Mike Austerman: April 2009 Archives

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

If you see a man resembling Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell in the "American Idol" audience on April 7 in Los Angeles and you're wondering whether you saw right, there's nothing wrong with your vision. Hopewell is scheduled to be in the personal cheering section of Matt Giraud, the "Idol" finalist from Kalamazoo, the politician told the Kalamazoo Gazette today. Often, the Fox TV cameras pan to family members and friends of contestants. And if, this morning, you thought you heard Gov. Jennifer Granholm on WKZO-AM (590) urging "Idol" show watchers to keep voting for Giraud, there's nothing wrong with your hearing. Hopewell had asked Granholm earlier this month to join him in a campaign to ensure that yet another Michigan native is a top-finishing "Idol" finalist. The governor last threw her support around LaKisha Jones, of Flint, who made it to fourth place in Season Six in 2007. Hopewell's and Granholm's well wishes today came just hours before the nine remaining contestants, which include Giraud, were to perform live on "American Idol"... 'American Idol' finalist Matt Giraud gets radio plug from Michigan's governor, Kalamazoo's mayor to be in 'Idol' audience (Tue, 3/31)

 

Fox 2 and WXYZ 7 to pool some news resources

Another sign of cost cutting is hitting local newsrooms, this time in television as WJBK TV 2 owner Fox Television Stations and WXYZ TV 7 owner E.W. Scripps Company announce a plan to pool content-gathering resources with each other, and possibly others in the market.

Here's the press release:

Fox Television Stations and The E.W. Scripps Company have created a local news service for the companies' stations in Detroit, Phoenix and Tampa with plans to include other partners in each of the markets.

Beginning in April 2009, the service will pool content-gathering resources at general market news events, allowing the stations to save on duplicate efforts. By reducing costs, the stations will be able to increase their focus and resources on specialized franchise reporting. The stations will continue to operate independently in all other respects of their businesses, including newsgathering operations.

Commenting on the agreement, Jack Abernethy, chief executive officer, Fox Television Stations, Inc., stated, "We are pleased to be working with Scripps, a company that faces reality, makes quick decisions and understands what it takes to keep local television robust and independent."

The news service management will autonomously identify the stories to be covered each day and make arrangements to collect and deliver the video back to each of the participating stations. Each station will then decide how to use the video adding their own reporting and editorial style.

"This news service will allow our existing staff to cover even more local news across multiple platforms," said Brian Lawlor, Scripps' senior vice president of television, "and we'll now have the resources to deliver that content with deeper storytelling and richer context."

Content produced by the local news service can be used across multiple platforms, including over-the-air broadcasts, and online and mobile reporting. All employees involved in the shared operation will remain employees of their respective news organizations.

 


 

WJBK-TV Fox 2

His deep, distinctive voice made him a Detroit radio icon. After 39 years at WRIF-FM 101.1, Arthur Penhallow, knowns as Arthur P., is departing from the station. However, the voice and personality that charmed and enterained generations of rock music fans in not about to retire. "Because of the recession... they decided to trim the fat, and I was the fat," said Penhallow. Penhallow credits the J. Giles Band for his signature phrase. "I give all the credit to Peter Wolf of the J. Giles Band for getting me so riled up that it just came out of me... Pretty soon, I was getting introduced as... the guy that says "baby" on the radio and it took off on me," Penhallow said... What's Next for Rock Jock Arthur P.? (Wed, 4/1)

 

AllAccess.com:

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

 

WDFN to reintroduce some local programming; Matt Shepard returning for mornings

Sports Radio 1130 WDFN has announced that Matt Shepard will be back as the station's morning host beginning on Monday April 6th at 7am. "Shep, Shower and Shave" makes it way back to The Motor City, just in time for Tigers Opening Day and The National Title Game at Ford Field. WDFN will promote itself as the only station in Detroit for local sports talk in the morning. Shep will be live with local athletes and coaches from The Detroit Sports Scene each day from 7 - 9 am, bringing with him a complete knowledge of the Detroit sports scene and a reputation as one of the best in the business.

 


 

Detroit News:

A month after returning to the Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM (101.9) airwaves with her "Essential Music" program, Ann Delisi now feels comfortable running the board in the station's spacious studio. She never got to use the new board or studio during her earlier stint on the station, from 1983-95. "I was sort of in on the blueprints, but I never made it into the actual studio. I had gone to the River (CIDR-FM, 93.9) by the time they opened it," Delisi said. After the River, Delisi was on the air at pop station WDVD-FM (96.3) and classical/jazz WRCJ-FM (90.9), so she knows how different commercial radio stations are from public radio. "When you see how the other half lives, public broadcasting in this form is really amazing, from a freedom standpoint and a musical standpoint," Delisi says. "I have a greater appreciation for it" ... In the February, morning show Arbitron PPM ratings, Purtan's show didn't do badly in the overall persons in the 12-plus age group, ranking fourth (Paul W. Smith/WJR-AM was No. 1, Mike in the Morning/WRIF-FM No. 2 and Joe Donovan/Roberta Jasina/WWJ-AM No. 3); although in the coveted 25-54 age group, the Purtan show didn't do as well, coming in at No. 12. That's still better than the Deminski & Doyle morning show on WCSX-FM (94.7), which came in at No. 15 for persons age 12-plus, and just slightly better, No. 14, in persons age 25-54. As for the Purtan show, look for a new sidekick to be introduced... soon... WDET-FM host Ann Delisi thankful for public broadcasting (Thu, 4/2)

 

• The construction permits for two Michigan LPTV stations, W05CR Ch. 5 Escanaba and W26DG Ch. 26 St. Ignace, were sold by Hispanic Christian Community Network to Confesora Peralta for $30,000 pending FCC approval and closing. Confesora Peralta, which is doing business as Alpena Broadcasting, has applied to extend the construction permits for these stations for eighteen months. W26DG was to expire on February 16th and W05CR on March 31st.

