Mike Austerman: April 2006 Archives

Detroit News:

When Deborah Tate joined the Federal Communications Commission in January, she knew her responsibilities would be vast, from reviewing corporate mergers to shepherding small towns into the digital age. But she wasn't quite prepared for all the swearing, violence and sex. "I'm not sure that it ever dawned on me that when I was appointed or sworn in that I -- the FCC commissioners -- would actually watch all of these" TV and radio shows named in indecency complaints, she said. Tate and her fellow commissioners agree it is an issue of great public concern... Guardians of decency (Sun 4/2)


Obituary: Richard A. Femmel may have changed jobs, but in his soul, he was always a shoe-leather reporter who preferred the facts to the sensational and didn't sleep until the story was put to bed. A founding member of the Detroit Press Club and nationally recognized broadcaster, Mr. Femmel was known for his intellectual curiosity, serious mind and level head. In 1964 and 1965, he won the National Headliners Award for the nation's most outstanding television editorials... WXYZ anchor focused on the facts (Sun 4/2)

 

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, April 2, 2006

By: Art Vuolo


On The Radio

The local radio scene is buzzing about the stunning results of the just-posted ratings numbers. The No. 1 station continues to be pop-hits WNIC-FM (100.3), so new program director Don Gosselin must feel good about what he inherited from his predecessor Darren Davis. Davis is now in Chicago and just secured Detroit’s nicest DJ, Kevin O’Neill, to do afternoons on Windy City soft-rock giant WLIT-FM. But local fans need not be concerned — Kevin will do the Chicago show through the “magic (whoops bad choice of words) of radio” and physically remain in Motown as the afternoon host at WNIC. A side perk is that Kevin’s son, Brendon, who lives in Chicago, can now listen to dad on the radio.

In second place is country WYCD-FM (99.5), which recently revamped the Dr. Don morning show and held a hugely successful St. Jude Hospital fundraiser. Country music is hot right now and this should further prove the point. Top-rated Mix, the pop-urban WMXD-FM (92.3) is third, followed by urban sister station WJLB-FM (97.9) in a fourth place tie with news WWJ-AM (950). Channel 955 has two fives in its name, and as such, WKQI-FM (95.5) finished fifth.

So, where’s the “big dog?” Well news-talk WJR-AM (760) is in a three-way tie for sixth place with smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7) and oldies WOMC-FM (104.3). What a set of numbers. By the way, have you noticed ’OMC is not using the word “oldies” very much anymore?


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Birmingham-based Jacobs Media has rolled out the results of another one of their reports that shows Howard Stern’s former listeners are sticking with regular AM and FM radio. In fact, 70 percent of Stern’s audience have remained with the terrestrial band over satellite radio. So what about the three Howard “replacements?” Well, David Lee Roth on the East Coast is a train wreck bigger than the one in “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” On the West Coast, comic Adam Corolla isn’t doing much better. Radio personality Shane French, the man who’s known as Rover on Rover’s Morning Glory, heard locally on hot-talk WKRK-FM (97.1), is doing the best. Getting listeners to wrap their arms around you ain’t easy.


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On the flipside of the Jacobs report, CIBC World Markets predict that collectively Sirius, which hosts Stern, and XM Satellite Radio will likely see a combined 37 million subscribers by 2010. The study concludes “radio must concentrate on local programming to remain relevant.”


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A new book release, “The Radio Funny Book” (Infinity Publication, $13.95) by Bob Doll, captures some of the craziest moments in the radio business providing radio-types with some good laughs in this soft-cover collection of humorous stories.


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Remember Gene Elzy from his many years on WJR and public WDET-FM (101.9)? Well, the master of jazz is retiring, and we wish him well. Speaking of ’DET, former host Martin Bandyke is currently hosting mornings on alternative WQKL-FM (107.1) from Ann Arbor. If you have trouble pulling the signal over the air, the station is now streaming online at www.annarbors107one.com. Gotta love the Internet.


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Soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1) will hold its first-ever Wine Tasting Event at 7 p.m. Friday at the Marble & Granite Gallery on Telegraph in Southfield. It should be a memorable event, but tickets are available only through the station.


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Just askin’, but in radio, a jock who signs off at midnight would never suggest that his audience tunes in for the early morning show. So why do all of the TV news anchors sign off at 11:35 p.m. urging viewers to wake up with their morning news block at 5 a.m.? Strange.


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Congrats to Handyman Productions President Rob David, who was honored with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters first-ever MAB Associate of the Year Award at the recent Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Lansing.


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Set your dials: The big band music of Tommy Dorsey’s brother Jimmy will be featured 6 p.m. tonight on “Somewhere in Time” on WMUZ-FM (103.5).


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

 

Grand Rapids Press:

I've put together my second-annual list of the most powerful professionals in the Grand Rapids sports broadcasting community, and checked it twice. So what's the definition of powerful? It's open to interpretation, of course, but I considered on-air personalities, programmers and front-office executives. The rankings reflect significant developments in the past year, accounting for some people debuting, others moving up or down, and some dropping off... Checking who's who in GR sports broadcasting (Fri 3/31)


Carrie Manders will leave WZZM-TV (Channel 13) at the end of May and apply her knowledge of the health field as media relations manager for Spectrum Health. She has been the station's health reporter for 2 1/2 years ... Former WOOD-TV newswoman Lynn Carthane makes her home in East Setauket, N. Y., 60 miles east of New York City, with her husband and two children. Lynn left in the summer of 1993 for KXTV, the ABC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., as morning anchor, then weekend anchor... TV reporter switches to hospital PR (Sun 4/2)

 

FSNAn exclusive interview with Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer will air Monday on FSN Detroit's Red Wings' Pregame at 8:30 PM, prior to the Red Wings-Calgary Flames telecast. FSN's John Keating conducted the interview Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Following is an excerpt from the interview, as Fischer answers how often he thinks about the Nov. 21 incident in which he collapsed on the bench, went into cardiac arrest and was revived via an automated defibrillator: “Not daily, but quite frequently. But I don't look at that night as a bad thing at all. Everybody says 'I'm very sorry for what happened,' which I extremely appreciate, but I always say, why would you be? It could have been a lot worse. I'm not trying to be cheesy, but when you get that close to not being here – everything could have been taken away instantly – and being here, being healthy, mentally being fine…it's really like winning the lottery, so I've already won mine. I don't take many things for granted anymore. I feel very good about every day.”

The interview, Fischer's first public comments since a Dec. 12 news conference, also includes his recollection of that night and he addresses the topic of his hockey future.

 

The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) re-elected Thom Paulson, General Manager of Interlochen Public Radio, as President of the MAPB. He began at Interlochen Public Radio in 1976 and became manager in 1981 and has previously held positions as Vice-President and Secretary of the Michigan Public Radio Network.

The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) is the unified voice of Michigan's public radio and television stations. Together, these stations produce and distribute a remarkable array of television and radio programs and series, which meet the needs, and interest of Michigan citizens.

Officers elected to the 2006-2007 MAPB Board include:
President: Thom Paulson, WIAA-FM & WIZY-FM, Interlochen
Vice President: Steve Antoniotti, WTVS-TV, Detroit
Treasurer: Pam Clark, WDCQ & WDCP-TV, WUCX-FM, University Center
Secretary: DeAnne Hamilton, WKAR-AM/FM/TV, East Lansing
At-Large: Michael T. Walenta, WGVU/WGVK-TV, WGVU & WGVS-AM/FM, Grand Rapids
At-Large: Edward Grant, WCFX-FM, WUPS-FM, WCMB-FM, WCMU-TV/FM, WCML-TV/FM, WCMV-TV, WCMZ-FM, WCMW-FM, WMHW-FM, Mt. Pleasant

 

* The FCC has granted John R. Powley a construction permit for a new LPTV station to be licenced to Escanaba on Channel 5. W05CR would transmit with 100 watts. Powley also has construction permits for 3 other LPTV's in the Upper Peninsula.

 

CKWW set to debut Sunday morning Oldies program

CKWW AM 580, Motor City Favorites, has announced a new show coming to its weekend line-up. “The Sunday Morning Oldies Show” is set to premiere this Sunday, April 9th at 10 AM. The two hour locally produced program will feature great oldies from the 50's and 60's, with some early 70's mixed in as well. It will be hosted by AM 580's Charlie O'Brien. Weekly features will include a Top 3 countdown from this week in history – highlighting past music charts from CKLW, Keener 13 and WXYZ - along with listener requests and stories behind the hits.

Charlie O'Brien brings a wealth of musical knowledge from the Motor City's music scene as a former “CKLW-Big 8” jock. He also hosts the AM 580 Morning Show heard weekdays. The Sunday Morning Oldies Show will air every Sunday from 10 AM to 12 Noon following Elvis Only! at 9 AM.



Detroit News:

The Appliance Doctor's wife once asked him to drill a few little holes alongside a window so she could hang a curtain rod. "When I was through," Joe Gagnon says, "I could have stuck my head in there. I had to hire a handyman to patch it up and repaint it." Along the same line, "I'm great at screwing up plumbing," he says. "If I touch a faucet, it starts leaking." So what the heck is he doing hosting a radio show called "Ask the Handyman"? Gagnon, 64, has been asking himself that question a lot lately -- and as of Monday, he's not hosting it anymore... Appliance Doctor gets a new practice on Ann Arbor radio (Wed 4/5)

 

Detroit News:

CBS's Detroit music stations are rolling out online streaming this month, so get your headphones plugged into your work computer. As of this past Monday, you could go to www.wvmv.com and hear Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM (98.7) by clicking and listening online. Friday, country station WYCD-FM (99.5) will inaugurate its online stream at www.wycd.com with a special in-studio interview with the group Rascal Flatts at 6 p.m. with hosts Edwards & Lee... Detroit's CBS stations offer online streaming (Thu 4/6)



All Access.com

Mojo In The Morning Talks To Kim Mathers; Eminem Responds: CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WKQI (CHANNEL 95-5)/DETROIT's "MOJO IN THE MORNING" scored an exclusive interview with EMINEM's wife, KIM MATHERS, this morning. In the interview, KIM shares exclusive insight into the couple and their problems, which lead to yesterday's announcement that the rapper had filed for his second divorce from KIM just 82 days after the couple remarried. For audio and more, click here.

UPDATE: Following the interview, the station received the following email, which they claim was sent by EMINEM himself. "The details surrounding both my marriage and subsequent filing for divorce are private and I had hoped to keep them that way for the sake of my family. However, a few of Kim's statements in the interview this morning need to be addressed. First, her allegations regarding my status post-rehab are both untrue and unfortunate. Second, she was aware that I was filing for divorce. We both tried to give our marriage another chance and quickly realized that a wedding doesn't fix the underlying problems." (Thu 4/7)

 

Letter To Detroit Lions Owner Cites The Importance Of Local Television Coverage In Building Fan Interest; Broadcasters Ask Governor Granholm, Lawmakers And Congressional Delegation For Support

MABThe Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is asking National Football League (NFL) team owners to reconsider their recent decision to ban local TV crews from sideline coverage during NFL games. The decision, made by NFL team owners at their recent spring meeting, will prevent local TV crews from capturing game action images for broadcast on news and highlight shows. “For more than 40 years, local television stations have helped build a relationship between pro football teams and their viewers,” said Karole White, MAB President and CEO. “The move to ban local TV crews from game coverage will deny viewers the unique local coverage of NFL games they've come to expect.”

In a letter, the MAB has asked Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford to reconsider the sideline ban, highlighting that Michigan taxpayers helped finance the Lions' home stadium, Ford Field, and that, “A ban on photojournalists at Ford Field would prohibit objective coverage of news events in a publicly funded facility and impede local broadcasters' mandate to serve their community.” “The NFL's sideline ban sets a troubling precedent,” said White. “Subsequent bans of still photographers and other local media will only give the NFL increased editorial control over media coverage of their sport.”

In a separate letter, the MAB has asked Governor Jennifer Granholm, state lawmakers, and Michigan's Congressional delegation for support in contacting NFL representatives seeking a reversal of the sideline ban.

