Metro Detroit: December 2008 Archives

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 3, 2008



Detroit News:

The November sweeps book has closed, and WJBK-TV (Channel 2) has once again emerged as the morning champion. The local Fox affiliate boasts the highest ratings in the a.m. seven days a week. The domination began at 6 a.m. weekdays when "Fox 2 News Morning" pulled in a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 compared to local newscasts on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) with a 1.6 rating and WDIV-TV (Channel 4), which garnered a 1.4 rating. Among women 25-54, WJBK drew a 4.2 rating, WXYZ had a 3.0 rating and WDIV landed a 2.7 rating. Each local rating point represents roughly 19,000 homes in the Metro Detroit area. What is even more impressive is that WJBK received higher ratings than "Today" on NBC and "Good Morning America" on ABC from 7-9 a.m. weekdays. Among adults 18-49, WJBK had a 3.1 rating compared to the local ABC affiliate WXYZ's 1.3 rating and the local NBC affiliate WDIV's 1.2 rating. With women 25-54, WJBK had a 4.3 rating, WXYZ drew a 2.6 rating and WDIV pulled a 2.0 rating. The same numbers carried over to the weekend... Fox 2's morning show beats 'em all (Wed, 12/3)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 4, 2008



Detroit News:

If you still smile when you hear the old CKLW jingle "and the hits just keep on coming," the man responsible for creating that tighter-than-tight Big 8 format in the late '60s, Bill Drake , died of lung cancer Saturday at his California home. He was 71. In the mid-'60s, Drake put the pedal to the metal on the pop radio format by emphasizing forward motion -- a philosophy some boiled down to "shut up and play the music." "Before us, disc jockeys would just ramble on incessantly," Drake told the L.A. Times. Drake launched the "Boss Radio" format on KHJ in Los Angeles starting in 1965, transforming it into a powerhouse that made hits for the Doors , the Mamas and the Papas , etc. Although the frenetic format de-emphasized personalities in favor of music, some emerged anyway: the Real Don Steele , for one. In 1967, CKLW's owners brought Drake in to shake up the pop station's format, and the fast-paced "Big 8" soon buried Detroit's No. 1 station WKNR , with its emphasis on star jocks playing top music... The late Bill Drake made listening to the radio exciting (Thu, 12/4)

Local country station WYCD (99.5-FM) is teaming up with Beaumont Hospital and the Children's Miracle Network to present a foot-stompin' Christmas show and give back to the community in one fell swoop. Tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills, country mega-star Gretchen Wilson will perform, with support from Chris Cagle and up-and-comer Jimmy Wayne. Wilson, a Grammy-winning singer and best-selling author, shot onto the national stage in 2004 with her No. 1 hit "Redneck Woman: Stories of My Life," off her five-times platinum debut album, "Here for the Party"... Gretchen Wilson, Chris Cagle and Jimmy Wayne will light up The Palace (Thu, 12/4)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 5, 2008



WDVD stuffing buses for children

Pop WDVD FM 96.3 is trying make sure no child goes without a toy this holiday season and is asking listeners to help the station stuff two buses full of new toys today through Tuesday, December 9, 2008. The 96.3 WDVD Morning Show, Blaine and Lisa with Allyson, will kicked off this year's Stuff-A-Bus campaign with a live broadcast earlier today at BD's Mongolian Grill on Hall Road in Sterling Heights. 96.3 WDVD DJs will continue to broadcast live from both bus locations, BD's Mongolian Grill on Hall Road in Sterling Heights and Westland Mall on Wayne Road in Westland, for the duration of the promotion. Toy collection hours will be from 6:00 a.m. - midnight.

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to one of the two Stuff-A-Bus locations and help stuff those buses! Toys will benefit local charities including Ronald McDonald House, NSO, Lighthouse, Orchards Children's Services, Volunteers of America, local churches and many others.

Sponsors are helping WDVD stuff the buses by providing donation incentives. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to any participating BD's Mongolian Grill location from now until December 4, 2008 and receive a $2.00 off coupon. Also, Buddy's Pizza is donating $2.00 from every Detroiter Pizza purchase from now until December 4, 2008.



Ann Arbor's WTKA teams up with AAPD for Christmas

Sports talk 1050 WTKA- AM is teaming up with The Ann Arbor Police Department and former LPGA Tour player Debbie Williams-Hoak for the 13th Annual Adopt-A-Family Program.

Starting Monday December 8th and running through Friday December 12th, the Michigan Insider with Sam Webb and Andy Evans will be helping the program fill the "wish list" of five or more families in Ann Arbor.

