Mike Austerman: December 2006 Archives

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 2, 2006

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WMGC hits Toys for Tots goal

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

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

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



WJR's annual Christmas Sing set for Dec 9th

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

WJR and listeners helps those in need

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

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

 

WIDL FM 92.1 Caro switches format

WIDL FM 92.1 on Monday November 27 changed its format to Hot Adult Contemporary as Mix 92.1 after a week of stunting with All-Christmas music. The station previously featured an Adult Hits format.



Flint Journal:

One of the nation's oldest radio stations will celebrate 80 years of Christian broadcasting by reconnecting with its roots. WMPC-AM (1230) will host a 6 p.m. concert at Calvary Bible Church, 933 S. Main St., Lapeer, featuring the Gospelmen Quartet and former general manager, the Rev. Arnold Bracy. It will be followed by dessert in the church gym. The station at 1800 N. Lapeer Road will hold open houses from 1-7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 1-5 p.m. on Wednesday... WMPC-AM marks 80 years on air (Sat 12/2)

Rod Prahin has got a brand new bag, er, kettle. The host of Flint's No. 1-rated morning show on WCRZ-FM (107.9) and sidekick Chris Pavelich will launch the first Rod & Chris' Red Kettle Caravan this week. They'll broadcast live and accept donations for the Salvation Army's 2006 Christmas Campaign from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday near the former Mervyn's store at Courtland Center, Wednesday near the former Kessel store at Davison Center on S. State Road just north of I-69 in Davison, and Friday in Grand Blanc at a location to be determined... Red kettle collection music to DJs' ears (Sun 12/3)


Younger viewers who hear Gregory Kelser's voice as color commentator on Detroit Pistons and Big Ten basketball games might know that he was once Earvin "Magic" Johnson's sidekick on Michigan State's first NCAA championship team. And they would be wrong. Kelser was much more than a sidekick - he was an All-American forward who scored 19 points in the 1979 final against Indiana State - but history has boiled down that landmark contest to a Magic-vs.-Larry Bird showdown. No matter, for the forgotten member of the triumvirate gets to tell his story in "Gregory Kelser's Tales From Michigan State Basketball"... Slow, steady wins MSU 'voice' kudos (Sun 12/3)

 

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, December 3, 2006

By: Art Vuolo


On The Radio

Oldies CKWW-AM (580) just started streaming its audio signal via the Internet at www.am580radio.com, where it will reach listeners from the Motor City and beyond. According to program director Charlie O’Brien, “Live Web streaming is the number one most requested online feature. Now people will be able to listen to us in those hard-to-reach places.”

Frankly, my scan feature won’t even stop on 580 in the Novi area, and some of the best stations have the worst signals.

“Motor City Favorites” CKWW also has launched the “AM 580 Online Store,” where listeners can purchase great oldies music and a variety of classic DVDs. And entering contests and joining the AM 580 Loyal Listener Club can be done in one easy step via the site.

Also, throughout the month of December, AM 580 will air holiday-themed episodes of classic radio shows on “When Radio Was,” weeknights at 11 p.m. with host Chuck Schaden. The complete December schedule is available — you guessed it — on the station’s Web site.


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Last Wednesday the who’s who of the local radio community showed up to pay tribute to the often quoted Dick Kernen at the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Southfield. He just celebrated 50 years in the business and has been responsible for launching the careers of countless of people in the radio industry.

One of the highlights was a video featuring lots of major local radio stars, many of who were wildly entertaining, in addition to the presentation to Kernen of a custom made bobblehead of himself. And in the spirit of Oprah, everyone in the audience received one.


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Hats off to news-talk WJR-AM (760) management for the classy move of its extensive coverage of Bo Schembechler’s memorial service, considering that the station dropped U-M sports in favor of MSU this past year. And Mike Austerman’s full column review in last Sunday’s “On the Radio” of all of the activities surrounding Bo’s passing was superb.


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Pop WMGC-FM (105.1) morning host Jim Harper and his Magic Morning Show began the 28th season of making magic with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and their Toys For Tots Campaign. Harper and company broadcast live each morning this past week at various area mall locations. The station set a goal of raising $25,000 by week’s end. Those who were unable to make it to one of the malls last week can still drop off donated toys at Art Van, Chicken Shack, Farmer Jack and several other locations, all of which are listed at www.detroitmagic.com.

Now, if you’re thinking that Magic hasn’t been around for 28 years, you’re right. Even the previous Magic (WMJC) which was at 94.7 FM didn’t add up to nearly three decades, but Jim Harper has been here that long at previous stations, the longest run being at WNIC-FM (100.3). He and most of his co-hosts were lured up the dial back in the mid-summer of 2001, but they’ve never stopped helping the kids at Christmas.


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Notably, Peter Smyth, president and CEO of Greater Media, which owns WMGC, was just named Radio Executive of the Year by trade publication Radio Ink. In this era of huge broadcast conglomerates, Greater Media is practically a “mom and pop” operation.


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Blaine, Lisa and Allyson made a strange discovery during their morning show on contemporary WDVD-FM (96.3). Listeners noted that some malls are opting to have a chair next to Santa opposed to kids sitting on Santa’s lap to avoid any issues or lawsuits from parents who think there was any inappropriateness.

Is this crazy talk or what? Sitting on Santa’s lap is part of the whole going-to-see Santa experience.

Anyway, they asked their listeners what they thought of this new policy happening at some malls, and the overwhelming feeling from them was that it was lame. Ring-master Blaine Fowler, himself, the father of a couple of kids, gets my kudos for exposing this insanity. Don’t rob the kids of precious experiences.


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Bad news at sports WXYT-AM (1270). The station handed pink slips to a couple of names you may know — Don Swindell and Tom Mazeway — and just in time for Christmas, too.


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And good news: Dick Purtan’s “Purtan’s People” calendars, featuring the morning gang from WOMC-FM (104.3), are available for just $12 at participating Kroger stores benefiting Detroit Children’s Hospital. Get yours before they sell out.


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Set your dial: Enjoy a Glenn Miller Christmas at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5) with Tom Wilson’s “Somewhere in Time.”


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This coming Saturday, join Paul W. Smith and Santa as they host the 41st annual WJR Christmas Sing at the Somerset Collection North in Troy from 11 a.m.-noon. Bring your family for a morning of caroling and fun!


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If you’re doing some holiday shopping this week, consider the gift of a new radio. It can be an AM, FM, HD, XM or Sirius, but make it a radio for someone you love.


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

 

Grand Rapids Press:

There are a few things you probably didn't know about Rob St. Mary, the new news director at WOOD-AM (1300). First, he has lost more than 140 pounds since 2000. "It was all a result of diet and exercise, and I have kept it off," he said ... WGRD team expands- Morning-drive radio listeners in mid-Tennessee will get Free Beer and Hot Wings every weekday. Nashville's mainstream rock radio station WPCZ-FM (102.9, The Buzz) recently replaced The Bob and Tom Show with the local gents on WGRD-FM (97.9), which is syndicated on several other stations across the country... Yet another station picks up Free Beer show (Fri 12/1)


Morning-drive radio listeners in mid-Tennessee will get Free Beer and Hot Wings every weekday. Nashville's mainstream rock radio station WPCZ-FM (102.9, The Buzz) recently replaced The Bob and Tom Show with the local gents on WGRD-FM (97.9), which is syndicated on several other stations across the country... WGRD team expands (Sun 12/3)



Radio and Records:

Top five stations among listeners age 12 and above for the first fall ratings trend in Grand Rapids were WBCT-FM, WSNX-FM, WOOD-AM, WGRD-FM, and WLAV-FM... Grand Rapids 12+ ratings, Fall phase 1

 

• New sign-on Variety Hits WMJT FM 96.7 McMillan/Newberry was granted its license to cover. The station is owned by David L. Smith and was first reported on-air in June.

