WYCD's Downtown Hoedown returns




By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioMark your calendar and get your cowboy boots ready for the 26th Annual Downtown Hoedown May 9-11. Presented by country WYCD-FM (99.5) once again this year, Detroit's Hart Plaza will host an estimated one million music fans over those three days for what's billed as the largest free country music festival in the world. Headliners among the 49 acts scheduled to appear include Trisha Yearwood, Gretchen Wilson, Jewel, Lonestar, Billy Currington and Detroit's own American Idol superstars Phil Stacey and Josh Gracin. More info is available at www.wycd.com.

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Friday nights are about to become much more exciting on Oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) as the station has added the high-energy Tom Kent Show to its lineup from 7 p.m. 'til midnight starting April 25th.

Kent, who along with XM Satellite Radio's Terry "Motor Mouth" Young, are among the last up-tempo DJ's who have the knack of making radio fun and entertaining for the listener nearly every time they open their mikes. Sadly, Jack Armstrong, a pioneer of the fast-talking style employed by Kent and whom Young considered his mentor, died a couple of weeks ago at just 62 years old. Armstrong, who once held a Guinness World Record for "fastest talking human alive," was well known in Cleveland for his work at WKYC-AM (1100) and WIXY-AM (1260) and his career included stays in Buffalo, Toronto and Los Angeles, among other cities.

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The city of Fenton will be hosting Casey Kasem Day on Saturday April 26th as part of a fundraiser for a proposed $3.5 million cultural center addition to the Fenton Community Center. Kasem, the longtime voice of numerous pop music countdown shows since the 1970s, in addition to his many contributions to television and movies, grew up in Detroit and has strong family ties to the Fenton area. His vintage American Top 40 countdown programs are among the most popular shows on XM's '70s and '80s channels where they are heard several times each week. More information on Casey Kasem Day can be found at www.fentoncommunitycenter.org.

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The student staff members of the Bloomfield Hills School District's radio station WBFHFM (88.1), known as "The Biff", were set to broadcast their 32nd Annual 24-Hour Marathon Broadcast this past Friday and Saturday to help collect money and pledges from listeners in the community to help underwrite radio station operating costs.

"Our pledge drive is a fun event for the radio students and it gives listeners a chance to support community radio with their donations" said WBFH Marathon Chair and Andover High senior Corey Berkowitz.

All 21 WBFH staff students from Andover and Lahser High were scheduled to be on the air live throughout the 24 hours, some staying up for the whole event.

Although the event is over, you can still support the station and its students by contacting them either at (248) 341-WBFH or www.wbfh.fm.


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Kathy Stinehour has been named as the new vice-president and general manager of Radio One's adult urban WDMK-FM (105.9), urban WHTD-FM (102.7), and talk WCHB-AM (1200). Stinehour's resume includes 25 years in the radio business after starting her radio career in Detroit.

"I can see the huge potential that the Radio One stations have in Detroit; I look forward to working with our experienced team on the ground in Detroit to realize that potential," said Stinehour. "After the wonderful tour of duty that I have had across the country, I am so happy to be coming home."

Carol Lawrence, Stinehour's predecessor, was dismissed in March.

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The saga of Drew Lane, who's still listed as the co-host of rock WRIF-FM's (101.1) morning show despite being off air since mid-September, appears to be no closer to a resolution. Although visiting the WRIF web page at www.wrif.com makes it look like nothing's amiss, on the air the station appears to have moved on aside from calling mornings "Drew and Mike." Conventional wisdom had the situation over Lane's absence being resolved by the time the spring ratings book started -- but that happened last week with no updates on what the future might hold for either Lane or WRIF.

Give co-host Mike Clark, news host Trudi Daniels, and producers Marc Fellhauer and Mike Wolters full credit for successfully soldiering on while being left in limbo waiting for Lane's decision on whether his absence is in fact a permanent move. While it's wonderful that Lane set aside his career to help care for girlfriend Tess Schuster as she battles breast cancer, I wonder when the patience of station bosses Doug Podell and Tom Bender will run out -- especially if WRIF's morning show is knocked off as the area's number one program among listeners aged 25-54.

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Set your dial: Martin Bandyke of WQKL-FM (107.1) will interview Ken Fischer, President of the University Musical Society (UMS), this afternoon at 4 p.m. on his Fine Tuning program ... Somewhere in Time hosts Tom Wilson and Heather Novak feature the popular dance music of the Johnny Knorr Band at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5) and WRDT-AM (560).

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Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Oakland Press since 2001.


Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, April 13, 2008







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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on April 13, 2008 10:02 AM.

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