the rest of the hockey season and playoffs. The former engineer passed away suddenly and his passing has left a big hole in the broadcasting of the Muskegon Fury home hockey games.

This is potentially 9 to 15 games total including playoffs. The Fury are trying to make it a “three-peat” and win their third in a row Colonial Cup. This feat has not ever been accomplished in all of Pro Hockey. At any rate, the position is volunteer, although there is all the pizza anyone could possibly eat at the games and a few other perks. Fic can/will negotiate these. If there is a person who is interested and willing to commit Friday and Saturday night games, please e-mail Diane who will forward your interest on to Fic.


Michigan Boys Basketball Finals Saturday on FSN Detroit

FSNFSN Detroit's coverage of Michigan high school championship events continues Saturday, March 25 with regional coverage of all four games in the 2006 MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals from the Breslin Center in East Lansing. This marks the ninth consecutive year the boys finals have aired on FSN Detroit. Play-by-play announcers are Fred McLeod (Class D & C) and John Keating (Class A & B). Game analysts are Greg Kelser (Class D & C) and Tim McCormick (Class A & B). Shireen Saski is the sideline reporter for all games.

Here is the lineup of the 2006 MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals on FSN Detroit. The participating teams are determined after semifinal action on Thursday and Friday, March 23-24:

MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals – Saturday, March 25
Class D: 10:00 AM, LIVE (Fred McLeod, Greg Kelser, Shireen Saski)
Class C: 12:00 PM, LIVE (McLeod, Kelser, Saski)
Class A: 4:00 PM, LIVE (John Keating, Tim McCormick, Saski)
Class B: 8:00 PM, LIVE (Keating, McCormick, Saski)
Following the Class B game, FSN presents a special edition of the Detroit Sports Report – DSR: Basketball Finals Recap, a 30-minute show comprising highlights, interviews and analysis from all four state championship contests.

Alexander Zonjic performs in concert fundraisers

ZonjicNo stranger to supporting good causes, jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic has been involved in a number of fundraisers over the years. Here are some upcoming events and recognition for service that Zonjic recently received:

Two great bands, Alexander Zonjic & Friends and saxophonist Warren Hill and his band, will perform for one great cause on Sunday, April 9 in a concert to benefit Smooth Jazz V98.7's Fund the Music program. The 7:30 p.m. show takes place at The Roostertail in Detroit. Tickets are $30 and available on-line at https://roostertail.com/tickets/. Fund the Music supports music education in select metro Detroit area schools. Studies show that there are many benefits to children learning music in schools. It enhances reading and math skills - not to mention building self-esteem, appreciation of music, building teamwork and more. Gently used musical instruments and donations are also being collected. Smooth Jazz V98.7 is working in conjunction with Communities In Schools (CIS), an organization that will assist in facilitating the program with the schools.

Alexander Zonjic has begun preparations for the tenth annual concert for the Windsor Downtown Mission. It will be held May 13 at the Capital Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, which is Alexander's hometown and current residence. The Windsor Downtown Mission feeds the homeless, offers them spiritual and moral support, provides health care, referrals, clothing and employment support.

Zonjic was recently named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International-District 6400, which covers Southeastern Michigan and Southwestern Ontario. Zonjic was recognized for his work in performing and producing the Piper's Holiday Concerts held last December in Dearborn, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario to benefit the Children of the Dump in Nicaragua. The concerts raised a total of $35,000 for the Hope and Relief Fund which supports a Catholic mission in Chinandega, Nicaragua. The money helps families in need and several schools. Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary International. In attendance was Dearborn Mayor Michael Guido.

Alexander Zonjic performs in about 100 concerts a year and is the host of a popular weekday morning radio show on Smooth Jazz V98.7 WVMV. He is also artistic director of several music festivals and is part owner of the award-winning jazz supper club “Seldom Blues.” His current CD bears the same name as his restaurant and his second single “Sweat” is being heard nationwide.

Detroit Free Press:

More public radio furor for WDET-FM (101.9), which this week saw general manager Michael Coleman charged with embezzlement during his run at Ann Arbor's WUOM-FM (91.7). The band Los Lobos has expressed its desire through its manager not to honor the agreement it made with WDET to appear at a fund-raising performance in May. It's an apparent protest over WDET's daytime switch from music to talk... Los Lobos reneges on gig (Sat 3/18)

Detroit News:

In the annals of scandals, the current mess at WUOM-FM (91.7) -- the Ann Arbor public radio station -- is penny ante-gate. But in the hearts and minds of public radio listeners -- many of whom support the Ann Arbor station with pledges followed by real dollars -- the news is more shocking than Howard Stern's dirty jokes from the ozone. That's because public radio is a haven, an on-air retreat from mean-spirited tricks, loud rants, Top 40 music and the consciously un-civil. Outside of Canada, where else might you hear complete sentences spoken in English with implied punctuation, delivered in a tone of congenial refinement? In the world of public radio, rationality is strived for, if not always attained, and delivered -- here's the key part -- virtually free of mercenary concerns... Ann Arbor public radio scandal tests loyalty of sponsors (Sun 3/19)


After 6 years of battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Sabrina Black passed away last night at the home she and her husband, Steve shared in Clawson.