 

Detroit Free Press:

Honored: WDIV-TV (Channel 4) reporter and former Free Press scribe M.L. Elrick at Thursday's Wayne State University Journalism Day luncheon. He received a WSU Journalist of the Year award for his reportage on city government and mayoral shenanigans. Tim Kiska, WWJ-AM (950) News radio producer, was journalist of the year for his perceptive analysis of mayoral voting returns and his book: "From Soupy to Nuts," the history of Detroit television ... Kim Mathers said Thursday that husband Eminem's (Marshall Mathers III) divorce filing on Wednesday left her surprised -- 82 days into their second marital go-round. Taking to the air Thursday morning on WKQI-FM (95.5), Kim Mathers said she hoped they'd get counseling. Instead, an attorney greeted her at her door, serving the divorce papers... Names and Faces (Fri 4/7)


Now that Katie Couric is going to the "CBS Evening News" and Meredith Vieira was named Thursday as her NBC "Today" show replacement, what happens next? Let's speculate. How will Vieira do on "Today"? The 52-year-old cohost of "The View" and host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" should be a whiz at the fluff stuff. She's also comfy with hard news... Viera vs. Couric: 'View' cohost can shine in new role (Fri 4/7)



Detroit News:

A day after being served with divorce papers by hip-hop superstar Eminem, Kimberley Mathers called into WKQI-FM's (95.5) "Mojo in the Morning" show and gave her side of the story. She alleged Eminem is again struggling with drug addiction and said she hasn't talked to him in more than a month. She said he left their home a month and a half ago and "comes around once a week" to see their kids... Kim tells her side to Mojo (Fri 4/7)


The current shakeup on morning network news continued Thursday with Meredith Vieira's announcement that she will co-anchor NBC's "Today." Vieira -- best known for her work as the voice of reason for the past nine years on ABC's "The View" and as the host of the syndicated game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" -- made the announcement on "The View" to resounding applause from the audience. According to the Washington Post, Vieira landed a $40 million, multiyear deal with NBC. Katie Couric, 49, who shaped the No. 1-rated "Today" with her bubbly personality and trademark smile for 15 years, announced Wednesday that she will be heading to anchor the "CBS Evening News" and report segments on "60 Minutes." Her helm as a CBS anchor marks the first time a woman has anchored solo on broadcast primetime news... Pundits see success for Vieira (Fri 4/7)


Katie Couric has yet to deliver her first CBS newscast and questions are already swirling as to whether or not she can make it as the first woman in history to solely anchor a network news broadcast. The trademark smile that made Couric a household name for 15 years on NBC's "Today" show could work against her when it comes to delivering hard-hitting news, some television analysts and broadcast journalists said Wednesday. Others contend she is the radical change network news needs... Can Katie cut it? (Thu 4/6)



Ann Arbor News:

Local public radio stations WUOM and WEMU are preparing to wrap up their spring fundraisers this weekend in an unusually difficult climate, but still enjoying strong support from the community - and even the competition. The listener-supported broadcasting outlets of the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University face challenges this year from not only the economy but also, in WUOM's case, criminal charges against former employees. The appeals for support are scheduled to wrap up tonight at 8 for WUOM (91.7 FM) and at 4 p.m. Saturday for WEMU (89.1 FM)... NPR stations wrap up drives (Fri 4/7)

 

Tigers Home Opener on April 10th, plus 15 other games to air on Channel 20

The Detroit Tigers senior vice president of business operations Duane McLean announced today that TV20 (WDWB) and Fox Sports Net (FSN) Detroit will air the Detroit Tigers opening day game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on Monday April 10th. The game will be broadcast on FSN Detroit and simulcast on TV20, beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Working with the Tigers, FSN also has acquired the rights to 15 additional Tigers games this season – starting in June – that will be televised on TV20 and a to-be-determined network of over-the-air stations throughout the state.

Mario Impemba and Rod Allen will be announcing all the televised games for FSN Detroit and TV20. “We're pleased to reach this agreement with FSN Detroit and TV20, and provide fans and communities with over-the-air Major League Baseball in 2006,” said McLean. “We worked diligently for several months to reach an agreement that is good for our fans, good for our broadcast partners and good for the Detroit Tigers. Broadcast negotiations are often complex and thanks to terrific efforts by both FSN Detroit and TV20, we've got a good agreement and there are now more opportunities for fans to follow the Tigers throughout the season – and just in time for Opening Day!”

FSN“I'm thrilled that together, we're able to give our entire community the opportunity to watch the pageantry of Opening Day in Detroit," said Greg Hammaren, vice president/general manager, FSN Detroit. "FSN Detroit, TV20 and the Tigers all worked as a team to produce and deliver additional games this season for fans to enjoy." “We are proud to be part of the collaboration that delivers a home run for Detroit's baseball fans,” said Sarah Norat-Phillips, president/general manager, TV20 Detroit. “I especially credit Greg Hammaren for his energy behind the agreement and thank the Detroit Tigers for their ongoing efforts to reach an agreement.”


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The Tigers, FSN Detroit and TV20 have agreed to boost Detroit's 2006 baseball television schedule by 15 games, including a simulcast of Monday's Opening Day game against the Chicago White Sox that will provide Detroit's audience with "free" TV coverage... Tigers fans get 'free' TV (Detroit News, Sat 4/8)

 

Detroit News:

Katie Couric's decision to leave NBC's "Today" for the meatier, primetime solo anchor gig at CBS has created a lot of opportunities, and not just for her replacement Meredith Vieira. This is also a time, broadcast experts say, that ABC's No. 2 sunrise show "Good Morning America" could steal the top spot in the ratings. Meanwhile, scuttlebutt is surrounding Vieira's old digs, ABC's "The View," where producers are rumored to be seriously talking to actress Patricia Heaton ("Everybody Loves Raymond") as a possible Vieira replacement... Tomorrow may be brighter for ABC (Sat 4/8)



WJR programming notes:

On Monday, April 10th from 9-11:30 AM the Frank Beckmann Show will broadcast live from Coaches Corner located in Harmonie Park for the Detroit Tigers Opening Day 2006. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, April 12-13 from 6-9AM the Paul W. Smith Show will broadcast live from the 2006 New York International Auto Show.

 

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, April 9, 2006

By: Mike Austerman


On The Radio

Payola, radio’s biggest bugaboo, is once again rearing its ugly head. Clear Channel, the country’s biggest radio operator, has offered the federal government a tidy $1 million to get itself off the hook from a huge investigation that alleges radio companies have been taking money — and other forms of compensation — from record companies in exchange for increased airplay of songs that might not otherwise get as many spins.

Payola has been illegal since the 1960s and is again under scrutiny by the FCC after an investigation in New York state turned up evidence that the practice of payfor-play had become widespread throughout the industry.Some of the other big companies being studied include CBS Radio, Citadel and Entercom. Locally, Clear Channel owns seven radio stations in the Detroit area plus four in Ann Arbor; CBS Radio owns six area stations; and Citadel is in the process of acquiring three stations from ABC.

In the face of increased competition from the Internet, MP3 players and satellite radio, the last thing radio needs is a huge black eye like another payola scandal to further drive listeners away from the medium.


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Pop oldies CKWW-AM (580) launches a new program 10 a.m.-noon today called the “Sunday Morning Oldies Show.” The locally produced program will feature great oldies from the ’50s and ’60s, with some early ’70s mixed in, too. Hosted by CKWW morning man Charlie O’Brien, each week’s show will feature a Top 3 countdown from the current week in history, highlighting past music charts from former Top 40 juggernauts CKLW, Keener 13 and WXYZ. O’Brien brings a wealth of musical knowledge from the Motor City music scene as a former “CKLW-Big 8” jock, and he’ll mix in plenty of listener requests along with the stories behind the songs. Break out the Brylcreem!


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“Appliance Doctor” Joe Gagnon has exited the weekend lineup at sports WXYT-AM (1270) and landed on Ann Arbor talker WAAM-AM (1600) from 8-10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It’s a reunion of sorts for Gagnon — he got his radio start providing solutions to appliance problems as a guest there 21 years ago.


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XM Satellite Radio just announced it has hit 6.5 million subscribers on its way to what it hopes will be 9 million by the end of the year. Helping it get to that target will be some way-cool new portable receivers that will hit the streets soon. The Pioneer Inno and Samsung Helix are small and light (4 1 /2 ounces, 3.7-by-2.2-by-0.6 inches) and will feature the ability to both record and playback XM programming along with your own MP3 files. They’ll also integrate with Napster, so you can purchase songs you don’t already own.

XM also has announced big changes to its programming lineup. The service will soon feature six new regional news/ talk channels provided by Clear Channel, bringing listeners coverage for every area of the continental United States, complementing the recent addition of Cincinnati talker WLW-AM. New music channels also will be added this spring and early summer.


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Remember the outcry when Detroit Tigers broadcasts left news-talk WJR-AM (760) for WXYT a few years back? It’s no secret that WXYT can’t compete with WJR’s coverage area, leaving many baseball fans unhappy with the relatively weak signal of WXYT, especially at night. Well, a similar thing is happening this season in St. Louis, where the Cardinals have left powerhouse KMOX-AM (1120) in favor of a weaker station that’s now owned by the Cardinals. The move has left many Cards fans outside the metro St. Louis area without a radio station to get the games on, generating verbal protests similar to the ones we’ve had here in Detroit. So the Cardinals came up with a solution — they’re going to give away 50,000 XM radios to fans who can no longer hear the games on KMOX and don’t have a local affiliate they can tune in to. Marketing genius, I’d say, for both XM and the Cardinals.

I wonder — would the Tigers consider doing something similar for listeners across Michigan who experience the same trouble getting the games? Already this year, the Tigers network has suffered downgrades in Lansing — moving from FM to AM 730, which has a very limited nighttime signal — and Traverse City — moving from AM 580 to AM 1310. Between the very limited free TV coverage and a weak radio network, is it any wonder the Tigers continue to struggle to generate interest?


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Set Your Dials: “Somewhere in Time” turns the clock back to 1948 for a show featuring the tunes of Irving Berlin and the movie “Easter Parade” at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5).


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

 

Grand Rapids Press:

The latest TV spot by GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos comes with a bold claim: "Dick DeVos turned Grand Rapids around," it states on an introduction to the ad on the candidate's Web site. The 30-second ad, which first aired around the state last week, contrasts a bleak black-and-white city -- empty, crumbling buildings -- that morphs into a colorful metropolis, with shots of the Amway Grand Plaza, the downtown campus of Grand Valley State University, Van Andel Arena and DeVos Children's Hospital... Visionary or revisionist? Dick DeVos is a major player, but some say ad goes too far (Fri 4/7)


Mr. Big Shot. Is there a cooler nickname in professional sports? His real name, of course, is Chauncey Billups, but he has become better known as one of the NBA's best clutch performers in the final minutes of regulation due to his penchant for hitting buzzer beaters and game-winning shots... FSN shines spotlight on Pistons guard (Fri 4/7)

 

Detroit Free Press:

They're tired of static. They're tired of the morning DJs. They hate commercials. They're tired of the same songs, played over and over and over. These are some of the reasons folks in metro Detroit give for why they decided to plunk down $13 a month for satellite radio... Find your frequency: Satellite radio services promise the stars, portability and channels galore (Mon 4/10)



The Oakland Press:

Cable rates have risen 86 percent in the past 10 years and 40 percent in the past five years, increases that are raising the call for more competition to help moderate prices and give consumers choices. There is a full court press by regional telephone companies on both national and state levels to allow them easy entry into the cable market. A set of state bills allowing AT&T to provide cable service to Michigan markets has been introduced and would bring that competition. But foes of the bill say it would also bring less local control and less local money and would "cherry-pick" only the prime customers. Prime customers are considered to be those in more affluent areas who tend to load up on services and to pay their bills on time... The high cost of cable (Sun 4/9)



Flint Journal:

Ask Jack Frost how important a community-minded radio station can be to its listeners, and he'll offer up the endorsement he got last month during his show on Kettering University's WKUF-FM (94.3). A woman who had just been released from Genesee County Jail called Frost crying in gratitude because she and other inmates were able feel connected to Flint by listening to Frost (real name: Cleven Williams) play hip-hop and R&B made by local artists every afternoon... Our airwaves (Sun 4/9)



All Access:

WTKA/Ann Arbor Renews U. Of Michigan Sports Deal: The UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN and HOST COMMUNICATIONS renew their deal with CLEAR CHANNEL Sports WTKA-A/ANN ARBOR, meaning that the WOLVERINES' football, men's and women's basketball, hockey, and some baseball games will continue to air on the station. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (Mon 4/10)

 

Detroit News:

Russ Parr, whose syndicated morning show was dropped by Radio One's WHTD-FM (102.7), aka Hot 102.7, last July, is returning to the station's 6-10 a.m. slot as of this Thursday. "Due to popular demand, he'll be starting on Thursday morning," said vice president and general manager Carol Lawrence-Dobrusin. "We're thrilled to have him back. He was a staple on our station for five years, and he was missed and we're confident that the Russ Parr morning show will be great for Hot 102.7"... Popular demand brings Russ Parr back to airwaves (Tue 4/11)



Detroit Free Press:

The spring fund-raiser for the University of Michigan's public radio stations raised more than $766,000 -- 14% ahead of last year's total -- despite felony embezzlement charges pending against three former employees and a shaky economy. Listeners contributed the lion's share, more than $563,000, during the two-week drive that ended Friday, station manager Jon Hoban said Monday. "The charges do not appear to have hurt us," Hoban said. "We got notes from people with their checks telling us not to worry, they continued to support us"... Michigan Radio drive unhurt by charges against ex-staff (Tue 4/11)

 

Sinclair Broadcast Group's WSMH-TV (FOX 66) and Meredith Corporation's WNEM-TV (CBS 5) have announced a news partnership in which WNEM will produce an hourly 10 p.m. newscast Monday through Sunday on WSMH, beginning April 24, 2006. The news share will be branded as, "TV5 News at 10 P.M. on FOX66 and will be anchored by current WNEM staffers that will be identified in the near future. Current newsroom employees of WSMH will be considered for positions at WNEM as it expands operations to cover the Channel 66 news programs.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to partner with the number one- rated news in the market," commented David Schwartz, General Manager of WSMH. "Having WNEM produce our news gives us access to resources that are otherwise cost prohibitive, and allows us to air a higher quality, better known news product. We thank our news staff, who did a tremendous job in producing a solid and professional local newscast for the past 3-1/2 years."

