Stations have you covered from the first ‘Batter up!’

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By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioTo paraphrase from “Monday Night Football,” are you ready for some baseball?

Major League Baseball opens play one week from tonight, with the Tigers set to get started at home April 2 against the Toronto Blue Jays. If it doesn’t snow, of course.

And not only will you be able to hear the Tigers locally on both talk WKRK-FM (97.1) and sports WXYT-AM (1270), XM subscribers also will be able to hear the games all across the United States and Canada this season. XM will carry 2,400-plus games, from the opening pitch through the World Series in October, and also will offer a special channel at the start of the season featuring a blend of music and vintage baseball audio to get fans ready to play ball.

Let’s hope they’ve got a recording of Ernie Harwell reading from the Song of Solomon at the start of a spring training broadcast:

“For the winter is past, The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the Earth;
The time of the song of the birds has come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”

Then I’d be ready for baseball season to begin.

 • • • • • • • • 

With a major move that’s a disappointment to fans of alternative styles of music, public WDET-FM (101.9) has decided to pull the plug on nearly all of what was left of its local music programming as of April 2.



Ed Love’s weeknight jazz show will lose two hours of its airtime, and gone entirely from the lineup will be Liz Copeland’s overnight program “Alternative Take” in favor of news from the BBC. Weekend music shows from Ralph Valdez, W. Kim Heron, Mick Collins and Chuck Horn also are being jettisoned.

Choosing to focus on being a news-talk station, WDET will add “Detroit Today,” a local program that will air 10 a.m.-noon weekdays, in addition to syndicated public radio shows “Marketplace,” “Talk of the Nation” and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” The station’s new schedule is available at

“The new program schedule reflects WDET’s commitment to be a public radio service that is uniquely designed for metropolitan Detroit,” said Allen Mazurek, assistant general manager and program director. “Our new local program will give the station the opportunity to interact with the community in unprecedented ways and will further establish WDET as a leader in news and information programming.”

These changes will likely be the final blow to any remaining fans of what used to be a truly unique-sounding radio station that stuck around — at least on a part-time basis — after most weekday music programming was dropped in fall 2005.

 • • • • • • • • 

Talk WDTK-AM (1400) gets a high-profile addition to its lineup starting Monday with the debut of “The Dennis Miller Show,” which is set to air on the conservative talker from 6-9 p.m.

Joe Davis, chief operating officer of WDTK owner Salem Communications commented: “Dennis Miller is a self-proclaimed 9-11 conservative with an engaging style and a quick wit that our listeners will appreciate. He is an entertainer, he is smart, and he understands politics and current affairs. He fits well with our other talk personalities, and he will bring a fresh perspective and new vigor to news talk on Salem stations.”

The show will be airing on WDTK on tape-delay, as its live airtime is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The former “Saturday Night Live” star will see his foray into radio launch on more than 80 affiliates across the country Monday.

 • • • • • • • • 

Another AM talker, WDTW (1310) also has made some big changes to its lineup in recent weeks. Gone are shows from Al Franken, who exited to run for political office in Minnesota, and Jerry Springer. In their place on the new 1310 lineup are shows from Thom Hartmann from noon-3 p.m. and Stephanie Miller from 9 a.m.-noon. The popular Ed Shultz program remains anchored in afternoon drive from 3-6 p.m., but it now airs on tape delay as its live slot was recently shifted to noon-3 p.m.

 • • • • • • • • 

Just asking, but ... was that superstar soft rock consultant Gary Berkowitz who was seen walking the halls of classic Top 40 WOMC-FM (104.3)? Berkowitz is perhaps the top authority on the adult contemporary format and has helped guide both WNIC-FM (100.3) and WMGC-FM (105.1) at different times. Interesting.

 • • • • • • • • 

Busy as a Bubba: Brian Cowan, better known as morning show host “Bubba” on Ann Arbor country WWWW-FM (102.9), has added to his responsibilities as music and program director of W4 by taking on the role of program director for sister station sports WTKA-AM (1050). Sleep must be optional with all those jobs to do.

 • • • • • • • • 

Set your dial: “Somewhere in Time” hosts Tom Wilson and Alison Harris recall the Dixieland sound of Pee Wee Hunt at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5) and WRDT-AM (560).

 • • • • • • • • 

Thanks to several astute “On the Radio” readers who wrote in informing us that one hour of “The Dave Ramsey Show” is carried on talk CKLW-AM (800) weekdays from 8-9 p.m. Ramsey’s show also is heard on Port Huron’s WPHM-AM (1380) when that station isn’t airing sports playby-play. Also, George Noory’s “Coast to Coast” program begins at 1 a.m. on CKLW ; the only night it begins at midnight is Monday.

 • • • • • • • • 

Mike Austerman is the founder of and has covered radio for The Oakland Press since 2001.

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, March 25, 2007



Berkowitz walking the halls at 'OMC? Interesting indeed! Wonder what the future holds there.






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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on March 25, 2007 10:58 AM.

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