Metro Detroit: May 2009 Archives

WJR's Smith set to see Michigan

Listeners to WJR's Paul W. Smith Show (5:30 - 9 a.m., weekdays) the week of May 4th, will get to hear why Michigan is a very special travel destination, not only from those outside the area but Michiganders as well. It's all part of a special week of broadcasts as Travel Michigan presents the 2009 Paul W. Smith Pure Michigan Tour.

The week of special on-location-remotes begins at the Villages of Tullymore in Stanwood (May 4th). Other tour stops include the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (5/5), the Inn at Bay Harbor (5/6), Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island (5/7) and concludes at the Monroe County Community College's La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theatre in Paul W's childhood hometown of Monroe, MI (5/8).

Smith is scheduled to talk with local business and government leaders at each of the stops on the tour.

In addition to the broadcasts, highlights of the tour including photographs and exclusive interviews will be online at



Detroit News:

Ulysses Wolf is the owner of the booming voice often used to pump up Joe Louis Arena during Red Wings games, and tonight, he will be faceless no more. Normally unseen, Wolf will be at center ice before the opener of the Western Conference playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks. This isn't his first dalliance with the Red Wings organization, though. When the Wings won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998, he was the voice of Joe Vision. When the Wings were on the road, fans filled Joe Louis and often heard Wynn's voice. "They want it to be powerful and masterful, and I love putting that into a performance," he said... Finally, Red Wings announcer will be seen (Fri, 5/1)


Detroit Free Press:

For years, readers have picked up the Free Press from their driveways and clicked through stories on Starting Tuesday, the Free Press will take on another medium: TV. The paper has formed a unique partnership with CBS-owned WWJ-TV, Channel 62, to launch a 5-7 a.m. weekday program that will offer heavy doses of weather and traffic updates, as well as news gathered by Free Press journalists. The new program will be called "First Forecast Mornings" and will include Free Press Express news segments. "We're more than a newspaper, we're more than a Web site. We're an information provider on many different channels, and television is just a natural evolution for us," said Paul Anger, Free Press editor and publisher. He added that the partnership with WWJ "is considered unusual, if not unique anywhere." Mike Brookbank, who will anchor the Free Press news reports, said the program will break the mold of traditional TV broadcasts by offering smaller bits of news with more frequent weather and traffic reports -- information he said early risers with little time want... Free Press, WWJ to launch TV show (Sun, 5/3)

Detroit mayoral candidate Dave Bing got that lesson this morning after he did not call in for an appearance on Pierce's Sunday morning show that Pierce said had been scheduled -- and Pierce let Bing have it. After finishing up a 10-minute segment with Bing's campaign opponent, Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., Pierce said he would be back with Bing after a commercial break. But when Pierce returned, he indicated that Bing spokesman Cliff Russell had called and said there had been a mix-up and the appearance with Bing had never been confirmed. "Sorry Cliff, don't buy that," Pierce said. "It's been scheduled." Pierce than recited a series of questions he planned to ask Bing -- about criticism that he's an "interloper" as having only recently moved to Detroit and that he lied on his resume about his education when he said he had a master's in business administration when he didn't. "The mystique about Dave Bing continues," Pierce said, saying Bing has failed to satisfactorily answer those questions during the campaign... WJR host slams Bing, says he skipped radio interview (Sun, 5/3)

Staff members at WSDP, the student-run radio station owned and operated by Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, recently received a number of individual awards from the Michigan Association of Educational Broadcasters. The MAEB awards were presented at the University of Detroit Mercy as part of the MAEB Share-a-thon, a conference that brings together high school and college broadcasters from throughout the state. Among Plymouth-Canton award winners... Radio staffers earn broadcast awards (Sun, 5/3)



WDVD's Jesswein temporary off-air; WWJ-TV's Gary resigns; Holiday in as PD for WMXD

Pop WDVD FM 96.3 morning co-host Lisa Jesswein signed off for about a month on this past Friday as she will be undergoing hip replacement surgery. She plans on posting a weekly video blog of her experience at during her recovery. Overnight host JeanMarie will fill in for Jesswein for the month.

The '96.3 WDVD Cares For Kids Radiothon' is scheduled for Thursday, May 7 from 6 a.m. to 7 Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. Jesswein's partners Blaine Fowler and Allyson will broadcast live from Beaumont's south tower, helping generate support children in the community with 100% of the donations collected going to Michigan hospitals. Call 1-(866) 963 GIVE (4483) anytime during the Radiothon to make a donation.

Tracy Gary has exited from WWJ-TV where she had been providing weekend weathercasts. She'll remain as a weekend DJ at soft rock WMGC-FM 105.1.

KJ Holiday, already the program director for urban WJLB-FM 97.9 has added the same role at Clear Channel sister station adult urban WMXD-FM 92.3. Oneil Stevens is the music director and assistant program director for WMXD.



Windsor Star:

Windsor's A channel has a new owner -- but the future of the city's downtown television station remains an unanswered question. On Thursday night, a press release by the station's previous owner, CTVglobemedia, stated that the company had accepted an offer by Shaw Communications to buy three stations, including the one in Windsor. "I think it's great," said CTVglobemedia chief executive Ivan Fecan. "We've accepted their offer of $1 per station. Cable is rolling in money and can obviously afford to underwrite the losses. Good for them." Besides the Windsor station (CHWI-TV Wheatley), the purchase includes formerly CTV properties in Wingham (CKNX-TV) and Brandon, Manitoba (CKX-TV). Fecan said he's sure Shaw Communications will live up to the existing licence conditions of each station -- something he described as "wonderful news" for station staff and their respective communities. But here in Windsor, station manager Don Mumford appeared surprised by the announcement, and seemed unsure of its veracity... TV station slated for closure sold for a buck (Fri, 5/1)


Stark, Fellhauer to Re-join Sports Talk 1050 WTKA Air Staff

Beginning Friday May 8th, long time Ann Arbor sports talk hosts Jim Stark and Al Fellhauer will be returning to the WTKA studios following an absence of some four years. Stark and Fellhauer, who have co-hosted the Sports Den talk show in Ann Arbor since 1994, will begin hosting the Big Show from 4-6 pm every Friday on WTKA. The guys, who are the longest serving talk show hosts in Ann Arbor, will also bring the Washtenaw County High School Game of the Week for football and basketball beginning in the fall.