"We are excited about partnering with FOX 66 in producing Mid-Michigan's only 10 p.m. newscast," said Al Blinke, WNEM's Vice President and General Manager. "We will invest by expanding our news resources to give both stations more coverage, and give FOX 66 viewers a newscast produced by our top-rated and award-winning news team."


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WSMH (Channel 66) will terminate its own nightly news program, with WNEM (Channel 5) taking over production of the 10 p.m. news in a new partnership. The changes, announced Monday, will go into effect April 24 when "TV5 News at 10 p.m. on Fox 66" hits the airwaves... Channel 5 take over 66 news (Tue 4/11, Flint Journal

 

Detroit Free Press:

Back: Syndicated-from-Washington Russ Parr, mornings on Radio One-owned WHTD-FM (102.7), starting Thursday. Parr, now aligned with Radio One stablemate Tom Joyner (mornings on WDMK-FM, 105.9), was broomed from 105.9 for low ratings back when the station played hip-hop instead of R&B... Names and Faces (Wed 4/12)



Ann Arbor News:

Although larger questions about the direction of the University of Michigan's sports radio package remain unanswered, local listeners will be able to dial into Michigan football games on a familiar spot this fall: WTKA-AM (1050). The Ann Arbor-based all-sports station announced it has renewed its agreement with the university's broadcast partner, Host Communications, to be an affiliate for Michigan football and men's basketball. WTKA will carry Michigan hockey, women's basketball and select baseball and softball games, as well. "This means everything to us. It's our identity,'' said WTKA program director Ryan Maguire"... WTKA remains affiliate for U-M (Wed 4/12)

 

* WNBY-FM 93.7 Newberry announced plans to change the station's format this week from Adult Contemporary to Oldies as well as change the station's frequency from 93.7 to 93.9, broadcasting from a new tower located east of Newberry in Chippewa County. The new facility will broadcast with 50,000 watts @ 463 feet at 93.9 as compared to to 6,000 watts @ 262 feet on 93.7.

New EUP radio station caters to Baby Boomers (Soo Evening News, Sat 4/8)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Does an ex-morning guy get sleep? Tony Gates, ex-morning man at WLAV-FM (96.9), can now do what most of us always dream of-- get a good night's sleep. Or does he? Now that his on-air work schedule has shifted to weekdays 2-7 p.m. can he throw the alarm clock across the room in the early morning hours? "Hey, I was a 'morning person' long before I became a morning guy-- more than half of the battle of being a good morning personality is waking up in a good mood and I always have," he said ... Creative talents are needed for a chance to be a big time Hollywood producer or designer. If you have a creative idea for a: 30 second television commercial promoting B-93 radio put it together and send it in. The commercial needs to be: 30 seconds maximum and would be preferred on a non-returnable DVD... Former a.m. radio host is still an early bird (Tue 4/11)


West Michigan will soon be waking up without Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis. The popular husband-and-wife team, which has been on the air for nearly 20 years, announced on the air this morning its last day will be April 21. The announcement ends speculation their contracts at WLHT-FM (95.7) would not be renewed. On the air, Dave and Geri thanked listeners for their loyalty and support, and said, "This is not a stunt." The market's longest consecutive running morning program, "The Dave and Geri Morning Show"has done well in ratings, especially in its target demographic of women ages 25-54... Radio station tunes out long-running a.m. duo (Thu 4/13)


A former Fifth Third Bank employee is expected to be arraigned in Grand Rapids District Court today on allegations he stole information from bank account records and stalked two local television reporters. The court appearance will be the second in two days for Marco Munoz, 39, of Evansville, Ind., after he was arraigned Wednesday in Wexford County District Court on identity theft and malicious phone use charges for allegedly harassing a Cadillac news anchor. Munoz faces four felony charges here and could be sentenced to five years in prison if convicted. Police say he stalked WXMI-TV's (Channel 17) Rachel Calderon and WOOD-TV's (Channel 8) Kristi Andersen during work-related visits to the area... Alleged stalker arraigned (Thu 4/13)



WOOD-TV:

A man accused of taking advantage of his job to find personal information about female TV personalities and using it to stalk them appeared Thursday in a Grand Rapids courtroom. Marco Munoz, 39, was working as an executive at Fifth Third Bank in Indiana. Investigators say while on business trips he would access the personal information of his alleged victims, who banked with Fifth Third, and then stalk them and make obscene phone calls... Fifth Third employee arraigned on stalking charges (Thu 4/13)



Cadillac News:

A local television anchor and others throughout the Midwest were targets of a bank employee who used their personal information to make obscene phone calls. Marco Antonio Munoz, 39, was arrested earlier this week in Evansville, Ind. He was arraigned on charges of identity theft and malicious use of telecommunications. The former Fifth Third Bank employee accessed hundreds of bank accounts, mostly targeting women and news anchors... Identity theft case spans Midwest (Thu 4/13)



Muskegon Chronicle:

WOOD-TV plans to buy 17 acres of county-owned land adjacent to the Muskegon County Wastewater Management System in Egelston Township for installation of a 449-foot-tall communications tower. The tower would allow the station to upgrade its equipment and expand live coverage of events. Mike Laemers, WOOD-TV's director of engineering, said the station has agreed to pay $83,000 for the land. The tower and a building to house equipment are expected to cost close to $400,000, Laemers said... WOOD-TV plans to erect 449-foot tower (Mon 4/10)

 

Detroit News

The head of Detroit's public radio station WDET will stand trial on an embezzlement charge, an Ann Arbor judge declared Wednesday after a preliminary examination. Michael Coleman pleaded not guilty to charges of illegally accepting meals and other perks while he was deputy director of Michigan Public Media, the parent of the University of Michigan's radio and TV stations, including Ann Arbor's WUOM. He left the group in the summer to join WDET. Prosecution witness Keith Gordon Orr said Coleman accepted free food and drink from Ann Arbor's Aut Bar in partial payment for on-air mentions of the bistro... Radio exec to be tried over perks (Thu 4/13)


It's been a busy few weeks for the Mojo in the Morning crew on WKQI -FM (95.5), as they've found themselves at the vortex of not one, but two international music stories; first with their exclusive interview with Kim Mathers last Thursday. Mathers phoned into the show about being served with divorce papers from her now-estranged husband Eminem . Then, just two days ago, Mojo talked with friends and associates about the shootings at the CCC Club on Detroit's northeast side that left rapper Proof dead and Army veteran Keith Bender in critical condition. But it's not over yet... WKQI works its Mojo this month (Thu 4/13)



Detroit Free Press:

The former development director for the University of Michigan's public radio pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzlement for taking merchandise such as a lawn sprinkler system, a Persian rug and a golf membership while working at the stations. As part of the deal, a charge of conspiracy to embezzle was dropped against Justin Ebright, 35, of Whitmore Lake in exchange for his testimony against two former coworkers. At the end of a 4-hour preliminary exam, those men -- Michael Coleman, now general manager for WDET-FM (101.9) in Detroit, and Jeremy Nordquist, 28, of Saline -- were bound over for trial on embezzlement charges by Washtenaw County District Judge John Collins... U-M radio employee pleads guilty (Thu 4/13)



Ann Arbor News:

The practice of accepting free meals and tickets to various events was rampant at WUOM and its affiliates, according to the attorney for one of three former employees accused of trading on-air mentions on the popular public radio station for gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars. Attorney Tom Moors said several other employees at Michigan Public Media, including station managers and organization leaders, also received personal benefits in the form of meals, tickets to Detroit Tiger games, concerts, museums, and local theaters. "The exact thing was going on from top to bottom,'' Moors said before the start of a preliminary court hearing Wednesday... Reynolds testifies at embezzlement hearing (Thu 4/13)


Ann Arbor street personality Shakey Jake Woods is about to be a radio star, thanks to a segment on the show "Weekend America,'' which airs from 2-4 p.m. Saturday on WUOM (91.7 FM). The piece was produced and submitted by Jennifer Guerra, one of the winners in a "Weekend America'' story competition. Guerra, a U-M graduate, is a weekend host-arts and culture producer with Michigan Radio... Radio show to air piece about Shakey Jake (Thu 4/13)



Metro Times:

When the watchdogs at the Center for Media and Democracy released a report last week naming TV stations around the country that had used prepackaged "reports" produced by corporations, News Hits did some clicking at the nonprofit's Web site (prwatch.org) to see if any locals made the list. And, sure enough, there was one Detroit station that made the list of losers. Turns out WJBK-Fox 2 had broadcast two of what industry types call "video news releases," or VNRs. On Jan. 26, 2006, a report on the dangers of tykes surfing the Web was built around a clip created by a public relations firm on behalf of NetTrekker, a company that makes "child safe" Internet search engines... Foxy takes (Wed 4/12)

 

Clay Walker, Terri Clark & Josh Gracin Headline the 2006 Downtown Hoedown

WYCDCountry music fans from around the country will head down to Hart Plaza in Downtown Detroit May 19-21st for the 24th Annual 99.5 WYCD Downtown Hoedown featuring an unprecedented 22 national country star acts including Clay Walker, Tracy Byrd, Terri Clark, Westland, MI native Josh Gracin, plus rising cutting edge stars like Miranda Lambert, Josh Turner, Jack Ingram, Jamey Johnson, and Keith Anderson. Local talent will include The Forbes Brothers, Derringer, Redhill, Jill Jack, and The Wrenfields. The Metro Detroit Ford Dealers, Budweiser, Comcast and Pure Romance sponsor the WYCD Downtown Hoedown and the concert proceeds will benefit the Detroit Parks and Recreation Department.

WYCD Program Director Tim Roberts commented, “This WYCD Downtown Hoedown continues our long tradition of bringing the latest in Country Music to over one millions fans in the heart of the Motor City. We appreciate the continued support and partnership with the City of Detroit while providing WYCD Country fans and tourists a world class entertainment event downtown for 3 big days.”

This year's WYCD Downtown Hoedown will be presented by Wasserman Media Group's WMG Events, a leading Los Angeles based event producer and Detroit Winterblast DirectorJon Witz. “We're excited to be collaborating with the City of Detroit, the Department of Parks and Recreation and WYCD in presenting the Downtown Hoedown. As the world's largest free concert, the Downtown Hoedown brings Detroit country music fans a wide spectrum of the best country entertainment in one fantastic setting. We look forward to producing a terrific event,” said WMG Events President, Eli Lande.

The Downtown Hoedown began in 1983 with Hank Williams, Jr., Tanya Tucker, The Kendalls, Brenda Lee and Mel Tillis. Since then, Hart Plaza has seen Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, the Dixie Chicks, Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich and more perform at the Hoedown.

WYCD's Downtown Hoedown is free to the public May 19th, 20th and 21st. For complete event details, log on to www.wycdhoedown.com.



'Rif Rock Girl Exotic 8 Party coming up tomorrow, April 15

WRIFThe “WRIF Rock Girl Search” continues as the “Sexy 16” become the “Exotic 8” this Saturday, April 15 at the Royal Oak Music Theater. This is the second in a series of three WRIF Rock Girl events. WRIF will begin the night by featuring the top 16 contestants, who have been selected through Round One of WRIF's online voting at www.wrif.com. Drew and Mike of WRIF's morning show will host the event, naming the top 8 contestants from Round Two of voting. Those contestants will become known as “The Exotic 8”

Once the “Exotic 8” have been named, WRIF will host a series of contests to feature their talents and get the crowd ready for Round 3 (the final round) of voting, which will begin on Monday, April 17. There will also be live music from local favorites Shipwreck Union. Doors are at 8pm and admission is free. The next and final WRIF Rock girl event will be held at the Emerald Theater in downtown Mt. Clemens. There, the “Exotic 8” will be pared down to the “Fabulous 4” and through a panel of celebrity judges; one woman will be named “WRIF Rock Girl”!

