February 2008 Archives

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 1, 2008

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Flint Journal:

Hugh Semple suffered stings and slights as the Flint area's first black TV broadcaster. But Semple had the last word. While his detractors are long forgotten, Semple, who died in 2004 at age 83, is remembered as a pioneer of broadcast journalism. "Hugh was not only a role model for the rest of his race, but he set a high standard of integrity for everyone in the business," said Roberta Wray, a retired lawyer who worked with Semple at WNEM (Channel 5) in the 1960s... Walter Winchell inspired TV broadcaster Hugh Semple (Thu, 1/31)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 1, 2008

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Grand Haven Tribune:

Clear Channel Radio of West Michigan and Grand Valley State University have agreed to a new broadcasting rights agreement, a deal that will move Laker football and men's basketball game broadcasts from WMAX 96.1 FM to WMUS 106.9 FM effective earlier this week. "It is not a typical procedure to move programming from station-to-staion in the middle of the season, but with the great success of the Laker basketball team, we wanted to take advantage of the public's interest," said Tim Feagan, Clear Channel' Vice President of West Michigan... GVSU football, men's hoops moving to 106.9 FM (Thu, 1/31)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 3, 2008

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"For the Love of WDET" fundraiser - Feb. 6-9

Detroit Public Radio can help listeners with their Valentine's Day flowers when they take part in the station's upcoming "For the Love of WDET" fundraiser starting on Wednesday, February 6. Listeners can celebrate their relationship with WDET and share the reasons why the love Detroit Public Radio when they make a pledge of support.

Everyone who makes a gift of $150 or more can choose to have a dozen roses sent to their special someone on Valentine's Day, February 14. Other special thank-you gifts include Sanders candy - a Detroit tradition since 1875 and a romantic evening's stay at the historic Inn on Ferry Street in the heart of Detroit's cultural center.

"For The Love of WDET" begins on Wednesday, February 6 and runs through Saturday, February 9. Listeners can make their pledges of support by calling 1-800-959-9338 or give on the station's secure website: www.wdet.org.



Ann Arbor News:

"As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted ...'' So began talk show host Thayrone's return to the airwaves Monday afternoon with his "On the Edge'' program. He was referring to the decision by former WAAM-AM 1600 management to yank his right-leaning show from the air nearly two years ago ... Friday's "The Lynn Rivers Show,'' at noon on WEMU-FM 89.1 FM, presents a discussion of transportation issues with Clinton administration transportation secretary (and EMU alumnus) Rodney Slater ... Martin Bandyke of WQKL-FM 107.1 plays new releases by the B-52s, k.d. lang and the American Music Club today at 4 p.m. on his Fine Tuning program... Thayrone resumes talking- Local host's right-leaning show is back on WAAM (Sun, 2/3)



See the “Queen of Soul” in New York City with AM 580

The Motor City’s own Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul”, is performing at the legendary Radio City Music Hall, and Oldies CKWW AM 580 is sending one lucky winner and a guest to be in the audience. Starting Monday, listen to Charlie O’Brien weekdays at 8:20 & 9:20 AM when he’ll play an Aretha Franklin song. The fifth caller on the station's contest line at (866) 554-5858 will instantly win a Queen of Soul prize pack and be entered to win a trip for two to see her perform at Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center on March 21st. The grand prize winner and a guest will receive round trip air, hotel accommodations and tickets to the show. The contest will run for two weeks and the Grand Prize draw from all of our daily qualifiers will be held on Friday, February 15th at 9:20 AM.



Set your dials:

-- Veteran Detroit broadcaster and music aficionado Judy Adams will feature a live on tape performance from The Bill Higgins Trio recorded live at the Jazz Cafe Discovery Series this evening at 11pm on WVMV-FM 98.7. On Tuesday, Judy presents birthday tributes to bluesman/ producer, Al Kooper (2/5/44), and reggae icon Bob Marley (2/6/45) on The Judy Adams Program, heard at 9am on CJAM-FM 91.5 and at cjam.ca.

-- This week's edition of WDET's "The Evolution of Jazz" with host Ed Love airs on Sunday, February 3 at 8PM and is titled, "Live Recordings From the 1950's".

-- Somewhere in Time's Tom Wilson and Alison Harris feature the music of Artie Shaw and the Gramercy Five at 6pm this eveing on WMUZ-FM 103.5 and WRDT-AM 560.

 

Smile FM group launches 'Smile FM Praise' format

Christian radio operator 'Smile FM' in January relaunched its WWKM-FM 89.1 Imlay City as "Smile FM Praise", a full-time praise and worship music format, and plans to expand the format into a network of stations across Michigan.

The new format will be placed on some of the group's smaller outlets that are now carrying the Contemporary Christian 'Smile FM' format but duplicate the coverage areas of other Smile FM stations. The network will be built after the new sound of Smile FM Praise is refined a bit and after some required technical changes are made to the outlets that will be switching to the Praise format.

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 3, 2008

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Grand Rapids Press:

A new format at WMAX-FM (96.1) will be revealed Monday. Go to 961maxfm.com or listen to the ticking clock on the airwaves and you may be perplexed. A teaser campaign using the numbers 2.4.08 @ 10:01 leads me to deduce a new format will be announced at 10:01 a.m. Monday. Clear Channel's Doug Montgomery said "MAX will not be returning... WMAX-FM teaser campaign Sun, 2/3)


Angie Vuyst started as a phone screener in radio when she was 17. She started working her way up at Clear Channel radio as a morning-show producer, on-air talent and assistant program director. Now, at 25, she has been promoted to imaging and program director for news radio WOOD-AM (1300) and WTKG-AM (1230). "I threw my hat in the ring. I know my stuff. I was jumping for joy and doing high-fives when I got the good news about my position," she said... New program director at WOOD-AM (Sun, 2/3)

 

By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioIt used to be that reporting on radio was all about covering the things heard over the air. Now Art Vuolo and I spend as much time being business and legal reporters as we do covering the actual entertainment. This week is no exception. Clear Channel, owner of WMXD-FM (92.3), WKQI-FM (95.5), WJLB-FM (97.9), WNIC-FM (100.3), WDTW-FM (106.7), WDFN-AM (1130) and WDTW-AM (1310) locally, has clamped down on first-quarter spending for marketing and music research and halted nearly all hiring. A memo from CEO John Hogan was leaked on the Internet in which Hogan reportedly claims, “We are generating less revenue for Q1 than we budgeted and less than what actually ran last year. At the same time, our budgeted expenses for Q1 are up 4 percent.”

Some of the reason for the financial clamp-down is that the publicly traded company has agreed to be reconfigured as a private entity by essentially being acquired by a number of capital investment firms for $19.5 billion, $39.20 a share. The bad budgetary news sparked a sell-off of Clear Channel stock, which last week was trading at more than $10 less per share than the deal price.

The mega-deal received approval from the Federal Communications Commission late last month, with the requirement that the company sell off some of its stations in 42 markets around the country. While none of the Detroit-area stations were on the list of stations identified to be sold off, it’s pretty clear that with the kind of financial pressure Clear Channel is under there are very few properties that should be considered safe if they are losing money. Already we’ve seen just how brutal a time this is with the numerous personnel cutbacks that were made by the company late last year, here in Detroit and nationally.

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Given all of that, it’s no wonder Rich Homberg decided to get out of commercial radio by leaving his job as vice president and general manager of news WWJ-AM (950) in favor of joining Detroit Public TV, which owns and operates Channel 56 as well as programming classical/jazz WRCJ-FM (90.9). Homberg had been with WWJ and CBS radio since 1996 and was a major part of bringing the sports format to WXYT-AM (1270) along with the broadcast rights for the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings.

“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,” said Steven Strome, chairman of the Detroit Public TV Board of Trustees. “We consider him the ideal leader as we expand our services in a rapidly changing media environment.”

“This is an exciting time to join Detroit Public TV,” Homberg said. “The station shares my commitment to creating local content that can strengthen our region by uniting viewers, listeners, and businesses along with cultural and educational institutions to address vital issues.”

 

Radio XThe stunting ended just past 10:00 a.m. on WMAX-FM 96.1 Holland/Grand Rapids with the launch of Alternative Rock 'Radio X 96.1'. The Clear Channel-owned station launched with a brief announcement followed by Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah", and "Just a Girl" by No Doubt.

It appears the station is running jockless for now, but featured its first commercial break just 20 minutes into its new sound.

A splash web site page at www.radiox961.com shows core artists for the new station being The Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, The Ramones, U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, Sublime, the Beastie Boys, Incubus, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. The station is streaming live via the Internet and is inviting listener feedback via the web site.

Prior to this morning's new format launch, the station carried a broad hot adult contemporary format as 'Max FM' until it began stunting on Thursday afternoon, January 31st.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 5, 2008

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Detroit Free Press:

Michigan's first gentleman, Dan Mulhern, is cutting back his daily talk radio show , to once a week on Saturday mornings. Mulhern has hosted the hour-long show on WJIM-AM in Lansing since March. His mix of career advice, current affairs and politics aired at 6 p.m., between shows by conservatives Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. The move is "by mutual agreement," said Tim Nester, operations manager for the Michigan Talk Network. The first hour of O'Reilly's program, currently not heard on WJIM, will replace Mulhern. Mulhern, who announced the move in his weekly e-mail newsletter, said the evening show was "taking away precious family time." By moving to 7-9 a.m. Saturday, Mulhern will be able to return to the original concept of his program, focusing on successful workplace strategies, Nester said... Mulhern cuts radio gig to once a week (Tue, 2/5)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 5, 2008

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Detroit News:

A former Detroit Tigers broadcaster is being held in the Macomb County Jail after he was taken into custody over the weekend by the Roseville Police Department. Officers picked up Lary Sorensen after he was found Saturday in a parked car in Roseville, according to Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan. The former major league pitcher is alleged to have had a blood-alcohol level of 0.48 before he was taken to a hospital for treatment... Ex-Tigers broadcaster jailed (Tue, 2/5)



Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit Public Television last week named WWJ 950 AM veteran Rich Homberg president and general manager. He spoke with Crain's reporter Sherri Begin about his new role and the role he sees the station playing in the region's revitalization... Q&A: Radio veteran confident about move to public TV (Mon, 2/4)

 

Detroit News:

Fans can schmooze with former CKLW personalities Jo-Jo Shutty-MacGregor,Charlie O'Brien and Ted "The Bear" Richards (along with his wife, former CKLW "hitline girl" Nancy ) downtown at Winter Blast on Friday before an 8 p.m. screening of the documentary about the big, booming Detroit-Windsor AM radio station of the '60s and '70s, "Radio Revolution: The Rise and Fall of the Big 8." The film will be screened in a heated tent at Campus Martius Park, where you can sip hot cocoa and talk to Richards, who just started on afternoons at WOMC-FM (104.3) ,or listen to all the wild stories about "20/20 News" crime reports. The film's director, Michael McNamara , who grew up in Windsor listening avidly to the Big 8, will also be there to talk to fans. Stick around, because at 10 p.m. "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," the documentary about Motown's Funk Brothers, will hit the screen... 'Big 8' film screens Friday at Winter Blast (Thu, 2/7)


It was 3:12 on a Saturday morning, Feb. 2, when Roseville police officer Brian Dobrzycki approached a gray 1998 Ford parked on the shoulder of I-696, near I-94, a man slumped unmoving over the steering wheel. Dobrzycki hammered on the windows and the windshield to no avail, and called emergency medical services. Moments after they arrived the man stirred, and eventually was able to unlock his door. Dobrzycki identified him: former All-Star pitcher and Tigers announcer Lary Sorensen. He was dead drunk -- nearly literally so. "I'm just happy he's not dead and he didn't kill someone else," said WJR talk-show host Frank Beckmann, who was Sorensen's broadcast partner in the Tigers' booth in the 1990s. "This whole story is just a tragedy." EMTs rushed the 52-year-old Sorensen to St. John Macomb Hospital, where he was diagnosed with alcohol poisoning. Tests determined his blood alcohol level to be .48 -- six times higher than the .08 threshold for drunk-driving convictions in Michigan... Ex-Tigers broadcaster in jail (Thu, 2/7)


I was getting my hair done the other day and the running joke at the shop is that WXYZ's Steve Wilson likes to provoke Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick just so the Mayor or one of his bodyguards will push him out of the way. When the Mayor and company shove Wilson it makes for a better story... Mayor Stops Running From Steve Wilson and Talks (Thu, 2/7)



WMGC morning show to support Capuchin Soup Kitchen with remote broadcast

Jim Harper and the Magic Morning Show will broadcast live from 6 to 10 a.m. on Friday, February 15th from the Art Van Furniture store on 14 Mile Road in Warren in support of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen's Shower Program. Donations of the following items are requested: men's, women's and children's new underwear, gently used shoes and socks, trial size toiletries and cash donations.

Refreshments will be served and those that donate will receive a special coupon offer. Fr. Vincent will also be on hand to sign copies of their new book "My Name Is...Portraits and Table Stories from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen." Books will be available for purchase for $25.



Ira Glass to visit WDET

Ira Glass, host of "This American Life" (heard on WDET-FM 101.9 Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 11AM) will stop by the WDET studios for a live appearance on Saturday, February 9 from 3pm to 4pm during the "Folks LIke Us" program. Glass' appearance is in support of the "For The Love of WDET" fundraiser.

Listeners are encouraged to share the reasons they love WDET when they make a pledge of support at (800) 959-9338 or online at www.wdet.org.

Ira Glass is in the area for a discussion and DVD signing at Borders Books & Music in downtown Ann Arbor (612 E. Liberty) at 7PM on Saturday, February 9. Ira will be signing copies of the Borders exclusive "This American Life - Season 1" DVD of the Showtime televised series.



Foxx joins the Fox

Michael J. Foxx is back on the Detroit airwaves as he joins country WDTW-FM 106.7, The Fox, for a weekend afternoon gig. He'll be heard Saturdays from noon-4pm and has also been filling in this week for the vacationing Scott Gaines= the regular afternoon drive jock on The Fox.

Michael J. spent a number of years behind the mic in Detroit, working first at WHYT-FM 96.3 then joining what was then W4 Country, WWWW-FM 106.7, in 1994. Foxx temporarily survived the station's format switch from country to rock AC in 1999 when the station became known as Alice 106.7 but moved on to Baltimore country outlet WPOC-FM 93.1 soon after the big switch. Known as simply Michael J in Baltimore, he continues to be based there.

 

Television: Newsmakers Feb 8, 2008

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Detroit Tigers:

For the second consecutive year, the Tigers will have all but one of their games televised in their local area between FSN Detroit, FOX national and ESPN. Though rainouts or postponements could change matters, the only game currently on the schedule that won't be on television is a Saturday afternoon contest on Aug. 2 against Tampa Bay. Because the game starts at 6:10 p.m. ET, it falls inside the FOX network's exclusive broadcast window, and they did not put that game on their broadcast schedule. FSN Detroit, featuring the broadcast team of play-by-play voice Mario Impemba and analyst Rod Allen, will air as many as 151 games this season, including at least 75 in high definition on FSN HD. Three April and May games that conflict with the Detroit Pistons or the Red Wings are slated to air on FSN Plus, an alternate channel made available through cable and satellite providers... Tigers' TV slate released- Only one game not currently scheduled for broadcast (Thu, 2/7)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 8, 2008

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Grand Rapids Press:

When the courts ruled that Michigan would have to move high school girls basketball, it forced a number of juggling acts. Athletes had to pick a sport. Referees had to be found. Gym time had to be ferreted out. Schedules had to be massaged. Television and radio stations, however, didn't factor into the equation. As the state adjusts to its first season with a new winter sports landscape, the local media has been forced to tweak its own coverage. In the past, basketball essentially was held on only two nights -- Tuesday and Friday. With a healthy slate of games now being played Monday through Saturday, coverage has become a bit chaotic for local stations... TV, radio adjust to new high school season (Fri, 2/8)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 8, 2008

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Frankie Darcell, WMXD land exclusive hour-long chat with Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

The ever-escalating whistleblower/text messaging scandal in Detroit takes center stage at 1pm today on WMXD-FM 92.3 when midday host Frankie Darcell is scheduled to spend an hour with Mayor Kilpatrick. The mayor promises to discuss the situation and answer questions.

WMXD simulcasts its programming on the Internet - visit the station's web site at www.mix923fm.com and click the "Listen Live" button.



Detroit News:

WWJ-AM (950) would like you to turn off the heater in your car today for 10 minutes. It has 10 specific minutes in mind, but whichever minutes you choose, there is one very likely outcome: You will be cold. WWJ's fifth annual Winter Survival Radiothon stretches across 31 hours, from 5 a.m. today to noon Saturday. The beneficiary is The Heat and Warmth Fund, more commonly known as THAW, even if technically it should be THAWF. THAWF exists to help keep the heat on for Metro Detroit families who have to choose between things like paying the utility bills or feeding the kids. As much as we all grumble about the rising cost of gas or electricity, at least we have gas or electricity to complain about... How 'bout some cold cash for THAW? (Fri, 2/8)


We're only a week into February sweeps and the period has already begun with a bang. For starters, WJBK-TV (Channel 2) beat WDIV-TV (Channel 4) and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) for the first time with its 11 p.m. newscast "Fox 2 News Edge ." This ratings coup took place Tuesday and serves as a monumental occasion for the fledgling news offering, which got its start in September. On that night, which by no coincidence also happened to be Super Tuesday, WJBK edged out the competition with a 5.2 ratings point versus WXYZ's 4.9 and WDIV's 3.5. WJBK actually enjoyed ratings success that entire day, placing first among all key demographics... WJBK tops others in February sweeps (Fri, 2/8)



Macomb Daily:

Long ago, I appeared regularly on the Tigers' pregame show on Channel 4, when that station carried their games. It was called the "Tigers Round Table." The guests were media members and former players. Sometimes, after the taping was complete, we'd go across the street to the Anchor Bar -- a longtime hangout for the media because it was located so close to the Detroit newspapers and the TV station. I'd have a beer or two and talk baseball. And I'd go home. One of the former players who used to appear regularly on those segments was Lary Sorensen. And he was one of the people I would sometimes have that beer or two with following the taping. The same Lary Sorensen who has been arrested numerous times for driving under the influence of alcohol, been to prison for his problems and may be heading back there again because he just can't seem to shake them. And, honestly, I had no idea... Sorensen's struggles continue (Fri, 2/8)

 

By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioThe former publisher of Inside Radio, Jerry Del Colliano, feels that what’s killing radio is constant denial. The “big guys” who run the mega radio companies are saying things that scare me. Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor reported that Clear Channel Vice President John Hogan said: “Performance and capability is not our problem. Our problem is one of perception.”

No, it’s not. Look what they’re doing. They try to grow a business by cutting back. They embrace the wrong technology (HD instead of mobile/Internet). They have driven off the next generation — have no clue what they want — and think the problem is about perception. No one cares about perception — they care about content and how it is delivered.

Dan Mason, president of CBS Radio, said, “The Arbitron People Meter will revolutionize the industry,” probably because actual radio listening has been underreported using the old system. Mason said, “For this industry to have to defend itself against the iPod is not only ridiculous, it’s wrong.”

Repeatedly, I’ve preached about the iPod, but it’s not the only thing radio has to defend itself against. The enemy has been redefined as Internet radio, mobile phone competition for listening time (texting, phoning, etc.) and social networks. To beat the “bad guys,” you need to know who they are.

Radio may be just the ticket for baby boomers, but it’s not even on the radar screen among most 18-to- 24-year-olds. Del Colliano said, “Radio people seem to deny that they need to attract this audience, and they get nasty when you tell them that radio may have to deliver content in ways other than terrestrial signals.”

As a baby boomer, I see my generation is approaching the checkout lane and Gen Y (young people) are just starting to live, spend and buy goods. As much as radio groups say they understand the Internet, they don’t. It is a delivery system and it needs content. One would think they would want to be in that business. Thanks, Jerry, for letting me borrow some of your thoughts.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 11, 2008

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Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun:

Greg Siefker, 62, has sold his station, WMLM 1520 AM, to Krol Communications Inc., which owns Z92.5 WJSZ FM "The Castle" in Ashley-Owosso. "Basically I'm retiring," Siefker said. "It's age more than anything. I've had 30 years of 10-, 12- and 14-hour days. That's long hours. I don't want to do it anymore. "Besides, the last couple of years I've dodged some health bullets. The time is just right." Paperwork for the ownership change was filed Friday with the FCC. "That process will take between 30 and 60 days," Siefker said. "I will be involved in the transition period and stay on to do some advertising sales for awhile on a contract basis where I can set my own hours, but I will no longer be on the air." He founded WMLM in 1977 in downtown St. Louis... Radio station WMLM sold (Mon, 2/11)

- note: Sale price of WMLM is $205,000

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 11, 2008

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Personnel cuts hit CBS Radio and Greater Media in Detroit

HenryCBS Radio in Detroit has trimmed several jobs in recent days, including the release of longtime morning sports reporter Larry Henry from all-news WWJ and marketing director Kassie Kretzschmar, who had been working for sports WXYT-FM/AM and oldies WOMC-FM. There are reports of others that have also been let go by CBS in their latest round of cost-cutting, but without any official word from the company or the people involved Michiguide.com will only publish names we have positive confirmation on.