Sabrina, a former Detroit radio personality and the wife of WRIF's weekend jock, Steve Black, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2000 and had undergone numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as two bone marrow transplants. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, Sabrina's condition worsened and she finally succumbed to the cancer last night, surrounded by her loving husband and her two cats. Sabrina was best known for her work as a sports update reporter at WDFN-AM 1130.

Steve Black commented, "It is with great sadness that I'm announcing the loss of my amazing wife Sabrina. Sabrina battled cancer for more than 6 years, but died at home in our bed at 9pm on Monday, March 20th. I'll admit that the last several days were difficult for her and she continued the fight to her last breath. I feel very lucky, of all the billions of people in the world, God choose me to love Sabrina and help her cross from this world to the next. We are both proud of what we accomplished as a couple, we had the chance over the last few weeks to look back and we did everything right. We had time to look through our photographs, talk and laugh before she became bed ridden. Her last four days were very difficult and she fought as hard as she possibly could. It is comforting to know that we did not waste one single day in our nine years together."

Sabrina's memorial service is open to the public this Saturday, March 25th between noon and 5pm at Gramer Funeral Home, located at 705 N. Main Street in Clawson.

Contributions can be still made to the Sabrina Black Fund to continue her fight, along with many others, against leukemia and lymphoma. The hope is that some day, the fund will be able to pay 100% of the medical bills of a cancer patient. To make a donation, send a check or money order payable to "The Sabrina Black Fund" to WDFN, Sabrina Black Fund, 27675 Halsted Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331.

Detroit News:

Sabrina Black is gone, but her sunglasses are still on the table, and for now, they are enough for her husband to cling to. She died Monday night at home in Clawson, and when Steve Black woke up Tuesday, "I was so hesitant that this houseful of memories would be crippling." Instead, he saw the photos and trinkets and all the driftwood washed ashore in nine years together, "and everywhere I look, I find joy." It's only right, and only fair. Sabrina, 35, a former disc jockey and WDFN-AM (1130) sports reporter, fought Hodgkin's lymphoma with more spirit and more smiles for more years than even her husband thought possible... Sabrina Black's spirited battle (Wed 3/22)


* FOX affiliate WXMI-TV 17 Grand Rapids translator W42CB Hesperia has been granted a construction permit to convert to digital operations. W42CB is the first Michigan LPTV/translator to get permission to go digital.

* Advance Acquistion has been granted a construction permit for a new AM station to be licensed to Ironwood on 1490. This is Advance's second Upper Peninsula construction permit having previously been granted one for AM 1490 Houghton.


Bills Would Encourage Competition and Improve Services for Consumers

MABThe Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) today announced its support for bills in the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives that would allow telecom companies to provide advanced video services. The bills, SB 1197 and HB 5895, would allow additional providers to enter the business of home delivery of video and audio entertainment.

“These bills would allow more providers to offer programming to the consumer—including that of local broadcasters,” said Karole White, President and CEO of the MAB. “We are strongly in favor of changes that would offer more competition in delivery of video services to Michigan citizens and provide new ways for them to receive the local programming they want.” White said inclusion of local broadcasters' television and radio signals in any new delivery system is crucial because of the role that broadcasters play in emergency communications, local news and weather coverage, and other community events. “The citizens of Michigan should demand more choices and urge their lawmakers to support bills that would give them that choice,” White said. “More providers mean more competition, more choices, better customer service and better prices.”


Channel 20 Detroit signs with MyNetworkTV

Granite TV owned WDWB-TV 20 Detroit has inked an affiliation deal with Fox's new "MyNetworkTV" offering effective with the launch of the network this fall. Channel 20 has been the market's WB affiliate since that network's creation but was temporarily left without an affiliation when it was announced that WKBD-TV 50 would become the area's CW affiliate earlier this year. The CW was formed as combined network of the current WB and UPN nets, both of which will shut down this summer. The CW landed on Channel 50 by default as the station is owned by CBS, the managing partner behind the CW.

Bloomfield Hills WBFH 88.1 scores numerous MAB awards

Bloomfield Hills School District radio broadcasting students won six first place awards, five second place awards and five third place awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) at their annual conference held Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at the Lansing Center. The MAB received 527 entries from 34 schools for their annual High School and College Broadcast Awards competition. WBFH students won 16 of the 25 awards given out in the high school radio division, including first place in six of the eight categories.

