WJR’s 85th year rolls in with top spot in ratings




By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioHow do the local numbers add up? Well, news-talk WJR-AM (760) got to celebrate its 85th birthday in style on Friday by being on top of the latest quarterly ratings report among all listeners. All-news WWJ-AM (950) finished right behind, followed by urban WJLB-FM (97.9), hits WKQI-FM (95.5), and adult urban WMXDFM (92.3). The Christmas cheer at soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3) wore off with a ninth place overall finish, down from second in the fall quarterly ratings report.

Country WDTW-FM (106.7) made quite a “Fox”-y move up the ratings ladder, closing in rather closely to WYCD-FM (99.5). Year-to-year, 106.7 the Fox has doubled its numbers from 1.5-3.0, while WYCD has tumbled 5.1-3.4. Gotta admit, I didn’t see that coming.

Sports stations WDFN-AM (1130) and WXYT-AM (1270) finished tied for the winter quarter in their never-ending tussle for supremacy among sports fans. Betcha both stations are hoping for long playoff runs for the Red Wings and Pistons to get their spring numbers back up.

In the race for morning listeners, Drew & Mike of rock WRIF-FM (101.1) continue to lead Joe Donovan and Roberta Jasina of WWJ, Mojo and crew at WKQI, Paul W. Smith of WJR, and Steve Harvey of WMXD.

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Soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1) is in a medical mood with two events scheduled to honor health care workers and cancer survivors. First, all this coming week, Jim Harper and the station’s morning show will broadcast live from area hospitals in recognition of national Nurse Appreciation Week.

Then, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, along with Magic 105.1, will present the 2007 National Cancer Survivors Salute from 5-7 p.m. June 3 at the Sheraton Detroit in Novi. Fifty metro Detroit cancer survivors will be honored at this celebration. The event, hosted by WMGC-FM morning co-host Cyndy Canty, will include appetizers, music, door prizes, a cash bar and an auction to help raise money for cancer research. Details at www.detroitmagic.com.

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Congratulations to Nathan Bunker of Oxford, whose TV ad was declared the winner of the classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) Commercial Casting Call, pocketing Nathan a cool $20,000. ’CSX quickly made good on its promise to get Bunker’s winning commercial on television. They had it running hours after he was declared the winner Monday during that evening’s Red Wings playoff game on Fox Sports Net. If you haven’t seen the ad yet, visit www.wcsx.com/tvspot.

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Public WDET-FM (101.9) will be the local host for StoryCorps Griot, a one-year initiative to gather and preserve in sound the life stories of African-American families across the country. The goal of StoryCorps Griot is to record stories of endurance, resilience, achievement and hope, documenting the history of Detroit area families and friends for future generations. The project will be at Campus Martius Park in Detroit starting Thursday through June 16. Call (800) 850-4406 to reserve an appointment or visit www.storycorpsgriot.net.

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In recent years, there have been many complaints made about how radio executives no longer “get it” and that many of them are more interested in the bottom line rather than their listeners. One guy who is an exception to that line of thinking is Peter Smyth, president and CEO of Greater Media, which owns WCSX, WRIF, and WMGC locally. Smyth pens a monthly column on the Internet sharing his thoughts on the radio business and how it continues to evolve. While I don’t always agree with his remarks, especially those about satellite radio, this month’s “From the Corner Office” absolutely nailed how radio should be presenting itself to listeners and advertisers.

In my opinion, Smyth’s comments on the Don Imus flap should be required reading for everyone who thinks the need to be edgy and funny has to include making fun of or offending someone. You can read Smyth’s column at www.greatermedia.com/corner. It’s by far one the best things I’ve ever read from a radio executive.

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This past Tuesday in Ann Arbor, the funeral for iconic broadcaster Ted Heusel, who was 86, featured a eulogy by Lucy Ann Lance, who’s well known around Ann Arbor thanks to many years behind the mike at talk WAAM-AM (1600) and, before that, at what was oldies WQKL-FM (107.1).

At the church, Lance played a recording of legendary news commentator Paul Harvey recognizing Heusel’s passing. After the service, a caravan of no less than 50 cars snaked through the city — led by police with flashing lights and sirens wailing — to the WAAM studios, where station employees stood outside with hand over heart, next to a sign that read, “We love you Ted Heusel.”

What a way to go, and what an incredible send-off for a Michigan Hall of Fame broadcaster.

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Michigan Radio — WUOMFM (91.7) and WFUM-FM (91.1) — has named Vincent Duffy as its new news director. Duffy fills the role vacated by Jerome Vaughn, who left Michigan Radio to take over the news department at WDET earlier this year.

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The 60th anniversary Bob Ufer Quarterback Club banquet is set for tomorrow night 6 p.m. at Barton Hills Country Club in Ann Arbor, presented by Tom Ufer, the son of the famous U of M football broadcaster. Emcee Fritz Seyfreth will be honoring senior athletes at Michigan. For last-minute ticket availability, call (734) 668-4166.

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Set your dial: Hosts Tom Wilson and Jenna Vogt will present the music of Frankie Laine on this week’s “Somewhere in Time.” Tune in to WMUZ-FM (103.5) and WRDT-AM (560) at 6 p.m. today.

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

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, May 6, 2007







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on May 6, 2007 8:42 AM.

The 'O' in WOMC once again stands for Oldies was the previous entry in this blog.

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