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 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:

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)







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on January 23, 2008 7:36 AM.

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