February 2009 Archives

• Holy Family School was granted a construction permit for a new non-commercial educational FM station to be licensed to Tawas City on 88.9. The station would operate with 3,400 watts @ 302 feet from a tower near the center of Iosco county.

• No notable activity for January 26-28.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 2, 2009



Dowagiac Daily News:

On Jan. 29 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a construction permit (CP) that will allow WGTO AM (910Khz Cassopolis-Dowagiac) to increase its transmitter power from 1,000 watts to 6,000 watts. WGTO originally went on the air as WLLJ in 1988 and has always operated with 1,000 watts daytime. The relocation of WFDF radio, which also operates on 910 from Flint to Detroit, along with improved techniques for measuring actual coverage, allowed WGTO chief engineer and owner Larry Langford to show that a power increase to 6,000 watts could be accomplished within the current regulations of the FCC. The engineering and application process was done over a period of years.

Langford recalls; "A major part of the process is driving to remote areas and taking very technical readings using very precise equipment to verify the current coverage of the station to be able to better predict the new coverage with higher power. This requires going to some very remote locations in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. In the process you meet very interesting people who wonder who this is walking around with headphones and meters"... WGTO to become most powerful AM station in southwestern Mich. (Mon, 2/2)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 3, 2009



Detroit News:

It's not that WJR-AM (760) leans so far to the right it almost topples over, even though you wonder sometimes how the Golden Tower stays vertical. The reason the station will broadcast Republican L. Brooks Patterson live tonight and air Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm on tape two hours later is that the Oakland County Executive asked first -- so far in advance, in fact, that WJR's operations manager says he laughed. Steve Stewart, who handles programming for the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, also says he can't believe people are still testy about the scheduling conflict. Many are, however, and one of them is married to the governor. From Stewart's standpoint, "This should be a nonissue in the big picture," the big picture being that thing with all the budget cuts and layoffs in it. From First Gentleman Dan Mulhern's standpoint, however, it's a sign of what WJR (760) has become. Interviewed on Michael Shiels' morning show on WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing, Mulhern said WJR "used to be a pretty balanced station that really gave people a sense of what is going on. But now, with their national and local programming, there is such a Republican tilt to everything"... WJR: No vast right-wing conspiracy (Tue, 2/3)

On behalf of the guy who gets first crack at the doughnuts in the WJR-AM (760) break room, Frank Beckmann took offense on the air this morning to Dan Mulhern's comments in my latest Detroit News column. He took enough offense, in fact, to invoke the word "coward." Mulhern was not pleased with WJR's decision to tape-delay tonight's State of the State address by his wife, Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm. While she's speaking at 7 p.m. at the state Capitol, WJR will be airing the State of the County speech by Republican Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. Interviewed on a Lansing radio station, Mulhern suggested that Patterson won the scheduling battle because of WJR's undeniable tilt to the right. (WJR, as detailed in my column, says Granholm was bumped to 9 p.m. simply because Patterson called first.) Mulhern also invoked the name of the late radio legend J.P. McCarthy, who worked the morning shift at WJR for decades. Paul W. Smith holds that job now. Beckmann follows from 9-11:30 a.m., and he felt that Mulhern took an unfair and poorly placed shot at Smith... WJR's Beckmann defends station from Granholm's husband (Tue, 2/3)




WDVD's Blaine Fowler Makes 'Snow Angels': CITADEL Hot AC WDVD/DETROIT's BLAINE FOWLER of the BLAINE & LISA MORNING SHOW has formed a band called BFE (THE BLAINE FOWLER EXPERIENCE). Having been inspired by the snowiest winter ever in DETROIT, BLAINE teamed up with 96.3 Creative Services Director FIG and Interns BIG BAD BILL and JACLYN to produce their first song and a video called "SNOW ANGEL." To check it out, just click here. (Tue, 2/3)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 4, 2009



Detroit Free Press:

Static. Channels that are no longer there. "What happened to my TV?" some Comcast subscribers in Detroit might be wondering. This has nothing to do with that national transition to digital television that is scheduled to happen Feb. 17 when broadcasters are to switch to all-digital signals -- unless Congress votes today to give them more time to prepare. Instead, Patrick Paterno, Comcast's Michigan spokesman, said Comcast's moves are part of an ongoing process to convert its network in Detroit from an old analog system to a digital signal so that it can add more high-definition programming... Some in Detroit lose Comcast channels (Wed, 2/4)

From the blogosphere:

Specs Howard's Bob Burnham has written about some of the things going on in Detroit radio on his Sounds & Colors blog:

Art Vuolo is best known in the Detroit area as "radio's best friend" and his now defunct columns in the Oakland Press. His commentary can still be read on the web at www.michiguide.com and he has a business that offers airchecks and programs he has produced over the years about and for radio. Just go to www.vuolovideo.com. Video featuring just about any air talent you can remember can be found in Art's offerings ... Ted "The Bear" Richards (veteran CKLW-AM jock of the 1970s-80s), just celebrated a year of being back on the air in Detroit. Catch him afternoons on WOMC 104.3. The playlist of this station is microscopic compared to what "The Big 8" aired back in their heyday, but Ted is better than ever. In the midst of tough times, Ted's show is always bright and upbeat. I don't know how to describe the jock style that is typical of most of the talent on WOMC to people who haven't lived through it. They feature strong personalities that are allowed to do more than just read liners. The program elements are no-mess-around-TIGHT much like they were in the days when hit radio formats could be found on the AM band ... The painfully-long awaited return of Jeff Deminiski and Bill Doyle made its WCSX debut on New Years the very second their old contract allowed them do. Mornings with "D & D" are now a fixture on WCSX having now completed a full month of being "back." Ted Richards' WOMC show basically sounds exactly the same as his CKLW days. The same for D & D comparing their "old" show to the "new" one. Their old station went through a variety of "flavors" before finally becoming a sports station, but D & D never changed, and the current show, although airing mornings and now having more of a classic rock edge (what ever that is!), still sounds like a bunch of people chatting at the corner pub, and not much different from the "old" show... Vuolo, Ted the Bear and D & D


Broadcasting & Cable:

After heated debate by legislators Wednesday and a year and a half of broadcasters, cable operators and the government drilling the Feb. 17 'hard' date into the hearts and minds of viewers, the House voted Wednesday to change the cut-off date for analog TV to June 12. The vote was 264 to 158, with more Republicans voting for the delay (23) than there were Democrats (10) going against the Obama administration and party leadership to vote against it. The vote was a victory for the new Obama administration, which pushed for the date change and got little push back from a broadcasting industry not looking to be the skunk at the new president's garden party, as one Republican put it. The vote to approve the bill came after a motion offered by Republicans was defeated that would have required the FCC to force any stations on spectrum to be reclaimed for emergency communications to pull the plug on analog on Feb. 17 as previously scheduled so that spectrum could be immediately turned over for emergency communications. That would also apply to any nearby channels whose continued analog broadcasts could intefere with that first responder spectrum ... It will now be up to broadcasters to decide when to make the switch between now and June 12, since the bill allows them to move early so long as they clear it with the FCC. The FCC said Tuesday that over a thousand stations would still be able to turn off their analog signals before June 12 if they choose to. Some stations have already indicated they are sticking with the Feb. 17 date. The FCC said it had heard from 276 stations to that effect, in addition to 143 stations that had already pulled the plug, and another 60 who said they planned to do so before Feb. 17. The FCC had pointed out that some of those 276 may change their minds once the date changes...Congress Changes DTV 'Hard' Date to June 12 (Wed, 2/4)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 5, 2009



Job opportunities with Metro Networks/Detroit

Metro Networks in Detroit is seeking candidates for several potential sports anchor openings. The positions require writing and anchoring sports reports for large Detroit radio affiliates in high profile shifts plus occasional live reporting from sports venues.

Successful candidates will have a minimum of two years professional broadcast experience with an unparalleled passion for sports. Job requires excellent creative writing skills as well as strong vocal delivery. You must be proficient at digital editing.

Please submit an audio sample of your recent work and a resume ASAP to:
Howard Bouton
Westwood One (Metro/Shadow)
3000 Town Center - Suite 2160
Southfield, MI 48075

Or Email: Detroit_Job_Opening@westwoodone.com


Top audio & writing submissions will be reviewed for approval by affiliate.

Metro Networks and Shadow Broadcasting are Westwood One Companies and are equal opportunity employers.