In addition to their radio work, Stark currently serves as the President of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and Fellhauer is a long-time McDonalds owner/operator and has helped select the McDonalds' All-American basketball teams and the McDonald's-WXYZ High School Athlete of the Week.

Fellhauer and Stark began their broadcasting career in 1993 in Jackson before moving to WTKA in 1994. In 2005, they moved to WAAM to begin broadcasts of the high school sports. In addition to their talk show hosting duties over the years, the duo have also hosted the Eastern Michigan coach's shows, tail gate shows and broadcast some women's basketball games.

In the fall and winter, the high school games will be broadcast on a combination for WTKA and WLBY - depending on other scheduled events. Plans will also include live broadcasts from area high schools.

"We are looking forward to returning to our roots at WTKA and working with the current team," added Stark. "The Ann Arbor sports scene is as exciting as anywhere in America, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts with our Ann Arbor listeners."



The Environment Report and partnering to distribute environmental news

Michigan Public Media and are partnering to make The Environment Report radio program available on's environment page. These short four-minute daily audio reports feature tough reporting and inspiring stories, as host Lester Graham and a team of reporters across the country work to bring environmental news down to Earth. The Environment Report daily radio program brings listeners breaking news about the environment and personal stories that help define what we all can do about the quality of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the places we live, work, and play.

The Environment Report, which currently airs on Michigan Radio weekdays at 5:45 p.m., supplements's current environmental coverage at: As part of this partnership, The Environment Report program will also be sent out daily to 3,500+ followers of the Environment Twitter page - Green Michigan.

In addition to the daily program, The Environment Report offers an environmental news service, which is currently heard on more than 160 public radio stations in 20 states across the United States. The Environment Report has won more than 90 state, national, and international awards for journalistic excellence, and was recently honored with a National Headliner Award by the Press Club of Atlantic City for their series on nuclear power. More information about The Environment Report is available at The Environment Report is a service of Michigan Public Media at the University of Michigan.

CBS Radio/Detroit Wants To Sell You A Used Car: CBS RADIO/DETROIT is looking to help listeners out with their automotive needs this weekend by holding "DETROIT's Largest Used Car Sale." Over 500 used cars will be available on MAY 8th and 9th at COMPUWARE ARENA. For more information, visit (Tue, 5/5)

WRIF Settles On New On-Air Lineup: GREATER MEDIA Active Rocker WRIF/DETROIT announces a new on-air lineup. ANNE CARLINI gets the official nod for middays 10a-3p, replacing DOUG PODELL who was promoted to Dir./Rock Programming late 2008. Former night guy MELTDOWN takes on 3-7p while longtime staffer SCOTT RANDALL lands full-time status at 7p-midnight. "We are very excited to announce the new full-time lineup featuring our top-notch on-air talent at WRIF," said WRIF PD MARK PENNINGTON. "It's a privilege to have a passionate group of individuals who have such an outstanding history with the station." (Thu, 5/7)

Paula Opens Up With Mojo: "American Idol" judge PAULA ABDUL opened up exclusively to CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40/Mainstream WKQI (CHANNEL 95.5)/DETROIT's MOJO In The Morning show on THURSDAY morning about her personal life, "American Idol" and her music career. In her first interview since publicly admitting that she was battling an addiction to painkillers, ABDUL cleared the air saying her quotes in the JUNE issue of LADIES HOME JOURNAL were taken out of context. Listen to PAULA address rumors of rehab, in-fighting on the "American Idol" set and whether she will return for another season of the talent show here. (Thu, 5/7)



Detroit Free Press:

The caller's name was Tommy. "Tommy Lee?" the guy on the radio said. "I wish, dude," the caller said. "I think we've all wished we've been there." This was "Mike in the Morning" on WRIF-FM (101.1), but this wasn't host Mike Clark fantasizing with a fan about being the drummer for Motley Crue (and the ex-husband of Pamela Anderson). This was Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who came ready to rock 'n' roll as an in-studio guest Wednesday. Schwartz isn't your typical NFL coach. He's young, only 42. He's witty and aware of the world outside of football. He has an economics degree from Georgetown, but that doesn't make him a nerd. In about a 90-minute appearance on the rock station, he showed he's willing to ditch the usual coach speak and unplug in public. He was unafraid to tell an edgy joke or make fun of himself... Jim Schwartz shares his love of heavy metal on radio (Thu, 5/7)



Lions fans have been banging their heads for years, if not decades. So has their new coach, it turns out. Jim Schwartz showed his true colors as a devoted heavy metal rocker Wednesday, letting his hair down in a 90-minute studio appearance on the "Mike in the Morning" show on WRIF (101.1). "Oh, man, I had one of the original mullets -- 1984 or so," Schwartz, 42, told host Mike Clark. "I spent a lot of money on hair gel. And I tell you what, I had a lot of sore neck from head-banging, too. "Your little cheesy moustache you grew in high school when you can't grow one? Yeah, that was me." And refreshingly, it still is... Jim Schwartz on a roll during radio gig on rock station (Thu, 5/7)


WCHB AM 1200 returning to talk format weekdays

Radio One's WCHB will drop its midday and evening Gospel music programming and restore talk programming starting Monday, May 11th. The new lineup will still be anchored by Mildred Gaddis - her "Inside Detroit" program stays anchored at 6 - 10 a.m. and will be replayed evenings from 5 - 9 p.m. In between will be Pulitzer Prize-winning Reverend Angelo Henderson (10 a,m. - 1 p.m.), followed by Reverend Al Sharpton (1 - 4 p.m.). Sharpton's show was dropped when the station made the switch to a primarily gospel format last year.

