March 2008 Archives

Grand Rapids Press:

Rod Kackley has been named WOOD-AM (1300)'s news director. "I eat up news -- just love this stuff," Kackley said. He is excited about the newly enacted partnership with WOOD-TV (Channel 8) in sharing news, information, weather and traffic services. Kackley was managing editor of Mi Biz before coming to WOOD. He worked in the radio industry many years ago at WCUZ and reported for WOOD-AM... News director named (Sun, 3/2)

Michael Walenta will be inducted into the Silver Circle by The National Academy of Arts and Sciences this month. He will be honored for his more than 25 years of outstanding service and leadership in the television broadcasting community. Walenta, who graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in broadcast and cinematic arts, has worked as a production assistant for ABC Sports, an instructor at CMU and as an assistant engineer at WHTV and WMHW-FM in Mount Pleasant... WGVU manager honored (Sun, 3/2)

Sarah Brodhead will be the new morning news anchor on WXMI-TV (Channel 17) starting March 17, news director Tim Dye said. Brodhead joins the Fox station after a stint at KREX-TV in Grand Junction, Colo., where she spent more than two years as an anchor for its morning and noon news programs... Fox 17 names new morning anchor (Sun, 3/2)

Rick Beckett, of "The Rick and Scott Show" on WOOD-AM (1300), fell on ice at his home and has a broken ankle and leg, station president and general manager Tim Feagan said. Beckett needs surgery, Feagan said, but that hasn't keep him off the airwaves... Can't keep radio man down (Sun, 3/2)

The Grand Rapids Rampage hope they are ahead of the game when it comes to their broadcast schedule. The team has made the decision to air all 16 of its Arena Football League contests exclusively on the Internet. The past two seasons were broadcast on WBFX-FM (101.3). "It's funny, back in the summer when we decided to go this way, we notified Citadel and Clear Channel, because we wanted to be up front with them," Rampage general manager Scott Woodruff said. "And their comment was, 'You're probably a year or two ahead of the curve.' " Woodruff said the team decided to pull its games from the radio after conducting extensive research with fans and season ticket-holders... Rampage switching from radio to Web broadcasts (Fri, 2/29)


Great news for listeners of news/talk/sports WBRN AM 1460 in Big Rapids as the FCC has granted station owner Mentor Partners special temporary authority (STA) to simulcast the AM station on an FM translator at 107.7 FM. The STA, which is good for six months, was granted on February 20th and fills-in coverage for the AM especially in outlying areas of Big Rapids, including Green, Big Rapids, and Colfax townships.

WBRN does not provide interference-free reception in these areas during the sunset and early morning hours when AM 1460 must operate with reduced power and compete with interference from co-channel and adjacent channel stations. The application with the FCC claims that interference issues severely curtail the "ability to receive local programming including Big Rapids High School sports play-by-play, Ferris State University sports play-by-play, public affairs programming, and such significant news as morning and evening traffic announcements, weather, school closings, etc."

Jeffrey J. Scarpelli, president of Mentor Partners which owns WBRN along with country WWBR-FM 100.9 and Hot AC WYBR-FM 102.3 in Big Rapids, explains that the application for this transmitter was submitted in 2003 and that two more translator applications are on file for the Reed City and Morley areas to further fill-in WBRN's night time signal. "We hope that the FCC will grant these applications on a permanent basis by this summer. Over the last 10 years the population of Big Rapids has moved farther and farther away from the city limits and WBRN's night time signal doesn't cover these areas. The addition of the FM signal for WBRN will also be promoted on WWBR, WYBR and via a direct mail campaign."

The FCC is currently studying if the use of FM translators for rebroadcasting AM stations will be allowed on a nationwide basis, with certain distance restrictions. The grant of the STA in Big Rapids is the first time the FCC has allowed a Michigan AM station to rebroadcast its signal on an FM translator.


By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioTwo weeks in a row for yours truly, what did you do to deserve this? Actually, March is a heavy month for radio conventions and gatherings. I am expected to be at the Country Radio Seminar, the MAB Great Lakes Broadcasting Expo and the R&R Talk Radio Seminar, and they all happen to fall in the windy month of March giving some of us a new meaning to the term ”March Madness.”

Personally, I can’t wait to see whether broadcasters are going to stand up before us, preaching about what great shape the business is in. If that happens, I suspect some sessions could resemble an episode of Jerry Springer.

 • • • • • • • • 

First a bit of good news. Even in this terrible economy, Dick Purtan and his hearty crew of very hard-working volunteers were able to receive cash, checks and pledges totaling an impressive $2,310,070! The live 16-hour broadcast from the Oakland Mall on Friday was a huge success, with impressive crowds throughout the entire day despite dreadful weather conditions. Kudos to all. Both Mike and I were pleased to see former promotion whiz Kassie Kretzschmar at the event and wonder if she might be reinstated at Oldies 104.3 WOMC-FM. Unlike the person who let her go, she was and is very popular at Purtan’s station.

 • • • • • • • • 

In other personnel news, the big buzz is the assignment of rock WRIF-FM (101.1) mainstay Doug Podell as new program director of sister station classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7). Those of us with vivid memories of Detroit radio may recall when that station was WHFI in a rustic A-frame on Rankin Road in Troy. Today, it’s a real powerhouse. This move was not unexpected, since many radio jobs are being doubled-up to save money in this scary economy.

Kevin Carter of trade publication “Radio & Records” said it best: “Now please enjoy this corporately acceptable Doug Podell quote that contains the names of several key Greater Media (station owner) playaz: ‘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. I’d like to thank everyone at Greater Media, especially (CEO) Peter Smyth, (regional GM) Tom Bender and (VP Programming) Buzz Knight, for the opportunity and their confidence in me.’ ”

I just hope he doesn’t collapse from exhaustion.

 • • • • • • • • 

Do you think that former WWJ general manager Rich Homberg felt as though he was on a mainline railroad track and the light was getting brighter? Had he stayed at the all-news station would he have been another statistic? Perhaps. It was probably a factor in his jumping over to Public TV Channel 56. Good move. His replacement at the main building is Pete Kowalski, so expect some Kowalski Kawality from “The J.” New managerial duties for CBS Detroit go to the well-respected and liked Deb Kenyon.


FSN Detroit’s coverage of Michigan high school championship events continues this month with live presentation of the 2008 MHSAA Girls and Boys Basketball Finals on consecutive Saturdays, March 8 and 15. The girls finals are contested this Saturday, March 8, at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center. Play-by-play announcers are Dan Gutowsky (Class D & A) and John Keating (Class C & B). Serving as analyst for all four games is Greg Kelser.

The boys championship games, held Saturday, March 15 at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, feature play-by-play announcers Matt Shepard (Class D & C) and Keating (Class A & B), joined by analyst Kelser. Note: The boys Class C game will be seen live at 12 noon on FSN Plus, with an 11:00 PM replay on FSN Detroit. This marks the 10th consecutive year that FSN Detroit has aired the MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals, the 11th year in a row for the boys event.

Here is the lineup of the 2008 MHSAA Girls & Boys Basketball Finals on FSN Detroit,
available to 3.2 million cable and satellite homes throughout Michigan and portions of Northwest
Ohio and Northern Indiana. The participating teams are determined after semifinal action March
6-7 (girls) and March 13-14 (boys):

MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals – Saturday, March 8
Class D: 10:00 AM, LIVE (Dan Gutowsky, Greg Kelser)
Class A: 12:00 PM, LIVE (Gutowsky, Kelser)
Class C: 4:00 PM, LIVE (John Keating, Kelser)
Class B: 6:00 PM, LIVE (Keating, Kelser)

MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals – Saturday, March 15
Class D: 10:00 AM, LIVE (Matt Shepard, Kelser)
Class C: 12:00 PM, LIVE on FSN Plus* (Shepard, Kelser) – replay 11:00 PM on FSN Detroit
Class A: 4:00 PM, LIVE (Keating, Kelser)
Class B: 8:00 PM, LIVE (Keating, Kelser)

FSN Plus: Schedule and Channel Update

March and April provide a plethora of sporting events of local interest which means FSN Detroit will once again activate its auxiliary service, FSN Plus, several times in the coming weeks. On days with simultaneous games, FSN Detroit will carry one game, while cable and satellite providers make FSN Plus available to air the second contest.

Below is the upcoming schedule of FSN Plus events, which includes college and high school basketball tournament action, a Red Wings game and three early-season Tigers games:

- Sun. March 9: 7:30 pm – ACC Men’s Basketball: Maryland at Virginia
- Mon. March 10: Summit League Men’s Basketball Tournament:
    7:00 pm – Semifinal #1, 9:30 pm – Semifinal #2
- Thu. March 13: MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament:
    12:00 pm – Quarterfinal #1, 2:30 pm – Quarterfinal #2
    7:00 pm – Quarterfinal #3, 9:30 pm – Quarterfinal #4
- Fri. March 14: MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament:
    7:00 pm – Semifinal #1, 9:30 pm – Semifinal #2
- Sat. March 15: 12:00 pm – MHSAA Boys Basketball: Class C Final
- Sat. March 15: 3:00 pm – MAC Women’s Basketball Tournament: Championship Game (delayed)
- Sat. March 22: 7:00 pm – Detroit Red Wings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (Red Wings Live at 6:30 & postgame)
- Wed. April 9: 7:00 pm – Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox (Tigers Live at 6:30 & postgame)
- Fri. April 11: 8:00 pm – Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox (Tigers Live at 7:30 & postgame)
- Tue. April 15: 7:00 PM – Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins (Tigers Live at 6:30 & postgame)

With the shutdown of the Comcast Local channel on Comcast systems across Michigan, viewers of FSN Plus will need digital service to receive the programming on either Channel 900 or 901.


1,000 People Connected to Michigan’s Broadcasting Industry To Attend the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo at the Devos Place in Grand Rapids

The Midwest’s premier broadcasting conference is moving locations for the first time in 19 years and West Michigan will be the beneficiary. More than 1,000 people connected to the broadcasting industry are expected to attend The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC) on March 10 & 11 at Devos Place in Grand Rapids.

“We are thrilled to bring this exciting event to West Michigan,” said MAB President & CEO Karole White. “We think broadcasters will enjoy the many enhancements we’ve made to GLBC, including interactive exhibits as well as a roster of nationally known speakers.”

GLBC 2008 entitled Michigan Broadcasting: A Sure Bet has numerous program highlights including:

• The Future of Michigan’s Economy: A Dialog with Michigan Industry Sector Giants (March 11, 8:30 a.m.). The general public is invited to attend this important event, and can acquire a free exhibits only pass to participate

• 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;

A complete program listing for GLBC and registration information can be found on the MAB web site at


Canada's Blackburn Radio is embracing country music in Southwestern Ontario in a big way, changing the format of CFCO AM 630 / FM 92.9 Chatham, ON from an oldies-based full service offering to country as Country 92.9 along with officially launching the country format on CJSP-FM 92.7 Leamington, ON. CJSP has on the air testing since November, but this morning marked the first time the station started offering regular live programming.

