Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Oct. 23, 2009




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

"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."







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on October 23, 2009 6:47 AM.

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