Metro Detroit: November 2007 Archives

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 2, 2007



Crain's Detroit Business:

Veteran television advertising salesman Bob Sliva will succeed Grace Gilchrist as vice president and general manager of Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-Channel 7 on Jan. 1. Sliva, 57, first joined WXYZ in 1987 as national sales manager before being appointed vice president of sales for Cincinnati-based Scripps Television Station Group, which oversees the station. Detroit native Gilchrist, 60, has led the station since 1994 and announced in September she was retiring... Channel 7 appoints successor to Gilchrist (Fri, 11/2)


Tom Ryan, a mainstay of Detroit radio who’s been on the air at oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) for nearly 25 years, was fired from his afternoon drive role on Friday afternoon as station management, led by general manager Kevin Murphy and program director Scott Walker, decided to “go in another direction”. Dismissed along with Ryan was co-host ‘Matinee’ Mindy Markowitz.

Ryan’s career in Detroit radio dates back to 1965 when he became an intern for current WOMC morning host Dick Purtan- who was then spinning records at the legendary Keener 13, WKNR-AM (1310). Ryan and Purtan have a longstanding friendship and professional relationship- after WKNR the pair worked together at The Big 8, CKLW-AM (800) before Purtan departed in 1984 for the FM band at what was WCZY-FM (95.5). Ryan left CKLW a few years later for WOMC and eventually hosted the morning show before a move to afternoon drive to make way for Purtan’s arrival at ‘OMC in April, 1996.

Word of Ryan’s abrupt departure from WOMC has led to speculation on Internet message boards that former WKRK-FM (97.1) midday host Jay Towers, who apparently is still under contract with CBS Radio, will be tapped for the newly-created opening along with traffic reporter Kelly Walker (no relation to PD Scott Walker) as a possible co-host. A station employee would not comment on any personnel changes at WOMC other than to confirm Ryan and Markowitz are no longer with the station.

CBS Radio, under the guidance of CEO Dan Mason, has been systematically attempting to rebuild itself across the country by rolling back programming changes that were falling short of expectations. The sudden dismissal of a Detroit legend from the airwaves will appear to run contrary to this edict to the many loyal fans of what was the “Ridin’ Home With Ryan” show.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 4, 2007



Ann Arbor News:

Starting Monday and continuing through November, Michigan Radio (WUOM, 91.7 FM in Ann Arbor) will present "Grading Michigan Schools,'' a multi-part series that takes an in-depth look at education in Michigan. Reporters Tracy Samilton, Sarah Hulett and other members of the Michigan Radio news staff will explore the pressing, often complex, education issues facing our state and hear from experts, teachers and students ... Beginning Friday and running through Veteran's Day (Nov. 11), WEMU will recognize and honor our country's former military personnel. Throughout the day WEMU announcers will read in alphabetical order partial lists of names that listeners submit... Radio series examines education (Sun, 11/4)


Clear Channel/Detroit shake up



It appears that today was a tough day at the Clear Channel/Detroit Farmington Hills operations, which houses top-40 WKQI-FM 95.5, soft rock WNIC-FM 100.3, country WDTW-FM 106.7, sports WDFN AM 1130, and talk WDTW AM 1310. Several on-air personalities have been let go along with others that worked behind the scenes at the stations.

Jamie BradyExiting WDFN were the morning duo of Jamie Samuelsen and Greg Brady along with update reporter Matt Shepard, voice talent Darrin Brege, and promotions director Drew Nichol.

There has not been any announcement of what program will take the 6-8am slot on WDFN, but the 8-9am hour has been shifted to mid-morning host Sean Baligian, according to the station's web site. The profiles for Sameulsen and Brady have been removed from the site as of late this morning.

Samuelsen has been with WDFN since the station signed on in July 1994. His first role as a sports update reporter then after about one year was moved into middays with co-host Gregg Henson. Jamie and Gregg moved to morning drive in 1999 and Brady then replaced Henson in 2002. Brady was hired by WDFN in January 1999. Shepard has worked with WDFN for many years in addition to his duties as a reporter/play-by-play host with Fox Sports Net Detroit.

In an e-mail, Samuelsen commented, "I know that I've loved talking sports in Detroit for the last 13 years. The people I have worked with like Stoney and Wojo, Sean and Rona have been the best. And Brady and Shep have become two of my very closest friends. I admire them both a great deal. Hopefully we'll all be back on the air in Detroit sometime soon."

Samuelsen's exit leaves afternoon drive's 'Stoney', Mike Stone, as the lone host that is part of the original on-air team from when WDFN first took to the air with Detroit's first all-sports radio format on July 11th, 1994.

On the FM side, country WDTW has apparently removed two programs from its lineup as that station's web site reflects that the midday show that was hosted by Ericka Lynn and the evening offering hosted by Rob Gramm have been dropped. Gramm has moved over to WKQI where he has rejoined the Mojo in the Morning crew. Evenings on WDTW-FM are now hosted by 'Broadway', who also continues in the same role at cross-state Clear Channel country outlet WBCT-FM 93.7. A midday program was not listed as of Monday evening. And, long-time cluster employee Marc Mitchell, who had been with WKQI, was also released in today's cutbacks.

