Metro Detroit: January 2009 Archives

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 1, 2009



WADL-TV 38 to air second Detroit mayoral debate live on January 7

The second in a series of highly talked about debates between candidates to become Detroit's mayor is scheduled to take place Wednesday, January 7th 2009 at 8:00PM.

WADL TV 38 will air the event live, following through on a pledge to give all candidates who want the opportunity a forum to debate. The candidates scheduled for round two of one of Detroit's most talked about elections are D. Etta Wilcoxon, Coleman Young II, Stanley Christmas, and Rev. Nicholas Hood III. Sharon McPhail was also invited to this event, but has declined to participate.

The panel for the debate will include Nolan Finley, Editorial Editor for the Detroit News, Stephen Henderson, Editorial Editor for The Detroit Free Press, and Moderator Dayna Clark, News Anchor for WJR AM 760.

The Christmas fare on WNIC during December easily lifted the station to the top of the December 2008 official portable people meter radio ratings from Arbitron. The station easily outdistanced every other competitor in both total number of listeners and in ratings share.

Age 12+ ratings chart.



Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit is one of the four latest radio markets to measure listenership by portable meters rather than the traditional diary method, according to Arbitron Inc. ... The audience ratings estimates, done monthly rather than four times a year under the previous handwritten method, are used to determine how many people are listening to a particular station in a market, and Arbitron-subscribing stations, advertisers and ad agencies use the results to determine commercial rates... Arbitron switches to portable meters for Detroit radio ratings (Wed, 12/31)


Jerry Martin, chief engineer of WKNR AM 1310 and the early WNIC-FM 100.3 Detroit, passed away yesterday morning at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn. He will be at the Voran Funeral home in Allen Park from 1-9 pm Friday, January 2nd with services on Saturday at 10 am.

Jerry MartinJerrold L. Martin was born December 29, 1916 in Franklin, Minnesota. After graduating high school in Elbow, Minnesota, in 1938 Mr. Martin moved to Detroit and found a job at Kroger. Radio was a hobby and during World War II Jerry became employed at the Willow Run bomber plant as a pre-flight test radio technician. After the war when the Willow Run plant closed, Martin was hired at the Briggs Meldrum plant in Detroit assembling Packard car bodies.

In December 1946, Jerry was hired by Suburban Broadcaster as a radio engineer where he assisted with the construction of WKMH AM 1310 Dearborn and turned the switch on for the first day of broadcasting.

Also in 1946, he married Bernice Maczorowski and together they had one son, Jerrold Jr., who passed away in 1997. Bernice predeceased Jerry in 2002.

Jerry would become chief engineer of WKMH in 1947 and eventually Knorr Broadcasting purchased WKMH and changed the call sign to WKNR. Through the years at WKNR, he supervised construction and changes and when Knorr Broadcasting acquired additional stations in Flint, Saginaw, Jackson and Battle Creek, he became vice president of engineering for the group.

WKMH-FM 100.3 was added in 1950. Jerry supervised the installation and construction of what now is the present day transmitting facilities of WNIC-FM.

Another change saw WKNR-AM and WNIC-FM become owned by Renaissance Communications, which also had stations in Milwaukee, WI, Columbus, OH, Rochester, NY and Norfolk, VA. Jerry was appointed as director of engineering for Renaissance.

Jerry retired in September 1985, though continued to do consulting for radio stations. In addition to his engineering duties over the years, he co-authored the operating information for the Emergency Broadcasting System (EBS) and became vice chairman of the EBS for Michigan. Later he served as chairman of the southeast section of the EBS. The system is known today as The Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Jerry Martin was a life member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and a Certified Senior Broadcast Engineer. He received a Carl E. Lee Radio Engineering Award at the 2008 Michigan Association of Broadcasters Conference.

He was a registered member of the Detroit Area Council Boy Scouts of America for 46 years. He was also a member of the advisory board of the Detroit Council and received the Silver Beaver Award, the District Award of Merit, and the Wood Badge. He served in several volunteer positions at the district level including Merit Badge counselor, a Brotherhood Member in the Order of the Arrow, and an Assistant District Commissioner. Jerry had a whole-hearted love and belief in scouting.

In 1997 Jerry and wife Bernice provided funds and an endowment to build a new administration building at the D-A Scout Ranch near Metamora, Michigan dedicated to the memory of their son Jerrold Jr. In 2002 funds were also provided for the flag pole plaza at the Dick and Sandy Dauch Scout Center in Detroit. reports:

Jerry Martin, the longtime chief engineer for WKMH/WKNR/WNIC passed away on New Year's Eve, two days after his 92nd birthday.

Jerry began his career as a radio engineer in 1946, assisting in the construction of Keener's predecessor, WKMH and holds the distinction of being the second employee hired by Fred Knorr at the station. His many accomplishments through the years include supervising the installation and construction of the present day transmitting facilities of WNIC-FM. Since retiring in 1985, Jerry worked as a consultant and co-authored the operating information for what is now known as the Emergency Action System (EAS). He was a life member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and Certified Senior Broadcast Engineer. Earlier this year, The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Honored Jerry with the Carl Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award.

