Mike Austerman: September 2007 Archives

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 2, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Station employees from WXSP-TV, WOOD-TV and WOTV-TV partnered with nonprofit Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids as part of the "LIN TV's Day of Caring," a companywide day of volunteerism and community service. "It is always necessary to give back to the community, and, today, our employees are doing just that," said Diane Kniowski, president and general manager of the stations... TV stations join in day of caring (Sun, 9/2)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 2, 2007



Detroit Free Press:

This is my one attempt to help you through the Detroit media. All these people who sit there and cast opinions and try to shape your sports mind in our fair city. Most times, you can't make hide nor hair of who knows what, who knows who, who has got a hot tip, or who is just filling space. As fans, you are at a tremendous disadvantage. You don't have a choice. You want to know what is going on with the Pistons, Lions, Red Wings and Tigers. So who do we look to? We look to our papers... Todd Jones: Explaining the ins, outs of Detroit media (Sun, 9/2)

There were so many reasons Jim Brandstatter looked forward to Saturday. And one reason he did not. When Brandstatter arrived at Michigan Stadium on Saturday to do analysis on the radio broadcast, he went up to the broadcast and private box level and walked into late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler's booth. Schembechler died last Nov. 17 at age 77. "It feels empty," said Brandstatter, who played for Schembechler in the early 1970s and was one of his closest friends in the years since. "There's something missing. I went in there to have a talk with him, alone. I said 'hello' and I know he was here"... Brandstatter soldiers on without Bo at Big House (Sun, 9/2)

He's back. Media barrister Henry Baskin, agent to the likes of Dick Purtan, Fanchon Stinger, Jerry Hodak and other media luminaries, returns to the airwaves at 5:30 p.m. Friday with his "Due Process" show on a new station, WTVS-TV, Channel 56... Baskin finds a home at Channel 56 (Sun, 9/2)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 2, 2007



Smile FM continues work on Tri-Cities upgrade

Contemporary Christian WEJC-FM 88.3 White Star/Midland completed phase 2 of its upgrade project on Friday when the installation of its newly rebuilt antenna system was placed into service at its new location north of Auburn. The station continues to operate at reduced power while its transmitter is being rebuilt, something that may take several more weeks to complete. When the upgrades are completed, WEJC will provide a much better signal to the Bay City/Saginaw/Midland area compared to when the station transmitted from near Gladwin.


By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioThis is a radio column, and I love sports. But I don’t aspire to be another Pat Caputo. He does a fine job reporting sports for The Oakland Press.

However, I cannot ignore what’s going on with The Big Ten Network.

Did you watch the University of Michigan game yesterday? Did you see the Michigan State University game? Any contest considered a “lesser game” won’t be seen locally as this new college football network fights with area cable TV operators over, you guessed it, money.

Currently the Big Ten Network is available only to DirectTV subscribers. Comcast and other cable outlets would be charged about $1.10 per subscriber to add the college football network and feel customers (not interested in the games) would balk at the rate increase.

The network feels it should be offered at no additional charge similar to dozens of other sports channels like ESPN and FSN. The Big Ten Network is 51 percent owned by the Big Ten Conference and 49 percent by the Fox Television Network.

The one benefactor in all of this should be radio.

Mike Chires, new vice president/general manager of Host Communications and the Michigan Sports Network in Novi, feels that this situation will hopefully drive more fans over to the radio coverage.

Remember that after 30 years on WJR, the Wolverines are now on CKLW-AM (800) which reaches from Ontario and southeast Michigan down into Indiana and Ohio. The games are also on Oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) along with a network of stations statewide.

 • • • • • • • • 

Recently, I begged stations to turn off the delay during football games so our radios would be in sync with the action.

Well, if you were at the Michigan Stadium yesterday, you may have seen these little radios, which allow fans in the stadium to hear the live play-by-play without the time delay of the “regular” radio broadcast of every home and away Michigan football game this year.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 3, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

He works six days a week at the crack of dawn and isn't paid a nickel for his trouble. The next time you grumble when the alarm clock buzzes, think of Oscar Zuniga. This volunteer extraordinaire just turned 80 and still wakes up at 4 each morning to get to work on time. And what is the work he does for love, not money? He's on the air 5:30 to 7 a.m. weekdays and 6 to 8 a.m. Sundays hosting the music show "El Mundo Musical" on community radio station WYCE-FM (88.1). "I wake up, admire myself in the mirror and think, 'Here I am -- I'm still alive and looking for trouble,' " he said. For 20 years, "El Mundo Musical" has brought regional Mexican hits to the Hispanic community in West Michigan. Since the beginning, Zuniga has been the program's musical maestro and guide... 20 years on the air for free (Mon, 9/3)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 3, 2007



Community Internet-based radio station sold

Dan Drolett, owner and program director of Clinton County Radio, an internet-based radio station serving Clinton county, Michigan, has announced the sale of the station and its assets to Tony Clark of Rosebush, Michigan. Mr. Clark is a 30-year Michigan radio veteran and the owner of Tony Clark Production Services.

Clinton County Radio, www.clintoncountyradio.net, was launched by Dan Drolett and Steve Evans in June 2004, as a service to the 58,000+ residents of Clinton County, Michigan. During the past three years, the station has been enjoyed by many who listen daily on the internet, and who have listened to the station on the City of DeWitt Community Access channel. The station's daily programming has included hourly news and information, informative features from the USDA, and Superhits of the 60's and 70's.

Drolett made the decision to sell the station in order to concentrate on other projects. 'It was tough decision to make, but I felt it was time to move on, and if anyone can keep this station sounding great, Tony Clark is that person'. The sale of Clinton County Radio is expected to close by the end of September 2007.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 4, 2007




WJQK Hosts Over 50K At Unity Festival

“We had a record attendance of over 50,000 people in the four days (including day zero). We all experienced the presence of God, great weather, great ministry and some awesome performances,” said APD/MD GARY THOMPSON. (Tue, 9/4)


• Cumulus has applied to put WBCK AM 930 Battle Creek into a trust controlled by Stratus Radio, LLC which will in turn sell the station to an independent third party in order to comply with ownership limits.

Cumulus is acquiring Ann Arbor stations WWWW-FM 102.9, WQKL-FM 107.1, WTKA AM 1050, and WLBY AM 1290 along with Battle Creek stations WBXX-FM 95.3, WRCC-FM 104.9, WBCK AM 930, and WBFN AM 1400 from Clear Channel, a deal that is still pending final FCC approvals and closing. Previously, it was announced that Cumulus would be donating WBFN to Family Life Communications, however it appears that the FCC is requiring that Cumulus must plan to transfer both WBCK and WBFN before it grants approval of the deal.

Cumulus has been operating the Ann Arbor cluster under a local marketing agreement since earlier in the year.

• Licenses were granted to the following new FM translators: W255BC 98.9 Plainwell (Family Stations), W218CJ 91.5 Grand Ledge and W239AU 95.7 Webberville (Educational Media Foundation).


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 6, 2007



Griffins renew partnership with WOOD 1300

The partnership between the Grand Rapids Griffins and their flagship station, Newsradio WOOD 1300, will extend to 14 consecutive seasons, thanks to a new three-year agreement between the American Hockey League club and Clear Channel Radio. “Labatt Griffins Hockey,” a centerpiece of Newsradio WOOD 1300’s programming lineup since the team’s inaugural campaign in 1996-97, will maintain its current home through at least the 2009-10 season. Next month, Bob Kaser will begin his eighth season as the Voice of the Griffins...

Press release, GriffinsHockey.com


Bob Simonson Exits WLHT/Grand Rapids
BOB "THE JANITOR" SIMONSON parts company with REGENT AC WLHT/GRAND RAPIDS to focus on his publication business, SIMONSON MARKETING & ENTERTAINMENT which publishes custom radio station tabloids to be used as station NTR projects. (Thu, 9/6)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 7, 2007



WDET readies launch of HD2 service

Public WDET-FM (101.9) plans on launching secondary HD2 programming later this month. According to interim general manager Allen Mazurek, "The balance between news and music on WDET is one that has shaped listener opinion and perception about the station for years. Now, we’re pleased to announce the initial launch of WDET-HD2."

"WDET2 will begin as a music service that draws on WDET’s history as a leader in presenting diverse and progressive music from across the spectrum, with a specific emphasis on Detroit artists. It will be available later this month to all listeners equipped with an HD receiver. Internet broadcast of this service through wdet.org is also under investigation."

Muzurek continues, "From an admittedly modest launch, we hope this service will grow over time to include live programming, provide volunteer and training opportunities for budding radio producers and hosts, and provide a new platform for the exciting and diverse music and experimental programming enjoyed by many WDET listeners through the years. In the coming weeks, we’ll provide additional information about WDET-HD2."

On the analog side, the station is also making some lineup changes effective September 15th:

Beginning Monday September 17, the station adds "Tell Me More" with Michel Martin from NPR News, weekdays at 1pm. Host Michel Martin joined NPR from ABC News, where she worked as a correspondent for Nightline. This program will replace "World Have Your Say" from the BBC.

Also taking effect the weekend of September 15-16:

- "Michael Julien's Global Mix" runs an additional hour on Saturday evenings, from 10pm-1am.

