October 2009 Archives


• The FCC granted the voluntary transfer of the licenses for Christian contemporary WPRJ FM 101.7 Coleman and its Alma translator (96.7 W244BS) from from Come Together Ministries to Partnership Ministries (dba Passion Communications).


• No notable activity for September 24-25 and 28-29.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Oct. 1, 2009



Detroit News:

Ed Sullivan delivered a "really big shew" to Detroit Public Television WTVS last Saturday. "Ed Sullivan -- The '60s," a program that included many clips of classic '60s artists, raised close to $50,000, according to Fred Nahhat, director of on-air fundraising. Those are the best fundraising results the public television station has had in three years. The program did so well, WTVS (Channel 56) is repeating it at 8 p.m. this Saturday... WTVS to show re-runs of 'Ed Sullivan' shows from the 1960s (Thu, 10/1)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 1, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

Gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp is one of the sources who contributed toward $315,000 placed in escrow that could be used to purchase the radio station WJNZ. Sapp is joining forces with radio personality Robert S. Womack to stop the sale of the fight longtime urban station WJNZ 1140 AM to Holy Family Radio, a Catholic group. On Oct. 9, a Kent County Circuit Court judge will consider whether there were irregularities in the bidding process... Gospel star Marvin Sapp among contributors to Robert S. Womack's attempt to purchase WJNZ radio (Wed, 9/30)


V 98.7 Detroit drops Smooth Jazz, now stunting but sounding like Contemporary Hits is the future

The end has come for Smooth Jazz on WVMV 98.7 -- at least for listeners without a digital radio -- as CBS Radio has shifted the format to its HD2 signal on 98.7. A 4:30 p.m. retrospective of the station's last 14+ years lasted about 30 minutes, at which time the stunting began.

The new format has not yet been officially announced - instead at 5pm, stunting began with a nod to the frequency's rock past by playing a bit of Guns N' Roses "Welcome to Jungle" and mentioning the handle Detroit's Wheels before switching into a Beyonce Knowles song.

The stunting is being promoted as "98.7 Takeover" and inviting listeners to follow along at www.987takeover.com and on Twitter at twitter.com/987takeover.

CBS Radio vice president Dom Theodore, known for pulling off stunts at other Detroit radio outlets (specifically Clear Channel's WKQI FM 95.5 and WDTW-FM 106.7), is reportedly in the building ... leading to speculation that the new format will indeed be contemporary hits based to take on his former stations in the Clear Channel cluster along with Citadel's 96.3 WDVD.



Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit's self-billed smooth jazz radio station WVMV 98.7 is expected to announce a format switch today. The smooth jazz format is apparently moving to an HD2 channel, but it's not yet clear what the terrestrial broadcast format will be. Station executives would lease only limited information, and said an on-air announcement is coming at 4 p.m. today. Deb Kenyon, CBS Radio's senior vice president and market manager for its Detroit stations, issued a statement: "98.7 Smooth Jazz is moving to a new home. New media and new technologies have given us the chance to still keep this programming on the air. We know that Smooth Jazz is a favorite station for many people and we're glad to say we aren't going away, we're just moving," she wrote... Smooth jazz radio station WVMV 98.7 announcing format switch (Fri, 10/2)



Detroit News:

It appears that the long-rumored flip of CBS Radio Detroit's smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7) might be at hand. Tune in to 98.7 at 4:30 p.m. today, and you'll either hear "stunting" -- some bewildering, out-of-format music -- or you'll hear what the station is going to become... Smooth jazz radio to flip? Tune in at 4:30 (Fri, 10/2)


98.7 Detroit relaunches as Amp Radio

There were no surprises this morning at 8 as CBS Radio's FM 98.7 Detroit officially revealed the name of its new Top 40 format - Amp Radio, "Playing All The Hits". First impressions are that the station will position itself between Citadel's hot adult contemporary WDVD FM 96.3 and Clear Channel's urban-leaning Top 40 WKQI FM 95.5.

Formerly known as V 98.7, the station had featured a smooth jazz format for nearly 15 years before this past weekend when it became '98-7 Takeover' leading up to this morning's announcement. No word yet on who will be behind the mic at the new station which will be lead by program director Dom Theodore.

Smooth jazz fans were encouraged to purchase HD radios to continue to hear that format as it shifted to HD2 on 98.7 or to listen on the Internet via smoothjazzdetroit.com. The biggest downside of the shift to HD2 is the dropping of long-time air personalities Alexander Zonjic and Sandy Kovach. For Kovach at least, she remains with CBS Radio/Detroit and is now at classic hits WOMC FM 104.3 overnights.

Another apparent victim of changes at CBS Radio/Detroit was WOMC evening jock Beau Derek who had also been doing much of the production work for that station. Former 'Hot Hits' WHYT 96.3 jock J.J. Walker will be returning to the Detroit airwaves in that timeslot. Walker is also heard on SiriusXM's 70's on 7 channel.

Former WVMV program director and WXYT-FM/AM assistant program director Tom Sleeker also exited with the flip at 98.7.



• Construction permits granted to FM translator W223AM 92.5 Bronson to move to 92.7 as W224BY and to FM translator W258AO 99.5 Hillsdale to move to 100.1 as W261BP. Both translators would move slightly to the south and are being purchased by Swick Broadcating from Horizon Christian Fellowship.


• No notable activity for October 1-2.


