January 2008 Archives

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 2, 2008



Detroit News:

WWJ-TV (Channel 62) is making big moves in the New Year, and while it's not a newscast, it's a start. Beginning Monday, the local CBS affiliate will air an 11 p.m. weather report from chief meteorologist Jim Madaus, formerly of WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), during the week and Tracy Gary on the weekends and holidays. Gary used to work at WDIV-TV (Channel 4) and WJBK-TV (Channel 2). Called "WWJ-TV's First Forecast," the 2 ½ minute weather report will air just before episodes of "Two and Half Men" in syndication, followed by "Late Night with David Letterman" at 11:35 p.m. weeknights, said Trey Fabacher, vice president and general manager of WWJ-TV... WWJ-TV to begin weather reports (Tue, 1/1)

Beth McLeod , the traffic reporter for WDIV-TV (Channel 4), is leaving after a decade of being with the station. Her last day is Friday. McLeod, who has been pulling triple duty as the morning and afternoon traffic reporter and the Michigan Lottery hostess in the evenings, will take some much needed time to rest and regroup, WDIV management said Monday. The departure also will give McLeod more time to spend with her husband, Fred McLeod, who left the station last year to become a full-time play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although she is leaving, McLeod will fill in at WDIV as needed, management said... WDIV loses traffic reporter McLeod (Wed, 1/2)

Detroit Free Press:

Debuting: Tonight on Ypsilanti's WEMU-FM (89.1), Eastern Michigan University's public radio station, veteran jazz broadcaster Evelynn Hawkins as host of its weekday evening jazz program, 8-11 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. She succeeds longtime evening jazz host Michael G. Nastos, who retired last July after 27 years at WEMU... Names and Faces (Wed, 1/2)

Michigan Citizen:

After 10 years of broadcasting from Woodward Avenue in Highland Park, RJ Watkins is ready to relocate. The CEO and Founder of WHPR Radio 88.1 and UHF TV 33 won’t be moving far, but in the words of Watkins and longtime partner and producer, Henry Tyler, it’s a step in the right direction. Watkins and Tyler have taken what began as an unexpected challenge and turned it into an opportunity. The owners of the building that currently houses WHPR and TV 33 recently decided that it was needed for other endeavors. But Watkins has found a large studio in a nearby commercial district that was formerly used as a photography studio for cars and trucks... Movin’ on up in 2008 (Mon, 12/31)


Television: Newsmakers Jan 2, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

The government is now offering $40 coupons that consumers can use to apply towards the cost of a converter box that will let their old analog TV work when the complete switch to digital television takes place in a little over a year. A government-run Digital TV Website began offering the coupons New Year's Day. Consumers fill out a very simple form and, sometime late next month or in March when the converters go on sale, the site promises to mail out coupons that will give a $40 discount on the cost of the converters. You can get up to two of the coupons per household... Get your digital TV converter coupon (Wed, 1/2)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 3, 2008



The sounds of silence on Muskegon's AM 1600

WMHG AM 1600 Muskegon has signed off for good as of January 1. In 1998 the station, then owned by Goodrich Radio, was granted an expanded band AM construction permit for 1680- what is now Radio Disney WDSS. Goodrich sold AM 1600 to Connoisseur Communications in 1999 and when that group was purchased by Cumulus later in 1999, WMHG was part of that deal.

In recent years WMHG had been operated with an Adult Standards format by Clear Channel as part of its Muskegon cluster but had remained under the ownership of Cumulus.

While attempts have been made across the country to maintain the licenses for both the 'new' expanded band and the original stations, the FCC has apparently not allowed this to occur. WKLZ AM 1470, the original station for sports WQLR AM 1660 Kalamazoo, Michigan's other expanded band station, signed off in February 2006.

Grand Rapids Press:

Longtime radio programmer Phil Tower of WOOD-AM (1300) is leaving Grand Rapids for a new job in radio, but outside the market. He is leaving WOOD to program the Allen Hunt Show in Atlanta, said Doug Montgomery of Clear Channel West Michigan. Tower was not available Thursday afternoon for comment. His last day is Jan. 18. Montgomery said he is pulling together a list of potential replacements, and also is accepting internal applications. He does not have a timetable for announcing a new program director... Phil Tower leaving WOOD radio (Thu, 1/3)


WJQK Ups Thompson: LANSER Christian AC WJQK/GRAND RAPIDS announced the promotion of GARY THOMPSON to PD. THOMPSON will continue music duties as well. (Thu, 1/3)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 4, 2008



Crain's Detroit Business:

Steve Wasserman, vice president and general manager of Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV-Channel 4, will leave the station Jan. 18. A news release issued by the station Friday didn't indicate why Wasserman is leaving. He couldn't be reached for comment. Alan Frank, president and CEO of WDIV's parent company, Post-Newsweek Stations Inc., will act as general manager until a replacement is found. Wasserman took over WDIV in August 2005 after 11 years as general manager of sister station KPRC in Houston... WDIV VP/general manager leaving Jan. 18 (Fri, 1/4)

Detroit Free Press:

Waiting for Drew Lane? Don't expect the on-leave top-rated WRIF-FM (101.1) morning host to return until late January at the earliest, his attorney Mike Novak said. Lane, who left the show in late September to care for cancer-stricken fiancée Tess Schuster, has a contract with the Greater Media-owned station that Novak says expired Dec. 31. But Novak said all sides have agreed to get together for talks in mid-January. Lane's morning cohorts -- Mike Clark, Mike Wolters and Marc Fellhauer -- have separate still-in-effect deals that assure them morning work on WRIF. Newscaster Trudi Daniels has a separate deal and is not in the Novak stable... Lane's leave to continue a while (Fri, 1/4)

Detroit News:

Former WDFN radio host Greg Brady is moving on from Detroit, getting a job with a sports talk station in Toronto. Brady, who is Canadian, has signed a three-year deal to be the co-host of AM640's afternoon drive show. Brady, along with Jamie Samuelsen and Matt Shepard, saw their successful WDFN morning show axed in early November due to Clear Channel cost cutting... Radio: Brady headed to Toronto station (Fri, 1/4)

Rudy Desantis exits WXYT

Longtime WKRK-FM (currently WXYT-FM) 97.1 contributor Rudy Desantis has exited the station after officially being let go by station management this week. Desantis had been with the station for ten years dating back to when the station featured a rock music format and most recently had been an important part of the Deminski and Doyle program. D&D ended their run in December.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 4, 2008




WFBE Names April Lake PD, Keith Allen Adds APD Stripes
CITADEL Country WFBE (B 95)/FLINT, MI has announced that its new PD will be NORTHERN STAR BROADCASTING/TRAVERSE CITY, MI OM APRIL LAKE. APRIL, who will now be known as APRIL ROSE, is already on her post. Concurrently, MD/morning star KEITH ALLEN, who had been programming the station on an interim basis, has been upped to APD. He will also continue handling music and doing the morning show. (Fri, 1/4)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 4, 2008



Grand Haven gets all-sports outlet

WGHN AM 1370 Grand Haven has dropped its longtime simulcast of soft rock sister station WGHN-FM 92.1 and is now all-sports with ESPN Radio programming. The combo was purchased by Will Tieman from William Struyk and Ronald Mass in 2007.

From AllAccess.com:

RYAN TERPSTRA joins from Sports WBBL-A/GRAND RAPIDS to handle afternoons 3-5p, and ESPN RADIO will be used the rest of the day. GM ERIC KAELIN said, "The heart and soul of any station is their local programming. Especially in a town the size of GRAND HAVEN, we have to provide programming geared to what sports fans in the TRI-CITIES area care about in regards to their local high school sports along with the colleges and pro teams. Becoming an affiliate of ESPN was big and having RYAN covering the local end makes it even better."


Cumulus/Kalamazoo Gives Benson More Work
CUMULUS Top 40/Mainstream WKFR/KALAMAZOO, MI afternoon-driver DAVE BENSON is given Program Coordinator stripes for News/Talk sister WKMI-A. He will maintain his long-running #1-rated afternoon gig. (Fri, 1/4)


• None noted this week


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 5, 2008



Detroit News:

The Michigan Sports Network and University of Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein have teamed up for the first season of the "John Beilein Radio Show." Hosted by Wolverine play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard, the live call-in show will begin Monday at Damon's Grill in Ann Arbor... Beilein debuts on radio Monday (Sat, 1/5)


Flint Journal:

Donald Barrow never considered how soon he'd have to move into the digital age when he purchased his new television two years ago. "I didn't even think about it," Barrow said of the 2009 deadline for television stations and their millions of viewers to sign off analog and switch to digital TV. "I was more concerned that they don't carry enough of the Detroit channels in this market. I'll probably wind up just going out and buying a new TV." That's the most obvious way to handle the change but there are other solutions, such as purchasing a converter box, or subscribing to a cable, satellite, or telephone television service. Those were some of the tips offered to Barrow and his fellow Rotarians on Friday during the organization's monthly luncheon at the Sarvis Center. As part of a national consumer education campaign launched by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), representatives from three local television stations, Channel 25 (WEYI), Channel 12 (WJRT), and Channel 5 (WNEM) were there to help ease members through the conversion... TV stations offer help with switch to digital (Sat, 1/5)

Saginaw News:

Prepare for digital disorder. About a year from now, the nation's televisions will move to digital broadcasts from analog signals.You've heard this all before, along with the accompanying confusing talk that seeks to explain exactly how the changeover will work. Saginaw Township resident Tom Banda doesn't profess to know all of the ins and outs of the pending digital age, but says he's sure of one aspect. "The picture sure looks sharper," said Banda, 40, a food services employee at the Lutz Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Saginaw, who browsed various models at the Wal-Mart store in Saginaw Township recently. The good news is your analog television will not self-destruct on Feb. 17, 2009 like the opening scene from "Mission Impossible." That's the day the switch becomes official. Whether the transition goes off without a hitch, however, is another story... Digital television: making the switch (Sat, 1/5)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 6, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

The November 2007 Nielsen ratings rank WOOD-TV (Channel 8) No. 1 for most newscasts -- except in the 10 p.m. slot. That time has been owned by WXMI-TV (Channel 17), which launched this market's first 10 p.m. newcast in January 1999. In the most recent Nielsen ratings, Fox received a 6 rating and 14 share. WOOD-TV's 10 p.m. newcast -- which airs on WXSP (Channel 18) -- registered a 1 rating and 1 share. However, the Neilsens only account for about one week of the ratings period. WOOD-TV launched the early newscast in late October... WOOD-TV tops Nov. news ratings (Sun, 1/6)

Press Entertainment Editor John Gonzalez reported last week in his "Going Gonzo" Web log that longtime radio programmer Phil Tower of WOOD-AM (1300) is leaving Grand Rapids to program "The Allen Hunt Show" on WSB-AM in Atlanta. His last day here will be Jan. 18. "The Allen Hunt Show" is about "faith and life" and airs weekends, according to its Web site. Tower has worked at WOOD since 1999, after serving as station manager at WYCE-FM (88.1) for several years... Phil Tower leaving WOOD radio (Sun, 1/6)

A couple of weeks ago, a Grand Rapids Press reader heard syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh mention WOOD-TV meteorologist Craig James. Limbaugh briefly referred to an article James had written on global warming on his blog. Limbaugh said, "Craig James from WOOD-TV writes ... ," and he went on to make his point... Craig, Rush, global warming (Sun, 1/6)


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioA familiar voice will be returning to the airwaves of Detroit at Oldies WOMC-FM (104.3), starting Feb. 1 when former Big 8 CKLW-AM (800) jock Ted “The Bear” Richards takes over as ’OMC’s new afternoon drive jock.