Detroit Free Press:

By next season, Detroit sports fans won't have to think twice when looking for local professional teams' games on the radio. The Pistons announced today that they will move from 1130 AM (WDFN) to 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT) starting with the 2009-2010 season. The Ticket is already the home of the Red Wings, Tigers and Lions. The move comes after WDFN laid-off most of its local on-air talent last month, switching to a line-up of national shows like Dan Patrick and The Drive with Chris Myers and Sean Farnham. George Blaha and Mark Champion will remain the play-by-play voices under the new deal, which is for multiple years ... Pistons games that conflict with Tigers or Wings broadcasts will be moved to partner station WWJ (950 AM)... Pistons radio broadcasts to move to 97.1 next season (Thu, 2/5)



Detroit News:

The Pistons will have a new radio home beginning next season. The Pistons on Thursday signed a multi-year deal with radio station 97.1 FM The Ticket, and its AM partners WXYT 1270 and WWJ 950. The Ticket will now be the flagship for all four major professional teams in Detroit -- the Tigers, Red Wings, Lions and Pistons. Pistons games that conflict with the Tigers or Wings will be on WWJ... Pistons moving to different radio home (Thu, 2/5)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 6, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

Congress has authorized a delay in the shutdown of analog TV broadcasts, but that doesn't mean local TV stations have to wait. The drop-dead date for the much-publicized switch from analog to digital broadcasting has been moved from Feb. 17 to June 12. However, stations are allowed to turn off their analog signals before June if they notify the Federal Communications Commission. Stations planning to execute the full digital switch by Feb. 17 have until Monday to file notice. Fox affiliate WXMI (Channel 17) intends to proceed as planned with the switch this month. Patty Kolb, the station's general manager, said Thursday the station "most likely" would file notice and turn off its analog signal Feb. 17. Kolb said general managers of area stations planned this morning to discuss how the local market should respond to the directives of Congress and the FCC... Delay digital conversion? Grand Rapids TV stations consider choices (Fri, 2/6)

Public service announcements airing Friday morning on WXMI-TV (Channel 17) said the Fox affiliate was going ahead with a change to digital broadcast on Feb. 17, despite Congress's approval Wednesday of a bill to delay the much-publicized switch from analog to digital until June 12. But before noon, the announcements had been pulled. "There's been a lot of confusion," said General Manager Patty Kolb, who added the station is now leaning toward the June 12 date because of the number of people in the market who do not have the necessary converter boxes to receive digital broadcasts. "We have a lot of very popular shows, and we don't want any viewers to miss their favorite show," Kolb said. Kolb and spokespersons from several area stations said a final decision on whether to proceed with the Feb. 17 switch or wait won't be made until Monday, a deadline set by the Federal Communications Commission... WXMI switches directions, now considers not making Feb. 17 digital switch (Fri, 2/6)



St. Joseph Herald Palladium:

Analog broadcasting will die as scheduled for at least three stations that broadcast in Southwest Michigan, despite Congress approving a four-month reprieve Wednesday. WSJV, Channel 28 of Elkhart and WNDU, Channel 16, and WSBT, Channel 22, both of South Bend, reported Wednesday they will use only digital signals starting at 12 a.m. Feb. 17. Information on how other area stations will respond was not available Wednesday. The House voted 264-158 Wednesday to extend the digital conversion deadline to June 12 deadline, but it gave local stations the option to go ahead with the Feb. 17 conversion if they felt their markets were ready. The Senate already approved the bill, which President Barack Obama promised to sign. House and Senate leaders wanted the delay because they said the transition has not been as smooth as desired or expected for viewers. For viewers, analog's demise will mean no broadcast television unless they have digital-ready television sets or equipment for converting digital signals into analog ones. Viewers using cable and satellite services are not affected. U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, voted against the bill to extend the deadline. He said the transition appears to be going well in his Southwest Michigan district... Area stations reject digital delay (Thu, 2/5)




With the digital TV transition likely delayed until June 12, broadcasters still have a chance to transition early, if they choose. WZZM channel 13 and WXMI channel 17 report they will continue to broadcast in both analog and digital until the June 12th deadline. WOOD-TV is still waiting for the president to sign the bill and for lawyers to go over it before making a decision. "The law, while it pushed the date back to June 12th, it also includes a provision that stations may go early," Mike Leamers, WOOD-TV engineer, said this week. "We're still trying to figure out what the law says, whether there'll be FCC rules that we'll have to give notice to the public before we go, so there are a few things still up in the air," Leamers said. WWMT channel 3 in Kalamazoo has yet to announce any decision, and WGVU reports it will probably wait until the others decide before they make that decision... Some Local TV Stations Plan A "Wait-and-See" on DTV Switch (Fri, 2/6)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 6, 2009



Flint Journal:

Doug Fisher is a radio business veteran. The longtime radio personality and talk show host knows precisely how the game is played. So when Fisher, host of "The Male Room" sports talk show on WTRX-AM (1330) and the station's program director, was called into the office after last Thursday's show, he knew what was coming. The ax. Fisher was informed that his show had been canceled and his job as program director was no more... Doug Fisher axed at WTRX-Am (1330), Era ends for 'Male Room,' says Flint Journal's Rickey Hampton (Fri, 2/6)



Lansing State Journal:

A decision by Congress to postpone the transition to digital television doesn't necessarily give viewers more time to prepare for the end of analog broadcasts. On Wednesday, when Congress postponed the mandatory transition until June, it gave stations the option to stick to the originally scheduled date of Feb. 17. WILX-TV Channel 10 still plans to make the switch that day, said Michael King, the station's vice president and general manager. "The time is now," he said. "We've run thousands of commercial messages and crawls and countdowns. We've actually done shutoffs on Tuesdays for the past 10 weeks, and we believe our audience is well prepared for the transition, so we're going to go." King said the number of those who might not be prepared for the switch is negligible. Gene Shanahan, operations manager for WLNS-TV Channel 6, said Thursday the station likely will wait until June to turn off its analog signal... WILX-TV to go digital - despite added time (Fri, 2/6)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 6, 2009



Ann Arbor News:

Martin Bandyke, the morning host at WQKL (107.1), said Friday afternoon that he is among several people laid off at the Ann Arbor radio station. Bandyke said his bosses told him the staffing cuts were made for economic reasons. "It's difficult time for the economy and my industry specifically," Bandyke told The News. "I'm not sure what I am going to do next. I would like to keep doing radio in Southeast Michigan, Ann Arbor or Detroit. ... "I leave with wonderful admiration for the people I work with. It was really a lot of fun." Bandyke said he had no information about who would replace him in the morning, drive-time slot. His final "Fine Tuning" show will air Sunday. According to Bandyke, news director Brian Larsen was also discharged... DJ Martin Bandyke loses job at Ann Arbor's 107.1 radio (Fri, 2/6)



Detroit Free Press:

The sixth-annual Winter Survival Radiothon for the Heat and Warmth Fund, or THAW, is to begin today at 5 a.m. and end 31 hours later at noon on Saturday. The nonprofit group that helps struggling Michigan families pay their utility bills is trying to raise $750,000, $250,000 more than last year's goal, according to Chief Executive Officer John X. Miller... Radiothon to help with utility bills (Fri, 2/6)

Thousands of metro Detroiters each year feel the bitter freeze when they can't pay their bills, leading to their utilities being shut off. Hoping to provide assistance to those folks, WWJ-AM (950) and The Heat And Warmth Fund (THAW) are hosting their sixth annual Winter Survival Radiothon. The 31-hour on-air extravaganza will be broadcast live from the MotorCity Casino Hotel beginning at 5 a.m. today and ending at noon Saturday. DTE Energy will match all contributions in energy assistance for families facing utility shut-off. In 2008, more than 2,450 WWJ listeners donated more than $543,000 to the radiothon; when matched by DTE Energy credits, that totaled more than $1 million in relief aid... THAW fund-raiser heating up (Fri, 2/6)



Detroit News:

In Los Angeles, a media circus surrounds pop singer Britney Spears everytime she buys a latte or steps foot in a courthouse. I never thought I'd see that kind of frenzy in Detroit but I was wrong. When former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick got out of jail earlier today, all three major news stations swarmed around the 38-year-old like he was a rock star. Yes, I know that it's February sweeps and yes, I know that in many ways, Kilpatrick brought this on himself. But did the stations have to follow the man while he ate ribs on the westside?... Local news stations begin Kwame watch in time for sweeps (Fri, 2/6)


Television: Newsmakers Feb. 7, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

"Michigan Out-of-Doors" television fans can expect programming changes this year, according to executive producer Jimmy Gretzinger. The 50-year-old program, started by outdoor television pioneer Mort Neff, is splitting from Michigan United Conservation Clubs and going independent. "It's exciting, but also scary," said Gretzinger, who has hosted the popular PBS network show for the past 10 years. Gretzinger is purchasing the show from MUCC for an undisclosed amount. The change is expected to shave an average of $40,000 a year off MUCC's operating budget. It also frees Gretzinger to expand its format. "We're going to make some stylistic changes," said Gretzinger, who plans to add a women's outdoors segment as well as one for children. The show will continue to present conservation issues and the work being done by MUCC. It will continue to air at its regular times on PBS stations around Michigan... New look for 'Michigan Out-of-Doors' TV show (Sat, 2/7)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 9, 2009



Detroit News:

Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM (101.9) today will announce changes in programming that will bring back veteran music host Ann Delisi and infuse the station with more Detroit music and attitude. The changes will go into effect the week of Feb. 23. At a time when commercial stations like Clear Channel's WDFN-AM (1130) "The Fan" are replacing local air personalities with syndicated programming that lacks the flavor of the city, WDET general manager J. Mikel Ellcessor says his station is choosing a different path. "When more of Detroit's radio is coming out of town, WDET is drilling deeper into the city," Ellcessor said. "At a time when so much of the world is talking about Detroit, and Detroit is absent from that conversation, the people in the city who are being talked about are like props in a play. It's vital to get their voices back up into that national dialogue." Delisi, who was a popular WDET host from 1983-1995, will once again bring Detroiters a diverse playlist, with local sounds high up in the mix. "There will be music from somebody living and working and making music in Detroit every single hour that she is on the air," Ellcessor said. "That's a promise." For the past five years, WDET and its listeners have been roiled by changes in programming... Public radio station plans to put the 'D' back in WDET (Mon, 2/9)

