Mike Austerman: November 2007 Archives

It's November 1st, time for radio stations across the state to start dropping their regular programming in favor of a marathon of all-Christmas music as the calendar gets to within two months of the big holiday.

In Detroit, soft rock WNIC-FM 100.3 started mixing in some Christmas tunes to its regular playlist this morning instead of going all-yule all the time as it has done for the past couple of years. The station will eventually go all-Christmas, but the exact timing of that move has not been announced.


Saginaw's soft rock WGER-FM 106.3 jumped on the all-holiday sound this morning, becoming the first Tri-Cities outlet to make the change in 2007. Last year WGER chose not to go 100% Christmas in advance of the holiday, but cross-town classic hits WHNN-FM 96.1 did so as well as Gladwin's country WGDN-FM 103.1 and soft rock WSAG-FM 104.1/WSAM-AM 1400. WGDN has been making the a pre-Christmas switch-over to the sounds of the season longer than any other station in the state.

Dave Mauer, operations manager of WGER owner NextMedia's Saginaw cluster told the Saginaw News, ''Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and we're starting a little early because we thought Saginaw could use something to lift it up. We didn't change to the holiday format last year, and that brought a lot of reaction,'' Maurer said. ''We're glad to get
back at it."

WHNN quickly followed the move by WGER by also flipping to all-Christmas today- well in advance of the station's planned switch on Thanksgiving.


WJZQ-FM 92.9 Traverse-City/Cadillac, which regularly offers a blend of soft rock and some smooth jaz, also went all-Christmas earlier today. Its the second year in a row that the Midwestern Broadcasting outlet has decided to jingle all the way to December 25.


In 2006, there were about twenty stations that ditched their regular formats at least two weeks before Christmas to have a holly jolly November and early December - up from about fifteen in 2005.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 2, 2007

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Flint Journal:

Item: WHNN-FM (96.1) suspends Johnny Burke to investigate allegedly racist posting about the Flint School District on the Saginaw oldies station's Web site. View: On the one hand, Flint schools are hardly a shining example of how to run a school district, and wouldn't it be nice to see the PC police keep it in check for a change? On the other hand, if the popular morning host's "Practical Math" test posted on - and quickly removed from - the station's Web site really did contain racist inferences about the largely black schools and make light of such deadly serious issues as gangs, drugs and gun violence, then he should have known better. After all, this is the guy who angered a lot of people in Burton after making some reportedly insulting remarks about them back when he was at WCRZ nearly 20 years ago... Johnny Burke's been down this insulting road before (Fri, 11/2)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 2, 2007

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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.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 3, 2007

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Lansing State Journal:

Local TV will move closer to its digital destiny on Sunday. That's when WKAR splits into four digital channels, over the air and on some cable set-ups. In addition to high-quality pictures, that means more of just about everything. The new digital schedule starts Sunday, with other changes expected in the months ahead... WKAR goes digital four ways on Sunday (Sat, 11/3)



Flint Journal:

State Rep. Brenda Clack, D-Flint, is joining Flint Board of Education members in expressing outrage that city students were ridiculed through a "Practical Math" test discussed on Saginaw-based WHNN-FM (96.1) and posted on its Web site. In a Friday news release, Clack, a former Flint schools teacher, condemned the station for its "inflammatory activity"... Clack condemns radio station over mock test (Sat, 11/3)



Saginaw News:

Johnny Burke is back on the air, returning Monday with his sidekick, Blondie, to host the morning show at WHNN-FM, 96.1. And, he added, they were not suspended Thursday, but taken out of the studio while they formulated their response to criticism of a bogus ''practical math'' test posted on the station's Web site in September... Morning show host Burke back on the air Monday (Sat, 11/3)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 4, 2007

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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)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 4, 2007

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Grand Rapids Press:

Nineteen radio stations banded together last month in what is called a radio roadblock to raise awareness of shaken baby syndrome. At 7:30 a.m. Oct. 23, listeners heard 45 seconds of a baby crying while a voice-over interrupted by saying: "No matter how much she cries. No matter how tired you are. No matter how frustrated you get. Never, ever shake a baby." Though the radio spot is less than a minute in length, physicians at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital think it will make a difference... Stations throw up 'radio roadblock' (Sun, 11/4)