• The FCC granted the assignment of construction permits for FM translators W286AU 105.1 Allegan, W277BB 103.3 Grand Haven, W279BF 103.7 Hastings, W237BW 95.3 Forest Hills, and W258AO 99.5 Hillsdale from Edgewater Broadcasting to Horizon Christian Fellowship.

• The FCC also granted the assignment of construction permits for FM translators W227AS 93.3 Whitehall and W243BH 96.5 Muskegon from Radio Assist Ministry to Horizon Christian Fellowship.

 

• Bay Broadcasting, owner of WKMJ-FM 93.5 and WMPL AM 920 Houghton/Hancock, has agreed to purchase Hot Adult Contemporary WUPM-FM 106.9 and Oldies WHRY AM 1450 Ironwood/Hurley, WI from Big G Little O for $1.25 million pending FCC approval and closing.

• Modern Rock/College WMHW-FM 91.5 Mt. Pleasant has been granted a construction permit to increase effective radiated power to 13,000 watts @ 459 feet as a Class C3 station from its current Class A 340 watts @ 112 feet. The Central Michigan University owned station will greatly improve its coverage area outside of the immediate Mt. Pleasant area.

• Construction permit for W237BW 95.3 Forest Hills modified to specify 95.1 as W236BK

 

WFDF AM 910 Detroit has been granted a construction permit to increase its nighttime power from 19,000 to 25,000 watts.

• The assignment of construction permits for FM translators W223AM 92.5 Bronson, W227AS 93.3 Whitehall, W227AU 93.3 Ludington, W243BA 96.5 Big Rapids, and W243BH 96.5 Muskegon from Radio Assist Ministry to Horizon Christian Fellowship was granted.

 

• Horizon Christian Fellowship is acquiring the construction permit for FM translator W286BA 105.1 South Haven from Edgewater Broadcasting for $7,433 pending FCC approval and closing. Horizon Christian Fellowship also owns a construction permit for WTNP FM 91.9 Richland and 17 other FM translators.

• Oldies WNBY-FM 93.9 Newberry / Sault Ste. Marie was granted its license to cover for its new facilities (upgrade from Class A 6,000 watts @ 262 feet in Luce County to Class C2 50,000 watts @ 443 feet in Chippewa County).

 

Happy 80th birthday WMPC

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WJRT TV

One of the oldest radio stations in the country is located here in Mid-Michigan. Tomorrow, the staff will celebrate the station's 80 years on the air. People have been listening to WMPC since it first began broadcasting from the basement of the Methodist Protestant Church in Lapeer. "They ran some test broadcasts in early December and we became licensed and went on the air December 6, 1926," explained General Manager Bob Baldwin... Radio station is itself a 'golden oldie' (Tue 12/5)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 7, 2006

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Detroit News:

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

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 8, 2006

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Have Baby, Will Trade for PS3

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

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

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

Detroit News:

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

 

WNBY-FM 93.9 Newberry was granted a construction permit to change its effective radiated power from 50,000 watts @ 443 feet (Class C2) to 100,000 watts @ 469 feet (Class C1) from tower location north of where it currently broadcasts.

 

• The sale of religious WTCK FM 90.9 Charlevoix from Broadcasting for the Challenged to Baraga Broadcasting was approved by the FCC. The deal still needs to complete the closing process.

• The FCC granted the assignment of construction permits for FM translators W243BD 96.5 Beechwood and W285DU 104.9 Fremont from Radio Assist Ministry to Horizon Christian Fellowship.

 

• Talk WMKT AM 1270 Charlevoix has been granted a construction permit to increase daytime power from 27,000 watts to 50,000 watts non-directional. The station's directional 5,000 nighttime pattern will not change.

• Radioactive, LLC has been granted a construction permit for a new FM station to Walhalla at 98.9 FM. Radioactive also holds 4 other construction permits for new FM stations in Michigan; all of the other 4 are located in the Upper Peninsula.

• Public Radio WVGR FM 104.1 Grand Rapids has been granted its license to cover for its new permanent (96,000 watts @ 725 feet) facilities in Barry County. WVGR, part of (University of) Michigan Radio, has been operating with temporary facilities the past several years after moving off the tower used by WOOD-TV when WOOD-TV added its digital antenna to the structure.

 

• The FCC has filed a Notice of Apparent Liability in the amount of $2000 against the Detroit Public Schools, owner of Classical/Jazz WRCJ-FM (90.9), for alleged public file violations from the timeframe before operations of the station were taken over by Detroit Public Television. Notice of Apparent Liability, FCC (.pdf)

 

Flint Journal:

Christmas comes early for Bill Harris. The affable WJRT (Channel 12) news anchor gets positively giddy discussing the station's 21st annual holiday broadcast, which airs live from The Whiting at 7 p.m. Dec. 16. Harris and co-anchor Angie Hendershot host the one-hour "Holiday Pops," which features conductor Enrique Diemecke, the Flint Symphony Orchestra and guests such as the Flint Festival Chorus and Flint Jubilee Gospel Chorale performing seasonal selections ranging from "The Twelve Days of Christmas" to the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's "Messiah"... If it's December, it's time for 'Holiday Pops' broadcast (Fri 12/8)



AllAccess.com:

WFBE Raises 9,510 Pounds Of Food:
Congrats to CITADEL Country WFBE (B95)/FLINT, MI for raising over 9,510 lbs. of non-perishable items for the FOOD BANK OF EASTERN MICHIGAN. WFBE camped out at a local car dealership for three days while urging listeners to drop off items or make cash donations. The station's goal of 9,510 lbs. was not only met but exceeded! (Tue 12/5)



Saginaw News:

Delta College has named its television station's new program manager. Joseph Yezak of Bay City will lead the four-member department responsible for planning and implementing more than 28,000 hours of programming on Channel 19, WDCQ. The Northern Michigan University graduate joins the crew after working as a senior promotions producer at Channel 5, WNEM. He also has worked at stations in Montana, Kentucky and Battle Creek... Yezak joining WDCQ (Sat 12/9)

 

South Bend Tribune:

After Jan. 1, listeners may not recognize the Voice of Niles-Buchanan. That became apparent Wednesday when Gloria Cooper, the voice behind Niles-based WNIL-AM radio station's "Here's Gloria'' program, announced on the air her intention to resign Dec. 29. Not only is Cooper leaving but so, too, is the station's operations manager and jack-of-all-trades, Ric Clingaman. The loss of Cooper and Clingaman will leave the station, billed as the Voice of Niles-Buchanan and Hometown 1290, without its hometown feel. Beginning in 2007, the around-the-clock station will be fully automated and will transmit programming solely by satellite, Clingaman said... Niles radio losing local program voices (Thu 12/7)