The winner 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.



FSN Detroit has added the following game to its 2006 Tigers television schedule:

Friday, April 21: Tigers at Seattle Mariners, 10:00 PM (pregame show 9:30)

This is the first of several revisions to the Tigers telecast schedule that will be finalized early next week. That revised schedule also will include the 15 games to be televised on WDWB-TV20 starting in June.



Detroit Free Press:

Internet time will soon be the new prime time. The Net and on-demand digital recording services like TiVo have taught us that we can now take control over when and where and how we make our entertainment selections and that advertising need not be a part of them unless we so choose. There are new names for all this... Options put the hurt on TV ads (Fri 4/14)


Detroit's public radio station, WDET finished the on-air portion of their spring fund drive with more than $432,000 in listener donations, slightly ahead of their revised target of $420,000, membership manager Tim Burke said Friday. The announcement comes two days after Michael Coleman, the station's general manager, was ordered to stand trial on an embezzlement charge in Washtenaw County, for allegedly taking food and alcohol in exchange for on-air announcements while he worked at the University of Michigan's public radio and television stations, which include WUOM. (91.7-FM). He has denied any wrongdoing. Although WDET had set a target of $600,000 for the spring fund drive, Burke said he was pleased by the last minute show of support... WDET finishes on-air fund drive at $432,000, ahead of revised target (Fri 4/14)



Detroit News:

I f that wasn't DIRECTV calling my house the other night, who was it? DIRECTV is probably even more curious than I am, but unfortunately, I can't do a great deal to help unravel the mystery. I don't speak Spanish ... Sometimes knowing your audience means knowing you can make fun of it. Alexander Zonjic hosted the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards last weekend, and early on, he asked 1,200 people in a concert hall in suburban Toronto if they recalled what Robin Williams said about their home and native land... Now, telephone sales pitches take Spanish to say no (Fri 4/14)



Flint Journal:

Today will be "Silent Friday" for Owosso radio station WOAP-AM (1080). But it might be temporary. The station was to go off the air at 8 p.m. today, according to Wayne Milks, a board operator at the station, which broadcasts religious programming. But it may be only a temporary silence, according to a representative of WCAR-AM (1090), WOAP's sister station in Garden City. The stations are part of Michigan Catholic Radio, owned by 1090 Investments of Troy. "It's temporarily ceasing broadcast," said the woman, who identified herself only as Janice. "We're kind of restructuring programming and reorganizing," she said. "The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) granted a temporary cease broadcasting (permit). We don't know how long we will have before they have to sign back on"... Catholic radio station goes silent to reorganize, restructure (Fri 4/14)


When TV's WNEM (Channel 5) and WSMH (Channel 66) announced their new news partnership late Monday, effectively ending the latter's 3 1/2-year venture into producing its own newscasts, my first thought was to follow the money. Think about it. Fox66 can continue to have a daily news presence from 10-11 nightly without having to pay for news anchors, camera people or even cameras. It can go back to the way it was before it invested in its own news show in 2003 and still make money from that one hour a night. Meredith Corp.'s Channel 5 can devote considerably more resources - including anchors Sam Merrill and Katie O'Mara - to the new "TV5 News at 10 p.m. on Fox66" (say that three times), which debuts April 24, than Fox66 owner Sinclair Broadcast Group did... Channel 5, Fox 66 news partnership is win-win for both stations (Fri 4/14)

 

Detroit News:

The Downtown Hoedown, a springtime fixture in Detroit's Hart Plaza for 23 years, will go on this year (May 19-21) with new promoters, Wasserman Media Group of Los Angeles and Arts Beats & Eats promoter Jon Witz, although its future was less than secure only a few months ago. Michael Watts, who promoted the Hoedown for the last nine years and worked with the festival for 22 of its 24 years, said Thursday that his verbal contract with the Detroit Recreation Department to produce this year's festival was canceled. He said he was "forced out" of the event by the hosting radio station, WYCD-FM (99.5)... Promoter hitch won't derail popular Hoedown (Sat 4/15)



Detroit Free Press:

Debuting: "Eye on Style," at 7 tonight on CBS Detroit (WWJ-TV, Channel 62). Hosted by Dana Kushkin, the monthly show will look at metro Detroit's retail, lifestyle and beauty scenes... Names and Faces (Sat 4/15)

 

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, April 16, 2006

By: Mike Austerman


On The Radio

Becoming a parent sure has changed the way I listen to the radio. Gone are the carefree days of listening to whatever I wanted to without being concerned about song lyrics and, more importantly, what the DJs and hosts are saying. Why is it that three of our local talk stations — namely WKRK-FM (97.1), WDFN-AM (1130), WXYT-AM (1270) — no longer police themselves from the use of what I term as “mild” cuss words? You can hardly listen to even one segment of any local talk show without hearing them.

I know the days of “Ozzie and Harriet” are long gone, but what I fail to understand is why the people running these stations are knowingly excluding listeners, like me, by allowing so much of this kind of talk. It’d be one thing if it only happened occasionally to emphasize especially strong opinions, but these words are just part of casual conversation for most of the local personalities on these three stations. The only time I’m comfortable listening is when I’m alone, which, as a parent, is pretty rare.

I’d love to see research stating that people 18 and older gravitate to a radio station because of the constant use of the language in question. The thinking has to be that the more popular programs will succeed at making the listener think he or she is having a conversation between friends at a local watering hole. Only thing is, when most of us listen to the radio, it’s not when we’re at a bar. It’s when we’re taking kids to baseball games or driving around with our significant others. Is this really the way these guys talk when their own young kids are around?

It seems that the focus of radio companies to target only a specific audience has gone too far, to the point of not caring about people who get turned off by this kind of behavior. The days of broadcasting are definitely over. The attitude now, from both the hosts and the managers, is, “If you don’t like it, turn it off — we don’t need you.” And that’s what more and more of us are doing with CDs, MP3 players and satellite radio. Would it really be that difficult to host a talk show and use speech like you would at the dinner table? Come on, show some respect to all of your (potential) listeners.


 * * * * 


Fans of Michigan sports in Ann Arbor will continue to find the games on WTKA-AM (1050), as that station has reached an agreement with the university and production company Host Communications to continue its maize-and-blue tradition. Word from A-squared is a deal for a Detroit flagship station for U-M football and basketball has been agreed to in principle and is going through all the necessary legal reviews before it’s announced. Former Michigan flagship news-talk WJR-AM (760) is now the home of Michigan State University broadcasts; the Spartans’ last home locally was WXYT.


 * * * * 


Yes, even radio stations sometimes admit they make mistakes. Once-popular syndicated morning man Russ Parr has returned to the airwaves on hip-hop WHTD-FM (102.7) after being taken off the station when it moved to 102.7 from FM 105.9 — where it was known as WDTJ — last summer. It’ll be interesting to see if Parr can recapture his old audience, as many have probably switched loyalties elsewhere on the dial. Former morning host Suga Rae has moved to the 10 a.m.-2 p.m. weekday slot, which, in turn, bumps Spudd to afternoons 2-6 p.m., and Tune Up shifts to weekend afternoons.


 * * * * 


U-M’s public radio offering on WUOM-FM (91.7) received a resounding show of support from listeners despite recent allegations of embezzlement made against three former staffers. The station boasted nearly a 14 percent increase in pledge dollars over last year, totaling more than $766,000 for its spring pledge drive.

Public WDET-FM (101.9) GM Michael Coleman, indicted in the WUOM case, didn’t see that kind of support from ’DET listeners. That station’s pledges were well off last year’s numbers, possibly either because of the station’s move away from daytime music or because of the charges against Coleman in the U-M case. Wonder if we’re going to soon witness another radio station admitting it made a mistake or two...


 * * * * 


Itching to get your hands on the latest radio technology? ABC Warehouse has agreed to start carrying high-definition (HD) home receivers required to hear both the digital main programs and secondary offerings from most Detroit FM stations. The Boston Acoustics sets are pricey, starting around $250, but you’ve gotta experience hearing all-news WWJ-AM (950) in digital form — Sonny Eliot never sounded so good!


 * * * * 


Set Your Dials: Tom Wilson and Heather Novak feature a look at the famous Detroit jazz orchestra McKinney’s Cotton Pickers on tonight’s “Somewhere in Time” program at 6 p.m. on WMUZ-FM (103.5).


 * * * * 


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

 

Grand Rapids Press:

The NFL has been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters following a recent league ruling prohibiting local television cameras from returning to the sidelines in the fall. It's no laughing matter. "I don't think you're going to find anybody in TV who's a fan of this," WOOD-TV 8 sports director Jack Doles said... NFL boots local TV cameras from sidelines (Fri 4/14)


If you were tuned to WOOD-AM (1300) from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, you might have thought you were caught in a time warp, because local-radio legend Bruce Grant was behind the microphone. Grant, 84, who was a fixture on WOOD for 32 years, primarily in the 5-9 a.m. slot, was back to do a guest spot on "The Rick and Scott Show" with Rick Beckett and Scott Winters ... Viewership lead continues: February 2006 Nielsen ratings show 24 Hour News 8 was watched by more West Michigan television viewers for local news and weather than any other local station. Results show 24 Hour News 8 ranked No. 1 in all newscasts ... Broadway Billy's back: What's the buzz at B-93? Some personnel changes. Dave Taft, who was doing middays while music director and assistant program director, has transferred to Muskegon to oversee programming for Clear Channel stations WMUS-FM (106.9), WMRR (101.7) and WSHZ (107.9). Tony Brooks, who has been with B-93 on and off since 1993, has moved from the night show to middays. Broadway Billy Macc, who, until last year, when he left to do nights at Top 40 KSLZ in St. Louis, was previously a highly rated night host on WSNX, will come back to Grand Rapids to do nights for B-93... Broadcast Notes (Sun 4/16)


Michael Walenta waved toward the corridor lined with auction merchandise: skylights, end tables, DVDs, garage door openers, a Radio Flyer, bird feeders and, yes, even the kitchen sink. "It's quite a pile of stuff," the general manager for WGVU-TV (Channels 35 and 52) conceded as employees of the public television station scrambled to prepare for Monday's annual fund-raising auction. Welcome to the season of fund drives for public TV and radio. In addition to WGVU's upcoming auction, sister radio station WGVU-FM (88.5) recently wrapped up a spring membership drive and community radio station WYCE-FM (88.1) kicks off its 10-day, on-air fundraiser later this month... Public broadcasters scramble (Sun 4/16)

Bidders can snag anything from a $50 surfing lesson to a "silver membership" at a golf and ski resort valued at $9,000, with hundreds of alluring and unusual things in between... Station's auction items range from offbeat to opulent (Sun 4/16)


Dennis Sutton has had a long-running relationship with all kinds of marathon events. During 25 years as a local radio personality, Sutton once lived on a billboard platform for 10 consecutive days at the start of the 1984 Major League Baseball season until the Detroit Tigers lost a game... Former radio personality Dennis Sutton takes on Boston Marathon (Sun 4/16)



Muskegon Chronicle

Grand Haven radio station WGHN recently received three awards from the Michigan Associated Press. For the fifth year in a row, the station was named in the "Top 10" for the amount of news it contributed to the Michigan Associated Press... WGHN's news, sports honored (Fri 4/14)

 

Revised Tigers TV schedule announced

FSN Detroit Telecast Slate Revamped with 13 New Games- First of 15 Over-the-Air Games on TV20 is June 1 vs. Yankees

The Detroit Tigers 2006 television schedule has been revised, including 15 games to be televised on WDWB-TV20 Detroit. Among the 15 games in the TV20 package, 13 were originally on the FSN Detroit telecast schedule. Those 13 games have been replaced on the FSN slate. In all, there are 127 Tigers games on television this season. The 15 games airing on TV20 will be produced by FSN Detroit, including its Tigers announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen.