Detroit News:

As radio wars go, this one is hot. Radio titans CBS Radio and Clear Channel are fighting it out in Detroit over a coveted audience of 18- to 34-year-olds who want to hear "contemporary hits," and over the weekend it ended up literally in the street, as CBS Radio Detroit staffers tried to "take over" several Channel 95.5 events, covering a 95.5 van parked outside the Emerald Theater in Mount Clemens with shrink wrap and 98.7 stickers on Friday night. After a 14-year run of smooth jazz, at 8 a.m. Monday CBS Radio "flipped" the format of its Detroit smooth jazz station WVMV-FM, 98.7, to "98.7 AMP Radio," a contemporary hits format it launched this year in Los Angeles and New York... Station's new format heats up radio war (Tue, 10/6)


The Michigan-Michigan State game is over, but the rivalry could heat up even more after Spartans coach Mark Dantonio's emotional exchange Monday with a Detroit radio host. Apparently Paul W. Smith of WJR got Dantonio agitated when the self-proclaimed Michigan fan shared his late game observation of MSU's 26-20 overtime victory on Saturday. Smith told Dantonio in an on-air interview that his fans appeared to have that "Oh no, here we go again" look on their faces when his team lost a 14-point fourth quarter lead. Dantonio's response: "Well Paul, hold on a second, Paul, hold on a second, because the look I saw on Michigan's faces was 'Oh, no, the Spartans beat us again'"... Dantonio defends Spartans in radio spat (Tue, 10/6)



Detroit Free Press:

Michigan week and the days following the game seem to bring out the feistier side of Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio. During an interview on WJR-AM (760) with Paul W. Smith and Steve Courtney today, Dantonio got a bit testy when he thought Smith focused more on U-M's comeback from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit than MSU's effort to win the game, 26-20, in overtime. "This is the way you expected it, didn't you, Coach?" Smith opened... MSU's Dantonio peeved about radio interviewers' focus on U-M (Mon, 10/5)



Broadcasting & Cable:

t's hard to overstate just how rough things are in Detroit: the 29% unemployment rate, the increasingly barren stretches, the NFL squad that went the whole of 2008 without a win. Most troubling was the ignominious collapse of the city's famed auto industry earlier this year. "We've been eyewitnesses to the economic crisis," says WDIV VP/General Manager Marla Drutz. General managers in the No. 11 DMA say 2010 looks to be a lot better. Civic projects backed by stimulus money are popping up, some automotive plants are hiring, the local alternative energy industry is growing, and a governor's race will kick cash to station coffers. A sense of optimism rises above the misery, some of it fueled by press about the city's plans to rebound... Market Eye: Jump-Starting Motown (Mon, 10/5)


Grand Rapids Press:

Gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp and his wife, MaLinda, plan to remain as bidders for WJNZ Radio (1140 AM), despite a falling out with on-air personality Robert S. Womack, who also is seeking to buy it. The Sapps said they placed money into escrow late last month with the idea of partnering with Womack in an effort to save the city's only urban-oriented radio station. "As of today, the monies have not been returned to the Sapps as they have decided to remain an intervening party and potential bidder for the station," the Sapps said in a statement... Despite falling out with radio host, Marvin and MaLinda Sapp still bidding for WJNZ-AM (Thu, 10/8)

Radio personality Robert S. Womack has given back $150,000 to gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp, who committed the money last week to help save the city's only urban station WJNZ-AM (1140). Womack said he and three other investors dug deeper into their pockets to make up the difference. Last week, Marvin Sapp and his wife, MaLinda, announced their investment and outlined their vision to give the radio station a more family friendly format. Womack said Sapp also wanted to move the station to the grounds of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, where he is a pastor. "We don't believe that we should be talking about the format unless we win in court," said Womack, adding that other investors felt Sapp's comments could hurt their court case... Robert S. Womack rejects Marvin Sapp's investment in WJNZ-AM radio station (Wed, 10/7)


Detroit News:

I've had more than a few calls and emails from unhappy WVMV-FM smooth jazz listeners who don't know what they'll do, now that their music has been dumped for teenager-friendly Top 40/contemporary hits. Most say they're not interested in buying a new radio right now, or listening online -- neither option will solve their listening in the car or at work dilemmas. Jazz during the day is pretty nonexistent on the Detroit area dial, the corporations who own most of the stations don't care about jazz fans. However, there has to be five or six stations now that will play Lady GaGa for you...OK, so that's not an option. WRCJ-FM (90.9) hopes to pick up listeners, but they don't play jazz during the day, only after 7 p.m... Finding jazz on the FM dial... (Thu, 10/8)



• The FCC has approved the proposal for WPBN TV Ch 7 Traverse City to change its digital channel to 47. FCC Report and Order (.pdf)


• No notable activity for October 6-7.



WMSH-FM 99.3 Sturgis was granted its license to cover for a power increase to 4,400 from 3,000 watts.



Phil O'Reilly Joins WNWN: MIDWEST BROADCASTING Country WNWN/KALAMAZOO, MI hires PHIL O'REILLY for APD/mornings, replacing WOODY, who exits. O'REILLY was most recently PD at BREWER BROADCASTING Country WQLK/RICHMOND, IN. (Fri, 10/9)


Grand Rapids Press:

A battle for control of the city's only station geared toward the black community is getting uglier, with recording artists and local pastors Marvin and MaLinda Sapp launching what could end up being a third bid for WJNZ 1140 AM. The move came after they broke away from a proposed partnership with station manager Robert S. Womack and another group of investors over how much of the station the Sapps would own. Womack said the Sapps were offering only $150,000 in exchange for 75 percent ownership of the station, which is expected to sell for $350,000 to $400,000. "He thought he caught us between a rock and a hard place, and he was going to take advantage of it," Womack said Friday. "I'm not one to take advantage of." WJNZ went into receivership earlier this year when its current owner, Michael St. Cyr, defaulted on a loan with Huntington Bank... Marvin, MaLinda Sapp file competing bid for WJNZ AM radio station (Mon, 10/12)



• FM translator W214BH 90.7 Mt. Pleasant was granted a construction permit to move to the broadcast tower Central Michigan University uses to broadcast WMHW-FM from; CMU is acquiring W214BH from Great Lakes Community Broadcasting.


