By: Art Vuolo
Can I finally unpack my suitcase? Don’t misunderstand me, I love to travel. I even like to fly, and now I can say unquestionably the best airline is Southwest. Period.
I just flew that friendly carrier to Chicago for the Morning Show Boot Camp, another one of a multitude of radio conventions that I attend each year. This custom confab caters primarily to high-profile (that means they make the most money) morning personalities from stations nationwide and even a few international attendees.
This year, only two Detroit morning shows felt a need to learn how to make their programs even better. They were Mojo and his whole crew from hits WKQI-FM (95.5) and Blaine Fowler, minus Lisa and Allyson, from pop WDVD-FM (96.3). Good for them — and, oddly enough, they’re neighbors on the FM dial.
If I can say this without sounding like a prude, and considering the new guidelines set by the FCC, I was amazed at the proliferation of profanity by the men and women. That damn convention had a hell of a lot of swearing.
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Meanwhile back on the home front, Oakland County is home to better than half of the radio stations in the greater Detroit area, and I think nearly all of them were involved to one degree or another in Saturday’s Woodward Dream Cruise.
Last year, it was very hot, but this year the weather gods were far more reasonable. If you never moved your dial off FM, you missed the great job that oldies/talk WPON-AM (1460) did all week long. You also missed the big Beatles special on oldies CKWW-AM (580).
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Speaking of automobiles, have you heard about the “cars for stars” program that General Motors has begun? It supplies major radio personalities — both nationally and locally — with new GM vehicles for a couple of weeks each month so that they’ll talk about them on the air.
Not a bad idea, but the people who are getting these cars are the same people who can easily afford them. However, they are the most listened to and most influential hosts on the air.
It’s a smart move by America’s No. 1 automaker, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008.
It’s got to make Warren Pierce wonder about what he did wrong. You may recall that about a dozen years ago, Pierce, who hosts Saturday and Sunday mornings on news-talk WJR-AM (760), found himself in hot water for doing essentially the same thing while working at WJBK-Channel 2.
Somebody cue Bob Dylan because “the times they are a changin’.”