- The sacred music program "Deep River with Robert Jones" moves to Sunday afternoons from 3pm to 5pm.

-"The Tavis Smiley Show" will now be heard twice each weekend, Friday evenings from 7pm to 9pm, and Sunday mornings from 6pm to 8am.

-Sunday evenings at 8pm, WDET will present "The Evolution of Jazz" - Revisited. This nationally distributed program on the history of jazz was hosted by Ed Love in the late 80's and early 90's, and was heard on 125 stations around the country and in Puerto Rico. As we begin a conversion process to preserve this part of the station's history, we're pleased to be able to share it with listeners once again.

-Sunday evenings at 10pm will now be a dedicated hour for the many high-quality specials and limited-run series available to public radio stations, providing an outlet for the best that public radio has to offer on a weekly basis. First off will be the latest installment of "America Abroad", and then a new 5-part series from Jay Allison called "Stories From the Heart of the Land."


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 9, 2007



Detroit Free Press:

The late Merv Griffin's new game show is the biggest news in daytime TV as Detroit stations set up their daytime schedules for another year. Most of the shows start their new seasons Monday. "Merv Griffin's Crosswords," hosted by ex-soap star Ty Treadway, debuts at 2 p.m. Monday on WDIV-TV Local 4. WDIV is making the most changes as it tries to stop daytime ratings leakage that dates to the demise of its late '90s, in-your-face talk lineup (Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones and others). Elsewhere, the rest of the local daytime landscape is largely the same... New Griffin game show comes to daytime TV (Sun 9/9)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 9, 2007



Saginaw News:

Morning TV anchor Jocelyn Connell plans to ease into her new role at Channel 5, WNEM, this week. Meteorologist Mike Cameron says he'll do the same -- although he may slip into jeans for Monday's debut of the station's new lifestyle show, "Better MidMichigan." Every day is casual day for the duo as they host the hour-long string of local and national features addressing women's issues. Kim Wells will produce the show, which airs at 9 a.m. weekdays, and develop the mid-Michigan segments. "We're still doing Weekend Wake-Up," Connell said of the early morning show she co-hosts with Erica Donerson and Cameron. "This is something added to the plate, a new venue with more pieces." The focus is less news-oriented, she said, and that's reflected in the casual dress. And "Better" is a concept carried on a growing number of Meredith Corp.-owned stations around the country... New morning show details women's issues (Sun, 9/9)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 9, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

You may have seen the promotional television spot stating the 6 p.m. newscast of WZZM-TV (Channel 13) is No. 1. This is an accurate statement when it comes to certain demographics. The station's newscast finished in first place with adults 25-54, women 25-54 and men 25-54, according to Nielsen's July 2007 ratings book. Advertisers favor the "demo" because the numbers are broken down by age and gender, and they can see what matches their target audiences. Janet Mason, president and general manager of WZZM, agrees: "Clients pay more attention to demos. Households don't buy products -- people buy products." At WXMI-TV (Channel 17), whose news ratings at 10 p.m. remain consistent, general manager Patty Kolb said, "As far as rating success is concerned, most every advertiser in the country looks at demo ratings. "To be honest, I never really even look at households to measure anything. Most national advertisers use adults 18-49, with some going younger to adults 18-34 (soft drinks, movies, etc.). Some use adults 25-54 (older auto manufacturers). The success that is used by the network advertisers to determine the number one network for the season is always adults 18-49"... Ratings 101: Making sense of 'the book' (Sun 9/9)


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioThe Dr. Don Morning Show, heard weekday mornings from 5-10am on country WYCD-FM (99.5), has been nominated for a CMA (Country Music Association) award in the category of On-Air Personalities of the Year (Major Market). The nominations were announced last month live on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America” program.

The awards will be presented at this year’s 41st Annual CMA Awards program on Nov. 7, 2007 in Nashville and broadcast by ABC. The CMA Awards are considered to be country music’s biggest night.

“This is a huge honor,” said Debbie Kenyon, vice president and general manager of WYCD-FM. “It’s great to see Dr. Don along with Rachael, Grunwald and Jason get recognized nationally.”

“The whole team on the Dr. Don Morning show has contributed to our success at WYCD,” noted Program Director Tim Roberts. “More importantly, these guys know how to have fun and take the Detroit audience along for the ride.”

 • • • • • • • • 

Syndicated adult urban morning host Tom Joyner, heard locally on WDMK-FM (105.9), is promoting his 5th annual “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day.” Those that take the pledge to help get someone in for a health screening or attending a community health event will be eligible to win $10,000. Details at www.kissdetroit.com. Also at WDMK, the syndicated Wendy Williams Experience was dropped from the station’s lineup in August after just a year. The station’s weekday lineup now consists of the Joyner show mornings, Tune Up middays, and Lady BG evenings.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 10, 2007



WITL program director Jay J. McCrae dies suddenly

A big shock for Citadel Broadcasting this morning as Jay J. McCrae, program director for country WITL FM 100.7 Lansing and WFBE FM 95.1 Flint, died unexpectedly yesterday from an apparent heart attack at the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids where he was waiting to board a flight.

In addition to his programming duties, he had been hosting the 6-10pm shift on WITL. He is survived by wife Jordan Lee, WITL midday host- the pair had been married for over twenty years.

Lansing State Journal:

Jay J. McCrae, a popular country-music disc jockey and administrator, died Sunday. McCrae, 49, was program director and evening DJ at WITL (100.7-FM). Earlier, he was also the station's morning man; at times, he was the most listened-to person in local radio. "He sculpted the sound and the feeling of that station," said Ray Marshall, who was operations manager of local Citadel Broadcasting for a decade. "I will miss that guy tremendously," said Greg Capogna, who first brought McCrae to town. "He was a radio gem." McCrae's approach was passionate, said Charles McLravy, who once hired him for a competing station. "He was such a radio guy and he was on top until the day he died," he said. That was apparently of natural causes, in Grand Rapids ... There will not be a funeral service and visitiation that is open to the public. Instead, there will be an "open house remembering Jay J. McCrae" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the station, 3200 Pine Tree Road. It will be a Toys For Tots fundraiser, with details pending... Popular WITL DJ Jay J. McCrae died Sunday (Mon, 9/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 12, 2007



Detroit News:

Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM (101.9) has chosen Tim Hygh as its new station manager, according to interim general manager Allen Mazurek. WDET has been seeking a new general manager since former general manager Michael Coleman's controversial term ended with his abrupt resignation in December 2006. In the fall of 2005, Coleman cut many longtime WDET programs, including that of Martin Bandyke and Judy Adams, but general staff dissension led to the departure of many longtime staffers. The new setup will have Mazurek continuing as interim general manager... WDET hires Tim Hygh as station manager (Wed, 9/12)

The morning TV ratings war continues to heat up with NBC's "Today" adding a fourth hour of programming this week. Nationally, the extended hour allows "Today" to air at 11 a.m., but Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV-TV (Channel 4) has chosen to break it up with the 10 a.m. airing of "Ellen" followed by the aforementioned fourth hour of "Today," which debuted Monday. "'Ellen' is so strong at 10 a.m. we decided not to tinker with it," says Steve Wasserman, WDIV's vice president and general manager... NBC to run fourth hour of 'Today' (Wed, 9/12)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 12, 2007



Lansing City Pulse:

"The War," Ken Burns' new documentary on World War II, has inspired WKAR to provide a first-rate companion piece featuring the stories of local residents who saw action ... The local version, “The War: Michigan Voices,” is the video answer to “what did you do in the war, daddy and mom?” WKAR producer Mike Mihalus interviewed 65 area residents who served in the Armed Forces during World War II, and he has edited those amazing conversations into two, one- hour TV productions that will be seen on WKAR beginning Sept. 17. A full schedule of the airings is on www.wkar.org... WKAR brings Burns’ ‘War’ home to mid-Michigan (Wed, 9/12)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 12, 2007



Two West Michigan radio DJ's to be held hostage

Contemporary Christian WaYfm (WAYK-FM 88.3 Kalamazoo/WAYG-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids) is banishing morning personality Rich Anderson and afternoon personality Mike Couchman to live in confined spaces, on display for all to see, while WaYfm listeners pledge to get Rich and Mike down.

WaYfm listeners from the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek areas will pledge on behalf of Rich; WaYfm listeners from the Grand Rapids area will pledge on behalf of Mike. Neither Rich or Mike can come down from raised Genie Scissor Lifts until 250 pledges have been made from their city to keep WaYfm commercial free and music-intensive.

Each lift, provided by Titan Equipment, will be raised to maximum height, showcasing the small dwellings that will become each DJ’s temporary home to all who drive along US-131, I-94, and M-6.

The hostage situation begins tomorrow morning (9/13) at 6 a.m. with live coverage on 88.3 & 89.9 WaYfm, and regular updates at www.WaY.fm. Aside from pledges, only inclement weather and brief personal needs breaks can get the WaYfm DJs down.

