Mid-Michigan: February 2009 Archives

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.







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This page is a archive of entries in the Mid-Michigan category from February 2009.

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