After spending 13 years at ’CK, where in 1979 he was voted as People Magazine’s Jock of the Year, Richards has been hosting mornings for Jones Satellite Networks, based in Denver, for the past 11 years.

WOMC program director Scott Walker commented, “It is a pleasure for WOMC to bring a great talent like Ted back to Detroit, where he has a storied history in radio. Ted always dreamed of returning to Detroit, home to his family and loyal listeners, and now he will have the chance to rule the airwaves once again. So Detroit, get ready.”

Richards added, “This is an awesome opportunity for me to come back to one of my favorite cities. I am thrilled to have the chance to reconnect with many of my old listeners and fans from Michigan and the surrounding area.”

The opening in WOMC’s afternoon drive slot was created in November, when the station dismissed longtime hosts Tom Ryan and Mindy Markowitz, both of whom remain on the outside looking in at the radio biz for now.

 • • • • • • • • 

WOMC has switched up its weekend evening programming, adding an oldies dance party to Saturday nights from 8 p.m.-midnight hosted by Lisa Lisa, who became well known from her time at what was WHYT-FM (96.3) and most recently WDRQ-FM (93.1). Don Phillips, who had been hosting an all-request show Saturday evenings, shifts to Sundays from 8 p.m.-midnight with a new Hall of Fame offering that features the early rock legends from the 1950s and ’60s.

 • • • • • • • • 

News WWJ-AM (950) will host its fifth annual Winter Survival Radiothon to benefit THAW, the Heat and Warmth Fund, on Feb. 8 and 9 from the Boll Family YMCA in downtown Detroit. Proceeds from last year’s effort helped thousands of metro Detroit families keep their utilities powered on during the winter months when gas and electric services become essential for survival. Every donation made during the radiothon is matched dollar for dollar by corporate partners, including DTE Energy. WWJ is scheduled to broadcast live 5 a.m. Friday through noon Saturday from the Y with hosts Roberta Jasina, Joe Donovan, Jayne Bower, Greg Bowman, Bill Stevens, Paul Snider, Larry Henry, Tony Ortiz, Rob Sanford, Pat Vitale and the legendary Sonny Eliot, too.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 7, 2008



Lansing State Journal:

Michigan television stations will kick off a yearlong campaign next month to alert viewers to a coming change that could leave them staring at blank screens unless they take action. On Feb. 18, 2009, television stations will stop broadcasting analog signals and switch to digital. "We're fully supportive of the change and anxious to get going with the public awareness campaign," said Mike King, vice president and general manager of WILX-TV, Channel 10. While some viewers may experience an easily fixable inconvenience, he said, the trade-off will be a better picture and better audio... Digital decree: TV stations will tune in viewers to '09 broadcasting switchover (Mon, 1/7)


Southwest Michigan radio dial changes



Mid-West Family Broadcasting is changing the lineup of some of its Southwest Michigan radio stations starting today. The adjustments affect three of the group's FM stations in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area:

The 'Cosy FM' name and WCSY-FM call sign will be moving from 98.3 to FM 103.7 which will retain its current oldies format but drop the WHIT-FM call sign. That station will continue to be simulcast on AM 940 and is now known as 103.7 Cosy-FM, 60's and 70's SuperHits.

Paul Layendecker, who had been program director for both WCSY-FM and sister station country WYTZ-FM 97.5, exits mornings and the PD role for Cosy-FM but will continue to be heard during afternoon drive on WYTZ and remains as that station's programmer. Joe Jason will be the morning host on the relaunched Cosy FM at 103.7.

Back at 98.3, that frequency will become the new home of hot adult contemporary WCNF 'The Coast' which changes frequency from its previous home at 94.9 FM by the end of this week. That station will feature Mark Durocher in the morning, and other familiar names like Robin Van Dyke and Phil McDonald. The smooth jazz programming that has been part of FM 98.3 for years will remain in place on 'The Coast at 98.3'.

Finally, FM 94.9 is set to become WSJM-FM and take on a news-talk format, simulcasting sister station WSJM AM 1400.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 8, 2008



Battle Creek Enquirer:

Longtime WBCK radio host Dave Eddy announced plans Monday to leave his popular daily morning show after 47 years on the air.

Eddy's decision, which he is calling a "semi-retirement," was a long time in the making, WBCK program director Tim Collins said. "It's something that we've known and talked about on and off for a few years," Collins said. "Dave came to us last summer and said he wanted more time to travel and to spend more time at his vacation home in Florida." Eddy, 69, also known as "Battle Creek's Morning Mayor" will continue to voice WBCK's "Be Kind to the Citizen of the Day" each morning from a location away from the radio station. Eddy will also begin hosting the WBCK Saturday Morning Show beginning sometime in May, after he returns from Florida. Eddy, a native of Albion, began his career at WBCK in 1960 and began working the morning show in 1961... Local radio host to sign off after nearly 50 years on air (Tue, 1/8)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 8, 2008



Crain's Detroit Business:

Popular Detroit radio personality (and Detroit Pistons public-address announcer) John Mason has no set sleep schedule. “It’s not important to sleep now,” he said. “If I get five hours a day, that’s enough.” Mason broadcasts his weekday morning show from his $600,000 studio in Detroit’s Guardian Building. The show airs on WGPR 107.5 FM in Detroit and WOWE 98.9 FM in Flint and is streamed on www. masonradio1.com. The Web site is temporary, but Mason expects a permanent site to be up later this month. Registered users will be able to watch videos and download podcasts. Mason is trying to syndicate nationally — an effort that began in July 2006, when he left WDMK 105.9 FM, a Radio One station. Due to a noncompete contract agreement, he was forced off the Detroit airwaves for six months. About a year ago, he returned to the air on WGPR... John Mason, Radio Host, Mason Radio (Mon, 1/7)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 9, 2008



WXYT names Tom Bigby as its new operations manager

Sports WXYT-FM/AM 97.1/1270, The Ticket, has announced the hiring of Tom Bigby as the station's new operations manager as of January 14th.

Since September 2006, Bigby has worked for CBS Radio consulting on programming strategy and development across the country. He is probably best known for being the architect of Sports WIP-AM in Philadelphia which debuted in 1989 six months after WFAN. Bigby served as Station Manager/Program Director of WIP.

“Tom is a legend in the business, and his skill and experience will benefit the listening audience of Detroit immensely,” says Dan Zampillo, WXYT program director. “Having Tom here will only expedite the level of success 97.1 FM The Ticket will achieve.”

“Detroit is one of those cities where fans always have passion for all of its teams win or lose.....and a city with great radio heritage,” says Bigby. “The combination of the two makes sports programming a dream job. When Kevin Murphy and the CBS Programming guys talked to me about programming a big stick FM in Detroit, I jumped at the opportunity. I look forward to working with a bunch of talented guys and gals in the Motor City, and hey, I do drive an American made car!”

Bigby joined WIP in Philadelphia in 1989 and spent 15 years as Station Manager/Program Director before taking the reigns at KRLD Newsradio 1080 in Dallas as Director of Programming and Operations. Additionally, Bigby’s resume includes programming stints at Philadelphia’s WPHT-AM and WIFI-FM New York’s WNEW-FM, Los Angeles’ KFI-AM and KOST-FM, and in Dallas at KLUV-FM.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 10, 2008



Battle Creek Enquirer:

As hundreds of well-wishers packed Burnham Brook to send off longtime WBCK radio host Dave Eddy, it seemed less like a retirement party and more like a family reunion. Between the hugs, the back slaps and laughter, Eddy, who will retire as daily morning show host Jan. 18, never had a chance to sit down at his send-off, held Wednesday at the Burnham Brook Community Center. After 47 years as the morning host on WBCK, Eddy, 69, also known as "Battle Creek's Morning Mayor", said saying goodbye to his daily listeners was like bidding farewell to a second family... Hundreds bid adieu to Dave Eddy (Thu, 1/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 10, 2008



Detroit News:

Say goodbye to Comcast Local, effective in March. The channel, owned by cable giant Comcast, has been dedicated to showing local high school sports in Indiana and Michigan since 2004. Comcast has decided to take Local off the air in both states, due to business considerations. "In this competitive marketplace, Comcast continues to evaluate its programming lineup," said Patrick Paterno, director of communications for Comcast's Michigan region. "Over the past three years, there have been numerous changes in the sports programming environment, from national to regional to local sport coverage. Comcast is committed to sports programming and continues to be the best source for local, regional and national sports programming." John Johnson, communications director for the Michigan High School Athletic Association, is monitoring the situation. "It's just a shame that Comcast is taking away a venue that showed grass-roots sports," Johnson said... Comcast Local leaving the air (Thu, 1/10)

More change at 97.1 The Ticket , WXYT (1270 AM and 97.1 FM ), as Tom Bigby comes in to run things as operations manager, effective Monday. Bigby was program director at the legendary Philadelphia sports station WIP-AM from the '80s through 2004, and will definitely bring a sharp edge to the station. More recently, Bigby was operations manager at WYSP-FM, a CBS Free FM station in Philly. Dan Zampillo remains as WXYT program director. "Now that 'XYT is in on the FM dial, CBS is investing in the station and getting it right, coaching the talent and putting the best possible talent out there," said CBS Detroit market manager Kevin Murphy... Bigby brings edge to The Ticket (Thu, 1/10)

Former WDFN, WXYT, WKRK host Henson out in Austin, TX

Gregg Henson has been released from his gig as program director and afternoon co-host at Clear Channel owned sports outlet KVET AM in Austin, Texas. Henson claims on his blog at gregghenson.com that, "I don't really know why just yet, but I will find out in short order. I didn't get many answers today."