AllAccess.com:

Coats 4 Kids, Frostbite 4 WSNX's Internio:
CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WSNX/GRAND RAPIDS' "THE PLAYHOUSE" morning star PUDDIN shared the following with ALL ACCESS: "Morning show stunt punk INTERNIO 'THE MEXICAN INTERN' is recovering and celebrating. He was brave or dumb enough to bare all, to bring attention to an overlooked problem. INTERNIO stood outside collecting 'Coats 4 Kids' to make the point that there are kids in this city that have to deal with this problem every day. After less than four hours, he picked up over 300 coats, sweaters, and sweatshirts for kids who didn't have them earlier today." By the way, the outside temperature during this stunt was 14 degrees -- with a wind chill of zero. "Oh, did I mention we made him wear the BORAT swimsuit?" PUDDIN adds. "Does workmen's comp cover self-induced frostbite?" (Fri 12/8)



Grand Rapids Press:

I have always been a fan of Aris Hampers. He had been a West Michigan radio fixture for 35 years, and I miss him on the airwaves since he was let go from Clear Channel's WBFX-FM (101.3) in September. What's Aris up to now? I heard him on the air last month at WLAV-FM (96.9) when he dropped in as a Friday morning guest on the Kevin Matthews show. The two have been friends since their Grand Valley college days. "We had a gas -- a lot of fun," Hampers said from his Aris' Disc Shop in the Celebration Cinema North complex. "Although getting up at 5:30 -- well, I'm more of a noon kind of guy"... Broadcast notes: Aris has new best friend in Asia (Sun 12/10)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 10, 2006

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Detroit News:

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



Ann Arbor News:

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

 

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, December 10, 2006

By: Mike Austerman


On The Radio

Is your shopping done yet? Unfortunately for satellite radio companies XM and Sirius, it looks as if getting a new satellite radio for Christmas is way down the list for most people this holiday season. According to a Bridge Ratings survey, satellite radio placed a dismal 45th out of 48 things on electronics wish lists.

Not surprisingly, Apple’s video iPod was on top, along with digital cameras, portable DVD players, plasma TVs, GPS navigation devices, camcorders, DVDs, cell phones and two other Apple music players in the top 10. Bridge Ratings projects that combined, XM and Sirius will sell 700,000 fewer satellite radios this October, November, and December when compared with those same three months a year ago.

Talk about a lump of coal.


Sirius has already this month bumped its expected subscriber count lower, blaming some of the consumer apathy on a dramatic cooling of the Howard Stern effect. That Bridge report also states that last year Stern influenced 52 percent of Sirius subscription decisions on average just before the launch of his uncensored show on Sirius in January as hard-core fans jumped aboard en masse to follow the dynamic jock.

Nearly one year later, the Stern effect is an influencing factor for about 17 percent of Sirius purchases since October. An estimated 1.3 million Stern fans are subscribers through November, or about 13 percent of the audience he had when he signed off terrestrial radio.

As dismal as those numbers might appear, the news over at XM is far worse when looking at the number of subscriptions its highest-profile morning team is generating. According to the Bridge survey, only about 3 percent of XM subscribers join to hear Opie & Anthony, who are now back on free radio in several markets across the country. Even though what you’ll hear from O&A on stations like talk WKRK-FM (97.1) is the censored version of what XM can run, it doesn’t appear that consumers are too worried about what they might be missing from the duo’s XM feed.


While there was some good news from XM this week with General Motors Corp. estimating that it will install 1.8 million XM radios in its 2007 vehicles, just putting the radios in new cars might not be enough to sustain either XM or Sirius as separate companies in the long run. Although I personally still enjoy the product, the rumblings will likely grow louder for some kind of merger if consumer demand continues to trend lower than what it has been in the past.

Maybe we should say, “Hoho-uh-oh ...”


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There’s only 15 days until Christmas, and I’ll betcha most fans of Detroit radio wouldn’t mind seeing the Dick Purtan & Purtan’s People 2007 calendar under the tree. Available now at 70 area Kroger stores, the calendar sells for $12 with proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital of Michigan as part of classic Top 40 WOMC-FM’s (104.3) annual “Christmas is for Kids” campaign.

Each month features the gang pictured in seasonally appropriate garb and situations (my personal fav is April’s “flowers”). There also are coupons at the bottom of each month’s page.

And calendar owners will find that planning for the 20th anniversary of Dick’s Salvation Army Radiothon to benefit the Bed and Bread Club is made easy with a note on the event’s scheduled date, Feb. 23. Last February, Purtan helped raise $1,808,440, a total that will be tough to top unless plans to contribute are made now. In this season of giving, why not set aside something to help out our community when the call goes out in two months?

I know that Mr. Purtan is very modest about his role in raising all this money every year. Could there be a better way for us to show our appreciation for all he’s done these two decades than to help set a new record for the 20th anniversary radiothon?


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That was just an example of one of my favorite things about radio, which is the medium’s ability to reach out and help those in need. News-talk WJR-AM (760) is continuing a holiday tradition of its own by assisting Volunteers of America Michigan with an on-air “Adopt-A-Family” drive with the goal of adopting 2,500 families throughout Michigan, which will include more than 10,000 children and 200 seniors.

A donation of $140 provides toys and warm clothes for the children and food for the family’s Christmas dinner. Even if you are unable to afford the $140, other donations are still encouraged. To help, call (248) 353-4VOA through Dec. 24.


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Radio listeners in the northeast part of Oakland County can enjoy listening to Christian WMPC-AM (1230) from Lapeer. On Dec. 6, WMPC celebrated its 80th birthday, making it one of the oldest radio stations in the country. WMPC has featured essentially the same format since it hit the air in 1926, and it’s also always been commercial-free, supported by listener donations. Who says radio can’t be a stable business?


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Set your dial: Charlie O’Brien will play “A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector,” one of the top rock Christmas albums of all time, in its entirety starting at 11 a.m. today on oldies CKWW-AM (580). Originally released in 1963, the LP features Christmas classics by the Crystals, the Ronettes, Darlene Love and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans. It just wouldn’t be the holidays without hearing Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” the Crystals’ “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” or “Sleigh Ride” by the Ronettes ... XM will air “Radio Hanukkah,” featuring Jewish music and culture, from Dec. 15-23 on its Channel 108 ... A special program of holiday music featuring Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians is this week’s focus on “Somewhere in Time,” airing 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.

