Entries in Mid-Michigan Category

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 2, 2009



Saginaw News:

A voice familiar to Saginawians makes its debut Monday on WUCX-FM, 90.1. Poet/novelist/actor/playwright Marc Beaudin, who this summer moved to Montana, is the host of "Report From the Mountains." The 10-minute show airs Mondays -- at 8:50 a.m. during "Morning Edition" with a repeat at 12:30 p.m. during "The Session." "I'll read a couple of my poems and talk about Montana and what's it's like," says Beaudin. Station manager Howard Sharper came up with the idea for the show, says Beaudin, after he asked Beaudin what is was like out west. "I was telling him about sitting on the front porch and seeing coyotes, the mountains, birds. So he suggested a show telling what was going on (in a given day). "He told me he thought people would like to hear about this." The first two installments, says Beaudin, are "pilot" episodes that were taped in the Delta College broadcast studios... Poet Marc Beaudin begins a "Report From the Mountains" radio series (Fri, 1/2)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 3, 2009



Saginaw News:

Charlie Rood, who works the morning broadcast with Art Lewis and Dave Maurer at WSGW-AM, 790, says it's always fun to see loyal listeners show up at the Winter Broadcast Blood Boost with shirt sleeves rolled up, ready to help. "Then you have someone stop by to say thanks and he's telling you how it saved his life, and you realize this simple thing we're doing means so much," said Rood, who Monday kicks off the 20th annual event at Fashion Square Mall, at Tittabawassee and Bay in Saginaw Township. Through Saturday, Jan. 10, some 14 radio stations will broadcast live from the mall and encourage listeners to donate through the week. It's free, and those who donate will receive buy one-get-one-free coupons for the upcoming Shrine Circus at TheDow Event Center, refreshments from The Coffee Beanery, 2009 pocket calendars from the blood center and entry in a drawing for gifts from Communications Family Credit Union, Consumers Energy and Boehler's Greenhouse. Blood banks regularly start running dry during the holidays, said Mary Ebelt, special events coordinator at the Michigan Community Blood Center-Saginaw Valley, and this year is no exception... Annual Broadcast Blood Boost set to kick off at Fashion Square Mall (Sat, 1/3)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 4, 2009



Lansing State Journal:

For the 15th year in a row, WKAR will sponsor the Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest for children from kindergarten through third grade. Entries for original stories that are illustrated by the author must be postmarked by Feb. 28 or dropped off at WKAR main office, room 283 of the Communication Arts & Sciences Building, located on the Michigan State University campus ... The entry form must be filled out and signed by parents. The contest entry form and official contest rules are available online at WKAR.org beginning Jan. 5. Those unable to access to WKAR's Web site may call (517) 432-9527 for printed information to be sent via U.S. mail... WKAR sponsors young writers, illustrators contest (Sun, 1/4)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 6, 2009



Saginaw News:

D-Day has an extension -- sort of. The nation's switch to digital from analog signals will occur as planned on Tuesday, Feb. 17. However, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, is behind legislation President Bush signed into law that will keep emergency analog air waves in place 30 days after the deadline. The purpose of "Short-Term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness Act" is to give Americans, particularly the elderly and disabled, more time to ready for the conversion. Lawmakers and critics of the transition have called into question how smooth it will prove with as many as 8 million households unprepared. To make matters worse, a government effort that subsidizes crucial TV converter boxes is nearly out of money. Saginaw County Commission on Aging Director Karen Courneya said an additional 30 days for over-the-air emergency signals isn't likely to garner any public relations awards among seniors, though well-intentioned... Some seniors stymied as TV switch to digital modified (Tue, 1/6)


WLCMWhen was then WCER AM 1390 began operations in August 1956, it was licensed and programmed to Charlotte. I-69 was still in its planning stages and the distance between the larger community of Lansing seemed much further away than it does today. The station, now known as WLCM Victory 1390 and licensed to Holt, has been broadcasting a Christian-based format for nearly 30 years, targeted mostly at Lansing listeners. Until recently the station had been limited to essentially what was daytime-only signal in Lansing proper as after sunset WLCM was required to reduce power, substantially reducing its coverage outside of its Eaton county tower location near Charlotte.

In 2005, owner Jon Yinger first received permission from the Federal Communications Commission to construct a new nighttime tower site for WLCM and increase power at night to give the station a full time, full market signal 24 hours each day.

"It took over a year to work through the zoning situation for the new nighttime broadcast site in Ingham county," explains Yinger. "We took the opportunity of being able to improve our nighttime signal to also rebuild the current daytime operation, which remains near Charlotte. We found many hidden skeletons and gremlins. The daytime work included new towers, base insulators, ground system, sampling system and a rebuild of the phasor and antenna tuning units, finally giving WLCM the coverage it is supposed to have."

"The night site consists of 4 towers south of Holt," continues Yinger. "While some have criticized putting this much work into a standalone AM, my opinion is how can you not build this. We took a station that couldn't really make its licensed 5,000 watts during the day, had 500 watts pre-sunrise and 70 watts at night and turned it into a true Lansing signal. We put a real 5000 watts out during the day and 4500 watts at night. The daytime city grade goes through downtown and the nighttime city grade is stellar. All things considered, WLCM is now one of the better AM's in the market."

WLCM is touted as Lansing's exclusive home for The Dave Ramsey Show, Dr. Laura, BibleLine, Thru the Bible and more. In addition to the improved over-the-air coverage, the station also offers a web stream from its web site at wlcmradio.com.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 8, 2008



ESPN 100.9-FM to Host Ribbon-Cutting

WLUNESPN 100.9-FM, WLUN Pinconning, will unveil its new state-of-the-art radio studios with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony January 28, 2009, held in conjunction with the Midland Chamber of Commerce. The studios for the Tri-Cities' only 24-hour all-sports station have been re-located to the press box at Dow Diamond, overlooking the baseball field. Since the station's purchase in March 2008, operation of the station has taken place in the Citadel Broadcasting studios in Saginaw.

The event will begin at 4pm on the third floor of Dow Diamond and is open to the public. Complementary soft drinks and snacks will be provided, and a cash bar will be available.

"We are looking forward to many great years of operation from here, providing exceptional sports talk and play-by-play to our listeners across the region," said Paul Barbeau, president and general manager of ESPN 100.9-FM. "We are extremely appreciative of Citadel Broadcasting's efforts to house our operation during the transition period. They continue to be a tremendous partner to us."



Flint Journal:

Not sure how the transition to digital television next month will affect you? Genesee County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Inc. is sponsoring free forums to help answer questions. "DTV Awareness Day" is set for 10 a.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Tuesday in the third-floor auditorium of the Genesee County Administration Building, 1101 Beach St. The sessions will include video and slide presentations and hands-on demonstrations of the installation of a DTV converter box... Digital television transition forums scheduled at Genesee County Administration Building (Thu, 1/8)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 12, 2009



Saginaw's WSGW and WTKQ prepare for schedule changes

A big overhaul is on the way to Saginaw news-talk stations WSGW AM 790 and WTKQ FM 100.5 starting next week. When the changes are complete the week of January 26th, fans of popular programs from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, Laura Ingraham and Dennis Miller will be either listening to a different station and/or tuning in at a different time.

The changes will start on Monday, January 19th when Rush Limbaugh (noon - 3pm) and Sean Hannity (3 - 6pm) move to WTKQ. Their shows will be simulcast on their former home of WSGW for a week to help the transition. Changing timeslots on WTKQ on the 19th will be Glen Beck who shifts to 9am - noon (live) along with Laura Ingraham (6 - 9 pm).

The new weekday WTKQ FM 100.5 lineup starting the 19th:
6 - 8 am: The Morning Ticket with Pat Johnston & Todd Guerne
8 - 9 am: The Pat Johnston Show
9 am - noon: Glen Beck
noon - 3 pm: Rush Limbaugh
3 - 6 pm: Sean Hannity
6 - 9 pm: Laura Ingraham
9 pm - 6 am: Fox Sports

After a week off the air, Dennis Miller moves from 10 am - 1pm on FM 100.5 to noon - 3pm on WSGW. Miller's program will be followed by a new program to WSGW, Tom Sullivan, which will air from 3 - 6pm.

WSGW AM 790's lineup starting January 26th:
5 - 5:30 am: America in the Morning
5:30 - 9 am: WSGW Morning Team (local)
9 - 10 am: Art Lewis (local)
10 - 11:30 am: Listen to the Mrs. (local)
11:30 am - noon: Farm Service 790 with Terry Henne
noon - 3 pm: Dennis Miller
3 - 6 pm: Tom Sullivan
6 - 7 pm: WSGW Evening Round Up (local)
7 - 10 pm: Clark Howard
10 pm - 1 am: Jim Bohannon
1 - 5 am: Coast to Coast

In a release the stations' listener club, the stations explain, "Along with everything already written about changes, please understand we also undergo negotiations with network representatives who allow us to broadcast shows. We must finalize contracts and agreements, plus meet financial obligations."

The release also thanks listeners for their support and explains some of the reasons the changes above are being made.

Dropping off the schedule at WTKQ is the show from FOX TV host Bill O'Reilly who has decided to pull the plug on his daily radio program.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 13, 2009



East Lansing's WKAR ready to end analog broadcasts this evening

Tonight marks the end of analog broadcasts at WKAR-TV Channel 23 East Lansing. The Michigan State University owned Public Broadcasting outlet will sign off its analog transmitter for the final time tonight so that it can be reconfigured for use on the first currently planned day of nationwide all-digital TV broadcasting on February 18th.

WKAR will continue to operate its temporary digital transmitter in the interim (operates on Ch. 55 but maps to 23.1, 23.2, 23.3. and 23.4); current digital over the air viewers will not have to make any changes with the cutoff of analog service tomorrow, but will have to rescan their tuners/converters once the station's permanent digital facilities are signed on (using Ch. 40, but again will map to 23.1 - 4).

Viewers that watch WKAR via cable and satellite should not be affected by any of these changes.

Several other Michigan TV stations have already made an early jump to digital-only broadcasting, having shut down their analog transmitters permanently, including WLLA TV 64 Kalamazoo, WFUM TV 28 Flint, and WHTV TV 18 Jackson.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 18, 2009



Bay City Times:

Television repairman Robert "Alan" Anderson hears his telephone ringing a lot these days. Folks want to know if their TV sets will work when broadcasters switch to an all-digital format on Feb. 17, said Anderson, owner of Alan's Repair, 1304 Kosciuszko Ave. "People are asking the obvious question - 'Is my TV ready and how do I get one of those (converter) boxes?'" Anderson said. Here's the short answer: • People with cable television service are OK. • People with satellite television service are OK, if they get their local channels from the satellite service. • People who use an antenna or set-top "rabbit ears" to receive local TV stations must buy a digital converter box... Read on to make sure you're set for digital TV conversion (Sun, 1/18)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 23, 2009



Next Media drops morning show on FM 100.5 in Saginaw

With the revamp of its talk stations WSGW AM 790 and WSGW-FM 100.5 in Saginaw this month, FM 100.5 has dropped the morning programs hosted by Pat Johnston and Todd Guerne which had previously aired weekdays from 6 - 9 am. The station, which changed its call sign from WTKQ to WSGW-FM on January 15, now simulcasts the local morning program of WSGW AM.