88.3 & 89.9 WaYfm are commercial free non-profit radio stations with studios in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. WaYfm plays Top 40 music with a Christian world-view aimed at teens, young adults, and young families. WaYfm is part of Cornerstone University’s group of radio stations.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 13, 2007



Cumulus announces format changes in Battle Creek

Radio listeners in Calhoun County will notice some big changes on both the FM and AM dials starting today when classic rock WRCC-FM 104.9 is replaced with a simulcast of soft rock WBXX-FM 95.3. The two frequencies will simulcast for about one week in advance of the news-talk format of WBCK AM 930 moving to FM 95.3 where it will simulcast for a period of time.

When the changes are complete, WBXX will be located on FM 104.9 and WBCK will be heard on FM 95.3. A yet-to-be announced format will be launched on AM 930 by a still to be identified new owner.

The changes come about as part of a sale agreement between Clear Channel and Cumulus Media. Four Battle Creek stations, AM930 WBCK, FM95.3 WBXX, AM1400 WBFN, and FM104.9 WRCC are part of a 9-station deal made last year between the two companies.

Current Cumulus stations WKFR and WRKR have a strong presence in the Calhoun County area and because of FCC ownership caps, Cumulus will need to ‘spin off’ two of the four Battle Creek stations, namely WBCK and sports WBFN AM 1400.

Cumulus Media has hired a Battle Creek native to manage the operation. A 1976 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School, “Bearcat” Steve Stoimenoff is a veteran area radio broadcaster. His first Radio job, starting in 1979, was at Battle Creek’s “Keener 14.” He later worked at for Cumulus at the Kalamazoo operation, and from there gained major-market experience in Detroit. “I’ve got Corn Flakes running in my veins… it’s GRRRREAT! to be coming home! I’ve still got family here, and I’m thrilled to be working with Cumulus again.” Stoimenoff says that Cumulus is committed to keeping the Battle Creek operation local, and a powerful tool for local businesses that want to grow.

Tim Collins, operations manager for Clear Channel's Battle Creek stations commented on today's move of WBXX, “This more than doubles the wattage, (which) should help more people outside of town hear the station, and it should also improve reception in many workplaces.”

Collins says the station has no plans to change the lineup, which includes the popular “Cassidy & Kelley” morning show and Delilah in the evening.

“We’ll be simulcasting WBCK on both AM930 and 95.3FM for a while, and telling WBCK fans to tune their radios to 95.3FM, “said Collins. “Eventually, AM930 will be turned off and sold.” Collins says the line-up on the News-Talk station will stay the same. “The only differences you’ll notice will be a clearer sound on FM, no static during thunderstorms, and much better coverage of Calhoun County. Because AM930 is a ‘directional’ AM station, the signal does not go to the southeast. Now, on FM 95.3, WBCK will be heard clearly in Marshall, and even Dave Eddy’s home town of Albion.”

Another change on the radio will effect AM 1400. The station is being donated by Cumulus to Family Life Radio, which operates WUFN in Albion.

“It’s really unfortunate that FCC rules which, are designed to serve the public interest could end up doing the opposite,” said Collins. “I’m sure Cumulus would like to continue to operate all four of these Battle Creek stations, as Clear Channel has done so well. But the FCC limits won’t allow that. Hopefully someone will be able to afford to buy and operate AM930 as a stand-alone station, but it will certainly be a costly proposition. Neighborhood developments, outside signal interference, and aging infrastructures are literally choking the life out of AM signals everywhere, and they are more costly to operate and maintain.”

“We’re committed to making sure that WBCK and WBXX continue to super-serve the local community, and with these changes both stations will be able to do that even more effectively than they have in the past.”, said Stoimenoff. “That’s good news for listeners, advertisers, and civic organizations.”


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 13, 2007




The Detroit Symphony Orchestra in cooperation with the Detroit Public Schools and WRCJ 90.9 FM, Detroit's only all classical and jazz radio station, have announced a new season of their jointly produced radio program "DSO Unmasked." The show, which had its premiere last year, will begin airing on Sunday, September 16 from noon to 2 p.m. and will feature two high-profile guests: the internationally renowned composer John Corigliano and DSO Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor Peter Oundjian. Tentative guests for future shows this season include composer William Bolcom, conductor Charles Dutoit, newly appointed principal conductor and artistic director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and conductor Leonard Slatkin, former Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra. "We're very excited to continue this collaboration with WRCJ to bring a unique radio program to Detroit's airwaves," said Anne Parsons, President and Executive Director of the DSO... Detroit Symphony Orchestra Launches Radio Shows (Thu, 9/13)

Detroit News:

It's all alphabet soup, legal clauses and curious stuff these days in college football TV land. And we, the lovely home viewers, are left to negotiate this weekly maze with our own scruples. Here's this week's curious case: WXYZ (Ch. 7) is showing Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois a Mid-American Conference game, at noon Saturday. Traditionally, Ch. 7 has had a Big Ten game at noon, serving as a nice lead-in to ABC's main morsel at 3:30 p.m. The Michigan-Notre Dame game will be ABC's 3:30 tilt this week. But thanks to the birth of the Big Ten Network, Ch. 7 can't get ESPN's regional Big Ten offerings anymore... BTN another blow to free TV (Thu, 9/13)


Sales and Transactions: Week of Sep 7, 2007



• SMG Media Group, lead by president John Salov has agreed to by LPTV station W27CJ Ch. 27 Ann Arbor from TCT of Michigan for $80,000. W27CJ currently operates as a translator for religious LPTV station WDWO-CA Ch. 18 Detroit.

• Approved by the FCC: Sale of the construction permit for FM translator W219DG 91.7 South Haven from Edgewater Broadcasting to Horizon Christian Fellowhip.

• A license was granted to the following new FM translator: W262AY 100.3 Paw Paw (Edgewater Broadcasting).


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 14, 2007



WRIF wins HD award; nominated for four R&R awards

Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 HD secondary channel Riff2 has been named as co-winner of the National Association of Broadcasters first HD Radio Multicast Awards along with a station in Denver. The stations will be honored at the NAB Radio Show, held September 26-28 in Charlotte, NC. The awards were designed to recognize innovative HD multicast programming.

In addition, the station has been nominated for four 2007 R&R (Radio & Records) awards:

- Active Rock Personality / Show of the year, Drew & Mike
- Active Rock Station of the Year, Markets 1-25
- Active Rock Program Director / OM of the year, Doug Podell
- Active Rock Music Director of the year, Mark Pennington

The R&R awards will be announced at the publication’s annual convention, which will take place this year in Charlotte, North Carolina at the end of September.

Detroit News:

Two local stations are duking it out in cyberspace for your eyeballs with the help of Webcasts and other special features. In one corner is WDIV-TV (Channel 4) with clickondetroit.com and WJBK-TV (Channel 2) and its myfoxdetroit .com in the other. WDIV streams its noon and 4 p.m. weekday newscasts live on its Web site, giving viewers access all over the world ... Don't underestimate WJBK. "Fox 2 News Morning" is live online from 7-9 a.m. and there are bigger plans in the works. On Sept. 24, when WJBK's much talked about 11 p.m. weekday newscast debuts, the station will begin streaming all of its newscasts live... Two stations fight it out on Internet (Fri, 9/14)


Northern Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 14, 2007



Traverse City Record-Eagle:

The local ABC television affiliate is being sold to a broadcast group that also owns TV 7&4. Max Media of Traverse City LLC is selling television station TV 29&8 to Illinois-based Barrington Broadcasting Group LLC for $10 million, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Barrington will assign the station's broadcast license to Phoenix-based Tucker Broadcasting to comply with Federal Communication Commission rules that prohibit ownership of two television stations in small media markets. Ben Tucker, head of Tucker Broadcasting, is a media consultant and former CEO of Fisher Communications in Seattle, where he operated 13 television stations and 30 radio stations. Tucker wouldn't comment on possible changes to TV 29&8 operations until the sale is approved by the FCC -- a process that could take up to six months. "I really can't tell you at this point what all is going to be changed," Tucker said. "We'll start to peel the onion back over the next 30 to 60 days." Tucker said the station may increase its local news content... Local TV stations mix it up (Fri, 9/14)


Statewide: Newsmakers Sept 14, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

John Keating has come a long way from his days as Steve Knight. Keating, an original member of the FSN Detroit lineup, started his broadcasting career with the Grand Valley State University student radio station, working his way up from broadcaster to station manager. That eventually led to a weekend gig with WZZR-FM in Grand Rapids, which today is WLHT. But the station already had an on-air talent named John, so Keating was rechristened with the stage name Steve Knight. It wasn't exactly the start Knight, er, Keating expected. "(The station manager) just gave me this name and said, 'Welcome to radio,' " Keating said. The moniker followed him to WZZM-TV, where he worked as a weekend sports anchor. It wasn't until Keating moved to a Denver TV station in the mid-1980s that he regained his birth name. Keating returned to Michigan about a decade later when "the planets aligned" and a position opened at PASS, which later was absorbed by FSN Detroit. Keating has hosted Tigers and Red Wings pregame shows ever since for FSN Detroit, celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month... FSN'S Keating got his start at Grand Valley (Fri, 9/14)


• Country WMKC-FM 102.9 has applied to change its community of license from St. Ignace to Indian River. The station, which broadcasts from Emmet county, has not applied to modify its transmitter location or power.

