West Michigan: Newsmakers Mar. 29, 2009




Kalamazoo Gazette:

Local television newsrooms across the country have slashed staff positions, offered buyouts and even shuttered operations in the past year. It's evidence of an evolution in American journalism that has intensified with the economic downturn and mirrors what's happening to many newspapers across the country and in Michigan. West Michigan is not unaffected, but has been spared the worst. The four national media groups that own television stations in the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek market are struggling, yet say they are maintaining heavy local news schedules and expanding their online presence. Gannett Co. Inc., which owns WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, is the nation's largest publisher of newspapers. It announced last Monday a second round of mandatory, one-week furloughs for most of its employees across the country. California-based Freedom Communications, which owns WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo along with newspapers and TV stations across the United States, announced this month mandatory one-week furloughs for its employees. And in December, WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids offered buyouts to as many as 30 employees with at least 20 years of service... Broadcast media trimming staff, reshaping operations (Sun, 3/29)



Grand Rapids Press:

It's appropriate that WLAV-FM (96.9) opens its first live Blues on the Mall CD with a gritty, impressive performance of the song "Slow It Down" by Texas-based singer-guitarist Mike Zito. After all, not only did Zito kick off last year's popular Wednesday night series, but he'll do the same thing again this summer based on the 2009 lineup announced by the radio station a few days ago... CD featuring Grand Rapids' Blues on the Mall performances is packed with solid gems (Sun, 3/29)

It doesn't have the century-old tradition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," but a peppy theme song for Michigan's spring sports season on Fox Sports Detroit has been unleashed by East Grand Rapids' most promising young rock band -- the Good Luck Joes -- just in time for the Detroit Tigers' baseball home opener. The pop-rock quintet of East Grand Rapids High School graduates recently won Fox Sports Detroit's "April in the D" song contest, which could give the 6-year-old band its biggest publicity boost ever with daily TV exposure across the state... East Grand Rapids' Good Luck Joes' song for Michigan teams to debut with Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit (Sun, 3/29)

Now that he's community programming director for WPRR-AM, former City Commissioner Rick Tormala said he and "Friends of Labor" Director Buck Geno will debut a two-hour call-in show at 10 a.m. every Thursday. Later this spring, Tormala said he will begin airing a second politically-oriented talk show on the local non-profit station... Former Grand Rapids City Commissioner Rick Tormala will launch AM radio show (Wed, 3/25)







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on March 29, 2009 11:03 AM.

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