Following is a rundown of the Tigers TV schedule changes and additions:

Games on TV20:
Thu. June 1 vs. N.Y. Yankees 7:05
Sat. June 3 vs. Boston 7:05
Thu. June 8 at Chicago White Sox 8:05
Sat. June 17 at Chicago Cubs 4:05
Sat. June 24 vs. St. Louis 7:05
Fri. June 30 at Pittsburgh 7:05
Thu. July 13 vs. Kansas City 7:05
Sat. July 22 vs. Oakland 7:05
Sat. July 29 at Minnesota 7:10
Thu. Aug. 3 at Tampa Bay 7:15
Sat. Aug. 5 vs. Cleveland 7:05
Fri. Aug. 11 at Chicago White Sox 8:35
Sat. Aug. 19 vs. Texas 7:05
Sat. Aug. 26 at Cleveland 7:05
Sat. Sept. 2 vs. L.A. Angels 7:05

FSNGames Added to FSN:
Fri. April 21 at Seattle 10:05
Tue. May 2 vs. Kansas City 7:05
Sun. May 14 at Cleveland 1:05
Mon. June 12 vs. Tampa Bay 7:05
Fri. July 7 at Seattle 10:05
Sun. July 16 vs. Kansas City 1:05
Mon. July 31 at Tampa Bay 7:15
Tue. Aug. 1 at Tampa Bay 7:15
Mon. Aug. 7 vs. Minnesota 7:05
Thu. Aug. 17 vs. Texas 7:05
Sun. Aug. 27 at Cleveland 1:05
Mon. Sept. 4 vs. Seattle 1:05
Sat. Sept. 16 vs. Baltimore 7:05

The complete Tigers 2006 schedule can be viewed / printed by clicking here. (pdf format)



Detroit News:

Country stars Terri Clark, Westland's own Josh Gracin, Clay Walker and Tracy Byrd will headline this year's Downtown Hoedown, set for Hart Plaza on May 19-21. Some of the up-and-coming, young country talent booked for the festival includes Miranda Lambert, Josh Turner, Jack Ingram, Jamey Johnson and Keith Anderson... Hoedown to get down with Terri Clark, Clay Walker (Mon 4/17)



Kalamazoo Gazette:

The practice of accepting free meals and tickets to various events was rampant at the National Public Radio station based in Ann Arbor, according to the attorney for one of three former employees accused of trading on-air mentions for gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars. Attorney Tom Moors said several other employees at Michigan Public Media, including station managers and organization leaders, also received personal benefits in the form of meals and tickets to Detroit Tigers games, concerts, museums and local theaters... Taking gifts rampant at radio station, lawyer says (Mon 4/17)

 

WOAP Goes Silent

|

 

Owosso's WOAP-AM 1080 has fallen silent, at least temporarily, according to an article in Friday's Flint Journal. The station has apparently received permission from the FCC to temporarily cease operations for a period of restructuring. A spokesperson for the station's owner, Michigan Catholic Radio of Garden City, offered no timetable for how long the station would be off the air, or what the reorganization would involve.

WOAP had filed a petition with the FCC for subtantial power increase and transmitter relocation closer to Lansing, as well as a change in its COL from Owosso to Waverly. The move would also allow for a power increase for sister station WCAR-AM 1090 (Garden City/Livonia).

MIchigan Catholic Radio is one of two Catholic radio networks currently operating in Michigan. The other, Ave Maria Radio, is an Ann Arbor based network headed by former Domino's Pizza owner Tom Mognahan.

 

WOOD-TV:

The morning show chairs at WLHT (95.7) won't even get a chance to cool down after Dave Jagger & Geri Jarvis sign off for the last time Friday. Denis Prior and Nanette have been named as their replacements beginning Monday. That's also the day the station drops its W-Lite moniker in favor of New Lite Rock 95.7, a move program director Bill Bailey said was made to try “to keep up with our demographic”... WLHT names new Morning Team (Tue 4/18)



Grand Rapids Press:

Geri Jarvis couldn't stop grinning when she returned to the studio. Jarvis, half of the Dave and Geri morning team, took a short break from their WLHT-FM (95.7) show Monday to satisfy a craving for a Greek salad. At 7 in the morning, the closest thing she could find at a nearby store was an unsavory-looking popsicle. But she was in a good mood, since a police officer had approached her in the store to embrace and encourage her... Dave and Geri plan big farewell (Tue 4/18)


Airing 11 a.m. Saturdays in place of personal-finances show "The Motley Fool" comes a fun, hourlong talk show called "Travel with Rick Steves." WGVU-TV (Channel 35) offers this program, a lively conversation between travelers and the experts, to help viewers pick up valuable travel strategies ... Fox 17 Student News, a half-hour public-affairs program written, edited and produced by area students, has returned for its second season and runs through December. The show airs at 6 a.m. Sundays ... A record was set in March during the annual Sportsmen Against Hunger food drive at the 61st annual Sport and RV Show in DeVos Place. Tony Gates, of WLAV-FM (96.9) hosted the food drive and broadcast from an RV the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. event in front of DeVos Place... Steves treks into WGVU Saturday lineup (Tue 4/18)



All Access:

Simonson Moves Up At WLHT; Nixon Moves To Sales Upstate: Regent AC WLHT (95.7 W-LITE)/GRAND RAPIDS weekender BOB SIMONSON takes overnights as TIM NIXON heads to a sales post at MIDWESTERN Oldies WCCW, Country WTCM, & Smooth Jazz WJZQ (THE BREEZE)/TRAVERSE CITY. SIMONSON retains his tech post at GRAND RAPIDS-based AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT GROUP, and is still owner of ALL DIGITAL DJ ENTERTAINMENT. (Mon 4/17)


Shelly Kay Now APD At WKFR: CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR/KALAMAZOO PD KRUZE (aka KEN EVANS) has tapped morning co-host SHELLY KAY as his new APD. Meanwhile, KAY's weekend lifestyle and talk program "Just Friendly Advice", shifts from BIG D N/T/S WAAM-A (1600)/ANN ARBOR to sister CUMULUS N/T/S WKMI-A (1360). (Mon 4/17)


Kevin Curnow Exits WGRD: REGENT Alternative WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS Promotion Director KEVIN CURNOW has exited after nearly five years with the station. CURNOW also served as MD/specialty show host during his tenure at 'GRD. (Mon 4/17)

 

Red Wings playoffs 1st round TV Schedule set

Go WingsThe schedule and TV coverage for the Detroit Red Wings first round playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers has been announced:

Game 1: Friday April 21, WJBK Fox 2 Detroit, CBC, OLN, 7:00 PM
Game 2: Sunday April 23, NBC (WDIV Ch. 4 Detroit), CBC, 1:00 PM
Game 3: Tuesday April 25, Fox Sports Net Detroit, CBC, OLN, 10:00 PM
Game 4: Thursday April 27, Fox Sports Net Detroit, CBC, OLN, 9:30 PM
Game 5*: Saturday April 29, NBC (WDIV), CBC, 3:00 PM
Game 6*: Monday May 1, Fox Sports Net Detroit, CBC, OLN, TBD
Game 7*: Wednesday May 3, Fox Sports Net Detroit, CBC, OLN, 7:00 PM

(* if necessary) Games on OLN subject to blackout restrictions



WDET to air documentary series on cancer

WDETDetroit Public Radio has announced that it will air "Walking Through The Storm," a four-part documentary series that explores what cancer survivors can teach us all about hope and quality of life. The series was written and produced for public radio by David Freudberg and will air on WDET on April 23 and April 30 from 11am to 1pm. Each part of the series looks at a different facet of the survivor experience.

Among the many voices taking part in the series, listeners will hear from Dr. Susan Gardin, who counsels pediatric cancer patients in Detroit; Dr. Herbert Benson, President, Harvard University Mind/Body Institute; Robert Schimmel, cancer survivor and comedian; Dr. Andrew Weil, medical author; Dr. David Rosenthal, former President of American Cancer Society; and Hal Ackerman, cancer survivor and UCLA film professor.

Details of each of the four parts of this series and specific air time is detailed below:

Part 1: Journey for Recovery (airs Sunday, April 23 from 11am to 12pm): Cancer patients confront their fears - real and imagined; and a scientific look at how attitude affects health. How mind/body techniques can diminish cancer pain; and the therapeutic effects of keeping a personal diary.

Part 2: Humor and Health (airs April 23 from 12pm to 1pm): Hear professional comedians who are cancer survivors and learn the health benefits of humor and laughter. Playwrights who've used the stage for humor and poignant insight about their journeys through illness.

Part 3: The Will to Live (airs Sunday, April 30 from 11am to 12pm): In powerful dialogues with other patients, authentic connections emerge when people face their mortality. Physician Rachel Naomi Remen counsels patients drawing from her own bout with a life-threatening illness.

Part 4: The Power of Belief (airs Sunday, April 30 from 12pm to 1pm): Whether
or not people of faith, cancer patients go deeply into themselves to ponder their lives. A rabbi whose daughter died of cancer teaches martial arts to young patients, helping them find inner strength.



Detroit Free Press:

The former director of the University of Michigan's public radio and TV stations received more than $108,000 in exchange for his resignation and cooperation in a criminal probe of the stations, according to documents obtained by the Free Press. Donovan Reynolds, 55, also agreed not to bring legal action against U-M for age discrimination in exchange for the severance, the equivalent of nine months' salary, the records obtained under the state's Freedom of Information Act show. The settlement was paid out of the $9.4-million budget of Michigan Public Media, the stations' umbrella organization... Ex-chief paid in radio scandal (Wed 4/19)



All Access:

89X 15th Birthday Bash Happens June 18th: CHUM LTD. Alternative CIMX (89X)/DETROIT celebrates its "89X 15TH BIRTHDAY BASH" on JUNE 18th at the STATE THEATRE. 89X announced the line-up this afternoon (4/18) will be DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL, HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS, AFI, YEAH YEAH YEAHS, GUSTER, MINLESS SELF INDULGENCE, WE ARE SCIENTISTS, SAY ANYTHING, ASHES OF SOMA, LOVE ARCADE, and BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH. (Tue 4/18)


Beck Adds More Affiliates: PREMIERE's GLENN BECK adds two new weekday affiliates, KBLU-A/YUMA,AZ and KKSA-A/SAN ANGELO, TX. Adding BECK's weekend edition: WAAM-A/ANN ARBOR, KFTK/ST. LOUIS, WJNO-A/WEST PALM BEACH, KSCB-A/LIBERAL, KS, and KBLU. (Tue 4/18)


Supertalk 1560/Toledo Adds Michigan Football: CUMULUS Talk WTOD-A (SUPERTALK 1560)/TOLEDO adds UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN football under a new 3 year deal. Sister Sports WLQR-A (1470 THE TICKET) already carries OHIO STATE football, which should make things interesting in the CUMULUS/TOLEDO hallways when the two bitter rivals meet this FALL. (Wed 4/19)

 

* Religious WOAP AM 1080 Owosso has filed a noitification with the FCC that the station has gone silent. The station left the air on April 14th and station owner 1090 Investments (Michigan Catholic Radio) has not specified a date if or when the station will resume operations. Broadcast stations are allowed one full year of being silent before they must surrender their license.


* Midwestern Broadcasting has been granted FCC approval for its acquisition of Public/Talk WVXA FM 96.7 Rogers City from Cincinnati Classical Public Radio. The station's call sign will change to WRGZ once the deal has completely closed. Michiguide.com does not have any knowledge of the future progamming direction of WRGZ.

At the same time, the FM translator of WVXA at 95.3 in
Mackinaw City was granted approval to be transferred to Midwestern who in turn donated it to the Interlochen Center for the Arts. The transfer from Midwestern to Interlochen was also granted. Interlochen states on the application that it plans to air the Classical programming of WIAB FM 88.5 Mackinaw City on the translator.


* Synergy Media has been granted FCC approval for its acquisition of Public/Talk WVXM FM 97.7 Manistee from Cincinnati Classical Public Radio. The station's call sign will change to WMLQ once the deal has completely closed. Michiguide.com does not have any knowledge of the future progamming direction of WMLQ. Ironically, the WMLQ call sign was once used in Michigan on WVXA FM 96.7 Rogers City -- another former X-Starnet station -- until 1998.


* The construction permit for FM 89.7 Lake Odessa has been sold for $25,000 by Great Lakes Community Broadcasting to Edgewater Broadcasting. Also included in the deal is the swap of two FM translator stations- W206AZ 89.1 Fremont will move from GLCB to Edgewater and the construction permit for W262AW 100.3 St. Johns will go from Edgewater to GLCB. Both organizations hold a number of FM translator licenses and/or construction permits in Michigan.

 

Pistons playoffs 1st round TV Schedule set

Go PistonsThe schedule and TV coverage for the Detroit Red Wings first round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks has been announced:

Game 1: Sunday April 23, Fox Sports Net Detroit and TNT, 7:00 PM
Game 2: Wednesday April 26, WDWB Ch. 20 Detroit and NBATV, 7:30 PM
Game 3: Saturday April 29, Ch. 20 and ESPN, 9:00 PM
Game 4: Monday May 1, Ch. 20 and TNT, TBD
Game 5*: Wednesday May 3, Ch. 20, TBD
Game 6*: Friday May 5, Ch. 20, TBD
Game 7*: Sunday May 7, Ch. 20, TBD

(* if necessary)

Sunday's Tigers-Mariners Game to be simulcast on FSN Detroit and WDWB-TV 20

Due to Pistons' playoff basketball coverage, the television coverage of this Sunday's Detroit Tigers-Seattle Mariners game will be simulcast on FSN Detroit and WDWB-TV20. Game time is 4:00 PM. FSN will have the Tigers pregame show at 3:30. If the Tigers game is still in progress after 6:30 PM, coverage will continue through conclusion on TV20. Meanwhile, FSN viewers will be shifted to coverage of the Pistons-Milwaukee Bucks playoff game, which will include Tigers-Mariners updates.