Tony Tagliavia and Jessica Leffler have joined WOOD-TV (Channel 8) as night general assignment reporters. News director Patti McGettigan is excited to have them aboard. "Both come to the station with skilled reporting backgrounds and will be strong assets to our news product," she said... WOOD-TV adds two reporters (Sun, 11/4)


With the 10 p.m. newscast addition at WXSP-TV, staff schedules are changing on the noon broadcast at WOOD-TV during Storm Team 8 weathercasts. Meteorologist Terri DeBoer will cover the noon broadcast Mondays and Tuesdays and Matt Kirkwood takes over Wednesdays through Fridays. Noon weather changes at WOOD (Sun, 11/4)


Mike Bridges, former television news anchor and reporter for WWMT-TV (Channel 3), has left the station. "He decided to take a job outside of television," said Cathy Younkin, news director at WWMT. Bridges will be the public affairs director for the Michigan Credit Union League based in Lansing... Anchorman leaves WWMT (Sun, 11/4)

 

By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioIs it me or is radio just not the same anymore? As those of you who are regular readers of this column know, I’ve been on the road quite a bit this year, and as I travel I listen to the radio — a lot of radio — and much of it sounds the same.

At a recent radio convention (I seem to go to nearly all of them), consultant Mike McVay hosted a panel called “Keeping Adults on the Radio.” He spoke about growing up near Pittsburgh and listening to a talk show by the name of Party Line on KDKA-AM (1020). It was hosted by a husband and wife team, Ed King and wife Wendy, and no delay was necessary because you never heard the callers on the air.

Oddly enough, as a kid, I used to listen to that same program while growing up in Indianapolis, a city in which I spent my “wonder years.”

McVay said it was truly a compelling radio show, and it was that type of programming that made him want to get into the business. How much of what’s on the air today is truly compelling, and does anything you hear today make you feel like getting into the radio industry?

Last week while I was in Pittsburgh, and after more than 40 years, I had the chance to meet Wendy King. She saw the video of McVay and heard his comments about Party Line, and she was impressed with his insightfulness.

For me, it was a thrill to meet the true first lady of talk radio.

 • • • • • • • • 

Speaking of KDKA, this past Friday marked the 87th birthday of the first commercial radio broadcast. Interestingly, radio will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Nov. 2, 2020, but what it’s going to sound like in another 13 years?

Personally, I think it’s strange that our own news WWJ-AM (950), which also claims to be the oldest station in the United States, and KDKA are currently both owned by CBS. As a further tie-in, ace morning news reporter Rob Milford at KDKA will be one of the more distinguished alumni returning to Plymouth High next Saturday for a 35-year reunion celebration of the school’s WSDP-FM (88.1), known as “The Escape.” Milford was one of the students who helped put the station on the air. He’s also been heard numerous times on WWJ and over on 97.1 FM with Deminski and Doyle.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 5, 2007

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flyin highWJZL making progress on power increase

There was some big activity in downtown Lansing yesterday as a helicopter hovered over the Boji Tower removing the old pipe and tower that wasn't strong enough to support the new antenna for Smooth Jazz WJZL-FM 92.9. After some restoration work is completed on the roof, the helicopter will return to haul up the new tower/pipe setup that will be able to accommodate the station's new equipment. Once all the work is completed, the changes will greatly increase the station's coverage area around Lansing.



Saginaw News:

By this afternoon, Johnny Burke promises, he and his bosses at Citadel Broadcasting will have the official word about the brouhaha that's kept him off the air since Thursday. Until then, as fans of the popular morning disc jockey at WHNN-FM, 96.1, found out this morning -- Burke's anticipated return -- he will remain off the air with pay. ''We're going to have the long-awaited press release by mid-afternoon, or the end of the business day at the latest,'' said Burke, who will join corporate managers to make a joint statement. Burke and the station Friday said he would return today... Burke: I'm on air Tuesday (Mon, 11/5)

 

Clear Channel/Detroit shake up

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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)

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 6, 2007

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Saginaw News:

A classic rock station's on-air hosts will broadcast live from Famous Dave's, 5665 Bay in Saginaw Township, urging listeners to help fill a new RV with nonperishable foods and frozen turkeys from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 3 p.m. Thursday. The station, WILZ-FM, 104.5, which uses the moniker Wheelz, will stage the overnight event to collect donations for the City Rescue Mission of Saginaw... Radio hosts assist charity (Tue, 11/6)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 6, 2007