Each station has launched a new web site:


Television: Newsmakers Mar 4, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

The first coupons for TV converter boxes are starting to show up in consumer mailboxes as the television industry braces for D-Day -- Feb 17, 2009 -- when old analog TV sets no longer will pull in over-the-air TV signals and the nation switches to the crisper and clearer digital mode. The coupons, which work like a gift card, bring $40 discounts to those who need the boxes, estimated at about one in ten TV households nationwide. In Michigan, that's about 1.5 million homes. The boxes, which cost $50 to $80, install between the antenna and the TV and allow normal reception on older sets. The coupons come free on request, either online at or by phone at 888-388-2009. They must be used within 90 days... TV industry readies for digital switch (Tue, 3/4)

The Oakland Press/AP:

he transition to digital broadcasting is the biggest thing to hit television since color. To make sure it goes smoothly, the Federal Communications Commission wants to do a test run. The digital shift will happen nationwide next February. Viewers who don't have a digital set and watch shows via an antenna will lose their picture unless they buy a converter box. The changeover has members of Congress and the FCC worried that irate viewers with no picture will direct their anger at Washington. FCC commissioner Michael Copps suggested a test run in certain markets, prior to the national shift, would be a good idea. He explained his idea Monday in a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. "Broadway shows open on the road to work out the kinks before opening night," he wrote. "The DTV transition deserves no less"... Digital TV shift may get a test drive before going prime time (Tue, 3/4)


WDMK evening host Lady BG exits

After nine years, Lady BG has left as the evening host of 'Kisses after Dark' on adult urban WDMK-FM 105.9. She also had held the roles of assistant program director and music director before her position was eliminated- those tasks have been given to Ms. Smiley of sister station WHTD-FM 102.7. Joining Radio One/Detroit at WDMK for swing shifts is Terry Bello who last worked for the company in Cleveland.

Not enough angels

Country WDTW-FM's (106.7) attempt to organize a world record snow-angel making activity fell short on Saturday at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights. Although the station didn't reveal participation numbers, it's hoping to repeat the effort next winter. A group from North Dakota assembled 8,962 people in Bismarck last February to set the Guinness World Record for most snow angels made simultaneously.


Detroit News:

A number of Paula Tutman fans have been calling and e-mailing as of late wondering where the WDIV-TV (Channel 4) reporter has gone. Well, she's still with the station but has since moved to mornings. A promotion, Tutman's new job allows her to perk up early risers who tune into "Local 4 News Morning" from 5-7 a.m. weekdays. Tutman has been with WDIV, our local NBC affiliate, for 16 years working as a general assignment reporter. The Maryland native started in television news in the early 1980s as a reporter at WATE-TV (Channel 6), an ABC affiliate in Knoxville, Tenn., and went on to anchor and report at WLKY-TV (Channel 32), a CBS affiliate in Louisville, Ky., and WJZ-TV (Channel 13), another CBS affiliate in Baltimore. As the morning correspondent for "Local 4 News Morning" for about a month now, Tutman says what she likes most about her new job is learning new things... Paula Tutman's on WDIV's a.m. news (Wed, 3/5)

Detroit Free Press:

With Drew Lane's absence from WRIF-FM's morning show starting its sixth month, morning ratings were certainly the focus of Tuesday's monthly Arbitron report card for November and December of 2007 and January '08. WRIF can continue to be concerned that minus Lane, the morning show now hosted by Mike Clark and producers Marc Fellhauer and Mike Wolters lost 1.6 rating points in the key 25-54 demographic from the same period a year ago. But the station can take some solace that the 9.7 it carded was up 0.1 point from the final quarter of '07, perhaps signifying a pause in any further ratings leakage... Drew's still gone, but it's not all bad (Wed, 3/5)


Saginaw News:

Look for the "real thing" -- Joe Nichols -- when the KCQ Country Music Fest returns Saturday, June 21, to Saginaw's Ojibway Island. Familiar face Tracy Lawrence shares the bill. He performed at the free music fest in 1998 and 2000. As many as 100,000 music fans have converged on the island park each year since 1992. WKCQ tried to bring Nichols to Saginaw in 2006, but "we missed out," said Barbara Sheltraw, who hosts a morning show with Jim Kramer at radio station WKCQ-FM, 98.1. This year, he's touring in support of his "Real Things" album, and he worked the festival into the mix. Nichols' hits include "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" and the No. 1 single "Brokenheartsville." "He has a really strong base, especially from his last two albums," Sheltraw said. "We're ecstatic to get Joe Nichols"... Tracy Lawrence, Joe Nichols to headline free WKCQ concert in Saginaw (Thu, 3/6)


Crain's Detroit Business:

Fans of the Detroit Tigers who don’t have cable or satellite television will be limited to nine over-the-air broadcasts this season — down from 25 games in 2007. Fox will air eight Tigers games as part of the network's national Saturday Baseball Game of the Week broadcasts. Those games will be carried locally on Detroit Fox affiliate WJBK-Channel 2. The only other chance to watch the Tigers on the public airwaves comes when the Tigers open the season at 1:05 p.m. March 31 at Comerica Park against the Kansas City Royals... Only 9 Tiger games to be available via over-the-air TV broadcasts (Thu, 3/6)

WCSX to announce 2008 Stone Soup Project car at Autorama

WCSX listeners have spoken and they have chosen this year’s Stone Soup Project car. WCSX’s Morning Show hosts Jim Johnson (JJ) & Lynne Woodison will unveil this year’s Stone Soup Project car at Autorama in Cobo Center today, Friday March 7th, at 5pm.

Stone Soup raffle tickets will be available for sale for the first time at the WCSX Autorama booth. Tickets are $25 and all proceeds go to Forgotten Harvest. JJ & Lynne’s Stone Soup Project has raised nearly $1 million for local Detroit charities since 2003.

WCSX will also have 3 previous Stone Soup vehicles on display. You can see the '70 HEMI Roadrunner, '65 GTO Convertible & '47 Custom Nailhead Truck. The station will broadcast live all weekend from the 56th annual Autorama @ Cobo Center March 7-9. For more information go to

Detroit Free Press:

Nostalgic radio exhibit: Blast from the past? This qualifies. A new exhibit opening at the Detroit Historical Museum ( on Saturday features six radio personalities of the past and present. "Detroit's Classic Radio Voices" has artifacts, photos and audio... Names and Faces (Fri, 3/7)


Flint Journal:

For Bill Harris, the diagnosis came like a thunderbolt: Prostate cancer. "It's like wearing a scarlet letter," said the longtime anchorman at WJRT (Channel 12). "I felt like as soon as the doctor said I had it, bang. A big 'C' emblazoned on my forehead. It takes awhile to digest and comprehend. Almost as soon as I hung up the phone, I went on the Internet and became an immediate expert in prostate cancer in about 15 minutes." Harris, 58, made the on-air announcement last week, explaining to viewers that he would be gone for "an extended period of time" to be with his family and undergo treatment. He is scheduled for prostate removal surgery Wednesday at McLaren Regional Medical Center. He hopes to use his experience to help educate the public, with cameras and news crews tracking his treatment and recovery... Anchorman uses his cancer to educate others (Fri, 3/7)


Television: Newsmakers Mar 8, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

I asked for it. In a column earlier this week about the Feb. 17, 2009, transition to digital TV, I invited readers to send me their questions. More than 100 of you did. To help clear up the confusion, I asked experts from the cable and electronics industry, government telecommunications agencies and local broadcasters to help... Clear up confusion over digital switch (Sat, 3/8)

FSN Plus programming reminder: Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament Semifinals

The Summit League men’s basketball tournament semifinals will be televised Monday, March 10 on FSN PLUS at 7:00 & 9:30 pm. Of local interest, Oakland University would play in the 9:30 game if it wins Sunday’s quarterfinal contest.


Detroit News:

Quick, what's "snowy" and "breezy" weather? That would be "sneezy," according to Detroit weather wit Sonny Eliot, and an appropriate description for this snowy week. Eliot is part of a new exhibit opening today at the Detroit Historical Museum: "Detroit's Classic Radio Voices." On display are photos, awards, records, clothing and other artifacts relating to six iconic air personalities: Eliot, Dick Purtan, the late J.P. McCarthy, the late Martha Jean "the Queen" Steinberg, Ernie Harwell and Bob Allison. Most important are the audio clips of each of the icons that play continuously as you're looking at the exhibit. So you hear Martha Jean "the Queen" in full spiritual mode, thumping on the table as she exhorts: "I'm on my knees, crawling, I'm telling the people don't step on me, I've got to be delivered this morning, I've got to be healed this morning not tomorrow, not this evening, but this morning!"... New exhibit gives voice to six iconic radio figures (Sat, 3/8)


Grand Rapids Press:

Reese Rickards has been the on-air morning man since WBCT-FM (93.7) signed on almost 17 years ago. You can't take the country out of this guy, even when he goes home. He's a gentleman farmer who farms for pleasure rather than for money. The Rickards, Kim and Reese, call their Solon Township farm "Chickadee Ridge." "We own 16 acres. About eight are wooded. The rest are pond, pasture, house and yard. I can see Fisk Knob (the highest point in Kent County) from the barnyard," Rickards said. There are plenty of animals: two dogs, two cats, three goats, numerous pigs, three cows, 12 chickens, four ducks and two peacocks, not to mention the turkeys. "I raise turkeys every year, and my Thanksgiving bird weighed 63 pounds last year," Rickards said. But it's pet goat Esther who gets special props from Rickards for her uncanny ability in forecasting winter weather... WBCT's Reese Rickards is a little bit country (Sun, 3/9)

Steve Stewart, better known as "Scrubs in the Morning" on WTNR-FM (94.5), has been promoted to regional manager of country programming for Citadel Broadcasting's Midwest Region. The region has nine stations in seven markets... Steve Stewart gets programming post (Sun, 3/9)

WGVU radio's weekday morning host, Shelley Irwin, has received her fifth Gracie Allen Award from the American Women in Radio and Television. She was selected for individual achievement based on quality in writing, production and programming... WGVU's Shelley Irwin wins fifth Gracie (Sun, 3/9)

WXMI-TV (Channel 17) recently named Emily Richett its new entertainment host. Richett will write, produce, and host daily Web shows in addition to doing other projects... WXMI's Emily Richett named Web host (Sun, 3/9)

A number of West Michigan cable subscribers were surprised to find a channel missing from their lineup Saturday. Comcast Local, which naturally is owned by cable behemoth Comcast, officially was pulled off the air March 1. "In this competitive marketplace, Comcast continues to evaluate its programming lineup," said Patrick Paterno, director of communications for Comcast Midwest Division. "As you know, over the past three years there have been numerous changes in the sports programming environment, from national to regional to local sports coverage." It doesn't take a detective to deduce that the move was business oriented, but it remains a blow for sports fans throughout the state. Since its launch about three years ago, the station aired a number of professional, collegiate and high school events, such as Grand Valley State football and basketball. Comcast Local occasionally also served as an outlet for FSN Plus broadcasts... Comcast Local goes off the air (Fri, 3/7)


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioThe past couple of weeks, I’ve been seeking out examples to show that radio’s days aren’t quite over yet.

