Mike Austerman: March 2009 Archives

Detroit Free Press:

Detroit music is making (air) waves again thanks to the return of Ann Delisi to WDET-FM (101.9) this weekend. "Ann Delisi's Essential Music" -- running from noon-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays -- is an extension of the station's rededicated focus to reconnect to the city, she says. The Detroit public radio station kicked off its new format, including 10 hours of locally produced music and three hours of live, interactive national news programming, on Monday. Delisi's show was scheduled to debut Saturday. Delisi was previously at 'DET from 1983-95, and also did stints at WDVD-FM, WRCJ-FM (90.9) and CIDR-FM (93.9). Over the past few years, she has stayed busy by focusing on freelance voiceover work, hosting a show on WRCJ and working as director of programming for Emery King's film-and-television production company, where she will continue to work while doing her show. The weekends, however, will be all about the music... Ann Delisi returns to WDET-FM (Sun, 3/1)


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

On The RadioIt was an attempt at humor when I used to jokingly say that I hope Paul Harvey has already pre-recorded his own eulogy because no one else could do one better. Yet, there was nothing to smile about when the bulletin came across the news that Paul Harvey had died at his winter home in Phoenix, AZ Saturday February 28th.

When his beloved wife, Lynn "Angel" Harvey passed away from leukemia less than a year ago, I feared we would not able to enjoy this radio icon for very much longer. Even his vocal quality seemed to lose its vibrant and distinctive sound.

After Angel died, Harvey was off the air for several weeks, and some of his affiliates felt he might not come back and dropped his morning and noontime news and commentary reports. WJR Radio in Detroit was not one of them, and kept the program on the air with a number of substitute reporters for weeks on end.

The first time I met Paul Harvey, at his North Michigan Avenue studio in Chicago, I knew I was in the presence of greatness. He was born in 1918 as Paul Harvey Aurandt, but professionally used his middle name as his last. He was as nice as any broadcaster I have ever met and since I was a fan since the early 1960's, it was truly awesome to be sitting in the same studio with him as he fed his noontime report down the network to thousands of stations across the country.

I recall a trip to Chicago when I went up to see the famous studios of WLS Radio on the 5th floor of the Stone Container Building at Wacker and Michigan Avenue. Down on the 4th floor was the FM, known then as WDAI, but also on that floor was the office and studio for Paul Harvey News. There he was pecking out his newscast on a manual typewriter and I just walked in and said hello. I told him a cute story about my mother who, at that time, worked as a lecturer for Weight Watchers. He found the story funny and used it that day in his famous final story.

"Our for what it's worth department hears from Amy Vuolo of Ann Arbor, Michigan whose Weight Watchers class featured a bumper sticker that reads 'my spare tire is in the trunk.' Well one of the ladies in her class put it on her car, which was then broken into and they stole the spare tire!....Paul Harvey, Good Day."

By the end of that day, people from all across the country had heard about my mother on Paul Harvey News.

Through the years we saw each other at countless radio conventions, and at one NAB confab he actually introduced me to Dr. Amar G. Bose, who founded the company that makes the famous Wave Radio and top-quality speakers. Mr. Harvey was a longtime spokesman for Bose Sound Systems.

When WGN Chicago morning personality Bob Collins was killed in a light plane crash in February of 2000, Paul Harvey, who was carried by the powerful AM station, did an on-air eulogy that could make a grown man cry. He concluded with a statement that "someone will take his job....no one will take is place." That certainly applies as well to Mr. Harvey himself.

My greatest thrill was being able to videotape his riveting 17 minute address at the R&R (Radio & Records) Talk Radio Seminar at the Marina del Rey Marriott on March 8, 2003. Numerous people said to me "do you realize what you have there?" I said "yes a really great keynote from a radio legend." Most, however, insisted that I might have just taped Paul Harvey's last speech to the radio industry, and indeed it was. I treasure that recording now, more than ever.

Truly, the Voice of America has been silenced, Paul Harvey and his soul-mate Angel are together again, and the radio waves are washing ashore in a way that suggests that our audio landscape is a little less colorful as broadcasting's most articulate wordsmith moves on, with a distinctive pause.....to Page Two.



Note: Art was on WWJ AM 950 late last night discussing Paul Harvey with Bill Rapada. Listen to an excerpt of that discussion here. (audio courtesy of WWJ/CBS Radio Detroit and The Michigan Atrium)



Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com. Contact him at artvuolo@aol.com.


Grand Rapids Press:

The box of tissues next to Scott Winters' microphone got a lot of traffic Monday morning as friends, fans and colleagues of late radio personality Rick Beckett lit up the phone lines at WOOD-AM (1300) during a three-hour tribute. Beckett, 54, died Thursday night after suffering a heart attack. "When they first told me about (Beckett's death), my emotions were stagnant. This was great therapy for me," said Winters, who was Beckett's on-air partner for 15 years. During the final installment of "The Rick and Scott Show," Winters, along with WOOD programming director Angie Vuyst and programming consultant Phil Tower reminisced about Beckett, played clips from his broadcasting career and shared memories with listeners. Beckett was well-known in the Grand Rapids radio market from his years with Winters on WGRD-FM (97.9) and WKLQ-FM (then 94.5). The duo joined WOOD together more than five years ago. "He was so proud to work at WOOD Radio and have this show," said Tower, a former programming director for the station. Throughout the morning, emotional calls flooded the studio lines, and in-studio personnel often fought back tears... Co-host, fans pay on-air tribute to radio personality Rick Beckett (Mon, 3/2)


Kalamazoo Gazette:

Local radio personality Buddy Hannah will read from and sign copies of his newest book of poetry, "Love Poems for Women or Men Sensitive Enough to Read Them," this Friday at Fire, 1249 Portage Road in Kalamazoo. Doors will open at 8:30 p.m. An open-mic time will start at 9 p.m. and Hannah's presentation at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5, or $3 for students with identification. Hannah, a playwright and former columnist for the Kalamazoo Gazette's CityLife section, hosts the current-affairs talk show "Talk It Up" on WNWN-FM 95.5 and WNWN-AM 1560... Kalamazoo radio personality Buddy Hannah to read from latest book of poetry (Tue, 3/3)


Detroit News:

Sports radio host Mike Valenti began his show Wednesday on The Ticket (97.1) by offering an apology for reading on the air a listener comment that made light of the situation involving Corey Smith. Smith is the former Lions player presumed dead in a boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday's "Valenti and Foster Show" with co-host and Detroit News reporter Terry Foster, Valenti read instant messages from listeners over the air, including one joke about Smith and another about a capsized boat. Valenti opened Wednesday's show by referencing "a very, very, very stupid decision on my part -- probably the dumbest, most reprehensible decision I've made in my radio career. We were doing instant feedback and I put something flat-out on that never should've gotten on. No one else deserves to get blamed but me"... Ticket host Valenti sorry for reading boater joke (Wed, 3/4)



Detroit Free Press:

Detroit sports-talk radio host Mike Valenti apologized on the air today for reading jokes from listeners about free agent defensive end Corey Smith, who played for the Lions the past three seasons and is lost at sea. Valenti, leading off the "Valenti & Foster Show" on WXYT-FM (97.1), called it "a very, very, very stupid decision on my part, probably the dumbest, most reprehensible decision I've made in my radio career." Smith and three others went on a fishing trip over the weekend off the coast of Tampa, and their boat capsized. One survivor was found. The Coast Guard called off the search for Smith and the two others Tuesday evening. On Monday afternoon, Valenti read two instant messages from listeners -- one joke directly about Smith, another about a capsized boat... WXYT's Mike Valenti apologizes for Corey Smith comments (Wed, 3/4)




After Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand apologized to the family of Corey Smith for "reprehensible'' and "incredibly inappropriate'' remarks that were made on the team's flagship radio station (WXYT 97.1 FM), radio host Mike Valenti apologized to his listeners. During a Monday afternoon show featuring Valenti and co-host Terry Foster, several jokes were made about the situation involving four men who were missing in the Gulf of Mexico, including Lions defensive end Corey Smith. On Tuesday evening, the Coast Guard called off the search. One man was rescued with the boat but the remaining three men, including Smith, are still lost at sea. Here is a transcript from that show... Radio host apologizes for 'reprehensible' comments about Lions' Corey Smith (Wed, 3/4)


Detroit News:

The monthly Arbitron PPM ratings were released last week, and it's interesting to ponder how the new method of measuring the audience, with a portable "People Meter" clipped to one's person instead of a written diary, has changed the ratings. For January, all-news WWJ-AM (950) scored its first No. 1 ranking since 2003, jumping up from a 5.3 in the holiday book, to a 6.0 in January. Not so surprising was that sports station the Ticket, WXYT-FM (97.1) jumped into the Top 10 for the first time, or that WNIC-FM (100.3) took a dive from its holiday high of a 13.2 share after it turned off the Burl Ives tunes, down to 5.7 this past month. Country station WYCD-FM (99.5) jumped from a 4.1 share in December to 5.4 in January, and oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) had a rebound, jumping to a 5.1 share and No. 8 rank, after a dismal 4.2 in December... 'People Meter' changes ratings (Thu, 3/5)


Macomb Daily:

Is Fox 2 newsman Charles Pugh preparing to hang up his microphone to enter the wacky world of Detroit politics? Looks like it, but Charles isn't saying anything -- yet. The 37-year-old television and radio personality earlier this week told us he has something in the works but did acknowledge he will be leaving the air, at least on a temporary basis, early next month. "I'll be making an announcement on the air at 4 o'clock on April 5," Pugh said. The self-described Detroit-aholic, who was born in the Motor City and graduated in 1989 from Murray-Wright High School, won't confirm reports that he's going to run for a seat on the Detroit City Council. Yes, the same city council that currently is presided over by Monica Conyers, the council president who once referred to current Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel as "Shrek." Pugh, the openly gay news reporter who attends numerous charitable events in the city, may be tiring of the daily news grind of carjackings, child killers and standing in the snow for TV weather reports. He also works for WJLB-FM (98.7), as well as reporting for WJBK-TV (Fox 2). In his Myspace profile, Pugh confirms he is "looking forward to my life beyond television and radio. In fact, that life is beginning soon"... Fox 2's Pugh leaving airwaves soon, possibly to seek political office (Fri, 3/6)



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)