"The decision to bring Al Sharpton's show back was based upon strong feedback from the community," said Radio One VP/GM Kathy Stinehour. "WCHB is committed to continuing our tradition of bringing quality programming to the Detroit community and we feel that this move is another step in that direction."



Tigers' May 12th game shifted to Fox Sports Detroit Plus

The Tuesday, May 12 Detroit Tigers-Minnesota Twins game will now be televised on FOX Sports Detroit Plus to make the primary channel available for coverage of the Detroit Red Wings game against the Anaheim Ducks.

Coverage of the Tigers is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. with Tigers Live, followed by the game at 8:00.

Game 6 of the Red Wings-Anaheim playoff series will air that night on FOX Sports Detroit with game coverage set for 10:00 p.m.

A list of FOX Sports Detroit PLUS channel numbers is available at



Detroit Free Press:

Set your dials, baby. The personalities are locked and loaded. WRIF-FM (101.1) has announced that Anne Carlini will handle midday duties from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meltdown will take you home with the afternoon drive and Screamin' Scott Randall will rock out from 7 p.m. to midnight. The "Mike in the Morning" show continues from 5 to 10 a.m. Night owls can tune in to Al (Slayer) Beck, who will spin the monster jams from midnight to 5 a.m... WRIF rocks its official lineup (Fri, 5/8)


Macomb Daily:

FOX Sports Detroit attracted an all-time record audience for Sunday's Game 5 of the NHL Western Conference Semifinal series between the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks. Based on data received from Nielsen Media Research, the 5:00-7:45 PM telecast registered a 17.1 household rating / 35 share in the Detroit metro area, an average of nearly 330,000 homes (one rating point equals approximately 19,270 households). The telecast peaked at a 22.1 rating (nearly 426,000 homes) during the closing minutes of the Red Wings 4-1 victory, giving them a three games to two lead in the best-of-seven series. Sunday's viewership eclipsed the previous FOX Sports Detroit record rating of 14.1 on May 3, 2004 for Game 6 of the Red Wings second round playoff series against Calgary... Red Wings rating romp (Mon, 5/11)



Detroit Free Press:

Next step for the Faces Not Numbers campaign from the "Deminski & Doyle" show on WCSX-FM (94.7) is to present the 100-foot long banner with more than 3,000 faces on it to the public -- and to political figures making the decisions that affect our community. The campaign was created to use photos of autoworkers and others who have lost their jobs to raise awareness that real lives are affected by bailout decisions. On Tuesday, join the morning show hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle at the Chrysler Sterling Heights assembly plant on Van Dyke when they reveal the banner... 'CSX banner to be unveiled (Mon, 5/11)


Southfield-based Birach Broadcasting expanding roster of Michigan AM stations

Michigan Catholic Radio (listed under the owner 1090 Investments, LLC) is selling its two AM stations for $1.025 million to Birach Broadcasting. Included in the deal is Michigan Catholic Radio's main outlet, WCAR AM 1090 Livonia/Detroit, along with the silent WOAP AM 1080 Owosso. WOAP has a construction permit to move to the Lansing area.

In Michigan Birach also owns AM outlets WNZK 690/680 Detroit, WCXI 1160 Fenton, WPON 1460 Walled Lake, WSDS 1480 Ypsilanti, and Grand Rapids' WMFN 64 and WMJH 810.



WXYZ-TV to celebrate its 30th annual 'Brightest & Best' salute to high school seniors May 16

WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, will pay tribute to over 250 high school seniors from throughout Southeast Michigan at a special picnic in the 30th annual celebration of the "Brightest & Best" on Saturday, May 16th.

Since 1980, the station has honored graduating seniors from public and private schools who have demonstrated excellence in academic, extracurricular and community pursuits. The program has recognized over 7,500 high school seniors in its 30-year history, making it the longest-running program of its kind in the Detroit market.

WXYZ-TV will host the "Brightest & Best" picnic on the grounds of Broadcast House on Saturday, May 16th in Southfield. During this event, which recognizes the achievements of these outstanding students, promotional spots will be taped featuring students and Channel 7 personalities. These promotional announcements will air on the station throughout the summer months.



C & G Newspapers:

Detroiters smiling in front of local landmarks. Mothers cradling cherubic infants. Beaming brides and grooms. Entire families arranged around kitchen tables. The images of more than 4,000 people, all affected -- directly or indirectly -- by the fate of the domestic auto industry, appear on the "Faces Not Numbers" banner unveiled by WCSX 94.7-FM in Sterling Heights May 12. With the Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly Plant as a backdrop, dozens of volunteers lined up along Van Dyke to help morning show hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle publicly unfurl the enormous photo mural for the first time. Printed by Stahls' ID Direct, it stretched about 100 feet long and weighed in at more than 75 pounds. "It was just stunning, the way it turned out," said Doyle. "To say it exceeded expectations is an understatement." Deminski emphasized that the banner wasn't intended to serve as a petition or demand any particular action from the government. It was merely a way to, in a sense, force officials to look affected Americans in the eye before making further decisions about the industry's future, and help empower everyday citizens who otherwise felt "invisible," he said... Radio hosts reveal 'Faces Not Numbers' banner at Chrysler plant (Wed, 5/13)



WXYZ-TV, WDIV-TV, WJBK-TV videos cover D&D banner unveiling

* WJBK: 'Faces Not Numbers' Banner Unfurled (Tue, 5/12)

* WDIV: 'Faces Not Numbers' Banner Unveiled (Tue, 5/12)

* WXYZ: Banner Shows Human Cost of Auto Crisis (Tue, 5/12)



WRCJ airing MOT production of Carmen live this evening

This evening beginning at 7 p.m., classical/jazz WRCJ-FM 90.9 will broadcast a live performance of Bizet's Carmen by the Michigan Opera Theatre. Dave Wagner and Wallace Peace will co-host the event.