The revamp also including the shifting of talk programs from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from the AM to the FM station.



Saginaw News:

Mary Ebelt knew that need was great this year as the Michigan Community Blood Centers launched its six-day Winter Broadcast Blood Boost in early January at Fashion Square Mall. Personalities from 14 radio stations urged listeners to come to the Saginaw Township mall, where several businesses offered incentives to donate. Although 507 people came around with shirt sleeves rolled up -- 60 of them first-time donors -- only 372 pints of blood were added to the bank that supplies local hospitals. Last year's event drew 423 pints... Saginaw's Winter Broadcast Blood Boost drops a couple of pints from last year's contest (Fri, 1/23)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 25, 2009



Flint Journal:

A local group is aiming to create a new public radio station in Flint, but many roadblocks remain for it to become a reality. Al Davis, a former Kettering University professor and an electrical engineer, dreams of a station that brings together numerous volunteers and feature a mix of music and host talk shows. "It's going to be all local people," Davis said. He said he envisions shows about what's going on at City Hall and candidate debates, as well as offbeat music that isn't played on commercial radio. Davis said they wouldn't use National Public Radio, which would distinguish the station from several others that carry NPR in the Flint area. He hopes to secure a Federal Communications Commission license -- but that won't be easy. The FCC tentatively awarded the license to Smile-FM in Harbor Beach. Smile-FM is a network of several Christian radio stations. Davis, working with Flint Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, appealed the FCC's decision on Jan. 16... Flint group makes long-shot bid for public radio station (Sun, 1/25)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 28, 2009



SportsNight Added to ESPN 100.9-FM Lineup

WLUN Pinconning, ESPN 100.9-FM, announced today the addition of SportsNight to the station's regular programming lineup. The news was delivered today at a Midland Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony for the station's new studios at Dow Diamond in Midland. SportsNight will focus on teams in the Great Lakes Bay Region - including local college, high school and minor league sports teams - but will also cover topics related to state-wide and national sports.

The show will air weeknights from 6pm-8pm, but will be preempted by select local or state-wide programming. Those programming commitments include Michigan State and Saginaw Valley League broadcasts, Northwood coaches' shows, and MidMichigan Health's The Training Room.

"The addition of SportsNight guarantees us Michigan-themed programming during five key hours per day," said Brad Golder, who will serve as the show's primary host. "The show is the perfect transition between the Huge Show and ESPN's evening lineup."

The show primarily will originate for Studio A of the station's new broadcast facility. Special broadcasts will originate from various community events throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, such as the Dow Corning Tennis Classic February 9-13.

Today's special ribbon cutting ceremony also coincided with the station's 300th live play-by-play sporting event, with the airing of the Midland versus Dow high school hockey game at 7pm. Of the station's 300 live sporting events, over half (170) have been locally produced and originated broadcasts.



Lansing State Journal:

The city of Lansing is suing telecommunication giant AT&T Inc. over its treatment of public access, education and government channels in its U-verse television service. City officials said they filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Ingham County Circuit Court. The city also said it filed a complaint with the Federal Communication Commission. Officials claim U-verse displays such community access channels in inferior quality elsewhere, even though AT&T launched its U-verse service in mid-Michigan this month without Lansing's seven community channels. AT&T needs the city's permission to add the channels - something the city hasn't agreed to. "Our channels are supposed to be provided the way they've always been provided to our customers - as separate, distinct, readily accessible television channels," said Randy Hannan, spokesman for Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero... Lansing files suit against AT&T (Wed, 1/28)



Battle Creek Enquirer:

When the writers' strike froze production of numerous television shows in late 2007, some chose to put down their pickets and pick up their pens anyway. From the imaginations of several work-thirsty scribes came online sites such as Strike.TV, a place where professional writers could bypass the rigamarole and high expenses of the studio system and produce their creations for less money and hassle. Battle Creek native David O'Malley joined writers and actors from hit shows such as "Friends," "The Office" and "Saturday Night Live," with his latest creation, "Dangerous Women," which debuted on Strike.TV last Thursday... B.C. native brings tale to online TV (Wed, 1/28)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 30, 2009



Flint Journal:

Doug Fisher expected to spend Friday morning breaking down Sunday's Super Bowl and Friday night's high school basketball matchups. Instead, he sat home Friday morning, hoping he still has a future in the radio business. Fisher is the latest radio personality to become a victim of the economy, as he was let go Thursday as the program director and host of the "Male Room" on WTRX (1330-AM). The decision was made by Citadel Broadcasting Company, the parent company of WTRX. Fisher said he was informed of the move after wrapping up Thursday's edition of his local sports talk show, which aired from 10 a.m. to noon on weekdays. "It's a tough, tough economy we're dealing with," Fisher said. "Nobody's immune. "I didn't have an inkling, but I'm not surprised. I'm still shocked." WTRX is replacing Fisher's show with Colin Cowheard's "The Herd" on ESPN Radio. WTRX will air primarily ESPN Radio programming, with the exceptions of the Jim Rome show from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays, "The Huge Show" from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays and team broadcasts that the station is still contractually obligated to carry... Doug Fisher let go at WTRX; local sports talk show replaced by ESPN program (Fri, 1/30)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 6, 2009



Flint Journal:

Doug Fisher is a radio business veteran. The longtime radio personality and talk show host knows precisely how the game is played. So when Fisher, host of "The Male Room" sports talk show on WTRX-AM (1330) and the station's program director, was called into the office after last Thursday's show, he knew what was coming. The ax. Fisher was informed that his show had been canceled and his job as program director was no more... Doug Fisher axed at WTRX-Am (1330), Era ends for 'Male Room,' says Flint Journal's Rickey Hampton (Fri, 2/6)



Lansing State Journal:

A decision by Congress to postpone the transition to digital television doesn't necessarily give viewers more time to prepare for the end of analog broadcasts. On Wednesday, when Congress postponed the mandatory transition until June, it gave stations the option to stick to the originally scheduled date of Feb. 17. WILX-TV Channel 10 still plans to make the switch that day, said Michael King, the station's vice president and general manager. "The time is now," he said. "We've run thousands of commercial messages and crawls and countdowns. We've actually done shutoffs on Tuesdays for the past 10 weeks, and we believe our audience is well prepared for the transition, so we're going to go." King said the number of those who might not be prepared for the switch is negligible. Gene Shanahan, operations manager for WLNS-TV Channel 6, said Thursday the station likely will wait until June to turn off its analog signal... WILX-TV to go digital - despite added time (Fri, 2/6)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 9, 2009



Flint Journal:

Les Root, the voice of Flint radio news for 53 years, is another casualty of the economic downturn. Root said he and about a dozen others in Flint radio (he couldn't confirm the number) were laid off Friday by Cumulus Media, one of America's largest radio chains. Among them: Jeff Wade, program director of WRSR (103.9 FM) and Rusty Thomas, program director of WWCK (1570 AM), Root said. "I have mixed emotions about it," said Root. "I've been in the broadcast business for 53 years in Flint and doing the news at one location using my same desk for 37 years. "It's bittersweet," he added. "I was not ready to retire just yet. But I had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders to run a one-man news shop and to have that responsibility lifted from my shoulders is a relief"... After 53 years on-air, local radio newsman Les Root loses job with Cumulus (Mon, 2/9)



Taylor on Radio-Info:

The Cumulus forced-exits from "Black Friday" for Flint, Ann Arbor: In Flint, MI - news director and Michigan Hall of Fame member Les Root is out. Same for "Male Room" host Doug Fisher at WTRX. Also - "Fox 103.9" WRSR PD Jeff Wade, WWCK "Super Talk 1570" PD Rusty Thomas, WRSR/WWCK GSM Bill Bailey, along with office manager Laurie Richter and five souls in the sales department. In Ann Arbor, MI - WQKL-FM (107.1) morning show host Martin Bandyke and news director Brian Larsen are among the victims. (Mon, 2/9)




News Cuts Hit Cumulus In Flint: Among the cuts at CUMULUS FRIDAY was longtime CUMULUS FLINT News Director LES ROOT. ROOT, a multiple winner of ASSOCIATED PRESS awards, started his 50 year radio career in high school and became News Director at WTRX-A in 1984. (Mon, 2/9)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 17, 2009



Lansing State Journal:

Maybe you turned on your TV today only to see a snowy screen. Maybe you saw a clearer-than-ever picture. Maybe you didn't notice a thing. All three are possible. At 2:05 a.m. today, WILX-TV Channel 10 was scheduled to switch from an analog broadcast to a digital signal. The station's been conducting test runs almost daily. Now, the switch should be complete. "We've had people call confused," admitted Kevin Ragan, news director for WILX. Today, he expects few viewers - if any - to feel ill-prepared for the change. "None," Ragan said. "We would imagine it was a fraction." The switch was mandated by the federal government, with an original deadline date of today. Earlier this month, though, Congress voted to give stations until June 12 to make the conversion. The goal was to ensure the public was prepared. Most other Lansing-area stations are waiting. That includes WLAJ-TV Channel 53, WSYM-TV Fox 47 and WLNS-TV Channel 6... WILX switches to digital today (Tue, 2/17)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 19, 2009



Lansing State Journal:

Jeremy Whiting has some experience with balancing music logs and shuffling through barrels of CDs. That's because Whiting, 26, is the station manager of WDBM The Impact (88.9-FM), MSU's award-winning and all-student run radio station. Since 2002, Whiting has done everything from hosting shows to his current role of, pretty much, running the whole shebang. The Impact celebrates its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, and we're talking with Whiting about the station's past, present - and plans for the future. Of course, in 20 years, the music on the Impact has changed. A lot. Looking at a past playlist is like glancing over old high school photos. It's nostalgic. Reflective. And it can be pretty funny... WDBM (88.9-FM): 20 years of Impact (Thu, 2/19)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 23, 2009




WPRJ Holds Contest For New Talent: COME TOGETHER MINISTRIES Christian CHR WPRJ (FUSE FM 101.7)/SAGINAW-MIDLAND-BAY CITY, MI announced the four finalists for its "THE NEXT GREAT FUSE FM DJ" contest. Each finalist will be featured this week from FEBRUARY 23rd to 26th on the "GET UP & GO SHOW" with morning hosts DICE and SARA. The grand prize winner will chosen by public vote via www.myfusefm.com and by FUSE FM management and will start his or her own radio program on WPRJ this spring. The winner will be announced on this FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th during the 8a (ET) hour of the morning show. "We have been blown away by the amount of attention this contest has given FUSE FM," said OM AARON DICER. "Each week we have received hundreds of votes for each contestant, making it a tight race. Now we're ready to award the winner their own radio show so they can offer up their exceptional talent for the whole world to hear on a regular basis." Three of the four finalists were picked by FUSE FM listeners and one finalist was a wildcard selected by station staff. Finalists include MIKE HILL of SANFORD, COLETTE HAMLIN of MT. PLEASANT, NATALIA WALSH of MIDLAND and JOHN BRINES of MIDLAND. (Mon, 2/23)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 24, 2009



MSU Today podcasts from Impact Radio feature Karole White and Gary Reid

Karole White is president and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. "We are the trade association for all the radio and television stations in Michigan," says White. "We help our members better serve their communities. No other industry works as hard at serving their community as local broadcasters."