Josh Debuts Real Name As KHQ MD: JOSH GARBER, who used to entertain the citizenry in past on-air gigs as LUCAS, has found a new job. Starting MONDAY (3/9), he'll be MD/mornings at MACDONALD GARBER BROADCASTING Top 40/Mainstream WKHQ (106 KHQ)/TRAVERSE CITY-PETOSKEY, MI. This will be the first time he'll use his real name. (Fri, 3/6)


The Source-Shelby Twp./SourceNewspapers.com:

Twenty-three-year-old Lauren Podell, once a Utica Community Schools student, can now be found gracing the screens of your television, reporting the evening traffic and general assignments for Local 4 WDIV. Podell has been a resident of Shelby Township for eight years. She is a recent 2008 graduate of Oakland University in Rochester Hills, where she earned a major in communications and minor in journalism. Podell started working for WDIV approximately one year prior to earning her communications degree as a morning traffic reporter. In November 2007, she entered a contest held by Local 4 WDIV searching for their next traffic reporter. More than 300 people auditioned and in the end only two were chosen, Podell herself and now co-worker, Heather Zara. Daughter of Doug Podell, program director and afternoon DJ at WRIF-FM, Podell at one point entertained the idea of becoming a psychologist, but said she knew since she was in junior high she wanted to be on television. "For as long as I remember, nothing else interested me," she said. "My father has been one of my biggest inspirations and supporters. I grew up seeing how much passion he had for the business and I knew I wanted that." As of last month, Podell moved to the evening news where she reports the traffic alongside Ruth Spencer and Kim Adams during the Local 4 News at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. With the recent transition, Podell has already started to expand her role from traffic reporter into more of a news role, where she is able to go live in the field as a general assignment reporter... Township resident serves as on-air TV reporter (Sat, 3/7)


Grand Rapids Press:

At 1 p.m. Thursday, WXMI-TV sports director Brent Ashcroft went into a meeting with news director Tim Dye about his future at the station. Five minutes later, he was the station's former sports director. Ashcroft was told the station would not renew his contract, which expires next month. It was a decision that left the veteran anchor surprised. "I never saw it coming," Ashcroft said. "I never had any indication this was in their plans. They told me nothing about their future plans or what is next, and I have no idea who they are going with or what they are going to do." General manager/station president Patty Kolb was out of the office and could not be reached for comment. When reached for comment at his Grand Rapids home, Dye said the decision was business-related. He said the Fox affiliate's sports department is working on the details of its future leadership... Brent Ashcroft out as sports director at WXMI-TV (Sat, 3/7)


Ann Arbor News:

Ann Arbor news and talk radio station WAAM, which made some gains in the latest ratings for commercial stations in southeast Michigan, is implementing several afternoon programming changes. Lou Dobbs' syndicated live show now airs on WAAM (1600 AM) weekdays from 2- 4 p.m. Glenn Beck's syndicated talk show moves to noon-2 p.m. weekdays to replace Bill O'Reilly's "The Radio Factor." Unchanged is the locally-produced "On The Edge" with Thayrone, talking news and politics weekdays from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. The latest Arbitron ratings for commercial radio stations in this market show that WAAM gained in listenership, going from a 0.9 share in the spring 2008 period to 1.8 share for fall 2008... Ann Arbor's WAAM radio makes lineup changes, gains in ratings (Sat, 3/7)


Toronto Star:

In the midst of an enduring slump by the Big Three automakers and a main street already pockmarked by empty store fronts, the last thing bordertown Windsor needs is to see its number one source of local television news go silent. What makes the imminent closure of CHWI-TV - the A-channel affiliate owned by CTV and slated to go off the air in August - even more puzzling is that the station has a loyal viewership three times the size of its only other Canadian competition, the CBC. As media companies face plunging earnings in a recession-wracked economy, the local news at noon, 6 and 11 p.m. may become the ultimate victim. "The viewers are puzzled and they don't understand, if the station has been so successful, why it's closing," said Cal Johnstone, A Channel's news director in the city of 200,000. "This is what's so crushing for Windsor now. We've built a following, a very faithful, loyal following," agreed anchor Jim Crichton... Throwing salt on Windsor's wounds (Sun, 3/8)


You can support broadcast education, scholarships and internships in Michigan by placing your bid on a number of entertainment packages up for grabs in the latest Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation online auction. Items include:

    - Passes to Mojo in the Morning - live: For this package, the highest bidder and seven guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch a live radio broadcast of the 95.5 WKQI-FM Detroit "Mojo in the Morning" show. This experience includes a one-hour, in-studio visit with Mojo on a Friday determined by the winner and the show;

    - Impression 5 Science Center Private Event: Let your imagination soar at Impression 5 Science Center! The recipient of this package will receive a two-hour, after hours event for up to 500 people at Impression 5 Science Center located in downtown Lansing. Plan a private party, business meeting or just have some fun with your family and friends! Don't forget to visit the On The Air Broadcast exhibit. This event must be planned after normal business hours;

    - Detroit Pistons Overnight "Staycation": The lucky high bidder of this package will receive two (2) tickets to the Sunday, April 5, 2009 Pistons vs. Charlotte Bobcats at 6:00pm, a VIP parking pass and an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Express on Woodward Avenue in Birmingham;

    - Red Wings Tickets: The highest bidder of this package will receive two (2) tickets to a Detroit Red Wings hockey game of your choice. Tickets are based on availability at time of purchase and specific games/times are not guaranteed.

    - Two Grand Hotel Golf For Two packages: The highest bidders will enjoy golf for two at the Grand Hotel's beautiful Jewel Golf Course located on Mackinac Island. The items include 18 holes of golf including cart and horse-drawn carriage transportation between the Grand nine and Woods nine. Packages are good from May 2, 2009 through October 24, 2009. Reservations are encouraged and may be made directly to the course.

To bid, or for more information, visit www.michmab.com/MABF/auction_March_2009.htm.


WJML Radio launches new weekly publication

Stone Communications, owner of WJML News/Talk 1110 and 1210 Petoskey, has announced the launch of "Talk of the North", a new free weekly shopping guide for northwest Michigan. 20,000 copies of the publication will be distributed in Grand Traverse, Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim and Cheboygan counties each week. The first issue of "Talk of the North" will be March 11 and will be available free at groceries, convenience stores, restaurants, and tourist areas.

Over $2,500 in savings in discount gift certificates and coupons are available in the first issue. The listing of all coupons and discount offers will also be available on the website NorthernMichiganMall.com with secure online ordering 24 hours a day. A special weekly feature is a column by the nationally acclaimed "Coupon Queen" Jill Cataldo on maximizing savings using coupons and promotional offers. Also included are features by WJML's morning host Michael Patrick Shiels and other radio talk show hosts, plus a listing of entertainment in the area, and free classifieds.

In announcing the new publication owner/manager Rick Stone said, "We are really excited about adding this publication to tie in with our radio stations and websites. The print-radio-internet media mix is perfect for reaching and serving a large segment of northern Michigan residents, plus tourists and seasonal residents, and consequently maximizing the value of effective advertising for local businesses."

"Talk of the North" has its offices co-located with WJML Radio on Click Road in Petoskey and on West Front Street in Traverse City. Information can be submitted for publication by email: talk@talkofthenorth.com.




Buttload Of Changes In Traverse City Brent Carey, last seen programming Peak Broadcasting's AC/Hot AC combo KXLT (Lite 107.9) and KCIX (Mix 106)/Boise, ID, recently returned to Michigan to run his own company, 818 Media, and has now signed on to consult MacDonald-Garber Top 40 WKHQ and AC WLXT (Lite 96)/Traverse City as WKHQ PD/morning guy Greg "Lunchbox" Grose leaves the building. But don't weep for Mr. Box -- he already has another off-air gig lined up with Northern Star Broadcasting, which has stations spread across Northern Michigan. Grose can be reached at 231-445-0793 or grosegreg@yahoo.com. But wait! There's more! Josh "Lucas" Garber (no relation to owner/GM Trish MacDonald-Garber), who used to work for Carey in Boise as APD/nights at KCIX, joins WKHQ as MD/morning co-host, teaming up with OM Heather Leigh, who shifts back from afternoons. At the same time, Fish moves up from nights to afternoons, creating a night opening. Do you have all this, because our heads hurt. Bad. (Tue, 3/10)


Former WQRS host Dick Wallace to guest on WRCJ FM 90.9 to help fundraiser

WRCJ will welcome back longtime friend and WQRS alumnus Dick Wallace who will reunite with fellow WQRS hosts Chris Felcyn and Dave Wagner for a limited engagement during the station's upcoming fundraiser to support Detroit's Classical & Jazz station. Dick is scheduled to be on 90.9 FM in the afternoons, bringing his inimitable style to WRCJ's Fall Membership Drive, March 26 through April 5.

Become a member or renew your membership on the station's secure website at http://www.wrcjfm.org or by calling (866) 909-9725.



Ann Arbor Radio Career Fair and Medical Career Fair set for March 26

As a pillar of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor Radio is dedicated to it's listeners as well as branding and building businesses in the area. A healthy business always has quality employees. In that spirit, Ann Arbor Radio is holding a split Career Fair - Thursday March 26th 2009 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest located at 1275 South Huron Ypsilanti MI, 48197. The Career Fair is open to the public from 12 Noon to 7pm. The Career Fair will be divided into two rooms one side is dedicated to the medical industry the other side is open to all other employers.

Employers looking for qualified employees should know that Ann Arbor Radio reaches more than 250,000 people every week. Hundreds of listeners looking to change careers or seeking new careers and networking opportunities are expected at this event. The Ann Arbor Radio Career Fair is open to all employers in the area, and booth space is limited. To reserve your space, call Ann Arbor Radio at (734) 302-8100 or email Shannon Brown for more info at Shannon.brown@cumulus.com.



Ann Arbor Radio adds staff

Ann Arbor Radio-Cumulus Media had added three new account executives Dean Erskine, Ira Weintraub and Marcie Van Black as of March 2nd.

A 35 year radio veteran, Ann Arbor native Dean Erskine was a Pioneer H.S. student when he got his start on WPAG, one of the original broadcast outlets of University of Michigan Football. Dean worked his way up from announcer to morning show host, eventually becoming program director and sales manager at stations in the Ann Arbor market. He also worked as a radio account executive in the Toledo market. Dean has overseen game day operations for University of Michigan football broadcasts, and also co-hosted the Michigan Football Tailgates with Lucy Ann Lance. He also owns Erskine Audio where he produces commercial and industrial voiceovers for nationwide clients. Dean's community work includes numerous hours volunteering at the Humane Society of Huron Valley.