Andover senior Ryan Fishman won three individual awards: 1st Place, Public Service Announcement; 1st Place, Promotional Announcement; 3rd Place (tie), Sportscast/Play by Play. Andover senior Erin Kashawlic won three awards: 1st Place, Sports Public Service Announcement; 2nd Place, Radio Air Check; 2nd Place, Public Service Announcement. Andover senior George Tunis won two awards: 2nd Place (tie), Sports Public Service Announcement; 2nd Place, Talk Show with Andover senior P.J. Wascher. Andover junior Wade Fink won two awards: 2nd Place Sportscast/Play by Play; 3rd Place, Promotional Announcement. Lahser senior Rachel Fishman won 1st Place, Newscast. Andover senior Jake Neher, Andover senior Nick Gallick, and Andover junior Kevin Qian won 1st Place, Talk Show. Lahser senior Valenta Bedford won 3rd Place (tie), Sports Public Service Announcement. Andover senior Lauren Edelman won 3rd Place, Public Service Announcement.

Six WBFH students won 1st Place in the Large Group category: Ryan Fishman, Rachel Fishman, Tunis, Kashawlic, Fink and Edelman. Four WBFH students won 3rd Place in the Large Group category: Neher, Qian, Wascher, and Andover senior Marco Myerson.

Due to the number of awards won by WBFH students, WBFH was named the 2006 MAB High School Station of the Year and received a gold record award from BMI. This was the fourth year in a row that WBFH won or tied for MAB Station of the Year. Station Manager Pete Bowers and Assistant Manager/Chief Engineer Randy Carr accepted the Station of the Year Award on behalf of their award-winning students.

WBFH Operations Manager Ryan Fishman was pleased with the performance of the Biff students this year compared to last year: "We won three more total awards and one more 1st Place this year which is impressive." Motivational speaker Ron Bachman gave the keynote address at the awards luncheon.WBFH, also known as The Biff, is a non-commercial, educational radio station broadcasting at 88.1 on the FM dial or online at www.wbfh.fm.

AM 580 Serves “The Blue Plate Special” as part of the Midday Café

CKWW-AM 580, Motor City Favorites, has announced a brand new feature airing weekdays at Noon called “The Blue Plate Special” The feature kicks off the Midday Café Show and will feature 5 songs- all with the same theme. Upcoming specials include “Elton John songs”, “Sunny Songs” and “4-Letter Words” (songs with four letters in the title!) just to name a few. Wayne Stevens presents “The Blue Plate Special” as part of the Midday Café, weekdays following the Noon news on AM 580, Motor City Favorites.

WMGC to host “Magic 80's Prom Dance Party” in April

WMGCMagic 105.1 (WMGC-FM) will hold its “80's Prom Dance Party” at Laurel Manor in Livonia on Saturday, April 22nd, 2006. It will be a memorable event, complete with fantastic hors d'oeuvres, plenty of dancing, a photo booth and live music from That 80's Band. To fully enhance the “Magic 80's Prom Dance Party” experience, there will be a Prom King and Queen, 80's Idol Contest and much more! The only way in is to win- Listeners cannot purchase tickets to this “bodacious” 80's event. The Magic 80's Prom Dance Party is sponsored by Walsh College, Empire Today, English Gardens, Laurel Manor and Magic 105.1FM.

Detroit News:

Lots of folks wrote at different times last year to squawk about Tigers games and their sabbatical leave from local "free" television, which had been Channel 50's province until contract talks fizzled early in 2005. They were assured -- it might have been my mistake -- that 2006 would see a return to normal. Channel 50 would, no doubt, be back in the Tigers telecast business. The Tigers, after all, had a duty to their non-cable audience to make at least 25 games a year available, especially when there were plenty of senior citizens on fixed incomes who depended on Channel 50 to sate their Detroit baseball appetites... Tigers dropped the ball -- no 'free' game telecasts (Tue 3/21)

Video may have killed the radio star, but AM and FM radio stations are not yielding to the satellite challenge without a fight. Even as Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio strive to convince consumers to pay for a service they have received for free since its inception, the nation's broadcast radio stations are rolling out new digital technology that delivers better audio quality, less interference and a host of new features. Twenty-three Detroit-area radio stations already offer the new technology, known as HD radio, and the industry is lobbying aggressively to get automakers to offer HD radios in their cars and trucks... HD radio in driver's seat (Wed 3/22)

Detroit Free Press:

Channel 20 gets a network: Granite Broadcasting's TV20 (now WDWB, but destined to change call letters in the fall with the demise of the WB Network) has been signed as a new MyNetworkTV affiliate debuting Sept. 5. MyNetworkTV will launch with new scripted primetime drama series... Names and Faces (Thu 3/23)

Ann Arbor News:

Thayrone is out, but the doctor - Dr. Laura, that is - is in at WAAM (1600 AM), Ann Arbor's talk radio station. The change was effective Monday. Besides axing "On the Edge," Thayrone's personality-driven afternoon talk show, the station has dropped his Sunday night "Bone Conduction Music Show" as well. The decision was made at the corporate level, said Bob Hamilton, a national radio consultant who said he is now the station's acting general manager. Stephen Ames, who had been station manager and vice president, was let go Tuesday... WAAM drops Thayrone from lineup (Wed 3/22)

