Tigers ready to roar — and for first time on FM




By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioIt’s Palm Sunday and April Fool’s Day, so beware of your favorite station pulling a prank on you, the listener.

But tomorrow is Opening Day at Comerica Park, and there’s more buzz about the Tigers this year than any other in memory. Remember, this year will be the first time ever that Detroit baseball will be broadcast FM. All the games will be carried on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1), which, especially after sundown, when many games are played, will make reception far better than the limited nighttime coverage of sports WXYT-AM (1270).

XM subscribers, meanwhile, can hear any game anywhere in the country. When the Tigers are at home, they’ll also feature Dan Dickerson and Jim Price at the helm with the Detroit broadcast on XM. Very cool indeed. Go Tigers!

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Just in time for the baseball season is a brand new four-CD set called “Ernie Harwell’s Audio Scrapbook.” If you love the game, or know someone who does, this is a must have, containing just about every memorable Ernie moment. You can get your own copy via his Web site, www.eharwell.com. We’re so very lucky to have this special sports icon, and his beautiful wife, Lulu, in Oakland County.



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The FCC finally approved the huge buyout by Citadel Communications to purchase the radio division of ABC Radio. When you drop $27 billion, the government is always nearby to make sure everything is just right.

This action affects news-talk WJR-AM (760), hot adult contemporary WDVD-FM (96.3) and adult hits WDRQ-FM (93.1). What changes can be expected at these three stations is unknown, but you can bet your next mortgage payment that there will be changes.

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For several weeks I have kept mum on the plans of WXYZ-Channel 7 Home Improvement Team leader Murray Gula, but now the drill is out of the toolbox, and he’s scheduled to be back on the radio soon at sports powerhouse WDFN-AM (1130). With its impressive 50,000-watt daytime signal, Gula should reach nearly as large an area as when he was on weekends at WJR.

Sadly, a dozen days ago, he was rushed to Beaumont Hospital in Troy for major heart bypass surgery. He is doing much better now, but he could use some well-wishes, so cards can be sent to his attention c/o MCPA, P.O. Box 1037, Royal Oak 48068.

Also, condolences to his wife, Carol, whose mother died while Murray was under the knife. He’s a good guy and vows to be back on the air later this month.

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We will miss the smooth professional voice of Bob Schuman on the “Dr. Don and Rachael” morning show at country WYCD-FM (99.5). He’s relocating to Jacksonville, Fla. Schuman spent nearly two decades on Motor City radio at WJR, WHYT, WOW-FM and 14 years at WYCD.

Rachael Hunter has taken over the news job, a position she previously held at WDRQ. Give her a chance, folks — she’s very good, but Bob’s shoes are not her size.

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Speaking of WYCD, kudos to afternoon duo Chuck Edwards and Linda Lee, who have been nominated for the 42nd Academy of Country Music Awards. And circle the weekend of May 18-20 on your calendar for the Downtown Hoedown, featuring Westland’s own “American Idol” Josh Gracin, among many others.

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I’m old enough to remember “underground” radio, which was the forerunner of progressive rock stations. But last week, I was introduced to “underwater audio” last week. While doing my daily routine of swimming laps at Bally’s in Novi, I saw Eugene from Southfield enter the pool with two white wires hanging from his ears. It was an iPod tucked into a waterproof case and ear-buds that were encased in waterproof adapters!

It’s bad enough that the iPod is stealing droves of listeners from regular radio, but now you can take it into the water. And with summer coming, this is indeed very scary. I tried taking a Walkman-style radio into a pool once, but all I got was WETT.

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Your local radio columnist was the victim of a podcast about the state of radio in Detroit. You can hear it at gregghenson.typepad.com/gregg_hensoncom/2007/03/podcast_3_32720.html. It also features Gregg Henson’s former WKRK partner Michelle McKormick, and it’s a real treat.

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The nominees have been announced for the November induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago and sadly, no one from Michigan is included — with the possible exception of Washington, D.C., jock Donnie Simpson, who once worked at urban WJLB-FM (97.9) in the ’80s.

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Can you produce a TV commercial? Classic rock WCSXFM (94.7) seeks your talent, and you could win $20,000 and get your spot on TV. More details are at www.wcsx.com.

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Set your dial: For lovers of that Big Band sound, you can enjoy the music of Duke Ellington on “Somewhere in Time” at 6 p.m. today 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. Contact him at artvuolo@aol.com.

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, April 1, 2007







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on April 1, 2007 11:48 AM.

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