Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Mar. 27, 2009




Are Arthur Penhallow's days over at WRIF?

After 39 years holding down afternoon drive on rock WRIF Detroit, dating back to when the station was WXYZ-FM, it appears that contract talks between the Grand Poobah of Detroit rock and WRIF owner Greater Media might have broken down. Early this morning Penhallow posted on his Facebook page the following message, "It appears that my days in Detroit radio are over for now. Thanks for your support over the last 39 years....I shall return." The revelation has been followed by numerous messages of support and surprise.

If there isn't a last-minute solution, it'll complete what amounts to a complete overhaul of the weekday lineup at WRIF over the past couple of years. The first big shake-up was the departure of Drew Lane from the morning program, leaving Mike Clark. Doug Podell recently stepped down from middays, replaced by Anne Carlini, and now it appears that the afternoon drive slot will have to be filled by someone new for the first time since 1970 on 101.1 FM. Penhallow has been off the WRIF airwaves for over a month already as contract negotiations were underway - his prior deal ended in February.



The Oakland Press:

The 2009 Pistons Care Telethon, which culminated in a 17-hour telethon day and telecast of the team's game on March 11, raised more than $450,000 in pledges to benefit Feed The Children, with 100 percent of proceeds going to families in critical need of food and basic necessities throughout the state of Michigan. The pledge total will allow FTC to help sustain 25,000 families with food and personal care items... Pistons Care Telethon nets $450K in pledges (Thu, 3/26)



Detroit News:

Charles Pugh is officially leaving WJBK-TV (Channel 2). The former weekend anchor and reporter says Thursday was his last day at the Fox affiliate. Pugh could not be reached for comment, but on his Facebook page he posted the following message: "The transition has BEGUN!!! The big announcement is coming." A WJBK spokeswoman confirms that Pugh is leaving the station and says that he will return as a special guest on "Fox 2 News Weekend" Saturday to announce and confirm future plans... Charles Pugh leaves WJBK (Fri, 3/27)

Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV (Channel 56), has five days to raise the money the local PBS affiliate needs to complete its historic $22 million capital campaign and prepare for the industry's digital future by June. So far, DPTV has raised $20.15 million. That puts the station less than $500,000 away from fulfilling its campaign obligations, which would trigger a $1.25 million Kresge Foundation challenge grant. DPTV has until Tuesday to make this happen... WTVS-TV is close to its goal (Fri, 3/27)



Detroit Free Press:

In these difficult times, Americans are looking for institutions they can trust, and that offer real value to their lives, the lives of their families and to their local communities. For 53 years, Detroit Public Television (Channel 56) has met that important standard in this community. With your help and your loyalty, DPTV and PBS have offered what has become the most trusted content on television for six years in a row, according to the national Roper Study. And we now make that content extensively available online, too. I am enthusiastic about serving as chair of the DPTV Board of Trustees, and to lead such a vital institution. Even in an era of more channels and more media than ever before, DPTV's average viewership has grown by more than 4% in prime time this season -- fastest of any public station in the top 20 metropolitan areas. It is an audience of 1.6 million people a week depending on public television for independence and wholesome programming that uplifts, rather than degrades... Help Detroit Public TV tune in to future (Fri, 3/27)

Want to take a ride with the No. 1 artist in the country? WYCD-FM (99.5) will debut the Taylor Swift Fearless Experience, an interactive mobile promotional unit showcasing Swift memorabilia and music, at 10:30 a.m. today at Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores. The rolling museum, says Tim Roberts, WYCD program director, is filled with cool stuff. The promotion includes a karaoke contest, and the grand prize winner gets to fly to Nashville to be on the Great American Country cable channel and sing for music executives at Big Machine, Swift's label ... WRCJ-FM (90.9), Detroit's classical and jazz music station, is holding its spring membership drive through April 5. As part of the drive, Dick Wallace and Carl Grapentine -- well-known to Detroit listeners from their years on the former classical music station WQRS-FM (105.1) -- are holding down guest-host slots on the public radio station... Names and Faces (Fri, 3/27)



Ann Arbor News:

WEMU, Eastern Michigan University's public radio station (89.1 FM) is taking its show on the road with a live pledge drive broadcast from the Michigan Theater. Live fundraising, which began Friday, continues at the Michigan Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. On Sunday, Arwulf Arwulf will be live with Sunday Best from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday live broadcasts take place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day... WEMU fund drive comes to Michigan Theater (Fri, 3/27)



Windsor Star:

CBC will reduce its English radio staff in Windsor by seven positions in May, but the morning and afternoon shows will stay on the air. There will also be layoffs at CBET-Channel 9, but the actual number won't be known until mid-April when a retirement incentive program is rolled out. While Windsor's Early Shift, hosted by Tony Doucette, and Barbara Peacock's Crosstown will remain on the air, the midday Ontario Today program out of Ottawa will be cut from two hours to one. Windsor's 6 p.m. newscast on Channel 9 won't be affected by cuts announced Thursday by Richard Stursberg, CBC's executive vice-president of English services. A total of 80 news positions were cut, along with 313 more in sports, entertainment, current affairs and support staff... CBC English radio to cut seven positions (Fri, 3/27)

Windsor's Channel 9 is safe for now, but jobs will be lost in the wake of Wednesday's announcement that CBC will slash 800 jobs from its payroll by mid-May. Six French-language jobs in Windsor are already gone, said a local union spokeswoman, and as many as eight more English jobs could vanish today. Celine Pelletier, president of Windsor's Canadian Media Guild local, said French TV and radio will be cut from nine employees to three as part of a network-wide move to save $171 million in operating costs. CBC president Hubert Lacroix told employees Wednesday up to 393 jobs will be cut in English radio and TV, with another 336 in French and 73 corporate positions. As well, the network plans to sell off $125 million worth of assets. But Jeff Keay, a CBC spokesman in Toronto, said that won't mean TV stations like Windsor's CBET (channel 9, cable 10)... CBC to spare local station (Thu, 3/26)







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on March 27, 2009 7:36 AM.

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