WDET programming notes

WDETBBC's "World Have Your Say" coming to Detroit March 30:
One of Public WDET-FM's 101.9 newest programs, the BBC's "World Have Your Say" will be coming to Detroit on Thursday, March 30 as part of an American tour. The program will be broadcasting from the famous Motown Museum on W. Grand Blvd. WDET's own Quinn Klinefelter, who regularly contributes to the BBC, will be a part of this special broadcast. Listeners who would like to be part of the studio audience and join in the conversation can get more information at the station's website at wdetfm.org. Other cities on the BBC's American tour next week include New Orleans, New York, Atlanta and Washington DC. The BBC's "World Have Your Say" airs weekdays from 1pm to 2pm on WDET 101.9FM and at wdetfm.org.

WDET News recognized by Michigan Associated Press with 7 awards, Detroit Public Radio Honored With General Excellence Award For 5th Straight Year-
The Michigan Associated Press has recognized WDET Detroit Public Radio as the best non-commercial radio station in Michigan with this year's "General Excellence" award in addition to six other recognitions. This is the fifth consecutive year that WDET has received the "General Excellence" award. The complete list of awards given to WDET by the Michigan AP is:

* General Excellence - WDET
* Best Newscast - Morning Edition 1/12/05 Craig Fahle.
* Best Spot News - WDIV Shooting - Quinn Klinefelter and Jerome Vaughn
* Best Hard News - Rosa Parks Funeral - Jerome Vaughn
* Best Feature - Barenaked Shakespeare - Celeste Headlee
* Best Sports Feature - All Star Work - Jerome Vaughn
* Honorable Mention Sports Feature - Danica - Quinn Klinefelter

"To be recognized by the Michigan Associated Press is a tremendous honor," said Joan Silvi, WDET News Director. "We're proud of the hard work and persistence of our entire news staff to provide in-depth coverage of Detroit area news and events to our community. We strive to do our very best each and every day, and these awards remind us how important our local news service is to our listeners."

Chicago Sun-Times

Kevin O'Neill, afternoon personality at WNIC-FM in Detroit, begins double duty Monday when he signs on as afternoon host at WLIT-FM (93.9), via recorded voice tracks. Both adult-contemporary stations are owned by Clear Channel Radio. At Lite FM, O'Neill succeeds Dave Hilton, who'll concentrate full time on his job as production director. O'Neill is the second host from WNIC to be added to Lite FM by Darren Davis, regional vice president of programming for Clear Channel Radio. Davis, who doubles as program director of Lite FM, previously tapped WNIC morning man Chris Edmonds for the added role of overnight host here... Robert Feder column

All Access:

Kevin O'Neill To Host Afternoons At WLIT/Chicago: CLEAR CHANNEL AC WLIT/CHICAGO has obtained the afternoon drive services of sister AC WNIC/DETROIT afternoon host KEVIN O'NEILL. O'NEILL, who will be voicetracking the show from DETROIT, replaces afternoon host DAVE HILTON, who steps down to focus on his Production Dir. duties for the station. "KEVIN has been atop the ratings in the DETROIT market for over 25 years at AC, Hot AC, and CHR stations. He's a genuinely wonderful guy, and is honestly one of the hardest-working talents I've had the pleasure of working with in my career," said DARREN DAVIS, RVP/Programming for the CHICAGO TRADING ZONE and OM/PD for WLIT. "Radio is a true labor of love for KEVIN, and he will be a great addition to WLIT." Remarking on DAVE HILTON, DAVIS noted, "DAVE has done a great job holding down the fort in PM drive for many years, and we'll still hear him doing much of our vacation fill-in work and some weekend shifts." (Fri 3/24)

Dave Shand Named Morning Co-Host At WTKA-/Ann Arbor:
CLEAR CHANNEL Sports WTKA-A/ANN ARBOR, MI has named DAVE SHAND the station's new morning co-host, effective MONDAY (3/27). SHAND, who recently served as co-host of WTKA-A's SUNDAY morning program "OFF THE FIELD," will join morning host MIKE WICKETT for "MORNINGS WITH MIKE AND DAVE." (Fri 3/24)


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters' (MAB) Foundation recently elected 2006 officers during the Foundation Board of Directors meeting at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference held at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing on March 13 and 14. Officers, who are elected to a one-year term include:

Chairman Bill Keith, Station Manager of WSDP 88.1 FM since 1991. The Plymouth-Canton Community School owned station was named the Michigan Association of Broadcasters “High School Station of the Year” in 2001 and 2002. While at WSDP, Keith has served in many positions on the Board of the Michigan Association of Educational Broadcasters, including President since 2001. Keith previously served as an Account Executive at WGRY in Grayling, Michigan.