White talks about the challenges involved in making sure the public is aware of television's transition to digital broadcasting. She also talks about the issues and challenges facing broadcasters in the years ahead.

"As long as broadcasters remain true to their mission of serving their communities, radio and TV stations will remain viable businesses no matter how they're delivering information to consumers."

Hear the conversation here: spartanpodcast.com/?p=494

Gary Reid is the general manager of MSU's award-winning student radio station, 88.9 FM The Impact. The Impact celebrates its 20th birthday on February 24, 2009. Reid talks about how WDBM got started and discusses the station's mission. He talks about how the Impact - and the radio industry in general - has changed over the 20 years WDBM has been on the air. And Reid looks ahead to the Impact's next 20 years and looks into his crystal ball to predict where the radio business is headed in the future.

Hear the conversation here - spartanpodcast.com/?p=492



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

Area broadcast television stations and cable TV companies have had little trouble making the transition to digital TV, but some viewers have. Congress pushed the date that stations must make the transition from Feb. 17 to June 12 but many stations, including WILX Channel 10, went forward with the transition Feb. 17. "It went just fine from a technical standpoint," said Mike King, general manager of the the Lansing-Jackson NBC affiliate. "Absolutely no problems whatsoever." But King said the station received 300 to 400 calls from people having difficulties getting the new digital signal. He said some needed to rescan the channels on their TV and others didn't have the right type of antenna. Keith Bunker of Summit Township, who has a 30-foot antenna, was surprised to lose his Channel 10 signal on Feb. 17. "There was nothing there!" Bunker said. Bunker, who has a ham radio license and said he is more technologically savvy than a lot of people, called the station and was told to rescan his channels. Bunker said he now he receives Channel 10 but wishes TV stations had done a better job of publicizing the need to rescan. Bunker also said he is having trouble getting WKAR Channel 23, the East Lansing PBS affiliate, especially when it is windy or rainy... Some TV viewers in Jackson area wrestle with WILX changeover to digital TV (Tue, 2/24)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 26, 2009



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

A thumbs down from Simon Cowell and the other judges wasn't the only thing that Jessika Baier got out of her appearance on "American Idol" last month. As a result of her audition, the Blackman Township singer got a job on the morning show for Jackson radio station WKHM-FM (105.3). Station manager Jamie McKibbin (a.k.a. The Big Dog) had been looking for a co-host to assist him with the morning show for a few months when Baier came in to the station's Summit Township studio to be interviewed on the air about her TV experience. McKibbin knew Baier from the karaoke contests the station sponsors at the Jackson County Fair, which she has won in the past. When it comes to radio, "you either have it or you don't," McKibbin said, and he could tell Baier had it. "I was really looking for somebody who was fun and local," he said. "I made her an offer she couldn't refuse." "Yeah," Baier said, "who could refuse that? Working with the stinky kid." On the air for about two weeks, Baier clearly already is comfortable making playful banter with her co-host... American Idol contestant Jessika Baier lands a job at Jackson radio station (Thu, 2/26)



Saginaw News:

In need of a box to ship an item to his sister, this Bay City guy was driving along and saw one just the right size at a curbside on trash day. He stopped, picked it up, shook it, found two brewery signs and a serving tray inside, and took the box and its contents home. On Sunday night at 8, Channel 19, WDCQ, will show the rest of his story during an hour-long special titled "Trinket or Treasure: Bay County's Hidden Gems." Filmed in conjunction with the Historical Society of Bay County at its museum, think of the show as mid-Michigan's very own version of PBS' "Antiques Roadshow." And a thoroughly fascinating one as many of the trinkets and treasures the show's appraisers examine are distinctly mid-Michigan... Channel 19's 'Trinket or Treasure' serves up a trove of history (Fri, 2/27)




Ed Combs Exits WKCQ: MACDONALD BROADCASTING Country WKCQ/SAGINAW night slammer ED COMBS has exited the station after two-and-a-half years due to budget cuts. (Wed, 2/25)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 27, 2009



Brian Figula named PD at Mix 106.3 Saginaw

NextMedia Vice President and General Manager Shannone Dunlap has announced that Flint native Brian Figula has been hired as the new Program Director for The New MIX 106.3, WGER. The hot AC station serves the Great Lakes Bay Region stations in Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland. "Fig" will exit Detroit from #1 adult rated 96.3 WDVD (Hot Ac) and 93.1 DOUG FM (Adult Hits) where he is the Creative Services/Imaging Director.

Fig said, "I'm thrilled to work with the brilliant NextMedia family of Jeff Dinetz, Shannone Dunlap, Dave Maurer, Scott (Seipel) Shannon and consultant Steve Davis. Our combined talents will immediately build The New Mix 106.3 as the most exciting adult radio station in the Tri-cities".

Fig's prior experience includes a stint as Assistant Program Director and afternoon personality at CBS hot AC WQAL In Cleveland and PD/Afternoons at WWCK in Flint. While working at heritage Saga CHR WDBR in Springfield, IL, Fig was awarded the Illinois Broadcasters Association Personality of The Year. He will be leaving his current position at WDVD/WDRQ March 6th.



Citadel Cuts In Saginaw: The CITADEL budget axe got a workout at the SAGINAW, MI cluster today, cutting loose two talented programmers. Gone are Top 40 WIOG PD/afternoon host JERRY NOBLE as well as Active Rock WKQZ PD/afternoon jock HOSER. (Fri, 3/6)


Saginaw News:

Ojibway Island is going to rock this summer, said Jim Kramer, the morning man at WKCQ-FM, 98.1. But country fans shouldn't worry, he quickly added. Travis Tritt promises to charge everyone up Saturday, June 20, when he headlines the 18th annual KCQ Country Music Fest. Again, the concert is free, with the island closed to motor traffic. In past years, the music fest has drawn nearly 100,000 fans with performers including Trisha Yearwood in 1992, Toby Keith in 1993 and John Michael Montgomery in 2003. Tritt, winner of two Grammys and three County Music Association awards, is best known for "Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)," "Best of Intentions" and "It's a Great Day to Be Alive"... Travis Tritt to headline WKCQ Country Music Fest (Fri, 3/13)


Lansing State Journal:

WJIM AM 1240 morning radio host Michael Patrick Shiels will host a special St. Patrick's Day broadcast live from Ireland on Tuesday. The program, live from Doonbeg Golf Club's lounge, will include interviews with notables from County Clare, plus Irish music, heritage, customs and a bit of politics. Shiels, an author and travel writer, who is Irish, frequently chats on his radio show with celebrities, athletes, business executives and politicians. The "MPS in the Morning" program will air live from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. "My Michigan listeners adore hearing Irish voices and music on St. Patrick's Day, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to give them an authentic full Irish sort of morning show," Shiels said... WJIM host back in Ireland, broadcasting live on Tuesday (Sun, 3/15)



WLEN, WSTW Win Service To America Awards: The NAB EDUCATION FOUNDATION is honoring LEWANEE BROADCASTING AC WLEN-F/ADRIAN, MI and DELMARVA Top 40 WSTW/WILMINGTON, DE and with Service to AMERICA Awards this year. WSTW was cited for its "SmartDrive" program to combat teen deaths, and WLEN was honored for its service to the market's children and the homeless. The stations will be among those honored at a JUNE 8th dinner in WASHINGTON. "This year's group of winners has done an outstanding job at developing programs and initiatives designed to improve their respective communities," said NAB President and CEO DAVID K. REHR. "The dedication these broadcasters have shown toward their viewers and listeners is truly remarkable, and we look forward to honoring their efforts during the 2009 Celebration of Service to AMERICA Awards dinner." (Fri, 3/20)


Lansing State Journal:

Spring's in the air and two Michigan radio personalities have new books out, with quite different approaches. One will make you think, the other will make you laugh. "Everybody Dreams" (Booksurge, $19.95) is a paperback debut novel by Michael Stratton, who locally hosts the "Vinyl Side of Midnight" jazz show on WLNZ-FM (89.7) every Sunday. It focuses on Emma Davis, a marital therapist who is having nightmares and forms a dream therapy group to help provide insights ... "More Words to the Wise" by Michael J. Sheehan (Arbutus Press, $16.95) is the second compilation of questions and answers heard on "Words to the Wise," his weekly call-in program on WTCM-AM radio in Traverse City. Subtitled "A Lighthearted Look at the English Language," Sheehan's paperback offers highly entertaining insights into a wide assortment of subjects, offered in an informative and amusing format... Two Mich. radio jocks offer their latest works (Sun, 3/22)


Bay City Times:

Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting received eight awards this month for broadcasting excellence from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, including 2008 Public Broadcasting Station of the Year in the Division II category. The awards, presented March 11 in Grand Rapids, recognize outstanding achievement in broadcasting by Michigan radio and television stations. WDCQ-TV, known as Q-TV, received Station of the Year in the category of Division II stations (budget more than $6 million). It also received a Best in the News Special or Documentary category for the documentary "Tracks Through Time: Michigan's Railroads - History & Impact." Q-TV has received more than 20 state and national awards for its documentary work in recent years... Delta College wins broadcasting awards (Thu, 3/26)




WGER Names Kelly McMann For Middays: NEXTMEDIA Hot AC WGER (THE NEW MIX 106.3)/SAGINAW, MI newly named PD announces the addition of WDVD (96.3 DVD)/DETROIT, MI weekend talent KELLY MCMANN for middays from 10a-3p beginning on MONDAY (3/30). Prior to WDVD, MCMANN hosted a specialty show called "GIRLS NIGHT OUT on Modern Rock WMHW/MT. PLEASANT, MI while attending CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY. KELLY MCMANN commented, "I feel very excited and privileged to work with FIG and the entire NEXTMEDIA family. I cannot wait to get started and talk with the people of SAGINAW/BAY CITY/MIDLAND everyday." (Tue, 3/24)



Hardball, Hoops Dominate ESPN 100.9-FM Lineup this Week

ESPN 100.9-FM has several programming features for the remainder of the week:

SportsNight, hosted by Brad Golder, continues its coverage Thursday night from 6pm-8pm from Camelback Ranch, spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the parent club of the Great Lakes Loons.