Ira Weintraub age 33 has over 14 years of professional experience in the media, including more than 11 years in sports radio in the Washington, D.C. area, first at Sports Talk 980 then at Red Zebra Broadcasting's Redskins Radio. Marcie Van Black graduated Cum Laude from Eastern Michigan University in 2001. Her major was in Telecommunications & Film with a double minor in Marketing & Communications.



WDET to host town hall meeting with DPS emergency financial manager

Robert Bobb, emergency financial manager, Detroit Public Schools will be interviewed by Bankole Thompson, senior editor of The Michigan Chronicle and WDET-FM. This will be Bobb's first in-depth interview, and his first forum for the general public since taking the job, early this month, as emergency financial manager for the Detroit Public Schools. The event is free and open to the public.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at Wayne State University's Community Arts Auditorium, located on Reuther Mall, east of Anthony Wayne Drive, west of Cass Ave. and south of Palmer. Paid parking is available in Structure No. 1, north of the Community Arts Auditorium on Palmer or Structure No. 5 at the corner of Anthony Wayne Drive and W. Kirby. $3.50 in cash and coin is required at the automated gate.

The purpose of the Town Hall session is to provide the public with a thorough, incisive view into the school district evaluation process and to give the audience an opportunity to ask questions.

The audio from the event will be broadcast on WDET Radio, 101.9FM, on Thursday, March 26, at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m.Bankole Thompson will be host/producer with WDET's Noah Ovshinsky as co-producer.



Metro Times:

Bill Bonds may or may not be a classic, but there's no denying he's a doozy. "Got a second?" Detroit's most legendary TV newsman asks, laying down his phone to riffle through some papers. "Here's some names for you. Jimmy Hoffa. John F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy. Ronald Reagan. George Wallace. Richard Nixon. Gerald Ford. Medgar Evers. Martin Luther King. Malcolm X. Bill Clinton. Do you know what they all have in common?" "Let me guess. They were all interviewed by Bill Bonds?" "That's right. And of those 11, six of them were shot and killed. Wallace was shot and paralyzed. Reagan was shot. Ford was shot at and missed. Clinton was impeached. Nixon should have been impeached, and if so he would have been found guilty. That's 11 guys I interviewed, more than once. And look what happened to them! So if Bill Bonds ever walks up to you and he's got a microphone, don't talk to him. Run the other way! Put that in your newspaper!" Well, I think I just will. The generation that recognizes the silver-topped baritone as pitchman for furniture chains and personal injury lawyers might wonder what the hell he's ranting about, but from the '67 riots until he left the Channel 7 (WXYZ) anchor desk in 1995, Bill Bonds was the face of television news in Detroit... TV party (Wed, 3/11)



WRIF wants to see your tatoos

Whether you have an angel, dragon, tribal design, butterfly, celtic knot or even an image of a family member adorning your skin, WRIF wants you to "Show Us Your Tats!" The new Show Us Your Tats section of WRIF.com allows listeners to upload images of their tattoos and share the stories behind them.

According to WRIF Program Director Mark Pennington, "Over the years we've seen listeners with some amazing tattoos and wanted to give them place to show them off."

Another feature of the Show Us Your Tats section is the ability for WRIF listeners to "rate" tattoos featured in the section on a scale of 1 to 10.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) has announced the recipients of its 2008 Broadcast Excellence Station of the Year Awards. The awards are based on the cumulative number of points scored from the Broadcast Excellence competition's selected categories and is given to the station with the most points in each radio and television market. The awards were presented during a special Mardi Gras themed dinner on Wednesday, March 11 in Grand Rapids. Check out the complete list of winner from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters web site here: www.michmab.com/awards/awards_be2008.htm. Congratulations to all the winners!


Many of the winning stations have issued individual press releases:

* WXYZ-TV Named Station of the Year

* WLNS TV 6 Wins Station of the Year Award, Among Others

* Michigan Radio named Public Broadcasting Station of the Year (Ann Arbor News)

* MSU student radio station is college station of the year

* From WJR Detroit: The MAB (Michigan Association of Broadcasters) has named News/Talk 760 WJR as Market 1 Radio (Detroit) 2008 Station of the Year. Presented at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters "Broadcast Excellence Awards Ceremony", this award was designed to recognize outstanding achievement in the Michigan broadcast world. WJR took home more awards than any other station in the state, receiving both first place and merit awards in some categories.

* From WSDP Plymouth/Canton: The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation named WSDP the High School Station of the Year. The MABF presented the award during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo on Wednesday March 11, in Grand Rapids. Broadcasters from throughout the state were in attendance.



Two Michigan broadcasters honored with Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented its most prestigious engineering award to a pair of Michigan broadcasters, who combined have served the industry for 93 years. The Carl E Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award winners for this year are:

Gregory Urbiel, Director of Engineering, Saga Communications, Detroit. Mr. Urbiel began his career as a radio engineer in 1969 at WCAR-AM/FM in Detroit, Michigan. His many accomplishments through the years include assisting to design and move WWJ-AM/FM/WYST (WJOI) to their current studio in Southfield. Since then Greg has worked for CBS Radio in New York, New York and ABC Radio in Detroit, Michigan before finding his current home at Saga Communications. He has also served as a member on the Engineering Committee for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Southeast Michigan Operations Area Emergency Broadcast Coordinating Committee.

Dale Scholten, Chief Engineer, WXMI-TV, Grand Rapids. Mr. Scholten has been in the broadcasting industry for 53 years and has contributed in to the television industry in many ways. He began his career repairing TV's in Cadillac, Michigan where he soon was hired on at WWTV-TV, the local television station. Dale grew his experience and earned his FCC first class license. In 1968, while working as an engineer for WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Dale began his own contract maintenance company, General Communications Company. Dale helped to build what is now WXMI-TV and has been their Chief Engineer for 28 years. He still owns and operates his own business and now works with his son.

The Carl Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards were presented during the Engineering Luncheon at the MAB's annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo which was held in Grand Rapids.



Michigan Broadcasters present Don Backus MAB Associate of the Year Award

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented Don Backus of ENCO Systems with the organization's Associate of the Year Award. The presentation was made Wednesday, March 11 during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Grand Rapids. The award recognizes the significant contributions made by associate members, and to acknowledge their efforts in enhancing the quality and integrity of broadcasting while supporting their community.

"Don is a long time supporter and member of the MAB," said Karole White, MAB President and CEO. "Through his dedication and volunteer efforts, Don has not only been an asset to other broadcasters, but has been integral in MAB community outreach efforts."

Don Backus is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ENCO Systems, a manufacturer and distributer of digital audio storage and reproduction systems. He has been an associate member of the MAB and has served on its Board of Directors for over eight years. Don was one of the founders of the MAB Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) and has served on the GLBC Committee since its inception in 1987. In addition, Don has served on the engineering committee, the annual convention committee and the MAB board of directors as its first associate representative.



Well-known personality Lou Turco, a longtime fixture on local radio for over 40 years, will be heard on Oldies 93 (93.9 FM) starting Saturday, April 4, when he'll begin hosting his Weekend Club show from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Turco's live radio show will focus on community information, along with the greatest hits from the 60s and 70s. Plus, Lou brings with him all of the time-tested features that he's so well known for. The "World-Famous Birthday Train," "Turco Trivia" and "What's New in Pink & Blue" are all part of the Saturday fun. Lou's strong local knowledge and dynamic personality will fill the Saturday 9 a.m.-12 noon time slot every weekend on Oldies 93... Look who's returning to local radio (Thu, 3/12)


WLBY Ann Arbor making lineup changes effective Mar. 16; Lucy Ann Lance returning

On Monday, March 16th, AM 1290 WLBY will become Ann Arbor's Business Talk Radio. Cumulus management says the new format will serve the growing need for intelligent financial and business information in Washtenaw County.

"Talk radio doesn't have to be LEFT or RIGHT...but good for all. Dave Ramsey, Clark Howard and Lucy Ann Lance will provide that platform for Ann Arbor everyday on 1290 AM", commented Scott Meier, General Manager for Ann Arbor Radio.

With the addition of The Lucy Ann Lance Program M-F from 9am to 12pm (effective Monday, March 23rd), Business Talk 1290 WLBY will serve as a media platform for local business owners and organizations. Business Talk 1290 WLBY will provide relevant information for people who want to learn more about the global economic climate.

"Ann Arbor deserves a local Business Station... to help local business men and women tell their stories! We plan on providing a media platform for the good news of our community, from SPARK, the DDA, the local CVB's Chambers and startup companies", continued Meier.

The new Business Talk 1290 WLBY weekday lineup will feature Doug Stephan's Good Day from 4am to 9am, Lucy Ann Lance from 9am to 12pm (effective Monday, March 23rd), The Dave Ramsey Show from 2pm to 5pm and Clark Howard from 5pm to 8pm.


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)


Detroit Free Press:

The love affair between metro Detroit and its vintage TV stars is a devoted one. Even in the YouTube era, the men and women who used to rule the cathode-ray tube are still the kings and queens of our hearts. That's one reason the exhibit opening today at the Detroit Historical Museum feels so right. "Detroit's Classic TV Personalities" pays tribute to a cross-section of broadcasting legends through the years -- entertainer Soupy Sales, the late movie host Bill Kennedy, local anchors Bill Bonds, Emery King and Amyre Makupson, and a duo that switched over from news to talk, John Kelly and Marilyn Turner. In the local celebrity galaxy, TV people hold a special place... Historical Museum presents tribute to Detroit's classic TV (Sat, 3/14)



Detroit News:

The February sweeps period proved to be a prosperous time for WDIV-TV (Channel 4). For the first time since May 2001, WDIV has the No. 1 newscast at 5 and 6 p.m., which are anchored by Carmen Harlan and Devin Scillian. It is a distinction WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) has boasted all this time thanks to its strong lead-in, "The Oprah Winfrey Show," until now. The sweeps period, which allows broadcasters to set ad rates, ended last week. In that time, WDIV's "Local 4 News at 5" garnered a 6.9 rating /14 share in Metro Detroit households. Ratings points represent 1 percent of the total viewership and the share represents the number of TVs in use. Each ratings point represents 19,270 local households. In comparison, WXYZ's "Action News 5 p.m." pulled a 6.5 rating /14 share... WDIV-TV takes lead in February sweeps (Fri, 3/13)



Final Four meets Economic Stimulus on The Ticket

To celebrate the March college basketball tournament in Detroit, "Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk, Novi's premiere entertainment and family fun destination, is joining with 97.1 The Ticket, for two Saturday events that will test hoop prowess for a chance to "Crack the Safe" and win $97,100.