Detroit Free Press:

In the words of WRIF-FM (101.1) broadcast immortal Arthur Penhallow--BAAAAAABY! Offspring are springing out all over. Let's start with the locals: WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) reporter-anchor Christy McDonald and hubby WDFN-AM (1130) morning man Jamie Samuelsen have welcomed a son, Joshua Thomas Samuelsen... McDonald, Samuelsen have a boy (Thu 4/20)



Detroit News:

Make sure your TV remote has fresh batteries for the playoffs. And stretch your channel-changing thumb to prevent cramping or carpal tunnel syndrome. The Pistons, and especially the Wings, will be all over the place, starting Friday. The Wings' first-round matchup with Edmonton equals TV-viewing riches. The Wings will be on FSN Detroit, NBC, OLN, Channel 2 and CBC in the first round, meaning there shouldn't be a problem finding a channel ... Airwave oddities: Two odd things happened in local radioland over the last week, leaving some scratching their heads: WDFN's Rob Otto had former WDFN mid-morning host Brandon Tierney as a guest on his April 16 show. Tierney calmly ripped the station and morning show hosts Jamie Samuelsen and Greg Brady ... WXYT station honcho Rich Homberg denies this job listing is current, but it was up on cbsradio.com until Tuesday afternoon. And I have the printout of the help-wanted ad. His station was advertising for experienced on-air talent, with at least five years morning show experience in a major market... Wings, Pistons games will be all over the dial (Thu 4/20)



Ann Arbor News:

The plug has been pulled on Johnny Danger's Depot Town Radio. The unlicensed, Ypsilanti-based "pirate'' station that could be heard at 89.5 FM, was shut down this week, reportedly by the Federal Communications Commission. The low-power station began broadcasting in January and could only be picked up in the Depot Town area and south to about I-94. "It was the best thing that ever happened to Depot Town. ... Everybody loved it,'' said Linda French, owner of Sidetrack restaurant. "Part of the fun was trying to figure out where it was being broadcast from. It wasn't like they were interfering with anybody... 'Pirate' radio in Ypsilanti is scuttled (Thu 4/20)

 

Fischer to offer analysis for WXYT

Sidelined Red Wings' defenseman Jiri Fischer will offer his analysis of the Wings playoff run for Sports WXYT-AM (1270) beginning with Sunday's Game 2 against Edmonton. Fischer will be contributing to WXYT's local pregame coverage throughout the playoffs.

Fischer has been sidelined since November when he was struck with a heart ailment during a game against the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena.



Detroit News:

Gene Schabath was watching the Red Wings' game the other night in Sterling Heights while he talked on the phone with his son Matt, who was watching the game on the same cable station in Houston. Well into the third period against the Dallas Stars, Matt interrupted their conversation with a whoop and a huzzah, in honor of the Wings' first goal. "What the heck are you talking about?" said his loving dad. "They didn't score"... Houston knows first: Why Macomb gets dad gets delayed TV feed (Fri 4/21)



Ann Arbor News:

Whether or not local radio DJ Thayrone's lawsuit against WEMU, the public broadcasting station at Eastern Michigan University, has enough merit to go to trial may be decided by the Michigan Supreme Court. Kenneth McKanders, legal counsel for EMU, said Thursday that the university has decided to appeal a Feb. 28 decision by a Michigan appeals court panel that reinstated Theron Hughes' wrongful dismissal suit against the station. Hughes, who goes by the on-air name Thayrone, was host of "The Bone Conduction Music Show'' for 17 years on WEMU (89.1 FM) before being fired in 2003... EMU appeals case of fired DJ (Fri 4/21)

 

Flint Journal:

WEYI (Channel 25) has a new news director. He's Don Shafer, who comes here from the Fox affiliate in Oklahoma City. Shafer's well-traveled, having worked as a news director for stations in Denver; San Diego; Tucson, Ariz.; Green Bay, Wis; and Tallahasee, Fla. Shafer has worked with WEYI's new general manager, Matt Kreiner, in two other markets. Kreiner's hoping he can work some magic in a market that's a tough nut to crack when you're a distant third in the local news ratings... Faces changing behind the cameras of area TV news outlets (Fri /21)



All Access:

Rusty Thomas Exits WFBE: CITADEL BROADCASTING Country WFBE(B95)/FLINT,MI has announced that due to budget constraints morning show talent RUSTY THOMAS has left the building. While with WFBE, THOMAS acted as Morning Show Producer/on-air/production/Web Master, as well as hosting a local "live" in-town comedy show. RUSTY is looking for his next opportunity. (Tue 4/18)


WGER Names Alayna For Middays: NEXTMEDIA AC WGER/SAGINAW, MI PD TOMMY FRANK names WKHQ/TRAVERSE CITY, MI morning talent ALYNA for middays. (Tue 4/18)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Once again, X marks the spot for Detroit Tigers telecasts. WXSP-TV in Grand Rapids has acquired the over-the-air broadcast rights to 15 Tigers telecasts in the West Michigan market, beginning June 1, programming and operations director Craig Cole confirmed earlier this week. "I'm really happy to have the Tigers back. I wanted them back," Cole said. "We've had a lot of calls from the public looking for the Tigers to return"... WXSP bringing back Tigers to local airwaves (Fri 4/21)


Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis signed off Friday morning at WLHT-FM (95.7) surrounded by their daughters, Kristen and Casey, friends and well-wishers. The husband-and-wife radio team made way for a new show to take the WLHT airwaves on Monday after contracts for the pair were not renewed by Regent Communications. Along with regular guests Ron VanTimmeren, of Jack Loeks Theatres; John Zimmerman, of Mercantile Bank (and formerly of Meijer Inc.); and Scott Lane, of the West Michigan Whitecaps; a number of others stopped by or called in... Many a fond farewell offered on Dave and Geri's last broadcast (Sat 4/22)


He writes and submits 50 jokes a week for the opening monologues of "The David Letterman Show," has been in radio broadcasting since the age of 13 and does impersonations of well-known personalities. She is a single mom to her 9-year-old son, believes in family-friendly radio and went back to school at 32, where she was the oldest person in her class at the Specs Howard School of Broadcasting. Together, Denis Prior, 46, and co-host Nanette, 41, will launch their new morning show at the New Lite Rock -- WLHT-FM (95.7) on Monday, taking the reins as Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis depart after almost 20 years at the station... New WLHT team is Denis and Nanette (Sun 4/23)


WGVU-TV (Channel 35) productions traveled to Poland in 2004 to produce and document the stories of three incredible individuals. The results were "Surviving Auschwitz: Children of the Shoah" and "Defying Hitler," documentaries that celebrate the human spirit and put a face on one of the worst atrocities ever committed by mankind ... Tower boosts TV8 in Muskegon: WOOD-TV (Channel 8) is getting a new tower to better serve viewers in the Muskegon area ... Mullen joins Fox in Chicago: Former Tribune Broadcasting President Patrick Mullen has been named vice president and general manager of Fox's Chicago duopoly, WFLD-TV and WPWR-TV... Broadcast Notes: War documentaries air Tuesday (Sun 4/23)



WOOD-TV:

The mood was light-hearted this morning as long-time WLHT morning hosts Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis said goodbye. Last week, they confirmed they could not come to terms on a new contract with the Regent Broadcasting station. So after 20 years of early mornings, the pair signed off. “If you know somebody, tell them we're out of work,” Jarvis said. Jagger added, “Yeah, please put in a good word for us.” They have not announced their future plans... Dave & Geri sign off (Fri 4/21)



All Access:

Doug Stephan Gets New Affiliates: DOUG STEPHAN'S GOOD DAY program welcomes Talk WAMT-A/ORLANDO and KIST-A/SANTA BARBARA, CA as its newest affiliates. Additionally, DOUG STEPHAN'S TALKRADIO COUNT DOWN program welcomes WTWP-A/F/WASHINGTON DC, WTKG-A/GRAND RAPIDS, MI, and KIST-A/SANTA BARBARA, CA. (Wed 4/19)



Radio and Records:

Potter rises after six months as an AE for WKLQ and clustermate WBBL-AM. He reports to Citadel Midwest President Matthew Hanlon... Christopher Potter Now WKLQ & WLAV/Grand Rapids GSM (Fri 4/21)

 

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, April 23, 2006

By: Art Vuolo


On The Radio

This Tuesday, the National Association of Broadcasters will induct Dick Purtan into the NAB Radio Hall of Fame at their huge convention out in Las Vegas. The celebrated morning host on oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) is already in the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago and the Michigan Radio Hall of Fame, and has both won and emceed the NAB’s Marconi Radio Awards. The “Dickster” has seemingly done it all, and the recognition is most certainly deserved.


 * * * * 


My thanks to fellow radio writer Mike Austerman, who pulled double-duty while I enjoyed a rare 10-day vacation in Florida, where I discovered how different radio is down South. The challenge in Miami is finding a station that broadcasts in English; Spanish and rhythmic formats are the most popular. Because of the language barrier and a rental car with a standard radio, I opted — and forgive me, local broadcasters — for XM, which I take with me on every trip.

Speaking of XM, satellite radio continues to make major news, as this past week it was announced that New York radio “bad boys” Opie & Anthony will replace rocker David Lee Roth on CBS FM stations in several large East Coast cities. O&A, if you recall, are the pair who were fired by CBS Radio for the famous simulated sex in St. Patrick’s Cathedral fiasco back in 2002. Now the company is bringing them back to counter the poor ratings Roth generated.

Howard Stern, Sirius’ big draw, hated O&A, but the duo always wanted to go up against him. Now they will, and they’ll still be carried on XM Channel 202 and promote the satellite service at the same time.

Locally, CBS-owned hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) won’t be replacing Rover’s Morning Glory with O&A.


 * * * * 


XM has just added a number of new channels with more coming soon, such as the one featuring musical poet Bob Dylan on May 3. Sunny 24, XM’s exceptionally popular beautiful-music channel, has moved to 78 and is renamed “The Escape.” A new Southern gospel channel (34) called “enLighten” is the brainchild of Country Dan Dixon, an ex-Detroit DJ from WCXI and WDEE in the 1970s and ’80s.

Back in the 1930s and ’40s, Cincinnati’s WLW radio operated at a staggering 500,000 watts and was called “The Nation’s Station.” Now, about 70 years later, 700 WLW is available, once again, nationwide on XM Channel 173. The afternoon host is the creative Gary Burbank, a former Big 8 CKLW jock in the ’70s, who’s now available once again in Detroit — and across America.


 * * * * 


After seeing a billboard on the Jefferies Freeway for WKRK-FM morning man “Rover” then remembering TV feature stories done by that station’s midday co-host Jay Towers on Fox 2 and other reports by hits WKQI-FM (95.5) morning guy Mojo, I wondered why no television station has tapped Blaine Fowler or Lisa Jesswein from pop/hits WDVD-FM (96.3). With no disrespect to the others, Blaine and Lisa are considerably more attractive.


 * * * * 


High-definition radio is something we’ve talked about extensively in this column, and if you want to read more about this new technology, check out Oakland Press Business Editor Gary Gosselin’s in-depth story in today’s business section.


 * * * * 


Sad news from Washtenaw County with the passing of William V. “Bill” Swisher, at 77. The longtime head of the speech and broadcasting department at Eastern Michigan University, “Swish” was the man most responsible for the development of NPR/jazz WEMU-FM (89.1). He took it from a 10-watt “peashooter” to one of Michigan’s finest public radio stations with a full-market, 15,550-watt signal. There’s a long list of broadcasters and radioholics who owe an expression of gratitude to this man, and I’m one of them.


 * * * * 


Wishing a speedy recovery to Gail Henson, the mother of Gregg Henson, formerly with sports WDFN-AM (1130), sports WXYT-AM (1270) and, most recently, WKRK-FM. Henson is with a sports station in Austin, Texas, and his mother recently underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor at Henry Ford Hospital. Many Live 97.1 listeners are familiar with Gail through her regular segments on “Motor City Middays” with Henson and Michelle McKormick. If Gail Henson could survive Gregg’s childhood, surly she will give cancer a good fight.

Reorts are that Gregg may be coming home to Detroit. Could there be a reunion for Gregg and Michelle on a different station? Stay tuned.