Detroit News:

At a Judiciary Committee markup today, Rep. John Conyers proposed reducing new performer fees and delaying enactment of parts of a controversial bill to try to ensure it doesn't threaten the survival of small radio stations. The Performance Rights Act -- which Conyers, the Detroit Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee, called one of his top priorities -- is sparking a noon "Save Black Radio" protest by African-American radio stations at his Detroit offices. Branding the new fee a "tax," they argue it could destroy small broadcasters, including minority and women-owned stations that provide valuable diversity on the airwaves... Conyers makes changes to radio fees bill; protest planned (Wed, 5/13)


Hockeytown loves its Red Wings

For the second consecutive home game during the just-completed Detroit Red Wings - Anaheim Ducks second round hockey playoff series, Fox Sports Detroit set a new high water mark for the most-watched sports event ever on the network.

Last night's Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals drew a 17.5 rating and 29 share in the Detroit area. Prior to yesterday, the game that had been the most-watched was Sunday's Game 5 which at the time set a record with a 17.1 rating.

TV coverage for the Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks will be on a combination of NBC (WDIV-TV 4 in Detroit) and the Versus cable network.



Detroit News:

Duke Fakir is ticked off. The suave Fakir, a founding member of Motown's legendary Four Tops, is always so cheerful that it's hard to tell, but the singer is more than a little annoyed at what he terms as "misinformation" coming from corporate radio executives on the subject of the Performance Rights Act sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit. "There has been misinformation, particularly in Detroit, coming from (Radio One CEO) Cathy Hughes, that this is some sort of tax," Fakir says. "It's not a tax, it's something that's long overdue." The bill would require all American AM and FM radio stations to pay recording artists. Radio One's Hughes has argued that the bill would put a financial burden on black-owned radio stations and even "kill" black radio. Currently in the United States, only satellite radio, Internet radio and cable pay a performers' fee. On Wednesday, the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee, which Conyers chairs. The bill now moves to the full House for a vote. The Senate has a companion bill pending action... Performers deserve royalties, Duke Fakir says (Fri, 5/15)


Michigan Radio Reports from Mackinac Policy Conference

Michigan Radio, the public radio service from the University of Michigan that is comprised of WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor/WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint/WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids, will be providing special coverage from this year's Mackinac Policy Conference. Throughout the last week of May, the station will air special reports on Michigan's economy and other topics being discussed at the conference. A one-hour special program, entitled "Michigan's Bottom Line: Hybrid Economy," will follow on Friday, May 29th.

Michigan Radio reporters Sarah Hulett and Tracy Samilton will be at the conference on Mackinac Island providing reports and interviews with government and industry leaders. These reports, in addition to those from other public radio reporters throughout the state, will examine some of the important topics facing Michigan, including the changing auto industry, education, the state's struggling economy, alternative energy, and the role of Michigan's government. Michigan Radio will air the reports during "Morning Edition" (Monday-Friday from 5:00 to 9:00 am) and "All Things Considered" (Monday-Friday from 4:00 to 6:30 pm) during the week of May 26-29.

Friday's one-hour special, "Michigan's Bottom Line: Hybrid Economy" will be co-hosted by Michigan Radio News Reporter Sarah Hulett and Michigan Public Radio Network Managing Editor Rick Pluta. The program will examine how alternative energy is changing what powers our cars, homes, and jobs, and how it may be the key to Michigan's economic future. "Michigan's Bottom Line: Hybrid Economy" will air Friday, May 29th, from 9:00 - 10:00 am and 8:00 - 9:00 pm.

The annual Detroit Chamber of Commerce Mackinac Policy Conference, which takes place May 27-30, presents an opportunity for Michigan's lawmakers and industry leaders to explore the issues deemed critical to Michigan's future. This year's conference will spark a dialogue of change among attendees including top business professionals, legislative leaders, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs, young professionals and veteran regional champions.



Detroit News:

Tigers television color analyst Rod Allen will miss games Thursday and Friday to attend the high school graduation of his daughter in Arizona. Here's how Fox Sports Detroit is filling the void left by Allen's absence.. Questions from Tiger fans answered on Thursday broadcast (Tue, 5/19)

Opening Day victories are good for morale -- near and far. Tigers broadcaster Mario Impemba has sponsored the making of a DVD of the Tigers' home-opening, 15-2 victory over the Texas Rangers, and it's free for all active military personnel. Will the goodwill continue beyond this year? That depends how the Tigers do. "If the Tigers had lost, 10-0, I don't think that would be something they'd be interested in," said Impemba, 46. Two years ago, Impemba spoke with troops during the winter caravan and later visited a veterans' hospital. He listened to their stories and came to understand how difficult it can be to be away from home. He knows he can't ease their pain, but wanted to give troops something from home. Impemba, along with the help of FSN general manager Tim Bryant and Alexandrea Thrubis, community affairs manager for the Tigers, put together a three-hour DVD that includes the FSN telecast, pregame festivities and postgame interviews... Mario Impemba treats troops to Tigers video (Tue, 5/19)

WDIV-TV (Channel 4) meteorologist Chuck Gaidica's beard isn't quite as full or biblical as Steve Carell's in "Evan Almighty," but the look does give our guy a striking resemblance to the comedic actor. In case you're wondering what is going on, the weathercaster is growing a beard in support of the Red Wings' race for the Stanley Cup... WDIV's Chuck Gaidica grows 'Red Wings' beard (Tue, 5/19)



Detroit Free Press:

Sarah Myrand of Wyandotte has beat 31 other contestants to win the 2009 WRIF-FM (101.1) Rock Girl Competition. Myrand, who succeeds 2008 Rock Girl Cristy Lee, will receive a $40,000 salary for the year, as well as an on-air position as the station's afternoon traffic reporter and a scholarship to attend the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts... Names and Faces (Tue, 5/19)

