May 2008 Archives

John Gallagher named Market Manager for Greater Media Detroit's WCSX, WRIF, WMGC

Greater Media, Inc. announced today that John F. Gallagher has been named Market Manager of its Detroit-based radio properties, including rock WRIF-FM, classic rock WCSX-FM and soft rock WMGC-FM. He will begin his new position on May 5th, 2008.

The 23-year radio veteran most recently served as the Vice President/Market Manager of ABC Radio/890 WLS in Chicago. Prior to that, he worked as the Director of Sales at WJR in Detroit.

"John is a man of great character and intellect," said Greater Media, Inc. President and CEO Peter Smyth. "We are pleased to welcome him to the Greater Media family."

"Greater Media is one of the top companies in the industry," said Gallagher. "The stations in Detroit have been market leaders for many years. I look forward to working with a great team of professionals."

He will report directly to Greater Media Vice President/Regional Manager John Fullam, who is responsible for overseeing the company's Detroit and Philadelphia markets.

Gallagher began his career with ABC in April of 1985. In November of 1987, he was named Business Manager at WJR-AM/WHYT-FM Detroit, before becoming an Account Executive with WJR-AM in 1991. He was subsequently promoted to National Sales Manager in 1993 and General Sales Manager in 1995. In 1998, Gallagher became the Director of Sales for WJR-AM and WPLT-FM Detroit.

He was promoted to President and General Manager of WLS 890/WRDZ 1300 Chicago in October 2004. In July 2006, Gallagher was given the additional responsibility of serving as President and General Manager of 94.7 Chicago's True Oldies Channel.

Gallagher graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. degree in Accountancy. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and is a past member of the Board of Directors for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society in the Metro Detroit area.

He takes over the role previously held by Tom Bender, who was promoted to the director of parent company Greater Media's new media operations, and most recently by Tom Baker who had been in place on an interim basis.



WJR's Paul W. Smith set to travel Michigan next week

News-talk WJR morning host (5:30-9am) Paul W. Smith is scheduled to highlight various Michigan travel destinations next week with live remote broadcasts as listeners begin to plan their summer travel itineraries. Each stop is also expected to feature interviews with local business and goverment leaders.

Monday May 5: Monroe Community College in the La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theatre, Monroe

Tuesday May 6: In at Bay Harbor, Bay Harbor

Wednesday May 7: Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

Thursday May 8: City Flats Hotel, Holland

Friday May 9: Michigan International Speedway,Brooklyn

The station's web site, has more details along with the feature "Women Who Lead with Ann Thomas". Ann will be highlighting influential women making a difference in each community the tour visits.


Detroit News:

Weatherman Sean Ash has joined WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) as the station's weekend meteorologist. Ash joins Channel 7 from WISH-TV (Channel 8), the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis where he did the weather on weekend evenings... Tuned in (Fri, 5/2)

WKYS Names Al Payne PD: RADIO ONE has named AL PAYNE to the PD position for Urban WKYS (93.9KISS)/WASHINGTON. PAYNE had been format captain for RADIO-ONE's DETROIT cluster which includes Urban WHTD, Urban AC WDMK and BlackGospel/Talk WCHB. In addition, PAYNE will have the responsibility for the syndicated RUSS PARR MORNING SHOW, which originates from WKYS' studios. The WKYS PD position had remained vacant since former PD STEVE HEGWOOD left last year. HEGWOOD is now heading up programming for RADIO ONE's ATLANTA cluster. No decision has been made on a replacement for PAYNE in DETROIT. (Thu, 5/1)


Saginaw News:

Saginaw Township voters will have a chance to hear discussion of Tuesday's ballot proposal to renew 2.25 mills for school building maintenance and improvements. ''Community Connections with Joyce Harvin'' on WTLZ-FM ,107.1, will allow supporters and opponents to exchange views. The program airs at 2 p.m. Sunday... WTLZ hosts tax plan discussion (Fri, 5/2)


Grand Rapids Press:

"Take Five," WZZM-TV's popular local talk show, will make several significant changes later this summer. Beginning Aug. 25, the show will expand from 30 minutes to one hour and move from 4:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays. The show -- hosted by Catherine Behrendt and Stephanie Webb -- also will add a new talent, Tara Kuhnlein. A Hope College graduate, Kuhnlein previously was an intern for "Take Five." Station management believes the "Good Morning America" lead-in will be strong and provide a nice flow to local programming. The game show "Deal or No Deal" will follow "Take Five" at 10 a.m. "The expansion ... will double the amount of time to do a variety of segments and will allow us to breathe," Behrendt said. Janet Mason, the station's president and general manager, looks forward to having more time: "We can use the time to delve into topics and keep everything local, local, local"... WZZM's 'Take Five' to expand, move to mornings (Sun, 5/4)


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioWelcome and thanks for reading the first "independent" version of the On the Radio column. While Art Vuolo has not yet decided if he will continue his contributions, I will be publishing on a similar type of news and views commentary as what has been published each week in the suburban Detroit Oakland Press for years- Art and I took over the piece from Rob Musial back in September 2001. One of the biggest differences you'll notice about this online-only version of On the Radio is that since the column isn't submitted to a professional editor, there will be more grammar and spelling errors. Also, look for things to become more focused on opinions instead of reporting radio news. And because there no longer is a midweek deadline, the item that is published on the web each Sunday will be timelier, especially when things happen on Thursday and Friday.

Art and I are appreciative of the support readers have given us the past week when Art's final column ran. We are both very disappointed that the paper decided to cancel us due to space and financial considerations. Just like how we've commented on what's happened in the radio biz, neither of us can understand how cutting back on local content can help a product that should be increasing its local content instead of getting rid of it. Why subscribe to a newspaper when the majority of what you receive is wire copy that can be read in a number of other places? Why advertise in the paper when the product has next to no personal connection to its customers?

What I'll miss most about having the columns printed in the Oakland Press is the legitimacy that comes with being published and paid by a well-known newspaper. The extra money was nice, but that wasn't the real reason I did it for just over 6 ½ years. It was just genuinely fun to do.

 • • • • • • • • 

One of the most difficult things to cover over the years has been ratings information. Because neither Art nor I are anywhere near what you'd call wealthy, we can't afford to subscribe to Arbitron to get a regular look at the important demographic breakdowns. Any analysis we might do has been totally at the mercy of what people that do subscribe are willing to share or by what's published in other places. And, it seems fewer and fewer people outside of the radio business really care all that much about the relatively minor swings that occur with each ratings book. Susan Whitall of the Detroit News and John Smyntek of the Free Press both do a fine job dissecting the numbers in their respective publications, especially when it comes to evaluating morning drive. Rehashing age 12+ numbers has become repetitive and probably pretty boring to read too.

As an admitted sports junkie though, I'm always interested in what the numbers look like for WDFN and WXYT. Overall, WXYT looks like they are successfully holding on to the new listeners they found by adding the FM 97.1 simulcast last year. That's especially true for afternoon drive hosts Mike Valenti and Terry Foster who reportedly scored nearly a 9 share in last week's winter ratings book and were number one among men age 25-54, the money demo for both 'DFN and the Ticket. They've built a very loyal following for themselves, no doubt because of their on-air product but also because of an Internet presence at While WXYT management has banished nearly any kind of reference to the site on the air, tons of listeners still congregate there to talk sports, show their love for Mike and Terry, and generally just to be part of a community that joins together new media and traditional radio. The combination of a dynamic Internet meeting place and interesting radio equals success and is something radio managers should take note of.