Henson states that he and his wife will now focus on opening a new business in Austin outside of radio.

A native of metro Detroit, Henson's highest profile jobs locally were at sports WDFN AM, sports WXYT AM, and then talk WKRK-FM before leaving town over two years ago for radio gigs in Austin and Philadelphia.


Top 5 stations in Detroit among all listeners during the fall ratings period were WJR AM, WMXD-FM, WNIC-FM, WJLB-FM, and WWJ AM... Detroit 12+ radio ratings, Fall 2007 (Thu, 1/10)


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

Ralph Soffredine is fed up with "bookend" holes in the ground at each end of Front Street downtown. "It is embarrassing to see that," said Soffredine, a city commissioner. "How long do you wait before you say to someone ... 'don't just leave a hole there or a fence around there forever'" ... Much of the clamor has focused on Federated Properties' empty lot at 124 W. Front St. and the unfinished Clovelly Broadcast Centre at 101 N. Park St ... developer Roy Henderson's property a few blocks east at the corner of Front and Park streets has been empty for years. Henderson put in a foundation for the Clovelly building, but hasn't done any construction since 2001, due to architecture and building height disputes, as well as the poor economy... Holes in ground downtown cause concern (Thu, 1/10)


Television: Newsmakers Jan 11, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

Michigan lawmakers are crafting a bill to reverse Comcast's plan to exile public access programming from the low-numbered stations to digital-only channels positioned in the 900s. State Reps. Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights, and Steve Bieda, D-Warren, are drafting the bill, which is to go before the Legislature next week. Although it won't be introduced until after the cable provider's Tuesday switch, if approved, the bill would require Comcast to revert to the original format. In order to pass, it must get 56 House and 20 Senate votes. Meanwhile, Bieda brought forth a nonbinding resolution Wednesday to the House, vocalizing his opposition to Comcast's plan. The Macomb County politicians joined the fight against Comcast after hearing complaints from local leaders and constituents in their districts. They say Comcast's requirement that 1.3 million Michigan subscribers go digital is a major inconvenience and is possibly violating a federal law that ensures government channels are in basic cable packages... Comcast channel changes opposed (Fri, 1/11)

The city of Dearborn and Meridian Township near Lansing sued Comcast cable in federal court in Detroit today to block a plan that would move local access channels up the dial on Tuesday and require non-digital basic subscribers to get digital converter boxes to continue receiving those channels. “They are taking away a service that should be provided to subscribers,” said Deborah Guthrie, Meridian Township cable coordinator, after the suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. She said Comcast’s unilateral decision would cost basic subscribers $4 to $5 per month per television for access boxes — over and above the free box Comcast is offering subscribers with analogue televisions for one year... Lawsuit filed to block Comcast channel moves (Fri, 1/11)

Grand Rapids Press:

Jon Koeze, administrator of the city's cable television access Channel 26, does not score big ratings on most evenings. Now he is afraid a switch by Comcast cable will ruin one of his biggest nights of the year Tuesday. City cable subscribers who look for city results from Tuesday's presidential primary election will not find them on Channel 26. That is because Comcast is moving its public, educational and government channels to Channel 915 that same day. Unless viewers have a converter box from Comcast or own the latest digital-compatible television, they will not be able to tune into Channel 915, Koeze said... Comcast switch may limit GR's election coverage (Fri, 1/11)

Lansing State Journal:

Communities across mid-Michigan are running into the fallout of a 2006 state law altering oversight of cable television. The consensus view appears to be one of unhappiness at changes in which community content will appear. The most viable solution: Look more to the technology of the Internet to deliver community and school news. Causing the angst is cable giant Comcast's decision to move public access channels from their traditional home in the basic cable tier (think low-numbered channels) to new slots in the 900-range. Unfortunately, the way to access the 900-range is to have Comcast's digital (pricier) service, or acquire a special converter box to capture the public channels... Public TV: Comcast shift on public access enhances importance of Web (Fri, 1/11)

Muskegon Chronicle:

Viewers of Muskegon City Commission action televised over government access channel 97 will have to obtain a digital converter box if they want to keep watching after Tuesday. Comcast Cable Communications is moving the local government programming to channel 915, despite a city commission resolution requesting the existing channel locations be maintained. Public education programming, including that of Muskegon Community College, will move to Comcast channel 902, local religious access to channel 924 and Michigan Government Television to 187. To receive any of those channels, viewers will need a converter box if they don't already have digital-ready television sets or subscribe to Comcast's digital cable service... Public channel TV viewers will need to convert (Thu, 1/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 11, 2008



WCSX's JJ & Lynne host Radiothon on Jan 24th to benefit Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan

JJ & Lynne, morning talk show hosts of Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7, will be taking to the airways for 15 consecutive hours this month with the help of local leukemia and lymphoma survivors to raise money for Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan (CLF). Jim Johnson (JJ) & Lynne Woodison have supported the agency with Radiothon, raising nearly $2.9 million to date for CLF, a 55-year old, independent foundation providing information, financial assistance and emotional support to Michigan families facing the challenges of leukemia and lymphoma.

The 15-hour Radiothon will take place on location at the Greater Media Studios in Detroit on January 24th, 2008 beginning at 6:00 A.M. and promises to be the most exciting event to date. A group of Detroit-area leukemia or lymphoma survivors will tell their stories during the Radiothon to raise money for the foundation that helped them cope during their ordeal with cancer. One leukemia survivor from Royal Oak, 22-year-old Jessica Carty, was originally interviewed while still undergoing treatment and is one of the survivors who agreed to tell their story. “It’s really important to me to give back. What we went through as a family was horrible, but CLF was there for all of us. I feel like part of the family there. I don’t think we would have made it through as well as we did without CLF’s support.”

Other leukemia or lymphoma survivors who want to participate or post their stories are encouraged to email JJ & Lynne. Tributes to those who lost their battle and photos will also be posted on the WCSX website.

Opportunities to bid on unique experiences, items or auction packages such as sitting in the WCSX studios with JJ & Lynne or hearing your MyTunes playlist on the air are available on designated dates throughout the month of January. Radiothon events, including a guitar jam at Oakland Mall, the assortment of auction items and packages and information, including how to make a donation or bid on one of the great auction packages, can be found at www.wcsx.com.

Detroit Free Press:

What usually is one of local television's annual major live events -- coverage of the North American International Auto Show charity gala set for Jan. 18 from Cobo Center -- won't be carried live this year for the first time. WDIV-TV (Local 4) has decided to opt for a two-hour special recorded at the gala to air three nights later on Monday, Jan. 21, from 8-10 p.m. Why delay the glitz, the glamour, the cars, the stars and this year, those Barenaked Ladies (the musical group from Canada)? Eyeballs... Auto show charity gala won't air live (Fri, 1/11)

The Detroit radio rating report for the fourth quarter of 2007 was released Thursday morning and was full of interesting numbers about several of the industry’s hottest stories. Here are the key headlines: Without Drew Lane — taking three-months-plus off to deal with his fiancee’s cancer — WRIF-FM’s (101.1) “Drew and Mike” morning show dropped among all listeners, in the age 18-34 demographic and the age 25-54 demographic from the same period in ’06 ... WNIC-FM’s (100.3) annual gambit of starting Christmas music the moment the last goblin disappears (Nov. 1) worked but not as well as in past years ... Sports-talker WXYT-AM’s simulcast with FM 97.1 continued to reap ratings gold with the stations scoring a combined 3.6 in the 25-54 race, good for s tie for ninth place... Drew's absence felt by WRIF (Fri, 1/11)

Detroit News:

Arbitron released its final fall radio ratings Thursday, and well before churning into election 2008 overdrive, the news stations did well, with news/talk WJR-AM (760) posting a No. 1 overall and all-news WWJ-AM (950) going from a 4.2 share/8 rank a year ago to a 5.2 share/5 rank for Fall 2007. Other developments: All eyes are on the Drew & Mike situation, with everybody wondering when and if Drew Lane, on an extended family leave to help his cancer-stricken partner Tess, will return to the WRIF-FM (101.1) morning show. But the Drewless show, featuring Mike Clark and his producers, still ranks No. 1 in the advertiser-coveted aged 25-54 demographic... WJR leads fall radio ratings, 'MXD is No. 2 (Fri, 1/11)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 12, 2008



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

In the early 1970s, Silvestre Rodriguez could be found going door-to-door in Hispanic neighborhoods in Jackson looking for signatures on papers with WIBM radio station letterhead. He was told by the station if he could get 1,000 signatures, he could have his own show. ``His dream was to have a radio show for the community,'' said his son Juan. His dream came true with the first broadcast on April 18, 1971, and Friday night at the Charles J Burden & Son Funeral Home, his family proudly displayed those weathered pages with WIBM letterhead. Silvestre Rodriguez, 74, died Wednesday. Juan Rodriguez took over duties as host when his father retired about 10 years ago, and Sunday's show -- the first without his father -- will be difficult, he said. ``I'm going to try,'' he said. The show airs from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on WIBM-1450 AM... Hispanic radio host dies; he started show in 1971 (Sat, 1/12)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 12, 2008



WDIV set for Auto Show specials

As the official home of the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), NBC affiliate WDIV-TV 4 will offer exclusive and extensive television coverage of from Cobo Center the next couple of weeks. NAIAS coverage on Local 4 will include live specials and news broadcasts from the exhibit floor along with a 2-hour primetime special from the Charity Preview event.

In addition to daily news features throughout the media preview week and the public show, Local 4 News continues the special series "NAIAS After Hours" segments each night at 11:25pm, immediately following Local 4 News at 11. Hosted by Carmen Harlan and Devin Scillian and featuring the popular “Name That Ride” challenge with Chuck Gaidica, NAIAS After Hours runs from through January 20th.

On Sunday, January 13 starting at 6 a.m., Local 4 News will be hosted live from Cobo Center by Guy Gordon and Rhonda Walker and will feature highlights from the previous night’s GM Style event. As the Car and Truck of the Year are announced and vehicle unveilings begin, Local 4 will take viewers inside with NAIAS Today At The Auto Show, airing at 11:30 a.m. Then, after a special 5:30 p.m. newscast, an hour-long live special, NAIAS Power Packed Weekend, hosted by Carmen Harlan and Devin Scillian will air at 6 p.m., featuring a recap of the day’s most talked about unveilings.

Monday, January 14 at 7 p.m, another all-new NAIAS Primetime Sneak Peek special hosted by Carmen Harlan and Devin Scillian will wrap up the new unveilings of the day and launch into the media preview week at the auto show.