Larry Henry had been with WWJ since 1994 where he had also held the role of sports director. Involved in Detroit sports broadcasting since 1987, Henry has also worked as play-by-play host for both Michigan football and basketball in addition to national work in auto racing, the NBA Finals, NFL Playoffs, the NHL, and the Masters and PGA Championship. WWJ sports reports are now being handled by Tony Ortiz, Jeff Lesson and Tom Mazawey- who also provide sports updates for sister station WXYT-FM/AM.


Over at the Greater Media cluster, Bill Stedman has exited as the operations manager and program director for classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7), replaced on an interim basis by Steve Richards who is the station's music director and assistant PD.

Stedman explains that the decision for him and the company to go their separate ways after five years was a mutual one. "Greater Media is a great company to work for and I'm proud of where WCSX stands in the community as I leave with the station's work with the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. I put WCSX's level of community involvement up against anyone in town. General manager Tom Bender and I agreed it was time for someone new to take the reigns and carry on WCSX's legacy as one of the market's best radio stations."

Prior to taking the PD role at WCSX in February 2003, Stedman held the same job at Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3.



Crain's Detroit Business:

All of a sudden, we are starting to get all sorts of television messages warning us that our televisions won't work after Feb. 17, 2009. It seems that the government and the industries had decided years ago that broadcasting would switch to a high-definition picture. Not big screen, not plasma or flat screen, but high-definition. We have been told that it is a great leap forward in television viewing. But what they didn't tell us is that they are taking away the electronic waves that transmit existing television signals and replacing them with another set of signals on a different band. That means some televisions will stop working after the switch. Perhaps millions of TVs will be rendered obsolete at the stroke of midnight on Feb. 17, 2009... Keith Crain: It just doesn't seem very democratic (Mon, 2/11)



Detroit News:

Oldies station WOMC-FM (104.3) has announced a new host for its volatile midday slot: John Thomas, known as "JT," is leaving his current job as morning jock at Classic Hits WJGL in Jacksonville, Fla., to assume the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. time slot at 'OMC starting March 3. Thomas worked for WOMC program director Scott Walker in Florida, as well as with the Detroit station's new afternoon host Ted "the Bear" Richards, when the two men worked for Jones Satellite Network in Denver... WOMC hires new midday jock (Mon, 2/11)


Red Wings television analyst Mickey Redmond is undergoing surgery Monday to have a small tumor on his lung removed. The tumor was found during a recent examination. Redmond had successful lung cancer surgery in January 2003. Doctors treating the 60-year-old Redmond say the tumor was discovered early, and they expect he'll make a full recovery... Wings announcer Redmond to have tumor removed (Mon, 2/11)


In what has become an annual rite of winter, nearly all the cable and satellite TV providers that service Metro Detroiters are raising their rates for the year, with increases ranging from 3 percent to 6.5 percent. The increases -- 6.5 percent for Comcast, 6 percent for Charter Communications and Wide Open West, 4.3 percent for Bright House Communications, 4 percent for DirecTV and 3 percent for DISH Network -- compare to an inflation rate of 2.85 percent in 2007. The hikes will show up in February bills, except for DirecTV subscribers, who will pay more beginning in March. One TV service is not increasing rates this year: AT&T U-verse, which entered the market last spring. The increases apply to "extended basic" cable service, or the satellite equivalent... Cable TV bills are heading up again (Mon, 2/11)



Detroit Free Press:

Marked: By Martin Bandyke, his 25th anniversary as a radio host on Feb. 21. His career began in 1983, cohosting the weekly "Dimension" program on WDET-FM (101.9). In September 1991, he switched over to the weekday morning shift at WDET, then started doing weekday afternoons in June '92, until WDET changed formats in December 2005... Names and Faces (Mon, 2/11)



AllAccess.com:

Tre Black Hits Hot 102.7- Now in week five of showcasing former DETROIT radio icons, RADIO ONE Urban WHTD (HOT 102.7) announces the return of TRE BLACK to the airwaves. MONDAY through THURSDAY of this week, he will host 3-6p. BLACK follows MC SERCH and REGGIE REG, who both completed separate two-week stints. "The response to our Icons promotion has been phenomenal," said RADIO ONE/DETROIT OM AL PAYNE. "The city has been ignited by both MC SERCH and REGGIE REG. They, along with TRE BLACK, have and will continue to set a new standard for afternoon radio in DETROIT." (Mon, 2/11)


WYCD Adds Weekend After Hours Show- CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT has added a new weekend show, hosted by WILL HARVEY and MATT VAUGHN called "WYCD AFTER HOURS." The show will air on SUNDAY mornings at 1a (ET) and will feature a fun 'house party,' atmosphere. HARVEY and VAUGHN together have over 15-years of on-air experience. The show will have a "young feel," according to the hosts and will feature Country artists such as CARRIE UNDERWOOD, DIERKS BENTLEY, TAYLOR SWIFT, JOSH GRACIN and others. (Mon, 2/11)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 12, 2008

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Grand Rapids Press:

Two longtime West Michigan news organizations are reuniting after 36 years in an effort to provide news, weather and other coverage. WOOD-TV (Channel 8) and Clear Channel's Newsradio WOOD-AM (1300) are sharing resources, effective immediately, in a full-content partnership involving news, weather, sports and traffic. Representatives of both stations said viewers and listeners will notice: - WOOD-TV reporters giving daily news updates on WOOD-AM. - WOOD-TV being incorporated onto woodradio.com, providing daily news feeds of top headlines as well as Storm Team 8 Doppler radar. - TV8 meteorologists providing expanded weather forecasts for WOOD-AM and all seven local Clear Channel stations. - Kevin Richards reporting real-time traffic conditions on both stations... Radio and TV WOODs are together again (Tue, 2/12)

 

As the deadline for cut-off of many over-the-air analog TV signals draws closer, the Community Broadcasters Association (CBA) is warning consumers to check and make sure the digital converter boxes they will be buying to keep their analog TV's functioning contain both an NTSC (analog) and ATSC (digital) tuner.

Owners of LPTV stations, TV translator stations, and Class A stations, many of which will continue operating with an analog signal past the full-power station cut-off date of February 17, 2009, are concerned that consumers may not realize the purchase of a converter box without an NTSC tuner will not be able to receiver their stations through that converter.

The CBA is considering several options — many of which could derail the DTV transition, including filing suit — to remedy what it sees as a serious flaw in the government-sponsored DTV converter box coupon program.

The association objects to the converter box design that qualifies for the $40 reimbursement coupon from the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) because it does not include an NTSC tuner.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 14, 2008

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Saginaw Spirit:

The Saginaw Spirit are pleased to announce the debut of two new weekly radio features – “The Spirit Hockey Show” and the “The Spirit Hockey Update”. Both will be aired on NewsRadio 1250 AM, a member of the WNEM and Meredith Corporation broadcast family. “The Spirit Hockey Show” will air every Monday night from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM starting February 18th through the conclusion of the Spirit’s post-season. Spirit broadcaster Terry Ficorelli will re-cap the last weekend and bring the fans up-to-date on the latest Spirit news and happenings ... “The Spirit Hockey Update” will air every weekday, Monday through Friday, at 5:26 PM. Ficorelli will report daily on the latest Spirit news and promote the upcoming weekend... Spirit and NewsRadio 1250 Partner For Weekly Radio Show and Update

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 14, 2008

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Detroit News:

What did Ted "the Bear" Richards miss the most during the 16 years he was gone from Detroit? That's easy: Detroit baseball. "I was here when they won it all in 1984," says Richards, WOMC-FM (104.3 )'s new afternoon host. The faint Southern lilt in his voice from his native South Carolina can still be heard, even after his years as a jock at the legendary Detroit/Windsor station CKLW , delivering rapid-fire patter on his top-rated nighttime show (his CK years spanned from 1972 to 1985). Richards was named Jock of the Year by People magazine in 1979. Today, to celebrate the arrival of Detroit Tigers pitchers and catchers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., sometime between 5 and 6 p.m., Richards will run part of an interview he did with Tigers' Hall of Fame announcer Ernie Harwell. What else did Richards miss about Detroit? Married to a former CKLW "hitline girl," Nancy, he's glad to be near his in-laws in Windsor. And: "The coney islands on Lafayette Boulevard, going to concerts at Cobo Hall, fishing in the river and catching three-eyed fish"... WOMC's 'The Bear' Richards celebrates Detroit Tigers players (Thu, 2/14)



Detroit Free Press:

WRIF-FM (101.1) and DJ Screamin' Scott Randall have assembled a fun way to make some money for two families in need. It's WRIF's first annual Super Rock 'n' Bowl, set for noon-2 a.m. Sunday at the Premier Lanes in Chesterfield Township. With help from Team Jacob (a group of folks who help raise money for charity) and the graciousness of musicians from the local scene, the much-ballyhooed event will pit teams of bands, bars and groupies in a west side-vs.-east side bowling event for charity. WRIF-FM (101.1) and DJ Screamin' Scott Randall have assembled a fun way to make some money for two families in need. It's WRIF's first annual Super Rock 'n' Bowl, set for noon-2 a.m. Sunday at the Premier Lanes in Chesterfield Township. With help from Team Jacob (a group of folks who help raise money for charity) and the graciousness of musicians from the local scene, the much-ballyhooed event will pit teams of bands, bars and groupies in a west side-vs.-east side bowling event for charity... WRIF goes bowling for a cause local music highlights (Thu, 2/14)



Novi News:

As Detroit Public Television continues making structural improvements to its Wixom facility, a new face was added to the internal line-up. Ritschard Homberg, former vice president and general manager of WWJ Newsradio (Channel 950) was named president and general manager of Detroit Public Television earlier this month ... In 2005, Detroit Public Television purchased the Wixom facility from former Clover Technologies. In order to raise funds to relocate the locally owned and operated broadcasting center, a capital campaign was launched with an overall goal of $22 million. Relying on donations has required renovations of the 93,000-square-foot building to be done in phases. The facility is currently undergoing construction of the master control room and editing rooms, which is slated for completion in May... Changes continue at Detroit Public TV's Wixom facility (Thu, 2/14)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 15, 2008

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Bandyke set to celebrate 25 years on area radio

Thursday, February 21st marks the 25th anniversary of being a radio host for adult alternative WQKL-FM 107.1 morning host Martin Bandyke. Back on Feb. 21, 1983 he began co-hosting the weekly Dimension program on WDET-FM. Dimension started in 1971 and was first hosted by the trumpet player Charles Moore, known for his work with everyone from the MC5 to
Yusef Lateef.