 • • • • • • • • 

Interaction and fun is why I've become a religious listener to XM's 60's on 6 during Phlash Phelps' morning drive show. Nearly every day, Phelps serves up a fast-paced program that, when live, combines listener interaction with current events to make it feel every bit like a small-town local radio program instead of a nationwide satellite program. The features that get listeners involved are simple, from guessing the location of a daily featured city from clues given at about 8:20am, to trying to figure out the location of a photo that Phelps has taken of himself from various landmarks across the country on his MySpace page ( He also takes listener requests and generally just makes it sound like he's having fun every time he opens the mic.

 • • • • • • • • 

I was glad to read that WRIF morning host Mike Clark and former host Drew Lane didn't allow the official break-up of their hugely successful morning show to spin into a big scandal. While some initial miscommunication was all over the news, the guys quickly resolved things allowing each of them to explore the next steps in their careers without having to constantly deal with that issue. Probably one of the most interesting things to watch in Detroit radio the next year will be the development of 'Riffs "new" morning show. With Clark now fully stepping out of Lane's shadow, the pressure to keep the show at or near the top of the ratings and revenue chart is going to be high. Especially considering he and program director Doug Podell now have a new boss in John Gallagher, the former WJR sales manager who is taking over Tom Bender's old job as general manager of Greater Media's WRIF, WCSX, and WMGC. I'm guessing that if there is any kind of sustained weakness in the program, Podell and Gallagher won't hesitate to give Clark any help he might want or need- even if that means adding or subtracting co-hosts . Losing morning listeners is never a good thing for a station's overall health and nobody in town knows that better than Podell.

I'm also going to be real interested to see if Lane shows up locally doing an afternoon talk program. With Deminski and Doyle also being on the sidelines for now, that's a ton of compelling talk talent that would like to be on the air during similar timeslots on stations that right now probably offer a completely different format. If someone could find a morning show that could successfully get after WRIF's morning audience and figure out a way to get Lane along with Deminski and Doyle in the lineup, you'd have a very compelling competitor for male listeners. And a very interesting war for listeners between WRIF, WXYT, WDFN, and any newcomer to the party.

 • • • • • • • • 

Mike Austerman is the founder of and covered radio for The Oakland Press from September 2001 through April 2008.


Detroit Free Press:

One of the hallmarks of the cable TV age in America -- local access channels broadcasting public meetings, community events and the occasional oddball citizen show -- may be in jeopardy in parts of Michigan as a result of a loophole in a cable franchise law that could wipe out much of the funding. Some cable providers have used the loophole to suspend support for so-called PEG -- or public, education and government -- operations since the law went into effect last year. Many others could do so when their existing franchise agreements expire, rather than pay a PEG fee of up to 2% of total revenue. Legislation to require all cable providers to pay the 2% PEG fee -- on top of a 5% franchise fee -- has been introduced in both the state House and Senate... Public access TV at risk (Mon, 5/5)

Mark your calendar for Sunday. WRCJ-FM (90.9) will broadcast the season finale concert of the Detroit Symphony's Civic Youth Orchestra. Hosted by Jimmy Rhoades and Detroit School of the Arts student Jared Laws, it'll air 10 a.m.-noon (pre-empting "The Listening Room")... WRCJ to feature youth orchestra (Mon, 5/5)


FSN Detroit and FSN HD will televise Saturday's Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic. Coverage starts at 4:30 PM with Pistons Insider, followed by the game from Orlando at 5:00.

Announcers are George Blaha, Greg Kelser and Ryan Field. Pistons Live follows the game with player reaction, coaches' press conferences, expert analysis and extended highlights.


Grand Rapids Press:

In Sunday's Broadcast Notes about WZZM-TV's (Channel 13) "Take Five" moving to the 9-10 a.m. slot at the end of August, the obvious question went unanswered: What happens to "Live with Regis and Kelly," which airs in that time slot? The answer: That show will move to Kalamazoo-based station WWMT-TV (Channel 3). On Sept. 8, "Live with Regis and Kelly" moves to 9 a.m. on WWMT, said James Lutton, general manager at Channel 3... 'Regis and Kelly' show lands new spot on the dial (Wed, 5/7)

Riviera/Las Vegas Hires Tim Kiesling: After a four-month nationwide search, RIVIERA BROADCAST GROUP/LAS VEGAS welcomes long-time CLEAR CHANNEL programming and marketing veteran TIM KIESLING as Marketing Director for Smooth Jazz KOAS (Smooth Jazz 105.7) and Alternative KVGS (AREA 107.9). KIESLING's 20-year radio career includes five years as Dir./Marketing at CLEAR CHANNEL/SAN ANTONIO. He was most recently PD of AC WOOD and Hot AC WMAX/GRAND RAPIDS. (Tue, 5/6)

WSNX Record Attempt Shots Down: CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40/Mainstream WSNX/GRAND RAPIDS, generated a ton of press from their CINCO DE MAYO stunt at a local bar. In a story first reported in the local paper, then picked up by THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, the PUDDIN'S PLAYHOUSE morning show tried to break the GUINNESS record for most tequila shots downed at one time on the holiday. The record was 1,300. Alas, the 'SNX crew "only" had 679 people slamming a shot of tequila on MONDAY night. Nevertheless, the show plans on trying again next year. (Wed, 5/7)



Barenaked Ladies to appear in Birmingham on Friday

Adult Alternative CIDR-FM 93.9, The River, will present Canadian pop/rock sensations The Barenaked Ladies at Borders Books and Music in Birmingham on Friday, May 9th. The band is promoting their new children's music CD "Snacktime", which contains 24 original songs for kids. This promotional tour consists of 7 U.S. stops, including Birmingham.

The band will be performing songs from "Snacktime" live, beginning at 3:30pm. 93.9 The River's Gnyp will host the event with a live broadcast on The River.

Admission is free and open to all ages. Capacity is limited, so get there early to secure your spot! Borders Books and Music is located at 34300 Woodward Ave., Birmingham, (248) 203 - 0005.



Michigan Radio Welcomes Cokie Roberts to Ann Arbor

Michigan Radio, the University of Michigan's WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids, and the Ann Arbor District Library will host an evening with journalist Cokie Roberts as she discusses her new book Ladies of Liberty: Women Who Shaped Our Nation on Monday, May 19 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The event, which will include a book signing, will be held at The Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty in Ann Arbor. Admission to the event is free.

Cokie Roberts serves as Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio, where she was the congressional correspondent for more than ten years. In addition to her responsibilities at NPR, she has covered Congress, politics and public policy for the past fifteen years at ABC News. In her more than thirty years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including two Emmys. Roberts has won numerous awards at NPR, including the highest honor in public radio, the Edward R. Murrow Award. She was the first broadcast journalist to win the highly prestigious Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for coverage of Congress. She has also been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting.

In Ladies of Liberty: Women Who Shaped Our Nation, Roberts tells the story of remarkable women and their achievements in moving the fledgling nation forward, from the election of John Adams in 1796 to the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828. Roberts reveals the often surprising and compelling stories of determined and passionate women who courageously faced the challenges of the times and laid the groundwork for a better society.