Five Days, Five Families, Five Christmases will allow the audience to purchase an item off each families list or they can make a monetary gift donation. Individuals making a contribution do not have to adopt an entire family.

The Michigan Insider airs weekday mornings from 6-10am. If you wish to purchase an item, call the studio hotline at (734) 998-1050. All checks must be addressed to the Ann Arbor Police Department.

In the twelve years of the Adopt-A-Family Program, close to 400 families and well over 2,000 children have had a special Christmas thanks to the generosity of so many people.

Deminski And Doyle Set New Year's Party, WCSX Debut: JEFF DEMINSKI and BILL DOYLE can't start at GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WCSX/DETROIT until the stroke of midnight NEW YEAR'S EVE because of their noncompete with crosstown CBS Sports WXYT-A-F (97.1 THE TICKET), but the moment 2009 starts, D&D will be on the air live from a party the show is throwing for listeners. D&D will be at SNOOKER'S in UTICA, MI for a NEW YEAR'S party open to listeners with no cover and a live performance by local rock stalwarts MINDCANDY, the band fronted by D&D sidekick RUDY DESANTIS. DEMINSKI and DOYLE will be on the air for a few segments once the legal coast is clear; their regular show starts JANUARY 5 6-10a ET. (Fri, 12/5)



Detroit News:

Prevailing wisdom would say that NBC's weak primetime programming would hinder the ratings of the 11 p.m. newscast for the network's local affiliate WDIV-TV (Channel 4). In this instance, prevailing wisdom would be wrong. Despite coming on after ratings-challenged shows such as "My Own Worst Enemy," WDIV's 11 p.m. newscast outperformed its programming predecessors Monday through Friday, increasing ratings by as much as 88 percent during the recently concluded November sweeps. As a result, WDIV's late-night newscast was the most watched in that timeslot. During the workweek, the newscast garnered an 8 rating/15 share compared to WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), which drew a 7.9 rating/15 share and WJBK-TV (Channel 2), which attracted a 4.1 rating/8 share... WDIV 11 p.m. news tops during the week (Fri, 12/5)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 6, 2008



Macomb Daily:

Veteran television news reporter Derricke Dennis, who recently left WDIV-TV (Channel 4), has been hired as communications director for the city of Warren. Dennis was appointed by Mayor James Fouts to oversee the city's cable television operations and the municipal Web site. He takes the $77,000 post effective Monday. "In our talks for this position, Derricke impressed me as an outstanding communicator with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. His experience as a broadcaster and his proven ability to manage multiple projects and assignments on strict deadlines will be a tremendous boost for Warren TV," Fouts said. Dennis spent the last six years at WDIV, where he covered a variety of stories. In a prepared statement released by the city, Dennis said he is thrilled to join the city administration. "I have covered Mayor Fouts over the years as a news reporter and have always found him to be very creative and forward-thinking," he said. "In deciding to leave Local 4, I was simply looking for a new challenge and better use of my skills and talent"... TV reporter named Warren cable boss (Sat, 12/6)


Starting Tuesday, December 16th in Detroit and Wednesday, December 17th in Grand Rapids there will be a series of tests aired by local television stations to help assist viewers in determining if their televisions are ready for the February 17, 2009 conversion to DTV.


In Detroit, WJBK TV 2, WDIV TV 4, WXYZ TV 7, WMYD TV 20, WUDT TV 23, WADL TV 38, WKBD TV 50, WTVS TV 56, and WWJ TV 62 will all participate in the tests that are scheduled to run every Tuesday through Feb. 17 at different times in an effort to reach as many people as possible with varying viewing habits. The tests will be "road-blocked" each week, airing on all participating stations at the same time for maximum exposure.

Its estimated that almost eight percent (146,000 households) of the Detroit DMA is still completely unready for the February's DTV transition, so these Detroit area stations are going to help viewers figure out if their television is ready for digital (or if its still receiving analog signals) with this series of "soft" DTV tests called Test Your TV Tuesday.

During the test, viewers will either see a green screen marked "PASS", indicating that the television they're viewing is receiving a digital signal and ready for DTV, or a red screen marked "FAIL" if that TV is still receiving an analog signal and additional steps must be taken to ensure that television set is ready for DTV before analog broadcasts cease on February 17, 2009.

Stations will also air promotional messages in advance of each weekly test so viewers will know what time they can expect a test each week. The test is sixty seconds in length and will encourage individuals seeing it to check their other televisions in the home.

The "FAIL" message will also inform the viewer where to get additional information to take further steps - including the Michigan DTV web site, and Michigan DTV Helpline (1-888-MI-DTV-09).

A complete list of dates and times of Test Your TV Tuesdays is available here.