 

• Oldies WQXC-FM 100.9 has been granted its license to cover for a change of its community of license from Otsego to Allegan.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 12, 2006

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Detroit News:

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


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



AllAccess.com:

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



Broadcasting & Cable:

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

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 13, 2006

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Detroit Free Press:

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

 

AllAccess.com:

O'Kelly Named PD At WFGR:
LEN O'KELLY is joining REGENT Oldies WFGR (OLDIES 98.7)/GRAND RAPIDS as PD/morning host, effective JANUARY 2. O'KELLY has been serving as a commercial producer at TRIBUNE Talk WGN-A/CHICAGO and has been imaging WYIN-TV (LAKESHORE PUBLIC TELEVISION)/GARY-MERRILLVILLE, IN and voice tracking for CLEAR CHANNEL Soft AC WBXX/BATTLE CREEK, previously handled production director and overnight hosting duties at the former "REAL OLDIES 1690" WRLL-A and, before that, was APD/MD for then-Oldies WJMK/CHICAGO and PD of WODJ/GRAND RAPIDS. (Wed 12/13)


Darren Arriens Named PD At Rock 107.5/Tucson:
CITADEL Rock WKLQ and Top 40 WHTS/GRAND RAPIDS PD and Top 40 WJIM/LANSING MD DARRIN ARRIENS is heading to sister Classic Rock KHYT (ROCK 107.5)/TUCSON as PD. KHYT GM KEN KOWALCEK says that "we are thrilled to welcome DARRIN to TUCSON. It's always great to be able to find great talent in your own company and DARRIN comes to us from our sister stations in GRAND RAPIDS. We know he and his wife SUSAN will love TUCSON and his years of experience at heritage rock stations like WRIF-FM in DETROIT and WIOT-FM in TOLEDO mean that ROCK 107.5 is in excellent hands and the future looks great!"

ARRIENS adds that he is "absolutely thrilled to be moving along to CITADEL TUCSON and program KHYT. HERB CROWE, KEN KOWALCEK and the rest of the staff are a total class act and they are setting the pace for radio in TUCSON. I am leaving some of the best and smartest people I have ever worked with in GRAND RAPIDS. Regional President MATT HANLON is truly a visionary and it was a great learning experience to work with him the past three years. He is also a mentor and a friend. I am richer for the experience of working with him. I also want to thank OM BRENT ALBERTS, who is a great programmer with a mountain of experience and savvy. For me, this is a win win situation; I will miss GRAND RAPIDS and the people at CITADEL there, but I also look forward to teaming up with some great colleagues in TUCSON. Finally, I would like to thank JUDY ELLIS and FARID SULEMAN for their confidence in my abilities. It is great to be a part of the CITADEL team!" (Wed 12/13)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 14, 2006

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AllAccess.com:

Grey Named PD At WKLQ:
With yesterday's announcement that CITADEL Rock WKLQ and Top 40 WHTS/GRAND RAPIDS PD and Top 40 WJIM/LANSING MD DARRIN ARRIENS is heading to sister Classic Rock KHYT (ROCK 107.5)/TUCSON as PD, that left the WKLQ PD slot open for a few minutes, but now it's filled: WKLQ APD/afternoon host MICHAEL GREY gets the promotion to PD to replace ARRIENS. GREY says "I can't believe they fell for it. In all seriousness, I can't say thanks enough to DARRIN, MATT HANLON and BRENT ALBERTS for giving me the keys- I'm looking forward to taking KLQ to the next level." ALBERTS, CITADEL's VP Rock, added "MICHAEL has earned this opportunity, and we're happy to see him grow into this position. We feel great about the future of KLQ." Now, who's gonna replace GREY as APD and ARRIENS as midday host? (Thu 12/14)


Bubba Gets Overnights At WKFR:
CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR/BATTLE CREEK, MI swing shifter and "RAY's Pig Pen Radio" lackey BUBBA picks up Overnights for the station starting in JANUARY. PD/middayer KRUZE tells ALL ACCESS that he's "happy that we've greatly decreased BUBBA's likelihood of being arrested from the hours of Midnight-5am." (Thu 12/14)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 14, 2006

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Detroit News:

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



Radio and Records:

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



Detroit Free Press:

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



AllAccess.com:

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

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 15, 2006

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Detroit Free Press:

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

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 15, 2006

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Grand Rapids Press:

The holiday classics haven't changed that much -- radio stations still turn to Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Burl Ives to spread Yuletide cheer. But your chances of hearing them on the radio are growing fast. This week, more than 400 stations from Maine to Hawaii -- West Michigan included -- were playing Christmas tunes around the clock to bring in listeners and advertising dollars. Some cities have as many as five or six stations competing for holiday listeners. Most of the programming kicked off after Thanksgiving; the earliest station switched in October before trick-or-treaters made the rounds... Radio stations tuned in to holidays (Fri 12/15)

 

News and Notes from CMU

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CMU'S 'News Central 34' wins first place in regional contest

Central Michigan University's only student-run television news show has reeled in a regional honor as for the first time, "News Central 34" has taken first place in the Philo T. Farnsworth Video Festival. The show received the top prize in the School, Non-Professional Newscast category during the Alliance for Community Media's Central States Regional Conference in November in East Lansing.

Named for "the father of modern television," the competition celebrates excellence in noncommercial cable programming. The Mid-Michigan Area Cable Consortium, which airs "News Central 34" twice daily, sponsored the show's entry, which was one of 296 in the competition.

School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts faculty member Rick Sykes, the show's adviser, said "News Central 34" is the only student-produced, live nightly newscast in Michigan.

"I'm certainly very pleased with the award because of the quality of work the students put out on a nightly basis," he said. "It was even more significant after I was able to see the quality of the programs from the other award winners."

"News Central 34" airs from 5 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 5 to 5:30 p.m. Fridays. In the Mount Pleasant area, the show can be seen on channel 34 on CMU's campus and Charter Communications channel 23 off campus. The newscast also is shown at noon and 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on Charter Communications channel 3.

• • • • • •

CMU faculty member Corbett examines obsessions in new documentary

Kevin Corbett isn't crazy. Sure, he owns more than 100 watches, almost as many pairs of shoes, and enough cufflinks and cocktail shakers to outfit a very classy army of bartenders, but the Central Michigan University broadcast and cinematic arts professor never gave his growing collections a second thought - until the bike ride.

When Corbett hopped on his bicycle for two to three hours per day after work to train for a 100-mile ride, he raised a few eyebrows. Though 100 miles actually isn't a lot for those who ride in certain circles, people (namely his wife) started calling Corbett crazy.

So he sought out the testimony of others who display even more unusual behavior to confirm his sanity. He enlisted the help of a few students, and the result was a documentary, "Crazy or What?"

"It's about people who have these passions that they love, but that other people just don't understand," said Corbett. "The ultimate conclusion is that these people are not crazy."

His subjects included Diane Krider, interim assistant dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, whose office resembles a top-secret Coca-Cola corporate historical archive. From the huge old-time Coke sign beaming brightly above a bookshelf, to the rows and rows of bottles, to a dizzying number of tchotchkes - Coke stapler, Coke telephone, Coke charm bracelet - everything is Coke-related. When students walk into Krider's office and take a seat on her Coke bench, they often get distracted and forget why they came in. Others have contributed to her collection. She said it belongs to everyone.

"I hate to think that this is some sort of problem," she said. "I just can't throw away sentimental things."

For his documentary, Corbett talked with psychologists about the normality of the behaviors exhibited by his subjects. He found that there is no real clinical definition of "obsession" outside of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which he said is very different from the sort of obsession that drives a person to collect an office full of Coke memorabilia.

Another of Corbett's colleagues, broadcast and cinematic arts professor Ken Jurkiewicz, has hoarded more than 10,000 films over the years - most of which are unopened and unviewed - since beginning a love affair with the movies as a young child.