Vice Chairman Gary Reid, Director of the Careers and Internships Office for Michigan State University's Telecommunication Department. Reid is also the General Manager of WDBM “IMPACT 89FM” and directs a staff of approximately 150 students.

Secretary/Treasurer Chris Monk, Vice President/General Manager of Northern Star Broadcasting in Traverse City/Petoskey since 1998. Monk previously served as General Sales Manager for The Journal Broadcast Group in Tucson, Arizona, and as General Sales Manager/Corporate Trainer for Prism Radio Partners in Louisville, Kentucky.

The MAB Foundation Board also elected Dana Hughes to a three-year term as a director. Hughes serves as Radio Program Manager of Golightly Career and Technical Center in Detroit.


Over-the-air television viewers on the north side of Flint have a new television station to tune into with the official start up of WHNE-LP Channel 32, a low power station that is offering a lineup of classic movies and sitcoms, news, talk shows, children's programs, sports, and music shows. Channel 32 will also soon offer programming from the Urban America TV network. WHNE has been operating in test mode for some time, but is now at full power and running programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Veteran Detroit Broadcaster Entertained Listeners For More Than 45 Years

Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM 101.9 host Gene Elzy, host of WDET's "The Gene Elzy Program" heard Saturday nights from 6pm to 9pm, has announced his retirement after more than 45 years in broadcasting. Gene says he is looking forward to relaxing and spending time with his family in full retirement. In addition to WDET, Gene also worked at celebrated Detroit stations WJR-AM, WCHB-AM, and WCHD-FM (now WDMK) during his long career.

"I have truly enjoyed being a part of the world-class hosts and on-air personalities that call WDET their home," Elzy said. "Much of my life I have spent on the air. The station management and programming at this fine station will always rank in my book among the best. After careful consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to bring my broadcasting career to a close. I am extremely proud to have been a part of this team of broadcast professionals. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to share a delightful audience with you and the entire WDET team."

Everyone at Detroit Public Radio is wishing Gene all the best in his retirement, and thanking him for his years of service and will always consider him one of WDET's and Detroit's great broadcasters. "We are going to miss Gene deeply," said Allen Mazurek, WDET program director. "It's rare when an individual gets to do somthing they love for 45 years, and we feel grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and know Gene Elzy."

Allen Mazurek will host a special tribute show to Gene Elzy in Gene's former timeslot, Saturday, 6pm to 9pm, tomorrow, March 25. Listeners who want to send Gene Elzy a note are invited to do so via email at gelzy@wdetfm.org.


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.

 * * * * 

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.

 * * * * 

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.”

 * * * * 

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.”

 * * * * 

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.

 * * * * 

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.”

 * * * * 

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.

 * * * * 

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


Grand Rapids Press:

At the longtime newsman's retirement party, we all wore buttons proudly stating "Jack Hogan Gave Us Our Start In Broadcasting." Hogan, an anchorman and news director at WZZM-TV (Channel 13) from 1962-88, was a legend of West Michigan broadcast news. Everybody knew Jack and welcomed his humor, smart business sense, golf game, political knowledge, leadership skills and keen risk-taking sense when making local hires in the news industry. Hogan also worked as an administrative assistant to the Grand Rapids city manager, was a lobbyist for city funding and even worked at the Meijer store on East Beltline Avenue for a while after retiring... Retiree Hogan elects to be active (Tue 3/21)

Who says the proof is in the puddin'? Fans of radio station WSNX-FM (104.5) and new morning host Justin "Puddin" Barclay thought they were getting a scoop Thursday morning when the host interviewed a guest regarding the downtown development 'mystery project'. "My producer got an e-mail from someone who said they knew what was going on, and that it involved Donald Trump," Puddin said later. "I thought it was strange they e-mailed us because we're not a hard news station, but we'll put anybody on. If you say you've been abducted by aliens, we'll put you on"... Caller trumps radio show host (Fri 3/24)

It used to be Detroit Tigers fans throughout the state could look forward to watching all but a handful of the team's home and road contests from the comfort of their living rooms in the course of a 162-game schedule. No more. For the second straight season, the Tigers are withholding a large number of their games -- a total of 50 this season -- from being broadcast... FSN Detroit the only home for the Tigers (Fri 3/24)

The zany morning radio program, "Mancow's Morning Madhouse," debuted Monday on WZUU-FM (92.3) in Kalamazoo. Based in Chicago, the show airs weekdays from 6:30 to 11 a.m. For the past two months, the station played rock music with no on-air talent in the mornings. Now, song parodies, radio skits, prank phone calls, and a radio program that promotes the concept of free speech takes the air waves, all sent out by a host with the offbeat radio name Mancow. The moniker stems from his college days at Central Missouri State University, where he majored in theater and was fond of creating a half-man, half-cow character... Radio's Mancow 'disease' spreads to WZUU-FM (Sun 3/26)


