Indy 500 starts engines, Gula starts power tools

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By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioWe’re smack dab in the middle of our long Memorial Day week-end, and today’s 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to be carried on sports WDFN-AM (1130) beginning with pre-race festivities at 10 a.m. The race can be seen on WXYZ-Channel 7, too, but despite the insane gas prices, this weekend will find many of us, including yours truly, traveling by car. Drive to arrive alive.

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Get your hammers and paint brushes prepared, and get ready for the triumphant return of one of this areas best loved home improvement radio hosts, Murray Gula, who debuts next weekend on sports/talk WDFNAM (1130). He will be on 8-10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday ready to take your call at (800) 998-FIX IT (3494.)

It was a difficult six weeks recovering from major bypass surgery, but the “new” Murray is considerably slimmer and much wiser about his personal improvement, as well. He also will continue in his role on Channel 7’s Web site at with his live Web chat show, “Lunch with Murray,” at noon Thursdays, and his guest shot 10:30 a.m. Fridays with Bob Allison on ethnic/talk WNZK-AM (690). Murray’s longtime friend and co-host will continue to be Joe Giordano. Welcome back Mr. Gula, we missed you.

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One of XM’s two satellites went on the fritz last Monday. XM apparently was updating software one of its satellites, but things didn’t go as planned and the signal went down. The east satellite pivoted so that the signal was not pointed toward Earth.

Listeners said they first lost reception late that morning. Phone reps were telling callers the troubles could last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. It was corrected about 24 hours later.

XM’s other satellite in space continued to operate normally. The biggest problem was that just one satellite doesn’t adequately cover the entire country.

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What is the No. 1 morning show on the radio?

You might think it’s on news WWJ-AM (950) or oldies WOMC-FM (104.3), or even rock WRIF-FM (101.1). But let’s think more nationally.

OK, then, how about the “bully-boys” Mike spoke about last weekend, such as Opie & Anthony, Howard Stern or the now-sanitized Bob & Tom?

Nope. It’s “Morning Edition” on NPR. In our area, it’s available on public stations such as WDET-FM (101.9), WUOM-FM (91.7), WFUM-FM (91.1) and WEMU-FM (89.1).

In fact, out in Seattle, the University of Washington’s KUOW-FM (94.1) beat every other station in the market in the winter ratings book, both commercial and noncommercial. Also on the Left Coast in San Francisco, NPR affiliate KQED-FM (88.5) ranked second only to perennial leader news-talk KGO-AM (810) with just four-tenths of a point separating the two stations.

Interestingly, KGO is sister station to our WJR. Radio Research Consortium’s Joanne Church said “they’re the right populations and the right stations,” pointing to those market’s highly educated populations.

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For you nostalgia buffs who can still remember how much fun radio was in the 1960s and ’70s, two of America’s biggest one-time top 40 giants will be turning back the hands of time on Memorial Day. WABC in New York and WLS in Chicago will re-create they way they sounded during that period with old jingles, tunes from the era and legendary DJs. In Chicago, the jocks will actually be on the air live. Both stations will stream their broadcasts on the Web at and

Perhaps CKLW-AM (800) can take the hint and become The Big 8 again for a holiday weekend. In Toronto, their flagship station CHUM-AM (1050) did it to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

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Dick Purtan must need to add another wing to his home just to hold all the awards he’s won. The Salvation Army has presented him with the Evangeline Booth Award, its highest honor, at the recent National Advisory Organizations Conference in Dallas. Purtan has raised more than 16.4 million dollars for The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread Club program.

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Remember what this holiday weekend truly represents — it’s more than just an “everything must go” blow-out sale at your favorite retailers. And only your radio will tell you about the traffic on the road ahead. Your iPod or CD player will not.

 • • • • • • • • 

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Contact him at

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, May 27, 2007



Concerning the satellite problem over at XM sending their signals out to space, I received an errant e-mail just the other day:

"Why should we have to pay for alien broadcasts when we can monitor them for free with land-based frequency modulations?"

Planet 239XK






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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on May 27, 2007 10:56 AM.

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