Detroit Free Press:

Sports-talk WDFN-AM (1130) and its morning show duo of Jamie Samuelson and Matt Brady, along with with sportscaster Matt Shepard, parted company today after their 6-9 a.m. broadcast. The station’s Web site indicated their slot will henceforth be filled with Fox Sports Radio network programming weekdays from 6-8 a.m... WDFN axes morning team; WCHB moves up Parker, Wilson (Mon, 11/5)


Power outage? That's the Ticket

wxytfmJust barely a month old, sports WXYT-FM 97.1 has already repositioned to 'The Ticket' from 'Detroit Sports Powerhouse'. The station has also dropped the names of its midday and evening programs, zapping 'The Big Show' and 'Sports Inferno' in favor of using the last names of the respective hosts. So now in middays you'll hear 'Karsch and Anderson' and on the drive home 'Valenti and Foster'.

While the AM 1270 simulcast continues, about the only time you'll hear the 1270 frequency mentioned now is during the top of the hour legal station identification. Speculation runs rampant that AM 1270 will either be sold off or changed to a different format sooner rather than later.

WMUZ spinning Christmas tunes for Election Day

Contemporary Christian/talk WMUZ-FM 103.5 is bringing an early dose of Christmas music to the Detroit airwaves today - but not to strike in the famed annual "Battle of the Christmas Music." Instead, the day of Christmas music is a show of support to the community of Berkley, who's residents are voting today on whether to keep a Nativity scene in front of City Hall that's been there for decades, but is being threatened to be removed.

"We want to support the people who worked so hard to try to keep the true meaning of Christmas front and center," said WMUZ morning host Jon Culbert. "We're playing 100% Christmas music Tuesday for the entire morning show and for Robin Sullivan and the Praise Company in the afternoon." In addition to the Christmas music, Sullivan will be reporting live from Berkley during the morning show, and morning co-host Shannyn Caldwell will be in Berkley in the afternoon with a team of Christmas carolers.

Detroit News:

Tom Ryan and Mindy Markowitz were funnier after they were fired Friday than they'd been for months behind the microphone. The edict had come down from management at WOMC-FM (104.3) earlier this year, Ryan says: Be drones. No more chatting about movies or soap operas or which celebrity did something stupid yesterday. Just give the time and temperature, and tell the oldies station's audience that the last song was by the Zombies. You can train a chimpanzee to do that, and he'll work for termites and bananas. So it wasn't a complete surprise to them when they got the gink a few minutes before their 3-7 p.m. shift on "Ridin' Home with Ryan" … but it's not an unbridled joy, either... Tom and Mindy lost their voice -- and job (Tue, 11/6)

I have been in radio for 10 years and I know my day is coming. I will be fired some day. It is sort of like being a manger in baseball or a coach in basketball. No matter how much success you have or how many championships you bring you will either be fired or pushed out the door. Radio is a ticking time bomb that eventually will blow up in your face. That is why I find no great joy today in seeing Greg Brady, Jamie Samuelson and Matt Shepard walked out the door at WDFN. They are competitors because I work at 97.1 FM and 1270 AM. But they are also people who love doing radio and they all have families. Samuelson will probably be back on the air soon at a reduced salary. Times are tough for the media now. Radio, television and newspapers are looking to reduce budget... Hired to be Fired (Tue, 11/6)

Crain's Detroit Business:

Beau Derek, who hosts WOMC 104.3 FM’s 7 p.m.-midnight show, will temporarily take over the afternoon drive-time slot vacated after the oldies station removed longtime personality Tom Ryan on Friday. Ryan and producer Mindy Markowitz, who also was an on-air personality as “Matinee Mindy,” are no longer with the station and will be replaced in the interim by Derek, said Kevin Murphy, general manager of the CBS Radio Inc.-owned station in Ferndale. He declined to disclose details on why Ryan and Markowitz were dismissed... After 11 years in drive time, Tom Ryan replaced at WOMC (Mon, 11/5)

Detroit Free Press:

It's official -- Detroit is holiday parade nirvana. The annual Thanksgiving Day trek down Woodward is, of course, the really big show and WDIV-TV Local 4 will be out there Nov. 22 covering it big-time all morning. Then there's the Channel 7 holiday doubleheader -- it will cover the relatively new Campus Martius holiday gala and downtown lighting ceremony on Nov. 16 in prime time. That's followed by the downtown Rochester Christmas parade 2-4 p.m. Dec. 2, with Glenda Lewis and Dave LewAllen doing the float-by-float coverage. And then WJBK-TV (Channel 2) is in the fray at Royal Oak's 6th annual Holiday Magic Parade Nov. 17, in a live telecast at 10 a.m. Fanchon Stinger, Jason Carr, Ben Bailey and Jackie Paige will be joined by WMGC-FM's (105.1) Linda Lanci... Pick a holiday promenade route (Tue, 11/6)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 7, 2007



Channel 7's Operation Can-Do ready for 30th annual food collection program

WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, will join with Big Boy Restaurants and the Boy Scouts of America to sponsor Operation Can-Do. Now in its 30th year, this annual community service campaign collects and distributes food to the hungry in metropolitan Detroit. Last year's Operation Can-Do campaign brought in 460,000 pounds of food to help feed families and individuals through soup kitchens and food banks in the tri-county area, providing over 1.2 million meals. Since its inception in 1978, Operation Can-Do has supplied over 23 million meals to the hungry of metropolitan Detroit.