Radio Business Report:

Pittsburgh has been in the national trade press because its only Urban radio stations were sold and headed for a Catholic format. Meanwhile, much the same story has been taking place in Grand Rapids MI, centered around WJNZ-AM. The station is in receivership with $360K in outstanding loans. The station's own Robert S. Womack, known professionally as Robert S., has been trying to put together an ownership group to acquire the station and keep it in its current format, and continue its roll as being the only station in the market serving the African American community, which makes up about 7% of Grand Rapids' total population... Battle in Grand Rapids to save Urban radio (Tue, 10/13)



Battle Creek Enquirer:

A local radio host pleaded no contest in Calhoun County Circuit Court Tuesday to charges of uttering and publishing for attempting to cash a bad $400 check on March 21. Although a jury was set to be assigned Tuesday, Jeremiah Bannister and his lawyer Roger Caswell appeared before Circuit Court Judge Stephen Miller, who set sentencing for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 23. Bannister maintains that he is innocent, but he said he pleaded no contest to the charges in order to speed the process along, fulfill his job duties at radio station WBCK and keep his family out of the spotlight... Local radio host pleads no contest in bad-check case (Wed, 10/14)


All Access.com:

CBS RADIO's new Top 40/Mainstream 98.7 AMP RADIO/DETROIT has hired its first on-air personality, PAT "GROOVES" CERULLO., to do nights, 7-11p, effective immediately. "GROOVES" is a six-year night show veteran, including a stint at CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40/Mainstream WIHT (HOT 99.5)/WASHINGTON D.C., and he also takes on APD/MD duties as well... AMP/Detroit Gets Into The 'Grooves' As APD/MD/Nights (Tue, 10/14)



Detroit Lions punch their Ticket for 3 more years

The NFL's Detroit Lions have extended their play-by-play contract with CBS Radio's WXYT-FM 97.1 for three more years, taking the agreement through the 2012 season. The previous agreement was set to expire at the end of the current season and the extension puts to rest rumors that the team might be landing with a new flagship station.


97.1 The Ticket gets new program director

Sports WXYT-FM/AM has announced that Jimmy Powers will be joining the station as it's new program director. Prior to this appointment Powers was program director for WBNS Columbus, OH and WCNN in Atlanta. He takes the role vacated earlier this month when Tom Sleeker was let go.

"I'm excited to have Jimmy on board at 97.1 the Ticket," CBS Detroit SVP/Market Manager Debbie Kenyon said. "He's a solid programmer who understands the Sports format and building great team relationships. Jimmy's background and experience will be a definite asset to help the station continue to grow and dominate the Detroit market."

Powers said, "Working for the number one Sports station, the Ticket, at the number one broadcasting company is a great honor. Detroit has the most loyal sports fans in the country, and I'm looking forward to this great opportunity."


CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WHTZ (Z100)/NEW YORK late night jock JOE ROSATI segues to sister Top 40 WKQI (CHANNEL 955)/DETROIT as imaging director for 'KQI and sister Rhythmic AC WDTW (106.7 THE BEAT OF DETROIT). PD MICHAEL MCCOY says, "JOE has been doing imaging for a number of stations as well as holding down late nights on Z100. His start date is TBD as he's trying to sell his house in JERSEY... Joe Rosati To WKQI (Thu, 10/15)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 15, 2009




An attorney for radio personality Robert S. Womack withdrew his objection to the sale of WJNZ 1140 and the station will be sold to Holy Family Radio, records show, but Womack says he never agreed to the deal. Womack called 24 Hour News 8 on Thursday to say he was not in court Wednesday afternoon when the hearing took place, and was told that the meeting was supposed to be a status conference. Womack said his attorney, Mark C. Carryl of Clark Hill PLC, agreed to the deal without his consent and says he learned of what unfolded in court through media reports. Court records obtained by 24 Hour News 8 show the parties agreed Womack would operate the station for six months or until he finds a new place on the radio dial -- whatever comes first... Womack doesn't agree to WJNZ settlement (Thu, 10/15)



• FM translator W209BC 89.7 Wakelee was granted a construction permit to change frequency to 90.3 as W212CK.


• No notable activity for October 14-15.


Grand Rapids Press:

Local R&B/Motown station WJNZ may live on, but it probably won't be at 1140-AM on the radio. A settlement approved this week provides station manager Robert S. Womack up to six months to operate Grand Rapids' only radio station geared toward the black community. After that, 1140-AM will be transferred to Holy Family Radio, a religious broadcaster. The settlement gave Womack's Robert S Radio LLC and Kentwood-based Goodrich Radio LLC the right to transfer the WJNZ call letters to another station if they can find one... Settlement allows Robert S. Womack, WJNZ to continue at 1140-AM for up to 6 months (Sat, 10/17)


During the hockey season, rarely a day goes by that someone doesn't talk to Bob Kaser about the Grand Rapids Griffins. Kaser, who is starting his 10th season as the radio voice for the Griffins, said he was chatting with someone at the grocery store who had noticed him wearing a team jacket. "After a while, I guess he recognized my voice and said, 'You're the guy that I listen to on the radio,' " Kaser said. "So I asked him how many games he had been to and he said, 'One.' "It amazes me the amount of people I run into on an almost daily basis that are listening to games, and you can tell they're following games because they talk about specific things. Our following is far greater than what the attendance numbers might indicate." And the Griffins' turnstile numbers aren't too shabby... Griffins get FM boost with eight games scheduled to air on ESPN 96.1 (Fri, 10/16)