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AllAccess.com:

WSNX Two Jocks In A Box -- For Real: This past weekend, CLEAR CHANEL Top 40 WSNX/GRAND RAPIDS APD HOLMES & night co-host HOOCH from the "Freak Show" did a promotion called "Jock In A Box". The two jocks lived outside in a box (actually a POD) for 3-1/2 days until they filled a truck up with food for 500 needy WEST MICHIGAN families for the holidays. This was the third year for "Jock In A Box" and the second year they had to endure temperatures under 32 degrees. Brrrrrrrrrrrr! Click here for photos.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 7, 2007

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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)

 

Detroit Pistons Package and Exclusive Mojo in the Morning Show Visit Up For Bids -- Proceeds to Support Student Scholarships, Internships and Educational Programs

The bidding has opened in the fourth and final round for 2007 of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF), charitable online auction. The auction will raise funds for MABF programs, which support scholarships, internships and education programs for students and young professionals in the broadcasting industry.

Bidding in MABF online auction commenced at 12:00 a.m. November 5, and will continue through 11:59 p.m. Monday, December 11. The general public is invited to participate in the bidding. Featured items in the MABF online auction are:

• Mojo in the Morning LIVE. Highest bidder and seven (7) guests will watch a live radio broadcast of the 95.5 WKQI-FM Detroit "Mojo in the Morning" show. Includes a one-hour, in-studio visit with Mojo. Bidding will begin at $125 for this priceless opportunity.

• Detroit Pistons Mini-Vacation. Four (4) tickets to the Friday, April 4, 2008 home game against the New Jersey Nets at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Package includes two (2) parking passes; four (4) club tickets for a buffet dinner and two (2) queen, non-smoking overnight rooms (Rooms are double occupancy include room and tax only) for Friday night, April 4, 2008 at the Holiday Inn Express in Birmingham. Estimated donor value: $850, Reserve/Starting price: $550.

The MABF online auction is the fourth and final charitable auction planned for this year. Complete information on the MABF online auction, including detailed information on registration, auction items and contest rules may be found at www.michmab.com. Click on the Online Auction button.

 

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

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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 www.am580radio.com.



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 wdet.org 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 WJR.com 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.

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

The program director for local rock radio station WRKR-FM (107.7) has issued a statement regarding what he termed ``an absurd joke'' last month by an on-air personality that offended some listeners. During a broadcast of the station's ``The Rocker Morning Show,'' as the hosts discussed a poll that asked what people would do if they had just one hour to live, Warren Kluck said he would ``rape'' a woman. A statement issued via e-mail Thursday by WRKR program director Jay Deacon said: ``Warren Kluck sincerely apologized for his inappropriate remarks made on October 12th on `The Rocker Morning Show' on WRKR. He will again, make a public apology for his remarks on the program on November 9th"... WRKR issues statement about on-air remarks (Fri, 11/9)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 11, 2007

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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 www.npr.org (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)

 

By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioThe sudden dismissal of Tom Ryan and ‘Matinee’ Mindy Markowitz from WOMC-FM (104.3) a week ago Friday after nearly 18 years together as a duo on the oldies station, the last 11 of them in afternoon drive, was the start of two bad days for local radio.

Markowitz and Ryan were hired both by WOMC in 1984; Mindy as a sales assistant and Tom as a veteran jock who moved from CKLW-AM (800).

As for why the duo was fired, general manager Kevin Murphy explained to them that the station was simply moving in a new direction — a reason that is particularly hard for fans to grasp. Many listeners view the pair as friends and aren’t fond of the idea having something changed that, in their eyes, wasn’t broken.

Meanwhile, rumors became reality when WOMC announced that former FM 97.1 host Jay Towers had joined the station, not as a replacement for Ryan and Markowitz, but as midday host and assistant program director.

Evening jock Bo Derek moved to afternoons temporarily to provide a live voice in afternoon drive. Other than the morning show hosted by Dick Purtan and crew, the lineup at WOMC has been in flux seemingly more than it’s been stable. Until Towers started on Friday, last week’s lineup consisted of one regular program, Purtan’s, followed by three fill-in hosts.