Then, it’s one of Metro-Detroit’s most anticipated nights, and the biggest black tie extravaganza in town. Local 4 will take viewers inside the NAIAS Charity Preview party with a 2-hour primetime special. This year, the special will air from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Monday, January 21st, giving a chance for those in attendance to later see themselves on TV. The NAIAS Charity Preview is hosted by Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian, Guy Gordon and Rhonda Walker, along with Chuck Gaidica, Bernie Smilovitz, Kim Adams, Rod Meloni, and Paula Tutman.

The NAIAS Charity Preview event and broadcast will feature a special appearance by the Tonight Show with Jay Leno’s own “Ross The Intern” as a guest of DMC Children’s Hospital, Hoda Kotb from NBC’s Today Show, Deborah Norville from Inside Edition and A.J. Calloway from Extra. The special will also feature an exclusive interview with The Barenaked Ladies who will be performing at the event. The NAIAS Charity Preview special will also feature interviews with top industry executives and a look at some of the show’s most impressive vehicles on a night that raises spectacular donations for local children’s charities.

Two additional Local 4 specials round out the month-long coverage. NAIAS: Weekend Opener on Saturday, January 19 at 7 p.m., will offer viewers the best tips to prepare for their trip down to the Auto Show. And, on Sunday, January 27, at 11:30 a.m., NAIAS: Closing Day will recap the events and memorable moments from this year’s big event. Also again this year, the NBC Network will televise a national special from the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will air on Local 4 on Sunday, January 27 at 3 p.m.

In addition to all the specials, the latest daily updates and exclusive stories from the show can be found on Local 4’s website, ClickOnDetroit.com.


Government Mandated End of Analog Television Set for February 17, 2009. Michigan Association of Broadcasters Developing Consumer Information and Education Program

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is urging Michigan citizens to make sure they are prepared for the upcoming transition to digital television. Under federal law, analog television broadcasting is scheduled to end on February 17, 2009. At that time all television broadcasting will be transmitted in a digital format only. (Note: some low power television stations will be allowed to continue broadcasting their analog signals after this date, but will also eventually be switching to a digital format)

“The transition to digital television represents a major transition in television history,” said MAB Board Chairman Bart Brandmiller, Director of Sales for Clear Channel Radio in West Michigan. “Though the transition presents some challenges for broadcasters and consumers, we will do everything in our power to see that Michigan citizens will be fully prepared.”

The federal government mandated the switch from traditional analog television to digital in order to conserve limited spectrum space at a time when demand is high for wireless devices and emergency first responder need. Digital television (DTV) broadcasts significantly higher quality pictures and sound than the analog format. DTV also provides more variety in programming through digital sub-channels or multicasting, and will vacate the current analog spectrum, leaving it available for the Federal Communications Commission to auction off for new technologies.

Traditional analog television sets are not compatible with the digital format. In order to receive digital television, consumers will need to take one of the following steps before February 17, 2009:

1) Switch to a cable, satellite or telephone company service provider, in which case analog sets will continue to function. Consumers that already receive their television signals through cable, satellite or telephone companies will see no difference, and will not be required to purchase new equipment;

2) Purchase a new TV set with a built-in digital tuner; or

3) Purchase a DTV converter box that will convert the new digital signal into the old format for an existing analog television set. Analog TV consumers may also require a new set top antenna depending on the antenna they already have.

The federal government has set aside $1.5 billion to fund a program to provide coupons towards the purchase of converter boxes. There are four ways consumers can apply for a coupon:

• Apply online at www.dtv2009.gov

• Call the coupon program’s 24-hour hot line, 888-388-2009;

• Mail a coupon application to P.O. Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000; or

• Fax a coupon application to 877-388-4632.

Converter boxes will be available through many major electronic retailers.

One of the challenges in the DTV transition is ensuring that all Michigan citizens are aware of the scheduled end of analog broadcasting, and have the resources necessary to prepare their households for DTV. Of particular concern are the estimated 600,000 Michigan households that are receiving television signal on an over-the-air basis only. Many of those at-risk households represent elderly, economically disadvantaged and rural residents.

“Television is a crucial communications link to the world, and often times is the only resource for vital news and emergency information for many of our citizens,” said MAB President & CEO Karole White. “Purchasing a new television set may not be an option for many people, so we have to make sure that proper resources are in place so their access to emergency information via television is uninterrupted.”

MAB is developing a statewide information and education program that will be formally announced in February. The MAB DTV awareness campaign will involve a coalition of prominent organizations that represent many of the 600,000 at-risk households, as well as statewide television and radio public service announcements.

“MAB wants to ensure that every Michigan citizen is aware of this upcoming change and has the information they need to ensure they will continue to receive a television signal after February 17, 2009, said White.

The MAB has established a website with more detailed information about the DTV transition, which is www.michigandtv.com.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 13, 2008



Ann Arbor News:

In advance of Michigan's presidential primary on Tuesday, Michigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan (91.7 FM), is offering "Select A Candidate,'' an online game lets users assess how their political interests, opinions and views match up with those of the 2008 presidential candidates. By answering a series of issue-oriented questions and then ranking them in terms of importance, voters can find the candidate that best reflects their values (never mind that several of the candidates aren't on the Michigan ballot)... U-M radio site helps you narrow choices (Sun, 1/13)

Detroit Free Press:

The indefatigable and irrepressible Sonny Eliot reports he's doing his all to promote WWJ-AM's (950) 5th annual radiothon Feb. 8-9 for the Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) to keep poor folks warm by helping with winter heating bills. So Eliot convinced his TV weather buddies Chuck Gaidica, Jerry Hodak and Rich Luterman -- a rare feat in today's ultra-competitive TV environment -- plus hockey great Gordie Howe and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to do some typically Eliot-ized public service announcements for the event... Eliot's buddies team up to support THAW benefit (Sun, 1/13)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 13, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

Phil Tower, longtime radio programming and operations manager for WOOD-AM (1300) and WTKG-AM (1230), has a new job as general manager of The Allen Hunt radio show in Atlanta, but that doesn't mean he will have to leave Grand Rapids. "I will be 100 percent based in Grand Rapids, and I will have an office here in downtown GR. I am not moving my family to Atlanta and, much to Allen Hunt's credit, he realized how important my roots were here," Tower said... Radio mainstay works in Atlanta -- from here (Sun, 1/13)


By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioToday, I am back home from a whirlwind tour through the largest trade show in the country. If you ever wondered where Simon & Garfunkel got the inspiration for their hit song “At The Zoo,” I can assure you it was probably at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I have been attending this event for nearly 30 years, but this one was different on a number of levels.

After consulting with several attendees, I came away with a few observations. There were far too many people. It attracted over 140,000 people. The worst part was that (seemingly) nobody cares. People are so into their own world with all of their technological gadgets that they are oblivious to those around them. If you’ve ever been in a store wondering when someone would ask if they could help you, or felt you knew more about the product than they did, you will know what I mean.

For someone like myself, with a profound love and passion for radio, the 2008 CES proved once again that our beloved medium is in very serious trouble. Interestingly, the satellite radio folks, who at one time maintained some of the largest, costliest and most elaborate displays in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, were nearly non-existent last week.

Sirius was buried in a car stereo display with just a handful of representatives, and XM was relinquished to small corners of the Delphi and Audiovox booths manned by personnel unable to answer any questions beyond the most basic. It was very disappointing.

We are living in a visual era, and radio is finding itself needing to market more heavily and make far better use of their most visible asset, their Web site. Webcasts, podcasts and other means for radio stations to make themselves available to the listener on their schedule is quickly becoming the norm.

It was a 40-minute search to find the iBiquity booth with the latest innovations for HD Radio. After speaking with company president Robert J. Struble, he shared my feeling that unless local stations start putting some thought and financial backing into programming content that people actually care about, HD Radio could be facing an up-hill road ahead. Technically, it’s great but what comes out of the speaker needs work.

The announcement from Ford Motor Co. that they will start supporting HD was welcomed news for the iBiquity camp, but since most major radio companies are slashing budgets and cutting highpriced talent on their primary frequency, how can we expect they’ll support those “hidden” secondary channels?


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 14, 2008



Muskegon Chronicle:

A Muskegon radio station has gone off the air. WMHG (1600 AM) went silent Dec. 31, according to a Grand Rapids official of Clear Channel Communications, the national radio conglomerate that operates 11 stations in West Michigan, including four in Muskegon. Bart Brandmiller, Clear Channel's regional director of sales for West Michigan, said WMHG went off the air because a Local Marketing Agreement, or LMA, had expired. WMHG is owned by Atlanta, Ga.-based Cumulus Media but was operated by Clear Channel through the LMA. WMHG was an automated, satellite-feed station. Its music format, from the ABC Radio Network, broadcast a middle-of-the-road oldies format that featured hits of such artists as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. The format began as "Stardust" in 1998 and in 2007 became known as "Timeless Favorites." Until the loss of WMHG, Clear Channel had been operating five local stations out of its studio on Green Street in Muskegon Heights... AM radio station WMHG, 'Timeless Favorites,' silenced


Television: Newsmakers Jan 15, 2008



Detroit News:

A federal judge late Monday temporarily halted plans by Comcast to move local public access channels to digital TV today. Those plans would have put the channels out of range for hundreds of thousands of basic cable subscribers in Michigan. The city of Dearborn and Meridian Township sued Comcast in federal court Friday and asked U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts for an injunction to stop the move. "It gives us the opportunity to make sure there's a careful examination of what's correct before a decision is made," Dearborn Mayor John "Jack" O'Reilly said Monday night. "We just want to make sure the local programming people rely upon is going to be available to them." A Comcast spokesman said he could not immediately comment on the ruling. The channels in question typically feature coverage of local council meetings, educational programming and notices of community events... Fed judge stops Comcast's channel changes (Tue, 1/15)

Detroit Free Press:

A federal judge late Monday temporarily halted Comcast cable's plans to move community access channels higher up the dial today, putting them beyond the reach of thousands of Michigan cable subscribers with analog televisions. The decision by U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts in Detroit temporarily prevents Comcast from moving PEG -- public, educational and governmental access -- channels across the state into the 900-level digital range. The move would require subscribers with analog televisions to buy digital cable-ready televisions or rent or buy a digital converter box for each set to continue receiving those channels. Comcast, which offered to provide customers with a free converter box -- a $4-a-month value -- for one year, said the move was designed to free up bandwidth so it could offer more services, including high-definition channels, to its tech-hungry customers... Comcast channel changes on hold (Tue, 1/15)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers: Jan 15, 2008



WILX boss Mike King featured on Spartan Podcast

Mike King is an MSU alumnus and vice president/general manager of WILX-TV 10, Lansing’s NBC affiliate. King explains the transition of television broadcasts moving from analog to digital. The move is mandated by the Federal Communications Commission and takes place on February 17, 2009. He discusses how technology has dramatically changed the television industry into the media industry. But he says the mission of WILX to be hyper-local and serve the community has intensified and that it’s an exciting time to be in the media industry. He says students who want to enter the media industry need to be multitaskers above all else. Hosted by Russ White, check out the podcast at spartanpodcast.com/?p=365.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 15, 2008



WEXL hires Frank Turner for mid-mornings

WEXL AM 1340 will add veteran TV anchor and investigative reporter Frank Turner to their lineup beginning February 4th. Turner, touted as America's first Evangelical Anchorman, brings his testimony and enthusiasm to the airwaves to minister to the Metro Detroit community on Crawford-owned WEXL where his show will air weekdays from 9:30 am - noon.