Hundreds of local Boy Scouts from the Detroit Area and Clinton Valley Councils will kick off the 2007 campaign by "Scouting for Food" with a door-to-door collection on Saturday, November 10th. Donations of canned goods to Operation Can-Do can be made at any Big Boy Restaurant in the Detroit metropolitan area through December 31st.

"Operation Can-Do has shown the community the importance of working as a team to help others," said WXYZ Vice President and General Manager Grace Gilchrist. "The need is even greater today because of layoffs, underemployment and more people than ever living on fixed incomes. Through Operation Can-Do metro Detroiters are enabled to remember those families in need."

All of the food collected through Operation Can-Do is given to Metro World Outreach, a non-profit organization that distributes food to nearly 400 different food banks and emergency food providers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.

Detroit Free Press:

While some radio stations here shuck staff, Radio One's WHDT-FM (102.7) is adding. Model, singer and native Detroiter Deelishis is the new cohost and entertainment correspondent on a new nighttime program hosted by Big Greg, himself just in from Cincinnati. She will be in the studio every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m... Names and Faces (Wed, 11/7)

Detroit News:

Remember "The Scene" and its successor "The New Dance Show"? These were the Detroit versions of "Soul Train" that aired from the 1970s until the mid-1990s on the now defunct WGPR-TV (Channel 62) that entertained thousands of TV-viewing youngsters like me as soon as they came home from school. Now, more than a decade after these television institutions faded to black, WADL-TV (Channel 38) has come up with an updated incarnation called "D Party." The show, which WADL produces in conjunction with WJLB-FM (97.9), debuts 4 p.m. Monday... Tuned In (Wed, 11/7)


Jay Towers joining WOMC

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Jay TowersOldies 104.3 WOMC today announced the appointment of Jay Towers to midday host (10am-3 pm) plus additional duties as assistant program director. Towers most recently was midday host on one of WOMC’s sister stations, 97.1 WKRK.

Towers has been behind the radio microphone since he was 14 years old when he started on WJRZ in his hometown of Toms River, New Jersey. In 1993, he moved to WAYV/WBSS in Atlantic City. Two years later, Towers became one of the youngest program directors in the country when he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and doubled as the afternoon DJ/ Program Director of WVTI at the age of 20. Shortly after that, he made his way back to the east coast to be the assistant program director and midday host of WIOQ in Philadelphia.

Towers made Detroit his permanent home in 1998 and became the morning show host and assistant program director at 93.1 WDRQ. He was there for seven years before making his move to 97.1 WKRK in 2005.

In announcing the appointment of Towers, WOMC Program Director Scott Walker said, “Jay’s first love has always been music radio and he grew up listening to Oldies radio. Name a song from the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s and not only will Jay give you the artist, but he also remembers how high the song charted on the Billboard charts. Oldies 104.3 is getting one of Detroit’s best entertainers.”

His first day on Oldies 104.3 WOMC will be Friday, November 9, 2007, 10 am- 3 pm. His show will continue to be produced by Jon Klaft, who has been his producer both at WKRK and WDRQ.

“Working in the same building as Dick Purtan alone is a dream come true,” says Towers. “But following his legendry morning show each weekday is the biggest thrill of all. I started in music radio when I was 14 years old, and I got into it for the energy and the passion I had for hit music. Now, given the opportunity to work a heritage station like WOMC, I'm back doing what I love to do best, having fun talking to the motor city everyday and playing Detroit's greatest hits!"

Towers also covers feature and entertainment news as part of the Fox 2 News Weekend television show. Jay lives in Troy, Michigan with his 5 year old daughter Ava.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 9 2007



Detroit News:

One or both of the morning hosts fired by WDFN-AM (1130) four days ago will probably be back on the air Monday. Same hours, same studio, new lower salary. Since you probably wouldn't recognize their names unless you listen to the station, we'll get to those later and start with one that's more familiar: Denny McLain. WDFN's competitors in Detroit, WXYT-AM (1270) and WKRK-FM (97.1), began simulcasting as "Detroit's Sports Powerhouse" last month. Same content, more range, new lower variety for radio listeners. Jeff Deminksi and Bill Doyle, the survivors from WKRK's previous incarnation as an adult talk station, have been doing their old afternoon show in the morning on both signals. But their contract expires in December, and the name I keep hearing as a possible replacement is Denny McLain... McLain could be back as a radio host (Fri, 11/9)

CKWW bringing back "The History of Rock 'n Roll" to the Motor City

Parents were horrified, the establishment was aghast, but the kids loved it! It was Rock & Roll.

AM 580, CKWW, takes a nostalgic look back at the beginnings of Rock with the “History of Rock & Roll”. This 28 part series narrated by Chuck Reilly covers two decades of music from a unique perspective. It will air every Saturday morning from 10 to Noon over the next 14 weeks on AM 580. It will also be replayed Sunday nights at 8 PM.