WJNZ radio talk show host Robert S. says he does not accept the out of court settlement that would end his bid to buy the station. "I've never signed any paperwork to a settlement," he says. "We do not have a settlement." During a settlement hearing this week a judge okayed the sale of the station to religious broadcaster Holy Family Radio. The Lowell based Catholic group made the high bid when the bank auctioned WJNZ last month to pay delinquent loans. But Robert S. says bidding irregularities prevented him from buying WJNZ and he won't give up until he can find another station to air his programming to the African American community. "I'm not considering a settlement unless we know we have a signal," says Robert S... Talk show host says the fight to buy WJNZ is not over (Fri, 10/16)


Cadiilac News:

After spending nearly 30 years reporting the news of Cadillac and Wexford County, veteran radio newsman Mike Paulin is out at WTCM after the economy forced the station to reorganize its news department. Paulin has worked two stints for WTCM owner Midwestern Broadcasting, first in the 1960s and again starting 15 years ago. His last day was Friday. "It was a surprise and shock to me when they made the announcement (on Oct. 2)," Paulin said. Although the station is closing the Cadillac news bureau, Paulin will stay on as building manager and cover some news stories as needed, said Jack O'Malley, WTCM's program and operations manager. "Just with the economy we're in, we're reorganizing the newsroom a little bit," O'Malley said on Oct. 8. The office at 1111 S. Mitchell St. is for sale, but O'Malley said the station's sales office will remain open and the news staff will continue to cover Cadillac and Wexford County news. O'Malley praised Paulin's professionalism... Veteran radio newscaster out (Sat, 10/17)


Lansing State Journal:

A local radio show will head into new turf next month. Beginning Nov. 2, Michael Patrick Shiels' show will be simulcast from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. weekdays on WSYM (Channel 47). "We want to make (him) a TV star," said Gary Baxter, the WSYM general manager. Shiels originates his talk show at WJIM (1240-AM) from 5:30 to 9 a.m.; it airs on 10 other stations around the state. The TV duties bring one new obligation, he joked: "I have to lose 60 pounds in the next three weeks." The idea of telecasting a radio talk show is relatively unusual. The "Mike and Mike" show is on ESPN; Don Imus' show has gone from MSNBC to RFD to Fox Business Channel. Also, Mitch Albom's Detroit show had an MSNBC run; Howard Stern and "Bob and Tom" edit their TV versions. And the notion of doing it at a local broadcast station is even rarer... Shiels' talk show to air on WSYM starting Nov. 2 (Tue, 10/20)



Advertising Age:

From death sometimes comes life: A CBS affiliate in Saginaw, Mich., is generating revenue by running on-air and online obituary ads after three of the region's four daily newspapers reduced publication to three days a week. The venture could make obits "one of our top billers within two years," said Jeff Guilbert, general sales manager of WNEM. For $100, the station will run the deceased's name and photo on-air and publish a full-length obituary on ObitMichigan.com. Full-screen graphics listing names of people who have passed away are broadcast during the local station's morning and noon shows Monday through Friday, as well as on weekend morning shows. Viewers are pushed to the website for more information about the deceased as well as funeral-services information. The station's owner, Meredith Corp., expects to roll the concept out to its other stations and says it is also in licensing discussions with other station groups... Local TV Garners Revenue From Obituaries (Mon, 9/19)




NEXT MEDIA Country WCEN/SAGINAW, MI PD JOBY PHILLIPS has announced the addition of AMANDA MITCHELL to the on-air lineup for middays. MITCHELL will start next MONDAY (10/26), filling the void left by PHILLIPS as he moved to afternoons in late SEPTEMBER. AMANDA comes to WCEN from CLEAR CHANNEL former Country station WDTW/DETROIT, where she held down nights and voicetracking duties for other stations in the cluster... Amanda Mitchell Joins WCEN For Middays (Tue, 10/20)



• Classic hits WLKM-FM 95.9 Three Rivers was granted its license to cover to increase power to 3,600 watts @ 425 feet from 3,000 watts @ 289 feet. The station's pattern is now directional from a new tower location just to the southeast of its old location.


• FM translator W214BH 90.7 Mt. Pleasant was granted a modification to its construction permit; it will change frequency to FM 101.3 as W267BD and reduce power from 100 to 1 watt and operate with a directional pattern from WMHW-FM's tower.


• No notable activity for October 19.


Detroit News:

WDIV-TV (Channel 4) is dodging the Jay Leno bullet. All over the country, in cities like Baltimore and Kansas City, Mo., NBC's experimental prime-time talk offering "The Jay Leno Show" is wreaking havoc on ratings for the 11 o'clock newscasts that follow. Leno is barely pulling in 6 million national viewers a night at 10 p.m. weekdays (his Sept. 14 debut drew 18 million) and that small audience means even smaller numbers for local news broadcasts. NBC opted to give Leno the show, which is cheaper to make than scripted dramas, but the move appears to be costing affiliates money in the meantime. This is not the case in Metro Detroit, where local Peacock affiliate WDIV has miraculously stayed in the No. 1 spot in spite of Leno. In fact, WDIV's newscast has better numbers with a 9.5 rating/18 share than it had this same time last year (8.8 rating/16 share)... WDIV newscasts defy Leno factor (Wed, 10/21)



• Classic hits WUPT FM 100.3 Gwinn/Marquette was granted a construction permit to increase effective radiated power from 66,000 watts @ 456 feet to 100,000 watts @ 512 feet.


• Contemporary hits WUPZ FM 94.9 Chocolay Twp/Marquette was granted a construction permit to increase effective radiated power from 58,000 watts @ 456 feet to 100,000 watts @ 512 feet.