Grand Rapids local TV stations WWMT TV 3, WOOD-TV 8, WZZM-TV 13, WXMI TV 17, WGVU/WGVK TV 35/52, WOTV TV 41 and WTLJ TV 53 will be participating in "Test Your TV Wednesdays" beginning on Wednesday, December 17th and then on every Wednesday from January 7th through the Feb. 17 conversion. The tests will be similar in nature to those run in Detroit; Regular programming will be replaced by an on-screen graphic and announcer who will inform viewers whether their TV sets are "ready" or "not ready" for the digital transition. "Not Ready" viewers will be referred to both a local phonebank as well as the Michigan DTV Helpline.


Michigan DTV Helpline completes second month of operation

The Michigan DTV Helpline just finished its second month of operation and has already proven to be huge asset to Michigan Broadcasters and citizens alike. Since its launch in early October, the helpline has assisted over 12,000 Michigan citizens with DTV related issues.

Don-Lors Electronics, sponsor and call center provider for the Michigan DTV Helpline, reported 81% of calls to the helpline were from people who needed assistance ordering converter box coupons. As the transition date moves closer, folks realize the urgency to order the coupons so they recieve them in time for the transition. Don-Lors call data shows nearly 75% of Michigan DTV Helpline callers have no internet access, which limits their options to apply for the federal coupons; and although there is a national hotline to order the coupons, many people have found the automated system to be difficult to understand and navigate.

In addition to coupon orders, the helpline is fielding DTV questions ranging from basic information to technical inquiries. Don-Lors Electronics has provided a list of the top four reasons people call the helpline:

  • 1. Assistance ordering converter box coupons
  • 2. Inquiring about expired converter box coupons
  • 3. Technical assistance after they have received and connected the converter box and are having difficulty finding a signal from one or more stations.
  • 4. Technical assistance in connecting the converter box to the TV or the antenna to the converter box.

Don-Lors Electronics estimates as the transition date draws nearer, the need for DTV assistance will rise and the trend will be an increase in more technical questions. In the coming weeks the call center is prepared to take in a higher volume of calls and welcomes any Michigan citizen to take advantage of this unique and helpful tool that is only offered in this state.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 7, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

Lynne Woodison, one of the pioneering female voices in Detroit rock radio, got the ax from her longtime morning gig on WCSX-FM last month. For 11 years at WCSX, and decades before that at other spots on the FM band, Woodison's distinctive dulcet register accompanied the sunrise for listeners. Now she's among the growing ranks of Michiganders laid off, fired or bought out. The married mother of two grown sons, Woodison was caring for her ailing 87-year-old mother, Maxine Woodison, this fall. Two weeks after her mother died of pancreatic cancer on Oct. 28, Woodison and show partner Jim Johnson were let go... Radio personality looks ahead after losing her job and her mom (Sun, 12/7)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 8, 2008



WRCJ to air first concert from new DSO director live

Classical/jazz WRCJ FM 90.9 will be presenting a live broadcast of new Detroit Symphony Orchestra Maestro Leonard Slatkin's first concert as Music Director of the DSO on Thursday, December 11th. Coverage will begin at 7pm when WRCJ's Jack Goggin will present classic DSO recordings. Then at 8pm, Dave Wagner will host the historic debut concert of Slatkin, featuring the world premiere of A Different Soldier's Tale by Detroit native James Lee III, and a performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

Tickets are still available for the DSO performance, check out for details.



WDET to help celebrate the spirit of the season this weekend

WDET FM 101.9, Detroit Public Radio, will offer up special holiday programming on Friday, December 12 and Saturday, December 13 with some public radio favorites from NPR:

- David Sedaris' "SantaLand Diaries" will air on December 12 and 13 at 12 noon

- Click & Clack's "Car Talk Christmas Carol" is scheduled for December 12 at 7pm and December 13 at 10am

- NPR's "Tinsel Tales" - featuring holidays stories from familiar public radio voices Scott Simon, Jay Allison and others will be broadcast on December 12 at 1pm

Plus, tune in for "Folks Like Us" with Matt Watroba (Saturdays 1-4pm) and Larry McDaniel, the "Arkansas Traveler" (Saturdays 4-6pm) as they bring you their holiday favorites.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 10, 2008



Ann Arbor's W4 Country helping gather Toys for Tots

Country WWWW-FM 102.9 is teaming up with Key Bank, the U.S. Marine Corps. and the Washtenaw County Toys for Tots organization to bring smiles and gifts to local children just in time for Christmas this year.