Corbett said he hopes viewers will watch his documentary and reflect on the people they know who have a misunderstood hobby or collection.

"One of the psychologists I interviewed says that for some people, being obsessive can result in good things," he said. "It can be therapeutic, a good release. And think about it - what would they do if they didn't have this thing to obsess about?"

The film, which features a soundtrack composed by CMU alumnus Phil Moore, has been shipped to competitions and festivals. "Crazy or What?" will be shown at CMU during the Central Michigan International Film Festival this spring, with screenings scheduled for 7 p.m. March 27 and 31 in the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium. For ticket information, visit www.cmfilmfestival.com as the festival approaches.

• • • • • •

CMU Honors Student develops podcasts for capstone project

A Central Michigan University honors student has combined her interests in journalism, broadcasting and technology to deliver information to the Internet community. For her Honors Program senior project, Lindsey Wahowiak of Wyandotte created "The CentralWire," a podcast series focusing on CMU students, faculty and staff. Wahowiak, a journalism major and broadcast and cinematic arts minor, said the project "marries the two together, which I really like."

Advised by School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts faculty member Jeff Smith, Wahowiak has created six, 15-minute podcasts, three of which are currently available online at feeds.feedburner.com/centralwire. Apple iTunes users can subscribe to the series by searching for Wahowiak's name or "CentralWire" in the iTunes store.

Currently the news director for WMHW Modern Rock 91.5 FM, CMU's student-run radio station, Wahowiak also has served as a reporter for Central Michigan Life, CMU's student newspaper. She also is president of CMU's Society of Professional Journalists chapter, co-host of WMHW's "Geekspeak" radio show and a part-time Honors Program office assistant. Wahowiak plans to graduate in May 2007 and hopes to pursue a career in print journalism.

 

• No sale: Big G Little O has withdrawn its application to sell Hot Adult Contemporary WUPM FM 106.9 Ironwood and Oldies WHRY AM 1450 Hurley, WI to Bay Broadcasting (Gerald J. Hackman and John J. Nix).

• Northern Radio's FM translator of Classic Hits WFDX FM, licensed to Boyne City at 95.5 FM as W238AO, has been granted a construction permit to move to FM 95.3 as W237DA with a power decrease from 250 watts to 200 watts. The application states that the proposed channel change was filed to alleviate possible interference caused to full-service station WJZJ, Glen Arbor.

• The FCC granted the assignment of construction permit for FM translator W286BA 105.1 South Haven from Edgewater Broadcasting to Horizon Christian Fellowship.

• FM translator W253AQ 98.3 Powers has been granted its license to cover. The translator rebroadcasts Religious WRVM FM 102.7 Suring, Wisconsin.

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 17, 2006

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Grand Rapids Press:

'Tis the season for radio change-ups. Len O'Kelly will join Regent Broadcasting in January as program director and morning man on Oldies station WFGR-FM (98.7). Current morning guy Robb Stewart is "investigating career options," said Phil Catlett, president and general manager of Regent Broadcasting's local stations. The addition of O'Kelly gives Catlett a new person to oversee the day-to-day programming of WFGR... Oldies station gets new program director (Sun 12/17)


Leaving the Michigan winter behind is Darrin Arriens of Citadel Radio. He was responsible for rock station WKLQ-FM (107.3), top 40 WHTS-FM (105.3 Hot FM) and Lansing station WJIM. Arriens heads to Tucson... Arriens off to Arizona (Sun 12/17)


WSNX-FM (104.5) collected more than 300 coats and winter accessories for Catholic Social Services during "The Playhouse Morning Show" Dec. 7. It was bone-chilling cold for scantily clad personality Internio Banderas... A chilling experience at fundraiser (Sun 12/17)

 

Don't believe flak on satcasters

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Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, December 17, 2006

By: Art Vuolo


On The Radio

If Orson Welles were alive today, he’d be saying, “I told you so.” You remember how he caused panic nationwide with his “War of the Worlds” back in 1939 over the Mercury Theatre on radio. Martians were attacking New Jersey. And the “experts” say it couldn’t happen today. Ha!

Look at all this hype about the public not wanting to pay for radio. People will pay for anything they want. If what they want is available free, great. If not, they’ll pay for it. I do. Mike Austerman does, too. But even my friend and colleague in this column reported last week what trade papers and periodicals are writing nationwide. I refuse to be redundant with my views on this topic, but things are not as bad as they’re made out to be. Still, if satellite radio networks continue to tighten their playlists and imitate terrestrial radio, people will not pay for what they can get for free.

The ’50s channel on Sirius just launched a great new doowop oldies show 9 p.m.-midnight Wednesdays with T.J. Lubinsky. I tried to get through on the toll-free line for hours with no luck. Always a busy signal. So, gee, I guess no one is listening to satellite radio.


 • • • • 


This is the uphill challenge facing HD radio, for which Detroit is arguably the leading city in the country. But how many of you are well-versed on this new technology? One local radio insider said it best: “I’m chagrined at the lack of creativity the industry is showing so far. We’re working to reorient the products and make them more innovative and unique. Otherwise, who’s going to be motivated to buy the radios?”

That quote says it all. Put content on the air that the audience wants. Remember “If you build it, they will come”? Well, if you put on the good stuff, they will listen.


 • • • • 


When I wrote this column a couple of days ago, I was just in one of those moods to bark about a few things. Because next Sunday is Christmas Eve, I’ll try to be kinder and gentler. But watch out for my year-end review and predictions for 2007. It’ll come New Year’s Eve.


 • • • • 


Many stations do nice things at this special time of the year and hits WKQI-FM (95.5) is a champ with the top-rated wake-up show “Mojo in the Morning.” They’re now doing a thing called “Breaking and Entering Christmas Wish,” in which needy families are stunned when co-host Spike pulls up to a home in a Channel 955 station van filled with gifts! It’s highly emotional radio, and it’s great radio. Keep up the good work.


 • • • • 


Country WDTW-FM (106.7) has teamed up with Southland Shopping Center to gather more than 10,000 toys for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots. The Fox just rapped up a three-day broadcast that surpassed expectations. Any listener who dropped off a toy is eligible for a grand prize of $10,000 in cash. It’s a clever way for the new station to out-Fox its competition.


 • • • • 


Speaking of that 99.5 frequency, back when it was WOW-FM and had just flipped to what was then “Young Country” WYCD, the midday host was Mark Elliott (one of several by that name.) If you venture up north this winter, you’ll hear him at either 92.5 or 94.3 on WFCX-FM — known as The Fox. Well, his “Day of 1000 Toys II” event last Friday collected new unwrapped toys for NW Michigan’s Toys for Tots campaign during a 12-hour broadcast that culminated with the donation of 85 brand-new bikes from a group of former Marines. Plus, when Elliott heard that the local St. Vincent de Paul Store had been burglarized, he rallied listeners and the manager of the local Meijer store to replace the cash and fix the door. Good goin’, Marko!


 • • • • 


Quick hits: Public WDET-FM (101.9) general manager Michael Coleman has tendered his resignation, effective Dec. 31. The station went through some turbulent days under his leadership, and supporters are hoping for improvements in the coming year.