All 162 of the Tigers' regular-season games will be televised this season -- 156 by Fox Sports Detroit and six by Fox on the Saturday Game of the Week -- the team announced Monday. Some games will be on Fox Sports Detroit Plus due to conflicts with Red Wings or Pistons. The Tigers will announce at a later date which games will be available in high definition. In addition, four spring training games will be shown by Fox Sports Detroit... Every Tigers game on TV (Mon, 2/9)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 9, 2009



Flint Journal:

Les Root, the voice of Flint radio news for 53 years, is another casualty of the economic downturn. Root said he and about a dozen others in Flint radio (he couldn't confirm the number) were laid off Friday by Cumulus Media, one of America's largest radio chains. Among them: Jeff Wade, program director of WRSR (103.9 FM) and Rusty Thomas, program director of WWCK (1570 AM), Root said. "I have mixed emotions about it," said Root. "I've been in the broadcast business for 53 years in Flint and doing the news at one location using my same desk for 37 years. "It's bittersweet," he added. "I was not ready to retire just yet. But I had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders to run a one-man news shop and to have that responsibility lifted from my shoulders is a relief"... After 53 years on-air, local radio newsman Les Root loses job with Cumulus (Mon, 2/9)



Taylor on Radio-Info:

The Cumulus forced-exits from "Black Friday" for Flint, Ann Arbor: In Flint, MI - news director and Michigan Hall of Fame member Les Root is out. Same for "Male Room" host Doug Fisher at WTRX. Also - "Fox 103.9" WRSR PD Jeff Wade, WWCK "Super Talk 1570" PD Rusty Thomas, WRSR/WWCK GSM Bill Bailey, along with office manager Laurie Richter and five souls in the sales department. In Ann Arbor, MI - WQKL-FM (107.1) morning show host Martin Bandyke and news director Brian Larsen are among the victims. (Mon, 2/9)




News Cuts Hit Cumulus In Flint: Among the cuts at CUMULUS FRIDAY was longtime CUMULUS FLINT News Director LES ROOT. ROOT, a multiple winner of ASSOCIATED PRESS awards, started his 50 year radio career in high school and became News Director at WTRX-A in 1984. (Mon, 2/9)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 9, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

Local TV viewers unprepared for the upcoming switch to a digital signal will get a reprieve. Most area stations -- including Fox affiliate WXMI-TV (Channel 17), ABC affiliate WZZM-TV (Channel 13), PBS affiliate WGVU-TV (Channel 35) and WOOD-TV (Channel 8) -- confirmed late Monday they will delay turning off their analog signals until June 12. Congress voted recently to approve the delay, but allowed stations to decide individually when they would make the conversion. Stations wanting to make a complete switch as originally planned on Feb. 17 were required to notify the Federal Communications Commission by midnight Monday. Among the reasons for the delay are viewer confusion about the switch and a funding shortage for coupons toward the purchase of signal converter boxes for older TV sets... West Michigan TV stations decide to make digital switch on June 12 (Mon, 2/9)



Broadcasting & Cable:

Michigan's unemployment rate climbed to 10.6% in December, tops in the country. But while the automotive facilities on the east side of the state continue to sputter, general managers in the western Michigan DMA of Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek say the market is doing a commendable job of reinventing itself. The region pushed to diversify its economic base a few decades ago, and while times are certainly tough--home foreclosures dot the No. 39 DMA--the health-care and biotech industries are vibrant these days, evident in a giant Michigan State University medical school facility that opens in the fall. "It's a challenging marketplace, but it's better to be in this part of the state than the eastern part," says WWMT VP/General Manager Jim Lutton. LIN's NBC affiliate WOOD dominated the November book, taking total day household ratings along with morning, evening and late news. Freedom's CBS outlet WWMT easily won primetime, with eight of the top 13 prime shows in November. Evenings are a lively race: WOOD was tops, but Gannett's ABC affiliate WZZM and WWMT both put up healthy numbers... Rapid Development (Mon, 2/9)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 10, 2009



Windsor Star:

After 25 years on the air, University of Windsor's community radio station CJAM-FM (91.5) could lose its licence in an international turf war between the U.S. and Canada. Adam Fox, CJAM manager, said there is a real concern the station's FM frequency will be taken over by a commercial radio station in Michigan. "The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has already granted a licence to a station in China Township," said Fox. It is located in St. Clair County, north of Port Huron, but its signal power would reach the Detroit-Windsor market and the frequency would no longer be available to CJAM. The move is the latest slap in the face for CJAM, which languishes in unprotected status with its low-power signal. Last fall, CBC applied for a licence at 91.5 to move its Radio One service off the AM dial. That application has since been withdrawn in favour of a different frequency. The FCC earlier forced its Canadian counterpart, the CRTC, to impose restrictions on CJAM because it claimed the signal was interfering with WUOM-FM (91.7), the University of Michigan student radio service in Ann Arbor. In response, CJAM has applied to move its signal up the FM dial to 99.1, and seek protected status under CRTC-FCC regulations. That would protect other stations from effectively jumping CJAM's claim... CJAM-FM risks losing licence (Tue, 2/10)



WDET to air State of The City

Detroit Public Radio will present a live broadcast of Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr.'s "State of the City" address on Tuesday, February 10, 2009. The Mayor will present the address at the Detroit Opera House. WDET's live coverage of the event will begin at 6:50pm and conclude at 8:00pm and include the Mayor's remarks and analysis.



Art Van pitches in to help keep Michigan warm

February has been declared "Keep Michigan Warm Month" and Art Van Furniture is encouraging others to support the initiative. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, Art Van will be donating 50 electric fireplaces to those in need of utility support throughout the state. During this financially trying time for many across Michigan, The Heat And Warmth Fund (THAW) is experiencing an increased volume of requests for help. Individuals are invited to stop by any Art Van location through February 16 to pick up a THAW donation envelope.

On Thursday, February 12th Art Van is hosting a ticket drop for the WYCD FM Ten Men Jam. The Ten Men Jam is coming to the Ford Community and Performing Art Center on February 18 and features a country star line-up of Clint Black, Josh Gracin, Sarah Buston, Steve Azar, Jammie O'Neal, Emerson Drive, Heidi Newfield, Stephen Cochran, Jack Owen and John Rich. At the concert, ten lucky winners will win $1,000 each. The only way to attend the concert is to win a ticket from WYCD FM at a ticket drop event. Art Van's Taylor store will host a drop from 6-7 p.m. when a pair of tickets will be given away every ten minutes during the one hour event. Winners must be present to win.

On Friday, February 13th, Art Van Furniture and MAGIC 105.1 FM will be supporting the Capuchin Soup Kitchen's Shower Program. Donations of the following items are requested: men's, women's and children's new underwear, gently used shoes and socks, trial size toiletries and cash donations. Jim Harper and the Magic Morning Show will broadcast live from 6 to 10 a.m from Art Van's 14 Mile Rd. Warren store and provide a special coupon offer to guests who make a donation and serve refreshments during the four hour event.

Then on Thursday, February 19th from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Detroit's own award-winning gospel recording artist, Vickie Winans, will greet guests, sign autographs and sing a few songs at Art Van's Southfield store. Guests will enjoy refreshments and hors d'oeuvres while they browse through the new spring collections - including Vickie's favorites.

Visit artvan.com for a store locator and list of special events that help support THAW.



Detroit News:

Detroit Public Radio, WDET-FM (101.9), announced programming changes today that include infusing the lineup with more music, with the return of former WDET personality Ann Delisi. Delisi will broadcast "Ann Delisi's Essential Music" from noon to 4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday, starting Feb. 28 and March 1. There will also be some new shows added, and schedule changes for local and nationally syndicated programs as well. "There's going to be a very clear sharpening of our focus on how to serve Detroit right now, how to create opportunities for people to interact with their programming, have their voice push back up the local canal," WDET general manager J. Mikel Ellcessor told The Detroit News. "The whole world is talking about Detroit, it's time for people to hear from Detroit so we can be part of the narrative." National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" will be scaled back, airing from 5 to 8 a.m., with the addition of a live news and analysis program, "The Takeaway" from 8 to 10 a.m. The show is co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC Radio in collaboration with the BBC World Service, the New York Times and WGBH Boston. Detroit listeners will be able to take part in the live conversation on the air and online at www.the takeaway.org. "Detroit Today," the locally produced news show hosted by Craig Fahle, will move from its 10 a.m. to noon time slot to 1 to 3 p.m... WDET-FM adds more music and new shows (Tue, 2/10)


WMTE-FM Manistee adjusts

Lake Michigan Broadcasting WMTE-FM 101.5 FM Manistee last month changed its format from oldies to classic hits as Kool 101.5. The station has been on the air since June 1994 and this is the first format change in its history.


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

On The RadioOK, I can wait no longer. I needed to step up to the keyboard and peck out my thoughts of what is happening to my beloved industry of AM and FM radio broadcasting, and my God I barely know where to begin.

There is an excellent source of information for news on a national scope, called Radio Daily News (RDN) edited by longtime radio entrepreneur Larry Shannon. His service is invaluable, but so depressing, as he collects and posts stories from columnists throughout the country about the crisis that radio, and newspapers, are going through.

As you may know, Mike Austerman, webmaster of www.michiguide.com, and myself, wrote a weekly radio column in suburban Detroit's Oakland Press for nearly seven years. I kept hearing about how most people were reading the column on-line rather than buying the paper. I urged them to pop for the fifty cents, or the paper, and certainly our column, would not survive. You know what happened, the column was last seen a year ago. The future of the paper is also unclear. Since the Internet seems to be where most people are getting their news, we also have taken up residence in cyberspace, even though sadly it's an address that comes without a paycheck.