Ann Arbor News:

They've come in steadily, a few dozen e-mails and phone calls, all asking the same question. What happened to Dennis Fithian? Why, after 11 years, did he suddenly disappear from the afternoon radio airwaves on all-sports WTKA-AM (1050) after the March 14 show?... Fithian will be missed; Radio host's 'every-fan' approach a hit with listeners

Detroit News:

State legislation that would let AT&T Inc. circumvent local franchising requirements as it rolls out Internet-based television service in Michigan could cut communities' revenue and deprive some families of cable TV. A pair of bills, one introduced last week in the state House and another in the Senate earlier in the month, would put the Secretary of State's office in charge of overseeing cable providers rather than local officials... Pair of bills could limit access to cable television (Mon 3/27)


Support for Detroit's new Classical and Jazz radio station faces first major test with 90.9 WRCJ Member Drive

The long-awaited return of classical music and mainstream jazz to Detroit radio has been trumpeted since August 2005 by many fans of 90.9 WRCJ-FM. Now, the area's new public radio station will present its first major membership drive and get a clear indication whether listeners who appreciate the sounds will provide their financial support. Beginning Friday, March 31 and continuing through Friday, April 7, 90.9 WRCJ program hosts and special guests will ask those listeners to make contributions to the non-profit, listener supported station, which is licensed to Detroit Public Schools and operated by Detroit Public Television.

WRCJAlthough the station has made limited fundraising appeals during its eight months as a daytime classical and nighttime jazz format, the spring drive will be the initial attempt to generate contributions through a campaign of live on-air pledging. Daytime classical hosts Dave Wagner, Chris Felcyn and Ann Delisi will welcome special guests to encourage support. Nighttime hosts Tony Mowod and Bob Parlocha will urge Detroit area jazz lovers to contribute. “We are eager to discover whether our growing and devoted audience will make financial commitments to 90.9 WRCJ,” said Bob Scott, WRCJ station manager. “Start-up funding from The Kresge Foundation made this collaboration between Detroit Public Schools and Detroit Public Television a reality, but it is our listeners who ultimately will determine the long-term viability of our classical and mainstream jazz format.”

Tax-deductible contributions to WRCJ may be made by calling 1-866-909-WRCJ or online at wrcj909fm.org. Since its debut, WRCJ has featured the works of many local, national and international musicians, and showcased the events and recordings of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Sphinx Organization, and many other local performers and cultural organizations. From its studios in the Detroit School of Arts in the heart of Detroit's cultural center, 90.9 WRCJ is also providing internships for high school students, which are made possible through a grant from the Whitney Fund through the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan.

WWJ Newstime wins AP 2005-06 Broadcast Excellence Awards

The Associated Press recently announced the winners of the 2005-2006 Broadcast Excellence Awards. WWJ, Newsradio 950, received the Overall Excellence award in addition to winning 8 'Best' awards in the following categories: Newscast, Spot News, Hard News, Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Natural Sound, Sportscast, and Sports Feature. The awards will be presented at the AP Awards Ceremony in Southfield on April 8, 2006.

Detroit News:

Even when a hometown team opens its baseball schedule on the road, Opening Day is a merry date for fans who view that first pitch of the season the way Bill Gates saw his first laptop. Promise and potential are unlimited heading into the inaugural ballgame. Thanks to a recent, high-tech invention called television, fans can hunker inside their living rooms on a chilly April day or evening, saddle up to the sofa, pour a beverage of their choice and slurp up some baseball as tulips poke through the soil. Unless, of course, you follow baseball in Detroit in 2006. Barring some kind of deal this week with TV20 -- which is possible -- the Tigers will be on radio, only, when their 2006 season opens Monday in Kansas City (Please note, this information is incorrect-- Fox Sports Net has previously scheduled and will carry the opening day game from Kansas City)... TV schedule is Tigers' first error (Tue 3/28)

All Access:

Detroit's Eli Zaret Launches Sports Feature: Veteran DETROIT sportscaster ELI ZARET launches a two-minute syndicated sports segment, "SMART SPORTS," which will air on four DETROIT stations. The segment will air on MONDAY and FRIDAY mornings at 7:55a on CBS Sports WXYT-A and Talk WKRK (LIVE 97.1 FREE FM) and CLEAR CHANNEL Sports WDFN-A and Talk WDTW-A, and on MONDAY and THURSDAY afternoons at 5:55p on WDFN, WXYT, and WDTW. (Tue 3/28)

WQKL To Begin Webcasting: CLEAR CHANNEL AAA WQKL/ANN ARBOR, MI announced today that the station will begin a webcast this THURSDAY (3/30) at 12:01a. The webcast, dubbed the "107one World Service," will be a live, real-time stream of the station's programming, 24 hours a day. Listeners will be able to visit the station's website at www.annarbors107one.com and follow the links to listen on a computer. (Tue 3/28)