In September of 1991 Bandyke switched over to the weekday morning shift at WDET, then
started doing weekday afternoons in June of '92, which is where he stayed until WDET went virtually all news/talk in December of 2005.

The veteran host joined WQKL-FM, aka Ann Arbor's 107one, as the 6-10am morning drive host in January of '06, and also currently hosts the freeform Fine Tuning program on Sundays from 4-6pm on 107one.

In addition to special CD and ticket giveaways on his Feb. 21st morning show, a plan for a concert is in the works. Also, on the Feb. 24 Fine Tuning program Bandkye is set to play songs that he was playing back in 1983, like R.E.M., New Order, Prince, Echo & the Bunnymen, etc.

Says Bandyke, "I remain proud of the fact that I've survived and thrived on the radio in Detroit and have played some really cool music for the last 25 years."



Detroit Free Press:

Former WWJ-AM (950) Vice President and General Manager Rich Homberg announced Monday the radio station's fifth annual winter radiothon generated about $600,000. The station held the 31-hour radiothon Feb. 8 and 9 to contribute to the Heat and Warmth Fund. THAW is a nonprofit that provides emergency energy assistance to low-income families, according to the organization's Web site... WWJ-AM raises $600,000 to keep folks warm (Fri, 2/15)



Toledo Blade:

The day before Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's spokesman was suspended for three weeks for allegedly using vulgar language with an off-air radio producer, the mayor himself used a profanity during a live interview broadcast. Mr. Finkbeiner uttered the "f-word" followed by "ruckus" to describe the "few days" after his order last week to cancel a Marine Corps weekend-long urban warfare exercise in downtown Toledo and in some abandoned buildings. The mayor spoke on The Frank Beckmann Show on WJR-760 AM in Detroit for nearly 16 minutes Tuesday... Toledo mayor's profanity aired on live radio in Detroit (Fri, 2/15)



WXYZ-TV Channel 7:

Every night she expects the public to trust her – working as a TV news anchor.
But Suzanne Wangler is accused of taking more than $100,000 from a local man – and now the police are on the case. Suzanne Wangler’s fate has dramatically changed since she was a TV reporter here in Detroit. She’s been in trouble with police several times and now this latest drama – a man who says she took more than $100,000 from him. On the air right now in Lansing – she uses the name Suzanne Page, but you may remember this anchor as Suzanne Wangler. She used to work as a reporter here in Detroit... Investigators: Missing Money (Fri, 2/15)



Michigan Radio introduces Mobile Web service

Michigan Radio, in partnership with NPR, has introduced two new services for public radio listeners and web users in Michigan. NPR Mobile from Michigan Radio is a collaboration between the station and National Public Radio that brings news and features from both NPR and the Michigan Radio news team to users of mobile phones and other devices.

NPR Mobile consists of two new services: NPR Mobile Voice, and NPR Mobile Web. NPR Mobile Voice allows listeners to make a simple phone call, access a menu of listening choices including NPR and Michigan Radio programming, and listen to the audio on any phone (landline or mobile). NPR Mobile Web allows users to access NPR news and features via their phone’s mobile web browser. It delivers text, audio, and pictures directly to users through a web site optimized for delivery to mobile phones and other mobile devices. Neither NPR nor Michigan Radio charge for this service. Data usage charges depend on the calling/ data plan users have with their carrier.

Among the services that mobile users can access are hourly local news updates from Michigan Radio, national news updates from NPR, the NPR Story of the Day, and business, health and science news stories. Users can also hear commentaries from Frank DeFord and other public radio commentators, find public radio stations across the country while traveling, and even play the “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” news quiz.

Michigan Radio is the first public radio station in Michigan to offer this innovative service, and one of only twenty public radio stations across the country participating in the NPR Mobile Web partnership.

“These two new interactive services deliver our Michigan Radio topical content to users whenever they choose, wherever they are. We are very pleased to lead the state with this new innovation in partnership with NPR.” commented Steve Schram, Director of Broadcasting for Michigan Public Media

- NPR Mobile Voice from Michigan Radio can be accessed by calling 734-274-5662.

- NPR Mobile Web from Michigan Radio can be accessed at michiganradio.npr.org.



Set your dial:

This week's edition of "The Evolution of Jazz" on WDET-FM 101.9 with host Ed Love will air on Sunday, February 17 at 8PM and is titled, "Electronic and Percussive Sounds of the 70s" ... Jackie Brown was a famous theatre organist from Scotland. Today, he's at the console of the famous WurliTzer in London's Granada Theater situated in the suburb of Tooting. His concerts were very popular because he always had a central theme. Jackie will be playing a series of railroad tunes on Somewhere in Time at 6:00 pm Sunday February 17th on WMUZ-FM 103.5 and WRDT AM 560 that range from Chattanooga Choo Choo to Casey Jones. The program is hosted by Tom Wilson and Heather Novak ... Judy Adams presents a live on tape performance from The Lewis Meyer Trio consisting of talented high school Jazz musicians from the Troy area at 11pm Sunday February 27 on "The Jazz Cafe Discovery Series", heard on WVMV-FM (98.7) ... ArtiFacts, the monthly arts and culture magazine show that provides ‘A View of Detroit’s Urban Art Scene’ is produced by the Arts League of Michigan and WRCJ 90.9FM, and airs every third Sunday of the month at 6:30 pm. This month, ArtiFacts host Karen Dumas will feature an informed conversation with Ministers of Music from local houses of worship that will focus on music in the church. The special invited guests will include the expertise and knowledge of, Bill Moss, Jr. of Christian Tabernacle Church, Robert Nix of Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Glenn Miller of Kirk in the Hills and Dr. Dorgan J. Needom of Unity Baptist Church. This ArtiFacts episode will air on Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 6:30 pm on WRCJ 90.9FM.

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 15, 2008

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Grand Rapids Press:

Steve Stewart knows all too well how loyal NASCAR fans can be. Stewart, the program director at WTNR-FM (94.5), said listeners are so dedicated to the sport that they will search the radio dial to find broadcasts of races, which often were split among multiple stations. They won't have to hunt that hard this year. The country music station commonly known as "The Thunder" will have exclusive broadcasts of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. Thunder's coverage started with last weekend's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway and will continue with Sunday's Daytona 500. Stewart said he already has received comments from grateful listeners. "They'll e-mail things like, 'Is that for real?' " Stewart said. "And I'll e-mail back, 'Yep, it's for real.' This is going to be a banner year for us taking the station to the next level." "The Thunder" will carry broadcast feeds from the Motor Racing Network and Performance Racing Network. Stewart hopes that in the future that can include localized reports... Country station revved up for NASCAR (Fri, 2/15)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 16, 2008

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WDET hires two

Detroit Public Radio has added Rob St. Mary to the station's newsroom. St. Mary, who is a native to metro Detroit, comes with many years experience in radio news reporting. He is a graduate of Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts and began his career as a newsroom producer at WJR. From there, he took an opportunity at WLEW in Bad Axe where he served as a reporter and anchor and then moved on to WSGW in Saginaw as assistant news director. Most recently, Rob St. Mary was news director at WOOD in Grand Rapids.

Rob is the recipient of two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association and over a dozen awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Michigan Associated Press.

"I'm glad to be a WDET," he said. I've been listening to the station since I was a teenager and always enjoyed the depth of news programming and music, especially Ed Love. "Working in public radio, I won't be restrained by the format of commercial radio, so I can have the time necessary to tell the story in a way that really means something to the listener."

Hear reports from Rob St. Mary on WDET during its local newscasts weekdays on Morning Edition (5am-10am) and All Things Considered (4pm-7pm).


The station also announced the hiring of Michael Perkins as Sales Manager. Perkins, who joined WDET in November 2006, brings more than 11 years of media sales experience to his new position. Prior to coming to WDET, Perkins worked for more than 10 years in commercial broadcasting, including positions at CBS Radio and Clear Channel.

"I really enjoy working in a public broadcasting environment where news and cultural coverage is so important," said Perkins. "WDET's business partners also appreciate how engaged the station is in our community."



CKWW to air “The Evolution of Rock” weeknights

Oldies CKWW AM 580, Motor City Favorites, will take a look back at the early days of Rock & Roll with “The Evolution of Rock” starting Monday at 7 PM.

"The Evolution of Rock" is an unprecedented 64-hour music documentary and AM 580 will air one chapter every weeknight at 7 PM. It will explore the roots of Rock including the teen idols. Then it moves through the 1960’s and looks at the British Invasion, the Motown Sound and beyond, right through to the 1970’s. Produced by CHUM Radio, The Evolution of Rock won the prestigious Billboard Magazine award for “Best Radio Documentary” in the world.



Detroit Free Press:

Sherry Wells has three old televisions hooked up to an outdoor antenna. One year from Sunday, if the Ferndale resident does nothing, her television reception will end -- darkened by a plan of broadcasters to switch from old-fashioned analog signals to new-fangled digital ones. "I think I have to get three new TVs," Wells, 61, said Wednesday. Actually, she has cheaper options. But for Wells and an estimated 1.2 million other Michiganders whose televisions lack cable service or a satellite dish, the impending switch requires getting smart about the choices. To help them, an educational campaign -- the DTV Roadshow -- rolled into Novi on Friday. It is sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters. The truck-mounted exhibit is stationed inside the Rock Financial Showplace during the Detroit Camper and RV Show... TV exhibit spreads word on how to ease switch to digital, Start preparing now for digital TV, Protest broadcasts trouble with old TVs (Sat, 2/16)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 16, 2008

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Kalamazoo Gazette:

David Steere, a former local radio executive and on-air personality, was proud to have been one of the founders of what has become a local favorite -- the annual Kalamazoo Do-Dah Parade. ``It became an institution in Kalamazoo, and that pleased him to no end,'' said his wife, Judith. In an interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette in 1986, Steere said he and his broadcast partner, Bob Salmon, came up with the idea for the local parade in 1984, then had second thoughts as the day of the first event approached. ``We were scared to death no one would come to the first one,'' he said. ``We almost hoped it would be rained out. The weather was lousy, but thousands showed up.'' Steere, 71, died Monday at Bronson Methodist Hospital. He was being treated for pancreatic cancer, but pneumonia was ultimately the cause of death, his wife said... Radio station owner, broadcaster helped create Do-Dah Parade (Sat, 2/16)

 

The 'Fat gets cut in Kalamazoo

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WYZOThe radio dial in Kalamazoo went on a crash diet yesterday afternoon when MidWest Communications' FM 96.5 abruptly changed format from classic rock as WFAT to country with as 'Kalamazoo Country, Y96.5' with new calls WYZO pending.