The recent rounds of "budget cuts" have seen the radio business lose an incredible number of exceedingly talented people. It sounds like a late-night TV offer...but wait there's more. Clear Channel promised more cuts on February 20 and other companies are sure to follow. One insider at CC-Detroit said that after 7 p.m. there are no humans in any of the studios in the massive Farmington Hills building. Everything on the air on WKQI (Channel 955), WNIC, WDTW (The Fox) and the two AM's, WDFN (1130) and WDTW (1310), is coming from a satellite feed or out of a computer via a process known as "voice tracking." That is the case until the morning talent comes in at 5 a.m. God forbid if some type of emergency occurs during those ten hours. Voice tracking saves money, but doesn't save face.

Jon Quick, director of operations for WIBC Indianapolis, heard first-hand the dangers of voice tracking. He was listening to Sirius XM satellite radio -- just to monitor the competition -- and heard the host congratulate the Arizona Cardinals on their Super Bowl victory. At first Quick thought the guy was dumb, but then realized it was likely a voice track, "the talk host probably did two versions and somebody loaded the wrong one into the system."

Recently a local radio buddy told me how unusual it sounded to actually hear LOCAL news and information on a music station on AM outside Cleveland!


Interestingly, traditional radio bitched and moaned when satellite radio came on the scene in the fall of 2001. With many music stations, after the morning show, much of its programming is voice-tracked or network supplied by a syndicator. Most talk radio still has to be done LIVE, yet 80% or more, of the programming on nearly every talk station in America comes off a satellite! The reason for all of this is to save money. Picking up programs "off the bird" or voice tracking the shows is simply cheaper. It often cheapens the product that comes out of the speaker, but that is seemingly not the concern of broadcasters who were granted a license to service their community in the public interest. OK.

The mantra of the radio business seems to be "nobody cares." Sad, but true, as the bean counters continue to hack and cut until there's nothing left. On January 20th, while all of the country (and the world) was caught up in the Obama Inauguration, Clear Channel fired 1,850 people, hoping no one would notice as the news was 99% presidential related. Radio consultant John Gorman in Cleveland, pointed out that, on that same day, the Bose Corporation, makers of those quality Wave Radios, "laid-off" nearly 1,000 employees. Why? People aren't buying radios. Why? As more and more talent is sent packing, there is less and less to listen to.


With the switch to digital TV looming, people are buying new big screen HDTV's in droves, most costing well over $1,000. Who do you know that's bought a real quality radio of late? Can you even buy a quality radio? The last one I bought is a WiFi Internet Radio. It was $200, and well worth it. Learn more on-line at www.ccrane.com. On it I can listen to most any Detroit area station crystal clear with zero interference. Stations like WJR (AM 760) and WWJ (AM 950) or even the flea-power WPON (AM 1460) are all mint-quality on "the net." Some AM oldies stations, like Cincinnati's innovative WDJO 1160 are in breath-taking stereo at www.oldies1160.com. The remote lets you pre-set 99 stations. You can tune into the entire USA, and the world for that matter, out of a little black box....it could be considered the "new" short wave radio!


Just this week it was announced that Mitch Dolan and Jim Davison, both super big-wigs at Citadel (what was once known as ABC Radio), are leaving the company. KGO in San Francisco is probably the highest rated news-talk station in America, but owned by Citadel, another company making deep cuts to the bottom line. GM Mickey Luckoff had to let numerous quality people go, including his assistant of 41 years. Yikes!

John Gallagher was GM at WLS in Chicago when his hand was forced in a similar manner. He went to WLS after many years as VP of Sales here in Detroit at sister station WJR. After gutting the WLS news department and having to fire many friends in The Windy City, Gallagher resigned his position and returned to Detroit to head up Greater Media's trio of FM's WRIF, WMGC and WCSX in Royal Oak township. Not everyone is that fortunate. Kudos to you John for standing up for what you believe.


Off the record, I was telling friends that, prior to the presidential election, heavy-duty talk hosts like Limbaugh and Hannity, both of whom are carried on WJR 760 AM, were probably hoping that Barack Obama would be elected so they would have a minimum of four years of "material." However, Rush never imagined that our new Commander-In-Chief would make comments about himself that would give him publicity that you couldn't buy for any amount of money.

Since Rush and Sean are the top two conservative talkers in the U.S., they are basking in the spotlight. Some of the things being said about Obama on the air, however, are so vile that I could hardly believe my ears. Seemingly there was a time (not too long ago) when such hateful things said about the leader of the free world would be grounds for immediate dismissal. Regardless of your political lean, the lack of respect for the office is amazing.


Has anyone realized that after all of the analog TV signals disappear that, in a power black-out, no TV will be available. Even if you connect a battery powered television to the cable...the cable (or even satellite TV) box won't work without electricity. Cell phones can't be recharged, all wireless phones won't work and the Internet will be down without power. This can be a major boon for radio! Hopefully radio will realize the advantage they will have and will capitalize from this situation. This is why every home should have a minimum of at least one battery powered radio.

Also, what to do with that TV antenna you might still have up on your roof or in your attic? Before you take it down, consider connecting it to your stereo FM tuner or receiver for amazing results. While a TV antenna is not quite as good as an actual FM outdoor antenna, it's a lot better than the T-shaped dipole strip antenna that most people use. If you still have an outdoor antenna that has a rotor (that still works) you can achieve spectacular FM reception.


On the local radio scene WDET-FM (101.9) reminds us that new general manager J. Mikel Ellcessor has added new shows with a revised program line-up which can be accessed at www.wdet.org.

Personally I wonder about all the great Detroit talent that are now "on the street" due to more recent cut-backs. We hear that Alan Almond who hosted Pillow Talk on WNIC for years is talking to a syndicator about doing a national show. At one time WNIC had Almond and WMGC (Magic 105.1) had Johnny Williams who were, arguably, the two best "Love Songs DJ's" in the entire country. Now, both are off the air. Very sad. How about Dave Lockhart? He stayed with WNIC-FM (100.3) when Jim Harper. and crew, took off a few years ago to go to Magic. What did he get for his loyalty to WNIC and Clear Channel? Fired. Will Harper be smart enough to bring him over to his Magic Morning Show? Stay tuned.

The most popular show on the now gutted WDFN-AM (1130) was Stoney and WoJo in the afternoon. Would Tom Bigby, who just grabbed the Pistons for his Ticket...WXYT-FM (97.1 and 1270 AM), be interested in this hip and topical duo? Stoney is still doing the Channel 7 sports show on Sunday nights and WoJo is still at The Detroit News so there could be some nice cross-promotion with radio, TV and newspapers.

Still unsure of Deminski & Doyle now at WCSX-FM (94.7) doing comedy talk on a classic rocker. Personally I think they are sensational talents, but still feel most Detroiters like them best in the afternoon. In the later day-part it affords them opportunities for more events and remote broadcasts at local watering holes which were very popular when they were at the old WKRK 97.1 FM...but it's still early. What about Murray Gula's home improvement show? Shouldn't it be back on WJR or on the newest talker...Salem's WDTK-AM (1400)?

At WRIF, I really feel Mike Clark, Trudy, Mark, and Jamie are all doing an incredible job without Drew Lane. Like so many others, I felt that when Drew left the show would crumble. I could not be more wrong. Mike is a great solo act and if you left, it's time to check back with The Riff 101.1 FM. It is so good, I sometimes drift from my favorite...Bob & Tom to stay with WRIF. By the way have you checked out the Bob & Tom TV show? It's on at midnight on WGN America on most cable systems. If you can't stay up, DVR the one hour replay of their national radio show. Lots of laughs.


The attendance and content at three radio conventions I'll be at next month should be interesting. I'll be listening and reporting back to you soon. Sorry for my long absence, but there are never enough hours in the day.


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com. Contact him at artvuolo@aol.com.


Television: Newsmakers Feb. 10, 2009



Four Michigan TV stations apply to go digital-only on Feb. 17

MyNetwork TV affiliate WMYD Detroit, Ion affiliate WPXD Ann Arbor, NBC affiliate WILX Onondaga/Lansing, and CBS affiliate WBKB TV Alpena have all applied to end their analog broadcasts on the original DTV transition date of February 17th. Before ending their analog broadcasts on that date, the stations must still receive approval from the FCC.

If approved, those stations would join PBS affiliates WFUM TV Flint, WKAR TV East Lansing, MyNetwork TV affiliate WHTV Jackson, and independent WLLA TV Kalamazoo as Michigan's only all-digital full-power television stations.

The state's other full power TV stations have decided to either wait for the new June 12th date to do their conversion or apply to make the change for sometime between Feb. 17 and June 12th.