Radio and Records:

Dave Shand joins Mike Wickett in mornings at WTKA-AM/Ann Arbor, MI. Shand was previously the co-host of the station's Sunday morning Off The Field program. (Tue 3/28)

Greater Media, Inc. Marks 50 Years in Broadcasting

Greater Media, Inc. (GMI), owner of Rock WRIF-FM 101.1, Classic Rock 94.7, and WMGC-FM 105.1 in Detroit, will officially mark 50 years in broadcasting on Friday, March 31st, 2006. Owned by the Bordes family, the company was originally founded on March 31, 1956 by Yale classmates Peter A. Bordes and Joseph Rosenmiller. Greater Media, Inc. is considered to be one of the largest and few remaining privately-held broadcast companies in America. GMI's corporate headquarters are located in Braintree, Massachusetts.

From the ownership of a single radio station in Southbridge, Massachusetts, Greater Media steadily and quietly built a broad-based combination of successful communications companies, spanning America from coast to coast. By the 1980's, Greater Media's business included radio, cable television, printing, publishing, and telecommunications operations. In 1999, the company sold its cable business in order to focus more exclusively on its radio and newspaper operations. Today, Greater Media is the parent company of 19 AM and FM radio stations in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Jersey; a modern printing plant and a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey; and several telecommunications towers throughout the United States.

"I am proud of the achievements of our company over the past years," said John Bordes, Greater Media's Chairman of the Board. "My brother wanted the company to remain independent and locally based. Lee Bordes, Peter Smyth and I are going to do exactly that. We look forward to growing Greater Media in the coming years. We believe passionately in the radio business."

"Greater Media is the culmination of Peter Bordes' life's work. Peter believed passionately in the strength of locally based, creative broadcasting that serves the needs of the community,” said Peter Smyth, President and CEO of Greater Media. He added, “In the coming years, Greater Media will continue to be among the first broadcasters to embrace new technologies and new methods of communicating with our listeners and advertisers. We know that is what Mr. Bordes would want us to be doing."

Detroit Winter Phase II ratings released

WNIC remains on top in the 12+ ratings, but the remainder of the top 10 spots shuffles dramatically. See the ratings at Radio and Records, discuss 'em on the Michigan Radio & TV Buzzboard.


WMGC announces first-ever wine testing event

WMGCWMGC-FM, Magic 105.1, will hold its first-ever Wine Tasting Event from 7-10pm on Friday, April 7th, 2006 at the Marble & Granite Gallery on Telegraph Rd. (between 8 and 9 Mile Roads) in Southfield. The event will feature hors d'oeuvres over 10 types of wines that will be showcased with experts on-hand to educate attendees about the specific types featured at the event. Additionally, there will be a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association. The event will be hosted by the Magic Morning Show's Linda Lanci and other Magic 105.1 personalities. Listeners will not be able to purchase tickets to this event- instead they will have to listen to the station for details on how to win entry.

Detroit Free Press:

Tuesday's monthly Arbitrend radio report card for December, January and February shows Santa Claus continued to deliver for soft-rocker WNIC-FM. Still buoyed by high numbers for its December holiday music, it clung to the No. 1 position among all listeners 12 and older. But the end is near -- the December numbers get factored out next month. There are plenty of interesting numbers throughout this report. Country WYCD-FM surged to No. 2 overall and to No 3 in the key age 25-54 demographic. That's the station's highest ranking in eons... Holiday feeling lingers at WNIC (Wed 3/29)

Detroit News:

The Tigers decided Tuesday to end negotiations with TV20, which stood to televise a package of "free" TV games similar to the block of telecasts that once aired on Channel 50. "We were notified today by the Tigers that they opted not to move forward with our proposal," said Sarah Norat-Phillips, TV20 general manager. "I hate saying all is lost, but they're not pursuing our option"... Tigers, TV20 break off talks (Wed 3/29)


Barrington Broadcasting has struck a deal with Raycom Media to purchase 12 stations across the country for a total of $262 million. Included in the sale are Michigan stations WLUC TV 6 Marquette, WBPN TV 7 Traverse City / WTOM TV 4 Cheboygan along with WNWO TV 24 Toledo, OH. All of the stations above are affiliates of NBC, the same network seen on current Barrington owned station WEYI TV 25 Saginaw. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

Barrington buys 12 TV stations from Raycom (Tue 3/28, Mediaweek.com)


Detroit News:

Friday begins spring fundraising for public radio stations WDET-FM ( 101.9), WUOM-FM (91.7) and WRCJ-FM (90.9), and it's going to be anything but a routine few weeks, for any of them. WRCJ is entering its first fundraiser ever, and classical music fans who've been clamoring for their favorite format since the demise of classical radio in Detroit back in the late '90s will need to pony up some cash if they like WRCJ's daytime classical, nighttime and weekend jazz mix... Radio stations set for spring fundraisers (Thu 3/30)