• The estate of Lyle R. Evans has been granted a construction permit for a new AM station to be licensed to Escanaba on AM 820. The station would broadcast using a 2-tower array with 2,500 watts during the daylight hours and 750 watts at night if built to the current specifications. Mr. Evans' estate also holds construction permits for two other Upper Peninsula stations, AM 1340 Houghton and AM 1220 Escanaba in addition to WMXG-FM 106.3 Stephenson.

• Country WTWS-FM 92.1 has applied to change its community of license from Harrison to Houghton Lake and move its transmitter from near Harrison in Clare county to Roscommon county in the Houghton Lake area on the same tower as sister station WUPS-FM 98.5. WTWS would also change its effective radiated power from 6,000 watts at 299 feet to 920 watts at 748 feet. To "maintain" radio service to Harrison, WUPS has applied to change its community of license from Houghton Lake to Harrison, but is not making any changes to its location or power.

Having both stations located together would allow owner Coltrace Communications to operate using one facility.

• Licenses were granted to the following new FM translators: W225BB 92.9 Battle Creek (Horizon Christian Fellowship) and W299BE 107.7 Big Rapids (Mentor Parnters).

• Barrington Broadcasting is acquiring ABC affiliate WGTU-TV 29 Traverse City/WGTQ-TV 8 Sault Ste. Marie from Max Media in a deal worth $10 million. The licenses for the stations will then be spun off to Tucker Broadcasting to keep Barrington, owner of NBC affiliate WPBN-TV 7 Traverse City/WTOM-TV 4 Cheboygan, under federal ownership caps. Barrington will then enter into a joint sales agreement with Tucker, providing up to 15 percent of TV 29&8's weekly programming and sell local advertising for the station on a commission basis.

Max Media acquired WGTU/WGTQ in 2003 for $8 million.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 16, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Brad Edwards' career started with the morning-announcement gig at Forest Hills Northern High School. Staffers never knew what to expect from this funny and fiercely talented teen. He's come a long way. After four years as an Emmy-award-winning reporter/anchor for WOOD-TV (Channel 8), Edwards is heading for Detroit. He will become the lead news correspondent and back-up anchor for WJBK-TV's new 11 p.m. newscast. "It's a rare opportunity," Edwards said. "Newscasts just aren't launched every day." Edwards, 28, said his move to WBJK (Fox News 2) "will allow me to do something new. We can recreate the wheel, do it different and big, on a newscast that has not been definitively defined"... Broadcast: WOOD-TV's Edwards heads for Detroit (Sun, 9/16)


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.

 • • • • • • • • 

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.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 18, 2007



WLQV host Jay Butler celebrates 50 years In broadcasting

Veteran radio personality Jay Butler celebrates a half century in broadcasting this week. Butler was just 15 when he began broadcasting afternoons at R&B station WJAK-AM Jackson, Tennessee on September 16, 1957. While developing his sound at WJAK, Butler attended Lane College where he majored in English. Upon graduation, he married Julia, his college sweetheart and wife of 45 years, and advanced to afternoon drive at WVOL-AM Nashville, which was owned by Rounsaville Radio. In December 1966, Rounsaville’s National Program Director became Operations Manager at R&B station WJLB-AM Detroit and, recognizing that Butler was ready for major market radio, hired him to host afternoons. Within less than four months, Butler advanced again, this time to crosstown WCHB-AM, the most-listened-to R&B station in Motown. In 1971, Butler returned to WJLB, advancing to Program/Music Director. It was during this second time around at WJLB that he would take his career to new heights and establish himself as a major player in the industry. Under Butler’s leadership, WJLB increased its ranking from 14th place to become the second highest-rated music station in Detroit, landing ahead of WCHB-AM, and just behind the legendary CKLW-AM.

In the mid 1970s, Butler took a hiatus from radio and moved to Los Angeles to demonstrate his versatility in the record industry, serving in promotions/artist relations roles with United Artists and Atlantic Records, and with Warner Bros./Whitfield, where he was Vice President of Promotions. Butler also starred in and wrote portions of the script for the film ‘Car Wash’ and performed in the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Standing in the Shadows of Motown’.

In 1982, Butler was lured back to his true passion and joined WQBH-AM Detroit, under the management of the late Martha Jean ‘The Queen’ Steinberg. In 2000, Steinberg purchased the station and promoted Butler to Program Director, a role in which he remained until September 2004, when WQBH was acquired by Salem Communications, owner of WLQV-AM where Butler is the current voice of ‘FaithTalk Afternoons’ weekdays from Noon – 6pm.

Butler says he is “fortunate to be able to make a living in an industry I grew up in and love, and to have played a part in people’s lives. I’ve met some great people working in this business.” When asked about the changes he has seen in his five decades of broadcasting, the future of the medium, and advice he would give to young broadcasters today, Butler ties it all together with the following wisdom: “Technology is always changing. New forms of competition will come and go. The greatest challenge to broadcasters today is the same as it has always been, and it’s also their greatest opportunity: Recognizing that great broadcasting has always been about creative, passionate people who understand their audience, and deliver the most compelling, relevant, programming content to that audience.”


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 18, 2007



Battle Creek Enquirer:

Local radio listeners might need to reset their dials. New ownership at Battle Creek Radio has caused the group's stations to do some frequency hopping. The changes, already in effect, came after Battle Creek Radio's corporate owner, Clear Channel Communications, finalized its sale of its four Battle Creek radio stations to Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Inc. The four Battle Creek stations — WBCK 930 AM, WBXX 95.3 FM, WBFN 1400 AM and WRCC 104.9 FM — are part of a nine-station deal made last year between the two companies, said Tim Collins, WBCK's program director and Battle Creek Radio interim operations manager... B.C. radio stations change frequencies (Tue, 9/18)


Brian Sims Rolls With Thunder 94.5
CITADEL Country WTNR (THUNDER 94.5)/GRAND RAPIDS welcomes BRIAN SIMS to the station as APD/MD/middayer. He replaces DAWN MICHAELS who left the station in AUGUST to move to CINCINNATI. SIMS most recently worked for LINCOLN FINANCIAL Country KYGO/DENVER and has also spent time in NASHVILLE, LEXINGTON and MOBILE. (Tue, 9/18)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 18, 2007



Flint Journal:

WNEM (Channel 5) plans to open a studio downtown in the building being built as a local headquarters for Wade Trim. "A year from now, we will have an operating TV studio in downtown Flint," said Al Blinke, vice president and general manager of WNEM, a CBS affiliate based in Saginaw. The move was expected to be announced at a news conference today in downtown Flint. Blinke said people on the sidewalk outside will be able to look into the Flint studio and see TV reporters broadcasting the evening news. The station has signed a 10-year lease for a ground-floor space of 2,500 square feet, fronting S. Saginaw Street. "I saw what was going on down there, and I decided that we as a TV station wanted to be a tenant," Blinke said. The station now has two reporters and two sales people working from its office in the Gateway Centre in Mundy Township, Blinke said. Channel 5 might add to that staff at the new location, he said... WNEM heading downtown (Tue, 9/18)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 19, 2007



WCSX Stone Souper Charger giveaway set for Thursday

Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 is set to give away a restored Dodge Super Charger tomorrow evening, September 20th, at its studios in Oak Park. Raffle tickets for the chance to win this year's Stone Soup Project car will be for sale from 6:00pm until 7:45pm in the Greater Media Detroit parking lot (visit www.wcsx.com for directions, gates open at 5:30pm) prior to the drawing at 8:00pm with 'CSX morning hosts JJ & Lynne along with William Jones, board chair of Focus: HOPE & COO of Chrysler Financial. The drawing will be broadcast live during Steve Kostan's evening program.

The 1968 "Stone Souper Charger" is a one-of-a-kind muscle car that was completely restored from the ground up by an army of generous WCSX listeners in an effort to raise money for Focus:HOPE. All the money raised by the sale of raffle tickets will go directly to the Focus:HOPE Scholarship Fund to continue their efforts to build a metropolitan community where all people may live in freedom, harmony, trust and affection.

In addition to the car giveaway, the station will have tents set up with hot dogs, beverages, Hooters girls and wings.