Among the guests already to appear this week on the show include former Loons Clayton Kershaw, Josh Lindblom, Preston Mattingly and Glenn Dishman and current hitting coach Michael Boughton.

On Friday, ESPN 100.9-FM continues its coverage of high school basketball, with live play-by-play coverage of the Bridgeport Bearcats versus Zeeland East in the Class B state semi-finals, with Dan Hasty and Terry Boswell on the call. Coverage of that game begins at 5:55pm, followed by the Michigan State Spartans' matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA Sweet 16. Coverage from the Spartan Network begins at 8:30pm.


Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun

At noon Tuesday, Mt. Pleasant's Channel 14 will go off the air forever. Sort of. Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting will cease analog telecasts today, more than a month behind the original digital deadline, but more than two months ahead of the final June date for all analog telecasting to end. Besides ending analog telecasts on Channel 14, CMU Public Television also will shut down its satellite stations across northern Michigan on channels 6, 21, 27, 46 and 69. Digital broadcasts, which began in the early part of the decade, will continue, said Rick Schudiske, WCMU's assistant general manager. People with cable or satellite shouldn't see any change, not will people who have hooked up their digital converter boxes. "We've decided to go ahead and shut down our analog signal because we hadn't budgeted for the approximately extra $10,000 a month it would cost to continue simulcasting until the new federally-mandated June deadline-especially given Michigan's economy right now," Schudiske said. "The original analog shut-off was February 17th and we are hopeful by keeping the analog stations on through March that all of our viewers will be ready"... CMU TV to complete digital transition (Mon, 3/30)



WFBE Offers Up Inagural Country Music Festival: CITADEL Country WFBE/FLINT has announced the 1st ANNUAL FLINT COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL. The big show takes place APRIL 24th at the PERANI ARENA and features JESSICA HARP, CAITLIN & WILL, JONATHAN SINGELTON AND THE GROVE, ADAM GREGORY, BOMSHEL, HOLLY WILLIAMS, WILLIAMS RILEY and LOVE AND THEFT. For more information visit www.b95.fm. (Wed, 4/1)


Flint's WFBE adding morning show from Citadel sister WTNR Grand Rapids

Citadel will begin syndication of its 'Scrubs in the Morning' program currently heard on country WTNR FM 94.5 and its first affiliate will be sister station WFBE FM 95.1 Flint. 'Scrubs in the Morning', will feature personalities Scrubs, Flounder, Ashley Asphalt and April Rose. Rose is the midday host on WFBE and also the station's program director. Apparently out at WFBE is morning host and music director Keith Allen along with co-host Stephanie Carroll.



Grand Rapids Press:

Matt Steigenga finally is going to the NCAA tournament's Final Four. The Grand Rapids native and former Michigan Mr. Basketball from South Christian made it only as far as the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 in his playing days at Michigan State. But this year is his first as a color commentator on the Spartan Radio Network, and he acknowledged to being caught up in the excitement. "I'm a fan" said Steigenga, 39, of East Lansing, who owns a real-estate development company and will be courtside doing radio work Saturday night when the Spartans play Connecticut. "As a former Spartan (1992 graduate), I think it's great, great for the program, obviously great for all of us to talk about," he said. "I hear a lot that it's great for the state of Michigan, too, and I'd like to believe that. It makes it very special for more than just Spartans"... Ex-Spartan Matt Steigenga will enjoy Final Four experience courtside as radio commentator (Fri, 4/3)


Huron Daily Tribune:

Bishop Robert J. Carlson announced Monday that WEYI-TV Emmy award-winning news anchor Erin Looby Carlson will join the Diocesan Center staff in May to help spread news about the Catholic church in mid-Michigan, particularly the extraordinary value of Catholic schools. Looby Carlson joins the bishop's pastoral team in the newly created role of director of marketing and communications. She is charged with promoting the rich quality education offered through the area's 26 Catholic schools, in addition to providing a leadership role in specialized evangelization and faith-based community development projects ... Prior to her work as managing editor and anchor with the NBC affiliate Channel 25 news team, Looby Carlson was employed by WBKB-TV in Alpena as a news anchor and multimedia journalist... Local TV news anchor joins diocesan staff to promote church, faith-based education (Tue, 4/7)




Where in The World Is The Moose? NEXT MEDIA Country WCEN (94.5 THE MOOSE)/SAGINAW will be kicking off their first MOOSE MYSTERY TRIP giveaway on MONDAY (4/13). Each weekday after 7a (ET), the MOOSE MORNING SHOW will give out a about the mystery destination as well as additional times that more clues will be announced. On FRIDAY (4/17) after 5p, afternooner SCOTT BRADLEY will ask for the 94th caller to identify the mystery city. The winner and a guest will receive roundtrip airfare to that city, concert tickets to one of the hottest shows and a $100 MARRIOTT gift card. For more information, visit www.945themoose.com. (Thu, 4/9)


Central Michigan Life:

William Wayne Sanderson will be remembered by his friends and colleagues for his loyalty and upbeat attitude. "He was a friendly, easy- going guy that could be relied on," said Edward Grant, general manager of public broadcasting, who worked with Sanderson for a few years at Central Michigan University. Sanderson, 60, died on Sunday, Feb. 8 in Chesaning. Sanderson worked as a technical engineer for CMU public broadcasting on big projects like rewiring the entire broadcasting studio. Grant said they were in dire shape before Sanderson came to work for them. "He was a real craftsman," Grant said. "(And he was) extremely well versed." Tim Light has known Sanderson since 1985. They worked together at the Cars 108 radio station in Flint, where Sanderson was a chief engineer. He was a very outgoing person, Light said. When Sanderson would go visit Light and his family, he would have the back of his truck filled with fireworks and remote control cars and trucks for Light's kids. "He got along well with kids," Light said. "He was there the day after my son came home from the hospital." John Denheeten, transmission supervisor, said it will not be hard to remember Sanderson, because he worked on every part of CMU Public Broadcasting... Broadcast engineer missed, remembered for experience (Wed, 2/11) Editors note: Apologies for the delay on providing this information


A DJ so nice, you can hear him twice

If you're lucky enough to live in the middle of the state and are able to pick up Citadel active rock outlets WKLQ-FM 107.3 Greenville/Grand Rapids and WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland/Bay City, you can hear two different afternoon drive programs from the same jock. Jay Deacon hosts 2 - 7 p.m. on WKLQ and nearly simultaneously (3 - 7 p.m.) airs on WKQZ. But the trick is that the shows are not simulcast, leaving listeners on their own to figure out on which station and for what segments is Deacon live or voicetracked.

While the overlap area between WKLQ is WKQZ is mostly rural in nature, it's still an interesting study in how radio companies are doing all they can to cut costs yet maintain as much of a local feel as possible.



Grand Rapids Press:

Ever wondered what a radio show looks like as it's being recorded? Ira Glass is giving you a chance to find out. The host of Chicago Public Radio's popular "This American Life" program plans to take his cast in front of the cameras for a live simulcast on Thursday. The show will be broadcast in high definition via satellite to more than 400 movie theaters across the country, including Celebration Cinema North and Holland 7 in West Michigan. Tickets for the evening event already have been selling well at Celebration North, said Steve VanWagoner, Celebration Cinema's vice president of marketing... Radio's quirky 'This American Life' hits Grand Rapids-area theaters (Tue, 4/21)


The University of Michigan plans to discontinue operating Michigan Television (WFUM-TV/Flint) because of shortfalls in revenue since 2005 and the need to control the university's costs in the face of the continuing economic downturn.

Member contributions from viewers, along with support from area businesses and foundations, have traditionally provided the largest source of funding for Michigan Television.

Over the past two years, the station has experienced a 28 percent decline in member support and business underwriting revenue. The station has also been obligated to make significant capital expenditures over the past several years related to the federally mandated conversion to digital television, which the station completed in November, 2008.

A careful review of future revenue prospects showed that shortfalls were likely to continue, leading to sustained operational losses.

The university hopes to transition operation of the station to another entity, and is currently in discussions with other parties on the possibility of assuming operation and/or ownership. There are no immediate changes planned in the station's program schedule.

>"We have been grateful for the support of our viewers and donors, and the dedication of our staff, but unfortunately WFUM-TV has not been able to sustain itself financially, like many other businesses in this tough economy," said David Lampe, vice president of communications at U-M. "And over the last several years, the university has been under growing pressure to reduce costs wherever it can in order to maintain its core commitment to the quality and accessibility of a U-M education. Under these circumstances, we decided it was best to withdraw from the public television business."

As part of its on-going fiscal management process, the university has recently announced several measures intended to cut costs, including restructuring the University Press, decreasing its share of employee health benefit costs, consolidating its central IT operations, and cutting back on non-patient care positions in the Health System.

"This is a painful decision and we understand how it will affect our staff as well as the supportive Flint community, but we didn't see any way to make it work," Lampe said.

WFUM-TV first began broadcasting in August 1980, and has offices and studios on the University of Michigan-Flint campus. Michigan Television (WFUM-TV) broadcasts over digital channel 28, and is available on cable systems throughout mid and southeastern Michigan. The station has an estimated viewing audience of approximately 200,000 viewers per week.

Michigan Television is operated by Michigan Public Media, which also operates Michigan Radio, an NPR news station; Michigan Channel, a cable channel featuring programming from the University of Michigan and other research universities; and Michigan Productions, a video production unit. Operations of those units are not expected to be affected by this decision.



NEXTMEDIA Talk WSGW-A (NEWSRADIO 790) and WSGW-F (FM TALK AND SPORTS 100.5)/SAGINAW-BAY CITY-MIDLAND are launching a campaign to help promote a positive outlook on the economy. The "P.O.W.E.R." campaign, explains VP/GM SHANNONE DUNLAP, is an acronym for "Positive Outlooks Whip Every Recession."

"We want to do our part to help break the back of the recession that has gone on too long," said DUNLAP. "We urge all Americans to exercise the POWER within your control to help make a difference in the economy. The economy is largely a state of mind. Consumer confidence can bring pressure to bear on the business barometer just as rising barometric pressure brings better weather."

PD/OM DAVE MAURER added, "Time, talent and treasure are interrelated factors. If we all use those personal assets wisely, we can have impact in our communities. Whether you volunteer to help with a summer festival, use your talent to beautify and improve your home and neighborhood, or make a commitment to spend within your means on the purchases you have put off, now is the time to show POWER."