"Crack the Safe" events will be held Saturday, March 21 from 5 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk's latest offering: Fusion Health & Fitness Club. 97.1 The Ticket on-air hosts Terry Foster and Bill McAllister will oversee the festivities, which will feature an opportunity, both nights, for participants to decipher a four-digit code to "crack" a Plexiglas safe and win the cash--if they can sink a specified number of free throws first.

"Fusion is all about taking a healthy approach to mind and body, so why not afford some individuals the opportunity to pump up their pocket books?" said Paul Wright, owner of Fusion Health & Fitness. "$97,100 will take anyone a long way towards fiscal fitness!"

Added Kim Peterson of Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk: "We wanted to do something fun and different in celebration of the madness that surrounds college basketball each March. With the tournament in Detroit this year and Fusion just opening with their brand new basketball court, the timing was ideal for these near six-figure festivities."

Potential safecrackers also will be registered for drawings for various prizes, including gift certificates to catch all the hoops action at Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk restaurants Bar Louie, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters and Lucky's.


Ann Arbor News:

WLBY, Ann Arbor's liberal talk radio station, will drop the Air America format Monday in favor of programming from the Business Talk Radio Network. The new Business Talk 1290 AM weekday lineup will feature the nationally-syndicated show "Doug Stephan's Good Day" from 4 to 9 a.m. That will be followed by local programming from Lucy Ann Lance from 9 a.m. to noon (effective March 23), the nationally-syndicated financial advice call-in program "The Dave Ramsey Show" from 2 to 5 p.m. and programming from national consumer advocate Clark Howard from 5 to 8 p.m. Lance's Saturday show, which began in January, will continue in the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. time slot. Lou Perry's local call-in program will air from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. General manager Scott Meier said the new format will serve a growing need for intelligent financial and business information in Washtenaw County. No change in call letters is planned. The station is owned by Cumulus Media, which also owns three other stations in this market: WQKL, WWWW and WTKA... Ann Arbor's WLBY to switch to programming from the Business Talk Radio Network (Sat, 3/14)


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)


FOX Sports Detroit's coverage of Michigan high school championship events continues this month with the 2009 MHSAA Girls and Boys Basketball Finals on consecutive Saturdays, March 21 & 28.

The girls finals are contested March 21, at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center. Play-by-play announcers are John Keating (Class D & A) and Dan Gutowsky (Class C & B) and John Keating (Class C & B). Serving as analyst for all four games is Greg Kelser. Class D, A and C games are televised on FOX Sports Detroit. The Class B game is live on FOX Sports Detroit Plus, with a same-night replay on FOX Sports Detroit.

The boys championship games, held March 28 at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, feature play-by-play announcers Matt Shepard (Class D & C) and Gutowsky (Class A & B), joined by analyst Tim McCormick. Class D, C and A games are televised on FOX Sports Detroit. The Class B game is live on FOX Sports Detroit Plus,with a same-night replay on FOX Sports Detroit.

This marks the 11th consecutive year that FOX Sports Detroit has aired the MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals, the 12th year in a row for the boys event.

Visit www.foxsports.com/detroit for the complete schedule and channel listings for FOX Sports Detroit +.


Detroit News:

Television anchorwoman Lila Lazarus and WJBK-TV (Channel 2) have parted ways. "She is no longer with the station. Her contract has not been renewed," a station spokeswoman said Tuesday. When asked why Channel 2 didn't pick up Lazarus' contract, the spokeswoman said WJBK had no comment. Lazarus, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Michigan and Kalamazoo College, joined WJBK in March 2006. While at the local Fox affiliate, Lazarus worked as a morning anchor and health reporter. Before going to WJBK, Lazarus held a very similar job at WDIV-TV (Channel 4) where she worked for 10 years until 2005... Anchorwoman Lila Lazarus dropped from Channel 2 (Tue, 3/17)



WADL TV38 announces classic comedy block

WADL TV-38, marketed as Detroit's Urban TV station, will be adding new programming that includes legendary favorites to the station's spring line-up. The new additions to the classic TV programs the station is already airing will include: I Love Lucy, Happy Days, The Honeymooners, The Beverly Hillbillies and The Andy Griffith Show.

"The Classic Comedy Block will be a great family addition to our programming. These programs bring back great memories and we have the opportunity to make them available to all of our viewers," commented Denise Dody Johnson, WADL Marketing Director.




WYCD Hosts Online Auction For Make-A-Wish: CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT and GORDON CHEVROLET of DETROIT have partnered up for a special online auction benefiting the MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION of MICHIGAN. Bidding is taking place now through APRIL 8th at 11:59p (ET) at www.wycd.com, on items like a DISNEY theme park flyaway for two, a guitar autographed by WYCD's "10 MAN JAM" artists and a hockey puck autographed by NICKLAS LIDSTROM of the DETROIT RED WINGS. Click here for more info. For more on the MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION of MICHIGAN, visit www.wishmich.org. (Mon, 3/16)


Detroit News:

Former Detroit News TV writer Tim Kiska, guest curator for the "Detroit Classic TV Personalities" exhibit, has a new book out, "A Newscast for the Masses: The History of Detroit Television News" (Wayne State University Press, $24.95.) The book traces the history of broadcast news, going back to the first radio station in Detroit: WWJ, launched in 1920 by The Detroit News from a control panel in The News' garage. The News started Detroit's first TV station, WWJ-TV, on June 3, 1947. A year later, WJBK-TV and WXYZ-TV went on the air. To put things in perspective, Kiska reports that in the late '40s, Detroit stores were advertising TV sets ranging in price from $345 to $985. In today's dollars, that would amount to an astounding $2,552 to $8,383. The book recounts the facts in a scholarly way, but also includes stories about the wild early days of TV... New book traces history of Detroit television (Wed, 3/18)

Here's what you need to know about Detroit television: A literary genius couldn't make up the characters involved, from the wild and woolly early days of the 1950s up to the '80s, when focus groups and consultants took most of the spontaneity out of it. Now the Detroit Historical Museum is saluting Detroit's local flavor with an exhibit, "Detroit's Classic TV Personalities," running now through Labor Day. The exhibit highlights seven personalities.. Detroit's TV royalty (Wed, 3/18)

The planned live debate March 25 between Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. and Dave Bing looks like it's off because the basketball icon is balking at a change in format from a forum to a one-on-one debate. Instead, a panel composed of representatives from The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press will participate in a question-and-answer session with the mayor for a live broadcast on WADL-TV (Channel 38). Bing has steadfastly been opposed to debating Cockrel unless Cockrel makes his personal finances public like the Pistons legend did months ago... Mayoral TV debate off; only Cockrel to appear (Wed, 3/18)




'Big Boy' Morphs To 'Chunky' At 92.3 NOW FM: Former CLEAR CHANNEL WKQI (CHANNEL 95.5)/DETROIT night stud BIG BOY has followed CBS VP/Top 40 Programming DOM THEODORE to NOO YAWK as the new 7-11p personality at CBS Top 40 WXRK (92.3 NOW FM). He's BIG BOY no more -- now using the nom de aire, CHUNKY. (Wed, 3/18)


Grand Haven Tribune:

In his first year as a radio show host, Sports Radio 1370 ESPN's Ryan Terpstra didn't have winning an award on his mind. "I just wanted to be able to do a show that people would actually want to listen to," said Terpstra, who at age 25 is now in his second year as the host of "Sports Talk with Ryan Terpstra," which airs from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sports Radio 1370 ESPN, WGHN-AM. "My goal initially was to work hard at doing my best, and hopefully the audience would respond." That hard work paid off on March 11, as the Michigan Association of Broadcasters awarded Terpstra the first-place award in the "Afternoon Show Host" category at their annual Broadcast Excellence Awards... WGHN's Terpstra wins award for 'Sports Talk' (Wed, 3/18)




Regent Orders More Free Beer & Hot Wings: REGENT COMMUNICATIONS announces that THE FREE BEER & HOT WINGS SHOW has renewed their contract for flagship Alternative WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS, as well as REGENT Rock WQBK/ALBANY, NY, Active Rock WWBN/FLINT, MI and Active Rock KZRV/ST. CLOUD, MN. Commenting on the continuing relationship, REGENT SVP JOHN KING said, "FREE BEER AND HOT WINGS is the real deal. This program has continually been the number one ranked morning show in all key demos in GRAND RAPIDS radio. I'm thrilled to have their tremendous talent at work for our stations. We also want to congratulate them on their recent national syndication agreement with COMPASS MEDIA NETWORKS. We are big FREE BEER and HOT WINGS fans!" FB&HW show member ERIC ZANE added, "We would like to express our sincere appreciation to REGENT COMMUNICATIONS. They have been wonderful partners and we look forward to working with our flagship -- WGRD in GRAND RAPIDS -- as well as our REGENT affiliates in ALBANY, ST. CLOUD, and FLINT for many years to come." THE FREE BEER & HOT WINGS SHOW is currently heard weekday mornings on 17 affiliates. (Wed, 3/18)


Commentary by Mike Austerman

On The RadioSo, I'm in Costco the other day and I notice they are selling a tabletop HD radio with an iPod doc for $99 (after a $30 instant rebate). And since I've always been a fan of radio, I figured that it was well past the time to actually take home my first HD radio.

The Teac HD-1 HD Clock Radio with iPod/iPhone Docking is the first HD set I've seen for under $100 that has enough features to make it worth the money. But it, and the HD technology and implementation here in Detroit, still leaves a lot to be desired. That's not to say there aren't some cool things too - and I'm definitely keeping it and find it to be a good value. Below is a pretty comprehensive review of my experience so far.

A word of warning: although it's marketed as a clock radio, in my opinion the display is not good for a bedroom. The clock digits are too small and they are not available at all when you're listening to the AM/FM tuners. Although the display can be turned completely off, at its lowest on level it's just way too bright for use in a bedroom. It's brighter than most nightlights I've ever seen. I used it for exactly one night as a clock radio, then promptly moved it to our hobby room. Teac needs to go back to the drawing board on the display.

TEAC HD-1The biggest highlight of the radio for me has been the selectivity of the FM tuner. From my home in the northwest part of Sterling Heights, it easily receives the strongest 'in between' stations from southwestern Ontario, Pt. Huron/Sarnia, and Flint's WCRZ on 107.9. Reorienting the included double-wire T antenna allows me to switch between Q107 from Pt. Huron and Ann Arbor's 107-1. Reception is also good for many fringe stations on the non-commercial FM band. As far as the in-market stations on FM, they are all rock solid, including the sometimes harder to receive stations like 89X and 93.9 The River. I currently don't own a DX-ing type receiver, so it's very easy for me to say this is the best FM tuner I have in the house right now. It easily compares with the reception of our car radios, if not a little better.