W4 Country's Christmas Crusade for Kids starts Monday December 15th and is scheduled to run through Saturday December 20th. The station will be taking over a store front located 3147 Oak Valley Drive at the Oak Valley Shopping Center in Ann Arbor where they will broadcast live Monday the 15th through Friday the 19th from 6am-10pm and again on Saturday December 20th from 10am-1pm. Donations of toys and cash will be accepted all week long.

On Saturday December 20th, the Breakfast with Bubba Morning Show will take the monetary gifts and go shopping for toys. Toys for Tots will then pick up the toys and distribute them to families in need just in time for Christmas.

To donate, just bring a new, unwrapped toy(s) to our location anytime Monday through Friday 6am-10pm, or Saturday 10am-1pm. Visit the station's web site at for more information.



Local 4 to offer live broadcast of auto show Charity Preview

The relationship between the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and WDIV/Channel 4 will take another step forward in 2009 as live coverage of the Charity Preview event resumes by WDIV, the exclusive broadcast media partner of the NAIAS.

In addition to airing the Charity Preview live on Jan. 16 from 6-9 p.m., WDIV has also committed to airing more live broadcasts during industry preview and public days as part of their overall commitment to additional coverage.

"As global eyes focus on NAIAS this year the additional coverage of the show becomes even more important from a local and national standpoint," said Marla Drutz, Vice President and General Manager, WDIV/Channel 4. "We are committed to our position as a news leader in the Detroit area and will be offering expanded coverage of this extraordinary show."

As the official broadcast partner of NAIAS, WDIV/Channel 4 is the only television station that is licensed to use the NAIAS name or logo in its promotional materials, or sell packages related to the NAIAS and Charity Preview.

"The years of experience that WDIV brings combined with the talented on and off air team will provide viewers with an incredible amount of coverage of NAIAS and the excitement it brings to Detroit and the world," said Rod Alberts, executive director, NAIAS. "Charity Preview is one of the top single-night fundraising events in the nation, and now those at home will be able to participate in the excitement by watching the coverage provided by WDIV and the live cameras that will be placed around the floor during the event."

Tickets for Charity Preview are currently available and can be purchased by calling (888) 838-7500, or by visiting The annual event has raised over $77 million for children's charities in metro Detroit since its inception in 1976.



WJR's 43rd Annual Christmas Sing set for Saturday

News-talk WJR AM 760 is inviting listners to join morning host Paul W. Smith, Santa, and the WJR family starting at 10am on Saturday, December 13th as they host the 43rd Annual WJR Christmas Sing in the North Grand Court at the Somerset Collection in Troy. This is a great holiday tradition that promises to be bigger and better this year. Bring your family for a morning of Christmas caroling and fun!

The station will also be gathering new or gently used coats to the Christmas Sing. On this day, Goodwill Industries will be collecting donated coats at the entrance to Somerset Collection North on Big Beaver Road between the hours of 9am-Noon. Cash donations will be accepted as well. All donations will benefit the North End Community Partnership and as a thank you for your contribution, you will receive a free regular coffee or tea at Starbucks at Somerset Collection and a gift certificate for a one-hour pampering mini-facial at the Dior Beauty Counter located in Macy's in Somerset Collection.

For more information, visit WJR's Helping Hands Headquarters at



Detroit News:

Talk-show goddess Oprah Winfrey has the golden touch. She loves a book and millions of copies sell. She declares something a favorite, and it's out of stock in stores in no time. Well, when it comes to ratings, Winfrey can also do no wrong and thanks to the large Metro Detroit TV audience that tunes in to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" five days a week, WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) enjoys a sweet spot at the top. The daytime hit attracted a 4.8 rating/13.8 share during the November sweeps period, giving WXYZ the No. 1 rated show in that time period compared to the 4 p.m. newscast on WDIV-TV (Channel 4). The local NBC affiliate, which splits the hour with the tabloid magazine show "Inside Edition," pulled in a 3.4 rating/8.8 share in households... 'Oprah' gives WXYZ top daytime rating (Wed, 12/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 12, 2008



CBS Radio/Detroit making cuts, offering special programming

It appears that at least two longtime and well-known personalities have been let go at CBS Radio/Detroit's country WYCD-FM 99.5 and oldies WOMC-FM 104.3. Production and overnight talent Ron Tavernit is no longer with WOMC after many years and at WYCD it appears that evening host Jyl Forsyth is also out. Forsyth had been with 'YCD since June, 1993 when 99.5 launched what it called at that time Young Country.