No official word yet on the fate of the airstaff of the former WFAT, which included the syndicated Bob and Tom Show in morning drive.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 17, 2008

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AllAccess.com:

Barber Gets TV PD Position:
Veteran talk host DAVE BARBER lands a prime gig as PD at CAPITOL TV, which he describes as the 'C-SPAN of RHODE ISLAND.' BARBER, most recently at CITADEL Talk WPRO-A/PROVIDENCE and previously a mainstay of MICHIGAN talk radio, is overseeing programming on the statewide public affairs channel, seen on channel 15 on every cable system in RHODE ISLAND. (Fri, 2/15)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 17, 2008

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V98.7 to change afternoon drive show

Sandy Kovach, the popular afternoon drive host for smooth jazz WVMV-FM 98.7, is shifting to middays 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. as the station gets set to introduce a syndicated show from jazz saxophonist Dave Koz starting February 25th. Koz's program will air weekdays from 2 - 7 p.m.

Janet G exits the lineup at WVMV.



Ann Arbor News:

More music and less talk appears to be the plan at WEMU (89.1 FM), Eastern Michigan University's public radio station. WEMU has expanded its weeknight jazz program, "89.1 Jazz'' with Evelynn Hawkins, to five nights a week from four and added an hour to the show, dropping the talk program "Fair Game.'' The Monday evening Latin programs "Cuban Fantasy'' and "Brazilian Sol'' move to Saturday night. The change takes effect Monday. Other changes include dropping NPR's "Fresh Air'' weekdays at noon in favor of more jazz; "89.1 Jazz with Linda Yohn'' will now run until 12:30 p.m.; and "89.1 Jazz with Michael Jewett'' will run from 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. The "Lynn Rivers Show'' will move to Mondays at 8 a.m. beginning Feb. 25. (There will be no "Lynn Rivers Show'' this week) ... Congratulations to WKQL (107.1 FM)'s morning host, Martin Bandyke. Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of his start as a radio host... On The Air: More music on WEMU lineup (Sun, 2/17)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 17, 2008

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Grand Rapids Press:

Tim Feagan, Clear Channel's president and general manager, is happy about the recent Arbitron ratings in which the group's stations ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3. In the commercial radio stations 12-plus category, WOOD-AM (1300) took first place with an 8.5 share. WBCT-FM (93.7) is in second with 7.5, and WOOD-FM (105.7) is third with 6.3. Notably, noncommercial radio WCSG-FM (91.3) ended with a 5.7 share, which would put it in fourth place against the commercial radio stations... Clear Channel scores ratings trifecta (Sun, 2/17)


The switch of WMAX-FM (96.1) to an alternative format has gone better than expected, Clear Channel management says. "The biggest surprise has been from the amount of e-mails we have already received from the public with positive feedback for the change," operations manager Doug Montgomery said. "We have a piece of software that allows us to track our Web site traffic and the number of people listening to our Internet stream, and both of those metrics have more than tripled since the launch." Competitor WGRD-FM (97.9), owned by Regent Communications, is unimpressed... WMAX-FM is now Radio X (Sun, 2/17)

 

By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioIs radio dead? Last week, when Wall Street personality Jim Cramer declared the death of the medium — at least as the stock market is concerned — during an interview not only was he biting a hand that had at one time fed him, but he was just adding his voice to a chorus of others that think the future of radio is now in the past.

How did we get to this precarious point? For me, all of this madness started locally back in the mid’90s when up and down the dial stations were changing their owners faster than most of us change our furnace filters. Then there were two events locally that signaled the beginning of what has now become the most trying time in radio history.

On Nov. 21, 1997, WQRS-FM (105.1) ended over 37 years as Detroit’s Classical Music Station and segued from a “Madame Butterfly” aria into “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. It was documented that the plug was pulled because new owner Greater Media just wasn’t making money fast enough to justify what it spent to get WQRS, which is currently soft rock WMGC-FM (Magic 105.1).

Looking back, it’s clear where the pressure came from. In 1996, Marlin Broadcasting sold WQRS for $18.5 million. A short time later, the station was sold again by American Radio Systems to Secret Communications for $27 million — a whopping increase in value of almost 50 percent! Still in 1996, Secret sold WQRS and sister stations WMXD-FM (Mix 92.3) and WJLB-FM (97.9), along with stations in other markets, to Evergreen Communications for $227 million. Evergreen at the time owned WKQI-FM (now Channel 95.5) and WQRS was spun off, due to federal ownership limits, to Greater Media in exchange for a radio station in Washington, D.C., and $9.5 million.

In the span of less than a year, WQRS changed hands five times, and with each exchange, the station likely increased in its cost to the new purchaser.

 

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) has announced that 43 Michigan television stations are taking a rare action by simultaneously airing a 60-second consumer awareness minute on the transition to digital television. The joint airing of the consumer awareness minute will take place at 7:58-7:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20.

“The fact that 43 Michigan television stations have committed to airing the consumer awareness minute during this high viewership period demonstrates the commitment Michigan broadcasters have to ensuring that all Michigan citizens are aware of the digital television (DTV) transition,” said MAB President and CEO Karole White.

Under federal mandate, most analog television broadcasting will end on February 17, 2009, and be replaced by digital television. Consumers with cable, satellite services should notice no disruptions in their services. Citizens who receive their television signals over-the-air via rabbit ears or a roof top antenna must take steps to continue to receive their favorite channels. They can: subscribe to cable or satellite services, buy a new television with a digital tuner, or install a modestly priced converter box on their current set to continue to receive a television signal.

The consumer awareness minute that will air on Wednesday, February 20 is done in the form of a television news report. The message informs viewers of the DTV transition deadline, and briefly discusses steps consumers need to take to prepare their televisions for the new digital era. The message also directs consumers to get more DTV information from a website that has been developed by the MAB, which is www.michigandtv.com.

The airing of the consumer awareness minute is part of a broader MAB Digital Day being held on Wednesday at the State Capitol in Lansing. MAB and key stakeholders will use the event to announce their year-long DTV education and assistance program to help Michigan citizens prepare for the DTV transition. The MAB news conference is scheduled as follows:

MAB DTV News Conference
Wednesday, February 20
11 a.m.
State Capitol Rotunda

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 19, 2008

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Lansing State Journal:

There has been a sudden shift in news anchors at WLAJ, Channel 53. Arriving is Bill Younkin, a newsman from WOIO in Cleveland, who had his first shift Monday. And gone is Suzanne Wangler, facing accusations of taking a financial services client's money. She had her last local newscast - using the on-air name Suzanne Page - on Thursday. "She resigned for personal reasons," said Jim Lutton, the new WLAJ general manager. That resignation came as Detroit TV station WXYZ, Channel 7, aired a news report ... Lutton - who took over as WLAJ's general manager after the Feb. 6 resignation of Jim Wareham - said the accusations don't involve her time at WLAJ... WLAJ news anchor Suzanne Page resigns as allegations surface (Tue, 2/19)



Saginaw News:

Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm is interviewed during a special 90-minute edition of Channel 19, WDCQ's, ''Currently Speaking'' series, starting at 8 tonight. Host Andy Rapp interviews the governor along with Saginaw Valley State University political science educator and attorney Jim Johnson. Among the issues addressed are education, employment, alternative energy and the presidential race. The remainder of the program includes live interaction with panelists and viewers' calls. ''Currently Speaking'' is a public affairs program and has aired weekly on the Delta Broadcasting channel since 1999... Granholm guest on WDCQ series (Tue, 2/19)



AllAccess.com:

WWCK-A Ups Rusty Thomas To PD:
CUMULUS Talk WWCK-A/FLINT, MI has named morning show producer RUSTY THOMAS PD. He succeeds former PD/mornings JOHN ROMAN. THOMAS will still produce the morning show for new host LOU LOBSINGER. (Tue, 2/19)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 19, 2008

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CBS Radio's Murphy to transfer out of Detroit market

Kevin Murphy, CBS Radio Detroit market manager and senior vice president, is leaving the market and being re-assigned to the CBS' cluster in Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, CA. His new assignment begins March 3.

Murphy also acted as general manager for sports WXYT-FM/AM and oldies WOMC-FM and arrived in Detroit in June 2005 when he was named as GM for WOMC. He was viewed by some as a polarizing figure due to numerous personnel cuts that were made under his watch, both at WOMC and what was then talk WKRK-FM 97.1 (now WXYT-FM).



WMUZ celebrating fifty years of Christian radio, to shift lineup

As WMUZ-FM celebrates its fiftieth year of Christian Broadcasting in Detroit, there is also a celebration of new and exciting programming. Beginning March 4, 2008, Robin Sullivan’s Praise Company will relaunch to feature three hours of a mix of Christian music laced with Godly encouragement.

The revamped show will feature Contemporary Christian hits from the 80’s, 90’s and now, along with some spice from the Gospel, Contemporary Christian Country and Inspirational Christian arena. Sullivan will also serve as promotions manager for Crawford Broadcasting Detroit stations WMUZ, WEXL and WRDT.

"I live for this," Sullivan noted. “Give me a song to play, a listener to hear, and the Word to speak – I’m there!” Robin has been hosting afternoon drive for nearly 25 years at WMUZ.

Additionally, the station will add author, speaker and radio talk show host Dave Ramsey to the line up from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm weeknights following the Praise Company. Ramsey offers life-changing financial advice as host of the nationally syndicated radio program, “The Dave Ramsey Show,” which is broadcast on 350 radio stations throughout the United States to over 3 million listeners each week. The show focuses on life, love, and relationships, and how they happen to revolve around money. Dave says, "It's where life happens...caller after caller."