Frankie Darcell, midday host on adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3), had the first exhaustive radio interview with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick last month. The hourlong discussion made headlines in print and on television and was the talk of the town for days after. Give Darcell a lot of credit in her continuing coverage of the situation as she makes every attempt to cover all sides of the issue. Her program is now a daily must-listen for many concerned about the text-messaging scandal in Detroit.

When Kilpatrick made morning phone calls to news WWJ-AM (950) and news-talk WJR-AM (760) following the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision to allow the release of documents related to the whistle-blower case, it again was must-listen radio that created a community buzz. I was impressed with WJR’s Paul W. Smith as he skipped breaks to continue a nearly hour-long conversation with the mayor without interruption.

What got my attention is how much more in-depth radio interviews go when compared with the packaged 90-second bits that are presented during TV newscasts. These two interviews show the true power of radio and its ability to not only entertain, but to connect with the community on important issues.

 • • • • • • • • 

There is perhaps no better example of rallying community support than the annual Dick Purtan Radiothon for The Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Club.

Since 1988, more than $19 million has been raised with every penny helping those in need in this area. While ultimately falling just short of the annual goal to make just $1 more than last year, the $2.31 million in pledges last weekend was less than $70,000 under the record set in 2007. Although a huge push was attempted in the final 60-plus minutes, not even “Big Al” Muskavito could coax enough dough from oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) listeners to get over the top. But it certainly was not from lack of effort.

Observing the number of community leaders who get behind this effort make it something special each and every year. The final hour is always the most touching when tributes are paid to late cast members Gene Taylor and Mark “Doc” Andrews by Purtan and crew — which includes Big Al, Jackie Purtan, Dana Mills, Rebekah Rhodes, John ‘Angles’ Stewart, Dave Zoran, Larry Lawson — and countless others behind the scenes.

“Once again the incredibly generous people of metro Detroit have come through,” said Purtan. “The money raised assures that nearly 5,000 people will be fed and more than 500 will be sheltered every day and night for the next 365 days. In extremely difficult economic times, our listeners found it in their hearts to dig deep and once again prove that the people of this area are among the most caring in the nation. On behalf of those who need it the most, I thank our listeners for their incredible support and for offering the gift of hope to those men, women, and children who count on the good works of the Salvation Army Bed & Bread Program for not just a meal and a mattress, but for a new start in life.”


WRIF announces 2008 WRIF Rock Girl search

Rock WRIF-FM is launching the 2008 search for a new WRIF Rock Girl, where one woman will have the opportunity to represent WRIF for one year as a station personality and spokesperson. In addition to being the traffic reporter alongside afternoon drive host Arthur Penhallow, the WRIF Rock Girl will be the station ambassador at VIP parties, concerts and events and she’ll receive a $40,000 salary for doing so.

Through an extensive radio, online and print campaign, WRIF will encourage the women of Detroit to attend one of 3 remaining casting calls. There, they will be asked a series of questions and they’ll be asked to read a traffic report to determine whether they will make the cut into the 2008 WRIF Rock Girl semifinals.

Once the 32 semi-finalists are selected, WRIF listeners will be encouraged to vote in a series of 3 rounds for their favorite contestant online at

The dates, times and locations of the casting calls are:
- Saturday, March 22nd at Ashley’s in Westland, 5p-9p
- Saturday, March 29th at Macomb Mall in Roseville, 3p-7p
- Thursday, April 3rd at Malarky’s in Southgate, 6p-10p

Contestants must bring a 5”x7” photo and a bio / resume. Potential candidates must attend a casting call to be considered. The contest is open to Michigan residents 21 years of age and older. For official contest rules, log on to

Detroit Free Press:

Thursday is a big day in radio history. That's when CBS Radio will mark the 70th anniversary of "The World News Roundup," launched on March 13, 1938. This was the first show to bring the voices of correspondents stationed around the world together for a live news broadcast. It is the longest-running news broadcast in history. The program began amid the growing tensions in Europe leading up to World War II ... "The World News Roundup" can be heard on WWJ-AM (950) at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily... Happy 70th to CBS's 'Roundup' (Mon, 3/10)

Time shifting, or using DVRs to record a favorite show and playing it back when convenient for the consumer, is resulting in an increase of prime-time TV watching by 18-49-year-olds, says a recent survey from Nielsen Reports. The traditional prime-time period between 8 and 11 p.m. is expanding because people are watching the shows they recorded earlier the same evening... TV viewing on the rise thanks to time-shifting (Mon, 3/10)

Detroit News:

The nationwide conversion to all-digital TV is coming just under a year from now, but the process is a complete mystery to Marie Ulbrich. "I don't understand what that's all about," said Ulbrich, 92. "We have four TVs in our house, and they're all the old kind. "Are we going to have to throw them all away? And if we do, where would they go? Wouldn't that be an environmental hazard?" Many seniors are also in the dark about the conversion -- which, experts say, makes them ripe for scam artists because they don't understand what they need to convert their sets. The fear is that scammers will try to sell unnecessary or overly expensive converter boxes to seniors, said Karen Bisdorf, assistant director for Macomb County Senior Citizen Services. Bisdorf's organization is planning a presentation Tuesday at the Chesterfield Senior Center to help educate seniors about the switch scheduled for Feb. 17, 2009. Another presentation is scheduled for August... Seminar introduces seniors to digital TV (Mon, 3/10)

Zonjic captures Canadian Smooth Jazz award

Alexander Zonjic, popular weekday morning host of Detroit’s Smooth Jazz V98.7, WVMV-FM, was named Broadcaster of the Year at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards last Friday, March 7 at The Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, Ontario near Toronto.

“I am glad to have been recognized by an award for my work in broadcasting and with a nomination for my artistry as a jazz flutist,” said Zonjic. Zonjic was also nominated for Best Wind Instrumentalist. His radio show is consistently rated in the top ten morning shows among listeners in the Detroit market.

Zonjic also reprised his role as host of the fourth annual competition. “I’ve been part of the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards since their inception. It’s the only awards show for this music genre internationally, said Zonjic.

WTKA to host radiothon for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital March 13

On Thursday March 13th, sports WTKA AM 1050 Ann Arbor will host a special radiothon event for the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to raise funds for gas cards for Mott patients and their families.

To support the event, WTKA’s Sam Webb and Andy Evans will host their show, “The Michigan Insider,” live at Mott from 6 to 10 a.m. that day. Listeners can tune in to 1050 AM to hear Mott physicians, nurses and social workers discuss the increasing need for gas cards among Mott patient families from all socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition, WTKA, along with Ann Arbor Radio’s W4 Country (102.9 FM) and 107one (107.1 FM), will air interviews throughout the day with Mott patients and families who use the gas card supplied by Mott for health care travel expenses.

High gas prices continue to put the squeeze on how many parents are managing health care for their children – either in getting to health care visits or purchasing medications. In fact, according to a recent report by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, 6 percent of parents have postponed a medical visit or buying medication for their children due to high gas prices.

As the result of increasing gas prices and the Michigan economy, Mott is struggling to meet the demand by its patients and their families for gas cards.

During the past four years alone, expenses for the gas card program at Mott – managed by the U-M Health System’s Guest Assistance Program – has increased by more than 700 percent.

This program – which relies on the generosity and support of the community – is designed to help patient and families with extra expenses during their outpatient and inpatient visits to U-M hospitals. Processes are in place for the gas card program, as well as other gift card programs run by UMHS’ Guest Assistance Program, Child and Family Life Department, and Department of Social Work, to ensure appropriate distribution of donated gift cards to patients and their families.

To help support the gas card program at Mott during radiothon on March 13, visit or


The bidding in the charitable online auction sponsored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF) is entering its final days. Interested bidders have until Friday, March 21 at 11:59 p.m. to attempt to win auction packages.

Bidding in the MABF online auction is open to the general public. Auction items include:

• Mojo in the Morning. Passes to the popular WKQI-FM radio show in Detroit

• Detroit Pistons Mini-Vacation Package. Four tickets to the April 4 game against New Jersey. Includes two parking passes, four club tickets for a buffet dinner and two queen overnight rooms

• Detroit Red Wings Tickets. Two tickets to the April 6 game against Chicago

• Grand Hotel Golf for Two (two sets available). Golf for two at the Grand Hotel’s beautiful Jewel Golf Course

• Detroit Tigers Big Boy Package. Four tickets to a Detroit Tigers game in April, one parking pass and $50 in Big Boy restaurant certificates that may be used at the Big Boy located in right field at Comerica Park.

Complete information on the MABF online auction, including detailed information on registration, auction items and contest rules may be found at Click on the Online Auction button.


MAB Foundation Announces 2008 High School and College Station of the Year Award Winners

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2008 High School and College Station of the Year Award. Award winners were chosen based upon overall excellence during the year, and entries submitted in at least three categories in the 2008 MABF High School and College Awards competition. The following stations were the recipients of the 2008 Station of the Year Award:

High School Radio Station of the Year: Bloomfield Hills Andover/Lasher High School, WBFH-FM

College Radio Station of the Year: Michigan State University, WDBM-FM

High School Television Station of the Year: Rockford High School, WRHS

College Television Station of the Year: Central Michigan University, MHTV

MABF also announced winners of its High School and College Awards competition. For a complete list of all winners, visit

Two Michigan broadcasters honored with Carl Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) has presented it’s most prestigious engineering award to a pair of Michigan broadcasters, who combined have served the industry for 65 years. The Carl Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award winners are:

Jerrod L. Martin, Director of Engineering (retired), WNIC-FM, Detroit. Mr. Martin began his career as a radio engineer in 1946, assisting in the construction of WKMH in Dearborn, Michigan. His many accomplishments through the years include supervising the installation and construction of the present day transmitting facilities of WNIC-FM. Since retiring in 1985, Mr. Martin has worked as a consultant and co-authored the operating information for what is now known as the Emergency Action System (EAS). He is a life member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and Certified Senior Broadcast Engineer.