The campaign kicks off at the GREAT LAKES BAY REGION BUSINESS EXPO on MAY 5 at SAGINAW VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY. Station personalities will hand out thousands of red, white, and blue POWER buttons at the stations' booth, and people wearing POWER buttons will be eligible for instant cash prizes if they're spotted by station prize patrols. Homeowners and businesspeople will also be urged to display POWER signs on their properties.


WSGW Saginaw becomes home for University of Michigan sports broadcasts

When IMG Sports Marketing acquired the rights to University of Michigan Athletics, their General Manager Mike Chires made a commitment to upgrade affiliates in a number of markets across the state. In the Great Lakes Bay Region, Chires targeted Newsradio 790, WSGW with a huge coverage area reaching well beyond the station's primary metro of Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland. Little did Chires know that NextMedia Operations Manager and Program Director Dave Maurer had long wanted to air the Wolverines.

The deal came together quickly between Chires and NextMedia Vice President and General Manager Shannone Dunlap. The agreement is for three years with two additional one year extensions.

WSGW will carry both U of M Football and Basketball games, plus the weekly coach's shows of Rich Rodriguez and John Beilein allowing listeners to hear previews of upcoming games and analysis of previous games.

Dunlap sees great opportunity in marketing the Big Ten team to local advertisers while Maurer is anxious to get the excitement from the Big House and the rousing sound of the Victors on the air to the potential audience of nearly 400,000 in the stations listening area. Newsradio 790 will put down a significant footprint In the center of the lower peninsula for U of M as WSGW joins the network of 25 stations.

WSGW will continue to air both the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings on 790AM and any Wolverines games that conflict with the pro sports events will be carried on FM Talk & Sports 100.5 WSGW-FM . The 100.5 FM station will continue to air Saginaw Spirit hockey games. Maurer said the flexibility of having both WSGW AM & FM allows NextMedia to provide the market with a dominant News, Talk and Sports franchise. Chires said the deal bringing U of M and WSGW together unites two champions.



Even though it's no longer his voice behind the mic for Detroit Tigers broadcasts, Ernie Harwell has nothing but praise for the men who have succeeded him. "Well I think they all do a good job," began the 91 year-old Harwell. "Mario Impemba, Rod Allen on TV, and Dan Dickerson and Jim Price on radio. They're there, they describe the game very well. And I either listen on the radio or watch the TV every day." Perhaps one of those men will someday reach the exalted status of Harwell, who explains why baseball announcers seem to be more revered than their contemporaries in other sports... Ernie Harwell reflects on broadcasting career (Mon, 5/4)


Spartan Podcast features Michael Patrick Shiels

Michael Patrick Shiels hosts "MPS in the Morning" on WJIM-AM 1240 in Lansing and around the state on the Michigan Talk Network. He reflects on his time with the late, great J.P. McCarthy at WJR and talks about how he models his show after J.P. and attempts to 'leave out the boring parts.' He discusses the current and future state of the journalism and media industries and talks about how he got started as an author on the MSU Today on Impact Radio podcast at http://spartanpodcast.com/?p=508.


Internet-only station WOAP Online to rename itself Mint City Radio

Dan Drolett, owner and manager of mid-Michigan internet radio station WOAP Online (www.woaponline.com), has announced that the station will change its name and internet address, effective June 1st, 2009. The station will be renamed Mint City Radio, and the station's new URL will be MintCityRadio.com.

All of the programming currently being aired on WOAP Online will continue to air on Mint City Radio.

"It's time for a new identity....one which will more accurately describe who we are and what we do", Drolett says. One other reason cited for the change is the recent purchase of WOAP-AM 1080 in Owosso, and the probability that the station will return to the air on a permanent basis. According to Drolett, "We adopted the WOAP call letters when the Owosso station was silent, because we wanted to revive the heritage of the old WOAP, but now that 1080 is likely returning to the air, it would just cause confusion to keep using these call letters".

Mint City Radio will be availabe to anyone using a computer or Wi-Fi internet radio, at MintCityRadio.com. Listeners can click the "Listen Live" link and hear the station 24 hours a day. The station features agricultural programs, old-time radio shows and hit music from the 70's through the 90's, as well as up-to-date weather forecasts from staff announcer Bryan Mix-Dean.



WKCQ To Hold Golf Tournament For Food Bank: MACDONALD BROADCASTING Country WKCQ/SAGINAW MD JOHNNY RICHARDS tells ALL ACCESS that the station is holding its "8th Annual Drive To End Hunger Golf Outing," on TUESDAY, AUGUST 4th at the TIMBERS GOLF CLUB. All money raised will go the FOOD BANK OF EASTERN MICHIGAN. RICHARDS says that he is looking for 'team sponsorships' and 'hole sponsorships,' as well as autographed merchandise from artists, for a silent auction. (Wed, 5/27)


Flint Journal:

The man behind some of Flint's biggest radio names has died. Longtime broadcast engineer Donald R. "Don" McComb, 76, of Flushing died of cancer late Wednesday. "He was a real pro," said former Flint talk radio firebrand Dave Barber. Barber, who began working with McComb at WTRX in the late 1970s, said McComb had a true understanding of AM radio and how to tweak the dials to maximize the sound of the on-air talent. "He made us sound a little better than we probably were," said Barber, who now works as a television program director in Providence, Rhode Island. WHNN disc jockey Johnny Burke called McComb "the last of a dying breed." "He used to do his own sound effects," said Burke, in a statement released by McComb family friend Tom Sumner. "He would be the guy banging coconuts together or rattling metal to make it sound like thunder." McComb's career wasn't spent entirely behind the scenes... Longtime Flint radio engineer worked to make on-air hosts sound their best (Thu, 5/28)



CMU Athletics Partners with WCFX-FM 95.3

Central Michigan University Athletics and WCFX-FM 95.3 have reached an agreement that will make WCFX the local radio affiliate of the CMU Sports Network. WCFX will air all of CMU's football and men's basketball games, as well as the weekly Front Row Seat coaches show live from O'Kelly's Sports Bar & Grille.

"I am pleased to announce this new strategic partnership with WCFX," said CMU Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. "Aligning with an experienced and forward-thinking media partner like WCFX is a clear example of the aggressive steps forward we continue to take to position Chippewa Athletics for future success. This creative model will provide CMU Athletics opportunities to generate new revenue streams through collaborative marketing and sponsorship initiatives. WCFX will provide a strong, consistent home for all CMU Sports Network programming and serve our fans throughout the mid-Michigan region."

WCFX reaches an audience of nearly 700,000 potential listeners over a 10-county area in mid-Michigan.

"Partnering with an outstanding station like WCFX is a huge step forward for the CMU Sports Network," said Nick Williams, Associate Athletic Director for Marketing, Sales and Corporate Relations. "We wanted to expand what we are able to do with our radio network for local promotions and WCFX came to us with an outstanding plan. We have such a great working relationship already, this all materialized into exactly what we were looking for with a local affiliate. I am very excited about what the future will hold. Together we have an opportunity to offer fans and corporate partners tremendous opportunities to be actively involved in CMU Athletics by combining the resources of our organizations."

WCFX will be the sole local affiliate in the CMU Sports Network. The multi-level partnership includes broadcast, advertising and promotional agreements between CMU Athletics and WCFX.

"WCFX has enjoyed a strong promotional partnership with Central Michigan University Athletics over the years, and we are thrilled to be chosen as their local broadcast partner for football and men's basketball broadcasts," said WCFX General Manager Jim Spangenberg. "WCFX's local broadcast partnership with CMU Athletics will fuel its rapidly growing popularity in mid-Michigan. It's a natural fit for WCFX, Mount Pleasant's dominant local radio station, to develop a marketing and broadcast partnership with CMU football and men's basketball."

WCFX will be actively involved in CMU Athletics games, events and promotions and will become an extension of the CMU Athletics marketing department. CMU Athletics will be actively working with the WCFX sales staff to offer exciting advertising and promotional opportunities for football, men's basketball and Front Row Seat broadcasts.

"At WCFX we've been a strong supporter of CMU Athletics for many years and picking up the local broadcasts was a natural progression of that support for CMU," said WCFX Program Director and morning show host Kent Bergstrom. "We're excited to expand our partnership with the university and the athletics department and look forward to providing our listeners with another great addition to our radio station this fall, CMU football and basketball."

The remainder of the CMU Sports Network's station lineup will be announced later this summer.



Saginaw News:

Delta College's Channel 19 is is premiering a new local series aimed at the 50-plus generation living in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Titled "Second Act: Life at 50+", the 30-minute program debuts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 3. Hosted by Mike Redford, the series will highlight local people with a story to share about health and wellness, recreation, legal and financial concerns, civic and social engagement, relationships, careers and volunteering. The first installment looks at rail trails and bicycling, video game exercise and fitness programs, and driving and safety for the older driver... Delta College's Channel 19 adds a show for the 50 and up set (Thu, 5/28)


Travel Video News

Flint, Genesee County and the Buick Open are being promoted on two of the largest radio stations in Ottawa, Canada for free. Ottawa radio stations; Live 88.5 FM and Hot 89.9 FM are airing the radio ads tied to the Pure Michigan campaign (www.michigan.org). The ads, which will continue airing through June 21, would normally cost more than $60,000, but the stations agreed to run them for free over four weeks following negotiations with the Flint Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The FACVB and many other Flint area organizations, residents and supporters contacted the stations upset over a radio campaign called "This Ain't Flint". The campaign includes a related Web site (thisaintflint.ca) and video that compared 1989 Flint to Ottawa, Ca., of today... Ottawa radio stations give $60,000 in air time to Flint (Thu, 6/4)


Crain's Detroit Business:

Don't look for Joe Vision this year. The Detroit Red Wings say they couldn't reach a deal to air Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals for fans gathered at Joe Louis Arena, as the team has done in the past during road playoff games. "We will not hold 'Joe Vision' for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final as we were unable to secure the broadcast rights to show this game in the arena," said Karen Cullen in an e-mail to Crain's today. She's the vice president of corporate communications for Ilitch Holdings Inc., the central business entity of team owners Mike and Marian Ilitch. The event allows fans to watch the team at the arena when a victory could clinch Detroit's 12th Stanley Cup. It started 15 years ago ... A near-sellout of Joe Louis could shave a ratings point off the local television ratings measurement, and such ratings are used to establish advertising rates... No Joe Vision for Red Wings for Game 6 of Stanley Cup Finals (Mon, 6/8)