For those out of the listening area, the program will be streamed on CKWW's web site at

WDET gets ready for the Holidays

On Friday, November 16th, WDET will sponsor the Night of Lights in downtown Detroit's Campus Martius Park. The event runs from 5:00pm to midnight and includes the official City of Detroit's Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony and and the re-opening of the park's Ice Rink. Listeners can tune to WDET or go to for a chance to win "First On Ice" tickets and be among the first in Metro Detroit to skate on the Campus Martius Ice Rink. Musical entertainment in the park that evening by Detroit's own Mitch Ryder, Thornetta Davis and Marvin Wynans, Jr.

Then on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, from 10:00am to noon WDET will offer a live broadcast of Detroit Today from the 81st Annual America's Thanksgiving Day Parade. One of our community's greatest traditions, this magnificent parade down Woodward Avenue is among the best in the country.

Finally, the station will be on hand for the 35th Annual Noel Night will taking place on Saturday, December 1, from 5:00pm to 9:30pm in Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center Area. Over 20 institutions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Science Center, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will open their doors to the public free of charge during this Cultural Center-wide holiday "open house." Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by over 50 area music and dance groups. The evening's festivities culminate with a community sing-along on Woodward Avenue led by the Salvation Army Band -- a long-standing Noel Night tradition.

WJR programming notes

WJR AM 760 morning host Paul W. Smith takes his show out of the studio for a couple of remotes the next two Fridays. Tomorrow, Smith will broadcast live from the Davidson Suite at the Palace of Auburn Hills to help the Pistons continue the start of their new season. Then on November 16th, the show will help celebrate the grand re-opening of The Detroit Institute of Arts. Listeners can visit to register for a chance to join Paul W. Smith at the broadcast, enjoy a V.I.P tour of the museum with DIA director Graham Beal, and win a one-year membership to the DIA.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 11, 2007



Ann Arbor News:

"Marketplace'' host Kai Ryssdal is coming to Ann Arbor and setting up shop at Michigan Radio on Thursday and Friday. He will also originate the broadcast of his evening business program from the local studio. Ryssdal will also participate in the panel discussion tiled "Is Consumerism Sustainable?'' on Friday from 11 a.m. to noon at the Michigan Union's Pendleton Room on the University of Michigan campus ... NPR Music, a free, multi-genre Web site that presents the best of public radio music, is up and running on the Web at (follow the "Experience Our New Site'' link). The site, a venture among NPR and 12 of its member stations, is organized by genre and by type of musical content including live concerts, studio sessions, artist interviews, profiles, reviews, blogs and podcasts... 'Marketplace' host to join talk at U-M, air show from local site (Sun, 11/11)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 12, 2007



WDFN plugs Rob Otto in; Jamie & Brady to do web chat

Rob Otto hosted the early morning shift (6-8am) on sports WDFN AM 1130 while decisions are being made on what will happen with that time slot on a more permanent basis. Former hosts Jamie Samuelsen and Greg Brady are still in talks with the station and still hope to make a return.

In the meantime, Jamie and Brady will be hosting a web chat this morning from 8:30 - 10:30 on the web site of FOX TV affiliate WJBK-TV 2. They will be joined by their former newsman, and current Fox Sports Net Detroit reporter, Matt Shepard along with other guests. Listen in and watch the 'Monday Morning Quarterback' chat at Another 'Monday Morning Quarterback' web chat has been scheduled for next Monday, November 19th.

Crain's Detroit Business:

The local television industry is taking a wait-and-see approach to the decision by WADL-TV Channel 38 to shift its focus from primarily religious, infomercial and home-shopping programs to programming aimed at metro Detroit's African-American audience. The Clinton Township-based station, which is unaffiliated with a national network and has been on the air since 1986, has acquired several syndicated shows. They range from 1970s comedies such as "Sanford and Son" and "The Jeffersons" to contemporary shows such as MTV's "Pimp My Ride" and "Chappelle's Show." Lewis Gibbs, WADL's president and general manager, declined to say how much the station is spending on new content, but local television insiders estimate it's between $100,000 and $250,000... WADL shifts emphasis to African-American viewers (Mon, 11/12)

'Night of Lights at Campus Martius Park' to air on Channel 7 Friday, Nov. 16

WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, in collaboration with Detroit 300 Conservancy will presents a Detroit holiday tradition, "The Night of Lights at Campus Martius Park" on Friday, November 16 from 7:30-9pm. The 90-minute prime time special will celebrate metro Detroit's official kick-off of the holiday season. Now in its fourth year, the event combines first-rate entertainment, world-class figure skating and the live lighting ceremony of a magnificent 60-foot holiday tree.

Hosted by co-anchors Diana Lewis and Stephen Clark, the program will include live reports from Action News anchors Erik Smith and Carolyn Clifford. Action News reporter Kimberly Craig will also provide live coverage of the many activities and entertainment taking place throughout the evening.