The AM receiver however is quite disappointing. I admit that many of my issues are likely self-inflicted as my home is full of dimmer switches, compact florescent lights, and other interference causing items. Even with efforts to make sure as many of things as possible are turned off, AM reception leaves something to be desired. WDTW 1310 is very hard to receive, even with the radio in several different locations in my home, and with just about every imaginable position of the provided loop antenna. Other fringe stations from my location like WDRJ 1440, WDEO 990, and CHOK 1070 are similarly very hard to listen to reliably (and none of them are ever clear).

TEAC HD-1After using the HD features of the Teac HD-1, I can certainly understand both the excitement and the scourge that others have commented on. HD on FM is easy and reliable thanks to the selective tuner and receiving all the HD signals from the local stations is relatively straightforward. Just tune to the desired station and wait for the HD signal to display, then turn the knob one a notch to get the HD2 station if you'd like (it automatically switches from analog to digital on the HD1 signals). I'll get into the specifics of what kind of programming is currently being offered in another column ... but suffice it to say the quality and value to the listener varies enormously.

In my suburban location, HD reception on FM is rock solid - I have found no drifting between analog and digital. The HD-1 is probably not the best showcase for any sound quality advantages of listening to FM in analog versus digital. While there is a difference, there isn't enough of a contrast to get me excited. For sure, the most enticing thing about HD on FM is the availability of more programming.

TEAC HD-1AM HD is quite the different experience. When (and if) you can get a station to lock in on HD, the sound difference is certainly incredible. Listening to an interference and hum free AM broadcast is nothing short of remarkable. But ... it's incredibly difficult to achieve. I have had the most success with WWJ 950, WDFN 1130, WCHB 1200, and WXYT 1270 ... but not without significant adjustment of the loop antenna. And drifting / HD drop out unfortunately happens too often unless the antenna has truly found a sweet spot (which varies from day to day and even from morning to afternoon). Judging by what I've read elsewhere and what I've experienced on AM, I feel pretty confident in saying that the extra interference on AM is not worth the enhanced listening capability. It's maddening to try and listen to a program when it's shifting in between analog and digital. And even more frustrating to try and listen to stations on AM that years ago would be easy to hear relatively noise-free.

I wish I could be more sure about the reasons my AM reception stinks with the HD-1 - but the fact is that most consumers don't have the patience to fiddle around the way I have with the AM band. It's pretty clear that AM radio right now is pretty much broken as far as most in-home users are concerned and no HD radio is going to fix that without a lot of effort and money.

TEAC HD-1Sound quality overall is very good for a smallish desktop radio -- although this one has a good deal of heft to it. It has both line in and line out jacks, helpful for outputting otherwise inaccessible HD stations to a component system that doesn't have an HD receiver. The input allows me to use my portable satellite radio receiver with the HD-1. The remote control is incredibly bulky and heavy -- it's not cumbersome by any means, but it's easily the beefiest remote I've ever owned for something of this size. The HD-1 also features iTunes tagging, which works great when you have an iPod docked.

All in all, I'm happy I bought this unit - it gives our hobby room a nice little desktop radio that can also be used with an iPod and satellite receiver if desired. The FM radio is great -- but don't expect much out of AM.

Comments and questions are welcomed -- I'll do my best to respond as best as I can.


Detroit News:

There's one less liberal radio station in southeastern Michigan since Ann Arbor's Cumulus -owned WLBY-AM (1290 ) has dumped its affiliation with Air America and flipped formats to "business talk and news." Local liberal talk host Lou Perry will keep his 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday talk/call-in show on WLBY. He managed to escape the ax because he has solid advertiser support (Suburban Collection, Big Boy) and a base of listeners. Perry is marking his 45th year in broadcasting, and he bills his Sunday show on WLBY as the "only" live progressive talk show in southeastern Michigan. Peter Werbe would have a bone to pick with that claim, since Werbe is in his 38th year of hosting "Nightcall," the live call-in/talk show that airs from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. on Detroit rock station WRIF-FM (101.1) . And certainly Mitch Albom may be the lone progressive at WJR-AM (760 ), but he's there ... Speaking of money, Arthur Penhallow has been off the WRIF-FM (101.1) airwaves since his contract expired in February. Greater Media general manager John Gallagher says he'll probably talk to Penhallow today or tomorrow to see what the basso-voiced vet wants to do... Liberal host survives WLBY format changes (Thu, 3/19)

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit will host WRIF's "Screamin" Scott Randall as part of its 2009 "Bowling for Jobs" campaign to fight unemployment across Metro Detroit. Randall will be on-site (at Taylor Lanes) from 1-4 p.m. Sunday with T-shirts and other giveaways while cheering on the bowlers who have come to help their friends and neighbors find jobs... 'Bowling for Jobs' fundraiser to feature WRIF's Randall (Thu, 3/19)



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)


Radio Business Report:

Gen2Media signed a Joint Venture agreement with Regent Communications to create, develop and manage an ad-supported online television channel for each of Regent's 60 station websites. Leveraging Gen2Media's patented video publishing and content management program, each of Regent's radio station websites will feature its own individually-branded Internet television channel with access to originally produced or syndicated video content and programming. The rollout schedule, beginning this month, starts with the Regent radio properties in Grand Rapids, Michigan: WLHT-FM 95.7 (Adult Contemporary); WGRD-FM 97.9 (Modern Rock); and WTRV-FM 100.5 (Soft Adult Contemporary)... Gen2Media and Regent partner to for radio websites (Fri, 3/20)


Detroit News:

WJBK-TV (Channel 2) is still No. 1 in the morning according to the ratings. The station's early-riser show "Fox 2 News Morning" grabbed the top spot during the February sweeps period, which came to an end earlier this month. Sweeps numbers are used to set advertising rates. Nationally, many markets are measuring ratings results accrued this month, per the suggestion of Nielsen Media Research. The Illinois-based firm made the change from February to March this year because of the original digital conversion date and stuck to it even after the government's delay to June. As a result of the delay, markets like Detroit are still looking at February ratings to better compare annual increases and deficits between 2008 and 2009... WJBK dominates Metro Detroit morning television ratings (Fri, 3/20)

Taking a page from the Jay Leno book of economic relief for recession-punched Detroiters, Dr. Phil McGraw will make two free appearances in Detroit next month. Appropriately, he'll talk about how to meet the challenges of living with purpose when times are tough. McGraw, the opinionated host of the popular "Dr. Phil" show, which airs on Channel 62 (WWJ), will appear at 7:30 p.m. on April 1 at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts and at 2 p.m. onApril 2 at I Am My Brother's Keeper Ministry... Dr. Phil to host two free TV tapings in Detroit (Fri, 3/20)

There's a patio! He can see it! Right there, out the window of his downtown sub shop! "Omigod," says Ron Cameron, the semi-famous, downwardly mobile sportscaster, "it's bigger than I thought!" He's been prepping the shop for weeks, getting ready for yesterday's opening. You'd think he might have counted the number of circular concrete tables on the patio before -- six, plus two wide benches. But he's always been better at imagination than details, and besides, surprises are exciting! Cameron, 64, is like a human nail gun, spitting out exclamation points. Two guys in their 30s walk past on Washington Boulevard, headed for a Red Wings game, and they're both wearing Nicklas Lidstrom jerseys. "That's interesting!" he says ... Thirty years ago, the games made him a star. He had a sports talk show on what's now WXYT-AM (1270), and he pulled serious ratings. From 1984-91, in the early days of cable, he and Bob Page hosted a show called "Sports View"... Ex-big leaguer's subs could be a hit (Fri, 3/20)



Hospice of Michigan documentary to air on Detroit Public Television Monday, March 23 and Sunday, March 29

Hospice of Michigan, one of the nation's leading non-profit hospice organizations, has produced a documentary film called Except for Six that will be televised on Detroit Public Television on Monday, March 23 from 9 - 10 pm, and on Sunday, March 29 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm.

Beginning with a strong desire to illuminate a tough subject -- dying -- and change the way people think about end-of-life, Hospice of Michigan embarked on creating a documentary that would be engaging and honest about one of the most important life passages. Except for Six tells the story of three people who are living with terminal illnesses, shows choices they make, and the individual ways they choose to live out their lives.

The documentary has been previewed by individuals from within the documentary film industry, including award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who said of the film, "This is a heart-felt and important film that takes a subject that most of us would rather ignore and humanizes it. From the dedicated doctors and caregivers to the heroic patients, this is the story of what will happen to all of us."

"Storytelling is the best way to share information and get people to see subjects in new ways," said Dottie Deremo, president and CEO of Hospice of Michigan. "The documentary film, Except for Six, uses humor and emotion to tell the moving stories of three people, and hopefully will get the viewer thinking about a topic they might otherwise avoid. We are very excited that the documentary will be televised on Detroit Public Television, and we hope people will watch."

The film was directed by Matt Burnell, a young filmmaker from Grand Rapids. He and his crew spent many hours with the patients and families whose stories are told in the documentary. Burnell said, "In a very short time, the patients and their families became accustomed to us being there, and we had the privilege of observing this very special time. As a result, we are able to share one of life's most natural events with the audience."

The title of the documentary, Except for Six, has a double meaning. Ron Christie, the 69-year-old man whose story is told in the film, spoke behind-the-scenes about the importance and value he placed on the "six people who carry you to your final resting place." In hospice care, patients are referred to a hospice program when it is believed they have six months or fewer to live.

The film was edited locally by Derek Swanson of Mad River Post in Royal Oak.

Hospice of Michigan is one of the leading non-profit hospice organizations in the country, and the state's largest hospice organization serving more than 900 patients every day. Hospice of Michigan's mission is to care for all who need and seek our care regardless of age, diagnosis, or ability to pay. The documentary film Except for Six is part of a public awareness campaign from Hospice of Michigan called "Have You Had the Talk?" For more information about the campaign, go to haveyouhadthetalk.com. Hospice of Michigan, with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, and offices located in 17 communities, serves patients and their families in more than 60 counties in the state of Michigan.