Detroit News:

Ken Daniels has a black Portuguese water dog with a perfect name. We talked about a slew of things the other day, including how the only game he's missed in his Detroit Red Wings broadcasting career was the first one. The play-by-play voice of hockey on FSN Detroit also offered a succinct definition of the difference between television and radio, and provided proof that he's becoming increasingly American. First, though, he had to spend a moment wrangling the dog whose name is Puck. Daniels, raised in Toronto and now living in Farmington Hills, is one of four on-air personalities who've been around since the launch of FSN Detroit, which turned 10 on Monday... Wings' voice Ken Daniels practices a new accent (Wed, 9/19)

The six-part reality TV competition involving 12 Metro Detroit finalists comes to an end Thursday with only one walking away as the 2007 Ultimate Sales Challenge Champion. Titled "Are You Up?," the series is presented by Envision U, a Livonia-based international training company that evaluates, trains, recognizes and rewards regional sales and leadership professionals in a series of challenges. The final episode will air at 8 p.m. Thursday on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7)... WXYZ will air finale of local reality show (Wed, 9/19)

Detroit Free Press:

Summertime and the living is not only easy, but uneventful. That appeared to be the case with Arbitron's radio ratings for June, July and August released Tuesday. As usual, oldies station WOMC had a summer surge and several stations had their usual soft summer numbers. Oldies music is a proven summertime radio fave... Hot fun calls for WOMC-FM (Wed, 9/19)


Detroit summer 12+ phase II ratings


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 19, 2007



Flint Journal:

WNEM (Channel 5) could add some outdoor electronics that could be viewed by pedestrians after the TV station opens a new office downtown next year. A news conference was held Tuesday to announce that the Saginaw-based CBS affiliate has signed a 10-year lease on space in the Wade Trim building, now under construction in Flint's central business district. "We want to be a part of the rebirth of this city," said Al Blinke, vice president and general manager of WNEM. "We think there are great things going on." He said the station in a couple of years could add a Jumbotron - a giant video display screen - in the plaza that will be built outside Wade Trim's new downtown office building. Meanwhile, he said, they might put a big-screen TV in the window with a speaker so people in the plaza could watch the evening news or other programming. He's also thinking about adding an electronic display board on the outside of the building, with headlines, story updates and other information... Flint project excites TV 5 (Wed, 9/19)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 19, 2007



WLKM becomes K-Wings exclusive home

The Kalamazoo Wings, proud member of the International Hockey League, have announced WLKM (95.9 FM) will be the exclusive radio home for K-Wings hockey. Since the Kalamazoo Wings re-established their radio network back in 2002, fans have enjoyed listening to K-Wings’ games on WLKM. With their new agreement, the K-Wings and their exclusive radio home, based in Three Rivers, Michigan, can continue to have games reach a coverage area that spans over 11 Southwest Michigan counties. Also with the new agreement, WLKM gains the rights to be the on-air home for the Kalamazoo Wings Weekly Coaches Show, “K-Wings Live”. This season the show will originate Monday’s 7-8 p.m. from the newly renovated Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill, located inside the Holiday Inn West off of South 11th Street. The season debut of “K-Wings Live” will be Monday, October 8th... Read entire press release (wingsstadium.com)

Kalamazoo Gazette:

For more than nine years, an unmistakable voice -- gravelly, unstable and labored, yet warm and comforting -- has greeted thousands of National Public Radio listeners in Michigan for two hours each weekday morning. That voice belongs to award-winning radio personality Diane Rehm, host of the syndicated talk show bearing her name, which attracts a national audience of about 1.65 million and can be heard via satellite in Europe, in Japan and at U.S. military bases worldwide. Her show's guest list during its 27-year history reads like a Who's Who of the political, arts and literary scenes -- Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Julie Andrews, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Deepak Chopra and Toni Morrison. On Tuesday, Rehm will give a free public lecture at Western Michigan University, organized by the WMU Graduate Student Advisory Committee. The talk was originally set for March 13, then April 2, but was rescheduled again because Rehm had pneumonia... Diane Rehm overcomes doubts, health struggles to stay behind the mic (Wed, 9/19)


Detroit News:

Greater Media Detroit jumped into the HD-2 pool before any other local broadcasters, in July 2005, and that forward thinking was rewarded by the National Association of Broadcasters last week. The NAB bestowed Greater Media-owned WRIF-FM (101.1) 's secondary channel RIFF 2 with the first HD Radio Multicast Award, recognizing the high-definition station for "innovating or groundbreaking programming." KBCO-FM in Denver was the other winner of the award. RIFF 2, under the purview of WRIF Program Director Doug Podell and RIFF 2 Program Director Mark Pennington , is a refreshing, youth-oriented mix of rock and rap, the kind of programming that can't be heard anywhere on the ordinary FM dial, where vast radio conglomerates are loathe to experiment with their multi-million dollar FM properties... WRIF's RIFF 2 wins HD Radio Multicast Award (Thu, 9/20)


More than half of the 2007-08 FSN Detroit telecast schedule for the Red Wings and Pistons will also be presented in high-definition on FSN HD.

FSN’s 70-game Red Wings schedule includes 36 in high-def (32 home, 4 away). The network’s 37-game Pistons lineup includes 21 televised in HD (20 home, 1 away). The combined 57 HD telecasts are available on FSN HD, made available by the following cable and satellite providers:

• Comcast – Ch. 201 (metro Detroit, Flint/Saginaw and West Michigan)
• Bright House Networks – Ch. 232 (western Detroit suburbs)
• WOW! – Ch. 220 (Detroit suburbs)
• Charter – Ch. 791 (in areas throughout Michigan where HD service is available)
• Buckeye – Ch. 643 (Toledo)
• DIRECTV – Ch. 95 or 96 (Detroit spot beam)
• Dish Network – Ch. 380 (entire FSN Detroit footprint)

FSN Detroit is the largest provider of local events in high-def, currently delivering approximately 120 HD games annually among the Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers. Viewers receiving FSN HD also will see selected college football and basketball games televised nationally by FSN during the fall and winter months.

The complete Red Wings and Pistons telecast schedules are available at www.foxsports.com/detroit.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 21, 2007



Flint Journal:

WNEM's plan to open a new studio in downtown Flint next year is good news for a battered city center trying to get back on its feet. And it may be good news for local news junkies. The Saginaw CBS affiliate announced Tuesday it will build a 2,500-square-foot studio in the new Wade Trim building under construction on Saginaw Street near Second Street. It should be open by this time next year, according to station management. WNEM (Channel 5) and Flint's WJRT (Channel 12) long have duked it out for local news ratings supremacy. WJRT traditionally has cornered Flint news coverage, while WNEM owns the Tri-Cities and points north. The balance of power shifted a few years ago, when WNEM's previous braintrust, in an obvious cost-cutting move, opted to slash its smallish Genesee County office down to nearly nothing. But current management, including station manager Al Blinke and news director Ian Rubin, has been rebuilding WNEM's Flint presence... WNEM's new downtown home may benefit station and city (Fri, 9/21)


Flint Generals To Air On WFNT
The INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE's FLINT GENERALS ink a deal with REGENT BROADCASTING Adult Standards WFNT-A (UNFORGETTABLE 1470)/FLINT for game broadcasts, the first time in four years that the GENERALS will air all home and away games plus a weekly show on MONDAYS during the season. GENERALS Dir. of Media Relations and Broadcasting DENIS J. PUSKA will handle play-by-play. (Fri, 9/21)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 21, 2007



Detroit News:

This was a prison camp. Barbed wire and black bread. No comically bumbling guards. No "Hogan's Heroes." This was real, and this was bleak. But the former prisoner setting the scene is Sonny Eliot, someone who turns a weather forecast into a stand-up act, whose glass is always half-full and the prettiest one on the counter. So when you ask him about World War II, he points out that it's poor planning to be captured by the people you've just bombed. And when he brings out the scrapbook he kept during 14 months at Stalag Luft 1, the first thing he turns to is a memo the German commandant wrote after he had the phrase translated and discovered that "bleeping goon" wasn't a compliment. For six decades, Eliot has been a fixture on Detroit television and radio... Eliot stays sunny -- even about POW experience (Fri, 9/21)


Around The World In 10 Days
CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT morning show co-host/producer STEVE GRUNWALD will be dropped off at the airport by morning show co-hosts DR. DON and RACHEL this morning (9/21). GRUNWALD is being sent to a location determined by WYCD listeners' online voting and will be faced with getting back on $99.50. He has previously made it back from the AMAZON JUNGLE, ALASKA and NEW MEXICO on $99.50 -- without using commercial transportation.

To raise the stakes, ARISTA artist BRAD PAISLEY has placed a bet with GRUNWALD that he must visit 10 countries in 10 days to receive 20 backstage passes for the OCTOBER 4th PAISLEY tour stop. If not, GRUNWALD must emcee the show in a revealing TARZAN-like outfit. During his adventure GRUNWALD will be checking in with the station via satellite phone and will be keeping a blog. Keep track of him at www.wycd.com. (Fri, 9/21)


Radio One Urban WHTD (HOT102.7)/Detroit taps sister station WIZF (101 The Wiz)/Cincinnati for its new night slammer Big Greg. (Fri, 9/21)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 23, 2007



RTN to Launch in Detroit

Retro Television Network (RTN), which is owned and distributed by Equity Media Holdings Corporation, announced that it has entered into an affiliation agreement with The E.W. Scripps Company to bring RTN programming to Detroit. The new affiliate will launch in early 2008 on a digital stream of WXYZ-TV, Detroit's ABC affiliate that reaches more than 1.9 million households in the nation's 11th largest television market.

"RTN's quality programming is the ideal solution for digital sub- channels," said Bill Peterson, Senior Vice President of Scripps' Television Station Group. "This is an opportunity to essentially launch a whole new television station in the 11th largest DMA in the country."

"WXYZ-TV is one of the highest-rated ABC stations in the United States and we are thrilled to have such a strong partner to launch RTN's Prime Time All the Time lineup in Detroit," said Mark Dvornik, RTN's Executive Vice President.

"In addition to being a ratings and technology leader, WXYZ-TV has long prided itself on embracing innovative ideas," said Grace Gilchrist, Vice President and General Manager of WXYZ-TV. "We believe that our partnership with RTN will provide Detroit area viewers an innovative programming alternative and also create added value to WXYZ-TV."