WPON To Air 'Detroit Flashback Weekend': WABC-A/NEW YORK's "REWOUND" special is moving to online/on demand only this year and WLS-A/CHICAGO isn't doing its own version this time around, but DETROIT will be getting its own MEMORIAL DAY taste of the classic Top 40 days with WPON-A/PONTIAC's "DETROIT FLASHBACK WEEKEND," on the air at 1460 AM and online at

The show will air 7-10p MAY 22nd-25th, produced by veteran jock JIM HAMPTON with LEE ALAN and DAVE PRINCE among the scheduled guests and airchecks from the legends of WXYZ-A, WJLB-A, WJBK-A, WKNR-A, and the BIG 8, CKLW-A, including TOM CLAY, ROBIN SEYMOUR, TERRY KNIGHT and many more.

HAMPTON said, "This is better than a vacation. I get to do something I love and at the same time get reacquainted with the city I grew up in. There is too much negativity in the city right now. So this is a good time for Detroiters to remember some of the great days of their past. There's nothing better than music and memories."


1.2 Million Fans Gather For 27th Annual WYCD Downtown Hoedown: CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT's 27th Annual DOWNTOWN HOEDOWN kicked off FRIDAY (5/15) at HART PLAZA. Over 1.2 million Country music fans gathered for the weekend-long event. Gray skies, rain and chilly temperatures didn't stop fans from watching FRIDAY's acts, which included LUKE BRYAN, JACK INGRAM, KEVIN COSTNER & MODERN WEST, STEPHEN COCHRAN and JESSICA HARP. SATURDAY's (5/16) artist lineup included BOMSHEL, ELI YOUNG BAND, LEE ANN WOMACK, TRENT TOMLINSON, PHIL VASSAR, JOSH GRACIN and DARRYL WORLEY. Country legend WILLIE NELSON closed the show on SUNDAY night (5/17) with several of his classic hits, joined briefly at one point by KID ROCK. Earlier in the day, ZAC BROWN BAND joined ROCK onstage for a duet of his hit, "All Summer Long." Other acts that appeared SUNDAY included WHITNEY DUNCAN, TRAILER CHOIR, JASON MICHAEL CARROLL, JUSTIN MOORE and JESSICA ANDREWS. (Tue, 5/19)


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

On The RadioFor those of you who read my writings and rants about the industry I love dearly, realize that, just like those who routinely criticize the radio business do so because we care.

As most of you know, I attend a great deal of radio gatherings. Some are called conventions, seminars or conferences. All have experienced decreases in attendance this year, as could be expected. With the current economic climate being more like winter than summer, it provides an easy excuse for people to stay away. The longest running such confab is the Country Radio Seminar (CRS) held every year in Nashville (why not?) and this year, celebrated forty (40) years. Yet, attendance was down about 35%. Only a week later, the Radio & Records Talk Radio Seminar (TRS) was held in Los Angeles hosting a mere 150 attendees. In better times, TRS would attract between 400 and 500. Coming up next month will be the New Media Seminar presented by Talkers Magazine. It should be interesting to see who shows up. I will be there and will be "taking the temperature" of the room. I fear it might be on the cool side.

The mantra of nearly every confab, where radio people assemble, is LIVE and LOCAL. This is how terrestrial radio would win out against satellite radio and the dreaded iPod. The sad thing is now more than ever, and it has become extremely prevalent, here in the Detroit area (like it has nationwide), that very little of what comes out of your radio speaker is neither live nor local. I recently spoke to Steve Schram, who now runs the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service. He was the person who secured the former A&W Root Beer headquarters in Farmington Hills, as the new home for Clear Channel Radio Detroit. Sadly, the company known for letting people go, didn't hold on to Steve long enough for him to ever actually occupy that facility. Actually, the population of that building has been steadily dropping.

The last wave of CC layoffs was reported as being 590 nationally. In reality, about 1,000 employees were let go. Among the local casualties were Chad Mitchell and the entire morning show at country WDTW-FM (106.7) known as The Fox. The station currently has no local or live DJ's on the air, and had been without a local program director for several weeks prior to this recent exodus. The stunner came from a studio just down the hall as pop hits WNIC-FM (100.3) dismissed popular morning icon Chris Edmonds, who (with impressive ratings) was preparing to celebrate 21 years at the station! WNIC also tied with cluster-mate WKQI (known as Channel 9-5-5) for the top spot in local ratings. I'm trying to figure this out. He's on the top station, with the top ratings and for all his accomplishments he gets let go. I know, it all about the money...but this still makes no sense at all. Even longtime CC phone receptionist Pam Caldwell was let go with various staffers handling her duties.

Kevin O'Neill, more than likely, feels lucky to still have a job. He was moved into the morning show with Lisa Berry when Edmonds was shown the door. O'Neill is unquestionably one of the absolutely NICest people on the Detroit radio dial. The only time the WNIC studio is occupied for an entire live and local show is between 5 and 9 a.m. Every other time slot is either voice-tracked (pre-recorded) or imported from another city. If you check the web site you will find for large segments of the broadcast day that no DJ's are listed, just "more music variety."

Most radio stations here, and across the country, have few (if any) humans in the building after 7 pm. God help us all if something catastrophic should happen between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. With TV dropping all analogue on-the-air signals on June 12th, radio will be the only way people can get information fast. Let's not fail them.

Whenever people call WWJ radio in Southfield, and have a question about a particular radio station, the operator always gives them MY phone number because she feels I know everything about local radio. I don't, but I always try to help out.