For the first time, FOX Sports Detroit's collection of channels will present simultaneous telecasts of the same game, but from two different perspectives, when the Pistons take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the Palace on Thursday, March 26. The traditional game coverage will appear on FOX Sports Detroit and in high-definition on FOX Sports Detroit HD. Meanwhile, FOX Sports Detroit PLUS presents a "Match-up Cam" telecast, with devoted cameras isolating on key battles throughout the game among the many stars on each team.

"We are looking forward to this unique, creative and compelling use of our PLUS service," said Greg Hammaren, Senior Vice President/General Manager, FOX Sports Detroit. "We hope fans that are enjoying the traditional high-quality telecast on our main service will be intrigued to sample PLUS to see an isolated view of just how hard these great athletes work during the course of a game."

Coverage on all channels begins at 6:30 PM with Pistons Insider, followed by Pistons Live at 7:00 and the game at 7:30. Game audio will be the same on all channels with play-by-play announcer George Blaha, analyst Greg Kelser, along with sideline reporters Ryan Field and Eli Zaret. Field hosts Pistons Live pregame, while Mickey York hosts the postgame edition.

For FOX Sports PLUS channel numbers, visit www.foxsports.com/detroit.



Grand Rapids Press:

If you want to watch unbeaten Catholic Central and Lakeview compete in a Class B semifinal at 6 p.m. Friday for a spot in Saturday's girls basketball state championship - and you cannot make it to Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center - you can follow it live on the Internet. The Michigan High School Athletic Association Network will stream video of all four Class A and Class B semifinals at MHSAA.TV. Semifinal games also will be available finals for cable viewing on Comcast Channel 900, pending availability of the station's time... (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)


Grand Rapids Press:

Jim Lutton, general manager of WWMT-TV (Channel 3), knows how seriously fans take the NCAA tournament. He is confident that West Michigan's local CBS affiliate has taken the appropriate steps to prevent the technical glitches that occurred Friday and Saturday. In both instances, Lutton said CBS Sports switched its broadcast feed from the primary signal to a backup, which caused problems for WWMT. WWMT worked quickly with CBS Sports to restore the primary signal, but by then, viewers were left with audio and HD issues. The station thought it had the problems fixed after Friday night's Michigan-Clemson game, but issues arose again Saturday during Michigan State-Robert Morris. He said the station received a number of phone calls and e-mails from viewers. "We're awfully sorry for the inconvenience," Lutton said. "These games are very important to people, and we understand that." Lutton said the complications were limited solely to the HD feed. He is hopeful the issue has been solved, but said viewers still can use the basic analog signal as a backup if glitches persist... CBS station WWMT apologizes, says it has resolved NCAA tournament technical glitches (Sun, 3/22)



After 19 years at the Sault Evening News, well known advertising professional Penny Joss joins Sovereign Communications starting April 15, when she'll begin selling advertising in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for the local radio company. Joss is the sales manager and top seller at the Sault Michigan newspaper. Penny's primary role at Sovereign will be to represent all three of the company's radio stations and build new advertising relationships that will help local businesses grow in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario... Evening News ad manager crosses river, switches to radio (Mon, 3/23)


Ann Arbor Radio adds daily business program hosted Lucy Ann Lance

Ann Arbor's Business Talk 1290 WLBY (WLBY-AM) has added well known Ann Arbor radio personality Lucy Ann Lance to it's weekday lineup. "The Lucy Ann Lance Business Insider" airs Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Ann Arbor Radio says "The Lucy Ann Lance Business Insider" is Michigan's most comprehensive business radio show, taking listeners from Main Street to Wall Street. The show includes conversations with reporters from Michigan Business Review, innovative speakers from SPARK, business educators from the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, commentaries from local business people, business ideas from entrepreneurs, and updates from the area's Chambers of Commerce.

From high-tech to health care, automotive and retail, "The Lucy Ann Lance Business Insider" plans on putting its listeners on the inside on Michigan's business news.



Detroit Free Press:

WEMU-FM (89.1), Eastern Michigan University's public radio station, will broadcast part of its spring pledge drive live from Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater. The fun begins at 6 a.m. Friday with a special edition of film segment "Cinema Chat." Russ Collin, the Michigan Theater's executive director, and Debra Polich, president of Artrain, will join WEMU's David Fair in asking for pledges for three hours during NPR's "Morning Edition"... Names and Faces (Mon, 3/23)




WYCD Hosts Online Auction For Make-A-Wish: CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT and GORDON CHEVROLET of DETROIT have partnered up for a special online auction benefiting the MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION of MICHIGAN. Bidding is taking place now through APRIL 8th at 11:59p (ET) at www.wycd.com, on items like a DISNEY theme park flyaway for two, a guitar autographed by WYCD's "10 MAN JAM" artists and a hockey puck autographed by NICKLAS LIDSTROM of the DETROIT RED WINGS. Click here for more info. For more on the MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION of MICHIGAN, visit www.wishmich.org. (Mon, 3/16)


Grand Rapids Press:

Beloved Grand Rapids radio icon Rick Beckett, co-host of "The Rick and Scott Show" on WOOD-AM, is missed greatly in West Michigan. His untimely death from a heart attack last month has left many listeners grief-stricken. As for the future of the popular midday radio program, "anything could happen," said Tim Feagan, general manager at the station (AM 1300). "We will know it when we see it," Feagan said. "We have ads out in the trades. We are looking in and out of the market. There is no age range, no sex range, no conservative or middle-of-the-road preference. We are looking for someone who is relevant and compelling." The 9 a.m.-noon show has been renamed "Middays on WOOD" and pairs Beckett's longtime radio partner, Scott Winters, with fill-ins such as Neal Dionne, from WBCT-FM (93.7), and well-known radio personality Michelle McKormick. In his blog, Winters writes: "There is no way to replace the likes of Rick Beckett, nor do we even plan to attempt that. But hopefully we can find someone I have a good chemistry with, and we can make the new show as entertaining as 'The Rick and Scott Show' used to be." Winters and Beckett were best friends... Grand Rapids-area listeners still mourning 'Rick and Scott Show' co-host Rick Beckett, as WOOD-AM considers next move (Tue, 3/24)



WMUK 'Short Drive' fundraiser seeking $175,000

Western Michigan University's public radio station, WMUK 102.1 FM, is once again shortening its spring pledge drive, which begins Saturday, March 28, and will end when $175,000 is raised.

The station will reduce on-air pledge hours by more than 55 percent during pledge week and feature two "skinny days" Tuesday and Wednesday, during which there will be only one hour of on-air pledging.

Prior to the on-air portion of drive, listeners are encouraged to make donations online at wmuk.org or by mail. The station's Web ticker features up-to-date results of the ongoing fund-raising effort.

Funds raised through WMUK's pledge drives help to pay the cost of acquiring quality programs from National Public Radio, Public Radio International, the British Broadcasting Corp. and American Public Media.

To promote its broadcasts in high definition, the station's spring drive will feature drawings for 10 free HD radios. All those who pledge or donate will be entered in drawings, along with those who call in and request entry. Complete details and rules for the drawings are available at WMUK online.


George Kell, Baseball Hall of Famer and popular broadcaster dies at age 86

George Kell, Hall of Fame baseball player for the Detroit Tigers among other teams, has died at the age of 86 in his hometown of Swifton, Arkansas according to various broadcast reports. In addition to his successful playing career, Kell was also an immensely popular broadcaster for the Tigers, both on radio and television. That portion of his baseball career lasted 37 years. His most memorable broadcasting work was on TV on Channel 4 during the years he was paired with fellow hall-of-famer Al Kaline in the booth. Kell also partnered with the legendary Ernie Harwell.

Kell's playing career was from 1943-57 and he was with the Tigers from 1946-52. He also played for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Chicago White Sox and was induced into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. He was a career .306 hitter, won the American League batting championship in 1949, and was a 10-time All-Star.



FOX Sports Detroit to re-air 2005 special in memory of George Kell

FOX Sports Detroit joins Tigers fans everywhere in mourning the passing of Hall of Fame third baseman and longtime Tigers broadcaster George Kell.

Tune in Wednesday (7:30 & 10:00 pm) and Sunday (12:30 & 4:00 pm) for an encore presentation of the 2005 half-hour special "FSN Basement: All-Star Edition," featuring interviews with Kell and Al Kaline, each recalling their numerous All-Star Game appearances, special memories of playing for the Tigers and their several years working together in the television booth.

Also, FOX Sports Detroit announcers Mario Impemba and John Keating provided tributes to Kell:

- From Mario Impemba, Tigers play-by-play announcer, FOX Sports Detroit: "Growing up in Detroit, Mr. Kell had a big impact on my desire to become a broadcaster. He had a unique voice that featured a smooth southern charm. People knew they were watching Tigers baseball when they heard George's voice every summer."

- From John Keating, TIGERS LIVE host, FOX Sports Detroit: "One of the highlights of my broadcasting career was our trip to interview George at his home in Swifton, Arkansas.... just to talk baseball and his place in Detroit's sporting history. He was gracious and warm to those of us who were still involved with the Tigers. He still watched every Tigers game and enjoyed it with no regrets about stepping away from the broadcast booth. To those of us who grew up with George and Al and Ernie and Paul Carey, they shaped the standard for broadcasting sports in our town. It is less of a 'bright and sunshiny day' in Michigan."



WDET's Town Hall Meeting with Robert Bobb scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25, 2009, has been canceled due to a personal emergency. Mr. Bobb asked WDET to reschedule the Town Hall Meeting to a later date, but is still expected to take place at the Community Arts Auditorium of Wayne State University, as previously planned. Listen to 101.9 WDET for information about the new date of the Town Hall Meeting with Robert Bobb and check back to www.wdet.org for updated details.


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.


Troubled economy claims two from Purtan's People

John 'Ankles' Stewart and Dana Mills, both longtime contributors to Dick Purtan's morning program heard on oldies WOMC FM 104.3, have been let go as part of cutbacks by CBS Radio. Stewart was the longtime engineer and Mills the news anchor. Their last day with WOMC was yesterday.

Profiles of the duo remained on the WOMC web site this morning:

Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, John Stewart started his radio career in 1974 in Ottawa at CFGO. Two years later, he moved a little closer to home and continued his profession at the Big 8, CKLW in downtown Windsor where he was the FM Production Director. There he worked with the likes of Super Max, Brother Bill Gable, World Famous Pat Holiday, Johnny Williams and Deano Day. In 1978, Dick Purtan arrived on the scene and asked John to fill in for a vacationing engineer. Since then, we have all become accustomed to his contagious laugh and Canadian wit filling the radio airwaves on the Dick Purtan Show.