Bill Emkow is editor-in chief at MLive.com and one of the architects of the MSU/WJR/MLive.com environmental partnership. "The partnership is outstanding. The value it's adding - like your blog - helps raise awareness of environmental issues. "We've had an environment section on our site for a year or two," Emkow says. "What we wanted to do was find a way to be an online place for everything environmental in Michigan, and having a partnership with Greening of the Great Lakes, WJR and Michigan State has been a tremendous success in raising the awareness of this page." Emkow says the way you build the kind of site MLive.com is seeking to build is by putting recognizable names and personalities like Kirk Heinze on the site ... Greening of the Great Lakes airs each Friday evening at 7 p.m. on News/Talk 760 WJR... There's a thirst for environmental news online (Mon, 6/8)



Detroit's WDET airing mortage crisis series over next seven weeks

Wayne State's public radio outlet WDET FM 101.9 will reach deep into metro Detroit neighborhoods and bring the voices of Detroit to the air through an innovative community programming initiative: "Facing the Mortgage Crisis: Home Is More Than Our House." The series begins Monday, June 8, 2009 and will air in Detroit Today (weekdays 1-3pm), Morning Edition (weekdays 5-8am) and across WDET's schedule as a series of 30 second "community voices" short stories. The series extends through June and July and will introduce WDET listeners to the people and organizations operating on the front-line of Detroit's mortgage crisis. WDET's community programming initiative is part of a national project taking place in 32 markets across the country and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

"Reporting on the housing and credit issues has, for the most part, been focused on institutional problems and institutional solutions. With this series, we wanted to look at how the crisis is stretching the social fabric to the breaking point. We're speaking with people whose lives are in turmoil, we're showcasing groups of people and organizations who are crafting ingenious solutions and we're examining the ways we can lock arms and, together, work our way out of the problem. At WDET, we think the public airwaves should be used in ways that make a tangible contribution to the city's future," says J. Mikel Ellcessor, WDET's General Manager.

More than just the stories of those impacted, listeners will have the opportunity to make a difference by getting involved and volunteering. Information on the stories in the series, the organizations helping people and how to take action and get involved will be available at the project blog on WDET's website: www.wdet.org.

WDET's community partner on the series is ARISE Detroit!, a coalition of more than 400 community groups, churches, block clubs and media outlets, which has been working throughout Detroit to assist with the mortgage crisis and the downstream effects on children, families and their neighborhoods.

"Partnering with ARISE Detroit! has really expanded our ability to tap the wisdom of the community," says J. Mikel Ellcessor. "There are organizations who are keeping people in their homes. There are neighborhoods devising innovative solutions to stabilize their community, and there are individuals with powerful, practical solutions. ARISE Detroit! has been an inspiring partner and has done a lot to help us find these stories as a way to help us learn from each other."

WDET and its project media partner Model D will be participating in a speaker series on June 24, 2009 about Detroit's mortgage crisis, as well as the "Lonely House Tour" on June 14, 2009 taking place the Indian Village and West Village neighborhoods designed to get people into available homes.

"The radio series, community partnerships, events and project blog are all designed to work together to inform and get people into action. This impacts all of us and one thing we've discovered in our reporting is how deep the region's pool of smart, talented and dedicated people really is," said Zak Rosen, producer of the series with WDET's Rob St. Mary.



Scott Bradley To Exit WCEN: NEXT MEDIA Country WCEN/SAGINAW, MI afternoon personality SCOTT BRADLEY will exit the station JUNE 26th to return to METRO TRAFFIC in DETROIT. PD JOBY PHILLIPS is now on the lookout for the next afternooner that can also be a "promotions go-to person." (Tue, 6/9)


Saginaw News:

Around the nation, Nielson predicted, about 2.5 percent of all Americans still didn't know television would go digital June 12 -- a number reflected in the Great Lakes Bay Region, said station manager Al Blinke at Channel 5, WNEM -- but that didn't stop hundreds of viewers from calling the Saginaw offices when their screens read "There is no longer analog television." "Starting at 5 a.m., we got everything from people who didn't know to others who bought the box and didn't know how to hook it up," said Garth Sims, assistant director of engineering, who joined a group of WNEM engineers to field the calls. "Then there were some, especially in the Thumb, who can't get the signal at all. They need a taller antenna or a little more amplification." And Jim Nowland got a call from "an old radio guy" who just didn't like the idea of television going digital at all. No matter what they asked about, Sims said as he pulled up his laptop computer, callers got some high-tech insight into a history-making transition... Digital TV transition brings hundreds of calls to WNEM (Fri, 6/12)


Saginaw News:

Midland's Dow Diamond, the home of the Great Lakes Loons baseball team, has stepped up to the plate for radio station WIOG-FM, 102.5, this summer. On Sunday, Aug. 16, it will host the WIOG Lizard Fair, featuring Sean Kingston, Flo Rida, Thriving Ivory, Boys Like Girls and Jessie James. Gates open at 5 p.m. Singer-rapper Kingston, with Flo Rida the concert's headliner, will "Take You There" with a sound that made "Beautiful Girls" the fastest ascending single in history and continued with hits "Me Love," "Love Like This," "There's Nothin'" and, of course, "Take You There." Rapper Flo Rida comes from the Sunshine State - Flo Rida - with "Right Round," the single that broke the digital singles sales record he set earlier with his own "Low." Coming from the Bay Area is Thriving Ivory, a band critics say will feel right at home at Dow Diamond with its arena-rock sound... WIOG Lizard Fair brings Sean Kingston, Flo Rida to Dow Diamond (Mon, 6/15)


Adrian Daily Telegram:

People who rely on antennas to deliver television programs in Lenawee County are still struggling to find channels since the switch to digital on Friday. Some owners of digital-ready television sets were left with blank screens while they figured out how to properly scan for the new signals. And Toledo's WTVG and WTOL, broadcasting on channels 13 and 11, ran into reception barriers when they switched from temporary UHF signals to permanent VHF at reduced power. The two television stations report they have been swamped with complaints from callers since Friday. Viewers are exchanging complaints about losing receptions on the station's Web sites. "We have a digital TV and were viewing the digital channels right up until Friday, June 12," said one WTOL blog entry. "Now we do not receive Channel 11 or Channel 13. It almost seems like they don't exist. It's good to see that we are not alone." "We're not happy and our viewers are not happy," said WTVG chief engineer Barry Gries. "The reason people are not receiving us is that it's not enough power"... Viewers struggle with digital TV switch (Wed, 6/17)



Mt. Pleasant Sun:

Richard and Dora Van Horn had no idea they were diving off a digital cliff when they bought their retirement home in western Isabella County more than a quarter-century ago. The word "digital" wasn't in most people's vocabulary in those days, and applying it to television would be years in the future. The digital future became very real to the Van Horns when the television stations that had kept them company for years blinked out last Friday. That was the day analog television ended for most stations in the United States. "We had a high antenna. We had the boxes," said Dora Van Horn. "We got nothing." Actually, it turns out that they were able to bring in four signals from two digital stations, but the couple, who are in their early 80s, needed some assistance... Rural central Michigan struggles with DTV reception (Wed, 6/17)


Michigan Almanac: June 20, 2009




FCC Deletes Several Michigan Noncomm CPs: The FCC has cancelled the construction permits and deleted the call signs of several noncommercial stations and FM translators in MICHIGAN granted to GREAT LAKES COMMUNITY BROADCASTING, INC. and GREAT LAKES BROADCAST ACADEMY, INC., bith controlled by JAMES J. MCCLUSKEY, Ph.D. The Commission determined that the stations had not been built, or had not been constructed in accordance with their authorizations, before their permits expired. The expired permits held by GREAT LAKES COMMUNITY BROADCASTING included WQLO/LAKE ODESSA, WAAQ/ROGERS HEIGHTS, WJCQ/JACKSON, W207BL/PINNEBOG, W206AZ/FREMONT, and W205BQ/BREVORT. GREAT LAKES BROADCAST ACADEMY held expired permits for WPQZ/MUSKEGON and W211BI/ANN ARBOR. Three other authorizations, for WJKQ/JACKSON, W220CW/ROGERS HEIGHTS, and W206BF/ROGERS HEIGHTS, will be dealt with in a separate proceeding to determine whether their licenses should be revoked due to questions about the companies' character qualifications. (Fri, 6/19)


Saginaw News:

Ken MacDonald Jr. said he slept "fabulously" Friday night, sure nothing would sideline his annual KCQ Country Music Fest on Saturday at Ojibway Island. Sure, thunderstorms boomed through the night, and there was a dodged disaster -- headliner Travis Tritt's father died less than a week ago. "But it looks like this could be one of our best years, and it feels like it, too," said the owner of WKCQ-FM, 98.1, and the day proved him right. The Saginaw County Sheriff's Department says 90,000 people showed up through the day, and a look around the grounds, from the car and motorcycle show to the inflatables to the food tents, didn't leave much doubt... 90,000 people show up for KCQ Country Music Fest in Saginaw (Sat, 6/20)


NextMedia/Saginaw names Yvonne Daniels as PD for Hot 107 WTLZ

NextMedia Operating - Saginaw has announced the addition of Yvonne Daniels as Program Director for WTLZ - Hot 107.l FM. Daniels is no stranger to Mid-Michigan as she was the Mid-Day host on WDZZ in Flint from 2000-05. She joins WTLZ from Kansas City, MO.

Commenting on her new gig Daniels said, "I was born for radio and television. I have been blessed to do what I love so much for almost 17 years. I have met some of the most amazing people with stints at radio stations in Kansas City at Magic 107.3 as the midday host and music director as well as Flint Michigan, Raleigh North Carolina and Tallahassee Florida. I was bitten by the television bug after hosting several episodes of Kansas City's reality TV show, "Harrah's Lucky Break". I absolutely love everything about radio and television. I am also very involved in the community. I mentor young women, and I can be seen around town hosting weekly events at clubs and concerts. I also love motivational speaking. I love people. They feel that and they give it right back. My journey will take me next to Saginaw Michigan (WTLZ Hot 107.1) where I will take on Programming Director and midday hostess duties. And my exciting journey continues!"

"Yvonne will be a great addition to my team here in Saginaw" says Vice President/General Manager Shannone Dunlap, "she brings the passion and personal investment Hot 107.1 needs to continue to serve the Saginaw community."