More information about this event is available at



Detroit News:

WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) will pay tribute to its venerable anchorwoman Diana Lewis , who is celebrating 40 years in TV news. The tribute will serve as a special report during tonight's 11 p.m. newscast. The East Coast native got her start in her hometown as a producer for WPVI-TV (Channel 6), the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia. Lewis, 65, has been with WXYZ off and on through the years since 1977... Tuned in (Wed, 5/7)


Detroit News:

Renee Montagne, co-host of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" (with Steve Inskeep) since 2004,paid a whirlwind visit to Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM (101.9) on Tuesday, on her way to moderate a panel at the Brownfields Conference at Cobo Center, a suitably wholesome event for an NPR host. WDET carries "Morning Edition" every weekday from 5 to 10 a.m. That early start means that the Los Angeles-based Montagne must start her 14-hour workdays at NPR West in Culver City, Calif., at midnight Pacific time... NPR's Montagne dishes on success (Thu, 5/8)



Detroit Free Press:

Oh happy day! and its multimedia Free Press journalists copped seven Michigan Emmy nominations as the local academy released the list of hopefuls for its 30th annual competition Wednesday evening ... On the TV side of the Emmy ledger, WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) and affiliated producers had 31 nominations; WDIV-TV (Local 4) had 17. Fox Sports Detroit and WTVS-TV (Channel 56) each had 12, and WJBK-TV (Channel 2) and WWJ-TV (Channel 62) each had nine... Freep gets 7 Emmy nods (Thu, 5/8)


Grand Rapids Press:

The Fifth Third River Bank Run might not initially seem like the type of event that's conducive to a radio telecast. After all, how exciting can listening to a bunch of runners pounding the pavement be, right? Angela Vuyst, the program director at WOOD-AM (1300), begs to differ. The radio station, which has aired all 30 previous River Bank Runs, will start its 31st broadcast at 7 a.m. Saturday. "We give the runners a lot of credit because the rest of us are sitting back and watching them run during the broadcast," Vuyst said. Actually, Vuyst will be doing more than just sitting around during the race. This will be her ninth year as the event's producer and engineer. And she has a number of reasons why this year's broadcast is worth tuning into... River Run airs on WOOD radio for 31st time (Fri, 5/9)


Vuolo gets guest shot with Gula tomorrow morning on WDFN

Art Vuolo, often referred to as "Radio's Best Friend", will be co-hosting the Home Improvement Show with Murray Gula on Sports Radio 1130 WDFN on Saturday morning May 10th from 8 a.m. till 10 a.m. Art says it's been a while since he last cracked a mic on a two hour radio show, but now we'll get to see if the ole boy can do radio as well as write about and video tape it. Send your comments directly to Art at or visit


Detroit Free Press:

Chuck Horn, assistant music director at WDET-FM (101.9), has left the Wayne State University broadcaster. "The departure is not expected to affect any of the music programs and services currently offered by WDET and WDET-HD2," e-mails station GM Allen Mazurek... Names and Faces (Sat, 5/10)


Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

The clock is ticking for those who still rely on rabbit ears for television reception. In nine months, analog television broadcasting will end and local television stations throughout the United States will broadcast in digital format. Consequently, people who don't have a digital television -- not to be confused with a high-definition television -- and aren't subscribed to cable, satellite or a telephone company service provider won't be able to use their televisions. This is because analog TVs aren't able to receive digital broadcasts. "They are completely different signals,'' said Ken Messner, a salesman at Holda's Appliances & TV & Service... TV change getting mixed reception (Sun, 5/11)


Detroit Free Press:

Michigan residents -- specifically people in southeast Michigan -- are outpacing national averages in requesting $40 government-subsidized coupons to buy converters to make nondigital TV sets capable of receiving digital signals by the Feb. 17, 2009, broadcasting switchover. Dan Alpert, chief operating officer at WTVS-TV (Channel 56), reports that nearly 5% of all requests for the coupons have come from Michigan, "though we have only 3% of the nation's population," Alpert said. Information is available at or 888-DTV-2009... Michiganders rush for coupons for converters (Sun, 5/11)


By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioSo, here is my first on-line only On the Radio column, as Mike indicated last week please be forgiving when it comes to spelling and grammar. I am not smarter than a 5th grader. For as long as we can do this without compensation, we'll try to remain a part of your Sunday ritual.

 • • • • • • • • 

Death is one of things that I don't do well with, and the last 50 days have been unkind to the radio business. Things started to "go south" literally when legendary DJ Jack Armstrong died unexpectedly of a heart attack in North Carolina. Jack, 62, was the fast-talking DJ that XM's Terry "Motor Mouth" Young patterned himself after. Terry, you may recall, worked at the old WDFX-FM 99.5 The Fox (now WYCD) preceding Karen Delesandro. These days she's doing the morning show in Milwaukee on top-rated WMIL-FM (106.1). Next, as was covered in my last column in the newspaper, we lost WRIF Sales & Special Events Manager Bob Kozaitis in a terrible roadside accident. He was just 36. Then 2 weeks ago today, Big Ron O'Brien, only 56, died of pneumonia in a Philadelphia hospital. He had been the afternoon jock at Oldies 98.1 WOGL in the City of Brotherly Love. For those you with a vivid Detroit radio memory, Ron was known as "Biggie" O'Brien at the old WCAR-AM 1130 (now WDFN) when it tried to be a hit-music top 40 station in the early 1970's. A video tribute I produced is on YouTube: click here to view it. Then a week ago the Voice of America, Paul Harvey, lost his beloved wife Lynne "Angel" Harvey from leukemia at 92. Insiders are still wondering what Paul Harvey will do. Will he return to his daily news and commentary broadcasts or officially retire. His ABC Radio contract goes to 2010. I had the privilege of videotaping his last address to the radio industry at the R&R Talk Radio Seminar in the LA area back in 2003. My hope is that death can take a holiday and we don't lose any more radio friends for a while.

 • • • • • • • • 

Remember Chuck Swirsky? He was the unique voice in the WJR sports department back about a dozen years ago. He was also characterized by Dick Purtan's crew as "Chuck on a car phone." He came to Detroit from WLUP (The Loop) in Chicago. Chuck also did a stint on Chicago powerhouse WGN-AM (720). Well, now he's back in the Windy City after ten years of doing play-by-play for the Toronto Raptors, mostly on television. The Chicago Bulls basketball team lured him with an offer as their radio play-by-play voice. Radio announcer Neil Funk moves over to the team's television crew.

 • • • • • • • • 

Another name from the past is Tom Corbett, an Ann Arbor native who jumped many years ago from WAAM-AM (1600) to the news room at WJR-AM (760) and then over to WWJ-AM (950) until he left radio for the financial world in New York and now Chicago where he is a media analyst for Morningstar Financial, Inc.

Tom recently checked in to let me know that Mike and I shouldn't feel too badly about losing the newspaper column, since that industry, like so many, is facing hard times. The Oakland Press is owned by the Journal-Register Company, a publicly traded publisher that has hired an investment banking firm to help restructure the debt it incurred when buying a string of small dailies here in Michigan. With more and more people reading columns, like this, via the Internet, newspapers are trying to deal with the financial ramifications of this decline head-on, before it becomes a full-blown crisis, said analysts. "They see the iceberg ahead and they hired consultants to try to manipulate the rudder and change course before they hit it," said Corbett, an equity analyst who covers the media industry for Morningstar.

 • • • • • • • • 

XM Satellite Radio has hired a talk show host who once graced the airwaves of WXYT-AM (1270) back when it was a full-fledged talk station. He's Joe Madison, one of the brightest and best such hosts covering issues of the African-American community. The talk radio star and renowned social activist has joined XM Satellite Radio. Beginning Monday, June 2, Madison, also known as "The Black Eagle," will broadcast live each weekday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET from XM's Washington, D.C. studios on The Power (XM Channel 169), the only national radio channel exclusively dedicated to African-American talk programming.

Madison joins the XM in-house programming team after a 10-year run with D.C.'s WOL-AM, where his popular morning show has been simulcast on The Power since XM's launch in the fall of 2001. Named one of Talkers Magazine's Heavy 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts nine times and widely regarded as the nation's leading African-American activist talk radio host, Madison uses his microphone to bring attention to social injustices here and abroad while challenging listeners to take action. Madison has done well since leaving the Motor City.

 • • • • • • • • 

Michigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan, and the Ann Arbor District Library are honored to host an evening with journalist Cokie Roberts as she discusses her new book Ladies of Liberty: Women Who Shaped Our Nation on Monday, May 19 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The event, which will include a book signing, will be held at The Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty in Ann Arbor. Admission to the event is free. On a personal note, I had the opportunity of videotaping Cokie Roberts about 9 years ago has she conducted a one-on-one interview with Don Imus at a talk radio conference. She is among the best in the business. Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor operates NPR affiliate WUOM-FM (91.7) along with WVGR-FM (104.1) in Grand Rapids and WFUM-FM (91.1) in Flint.