Lowell Shore, Chief Engineer, WWTV/WWUP-TV, Cadillac, Traverse City. Mr. Shore joined WWTV as a staff engineer in August 1960. In 1976 he became Chief Engineer of WWUP-TV, Sault Ste Marie and WKJF-FM and WWAM in Cadillac. Among Mr. Shore’s achievements has been to successfully supervise the transition to digital broadcasting at the TV facilities in Cadillac and Sault Ste. Marie.

MAB created the Carl Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award to honor the career of Carl Lee, a noted broadcast engineer who served as GM and President of the Fetzer Broadcasting. Mr. Lee was also President of MAB in 1956.

The Carl Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards were presented during MAB’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo being held in Grand Rapids.

Michigan Broadcasters present Larry Patrick MAB Associate of the Year Award

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented Larry Patrick of Patrick Communications with the organization’s Associate of the Year Award. The presentation was made Tuesday, March 11 during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Grand Rapids. The award recognizes the significant contributions made by associate members, and to acknowledge their efforts in enhancing the quality and integrity of broadcasting while supporting their community.

“Larry is a long time friend and supporter of the MAB,” said Karole White, MAB President and CEO. “Many Michigan broadcasters have benefited greatly from Larry’s wisdom and expertise in the television and radio industries.”

Larry Patrick is President of Patrick Communications a media brokerage and investment banking firm, with a track record of over $3 billion in transactions in recent years. He also owns Legend Communications, a radio group owner with 16 radio stations. He has sold over 60 television stations and 300 radio stations. Mr. Patrick is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ion Media Networks, a 62-television station group. He is a former Senior Vice President of the National Association of Broadcasters, Past President of the Broadcast Education Association, and current President of the National Association of Media Brokers.

Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters and Michigan Public Radio Network elect 2008-2009 officers

The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) is the unified voice of Michigan’s public radio and television stations. Together, these stations produce and distribute a remarkable array of television and radio programs and series, which meet the needs, and interest of Michigan citizens.

The Michigan Public Radio Network (MPRN) is a unique broadcast partnership formed more than 20 years ago by Michigan’s noncommercial public radio stations. MPRN The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) has elected Steve Schram of Michigan Public Media, as MAPB President. The Michigan Public Radio Network (MPRN) has elected John Sheffler of Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting as its President for the 2008-2009 Board term.

Officers elected to the 2008-2009 MAPB Board include:

- President: Steve Schram, Michigan Public Media
- Vice President: Eric Smith, Northern Michigan University Public Broadcasting
- Treasurer: Allen Mazurek, Detroit Public Radio
- Secretary: Rick Schudiske, Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting

Officers elected to the 2008-2009 MPRN Board include:

- President: John Sheffler, Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting
- Vice President: DeAnne Hamilton, Michigan State University Public Broadcasting
- Secretary: Michael Walenta, Grand Valley State University Public Broadcasting
- Treasurer: Howard Sharper, Delta College Public Broadcasting

The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) is the unified voice of Michigan’s public radio and television stations. Together, these stations produce and distribute a remarkable array of television and radio programs and series, which meet the needs, and interest of Michigan citizens.

The Michigan Public Radio Network (MPRN) is a unique broadcast partnership formed more than 20 years ago by Michigan’s noncommercial public radio stations. MPRN provides comprehensive coverage of issues statewide and regional importance to a weekly audience of more than 875,000 Michigan residents who tune in to one of the 30 member public radio stations across the state.


Television: Newsmakers Mar 11, 2008



Detroit News:

Could there finally be peace in our time between Comcast and the Big Ten Network? The two sides are back to active negotiations, in hopes of finally reaching an agreement. A published report Monday said the two sides were close to an agreement, but neither the BTN nor Comcast would confirm that. Allegedly, some difficult impasses have been broken, which could lead to the Big Ten Network reaching some Comcast customers by summer. The BTN, which launched August 2007, has not been carried by Comcast cable, because of long-running disagreements over carriage and fees. The biggest casualty of the blackout has been Metro Detroit's Big Ten sports fans who are Comcast customers, equaling 70 percent of the market... Comcast, BTN open talks again (Tue, 3/11)

Detroit Free Press:

The Big Ten Network appears on its way to most homes in Michigan. According to a source close to the negotiations, Comcast and the BTN have made significant progress toward a deal and only an unforeseen setback would prevent the network from being on the cable system by football season. Considering the animosity between the sides much of last fall and into the winter -- Comcast ran negative ads, especially on radio, attacking BTN -- a deal would be significant... Barring unforeseen setback, Big Ten Network and Comcast deal should get done (Tue, 3/11)


MSU's WDBM gets nod as College Station of the Year

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Broadcast Music Inc. have named Michigan State University’s WDBM – or IMPACT 89FM as it is commonly known – the college radio station of the year.

The Gold Record Award was presented at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference in Grand Rapids on March 11, marking the eighth time in the past nine years that WDBM-FM has won the award.

“This competition is so important because of everything going on in the broadcast industry,” said Gary Reid, professional general manager of the station. “Being judged by commercial broadcasters as the state’s best for eight of the past nine years is a true honor from a profession that many of our students hope to get jobs in.”

Ed Glazer, the station’s Web director, won three individual awards and Jeremy Whiting, the station manager, received two. Impact staffers took first place in four categories: Wes Holing for the daily newscast/news feature category; Noah Ullmann for talk show; Kevin Dye for the promotional announcement; and Jeremy Whiting for the station activities report. Brock Elsesser and Doug Neal also scored wins. The competition consists of seven different categories.

All entries were judged by professional radio and television broadcasters in Michigan.

“With this win, the legacy of an excellent program is firmly established,” Reid said. “We are seeing high school students choosing Michigan State due in part to the quality and success of the station.”

Approximately 120 students, ranging from freshmen to doctoral candidates, are working at the station. WDBM-FM may be found at 88.9 on the FM dial and may be heard via streaming media on the Web at The Gold Record Award, along with the previous seven, may be seen at the station located in G-4 Holden Hall on MSU’s campus.

“The thing that’s important about an awards program like this is the rallying cry that happens within our staff,” said Reid. “We’ve created such a winning heritage over the past seven years that it gives our students something to aspire to. It helps motivate our staff as they would never dream of letting their predecessors down.”

Out of more than 13,000 radio stations in the country, WDBM was the 132nd overall and the first college station to begin broadcasting the new HD digital signal in October of 2004. WDBM also produces Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm’s weekly radio address and podcast, which is distributed to stations throughout Michigan via a partnership with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. For a podcast on Impact Radio, visit


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2007 Broadcast Excellence Station of the Year Awards. The awards are based on the cumulative number of points scored from the Broadcast Excellence competition’s selected categories and is given to the station with the most points in each radio and television market. The following stations were the recipients of the 2007 Station of the Year awards:

Market 1
- Television: WXYZ-TV, Detroit
- Radio: WJR-AM, Detroit

Market 2
- Television: WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids
- Radio: WOOD-AM, Grand Rapids

Market 3
- Television: WILX-TV, Lansing
- Radio: WKHM-AM, Jackson

Market 4
- Radio: WSJM-AM, Benton Harbor
- (no market 4 television)

Public Television Group 1: WKAR-TV, East Lansing

Public Radio Group 1: Interlochen Public Radio, Interlochen

Public Radio Group 2: WUOM/WFUM/WVGR-FM, Ann Arbor

The MAB also announced the winners of its Broadcast Excellence Award competition. For a complete list of all winners, visit The Broadcast Excellence Awards, one of the largest state awards programs in the nation, was judged by members of the Colorado Broadcasters Association on a variety of criteria including presentation, delivery, and production values.


FSN Detroit will deliver 103 of its 152 Detroit Tigers telecasts this season in high-definition – a 72 percent increase from the 60 HD games offered in 2007 – starting with the March 31 season opener against the Kansas City Royals. The HD schedule includes 72 home games, 31 on the road.

The high-definition telecasts will be shown on FSN HD, a channel available on high-definition cable service provided by Comcast, Bright House Networks, Wide Open West (WOW!), Charter, Buckeye, Broadstripe (formerly Millennium), Coldwater and D&P Cable. FSN HD is also available via satellite on DIRECTV and Dish Network.

FSN Detroit began its HD telecasts in 2006 when the regional network delivered 27 Tigers games. Now, FSN Detroit is producing 160 high-def games annually among the Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons. Nationally, FSN HD is producing more than 1,000 MLB games this season, nearly double the amount of high-definition games produced in 2007.

"It's clear that sports fans love HD. Fans are watching our HD games in record numbers in every sport and the number of high-def homes continues to accelerate. It makes perfect sense for FSN to deliver as many HD games as we possibly can," said Greg Hammaren, Senior Vice President/General Manager, FSN Detroit. “FSN is the industry leader in delivering sports in HD and we’re proud to offer more than 100 HD Tigers games this season, one of baseball’s most formidable teams.”

Beyond the games on FSN HD, FSN Detroit’s standard definition Tigers programming goes to 3.2 million cable and satellite households throughout Michigan and portions of Northwest Ohio and Northern Indiana. FSN Detroit is scheduled to deliver 900 hours of Tigers-related original programming during the 2008 season including a record 152 regular season games, Tigers Live pre and postgame shows, Tigers Weekly, Spotlight and In My Own Words episodes, and other special programming.


Detroit News:

Tucked away on a quiet street in a Warren industrial park, a $14.95 skeleton from Wal-Mart is having a shrieking argument with a plastic plant. The two are sitting in a vintage hearse, with a husky wolfman at the wheel. "There's a weed whacker in the trunk!" the skeleton taunts the plant. A violent fight breaks out. "If you two don't knock it off, I'm going to turn this car around," the werewolf warns. Then he grins at the TV camera, howls and delivers his tagline: "Hey kids, it's time to lock the doors, pop some popcorn, roll out the sleeping bags and watch 'Wolfman Mac's Nightmare Sinema.'" This is Stage 3 Productions, and original, local television is being created as Wolfman Mac, Detroit's first horror movie host in decades, films a show late on a snowy Thursday. "Wolfman Mac's Nightmare Sinema" premieres on TV 20 Friday night at 1 a.m. (technically Saturday morning), with a furry, wisecracking host presenting the best of the worst black-and-white horror movies, as well as demented skits... It's alive! Wolfman Mac brings horror B-movie classics back to local TV (Thu, 3/13)

Gone-country pop star Jewel -- along with Trisha Yearwood, Gretchen Wilson, Lonestar and Westland native Josh Gracin -- is heading up this year's WYCD-FM (99.5) Downtown Hoedown, set for Detroit's Hart Plaza, May 9-11. The 25-year-old, free, three-day concert will star more than 30 acts in all, including a host of local talent... Hoedown attracts big star power (Thu, 3/13)


Detroit Free Press:

Tonight's Pistons/San Antonio game isn't your run-of-the-mill, late-season NBA game. It marks the first time in Detroit sports history that a team will devote an entire day to a charity telethon. Take that, Jerry Lewis! The Pistons Cares Telethon Benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Michigan Chapter, is working toward its goal of granting wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. The telethon will run throughout the day and into the evening as the Pistons host the Spurs at 8 p.m. Fans can call in their donations to 877-372-9474 starting at 6 a.m. or they can go to and click on the "DONATE NOW" button... Names and Faces (Fri, 3/14)


Detroit Free Press:

The Pistons hosted an all-day telethon Friday benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan that culminated with the broadcast of the Spurs game. They raised more than $400,000 to grant the wishes of children who have life-threatening illnesses in Michigan... Telethon raises more than $400,000 (Sat, 3/15)

Detroit News:

WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) received the "Station of the Year Award" at the 2007 Broadcast Excellence Awards, hosted by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB). The station received the award at a ceremony held during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo earlier this week in Grand Rapids. The station placed first in the Investigative Story category for "Pastor Ben's Bling," a report by Heather Catallo, one of WXYZ's investigative reporters... WXYZ-TV is named state's best (Sat, 3/15)

Michigan Radio Named MAB Public Radio Station of the Year

Michigan Radio, the public radio service from the University of Michigan, has been named Public Broadcasting Station of the Year for 2007 by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB). The award was announced Tuesday evening at the Michigan Association of Broadcaster’s annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference, held in Grand Rapids. This is the fifth year in a row Michigan Radio has been named Public Radio Station of the Year.