Port Huron Times Herald:

When Thelma DeVoogd woke up and turned on her television June 12, she was excited. The 76-year-old Applegate resident had done more than merely survive the switch from analog to digital broadcasting; she did so with a crystal-clear picture and crisp sound. A couple of hours later, however, her TV screen went blank. DeVoogd simply lives too far away from most television stations to pick up the new signal, and there's not much she can do about it. "I am frustrated," she said. "We've had television for 50 some years. It wasn't always great, but there was something I could watch. Now, there's nothing." DeVoogd is far from alone in her troubles. Despite buying a digital converter box and following instructions issued by the Federal Communications Commission, many people who live in rural areas, such as Michigan's Thumb, were left out in the cold when technology advanced last month... Some viewers too remote for digital TV (Tue, 7/7)


Flint Journal:

A former WNEM TV-5 reporter is suing the station for gender discrimination. Kim Russell claims she was let go in February after she complained to management about unsafe conditions, said her attorney, Tom Pabst. When the station opened a Flint bureau downtown, Russell was concerned about having to walk alone through town at night, Pabst said. "After that they came down on her," Pabst said. "I don't think they cared a lot about women there and that's why they fired her." TV-5 News Director Ian Rubin declined comment on the suit... Television reporter suing station over her dismissal (Tue, 7/14)


Battle Creek Enquirer:

For 25 years, Ken Ervin was the voice of high school sports in Battle Creek. A change in direction by radio station WBCK has meant that Ervin will no longer be broadcasting local football and basketball games for the station, ending his long tenure. Ervin said he was told that cutbacks at the station would amount to big changes for the high school football/basketball coverage -- mainly a cut in his pay and a move to a one-man booth. Ervin and his broadcast partner for the last several years Ike Ranger didn't see themselves as part of that future. "It was never my intention to retire like this. Not my intention to bow out of the local sports scene like this. But this is where we're at," Ervin said, speaking for himself and Ranger. "We have loved doing this all these years. It's a passion, something we did passionately and something we strived to do better each time out." WBCK operations manager Tim Collins says that the current economic climate created the changes in how that station will cover high schools sports... Ervin leaving WBCK after 25 years (Thu, 7/23)


Lansing State Journal:

For a TV anchor, Evan Pinsonnault has already hit the top: He's been seen by a "60 Minutes" guy. Unfortunately, he was doing "Willy Wonka" at the time. "I'm all set to go on and someone said, 'Hey, that's Andy Rooney in the front row,' " he recalled. There was no time to swap news stories; Pinsonnault had to sing about candy and naughty children. That's typical of his multi-tasked life. In his first month or so in Lansing, he's Co-anchoring the morning and noon newscasts for WLNS (Channel 6)... New anchor brings bright touch to Lansing (Tue, 7/28)


Grand Rapids Press:

Jeff Varner made a deal with himself. He was going to wake up today as he normally does -- at 11 a.m. -- instead of getting up early to watch "Live with Regis and Kelly" (9 a.m., Channel 3) for the show's announcement of the Top 10 finalists for its "From Local to Live Co-Host for a Day Search" contest. "If I don't get it, then I won't be heartbroken," he said. "If I made it, somebody would call me, and they did. So I had to go back and watch it." Varner, a WWMT (Channel 3) news anchor at 10 (on CW7) and 11 p.m. and reporter at 5 and 6 p.m. was selected by viewers to co-host the morning talk show next week. Also making the cut was Lansing broadcaster Jason Colthorp, of WILX-TV (Channel 10)... (Update: Jeff Varner will co-host with Kelly Ripa on Friday, Aug. 7, with guest stars Susan Lucci, of daytime soap opera fame, and "American Idol" winner David Cook. Lansing's Jason Colthorp will co-host Thursday, Aug. 6, with guest actor Jeremy Piven, who currently stars on "Entourage.")... Jeff Varner, of WWMT, will co-host 'Live with Regis and Kelly' for a day (Wed, 7/29)



Holland Sentinel:

Hope College sports are moving to FM. The school announced Tuesday its football and basketball games will be heard on WYVN-FM 92.7 beginning this fall. They had been on WHTC-AM 1450 since the 1950s. Both stations are owned by Midwest Communications, Inc. "After several decades of broadcasting Hope football and men's and women's basketball on WHTC, we feel the time is right to move the broadcasts to our FM station 92.7 The Van," said Kevin Oswald, general sales manager for WYVN and WHTC. "This move will give our broadcasts a larger coverage area which will be beneficial to Hope College and its fan base and to the advertisers who support Hope sports on the radio and on-line." Ron Wetherbee and Jerry Klomparens will announce football games this fall. Hope's season opener is Sept. 5 at Illinois Wesleyan University... Hope sports changing radio stations (Tue, 7/28)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Aug. 6, 2009



ESPN 100.9-FM announces coverage of 2009 Saginaw Valley League football

ESPN 100.9-FM, WLUN Pinconning, announced today its lineup for the first five weeks of Saginaw Valley League high school football broadcasts. The games will be carried on ESPN 100.9-FM, except in instances of conflict with the Great Lakes Loons, and all games will additionally be carried on WNEM News Radio 1250 and online at ESPN1009.com.

The broadcast schedule begins Friday, August 28 in the Fordney Club's Red Feather game, featuring Heritage and Arthur Hill. Proceeds from the game benefit local Saginaw County charities. The schedule continues with consecutive contests featuring Midland High School - Thursday, September 3 versus Arthur Hill and Friday, September 11 against Bay City Western.

The schedule for the remaining four weeks will be determined at a later time. Additional conflicts on ESPN 100.9-FM could exist if the Loons advance in the Midwest League playoffs.

All game broadcasts include a 30-minute pregame show, beginning at 6:30pm and post-game coverage featuring scores and analysis on all the games from the region.

Advertising opportunities are available for ESPN 100.9-FM's Fall Football programming lineup, which includes Michigan State and the Saginaw Valley League. Lance LeFevre, WLUN's Sales Director, is accepting sales inquiries at 989-837-6127 or at llefevre@loons.com.

"Advertising during Saginaw Valley League games is the best way for companies to reach their key demographics and show support for their community," LeFevre said. "A percentage of sales for all SVL games goes back directly into the league."

Proceeds from sales of last year's games were used by the League for two student leadership training sessions, hosted by former athletic director and coach Dave Dye and former Saginaw High standout, Michigan football captain and Baltimore Colt Calvin O'Neal. The programs provided opportunities for students in Bay City, Flint, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and Saginaw to enhance their high school educations and improve their leadership skills.

ESPN 100.9-FM (WLUN, Pinconning) is a 24-hour all-sports station owned by the non-profit Michigan Radio Communications. The station is the flagship radio home of Great Lakes Loons baseball and carries the weekday lineup of Mike and Mike in the Morning, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, The Scott Van Pelt Show, The Huge Show with Bill Simonson and SportsNight with Brad Golder. ESPN 100.9-FM also carries the Saginaw Valley League Game of the Week and Michigan State athletics.


Battle Creek Enquirer:

You had to be there. The weekend gatherings of classic-car buffs with radios playing the Beach Boys and Beatles look quaint and cute in 2009 -- an innocent time long ago. But not so. To teen-agers in the mid and late '60s, who had yet to be called Boomers, this music was cutting-edge and threatening to our parents' generation. WKFR-Keener 14, which was one of the most progressive radio stations in the Midwest if not the country, fought to wiggle out of its staid, easy-listening cocoon and give birth to Top 40 radio. And in a small town, too... WKFR Keener 14 was a cutting-edge station (Fri, 8/7)

The vibe was part fan club, part high school reunion in a board room at the Battle Creek Enquirer's Van Buren Street office last week. For the six former WKFR Keener 1400 employees gathered for an interview, it seemed that time had only added to the euphoric feelings associated with the once-revolutionary radio station. About 55 people are expected to travel from across the country for a reunion of the former Battle Creek station's employees. To them and the thousands of listeners who tuned in to hear the "Keener Keymen," it was more than just a radio station. "We went from having two hours of our music a day, to all day," said Sharon Batterson, a former Battle Creek resident, WKFR employee and Keener Correspondent, a title given to high school students that would keep WKFR up-to-date on what music was popular among youth. "We used to have to tune into stations like Detroit, Boston or New York to hear our music." And then, everything changed... When radio was king: Keymen reunite (Fri, 8/7)



Lineup begins to take shape for launch of sports on 96.1 Grand Rapids

Former WDFN midday host Sean Baligian will join forces with Ryan Terpstra for afternoon drive (3-6pm) once the station launches with its new all-sports format on August 17th. Much of the station's lineup will feature syndicated programming from ESPN Radio.


Battle Creek Enquirer:

A community-wide effort to return 'The Voice of High School Sports' in Battle Creek to the air has gained momentum in the last week and it's possible Ken Ervin and Ike Ranger will be broadcasting games on WBCK radio when the high school football season starts in two weeks. A group of advertisers have reportedly been in talks with the radio station and have agreed to put up enough money to finance the return of the longtime broadcast team of Ervin and Ranger. Official word from the radio station as to what direction it will take could come within the week... Ervin and Ranger could be back at WBCK (Thu, 8/13)


Lansing gets its Edge back - on a stronger frequency

As announced last month, Mid-Michigan Radio jettisoned soft rock from WVIC FM 94.1 as of today and reinstated the alternative rock format that fans have bemoaned the loss of since The Edge nearly 6 years ago. Back then, the format was heard on FM 92.1 which has a much smaller coverage area than FM 94.1.



WOAP Owosso resumes operations

As of Friday, WOAP AM 1080 Owosso is back on the air, this time airing a 50's-70's oldies format as The Big 1080. The relaunch of the station comes as new owner Birach Broadcasting takes over from 1090 LLC, a group that had been running station with a religious format before essentially taking it off the year nearly 2 years ago (save for some brief times of operation to maintain the license).

Morning drive is being held down by veteran oldies jock Tony Clark.



Saginaw News:

The beauty of a good radio show - Sunday's WIOG Lizard Fair 2009, for example - is the diversity of talent it brings to the stage, and the short sets that don't leave you suffering through the inevitable clunkers for long. Then there are some where you hit it lucky - Sunday comes to mind again - where all the artists bring something unique to the table. It was taste in music, and not the caliber of talent, that decided favorites at Midland's Dow Diamond, with a span that ran from pop and rock to blues and alternative. Mother Nature even tossed a curve - throwing in a cooling rain - but it only added to the experience as fans danced Woodstock-style in the quick shower... Musical tastes define favorites at WIOG Lizard Fair 2009 (Mon, 8/17)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 9, 2009



Michigan Radio and Wharton Center to present live broadcast of Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know?" on October 31

Michigan Radio and Wharton Center are bringing a live national broadcast of Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know?" to East Lansing's MSU Concert Auditorium on Saturday, October 31. Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know?" is a two-hour comedy/quiz/ interview show, currently broadcast on nearly 300 public radio stations across the United States. The program airs on Michigan Radio (91.7 FM Ann Arbor/Detroit, 104.1 FM West Michigan, 91.1 FM Flint) each Saturday at noon.

As part of the "Whad'Ya Know?" studio audience, guests can experience the spontaneity of a live radio show, see host Michael Feldman, announcer Jim Packard, and the Whad'Ya Know? band in person, and even have a chance to play the "Whad'Ya Know?" Quiz on the air. They can also look forward to a few local Michigan twists, and the audience is encouraged to dress in costume for this special Halloween show!