 • • • • • • • • 

Those friends who have checked out the Internet station of one-time Detroit DJ Rich "Brother" Robbin at W4 in the early 70's, have flipped out over the variety of oldies he features 24/7 at Two songs that I heard flung me back to my high school days in the mid-1960's, were; "Funny Man" by Ray Stevens and "That Stranger Used to Be My Girl" by Trade Martin. Internet radio, as I've indicated before, could be yet another threat to regular radio.

 • • • • • • • • 

With the economy in rough shape these days and jobs, especially in the radio business, at a premium, great gigs are hard to come by, but if you're a Canadian or just want to work across the boarder in Canada's largest city, read on. Pat Holiday, the one-time Big 8 jock at CKLW in the station's glory days, who also worked at WNIC-FM (100.3) in the mid-1980's, is now the General Manager of CFRB-AM (1010) in Toronto. He has a rare opening for a program director at their AC formatted FM station. Details can be found at

 • • • • • • • • 

Your most humble radio reporter has been invited to a couple of significant radio events over the course of the next couple of days. CBS Radio in Detroit is hosting a special reception that will feature radio division president Dan Mason and hopes to illustrate for the advertising community the power and effectiveness of radio. It should be interesting. I'll be listening and taking notes.

On Tuesday evening, the 13th, the Detroit Historical Museum will be hosting Detroit's Classic Radio Voices. Those being honored include: Bob Allison, Sonny Eliot, Ernie Harwell, Dick Purtan, J.P. McCarthy, and Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg. Sadly we lost J. P. back on August 16, 1995 and Martha Jean died on January 31, 2000. I'm sincerely looking forward to this event which should be one to remember.

 • • • • • • • • 

We used to close most of our newspaper column's with a plug for Tom Wilson and his popular "Somewhere in Time" program. So, our on-line version should be no different. Hear the music of Tommy Dorsey from Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and others at 6 pm Sunday night on WMUZ-FM (103.5) and on WRDT-AM (560).

 • • • • • • • • 

Be sure to let your family and friends know that although the On the Radio column is gone from the printed newspaper, it remains available (at no charge) each Sunday here on

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Contact him at


SE Mich/SW Ontario FM dial to get more crowded

Canada's CRTC has granted four applications for new FM stations in Windsor, one of which will be searching for a frequency. First off, the CBC will get simulcasters for its English language CBE AM 1550 (Radio One) on FM 102.3 with 690 watts of power along with French Language CBEF AM 540 (La Premiere Chaine) on FM 105.5 with 620 watts. The applications for these stations state problems for listeners in downtown Windsor having access to their respective AM signals, creating the desire for the FM repeaters.

Blackburn Radio will continue its expansion in southwest Ontario with a new station to be licensed to Windsor at FM 95.9. That station will feature a country format and operate with 3,550 watts. Blackburn recently added FM 92.7 in nearby Leamington to its roster of stations.

A competing application for an Aboriginal station on FM 95.9 was also granted, but the CRTC is making Neeti Ray find a new frequency for this operation.

Read the CRTC decisions here:

- CBE and CBEF Windsor - New transmitters at Windsor

- Licensing of new radio stations to serve Windsor, Ontario

WDVD 'Cares For Kids' Radiothon Raises Over $122,000: CITADEL Hot AC WDVD/DETROIT, MI raised over $122,000 in its 96.3 CARES FOR KIDS RADIOTHON" after a grueling 13-hour broadcast. Proceeds from the event will benefit the CHILDREN's MIRACLE NETWORK, and the CHILDREN's HOSPITAL at WILLIAM BEAUMONT HOSPITAL. (Tue, 5/13)


Detroit News:

Syndicated radio host Steve Harvey says there'll be room for everyone wanting to join him Friday as he hosts "The Steve Harvey Morning Show" live at Cobo Conference Center to celebrate the 50 Million Pound Challenge's first anniversary. Dr. Ian Smith, spokesperson for the 50 Million Pound Challenge and VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club" expert, will join Harvey with show co-hosts Nephew Tommy, Carla and Shirley. R&B singer Eric Benet will perform. Harvey, who visited Detroit July 14 to kick-off the national weight-loss initiative locally, says he has made weight loss a key issue on his show... Steve Harvey hosts live show in Detroit (Thu, 5/15)


Oldies replaces classic country in Caro

In April, WKYO AM 1360 Caro switched its musical focus from classic country to oldies. It was back in March 2007 WKYO took on the classic country format after many years of a mainstream country direction. The station still offers regular news reports and community information in addition to its locally-based oldies programming.



Flint Journal:

Saginaw native Mike Matthews never forgot the day he was mugged by members of an infamous Detroit street gang, the Erroll Flynns. "I was coming out of a coney island, and they took my shoes, hat and coat," he said. "They pushed me around, knocked me down. I was 18 years old, and I'd only been in Detroit for six to seven months. I got a good introduction." That experience is the inspiration behind a television show that Matthews has been writing and producing with his brother Craig, who lives in Richmond, Va. Titled "The Flynns," it will be based in Flint and partly filmed here. Television and Broadway actress Melba Moore and comedian T.K. Carter are starring in the pilot and series... New TV show to be filmed in Flint (Tue, 5/13)


Ann Arbor News:

Thursday noon is the deadline if you would like to have a loved one included in a special tribute planned for Memorial Day on WEMU. On May 26, WEMU (89.1 FM) will honor our country's fallen soldiers with a special moment of silence. Preceding each newscast at the top of the hour, WEMU announcers will read, in alphabetical order, a partial list of the names that listeners may submit for special recognition ... Martin Bandyke, on WQKL-FM (107.1 FM), will feature a Bob Dylan birthday tribute at 4 p.m. today on his "Fine Tuning'' program... Memorial tribute planned for fallen soldiers on WEMU (Sun, 5/18)


By: Mike Austerman

On The RadioWhere's the buzz? There certainly hasn't been any about local radio in recent weeks. The biggest recent attention-drawing event unquestionably was the WYCD-sponsored Downtown Hoedown. I got a kick out of seeing the WYCD logo being used during Channel 4's weather forecasts - it was a great tie-in.

I don't know if it's because of reduced budgets or if it's because of all the backlash in recent years over controversial content, but something is most definitely "missing". Station logos used to be easy to find - either on bumper stickers, t-shirts, or just on TV commercials. And just look at last week's Detroit newspapers, there was hardly a word written about radio, short of a live appearance by Steve Harvey at Cobo.

It was only mildly surprising to read about the WDVD 'Cares for Kids' 13-hour radiothon in the trades. They raised $122,000 for a great cause, but didn't get even one inch of ink beforehand in the papers or here on I bet there would have been a lot of parents that don't usually tune in to 96.3 that would have done so if they had known this event was taking place. How much does it cost to send an e-mail out a week in advance to help generate at least a little extra coverage that might reach potential listeners?

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One of the newest ways stations have tried to reach out to a new generation of listeners is to publish podcasts, either on station web sites or by publishing them on services like iTunes. Only trouble is, the effort is sometimes half-hearted, at best. For instance, check out the listings for WCSX's JJ & Lynne. They seem to have given up on the effort in 2007, yet old podcasts remain- maybe as kind of as a reminder that it's not being done any longer. Content from huge morning names like Dick Purtan, Jim Harper, and John Mason is nowhere to be found on iTunes.

