By: Art Vuolo
Two weeks in a row for yours truly, what did you do to deserve this? Actually, March is a heavy month for radio conventions and gatherings. I am expected to be at the Country Radio Seminar, the MAB Great Lakes Broadcasting Expo and the R&R Talk Radio Seminar, and they all happen to fall in the windy month of March giving some of us a new meaning to the term ”March Madness.”
Personally, I can’t wait to see whether broadcasters are going to stand up before us, preaching about what great shape the business is in. If that happens, I suspect some sessions could resemble an episode of Jerry Springer.
• • • • • • • •First a bit of good news. Even in this terrible economy, Dick Purtan and his hearty crew of very hard-working volunteers were able to receive cash, checks and pledges totaling an impressive $2,310,070! The live 16-hour broadcast from the Oakland Mall on Friday was a huge success, with impressive crowds throughout the entire day despite dreadful weather conditions. Kudos to all. Both Mike and I were pleased to see former promotion whiz Kassie Kretzschmar at the event and wonder if she might be reinstated at Oldies 104.3 WOMC-FM. Unlike the person who let her go, she was and is very popular at Purtan’s station.
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In other personnel news, the big buzz is the assignment of rock WRIF-FM (101.1) mainstay Doug Podell as new program director of sister station classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7). Those of us with vivid memories of Detroit radio may recall when that station was WHFI in a rustic A-frame on Rankin Road in Troy. Today, it’s a real powerhouse. This move was not unexpected, since many radio jobs are being doubled-up to save money in this scary economy.
Kevin Carter of trade publication “Radio & Records” said it best: “Now please enjoy this corporately acceptable Doug Podell quote that contains the names of several key Greater Media (station owner) playaz: ‘It’s an honor to now be associated with and represent not one, but two of the greatest rock stations in the country, WRIF and WCSX. I’d like to thank everyone at Greater Media, especially (CEO) Peter Smyth, (regional GM) Tom Bender and (VP Programming) Buzz Knight, for the opportunity and their confidence in me.’ ”
I just hope he doesn’t collapse from exhaustion.
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Do you think that former WWJ general manager Rich Homberg felt as though he was on a mainline railroad track and the light was getting brighter? Had he stayed at the all-news station would he have been another statistic? Perhaps. It was probably a factor in his jumping over to Public TV Channel 56. Good move. His replacement at the main building is Pete Kowalski, so expect some Kowalski Kawality from “The J.” New managerial duties for CBS Detroit go to the well-respected and liked Deb Kenyon.