While actually writing this column I received such a call from a concerned mother by the name of Lisa in Northville, MI, who's raising teenagers. She was outraged by the sexual content she heard in the last hour of the MoJo in the Morning show on WKQI-FM (95.5). She wanted to know who she could express her concern to. I was honest and said that MoJo has the hottest morning show in town and makes a lot of money from and for Clear Channel. Her comments and concern would probably fall on deaf ears, because the dollar speaks the loudest. I could hear, in her voice, how upset she was, but knew that hers would be an uphill battle with station management. I wished her luck.

Sports WDFN-AM (1130) is another station in that Clear Channel fortress that pretty much cleaned out most of its live and local voices earlier this year and is now trying to at least return some locally-originated programming directed at helping listeners in our area. A few weeks ago I hinted that Murray Gula, our own Mr. Home Improvement, would be making a triumphant return to the radio dial, and after exploring a number of options, he'll be returning to right where he was last heard on AM-1130 both Saturday and Sunday from noon till 2 p.m. called "Your Home with Murray Gula." The first show will be on the 6th of June...which sounds a lot like the beginning of C. W. McCall's hit song from 1975 called "Convoy." Murray continues to host a web-cast for Ch. 7 at each Thursday at noon with co-host Joe Giordano, and he guests each Friday with Bob Allison on multi-formatted WNZK-AM (690) at 10:30 a.m.

For quite sometime we have been reporting on new technologies putting the squeeze on radio's reign as king of in-car listening, and may not be over, but there IS a new threat. Autonet Mobile has begun selling Wi-Fi for the car at more than 3,300 stores nationwide, including Best Buy. Locally-based radio trend follower Jacobs Media conducted a survey that finds only 6% want Wi-Fi in their next car, and that most prefer an iPod connection. Personally I like the idea of Wi-Fi in the car, but not as a means of surfing the net or reviewing your e-mail while driving. What excites me is having the ability to listen to ANY radio station in America that streams on-line but then I'm a radio-aholic and having the ability to tune in stations from LA, or Little Rock...from Chicago or Cincinnati is very cool indeed. At least it's still listening to radio and not just a mini-hard drive with bunch of my own tunes.

Rock WRIF-FM (101.1) has assembled a newly configured weekday lineup. As expected, given the station's heritage, all the jocks involved have long histories with The RIFF: Twenty-year station vet Anne Carlini is now doing 10am-3pm, the shift formerly done by former WRIF PD Doug Podell before he became the hugely important Director of Rock Programming for both WRIF and WCSX. Afternoons, which had been the domain of market legend Arthur Penhallow for 39 years, now belongs to Meltdown, WRIF's longtime night jock, who has been covering afternoons since Penhallow left in February when he and the station couldn't come to terms on a new contract. Scott Randall, a 'RIF veteran since 1997, easily slides into nights, while Mike Clark & Company remains in control of mornings remarkably well without Drew. There were major rumors floating around town that Drew Lane was coming back to The Riff as the afternoon host, but it looks as though the "Doc of Rock" Mr. Podell, has his team set, at least for the time being. Radio has never been known as a bastion of stability. BTW what ever happened to that strange dude "Mr. Positive?" He's actually Greg Balteff, a personal trainer at a Westland fitness club, and was a semi-regular when Doug Podell hosted mid-days on WRIF. His status is somewhat unclear.

What puzzles me is why wouldn't either Arthur P. or Greater Media Detroit (the station owner) go for one last year, make it an even forty years and then send Mr. Penhallow off into retirement with a big party? I guess things like that only happen in the movies. Considering that Arthur came to the 101.1 frequency when it was still known as WXYZ-FM in 1970...and the humble beginnings he had in Howell and Ann Arbor...and the fact that he has probably made enough money to live just doesn't seem right to end it all this way.

We wanted to wait until this event was just around the corner, because most people have short memories and even shorter attention spans these days, but, it will be VERY special Memorial Day weekend in Motown! Even with a terrible economy. Even though most stations will be running lots of repeats and "best of shows," that will not be the case in the Motor City! LA based Jim Hampton, who grew up in Farmington and worked at WXYZ in the mid-1960's will be presenting a very special Detroit Flashback Weekend for a total of four (4) nights May 22-25, 7 pm till 10 pm EDT on suburban WPON-AM (1460) and streaming on-line at which, considering the coverage of the 1,000 watt station broadcasting from just west of Walled Lake, most people will hear better on their computer. With a plethora of nostalgic oldies, memorable station airchecks, and special in-studio guests including; Lee Alan, and others, this will be a MUST for ANYONE who grew up listening to Detroit radio! Hampton will have many of the (still living) legends on the phone and some are already pre-recorded. This should represent 12 truly memorable hours of nostalgic radio. Get ready to roll tape!!!

WELCOME RACE the cry of all those headed to Indianapolis for the 500, or just those of us who travel I-275 or I-696. This year the Indy 500 will be carried on both Sirius and XM, which are united, but the race will be on different channels depending on which service you might have. For XM subscribers it's on channel 145 and Sirius folks will find "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on channel 211, if your have the "Best Of XM" package. Do you know anyone looking for the broadcast in Spanish? Indy's Hispanic station WEDJ-FM (107.1) will stream it at live. Start time will be 1 p.m. Sunday May 24th.

Should you have friends or family in other parts of the country who are on the road vacationing but want to hear the Red Wings push toward another Stanley Cup Championship and our beloved Ken Kal shouting out "He Scores!!!" you can hear the NHL Hockey Play-Off's on XM channel 204 known as Home Ice. The Blackhawks announcer is one click away on channel 205. Sirius fans need to have that "Best of XM" package to hear hockey. It's a legal thing...don't ya know?

Mega-Kudos to Tim Roberts, Deb Kenyon, Jay Jennings, Susanne Bellinger and the entire staff of Detroit's Country WYCD-FM (99.5) for a phenomenal job on the Downtown Hoedown that drew record crowds and a provided a good time for all. Now, rest up Tim and get ready for the Woodward Dream Cruise on August 15th.