• FM translators W224BY 92.7 Bronson and W261BP 100.1 were granted their licenses to cover; both changed frequency and tower locations.


• FM translator W212CK 90.3 Wakelee was granted a construction permit to change frequency to 101.1 as W266BS.


TV icon Soupy Sales dies at age 83

Legendary TV comedian Soupy Sales passed away at a hospice facility in the Bronx, NY yesterday at 9:51 p.m. at the age of 83. Sales got his start in TV on Channel 7 in Detroit in the late 50's at WXYZ-TV. He had a popular kids show called "Lunchtime with Soupy." One of his most memorable "stunts" was when he asked the kids to get a dollar, money with presidents pictures on them, and send it to him. Some reports say Soupy got nearly $20,000!

In 1998 Soupy came back to Detroit and was the guest of honor at the Detroit Radio Reunion. He was introduced by popular Detroit radio icon Dick Purtan. He did about 7 minutes of hysterical stand-up comedy.

In the early 1990's Soupy was a guest morning host on WKHM-AM (970) in Jackson, MI 80 miles west of Detroit, 35 miles south of Lansing. He was "on fire" all morning long says Radio's Best Friend...Art Vuolo who got it all on videotape.

Joey Reynolds also featured Soupy at the famous Wax Museum in New York City for a video when Soupy posed as a wax statue and fooled sight-seers who didn't know he was REAL. Priceless.

In NYC Soupy was the mid-day host in the later 1980's at WNBC-AM (660) between after Don Imus and before Joey Reynolds.

Soupy's health had been slipping for the past couple of years. He would have been 84 this January. Soupy has thrown his final pie, and he WILL be missed.

contributed by Art Vuolo



Detroit News:

Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian whose anything-for-a-chuckle career was built on 20,000 pies to the face and 5,000 live TV appearances across a half-century of laughs, died Thursday. He was 83. Sales died at Calvary Hospice in Bronx, New York, said his ex-manager and longtime friend, Dave Usher. Sales had many health problems and entered the hospice last week, he said. At the peak of his fame in the 1950s and '60s, Sales was one of the best-known faces in the nation, Usher said... Comedy's pie-faced Soupy Sales dies (Fri, 10/23)


After decades in the historic Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit, urban radio stations WJLB-FM (97.9) and WMXD-FM (92.3) are moving to owner Clear Channel Detroit's corporate headquarters in Farmington Hills in mid-November. Clear Channel Detroit president/market manager Til Levesque told her staff that the move was the last step in a six-year process to consolidate Metro Detroit operations in one central location... Detroit radio stations move to Farmington Hills (Thu, 10/22)



Detroit Free Press:

Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian who made an art form out of taking a pie in the face and delighted a generation of Detroiters with his loopy TV show on Channel 7 in the 1950s, died Thursday night in New York. Sales, who had been in ill health for several years, was 83. His former manager, Dave Usher, said Sales last week entered a Bronx hospice, where he died. He is survived by his wife, Trudy, and two sons, Hunt and Tony. "He was the first person from Detroit television whose first name had instant recognition from coast to coast," said former Channel 7 anchorman Bill Bonds... Detroit entertainer Soupy Sales is dead at age 83 (Fri, 10/23)


Wolfman Mac extends his reach: Fans of Wolfman Mac's Saturday-night "Chiller Drive In" variety show on Detroit's WMYD-TV (Channel 20) should be howling at the moon now that his fictional Hauntington Woods neighborhood is expanding. About two weeks ago, Traverse City's WLLZ-TV (Channel 12) and WNFM-TV in Ft. Myers, Fla., picked up the Wolfman's show... Names & Faces (Fri, 10/23)



Michigan Radio shortens Fall membership drive and exceeds goal

Michigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan, finished a very successful fall membership drive on Wednesday evening. The on-air fundraiser, which ran from October 14 - 21, generated over 7100 pledges totaling more than $850,000 from donors across southern Michigan and northern Ohio. The money raised helps pay for programming costs at the station, with membership support being the station's single largest source of income.

Remarkably, contributions exceeded the fundraising goal of $712,000, even though Michigan Radio reduced the amount of on-air fundraising time in comparison to previous years. In response to listener requests, the station cut back its fundraising hours by over 25% compared to the 2008 fall drive and over 35% compared to fall, 2007.

As part of this effort to reduce on-air fundraising time, Michigan Radio tested an innovative approach on the first day of the membership drive. On Wednesday, October 14, the station attempted to raise the entire first day's goal in just one hour, between 7 - 8 a.m. This move proved to be very successful, and donations during that single hour surpassed the goal threefold.

Total contributions during Michigan Radio's 2009 fall membership drive exceeded fall 2008 numbers by more than $80,000, making this the most successful fall fundraiser in station history. Of the money raised, over 2,000 pledges came from first time donors to the station. Listeners could contribute either by calling in their pledges to phone volunteers or by pledging online via MichiganRadio.org.

"We're extremely grateful that our Michigan Radio listeners continue to place strong value on our service with their demonstration of outstanding financial support," said Director of Broadcasting Steve Schram. "Thanks to this record setting response, we hope to continue to reduce the hours of on-air fundraising, and bring our listeners more of their favorite public radio news and information programming."



WPXD-TV Ch. 31 Ann Arbor was granted a construction permit to move its DTV signal to Ch. 50 from Southfield. If constructed, WPXD will for the first time have a full-market signal across metro Detroit.


• The FCC granted the voluntary assignment of license for FM translator W279AP 103.7 Ionia from Horizon Christian Fellowship to Packer Radio WION, LLC.


• No notable activity for October 23.



