By: Art Vuolo
Detroit is perhaps the only major city in America which has three locally produced Home Improvement radio shows.
In most markets, such shows are syndicated and provided by a network. Although Glenn Haege on news-talk WJR-AM (760) is a weekend national show, it still originates here. The other two are Murray Gula 8-10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on sports WDFN-AM (1130) and Adam Helfman weekend mornings on sports WXYTFM (97.1), AM (1270) and oldies WOMC-FM
(104.3), and this is expected to be the last weekend for that program to air.
At press time, reliable reports say that Helfman’s program “Hire It Done” is now best titled “Hire it Gone.”
In continuing last-minute talks between Helfman and station management to keep the program on the air, only by tuning into WXYT either yesterday or this morning will confirm the result of those talks.
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Personally, I can’t wait for Detroit to become a PPM market with Arbitron.
PPM is the Personal People Meter that electronically and accurately listens to what you listen to and does not rely on the memory of selected radio listeners to write down in a paper diary what they tuned into over the course of a week or more.
PPM results in those cities which have already experienced it are staggering and quite different from the “old style” of gathering such information.
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In the latest ratings, rock WRIF-FM (101.1) slipped and some insiders are placing the blame primarily on the missing Drew Lane on the popular Drew & Mike Morning Show.
Drew is taking some time off to address family matters surrounding his close friend Tess, who is fighting breast cancer. So his absence is certainly understandable.
It makes me think about a quote from the late Bob Talbert of the Detroit Free Press who, when Drew was off the air for six months with a back injury several years ago, stated, “now we know why Drew has a bad back … it’s from all those years of carrying Mike Clark.” Ouch.
Today, Mike has a good enough sense of humor to let that comment slide, but wants to emphasize that current ratings don’t even truly reflect the current MIA status of Drew.
I completely agree with Mike that a top-notch morning show, like Drew & Mike on The Riff, is not built on any one individual. Like in sports, it’s a “team effort” with chemistry that works. Drew Lane is expected back soon.
Meanwhile Spike at the Mojo in the Morning camp was quick to boast about their top-spot ratings in morning drive, a position they have lusted for and finally achieved. Kudos to the extensive cast of another one of Detroit’s best morning shows.
Ratings are down for country WYCD-FM (99.5) and an even greater drop for newer contender country WDTW-FM (106.7) known as The Fox. That gives more credence to reports that owner Clear Channel might consider flipping sports WDFN from AM to FM like arch-rival WXYT just did.
Such a scenario makes us wonder how does Fox morning host Chad Mitchell feel, after leaving the producers job at the top-rated Mojo in the Morning Show at Channel 9-5-5?
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Reports are also circulating that after all of the audience of WXYT-AM (1270) shifts over to 97.1 FM, that CBS might sell the frequency to a religious or Hispanic broadcaster.
Detroit is America’s largest city without a full-market signal providing a Spanish-speaking format. The only such programming is on west suburban WSDS-AM (1480) in Ypsilanti.
• • • • • • • •Quick Hits: Perhaps you are still recovering from last night’s late University of Michigan football game versus the University of Illinois, but if you’re a Michigan hockey fan, you can hear the action on oldies CKWW-AM (580). The station is scheduled to carry 26 regular season games. WXYT FM/AM will also carry select games when they do not conflict with Red Wings games or sporting events. A dozen years ago, Steve Striker took over the afternoon show at smooth jazz WVMV-FM (V-98.7), but now has acquired enough “inside secrets” to merit a move up to assistant program director to head honcho Tom Sleeker. Afternoons are now handled by Sandy Kovach, who’s even prettier than Striker, 2-7 p.m.
Today is the last day of WCSX’s “Howl-O-Ween” at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mount Clemens. The event includes many family- and- pet-oriented activities, admission is free and parking is just $2. Get more information on the classic rock 94.7 FM Web site, www.wcsx.com .
Have those of you who go to U-M games in Ann Arbor with a regular radio noticed that the broadcasts on WOMC-FM or on local affiliate WTKA-AM (1050) seem to be only two or three seconds behind the action? Could decision-makers actually been reading this column? At the season start, I condemned the practice of keeping the station on delay during football broadcasts.
Tom Wilson will feature the rich organ music of Don Baker at the Paramount Theatre WurliTzer from the 1930’s at 6 p.m. on WMUZ-FM (103.5) and WRDT-AM (560).
Rumor de jour: Look for Parker & The Man’s popular sports talk show to make a move from their current 9 p.m. till midnight time-slot on talk WCHB-AM (1200). Stay tuned.
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Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, October 21, 2007