Going in a new direction seems to have become a habit at WOMC. Dana Masucci was fired for the same reason from middays earlier this year; she was the replacement for Tom Force — who also was given the new direction speech about three years ago.

Both Ryan and Markowitz remain upbeat. In an e-mail, Ryan said, “Mindy and I had a great run at WOMC, and we owe it all to the great listeners who tuned us in every day. It started in the mornings and then when Dick arrived, we continued our silliness on the ‘Ridin’ Home with Ryan’ show.”

“The Internet has made it possible for Mindy and I to know the listeners better, either through contests or just daily hellos. I will miss WOMC greatly, mostly because of the people we worked with daily, what a great group. We all became like a family. But this business is crazy and things like this happen.”

Markowitz commented, “We both used to love doing personal appearances and remotes because we got out of the studio and were able to meet the people that listened to us and enjoyed the program. I have so many wonderful memories of our time on the show, and I’m only going to look forward. Hopefully, someone will pick us up, and we’ll be back on the airwaves in no time.”

I talked with Art Vuolo who was in Florida as this news broke. “My cell phone rang and it was Mindy fighting tears as she related to me what had happened to her and Tom. I was stunned. The next morning, I spoke to Dick Purtan who was equally surprised by the news that his longtime friends had been eliminated from the staff.”

“I also spoke with Elaine Baker, who had been the general manager of WOMC for nearly 21 years. She expressed disappointment in the decision to oust these staples of afternoon drive-time indicating, ‘Tom is about Detroit and all the things that are good about the city.’ ”

It’s not easy to replace great people like Ryan and Matinee Mindy. Especially when their dismissal has been handled in what appears to be such a heartless fashion.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 12, 2007

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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 www.myfoxdetroit.com. 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.

 

AllAccess.com:

Arbitron Diary Invitation Issues Surface Again:
Remember the recent story about two WSRT/TRAVERSE CITY, MI employees resigning over participating in an ARBITRON survey (NET NEWS 10/22)? Well, it's happened again -- almost -- in the same cluster. WSRT, WKLT and WFCX GM CHARLIE FERGUSON told ALL ACCESS, "For the third time now, some of our employees were invited to participate in the ARBITRON FALL 2007 survey. One was WKLT afternoon talent J.J., then Chief Engineer DENNIS MURRAY got one, and the third came this week addressed to "Resident" at the station's address."

"I've suggested to ARBITRON's DAVE WILLINSKI, through our rep DAVID RICE, that they should send stations access to a database to list our employee addresses and phone numbers. DAVID's response was: 'You expect us to do this?' My response was, 'Yes -- we're paying you a ton of money to get this right."

"If my staff has gotten three separate invitations to fill out diaries, how many of my competitors have received them as well? What if they didn't turn down the opportunity? We can't be the only stations whose staff is being contacted, can we? ARBITRON has a real responsibility to insure the integrity of the ratings and that radio station/company employees don't participate in the survey, but the opposite would appear to be happening."

FERGUSON goes on to say, "ARBITRON's troubles don't stop there. The Small Market Initiative is a disaster in progress. The idea is to average two books to 'control the bounce' in Condensed Markets. We found a huge problem with their secondary providers like SmartPlus that use 'Summary Data.' Buyers at agencies are used to pulling two-book averages for Standard Markets. When they get to Condensed Markets they continue to pull two-book reports when the single book option in the software is already averaged. The result is double-counting the oldest sample -- and rounding the numbers twice! This caused several of our competitors to show a full rating point higher and cost us literally thousands of dollars in lost business."

ARBITRON has been contacted for comment. (Tue, 11/13)

 

• Hot adult contemporary WQBX FM 104.9 Alma has been granted a construction permit to change its frequency to 104.7, change its community of license to Fowler, and move its broadcast location from Gratiot county to Clinton county in between DeWitt and St. Johns. The changes, once complete, will essentially allow the station to become a rim-shot move-in to the Lansing market.


• Jazz/blues WLNZ FM 89.7 Lansing has been granted a construction permit to increase its effective radiated power from 420 watts @ 98 feet non-directional to 1,200 watts @ 95 feet directional. If constructed, listeners just to the south and west of Lansing would benefit most from the change.


• Christian WUFL AM 1030 Sterling Heights was granted its license to cover for changes to its directional pattern (change from 2-tower to 3-tower array).