RTN is a new television network that provides each affiliate a customized feed with classic hit shows, in addition to local programming including news, weather and sports. RTN is specifically designed to go on a broadcast digital channel and provides local broadcasters a way to get ratings and successfully monetize their digital spectrum.

Detroit Free Press:

Why is WJBK-TV (Channel 2) -- given its largely successful 12-year-plus effort to establish a large audience of news viewers for its 10 p.m. newscast -- starting a Monday-Friday 11 p.m. newscast this week? "From listening to viewer feedback," station vice president and general manager Jeff Murri said, "Fox 2 is the No. 1 choice of many people for news. They told us they wanted something when we were unable to serve them at 10 because of their viewing decisions." So what will viewers see at 11? Station drumbeaters say anchor Huel Perkins will serve up "a hyper-local, content-rich newscast" with a "different energy and attitude" on a new set... Channel 2 adds 11 p.m. newscast (Sun, 9/23)

Stories From The Heart of the Land to air on WDET

WDET-FM 101.9, Detroit Public Radio, will present "Stories From The Heart of The Land", a new five-part series that will air Sunday evenings at 10 beginning September 23.

The series, featuring some of the country's best radio producers, is hosted by Jay Allison. The stories range across the world - from Australia to Newfoundland, Mexico to Tibet - to capture the human connection to land and landscape.


Get well wishes to engineer Brian Brachel

Broadcast engineer Brian Brachel was severely injured recently while working with 6000 volts DC at the transmitter site of WNBY-FM Newberry. According to fellow engineer Del Reynolds, Brachel's hand and arm took the brunt of the damage with burns and cuts from his hand and out the top of his shoulder. His arm drew the current and tripped the 150 amp breaker or this would be a much sadder story.

Del's report continues that Brian was alone and really dazed but managed to crawl out to his car and drive himself holding an old rag on his arm to lessen the bleeding. He was able to call Mr. Reynolds who met him and drove the rest of the way to Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey. From there, Brachel was transferred via ambulance to Spectrum in Grand Rapids where he is currently recovering in the ER burn unit.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 23, 2007



Flint Journal:

If you're planning to watch Ken Burns' exhaustive World War II documentary, "The War," at 8 tonight on PBS, you might want to tune in a little early. Duane Zemper, 87, is the subject of the WFUM-produced documentary, "WWII: Through the Lens of Duane Zemper," which debuts at 7:30 tonight (repeat at 8 p.m. Oct. 6) on Channel 28. It's part of a three-pronged PBS effort to tell the stories of area men and women who contributed to the war effort. In addition to the Zemper documentary, produced by regional Emmy Award-winner Donna Ryen, several area residents were interviewed by WFUM staff for segments posted on its Web site (www.wfum.org), where those who lived through those world-changing years and their family members can post their pictures and recollections. Zemper, a Flint native and Howell resident, had a bird's eye view of it. Literally... WFUM brings local War stories to life (Sun, 9/23)


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioLess than a month after the infamous O.J. Simpson low-speed Bronco chase unfolded in the summer of 1994, sports WDFN-AM (1130) took to the airwaves for the first time. As that melodrama unfolded throughout the next year, there was plenty of Simpson trial fodder on WDFN that almost certainly helped draw attention, advertisers and ratings success for the area’s first full-time sports station. The tabloid-like sports concept grew so popular that at one time the area had three full-time sports stations in WDFN, WXYT-AM (1270) and what was WXDX-AM (1310).

Now that Simpson has returned to the headlines for all the wrong reasons, he’s again become a hot topic for discussion, at least temporarily pushing former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick off the hot-topic list. In the past 13 years, sports talk radio has proved to be as much about “pure” sports talk as it is about the controversies created by the stars and former stars of the game.

Hearing the Simpson chatter this past week reminds me of just how much the success of radio relies on its ability to quickly connect with the audience about intriguing issues — even if they resemble train wrecks. I also wonder if the all-sports format would exist today if there hadn’t been a Simpson trial back in 1994-1995.

 • • • • • • • • 

Oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) enjoyed the biggest ratings increase in the latest summer ratings trend among all listeners. Although it was only a relatively small bump, it moved the station into the top 5 overall, behind adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3), urban WJLB-FM (97.9), news-talk WJR-AM (760) and top-40 WKQI-FM (95.5).

No word yet from WOMC on who might be taking over the midday program permanently; in the meantime, Rick Hunter has been doing a fine job holding down the fort.

 • • • • • • • • 

It’s not often that a radio personality gets to say goodbye on his own terms, but Tom Baker, heard most recently doing weekend work for soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3), posted a farewell note on the Michigan Buzzboard, www.mibuzzboard.com, saying he was leaving radio in favor of a more stable job with the U.S. Postal Service. Baker spent 22 years in radio and was probably most known for his work at country WYCD-FM (99.5) through 2005. His voice will certainly be missed on the radio, as commented on by other Buzzboard posters.


• Soft Rock WSRJ-FM Honor/Traverse City has completed its frequency change from 100.7 to 105.5. The station, which simulcast WSRT-FM 106.7 Gaylord, has also applied to change from a Class A to a Class C3 facility with an increase its effective radiated power from 4,700 watts @ 367 feet to 17,200 watts @ 367 feet. In order for the change to be approved, the FCC must change the classification of WAPL-FM 105.7 Appleton, WI from Class C to Class C0.

• Low power FM station WSFT-LP FM 96.3 Berrien Springs has been granted a construction permit to change its frequency to 105.5.

• Licenses were granted to the following new FM translators: W256AY 99.1 Detroit and W292DA 106.3 Linden (Educational Media Foundation), W286BC 105.1 Marquette (Family Educational Broadcasting Corp. of Door County, WI), W227CB 93.3 Alpena (Radio Assist Ministry), W244BS 96.7 Alma (Come Together Ministries), W239AX 95.7 Camden (Family Stations), and W248AQ 97.5 Harrison Twp (Radio Assist Ministry).

• The construction permit for the following FM translator was canceled/deleted: W284BM 104.7 White Lake Township (Educational Media Foundation).

• Contemporary Christian WEJC-FM White Star was granted its license to cover for its location change from Gladwin county to Bay county.

• Religious WJKN AM 1510 Jackson returned to the air in August simulcasting co-owned KTGG AM 1540 Spring Arbor. The station had been silent since June.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 24, 2007



CMU's eighth annual Modern Rock 91.5 Alumni Takeover boasts record airtime

As Central Michigan University prepares to get "Marooned" during this year's Homecoming celebration, CMU broadcasting alumni are gearing up to conquer the airwaves for 36 hours during a 42-hour period.

The eighth annual WMHW-FM 91.5 Alumni Takeover will take place from 6 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Sept. 28 and 29. The 2007 Takeover includes seven more hours of airtime than previous years, making it the longest since its debut in 2000.

The Alumni Takeover, created by 1970s CMU School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts graduates, serves as a fundraiser for the BCA Constituent Alumni Chapter. Participating alumni offer a modest financial contribution in exchange for air time; the donations help fund the annual $100 Al Painter Outstanding Freshman Award for BCA students, as well as the promotion of the BCA school and its alumni.

According to Takeover organizer Bill Thompson, '78, of Mason, the 2007 event will feature numerous genres of music; interviews with CMU leaders, including President Michael Rao, Interim Provost Gary Shapiro, College of Communication and Fine Arts Dean Sue Ann Martin, Athletic Director Dave Heeke, and head football Coach Butch Jones; and a live broadcast of the Sept. 28 Shepherd High School football game.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 24, 2007




John Tesh Spotted In Kalamazoo:
JOHN TESH RADIO SHOW adds MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS AC WVFM/KALAMAZOO, MI for nights, replacing BRIAN HAYES who had been voicetracking the show. HAYES also does middays at sister Classic Hits WFAT, and in his spare time handles Director of Programming duties for the cluster. (Mon, 9/24)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 25, 2007



Detroit Free Press:

Wondering why WRIF-FM's (101.1) top-rated morning show "Drew & Mike" has turned into the "Mike, Mike & Marc Show?" Regular cohost Mike Clark and producers Mike Wolters and Marc Fellhauer are carrying on without Drew Lane, who has taken some time off to help his significant other, Tess Schuster, get through treatment for breast cancer. Lane said Schuster needed some follow-up surgery after her initial procedure, when some internal bleeding developed. That and subsequent radiation treatments left her "really fatigued," Lane said. He said Schuster and her two sons from a previous marriage "have sacrificed a lot for me" and he needed to take time off to help get their home life back in order as she recuperates. "The station management and the guys from the show have been great in allowing me to get caught up," Lane said. Among other silliness, they've used recorded all-purpose Lane comments to respond to any issue and answer any question... WRIF lets Drew take care of Tess (Tue, 9/25)

The fates obviously smiled on WJBK-TV’s (Channel 2) first installment of its 11 p.m. weeknight newscast Monday. The UAW’s decision to strike GM gave the newscast an obvious lead story for the first edition of “Fox 2 News Edge at 11.” Anchor Huel Perkins opened the newscast with the requisite live shot of picketers and introduced a new reporter, Brad Edwards, who gave a John Stossel-like report on what could happen to GM sales if the walkout lasts a long time. (Stossel-like referred to Edwards’ voice inflection. )We’ll have to wait two weeks to see him again; the station showcased him Monday night then explained he needs time to move here after working at Grand Rapids’ WOOD-TV. Strike coverage ate up about six minutes, Then came a couple of short stories and Monica Gayle hosting a brief segment called “The Breakdown” on a school bus accident where fortunately no one was hurt... Channel 2's 11 p.m. newscast debuts (Tue, 9/25)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 25, 2007



Broadcasting Notes

By: Colleen Pierson

Neither rain, nor wind, nor dark of night could stop WBCT-FM (B’93’s) morning man Neal Dionne from sitting on top of a roof to raise more than $250,000 to end the cycle of child abuse in West Michigan. Over the course of 15 years doing Roofsit, B-93 has raised in excess of $6 million for organizations that help prevent child abuse and neglect.