The Frank Turner Show will focus on bringing Kingdom living principles to everyday life situations through interaction with callers and their issues. "I’m not a counselor; I’m a coach,” Turner states. “A counselor will tell you what they think, but a coach will show you how to run the plays that are in the book – my play book is the Bible.”

Prior to exploring his career as an evangelist, Turner was an anchor for Detroit ABC affliliate WXYZ-TV Channel 7.

Media Monitors:

According to Arbitron, Detroit is the 11th largest radio market with a population of 3,866,500. Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan. Detroit has been the automotive center for more than one hundred years, and is an important source of popular music, thus the nicknames: Motor City and Motown ... But the biggest star in Detroit is the automobile. And so this week, we look at the car and how the manufacturers advertised on the radio... Motor City Madness


MC Serch Returns To WHTD:
RADIO ONE Urban WHTD(HOT1027)/DETROIT format captain AL PAYNE welcomes the return of MC SERCH aka MICHAEL BERRIN. Starting today 1/14 and for the next two weeks, SERCH will be the station’s afternoon driver. SERCH is a native Detroiter who hosted a VH-1 reality series “EGO TRIPS (THE WHITE RAPPER SHOW) last year. A spin-off, "MISS RAP SUPREME," is set to roll out later this year. He’s also credited with having discovered the artist NAS. “Over the next few weeks, we will be showcasing different superstar personalities that once rocked the mic in DETROIT, said PAYNE. “One will be the next HOT-102 all star.” (Mon, 1/14)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 17, 2008



Detroit News:

Let's see. The last time FSN Detroit anchor Mickey York had to move, he went from Detroit to Seattle. Irony was, York was still covering all things Detroit for FSN -- from their network compound in the Pacific Northwest. Something along the lines of, live from Seattle, it's Detroit. Nearly five years later, he has to move again. And in a smart development, York gets to move back to Detroit to cover all things Detroit. FSN is killing its studio show, effective Feb. 1... FSN's York excited to return home (Thu, 1/17)

Don't get too excited, Comcast subscribers, but there have been several reports in recent weeks that say the cable company and Big Ten Network are closer to a distribution deal. One of the most interesting accounts of this progress was from Michigan athletic director Bill Martin in a short briefing to fans that can be found on the athletic department's Web site, mgoblue.com. "We are optimistic that we can reach agreement quickly with Comcast, and that the remaining cable companies will follow shortly afterward," Martin wrote in a post dated Jan. 10. The briefing included a letter to fans from Big Ten commission Jim Delany and Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman that yet against expresses optimism about the situation... Big Ten Network, Comcast still working on a deal (Thu, 1/17)


Television: Newsmakers Jan 18, 2008



New season, new host for CCHA All Access

The second season of CCHA All Access on FSN Detroit features the same great behind-the-scenes look at college hockey’s most dynamic conference, but the show takes on a new feel with the arrival of host Michael Kosta.

Kosta, a professional stand-up comic, brings his wit, enthusiasm and energy to CCHA All Access, which is scheduled to premiere Friday, Jan. 25 at 7:00 & 10:00 PM. A new episode of the 10-week show premieres each subsequent Friday at 6:30 or 7:00 PM and also airs Saturdays at 11:00 AM.

The premiere edition is the first of a two-part episode originating from Fairbanks, Alaska where Kosta and the All Access crew was on hand to see the Alaska Nanooks host the defending national champion Michigan State Spartans. They followed first year coach Doc DelCastillo, captain T.J. Campbell, and an army of Nanook faithful to get an up-close look at hockey in the great white north. From the practice ice, to the film sessions, to the locker room speeches…from 60-below afternoon temperatures, 30-foot tall inflatable polar bears and dogsled rides, Fairbanks is unlike no other hockey town (see a preview of the first episode at www.foxsports.com/detroit).

It’s all in a weekend’s work for the crew that spans the CCHA to take you on-campus and in the middle of the action. Other destinations this season include Notre Dame, Ferris State, Bowling Green, Lake Superior State, Michigan State and Michigan.

Kosta, a native of Ann Arbor who now resides in Los Angeles, is a rising star on the comedy circuit. He is a popular act in clubs around the country, makes numerous local and national radio appearances, and has displayed his talents through television on Comedy Central, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and the HBO/US Comedy Festival. Kosta also is a former assistant tennis coach at Michigan and played three years in the professional ranks earning world rankings in both singles and doubles. He was two-time Michigan state high school champion at Ann Arbor Huron and was a four-time Big Ten champion at the University of Illinois where he earned his degree in speech communications. He recently authored the book 101 Tips for Winning More Tennis Matches and currently independently teaches tennis nationwide.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 18, 2008



Detroit News:

Dick Purtan will appear Saturday night on the Fox TV show "Talkshow with Spike Feresten" to discuss the winners of the "Wacky Warning Label" contest, voted on late last year by his listeners. The WOMC-FM (104.3) morning host is prerecording his segment via a video camera from his home computer. The show will air on Fox 2 Detroit, WJBK-TV, at midnight Saturday. The "Wacky Warning Label" contest originated with the group Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (MLAW). The contest "honors" the strangest warning labels found on everyday objects, thanks to the zeal of lawyers -- labels like "Coffee may be hot." For the past seven years, Bob Dorigo Jones from MLAW has brought a list of five nominees to Purtan's show and read them on the air. Forty Purtan listeners then call in and vote on the winner... Warning: Purtan wacky label contest on national TV

Readers who called and e-mailed about WDIV-TV (Channel 4) anchor Ama Daetz missing from the station's morning newscast, shouldn't fear. Daetz still works at the local NBC affiliate and can be seen anchoring the Saturday and Sunday newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m. Daetz and many of her co-workers have been reassigned to accommodate WDIV's new format, which gives it the distinction of being the only station in town with a 6 a.m. newscast seven days a week, said Bob Ellis, the station's news director... Format changes shuffle anchors

WJR to continue Auto Show coverage as show opens to public

News/Talk WJR AM 760 will offer a special Charity Preview broadcast with Paul W. Smith from The Ford Motor Company exhibit this evening from 7pm-9pm. Then starting on Saturday, the station plans the following broadcasts from the show floor:

-- Sat 1/19 and Sat 1/26: 9am-11am, The CAR Show
-- Sun 1/20: Noon-2pm, Handyman Show with Glenn Haege; 2pm-3pm, Dailey & Stearn Law Show
-- Mon 1/21 - Fri 1/25: 9am-11:30am, Frank Beckmann Show
-- Tue 1/22 - Thu 1/24: 7pm-8pm, The Big Story with Lloyd Jackson

Business Reality Network moves to WDFN

After almost three years of broadcasting on AM 1310 WDTW, the Business Reality Network radio program will be moving to sports WDFN AM 1130 as of Sunday, January 27th at 10 am.

“It is a great step up” stated host Ren Carlton. “Although we truly enjoyed our time on WDTW, we are thrilled to move to a station with such a large, dedicated audience”.

The Business Reality Network is a one-hour program specifically designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners make business happen. For more information, visit their website at www.businessrealitynetwork.com.

Martin Bandyke of WQKL-FM (107.1/annarbors107one.com) will feature selections from vocalist Shelby Lynne's new album "Just A Little Lovin'" this Sunday, Jan. 20 at 4pm on his Fine Tuning program. Lynne's latest features songs made famous by the late, great Dusty Springfield, including The Look of Love and I Only Want To Be With You.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 18, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

When "The Free Beer & Hot Wings Show" debuted in West Michigan in June 2004, its head already was in the game. On its first day, the morning show on WGRD-FM (97.9) placed a call to the hotel room of the Slava Medvedenko, whose Los Angeles Lakers were facing the Detroit Pistons the NBA Finals. They told him the morning shootout around was canceled and he could go back to bed. "Then he came out in Game 4 and had eight of the Lakers' first 10 points and I'm like, 'Oh, crap. We made him play better,' " said Gregg "Free Beer" Daniels. Those kind of regular shenanigans have made the show a hit both locally and in the 15 national affiliates that span from Maine to South Carolina to Arkansas to Wisconsin. The show -- featuring Central Michigan graduates Daniels, Chris "Hot Wings" Michels, Eric Zane and "Producer" Joe Gasman -- has never been sports-centric, but the hosts openly admit that it deals heavily in the athletic realm... Radio show mixes sports, morning entertainment (Fri, 1/18)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 20, 2008



Ann Arbor News:

The radio ratings for the fall are in, and they contain some surprises for local stations. As usual, Detroit AM powerhouse WJR remains strongly on top in this market. It's followed by WWWW-FM (Ann Arbor-based W4 Country) and Detroit rock station WRIF-FM, which enjoyed a jump from a 1.8 to a 4.6 share (the percentage of those listening to the radio who are listening to a particular station) between the spring and fall periods (ratings are only measured here twice yearly). Perhaps the biggest change involves Ann Arbor station WQKL, which fell from third place in the spring, when it had a 4.8 share, to 15th place, with a 2.0 share. A call to station management was not returned. News-talk WAAM, which recently let go its longtime morning host Lucy Ann Lance, rose in the fall ratings period from 1.5 to 2.6 share (perhaps it's not too late to pick up the phone and invite her back)... WJR tops, WQKL drops in radio ratings (Sun, 1/20)


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioWhen the fall ratings book was released earlier this month, there was some interesting numbers to note.

Among all radio listeners, news-talk WJR-AM (760) finished on top followed by adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3), soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3), urban WJLB-FM (97.9) and news WWJ-AM (950).

WNIC again benefited from their all-Christmas marathon, but its numbers declined year-to-year, likely because of the competition from rival WMGC-FM (105.1), which also did the all-Yule thing. It’s pretty clear though that WNIC benefits from being the heritage Christmas station; in the key age 25-54 demographic, they finished second, well ahead of WMGC’s 14th place.