In nearby markets, Toledo PBS station WGTE TV has applied to make the change to digital on February 17th, joining fellow PBS affiliate WBGU TV which has already made the move. The South Bend/Elkhart market will be all-digital if approved by the FCC with FOX affiliate WSJV TV, NBC affiliate WNDU TV, and CBS affiliate WSBT TV joining early coverts PBS affiliate WNIT TV and independent WHME TV.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 11, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD-TV (Channel 8) is canceling its offer to air a controversial one-hour paid program on the "radical homosexual agenda," after moving its time slot three times. In a statement, station General Manager Diane Kniowski said it was pulling the offer to air "Speechless: Silencing Christians" after its sponsor, the American Family Association, failed to respond to its proposal to air it at 2 p.m. Saturday. The station previously moved its air time from Monday to Wednesday as gay rights advocates pelted the station with complaints... WOOD TV cancels offer to air controversial one-hour ad on 'radical homosexual agenda' (Tue, 2/10)

A controversial one-hour paid program on the "radical homosexual agenda" scheduled for WOOD-TV is delayed for the second time as partisans on both sides debate its merit. Opponents decry it as verging on hate speech, as they press WOOD-TV officials to cancel a special funded by the American Family Association. But backers are just as passionate in their belief it should air, adding heat to an issue that has long divided West Michigan. The program was originally slated to air Monday in the time slot before President Barack Obama's 8 p.m. news conference. WOOD-TV program director Craig Cole said Tuesday that station officials decided to move it to Wednesday, before it was moved again. "We didn't feel that it was the appropriate place, leading into the presidential event," Cole said. Cole said he had received about a hundred emails on the subject, about evenly split on the issue... WOOD-TV considers airing paid program decrying 'radical homosexual agenda' (Tue, 2/10)

Thirty-five people inquired about the vacant West Michigan Whitecaps play-by-play radio position for the 2009 Midwest League season. Although four of the resumes stood out, only one person was interviewed. That person was Steve Lloyd-Jones, 35, who today was named play-by-play radio announcer for the Whitecaps. Lloyd-Jones is no stranger to the Whitecaps' radio booth. He was the color commentator from 2002-04 and worked with Rick Berkey, who was the play-by-play voice in West Michigan's first 11 seasons. Berkey currently is the radio voice for Michigan State women's basketball. Lloyd-Jones will replace Dave Skoczen, who was West Michigan's radio voice the past four seasons. He resigned after the 2008 season. Lloyd-Jones will be joined in the booth by Dan Elve, who has been the color commentator since 2005... Lloyd-Jones added to Whitecaps' radio booth (Tue, 2/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 11, 2009



Romance is on the air at WMUZ on Friday

Robin Sullivan, 25 year veteran of the WMUZ-FM 103.5 afternoon drive show The Praise Company Revival will be featuring a special program of romantic dedications this Friday, February 13th from 4-7 p.m. Highlight songs from Amy Grant, Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell, Martina McBride, Louie Armstrong, Rosemary Clooney, Steven Curtis Chapman, The Shirelles, Chicago, The Temptations, Mary Wells, Elvis Presley, Newsong & Natalie Grant, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, Jim Brickman & Michael W. Smith, Jimmy Durante among others, Sullivan will show how music brings home the equation of Valentine=Love=God ... for God is Love.

Listeners are invited to E-mail your name, your spouses' name, how many years you have been married and which hour you would prefer to be mentioned to Robin@wmuz.com.



Detroit News:

Charles Pugh's friendly face has been a weekend fixture on local televison for the past seven years. But Pugh, who had been co-anchoring "Fox 2 News Weekend," was due for a change and a few well-deserved days off at WJBK-TV (Channel 2), the local Fox affiliate. As a result, fans can now find him reporting stories from the field during the week, says Claudia Russo, a Fox spokeswoman. Detroit News reader Susan Kessler says she sure is happy to hear that Pugh, a Detroit native who graduated from Murray-Wright High School in 1989, is still with the station... WJBK-TV moves Pugh to the field (Wed, 2/11)



Detroit Free Press:

Detroit public radio station WDET-FM (101.9) is adding 10 hours of locally produced music and three hours of live, interactive national news programming, according to general manager J. Mikel Ellcessor. He also says former personality Ann Delisi is returning to the public radio station Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. with "Ann Delisi's Essential Music"... WDET dials up more local music (Wed, 2/11)



Cumulus/Ann Arbor layoffs affect four

The latest rounds of layoffs across the country involving Cumulus saw four people get cut from the company's Ann Arbor cluster. In addition to former WQKL FM 107.1 morning host Martin Bandyke, news director Brian Larsen, producer and afternoon co-host Luke DeWulf if WTKA AM 1050, and Sue Walworth of the traffic department have all exited.



Tigers, FOX Sports Detroit announce 2009 TV schedule

FOX Sports Detroit is scheduled to air 156 regular-season Detroit Tigers games, the most ever in the network's 12 years of Tigers coverage, the majority to be available in high-definition on FOX Sports Detroit HD (the HD schedule to be announced at a later date). For the third consecutive season, some games will be shifted to auxiliary service FOX Sports Detroit Plus when Tigers games coincide with Pistons or Red Wings games airing on the primary channel.

Also scheduled are four spring training game telecasts on FOX Sports Detroit (March 16, 19, 22, 29).

FOX Sports Detroit telecasts will continue to feature the popular and Emmy-winning announcing tandem of play-by-play voice Mario Impemba (8th season) and analyst Rod Allen (7th season). FOX Sports Detroit continues its extensive and exclusive pre- and post-game coverage on Tigers Live, the long-running in-season magazine show Tigers Weekly, as well as a season preview special. Tigers games on FOX Sports Detroit are a hit with viewers as evidenced last season when the network was the most watched primetime television outlet in Metro Detroit from March 31-July 31. A 12-time Emmy winner for its Tigers coverage, FOX Sports Detroit has steadily increased the number of telecasts throughout its partnership with the team - starting with 85 games in 1998, growing to 100 games from 1999-2004, 110 in 2005, 112 during the team's American League championship season in 2006, 132 telecasts in 2007 and 150 games in 2008.

"FOX Sports Detroit is thrilled to offer this schedule to Tigers fans throughout Michigan. With every game televised, every market served, a large volume of HD games and the best production team in the business, Tigers fans everywhere will be in baseball heaven," said Greg Hammaren, Senior VP/General Manager, FOX Sports Detroit. "The Tigers are putting a great team on the field and FOX Sports Detroit will be there for fans that can't make it out to Comerica Park. We can't wait for that first pitch."

"FOX Sports Detroit continues to provide our fans with an entertaining telecast, giving tremendous insight to the ballclub during each and every game," said Tigers President, CEO and General Manager David Dombrowski. "As an organization, we strive to offer Tigers fans the best entertainment value both at Comerica Park, and through our partners. FOX Sports Detroit is simply the best in their coverage of Tigers baseball."

FOX Sports Detroit's coverage of the Tigers goes to 3.2 million cable and satellite households throughout Michigan and portions of Northwest Ohio and Northern Indiana.

FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week is scheduled to broadcast six Tigers' games regionally (May 2, June 20, July 4, July 25, Aug. 29 and Sept. 19), airing on WJBK-FOX 2 in Detroit and other FOX network affiliates throughout Tigers territory.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 12, 2009



Detroit News:

Terrestrial radio types keep predicting the imminent doom of satellite radio, but in the meantime we'll enjoy satellite's original programming and massive playlists (compared to FM), thank you. Sirius XM has made it easier to hear past and present programs in Bob Dylan 's "Theme Time Radio " series, with four hours of Dylan now being offered from 4-8 p.m. Sundays on the Spectrum channel (Sirius Channel 18 , XM Channel 45 ). The four-hour slot will begin each Sunday with Dylan's latest show, which premieres each week on Deep Tracks (Sirius Channel 16/XM Channel 40 ) at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. The Dylanfest would continue with two shows from the vault, then repeat the current week's show. Sirius XM is also launching "Paul McCartney's Fireman Radio," which will have a limited run from Valentine's Day (Saturday) until March 13 on the Bridge (Sirius Channel 33/XM Channel 27) ... Scratching your head over the addition of Ryan Seacrest's "On-Air with Ryan Seacrest" show to the 4-7 p.m. afternoon shift on Greater Media's WMGC-FM (105.1) ? Most stations carrying the "American Idol" announcer's celebrity-heavy chatfest skew quite young. But Greater Media general manager John Gallagher sees it differently. "Ryan is so well received in the female demographic, and he's got access to a lot of guests," Gallagher said. Seacrest's show is syndicated by Clear Channel -- so why aren't they picking it up here?... Sirius XM adds Dylan, Paul McCartney shows (Thu, 2/12)



Detroit Free Press:

D&D romantic campout: A match made in heaven, no doubt. Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday and concluding at 4 p.m. Sunday, WCSX-FM (94.7) hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle are having a romantic weekend away together ... for charity. For 48 hours, D&D will live and sleep on a tour bus to raise money for the Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. During their Campout for Kids, the talk team will make local appearances and do call-ins from various Detroit hot spots... Names and Faces (Thu, 2/12)


Television: Newsmakers Feb. 12, 2009



WBKB Alpena may not switch to digital on Feb. 17

The FCC has notified CBS affiliate WBKB TV Alpena that it will have to meet extra guidelines set by the Commission in order to cease its analog operations and broadcast digital-only on Tuesday, February 17th. Because WBKB is the only 'Big 4' affiliate in the Alpena designated market area, the FCC wants to preserve analog service for TV viewers that might not otherwise have access to local news and public affairs available over the air in the area until the new June 12th conversion date which was signed into law by President Obama late yesterday. The same situation applies in South Bend, IN, which saw all of its full power network affiliates apply go all-digital on Feb. 17.