BLACKBURN RADIO Country CJWF (FM 95.9)/WINDSOR, ONTARIO (CANADA) has announced its first-ever station concert with CANADIAN Country artists JOHNNY REID and VICTORIA BANKS, even though the station hasn't yet signed on the air. CJWF is hosting the show with REID and BANKS on DECEMBER 11th at the WINDSOR FAMILY CREDIT UNION CENTRE and is offering an exclusive ticket pre-sale through their website beginning WEDNESDAY (10/28) at www.windsorsfm959.com... CJWF Announces Station Concert Before It Hits The Airwaves (Mon, 10/26)

editors note: CJWF is on the air with test programming



CKWW AM 580 to air "The War Of The Worlds" Halloween Night at 10 PM

On Halloween night, AM 580 will once again turn back the clock to air one of the most infamous radio broadcasts of all time. "The War of the Worlds" was originally broadcast in 1938 as part of the "Mercury Theatre On The Air" program. Based on the H.G. Wells science fiction novel, this radio show starring Orson Welles had a nation convinced aliens were invading. Despite numerous disclaimers, the simulated news bulletins were so believable that panic gripped the country as thousands actually thought aliens had landed in Grover's Mill, New Jersey and were taking over the world.

AM 580 has re-played this historic broadcast every year at Halloween since the early 1990's.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 27, 2009



CMU Life:

The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees has approved a proposal to submit an offer to purchase WFUM TV in Flint for no more than $1 million. The television station, currently owned and operated by the University of Michigan, would broadcast from Bay City to the metro Detroit area, Interim University President Kathy Wilbur said the board viewed it as an opportunity to significantly expand the university's coverage into critical areas such as southeast Michigan. "It allows us to expand academic programs on the behalf of CMU, especially through Prof Ed," Wilbur said. "We're so focused on our enrollment question and retention question, this gives us another avenue in which to pursue that." The Board met in special session today in the President's Conference Room in the Bovee University Center to discuss the television station. A purchase and interim management agreement will now be drafted so CMU can take over the station as soon as possible... Board of Trustees approve acquisition of WFUM TV station in Flint (Tue, 10/27)



Television Broadcast:

Public TV stations in Michigan are the latest recipients of federal DTV transition grant money. Central Michigan University's public TV stations received $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development fund, according to The Michigan News. The money was secured by Michigan Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin. The grant money will go toward digital production equipment including cameras, editing, mixing and storage equipment. The coverage area of this grant includes the digital stations serving central and northern Michigan. CMU's PBS member stations include WCMU-TV, WCML-TV, WCMV-TV and WCMW-TV... Michigan Public Stations Net $750,000 in Federal Funds (Tue, 10/27)



• FM translator W224BY 92.7 Bronson has been granted a construction permit to move to Angola, Indiana and increase power. The station will be used as a fill-in for WLKI FM 100.3 Angola.


Grand Rapids Press:

A judge rejected class-action status today for a lawsuit against the owner of B-93 radio after a June flood damaged hundreds of cars at the B-93 Birthday Bash at the Ionia County Fairgrounds. Ionia County Circuit Judge Suzanne Kreeger agreed with B-93 lawyers, who argued that each case would be different because car owners had varying levels of liability. Kreeger said she would be willing to revisit the request for class-action status later. About 1,400 cars were stranded in a grassy parking lot along the Grand River after flood waters rose quickly June 20 during the concert. Many of the cars were totaled by insurance carriers, but some people carried only basic coverage and were ineligible for replacement reimbursement... B-93 Birthday Bash gets temporary reprieve in flood lawsuit (Tue, 10/27)


WDIV-TV's "All 4 Halloween" primetime special set to air tonight 8:30

It's one of metro Detroiters' favorite holidays - and WDIV Local 4 will help celebrate by airing a primetime All 4 Halloween special along with exclusive features on Local 4 News, contests and photo sharing on ClickOnDetroit.com, and a Halloween-eve Freaky Forecast on JustWeather.com.

On Wednesday, October 28 at 8:30 p.m., Local 4's resident Halloween expert, Chuck Gaidica, hosts a half-hour All 4 Halloween special, taking viewers on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Erebus, the haunted house that was voted No. 1 scare by Local 4 viewers in the 2009 Vote 4 The Best Haunted House category. Witness the birth of animated monstrosities created by Monster-Tronics in South Lyon and destined to unleash terror around the world. Then, see how Troy resident Tom Nardone has taken pumpkin carving to a new extreme using pyrotechnics and power tools.

The All 4 Halloween special also brings you a captivating and creepy look at the accidental mummies from the historic exhibit at the Detroit Science Center. And, contestants of The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition share recipes for healthy Halloween treats, courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Plus, see childhood photos of your favorite Local 4 personalities dressed up for Halloween - can you guess who is who? Don't miss All 4 Halloween Wednesday, October 28 at 8:30 p.m., following NBC's Monsters vs. Aliens Halloween special at 8 p.m.

In addition, all week on Local 4 News look for special All 4 Halloween features, including Halloween Haunts showcasing outrageous front lawn displays and the annual much-anticipated reveal of Chuck's own very special trick-or-treat costume.

And Local 4, which is calling itself the official station of Halloween, has a web full of eerie interactive entertainment on ClickOnDetroit.com, where more people click than on any other web site in metro Detroit. Can you guess how many pumpkin candies are in our ghostly jar? Enter the Ghost How Many contest for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Meijer. See amazing photos from metro Detroiters of pets and kids in cool and creative costumes. Check out the 4 The Best Guide to your favorite Haunted Houses and Cider Mills in southeast Michigan.