WXYT and WDFN personalities are much better at providing iTunes podcasts. You can check out recent segments from DFN's Jamie Samuelson (but they might want to take Greg Brady's photo off there), Sean Baligian, and Stony and Wojo. The Ticket's Karsch and Anderson and Valenti and Foster also post some of their more interesting segments for on-demand download. A note for WDFN though- please start using the 'Release Date' field... it makes it much easier to find the newest content. Also, why isn't WXYT's Jay Towers, Bill McAllister, and Sara on there? The newest morning show in town should be doing all it can to grab as many ears as it can.

WJR has perhaps embraced using iTunes to distribute some of its programming better than anyone else locally. You can grab a ton of content from Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann, Mitch Albom, and Lloyd Jackson very easily. It's all labeled, dated correctly and easy to find. AM rival WWJ is no slouch either, offering specialty features like John McElroy's Automotive Insight, Jeff Gilbert's Worldwide Automotive Report, and Matt Roush's Great Lakes IT Report in addition to capturing some of the station's more interesting daily interviews and local discussions. Interesting how the 'old folks' stations are doing as good a job as anyone else in town embracing new technology.

Other iTunes podcasters I have found include Channel 95-5's Mojo in the Morning, 106.7. The Fox's Chad Show (again guys, add that release date field), and from WRIF, Peter Werbe's Nightcall program and Trudi Daniel's take on the news. The easiest way to find these things is by using the station's call letters in the iTunes Store search function. Then subscribe and you'll always have quick access via your computer even if you don't own an iPod. Another option is to visit stations' individual web sites where there is often even more content available for download without using iTunes.

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Hearing that CBS is purchasing CNET for $1.8 billion is interesting. Coupled with the company's new marriage with AOL for online radio, it appears that CBS is very serious about embracing the Internet as a way to help build its business. While CNET and its sister web sites certainly are no longer considered revolutionary, coupled together with its other web properties, TV and cable networks, and radio one can see that CBS is serious about finding a way to keep itself relevant as the media world continues to morph away from rigid programming routines into becoming more and more on-demand. The next logical steps for CBS are to embrace a social networking platform and to maybe purchase a big time online advertising company. At least they are making moves in an attempt to stay relevant.

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If you're up early enough, head out to the Detroit Zoo this morning to join Ernie Harwell and WJR's Paul W. Smith who are scheduled to appear at the 12th annual Detroit Zoo Kidney Walk. Registration begins at 8 am with the 1.5 mile walk scheduled for 9 am. More info at

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Ann Arbor's 107one is continuing its partnership with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, which this year runs from June 13 through July 6. For the third year in a row, the station will collaborate with the festival to present three nights of national talent as part of Top of the Park, the festival's free outdoor concert series. This year's lineup will feature The Terraplanes and The Ragbirds on Monday, June 16, The Mason Jennings Band and Money Mark on Friday, June 20th and Serena Ryder and Bump on Friday, June 27. Activities take place at Ingalls Mall, located directly in front of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, on Washington Street near the Burton Memorial Tower. Top of the Park opens nightly at 6:30 p.m.; music begins at 7:00 p.m.

 • • • • • • • • 

Set your dial: WDET's Ed Love presents "Billie Holiday...The Final Years" this evening at 8 pm during his Evolution of Jazz program.

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Columnist Mike Austerman covered radio for the Oakland Press from September 2001 through April 2008 and can be reached by completing this form.


Saginaw News:

The Saginaw Spirit will have a new slot on the radio dial in mid-Michigan next season. The Ontario Hockey League franchise, which begins its seventh season in September, announced today a three-year deal that makes WTKQ-FM 100.5 its flagship radio home. WMJO-FM 97.3 served as the Spirit's radio partner for six years. "We thank (WMJO-FM 97.3) for an outstanding partnership during the past six years," said Craig Goslin, the Spirit's president and managing partner. "NextMedia and 100.5 FM is a great fit for live broadcasts of the Spirit games because of their multiple stations ... which cover five separate demographics. "The ability to get to 'all demographics,' the overall quality of the people that make up the staff at NextMedia in Saginaw and the strength of their signal to reach the entire region and beyond, are all real plusses for us." Terry Ficorelli remains the team's play-by-play broadcaster while former Saginaw hockey great Dennis Desrosiers serves as an analyst... Ontario Hockey League's Saginaw Spirit get new flagship radio home: WTKQ-FM, 100.5 (Tue, 5/20)



After 35 years of dealing with lake effect snow, Craig James is retiring. The chief meteorologist at WOOD TV8 since 1985, Craig began his weather career as an observer for the United States Air Force. A Penn State graduate, he worked weekends in Pittsburgh before moving on to Green Bay, where he got the chance to forecast the weather before each Packer game. Craig became the chief meteorologist for WZZM in 1973, when his hair was longer and he had a moustache. It was also at WZZM that he met Bill Steffen, who also had longer hair and a moustache. Today, only Bill retains the cookie duster. In 1985, in one of the most talked-about television moves in the city's history, Craig came over to WOOD TV8. For the past 23 years, he's guided the weather coverage as Chief Meteorologist through the days before Doppler Radar and the Internet became household names and must-have tools for meteorologists... WOOD TV8s Craig James is retiring (Tue, 5/20)


The Fox to have a smashing time tomorrow morning

Country WDTW-FM 106.7, The Fox, and "The Chad Show", with Chad and CJ, invited Tim McGraw fans out to their Farmington Hills Studio this morning for the opportunity to win VIP backstage access as well as front row tickets to his show on Thursday May 22nd @ DTE Energy Music Theatre. All these lucky listeners have to do is have their car smashed and crushed. Five avid McGraw fans showed up on Wednesday May 21st at our studio and had their picture taken with their car. The pictures were then posted on where their fellow listeners chose which car gets smashed. At 6am tomorrow, Thursday May 22nd, the morning of the Tim McGraw show, 106.7 The Fox and The Chad Show will reveal the winner. Then they will smash and crush that lucky (or unlucky) listener's car to pieces at Taylor Auto Salvage, located at 16211 Pardee Rd in Taylor.



Detroit News:

With a shifting economy, coupled with the loss of hundreds of thousands of auto manufacturing jobs, Michigan's prospects for the future have changed. Where do we go from here? Where will the jobs of today and tomorrow come from? Local CBS affiliate Channel 62 (WWJ) will attempt to answer some of these pressing questions in "Powering Michigan's Future," a look at how the state is gearing up for alternative energy opportunities. The special airs at 11 p.m. Sunday on Channel 62. As part of WWJ-TV's community initiative "Eye on the Future," Carol Cain, the station's community affairs and editorial director, and Paul Pytlowany, chief videographer, traveled around the state to show viewers what is taking place on the alternative energy front and showcase who is leading the charge... WWJ-TV looks at Michigan's future (Wed, 5/21)


WCSX to present a free concert: The Classic Rock All-Stars in the Concert That Never Was

This Saturday, May 24th, classic rock WCSX FM 94.7 is scheduled to host a free, all-ages concert on the infield of Northville Downs. The concert will feature a group of classic rock tribute bands put together to create The Classic Rock All-Stars in the Concert That Never Was. Part of the beverage proceeds will benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank. Gates are scheduled to open at 1pm with performances starting at 2pm from Jill Jack, Pazman's Super Session, Leighton with Special Guest Steve Kostan, The Backbeats - Shea Stadium Performance, Live The Who - Doing '69 to '73 Era, and The Machine - Pink Floyd. Visit for complete details.



Michigan Radio to reports from Mackinac Policy Conference

Michigan Radio, the public radio service from the University of Michigan, is set to cover this year's Mackinac Policy Conference during the last week of May. Special reports are scheduled to air on Michigan's economy and other topics being discussed at the conference, followed by a one-hour special program to be broadcast Friday, May 30th at 9am.

