Morning voices get together — and swear

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By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioCan I finally unpack my suitcase? Don’t misunderstand me, I love to travel. I even like to fly, and now I can say unquestionably the best airline is Southwest. Period.

I just flew that friendly carrier to Chicago for the Morning Show Boot Camp, another one of a multitude of radio conventions that I attend each year. This custom confab caters primarily to high-profile (that means they make the most money) morning personalities from stations nationwide and even a few international attendees.

This year, only two Detroit morning shows felt a need to learn how to make their programs even better. They were Mojo and his whole crew from hits WKQI-FM (95.5) and Blaine Fowler, minus Lisa and Allyson, from pop WDVD-FM (96.3). Good for them — and, oddly enough, they’re neighbors on the FM dial.

If I can say this without sounding like a prude, and considering the new guidelines set by the FCC, I was amazed at the proliferation of profanity by the men and women. That damn convention had a hell of a lot of swearing.

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Meanwhile back on the home front, Oakland County is home to better than half of the radio stations in the greater Detroit area, and I think nearly all of them were involved to one degree or another in Saturday’s Woodward Dream Cruise.

Last year, it was very hot, but this year the weather gods were far more reasonable. If you never moved your dial off FM, you missed the great job that oldies/talk WPON-AM (1460) did all week long. You also missed the big Beatles special on oldies CKWW-AM (580).

 • • • • • • • • 

Speaking of automobiles, have you heard about the “cars for stars” program that General Motors has begun? It supplies major radio personalities — both nationally and locally — with new GM vehicles for a couple of weeks each month so that they’ll talk about them on the air.

Not a bad idea, but the people who are getting these cars are the same people who can easily afford them. However, they are the most listened to and most influential hosts on the air.

It’s a smart move by America’s No. 1 automaker, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008.

It’s got to make Warren Pierce wonder about what he did wrong. You may recall that about a dozen years ago, Pierce, who hosts Saturday and Sunday mornings on news-talk WJR-AM (760), found himself in hot water for doing essentially the same thing while working at WJBK-Channel 2.

Somebody cue Bob Dylan because “the times they are a changin’.”

 • • • • • • • • 

I meant to mention this a couple of weeks ago, but have you noticed how strange FM reception has been since late July?

Often during the last week of July and the first couple of weeks in August, we experience what is often referred to a “thermal inversion.” This causes FM stations to come in from great distances, making some of your favorites susceptible to interference from other stations on the same or adjacent frequencies.

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A newly enhanced, the Web site for rock WRIF-FM’s (101.1) HD companion and multicast channel, RIFF-HD2, has been relaunched. The latest version of the Web site now has social networking functionality that allows DJs, listeners and bands to be able to create their own profiles as well as blog, upload video and audio, and more.

“It is a perfect complement to the interactive, community experience of RIFF2,” said Mark Pennington, program director of RIFF2 and WRIF’s assistant program director/music director. “The new site will have originally produced audio and video from the station and provide a totally interactive experience for listeners.

 • • • • • • • • 

HD radio, however, is still not growing at a rate most broadcasters had hoped. On the flipside of that coin, automotive and radio trade publications estimate that more than 40 percent of the cars on the road today have either XM or Sirius satellite radio.

This further proves that content is king, and to get listeners, they need to give them what they want.

 • • • • • • • • 

From the infirmary, we are pleased to report that popular soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3) afternoon guy Kevin O’Neill has mended well from his open-heart surgery and is back on the job. Meanwhile, fill-in host and longtime WNIC jock Gene Maxwell did a great job. Management should bring him back.

 • • • • • • • • 

For those of you who love that huge theater organ sound, Tom Wilson will give you an earful from Bill Langford on the Wurlitzer at 6 p.m. today over on WMUZ-FM (103.5) and WRDTAM (560).

 • • • • • • • • 

A final thought: Since it’s a cooler day today, stroll down Woodward Avenue and pick up some trash after the cruise and help beautify Oakland County.

 • • • • • • • • 

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

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, August 19, 2007



There is almost ZERO interest in HD Radio, after two years:






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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on August 19, 2007 10:55 PM.

West Michigan: Newsmakers Aug 19, 2007 was the previous entry in this blog.

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