He built that incredible reverb unit that gave WKNR it's distinctive sound. "The heart of the system was a Hammond spring type reverb system," Jerry commented in December of 2005. "It was about four feet tall and about six to eight inches square. In it I believe there were four pipes each of which encased a spring of various sizes and tensions. The unit had to stand erect since the pipes were filled with oil, which I presume provided a damping efect on the springs. I built an amplifier to drive the springs an then pick up spring output. The audio was fed straight thru and to the reverb system. The reverb audio was then recombined with the straight thru audio, The input and output of the reverb system was controlled to achieve a desired effect.. At the time we had engineers at the transmitter so it was placed there to keep curious fingers from messing with it."

Jerry was a friend and mentor to many, both inside and outside of broadcasting. The engineering fraternity in Detroit came to rely on his experience and judgement. "While the radio business in Detroit was extremely competitive," he once said, "we were always willing to help one another when there were technical issues."

He had a special place in his heart for the Boy Scouts and was an active Scouter throught his life, continuing to volunteer and add value to young lives long after his retirement.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 3, 2009



Detroit Free Press:

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is coming soon to a TV near you. "Making Music With the DSO With Host Leonard Slatkin" debuts at 5:30 p.m. today on WTVS-TV (Channel 56). Each 30-minute episode in the 13-week series promises to explore a specific theme and is designed to open a window on the world of classical music and the orchestra for general audiences. Slatkin, who began his tenure as music director of the DSO last month, has made outreach a signature of his career, and the series dovetails with many of the priorities he has for building audiences. The programs air at 5:30 p.m. Saturdays... Leonard Slatkin will host series about music on WTVS (Sat, 1/3)

So what did metro Detroiters prefer to watch, the Red Wings playing outdoors in the cold or the Spartans playing in the Florida sunshine? Looks like Hockeytown was really Spartytown on New Year's Day. The Winter Classic hockey game, shown locally on WDIV Channel 4, between the Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks had a 10.5 rating and a 20% share in Detroit. That translates to 203,000 households. During pretty much the same time slot, the Capital One Bowl between MSU and Georgia aired on WXYT Channel 7. It beat out the Wings, drawing a 15.2 rating and a 28.3% share. That's roughly 293,000 households... More Detroit television viewers go Green than Red (Sat, 1/3)



Radio Business Report:

BART (Blacks in Advertising Radio and Television) announced a pending lawsuit against Blair Petry Media and WADL-TV Detroit, which markets itself as an "Urban TV Station". For years, radio and television stations which target African Americans and minorities have endured unspoken discrimination as it relates to national media buys. In the 90's media sales associates were made aware of the NUD (Non Urban Dictate) policy. This policy was implemented by many companies placing large media buys throughout the year that did not want to spend money in urban focused broadcasting. Blair Petry Media and its former CEO Earl Jones, have placed a different spin on servicing minority broadcasters by requesting that WADL TV38 provide them with 1.5 million dollars upfront to ensure the station get a fair share of national dollars placed," said BART in a statement... BART supports WADL-TV management in dispute with Blair Petry Media (Fri, 1/2)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 5, 2009


D&D Debut In Mornings At WCSX: JEFF DEMINSKI and BILL DOYLE officially returned from exile at the stroke of midnight JANUARY 1st, and TODAY (1/5) marked the debut of their show on GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WCSX/DETROIT. DEMINSKI and DOYLE, who spent 8 years in afternoons on crosstown CBS RADIO Talk WKRK (LIVE 97.1 FREE FM) and briefly moved to mornings there when the station flipped to Sports as WXYT-F (97.1 THE TICKET), were off the air for a year sitting out a noncompete after failing to reach an agreement on a new deal with CBS. The hosts, who came to DETROIT from Talk WKXW (NEW JERSEY 101.5)/TRENTON, popped on the air live at midnight NEW YEAR'S EVE from a WCSX party at SNOOKERS in UTICA, MI to celebrate the end of their noncompete. TODAY's launch of the WCSX show reunited D&D with sidekick RUDY DESANTIS and traffic reporter NICOLE SALEM; FOX O&O WJBK-TV (FOX 2)/DETROIT reporter JASON CARR, a frequent guest on the show at its old location, has joined the show as sports anchor. (Mon, 1/5)

WDVD 'Stuffs A Bus': During their annual holiday charity drive, CITADEL Hot AC WDVD/DETROIT received record-breaking contributions from residents of the "MOTOR CITY" during its 3rd annual "STUFF-A-BUS" campaign. WDVD listeners donated more than 15,000 toys to benefit local support agencies with CHRISTMAS gifts for children. The toys and games were distributed to CHILDREN's MIRACLE NETWORK, ORCHARD's CHILDREN SERVICES, NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES ORGANIZATION, RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE, CHILDREN's HOSPITAL, GOD's HELPING HANDS, VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA, LIGHT HOUSE and local churches. (Mon, 1/5)


Crain's Detroit Business:

Rob Parker's post-game press conference question about the family nuptial preferences of Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli has led The Detroit News columnist to resign. After the Lions lost 42-7 to the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 21, Parker asked the coach: "On a light note, do you wish your daughter would have married a better defensive coordinator?" Marinelli, who's son-in-law Joe Barry ran the team's defense, ignored the question, but lashed out the following day. Media criticism of Parker quickly mounted and drew short-lived sympathy for the winless Lions. Parker apologized in a column and was reportedly demoted by the newspaper... Detroit News columnist resigns amid media criticism (Tue, 1/6)


Support WDET and see the Auto Show

WDETOne of the things that Detroiters (and people all over the world) have looked forward to for more than 100 years is the North American International Auto Show - and donors making a gift of $100 or more to the station can receive a pair of tickets to this year's show taking place at Cobo Center January 17-25, 2009.

