Sean Hannity’s final Freedom Concert is memorable broadcast




By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioOn Sept. 14, 2001, this radio column began here in The Oakland Press by Mike Austerman and myself. And now six years later, we’re still going strong as the only “regularly scheduled” radio update in metro Detroit.

With my overactive travel schedule, you never know where my column is going to be penned, while Mike, due to family obligations, tends to stay local more than I do.

These words — in fact — were written from the famous New Jersey shore in the Garden State. I was there this past week to archive on videotape the final of five Sean Hannity Freedom Concerts on Tuesday. It was an event to remember.

Hannity’s show is carried on over 500 stations across the country, including news-talk WJR-AM (760) from 3-5 p.m. And if you heard the program last Tuesday, it was a memorable broadcast and I was proud to have been a part of it.

At the evening concert at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in New Jersey, country singer Lee Greenwood — known for his song “God Bless the USA” — asked the crowd of more than 14,000 to wave their cell phones, much like Bic lighters a generation ago. It was a truly an awesome sight to see.

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Following up on the news of Matt Drudge walking away from his 400 station network show on Sunday nights, WJR programmer Steve Stewart has indicated that the program with new host Bill Cunningham will be carried at 10 p.m. on AM 760. You can preview Willie’s “act” on 700 WLW from Cincinnati on XM Channel 173 from noon-3 p.m.

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Last week, Austerman was lamenting about the division between the iPod and its failure to include radio in its design. Now after 18 months of behind-the-scenes development, iBiquity and Apple, the two leading names for HD Radio and iPod technology, have connected radio to the iPod.

Polk Audio has released the next generation of its i-Sonic and the JBL iHD receivers. With this unit, listeners can “tag” songs they hear and then buy the songs. Perhaps this is the breakthrough radio has been looking for.

As the holiday shopping season approaches, look for new “toys,” which could have HD Radio receivers built into iPod devices. The industry trades are really buzzing about whether a radio will be incorporated into the popular iPod in time for the upcoming holiday season.

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Speaking of HD Radio, I’ve also been taken to task for not printing in our Oakland Press Radio Guide, the HD channels and what is available on them. So, clip this and save it for when you might actually own an HD receiver. This is what is available on the HD-2 channel of various local FM stations: 92.3 WMXD (gospel), 93.1 WDRQ (Party Station-dance music), 94.7 WCSX (Deep Trax classic rock), 95.5 WKQI (Future CHR-which is top 40), 96.3 WDVD (Planet 96.3 modern alternative), 97.1 WKRK (repeat of WWJ-AM), 97.9 WJLB (hip-hop classics), 98.7 WVMV (traditional jazz), 99.5 WYCD (future country), 100.3 WNIC (100 percent love music), 101.1 WRIF (Riff-2 hard rock), 101.9 WDET (local talk and music similar to previous FM programming), 103.5 WMUZ (Contemporary Christian), 104.3 WOMC (History of Rock & Roll oldies), 105.1 WMGC (pop music by day and classical by night) and 106.7 WDTW (rockin’ country).

In my humble opinion, most of these stations are trying to put at least some effort into HD programming. Finding HD radios continues to be somewhat of a challenge, with Radio Shack being one of the more major original retailers featuring the sets.

As America’s largest store for electronic goodies, Radio Shack has come under some heat from broadcasters with a current ad campaign that states “Turn off the commercials ... come to Sirius.” So, it’s a radio spot that says you shouldn’t listen to radio spots, huh? And you should, instead, subscribe to Sirius Satellite Radio. OK. It has a lot of radio people upset and is driving a larger wedge between the satellite folks and terrestrial radio. Feel the love.

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Our most legendary weatherman, Sonny Eliot will be flown to Dayton, Ohio, next Saturday, along with a few friends, aboard the Yankee Museum’s historic 1945 C-47 to be reunited with the only other known surviving campmate at Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany. Sonny and Col. Norman Dale Stuckey were liberated by the Russians 62 years ago after 18 months of captivity and have not seen each other in 40 years. More information is at

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Final thoughts. Somewhere In Time on WMUZ-FM (103.5) and WRDT-AM (560) will feature more of that great big theatre pipe organ music Sunday at 6 p.m. And, since this column was filed from the road and was written just prior to yesterday’s historic Michigan vs. Notre Dame game, I wanted to pass along a fact heard on XM satellite radio the other day. With the University of Michigan fight song, “The Victors,” playing in the background, it was noted that Michigan has not won a game since the legendary former coach Bo Schembechler died the day before the 2006 UM-Ohio State contest. Then there were losses to USC in the Rose Bowl, plus the first two games of this season.

Regardless of what happened Saturday, it’s enough to make you believe in sports curses, and of course, provides hours of fodder for sports talk radio shows.

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

Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, September 16, 2007







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on September 16, 2007 3:45 PM.

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Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 18, 2007 is the next entry in this blog.

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