Detroit News:

Rain or shine, meteorologist Kim Adams delivered weather forecasts to viewers of WDIV-TV (Channel 4) off and on for seven years. But when motherhood beckoned for a third time, Adams had to make a decision, and she chose her husband and kids. Last week, station management announced the move was mutual and Adams would not be returning. "In the end, I decided I couldn't 'have it all' and chose to resign," says Adams, who gave birth to her third child, Alexander William Daudert, in April. Her contract with the local NBC affiliate expired while she was on maternity leave. "The people at WDIV have been so kind to me, and it made the decision very difficult. I still can't watch the news without feeling a little sad. But my children are my world, and I don't want to miss these years with them." Viewers who miss Adams, a Mount Clemens native, and her sunny disposition can look for her in her new role as spokeswoman for 1-800-Hansons, a local windows and home improvement company. She shot her first commercial last week... Kim Adams puts her family ahead of forecasting (Wed, 10/28)


Petoskey News-Review:

We are all for a good prank and think we have a good sense of humor, but one Northern Michigan radio station has sunk too low. On Tuesday, listeners to WKLT's morning radio show were told trick or treating was canceled across the area because of the recent sicknesses breaking out. Parents and children were upset and called the offices of area chambers of commerce and even the News-Review to find out more. In light of all the school closings and various nursing homes asking children not to trick or treat at their facilities, to some people the canceling of trick or treating in a community was a feasible scenario. It turns out this was a "prank" perpetrated by this radio show. It was a prank that played off the fears of area families already worried about a serious flu spreading through the schools. It was bad timing, not funny and in poor taste (especially since it, in a big way, played off the emotions of children looking forward to a fun evening out)... Shameful radio 'trick' is no treat (Thu, 10/29)


Grand Rapids Press:

Returning to Grand Rapids to play music is something country star Dierks Bentley is looking forward to doing, especially when it helps benefit children. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter will headline Sunday night's B-93 Roofsit Concert for Kids in Van Andel Arena. Sponsored by WCBT-FM (93.7), the event is a part of the radio station's long-running annual drive to raise money for West Michigan agencies involved in treating and preventing child abuse and neglect. Taylor Swift performed last year in the Roofsit's inaugural concert... Dierks Bentley returns to Grand Rapids for B-93 Roofsit fundraiser (Thu, 10/29)




The lawyer for Grand Rapids radio station B-93 says the Ionia Director Of Public Safety told station executives it was safe to hold their Birthday Bash at the Ionia Fairgrounds last summer. "The Director Of Public Safety made the determination it was safe to proceed," says B-93 attorney Jon March. Approximately 1,400 vehicles were stranded when the fairgrounds flooded during the concert June 20. Many were severely damaged or totaled. Radio station lawyer Jon March laid the blame on the Ionia Public Safety Department after a hearing on how to handle claims from owners of damaged vehicles... B-93 blames Ionia Public Safety Director for flooding mess (Wed, 10/28)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 29, 2009



Flint Journal:

As Central Michigan University prepares to purchase Flint's public broadcasting station WFUM-TV, the new likely owners are promising viewers more local programming in the city and surrounding areas. CMU this week agreed to purchase WFUM (Channel 28) from the University of Michigan for $1 million with money from its reserves and to be repaid by CMU Public Broadcasting, which would acquire the Flint station. The sale won't be finalized until the Federal Communications Commission approves the license transfer. "It certainly allows us to continue to provide public broadcasting to the Flint area and that was something that was in jeopardy," said CMU Spokesman Steve Smith, who said CMU expects to take control of programming by mid to late November... WFUM would bring more local programming to Flint under Central Michigan University ownership (Thu, 10/29)


Ann Arbor's WQKL (107one) announces release of "Live From Studio A2, Volume 2" to benefit The Michigan Theatre

Since its introduction to our airwaves, homes, and day-to-day activities, ann arbor's 107one has become a welcome staple of the community and the Ann Arbor lifestyle. With the acclaimed Studio A2 and Studio A2 On The Road broadcasts, listeners have tuned their radios and opened their ears to thousands of live and local performances that we all talk about and remember.

Last year marked the first time those memorable performances were captured on disc for everyone to enjoy. The result was the Live From Studio A2, Volume One benefit CD, which helped raise thousands of dollars for the Michigan Theater Foundation and its focus for live entertainment for more than 80 years: the historic Michigan Theater on Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor.

The station is pleased to announce that they have taken the newest and best live performances, both from artists' visits to their studio and adventures across the area to create Live From Studio A2, Volume Two.

With songs handpicked and carefully re-mastered to showcase the amazing talent that comes through our town, Live From Studio A2, Volume Two boasts a pedigree of emerging and chart-topping artists and acts that will be the perfect complement to your collection.

With stand-out tracks from artists on the rise like James Morrison, Brett Dennen, Vienna Teng and Donavon Frankenreiter, to artists you've loved for years like Feist, Indigo Girls, They Might Be Giants and John Hiatt, Live From Studio A2, Volume Two illustrates what makes Ann Arbor truly special with its eclectic mix of talent and artistry. The project is made possible once again by the generous support of our friends at Bank of Ann Arbor and Sesi Motors.

Proceeds from the disc will benefit The Michigan Theater Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to operate, preserve and maintain Ann Arbor's historic Michigan Theater for the benefit of the community and the arts. Established to save the theater from demolition in 1979, the foundation works every day to raise the considerable funds needed to maintain the theater and its programs.

Live From Studio A2, Volume Two to benefit the Michigan Theater will be released Tuesday, November 3rd and available exclusively at Borders stores in Ann Arbor (downtown Ann Arbor on Liberty, Arborland on Washtenaw and Water's Place on Lohr Road), Brighton, Canton and Novi with the introductory price of $12.99.

Don't have Live From Studio A2, Volume One yet? What are you waiting for? Borders will be offering BOTH volumes together for $20. That's a savings of over six dollars and the perfect way for you or a friend to check out what truly rocks in Ann Arbor.