 * * * * 


Quick Hits: Michael Coleman, general manager at NPR/WDET-FM (101.9), has pled not guilty to embezzlement charges. The trial is set for May 18 ... Circle May 19-21 on your calendar for the country WYCD-FM (99.5) Downtown Hoedown, with Clay Walker, Terri Clark, Josh Gracin and others.


 * * * * 


Set your dials: The big organ sounds of Jelani Eddington returns to WMUZ-FM (103.5) at 6 pm today.


 * * * * 


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

 

2nd Annual Big Show for the Big Cure Bowlathon

Sports WXYT-AM 1270 afternoon hosts Art Regner and Doug Karsch will be hosting their 2nd annual bowlathon to promote prostate cancer research beginning Thursday April 27 at 2:00 PM and running 28 hours thru Friday afternoon at Lucky Strike Lanes at Fountain Walk in Novi. Proceeds from the "Big Show for the Big Cure" will benefit the Heny Ford Vattikuti Urology Institute.

For a small donation of $12.70 you can enjoy two games of bowling (shoe rental included) plus take part in many activities including live bands, silent auctions brought to you by Detroit Sports Gallery, celebrity guests, free PSA screenings and much more. In addition, there will be a Red Wings Playoff Viewing Party Thursday, April 27th at 9:30pm. There will be 6 Big Screens with the game on and Art will be doing his pre-game LIVE from Lucky Strike Lanes.

This year there will also be an on-line auction where listeners can bid on some fantastic prizes. On-line bidding starts today and will run until Monday, May 1st at 2pm. Visit the WXYT home page at www.1270sports.com for more information.



Smith to sub for Limbaugh

News-Talk WJR-AM morning man Paul W. Smith will fill in for nationally syndicated talk host Rush Limbaugh tomorrow (April 25th) from noon-3pm EDT.

 

Station makes announcements and lists accomplishments for 2006

WOMC-FM 104.3 announced today that the heritage Detroit radio station has a new name, “Motor City's 104.3 WOMC.” The station had been known as “Oldies 104.3 WOMC” since 1989. The word “Oldies” has traditionally meant music of the 1950s to many people and WOMC has actually never been a ‘50s-only' based radio station. “We are proud of our heritage in the Motor City and ‘Oldies' seems too limiting for what WOMC is overall,” says Steve Allan, WOMC Program Director.

WOMC will continue to play music of the 1960s and 1970s by artists such as: The Beatles, Rolling Stones, the great performers from the Motown era like the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, 4 Tops, plus Eagles, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac. “WOMC remains a top, personality-driven radio station with Dick Purtan in the mornings and market veteran Tom Ryan anchoring the ride home. As many other stations have done in different markets, this is not a format change, we are just dropping the word ‘Oldies' to better reflect the evolution of our product,” commented Allan.

In making this announcement, Vice President/General Manager Kevin Murphy says, “This is a natural progression for an ‘Oldies' station. Along with our new logo, our new positioning statement is ‘Dick Purtan Mornings and The Hits You Loved Growing Up.'”

The other major announcements for WOMC this year are: Dick Purtan, who recently signed a five-year contract, is being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Plus, listeners can now hear WOMC live on their computers at www.womc.com through audio streaming; and, WOMC is now heard in HD Radio. “This is the perfect time for us to introduce our new name and to celebrate some huge accomplishments for WOMC,” says Murphy.

Dick Purtan and Purtan's People have been on WOMC for 10 years, since April 15, 1996. His five-year deal is a testament to his staying power in Detroit and strong connection with his thousands of loyal listeners. He will be inducted into the NAB Radio Hall of Fame on April 25, 2006, joining such radio legends as: Casey Kasem, Paul Harvey and Orson Wells; entertainers Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and George Burns; and Presidents Herbert Hoover and Ronald Regan. Dick Purtan is the only Detroit-based radio personality to be inducted into this prestigious Hall of Fame.

Listeners may now sign up for the Purtan's People email club at www.womc.com to hear the radio station anytime from their computers. Streaming has been one of the most requested features by listeners through telephone calls and emails to WOMC.

CBS Radio has implemented HD Radio technology developed by iBiquity Digital at many of its radio stations across the country including Motor City's 104.3 WOMC. HD Radio technology transmits digital audio and data alongside existing AM and FM analog signals, allowing listeners with HD Radio compatible receivers to enjoy crystal-clear digital sound and reception - AM sounds like FM; and FM sounds like a CD. The technology also provides listeners a variety of desired information such as song titles, artist names, traffic updates, weather forecasts, sports scores, and more.

 

Tim Barron Debuts on Mike FM

|

 

Longtime Lansing morning radio host Tim Barron has found a new home at MacDonald Broadcasting's WHZZ (101.7 Mike FM). Barron's new morning show made its debut Monday 4/24, following about two weeks of on-air promotion and hints. He is joined by newscaster Katie Carollan, who covers the same duties for sister station WILS-AM. Many of Barron's fans called into yesterday's program to welcome him back to the airwaves and wish him well in his new venture.

Barron is no stranger to Lansing radio listeners, having previously served as morning co-host (with Deb Hart) for Classic Rock WMMQ-FM 94.9, and before that, for Rocker WJXQ-FM 106.1 (Q106).

 

* Colrace Communications has been granted FCC approval for its acquisition of Public/Talk WVXH FM 92.1 Harrison from Cincinnati Classical Public Radio. The station's call sign will change to WTWS once the deal has completely closed. Michiguide.com does not have any knowledge of the future progamming direction of WTWS.

 

* WBMI FM 105.5 West Branch has flipped its format from Oldies to Classic Country. The change happened earlier this week.

 

Rick Bloom to broadcast daily stock market updates on Michigan Radio Network affiliates

Rick Bloom, the host of the Rick Bloom Show on WDTK-AM 1400 in Detroit and a financial columnist for the Oakland Press, will begin airing twice-daily business reports on Michigan Radio Network (MRN) affiliates throughout the state beginning Monday, May 1, 2006. The business updates will be heard daily before the stock market opens and after the market close.

Bloom, a recipient of Worth Magazine's “Top 250 Financial Planners”, will provide daily commentary on the stock market and economic conditions, financial planning tips and other business news that impacts Michiganders. He is an attorney and a CPA, and is a partner in Bloom Asset Management, Inc. in Farmington Hills.

“I look forward to doing these business updates each day, and I plan to make these segments more than just a standard stock market update,” Bloom said. “I pride myself in talking in simple terms about the stock market and finance, and I will relate changes in the market and economy to the listeners daily lives."

The Lansing-based Michigan Radio Network provides news and sports information to more than 60 radio stations throughout the state. The network will distribute two separate one-minute reports from Rick Bloom to its affiliates each business day. MRN News Director Rob Baykian said he looks forward to adding Bloom to the network's program line-up. “We're excited to have a highly respected business analyst such as Rick Bloom on the Michigan Radio Network,” said Baykian. “Rick provides us with an exclusive product that focuses on Michigan stocks and other business news.”

For a list of MRN affiliates, go to www.michiganradionetwork.com.



Alexander Zonjic to perform in Mother's Day weekend concert to benefit homeless in Canada

ZonjicFor the tenth year, flutist and Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM 98.7 morning host Alexander Zonjic will be performing a charity concert for the Windsor Downtown Mission to benefit the homeless on Mother's Day weekend, Saturday, May 13. The Mission feeds the homeless, offers them spiritual and moral support, provides health care, referrals, clothing, and employment support.

The concert will feature Alexander Zonjic & Friends with special guests guitarist Ken Navarro and vocalist Thornetta Davis. It takes place at the Capital Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for children, $20 for adults and $45 for preferred seating.

“The Windsor Downtown Mission does good work and I am especially eager to help out a good cause in my hometown,” said Zonjic. For more information and tickets, call the Windsor Downtown Mission at (519) 973-5573.



Radio & Records:

The legendary host of WOMC (Motor City 104.3)/Detroit's morning show gave NAB Radio Luncheon attendees a good laugh today, as Purtan was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame at NAB2006. For 40 years Purtan has given belly laughs to his loyal isteners throughout Michigan, northern Ohio and southwestern Ontario with comedic commentary and topical wit. Accompanying him in accepting the honor was his 94-year-old father, Paul Purtan; his wife, Gail; and his six daughters and their husbands... Dick Purtan Inducted Into NAB Hall of Fame (Wed 4/26)



Detroit Free Press:

Michigan's media world just got a powerful new partnership. Effective Friday, May 5, the Detroit Free Press – the state's most read newspaper – and WDIV-TV Local 4 -- Michigan's oldest and best known television station – will share reporting resources in print, over the air and on the Internet... Free Press, WDIV announce new partnership (Wed 4/26)

 

Radio and Records:

What's hot in Detroit radio? Urban, Country, News, and Contemporary Hits. The 12+ numbers have Adult Urban WMXD on top, followed by a three-way tie for second between Urban WJLB, News WWJ, and Country WYCD. Next was CHR WQKI. Cooling off was Soft Rocker WNIC, which was expected as all the inflated numbers from its Christmas marathon got dropped, and not so hot were Rock WDTW-FM, Variety Hits WDRQ, and News-Talk WJR - those three stations suffered the biggest age 12+ audience erosions when compared to the Fall '05 book. Sports WDFN pushed back ahead of rival WXYT in the winter- especially in the key male demographics... Winter 2006 Detroit Ratings (Thu 4/27)



Detroit News:

The trend in the past year for oldies stations to totally go away hasn't hit Detroit -- yet. But it may be happening in a much more subtle way at WOMC-FM (104.3). Chalk it up to Dick Purtan's enduring popularity that WOMC hasn't entirely changed its format; otherwise it probably would have gone the way of so many other CBS oldies stations by now ... Get your Mojo phone scams: Now available at mojointhemorning.com, and at all Post Bar locations starting Monday is "Mojo in the Morning Phone Scams Vol. Eight"... WOMC is not such an 'oldie' anymore (Thu 4/27)



Detroit Free Press:


Purtan's a hall of a guy: Hall of fame-ing it a second time Tuesday night in Las Vegas was WOMC-FM (104.3) morning host Dick Purtan. This time, Purtan was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasting Hall of Fame before a crowd that included his 94-year-old dad Paul ... On sale: WKQI-FM's (95.5) "Phone Scams Vol. 8" by its Mojo in the Morning crew. There's a CD-release party 6-8 p.m. Friday at the Post Bar, 22065 Michigan in Dearborn... Names and Faces (Thu 4/27)


Michigan's media world is about to get a powerful new partnership. Starting May 5, the Detroit Free Press, Michigan's most-read newspaper, and WDIV-TV, Michigan's oldest, best-known station, will share reporting resources in print, over the air and on the Internet... Free Press, Local 4 join news forces, plan Michigan polling (Thu 4/27)

 

WRIF selects 'Rock Girl'

WRIFRock WRIF FM 101.1 has announced the winner of its 2006 “WRIF Rock Girl” competition – Lisa W. Lisa made it through three rounds of online voting and the scrutiny of 3 judges at the station's live event last night at the Emerald Theater in Mt. Clemens to be crowned with the title of WRIF Rock Girl.

Through the online voting campaign, the girls were whittled down from 32 to 16 to 8. The “Fabulous Four” were announced at the event last night with the help of emcees, Trudi Daniels, Arthur Penhallow, and Karen Newman. Thena panel of celebrity judges that included Stuff Magazine Cover model Joanna Krupa, Red Wing Alumni Lee Norwood and John Rogin with Pontiac / GMC made the final decision. After a series of questions and a “show us your style” fashion show, Lisa W. was crowned “2006 WRIF Rock Girl” by reigning Rock Girl, Karen Newman.

In addition to the title of WRIF Rock Girl, Lisa will receive a $30,000 salary, a two year lease on a new Pontiac Solstice, and she'll be featured in a WRIF ad in the July issue of Stuff Magazine. WRIF program director, Doug Podell commented, “I'm very pleased with the choice the judges made. Lisa is outgoing, she's a great speaker, she's personable and she likes to rock…what more could we ask for in a WRIF Rock Girl?"



Detroit News:

The final Arbitron radio ratings for winter 2006 were released Thursday, and it's good news for "all news all the time," not so good news for syndicated talk shows or morning hosts with canine monikers. In the morning, WWJ-AM's (950) Joe Donovan and Roberta Jasina chugged past WRIF-FM's (101.1) Drew and Mike to hit the No. 1 spot. Drew and Mike have been a powerhouse for 'RIF for the past decade, with their mix of snarky conversation drawn from the day's headlines, lots of sports talk and irreverent interviews... New radio ratings dial into news, country, and hip-hop (Fri 4/28)



Detroit Free Press:

Radio's first-quarter report card arrived from Arbitron on Thursday, and there was plenty of joy to spread around. Claiming the overall title this quarter -- after tying for it in 2005's fourth quarter -- was R&B player WMXD. The win came largely as a result of Steve Harvey, its powerhouse syndicated morning personality. Then there's country WYCD, which finished in a tie for second, largely because of a surge by its re-energized and restaffed Dr. Don Carpenter morning show... R&B, country head radio pack (Fri 4/28)



WJR's Smith to hit the road

WJRStarting Monday, May 1st and all next week from 5:30-9 AM, WJR morning host Paul W. Smith will be making visits across the state for live remote broadcasts of his program. Smith will highlight various vacation destinations for listeners planning their summer travels around Michigan in addition to discussing local business and government in each location.