Blaine Fowler on his pop WDVD-FM (96.3) morning show had a “brain-buster” stat that should thrill broadcasters. Apparently 59 percent of American households do not have an iPod, which is unquestionably one of radio’s biggest threats — especially with anyone under the age of 21.


 • • • • 


Set your dial: Check out the holiday music by Larry Douglas Embury at the huge Moeller organ on “Somewhere in Time” at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5).


 • • • • 


Male alert! Men, it’s time for we guys to start our Christmas shopping, and no home can have too many radios.


 • • • • 


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

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 18, 2006

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Grand Rapids Press:

Grand Rapids-area high schools combined to win two state football championships this fall, grabbed a state title in girls basketball and two state crowns in both girls cross country and girls tennis. Must-See TV really is back for area fans considering all the noise those teams made. The Michigan High School Athletic Association, along with Fox Sports Network Detroit, has produced "MHSAA Magazine." The 30-minute show will debut at 7 p.m. Thursday on FSN... FSN highlights state champions (Mon 12/18)



AllAccess.com:

WGRD Auctions Everything Under Its Tree:
REGENT Alternative WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS is auctioning off everything under and on its CHRISTMAS tree this year, with prizes including autographed ornaments from HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS, THE FRAY, NICKELBACK, and KID ROCK, snowboards autographed by FALL OUT BOY, autographed guitars from PANIC! AT THE DISCO and SHINEDOWN, a NINE INCH NAILS autographed poster, and more. Click here to see the eBAY listings and bid; you have until DECEMBER 21 at 3p ET to get those bids in. The auction benefits the HELEN DEVOS CHILDRENS HOSPITAL and is sponsored by CITGO. (Mon 12/18)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 19, 2006

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Detroit Free Press:

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WJRT-TV/ABC12.com:

Local radio station 'adopts' Almont family

Early this morning, a Mid-Michigan family learned that in the midst of tragedy, the spirit of giving is still alive.
We first told you about the Amyx family last month when the couple was in an accident that killed the mother and left her husband alone to raise six children. "This is what Christmas is all about," said Stephanie K., from WWCK radio. One by one, the six Amyx children piled out of a van that was donated to the family by a Lake Orion auto dealership... Dad and kids get early Christmas (Tue 12/19)

 

Broadcasting & Cable:

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters is calling the Michigan video franchising bill that passed Dec. 12 a big victory, particularly given a provision that prevents their signal from being converted to lower resolution. MAB has been supporting the bill, which helps telcos get into the video and broadband business by standardizing the franchise process, saying it creates another outlet for its TV station signals. But it is particularly pleased with a provision that prevents new franchisees from downgrading a broadcast signal. MAB says it is the first such protection of the broadcast signal in a state franchise reform bill.

"The bill also guarantees that providers cannot tamper with the quality of the broadcast signals," said MAB President Karole White, "which is especially important for consumers who've made significant investments in high definition television systems.”

The bill states that an alternative video service provider will transmit, "without degradation, the signals a local broadcast station delivers to the provider." At the moment, the alternative is principally AT&T... Michigan Broadcasters Praise Franchise Reform (Tue 12/19)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 20, 2006

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WRCJ names new afternoon drive host

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



Detroit News:

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

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 21, 2006

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Battle Creek Enquirer

The planned consolidation of the WOTV broadcast facility and staff into WOOD-TV's operations that began earlier this year is nearly complete. All WOTV operations in Battle Creek will be moved to WOOD TV in Grand Rapids by the end of this year, according to Diane Kniowski, WOOD/WOTV/WXSP president and general manager. Three positions will be cut in the move, she said in a news release Wednesday. Gerry Barnaby, WOTV features reporter, will no longer be a part of the team. Barnaby has been with either WOOD TV or WOTV since 1993... WOTV/WOOD consolidation nearly completed (Thu 12/21)



Grand Rapids Press:

"Barnaby here" is a phrase television viewers will no longer hear on the West Michigan airwaves. In a consolidation move, management at WOOD-TV (Channel 8) has decided to shut down its Battle Creek office and move all of the operations at sister station WOTV (Channel 41) to Grand Rapids, the staff was told on Wednesday... Barnaby gets ax by WOOD (Thu 12/21)


Some PBS television stations in Michigan are planning to feature the 2006 Hope College Christmas Vespers service this weekend. Held on Dec. 2 and 3, the service was filmed by WGVU-TV of Grand Rapids and made available to PBS affiliates nationwide. WGVU-TV 35 and WGVK-TV 52 of Kalamazoo will be broadcasting the program on Friday at 10 p.m.; Saturday, at 2 p.m.; Sunday at 11 p.m.; and Monday at 1 and 4 p.m... Hope's Christmas Vespers to air on PBS stations (Thu 12/21)


The New York Yankees had completed spring training and were headed north when the Bronx Bombers made a stop in Atlanta during the spring of 1925. The Yankees were in town to play the Atlanta Crackers at Ponce de Leon Park, and Babe Ruth came running in from the outfield after the eighth inning. A 7-year-old Ernie Harwell came sneaking up to the dugout with a pen in hand and asked Ruth for an autograph. "But kid, you don't have anything for me to sign," Harwell recalled Ruth saying in his recently released Ernie Harwell's Audio Scrapbook... Harwell tells interesting stories in audio scrapbook (Thu 12/21)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 21, 2006

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Detroit News:

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


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



Radio & Records:

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

 

Flint Journal:

Michigan Television (WFUM-TV), the public television station from the University of Michigan, will celebrate the Wolverines' trip to the Rose Bowl by airing the documentary, "Michigan Football Memories" on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. Michigan Football Memories features a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the game day experience while, at the same time, regaling viewers with stories about the most legendary figures in the history of Michigan football. Also included are interviews with, and commentary by, current coach Lloyd Carr and former coach Bo Schembechler... 'Michigan Football Memories' to be aired (Thu 12/21)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 22, 2006

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WOOD-TV:

Radio personality Robert S is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the people behind the door-gluing vandalism at Union High School... Radio host offers cash to catch super-glue vandals (Thu12/21)



Battle Creek Enquirer:

Battle Creek Unlimited is happy to take the old Fort Custer post headquarters from its current owners, WOTV Ch. 41. But Jim Hettinger, BCU's president and chief executive officer, said what's inside the building probably will be more valuable than the structure itself. "The real value in the deal, if it works for us, is the audio-video equipment that we'll be donating to the schools," Hettinger said Thursday. "There's some pretty sophisticated equipment in there." Hettinger said WOTV's owner, LIN Broadcasting, is simply walking away, leaving almost everything in the building... WOTV building may be razed (Fri 12/22)

 

The Morning Sun (Mt. Pleasant):

When John Sheffler closes the microphone at noon today, it will mark the end of an era at Central Michigan University Public Radio. It also marks the beginning of a new Sheffler era. "When you do something for 30 years, it becomes deeply ingrained in your being," Sheffler said. His last show as the host of CMU Public Radio's morning classical music show is set to begin at 9 a.m. Sheffler isn't leaving the station; he's become the boss. He took over as director of radio in September... New era begins for CMU Public Radio (Fri 12/22)

 

Flint Journal:

ROOTING FOR LES: Veteran radio newsman Les Root, news director for Cumulus Media's Flint radio stations (WDZZ, WWCK AM and FM, WRKR), celebrated his 50th year in the business in style ... BYE BYE BARBER: A radio station in Providence, R.I., did what Woodrow Stanley and his other enemies couldn't do. Dave Barber left Supertalk 1570 (WWCK-AM) in March ... RADIO RADIO: Pistons announcer John Mason took over the morning show slot on WOWE-FM (98.9), with hopes of nationally syndicating the show ... Sports/talk WTRX-AM (1330) picked up the controversial "Opie and Anthony" morning show in September and secured a two-year contract to carry University of Michigan football and basketball... Rewinding the year in local TV and radio (Fri 12/22)

 

• None noted this week.