• The construction permit for WKPK FM Michigamme was modified to specify 88.3 instead of 88.1 and effective radiated power changed from 100,000 watts (vertical) @ 410 feet (Class C1) to 15,000 watts @ 866 feet (Class C2). The coordinates for the station shifted from Baraga County to Marquette County using the same broadcast tower used by a number of other Marquette broadcast stations. WKPK is owned by the contemporary Christian 'Smile FM' group.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 14, 2007

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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



AllAccess.com:

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

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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)



StationRatings.com:

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)

 

• Qualcomm has been granted a construction permit to use the frequency of TV channel 55 for its MediaFLO technology, a “mediacast” service capable of delivering many channels of multimedia content to third-generation wireless phones. According to Qualcomm, which holds licenses for Channel 55 covering the entire nation, MediaFLO initially will provide up to fifteen live streaming video program channels, numerous video “clip cast” channels from which subscribers can choose video clips for viewing on-demand, and numerous audio channels. Qualcomm further states that MediaFLO will be available at “mass market” prices for most of the nation’s over 194 million mobile phone customers, and that it will spur the development of new content and new technologies. Click here to download FCC document (.pdf).


• CBS Broadcasting/WWJ-TV 62 Detroit was issued a $4,000 Notice of Apparent Liablity for admitted public file violations. Click here to download FCC document (.pdf).


• Cumulus applied to put WTWR FM 98.3 Luna Pier along with WXKR FM 94.5 Port Clinton, OH (both stations serve the Toledo, OH area) into a trust controlled by Stratus Radio, LLC which will in turn sell the stations to third parties in order to comply with federal ownership limits.


W43CM Ch. 43 Pickford, a translator for FOX TV affiliate WFQX-TV 33 Cadillac, was granted its license. The station had been operating on channel 64 for a number of years under special temporary authority.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 16, 2007

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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)

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 16, 2007

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Lansing's WJZL 92.9 powers up

At 1:45 p.m. today, WJZL FM, Smooth Jazz 92.9, completed its upgrades and began broadcasting at its new location with full power, 5,400 watts @ 344 feet. Installation of the station's new tower/pipe was completed on Sunday, November 11th via helicopter, but tower crews still required the station to broadcast at low power while they moved other antennas back onto the new tower, finished sealing the roof, touched up the paint, installed the new LED beacon and side lights, and performed other finishing touches.

The Mid-Michigan Radio Group (Rubber City Radio Group) station will now be licensed to Grand Ledge, completing its move-in to Lansing from Charlotte. The station changed frequency from 92.7 to 92.9 in October 2006 and also began broadcasting at low power from its new location in downtown Lansing at that time while the final steps to complete the upgrade were being completed.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 17, 2007

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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)

 

AllAccess.com:

Ferguson Reignites Diary Flap In Traverse City
NORTHERN BROADCASTING AC WSRT, Rock WKLT and Classic Hits WFCX/TRAVERSE CITY, MI, GM CHARLIE FERGUSON has taken issue with ARBITRON's efforts to downplay the sampling and improper distribution of diaries in the market.

FERGUSON told ALL ACCESS that "ARBITRON Sr. VP THOM MOCARSKY's comments about the issues we've had with ARBITRON in NORTHERN MICHIGAN [were] pure double-speak. ARBITRON has a responsibility to insure the purity of its data sample and provide software that works properly. ... The addition of a database for employee addresses and phone numbers would not be an undue burden and since employee names would be omitted the privacy issue would be non-existent. ... ARBITRON's current system of outsourced telemarketers asking if people work in the media has, regrettably, proven to be insufficient.

"Mr. MOCARSKY's statement that 'the sampling rate is so high in TRAVERSE CITY' is truly laughable," FERGUSON continued. "When three diaries were thrown out and the book reissued in TRAVERSE CITY, WSRT/WSRJ went from a .6 rating in Persons 12+ to a .4 rating -- a drop of 33%! In our Female target demos, the ratings dropped over 21%. When ratings-driven revenue accounts for 40 to 45% of a stations total sales, the value of three little diaries in our size market is overwhelming. The remarkable honesty of the majority of media people is outweighed by ARBITRON's obligation to provide reliable ratings data that both buyers and sellers can use with confidence."