In addition to the tree lighting ceremony, which will air live exclusively on WXYZ-TV, the special will highlight ice skating performances from Olympic ice dance champions and ice skating all stars from the Detroit Skating Club and the Artic Figure Skating Club in Canton. The live program will also feature musical performances from local entertainers and some of Detroit's top singers including, Rock & Soul duet and band Mitch Ryder and Thornetta Davis and Gospel/R&B Vocalist Marvin Winans Jr. The program will also include interviews with key community leaders.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 14, 2007



Detroit Free Press:

The eyes of every Detroit radio observer probably went to one line of data Wednesday when the Arbitron ratings report for August, September and October was released. That would be the age 25-54 morning ratings to see how WRIF-FM’s (101.1) top-ranked tandem of Drew Lane and Mike Clark did, what with Lane being off the air since late September, caring for his cancer-stricken significant other, Tess Schuster. What happened? The three-month average for the show -- with one month of no Lane -- actually went up, from 11.9 to 12.7 in the full third quarter. And that was better than the same Aug.-Sept.-Oct period in 2006 (11.5)... WRIF morning show minus Lane shows a gain

WDVD and WDRQ's 'Canned Film Festival' Breaks Record
CITACEL/ABC Hot AC WDVD and Adult Hits WDRQ (DOUG-FM) collected a record-setting 44,818 pounds of food for their annual "CANNED FILM FESTIVAL." On THURSDAY (11/8), listeners were asked to bring five canned food items to local MJR THEATERS in exchange for a pass to a free movie. More than 8,000 people donated food to the GLEANER'S FOOD BANK. The food will be distributed to partner charities throughout the DETROIT metropolitan area. (Wed, 11/14)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 15, 2007



Detroit News:

The Detroit radio dial has spun, stopped and gone on rewind in the past week or so, with Jamie & Brady cut from sports talk WDFN-AM (1130) , long-time host Tom Ryan and "Matinee Mindy" gone from WOMC-FM (104.3) and young whippersnapper Jay Towers now a midday oldies jock at WOMC. Despite cutting loose a veteran, WOMC is starting to tap into baby boomer memories of 1960's radio. The station is already running top-of-the-hour "The Legend Lives" station IDs featuring clips of top Detroit radio jocks. You might hear a Ted "The Bear" Richards clip from CKLW or perhaps a sound bite of Byron MacGregor intoning some "20/20 News" horror from the Big 8. There are even old clips of current WOMC morning kingpin Dick Purtan from his baby DJ days. "Dick's not too happy about that," WOMC program director Scott Walker quipped. "But with our demographic, they bond to the music and personalities they grew up listening to, so we put a lot of different disc jockeys on the top of the hour"... WOMC ready to jog '60s radio memories (Thu, 11/15)

It seems the Metro Detroit sports radio world can't go at least a month without some major drama. Most of the fireworks come courtesy of WXYT (97.1 FM and 1270 AM). But WDFN 1130 is stirring up its own share of craziness, and it isn't over yet. The station unexpectedly fired longtime staffers Jamie Samuelsen, Greg Brady and Matt Shepard, and other behind-the-scenes employees, as part of sharp budgetary cutbacks on Nov. 5. The trio took their show, with Clear Channel's permission, to FOX 2 last Monday, for a Web-cast version. By all accounts, the show translated well, with listeners calling in to the new format. Clear Channel changed its mind, pulling out its non-compete clause on the still-under-contract Brady and Samuelsen. So no more Web casts... WDFN lineup is still in flux (Thu, 11/15)

Detroit Free Press:

WXYZ-TV Channel 7 will show a special on former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler at 9 p.m. Friday night. The show, “Bo Schembechler Remembered," will honor his legacy as a coach and his lifelong impact on his players... Channel 7 plans Schembechler retrospective on Friday night (Thu, 11/15)

The top 5 stations among all listeners in the first fall ratings trend were WMXD-FM, WWJ AM, WJLB-FM, WJR AM, and WOMC-FM... Age 12+ Fall Phase I Arbitrend ratings for Detroit (Wed, 11/14)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 16, 2007



Detroit Free Press:

In what could be a violation of a court-issued gag order, the lawyer for murder suspect Stephen Grant has given an interview to WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), a move that could -- at minimum -- delay Grant's Nov. 27 trial. Channel 7 is promoting the interview -- which refers to Grant as a "confessed killer" -- on its Web site, on television and on the radio. This comes just as the court has begun mailing summons to potential jurors. Channel 7's 11 p.m. newscast had about 180,000 viewers earlier this week... Channel 7 interview with Grant lawyer may jeopardize trial (Fri, 11/16)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 17, 2007



Detroit News:

Take a closer look at the automotive world in our own backyard when WJBK-TV (Channel 2) features "American Drive," a half-hour special focusing on Detroit's place in the global automotive industry. Hosted by WJBK's money editor Murray Feldman, the program will take an in-depth look at the overall outlook and pressing issues facing the industry through an exclusive set of interviews with Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman William Clay Ford Jr., Chrysler LLC co-President Tom LaSorda and General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner. "The automotive industry is an integral part of Detroit's economy and identity," said Jeff Murri, WJBK's vice president and general manager. "Fox 2 is committed to keeping viewers abreast of the latest information on the people and trends that are shaping its future"... Detroit auto industry focus of TV special (Sat, 11/17)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 20, 2007




Popular WRIF radio host Drew Lane talks to Carolyn Clifford about why he stepped away from the microphone for the woman he loves... WRIF'S Drew Lane makes sacrifice for love (Mon, 11/19)