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 24, 2006

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Grand Rapids Press:

In the spirit of the holiday, I checked in with a few of West Michigan's TV personalities who are in different homes for the holidays. After 32 years in broadcasting, Barry Shanley, 60, former news anchor at WZZM-TV in the 1980s, is making a difference in the lives of teenagers ... Kim Covington, former WZZM-TV anchor, enjoys her new position as weekend news anchor and education reporter at station KPNX-TV (Channel 12) in Phoenix ... Former WOOD-TV (Channel 8) meteorologist Ginger Zee is enjoying life in Chi-town... Checking in with former local broadcasters (Sun 12/24)



South Bend Tribune:

The year was 1973, and Doc Severinsen, then the band leader on NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," had been selected to appear at Niles' first-ever Four Flags Area Apple Festival. Festival officials chose him in part because of the free publicity they hoped Severinsen would generate during his Tonight Show banter with Carson. But as Gloria Cooper, the voice behind Niles-based WNIL-AM radio station's "Here's Gloria'' program recalls it, local residents didn't like what they heard. Or thought they heard... Loss of Niles' radio personality may make us all a little crazy (Fri 12/22)

 

Christmas music coming to abrupt end

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Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, December 24, 2006

By: Mike Austerman


On The Radio

With all of the relatively mild weather we’ve enjoyed this December, Christmas Eve seems to have arrived suddenly. Fans of Christmas music on the radio enjoyed a record number of stations playing the Sounds of the Season this fall — maybe that’s part of the reason why the actual holiday seems a bit anticlimactic, at least to me.

Across the U.S. and Canada there were well more than 400 radio stations that switched to an All-Christmas format by Dec. 15, including at least 18 in Michigan. Locally, soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3) started its marathon on Nov. 3 followed by oldies CKWW-AM (580) on Dec. 11. CKWW continues its holiday music presentation through Dec. 26, helping Canadians celebrate Boxing Day.

Christmas music will be easy to find up and down the dial today and early Monday, including on Classic Top 40 WOMC-FM (104.3), which will present Mannheim Steamroller’s 2006 American Christmas starting at 9 a.m. today. That 12-hour program will be followed by 24 hours of uninterrupted Christmas music, ending at 9 p.m. Christmas Day.

With the exception of CKWW, all the radio holiday cheer will come to an abrupt end before you’re ready to head back to the stores early Tuesday morning. You might even forget that Western Christian churches roughly refer to the Christmas season as starting with Advent, four weeks before Christmas, and ending with Epiphany, on Jan. 6. So while you could hear “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” on Nov. 5 on WNIC, it’ll be nowhere to be found on Jan. 5, when it would actually be still appropriate.


 • • • • 


Another holiday tradition, and this one seems to be getting longer in duration every year, is the absence of high-profile morning and afternoon drive programs between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Many of your favorite hosts signed off for the last time in 2006 this past week and you’ll be hearing best-of clips, substitute hosts, and prerecorded shows on just about every station. In an industry that is facing stiff competition from things like MP3 players and satellite radio, is “mailing it in” for two weeks really a good idea?


 • • • • 


As 2006 draws to a close, several stations made significant personnel announcements. WNIC and “Pillow Talk” host Alan Almond agreed to terms on a new contract that will keep the soothing sounds of Almond’s nighttime program on the airwaves for what the station says is many years to come.

Over at Classical/Jazz WRCJ-FM (90.9), Carmen Garcia has been named as the new permanent weekday afternoon host, effective Tuesday. She’s a former air personality at the now defunct Jazz WJZZ-FM (105.9) and has made some recent guest appearances on WRCJ. Garcia takes over for Ann Delisi who left in September.

The highest profile change might be the departure of Art Regner from sports WXYT-AM (1270) where he’d been one of the station’s biggest names since arriving from sports WDFN-AM (1130) in 2001, right about the same time the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings moved from WJR. His sudden departure must have been a disappointment to co-host Doug Karsch as the duo had the type of on-air chemistry that is rare in radio these days.

Reports are that Regner’s exit from the station was purely budgetary — he was one of the highest-paid WXYT hosts and was due for a new contract on Jan. 1.

The new lineup on WXYT, once regular programming resumes in 2007, is Karsch along with Scott Anderson from 10 am to 2 pm, followed by Mike Valenti and Terry Foster from 2 to 6 pm.


 • • • • 


There’s no official word yet on where you’ll be tuning to hear the Detroit Tigers this spring, but no one would be surprised to see them, along with the Red Wings, move off WXYT. It’s possible the teams might go back to WJR-AM or even land on an FM station. Perhaps Regner, who is well-connected to the Red Wings, will latch on with whatever station lands the teams, if it’s not WXYT.


 • • • • 


Reports say the Rose Bowl, which pits U-M against USC on New Year’s Day, will be broadcast by Host Communications, featuring Frank
Beckmann, Jim Brandstatter and Doug Karsch. More on that next Sunday.


 • • • • 


Set your dial: Dusty Rhodes, Cincinnati radio icon and former CKLW-AM (800) morning host for a brief time, hosts a 36-hour Christmas music special on XM Channels 24 and 173 starting at noon today … Host Tom Wilson takes the Somewhere in Time audience on a special Christmas journey to the Ponderosa Ranch at 6 pm on WMUZ-FM (103.5) … Paul Edwards daily Christian talk program gains an hour each weekday starting Jan. 2 on WLQV-AM (1500) when it expands to 4-6 pm.


 • • • • 


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

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 26, 2006

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Greater Media/Detroit names Williams Director of Interactive Marketing

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

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



AllAccess.com:

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

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 28, 2006

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Detroit News:

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



Monroe News:

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



AllAccess.com:

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

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 28, 2006

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Battle Creek Enquirer:

A Grand Rapids-based TV station will air a documentary about the late President Gerald R. Ford, who grew up in Grand Rapids, at 1 and 10 p.m. today. “Time and Chance: Gerald Ford's Appointment With History” is a 60-minute film produced by WGVU Productions that traces Ford's years from Grand Rapids to Washington, D.C... WGVU to air Ford documentary today (Thu 12/28)

 

Clear Channel and Cumulus work deal for Ann Arbor and Battle Creek stations:

It's now official- Cumulus will be acquiring eight stations from Clear Channel in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek in exchange for a station in Canton, Ohio.