Regular features of the "Whad'Ya Know?" show include Michael Feldman's comic monologue, interviews with authors, musicians or other local "celebrities", and "Thanks for the Memos", in which Feldman reads actual, and quite humorous, company memos. A central part of the show is the Whad'Ya Know? Trivia Quiz, where a studio audience member and a caller are matched up with a chance to win prizes.

Tickets for the "Whad'Ya Know?"show are priced at $30 and $45 and go on sale this Friday, September 11 at 10:00 a.m. through the Wharton Center box office (www.whartoncenter.com).

Most of what Michael Feldman has to say he expresses in a laconic monologue or short comic asides and dizzingly fast repartee with guests and show colleagues. The youngest of four brothers (two are physicians and one is an attorney), Michael credits his family with fine-tuning his sense of the world and his ability to express it briefly. He says his dad "always gave me the kind of insightful fatherly advice that took him years of experience and wisdom to learn, but often only a few seconds to tell me."

Feldman has authored several books including: the autobiographical "Whad'Ya Know?"; "Whad'Ya Knowledge"; "Thanks for the Memos", a compilation of actual memos sent in by his listeners; "Wisconsin Curiosities"; "Something I Said?: Innuendo and Out the Other"; "Glad You Asked" and "Whad'Ya Know? (A Bathroom Reader) ".

Note: Because this is a live national broadcast, all patrons must be in their seats no later than 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 31.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 30, 2009




Bobby Holiday Accepts PD Post At WDZZ: ALL ACCESS has learned that CUMULUS Urban AC WMXU/COLUMBUS-STARKVILLE, MS. PD/PM driver BOBBY HOLIDAY has accepted the PD position at CUMULUS sister station Urban AC WDZZ (Z-92.7)/FLINT, MI. HOLIDAY's career path includes stops in PHILADELPHIA and LOS ANGELES. No word yet on his replacement at WMXU. (Wed, 9/30)


Lansing State Journal:

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



Advertising Age:

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




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


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 27, 2009



CMU Life:

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



Television Broadcast:

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


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 29, 2009



Flint Journal:

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


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 16, 2009



The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun

The Federal Communications Commission has stripped the radio licenses from the former operator of a chain of low-power stations based in Mt. Pleasant. A recent decision by the FCC revokes the licenses for several non-commercial educational stations from groups controlled by former Mt. Pleasant resident James McCluskey. McCluskey is still apparently licensed to operate a low-power community FM station from an Elizabeth Street home. The station, with the call sign W214BH, was not part of the recent action. But according to Mt. Pleasant tax records, that home has been sold and he no longer lives there... FCC revokes licenses of former broadcaster (Sun, 11/15)



Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Tri-Cities radio listeners can get their fill of all-Christmas programming on WHNN FM 96.1 which made the move over the weekend joining numerous other stations across the country featuring nothing but holiday hits through Christmas. WHNN's regular format is classic hits, which will likely return in late December.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 20, 2009



Saginaw News:

While it doesn't look a lot like Christmas in the Great Lakes Bay Region yet, Program Director Scott Stine says listeners are getting into the spirit with the help of "all Christmas music, all the time" at WHNN-FM, 96.1. "It was 60 degrees outside when I was stringing up my Christmas lights and decorating the place for the holidays," Stine said. "But I had the Christmas music on, and I was loving every minute of it." Morning cohosts Johnny Burke and Blondie recently launched the new format, and it will continue through Christmas Day, said Stine, who also hosts the Saginaw Township radio station's late afternoon broadcast... Christmas comes early to WHNN (Thu, 11/19)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 7, 2009



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

The last waltz is coming soon for a Jackson radio institution, Joseph "Polka Joe" Pancerz. Polka Joe's last show will be Dec. 27 on WIBM, 1450 AM, ending 44 years as Sunday-morning host of "Polka Time." "Forty-four years is enough," said Pancerz, 83. "What are you going to do? You get old." Pancerz is enshrined in the Michigan Polka Hall of Fame. He has been recognized by Michigan governors, starting with William G. Milliken in 1973. Jackson declared a day in his honor 25 years ago. He has been toasted and roasted and is a fixture at Polish-flavored festivals and events. But those honors just scratch the surface... 'Polka Joe' ending his career as Jackson radio personality (Sat, 12/5)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 9, 2009



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

Jessika Baier could nail a fake British accent, plan a happening theme party or hold captive a karaoke audience, her friends said. A bubbly and spontaneous extrovert with a messy car and maybe 100 pairs of high heels, she had big, if ever changing, plans. "She never wanted to do just one thing. She wanted to do it all. She wanted to travel the world," said Baier's boyfriend, David Beaton. Baier, a former "American Idol" contestant and morning show co-host for Jackson radio station WKHM-FM (105.3), died early Tuesday in a vehicle wreck on I-94. She was heading west about 3:15 a.m. near Pierce Road in Washtenaw County's Sylvan Township when her Chrysler Sebring convertible left the road, according to a Michigan State Police news release... Jackson radio host Jessika Baier remembered by family and friends; funeral arrangements announced (Wed, 12/8)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 11, 2009



Detroit News:

Television is a tough business. LCC TV station manager Nicole Sclafani can certainly attest to that. From Sunday's early morning hours until midnight, Lansing Community College's Dart Auditorium and Technology Learning Center were abuzz. Musicians, staff and volunteers scrambled to make last-second preparations for the Cram Jam benefit concert later that night. "It's chaos, but it's organized chaos," Sclafani said. "I love it. Well, not all the time." In LCC TV's state-of-the-art recording studio, Sclafani and her team had the task of recording three video tracks for three bands. It may sound simple, but the process is deceptively complex... Behind the screens with LCC TV (Wed, 12/9)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 16, 2009



Mint City Radio's 5th Annual Classic Christmas

Mint City Radio, the Internet radio station serving Clinton county and surrounding areas, will present its fifth annual Classic Christmas beginning Tuesday, December 22nd and continuing through Friday, December 25th.

This year's Classic Christmas will feature four days of holiday programs from the golden age of radio, including The Jack Benny Show, Fibber McGee and Molly, Gunsmoke, Burns and Allen, and many more.

"The Classic Christmas has become a holiday tradition, and is our gift to our listeners", says Dan Drolett, owner of Mint City Radio. "A lot of radio stations play Christmas music, but we decided to do something a little different. It's a trip back in time to Yuletides gone by, when radio truly was the theater of the mind".

Listeners can hear Mint City Radio online, 24 hours a day, by visiting mintcityradio.com and clicking on the link to listen live.

For more information, contact Dan Drolett at (517) 308-0274 or info@mintcityradio.com.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 18, 2009



ESPN 100.9 adds Pistons play-by-play

ESPN 100.9-FM (WLUN Pinconning) has announced that is has become the local radio home for Detroit Pistons basketball in the Great Lakes Bay Region and.that the station will be broadcasting Detroit Pistons basketball for the remainder of the 2009-2010 season starting with the Sunday, December 20th game against the L.A. Lakers. In addition to Pistons games, ESPN 100.9-FM will be carrying the Pistons pre-game show, which begins either 30 or 60 minutes before game time. Check the schedule for pre-game start times.

"We are very excited to add the Pistons to our programming roster. As an organization, we are committed to delivering the best sports programming available," said Jerry O'Donnell, ESPN 100.9FM station general manager. "It's a great partnership for both ESPN 100.9FM and for the Detroit Pistons. The addition of NBA games to our schedule broadens what we are able to offer our listeners, and gives the Pistons a much needed radio home in the Tri-Cities."

Advertising opportunities are available for ESPN 100.9-FM's coverage of Detroit Pistons basketball, which kicks off with Sunday's 6PM game against the Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Sponsorship and advertising inquiries can be directed to Jay Arons, ESPN 100.9FM director of sales, at 989-837-6156 or at Arons@espn1009.com.

Arons was recently hired as the station's director of sales. In his new role, Arons will be in charge of all radio sponsorship sales and maintaining relationships with the station's partners. He spent the previous 10 years with Citadel Broadcasting as an account executive, working with local, statewide and national clients.


Detroit Free Press:

The parent firm for three metro Detroit radio stations, WJR-AM (760), WDRQ-FM (93.1) and WDVD-FM (96.3), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday to restructure its debt load. In documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Citadel Broadcasting Corp., the nation's third-largest radio broadcasting company, listed total assets of $1.4 billion and total debt of $2.46 billion. The presidents of WJR, WDRQ and WDVD did not return calls Sunday to explain the impact in Detroit. Much of Citadel's debt burden stems from its $2.7 billion purchase of ABC Radio from Walt Disney Co. in 2007... WJR, WDRQ, WDVD parent files Chapter 11 (Mon, 12/21)




Citadel Broadcasting Corp., the third-largest radio group in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sunday. The company, which owns and operates 224 radio stations in 25 states, listed liabilities of $2.5 billion on assets of $1.4 billion, according to court papers filed with the Southern District of New York. Citadel owns six Mid-Michigan stations including 96 WHNN-FM, home of popular morning DJ Johnny Burke; Flint's country station, WFBE-FM (B95); and Saginaw's 102.5 WIOG-FM. The company has been saddled with debt for some time as the radio industry continues to be hard hit by depressed advertising revenue. It had been widely reported in recent months that the company could be headed toward bankruptcy. More than 60 percent of the company's secured lenders backed Citadel's pre-negotiated bankruptcy, which will allow it to extinguish $1.4 billion of debt and convert its $2.1 billion secured credit facility into a new term loan... Citadel Broadcasting files for bankruptcy protection (Sun, 12/20)



Lansing State Journal:

These days, local TV newscasts have to do it all themselves. There are no big lead-ins, no easy audiences. So two stations find some reasons to cheer the new Nielsen ratings books. "I consider it my first book as news director and I couldn't be happier," said Jam Sardar at WLNS (Channel 6). "We're up in five (of eight) shows. ... They drop in seven shows." Many of those drops were by tiny fractions, said Michael King, general manager of WILX (Channel 10). The key thing is what has been overcome... TV news stations see local loyalty in ratings (Mon, 12/21)




Yet another radio group has filed for bankruptcy protection, as NEXTMEDIA GROUP has filed a pre-arranged plan that will hand over control to certain creditors, court papers showed. NEXTMEDIA lists between $100 and $500 Million in total debt. REUTERS reports NEXTMEDIA's first lien debt and general unsecured claims will be paid in full while second lien debt will be converted into 95% equity in the reorganized company, said CFO ERIC NEUMANN, in an affidavit. In a statement on its website, NEXTMEDIA said the reorganization process will have no impact on day-to-day operations and will not result in any changes to senior management or any reduction to employee headcount... NextMedia Also Files For Chapter 11 (Mon, 12/21)


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