All Access:

WDFN/Detroit Adds "The Ottoman Sports Empire": CLEAR CHANNEL Sports WDFN-A/DETROIT gives update anchor/reporter ROB OTTO his own weekend show. "THE OTTOMAN SPORTS EMPIRE" launches APRIL 2 with KANSAS CITY STAR columnist (and former WHB-A and KSCP-A/KANSAS CITY host) JASON WHITLOCK and USA TODAY columnist CHRISTINE BRENNAN guesting on the opening installment. (Thu 3/30)


The Lansing State Journal is reporting that Rubber City Radio owned Sports WQTX-FM 92.1 will change its format to satellite-fed Oldies this weekend leaving the Lansing market with one all-sports station, WVFN-AM 730. Lansing had been without an Oldies station since September 2005 when WJIM-FM changed its format to Contemporary Hits.

Sports WQTX first took to the airwaves in December of 2000 on FM 92.7 Charlotte after being purchased by Rubber City. The station expanded its coverage to FM 92.1 in July of 2004 and stayed on FM 92.1 only in October 2005 when FM 92.7 switched to a Smooth Jazz format.

*** ***

Lansing's highest-rated sports radio station is disappearing. WQTX (92.1-FM), billed as "The Ticket," is becoming an oldies-rock station. That starts Monday; for local sports-talk hosts, today is the final day. "We'll have our farewell shows," said Jack Ebling, the station's morning host. His will be from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. today. Fred Heumann is 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Dave "Mad Dog" DeMarco from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; national shows fill the other times... WQTX radio ends sports-talk format (Fri 3/31, Lansing State Journal)


As Mike previously reported, Rubber City Radio Group's WQTX-FM (92.1) has gone ahead with a scheduled format flip from Sports Talk to Oldies, albeit three days earlier than originally planned.

According to an article in Thursday's Lansing State Journal, the station was originally scheduled to change formats on Monday, April 3rd. However, listener reaction to the LSJ article prompted station management to make the change this morning (3/31), scrapping original plans to allow Ticket hosts to say their on-air goodbyes.

The format flip of WQTX to Oldies comes as a moderate, but not a total surprise. Lansing has been without an Oldies outlet since September 2005, when WJIM-FM dropped the format in favor of CHR, so it stood to reason that someone in this market would eventually pick up the torch and run with it. The surprise may be in the fact that WQTX, which seemed to have a successful Sports Talk format offering locally-produced shows during main weekday dayparts, was the one to switch. WQTX's sister station, WJZL, the original Ticket, switched to a satellite delivered Jazz format last fall.

The big question may be what becomes of the Lansing Lugnuts broadcasts? Rubber City had reportedly signed a multi-year deal with the Lugnuts to carry the local Minor-League team's games on The Ticket, but now that there is no Ticket, where will the Luggies land? One possibility might be Citadel's WVFN-AM 730 (The Game), now Lansing's sole Sports Talk outlet.

*** ***

The transformation of WQTX came three days earlier than planned. The station (92.1-FM) had announced it would quit sports talk at midnight Sunday. At 12:01 a.m. Monday, it would switch to oldies music, emphasizing the 1960s. Late Thursday, however, officials decided to make the change immediately... WQTX ditches farewell sports shows, goes 'oldies' sooner (Fri 3/31, Lansing State Journal)


Detroit News:

When Channel 7 fired news anchor Frank Turner in 1998, it followed revelations of crack cocaine addiction and thousands of dollars in telephone sex line charges. Now Turner's lifestyle choices have the anchor and the TV station going to the mat again -- but the circumstances could not be more different. Turner, a born-again Christian who returned to the 5 p.m. anchor desk in 2000 a changed man, has filed a complaint against WXYZ-TV with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for refusing him permission to host an evangelical radio program in his spare time... TV anchor's choice: God or Ch. 7 job (Fri 3/31)

Detroit Free Press:

Frank Turner's contract to anchor the news at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) expires at year's end, the station says. And the likelihood he'll continue much beyond that has been clouded by his new Equal Opportunity Commission filing against the station for enforcing its exclusive contract for his broadcast services. Turner, who embraced evangelical Christianity after well-publicized cocaine and phone porn scandals in the late 1990s, wants to launch a two-hour weekday show on Christian broadcaster WEXL-AM (1340)... Turner pushing Channel 7 to allow his radio evangelism (Fri 3/31)

Flint Journal:

Michigan Public Radio got some good news for a change recently when it was named one of the best public radio stations in the state by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. The Ann Arbor-based station, WUOM (91.7), which simulcasts in Flint as WFUM (91.1), earned the designation after winning eight 2005 Broadcast Excellence Awards from the MAB... Michigan Public Radio earns eight awards of excellence (Fri 3/31)







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mike Austerman in March 2006.

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