In December 1983, John became known to the faithful listening audience as "Ankles." Being a Lions fan and desperately trying to receive a blacked out game; he experimented with the reception on his TV by adjusting the antenna. The only thing he adjusted were the bones in his ankle after falling off the roof. As the Morning Show engineer, Ankles is the man who pushes all of the right buttons - usually. But if you hear a mistake on the air, undoubtedly it was John's fault. However, as any regular listener of the Purtan Show knows, Ankles' main responsibility is providing a "live" laugh track to support Purtan and Purtan's People's brand of humor, even when the material isn't very funny. That takes a professional laugher.

Dana Mills is the News Director and News Anchor on "The Dick Purtan Show" on WOMC. She was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She started her radio career in her hometown, worked in radio and television in Cleveland, then moved to Denver where she lived and worked in radio and TV for 11 years. Dana came to Detroit in 1993 to be the co-host of the Afternoon News Center on WJR . She later joined Dick Purtan and Purtan's People in April of 1996.

Dana has also added several voice characterizations to the show. So, after years of building up a respected journalistic portfolio, Dana has thrown it all down the drain by doing silly voices. Dana has also gained a following with her popular feature "At Home With Dana Mills", which offers Martha Stewart-like tips to listeners. The big difference between Dana and Martha is that people laugh with Dana - and that's a good thing.

Dana has one daughter, 16 year old Samantha. They enjoy Tennis, golf, skiing and spending time "up north" together. They also love their little Lhasa Apso, Missy. Dana Mills and all of Purtan's People can be heard on "The Dick Purtan Show" from 5am to 10am on WOMC.

Purtan commented on the departures during this morning's program, saying that yesterday was a very sad day and wishing the duo well as they continue their careers. Purtan also said the decisions were made by someone higher up in the chain of command at CBS radio.



Detroit Public TV switching off analog transmitter April 16; nearing end of capital campaign

WTVS Channel 56 has filed with the FCC plans to terminate its analog over-the-air signal on April 16th and shift to all-digital transmission. The move is in advance of the new June date that many of the rest of the state's TV station's will follow. Detroit Public TV has been warning viewers that its analog transmitter is nearing the end of its lifespan and that the switch to all-digital would likely be happening before June, possibly without warning.

The Campaign for Detroit Public Television is nearing its goal of raising $22 million dollars by March 31st and at last report was about $500,000 shy of a mark that will kick in a $1.25 grant from Kresge Foundation to complete the effort. Visit dptv.org to contribute or for more information.



Familiar voices lend hand to help WRCJ fundraiser

Classical/Jazz WRCJ 90.9 is welcoming back WQRS alumni Dick Wallace and Carl Grapentine for some guest hosting in support of the station's spring fundraising drive, which started today and runs through April 5th. Carl Grapentine, who is also the public address announcer for University of Michigan football in addition to hosting mornings at classical WFMT Chicago, will host on 90.9 FM on Saturday, March 28, from 1-4 p.m., and Dick Wallace will be the afternoon music host from 4-7 p.m., from March 30 to April 3.

More info on WRCJ's fundraiser is available at www.wrcjfm.org.




CJAM/Windsor Gets OK To Change Frequencies: The UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR has received CRTC approval to move its CJAM/WINDSOR, ON from 91.5 to 99.1 FM, reducing power from 914 to 456 watts and going from a directional low-power station without interference protectionto an omnidirectional Class A facility with protection. The move follows negotiations with the FCC and CANADA's Department of Industry to allow the station to change frequencies due to the addition of a noncommercial station on 91.5 FM in CHINA TWP., MI, granted to SMILE FM. (Thu, 3/26)

WYCD Offers A Swift Experience: CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT is launching the "TAYLOR SWIFT Fearless Experience." The interactive mobile promotional vehicle features TAYLOR memorabilia and music, such as the dress she wore in the "Our Song" video, behind-the-scenes video, tons of photos and more. In addition, fans can sing karaoke to their favorite TAYLOR song and sign a guest book that will be presented to her this summer. The unit will visit shopping malls, schools, festivals and community events throughout the summer, with specific location information being announced on WYCD. MOTOR CITY area high school students are encouraged to visit www.WYCD.com and enter to have the "TAYLOR SWIFT Fearless Experience" brought to their high school. While at their school, students can compete in a High School TAYLOR SWIFT Karaoke Contest and one lucky winner will win a trip for two to the CMA MUSIC FEST this summer in NASHVILLE. They will also have the chance to show off their vocal skills in front of a BIG MACHINE/NASHVILLE music executive. Visit the website for complete contest rules. (Thu, 3/26)

Ticket/Detroit's Bigby Adds OM Duties For The Fan/Dallas: CBS RADIO VP of Strategic Programming and Sports WXYT-A-F (97.1 THE TICKET)/DETROIT PD TOM BIGBY adds duties as Operations Manager at sister Sports KRLD-F (105.3 THE FAN)/DALLAS, effective MARCH 30. BIGBY will work with PD GAVIN SPITTLE to run the station, which flipped from Talk earlier this year. BIGBY worked in the DALLAS market at Oldies KLUV and News-Talk KRLD-A, and was formerly PD at Sports WIP-A/PHILADELPHIA ... "TOM's vision and outstanding leadership skills quickly helped establish 97.1 THE TICKET," said DETROIT Market Manager DEB KENYON. "I have no doubt he will have a similar impact in the Dallas market. TOM is truly a difference maker." (Wed, 3/25)

Dymond Named Market Mgr. At Connoisseur/Erie: Former RADIO ONE DETROIT GSM NANCY DYMOND lands at CONNOISSEUR's ERIE cluster as Market Manager. DYMOND has been consulting DETROIT PUBLIC TELEVISION since exiting RADIO ONE; she previously served as Market Manager for CUMULUS' FLINT cluster, VP/GM at FRITZ BROADCASTING's LANSING and SAGINAW stations, and VP/GM at REAMS BROADCASTING's TOLEDO and FLINT stations.(Wed, 3/25)


Are Arthur Penhallow's days over at WRIF?

After 39 years holding down afternoon drive on rock WRIF Detroit, dating back to when the station was WXYZ-FM, it appears that contract talks between the Grand Poobah of Detroit rock and WRIF owner Greater Media might have broken down. Early this morning Penhallow posted on his Facebook page the following message, "It appears that my days in Detroit radio are over for now. Thanks for your support over the last 39 years....I shall return." The revelation has been followed by numerous messages of support and surprise.

If there isn't a last-minute solution, it'll complete what amounts to a complete overhaul of the weekday lineup at WRIF over the past couple of years. The first big shake-up was the departure of Drew Lane from the morning program, leaving Mike Clark. Doug Podell recently stepped down from middays, replaced by Anne Carlini, and now it appears that the afternoon drive slot will have to be filled by someone new for the first time since 1970 on 101.1 FM. Penhallow has been off the WRIF airwaves for over a month already as contract negotiations were underway - his prior deal ended in February.



The Oakland Press:

The 2009 Pistons Care Telethon, which culminated in a 17-hour telethon day and telecast of the team's game on March 11, raised more than $450,000 in pledges to benefit Feed The Children, with 100 percent of proceeds going to families in critical need of food and basic necessities throughout the state of Michigan. The pledge total will allow FTC to help sustain 25,000 families with food and personal care items... Pistons Care Telethon nets $450K in pledges (Thu, 3/26)



Detroit News:

Charles Pugh is officially leaving WJBK-TV (Channel 2). The former weekend anchor and reporter says Thursday was his last day at the Fox affiliate. Pugh could not be reached for comment, but on his Facebook page he posted the following message: "The transition has BEGUN!!! The big announcement is coming." A WJBK spokeswoman confirms that Pugh is leaving the station and says that he will return as a special guest on "Fox 2 News Weekend" Saturday to announce and confirm future plans... Charles Pugh leaves WJBK (Fri, 3/27)

Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV (Channel 56), has five days to raise the money the local PBS affiliate needs to complete its historic $22 million capital campaign and prepare for the industry's digital future by June. So far, DPTV has raised $20.15 million. That puts the station less than $500,000 away from fulfilling its campaign obligations, which would trigger a $1.25 million Kresge Foundation challenge grant. DPTV has until Tuesday to make this happen... WTVS-TV is close to its goal (Fri, 3/27)



Detroit Free Press:

In these difficult times, Americans are looking for institutions they can trust, and that offer real value to their lives, the lives of their families and to their local communities. For 53 years, Detroit Public Television (Channel 56) has met that important standard in this community. With your help and your loyalty, DPTV and PBS have offered what has become the most trusted content on television for six years in a row, according to the national Roper Study. And we now make that content extensively available online, too. I am enthusiastic about serving as chair of the DPTV Board of Trustees, and to lead such a vital institution. Even in an era of more channels and more media than ever before, DPTV's average viewership has grown by more than 4% in prime time this season -- fastest of any public station in the top 20 metropolitan areas. It is an audience of 1.6 million people a week depending on public television for independence and wholesome programming that uplifts, rather than degrades... Help Detroit Public TV tune in to future (Fri, 3/27)

Want to take a ride with the No. 1 artist in the country? WYCD-FM (99.5) will debut the Taylor Swift Fearless Experience, an interactive mobile promotional unit showcasing Swift memorabilia and music, at 10:30 a.m. today at Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores. The rolling museum, says Tim Roberts, WYCD program director, is filled with cool stuff. The promotion includes a karaoke contest, and the grand prize winner gets to fly to Nashville to be on the Great American Country cable channel and sing for music executives at Big Machine, Swift's label ... WRCJ-FM (90.9), Detroit's classical and jazz music station, is holding its spring membership drive through April 5. As part of the drive, Dick Wallace and Carl Grapentine -- well-known to Detroit listeners from their years on the former classical music station WQRS-FM (105.1) -- are holding down guest-host slots on the public radio station... Names and Faces (Fri, 3/27)



Ann Arbor News:

WEMU, Eastern Michigan University's public radio station (89.1 FM) is taking its show on the road with a live pledge drive broadcast from the Michigan Theater. Live fundraising, which began Friday, continues at the Michigan Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. On Sunday, Arwulf Arwulf will be live with Sunday Best from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday live broadcasts take place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day... WEMU fund drive comes to Michigan Theater (Fri, 3/27)



Windsor Star:

CBC will reduce its English radio staff in Windsor by seven positions in May, but the morning and afternoon shows will stay on the air. There will also be layoffs at CBET-Channel 9, but the actual number won't be known until mid-April when a retirement incentive program is rolled out. While Windsor's Early Shift, hosted by Tony Doucette, and Barbara Peacock's Crosstown will remain on the air, the midday Ontario Today program out of Ottawa will be cut from two hours to one. Windsor's 6 p.m. newscast on Channel 9 won't be affected by cuts announced Thursday by Richard Stursberg, CBC's executive vice-president of English services. A total of 80 news positions were cut, along with 313 more in sports, entertainment, current affairs and support staff... CBC English radio to cut seven positions (Fri, 3/27)

Windsor's Channel 9 is safe for now, but jobs will be lost in the wake of Wednesday's announcement that CBC will slash 800 jobs from its payroll by mid-May. Six French-language jobs in Windsor are already gone, said a local union spokeswoman, and as many as eight more English jobs could vanish today. Celine Pelletier, president of Windsor's Canadian Media Guild local, said French TV and radio will be cut from nine employees to three as part of a network-wide move to save $171 million in operating costs. CBC president Hubert Lacroix told employees Wednesday up to 393 jobs will be cut in English radio and TV, with another 336 in French and 73 corporate positions. As well, the network plans to sell off $125 million worth of assets. But Jeff Keay, a CBC spokesman in Toronto, said that won't mean TV stations like Windsor's CBET (channel 9, cable 10)... CBC to spare local station (Thu, 3/26)


Detroit Free Press:

Detroit mayoral candidate Dave Bing spent nearly twice as much as Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. on radio and TV advertising in the two weeks before the Feb. 24 special primary, campaign finance reports show. The reports, which became available Friday, show Bing spent $350,691 on broadcast advertising between Feb. 9 and Feb. 24, while Cockrel spent $195,600. The spending dwarfed efforts by other candidates, including that of Freman Hendrix, who spent $173,330 on his entire campaign... Bing leader on TV, radio ad spending in Detroit mayoral race (Sat, 3/28)



Detroit News:

Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. and businessman Dave Bing will participate in a live televised debate April 23 on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), station officials announced tonight. The debate is set for 8-9 p.m. and is co-sponsored by the Michigan Chronicle, WJR and 92.3 WMXD. The two candidates have agreed to debate in front of the Detroit Economic Club on April 13 or 15, Bing campaign officials said... Cockrel, Bing to debate live on WXYZ-TV (Thu, 3/26)


Kalamazoo Gazette:

Local television newsrooms across the country have slashed staff positions, offered buyouts and even shuttered operations in the past year. It's evidence of an evolution in American journalism that has intensified with the economic downturn and mirrors what's happening to many newspapers across the country and in Michigan. West Michigan is not unaffected, but has been spared the worst. The four national media groups that own television stations in the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek market are struggling, yet say they are maintaining heavy local news schedules and expanding their online presence. Gannett Co. Inc., which owns WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, is the nation's largest publisher of newspapers. It announced last Monday a second round of mandatory, one-week furloughs for most of its employees across the country. California-based Freedom Communications, which owns WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo along with newspapers and TV stations across the United States, announced this month mandatory one-week furloughs for its employees. And in December, WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids offered buyouts to as many as 30 employees with at least 20 years of service... Broadcast media trimming staff, reshaping operations (Sun, 3/29)



Grand Rapids Press:

It's appropriate that WLAV-FM (96.9) opens its first live Blues on the Mall CD with a gritty, impressive performance of the song "Slow It Down" by Texas-based singer-guitarist Mike Zito. After all, not only did Zito kick off last year's popular Wednesday night series, but he'll do the same thing again this summer based on the 2009 lineup announced by the radio station a few days ago... CD featuring Grand Rapids' Blues on the Mall performances is packed with solid gems (Sun, 3/29)

It doesn't have the century-old tradition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," but a peppy theme song for Michigan's spring sports season on Fox Sports Detroit has been unleashed by East Grand Rapids' most promising young rock band -- the Good Luck Joes -- just in time for the Detroit Tigers' baseball home opener. The pop-rock quintet of East Grand Rapids High School graduates recently won Fox Sports Detroit's "April in the D" song contest, which could give the 6-year-old band its biggest publicity boost ever with daily TV exposure across the state... East Grand Rapids' Good Luck Joes' song for Michigan teams to debut with Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit (Sun, 3/29)

Now that he's community programming director for WPRR-AM, former City Commissioner Rick Tormala said he and "Friends of Labor" Director Buck Geno will debut a two-hour call-in show at 10 a.m. every Thursday. Later this spring, Tormala said he will begin airing a second politically-oriented talk show on the local non-profit station... Former Grand Rapids City Commissioner Rick Tormala will launch AM radio show (Wed, 3/25)


Detroit Free Press:

The Free Press will soon be coming to a television screen near you. In a new venture, the Free Press and WWJ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Detroit, will partner to produce news segments during the station's "First Forecast Mornings" segment beginning in May. With the station providing traffic and weather updates, the Free Press will provide news headlines and other material between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Beyond headlines, the segments will feature exclusive Free Press stories across a range of topics. "Everybody's going to want to know the water-cooler talk, a great news story, a sports team won, a tragedy or whatever it is," said Trey Fabacher, vice president and general manager of WWJ-TV. "Who better to give those top couple of stories" than the Free Press? he asked. Nancy Andrews, Free Press managing editor of digital media, called the TV segments "the next logical step forward" as the paper creates ways to reach its audience... Free Press will join WWJ-TV for reports (Sun, 3/29)


• Oldies WGTO AM 910 Cassopolis was granted a construction permit to increase daytime power from 1,000 to 5,700 watts and decrease nighttime power to 25 watts from 35 watts. The station will keep operating with a two-tower array both day and night.

• No notable activity for January 30 and February 2.


Split between Penhallow and WRIF now official

After 39 years, it appears that Arthur Penhallow can now be referred to as the former afternoon drive jock at WRIF-FM. Off the air since February, things seemed to be coming to a head last week when Penhallow posted a message on Facebook that his time at WRIF was over. Negotiations over the weekend didn't result in an agreement, and as of today 'Rif's website has been scrubbed of Penhallow's presence.

No word as of yet on who might be take over afternoon drive on a permanent basis, but for now at least it appears that Meltdown, who shifted from evenings, will continue to hold down the shift.

As for Penhallow, a Facebook status entered on Sunday reads, "Reality is starting to settle in and with it comes sadness and madness but with the outpouring of your support I am strong. Thank you all and God Bless you all. A new chapter begins and you'll be the first to know. Much Love!".




WWJ-TV, the CBS-owned station in Detroit, will launch First Forecast Mornings, a new live, local program weekdays from 5:00-7:00 a.m., beginning Tuesday, May 5. Targeting the growing and highly-mobile early morning viewing audience in Detroit, the program will deliver an ongoing report of current and forecasted weather as well as the most current conditions on area roads. Viewers will be able to tune in and quickly get the information they need from the program before they head for the door or make plans for the day. Data will be acquired using some of the newest and most-powerful weather software in the market along with sophisticated traffic mapping and direct links to the area's numerous traffic cameras operated by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)... Morning Weather and Traffic Coming to WWJ-TV (Mon, 3/30)



Public radio stations in Michigan to air special call-in program with Governor Granholm on Wednesday

Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm will take telephone calls from across the state during a live call-in show to air on Michigan Public Radio Network stations, on Wednesday, April 1, from 9 to 10 a.m.

"Michigan, What's On Your Mind? An Hour with Governor Jennifer Granholm" will be hosted by Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network managing editor and state capitol bureau chief. The call-in program will have an open format, with the governor fielding questions from listeners on a variety of topics. The governor is expected to focus on the turmoil in the automobile industry and her economic plans for Michigan.

Listener phone calls will be accepted during the program by calling toll-free (877) 952-7870.



Detroit News:

Did he stay or did he go? He went. Veteran WRIF-FM (101.1) afternoon air personality Arthur Penhallow is leaving the station. Despite months of negotiation, Greater Media and Penhallow were unable to come to an agreement on a new contract. Penhallow has been off the air since February.

"I left with my honor, dignity and integrity intact. I still love WRIF and most of the people who work there," Penhallow said. "All the support staff, the people on the air ... I just couldn't come to an agreement with the upper echelon."

"We are disappointed that we couldn't come to a contractual agreement with Arthur," said John Gallagher, Greater Media Detroit market manager, in a statement. "He is obviously a legend in the market and his many years of service to the industry are deeply appreciated. He will be sorely missed"... WRIF's Arthur Penhallow leaving (Mon, 3/30)

Mildred Gaddis presides over a lively talk show from 6-10 a.m. weekdays on WCHB-AM (1200). Known for her fiery attacks on ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick last year, she has surprised some with her opposition to the deal to expand Cobo Center. Is your friend Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson mad at you because you don't support the Cobo deal? L. Brooks Patterson has always respected my right to be wherever I choose to be on a particular issue. I saw him recently. I said, "Why don't you stop giving me a doggone heart attack, you've got the people crazed," and he just laughed. L. Brooks Patterson has done for the residents of Oakland County exactly what he should have done. Ken Cockrel has not done the same for Detroit... 3 Minutes with Mildred in the Morning (Mon, 3/30)


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)


• FM translator W207BX 89.3 Caro was granted a construction permit to change frequency to 88.9 as W205CH. The translator rebroadcasts religious KAWZ FM from Twin Falls, Idaho.

• No notable activity for February 4 - 5.


Detroit Free Press:

So long, baaaby! Arthur Penhallow, the deep-voiced DJ who has been a fixture at WRIF-FM (101.1) for 39 years, has parted ways with the station. But the legendarily rowdy personality who helmed the afternoon drive at Detroit's signature rock station said Monday he's not ready for retirement just yet. According to a WRIF press release Monday afternoon, the station said it was moving on without Penhallow, variously known as Arthur P, the Grand Poobah and Big Daddy. Along with being the station's most senior employee, Penhallow was a signature voice (and sometimes face) for WRIF's commercials and marketing promotions -- particularly the booming catchphrase baaaby! ... Penhallow referred to his time at the station as "39 charmed years." "I'm sad to be leaving, for sure," he added. "But I'm leaving with all my honor, dignity and integrity." Dick Kernen, now vice president/industry relations for the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, was program director at 101.1 when he hired the station's first on-air talent 39 years ago: Penhallow. Kernen now calls him one of a dozen or so distinctive personalities in Detroit radio history, along with Dick Purtan and Jim Harper... Bye-bye baby; Arthur Penhallow leaves WRIF (Tue, 3/31)







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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mike Austerman in March 2009.

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