WDET is promising extensive coverage of this year's auto show beginning Sunday, January 11 at 8am. Detroit Today (weekdays 10am-noon), The Back Story (weekdays 3pm-4pm) and All Things Considered (weekdays 4pm-7pm) will all be broadcasting live from Cobo Center January 12-15 and offer in-depth interviews, special reports and features making the news during the show.

Jump to for details.



WJR's Smith to help celebrate at Boyne Mountain

WJRWJR AM 760's Paul W. Smith Show is scheduled to broadcast live from the Mountain Grand Lodge in celebration of Boyne Mountain's 60th Anniversary tomorrow morning, January 9th, from 5:30 - 9 am. has more information.



Zonjic to perform at Detroit Presidential Inaugural Ball

For those who can't travel to Washington, D.C., yet want to celebrate Barack Obama's inauguration in a grand way, a Presidential Inaugural Ball will set sail on the Detroit Princess Riverboat on Tuesday, January 20. The VIP package will include entertainment by jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic & Friends on the enclosed and heated boat.

For $75 general admission tickets and $100 VIP packages, a buffet dinner will be served along with a cash bar, live music, an HDTV telecast of Washington, D.C. parties and souvenir mementos. VIP tickets additionally include Zonjic's performance, an enhanced dinner menu and exclusive souvenir. Zonjic is also morning host at WVMV FM 98.7

A reception begins at 6:00 p.m.; the cruise departs at 7:30 p.m. for a two-hour cruise. . The boat will return to the dock at 9:30 and revelers can continue the party on the boat. Presidential red, white and blue attire is suggested.

To purchase tickets visit or call (877) 338-2628.


WDIV readies Auto Show coverage

WDIV TV, Local 4, is again the official home of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). For 2009, exclusive and extensive Local 4 News coverage on-air and on ClickOnDetroit will take viewers where no one else can throughout each day of the Auto Show. The most complete NAIAS coverage anywhere includes live television specials and news broadcast from the exhibit floor, daily news features throughout the media preview week and the public show, and a 2- hour live primetime special from the Charity Preview event.

On Sunday, January 11 starting at 6 a.m., Guy Gordon and Rhonda Walker will host Local 4 News live from Cobo Center. As the Car and Truck of the Year are announced and vehicle unveilings begin, Local 4 will take viewers inside with all day coverage on Then, Sunday at 6 p.m., it's an hour-long live Local 4 special. Auto Show All Access: Cars Of The Future, hosted by Carmen Harlan and Devin Scillian, will highlight the day's most talked about new vehicle unveilings and the winners of Car and Truck of the Year with special reports from Guy Gordon and Rod Meloni.

Then, it's one of Metro-Detroit's most anticipated nights, and the biggest black tie extravaganza in town. Friday, January 16 starting at 7 p.m., Local 4 will take viewers inside the 2009 NAIAS Charity Preview party with a live 2-hour primetime special on a night uses a backdrop of beautiful cars to raise significant donations for local children's charities. 4 From The Floor: The 2009 NAIAS Charity Preview is hosted by Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian, Guy Gordon, Rhonda Walker, Chuck Gaidica and Karen Drew, and will feature special appearances by Michigan native film and recording star Jeff Daniels, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno's own "Ross The Intern", and Late Night host Conan O'Brien in segments taped from his visit to the Auto Show floor. 4 From The Floor: The 2009 NAIAS Charity Preview also includes interviews with top auto industry executives, a look at some of this year's most impressive vehicles, and the ultimate buyer's guide to purchasing a new car in these tough economic times (with a review of models and features to suit a wide range of driving needs.)

On Saturday, January 17 at 7 p.m., Auto Show All Access: Weekend Opener will offer viewers the great tips to prepare for their trip down to the Auto Show. Auto Show All Access: Weekend Opener will provide the inside scoop on the must-see vehicles and displays, event tickets and parking, and interviews with auto industry movers and shakers.

In addition to all the specials, the latest daily updates and exclusive stories from the show can be found on Local 4's website,



WOMC to help celebrate Motown Record's 50th anniversary

Oldies 104.3 WOMC FM afternoon drive personality Ted "The Bear" Richards is scheduled to broadcast live on location from the Motown Museum on Monday, January 12th from 3-7pm in celebration of Motown Records 50th anniversary.