“The event went off without a hitch,” said Kristen Everhart, director of promotions for Clear Channel Radio. “Except we could have done without the rain and wind during Neal's first night and second day on the roof. The wind was gusting so fast that we had to reinforce the wood house that Neal's broadcast equipment is set up in! It worked though, and Neal was a trooper and stayed up in the house the entire time like he normally does.”

 • • • • • • • • 

Brian Sims is the new midday hire (10a.m.-3p.m.) and assistant program manager at WTNR-FM (Thunder 94.5).

“I will be here until the end of time,” he said jokingly. I love helping people get through the work day stress-free and have a lot of fun.”

Sims left KYGO-FM, a country radio station in Denver, Colorado, to pursue his new job at Thunder.

“I’ve never been to Michigan before. The people are great here—very friendly.”

Sims has been in the radio broadcast industry for over 16 years and graduated from Washington State University with a degree in broadcast management. He replaces Dawn Michaels who left the area to be with her family.

 • • • • • • • • 

Ken Burns is a well-known, gifted, documentary producer and director. His work is a must-see. I recommend you won’t want to miss his newest project. It is a World War II film series that explores the history and horror of the war from an American perspective.

Beginning on Sunday, September 23 at 8 p.m., WGVU-TV (Channel 35) presents The War, the new seven-part epic miniseries. Parts 1 – 4 of the film will air Sunday, September 23 – Wednesday, September 26 and parts 5 – 7 will air Sunday, September 30 – Tuesday, October 2, all at 8 p.m. Each night’s episode will encore immediately following the initial airing. For more info, visit wgvu.org.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 25, 2007



Tim Staudt on Spartan Podcast

MSU alumnus Tim Staudt is the dean of sports broadcast journalists in mid-Michigan. Tim is sports director at Lansing’s NBC affiliate WILX-TV 10. He’s been on television in the Lansing area for 37 years and has hosted the Staudt on Sports radio program for 15 years. He recently added a Sunday Lansing State Journal column to his busy schedule. Tim describes his favorite moments while covering sports in the Lansing area for almost 40 years. He discusses how sports reporting and broadcasting has changed over the years. He talks about the peers he admires and gives his advice to young people who want to be the Tim Staudts of tomorrow. Visit Spartanpodcast.com to listen


Keith Allen Named Interim PD In Flint
CITADEL Country WFBE/FLINT has named MD/morning man KEITH ALLEN as Interim PD. He takes over following the death of PD JAY J. McCRAE earlier the month. The search is still on for a permanent replacement. (Tue, 9/25)


Ford Motor Co. today became the first automaker to offer HD Digital Radio across multiple product lines. The dealer-installed high-definition radio option is now available nationwide on nearly all 2008 model year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Additionally, HD Digital Radio can be installed on many earlier models from 2005, 2006 and 2007. As with SYNC, the extensive availability of HD Digital Radio furthers the company's ongoing efforts to deliver new entertainment technologies to automotive consumers.

“We believe HD Digital Radio will be an important part of Ford's commitment to delivering innovations with mass appeal,” said Kim Irwin, Vehicle Personalization and Accessories manager for Ford's Customer Service Division. “We're helping our customers stay connected by supporting the features and functions they want in their vehicles. The dramatically improved audio, text and data features of HD Digital Radio – along with its hundreds of new radio stations – create a compelling combination at the right price.”

To support the launch, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers will benefit from an aggressive, multi-million-dollar, 13-week, on-air radio marketing campaign in partnership with the HD Digital Radio Alliance. The commercials will air in 100 markets over some 700 radio stations beginning on September 26, 2007.

"In all of our discussions with auto makers, Ford has consistently demonstrated both the will and the resolve to be industry leaders in this arena," said Peter Ferrara, president and CEO of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. "Now that HD Radio is broadcasting across hundreds of local stations nationwide, partners who move early will gain the biggest advantage."


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 26, 2007



Detroit News:

Metro Detroit viewers tuned in to Ken Burns' epic documentary "The War" in record ways this weekend, says John O'Donnell, spokesman for WTVS-TV (Channel 56). Part one, which debuted Sunday, pulled in a 6.5 rating and 9.5 share, according to local Nielsen household numbers. Each rating point is equal to 19,440 people and the share represents the number of televisions turned on. In other words, more than 126,000 households and nearly 200,000 viewers watched and found out the cost of World War II -- 50 million lives... 'War' pulls in big numbers for WTVS (Wed, 9/26)

Detroit Free Press:

Chris Edwards -- who left the daily grind as a weatherman on WJBK-TV (Channel 2) in 2004 to make more time for his family and develop a business making in-school weather presentations -- is turning up on his old station as a weekend weather sub. A major tactical retreat? No, says Edwards. "I'm doing some freelance filling-in at the station when it works for my schedule, or when the kids are at school," he told Free Press columnist Susan Ager... The weatherman's back, sort of (Wed, 9/26)


The touching 71-minute tribute to the late WITL/WFBE program director Jay J. McCrae, which aired September 15th during the special WITL/Lansing Toys for Tots Toy-a-Thon held in McCrae's memory, is now available for download, courtesy of A.J. Wilson and A.J. Radio Networks. The tribute features messages and remembrances from McCrae's co-workers and friends, past and present. If you missed the tribute when it aired, or you would like to hear it again, here is your chance to have your very own copy of a special farewell to a man who touched a lot of careers and a lot of lives.

You can download the the audio tribute to Jay J. McCrae by clicking the link to this page.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 27, 2007




WKCQ Announces Lineup For One-Night Stand
MACDONALD BROADCASTING Country WKCQ/SAGINAW MD/afternoon personality JOHN RICHARDS reported to ALL ACCESS that they have announced the lineup for their next big Listener Appreciation show. "KCQ ONE-NIGHT STAND" will be held on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18th in BAY CITY, MI, starring LYRIC STREET artist TRENT TOMLINSON and CURB/ASYLUM's BLUE COUNTY. (Wed, 9/27)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 27, 2007



Detroit News:

Where's that much-awaited Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM (101.1) HD-2 stream that was supposed to launch earlier in September? Technical issues derailed it, again, and now the secondary stream, devoted to the eclectic music so many miss from WDET's past, is set to debut Friday, the same day the station launches its fall fundraiser. You'll only be able to hear the stream if you have an HD-2 (high-definition) radio, but an online stream of the secondary channel might pop up in the future... WDET HD-2 stream set to debut Friday (Thu, 9/27)

Morning co-king Drew Lane is gone for a few weeks from his WRIF-FM (101.1) morning roost, as he takes personal time to support girlfriend Tess Schuster as she recovers from treatment for breast cancer. In the meantime, co-host Mike Clark has had to step up and perform a Drew-less show. There are no plans for a guest host on Detroit's top-rated morning show; instead producers Marc Fellhauer and Mike Wolters and newscaster Trudi Daniels are on the mike helping out... Mike goes it alone on No. 1 radio show (Thu, 9/27)

Detroit Free Press:

Dr. Wendell F. Cox, a dentist and civic-minded entrepreneur, was admired by friends and colleagues for his staunch integrity as well as his business acumen. Dr. Cox, who co-owned WCHB-AM, the nation's first black-owned and -operated radio station, died of colon cancer Sept. 19 at his home in Detroit. He was 92. "His success in life was due to impeccable character and an extraordinary amount of tenacity and diligence," said Terry Arnold, former president and chief executive officer of Bell Broadcasting Co., which Dr. Cox also co-owned. "He never compromised himself for the almighty dollar, and his decisions were firmly based on the fact that it was the right thing to do"... Dr. Wendell F. Cox: Radio exec diversified airwaves (Thu, 9/27)

Ann Arbor News:

When Terry Gross comes to the Michigan Theater on Friday night, a Q&A session will allow audience members a chance to turn the tables on the consummate interviewer. It's a role reversal Gross, host of "Fresh Air,'' National Public Radio's weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, said she welcomes. "I always think of it as a chance for listeners to give me a taste of my own medicine,'' she explained. Gross comes to the theater for a program of stories and anecdotes from past interviews, including audio highlights from some of the most interesting ones... NPR interviewer ready for reversal (Thu, 9/27)

Music and Mocha with Martin Bandyke

Martin Bandyke, morning drive host at adult alternative WQKL-FM 107.1, will be doing his Friday shows live from 6-10am at Espresso Royale locations throughout Ann Arbor
starting this Friday, Sept. 28 through mid-December. Bandyke will be giving away CDs, concert tickets and limited edition Martin Bandyke signature coffee mugs, plus there will be $1.07 coffee drink specials and other goodies. This Friday, join Bandyke at the Espresso Royale at 214
South Main Street near Washington St. in Ann Arbor.