In the urban formats, the Clear Channel-owned combo of WMXD and WJLB easily outscored Radio One’s urban WHTD-FM (105.9) and urban oldies WDMK-FM (102.7) by claiming more than twice as many age 25-54 listeners. WMXD was the most popular station overall among 25-54 year olds.

Pop WDVD-FM (96.3) moved into the Top 5 among those 25-54s, a jump from 10th place in the summer, finishing tied with its sister station, variety hits WDRQ-FM (93.1). That’s good news for two solid stations that don’t get nearly enough ink in this column.

Sports WXYT-FM/AM (97.1/1270) scored a 2.6 rating combined among all listeners, putting the station well ahead of competitor WDFN-AM (1130), which finished with a 1.0. Among men, ages 25-54, WXYT finished a strong second overall. The move to FM seems to have paid off with many new listeners at least sampling the offering — the question now is will those listeners stick around?

New operations manager Tom Bigby will be tasked with keeping those ears — and he has at least one fan in town. Former rock W4 program director Donald Schuster writes, “Tom, in my opinion, was one of the best disc jockeys ever in Detroit. He was here in the WXYZ 1270 Radio 1970’s era which (also) included Dick Purtan, Johnny Randall and Joe Sasso. I remember him well as one of my favorites. He was upbeat, smooth, energyforward, relatable, comfortable ... really very, very good. I can never hear the name of Tom Bigby without remembering him well as one of the best.”

 • • • • • • • • 

Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison of classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) will be taking to the airways for 15 consecutive hours starting at 6 a.m. on Thursday, with the help of local survivors to raise money for Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. To date, JJ & Lynne’s WCSX radiothon has helped support the agency to the tune of nearly $2.9 million.

One leukemia survivor from Royal Oak, 22-year-old Jessica Carty, was originally interviewed while still undergoing treatment and is one of the survivors who agreed to tell their story.

“It’s really important to me to give back. What we went through as a family was horrible, but CLF was there for all of us. I feel like part of the family there. I don’t think we would have made it through as well as we did without CLF’s support.”

The radiothon will include opportunities to bid on unique experiences, items and auction packages such as sitting in the studio with JJ & Lynne or hearing your MyTunes playlist on WCSX. A list of radiothon-related events and auction items as well as instructions on how to bid can be found at www.wcsx.com.


Crain's Detroit Business:

The best drama not on television — the Hollywood writers strike — could soon be over — a happy ending for local affiliates worried about advertising revenue. It's still too soon to say if the new three-year deal reached by the television and movie directors union with the studios late Thursday will lead the striking writers to come quickly to an accord of their own — and stave off steep advertising rate cuts looming for networks and affiliates in Detroit and elsewhere. If the strike, which began Dec. 5, lingers into the spring it could force a drop in local television advertising rates by up to 35 percent, local media buyers predict... A happy ending in view for local TV affiliates? (Mon, 1/21)

Detroit News:

Chris Edwards has been off the air for most of the last three years, and strangers still tell him they watch him every morning. What makes that particularly mystifying is that back when he was the chief meteorologist for WJBK-TV (Channel 2), he worked nights. Strangers have also suggested that he's crazy for quitting a plum job with a six-figure salary. But they're outnumbered by the damp-eyed dads who understand what he did. "I've had men come up to me and say, 'I want to know how you're doing, because I want to do the same thing,' " says Edwards, 46. "I've had them say, 'I wish to hell my father had done something like that, because I never knew him' "... Raising kids is priceless for local weatherman (Mon, 1/21)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 21, 2008



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

Jackson can thank the carnival for WIBM radio. In the 1920s, radio stations traveled with carnivals from town to town, setting up portable transmitters to broadcast to local listeners. When federal licensing stopped classifying those moving stations, whatever city the carnival was in at the time was awarded the license. Jackson landed on the lucky spot. The call letters of WIBM had originally been assigned to a portable transmitter based out of Chicago. Previously, Jackson had access to WHBM, which broadcast in 1925 from the Capitol Theater. WIBM's introduction to the airwaves came on the morning of Nov. 20, 1927. The first program was Pastor Frederick Spence's sermon from the 10:30 a.m. service of First Methodist Church... WIBM radio has had many locations (Mon, 1/21)


WHYB and WLST swap formats in Menominee / Marinette, WI

Earlier this month, 'Cat Country' moved from WHYB FM 103.7 Menominee to the stronger signal of WLST FM 95.1 Marinette, WI with the adult contemporary format titled 'The Wave' moving from 95.1 to 103.7. 'The Wave' 103.7 also added the syndicated Bob and Sheri program for morning drive.

Both stations are operated by Armada Media - WLST 95.1 operates with 100,000 watts at 436 feet while WHYB 103.7 broadcasts with 7,000 watts at 299 feet.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 22, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

Immediately after he awakes Friday on his 90th birthday, Ernie Harwell plans to do a series of exercises. First, he will do 50 whirling dervishes -- a stretching maneuver in which he fully extends his arms and alternately turns his upper body to the left and right as fast as he can. Then he will do about 25 lunges and 25 deep squats. Then he will jump rope for about 300 repetitions. "Or maybe about 30 more, to figure I counted wrong -- for good measure, as they say," Ernie says. Then he will get on his back and pull his knees to his chest, then do about 50 sit-ups, then stretch his back. After that, he will do deep breathing and -- still on his back -- pull his knees to his chin several times. This won't be a onetime demonstration of feisty fitness, meant to show himself just what he can do on his 90th birthday. He does this series of exercises to start every day. And that is part of the reason why Ernie Harwell, the legendary radio voice of the Tigers, has hardly slowed down... Ernie Harwell, ageless voice of the Tigers, turns 90 on Friday (Tue, 1/22)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 23, 2008



Two new weekday call-in shows to debut on WAAM

Ann Arbor First Ventures LP, the new owner of WAAM Talk 1600, announced two new listener interactive shows in the important morning and afternoon drive times as the first step of several planned improvements to the station.

Weekday mornings from 6 am to 9 am “Bill Bennett’s Morning In America” gives listeners the day’s first look at the latest scoop and then opens the phone lines so listeners can go one-on-one with headline- making guests. This national show will be carried live and will be paired up with WAAM News and Community Affairs Director Dan Martin covering local news, sports, traffic and weather.

Weekday afternoons from 4 pm to 6 pm, WAAM has announced the return of local favorite Thayrone with his popular and controversial live and local talk show “On The Edge”. WAAM touts the new program with Thayrone as rant, rave, opinion, listener call-in compelling radio at its best. “On The Edge” offers a strong conservative message in a hip and indisputably interesting way only Thayrone can deliver.

Thayrone was born in Detroit and has lived in the Ann Arbor area since 1966. He has hosted shows on public and commercial radio since 1984 and his band The Witch Doctors regularly performs throughout the region. Thayrone’s “Bone Conduction Music Show” appears exclusively on WAAM Sundays 7 pm - 11 pm and he also nationally syndicates a similar show on the radio and streams it on the web.

“The new energy at WAAM is converging with the economic and political turmoil in the country to make it an exciting time to be WAAM listeners and advertisers,” said David Drolshagen, general manager of the station. “Ratings for WAAM have surged 66% over the last 6 months, as reported recently by Arbitron, in large part due to our world class line-up of talk show hosts. These two new live shows can only add to this momentum.”

Ronald Unkefer, the CEO of Ann Arbor First Ventures LP, also announced today that new marketing, a new website and more program improvements for the station will be rolled out over the next 90 days. “Our goal is for WAAM to be recognized as one of the best middle market radio stations in America. As part of this plan, we intend to increase local features and double the number of local weekend shows such as Joe Gagnon’s popular Saturday morning ‘Appliance Doctor’ show,” Unkefer commented. “As the news, talk and information station for Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan, we can offer local businesses and experts from our community the opportunity to partner with us to produce weekend shows that highlight their trade or passion in an informative and entertaining way,” Unkefer continued. “Listeners are invited to check out the new shows and other changes and then let us know how we can further improve the station to benefit our community.” Unkefer promised that the new website www.waamannarbor.com will be open for business and listener feedback in a few weeks.

WAAM Talk 1600 is licensed to Ann Arbor and has been on the air since 1948. The current lineup includes Fox News 24/7, local news and talk, and top national shows such as Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingram, Dr. Laura and Michael Savage. Ann Arbor First Ventures LP was formed to purchase WAAM and operates it under an agreement with Mighty Media Group LP. Ronald Unkefer is CEO of both companies and has owned and operated over two dozen radio stations over the past 16 years. His first station was the now legendary KSFO in San Francisco which he converted to a talk format in 1993.

WRIF to air select Indy Car and Nascar races in 2008 seasons

Rock WRIF FM 101.1 has formed a partnership with the IMS Radio Network to air a select number of 2008 Indy races along with the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race. The following is a schedule of the races that will be aired on WRIF:

Homestead, Miami- Saturday, March 29th; Indy 500- Sunday, May 25th; Brickyard 400 (NASCAR)- Sunday, July 27th; The Detroit Grand Prix, Sunday, August 31st

In 2007, WRIF aired the Detroit Grand Prix to help support the return of Indy racing to Downtown Detroit and to see how the listening audience would respond to live racing on a rock music format.

“The feedback from the listening audience was indeed very positive and so we decided to take it up a notch”, said Doug Podell, WRIF's program director and operations manager. “We’re excited to be able to offer this kind of programming to our listeners”.

WMUZ's Dutko to expand audience

Bob Dutko, veteran broadcaster for Crawford Broadcasting's Christian WMUZ FM 103.5 will take his controversial Christian talk show to another level by syndicating his hot topics to fourteen stations including Detroit with “Defending the Truth,” beginning February 4, 2008.

Defending the Truth will tackle tough theological issues using logic, science, history, evidence and intellectual reasoning to defend the truth of Jesus Christ. Through interviews, commentary and respectful debate, Bob will prove the evidence of the Resurrection, God's existence, Biblical Creation versus Evolution, the historical accuracy of the Bible, America's Christian Heritage, and more.

Dutko’s show will begin this hour at Crawford Broadcasting stations in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Oregon, and in Detroit on WRDT 560 am from 4:00pm until 5:00pm weekdays.

"I’ve always believed our faith as Christians is not dependent upon science, logic and intellectual reasoning but it is backed up by science, logic and intellectual reasoning, and that’s what we’re going to continue to show with this new program," Dutko commented. “I’m excited about the opportunity to show more people the true logic of the Christian faith. To believe in God, in His word, in Biblical creation or in Jesus’ resurrection does not make you part of this flat earth society. We’re not leaving our brains at the back of the church door. We’re actually using our brains by welcoming debate and intellectual discussion.”