In addition, WOMC will be celebrating this weekend by highlighting Motown songs in commemoration of 50 years of great music.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 10, 2008


Granted PPM ratings data covers a limited number of markets, but the 11-share which Clear Channel, Detroit Adult Contemporary WNIC posted in December was the first double-digit month we've seen so far in October, November or December. An 11-share's gaudiness in the 11th-largest market is enough of an attention-getter but perhaps equally as noteworthy is WNIC's month-month growth: Its 4.5 in November placed it 11th. While we're at it, we might note WNIC this summer ranked ... you guessed it ... 11th. Format foe WMGC was close behind at #12 in that quarterly survey but according to PPM's October-November-December numbers, Greater Media's "Magic" has been in the 3.7-3.3-3.3 range. Its 3.43 three-month average is 15th, compared to WNIC's 6.83, which is good enough for the lead... Detroit: It's NICe having a perfect 11 (Fri, 1/9)


Detroit Free Press:

Radiothon for THAW: To help provide assistance to families struggling to pay heating and electric bills or get medical supplies and food, WWJ-AM (950) and the Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) are partnering for the Sixth annual Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW. The 31-hour event will be broadcast live from the MotorCity Casino Hotel beginning at 5 a.m. Feb. 6 and concluding at midnight Feb. 7 ... Alan Almond, the longtime pillow talker on WNIC-FM (100.3), was reportedly let go from his shift Dec. 26. Almond had been with the station since the fall of 2005, when he was hired back after being fired in 2003. There's no word on a replacement yet... Names and Faces (Sun, 1/11)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 12, 2009



Detroit Free Press:

Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. is calling on federal officials to postpone the scheduled Feb. 17 change that moves broadcast television channels to a digital format that requires viewers without cable, satellite or other television service to obtain a special box to receive a signal. Cockrel, in a letter to Michael Copps, a Federal Communications Commissioner who was in Detroit today, said despite a massive outreach effort to get boxes in the hands of those who still use a television antenna to receive a signal, too many would be left with no television service when the changover occurs. Cockrel said seniors, the poor and first-generation immigrants especially would be hit... Detroit mayor calls to postpone move to digital TV format (Mon, 1/12)

Auto CEOs, UAW Chief Set For 'National Automotive Roundtable': CITADEL Talk WJR-A/DETROIT will originate a "NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE ROUNDTABLE" TUESDAY (1/13) 7-9p ET through ABC NEWS RADIO that will feature the CEOs of DETROIT's "Big 3" car makers. GM's RICK WAGONER, CHRYSLER's ROBERT NARDELLI, and FORD's ALAN MULALLY will be joined by UNITED AUTO WORKERS President RON GETTELFINGER and NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION Chair ANNETTE SYKORA on the panel, moderated by WJR morning host PAUL W. SMITH. (Mon, 1/12)



Winter Classic hockey game draws largest TV audience since 1975

The Winter Classic drew the biggest television audience for a regular-season NHL game in nearly 34 years. The Red Wings' 6-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day attracted an average of 4.4 million U.S. viewers on NBC, the network said Monday. That's the most since a Philadelphia-New York Rangers game on Feb. 23, 1975, according to Nielsen Media Research.



W4 Country's Toys For Tots campaign nets over 2,400 toys

102.9 W4 Country, WWWW-FM, teamed up with Key Bank, the U.S. Marine Corps and the Washtenaw County Toys for Tots organization to bring smiles and over 2,440 toys to local Children just in time for Christmas.

W4 Country's Crusade for Kids campaign ran from Monday December 15th through Saturday December 20th when the station took over a store front at the Oak Valley Shopping Center in Ann Arbor to help increase toy donations through a series of live broadcasts. The W4 Store accepted toys and monetary donations all week long.

On Saturday December 20th, Bubba and Katie from the Breakfast with Bubba morning took the monetary gifts and went on a shopping spree for toys. That shopping spree added up to over 1,140 toys!

W4 Country was proud to be a part of a great campaign for such a worthy and heartwarming cause.


Detroit Free Press:

Fans of Alan Almond's "Pillowtalk" radio show on WNIC-FM (100.3) have gone to sleep the last couple weeks tossing and turning. Almond's signature deep, soothing voice -- an off-and-on fixture on 'NIC for a quarter-century or so -- is no longer dancing inside metro Detroiters' light-rock music dreams. The longtime personality has been off the air since Dec. 17, but Almond told Names & Faces on Monday that he is in the final stages of finishing a deal with a Los Angeles-based company that would syndicate the show. "This is a no-BS city, a town as tough as nails and filled with no-nonsense people," Almond says. "For a show that focused on sensitive and caring themes and music, it has been really special to have been embraced for so long by a community that underneath it all is very giving." Almond's attorney, Stuart Best, says Almond, who owns the rights to "Pillowtalk," resigned in December... 'Pillowtalk' dreams of syndication (Tue, 1/13)



The Oakland Press:

Johnny Irons was a hot jockey in Oakland County at a time when AM radio was king. He was the evening-air personality at WPON-AM in Pontiac from 1963 through 1967. He played what was then known as Top-40 and his uptempo, positive delivery made him well known not only in Oakland County but throughout the Flint/Detroit corridor. Mr. Irons died Jan. 4 in Knoxville, Tenn., after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old... Influential WPON disc jockey made his mark (Tue, 1/13)