The Station of the Year recognition is based on total points that a station receives in various judging categories.

Michigan Radio received a total of seven Broadcast Excellence Awards, in the following categories:

• Best Newscast—Charity Nebbe

• Best Mini Documentary/Series—“Grading Michigan Schools” (Sarah Hulett, Tracy Samilton, Samara, Freemark w/ Lester Graham & Kaomi Goetz)

• Best Feature/Use of Medium—“Urban Explorers” (Jennifer Guerra)

• Best News or Public Affairs Special— “Ashes to Hope: Overcoming the Detroit Riots”

• Best Membership Appeal—“Pledge Questions” (Charity Nebbe)

• Best Marketing Materials and Promos—“Open House: Behind The Scenes” (Tamar Charney)

• Merit Hard News/Current Events—“Disability” (Jennifer Guerra)

"The Station of the Year award is a tremendous recognition from our peers," Director of Broadcasting Steve Schram said. "It is exciting to have the high quality work of our reporters acknowledged with this honor. However, it’s our listeners and supporters who also deserve the credit. Their continued investment in this broadcasting service is what makes everything we do possible."

The Broadcast Excellence Awards, one of the largest state awards programs in the nation, were judged by members of the Colorado Broadcasters Association on a variety of criteria including presentation, delivery, and production values. A total 862 entries were received from 76 television and radio stations in Michigan. All entries aired between January 1 and December 31, 2007.


• Baraga Broadcasting agreed to acquire FM translator W221CA 92.1 Gaylord from Radio Assist Ministry for $6,800 pending FCC approval and closing. Baraga, owner of Religious WTCK FM 90.9 Charlevoix, plans to rebroadcast that station on the translator.

WOOD-FM 105.7 Grand Rapids was granted its license to cover for its move to its new facilities. The station resumed broadcasting at 265,000 watts late last year after a long period of operating at reduced power.

WCXT FM 98.3 was granted its license to cover for a change community of license from South Haven to Hartford, a move of its tower southwest, and an increase of effective radiated power from 1,900 watts @ 404 feet to 3,700 watts @ 427 feet.

• The owner of WMXG FM 106.3 Stephenson agreed to make a voluntary contribution of $5,000 to the US Treasury and the FCC dismissed a proposed $10,000 fine for alleged tower lighting violations. Read the FCC Consent Decree.


• MacDonald Broadcasting agreed to acquire FM translator W221BQ 92.1 Petoskey from Great Lakes Community Broadcasting for $1,500 pending FCC approval and closing. An application has been filed for special temporary authority to rebroadcast MacDonald's WMKT AM 1270 Charlevoix on the translator due to interference WMKT receives from WXYT AM 1270 Detroit. If the STA is not granted, MacDonald Garber will likely not complete the purchase. A copy of the special temporary authority application can be found here.

• The license for WMHG AM 1600 Muskegon was officially surrendered and the station essentially no longer exists.


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioThe Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) held its annual conference last week in Grand Rapids and, as part of the event, announced the winners of its annual Broadcast Excellence Awards.

News-Talk WJR-AM (760) was named Station of the Year in the Detroit area and also won eight first-place awards in personality categories. News WWJ-AM (950) won five first-place personality category awards.

What was somewhat disappointing is that the list of winners and second-place finishers had only WWJ and WJR listed, making it appear that those two stations were the ones to submit entries from Detroit-area commercial radio stations. There was no winner declared in sports play-by-play.

Michigan Radio, which includes WUOM-FM (91.7) Ann Arbor, WFUM-FM (91.1) Flint and WVGR-FM (104.1) Grand Rapids, was named Public Radio Station of the Year among those with more than a $2 million annual budget.

Bloomfield Hills Schools’ WBFH-FM (88.1) was named Station of the Year by the MAB Foundation, the fifth time in the last six years the station has been given the honor. WBFH’s Corey Berkowitz won two individual awards, and students working at WBFH also earned six other second-place awards and honorable mentions.

MAB also presented a Carl Lee Broadcasting Engineering Excellence Award to Jerrod Martin, who retired in 1985 as the director of engineering for soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3) after a career that started in 1946 by assisting in the construction of WKMH-AM (1310) and later supervising the installation and construction of the present day facilities of WNIC. Since his retirement, Martin has worked as a consultant and co-authored operating information for what is now called the Emergency Action System.

Congratulations to all the winners.

 • • • • • • • • 

In 1971 at just 18 years of age, Lee Abrams was hired to be the program director at WRIF-FM (101.1) and was a key influence in the ’Riff ’s becoming one of country’s most successful and well-known album-oriented rock stations. Abrams’ career eventually landed him at XM Satellite Radio in 1998, where he helped guide the music programming and on-air lineup through its infancy and into a market force that land-based radio still hasn’t quite figured out what to do with.

This week, word came out that Abrams, who is not known for playing things safe, was leaving XM to join Randy Michaels, probably the ultimate executive radio rebel, at Tribune Co. If there were ever two guys who could collaborate and turn the media model on its head, it’s Abrams and Michaels. Their boss is University of Michigan graduate Sam Zell, someone who’s definitely not afraid of a little controversy in the name of business.

“Lee is the most formidable creative thinker in the media business today,” said Michaels, Tribune’s president of broadcasting and interactive. “He invented the modern FM radio format, got satellite radio off the ground when no one gave it a chance and managed to advise on the redesign of Rolling Stone magazine and the launch of TNT Cable Network in his spare time. Lee’s going to pump new life into our content, re-energize our brands and get people thinking and working together like they never have before.”

While Tribune doesn’t own any media properties locally, the business marriage among Zell, Michaels and Abrams promises to bring back a phrase Michaels coined while he was running Jacor, a radio company swallowed up by Clear Channel in the 1990s, “The Noise You Can’t Ignore.”


Grand Rapids Press:

Local TV and radio stations were honored last week at the annual Michigan Association of Broadcasters' Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in DeVos Place. The 2007 Broadcast Excellence Station of the Year Award is based on cumulative points scored from a variety of categories and is given to the station with the most points in each radio and television market. WOOD-TV (Channel 8) took home the Station of the Year Award for the fifth year in a row. WOOD-AM (1300) won in the radio category. Rockford High School won the high school TV Station of the Year Award. This was the fourth time the school has garnered the award... TV, radio stations honored at conference (Mon, 3/17)


Lansing State Journal:

Brant Johnson - a key part of local WQHH (96.5-FM) for most of its existence - is off the station and out of work. "I don't have any ill feelings. ... It was more of a personality thing," said Johnson, who was dropped earlier this month. He started as a WQHH intern in November of 1991, during the station's first year. He soon became a disc jockey and - for the past 13 years - program director. "I've given my blood, sweat and tears for that station," Johnson said. A station officials didn't return a call to say why Johnson was dropped or who will eventually take his spots as DJ (2-6 p.m. weekdays) and as program director. The arrival of WQHH, Lansing's first black-owned local FM station, was a key step... Brant Johnson is off the air at WQHH


Television: Newsmakers Mar 19, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

Regional sports network FSN Detroit has signed agreements with the Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings to televise nearly all their games -- exhibition, regular season and playoff -- for at least the next decade. The restructured rights agreements give FSN an unprecedented stranglehold on Detroit's sports scene. FSN will control the rights to all telecasts not picked up by a national network. The deals begin this year, FSN officials told the Free Press. FSN will televise up to 152 Tigers games -- an increase from 134 last year -- including 103 in high-definition. ESPN or Fox are scheduled to televise the season's other 10 games... FSN hat trick: Network has deals in place with Tigers, Pistons, Wings for the next decade (Wed, 3/19)

Detroit News:

Television commercials explaining the big switch are hitting the airways, the converter boxes are on display at Best Buy and Target, and worries of glitches are mounting as America gets ready for the biggest change to television since the advent of color. Beginning Feb. 17 next year, the trusty analog signals that have brought free TV -- from familiar channels like ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS -- into tens of millions of U.S. homes for more than half a century will die. In their place will be new-and-improved digital signals that promise higher quality picture and sound and more program choices. The impact on the vast majority of U.S. households will be minimal... Signals get switched: Push is on to prevent glitches in move to digital TV (Wed, 3/19)

FSN’s networks share Saturday Wings/CCHA coverage

Following is the lineup of Red Wings and CCHA hockey coverage for Saturday, March 22
across FSN’s collection of networks:

- Red Wings at Columbus: 7:00 pm on FSN Plus, coverage begins at 6:30 with Red Wings Live
(game replay at 11:00 PM on FSN Detroit)

- CCHA Championship Game: 7:30 pm on FSN Detroit & FSN HD


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ (MAB) Foundation recently elected officers to lead the MABF Board of Directors during the 2008 year. New officers were elected at the March 10 MABF meeting, held during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Grand Rapids. Officers, who are elected to a one-year term include:

Chairman Bruce Goldsen, Jackson Radio Works: Bruce Goldsen is President and General Manager of WKHM-AM/FM and WIBM-AM/Jackson Radio Works in Jackson, Michigan. Goldsen graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Communications Arts from Western Connecticut State University, where he was given its "Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. He has worked as Program Director at WIVY-FM, Jacksonville Florida; WTFM, Kingsport, Tennessee; and WINE, Danbury, Connecticut. Goldsen, along with his wife and partner Sue have owned Jackson Radio Works since 1997. He is active in his community and has served as Board President for both the Lenawee and Jackson County United Way. He was also chairman of the Lenawee County WalkAmerica for the March of Dimes and Junior Achievement's Grand Prix steering committee. Both Bruce and Sue are active Rotarians, and Bruce will serve as Rotary District 6400 Governor in 2008-2009. Goldsen served as Chairman of the MAB Board of Directors in 1998, after serving as a director for 5 years. He is also in his third-term as the elected Michigan representative on the National Association of Broadcasters' radio board of directors.

Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect Charles F. Ganzert, PhD, Northern Michigan University: Chuck Ganzert is an Associate Professor at Northern Michigan University as well as the Faculty Advisor for the student station WUPX-FM. Dr. Ganzert received both his masters degree and doctoral degree from Ohio University. His experience in media began when he worked with the student radio station at Virginia Tech. In 1980, Dr. Ganzert took a job with WYSO, a public radio station in Dayton, Ohio where he worked in programming, public affairs and production. While at WYSO, he produced a series titled: "Tis Sweet To Be Remembered" and was awarded the Ohio Educational Broadcasters Program of the Year Award in 1986. Dr. Ganzert teaches Audio Production and Media Law courses in the CAPS Department; and is the campus coordinator for Academic Service Learning. He has won two MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards through WNMU-FM (Marquette) and completed a book project with other faculty from Ohio University, Kent State University, and Kenyon College called "Oral History Done Right" which will be published by the Ohio University Press this year.

Secretary/Treasurer Chris Monk, Citadel Broadcasting, Flint/Saginaw: Chris Monk is currently with Citadel Broadcasting Company as the General Manager for their Saginaw and Flint operations that includes six radio stations. He is a 29-year veteran of the radio industry and has held sales management positions with Nationwide Communications, Prism Radio Partners and The Journal Broadcast Group. In addition, Monk spent over nine years in Northern Michigan as vice president/general manager for Northern Star Broadcasting. He has a BS in Radio/Television Management from Southern Illinois University and a Masters in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University.

Immediate Past Chairman Gary Reid, Michigan State University: Gary Reid is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Telecommunication at Michigan State University and General Manager of WDBM-FM. Reid joined the faculty upon completion of his graduate studies in 1977. Over his career, he has taught in a variety of areas including all of the audio/radio courses, video production classes, both undergrad and graduate technology classes as well as media management courses. Further, he was responsible for the design and installation of the departments’ audio and video production facilities. He is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies where he oversees the academic programs of approximately 500 majors and administers the Careers and Internships Program. Reid was one of the original three people promoted to the rank of Senior Academic Specialist when the University created the position.

Newly elected board members to the MAB Foundation:
- Julie Koehn, WLEN-FM (Adrian)
- Matt Kreiner, WEYI-TV (Flint)

Board members elected for another three-year term:
- Rob David, Handyman Productions
- Dave Downing, WLNZ-FM/Lansing Community College
- Dick Kernen, Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts
- Elaine Baker, Bloomfield Hills, MI
- Larry Patrick, Patrick Communications

Board members moving from a director position to an honorary director:
- Tom Bryson, WJRT-TV (Flint)
- Tom Scanlan, Scanlan Communications


WDFN billboard campaign generates buzz

Sports WDFN AM 1130 newest Detroit area billboard campaign carries a plain and simple message, “If The Text Don’t Fit, You Must Acquit.” With the entire city focused on the continuing legal ups and downs of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, WDFN’s message is simply a reflection of the current situation with the mayor. The slogan was created by WDFN listeners who participated in a website promotion where people could send the radio station their personal text messages for Kwame. The slogan is a play on the O.J. Simpson trial, with the now famous Johnnie Cochrane quote, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” The billboard really does leave the question of Kwame’s guilt or innocence up to the evidence although most people seemed to have made their own conclusions based on the text messages printed in the Detroit Free Press and other legal documents that have been released to the public.

The billboards are located in the following locations:
• On I-75 Northbound, 1.5 miles North of I-94
• On the Lodge (M-10) Northbound, South of Greenfield Rd.
• On I-94 Westbound, East of Middlebelt Rd.
• On the Southfield Freeway (M-39), North of Joy Rd.

The billboard can also be seen on, keyword Kwame.

The billboards also drew the attention of Fox 2 which this morning featured a story on the new displays and interviewed program director Rona Danzinger and afternoon co-host Bob Wojnowski.

WRCJ hosting Webday today

Do you wake up with the "Sousalarm" on Dave Wagner's Morning Show? Have you added to your recipe collection with one (or more) of the Midday Entrée Recipes on Chris Felcyn's "Well Tempered Wireless" Midday Show? Do you find yourself tuning in for the "Concerto at Three" that provides a soothing start to the Afternoon Drive with Jim Lowler? Do you spend cozy evenings listening to great jazz with Tony Mowod? If you said "YES" to these questions, the station is hoping for participation in Webday, and effort to raise $5,000 in donations for the station. Donors that give $40 or more will receive a WRCJ travel mug. Visit or call (866) 909-9725 to donate.

Handyman Show hires new manager

H & S Associates, Inc., the production company for the Handyman Show with Glenn Haege on WJR AM 760, has recently announced the hiring of Jim Meadows as the company’s new Results Manager. In his new position, Meadows will be responsible for coordinating advertising sales with key clients for the Handyman Show.

Meadows previously worked for WXYT-FM 97.1 “The Ticket” as Senior Account Executive, where he sold radio advertising for various Detroit-based sports broadcasts.


Detroit News:

Quick, who did the song "The Ballad of Denny McLain "? That would be S.F. Seals (named for the San Francisco Seals, Joe DiMaggio 's farm team). The song came out in the '90s, at the height of the hurler's legal troubles. Some of the lines: "He was a young kid with a great right arm/never dreamed that he would come to harm but Denny fell in with some bad company/now he's up the river for a good 23." You can hear that song and 411 others having to do with 27 other baseball players and the general lore of the game on Play Ball! , a new XM Satellite Radio channel (XM 120 ) that is launching for a special limited run March 29-30 in honor of Major League Baseball's opening day on March 31... Play Ball! gets limited XM run (Thu, 3/20)

The morning show "Fox & Friends" is grabbing the attention of a fair share of early birds in Metro Detroit. The Fox News Channel offering attracts nearly twice as many local viewers as CBS' "The Early Show," which airs on WWJ-TV (Channel 62). Who would've thought an a.m. cable show could trump a broadcast TV offering? According to Nielsen Media, "Fox & Friends" garners a 0.7 household rating, and "The Early Show" pulls in a 0.4 household rating in Metro Detroit. Each point is worth 19,440 local viewers... 'Fox & Friends' has pals in Metro Detroit (Thu, 3/20)

Detroit Free Press:

If Mac Kelly has his way, cheesy monster movies will always have a Detroit home on "Wolfman Mac's Nightmare Sinema." The show, which had its commercial TV premiere last weekend on WMYD-TV (My TV20), is the first in decades to resurrect the campy fun of the Ghoul and Sir Graves Ghastly. Sarah-Norat Phillips, president and general manager of the Southfield station, said overnight ratings were promising for the show, which had a "solid showing with male viewers aged 18 plus"... Wolfman Mac's 'Nightmare Sinema' revives a cheesy tradition (Thu, 3/20)

Seems just a short time ago that Sunny Anderson was a disc jockey for Detroit's Radio One combine, at 102.7 FM, says group programmer Al Payne. But starting April 6, she'll go nationwide as TV's Food Network makes her its newest kitchen star. Anderson will be host of "Cooking for Real," airing at 10:30 a.m. Sundays... DJ heads for the kitchen (Thu, 3/20)


WXYT-FM/AM adds Sara to morning show

Tom Bigby, operations manager of sports WXYT-FM/AM 97.1/1270 announced the addition of Sara Fouracre to the “Jay Towers and Bill McAllister In The Morning” on the CBS Radio station effective immediately.

Sara was born and raised in the Detroit area, is a graduate of Michigan State and is a 10 year Detroit Radio broadcasting veteran. Most recently she worked as a co-host on the Mojo in the Morning show on 95.5 (WKQI-FM) covering news and entertainment for the past eight years.

“We’re very excited to have Sara join our morning team,” said CBS Radio market manager Debbie Kenyon. “She is very well known and will be a great addition to Jay and Bill’s Morning Show.”

"I've always respected Jay Towers as a radio personality and I was a huge fan of the previous show that he and Bill McAllister hosted,” noted Sara. “To work with them both now is a joy and an amazing opportunity."

Radio One Makes Management Changes In The Motor City: RADIO ONE has released GM CAROL LAWRENCE and GSM NANCY DYMOND from its DETROT cluster. No replacements have been named at this time. ATLANTA-based RVP BRUCE DEMPS will oversee these properties on an interim basis. The cluster includes Urban AC WDMK(KISS105.9), Urban WHTD (HOT102.7) and News/Talk WCHB-A. (Fri, 3/21)

Detroit News:

The Tigers and FSN Detroit are hosting an on-air auction Sunday during the telecast of the team's game against Cleveland, beginning at 1:05 p.m. There are three auction packages, from which proceeds will benefit the Detroit Tigers Foundation. Also, the first 50 people to donate $50 or more will receive a special prize package... Tigers, FSN holding special auction (Fri, 3/21)

Good news for fans of demented horror fare: "Wolfman Mac's Nightmare Sinema," which premiered at 1 a.m. last Saturday, will be moving to a new and better timeslot on April 26: midnight on Saturday night. The move is in part because viewers called and e-mailed requesting an earlier time. "But it's also because TV20 wants to help me, they see that I'm pouring my heart and soul into this, and they want to give me a break," says Mac Kelly, who portrays Wolfman Mac and voices his skeletal sidekick, Bony Bob. "They're excited about this, and especially excited to be supporting something local." The lead-in show is more appropriate, too... The Wolfman will howl at midnight (Fri, 3/21)

WWJ-TV (Channel 62) has received two distinguished honors for its acclaimed four-part documentary on the economic ties between Michigan and China. Called "Building Bridges: From the Great Lakes to the Great Wall," the series received kudos from Michigan State University and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Michigan State University will feature Carol Cain, WWJ-TV's community affairs and editorial director, and the "Building Bridges" documentary as the keynote presentation for a special event in April. Cain, who also served as executive producer, will discuss what it was like filming the documentary in China at the university's second annual Internationalizing Michigan Education conference... Ch. 62 documentary earns double honors (Fri, 3/21)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Mar 21, 2008


WIOG Welcomes Morning Co-host: CITADEL Top 40 WIOG/SAGINAW welcomes MANDI MARTIN from the REGENT/FLINT cluster for wake-up duties along side morning host DEMAS, on the "102.5 WIOG Early Shift," effective this week. (Fri, 3/21)


• The FCC is seeking comments on a proposal filed by Roy E. Henderson that would modify the FM table of allotments for Evart, Ludington, Pentwater, and Manistee. The proposal would result in the creation of a new Class A allocation for Evart, but require the movement of WMOM FM 102.7 and WMLQ FM 97.7 to new frequencies. Henderson proposes the creation of the new Evart allocation at 102.7, which would require WMOM to move from its current frequency to 96.3. Further, a vacant allocation at 96.3 in Ludington would move to 97.7 and WMLQ Manistee would move to FM 104.3.