In Ann Arbor, Cumulus will be reacquiring the four station cluster that it sold to Clear Channel in 2000. Those stations include Country WWWW-FM 102.9, Adult Alternative WQKL-FM 107.1, Sports WTKA-AM 1050, and Talk WLBY-AM 1290. Only WTKA has the same format as it did when Cumulus last owned the stations.

Across I-94 in Battle Creek, Clear Channel gives up Soft Rock WBXX-FM 95.3, Classic Rock WRCC-FM 104.9, News/Talk WBCK-AM 930, and Sports WBFN-AM 1400. Cumulus will then donate WBFN to Family Life Broadcasting as it would be one station over the ownership cap limit in Battle Creek with the acquisition. Cumulus currently owns Top 40 WKFR-FM 103.3, Rock WRKR-FM, and News/Talk WKMI AM 1360 in Kalamazoo/Battle Creek.

Family Life Broadcasting currently owns daytimer WUNN AM 1110, licensed to Mason, that simulcasts WUFN-FM 96.7 Albion in addition to WUFL AM 1030 Detroit and WUGN-FM 99.7 Midland.

FCC filing

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec 29, 2006

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Radio & Records:

Radio ratings for the second trend of the fall ratings period was released yesterday by Arbitron for Grand Rapids. WBCT-FM continues to be the top-rated station 12+, followed by WOOD-AM, WSNX-FM, WOOD-FM, and WLAV-FM...
Review the list here (Thu 12/28)



Niles Daily Star:

Larry Langford may live in Chicago, but his area radio station give him a strong tie to southwestern Michigan. Langford, a spokesperson for the Chicago Fire Department, is the owner of WGTO 910 AM in Cassopolis. On Thursday, he said he is close to closing the deal to purchase the WDOW 1440 AM studio in Dowagiac. The Dowagiac station is currently owned by LeSEA Broadcasting, a South Bend, Ind., based broadcasting company that broadcasts Christian and Jewish programming. "LeSEA has been a Godsend to me to make the way for us to make the purchase," Langford said. He added the acquisition will give him the opportunity to restore more local service to the region... WDOW sale may impact local radio coverage (Fri 12/29)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec 29, 2006

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Big changes coming to FM 97.1

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

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

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

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



Detroit News:

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



Detroit Free Press:

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


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

 

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, December 31, 2006

By: Art Vuolo


On The Radio

In looking back at Mike Austerman’s predictions for 2006, a year ago, he was about 90 percent correct with his forecast. I doubt that mine will be as accurate, but first let’s quickly look back at some of what happened across your radio dial this past year.

Shane French, known better as Rover, arrived in January on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) with “Rover’s Morning Glory” to replace Howard Stern, who made a much ballyhooed move to Sirius satellite radio. By September, Rover was replaced by “Opie & Anthony,” another NYC show that cares little about Detroit. And Stern took only about 30 percent of his terrestrial listeners to Sirius, considerably less than anticipated.

Local consultant Fred Jacobs wrote a piece entitled, “Did You Hear What Howard Said This Morning?” Neither did anyone else, as the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” has slipped off the front page.


 • • • • 


We saw the year start out with a departure of Martin Bandyke at public WDET-FM (101.9) and Tic-Tak ousted, along with the eclectic Mr. Positive, at hits WKQI-FM (95.5).


 • • • • 


It took until spring to announce new stations for Michigan football after being jettisoned by WJR-AM (760). Talk CKLW-AM (800) and oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) are the new home for the Maize and Blue and they will carry the Rose Bowl tomorrow, offering U-M fans an alternative audio choice. Let’s hope the synchronization of the radio audio and TV visuals is at least close.


 • • • • 


We were witness to numerous fund-raisers from WRIF-FM (101.1), WCSX-FM (94.7), WYCD-FM (99.5), WJR, and WOMC’s Dick Purtan, whose annual Radiothon raised $1.8 million in one day for the Salvation Army.


 • • • • 


ABC Radio was sold to Citadel in a $2.7 billion deal that, nearly a year later, has yet to be solidified.


 • • • • 


One of the good guys, MSU alum Steve Schram, who ran several Detroit area stations, took over U-M’s Michigan Public Radio.


 • • • • 


This past year, it was musical chairs for the radio handymen. Joe Gagnon left WXYT-AM (1270) for WAAM-AM (1600) in Ann Arbor. Glenn Haege left sports WDFN-AM (1130) and wound up in the Fisher Building at WJR. A few months earlier, the mighty 760 waved goodbye to Murray Gula, who has found a new home at WXYZ-Channel 7; as of Jan. 4, he starts a weekly Webcast, “Lunch with Murray,” at noon Thursdays at www.wxyz.com.


 • • • • 


Format flips included CIDR-FM (93.9) from Lite-FM to The River; WDTW-FM (106.7) from classic hits (The Drive) to country (The Fox); and CKWW-AM (580) from standards to oldies.


 • • • • 


We miss departed on-air talents who were recipients of “pink slips” — among them, Brad Bianchi, Gene Maxwell, Don Swindell, Tom Mazeway and Art Regner. And we just got word that Rob Parker and Mark Wilson of WKRK’s “Parker and the Man” and Michelle McKormick of “Motor City Middays,” also at WKRK, were shown the door.


 • • • • 


Obituaries over the past year included Sabrina Black, Dave Schaffer, Jim Ellis, Nellie Knorr, Captain Rick Jagger, Bud Davies and Jason Alexander.


 • • • • 


In other notables, WWJ’s Sonny Eliot marked 60 years in local media, and Dick Kernen at Specs Howard hit 50 years in radio. Rachael Hunter and Steve Grunwald segued from WDRQ-FM (93.1), eventually to WYCD, while Jay Towers moved to WKRK. And timing was not good for WJR, which dropped Michigan football (11-1) in exchange for Michigan State (4-8). Hopefully, the Spartans will be better in 2007.


 • • • • 


And that brings me to some predictions for 2007, which is always risky. Tigers and Red Wings fans will not be pleased to learn that neither team will be returned to mega-power WJR, but will get simulcast on both WXYT and Live 97.1 (might this bring back Tom Leykis when sports aren’t on?).


Dick Purtan will top last year’s amount raised for the Salvation Army as he celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Radiothon.


Channel 7 home improvement team leader Murray Gula will get back on a local radio station.


“Mojo in the Morning” will top the morning ratings in the coming year.


Syndicated shows such as Opie & Anthony will not last the year, while entertaining programs including talker Joey Reynolds and funsters Bob & Tom will hopefully land a local affiliate.


And listeners will remain loyal to some of the best radio in America through a year James Bond would approve of, 2-007.


 • • • • 


In current news, Jennifer Williams, the longtime promotions manager at Greater Media’s WCSX, will assume the new title of director of interactive sales and database marketing for all three stations in Greater Media — WCSX, WRIF and WMGC.


 • • • • 


Set your dial: Tonight, Tom Wilson’s New Year’s Eve gift is the dance music of Lester Lanin at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5).


 • • • • 


By the way, don’t make me M.A.D.D. by drinking and driving tonight. But do have a happy New Year from Mike, myself and everyone at The Oakland Press.


 • • • • 


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

 

Michiguide.com 2006 News Archive

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This section of Michiguide.com contains all of the news and information entries for the year 2006.

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

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