Detroit News:

Comcast customers with basic service now will be able to get access to most high-definition channels, with monthly rental of a high-definition box. On Monday, Michigan's largest cable company announced it is allowing basic cable subscribers to get its high-definition service. In the past, HD service only was available to customers with more-extensive and expensive preferred cable service. The difference between the basic cable and preferred plans is about $14 a month. The new service comes amid increasing competition between cable and satellite companies for high-definition customers, whose numbers are growing as prices come down for HD televisions. Cable and satellite companies are also facing competition from phone companies offering television services. AT&T, for example, launched its U-verse service in some Metro Detroit communities in May, and offers a year of high-definition service for free with all but one of its television plans... Comcast puts HD on basic access (Tue, 11/20)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 22, 2007



Detroit Free Press:

This special Thanksgiving Day column will carve up some turkeys and fixings and distribute the goodies to the appropriate members of the local media ... A drumstick: To WXYT-FM/AM (97.1 and 1270) duo Deminski & Doyle for doing a great job of shifting from afternoon to morning drive ... Plenty of sliced meat: To WOMC's Dick Purtan, WMGC'S Jim Harper, WRIF's Drew & Mike, WJR's Paul W. Smith, WKQI's Mojo in the Morning, WNIC'S Breakfast Club, and WJLB's Coco, Foolish and Mr. Chase for bringing home the bacon -- advertising -- on all their stations ... Holly berries: To channels 2, 4 and 7 for doing their parts to cover festive season events like the Thanksgiving Day parade, last week's Campus Martius tree lighting, the upcoming Rochester Santa Parade and the recent Royal Oak Holiday Magic parade... Giving thanks to the local media (Thu, 11/22)

Ypsilanti Courier:

Terry Gross may not be as famous as Larry King, unless you're a regular listener to National Public Radio) - then she's a household name. Gross is renown as a first-rate radio journalist who seems to draw long reflective answers out of her subjects with her polite yet probing interview style. Gross held a talk at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on Sept. 28 where she discussed her history as a radio host with recent and older clips of her many interviews... An evening with an NPR radio host (Thu, 11/22)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 25, 2007



Ann Arbor News:

Television commercials for the newly renovated Detroit Institute of Arts have a local flavor: That's Ann Arbor's Royal Garden Trio providing the music ... Michigan Television, WFUM-TV, the public television station from the University of Michigan, kicked off its 2007 holiday membership drive Friday with a slate of special programs that celebrate the season as well as a wide variety of musical performances ... If you were wondering whatever became of WUOM's Todd Mundt, wonder no more. He departed the local station - evidently without fanfare - for Iowa in August, where he oversees all programs and channels as director of content and media for Iowa Public Radio... On the Air: DIA ads feature Royal Garden Trio (Sun, 11/25)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 26, 2007



“Hire It Done!” set to premiers on Greater Media Detroit’s WRIF and WMGC-FM

“Hire It Done!” with Adam Helfman will premier on Greater Media Detroit’s WRIF and WMGC-FM, Magic 105.1 on Saturday, December 1st. It will air at 7am on both stations.

Helfman comes to Greater Media Detroit from CBS Radio. He is a construction consultant for the Emmy Award-winning television program “Extreme Makeover: Home Addition.”

“I am truly excited to move my program to a much larger audience and being involved with the #1 station speaks volumes!”, said Helfman.

Hiring the right contractor to work on home improvement projects can make all the difference in the world. But finding the right questions to ask contractors can be difficult. It is also hard for the average person to acquire expert advice so they can make informed decisions. This is where Helfman and “Hire It Done!” come in. Each week, Helfman will provide inside information on how to achieve quality results quickly and affordably.

Helfman is a recognized expert in his field with certifications from the National Association of Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Home Builders.

“Hire It Done!” with Adam Helfman will also be of great benefit to Metro Detroit contractors. Program sponsorships are available on both WRIF and Magic 105.1FM. For more information on sponsoring “Hire It Done!”, please contact Scott Buie at WRIF at 248-591-6827 and Marcy Cyburt at Magic 105.1FM at 248-591-6862.

Bender named Senior VP & GM of Greater Media Interactive

Greater Media, Inc has announced that Tom Bender, currently market manager for the company's Detroit cluster, has been named Senior Vice President & General Manager of Greater Media Interactive. He will continue to oversee WCSX 94.7, WRIF 101.1 and WMGC-FM 105.1 until a new Market Manager is named in the near future.

In his new role, Bender will be responsible for building on the foundation in place with Greater Media's interactive efforts and for coordinating and consulting individual station efforts, as well as creating company-wide systems and resources.

"I believe that radio has to develop its interactive relationship with both listeners and advertisers," said Bender. "It is a wonderful complement to our existing brands, and the two media, when properly integrated, make a creative and cost-effective solution for advertiser needs."

Tom was the perfect choice for this exciting position," said Greater Media President and CEO Peter Smyth. "His vast knowledge of both the radio industry and today's technology will help allow him to take our company to the next level in the interactive arena."

Bender has been the Market Manager for the company's Detroit-based properties since 1986. He is responsible for changing the format of a failing Adult Contemporary radio station to become first major market "Classic Rock" format station in America, WCSX. In 1994, Bender managed the acquisition of WRIF.

