On The Radio Columns: February 2007 Archives

By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioAre you ready for some football? A year ago, the media spotlight was on Detroit and this year it’s on Miami as football widows head for the mall and the men (and some women) plop themselves in front of the biggest TV screen they can find.

If you find yourself on the road at today’s Super Bowl kickoff, locally the game will be broadcast on sports WXYT-AM (1270). If you have a Sirius satellite radio, the big game will be presented in seven languages! Colts fans can hear the Indy announcers on Channel 125, supporters of Da Bears can tune in on 123, and the national feed is on 124.

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Speaking of car radios, if you’re like most people, you have a button set for WJR-AM (760) and WWJ-AM (950). Punch between them and let me know if ’JR sounds much louder than WWJ. I find it very noticeable. Just wondering.


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioI admittedly have a soft spot for plugging radio stations when they are trying to help the community with fund-raisers and radiothons. So this week, I’m dedicated to spreading the word about three area stations, all owned by CBS Radio, that are devoting a lot of their time this month to help raise money for some excellent causes.

First off, country WYCD-FM (99.5) helped listeners pledge $572,209 during the station’s eighth annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids radiothon. The event kicked off Wednesday at Oakland Mall in Troy with a personal appearance on the Dr. Don morning show by country singing legend Clint Black and ended Thursday.

The program began in 1989, after Randy Owen, lead singer of the music group Alabama, met St. Jude founder Danny Thomas and helped team the organization with country radio stations across the United States. Since its inception, Country Cares has grown to be one of the most successful radio fund-raising events in the nation, with more than 200 radio station partners helping raise $280 million-plus in pledges.

For more information on the amazing work that St. Jude’s does for kids, click on www.stjude.org.


By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioAfter nearly 47 years in radio, I thought I’d heard it all. When XM satellite radio devoted a channel to Hanukkah music in December, I started retelling a joke that I created regarding a new radio station known as WJEW. It got laughs even from Orthodox rabbis, but now it’s no longer a joke.

Temple Israel is pleased to announce its own new Jewish radio station — and yes, it’s called WJEW. It’s managed by the temple’s high school students and Cantor Michael Smolash. Just go to www.temple-israel.org on your computer to check out the Internet radio station that can be listened to by Jewish people around the world.

“The whole idea began when I was talking to a student at Monday night school, Corey Berkowitz,” Cantor Smolash said. I mentioned that I had been wondering why there were so many Christian radio stations, but no Jewish ones. He then suggested we create one.”

Corey is the son of renowned radio consultant and one-time WJR programmer Gary Berkowitz, so he no doubt has radio in his blood.

“I’m looking forward to helping WJEW become one of the top Jewish radio stations in the country,” Berkowitz said. “I’ve grown up with radio all around me and have dedicated a great amount of time to my high school radio station.”

“We have already interviewed some big names, including Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and comedian Joel Chasnoff, which we will be airing,” Smolash said. “The students are also able to come in and run their own shows — jocking, talking about Jewish teen topics, and more.”

He added that “we were the first religious school he knew of to create a radio station like this. I hope that WJEW will be a template for similar stations at other synagogues.”

The Jewish community’s response to the station has been extremely positive. This is truly a first of its kind, and despite my weird sense of humor, this really is no joke.


By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioThere’s an old expression that goes “Please somebody shoot me,” and that’s how I felt this past week with all the Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears stories.

When Channel 4 actually brought a psychiatrist onto the news set asking whether Spears was crying out for help, I nearly put a brick through my TV set. (I changed the station, a move that proved less costly.)

Sadly, radio is also guilty of overexposing tabloid-style stories.

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Last Monday, Sirius and XM announced a merger between the two satellite radio companies valued at a cool $13 billion.

Since I and Mike Austerman have been writing about this relatively new technology in these pages longer than anyone else, I felt compelled to contact our three local TV newsrooms, offering to help them shed some light on this major story. It’s one that has far reaching effects on the Big Three automakers and, particularly, Oakland County-based Delphi, which makes and distributes most of the XM radios. Certainly it was a story of great local interest.

Results? Not one single TV station felt the need to even return the call.

In the business world, the bigger the deal, the longer it takes to complete. And this is a big deal. The top brass at both companies — Mel Karmazin at Sirius and Gary Parsons at XM — feel it will be a done deal by the end of this year. Parsons was actually quoted as saying: “This transaction is about choice. No longer will subscribers have to choose between Howard Stern (on Sirius) or Opie & Anthony (XM).”







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the On The Radio Columns category from February 2007.

On The Radio Columns: January 2007 is the previous archive.

On The Radio Columns: March 2007 is the next archive.

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