Z100 PD Sharon Dastur To Also Program WKQI: CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO/DETROIT announces that WHTZ (Z100)/NEW YORK PD SHARON DASTUR will also program sister Top 40 WQKI (CHANNEL 955)/DETROIT. DASTUR, will be based in NEW YORK and will be commuting to DETROIT personally every month, while maintaining daily interaction with both stations. SHARON replaces DOM THEODORE who announced plans to join CBS RADIO as VP/Top 40 Programming at the end of 2008. Regarding the news, CLEAR CHANNEL/DETROIT President/Market Mgr. TIL LEVESQUE said, "Having someone of SHARON's talent, expertise and passion to help write the next chapter of success for CHANNEL 955 is extremely exciting. I look forward to the potential collaboration of best practices between NEW YORK and DETROIT stations and having SHARON lead our very experienced, talented and winning on-air programming team." SHARON told ALL ACCESS, "It'll be an exciting challenge overseeing legendary stations in both NEW YORK and DETROIT. I'm thrilled to join TIL LEVESQUE and the incredible team at CHANNEL 955 and look forward to build on the great success they've created in the last several years." (Thu, 1/15)



Ann Arbor News:

After a year's hiatus, "The Lucy Ann Lance Show" will be back providing local coverage of the Ann Arbor community starting Jan. 24. Lance is teaming up with radio veteran Dean Erskine to produce a three-hour weekly talk show on WLBY (1290 AM); the show, hosted by Lance, is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. "We've developed a platform that will focus on our community, its people and the local business economy," said Lance. The show also will be available online at Lance and Erskine have a long track record in broadcasting, and have formed Lance & Erskine Communications. They most recently teamed up to broadcast the Michigan Football Tailgates with Doug Karsch, Frank Beckmann, and Jim Brandstatter on the Michigan sports network... Lucy Ann Lance returning to Ann Arbor radio on WLBY (Wed, 1/14)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 18, 2009



Detroit Free Press:

Karen Dumas is looking to smarten up the local radio airwaves. The veteran metro Detroit public relations specialist and journalist is hosting a new weekly talk show at 2-3 p.m. Sundays on WGPR-FM (107.5). "Sunday Afternoon with Karen Dumas" gets rolling today. "This show is all talk, with listener call-ins and guests," Dumas tells Names & Faces. "We will discuss topical issues, lifestyle concerns, people and politics of interest to metropolitan Detroiters." Dumas, who writes for the Michigan Chronicle and other pubs, says she'll discuss the new presidential administration and expectations on the first show... Karen Dumas talks the talk (Sun, 1/18)


In yet another case of rumors becoming reality, sports WDFN 1130 Detroit appears locally to have taken the brunt of cuts implemented today by owner Clear Channel. Fired were afternoon drive hosts Mike Stone and Bob Wojnowksi, and mid-morning host Sean Baligian. Morning host Matt Shepard loses his program but remains with the station as a reporter. Once coverage of the Presidential Inauguration ended this afternoon, WDFN essentially became an outlet of the syndicated Fox Sports Radio network with the only local programming being Detroit Pistons basketball and sports updates from Shepard and fellow reporters Matt Dery and Rob Otto.

Also exiting Clear Channel/Detroit in the cutbacks are Jamillah Muhammad who had been the operations manager for adult urban WMXD-FM 92.3 and also used to produce "The Keith Sweat Hotel" syndicated night show for Clear Channel's Premiere Radio. Muhammad had been with the company for 19 years.



Detroit News:

The parent company of WDFN 1130 made sweeping cuts and a major programming change to the Detroit sports talk radio station Tuesday, eliminating local shows such as "Stoney and Wojo" and Sean Baligian's midday program. Clear Channel now will air nationally-syndicated Fox Sports Radio programs... Local sports shows cut at WDFN (Tue, 1/20)



Detroit Free Press:

Mike Stone, half of the popular Detroit sports radio drive-time team of "Stoney and Wojo," got word of his future from WDFN-AM (1130) management around noon today. Like the news for other on-air talent at the station, it wasn't good. Stone, his on-air partner Bob Wojnowski and morning host Sean Baligian were among those laid off yesterday as part of parent company Clear Channel's decision to drop most local programming at the Farmington Hills-based station, with the exception of Pistons games and sports updates. WDFN likely will move to a nationally syndicated programming format in the future, although its Web page message today said it was "remodeling" and to check back soon. Calls to the station's management were not immediately returned... Mike Stone, others from WDFN react to layoffs (Tue, 1/20)

In the wake of the Inauguration Day massacre at WDFN I thought I would give you a few more nuggets of information regarding whats left of the radio station and why this happened. The reason for the death of Detroit's original sports station- WDFN has been mismanaged for a really long time. I'm not here to blow my own horn, but Peter Connolly the GM who presided over WDFN in it hey-day really understood the product and what needed to be done to compete and win the sports battle. He left me alone and let me do what needed to be done to get the station noticed and to get ratings. I haven't had that luxury with any of the stations I worked with after leaving WDFN, it was one clueless GM after another. That is part of the reason I left the business, Programmers weren't Programming any longer... Some thoughts about WDFN and Clear Channel, Stoney and Wojo's next move? (Tue, 1/20)