• Smile FM has been granted a construction permit for a new FM station on 89.3 to be licensed to Harbor Beach. The Class C3 station would operate 12,000 watts @ 476 with a directional pattern from a tower located south of Bad Axe.


• Construction permit granted to FM translator W261BP 100.1 Hillsdale to move to 100.7 as W264CB and change community of license to Reading. The translator would also move to the southwest.


• No notable activity for October 28.


Detroit Free Press:

Federal authorities say a Detroit television reporter tried to use underhanded means to gain access to a Madison Heights veterinarian clinic where an FBI dog was being treated for mortal wounds resulting from a shootout with the leader of an Islamic fundamentalist group. And now she could be in hot water. The owner of the Veterinary Emergency Service clinic in Madison Heights said WDIV-TV (Local 4) reporter Natalie Sentz told the manager that she had been sent to the facility Wednesday by the FBI to make arrangements for disposing of the dog's remains... WDIV reporter used false story to try to see shot FBI dog, feds say (Fri, 10/30)


Jazzy Detroiter and former WVMV-FM (98.7) morning host Alexander Zonjic is ready to pay tribute to the station's now defunct smooth jazz format with a double-header celebration tonight and Halloween at the flutist's Seldom Blues supper club. "This is not going to be a pity party; it's really a tribute to the station," Zonjic says of the celebration, which will feature artists like Tim Bowmand and Dave McMurray and some of the station's former personalities. Zonjic, the morning host for the last dozen years on V98.7, did his last show Oct. 2, the Friday the adult contemporary station flipped formats and became mostly Top 40. He says he's been bombarded since then with e-mails, Facebook messages and tons of questions and support... Parties honor jazz station (Fri, 10/30)


Grand Rapids Press:

As Ryan Terpstra busily prepares for another edition of the "Sean & Terp" show at Clear Channel's downtown studios, co-host Sean Baligian is nowhere to be seen. He certainly can be heard, though. Loud and clear. The "Sean & Terp" show airs on WMAX-FM (96.1) -- or, as it's more commonly known, ESPN 96.1 -- and Terpstra mans the booth in Grand Rapids. Baligian is an equal partner, albeit from almost 150 miles away, at the WDFN studio in Detroit. Naturally, it takes a little time to adjust to communicating with your broadcast partner when he isn't the same room as you are, but both said it hasn't been an issue since the show debuted Aug. 17... 'Sean & Terp' show on ESPN 96.1 features co-hosts 150 miles apart (Fri, 10/30)



• FM translator W230BI 93.9 Lapeer has been sold by Edgewater Broadcasting to Radio Power for $50,000 pending FCC approval and closing.


• The FCC approved the purchase of LPTV station WMKG-CA 38 Muskegon by BAG, LLC from Kelley Enterprises. Sale price was $250,000.


• The FCC approved the purchase of FM translators W224BY 92.7 Bronson and W261BP 100.1 Hillsdale by Swick Broadcasting from Horizon Christian Fellowship. Sale price was $30,000.


• The FCC also approved the purchase of the construction permit for FM station WRAX-FM 98.9 Walhalla/Ludington from Radioactive, LLC to Beaubark Communications, LLC. Sale price was $210,000.


Merlin (Zeke) Dumbrille retires after 58 years with WTCM

Long time Northern Michigan broadcaster Merlin (Zeke) Dumbrille has retired after 58 years on the air with WTCM after his program on Friday, October 30th.

Dumbrille was the host of WTCM's Farm & Orchard Time, heard weekdays at 11:45 am since 1963. On his show, Merlin talked with MSU Extension Directors from the five county Traverse City area about current problems growers face, and offers solutions to keep them operating at a good profit margin. He also talked with Soil Conservation Officers from the area county conservation districts, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council members in Petoskey and area Foresters, all on a regular weekly basis.

Overall, Merlin had been with WTCM for 58 years, and retired as the Farm Director and Public Affairs Director for the station. He has won numerous local and State honors for his coverage of farm related news and information. He also regularly covered activities for the National Cherry Festival and produced the broadcast of the entire National Cherry Festival Grand Cherry Royale Parade until this past summer when he stepped down from those duties.

Dumbrille is a Life Member of the Kiwanis Club of Grand Traverse Bay, and was previously a President. He is currently the President of the Traverse City Masonic Building Association, and a Corporate Member of Munson Medical Center. He is a relief motion picture projectionist at the State Theatre in downtown Traverse City. For the past thirty-three years, Merlin has been the audio technician for the broadcast of the Central United Methodist Church Sunday Services in downtown Traverse City.

Merlin and his wife of 55 years, June, have lived in Traverse City their entire lives. They've raised three children and have three grandchildren.

Congratulations to Dumbrille on his outstanding career of serving Traverse City area radio listeners!



Traverse City Record-Eagle:

The Michigan airwaves will soon be without the voice and host of one of its longest-running talk shows. Merlin Dumbrille, host of "Farm and Orchard Time," and farm director and public affairs director for WTCM Radio, retires as of today. In 1964, Merlin began hosting the popular "Farm and Orchard Time" program on WTCM radio in Traverse City. For more than 45 years, Merlin kept Michigan farmers and the public up to date on important agricultural issues of the day, featuring farm news and information to keep his listeners better informed. He talked with Michigan State University Extension directors from northwest Michigan's 5-county area about current problems growers face and offered solutions to keep them operating at a good profit margin. Soil conservation officers from the area county conservation districts, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council members in Petoskey and area foresters were also regular guests on his show. This silver-tongued legend provided up-to-date information on farm and food-related programs to members of the agriculture community with insightful questions and commentary... Hats off to Dumbrille (Sat, 10/31)







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