The scheduled stops include:
Mon. 5/1: Great Lakes Maritime Center, Port Huron
Tue. 5/2: The Mountain Grand Lodge At Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls
Wed. 5/3: Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
Thu. 5/4: Shanty Creek Resort & Club, Bellaire
Fri. 5/5: Doubletree Hotel, Bay City

 

New FM 105.3 looks ready to roll

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On it's 11:00pm newscast yesterday, WZZM-TV 13 Grand Rapids reported that FM 105.3 owner Citadel will launch its new station starting Monday May 1st with a "reality radio" format that will run for two days before giving way to musical programming on Wednesday May 3rd as '105.3 Hot FM' featuring artists such as Green Day, Gwen Stefani, and Sheryl Crow. WZZM reported that the Monday and Tuesday stunt will feature current Citadel-Grand Rapids personalities Kevin Matthews (from Classic Rock WLAV-FM 96.9) and 'Huge' Bill Simonson (from Sports WBBL-AM 1340). Then when the music kicks off on Wednesday, it'll be with 10,000 songs in a row, commercial free.

The station's new call sign will be WHTS and a web address, www.1053hotfm.com, was registered by Citadel-Grand Rapids manager Brent Alberts on April 16th, but as of this writing had not become active.

FM 105.3 currently carries a commercial-free Classic Country format using the call sign WCXT licensed to Hart. The station has a construction permit to change its Community of License to Coopersville and transmit from the same tower that WZZM broadcasts from- which is probably how WZZM was able to break this news before the official launch. The new facilities will greatly improve the station's coverage of the Grand Rapids market.

Watch WZZM video: New Citadel radio station: 105.3 FM


From AllAccess.com:

"Reality Radio" Debuts On Monday In Grand Rapids: CITADEL will launch a new station, WCXT (105.3)/GRAND RAPIDS, at 6a on MONDAY, MAY 1st, and it will temporarily be called "Reality Radio," with the format wheel coming to stop officially at noon (CT) on WEDNESDAY, (5/3). Sister Sports Talker morning man BILL "HUGE" SIMONSON and Classic Rocker WLAV morning man KEVIN MATHEWS will be mic'd 24/7 for listen behind the scences as they pee, poop, and shower. HUGE gets his run a reaity on MONDAY, and KEVIN takes over on TUESDAY. CITADEL MIDWEST Regional President MATT HANLON said, "We're thrilled to provide WEST MICHIGAN with another option for listening entertainment. The innovative programming concept is designed to bring listeners to the 105.3FM frequency. I don't believe this has ever been done before on radio." According MOSTLY MEDIA President ROBERT SCORPIO, who is consulting the station, "WKLQ PD DARRIN ARRIENS is overseeing the station until a permanent PD is named. I can't comment on where the format wheel will land on WEDNESDAY, but it will fill a big void in the market. We're all excited about it."

 

Detroit Free Press:

WJLB-FM's tricked-out, red 2005 Dodge Magnum was stolen Thursday morning from the staff parking lot at Detroit's Osborn High School. It happened while station DJ the Bushman was inside giving a career day speech... WJLB-FM's hot ride disappears (Sat 4/29)

 

Lansing State Journal:

At 3 a.m., life in downtown East Lansing is in transition. The party crowd is falling asleep; Michael Shiels is waking up. He has news to absorb, a show to plan, an era to semi-preserve. Shiels was the last producer for legendary Detroit radio man J.P. McCarthy. Now he heads a statewide morning show based at WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing. "I never thought I would work in radio again, after J.P.," Shiels said. "Now that I'm back in it, I remember how much I like it"... Talk radio seemed to be on its way out, but it's holding its ground locally (Wed 4/26)


Tom Jones once described himself succinctly. "Let's face it," he said, "I am a bravura performer who needs a large canvas." Jones - who died Saturday at 78 after a lengthy illness - was a Lansing TV magnate who made an instant impact with the size of his voice, his body and his mind... Lansing TV pioneer mourned (Fri 4/28)

 

Flint Journal:

"It was the greatest night of my life," veteran radio newsman Les Root said of his induction into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. The 50-year radio news veteran - the only full-time radio news man left in Flint - attended the ceremony last Saturday at Michigan State University with his wife, extended family and several old cohorts, including former fellow WFDF news team members Mark Tanner, David Leyton (now Genesee County prosecutor) and Bob Palawski.
"The (four) of us probably formed the core of FDF news in the '70s, our golden years," Root said fondly. .. Newsman Les Root honored (Fri 4/28)

 

Citadel preserves Classic Country format

In the wake of the coming relaunch of FM 105.3 as WHTS 'Hot FM', the station's previous Classic Country format has shifted to FM 92.5 WKOQ, Newaygo. That station had previously been airing a simulcast of Active Rocker WKLQ-FM 107.3 Greenville. There will be some listeners disappointed with the frequency shift - 105.3's old facility was located north of where FM 92.5 broadcasts, leaving some without a reliable signal. And, fans of the Active Rock sounds of KLQ in places like Muskegon now will have to struggle to receive the station on it's 107.3 frequency.

Back at 105.3, the station is still using its WCXT call sign and has been stunting throughout the weekend with construction sounds and teaser announcements that a new radio station is under construction. A 'reality radio' stunt will launch on Monday in advance of a musical format targeted toward women that is scheduled to start on Wednesday.



Grand Rapids Press:

It seems like an odd couple for a baseball broadcast. Bill Simonson and local sports legend Jim Shorts teaming up in the radio booth for a special West Michigan Whitecaps' broadcast live from Fifth Third Ballpark at 3 p.m. this afternoon. The contest between the Whitecaps and Kane County Cougars features Simonson on play-by-play and Shorts providing color commentary on flagship station WBBL-AM (1340)... Caps hand mike to interesting pair (Fri 4/28)


A broadcasting company is enlisting a big man for a big change on West Michigan's radio dial. Citadel Broadcasting next week will use a reality-radio experiment to launch its new FM frequency, 105.3. Starting at 6 a.m. Monday, listeners can follow Bill "Huge" Simonson, a host at sister station WBBL-AM (1340), in real time for the entire day... FM station tries reality on for size (Sat 4/29)


Plenty is going on behind the scenes at WLHT-FM (95.7), and now, the launch of a new player in the Grand Rapids radio market. First, at WLHT: Gone is morning-show meteorologist Dennis Hodges, who worked for the station on and off for many years, most recently doing a stint that started in 2004 on the Dave and Geri morning show ... As for the future of Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis, the couple is expected to land in late July at Citadel station WCXT-FM (105.3) which is changing this week from classic country to a format targeted toward women ... Stations all over the country -- including WWMT-TV (Channel 3) -- are signing exclusive long-term affiliation agreements with CW, a new television network set to launch for the 2006-07 season. Programming on CW comes from both UPN and WB networks, which will cease to exist this fall, said Tom Long, vice president and general manager of WWMT-TV ... A new deal just inked by Lin TV gives My Network TV a local presence and increases its coverage to 68 percent of U.S. television audience. Effective Sept. 5, Channel 15, WXSP-TV will air My Network TV programming from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The selection of shows will include drama, variety, talk, magazine, sports and movies. WXSP will continue airing local and regional sports... Meteorologist leaves WLHT (Sun 4/30)



WZZM-TV:

Comstock Park - A special event at Monday's Whitecaps game at Fifth Third Ballpark gave thanks to leaders in the community. Regent Broadcasting, which owns five local radio stations, hosted a community leader appreciation night.... Regent Broadcasting Thanks Community Leaders At Whitecaps Game (Mon 4/24)



Traverse City Record-Eagle

A former bank employee in Indiana, accused of using customers' personal information to make obscene phone calls to television news anchors, has pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted identity theft... Alleged prankster pleads (Wed 4/26)

 

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, April 30, 2006

By: Mike Austerman


On The Radio

Most listeners probably didn’t notice, but WOMC-FM (104.3) has followed a nationwide trend and dropped the term “oldies” when describing itself. Instead, it’s opting to use the somewhat clumsy phrase “Motor City’s 104.3 WOMC.” Although the station’s music hasn’t dramatically changed, the overall sound of the station has shifted from 1950s - ’60s tunes, from when the station went all-oldies in 1989, to the current focus on late- ’60s and ’70s tunes. “We are proud of our heritage in the Motor City, and oldies seems too limiting for what WOMC is overall,” says Steve Allan, ’OMC’s program director. So instead of hearing Buddy Holly and Elvis, you’re much more likely to hear Chicago, Donna Summer and the Steve Miller Band along with traditional tunes from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Motown artists.

Along with the new name, WOMC also has launched a simulcast of the station on its Web site, www.womc.com. One of the neat features of the online programming is hearing comedy segments from morning man Dick Purtan and crew instead of commercials. Interesting, too, is how close the new name for WOMC is to the one being used by CKWW-AM (580), which goes by “Motor City Favorites” and does play the music of the 1950s and early ’60s along with softer rock tunes through the ’80s and ’90s.


 * * * * 


While we’re on the subject of WOMC, I’d be remiss without offering my kudos to Purtan on his induction to the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame last week. About 800 people attended the luncheon in Las Vegas, including Dick’s six daughters and their spouses, his wife Gail, his 94-year-old father, Paul Purtan, and Paul’s wife, Christine. Purtan joked with the crowd, “We had six beautiful daughters and we paid for seven weddings. My wife, Gail, should get all the credit for the family. It took her 54 months and me only six minutes.” He is the only Detroit-based radio personality to be inducted in the NAB’s Hall of Fame. Fellow radio writer Art Vuolo was on hand, and he says, “It would make any Detroit radio listener proud to have seen this very classy event and hear the accolades heaped upon one of Detroit’s most beloved radio personalities.”

Hard to believe, but Purtan’s been waking us up on ’OMC for 10 years already — and just recently signed on for 5 more.


 * * * * 


Checking the mailbag, Betty writes that classical/jazz WRCJ-FM (90.9) “has been my favorite station for some time, but lately I have been upset at all the talk that has taken the place of the beautiful music. I am really am not interested in all the yak, yak between hosts and recipes — I can go to a cooking channel for that. Please, can we have a return to the beautiful music with only brief interruptions to let us know what piece we are about to hear? I would have sent a donation, but changed my mind when the music was replaced by yakety-yak and recipes.”

So I posed Betty’s question to Dave Wagner, WRCJ’s program director and morning host. He comments that “the recipe feature that we have on middays is one of our most popular features, and I think it is something that (host) Chris Felcyn handles with charm and grace. I don’t think our commentaries are particularly long and I’m proud of the amount of music that we play each hour, more than 50 minutes of music per hour in both our classical and jazz portions.

“We also feature recordings by Detroit musicians and ensembles,” he adds. “However, one person’s ‘yakety-yak’ is another person’s information and entertainment. We do listen and try to respond to all of our listener comments both positive and negative, and will continue to strive to be the best classical/jazz station that we can be for our listeners.”

I’d hazard a guess that over the long term, a radio station that spends even just a small amount of time interacting with its listeners with some local talk and features will develop a much bigger fan base than one that is essentially a jukebox. That’s an important factor for a station such as WRCJ, which is relying on financial support from those loyal listeners. It’s wonderful that Detroit once again has its own fine arts station — and one that’s not afraid to make an effort to connect with more than just its music.


 * * * * 


This week’s University of Michigan broadcast sports update includes affiliate announcements for Flint’s WTRX-AM (1330) and Toledo’s WTOD-AM (1560), but still no word on a new metro Detroit station. The Toledo announcement is especially curious — WTOD doesn’t broadcast after sundown, which rules out coverage of all but a few basketball games and would be the ultimate in frustration for listeners to 3:30 p.m. football games late in fall that go past the station’s required sign-off time.

Meanwhile, murmurs persist that there might be two stations signing on locally — one with a big-name FM morning host, the other with a big AM signal, eh? Stay tuned!


 * * * * 


Set Your Dials: Tune in to “Somewhere in Time” on WMUZ-FM (103.5) at 6 p.m. today, when hosts Alison Harris and Tom Wilson feature the swing band of Ziggy Elman.


 * * * * 


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

 

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About this Archive

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

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