Detroit News:

Eleven Detroit Public Television employees were laid off Wednesday, a station official has confirmed. From the reception desk to the promotions and accounting departments, the reductions represented about 16 percent of the station's staff, said David Devereaux, vice president of communications for Detroit Public TV and sister radio station, WRCJ-FM (90.9). One radio station employee also was let go, he said. The 12 employees' job cuts were effective immediately, but they were given a severance package, Devereaux said from his Detroit office Wednesday. He assured viewers and listeners that they won't notice the staff reductions... Channel 56 lays off 11 employees (Wed, 1/21)



Detroit Free Press:

Much of the WDFN-AM (1130) on-air staff was let go Tuesday. Your thoughts? This one is a little personal for me, so I'll probably ramble. I worked at WDFN for 14 years. Like Mike Stone (Stoney) and Bob Wojnowski (Wojo), I was there when it first went on the air, so, in a way, I felt like we all built it together, with the help of a lot of other people and a lot of great listeners. Some very, very good people were fired along with Stoney and Wojo on Tuesday (like Sean Baligian and Doug Todd). And some very, very good people (like Matt Shepard and Matt Dery) were kept on but in diminished roles. What's sad is that what happened Tuesday is common. A lot of you reading this have gone through it already or will go through the same thing in the near future. I went through it with Brady and Shep back in November 2007. It's horrible. And it doesn't reflect the quality of these people nor the quality of the work they did. It's just the times we live in. I talked to a lot of the people on the phone and in person Tuesday, and the message was the same. Don't cry for them, because they know very well that you're all going through the same things in your jobs. Stoney and Wojo were a Detroit institution, and that's what hurts the most... Jamie Samuelsen: I was at WDFN at the beginning, and I'm sad to see it go (Wed, 1/21)


Detroit News:

It began in a converted garage in downtown Detroit back in the summer of 1994, and we had no idea what it was, or what it would become, or where it would lead. It was the first all-sports radio station in Detroit, WDFN, and it was long overdue in a great sports town. So I started talking on those airwaves, along with my partner, Mike Stone, first on Sunday mornings and then, in the spring of 1995, in afternoon drive time. Wayne Fontes was the Lions coach then. Don Chaney was the Pistons coach. Scotty Bowman had just started his Red Wings run. Sparky Anderson was nearing the end as Tigers manager. We never thought it would last forever. Many people doubted it would last more than a couple of years. The signal was always sketchy and there were hirings and firings and the occasional tiff with one of the local teams. And WDFN plugged along, pushed by little more than voices and passion and the loyalty of sports fans. Nobody gets to pick their ending, not in this economic climate, usually not ever. So this will be one of the few times -- on the air or in print -- that I won't whine... Bob Wojnowski: Thanks for the memories, WDFN (Thu, 1/22)

Dell Warner left her mark on stage, in print and on television, both in front of and behind the camera. But friends say her most lasting legacy is the impression the former Detroit News columnist and local TV personality left on the lives of everyone who knew her. "Her brilliance and dedication to others are rare gifts," said Linda Solomon, a renowned photojournalist from Bloomfield Hills and a longtime friend of Warner's. "She was never too busy to help anyone and she expressed that in every aspect of her life." Warner died of cancer Wednesday. She was 84. Her professional career encompassed the theater, where she appeared in musicals with Ethel Merman on Broadway in the 1950s, newspapers and TV news. Years later, Warner wrote a Detroit News column about senior citizens and the issues they face. She was a correspondent who covered senior issues for WDIV-TV's "Coming of Age" segments in addition to serving as the show's producer. Her work earned her three Detroit Emmys... Correspondent loved the 'spotlight' (Thu, 1/22)



Detroit Free Press:

Dell Warner, the often edgy but always caring newswoman, died Wednesday of cancer. She was 84 and lived in Oak Park. An Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and former adviser to Lt. Gov. Martha Griffiths, Ms. Warner's diverse career included singing on Broadway in 1956 in "Happy Hunting," which starred Ethel Merman. Known to family and friends as Bubbee, Ms. Warner left the footlights for Detroit, where she became public information officer for a 600-patient methadone maintenance clinic in Detroit. Her work as an advocate led to a job hosting "Woman to Woman" on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7)... Dell Warner dies; broadcaster was one of many titles (Thu, 1/22)

The move to push back the looming Feb. 17 date for the transition to all-digital TV has been stalled, signaling that this new Congress is as indecisive and bogged down in partisan bickering as the old one. Meanwhile, it appears likely that those over-the-air viewers who do not yet have a converter box are going to be unable to watch TV in less than a month. After Republicans in the Senate blocked a bill last week that would push the date back four months, Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee were to take up their version of the bill Wednesday. But Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., surprised everyone by postponing discussion to "assess the implications of the Senate action." Confused? So is everybody -- the TV industry, which has invested billions and been running nonstop announcements of the DTV transition date; wireless carriers, which are set to take over the to-be-vacated standard analog TV channels, and consumers, who've been jerked around by everyone on this... Congress waffles on DTV transition postponement (Thu, 1/22)