The Detroit native has served on a variety of industry committees, including the Arbitron Advisory Council, the NAB's COLRAM Committee and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Radio Issues Committee. He was among the first Market Managers in America to launch the HD Digital Radio initiative by unveiling RIFF2, MORE MAGIC and WCSX Deep Trax on the Motor City airwaves in August of 2005.

In 2005, Bender was named "Market Manager of the Year" by Radio Ink Magazine and was officially inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in July of 2007.

Plymouth superintendent and radio personalities to be guest grillers at bd’s Mongolian Grill

WSDP-FM 88.1, the Escape, has enlisted the help of some of its strongest supporters, Plymouth-Canton Schools superintendent Dr. Jim Ryan, WCSX weekend host Pam Rossi, and WDFN reporter Denny Kapp as guest grillers at the bd’s Mongolian Grill® located in Canton on Wednesday December 5, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Ryan, Pam, and Denny will show off their grilling techniques on bd’s 2,000-pound grill flipping fresh veggies and meats on their 3-foot swords while raising money for 88.1FM. The Canton restaurant is located at 42089 Ford Rd.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the student radio station for the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. 88.1FM is celebrating 35 years of serving students and the community.

“We really appreciate the support of Pam, Denny and Dr. Ryan,” said Bill Keith, WSDP Station Manager. “They’ve both proven to be true friends of 88.1FM. We hope a lot of people come out to thank them for their support.”

89X teams with Goodwill Industries to hold “Twelve Days of Christmas"

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit will spread the spirit of giving this holiday season by asking metro area residents to donate new unwrapped toys during its Twelve Days of Christmas, Nov. 24 through Dec. 5. The toys then will be sold at Goodwill’s 11th Annual “Santa Shop” at minimal cost to its program trainees who might otherwise not be able to buy anything for their children or grandchildren.

Listeners to 89X and other area residents are invited to stop by any one of the 27 Caribou Coffee locations in metropolitan Detroit to drop of a new, unwrapped toys- each donor will receive a one dollar off coupon towards their next purchase at Caribou during the promotion.

“For many of our trainees, this time of the year can be a reminder that they are having difficulty in providing for their children and grandchildren,” said Lorna G. Utley, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. “Santa’s Shop not only is a memorable shopping experience, but it also gives them a feeling of pride that they are able to buy these gifts themselves for their families. This is not a handout. We choose to preserve the dignity of our clients by making affordable holiday shopping possible,” said Utley. “Can you imagine how empowered they feel knowing they themselves paid for the presents that they are giving to their children and grandchildren?”

“Caribou Coffee is committed to giving back to our communities and is elated at the opportunity to partner with Goodwill and 89X for this event,” explained Adam Stansberry, Caribou’s District Manager. “We look forward to assisting in the holiday celebration for the Goodwill trainees and their families. This is the time of year to spread joy and celebrate, and we are grateful and proud to be a part of such an important initiative.”

The mission of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit is to provide people who have disabilities and other barriers to employment with opportunities to become independent, self-supporting citizens through training, work experience and employment in the community.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 28, 2007



Detroit Free Press:

The eight-year-plus Detroit radio run of WXYT-AM/FM (1270/97.1) morning talkers Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle will apparently end on Dec. 14. The duo's attorney, Mike Novak, said he and the CBS-owned stations general manager Kevin Murphy spoke Wednesday and agreed the final D&D broadcast would be two weeks from Friday. "Deminski and Doyle are heading for greener pastures, " Novak said, adding "they have made it clear they don't want to work for CBS, which stands for Cheap Beyond Suspicion." Murphy said late Wednesday he would not comment about contract negotiations... Deminski & Doyle set a departure date (Wed, 11/28)

WYCD gets ready for Christmas

Award Winning Country recording artist LeAnn Rimes will headline the country WYCD-FM's 99.5 annual Christmas Concert benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network and Pediatrics at Beaumont on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Also performing at the concert will be country acts Sawyer Brown, Tracy Byrd and Jypsi. Tickets for the holiday concert will are on sale now at, The Palace Box Office, all TicketMaster locations or by phoning (248)645-6666. Reserved tickets are $39.50 and $25.00.

WYCD morning host Dr. Con Carpenter has released a Christmas CD which is now available at Borders and other music retailers or from A portion of the proceeds from the 13-track CD featuring Christmas favorites from Kenny Chesney, LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts, Clay Walker and more will benefit Children's Miracle Network and Pediatrics at Beaumont Hospital.

WVMV's Zonjic nominated for Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards

Jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic has been nominated for two Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards and will reprise his role as host of the fourth annual competition. It will be held Friday March 7, 2008 at The Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, Ontario near Toronto.

Alexander Zonjic’s nominations are for Best Wind Instrumentalist and for Broadcaster of the Year.

Winners will be determined through on-line voting and by a panel of industry professionals. Voting is open now to an international audience at

“I’ve been part of the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards since their inception. It’s the only awards show for this music genre internationally. I am glad to be nominated and to be hosting it again,” said Zonjic.

“Alexander is one of the few guys who can make a room of fifteen hundred people wearing too-tight tuxes and gowns belly-laugh,” said John Beaudin,” event co-chair and one of its founders.