Crawford Broadcasting employees take part in Dr. King walk

Detroit’s Christian Station WMUZ 103.5 FM – The Light, Gospel Station AM 1340–WEXL and Word Station AM 560–WRDT joined over 500 walkers in West Bloomfield, Michigan for the 14th annual United We Walk event on Monday, January 21st in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

“We were so glad to join our listeners in this demonstration of peace and unity in the name of Dr. King,” said morning show co-host Shannyn Caldwell adding, “Braving this cold was the least we could do for a man who braved so much more for all of us.”

The walk, which took place in sub-zero wind chill conditions, was the culmination of a two-day event which included a speech by Nigerian Christian artist Timothy Orikri, a candlelight vigil, and a round table discussion about the “State of the Dream.”

WMUZ was the presenting media partner for this multi-cultural event and looks forward to working and walking with United We Walk for many years to come. More information is available at: www.unitedwewalk.org.

Detroit News:

Paula Tutman went to the auto show and found her mother a car. Then she found herself an epiphany, which is not as easy to come by. Elaine Tutman wants a minivan. After patrolling Cobo Center on behalf of WDIV-TV (Channel 4), where she's been a reporter since 1992, Paula Tutman decided her mom would look just right in a Chrysler Town & Country. Task complete. Tutman has been steering people toward American cars for awhile now. A friend was getting ready to turn in one leased Lexus SUV for another recently, she says, "and I talked her out of it. She went home with a Hummer H3, and she loves it." As for Tutman, she drives a Lexus... TV reporter says she's driving a guilt trip (Wed, 1/23)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 24, 2008



Detroit News:

Have a yen for backstage passes to meet "Elmo" or a hunting trip with Ted Nugent? (Or both?) You can bid on those things and more online today as part of the J.J. & Lynne Show's annual 15-hour Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan Radiothon, which takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Oakland Mall in Troy. The WCSX-FM (94.7) morning hosts have raised a total of $2.9 million for the foundation in previous radiothons. Bids can be made until 8 p.m. today at wcsx.com , where you can see the complete list of auction items, including a hunting trip to bag wild boar with Ted Nugent ; meet-and-greet passes to "Elmo Makes Music," Feb. 8 at the Fox Theatre; Beatles "Help" lobby cards and the chance to have a live broadcast of Pam Rossi's Saturday or Sunday "Over Easy" show broadcast from your home... 'CSX's radiothon raises money for charity (Thu, 1/24)

The fight between Comcast and the Big Ten Network is effectively in its eighth month, and customers have no idea when it will end. The sides say they're talking, which is lovely. However, Comcast is still running its bombastic commercials about how outraged we all are at not being able to see college basketball. The BTN smartly ratcheted down its trash-talking early in the football season, something for which we all should be grateful. The bottom line is that a lot of people still cannot see the BTN. Which led me to one thought: what exactly is all this fighting over? I sat down and watched the Big Ten Network for an entire day. Yes, a one-channel lockdown, and I kept my fingers off the remote control. And it wasn't easy... Big Ten Network elicits a Big Yawn (Thu, 1/24)


Lansing State Journal:

Jason Colthorp, the homegrown TV anchor, will switch stations soon. He won't have to do any packing, though. The move - from WSYM to WILX - will be within the same building. "He's always been a WILX employee," said Kevin Ragan, the station's news director. WSYM, a Fox affiliate, contracts with NBC affiliate WILX for its 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. The shifts, which begin March 3, are: Colthorp will co-anchor the 11 p.m. WILX newscast with Adela Uchida; David Andrews, who currently co-anchors at 11 p.m., will stick to a 5 p.m. solo gig and a 6 p.m. broadcast with Uchida... Local TV stations switching anchors (Fri, 1/25)


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

It's more than a compliment when strangers say they like Ann Bardens-McClellan's voice. It's a sign that they're tuning in to her radio show. The award-winning poet is co-host of Michigan Writers on the Air, broadcast the last Saturday and Sunday of each month on Interlochen Public Radio (IPR). Also hosted by Aaron Stander, an award-winning mystery novelist and reviewer, the program features conversations with -- and readings by -- local and visiting writers... Writers take to the airwaves (Fri, 1/25)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 25, 2008



Detroit News:

Don't miss your opportunity to be a contestant on CBS' hit reality show "Survivor." WWJ-TV (Channel 62) is hosting a casting call from 2 to 5 p.m. today at the television studios. Interested candidates must be 21 and older ... Jennifer Purtan has been named vice president of sales for WWJ-TV and WKBD-TV (Channel 50), the CBS owned duopoly in Detroit. Trey Fabacher, vice president and general manager of both WWJ-TV (the CBS affiliate) and WKBD (The CW affiliate), made the announcement this month... CBS searching for next 'Survivors' (Fri, 1/25)

Rest assured, if Ernie Harwell felt compelled to blow out all his birthday candles today, he could -- and after that, he'd probably skip rope for 10 minutes and run up a flight of stairs 30 times. "That's not going to happen, though. I don't think they make a big-enough cake," Harwell, the annually viable candidate for most popular person in town, said with a laugh. He's retired now, of course. But not. His Hall of Fame broadcasting career is over, but his era as a corporate spokesman is in full swing... Ernie Harwell turns 90 (Fri, 1/25)

Detroit Free Press:

Drew Lane, away from his highly rated WRIF-FM (101.1) morning show on a personal leave since late September, said Thursday that if he was on the air, he’d have noted that “the joke about ‘if a lawyer’s lips are moving he’s lying’ needs to be changed for the mayor ... WJR-AM (760) early morning voice Paul W. Smith said his Kilpatrick story callers—mostly suburban, Smith said — “were completely angry…it was an explosive reaction. People were just very upset”... Radio airwaves buzz with Kilpatrick chatter (Thu, 1/24)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 25, 2008




WTNR Is Flipping: The crew at CITADEL Country WTNR (THUNDER 94.5)/GRAND RAPIDS check in to ALL ACCESS with an update. APD/MD BRIAN SIMS will move from middays to PM drive, while DITCH COOPER does the flip-flop from PM drive to middays. The new music call time for SIMS is THURSDAY from 2-3p. (Thu, 1/24)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 26, 2008



JJ & Lynne’s Radiothon gathers musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs and survivors to benefit Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan

JJ & Lynne, morning talk show hosts of Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 talked to internationally-known musicians, business notables, professional athletes, major league coaches, local citizens and leukemia survivors in order to make the phones ring and bring attention and dollars to the cause of Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan (CLF). For 17-years, Jim Johnson (JJ) & Lynne Woodison have supported the agency with their Radiothon, raising nearly $80,000 in 15-hours for CLF, a 55-year old, independent foundation providing information, financial assistance and emotional support to Michigan families facing the challenges of leukemia and lymphoma. Over the years, the total raised is nearly $3 million dollars to help children and adults in their battle with these diseases.

The 15-hour Radiothon took place on location at the Greater Media Studios in Oak Park on January 24th, 2008 beginning at 6:00 A.M. A group of area leukemia or lymphoma survivors were interviewed and shared their stories of hope and how the foundation came to assist financially as well as helping them cope during their ordeal. Melissa Berman of Waterford, Jennifer Valinski of Belleville, Brenda Bratt of Troy, Jennifer Wiser of Holly, Christine Kowalski of Dearborn Heights, and Jessica Carty of Royal Oak spoke to JJ and Lynne about their experiences.

Glenn Trevisan, President and CEO of CLF said, “We are thankful for JJ & Lynne, everyone at WCSX and their loyal listeners who, all told, have raised more than $3 million for CLF in 17 years. We are deeply grateful. We are a local, state-wide organization and support a great cause for families here. And the effort of supporting our mission is even more satisfying because of the many great people we work alongside of such as JJ & Lynne and all the people who give their time to this event.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to JJ & Lynne’s Radiothon or for additional information about CLF, should go to www.leukemiamichigan.org. Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan is a statewide organization that provides information, financial assistance and emotional support to adults and children affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and other related blood disorders.

WRCJ set for another Symphony Bowl

You know that incredibly super-hyped sporting event that everybody gets all worked up about every year at the beginning of February? Did you ever wonder what might happen if we lived in a world where we got equally geeked about the arts? Specifically, a championship contest between two symphony orchestras?

Well wonder no longer; Symphony Bowl MMVIII is here, pitting the New York Philharmonic against the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

It all started in 1989 when Chris Felcyn, hosting a classical music program one Super Sunday morning on a Detroit public radio station, decided to play samples from the orchestras of the cities competing in that other event. Now the Symphony Bowl is ready for prime time on Public Radio International, and as in previous years you'll hear a thrilling demonstration of competitive symphonics between two determined symphony orchestras. In addition to authentic recordings from each organization, we'll feature celebrity cameos and interviews (The CBC's Tom Allen explains the differences between the Canadian and American Symphony Leagues; Maestro Leonard Slatkin will appear as Blimp Grand Marshal during a 3-ship formation fly-by) as well as an actual musician from each competing orchestra. It's all packaged with the twists and turns and atmosphere of a live contest, as we create an epic "battle of the bands" right before your very ears.

Hear WRCJ's exclusive coverage of the Championship Concert of the National Symphony League. It's Symphony Bowl MMVIII, coming Sunday, February 3, 2008 at 10 a.m. to 90.9 FM.

WUOM, WDET to air State of State address

Michigan Radio, WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor/WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint/WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids, will air live coverage of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s State of the State Address to the Michigan Legislature on Tuesday, January 29th at 7 pm. Michigan Radio will produce and broadcast this live event, which will also be carried by Michigan Public Radio Network stations across the state.

Following a bruising budget battle in 2007, the governor is expected to address how she plans to deal with the state’s continued economic challenges and efforts to diversify Michigan’s economy.

Michigan Radio’s Charity Nebbe will host the live broadcast, with political analysis from Jack Lessenberry. Michigan Public Radio Network correspondent Rick Pluta will provide reaction from the state capital. Following the governor’s address, Michigan Radio will also broadcast the Republican response from Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.