In support of General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford, CBS' WXYT AM 1270 today has dropped the simulcast of sports WXYT-FM 97.1 and instead airing "Stand Up and Be Proud", with messages of support for automakers from civic, community, and business leaders. The company's other stations, which include WOMC, smooth Jazz WVMV-FM 98.7, WYCD, and news WWJ AM 950 as well as WXYT-FM, are also joining in by airing messages as well.

"Detroit and the surrounding areas have so much to be proud of and thankful for," said CBS Radio Market Manager Debbie Kenyon. "The CBS/Detroit radio stations launched the 'Stand Up and Be Proud' campaign to salute and recognize all of the positive achievements in our region."



Detroit News:

Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said Thursday he is "exploring his legal options" after enduring daily verbal attacks from WCHB-AM "News Talk 1200" personality Mildred Gaddis, saying her political commentary is approaching "character assassination and slander." He said Gaddis is fixated on criticizing his wife, Kimberly, and the alleged role she has in the mayor's office. "I have a thick skin. I have no problem being attacked on policy," Cockrel said. "The problem is when it transcends into character assassination and slander. ... She has come dangerously close to that. I will not continue to let it slide." Gaddis said she's only asking tough questions as a journalist, the same career Cockrel pursued before seeking public office... Mayor fights radio host's allegations (Fri, 12/12)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 13, 2008



Ann Arbor Radio's Rockin' For The Hungry raises more than 226 tons of food

The community came out strong December 3rd-7th to help Ann Arbor's 107one (adult alternative WQKL-FM) and Food Gatherers fight hunger in Washtenaw County. This year, Rockin' For The Hungry exceeded the original goal of 170 tons and raised a remarkable 226 tons of food to help those in need throughout Southeast Michigan.

Volunteers and personalities from WQKL braved the cold and snow for five days to collect food for local food bank Food Gatherers' largest outdoor food drive and the community responded by donating more than ever before. The generous outpouring of support will allow Food Gatherers to meet the urgent and pressing demand for food in our community.

"Rockin' For The Hungry is one of the signature events in both the city off Ann Arbor and on ann arbor's 107one, and I am thrilled beyond belief that 226 tons of food were given to help the hungry in our community," commented Martin Bandyke, ann arbor's 107one morning host.

"Hats off to our listeners and everyone in the Washtenaw area who contributed to this Rockin' cause. ann arbor's 107one is privileged to be a part of such a vibrant and generous community," added Chris Ammel, program director and midday host for WQKL.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 15, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

Targeted as one of several metropolitan areas most at risk of seeing a large number of households lose their TV connections when broadcasting moves from analog to digital format, Detroit soon will have the help of assistance centers to steer its residents through the transition. Today, advocates who determined the most at-risk cities will announce details regarding the opening of the centers. "This is not easy stuff," Mark Lloyd, a vice president for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said Friday. According to a statement about the announcement, "Communities of color, people who rely on languages other than English, low-income working families, older Americans and people with disabilities who rely on over-the-air TV for emergency public service announcements will be most affected." Lloyd's organization, based in Washington, D.C., is joined by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Self-Help for the Elderly in setting up the centers, which will encourage consumers to apply for two, $40 coupons for digital converter boxes and either use or donate them by the Feb. 17 transition date... Centers to help with move to digital TV (Mon, 12/15)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers: Dec. 16, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

Are you ready for D-Day? That's Feb. 17, the day when the television broadcast industry switches to all-digital video, or DTV. Starting tonight and every Tuesday until the big day, Detroit stations will run a 60-second test that shows viewers whether their television is ready for digital or whether it's still receiving the about-to-end analog signals. Tonight's test will be at 6:12 p.m. on all nine Detroit stations. The Dec. 23 test will be at 11:12 p.m. and the times will continue to vary each week through D-Day. Citing a survey from Nielsen, the media research company that measures TV audiences, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters estimates that about 146,000 households around metro Detroit aren't ready for the switch. That represents about 8% of the television households in the market. "That's still a lot of people, no doubt about it," said Marla Drutz, general manager of WDIV Local 4 in Detroit. "If they don't take some action by Feb. 17, they will get a blank screen. Nothing. No picture, no sound"... You have 2 months to convert to digital TV (Tue, 12/16)



Detroit News:

Detroiters can see today whether their televisions are ready for the digital revolution. A test will be held on the major stations at 6:12 p.m. Viewers who see a green "pass" message come up on their screens are fine. Those that see a red "fail" message need to perform some extra steps to continue watching TV past Feb. 17. Detroit will be one of seven cities nationwide that will open assistance centers to help people make the transition to digital television, according to the national Telecommunications and Information Administration... Tune in to test TV for digital switch (Tue, 12/16)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 17, 2008



Broadcasting & Cable:

As a pair of venerable daily newspapers prepares to scale back distribution, stations in Detroit wonder what sort of opportunity the papers' decreased visibility spells for them. As had been hinted at, The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News will cut home delivery dramatically in March. Gannett's Free Press will deliver Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and MediaNews Group's Detroit News will be delivered Thursday and Friday. (The two are published jointly by the Detroit Media Partnership.) The papers will print slimmer versions for the newsstand the rest of the week. With its auto giants reeling, the economic climate in the #11 DMA is grim. While station managers say they're saddened to see their print brethren take such drastic steps, they're happy to reach out to the papers' advertisers. "We're doing a thorough analysis of who advertises in the paper on the days it won't be delivered," says WDIV VP/General Manager Marla Drutz... Detroit Stations Eye Opportunity As Papers Pull Back (Wed, 12/17)



Detroit News:

Nielsen ratings tell us how many viewers are tuning in and what shows they're watching, but when I want to know the real deal, I rely on my readers to keep me on my toes and in the know. For instance, earlier this month, I wrote about WJBK-TV (Channel 2) taking the top ratings spot in the mornings, WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) garnering the highest ratings at 5 and 6 p.m. and WDIV-TV (Channel 4) boasting the No. 1 newscast at 11 p.m., all according to Nielsen's November sweeps book. But it wasn't until I received an e-mail from Detroit News reader Garard Noel of Canton Township that I was able to put a human being behind the stats... Forget Nielsens ratings -- viewers know the score (Wed, 12/17)




TV stations in Detroit know exactly what stations in other markets are experiencing as they begin to cope with the full impact of the recession that is tracking the nation. Stations in DMA 11 have been living with hard economic times for years. "Detroit is ground zero in the global economic collapse," says Ben Burns, a media professor at Wayne State University. "Detroit and Michigan were in a recession over the past three or four years -- and the nation, now going into a recession, just exacerbates unemployment levels here." Burns, once executive editor of the Detroit News, says the Detroit area's 9 percent unemployment levels will rise into double digits as the auto industry contracts. The situation is the worst he has ever seen, Burns says. "Detroit is the poster child for the challenges of television advertising," says BIAfn analyst Mark Fratrik as he was revising Detroit marketwide revenue figures -- downward -- for BIAfn's annual economic outlook for the television industry... Detroit Stations Taking It on the Chin (free subscription requried - Wed, 12/17)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 18, 2008



Detroit News:

One good thing about the Sirius-XM merger for listeners in our town is that native Detroiter Pat St. John can now be heard by both XM and Sirius subscribers. Pat's a '68 graduate of Southfield High School, a veteran of CKLW and a longtime New York jock (WPLJ , WNEW and WCBS). The veteran DJ is busy: He currently holds down the morning shift on Sirius XM's 50's at 5, 9 a.m. to noon, then he's on from noon to 4 p.m. on Deep Tracks (Sirius 16, XM 40) , and from 6 p.m. to midnight on B.B. King's Bluesville (Channel 74 on both XM and Sirius) ... Deminski and Doyle will be officially free from their CBS commitments at midnight on Dec. 31, so they decided not to wait to start their stint on WCSX-FM (94.7). "I thought, how cool would it be to go back on the air the very second we legally could," says Jeff Deminski . So the duo will broadcast at the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve at a listener party at Snookers, 45100 Northpointe Blvd. (near Hall Road) in Utica. D&D will be hanging out with listeners; there will be games, prizes and music spun by a DJ; and DaveDuran will broadcast live leading up to midnight. Admission to the Snookers Deminski & Doyle party is free... St. John does triple DJ duty (Thu, 12/18)



AM 580 to present "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets"

Elvis Presley will spread some holiday cheer this Saturday, December 20, at 7 PM as CKWW AM 580 will air the "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets Radio Special". This brand-new one-hour radio special goes behind the making of the recently released "Elvis Presley: Christmas Duets" album. It features interviews with many of Elvis' duet partners - Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Wynonna, Amy Grant and more. Priscilla Presley also adds some of her own insights into this groundbreaking project. The special is hosted by Anne Murray, who also has a holiday duet with Elvis on this album.



Ann Arbor News:

Ed Gordon, an Emmy Award-winning television broadcaster, will be the keynote speaker for Eastern Michigan University's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Jan. 19. The event, at the Student Center, includes a breakfast, a keynote speech at 10 a.m. by Gordon and a luncheon. The list of activities and times are available at the university's Web site at Gordon is host of the new, nationally syndicated TV show, "Our World With Black Enterprise." He formerly led programs on the Black Entertainment Television network and was a contributor to NBC's "Today Show" and "Dateline" shows. He also has been a contributing correspondent for the CBS show "60 Minutes II" and also hosted "News and Notes with Ed Gordon," which aired on National Public Radio... Broadcaster talk to mark MLK holiday at Eastern Michigan University (Thu, 12/18)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 19, 2008



Michigan Radio announces staff changes

Michigan Radio has announced several changes in staffing, including a new weekend morning host.