The other three Michigan stations that have applied to go all-digital on Feb 17, Detroit's WMYD TV, Ann Arbor's WPXD TV, and Lansing's WILX TV, will apparently be allowed to pull the plug on their analog transmitters on Tuesday.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 13, 2009



Detroit News:

Several local stations have updated the looks of their Web sites. The list includes WJBK-TV (Channel 2), WDIV-TV (Channel 4) and WTVS-TV, Detroit Public Television (Channel 56). While change is a good thing, the new formats for all three stations can be hard to navigate at times. For instance, the biggest challenge on WJBK and WDIV's sites is finding the TV listings. On WJBK's site, myfoxdetroit.com , for example, the listings are under a tab called "Entertainment" and listed as "station sched." Conventional wisdom would have you look under "About us," but what can you do? Thankfully, details on the Fox affiliate's anchors and reporters can be found under "About us." A similar, but slightly less confusing, conundrum arises on clickondetroit.com , WDIV's site... Many stations have new-look Web sites (Fri, 2/13)



Ann Arbor News:

WEMU, Eastern Michigan University's public radio station, will host a benefit Saturday called "For the Love of WEMU," from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Northside Grill, 1015 Broadway in Ann Arbor. WEMU air personalities will wait tables, and all tips will benefit the station... WEMU talent waits on Northside tables (Fri, 2/13)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 14, 2009



Detroit Free Press:

Darren McCarty was in action for the Red Wings as a radio analyst Thursday and Friday. With Ken Kal out with laryngitis, McCarty teamed with Paul Woods, who handled play-by-play duties, on WXYT-FM (97.1). Kal made the trip to Columbus hoping to work Friday's game, but had to sit out again. He's questionable for Sunday's home game against Colorado. McCarty, on injured reserve after having sports hernia surgery, said he began to think of a career in broadcasting while playing junior hockey. "I think that's something I've always been interested in," he said. "As my hockey career comes to the end, I think about things you might want to do after. That's something I've definitely thought about, and to get the opportunity, especially with Paul Woods, it was a lot of fun... More plus than minus for McCarty in radio role (Sat, 2/14)



Ann Arbor News:

Loyal listeners have rallied around Martin Bandyke since he was laid off from radio station WQKL (107.1) last week in a cost-cutting move. Fans have protested the popular disc jockey's dismissal by starting a Facebook group calling for his return, contacting the station to lodge complaints and sending letters to the station's corporate headquarters demanding a change of heart. Bank of Ann Arbor President Tim Marshall even said he talked directly to the chief executive of Cumulus Media Inc. on Friday to express the community's dismay. Cumulus is the Atlanta-based parent company of WQKL. Nicola Rooney, owner of Nicola's Books, said Bandyke's dismissal cemented her plans to pull advertising from the station... Fans rally around dismissed WQKL host Martin Bandyke (Sat, 2/14)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 16, 2009



Michigan Radio trumpets audience growth

Michigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan that includes WUOM FM 91.7 Ann Arbor, WVGR FM 104.1 Grand Rapids and WFUM FM 91.1 Flint, reports it has experienced significant audience growth, according to fall 2008 audience ratings. Over the past year, Michigan Radio saw a 40% growth in total weekly audience in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Flint, and the station experienced almost 20% audience growth in the Lansing and Kalamazoo markets.

With a broadcast signal that extends from Detroit to Lake Michigan, Michigan Radio claims to be the most listened to public radio service in Michigan, with over 400,000 listeners per week. The station has experienced growth in several major markets, and Michigan Radio is now the most listened to NPR station in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Flint metro areas. In Ann Arbor, Michigan Radio continues to be the most listened station of any kind, commercial or public.

"We're gratified that in these tumultuous times, more and more listeners throughout our broadcast area are turning to Michigan Radio for their news," said Director of Broadcasting Steve Schram. "We've been a consistent source of NPR news and information for over a decade, and look forward to providing that service to our listeners long into the future."

Audience data are based on listening from Monday to Sunday, 6AM to 12 AM, in the metro areas. Additionally, these measurements are based on listeners age 6+ in metro Detroit and age 12+ in all other markets.



Detroit News:

Detroit News readers such as Walter Lee and Anthony Berry have been emailing and calling nonstop. Their question: Where in the world is Ama Daetz? Daetz is of course the personable WDIV-TV (Channel 4) reporter who used to anchor the weekend news. That was until the local NBC affiliate decided to change the look of the anchor desk and give Daetz more day-to-day reporting duties. "She's a gifted reporter and we wanted to give her more opportunities in the field," said Marla Drutz, WDIV's vice president and general manager... WDIV-TV's Daetz gets reporting duties (Mon, 2/16)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 17, 2009



Lansing State Journal:

Maybe you turned on your TV today only to see a snowy screen. Maybe you saw a clearer-than-ever picture. Maybe you didn't notice a thing. All three are possible. At 2:05 a.m. today, WILX-TV Channel 10 was scheduled to switch from an analog broadcast to a digital signal. The station's been conducting test runs almost daily. Now, the switch should be complete. "We've had people call confused," admitted Kevin Ragan, news director for WILX. Today, he expects few viewers - if any - to feel ill-prepared for the change. "None," Ragan said. "We would imagine it was a fraction." The switch was mandated by the federal government, with an original deadline date of today. Earlier this month, though, Congress voted to give stations until June 12 to make the conversion. The goal was to ensure the public was prepared. Most other Lansing-area stations are waiting. That includes WLAJ-TV Channel 53, WSYM-TV Fox 47 and WLNS-TV Channel 6... WILX switches to digital today (Tue, 2/17)



No More Orlando In Detroit: CBS Oldies WOMC (OLDIES 104.3)/DETROIT overnighter LISA ORLANDO is out. Said ORLANDO, "I had been doing overnights and the SATURDAY Night Dance Party for almost 2 years and have been replaced by automation." (Tue, 2/17)

WYCD To Host Financial Seminar: CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT will present a financial seminar, "YOUR MONEY MATTERS," hosted by local television personality MURRAY FELDMAN, on SATUDAY, FEBRUARY 21st at CRYSTAL GARDENS in nearby SOUTHGATE. The seminar, to be held from 9a-1p (ET), will offer information on how to protect yourself and your money during these tough economic times. (Mon, 2/16)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 18, 2009




WGER Becomes 'Mix 106.3': NEXTMEDIA Hot AC WGER (MAGIC 106.3)/SAGINAW, MI has re-branded the station as "MIX 106.3." PD LAUREN DAVIS tells ALL ACCESS, "While we can appreciate the great heritage of the MAGIC moniker: It has certainly run its course. As MIX 106.3, WGER has gotten a newer, fresher playlist with a more contemporary vibe. We've got a clear vision, great motivation, and a fantastic team to take us through the next phase of this stations' growth. I am excited to be a part of it!" Afternoon talent SCOTT SEIPEL moves to mornings replacing the KIDD KRADDICK show, and LAUREN "REN" DAVIS takes a break from the airwaves for some behind the scenes tinkering of the new station. She continues to take music calls on WEDNESDAYS from 12-3p ET. Look for additional lineup changes to be announced soon. (Tue, 2/17)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 19, 2009



Lansing State Journal:

Jeremy Whiting has some experience with balancing music logs and shuffling through barrels of CDs. That's because Whiting, 26, is the station manager of WDBM The Impact (88.9-FM), MSU's award-winning and all-student run radio station. Since 2002, Whiting has done everything from hosting shows to his current role of, pretty much, running the whole shebang. The Impact celebrates its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, and we're talking with Whiting about the station's past, present - and plans for the future. Of course, in 20 years, the music on the Impact has changed. A lot. Looking at a past playlist is like glancing over old high school photos. It's nostalgic. Reflective. And it can be pretty funny... WDBM (88.9-FM): 20 years of Impact (Thu, 2/19)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 19, 2009



Detroit News:

In a surprising twist, WQKL-FM (107.1) radio host Martin Bandyke has been rehired to the job he was fired from just 10 days ago for "economic reasons." Bandyke will return to the airwaves on Monday, March 2. "This almost never happens in radio," Bandyke said. Bandyke had been hosting the morning show on the Ann Arbor station now owned by Cumulus since 2006, and after he was let go in early February, his morning show was replaced by an automated feed... WQKL-FM rehires fired radio host (Thu, 2/19)

Now that Sirius XM satellite radio has been saved from bankruptcy at the last minute by an infusion of $530 million from Liberty Media , those of us who love music variety in radio form can breathe a sigh of relief. But even if the worst happened, rest assured that the day of wireless reception in cars, where you can pull in any Internet radio station you want, is not too far off. In the meantime, we can listen to a variety of radio stations via the Web on our computers, at work or at home. Since I love classic soul and R&B, one of my favorites is Felix Hernandez's Rhythm Revue show at wbgo.org from 10 a.m.--2 p.m. Saturdays. WBGO is a public radio station broadcasting on 88.7 out of northern New Jersey. When James Brown died, where could I go on Detroit radio to hear wall-to-wall James Brown? Nowhere. You'd never know the Godfather of Soul, beloved in Detroit, had died ... A reminder to the diaspora of WDET-FM (101.9) music fans; Ann Delisi returns to the Detroit Public Radio airwaves next weekend (Feb. 28 and March 1) after 13 years. Her show airs from noon-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and we all remember the promise -- Detroit music at least once an hour. The backdrop to all the news about WDET in the past few weeks is that Michigan Radio 's WUOM-FM (91.7) actually slipped past 'DET a while ago, as far as drawing more listeners in Detroit... Rhythm Revue is a gem for soul, R&B fans online (Thu, 2/19)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 20, 2009



Detroit Free Press:

Two weeks after radio personality Martin Bandyke was dropped because of budget cuts and a format change at WQKL-FM (107.1), the Ann Arbor station announced Thursday that he has his job back, thanks to the support of his fans. "We are excited to have Martin back in mornings at the station. He is an integral part of our community and a valuable member of our team," said Scott Meier, general manager of the Ann Arbor station, in a statement. Bandyke will return to the air at 6 a.m. March 2. He has worked at the adult-alternative station, owned by Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Inc., for three years as the morning host, and previously was a staple at WDET-FM (101.9) for more than 20 years. Support for Bandyke was far-reaching, from community leaders, station advertisers and everyday listeners. Colleen Crawley, a designer at Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, spearheaded an e-mail campaign, encouraging Bandyke's people to write the station and call for his return... Martin Bandyke gets job back at WQKL-FM (Fri, 2/20)



Detroit News:

Lorna Ash did what she was supposed to do in preparation for TV's impending digital age. The 85-year-old, who calls New Baltimore home, bought the digital conversion box in time for the rollover that was supposed to happen Tuesday, but has been officially moved to June. Being early is a good thing, right? Well, it used to depend on what day you asked Ash. For instance, if you asked her how she liked the conversion box on say, a Thursday, she would have said she loved the sharpness of the picture. But, if you asked her how she liked the change the last couple of Saturdays, she might have given you a curt answer -- if it were in her to be curt, of course... The re-scan button solves 'Welk' problem (Fri, 2/20)




Moon or shine, Detroit DJ and Party Princess Lisa Lisa holds court over the airwaves at Oldies 104.3 WOMC and as entertainment attorney at law. For the record, the legal name of this doyenne of techno - Top-40 - hip-hop - rap - beats of decades past and present: Lisa J. Orlando. Arguably, the Royal Oak resident is a DJ at law - or, say, a legal DJ. Her spin: "... when you look at the span of my life, the timeline of my life, the majority of it was spent as a DJ. That, I think, is my ultimate passion. But both areas are fueled by the same kind of thing - running your mouth, thinking on your feet," Orlando muses. "I guess I would say I'm a DJ that's also an attorney. And then if you ask me at 6:00 after I just won a case, I might say I'm an attorney that's also a DJ. That could change day to day"... Double Lives: Lisa Lisa (Thu, 2/19)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 23, 2009



Todd Thomas named as operations manager of Clear Channel/Detroit

Todd Thomas has been named as the new operations manager for Clear Channel's seven radio stations in Detroit (FMs WMXD 92.3, WKQI 95.5, WJLB 97.9, WNIC 100.3, and WDTW-FM 106.7; AMs WDFN 1130 and WDTW 1310) as of mid-March. In a release Clear Channel/Detroit president and market manager Til Levesque said she is "thrilled about Todd joining our CC/Detroit team. His experience and successful track record as a Clear Channel operations manager will prove very beneficial to our continued success here in Detroit."

Thomas was most recently OM of Clear Channel's eight stations in Hartford and New Haven. He commented, "What a great opportunity. I get to return to where I started my career and work with a talented group of people and a phenomenal group of radio stations."

Dom Theodore was previously the OM for WKQI, WJLB, WNIC, WDTW-FM/AM, and WDFN before exiting last year to head for CBS Radio. Jamillah Muhammad was the prior OM for WMXD - she was released due to budget cuts in January.



Fred Jacobs blogs on Martin Bandyke and WQKL

During a terrible time in radio where it seems that everything we read about is stations laying off even more employees, here's a story that reverses that trend. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, morning host Martin Bandyke was fired by Cumulus' Cool 107.1 earlier this month. Stated reason? Budget cuts, of course. But the story didn't end there because Bandyke was rehired by the station late last week. Why? Well, there were loads of angry listener emails (many of which were organized by a local designer, Colleen Crawley, who loves his show). And I'm sure the phones were ringing off the hook. But that's rarely enough to cause a stay of execution. The real reason why Cumulus reversed its decision was an outcry from advertisers. Bandyke successfully cultivated bona fide loyalty from a number of local clients, including Nicola's Books and the Bank of Ann Arbor. Nicola Rooney threatened to pull her advertising, while Bank of Ann Arbor President, Tim Marshall, picked up the phone and personally called Lew Dickey. Interestingly, Marshall cited Bandyke's community contributions as his rationale for going to bat for the morning guy... Man Bites Dog (Mon, 2/23)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 23, 2009




Michigan Station Loses Battle To Restore License: CHRISTIAN FAMILY NETWORK, INC.'s attempt to get the license for its WOLY-A/BATTLE CREEK, MI reinstated has been rejected by the FCC. The station failed to file for its license renewal by JUNE 1, 2004, and was notified of the cancellation of its license in 2006, but did not file an application and request for special temporary authority to continue broadcasting until JANUARY 15, 2009. The licensee was previously fined by the FCC for unauthorized operation after its license had expired. (Mon, 2/23)

Note: As recently as last week, a e-mailer to Michiguide.com noted the station has continued to operate.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 23, 2009




WPRJ Holds Contest For New Talent: COME TOGETHER MINISTRIES Christian CHR WPRJ (FUSE FM 101.7)/SAGINAW-MIDLAND-BAY CITY, MI announced the four finalists for its "THE NEXT GREAT FUSE FM DJ" contest. Each finalist will be featured this week from FEBRUARY 23rd to 26th on the "GET UP & GO SHOW" with morning hosts DICE and SARA. The grand prize winner will chosen by public vote via www.myfusefm.com and by FUSE FM management and will start his or her own radio program on WPRJ this spring. The winner will be announced on this FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th during the 8a (ET) hour of the morning show. "We have been blown away by the amount of attention this contest has given FUSE FM," said OM AARON DICER. "Each week we have received hundreds of votes for each contestant, making it a tight race. Now we're ready to award the winner their own radio show so they can offer up their exceptional talent for the whole world to hear on a regular basis." Three of the four finalists were picked by FUSE FM listeners and one finalist was a wildcard selected by station staff. Finalists include MIKE HILL of SANFORD, COLETTE HAMLIN of MT. PLEASANT, NATALIA WALSH of MIDLAND and JOHN BRINES of MIDLAND. (Mon, 2/23)


Television: Newsmakers Feb. 24, 2009



Detroit News:

A consumer and local government group says Michigan should reinstate more local cable TV regulation, to hold down rates and protect public access channels. A Michigan law designed to reduce regulation and boost competition among cable TV companies took effect in 2007. But the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors said the anticipated competition and lower rates haven't materialized. And customer service, it said in a report issued Monday, has worsened. The association is urging lawmakers to correct the problems it says have been created by the law. It wants a state process for resolving customer service disputes, a requirement that cable firms treat public access channels the same as other channels and the right for local governments to collect a 2 percent fee to cover public access channels. The Michigan chapter of the organization said that since the law took effect, the number of cable TV companies increased only from 36 to 37, rates are at an all-time high and customers rate cable TV next to the bottom among services -- just above airlines... Group urges change in cable law (Tue, 2/24)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 24, 2009



MSU Today podcasts from Impact Radio feature Karole White and Gary Reid

Karole White is president and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. "We are the trade association for all the radio and television stations in Michigan," says White. "We help our members better serve their communities. No other industry works as hard at serving their community as local broadcasters."

White talks about the challenges involved in making sure the public is aware of television's transition to digital broadcasting. She also talks about the issues and challenges facing broadcasters in the years ahead.

"As long as broadcasters remain true to their mission of serving their communities, radio and TV stations will remain viable businesses no matter how they're delivering information to consumers."

Hear the conversation here: spartanpodcast.com/?p=494

Gary Reid is the general manager of MSU's award-winning student radio station, 88.9 FM The Impact. The Impact celebrates its 20th birthday on February 24, 2009. Reid talks about how WDBM got started and discusses the station's mission. He talks about how the Impact - and the radio industry in general - has changed over the 20 years WDBM has been on the air. And Reid looks ahead to the Impact's next 20 years and looks into his crystal ball to predict where the radio business is headed in the future.

Hear the conversation here - spartanpodcast.com/?p=492



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

Area broadcast television stations and cable TV companies have had little trouble making the transition to digital TV, but some viewers have. Congress pushed the date that stations must make the transition from Feb. 17 to June 12 but many stations, including WILX Channel 10, went forward with the transition Feb. 17. "It went just fine from a technical standpoint," said Mike King, general manager of the the Lansing-Jackson NBC affiliate. "Absolutely no problems whatsoever." But King said the station received 300 to 400 calls from people having difficulties getting the new digital signal. He said some needed to rescan the channels on their TV and others didn't have the right type of antenna. Keith Bunker of Summit Township, who has a 30-foot antenna, was surprised to lose his Channel 10 signal on Feb. 17. "There was nothing there!" Bunker said. Bunker, who has a ham radio license and said he is more technologically savvy than a lot of people, called the station and was told to rescan his channels. Bunker said he now he receives Channel 10 but wishes TV stations had done a better job of publicizing the need to rescan. Bunker also said he is having trouble getting WKAR Channel 23, the East Lansing PBS affiliate, especially when it is windy or rainy... Some TV viewers in Jackson area wrestle with WILX changeover to digital TV (Tue, 2/24)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 25, 2009



Windsor Star:

Windsor will lose one of its two television stations in August when A Channel ceases local operations. The station's parent company CTV Inc. made the announcement in a news release Wednesday. "This decision was difficult but necessary," said Paul Sparkes, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, CTVglobemedia. "The traditional economic model for Canadian television is broken. The financial pressures facing our conventional television operations are further compounded by the (CRTC)'s decision to turn down requests to implement a fee-for-carriage regime for local television in October 2008. Unfortunately, we may need to consider similar actions in other local markets given the current regulatory framework." CTV has decided not to renew its licence in Wingham either... A Channel closing Windsor operation (Wed, 2/25)