FERGUSON conluded by noting, "The 'warning on the front page' of Summary Data software is nothing more than a legal disclaimer and has little or no effect on its use. Averaging the averages yields incorrect data -- period. ARBITRON did issue a 'Service Advisory' to help make agencies aware of the problem. As you might imagine, when we brought it to buyers' attention, the reactions ranged from minor irritation to 'don't tell me how to do my job!' Since 2005, 'averaging the averages' has cost our company nearly as much as we have paid ARBITRON -- and it was business we deserved had the software functioned properly. This is happening to someone in every Condensed Market and it's just plain wrong." (Fri, 11/17)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 18, 2007

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Grand Rapids Press:

It's been nearly five months since West Michigan radio listeners began waking up without Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis, two of the market's most recognizable personalities. The questions they hear the most? "Where are they? How is Geri's health? Will they be back on the air soon?" "I have heard that I am dying from cancer. Nothing could be further from the truth," Jarvis said in a recent interview, her first public comments since going off the air abruptly at WHTS-FM (105.3). Prior to that, the couple entertained listeners for nearly 20 years on WLHT-FM (95.7). Even during her years at WLHT -- where the couple won numerous awards, including "Personality of the Year" four times from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters -- Jarvis has had medical struggles... Dave and Geri eager for return to radio (Sun, 11/18)

 

By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioHow about that Michigan/Ohio State game Saturday? One thing’s for sure, it’s providing lots of fodder for sports radio talk shows, but what is happening to the morning shift at WDFN-AM (1130), known as The Fan?

Mike Austerman and I both felt surely that Greg Brady and Jamie Samuelsen would be returning, making less money, but at least with a job. So it was a surprise to me when Rob Otto popped up last week. Perhaps management felt he would represent an “otto-matic” fix, while talks continue with Brady and Samuelsen.

 • • • • • • • • 

Dennis Dale McLain back on the radio? Well, if Denny was making that call, the famous Tigers pitcher from the late ’60s would jump at the opportunity. Dan Zampillo, program director of WXYT FM/AM (now known as The Ticket), said “it’s been over a year since I’ve spoken to McLain, and we’re very happy with our current lineup.” That could squash other rumors that, current morning hosts, Deminski and Doyle might segue over to a music station replacing a top-rated program elsewhere on the FM dial.

As a side note, I recall McLain to be the last truly successful morning show on WXYT, and he’s savvy enough to talk about topics other than just sports, which is an important element on a morning show, even on an all-sports station. McLain is capable, but would the audience forgive and forget his well-documented sins of the past? I’d say McLain could score a home run at The Ticket, but I’ve been wrong before.

 • • • • • • • • 

Reports on the street have CBS Radio doing any number of things with 1270 AM, which is nearly a 50,000-watt afterthought right now. I felt they might return to a talk format with a roster of mostly syndicated programs, not currently available in Detroit. Other scenarios suggest selling the frequency to new owner which could take it religious or Hispanic. Stay tuned.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 19, 2007

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WVIC Brings 24/7 Holiday Music to Mid-Michigan

Rubber City Radio Group's Lansing Soft AC outlet WVIC-FM 94.1 became the latest Michigan radio station to switch to an All-Christmas Music format this morning, following the Bob and Sheri program. Although radio stations across the state have made similar format shifts during the holiday season over the past seven years, WVIC is the first station in the Lansing market to do so. The station switched from a Classic Hits format to Soft AC on October 15th.



AllAccess.com:

WPRJ Holding Christmas Auction
Listener-supported COME TOGETHER MINISTRIES Christian Top 40 WPRJ/SAGINAW-BAY CITY, MI is accepting donations of items and services through NOVEMBER 27th to include in the station’s CHRISTMAS AUCTION beginning DECEMBER 3rd on eBAY. The auction will support station efforts. All of the items collected will be placed on the online auction website, and a direct link will provided on the station’s website to all of the items available. (Mon, 11/19)



Saginaw News:

Edwards, William James Formerly of Saginaw Mr. Edwards was born March 30, 1915 and passed away November 14, 2007 at his summer home in Harbor Springs, MI... Obit: William James Edwards, co-founder of Lake Huron Broadcasting Corp. (Sun, 11/18)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 20, 2007

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WXYZ-TV:

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

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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)

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 25, 2007

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Saginaw News:

WIOG-FM, 102.5, the radio station that dubs itself the Hit Music Channel, will attempt to deliver another big hit this holiday season. The station is trying to fill a portable storage and moving container with toys to donate to poor children. WIOG will collect toys at Michigan Farm Bureau Insurance, 2463 Tittabawassee, starting at 7 p.m. today. Staff then will wrap the container with a red bow, making what the station is calling the world's largest Christmas present... Radio station collecting toys to give to the poor (Fri, 11/23)


A trio of Ernest Hemingway documentaries air on Channel 19, WDCQ, Tuesday night. ''Delta College Public Broadcasting is supporting the Michigan Humanities Council Great Michigan Read by devoting an entire evening to its chosen author,'' says Scott Seeburger, media and community relations for the PBS affiliate. ''The programs examine his literary career, personal life and remarkable connection to the state of Michigan.'' The Humanities Council developed The Great Michigan Read to advocate the importance of reading and literature... TV station encourages reading (Sat, 11/24)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 25, 2007

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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)

 

By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioThe holidays are a time for tradition, and soft rock WMGC-FM’s (105.1) Jim Harper and his Magic Morning Show compatriots will continue one of the longest-running traditions in local radio, starting Monday morning at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, as they begin their 29th season of participation with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves’ Toys for Tots campaign.

The annual tour of area shopping malls to help collect new unwrapped toys will move to Laurel Park Place in Livonia on Tuesday, Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights on Wednesday and Macomb Mall in Roseville on Thursday and wrap up Friday at Oakland Mall in Troy.

Harper and the gang will broadcast live each morning 6-10 a.m., and each remote will feature a complimentary light breakfast, a visit from Santa and other special guests.

 • • • • • • • • 

Speaking of holiday traditions, how cool was it that classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) aired Arlo Guthrie’s nearly 20-minute-long song “Alice’s Restaurant” not once, but four times on Thanksgiving Day? This was one “massacree” that I’m thankful hasn’t been forgotten.

 • • • • • • • • 

Public WDET-FM (101.9) is offering listeners the opportunity to attend a private reception Dec. 5 to celebrate the reopening of the Detroit Institute of Arts. A gift to WDET of $600 will give two people the opportunity to have an up-close look at the DIA’s magnificent reinstalled permanent collection and redesigned galleries.

The evening includes a strolling dinner in Kresge Court, followed by docent-led tours of the museum. Call (800) 959-9338 or visit www.wdetfm.org for more information.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 26, 2007

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“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

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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 Palacenet.com, 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 Amazon.com. 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 www.smoothjazznow.com.

“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

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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)

 

Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 30, 2007

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Founder of Family Life Radio Network dies

Charlotte Anne Bolthouse (Char), 1926-2007, went home to be with the Lord on Thanksgiving Day at 4:20 p.m. after struggling with Alzheimer's for many years. "Char's gentle spirit helped to set the tone for Family Life Radio's mission to reach people for Christ. She will be greatly missed," said Dr. Randy Carlson, president of Family Life Communications Incorporated, Family Life Radio's parent company. Char Bolthouse helped to inspire a broadcast ministry during her lifetime, and now that her work is complete, she has joined our Lord in heaven. It is with mixed emotions of sadness and joy that we say farewell to Family Life Radio's co-founder -- an energetic wife, friend and faithful servant of Jesus. Char was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan... Co-founder of Family Life Radio Network Goes Home to the Lord After Struggle with Alzheimer's (Fri, 11/30)

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 30, 2007

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AllAccess.com:

Malachi Crane Joins Spring Arbor Radio
SPRING ARBOR UNIVERSITY’s SAU RADIO names MALACHI CRANE GM. As GM, CRANE will be responsible for the overall management of SAU RADIO including Christian AC WSAE (HOME.FM), Inspirational WJKN-A and KTGG/SPRING ARBOR, MI. His first day will be NOVEMBER 29TH. Previously, CRANE was Dir./Business and Ministry Development for RTN Christian AC WJIS (THE JOY FM 88.1)/SARASOTA, FL. (Thu, 11/29)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 30, 2007

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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)



AllAccess.com:

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 www.foodgatherers.org or www.annarbors107one.com. (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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About this Archive

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

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