Rina Miller has joined Michigan Radio as a reporter as well as the new on-air host, Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Miller has many years of experience in both print and broadcast journalism as an editor, reporter, producer, and anchor. Most recently, she has been a wire and copy editor at The Ann Arbor News since 2000. Previously, Miller worked as a news anchor at WKLQ in Grand Rapids and WLIF in Baltimore, a producer and program host at Radio Netherlands, and a reporter for ABC Radio News in New York.

As part of this change, Jennifer Guerra, Michigan Radio's previous weekend host, will move to the newsroom and become a full time general assignment reporter. She will also continue to lead the station's award winning arts and humanities coverage. Guerra has been with Michigan Radio since 2005 as an arts producer and weekend on-air host. Previous to joining Michigan Radio, she was an award-winning producer for WFUV-FM in New York, the public radio station of Fordham University, where she earned a Master's in Broadcast Journalism.

Finally, Michigan Radio has hired Wendy Tingley to the corporate underwriting staff. Tingley will be working with clients on sponsorships for Michigan Television as well as Michigan Radio.

Scott Gaines Exits WDTW: CLEAR CHANNEL Country WDTW/DETROIT APD/MD/afternooner SCOTT GAINES is a victim of budget cut backs and exits 106.7 THE FOX, effective immediately. Said GAINES, "I was told by management this was a strictly a budgetary decision and I am leaving in good graces and well recommended for my next position. I am looking for my next gig and I am mobile. I loved opportunity to work with TIL LEVESQUE and JOHN TRAPANE and DOM THEODORE -- they have been great to me and I know that I will be just fine. I thank them for the chance to work for such a fun station. The people I have met and the connections I have made are invaluable to me and I have made life long friends. I will never forget the good times I have had here." (Fri, 12/19)



Macomb Daily:

A Clinton Township TV station claims a New York-based sales company took a $1.5 million up-front fee to sell advertising but has failed to deliver on its promises. Adell Broadcasting Corp., which owns WADL-TV (Channel 38, Comcast Channel 14), on Friday sued Petry Media Corp. and subsidiary Blair Television Inc., accusing them of accepting the fee with promises to attract more than $1.5 million in national advertising within 18 months, according to a deal reached last April, the lawsuit says. To date, PMC and Blair have only garnered $253,000 in sales, according to the lawsuit, filed in Macomb County Circuit Court. Of the sales made, about $38,000 -- a 15-percent commission -- has been credited against the $1.5 million fee... TV station sues sales company (Wed, 12/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 22, 2008



Sports WDFN 1130 to offer special programming during Sunday's Lions season finale

With the Detroit Lions apparently headed for 0-16 and setting a new NFL futility record, sports WDFN is helping fans celebrate (or mourn) by throwing out their regular programming during the game on December 28th. Lions fans are invited to watch the team take on Green Bay on television with the sound down and tune in to WDFN to hear Art Regner and former Lion Richard 'Dirt' Jordan take calls, talk to special guests, and react to the despair on the field as the Lions' make a run at history. After the game ends, the show will continue to put the wraps on the worst season in Lions history. has setup a special 0-16 page for more Lions fun. Whether you're "celebrating" the Lions' season or your relieved at being able to finally let go, features recipes, Lion' poetry written and spoken by the fans, Lions' karaoke, t-shirt ideas, and more. There's also a special venting section for diehard fans to add their two cents as well.

After living with the losing your entire life, finally it looks like there will be a way for it to enter the history books.



Deminski & Doyle set to party for WCSX and the New Year

Even though Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle won't officially start their new morning show on classic rock WCSX-FM 94.7 until 6am on January 5th, the guys will be hitting the airwaves the very moment they're legally allowed to at a second past midnight on New Year's Eve.

The remote broadcast is part of a New Year's Eve party for D&D listeners old and new at Snookers on Hall Rd. in Utica. Admission is free, there will be music all night with a DJ and Rudy's band Mindcandy will be performing live. The doors open at 7pm and there promises to be crazy games with great prizes all night long. The first 94 people through the door will get a commemorative D&D New Year's Eve t-shirt that reportedly looks pretty sweet.