Detroit Free Press:

About 7.5 million homes in the United States -- or 5.7% of all homes -- are still not ready for the Feb. 17 transition to digital TV, according to the Nielsen TV survey company. On the list of the 56 top TV markets nationwide, Detroit ranks 35th, with about 4.4% of the homes unprepared. In Detroit, 83% of all homes are ready, while another 12.4% are partially ready, usually meaning that some of the TVs in the house are set for digital reception. The company doesn't say what actual numbers the percentages represent. In early December, the Federal Communications Commission said as many as 100,000 people in metro Detroit may be unprepared for the Feb. 17 cutoff of traditional analog broadcasts... Detroit ranks 35th in digital TV readiness (Fri, 1/23)



Former WDFN host Greg Brady blogs on demise of station

WDFN -- 1994-2008; I've worked for four radio stations in my professional life. What do you mean I'm not very professional?? Hey - you're reading this! Something got you here. An accident? Oh sorry, our website can be unpredictable. But if you actually arrived here with a reason, sit back and I'll tell you a story that had a lot of happy moments but kind of a sad ending. Of the four stations, I've been at AM640 for about 14 months now. I was working in Windsor for a year when I got out of Fanshawe College before my classmates performed some kind of scene right out of the "Saw" movies on me. Jealousy. Must have been that. The voice. Those stylish clothes. Who knows. Anyway, and I had the pleasure of being able to say I worked for my hometown station of CFPL, now known as AM980 in London, Ontario. That was a cool thing. But I was at WDFN in Detroit for nine years. I arrived when I was 27, left when I was 36, and now that I'm 37, the station doesn't exist anymore. Yesterday (Tuesday, January 20th), the powers that be blew it up. All local programming is gone except the odd sports update, and Detroit Pistons basketball until the end of the NBA season. The station went on the air in 1994, when there was still lots of doubt as to whether the format itself could succeed and make a dent in what was then the sixth biggest radio market in the United States. When I arrived in 1998, it was the ninth biggest... Who Says You Can't Go Home? Clear Channel, That's Who (Thu, 1/22)


Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit taking to the airwaves to fight unemployment

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit today announced it will broadcast on 11 top-rated Southeast Michigan radio stations throughout the day on Friday, January 30th to raise funds to help thousands of Metro Detroiters overcome barriers to employment through education, training and career services.

Dubbed "Broadcasting for Jobs," the campaign will allow Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit to reach individuals throughout the region whose donations can help fellow Metro Detroiters secure job opportunities. Listeners interested in donating will be asked to call (866) 964-GIVE or visit

"'Broadcasting for Jobs' is a one-of-a-kind way for Goodwill Industries to reach a large number of Metro Detroiters from all parts of town and let them know they can help their unemployed friends and neighbors find work," said Lorna G. Utley, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. "We believe it's the first one-day campaign of this magnitude in Southeast Michigan or anywhere else."

The 11 participating radio stations reach a wide cross-section of Southeast Michigan radio listeners. Those listeners will hear Goodwill Industries on the air between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. The call to action will be reinforced in designated areas on the Web sites for each participating station and on

The stations on which Goodwill Industries will be "Broadcasting for Jobs" on January 30 are: WCSX-FM (94.7), WDVD-FM (96.3), WJR-AM (760), WMGC-FM (105.1), WMXD-FM (92.3), WNIC-FM (100.3), WOMC-FM (104.3), WRIF-FM (101.1), WWJ-AM (950), WXYT-FM (97.1) and WYCD-FM (99.5).

In the past two years of the organization's nearly 90-year history, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit has placed more than 2,500 Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county individuals into new jobs and provided education, training and career assistance to thousands more in the region.

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit provides people who have disabilities and other barriers to employment with opportunities to become independent, self-supporting citizens through training, work experience and employment in the community. Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit is a Michigan Works! affiliate and is funded in part by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth and Detroit Workforce Development Department. Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. For information, visit



Detroit Free Press:

It was a long year to not be on the air for Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle, the dynamic duo most metro Detroit commuters know as D&D. From the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal to the compelling election of Barack Obama, the two wanted to connect to their longtime audience in 2008 -- badly. But after being let go from the CBS-run WKRK-FM (97.1) at the end of 2007, their mics were cold while they waited for their one-year no-competition clause to expire. They waited things out because they wanted to stay in the Motor City market. Now D&D are running strong on WCSX-FM (94.7) during the competitive morning drive-time slot. Joining them are sports authority Jason Carr, call screener and personality Rudi DeSantis, sassy traffic voice Nicole Salem and producer Jim O'Brien. They say the show is pretty much the same thing listeners have come to know and love, except that their home is now the classic-rock music station... Catching up with radio duo D&D (Mon, 1/26)


Michigan Almanac: January 30, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