Michigan Radio reporters Sarah Hulett and Dustin Dwyer, and Senior Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry, will be at the conference providing reports and interviews with government and industry leaders. These reports, in addition to those from other public radio reporters throughout the state, will examine subjects like Michigan's economy, education, alternative energy, and the current and future role of government in the state. Michigan Radio will air the reports during "Morning Edition" (Monday-Friday from 5:00 to 9:00 am) and "All Things Considered" (Monday-Friday from 4:00 to 6:30 pm) during the week of May 26-30.

Friday's one-hour special, "Careers After Cars" will be co-hosted by Michigan Radio News Reporter Sarah Hulett and Michigan Public Radio Network Managing Editor Rick Pluta. The program will examine future growth industries in Michigan, what those jobs may be like, and what role government leaders and policy makers will have in influencing those choices. "Careers After Cars" will air Friday, May 30th from 9:00 - 10:00 am.

This annual Detroit Chamber of Commerce Mackinac Policy Conference, which takes place May 28 - May 31, presents an opportunity for Michigan's lawmakers and industry leaders to explore the issues deemed critical to Michigan's future. This year the conference is "fusing the generations" at the conference by inviting young professionals and entrepreneurs to share their thoughts on the changing region.

Michigan Radio Senior Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry and Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio Network will be two of the panelists at the conference's PAC reception, to be held May 29th. It will include a discussion of the race for the White House, Michigan's role in the presidential election, and candidates & issues in key upcoming state and local races.




He was the top dog of Detroit Morning radio, and walked away from tens of thousands of loyal fans, and millions of dollars. Now Drew & Mike's Drew Lane breaks his silence and explains to Action News reporter Bill Spencer why he abruptly left WRIF, ending his 16 year run on what was Detroit's most successful morning radio show... Drew Lane Speaks Out (Wed, 5/21)


Six prominent figures in Michigan broadcasting history have been selected for induction into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The board of directors of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) endorsed the nominees May 21 at its board meeting in Lansing. Inductees will be formally recognized at ceremonies to be held July 15 at the MAB Annual Meeting & Leadership Retreat at Crystal Mountain Resort. Honorees include:


2008 Lifetime Achievement Award

Richard Sommerville retired in 2000 after a half-century of distinguished broadcasting excellence including his ownership of several radio stations. Dick started his career as a morning man at WTTH (now WPHM) in Port Huron. He purchased WSMA in Marine City in 1962 and subsequently purchased WCEN AM/FM in Mt. Pleasant in 1986. Many broadcasters got their start under Dick's tutelage at WCEN, including several who now own their own stations, or have gone on to distinguished on-air careers, including legendary sportscaster Dick Enberg.


2008 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees

James Bleicher has served as news director at WJRT-TV in Flint for 22 years. Jim is widely recognized for his steady, creative and sensitive presence that has built and maintained the highest journalistic standards and audience levels at the station. Jim has a long established track record of mentoring dozens of news employees who've gone on to other stations and networks. Jim's entire professional career has been spent in Michigan, starting in radio news in Jackson prior to television news assignments in Detroit, Lansing and Flint. Jim has won numerous state and national journalism awards, including a regional RTNDA award and five Emmys.

Gordon A. Lawrence was hired by Grand Valley State University in October of 1971 to be its first station general manager. He created and launched a PBS station, WGVC Channel 35, bringing service to the West Michigan market to what had previously been the largest region in the nation without public television. In March 1979, Gordon was hired as director of broadcasting and media resources at the University of Michigan-Flint. For the second time, he developed another PBS station, WFUM-TV, channel 28, again in a market that was the largest unserved region in the nation without public television.

Diana Lewis has been an integral part of the WXYZ-TV family since 1977 and has become one of the most recognized and respected faces in Michigan television. In addition to her role as news anchor on the WXYZ-TV 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, Diana can also be seen anchoring two of the biggest Detroit area events, the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview Special and The Woodward Dream Cruise. Diana's commitment to the community, her enduring strength and spirit make her one Detroit's leading women. Diana's Tuesday's Child segments have been credited with inspiring people to adopt children with special needs. Diana is also involved with the American Lung Association of Southeast Michigan and the Boys & Girls Club, Haven and many more organizations.

Mike Whorf is best known as the producer and host of WJR radio's award winning program Kaleidoscope, a music, docu-drama featuring stories of people and events which influenced our thoughts, words, deeds and actions. The program received many of broadcasting's most prestigious awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award. Mike created many special projects during his stellar career, at WJR, which began in 1964, including holiday specials, The Quest for Excellence series: a 13-part series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ending of WWII, a 36-week series I Remember Radio, as well as programs on sports and music.

Larry Estlack is director of technology for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Larry began working in Michigan broadcasting operations in 1970, and has been involved in just about every area of broadcasting from engineering to programming. Larry has been the chief engineer at several radio and television stations in Michigan and is widely respected as an engineering consultant. He was named MAB Engineer of the Year in 1997. Larry has been the Michigan chairperson of the Emergency Alert System since 1985, and has been a teacher at Michigan State University.


Detroit News:

WTVS-TV , Detroit Public Television (Channel 56), will air a special episode of "Get Up! Get Out!" that explores ways to keep our water clean. Newly produced in partnership with the Clinton River Watershed Council and the Community Telecommunications Network, the special will focus on what "stream leaders" in area school districts and mentors are doing to get more involved in taking care of our local waterways. Hosts Fred Nahhat and Kelley Hamilton join Avondale Meadows students for a day out on the Clinton River at River Woods Park in Auburn Hills. They'll be getting their feet wet looking at some of the creatures and organisms that call the Clinton River home, seeing cool ways that anyone can test just how fast all that water is really running, and testing the water to make sure it's as clean as it should be... Channel 56 explores how to keep local water clean (Fri, 5/23)



Detroit Free Press:

May doesn't end until a week from Saturday but TV's exercise in excess -- the May ratings sweeps -- concluded Wednesday night. The numbers are used to set ad rates in a world where luring advertisers gets more and more difficult. Still, a couple of nuggets for your perusal: WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) had the largest total viewership during the period with a 4.6 rating and a 12% share (each rating point equals 19,254 metro households); WDIV-TV Local 4 was second with a 3.8/10 and WJBK-TV (Channel 2) was third with a 3.6/9... Names and Faces (Fri, 5/23)


Grand Rapids Press:

During his long tenure as program director of WBBL-AM (1340), Bret Bakita has witnessed a once-fledgling radio station grow into an influential presence on the West Michigan sports scene. Fifteen years ago, that kind of transformation might not have seemed plausible. The station will celebrate its 15th year of existence starting at 10 a.m. today with a barbecue and live broadcast of Bakita's "On The Bench" show at the Harold Zeigler Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in Grandville. The station actually received its WBBL call letters and all-sports format on May 25, 1994. Bakita was hired two days before that, and has been the station's only program director since then. He's seen plenty of changes over the years... WBBL turns 15 after humble beginnings (Fri, 5/23)


Detroit News:

WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) is Metro Detroit's No. 1 station, sign-on to sign-off, according to the May 2008 Nielsen Media Research ratings book which closed this week. The station's numbers would've been even higher, if not for the writers strike, which forced hot shows such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Lost" to end their respective seasons later in the month after the sweeps book had closed, depriving WXYZ of even juicer ratings coups. Despite this loss, the local ABC affiliate garnered a 4.6 rating/11.9 share, vs. WDIV-TV's 3.8 rating /9.8 share, WJBK-TV's 3.6 rating/9.3 share and WWJ-TV's 1.7 rating 4.4 share... WXYZ is the No. 1 Metro Detroit station (Sat, 5/24)


Grand Rapids Press:

It has been more than a month since Nanette left the airwaves at WLHT-FM (95.7). She resigned due to creative differences surrounding the morning show but is not leaving the area. "My son, Nick, and I fell in love with Grand Rapids. He has really flourished in this community. For me to uproot him again, I simply will not do," she said of her 11-year-old. "We have moved eight times in the last 11 years for my career. Nick belongs here." Nanette proves there is life after radio as she looks forward to starting a business and partnering with her dad, Dennis Lanfear. The father-daughter team are starting a cosmetic teeth whitening service called "WOW Smile." They will open their first store June 15 at Rivertown Crossings in Grandville. Nanette said the procedure involves LED lighting and a 44 percent grade of peroxide to brighten teeth. The 20-minute service will cost $100. After the launch at Rivertown Crossings, Nanette and her father will open stores in Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids and locations in Lansing and Traverse City. For now, radio is on the back burner; Nanette's non-compete contract lasts until October... Ex-radio host Nanette gets into teeth whitening biz (Sun, 5/25)


By: Art Vuolo

On The RadioIt's the gateway to the summertime, Memorial Day weekend. Please remember while downing the brats and the beer what Memorial Day really means. Fly your flag and pause to reflect. Radio-activity, as Mike stated last week, has been amazingly slow for this time of the year.