If you're reading this before the 22nd of May, I hope you have a safe Memorial Day weekend and don't forget what this holiday truly stands for. Click on this link from the legendary Lee Alan to hear his tribute to those who fought for our freedom.

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Contact him at


WDIV Wins #1 News in May 2009

WDIV Local 4 News scored victories as its early evening and late newscasts were #1 in the May 2009 Nielsen rating period for the Detroit television market.

WDIV won the weekday early evening news at both 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Local 4 News at 5 p.m. won with a 6.0 household rating and a 14 share in May. Local 4 News at 5 p.m. has gained strong momentum since November 2008 and is up 7%, while competitor WXYZ has dropped 17%. In May, Local 4 News at 6 p.m. won it's time period scoring a 7.8 household rating and a 17 share, and is up 11% with continued growth since November 2008, again while WXYZ is down a significant 24% and WJBK is down 8%.

The perennial late evening leader, Local 4 News at 11 p.m., dominated all local newscasts with the highest ratings of news on any station, in any time-period. In May 2009, Local 4 News at 11 p.m. scored a 9.1 household rating and a 17 share. In addition, Local 4 News at 11 p.m. continues to be top-rated in all key demographics, and shows growth, increasing it's primetime lead-in by up to 55%.

In addition to newscasts, the WDIV programming lineup included #1 entertainment programs in May. The Ellen Degeneres Show, weekdays at 10 a.m., continues to lead in all key demographics. Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy continue to be the top-rated shows in early access, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno remains #1 in the 11:30 p.m. timeslot. Leno moves to NBC primetime weeknights at 10 p.m. in the fall.

The afternoon block of Local 4 News at 4 p.m. and Inside Edition with Deborah Norville continue to make significant ratings gains, finishing less than a rating point behind Oprah.

Additionally, last month WDIV's website,, was nominated for two NATAS Emmy awards for news coverage.



AM 580 celebrates holiday with "Summer Songs Weekend"

This holiday weekend CKWW AM 580, Motor City Favorites, will kick-off the unofficial start of summer with the "Summer Songs Weekend". Throughout the weekend the station will spotlight some of the best "summer oldies" songs from the 50's, 60's and 70's. From the Beach Boys to Stevie Wonder, the sounds of summer will be heard on Detroit's Station for Great Fun and Great Oldies, AM 580.

tudents in the Novi High School Broadcasting program recently brought home top-level state awards from the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) journalism competition. The school's Television News class received the highest award for their overall video broadcasting program, the prestigious Spartan Award. This award comes after a thorough and rigorous evaluation of the entire academic program and selected samples of student journalistic work. Judges praised the program for its professional approach and high production quality. This is the first time the department has entered the Spartan competition... Broadcasting students win big (Fri, 5/22)


Detroit Free Press:

Oh, Sagat, where art thou? I've been thinking a lot about a question he asked in his 1994 club classic, "Funk Dat": "Why is it that every time I turn on the radio, I hear the same five songs 15 times a day for three months?" That lyric is as relevant to me today as it was when I was in my 20s. I've been thinking about it as I follow the big radio fight over U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. and the Performance Rights Act. That legislation proposes, among other things, to compensate artists for songs played on the radio. Station owners and activists say it's a tax that they might not be able to afford, and that might put them out of business. They recently held a Save Black Radio rally to protest the legislation. Oh, my. How about Save the Listener? We've been listening to the same five songs 15 times a day for three months for years, and somewhere the listener has gotten lost... How about saving the radio listeners? (Sun, 5/24)


News/Talk 760 WJR to broadcast live from 2009 Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference

News/Talk 760 WJR will again bring live coverage from the 2009 Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference. The three days of meetings, discussions and speeches traditionally result in a number of breaking news stories heard first on WJR.

Tune in on Wednesday, May 27th for a special live broadcast of The Big Story with Lloyd Jackson (7pm-8pm) and hear a Who's Who of guests as Paul W. Smith (5:30am-9am) and Frank Beckmann (9am-Noon) broadcast LIVE on Thursday, May 28th and Friday, May 29th from the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Then, join Paul W. Smith live as he hosts "Leadership Perspectives on Achieving Regional Growth" on Friday, May 29th at a special time from 11:30am -1pm. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Macomb County Commission Chairman Paul Gieleghem, along with Hudson-Webber Foundation President David Egner and Charter One Bank President Sandra Pierce, will participate in this lively, topical, roundtable discussion, surrounding significant issues facing the area.



Detroit News:

Growing up in Troy, broadcast journalist Roop Raj would watch WJBK-TV (Channel 2) anchorman Huel Perkins in utter admiration. "One day," he said, he thought "that's going to be me." Raj respected the television newsman so much that when he landed his own cable access show, "Voices of Troy," as a teenager, he reached out to Perkins who later became Raj's mentor, closely monitoring the ambitious young man's ever-evolving career. Now, Raj, an alumnus of Michigan State University, is joining his mentor's ranks as WJBK's newest weekend anchor and field reporter. Raj, 32, started working at the local Fox affiliate earlier this month and is replacing political aspirant Charles Pugh... Fox 2's Roop Raj is back home (Tue, 5/26)

Just two years after making its Michigan debut, AT&T has expanded its U-verse offering -- which combines television, high-speed Internet and voice services -- to more than a million households in the state. The aggressive expansion of AT&T into the television and Internet realm came after state legislators granted the company the hard-fought ability to franchise across the state, challenging rival Comcast Corp. in its monopoly in many Michigan communities. "It's allowed us to give customers a choice they never had before," said Gail Torreano, AT&T's Michigan president. "The response has been fantastic"... AT&T's U-verse extends Michigan reach (Tue, 5/26)


Detroit Free Press:

Tigers play-by-play announcer Dan Dickerson is returning to Detroit to have surgery on a tendon he injured while jogging. The veteran broadcaster ruptured a tendon in his left quadriceps muscle while on a run near the team hotel Tuesday. Surgery was scheduled for today. Former Tiger Jim Price has moved from doing color to play-by-play during his absence, and he was joined in the booth by John Keating of Fox Sports Detroit... Tigers announcer Dan Dickerson to have surgery on injured leg (Wed, 5/27)



Detroit News:

Tigers radio broadcaster Dan Dickerson missed Tuesday night's game and will miss more after a jogging injury near the team hotel. "From my window, I saw someone lying on the ground near the street, and it turned out to be Dan," Brandon Inge said. Dickerson was taken to a nearby hospital, where tests were being conducted on both legs, Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said. The extent of his injuries was not immediately known, but it's expected he will return home to Detroit today for surgery on his left leg, forcing him to miss the upcoming four-game series in Baltimore... Dan Dickerson off the air after jogging accident (Wed, 5/27)

Dan Dickerson had a Hall of Fame replacement in Al Kaline, who serves as the Tigers' radio broadcast analyst tonight and will do so again Friday. Usual analyst Jim Price will handle play-by-play, and work Saturday and Sunday with Fox Sports Net's John Keating... Al Kaline in Tigers' radio booth for two games (Thu, 5/28)



WDIV readies coverage of Stanley Cup Finals

As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to defend their 2007-08 Stanley Cup Championship in a Finals rematch with the Pittsburgh Penguins, WDIV (Local 4) and NBC will televise Games 1 and 2 live from Joe Louis Arena and, if necessary, Games 5, 6 and 7.

Saturday, May 30, beginning at 7:30 p.m., Local 4's Red Alert: Stanley Cup Finals pre-game special, hosted by Local 4 sports anchor Bernie Smilovitz, will feature game commentary and analysis from veteran broadcaster and former Red Wing great Mickey Redmond and feature reports from Local 4 Sports Final Edition's Katrina Hancock and Local 4 News anchor Steve Garagiola.

On Sunday, May 31, Local 4's Red Alert: Stanley Cup Finals pre-game and post-game will also feature Local 4 News anchors Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian and Chuck Gaidica.

As the series moves to Mellon Arena for Games 3 and 4, Hancock will also report live from Pittsburgh on Local 4 News.

In depth Red Alert: Stanley Cup Finals coverage continues online throughout the Finals on the station's web site, Popular interactive features include viewers' Hot Shots photos and videos showing off Red Wings spirit and playoff beards.



U-M football taking to the airwaves to benefit C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

The University of Michigan football team, coaches, players and former players will take over the airwaves in Ann Arbor to raise funds for the U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital.

Ann Arbor Radio's four stations - Sports Talk 1050 WTKA (1050 AM), W4 Country (102.9 FM), 107one (107.1 FM), and WLBY Ann Arbor's Progressive Talk Radio (1290 AM) - will host a 12-hour radio-a-thon event to raise awareness for the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital building project and fund-raising campaign. The radio-a-thon runs 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11.

The event will continue live across the state on "The Huge Show" hosted by Bill Simonson, 3 - 6 p.m. Friday, June 12. "The Huge Show" - which is headquartered in Grand Rapids - will broadcast from Schembechler Hall in Ann Arbor, and heard statewide on Sports Talk 1050 WTKA (1050 AM) and the "Huge" radio network: 97.5 FM-Muskegon, 730 AM-Lansing, 1280 AM-Mt Pleasant, 1330 AM-Flint, 1380 AM-Greenville, 1440 AM-Dowagiac, 1660 AM-Kalamazoo.

In addition, a BBQ with the Boys event with the football team at Schembechler Hall to continue to raise money for the radio-a-thon will be held from 3 - 6 p.m. Friday, June 12. Tickets are $250 for four people, which will include tours of the hall, games on the practice field, autographs and pictures with the team. Contact to purchase tickets.

In 2008, the radio-a-thon helped raise more than $100,000 for the children's and women's hospitals.

In addition to the Wolverine football program, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital patients, families and medical experts will be featured during the radio-a-thon.

Listeners that day can pledge to make a contribution to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital by calling 800-559-2657, or going online to,,, or



Detroit Free Press:

Kevin Collard, the executive producer of WJR's "Frank Beckmann Show," said he will be leaving WJR-AM (760) -- where he has worked for more than 17 years -- on June 12... Names and Faces (Thu, 5/28)


Detroit Free Press:

The Alumni Room was packed with revelers by the time the elevator doors opened, delivering a smiling Budd Lynch from his perch high above the ice after three-plus hours behind the microphone as the Red Wings' public-address announcer. His plan -- and Lynch always has a plan because he has remained, at 91, perpetually organized -- was to go in for a drink, maybe one vodka on the rocks, then head home to Wyandotte after the traffic cleared. But he needed to reach the entrance first. Lynch was stopped by a fan, then two more. All because, he would say later with a gleam in his eye, it was a "night worth sharing." Longevity is not the reason why Lynch has been among the most beloved persons associated with the Wings for the last 60 years. Still a fact remains: No other soul has witnessed more hockey in Detroit. The Red Wings have won 11 Stanley Cups, and Lynch's river-smooth baritone voice can be linked to all but the first three... Budd Lynch, 91, remains the voice of Wings' championship history (Fri, 5/29)



Detroit News:

The May sweeps book has closed, and WJBK-TV (Channel 2) has once again emerged as the No. 1 station at sunrise. That's in large part because of WJBK's top-rated a.m. offering "Fox 2 News Morning," which ranks No. 1 with viewers 18-49 years old and adults 25-54. The largest audience tunes in from 7-9 a.m. weekdays with 18-49-years-olds delivering a 3.3 rating/24 share, and adults ages 25-54 giving a 3.9 rating/25 share... 'Fox 2 News' delivers in a.m. ratings race (Fri, 5/29)







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About this Archive

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

Metro Detroit: April 2009 is the previous archive.

Metro Detroit: June 2009 is the next archive.

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