For the full list of locations where Bandyke will be broadcasting, visit MartinBandyke.com.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 28, 2007



CMU's WMHW-FM gets power upgrade, now broadcasting at 13,000 watts

Some 35 years ago, Central Michigan University's student-run radio station went on the air, broadcasting with a modest signal of not even 40 watts. As of Sept. 28, the station's power has expanded to more than 351 times that figure.

WMHW-FM, which started in 1972 as a 37-watt station and then operated at 340 watts from 1982 to 2007, has begun broadcasting at 13,000 watts - a far cry from the weak signal that, just a few decades ago, could barely reach the borders of Mount Pleasant. The upgraded signal expands the station's coverage area, which previously was limited to Isabella County but now reaches east to Bay City and Saginaw, north to Gladwin and Harrison, west to Big Rapids, and south to Ithaca.

"The new WMHW will provide an unduplicated program service to a substantial portion of mid-Michigan," said Peter Orlik, CMU School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts director. "A professional operation that happens to be staffed by students, the station looks forward to offering alternative listening opportunities to many more listeners while heightening the training experience for the next generation of radio broadcasters."

WMHW is operated by CMU students under the direct supervision of the BCA school within the College of Communication and Fine Arts. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with an alternative rock music format plus several specialty music shows, news and sports programs, and play-by-play coverage of such sports as Shepherd High School football and CMU women's basketball.

"We have primary responsibilities to both the listeners we reach and the students we teach," said BCA associate professor Jerry Henderson, who has served as the station's faculty director since 1981. "This upgrade allows us to offer an alternative program resource to a new, larger listenership and to show our appreciation to decades of students who have provided the base of excellence upon which this power increase is built."


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 28, 2007



Longtime Channel 7 boss to retire

Grace Gilchrist, who has guided WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, to its perennial status as Detroit’s leading television news organization, today announced that she plans to retire by the end of the year. Gilchrist’s retirement will cap a long and successful career in television station management and advertising sales. She has served as vice president and general manager for 13 years, earning the distinction as the station’s longest serving chief executive... WXYZ's Gilchrist to Retire at Year's End (Thu 9/27, WXYZ-TV)

WRIF wins three R&R awards

WRIF was a big winner in the Active Rock category at the annual Radio and Records convention this week in Charlotte. The station itself was named as Active Rock Station of the Year for markets 1-25. Program director Doug Podell was named as PD/OM of the Year and Mark Pennington won the award for Music Director of the Year.

WRIF has now been named Active Rock Station of the Year for three years in a row.

Detroit Free Press:

The Big Ten Network today announced a distribution deal with Wide Open West, the nation's 11th-largest cable system and a significant presence in southeast Michigan. The agreement gives the Big Ten Network more than 30 million homes in its first 30 days, making it the only new network in cable or satellite television history to earn that distinction. According to the announcement, the Big Ten Network will be carried on WOW's expanded basic cable package to its customers within the eight states where there are conference schools. It's just in time for U-M fans to see the Wolverines, who play on the BTN Saturday at Northwestern... WOW! Big Ten Network gets local cable presence (Fri, 9/28)

Magic 105.1 3-Day team raises record amount to beat breast cancer

Magic 105.1 is leading the nation in pledges raised for a Breast Cancer 3-Day team. The “3 Days of Magic” team has raised over $407,000 for the annual walk, far surpassing the original $205,000 goal. The Magic team has since set a new and unprecedented team fundraising goal of $500,000 to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust. These organizations provide important breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.

Over 200 individuals are registered to walk with “3 Days of Magic” this weekend. The team will be led by Fay Samona, producer for Jim Harper & the Magic Morning Show, and four-time walker Sandra Bourdeau started at Oakland Community College’s Orchard Ridge Campus in Farmington Hills today and will conclude at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn on Sunday.

“Moments and memories, days and decades…these are what you give mothers and their children, to husbands and wives, to daughters and sisters and best friends, when you make that 3-Day Walk,” said breast cancer survivor Tawnya Bender in an inspiring letter to the Magic team. “Before you take that first step, remember that the funds you raise will help find a cure for breast cancer.”

CKWW to add Donny Osmund daily feature

“8 Track Playback with Donny Osmond” will premiere Monday, October 1st on oldies CKWW-AM 580. Everyday during the 8 Track Playback, Osmond will take listeners back in time to relive the entertainment and musical milestones that happened on that day and then introduces a groovy tune that was sounding super fine in the 1970s. The feature will air daily at 12:50 p.m.

CKWW has also consolidated its separate American and Canadian contest/request lines into one toll-free number, (866) 554-5858. It can be used anywhere in Southeast Michigan and Southwestern Ontario.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sep 30, 2007



Ann Arbor News:

While Ken Burns' "The War'' continues on PBS stations, Michigan Television, the public television station from the University of Michigan, is also getting into the act with "WWII: Through the Lens of Duane Zemper,'' airing Saturday at 8 p.m. The documentary focuses on the experiences of Howell resident Zemper, who served as a photo officer for the Army Air Corps. He returned home with a vast collection of pictures chronicling his experiences flying B-17 missions over Europe. Michigan Television (Comcast Channel 24) has also archived the memories of other local World War II veterans as well as other area people who experienced the war on the home front... Michigan Television to air story of Howell WWII pilot (Sun, 9/30)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 30, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

What does last week's announcement of a $19.5 billion buyout by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners mean to programmers for local Clear Channel stations? The radio giant owns WBCT-FM, WMAX-FM, WOOD-AM, WTKG-AM, WSNX-FM, WBFX-FM and WOOD-FM in West Michigan. Bart Brandmiller, Clear Channel acting general manager and sales manager for Grand Rapids, responded to the news: "The sale ... is nothing more than a financial strategy to take the company private"... Buyout a 'financial strategy' (Sun, 9/30)

Local radio, TV and print journalists take students on job shadowing experiences all the time. Some are more accommodating than others. And news anchor Suzanne Geha of WOOD-TV (Channel 8) just might take the cake. Students consistently job-shadow her, and she takes a great deal of time explaining the broadcasting industry to them. Geha takes a personal interest in college interns and helps them with their careers... Geha goes extra mile (Sun, 9/30)


Ford sees HD radio as the way of the future



By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioIf you’re planning on buying a new or late-model used Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle, it just got a whole lot easier to be able to check out over-the-air digital HD radio. Earlier this week, Ford announced that it’s now offering HD receivers as a dealer installed option on most of its 2008 models as well as on many earlier models from 2005, 2006 and 2007.

“We believe HD Digital Radio will be an important part of Ford’s commitment to delivering innovations with mass appeal,” said Kim Irwin, vehicle personalization and accessories manager for Ford’s Customer Service Division.

“We’re helping our customers stay connected by supporting the features and functions they want in their vehicles. The dramatically improved audio, text and data features of HD Digital Radio — along with its hundreds of new radio stations — create a compelling combination at the right price.”

The HD Radio Alliance also announced this week that there are now 1,500 stations across the country broadcasting with the technology.

 • • • • • • • • 

Rock WRIF-FM (101.1) scored some nice awards from Radio & Records this week with Doug Podell being named as Active Rock Program Director of the Year and Mark Pennington being named as the format’s Music Director of the Year. Podell also collected the same award in 2006 while Pennington was also a winner in 2005.

Other potential winners from the area weren’t available at press time. Nominees for Station of the Year in their respective formats included country WYCD-FM (99.5), hot adult contemporary WDVD-FM (96.3), urban WJLB-FM (97.9), urban adult contemporary and WMXD-FM (92.3) along with WRIF. (Update: WRIF was named as Active Rock Station of the Year)

 • • • • • • • • 

Last year, ratings service Arbitron bumped the Detroit market down to the 10th largest in the country, slipping it behind Atlanta. This year brings more bad news as Detroit officially loses the prestige of being a top 10 market, dropping to 11th place behind Boston. Arbitron estimates locally there are 3,866,500 potential radio listeners age 12 and above, just 8,100 people behind the Boston. Maybe we could annex Flint, Toledo, Windsor and Ann Arbor to help out with those numbers.


'XYT moving to FM

| | Comments (1)


Rumors are running white-hot that CBS radio is about to pull the plug on the Free FM hot talk format in Detroit as soon as tomorrow and replace it with the sports format that currently airs on WXYT AM 1270.

On September 26th a request was filed with the FCC to change the call sign of FM 97.1 from WKRK-FM to WXYT-FM and there are reports that long-time Free FM afternoon drive hosts (Jeff) Deminski & (Bill) Doyle have cleared out their belongings from the station- Friday's program was a 'best of'. The D & D program has long been the station's most successful show and if they are indeed out there will be many disappointed fans who will no doubt be angered by any format change that doesn't include the popular duo.

There have been several similar rumors about changes to 97.1 in the past few months that have been false, but this is the first time there has been some concrete evidence of a change to the station, even if it is only the call sign that is changing.







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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mike Austerman in September 2007.

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