Riff 2 announces winners of its 1st Annual “Riff 2 Awards”

After an online vote, fans of the Detroit local music scene selected their favorites in 26 categories, viewable at www.riff2.com. The 2007 Riff2 Music Awards party/showcase will take place at the Belmont Bar in Hamtramck on Friday, February 29th. The event is free.

101 WRIF debuted Riff2, one of the first HD Radio multicast stations in the nation, in July 2005.

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 19, 2008

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Kalamazoo Gazette:

Country music radio has a new home in Kalamazoo. WFAT-FM (96.5) switched to a country music format at 5 p.m. Friday. The final song for WFAT was Van Halen's ``Happy Trails.'' It was followed by Alan Jackson's country anthem ``It's Five O'clock Somewhere,'' ushering in the start of WYZO-FM (96.5), Kalamazoo's new country station. Peter Tanz, market manager for Wisconsin-based Midwest Communication, which owns nine stations in Southwest Michigan, including WYZO and the Battle Creek country music station WNWN-FM (98.5), said there was a ``three-way rock battle'' between WFAT-FM, WZUU-FM (92.5) and WRKR-FM (107.7), but there wasn't a local country station. Tanz said the station, which has been classic rock since 2001, had talked about moving to country music for 10 years... Classic-rock radio station goes country (Tue, 2/19)

 

MAB Joined by Key Stakeholders in Year Long DTV Campaign. 600,000 At-Risk Households Targeted For A Comprehensive Education and Assistance Program

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) today announced a comprehensive yearlong campaign to educate and assist Michigan citizens for the end of analog television service, which is scheduled to occur on February 17, 2009. The federal government has mandated that local full power television stations will only broadcast in the newer digital format after that date.

“The transition to digital television or DTV is the most important development in TV since the advent of color television,” said Bart Brandmiller, MAB Chairman of the Board and Director of Sales for Clear Channel West Michigan.

“MAB and all of our local broadcasters in Michigan want to ensure that every Michigan citizen is informed about the digital transition, and will be equipped to receive a digital signal by this time next year,” said Diane Kniowski, MAB Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect and President and General Manager of WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.

Michigan broadcasters are particularly concerned about an estimated 600,000 households in the state that do not have cable or satellite, and only receive their television services over-the-air. Many of the citizens in those households are low income, elderly, rural and disadvantaged, and risk not having any television service at all after February 17, 2009.

MAB announced a comprehensive education and assistance plan to inform and assist the at-risk population in the state. Part of that strategy involves the help of a diverse group of key stakeholders who have committed to distributing DTV information to their constituents and identifying individuals who are particularly vulnerable.

 

Detroit News:

Former TV news anchor/reporter Suzanne Wangler was arrested this morning on charges she allegedly embezzled more than $149,000 from a Woodhaven man while acting as his financial adviser. Wangler, arrested at her Royal Oak home without incident, has worked at Metro Detroit television stations in the past and more recently as a news anchor Suzanne "Page" at WLAJ in Lansing. She resigned from that job, which she has held since September, last Thursday citing personal reasons. The arrest was the most recent in a series of legal troubles for the 42-year-old Wangler, including an arrest for drunk driving and child endangerment in Royal Oak last summer and a November 2005 incident in which she attempted to shoplift a cart full of more than $600 in food and merchandise from the Westborn Market in Berkley... Former TV anchor Suzanne Wangler arrested (Wed, 2/20)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 21, 2008

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Detroit News:

For five hours on Friday, XM Satellite Radio's "60s on 6" channel will become Detroit's much-loved WKNR Keener 13. Every week XM's "Sonic Sound Salute" puts the spotlight on a different '60s radio station, and this week from 4-9 p.m. host Terry "Motor Mouth" Young will play airchecks, commercials and other content from WKNR (1310 on the AM dial). WKNR first signed on the air on Halloween night, 1963, and the personable, bubbly station was the firm favorite of most teenagers until about 1968-'70, when CKLW started coming on strong with a more powerful signal. Was WKNR as great as so many remember it? "Sonic Sound Salute" host Young didn't grow up here (although he was on the air on WDFX "The Fox" at 99.5 briefly in the late '80s), but after culling through reams of pristine airchecks sent to him by former WKNR program director and on-air personality Bob Green , he insists that WKNR was one of the best... XM Radio shines the spotlight on Detroit's Keener 13 (Thu, 2/21)



Ann Arbor News:

Radio storyteller Garrison Keillor brings his popular radio variety show "A Prairie Home Companion'' to Hill Auditorium for a live performance June 14 at 5:45 p.m. This engagement is part the Ann Arbor Summer Festival's 25th season celebration, June 13-July 6, and is co-presented with Michigan Radio. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 21 at 9 a.m. through the festival ticket office, 734-764-2538, and online at www.annarborsummerfestival.org. Tickets are $65-$25. Keillor and his guests - to be announced at a future date - bring to life the comedy sketches, music, stories, and imaginary product sponsors fans have loved for the last 34 years... 'Prairie Home' comes to Hill Auditorium (Thu, 2/21)

 

• Classic rock WWKR FM 94.1 Hart was granted its license to cover for changes to its broadcast location (from Mason county southeast of Ludington to Oceana county east of Hart) with a change in effective radiated power from 13,000 watts @ 463 feet to 5,000 watts @ 682 feet.

 

• Smooth jazz WJZL FM 92.9 Grand Ledge/Lansing was granted its license to cover for changes to its broadcast location (now broadcasts from downtown Lansing) with a change in effective radiated power from 1,500 watts @ 466 feet to 5,400 watts @ 344 feet.

 

• A License was granted to the following new LPTV station: W11CZ Escanaba (owned by John R. Powley)

 

• The FCC granted the transfer of control for WHRY AM 1450 Hurley, WI and WUPM FM 106.9 Ironwood, MI from Charles H. Gervasio, Rochelle M. Gervasio, James J. Gervasio, John C. Gervasio, Judy Gervasio, and Norma T. Rigoni to Gerald J. Hackman and John J. Nix. Sale price was $1.25 million. A request to deny the transfer was denied.


• Religious KTGG AM 1540 Spring Arbor has applied to change its community of license to Okemos and move its transmitter from Jackson county to Ingham county in the city of Lansing near the intersection of I-496 and US-127.


• John R. Powley agreed to sell a number of LPTV stations across the US to Hispanic Christian Community Network, Inc. for $500,000, pending FCC approvals and closing. The sale includes W11CZ (Ch. 11) Escanaba and construction permits W05CR (Ch. 5) Escanaba and W26DG (Ch. 26) St. Ignace.


• FM translator W215BR 90.9 Ironwood (WJRF 89.5 Duluth, MN) was granted a construction permit to change frequency to 91.3 as W217BV.


• FM translator W211CA 90.1 Paw Paw was granted a license to cover for a frequency change from 100.3.

 

• Radio Assist Ministry is transferring FM translator W285DY 104.9 Ludington to Craig Bowman for no financial consideration pending FCC approvals and closing. Bowman intends on rebroadcasting soft rock WMLQ FM 97.7 Manistee on the translator.

 

• Krol Communications is acquiring Full Service/Country WMLM AM 1520 Alma/St. Louis from Siefker Broadcasting for $205,000 pending FCC approvals and closing. Krol also owns Hot Adult Contemporary WJSZ-FM 92.5 Ashley.

• Talk WPIQ FM 92.7 Manistique was granted its license to cover for its frequency change from 99.9 FM.

 

• Taylor University's purchase of WCVM 94.7 Bronson from CSN International was granted. Sale price for the station was $600,000.


• Peggy Warner will become the sole owner of classic country WBMI FM 105.5 West Branch pending FCC approval. Warner is a shareholder in Independent TV Productions of MI (ITP) and had loaned money ITP which was not been repaid. No monetary consideration is exchanging hands.


• Tim Woodson Ministries is acquring the construction permit for WXPZ FM 90.1 Clyde Twp (Allegan county) for $50,000 from Larlen Communications pending FCC approval and closing.


• Children's WDSS AM 1680 Ada/Grand Rapids has been granted its license after operating since 1998 with special temporary authority from the FCC. The station is the expanded band counterpart of what was until recently WMHG AM 1600 Muskegon which went silent at the beginning of 2008. The FCC notes the approval of a settlement agreement between Clear Channel, Cumulus, Connoisseur Communications of Muskegon, and Goodrich Radio in the license grant.

Goodrich Radio was the licensee of AM 1600 Muskegon and received the construction permit for the expanded band AM 1680. As stipulated in the grant of an expanded band station, the license for the original station was to be turned in once the expanded station became licensed. In 1999 however, Goodrich sold AM 1600 to Connoisseur which was later acquired by Cumulus. When Cumulus sold its four of its Muskegon stations to Clear Channel in 2001, AM 1600 remained under Cumulus ownership as owning AM 1600 would have put Clear Channel over ownership limits. Cumulus and Clear Channel then entered into a Local Marketing Agreement for WMHG which was in effect until the station was silenced.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 24, 2008

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The Oakland Press:

In her Waterford Township home, retiree Berniece Jones has always had a television with an antenna. "I've never had cable," she said. In February 2009, all programming coming in free over the air from analog signals will stop as the country changes over to digital. Viewers such as Jones will need a special converter box to receive the new signals. The Federal Communications Commission estimates 15.5 million households -- 14 percent of U.S. households -- watch TV over the air. But officials emphasized no one is exactly sure of the figure. "Anywhere from 40-80 million households" have over-the-air TVs, according to estimates given by a Best Buy spokesman. People can buy the box or scrap their old TVs and buy ones that will pick up the new signal. Jones said, "There's no way I'm going to get a new TV"... Digital switch is on the way (Sun, 2/24)

 

Detroit News:

Police are investigating the death of TV news reporter/anchor Suzanne Wangler, found Saturday afternoon in her home on Vinsetta Boulevard. Royal Oak police were called to the home shortly before 3 p.m. after a relative reportedly found Wangler "unresponsive," said Detective Don Swiatkowski. "She was found by a family member and pronounced dead at 3:27 p.m.," he said. "An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of her death." Sources close to the investigation told The News Wangler's death is being investigated as a suicide. Those sources said her body was found in the basement of the home. She had worked as a news reporter at several local TV stations... Wangler found dead in her home (Sun, 2/24)



Michigan State University and News/Talk 760 WJR partner in Web resource for Great Lakes environmental issues

Michigan State University and News/Talk 760 WJR radio have launched a Web site called “Greening of the Great Lakes.” The goal of the Web site, located at www.greeningofthegreatlakes.com, is to provide information and insight into the organizations committed to making the Great Lakes region a leader in environmental practices. It’s designed to be an online resource for anyone interested in learning about the Great Lakes region, related environmental issues and ways that they can protect the environment.