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One of the traditions in my personal life, since I grew up in Indianapolis, it to head down to the Indy 500, which is held only a couple of miles from our former house in The Circle City. This year, as in past, XM Satellite Radio is sponsoring female driving whiz Danica Patrick's car, and this year the race will air on XM Channel 144. Locally the race will be heard on WRIF-FM (101.1) Sunday afternoon.

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For several months now, I have wanted to say something about radio legend and the news and commentary Voice of America Paul Harvey. There was never enough room in the printed newspaper column we had, but now, former INSIDE RADIO editor, Jerry del Colliano, has said it all. He has given me permission to share part of his essay on the subject. He said:

Look, I know Paul Harvey is old. He is a remarkable throwback to another generation - a style still appreciated today on many stations but out of sync with new age talk programming. In Cincinnati, 700 WLW reluctantly opted to drop Harvey for similar reasons. The man is an icon - still gets consistent ratings and still earns Citadel - the company that bought but has since shamed ABC Radio - lots of money. Paul Harvey's contract is up soon and he had previously let it be known that he is not ready to hang up his microphone. Citadel apparently does nothing to re-sign him.

Harvey's wife of many, many years (and one-time contributor to his shows), Angel, died of leukemia in the past month. Citadel does nothing to re-sign him - a comforting and appropriate gesture he has earned. Is that going to break the bank? But Citadel CEO Farid Suleman doesn't have stars in his eyes. He sees only dollar signs. What could he save if Harvey wasn't replaced? Don't think that hasn't occurred to this boy wonder.

ABC took care of Paul Harvey and in fact spent the last 20 or more years trying to find a suitable replacement for him when the inevitable day finally arrived. They couldn't find the next Paul Harvey. Even Harvey's son, Paul, Jr., knows he's not his dad - although an able newsman and outstanding writer. The Paul Harvey tragedy is symptomatic of how FaGreed Suleman is gutting Citadel like a dead fish.

Learn from Paul Harvey when he closes each show in his inimitable way - "Paul Harvey (big pause) - Good Day! (with his voice rising at the end). Make your sign off: Farid Suleman (short pause), Good Bye!

Read the entire piece at from 5-20-08.

What has me concerned is that Citadel now owns our own WJR-AM (760) along with FM stations; WDRQ (Doug FM 93.1) and WDVD-FM (96.3). One can only imagine what additional budget cuts might do to any of these stations. Doug is OK, because it's basically a music machine that cranks out their "we play everything" menu from a computer hard drive, but WDVD is finally making noise and getting noticed. The morning show with Blaine, Lisa and Allyson is pulling in some impressive numbers, but all this "content" costs money. You need to spend it to make it, but some management types are very tight with the purse strings.

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Last March over in Grand Rapids at the MAB Great Lakes Broadcast Expo, I met Citadel boss Matt Hanlon . Seemed like a nice man. He's very focused and intense, but well-liked by his west Michigan employees. Rumors flew when Citadel bought ABC that Hanlon was going to displace Mike Fezzey, president and general manager of WJR. Not true, but the reports were circulating. Radio people seemingly love to spread rumors and speculate on what the future holds.

We radio reporters would never stoop to that level.

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Nearly ten years ago when I was interviewed by leading trade publication Radio & Records I stated that what's wrong with the radio business is that there's TOO much business and NOT enough radio. Sadly those words have as much credence, if not more, today than they ever did.

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About two weeks ago CBS Radio president Dan Mason was in town and hosted an eye-opening presentation in Southfield at Arturo's Restaurant. It was followed by the brilliant stand-up comedy of South Lyon, MI native and EMU grad, John Hefron. You may recall when John was doing schtick on WKQI's morning show in the days of both Danny Bonaduce and Steve Cochran. The musical entertainment was provided by country super star Gretchen Wilson who stayed over from the WYCD Downtown Hoedown.

The presentation, geared mostly to the local advertising community, explained how radio is still very viable, surviving movies, television, records, tapes, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD's, the iPod and satellite radio. Mason sang the praises of local radio and how CBS does not necessarily own all the great ones. He cited Citadel's WJR and Clear Channel's WJLB. A very classy move indeed. CBS Director of Digital Technology, David Goodman, spoke about the things that make up radio's DNA: the wireless, communities, personalities and content. Of all the new things, Internet Radio is growing the fastest.

Interestingly there was NO mention the entire evening of HD (high-definition) Radio.

Also, noteworthy was the fact that not once was WXYT-AM (1270) mentioned or referred to. Only WXYT-FM (97.1) known as The Ticket was acknowledged. We can only guess what might happen to the AM side in the not too distant future.

It was emphasized that stations need to pay close attention to their web site, which can offer ways to buy music, link to other sites and operate in ways similar to Facebook. Internet radio with CBS even brought back New York City's famous WNEW-FM, a rock radio institution. CBS spokesman Michael Weiss indicated that the company's business was up 29% due to their bringing back popular formats at several stations in New York and Pittsburgh among others. America On Line, (AOL) recently ended their association with XM Radio and aligned themselves with CBS.

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Radio-Geek Alert. For those who love the way it was, you'll want to tune to WABC in New York or WLS in Chicago on Monday the 26th. Both stations will be doing special retrospectives. In the Big Apple WABC will feature loads of airchecks from their "glory days" as Music Radio 77, and a special Don Imus segment while at WNBC, since the I-Man now works for WABC. You can tune in via In Chicago, you can hear the real thing as WLS brings back many of the greatest jocks to ever grace the airwaves of the Big 89 across the Midwest. The line-up on Monday will be: Chuck Knapp, Larry Lujack & Tommy Edwards, Fred Winston, Bill Bailey, John Records Landecker, and Jeff Davis! Bill Bailey is going to Chicago from WLHT in Grand Rapids and he is the same Bill Bailey who once worked at WDRQ in its early top 40 days. Landecker is actually an Ann Arbor native, who is legendary in The Windy City. The Big 89 Rewind can be heard right on your radio at 890 AM if you're over on the west side of the state, or clear as bell on-line via It should be tons of fun and very entertaining.

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Somewhere in time has the music of Harry James with Tom Wilson at 6 p.m. Sunday the 25th on WMUZ-FM (103.5) and over WRDT-AM (560). Drive safely this long holiday weekend and keep the radio on.

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Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Contact him at


WDET to broadcast live from Mackinac Policy Conference May 28-30

WDET 101.9FM, Detroit's NPR Station, begins its third year of bringing listeners extensive live coverage of the 2008 Mackinac Policy Conference on May 28, 29 and 30. Attending this year's conference will be the host of WDET's "Detroit Today", Craig Fahle, along with WDET news team members Noah Ovshinsky and Zac Rosen who will cover the stories coming out this important conference from political and business leaders.