Detroit Free Press:

Big Daddy making waves: The Names & Faces hotline has been buzzing with WRIF-FM (101.1) listeners concerned that Arthur Penhallow's familiar and longstanding voice hasn't been on the dial during the afternoon drive home for the past couple of weeks. John Gallagher, market manager of Greater Media Detroit, which runs WRIF, says Big Daddy is on vacation, and should be back on air March 9. Gallagher says Penhallow had one year left on his contract but an extension was renegotiated. Gallagher did say Penhallow was considering retiring... Names and Faces (Wed, 2/25)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 26, 2009



Detroit News:

O, Canada...we love your shops, casino and cool accent; you like our big-box discount stores and cheaper liquor prices, eh? Detroit and Windsor also swap radio signals, adding an international flavor to our cultural mix. But it also leads to problems like what is happening to Windsor community radio station CJAM-FM (91.5) . CJAM's license was in danger because its signal is interfering with Michigan Public Radio 's WUOM-FM (91.7) in Ann Arbor, and now a Christian station, SMILE-FM may start broadcasting from China Township (near Port Huron) on 91.5 FM. CJAM had been airing an eclectic mix of alternative rock, world music and public affairs shows from the University of Windsor since the late '70s. Over the years, it was allowed to increase to 500 watts by agreeing to keep its classification as a non-protected, low-wattage station. Under Canadian rules, "non-protected" means any station can come along and grab the frequency ... WOMC-FM (104.3) 's Dick Purtan will broadcast live from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday at Oakland Mall for his 2009 Radiothon to benefit the Salvation Army's Bed and Bread Program , and not a moment too soon. The program provides food and shelter to the needy, and those who donate a minimum of $10 a month or $120 a year become members of the Bed and Bread Club, eligible for a Michigan tax credit... Signal interference endangers CJAM-FM (Thu, 2/26)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 26, 2009



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

A thumbs down from Simon Cowell and the other judges wasn't the only thing that Jessika Baier got out of her appearance on "American Idol" last month. As a result of her audition, the Blackman Township singer got a job on the morning show for Jackson radio station WKHM-FM (105.3). Station manager Jamie McKibbin (a.k.a. The Big Dog) had been looking for a co-host to assist him with the morning show for a few months when Baier came in to the station's Summit Township studio to be interviewed on the air about her TV experience. McKibbin knew Baier from the karaoke contests the station sponsors at the Jackson County Fair, which she has won in the past. When it comes to radio, "you either have it or you don't," McKibbin said, and he could tell Baier had it. "I was really looking for somebody who was fun and local," he said. "I made her an offer she couldn't refuse." "Yeah," Baier said, "who could refuse that? Working with the stinky kid." On the air for about two weeks, Baier clearly already is comfortable making playful banter with her co-host... American Idol contestant Jessika Baier lands a job at Jackson radio station (Thu, 2/26)



Saginaw News:

In need of a box to ship an item to his sister, this Bay City guy was driving along and saw one just the right size at a curbside on trash day. He stopped, picked it up, shook it, found two brewery signs and a serving tray inside, and took the box and its contents home. On Sunday night at 8, Channel 19, WDCQ, will show the rest of his story during an hour-long special titled "Trinket or Treasure: Bay County's Hidden Gems." Filmed in conjunction with the Historical Society of Bay County at its museum, think of the show as mid-Michigan's very own version of PBS' "Antiques Roadshow." And a thoroughly fascinating one as many of the trinkets and treasures the show's appraisers examine are distinctly mid-Michigan... Channel 19's 'Trinket or Treasure' serves up a trove of history (Fri, 2/27)




Ed Combs Exits WKCQ: MACDONALD BROADCASTING Country WKCQ/SAGINAW night slammer ED COMBS has exited the station after two-and-a-half years due to budget cuts. (Wed, 2/25)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 27, 2009



Brian Figula named PD at Mix 106.3 Saginaw

NextMedia Vice President and General Manager Shannone Dunlap has announced that Flint native Brian Figula has been hired as the new Program Director for The New MIX 106.3, WGER. The hot AC station serves the Great Lakes Bay Region stations in Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland. "Fig" will exit Detroit from #1 adult rated 96.3 WDVD (Hot Ac) and 93.1 DOUG FM (Adult Hits) where he is the Creative Services/Imaging Director.

Fig said, "I'm thrilled to work with the brilliant NextMedia family of Jeff Dinetz, Shannone Dunlap, Dave Maurer, Scott (Seipel) Shannon and consultant Steve Davis. Our combined talents will immediately build The New Mix 106.3 as the most exciting adult radio station in the Tri-cities".

Fig's prior experience includes a stint as Assistant Program Director and afternoon personality at CBS hot AC WQAL In Cleveland and PD/Afternoons at WWCK in Flint. While working at heritage Saga CHR WDBR in Springfield, IL, Fig was awarded the Illinois Broadcasters Association Personality of The Year. He will be leaving his current position at WDVD/WDRQ March 6th.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 27, 2009



WOOD AM 1300:

NewsRadio WOOD 1300 lost a valued member of its family Thursday night. Rick Beckett, the co-host of "The Rick and Scott Show," passed away. He suffered a heart attack. NewsRadio WOOD 1300 is planning a special tribute program to celebrate his life and his career, Monday March 2 from 9am to 12 noon. Rick, a long-time member of the West Michigan broadcast community, worked for WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM before joining the NewsRadio WOOD 1300 staff more than five years ago. He would have celebrated his sixth anniversary with NewsRadio WOOD 1300 in April. Rick and Scott Winters worked together for nearly 15 years. They were together at WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM before both joined NewsRadio WOOD 1300. Rick was born and raised in Grand Rapids. He lived on the west side of the city and graduated from Union High School... NewsRadio WOOD 1300 Plans Tribute For Rick Beckett (Fri, 2/27)



Grand Rapids Press:

Rick Beckett, a fixture on West Michigan radio and the co-host of WOOD 1300 AM's "The Rick and Scott Show," died Thursday night after suffering a heart attack, the station management reported. Beckett worked for WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM before joining NewsRadio WOOD 1300more than five years ago. He would have celebrated his sixth anniversary at the station in April. His ongoing health issues were often a topic of conversation on the air, but WOOD program director Angie Vuyst, who said Beckett was in his early 50s, was "doing better." "It was no surprise his health had been ailing for a while and he had ongoing health issues, but as of recently he was doing real well....This took a lot of us by surprise," Vuyst said. Beckett and Scott Winters worked together for nearly 15 years. They were together at WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM and joined WOOD at the same time... Radio veteran Rick Beckett, co-host of WOOD 1300's 'Rick and Scott Show,' dies after heart attack (Fri, 2/27)




A long-time member of the West Michigan radio community has passed away. Rick Beckett, co-host of wood radio's Rick and Scott Show, died of an apparent heart attack Thursday night. Rick worked for WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM before joining WOOD radio more than 5 years ago. Rick and Scott Winters worked together for nearly 15 years. WOOD radio released a statement regarding Rick's death, "We, at NewsRadio WOOD 1300, will miss Rick and will never forget him. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his family, friends and of course, those who have listened to him and shared his life for nearly two decades." WOOD radio is planning a special tribute program to celebrate his life and his career on Monday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to noon... WOOD Radio's Rick Beckett suffers fatal heart attack (Fri, 2/27)




One of the most popular morning radio show hosts in West Michigan has died. Rick Beckett had been one half of the "Rick and Scott Show " on NewsRadio WOOD 1300 weekday mornings from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. for the past five years ... Statement from Scott Winters: I'm at a loss for the appropriate words... This is a blog entry I never, ever, wanted to have to make. I'm not even sure it's possible to put complete sentences together at this point, but here goes... On Thursday night, I received that dreaded call of the passing of a friend and co-worker, Rick Beckett. As most of you know, Rick and I started working together when I was just a part-timer at WKLQ back in 1989. I was honored to take the job of becoming a permanent member of the "Q-Morning Zoo" in September of 1993. Throughout those 15+ years we had a lot of fun working together on the airwaves in West Michigan. Oh sure, there were a few bumps in the road along the way, but those minor setbacks always made the team of "Rick and Scott" that much stronger. I'm always asked, "What is Rick Beckett like off the air?" Well, he was pretty much the same person when the mic was on, as he was when the mic was off (aside from his "list of words and phrases you can't say on WOOD Radio!). One thing I don't think people realized was how big of a heart Rick had... WOOD Radio's Rick Beckett dies (Fri, 2/27)


The 22nd annual Dick Purtan Radiothon to support the Salvation Army's Bed and Bread program in Metro Detroit gathered over $2.2 million dollars in pledges over the 16 hours the event aired from Oakland Mall in Troy on WOMC-FM 104.3. Thanks to an amazing level of support from the community, the event far exceeded what host Purtan predicted as a final total.

A steady parade of celebrities, political and community leaders and area businesses along with hourly incentives kept the hourly totals growing throughout the day and helps the Salvation Army feed and shelter metro Detroiters in need for another year.

In its 22 years the Bed and Bread Radiothon has now raised over $21 million dollars and is the most successful one-day local fundraising effort in the radio industry.

To put this event into some perspective, the day prior to this fundraiser at the Oakland Mall, there was a "Help the Children" Radiothon in New York City. It was hosted by trade publication Variety and aired on 50,000 watt WOR radio. In this troubled economy, they were thrilled to reach a final tally of $240,000. In Detroit, Dick Purtan topped that amount within his first four hours on the air!







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