In summary-
WMOM: 102.7 ---> 96.3
WMLQ: 97.7 ---> 104.3
Vacant Ludington: 96.3 ---> 97.7
New Evart: 102.7

Noticed of proposed rule making and order to show cause

WCSY FM 103.7 was granted its license to cover for a change community of license from Hartford to South Haven.


Ann Arbor News:

Michigan Television, the public television service from the University of Michigan, has been selected for three 2007 Broadcast Excellence Awards by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters ... Today on 'Fine Tuning', Martin Bandyke of WQKL-FM (107.1) interviews Christen McArdle, executive director of the 46th Ann Arbor Film Festival, at 4 p.m. today on his "Fine Tuning'' program ... Topics on upcoming episodes of "The Lynn Rivers Show'' on WEMU (89.1 FM) include an examination of traumatic brain injury, especially when it comes to soldiers returning injured from service in Iraq, this Monday at 8 a.m... On the Air: Michigan Television honored (Sun, 3/23)


Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD-TV (Channel 8) continues to be a strong leader in television news ratings. According to the February Nielsen ratings, 24-Hour News 8 ranks No. 1 in the morning, noon, 5, 6 and 11 p.m. time slots. WOOD's 6 p.m. newscast had its highest ratings book since 1991 with a 15 household rating and a 33 household share. Both the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts had more viewers than both WZZM-TV (Channel 13) and WWMT-TV (Channel 3) combined... WOOD-TV leads local news ratings in February (Sun, 3/23)

There's never a dull moment in Andy Sugden's job as chief photojournalist at WZZM (Channel 13). On a recent shoot, he found himself placing cameras in trees, running up and down hills with a camera on a painter's pole -- all in the effort to get the best shots and to tell the story. "The biggest thing I have found is to really listen to what I hear at video shoots, and that will drive me to determine what I shoot," Sugden said. His efforts in leading a staff of videographers are part of the reason WZZM was named runner-up for TV Station of the Year among medium markets by the National Press Photographers' Association... WZZM wins NPPA award (Sun, 3/23)

WGVU Productions received six Bronze Awards in the 2008 Telly Awards. These programs were selected from more than 14,000 entries from around the world. The program, "Battle Creek: Celebrating Flight 2007," which covered the Battle Creek Air Show and Balloon Festival, received Bronze Awards in the entertainment and live events categories, as well as one for videography/cinematography... WGVU nets six awards (Sun, 3/23)


Trekking columnist happy to be home



By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioHappy Easter to all who celebrate this special religious holiday and, personally, I could use the sugar rush that a few jelly beans and chocolate bunnies could provide. Your ever-traveling radio columnist has just completed a trio of radio conventions back-to-back. It was enough to kill a mortal man.

The healthiest music format on the radio today is definitely country, and the audience it attracts is loyal and responsive. Advertisers get above-average exposure with an attractive demographic. The Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in Nashville is incredible. It allows radio folks to get very up close and personal with the biggest of the musical celebrities. One stunned morning host from a small Georgia station got to sing a duet with superstar Garth Brooks. It was priceless. Country radio is attracting more young listeners than ever before. Both Tim Roberts, PD of WYCD-FM (99.5), and John Trapane, PD of WDTW-FM, were there, so our local country stations were well-represented.

After slipping out of Music City, I had less than 48 hours to recover before heading up Interstate 96 to Grand Rapids and the Great Lakes Broadcast Expo, presented by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Karole White and her staff always put together a sensational show with never fewer than half a dozen sessions to choose from throughout the day. It ended with a big awards ceremony. Mike Austerman covered the results last week, and WJR needed a couple of cars to carry all the trophies back to the Fisher Building.

About 12 hours after returning from the west side of the state, I found myself landing at BWI airport near Baltimore for the R&R Talk Radio Seminar in Washington, D.C.

A weak economy, tight station budgets and the rescinding of an award to a legendary New York City talk host resulted in a noticeably reduced number of attendees. That was unfortunate because the panels and keynotes were sensational.

News-talk radio is the other format that is in very good shape. The political climate and an abundance of “breaking news” make listeners loyal to the spoken word format.

Personally, I nearly fell off my video platform when Kraig Kitchin, a native of Troy and former CEO of Premiere Radio Networks, bestowed a huge accolade on my service to the radio industry. Wow.

 • • • • • • • • 

Back here on the local scene, have you seen the billboard campaign by sports WDFN-AM (1130)? It carries a plain and simple message, “If The Text Don’t Fit, You Must Acquit,” a zinger playing upon the continuing legal ups and downs of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. The slogan was created by WDFN listeners who participated in a Web site promotion where people could send the radio station their personal text messages for Kwame.


Great Lakes Loons Purchase WYLZ and will change format to All-Sports

ESPN 100.9The Great Lakes Loons have announced the purchase of WYLZ FM 100.9 from the Last Bastion Trust, with financial assistance from the Michigan Baseball Foundation, for $325,000. Effective Tuesday, March 25th, the station's country format will be dropped and be replaced with sports as ESPN 100.9-FM. The station has applied to change its call sign to WLUN.

The station was previously owned by Citadel Broadcasting and was put into trust to be sold last year as part of a deal that added a number of stations formerly owned by ABC/Disney into the Citadel portfolio.

ESPN 100.9-FM will carry ESPN Radio’s flagship weekday programs Mike and Mike in the Morning (6am-10am), featuring former NFL lineman Mike Golic and Sportscenter anchor Mike Greenberg; The Herd (10am-1pm), with Colin Cowherd; and the Mike Tirico Show (1pm-3pm), featuring versatile play-by-play broadcaster and Michigan native Mike Tirico, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt, ESPN reporter Michelle Tafoya, and College Gameday co-host Kirk Herbstreit.

In addition, Bill Simonson's "The HUGE Show" will be heard weekdays from 3pm-6pm on ESPN 100.9-FM. The station will also carry various other ESPN Radio programs during night and weekend hours.

The station will continue to be the flagship radio home for Great Lakes Loons baseball, carrying all regular season and post-season games, plus the 2008 Midwest League All-Star Game and Homerun Derby, powered by Dow Corning.

Loons President and General Manager Paul Barbeau noted that the opportunity to purchase the station was “too good to pass up” for several reasons. By owning a radio station, the Loons are able to secure a flagship station for the team’s radio broadcasts for as long as the team owns the station. The radio station also provides an opportunity to further promote the team, upcoming games and the charitable initiatives of the Michigan Baseball Foundation.

Like the Loons, the new ESPN 100.9-FM will operate as a non-profit organization. The radio station will provide an additional revenue stream for the Michigan Baseball Foundation, which along with the Loons has helped generate over $350,000 in charitable donations during the Loons’ first season. The station’s purchase also corresponds with the Foundation’s mission of promoting local economic development.

ESPN 100.9-FM will operate from the Citadel Broadcasting studios in Saginaw. After the conclusion of the baseball season, construction will begin on a state-of-the-art broadcast studio in the Dow Diamond press box, overlooking the baseball field.

Brad Golder, currently the Loons’ director of broadcasting and media relations and the team’s play-by-play broadcaster, will serve as the program director of ESPN 100.9-FM. Golder previously served as the operations manager and executive producer for the Atlanta Braves Radio Network (Clear Channel, Atlanta) and as a producer for WWTN and WNFN (Cumulus, Nashville).

ESPN 100.9-FM has an immediate opening for a sales manager. Interested applicants can send their resumes to ESPN 100.9-FM, c/o Job Opportunities; PO Box 365; Midland, MI 48640. The station will also be hiring a production manager, a traffic manager and several other positions soon.

ESPN 100.9-FM provides terrific marketing opportunities for businesses looking to reach the station’s growing sports talk audience. Companies interested in marketing and sponsorship opportunities with the Tri Cities’ new ESPN 100.9-FM should contact Karrie Sells at 989-837-6137 or


Country format launched on AM 930 Battle Creek

The News-Talk format of WBCK is now only being heard on FM 95.3 as AM 930 has now separated and changed format to country as Country 93.

Both WBCK-FM and WBCK AM are part of a complicated transaction between Clear Channel and Cumulus that has not yet been completed. Once closed, Cumulus will own WBCK FM with WBCK AM moving into a trust to be sold to a third party.

WJQK Listeners Freeze For Good Cause:
LANSER Christian AC WJQK (JQ99)/GRAND RAPIDS sponsored the first swim of the spring in freezing LAKE MICHIGAN this SATURDAY (3/22). Over 100 listeners jumped into sub-arctic waters to benefit RYAN BOREMAN, a local student with Multiple Sclerosis. Listeners raised pledges of over $41,000 to buy his family a van with a wheelchair lift. (Mon, 3/24)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Mar 25, 2008



Saginaw News:

As the sports market continues to grow, so too do sports radio formats in mid-Michigan. The Midland-based Great Lakes Loons Class A minor league baseball team announced this morning their purchase of radio station WYLZ, 100.9-FM. Starting at midnight today, the Loons changed the brand name to ESPN 100.9-FM, and changed the station format from country music to a 24-hour sports format carrying ESPN's national syndicated shows. At about the same time NextMedia, owners of WTKQ, 100.5-FM, was converting its format from all talk radio to include an overnight sports radio format from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., and a 24-hour sports radio format on weekends through the Fox Sports syndication. WTKQ will continue to air several of its current weekday talk shows... Sports talk radio returns to area (Tue, 3/25)

Flint Journal:

Pat Clawson of Swartz Creek watched the televised press conference of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Monday, during which she announced her decision to charge Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick with perjury and other felonies. Clawson waited to watch Kilpatrick's response. Instead, she got only a blue screen. "Just as Kwame was taking the microphone, the TV blacked out!" said Clawson. "I had to listen to it on the radio." Other Genesee County Comcast customers had the same experience. Comcast went to the blue screen on the Detroit channels under an agreement designed to reduce competition for local stations from those outside the immediate area, said Olivia Visperas, the cable company's regional public affairs manager. The agreement calls for the out-of-area station to be blocked when it is airing the same program as the local channel. Since the blackouts are automatically scheduled, the Detroit stations went dark even though they pre-empted regular programming to air special coverage of the Detroit mayoral charges... Screens go blue, viewers see red (Tue, 3/25)


WMUK looking for shortened spring fund drive

Western Michigan University's public radio station, WMUK 102.1 FM, has its sights set on a shortened spring fund drive and hopes to reduce on-air pledge hours by more than 50 percent during pledge week.