“‘Greening of the Great Lakes’ is an exciting extension of MSU’s partnership with WJR,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “The stewardship of the environment in which we live is vitally important to all of us, especially when it concerns our treasured Great Lakes. We want ‘Greening of the Great Lakes’ to become the online resource for all the important information people need to incorporate sound environmental practices into their daily lives.”

WJR President and General Manager Mike Fezzey said, “The outstanding partnership between WJR and MSU to create www.greeningofthegreatlakes.com has not only created a place where listeners can go to find extensive resources for those dedicated to living an environmentally friendly lifestyle, but this site will stay on the cutting edge of environmental related news and information.”

-- Read more: MSU press release

 

By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioLately, regular readers of this column may have noticed that Mike and I have been somewhat critical of the radio industry and what has happened to “the good ol’ days.” We have quoted a number of other columnists and former programmers who have spoken the truth about the business, but most of the people running stations these days simply don’t want to hear it.

People like Jerry del Colliano and John Gorman are thought to be eccentric prophets of doom who are burning bridges and alienating today’s broadcasters. Not so. Gorman, who tried, with limited means, to make WKRK-FM (97.1) a successful rock station after years at Cleveland’s legendary WMMS, said the radio business needs to remember the three little words, originally delivered in a keynote by National Association of Broadcasters president David Rehr: “Reignite the passion.” But he adds a fourth: how?

“You will not reignite anything by gutting established morning shows,” Gorman said. “You will not do it with voicetracking (automated) shifts when most people listen. And you will not reignite the passion by having managers and programmers accountable for multiple stations and, in some cases, in multiple cities.”

 • • • • • • • • 

The local radio community was stunned this past week when it was announced that Kevin Murphy, who was just promoted to market manager of all of the CBS radio stations in the Detroit area, was “reassigned” to California. Murphy will be overseeing stations in what is known as “The Inland Empire” — Riverside/San Bernardino extending out to Palm Springs. Murphy was not overly popular in The Motor City. Personally, I tried to be his friend and found it difficult to do. He was excellent at adjusting the “bottom line,” but did so at the expense of dozens of jobs lost and many very talented people losing their positions at various CBS stations in Detroit. It was thought that Kevin Murphy did — in less than two years — to CBS Radio in this town what it took former Mayor Coleman A. Young 20 years to do to the city of Detroit. I wish Kevin well in his next venture, but locally no tears (that I know of) are being shed.

 • • • • • • • • 

Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM (V 98.7) grabs syndicated host Dave Koz for afternoons while former p.m. driver Sandy Kovach shifts to middays, pushing Janet G out the door. Another case of cutting as the body count increases.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 25, 2008

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CBS Radio taps Kenyon, Kowalski in Detroit

Deb Kenyon will take over as market manager for CBS Radio/Detroit (WWJ, WXYT-FM/AM, WVMV, WYCD, WOMC), replacing Kevin Murphy and Pete Kowalski has been tapped to take over as general manager for WWJ, replacing Rich Homberg. Murphy is being transferred by CBS to California while Homberg left the company for a job with Detroit Public Television.



TV Week:

A showdown over money between Bright House Networks, the sixth-biggest U.S. cable operator, and Post-Newsweek Stations could leave some cable viewers without programming from CBS-affiliated WKMG-TV in Orlando, Fla., and NBC-affiliated WDIV-TV in Detroit.
Post-Newsweek, which owns six stations, says Bright House is going to have to pay if it wants to carry the signals after midnight March 16, the expiration date of the third extension on a carriage contract between the companies... Standoff between Bright House, Post-Newsweek may cost cable viewers some network shows (Sun, 2/24)



AllAccess.com:

RADIO ONE Urban WHTD(HOT102.7)/DETROIT OM AL PAYNE announces DETROIT native REGGIE REG will be the permanent host for their PM-drive show. Over the past six weeks REGGIE REG joined MC SERCH, TRE BLACK and LT. DRE as separate guest hosts. “It has been great showcasing these legends of the last few weeks and all four icons will be heard on HOT102.7 in the future,” said AL PAYNE. “Now I take pride in announcing that 'YO CUZIN REGGIE REG' can now be heard every weekday from 3-6p.” REGGIE REG hosted the top-rated PM-drive show in THE MOTOR CITY from 1999 – 2005. In addition, he was nominated for Personality-Of-The-Year. (Mon, 2/25)



Detroit News:

Former television co-workers of Suzanne Wangler were stunned this weekend to learn the one-time energetic journalist with a penchant for tailgate cooking was found dead Saturday in her Royal Oak home on Vinsetta Boulevard. "I always thought she was a happy person," said veteran newswoman Amyre Makupson, who worked with Wangler at UPN 50 in the 1990s. "She was crazy about her husband and just idolized her kids. She had a beautiful house. She was very proud of it. "It's just so sad. I can't get her out of my mind. I can't believe it's come to that end." Police had been investigating suicide. On Sunday, Dr. Patrick Cho of the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Wangler died by hanging. Her death followed a series of troubles for the mother of four, a former reporter/anchor at several TV stations and ex-wife of John Wangler, the former University of Michigan quarterback who filed for divorce in 1999... Ex-TV reporter died of hanging; former colleagues shocked (Mon, 2/25)



Detroit Free Press:

Suzanne Wangler, a former Detroit television reporter, couldn’t seem to pull her life together after her divorce a few years ago. She was arrested for shoplifting. She became mired in debt. She lost custody of her children. And she was accused of bilking $150,000 from a man she dated. Days after the last allegation hit the air as part of a television newscast on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), Wangler, 43, hanged herself in the bathroom of her Royal Oak home, said Carl Marlinga, her recently hired lawyer. “Her world fell apart, and she was never able to pull it back together,” Marlinga said Sunday, a day after one of her relatives found her body ... She asked the former Macomb County prosecutor to try to keep WXYZ from airing a report about her latest problems because it would cost her the job in Lansing. “They made a judgment that because she’s a reporter, there’s enough public interest to run the story,” Marlinga said, “but you can’t argue that Channel 7 necessarily caused this” ... With world falling apart, ex-Detroit TV anchor Suzanne Wangler takes own life (Mon, 2/25)


Detroit Symphony concertmaster and violinist Emmanuelle Boisvert gives a rare interview on the March 2 edition of WRCJ-FM's (90.9) "DSO Unmasked" at noon ... Appearing: NPR talk host Diane Rehm (10 a.m.-noon weekdays, WUOM-FM, 91.7) , on March 11, to give the Sweeny Memorial Lecture at Christ Church Grosse Pointe... Names and Faces (Mon, 2/25)

 

Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo Slated for March 10 & 11 at the Devos Place in Grand Rapids

Dramatic changes in a rapidly evolving industry and the future of Michigan’s economy will be front and center during the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC), which will take place as follows:

Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo
Monday March 10 & Tuesday March 11
Devos Place, Grand Rapids
Registration Information: www.michmab.com

“GLBC is a can’t miss event this year due to the major changes taking place in both radio and television,” said MAB President and CEO Karole White. “The transition to digital television and changes in the radio landscape require that broadcasters continually update themselves on the latest industry developments.”

GLBC 2008, entitled Michigan Broadcasting: A Sure Bet, has been redesigned with new elements that have been requested by broadcasters, including; an interactive exhibit hall which will feature 90 exhibitors with the latest industry technology and programs, and seminars with nationally renowned speakers. Among the GLBC program highlights are:

The Future of Michigan’s Economy: A Dialog with Michigan Industry Sector Giants (March 11, 8:30 a.m.): Celebrating Michigan has never been more important than it is now. Join high-profile Michigan-based business leaders from commerce, tourism, banking, technology and economic development as we explore why Michigan is a logical destination for business and citizens alike. Speakers include: Tim Skubick, Capital Correspondent (moderator); Larry Patrick, Managing Partner of Patrick Communications; Jim Herbert, Chairman and CEO of Neogen Corporation; Mitch Stapley, Director of Fixed Income Strategy at Fifth Third Bank; James Epolito, President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; John Brown, Vice President of Government Relations at Jackson National Life Insurance Co. and Matt Van Vranken, President of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.

MAB is offering a free Exhibits Only pass that will allow individuals to visit the exhibit hall and attend the fabulous opening panel. GLBC features over 60 national caliber speakers. Full information is available on the MAB web site.

Other GLBC conference highlights include:

• The Broadcast Excellence Awards Presentation, which recognizes outstanding news and programming and public service performances by Michigan radio and television stations (separate registration required)

• The MAB Foundation Career Fair, which will allow students interested in the industry to meet and obtain advice from broadcasters

• The MAB Foundation’s Michigan High School & College Broadcast Awards

 

Podell named director of Rock Programming at Greater Media Detroit

Greater Media has announced that veteran radio programmer Doug Podell has been named Director of Rock Programming for WRIF-FM 101.1 and WCSX-FM 94.7.

In his new role, Podell will be responsible for the strategic direction and programming for both stations. The Detroit native has held the role of PD for WRIF for the past 14 years in addition to hosting the station's midday program. Prior to joining Greater Media Detroit, Podell worked as the PD of WNCX-FM in Cleveland, Ohio. His appointment at WCSX fills the role previously held by Bill Stedman, who exited earlier this month.

"I believe that it's for the overall strategic best interests of the cluster to have one person's vision and leadership directing both of our rock stations,” said Tom Bender, Senior Vice President and Regional General Manager of Greater Media Detroit. “Doug is a lifelong competitor and a man with an enviable track record of winning. He totally understands the Detroit market, and we're fortunate to have him to fill this role."

"It’s an honor to now be associated with and represent not one, but two of the greatest rock stations in the country, WRIF and WCSX," said Doug Podell. "I’d like to thank everyone at Greater Media, especially Peter Smyth, Tom Bender and Buzz Knight for the opportunity and their confidence in me."

He will begin his new position effective immediately.