While the daily news of bailouts, stimulus packages and CEO bonus checks has taken its toll on many Americans, for Nashville singer/songwriter John Rich of the country duo Big and Rich, it inspired "Shuttin' Detroit Down," a song sympathetic to autoworkers and farmers. Now, the song has become a working-class anthem, and it's quickly becoming one of the hottest songs on country radio. Rich dropped off the song at B-93's Grand Rapids studio Tuesday. "As soon as John played it for us, the phones started ringing and the e-mails started flying in. People are in tears," said morning on-air personality Neal Dionne, of WBCT-FM (B-93.7) in Grand Rapids, a region also struggling with a GM plant closing in Wyoming. "You don't see that everyday. (And) when you do, you know it's something special." The same strong reactions are happening in Detroit, where country station WDTW-FM (106.7), The Fox, is playing it hourly... Michigan's reality? John Rich's 'Shuttin' Detroit Down' hits home (Thu, 1/29)



Detroit Free Press:

A country protest song titled "Shuttin' Detroit Down" is spreading across the nation's C&W stations - and surging in popularity in the beleaguered Motor City itself. The song, by John Rich of the country duo Big and Rich, is a populist anthem that combines elements of working-class pride, economic frustration and class warfare. He's traveling the country, performing it on country stations, and it's spreading in viral fashion via radio and the Internet. The refrain: "In the real world, they're shuttin' Detroit down/While the boss man takes his bonus and jets on out of town." Rich sang it in person on the Dr. Don Morning Show Tuesday on Detroit's WYCD-FM (99.5), and the phones immediately lit up. "It has spread like wild fire," said WYCD program director Tim Roberts. "It's unbelievable. It's one of the biggest records we've had in years"... John Rich's 'Shuttin' Detroit Down' sizzling on country radio, Web (Thu, 1/29)


Seacrest in at Magic 105.1

Greater Media's soft rock WMGC-FM 105.1 will add "On-Air With Ryan Seacrest" for afternoon drive (4-7 p.m.) starting on Monday, February 2nd, bumping Jim Paolucci to the 7 p.m. - midnight shift and shuffling the syndicated program from John Tesh out of the lineup.



WDIV to provide free air time to Detroit mayoral candidates

WDIV TV, Local 4, is providing free air time to qualified candidates for the office of Detroit mayor with Flashpoint: Straight Talk from the Candidates. This commercial-free program, produced by WDIV, features the candidates discussing their platforms to help viewers make more informed choices at the polls in the upcoming special primary election.

With unedited pre-taped messages, Flashpoint: Straight Talk from the Candidates features the candidates answering the question: "What is your vision for the future of Detroit?" In a format that goes well beyond a 30-second commercial, each candidate for mayor will have one minute and forty-five seconds to speak. Flashpoint: Straight Talk from the Candidates airs Sunday, February 1 at 8:30a.m. The videos will also be posted on the station's web site,, following the broadcast on Local 4.

All 15 candidates for Detroit mayor, Dave Bing, Donald R. Bradley, Stanley Michael Christmas, Mayor Ken Cockrel, Jr., Frances D. Culver, Warren Cleage Evans, Freman Hendrix, Joseph W. Holt, Nicholas Hood III, Sharon McPhail, Duane Montgomery, Brenda K. Sanders, Jerroll Sanders, D. Etta Wilcoxon, and Coleman A. Young II, were invited to participate.



Detroit News:

Muslims and interfaith leaders in Metro Detroit are asking a local radio station owner to discontinue broadcasts in which, they say, a Coptic priest has repeatedly defamed the Prophet Muhammad over the past year. In an Arabic-language broadcast Wednesday on WNZK 680/690 AM, the Rev. Zakariah Boutros said the Muslim prophet Muhammad had engaged in necrophilia and gay sex, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations. Boutros has previously come under fire from area Muslims, who say he disparages Islam. The controversial, American-based priest can be heard on purchased time slots on radio stations internationally. His words have stirred controversy in Egypt and Great Britain, and are embraced by a number of bloggers and Web sites that criticize Islam... Broadcast angers Muslims (Fri, 1/30)

Members of the national Leadership Conference on Civil Rights are still working to set up a help center for the digital television transition in the city. In December, the organization announced it would form partnerships and open brick-and-mortar "DTV Assistance Centers" in seven cities, including Detroit. Cities were picked based on demographics including income, the number of older people in the area and the number of people with disabilities who rely on over-the-air signals to watch television... Detroit digital TV assistance center still not open (Thu, 1/29)



CKWW to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of "The Day the Music Died"

On February 3rd, 1959 the music world lost three of its pioneering Rock and Roll performers. Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens died when their plane crashed after a stop on their "Winter Dance Party Tour" near Mason City, Iowa.

CKWW AM 580, Motor City Favorites, will salute their legacy with special programming on Tuesday, February 3rd. At Noon, AM 580 will air "The Buddy Holly Radio Special", an exclusive one hour program featuring archival interviews and music from Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. The radio special is hosted by Gord James and written and produced by Doug Thompson and Jeff Kirkwood. It will air again at 7 PM on Tuesday.

The station also will be spotlighting music from Buddy Holly as well as the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens throughout the day on Tuesday, including tribute songs like Don McLean's "American Pie" and others.







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This page is a archive of entries in the Metro Detroit category from January 2009.

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