The station seeks to repeat the success of its Fall 2007 Short Drive and is encouraging listeners to donate prior to the spring drive, scheduled to begin on Friday, April 4. The drive has a goal of raising $175,000.

"We are counting on pre-drive mail and online support to help us reach our $175,000 goal quickly," says Gordon Bolar, WMUK development director.

To date, mail-in contributions and pledging online at the station's Web site,, have helped WMUK make substantial progress toward its goal. WMUK's web ticker will feature up to date results of the station's short drive, now and throughout the drive.

Funds raised through the pledge drive help to pay for acquisition costs of programs from NPR (National Public Radio), PRI (Public Radio International), the BBC and American Public Media. The pledge drive also helps cover costs for local program production.

The station will enlist the support of more than 80 volunteers to answer pledge calls during the drive. Those interested in volunteering can go to the volunteer section of the website at

Grand Rapids Press:

Richard "Dick" W. Tillstrom was a man of great presence and humor who loved working in the television industry. The former public affairs director at WOOD-TV died Sunday at age 96. His wife, Fran, said he enjoyed his television career, which brought him in contact with many interesting people and allowed him to serve on numerous boards and community organizations. Mr. Tillstrom also was part of the "Captain Woody Show," a live daily television show that aired for three years in the early 1970s, and was hosted by longtime West Michigan broadcaster Andy Rent... Richard 'Dick' Tillstrom was TV pioneer, puppeteer (Thu, 3/27)


CKWW adds 'Breakfast with the Beatles'

One of the most comprehensive Beatles show on radio is coming to Oldies CKWW AM 580, Motor City Favorites, as the station has added Dennis Mitchell’s “Breakfast With the Beatles” to its Sunday lineup. The show debuts this Sunday morning at 10 AM. The one hour weekly Beatles show is intensely researched and presented in such a way to provide a Beatles fan’s perspective, kind of like a weekly listening party for Beatlemaniacs. The new Sunday lineup of specialty shows:

- Elvis Only! at 9 AM,
- Breakfast With the Beatles at 10 AM
- Sounds of Sinatra 6 -8 PM
- Shake Rattle Showtime at 8-10 PM

Also, CKWW's Sunday Morning Oldies Show will now start one hour later. It will now run from 11 AM – 1 PM.

WJR’s Frank Beckmann Show to broadcast from Detroit Opera House for Tigers' Opening Day

WJR's Frank Beckmann, heard weekdays from 9 -11:30am, will broadcast his program live on Monday, March 31st from the Cadillac Café at the Detroit Opera House located at 1526 Broadway in Detroit, directly across the street from Comerica Park to help celebrate the start of the Tigers' 2008 season.


Television: Newsmakers Mar 27, 2008



Washington Post:

The low-power television industry is facing a "death sentence" because of a flaw in the government's plan to force broadcasters to shift to digital broadcasting and has asked a federal judge for a reprieve. The Community Broadcasters Association, which represents owners of small television stations, wants the Federal Communications Commission to ban all digital set top converter boxes that are not equipped to receive an analog signal, a request that has the potential to derail the biggest broadcasting transition since color television. As of Feb. 18, 2009, all full-power television stations in the U.S. are required to stop broadcasting an analog signal. Anyone who gets programming through an antenna and does not have a newer-model digital TV set will need to buy a box that converts the digital signal to analog. The government is providing two $40 coupons per household that can be used to buy these boxes. The problem facing the 2,600 low-power television stations represented by the association is that they are not subject to the deadline. Most of the converter boxes now on sale will actually block the low-power analog signal from those stations, while the full-power digital signal will display normally... Small Stations Sue Over Digital TV Plan (Wed, 3/26)


WRIF's Podell and Pennington tapped for FMQB Hall of Fame

Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 has announced that Doug Podell, the station's program director / director of rock programming, along with Mark Pennington, Rif's music director / assistant program director, have been elected into the FMQB Hall of Fame for achievements in the radio industry. The magazine will be honoring the individuals who have been elected in the upcoming 40th Anniversary Issue and at a gala event to be held in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 10th at the Loews Hotel.

FMQB (Friday Morning Quarterback) is a publication that began in 1968, serving radio programming and management executives, as well as music industry executives, with targeted original content delivered in a monthly magazine, or daily via its web site.

WRIF has also recently received several other prestigious awards from R&R Magazine, including: R&R Active Rock Station of the Year, Markets 1-25, R&R Active Rock Program Director / OM of the year, Doug Podell and R&R Active Rock Music Director of the year, Mark Pennington.

Radio and Records:

Radio One/Detroit has realigned programming duties at urban WHTD (Hot 102.7) and urban AC WDMK (105.9 Kiss FM). OM Al Payne , who retains his role as PD at gospel/talk WCHB, fills the PD opening created by the December departure of Spudd. After being promoted to MD of Hot 102.7 in December, late night personality Ms. Smiley has been elevated to APD of the station and PD of 105.9 Kiss FM. She has been assisting Payne with the programming of 105.9 Kiss FM since January, and Smiley will continue to handle all of her previously assigned duties at Hot 102.7. (Fri, 3/28)

Detroit Free Press:

Signed: To a new 3-year pact, WYCD-FM (99.5) country morning DJ Dr. Don Carpenter ... Noted: The passing of local Emmy Award-winning WJBK-TV (Channel 2) videographer Russell D. Coleman, 60, on Monday after a long illness... Names and Faces (Fri, 3/28)

Detroit News:

Toby Cunningham, a successful and honored sports producer at Channel 50 for 37 years, has been fired by the station. He was told that the decision was based on economics, Cunningham said Friday. He had no other comment ... In recent years, Channel 50 has televised the Lions' exhibition games. The contract expired after last season, but a person with knowledge of the situation said that the Lions and Channel 50 have agreed to terms on a three-year extension... Longtime producer let go by Ch. 50 (Sat, 3/29)

Ann Arbor News:

Ann Arbor rock band Tally Hall will perform some of their cool tunes live Monday at 9 a.m. on Martin Bandyke's show on WQKL (107.1 FM). The group's appearance marks Tuesday's national release, on Atlantic Records, of its debut album, "Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum'' ... Here's a sure sign of spring. WEMU and WUOM's spring pledge/membership drives both start Friday. WEMU's runs though April 12; WUOM's ends April 11... On the Air: Tally Hall to perform on WQKL radio show (Sun, 3/30)

WRCJ to offer live Opera broadcast

Sunday, April 6, at 2 p.m., WRCJ 90.9 FM will present a live broadcast of Vincenzo Bellini's 'La Sonnambula' as performed by the Michigan Opera Theater under the direction of opera legend Renata Scotto. WRCJ's Kelly Rinne and MOT Founder Dr. David DiChiera host the two-act opera broadcast.


Grand Rapids Press:

Mario Impemba knows all too well how unpredictable weather in Michigan can be during the spring. He also knows that Mother Nature could make her presence known during the Detroit Tigers' home opener against the Kansas City Royals on Monday afternoon at Comerica Park. "As long as it's not windy and not snowy, we'll be OK," Impemba said. "That's just part of baseball in the Midwest." Impemba still might want to pick up some gloves or an umbrella when he returns from spring training in Lakeland, Fla., just to be safe. Monday's forecast for Detroit calls for a chance of rain and a high of 45 degrees. But at least it doesn't look like it's going to snow. So far. This will be Impemba's seventh season as the play-by-play announcer for Tigers games on FSN Detroit. Rod Allen also returns for his sixth season as color analyst... Impemba excited about his 7th season with Tigers (Fri, 3/28)


Radio becoming more a labor of love



By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioTroubles at media giant Clear Channel reached a fever pitch this week with strong speculation that the $26 billion deal to take the company private might be on the verge of falling apart. Behind all the recent financial wrangling and lawsuits that are trying to salvage funding for the biggest radio deal ever, there are thousands of Clear Channel employees wondering what their futures hold no matter what the final outcome is. The market value of the company took a severe hit this week in light of the turmoil, and many industry insiders predict more cost cutting soon, possibly along with the sale of more of the company’s radio stations in small and medium markets.

Locally there has been no indication of a sale of the company’s adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3), contemporary hits WKQI-FM (95.5), urban WJLB-FM (97.9), soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3), country WDTW-FM (106.7), sports WDFN-AM (1130) or talk WDTW-AM (1310). One could surmise, however, that the poor Michigan economy and the fact that the Detroit market is no longer one of the 10 largest in the country might be reasons to evaluate what stations would be considered core to Clear Channel’s operations should it decide to shrink the business.

With all the bad news seemingly throughout the radio industry, one thing has become clear — a career in radio is no longer more glamorous or secure than any other job. At least for now, choosing a career in radio requires a strong constitution and an even greater love of the work itself than ever before.

 • • • • • • • • 

Sara Fouracre, better known by her first name on the air, has signed on with sports WXYT-FM/AM (97.1/1270) to handle morning news and traffic reports but also to offer some female balance to the guy chatter of co-hosts Jay Towers and Bill McAllister.

“I’ve always respected Jay Towers as a radio personality, and I was a huge fan of the previous show that he and Bill McAllister hosted,” said Sara. “To work with them both now is a joy and an amazing opportunity.”

A native metro Detroiter, Sara is a graduate of Michigan State University and has spent 10 years in local morning radio, first at what was modern rocker WXDG-FM (105.1), then most recently with the Mojo in the Morning crew on WKQI-FM, where she co-hosted for eight years until being let go because of budget cuts in December.


Lansing State Journal:

Tim Barron, one of the best-known people in local radio, has left WHZZ (101.7-FM). "They wanted to micro-manage me," Barron said today. "They wouldn't let me be me." The station - known as "MIKE-FM" - did confirm that Barron had resigned over the weekend. Cindy Tuck of MacDonald Broadcasting wasn't available for comment. From the beginning, two years ago, Barron and WHZZ had an uneasy compromise. The station's format has lots of music - with a huge playlist from the 1980s to the present - and little talk. Barron, by comparison, is talk-oriented. "I'm a local guy," he said. "I do a lot of interviews." There were times at WJXQ (106.1-FM) and WMMQ (94.9-FM) when he played only one song an hour... Tim Barron is off the air at WHZZ (Mon, 3/31)

Flint Journal:

Dan Richards is a little lost these days. The well-known local country disc jockey lost his job at WFBE (95.1 FM) when the station did not renew his contract, which ends in March. Dan Richards, his off-air name is Dan Ricketts, started at WFBE in 1998 when the station, a public radio station formerly owned by the Flint School District, became "Flint's Continuous Country." A Flint native who now lives in Flushing, j Richards graduated from Northwestern High School in 1971 and attended the Columbia School of Broadcasting in Flint... WFBE jockey Dan Richards yanked from the Flint country radio airwaves, ready for a new gig serving music (Mon, 3/31)







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