Detroit Free Press:

These certainly qualify as blasts from the past. Independent producer and author of "TV Land Detroit" Gordon Castelnero reports he has a couple of documentaries ready to go on three great names from Detroit's TV past: Lou Gordon, John Kelly and Marilyn Turner. "Motor City Celebrities," the first installment, airs at 9 p.m. April 7 on public WTVS-TV (Channel 56) with a 30-minute remembrance of Kelly and Turner... WTVS looks at Detroit's TV past (Tue, 2/26)



Riff 2 offering online battle of the bands

Riff 2, WRIF-FM’s HD side channel, has partnered with Ourstage.com to host an online battle of the bands that will have one local Detroit band walking away with $1,001 and the chance to win $5,000.

Interested bands can go online to www.riff2.com now through March 23rd to enter their band into the competition. They will be asked to complete a free registration with Ourstage.com and then upload up to 2 audio tracks to be entered into the competition.

There are 3 rounds of voting to determine the local winner of the Riff 2 Detroit Battle of the bands, which is set up in tournament-style voting. The winning band will get $1,001 and they will also win an HD radio for each member of the band. They will then move on to the national competition, with the chance to win $5,000.

This competition is part of Riff 2’s ongoing efforts to increase the visibility of the local music scene and to give talented, local musicians a platform on which to showcase their material. “We’re excited about the technology that Ourstage.com brings to this competition and are looking forward to hosting a true, local online battle of the bands,” said Mark Pennington, program director for Riff 2.

 

Tomorrow morning, February 27th, from 9-10 am public radio stations across Michigan will air a live call-in program with Governor Granholm hosted by Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network.

While the program will have an open format, the governor is expected to focus on her economic and education strategies for Michigan. Granholm will field questions from listeners on a variety of topics at (877) 952-7870.

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 27, 2008

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AllAccess.com:


Citadel Promotes Steve Stewart: CITADEL Country WTNR (94-5 THE NEW THUNDER COUNTRY)/GRAND RAPIDS PD/morning man STEVE STEWART has been upped to Regional Mgr./Country Programming/Midwest. In addition to his duties at THUNDER COUNTRY, STEWART will now oversee the programming for WLAW, WITL, WFBE, WWKI, KATC, KJJY, KHKI and WMDH. (Wed, 2/27)



Muskegon Chronicle:

.A few years ago, Muskegon was essentially out of the sports talk radio scene. I remember letting a few bad words slip out, frantically tweaking the car radio to try and pull in a fuzzy Grand Rapids-based station. The situation is much improved today, with more and more local sports chat, programming and event coverage on "The Champ," 97.5 FM and its sister stations, WVIB (100.1 FM) and WLCS (98.3 FM). The Champ will add more local programming starting on March 3 with the "On The Bench" show daily from 10 a.m. to noon, which is hosted by WBBL program director Bret Bakita. Bakita, who also does work for Fox 17 out of Grand Rapids, got his start in sports radio in Muskegon back in 1994 on the now-defunct Sports Fan 1600 AM. Another addition to the local sports radio market is the recent change of WGHN's AM station, 1370 AM, to an all-sports format featuring the ESPN Radio feed. Sports Radio 1370 will also have a daily show focusing on local sports from 3 to 5 p.m., hosted by Western Michigan Christian graduate Ryan Terpstra. Bakita and Terpstra are good guys and welcome additions to the local airwaves, which also includes personalities like John Russell, Frank St. James, Kevin Tatum and others... Local airwaves getting dialed in on sports chat (Tue, 2/26)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 27, 2008

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The Fox seeking angel makers

Country WDTW-FM 106.7 The Fox and “The Chad Show”, with Chad and CJ, are inviting listeners to Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights on Saturday, March 1st at 11:00 am when an attempt will be made to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most snow angels in one place at one time. The current record of 8.962 is held by a group from North Dakota.

As an incentive, the person bringing the most people along with them will win front row tickets to see Tim McGraw in May and a pair of tickets to see Kenny Chesney from the Chad Show suite later in the summer.



Detroit Free Press:

Facing surgery again for lung cancer, Mickey Redmond knew what he had to do. Play hockey. He traveled to Toronto for an old-timers’ game between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs. He took his family with him just days before the operation to remove a small tumor from his left lung. “I wanted to enjoy it — savor the moment,” Redmond said Tuesday. “It might be the last game I ever play in. You have to enjoy it when you can.” Redmond, the first Wing to score 50 goals in a season and a popular analyst for the team’s telecasts, should be able to savor his favorite sport for a long time to come. In his first public comments since his Feb..11 surgery, Redmond told the Free Press that he was recovering nicely and expected to return to the FSN broadcast booth at Joe Louis Arena within 10 days... Mickey Redmond recovering, playing hockey, set to return to Wings TV (Wed, 2/27)



Detroit News:

WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) is experiencing a lot of changes these days. The station's meteorologist Shay Ryan has moved to the Big Apple to join her husband, former WXYZ reporter Glenn Zimmerman. Zimmerman left the station in December for a new gig at WNBC-TV (Channel 4), the NBC affiliate in New York. Ryan's last day was Sunday. Last fall, Ryan and Zimmerman welcomed a baby boy, Coen Edward Zimmerman, into their high-profile lives. Zimmerman worked at WXYZ for six years and Ryan worked at the station for five. Meanwhile, Ray Sayah , one of WXYZ's three investigative reporters, has also moved on to bigger and brighter pastures. Sayah, who worked at WXYZ for seven years, landed a job at CNN last month. Now Sayah works as one of CNN's international correspondents based in Pakistan... Meteorologist bids adieu to WXYZ (Wed, 2/27)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 28, 2008

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Detroit News:

When ex-TV news reporter Suzanne Marie Wangler's body was found in her home last weekend, an apparent suicide, there was no note, not a word of explanation left behind for those who loved or knew her. Her 43-year-old life at times seemed bright and glamorous from the outside, but was anything but perfect, according to Oakland Circuit Court records that show she wrestled with a variety of personal problems, civil and criminal. Wangler held high-profile news jobs, married the former star quarterback and raised four children in a big, fancy house. But a rocky divorce, money problems and legal troubles including a DUI conviction and charges of embezzlement painted a different picture that those who knew her said were really cries for help. "Suzanne was not a bad person -- she had a lot of good qualities, did good things for people and was the mother of my four children," said her ex-husband John Wangler, a former University of Michigan football standout. "They, her family, all of us are devastated by this. But while we would prefer her memory be positive, she had some serious problems and mental health issues that were never addressed or even diagnosed, as far as I know"... Ex-reporter's life a troubled dream (Thu, 2/28)


The Detroit Historical Museum is launching a special exhibit on Saturday, March 8, "Detroit's Classic Radio Voices," putting the spotlight on six of Detroit's most beloved radio icons. The exhibit honors the late J.P. McCarthy of WJR (760) fame; Tigers broadcaster and Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell ; weather quipster Sonny Eliot (WWJ, WWJ-TV and WJBK-TV); R&B/talk personality, the late Martha Jean "the Queen" Steinberg (WCHB, WJLB and her own station, WQBH); perennial morning host/funnyman Dick Purtan (WKNR, WOMC); and longtime "Ask Your Neighbor" host Bob Allison (WWJ, WNZK). Allison also hosted "Bowling for Dollars" on WJBK-TV2 and appeared as the kindly Twin Pines milkman on the Channel 4 '60s kid show "Milky's Party Time"... Exhibit pays homage to radio voices of Detroit (Thu, 2/28)


It's the secret nightmare of every cancer survivor -- will the disease come back? Red Wings broadcaster Mickey Redmond is living that situation right now, working on recovering from another incidence of lung cancer. Redmond underwent surgery Feb.11, having a tumor removed from his left lung. He had much of his right lung removed in 2003, in his first brush with cancer. He's traveled this road before, but dealing with a serious illness never is easy. "It's been a lot of things: shock at them finding cancer again in me, then knowing I'd had to do the surgery, then the pain afterwards, and recovering," Redmond, 60, said Wednesday. "This is not a simple thing. My body hurts a little more than the first time. I guess they had to be a little rougher with me to get in there. "But I'm optimistic for the future and grateful for everything. This is something I intend to fight through"... Redmond goes 2nd round with cancer (Thu, 2/28)

 

Lansing State Journal:

To classmates at Beaver Area High School in the hills of western Pennsylvania, then-Suzanne Pagella was a celebrity. "She made it big in Detroit. She was born for that," Tom Dowlin said. "That's just how we thought about her. She was the first to go out and do what she said she would do." As a married Suzanne Wangler, she appeared to have it all: a career as a popular television news anchor; a former college quarterback as a husband; and four children... Anchorwoman made it big, fell hard (Fri, 2/29)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb 29, 2008

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Purtan Radiothon raises $2.3 million

The 21st Annual Dick Purtan Radiothon benefiting the Salvation Army Bed & Bread program landed just over $2.31 million dollars in pledges today, falling just short of Purtan's goal of making one dollar more than last year. The 20th anniversary radiothon last year raised nearly $2.399 million. The event, held over 16 hours at Oakland Mall in Troy, raised funds to provide food and shelter for the homeless and hungry in metropolitan Detroit. Annual gifts to the Bed & Bread Program help supply 4,931 meals each day and help shelter 565 people each night and contributions ensure that men, women, and children can count on The Salvation Army’s services year after year.

Oldies WOMC is broadcasted the entire event live maintained a blog from the event- link to it from the station's web site at www.womc.com to see highlights from the day.



Detroit News:

The February ratings book closed this week with all three Metro Detroit stations touting impressive ratings and gains. The month proved to be a news-packed time with breaking stories on Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and convicted murderer Stephen Grant's damaging jail tapes and entencing. WJBK-TV (Channel 2), the local Fox affiliate, benefited from the network's airing of Super Bowl XLII early in the month and the return of a strike-proof "American Idol." The station also ranked first in early and late news in key demographics, says Jeff Murri, the station's vice president and general manager. Meanwhile, weekday and weekend editions of "Fox 2 News Morning" ranked No. 1 in households, as well as all key demographics, and demonstrated double digit year-to-year growth... Super Bowl and 'Idol' boost WJBK-TV ratings (Fri, 2/29)


Wanted to add a little substance to something that happened today during the 3 p.m. hour of Terry Foster and Mike Valenti's show on 97.1 the Ticket. A woman called in to discuss the Kwame Kilpatrick situation. She made a number of rumor-type allegations about the Mayor's conduct, bordering on nasty. New WXYT operations manager Tom Bigby didn't like where the call was going, so he went into the booth and told the pair to drop the caller - now. There was a bit of disconnect, and then Bigby told the producer to go to break - all on the air. Foster and Valenti came back after the break, went on with the show, and all is well... Foster and Valenti show incident (Thu, 2/28)

 

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