By: Mike Austerman
A 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.
• • • • • • • •When the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert wraps up Friday at Joe Louis Arena, it won’t be soon enough for those of us who have grown weary of hearing the countless promotions for ticket giveaways on stations that vary from country WDTW-FM (106.7) and WYCDFM (99.5) to Top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5) and soft rockers WNICFM (100.3) and WMGC-FM (105.1), most of which rarely play songs from the Disney-created hyperpromoted television and music starlet. I, like countless other parents, wonder how so many radio stations can get all these tickets to give away while the rest of us regular folk can’t even get close to buying them the so-called regular way. The contests that the stations come up with for parents to try to win tickets for their kids are all in fun and totally optional, of course — but don’t concert promoters feel even the least bit guilty about how they make parents go through to try to get their kids into these shows? I guess “Nobody’s Perfect” after all.
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Quick hits: Theresa Lucas is the new program director for WNIC, replacing Don Gosselin, who left to pursue other opportunities. Lucas adds to her responsibilities, as she also is WNIC’s music director and midday host (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) … Evelynn Hawkins has been named as the new 8-11 p.m. host at jazz WEMU-FM (89.1) Tuesday through Friday.
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Set your dial: WQKL-FM (107.1) host Martin Bandyke will feature songs from Radiohead’s new release “In Rainbows” this afternoon at 4 p.m. on his Fine Tuning program … Today’s Somewhere In Time features one of the first radio shows for children, “Let’s Pretend,” and also studies the singing of June Christy. Tune in at 6 p.m. on WMUZ-FM (103.5) and WRDTAM (560) … This evening’s edition of “The Evolution of Jazz” with Ed Love, heard at 8 p.m. on WDET-FM (101.9) features great trumpeters and other jazz artists of the mid-1930s and early ’40s … Rico, creator and lead singer of The Bunker Boys will be performing “unplugged” on WDET’s Detroit Today at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
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Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Oakland Press since 2001.
Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, January 6, 2008