Zonjic was raised and still lives in Windsor, Ontario. He is also host of a popular daily morning show on Detroit’s Smooth Jazz V98.7 (WVMV-FM). He performs in 100 concerts a year, is creative director for four summer music festivals and is part owner of the jazz supper club Seldom Blues.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 29, 2007



Detroit News:

In a month, Grace Gilchrist will wave goodbye to co-workers and viewers alike, but her departure is bittersweet. After guiding WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) as the station's vice president and general manager for 13 years, she'll finally get to spend some quality time with her husband, son and the rest of her family, and she'll even have time now to travel to her mother's native Scotland. The 60-year-old, who has been working nonstop since the age of 18, will finally have some time to kick back and take it easy. But walking away also means not seeing the anchors, reporters and editors who have become a second family of close friends and confidants. Packing up those boxes means a new chapter will begin whether she's ready or not... Gilchrist is leaving WXYZ on her terms (Thu, 11/29)

If you tuned in to WXYZ-TV Channel 7's interview last week with WRIF-FM's Drew Lane and his girlfriend Tess Schuster , you probably sensed, as we did, that Lane is in no hurry to return to his co-hosting slot on the "Drew and Mike" morning show. Lane has been at home helping his ailing partner, who is suffering from breast cancer, since September. Co-host Mike Clark has been holding down the fort at 101.1-FM in the mornings, along with Trudi Daniels on news and producers Mike Wolters and Marc Fellhauer as foils... WRIF's Drew unsure of return to airwaves (Thu, 11/29)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 30, 2007



Detroit Free Press:

As a kid growing up in northwest Detroit, Grace Gilchrist rushed home from school every day to have lunch with Soupy Sales. As an adult, however, it wasn't just laughs and giggles with WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). By then, Gilchrist had crossed over to the other side of the television, from happy-go-lucky viewer to longtime station executive. From the hang-loose childhood fun with Soupy and his pals Black Tooth and White Fang, to the extreme adult sport of surviving combustible anchormen like Bill Bonds and Frank Turner. Grace Gilchrist not only survived, she helped Channel 7 thrive over the last 21 years. A down-to-earth local who made good -- very good -- Gilchrist rose from sales manager to station manager and finally in 1995 to the top executive spot as WXYZ's vice president and general manager... Good night, Gracie: A local girl made good, Channel 7's leader Grace Gilchrist heads into retirement (Fri, 11/30)

Here, by key time period, are Detroit results from Nielsen Media Research's November ratings period, which ended Wednesday. The sweeps month is one of four months when ratings are used to set ad rates... Nielsen November TV ratings (Fri, 11/30)

WDVD 'Stuffs A Bus'
Over the weekend, CITADEL Hot AC WDVD/DETROIT, MI raised over 10,000 toy donations in their 2nd annual "STUFF A BUS" fund raiser. Proceeds will benefit the VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA, NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES ORGANIZATION, LIGHT HOUSE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, DETROIT YOUTH GROUP, SPALDING FOR CHILDREN, ST. VINCENT DEPAUL and the ORCHARD CHILDREN'S SERVICES. WDVD jocks BLAINE, LISA, ALLYSON, JESSE and FIG broadcast live from three locations in the community. (Thu, 11/29)

Wanted by WKQL: Swag For Food
CUMULUS AAA WKQL (107one)/ANN ARBOR has embarked on a mission to raise a whopping 150 tons of food for FOOD GATHERERS in WASHTENAW COUNTY. Entitled "Rockin' For The Hungry," the station's biggest food drive of the year brings together over 100 charities to support hungry people. The station's air talent will be doing a remote in front of BUSCH'S grocery store in ANN ARBOR, starting on WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5th at 6a to SUNDAY afternoon the 8th. 107ONE is asking for autographed merchandise from its favorite artists to auction off Past rarities auctioned for the food band include BEN FOLDS piano keys and signed DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE drum heads to a collection of Post-it note art from MIKE DOUGHTY (which raised $300, the equivalent of one ton of food). To contribute and for more info, log onto or (Thu, 11/29)

WXYZ-TV Channel 7

WXYZ-TV is the Detroit television market’s dominant number one station, sign-on/sign-off, according to the November 2007 Nielsen Media Research rating survey which ended Wednesday. WXYZ-TV garnered a 5.6 rating/13 share, versus WDIV’s 4.1 rating /10 share, WJBK’s 3.7 rating/9 share and WWJ’s 2.8 rating/ 7 share. In addition to winning sign-on/sign-off in TV household ratings, WXYZ was also metro Detroit’s number one station in delivery of all key demographics including Women 18-49, Adults 18-49, Women 25-54 and Adults 25-54. Key to WXYZ-TV’s November ’07 sign-on/sign-off victory was the exceptionally strong performance of Channel 7’s Action News. Action News was the number one newscast in TV household ratings in the Detroit market for 6am news, noon news, 5pm news, 6pm news, the entire 5-7:30pm early news block and 11pm news... Channel 7 sweeps to victory in November ratings; Action News wins every newscast in key demographics (Thu, 11/29)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Metro Detroit category from November 2007.

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