"It took a lot to convince management at our new station to let us do something like this on the most competitive bar night of the year so we're trying to get as many people to turn out for it as possible", comments Deminski. "If there's a good turnout management will let us do more things like this. Please come and bring as many with you as possible. If you can't come, please spread the word!

Click here for map/directions


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 24, 2008



Detroit Free Press:

The 2008 Lions are a throwback kind of team. They remind me of a special time in America, many years ago, when nobody knew how to play football. Also they remind me of when people had no choice but to get their news from the radio. I remember those days vividly: My family would huddle around the old Philco radio in the living room, hoping to find out why I wouldn't be born for another 20 years. Now Lions fans know the feeling. Five of the team's eight home games were blacked out on local television. Thankfully, the car we use here on the Road to XVI -- a special-edition Ford ConFusion -- is equipped with a radio. That is why today's installment of "The Road to XVI: Countdown to Time Expiring," is dedicated to the Lions radio team of (Dapper) Dan Miller, Jim (Brandy) Brandstatter and Tony (Tony) Ortiz. We are Four Days Away From Green Bay, and these men deserve your applause... Lions bring back radio, have winning team there, at least (Wed, 12/24)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 25, 2008



Detroit News:

There couldn't have been a more dramatic time for J. Mikel Ellcessor to land in Detroit as general manager of Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM (101.9), unless it was July-August 1967, or maybe in the late '30s, in the midst of the UAW's organizing push. Detroit has the ongoing saga of Kwamegate, the economic peril caused by the troubled Big 3, and a beleaguered local economy that has hit fund-raising public radio stations hard. "I really believe that we're living in a moment of history right now," Ellcessor, 44, said last week. "People are looking to make sense of a senseless world, a very fearful world. Now more than ever, Detroit deserves really great noncommercial radio. We want to help people stay informed, but give them a little extra, as well." Ellcessor was named general manager after a national search, the first permanent g.m. since Michael Coleman 's resignation two years ago... WDET general manager comes at exciting time (Thu, 12/25)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 28, 2008



Press & Argus /

It seems that everybody has their own television channel these days. With the advent of digital cable and satellite TV, new channels seemingly spring up daily and programming options are endless. The NFL, NBA and NHL all have their own channels, and Major League Baseball will launch its own network Thursday. One team, the New York Yankees, has its own network. The Big Ten took a bold step last year when it became the first college conference to launch its own network. It's only fitting then that those trends trickle down to high school sports. After all, there are more athletes participating in high school athletics across the country than in all the collegiate and professional leagues combined. That's why the Michigan High School Athletic Association enlisted the services of a company called When We Were Young Productions earlier this year. The company, headquartered in Wisconsin but with a Michigan branch based in Hartland, produces high school sporting events for broadcast on television and the Internet... Hartland firm a prep TV hub -- When We Were Young, MHSAA to produce broadcasts (Sun, 12/28)

When We Were Young Productions Michigan is attempting to turn everyday high school sporting events into sleek television broadcasts. So, how, exactly does it happen? For a single camera shoot, When We Were Young ships the equipment to the freelance camera operator. At the game, he or she shoots a variety of footage, including what's called "B roll," or generic shots to use at various times during opening or closing comments by the announcer. The camera operator also shoots the open, the close and sometimes an interview with a coach or player. Then, they ship the tapes back to When We Were Young's Hartland office... From raw feed to broadcast -- Turning a one-camera tape to a professional-looking game (Sun, 12/28)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Dec. 31, 2008


PPM Now Currency In 4 More Major Markets: ARBITRON has announced the official commercial rollout of PPM radio ratings in DALLAS-FT. WORTH, ATLANTA, WASHINGTON DC and DETROIT. Out now are radio audience estimates for the DECEMBER 2008 PPM survey month that runs from NOVEMBER 21th-DECEMBER 17th. In addition, audience estimates from the OCTOBER and NOVEMBER PPM survey months, which ARBITRON had previously released as "pre-currency," are now good to go as "currency" data. The Summer 2008 diary-based radio audience report (JUNE 26th-SEPTEMBER 17th) is no longer deemed "currency" for buy/sell transactions. That raises PPM coverage to in 14 local markets: NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO, SAN FRANCISCO, DALLAS-FT. WORTH, HOUSTON, ATLANTA, PHILADELPHIA, WASHINGTON DC, DETROIT, NASSAU-SUFFOLK, MIDDLESEX-SOMERSET-UNION, RIVERSIDE-SAN BERNARDINO and SAN JOSE. These markets account for 51.7% of the estimated radio station revenue in the top-50 radio markets. (Wed, 12/31)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Metro Detroit category from December 2008.

Metro Detroit: November 2008 is the previous archive.

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