WDET is also partnering with Crain's Detroit Business on conference coverage. Mary Kramer, publisher of Crain's Detroit Business will join WDET's Craig Fahle on "Detroit Today" on Wednesday, May 28 at 11:08am to discuss the conference. Reporters from Crain's will appear on "Detroit Today" on Thursday, May 29 and Friday, May 30 at approximately 11:08am to discuss the stories they are working on with WDET listeners.

On May 28-30, WDET will report on the day's upcoming conference events during "Morning Edition" at 6:33am and 8:33am. "Detroit Today" will dedicate the entire program to conference coverage from 10am to noon with reports and interviews from news and policy makers. Recaps of the day's events and reports will also be heard during "All Things Considered" at 4:30pm and 6:30pm during the three days of coverage.

On Friday, May 30 from 9am to 10am, WDET will air the one-hour special "Careers After Cars," produced by the stations of the Michigan Public Radio Network. The program will examine future growth industries in Michigan, what those jobs may be like, and what role government leaders and policy makers will have in influencing those choices.

The special live coverage of the 2008 Mackinac Policy Conference May 28-30 can be heard on WDET 101.9FM and at on the station's web site,



Michigan Radio expands environmental coverage

Michigan Radio has expanded its coverage of environmental issues, with two reports now airing each weekday. The Environment Report with Lester Graham will begin airing Monday through Friday at 5:45pm during All Things Considered. This four minute segment will provide a quick snapshot of the day's environmental news along with feature reports from dozens of producers in the field.

In addition to this new afternoon report, Michigan Radio will continue to broadcast the Environment Report with Christina Shockley each Monday through Friday at 8:55am, during Morning Edition. The morning Environment Report features stories from both Environment Report producers and Michigan Radio's own news staff. The stories in this segment focus on regional and Michigan specific environmental issues.

Since it began in 1995 (at that time called the Great Lakes Radio Consortium), The Environment Report has won more than 90 state, national, and international awards for journalistic excellence. The service is carried by more than 160 public radio stations in 18 states and reaches millions of listeners across the country. The Environment Report is co-managed by Senior Editor Lester Graham, and Senior Producer Mark Brush. Rebecca Williams serves as the service's chief reporter. The Environment Report is based at the studios of Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor, and is a service of Michigan Public Media.

Michigan Radio is the state's most listened-to public radio service, attracting over 400,000 listeners each week across the southern half of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Michigan Radio broadcasts at 91.7 FM in southeastern Michigan, 91.1 FM in Flint, and 104.1 FM in western Michigan.



Detroit News:

Don Keith is a pretty cool dad. He likes rock 'n' roll and hip-hop, and encourages daughter Rebecca, 11, and her friends to listen to it around the house. But the words and images of some popular music often grate on him. He calls it "about the most evil stuff you'll ever hear -- and they really know how to market to that age group." "There's a much more positive image and message that can come from the same good music," Keith said. So he's taken modern media, including the Internet, and infused them with another kind of message. For Rebecca and other preteens, teens and 20-somethings, Keith, 44, has started a radio broadcast of contemporary music with Christian themes and messages. And he has two Web sites that allow Christian teens to interact without going against their religious values -- and the values their parents seek to instill... Faithful turn up music to reach youths (Mon, 5/26)



Detroit Free Press:

The announcer's strident voice demands our attention, "This broadcast is brought to you by: Morton's Cutglass Fly-Swatter, You get all the breaks, and by: Finkell's Fur-lined Syrup Pitcher, We always stick by you. And by ..." and on and on through a list of almost 20 sponsors. No broadcast can happen without sponsors. There used to be only one per game. Now, there are many. Even after the billboard (TV-ese for the opening salvo), they keep on coming. There are sponsors for the lineups, stolen bases, pitching changes -- almost any happening within the game. We, as listeners, can do nothing about it. Airing a baseball game costs money... Ernie Harwell: And now, a word from ... (Mon, 5/26)


Detroit News:

It's 5:30 a.m., half an hour before Mildred Gaddis opens up her "Inside Detroit" WCHB-AM microphone, but the callers can't wait. The station's phone lines are already buzzing with listeners bursting with opinions about Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the ongoing city psychodrama of text messages, strippers and council spats. On this early May morning, Detroit City Council was to vote on asking the governor to get involved. Gaddis finally opens up the phone lines. John from Detroit is on line one. "I say that they go for the gusto!" "Do you expect that to happen?" Gaddis demands in her precise, forceful diction... 'Inside Detroit' host Mildred Gaddis keeps the mayor on the hot seat (Tue, 5/27)

Nights Open At WKFR: CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR/KALAMAZOO PD KEN "KRUZE" EBANS tells ALL ACCESS, "After 5 years holding down nights on 103.3 KFR, RAY THOMAS has resigned to deal with personal issues at home. Everyone at KFR wishes Ray the best in his future endeavors. As such, 103.3 KFR, KALAMAZOO's #1 Radio Station, is looking for our next Nighttime Superstar! We are built to win and need someone with that mindset," he continues. "f you want to be the best, then send your stuff ASAP. You must be willing to be a part of a high profile, high intensity, entertaining, and local show that wins in numerous demos. If you live the lifestyle and can relate to the audience without crude humor, then this may be your gig. Pay is negotiable according to experience and ratings history. You must have at least 2 years on-air experience, be willing to hit the streets, be a team player, and be a prep monster." Send your package, with mp3 aircheck, to subject "KFR Nights!"


Detroit News:

Metro Detroit is all about basketball. Just look at the ratings results for the NBA Eastern Conference Finals featuring the Detroit Pistons and the Stanley Cup finals starring the Detroit Red Wings gathered over the Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday and Monday nights, the Pistons had the higher ratings locally. According to Nielsen Media Research, the Pistons game garnered an 11.5 rating/21 share Saturday compared to the Red Wings game on the same night and time with an 8 rating/15 share. On Monday, the ratings tell a very similar story with the Pistons pulling a 15 rating/22 share against the Red Wings' 10 rating/15 share. Rating points represent a percentage of the viewing audience, and the share is the number of televisions in use. .. Pistons beat the Red Wings in local TV ratings game (Wed, May 28)

Travel throughout the state with WTVS-TV (Channel 56) to celebrate artistic achievement in the special broadcast, "The 22nd annual Michigan Governor's Awards for Arts and Culture," which airs at 10 tonight on the local PBS affiliate. Produced by WTVS, the event showcases winners and their works and noteworthy contributions, which were previously announced at the ceremony in November at the Detroit Institute of Arts... Guvvys celebrate Michigan artists (Wed, May 28)


Flint Journal:

The Flint Institute of Arts will be among the state's arts institutions and individuals highlighted in a public television show, "ArtServe Michigan Governor's Awards for Arts and Culture" at 8 p.m. today (May 28, 2008) on WFUM (Channel 28). The show is a look at the winners of the 22nd annual Governor's Awards for Arts and Culture held in December at the Detroit Institute of Arts... Flint Institute of Arts, William S. White, Claire M. White, all highlighted in PBS TV program airing tonight on WFUM Channel 28 (Wed, 5/28)


Radio and Records:

After seven years at Citadel AC WFMK/Lansing, Mich., PD/MD/afternoon driver Chris Reynolds has exited. (Wed, 5/28)

Zampillo Named APD At WGN: CBS Sports WXYT-A-F (97.1 THE TICKET)/DETROIT PD DAN ZAMPILLO joins TRIBUNE Talk WGN-A/CHICAGO as APD, effective JUNE 16th. ZAMPILLO, a CHICAGO native, has been with WXYT for the past three years and was previously PD at DISPATCH Sports WBNS-A/COLUMBUS and APD at CBS Sports WSCR-A (670 THE SCORE)/CHICAGO. (Fri, 5/30)







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This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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