Detroit's WDET-FM will also have coverage from 7 - 8:30 PM. On Tuesday, February 5, WDET will carry NPR's programming on the 22 Super Tuesday primaries beginning at 9:00PM. The special broadcast is expected to run until 3:00AM and will include NPR's national coverage and analysis.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 27, 2008



Ann Arbor News:

Evelynn Hawkins is the new host of the weekday evening jazz program on WEMU, 89.1 FM. She started work earlier this month, succeeding Michael G. Nastos, who retired last July after 27 years at WEMU. Hawkins has been in radio since 1984 as an announcer and producer, and has programmed classical as well as jazz. She came here from WDUQ-FM in Pittsburgh, and she has co-hosted the national broadcast of the Detroit International Jazz Festival. She has served on the boards of both music and community non-profits... And all that jazz: New EMU host Evelynn Hawkins grew up in a family surrounded by music (Sun, 1/27)

Fans of National Public Radio personality Ira Glass should mark this date down immediately. The host of the public radio (and now, Showtime television) program "This American Life'' will celebrate the show, and the DVD release of the first season of the television version, with an appearance Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the downtown Ann Arbor Borders Books and Music store... ON THE AIR: Meet host of 'American Life' (Sun, 1/27)


By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioGood grief, what is happening to my favorite medium? Personally, I’m getting mad at the insanity of the radio industry, and I’m bothered by the double standard between radio and television. Did you see how fast the recent utterance of the F-word live on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” was dropped from the front page and how there was no mention of a fine for ABC or any of the hundreds of affiliates that carried the show? Yet, when a radio station lets less-offensive words slip on the air, it gets blasted with fines of more than $300,000.

 • • • • • • • • 

The big news since we last met was more of an “inside” story than a public one, but some broadcasters are calling this one “Imus 2.” Bob Grant is a legendary New York talk show host who specializes in kicking boring callers off the air. Some have called him the pit bull of talk radio with a style similar to comic Don Rickles. Industry trade paper Radio & Records was to give Grant a lifetime achievement award at its Talk Radio Seminar in March. The award was rescinded before even being presented because of the efforts of an anti-Grant listener who launched an e-mail campaign to the top brass at VNU/Nielsen, which owns R&R.

What makes this such a big deal is that radio and its on-air talent — in a supposedly free speech country — can be so easily manipulated by one or two people who complain instead of just changing the station. R&R — no doubt acting on commands from the corporate office — folded like a house of cards, according to Grant. Now its been rumored that several talk radio superstars are suggesting a boycott of the TRS. That would be unfortunate, because then “the terrorists win.”

 • • • • • • • • 

The main topic under “old business” is the merger between satellite radio rivals Sirius and XM. It was supposed to be finally approved last Thursday, but we’re still waiting. How all of this is going to work is still a mystery, since the two systems are incompatible and many of the channels are similar, which will no doubt result in massive layoffs in personnel from both on and off the air. Both terrestrial and satellite radio keeps cutting the most talented people. Every week, I read about top-shelf people leaving the business because either they make too much money or they said “something” on the air that somebody didn’t like. At the risk of sounding like an old Roy Orbison song, are we all “Running Scared”?


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 29, 2008



Detroit News:

Longtime WWJ-AM (950) vice president and general manager Ritschard "Rich" Homberg has been named president and general manager of Detroit Public Television, a job vacant since Steve Antoniotti resigned last April. Detroit Public Television operates WTVS Channel 56, DPTV.org, DPTV Media and classical/jazz radio station WRCJ-FM (90.9). In a statement, Stephen Strome, chair of the DPTV board of trustees, said: "Rich Homberg has certainly demonstrated a deep commitment to southeast Michigan, and he has a clear understanding of the important role a broadcaster can play in helping our community achieve its goals"... Rich Homberg takes over Detroit Public Television (Tue, 1/29)

Comcast Corp. apologized today for the way it handled a proposed shift of community access programming in Michigan that would force customers to get converter boxes or new TVs to continue to watch local government meetings and high school football games. Rep. John Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and congressional Democrats criticized Comcast and AT&T Inc. for giving the public, educational and governmental programming, or PEG programming, what they termed "second-class" status. "PEG programming deserves first-class treatment, not second-class billing," said Dingell, D-Dearborn ... David L. Cohen, Comcast's executive vice president, told the panel that "in retrospect, we failed to communicate adequately our goals and to work cooperatively with our local partners to produce a 'win' for everyone." "That is not the way we want to do business -- in Michigan or in the rest of the country -- and I want to apologize for that," he said... Comcast promises to fix community access channel issue (Tue, 1/29)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 30, 2008



Detroit News:

THAW (The Heat and Warmth Fund), along with WWJ-AM (950), AT&T and WJBK-TV (Channel 2), have teamed up for the Fifth annual Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW, a 31-hour on-air extravaganza. The excitement begins 5 a.m. Feb. 8 and continues through Feb. 9 at the Boll Family YMCA, 1401 Broadway St., in Detroit. The goal this year is to raise $500,000 to provide emergency heat and lights for struggling low-income families and senior citizens throughout Michigan with special concentration in Metro Detroit... 31-hour THAW fundraiser is Feb. 8 (Wed, 1/30)

Detroit Free Press:

After a nine-month search, Detroit public television station WTVS-TV (Channel 56) has found its new leader in the middle of Detroit's AM radio dial. Rich Homberg, vice president and general manager of all-news WWJ-AM (950) since 1996, has been named president and general manager of Detroit Public Television. The move, announced Tuesday, fills the top slot left vacant last April when former president and general manager Steven Antoniotti resigned unexpectedly... Detroit Public Television names radio chief to its top post (Wed, 1/30)


FSN celebrates Black History Month



FSN has announced plans to celebrate Black History Month with a series of national and local programming initiatives designed to honor the contributions of African Americans to American culture, both inside and outside the world of sports.

For the first time ever, FSN’s programming plans will include a national component, including a half-hour special – “Americans in Focus” – that chronicles compelling stories compelling stories of African Americans who struggled to overcome obstacles to achieve greatness in their field. Among those are civil rights icons with Detroit connections – Rosa Parks and Ralph Bunche:

• Americans In Focus (30-minute special) – Sat. Feb. 9 @ 6:30 PM & Mon. Feb. 18 @ 7:30 PM on FSN Detroit. This show features extraordinary achievements of African Americans and their perseverance for equality in society and/or sports during a period when racial segregation was the law of the land. Profiles include civil rights trail blazers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., legendary Detroiter Rosa Parks, Arthur Ashe, and Larry Doby, as well as former slave-turned entrepreneur Bridget “Biddy” Mason, Nobel Peace Prize-winner and Detroit native Ralph Bunche, and Charles Cooper, the first African American drafted by an NBA team.

• Black History Month Tributes, presented by Toyota – FSN Detroit commemorates Black History Month by presenting a series of 30- and 60-second tributes airing within Pistons telecasts and other programming throughout February. The tributes, presented by Toyota, were taped on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Among the presenters are Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter and museum president/CEO Juanita Moore. The tributes recognize landmark events, significant accomplishments and influential individuals.

Also airing on FSN Detroit during Black History Month:

• ’51 Dons: Pride, Honor, & Friendship – Sat. Feb. 9 @ 6:00 PM & Mon. Feb. 25 @ 7:30 PM on FSN Detroit. This 30-minute program tells the story of the 1951 University of San Francisco Dons, which entered the college football season fielding a team that would go undefeated (9-0) and which produced nine NFL players, including three future Hall of Famers (Gino Marchetti, Ollie Matson, and Bob St. Clair). The team was the school’s best ever, but it never went to a bowl game. It was an era of segregation, and when the only bowl to express interest in the Dons was the Orange Bowl, promoters let it be known they would invite USF only if they left their two African-American players behind. The team refused rather than compromise their values.

• Americans in Focus (90-second vignettes). Airing during FSN’s NBA and NHL telecasts and other programming, this first-time vignette series will showcase past and present African Americans who have excelled in professions that initially were considered outside the realm of possibility for a person of color. Subjects include: Bessie Coleman, the first licensed African-American female pilot; Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut (and namesake of the Mae C. Jamison Academy in Detroit); renowned artist Ernie Barnes, one of the most collected painters in the U.S.; and photographer, writer, and filmmaker Gordon Parks, the first African American to work as staff photographer for Life Magazine.

In producing the national shows, FSN has partnered with Beezley Films, Inc., an African-American-owned, multi-media production company based in Los Angeles. FSN had previously worked with Beezley Films on the critically acclaimed Crosstown Rivals, which chronicled the historic high school football rivalry in Los Angeles between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School.

FSN’s Black History Month programming will be showcased across all of its regional sports networks.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 31, 2008



WWJ AM 950 knocked off air

No word yet on what happened, but at about 9:30 this morning all-news WWJ lost transmitter power at its facilities in northern Monroe county and remained off the air for about an hour. The station's programming continued to air over the Internet via its web site at www.wwj.com during the outage.

When the station resumed its over-the-air broadcasts at about 10:35 am, they appeared to be at less than the station's licensed 50,000 watts as the station's normally strong signal was subject to more interference than usual from along the border of Troy and Sterling Heights. It's possible that WWJ resumed broadcasting using a back up transmitter located near 8 Mile Rd. and Meyers Rd. in southern Oakland county -- the site the station broadcast from for years until it moved further south to increase power from 5,000 to 50,000 watts in 2000.

Detroit News:

If you're having trouble lately pulling in a good signal from your favorite radio station, it's not just that your radio dates from Marconi's heyday. Radio signal interference has become a big problem in Metro Detroit since the advent of HD (high definition) broadcasting ... Mildred Gaddis's morning talk show on WCHB-AM (1200) has been on fire all week over the mayoral text message scandal ... WDET-FM (101.9) will be holding a Valentine's Day fundraiser, "For the Love of WDET," on Wednesday. Listeners are invited to share why they love WDET, as they pledge donations... HD signal wreaks havoc with analog radio (Thu, 1/31)


What was hot adult contemporary 'Max FM', Clear Channel owned WMAX-FM 96.1 Holland/Grand Rapids, entered into stunt mode this afternoon by replacing its regular programming with the sound of a ticking clock. An occasional announcement is made in English that "Max is done, dead and gone" and inviting listeners to stay tuned to see what happens next, followed by another announcement made in Spanish.

The station's web site content has been removed, replaced by a short YouTube video showing "2.4.08 @ 10.01". Until then, the speculation will run rampant on what the new sound of 96.1 will be....

Grand Rapids Press:

I got tipped off at Wednesday night's Auto Show gala that something would be happening at 3 p.m. today on WMAX-FM (96.1). So, I tuned in to hear a Spanish announcer give the legal ID, saying he was broadcasting from a snow-covered cornfield in Hudsonville. That was followed by an annoying ticking sound. So, it seems Clear Channel is getting rid of the Max format of playing a little bit of everything and possibly going all-Spanish. But is it a ploy to make you think that?... What's going on at MAX-FM? (Thu, 1/31)







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