• The FCC dismissed the application for renewal of license for what was WOLY AM 1500, Battle Creek. The station has operated for an extended period without a license. FCC correspondence (.pdf).

• No notable activity for February 17 - 20.

 

ClickOnDetroit.com / WDIV TV:

Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers, who has raised eyebrows with her reported temper, will be interviewed on AM radio Saturday. Detroit Church & State Talk Radio Washington correspondent Nina Calahan James, legal analyst, Joseph Humphrey and host, Kwame Hardy will interview Conyers at 1 p.m. on 1500 AM WLQV Life Changing Talk Radio... Conyers To Appear On Radio Show (Fri, 4/3)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

WCSX/Detroit's D&D Collect 'Faces' Of Auto Industry: GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WCSX/DETROIT morning hosts JEFF DEMINSKI and BILL DOYLE are trying to put a face -- or, more precisely, thousands of faces -- on the crisis facing DETROIT's auto industry by collecting photos of people affected by the government's decisions on bailing out the business and turning them into a banner to be delivered to WASHINGTON. The "FACES NOT NUMBERS" campaign was devised by producer JIM O'BRIEN, who wanted to put the faces of Detroiters in front of the people making the call on how to handle the auto industry's travails to remind the politicians of the human lives at stake. The show is collecting photos by e-mail and regular mail and plans to set up collections at factories and other strategic locations in the region. DEMINSKI said, "60 days, 30 days, percentage of market share, loss columns, billions in loans...the numbers can make the politicians and the rest of America forget these are real people with real families that will be forever changed by what comes next with the troubled auto industry. We're putting faces to the numbers as a reminder of that." (Fri, 4/3)

 

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

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

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

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

 

• Trinity Broadcasting LPTV station W17CS Ch. 17 Marquette was granted a construction permit to flash cut to digital transmissions. Remaining on Ch. 17, W17CS will increase its effective radiated power and should expand its coverage area once it switches to digital.

• No notable activity for February 24.

 

Grand Rapids Press:

If you're a country music fan, you'll be watching! With entertainers such as Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Toby Keith scheduled to perform, tonight's Academy of Country Music awards show (8 p.m., CBS) offers another chance to see all of your favorite stars. And there's another reason to tune in, especially if you're a fan of "The Electric Barnyard." Local radio personality Broadway, of WBCT-FM's popular nighttime radio show on B-93, was nominated for an industry award as on-air personality of the year for medium markets. "To be considered one of the top five (people) in the medium markets in the country, that's quite an honor -- to be recognized at that level," said Broadway, whose show airs weekdays on B-93 from 7 p.m. to midnight with his intern sidekick, Crawl. A native of Marne, Broadway (whose real name is Bill Bertshinger) is starting his fourth year with B-93 and has been working in radio full time since he graduated from high school. Now 27, Broadway says being nominated for the ACMs is a validation of his career... B-93 radio DJ Broadway gets Academy of Country Music nomination for on-air personality of the year (Sun. 4/5)

 

WPON AM 1460 Walled Lake was granted a construction permit to move transmission site and modify power and patterns. Licensed daytime power will change from 1,000 watts / 4 towers to 670 watts / 4 towers. Licensed nighttime power will change from 760 watts / 3 towers to 175 watts / 3 towers. WPON will downgrade to Class D from Class B and its licensed location will move west from Benstein Rd. to between Wixom and Old Plank Rds near Maple Rd. A virtually identical consrtuction permit was granted in 2005 but never completed.

 

WCSX morning duo Deminski & Doyle need your photo

D&D have launched the "Faces Not Numbers" project at their new WCSX home and are trying to collect as many photos as possible of Michigan families that have been impacted by the struggling auto industry. Production line workers, parts suppliers, even restaurant employees and retailers who've been hurt by the auto industry crisis, are being asked to send the morning hosts their family photos which will then be turned into one long banner and presented to lawmakers in Washington D.C. as "a stark reminder of the human toll" of the economic crisis impacting America's automobile business.

"Numbers can make politicians and the rest of Americans forget that these are real people with real families who will be forever changed by what comes next in the troubled auto industry," said Deminski. "We're putting faces to the numbers as a reminder of that."

To submit your photo, visit www.wcsx.com.

 


 

Michigan Radio Completes Successful Spring Membership Drive

Michigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan, finished a very successful spring membership drive last Friday at 7:30 p.m. The on-air fundraiser, which ran from March 27- April 3, generated over 6400 pledges totaling more than $620,000 from donors across southern Michigan and northern Ohio. Of that, nearly 2900 pledges came from first time donors to the station, resulting in a 50% increase in new donors compared to last spring's drive.

Overall, the spring 2009 membership drive's success amounts to a five percent increase in total dollars pledges over last spring's campaign. The station also continues to see an increase in donors contributing online, with 30% of all pledges coming through the station's website, compared to 23% in spring, 2008.

In addition to the financial donations, the station also received contributions from 21 food donors and the services of over 300 volunteers who helped in answering phones. The money raised during the membership drive helps pay for programming costs at the station, with membership support being the station's single largest source of income.

The success of this membership drive is particularly noteworthy since Michigan Radio continued the innovative approach it introduced during the fall 2008 membership drive and actually decreased the amount of on-air fundraising hours. In fact, Michigan Radio reduced the number of active fundraising hours by more than 20% compared to last spring's membership drive and eliminated fundraising breaks entirely during many weekday and weekend programs. The station made this change in response to listener requests to reduce the amount of on-air fundraising.

"In light of the current economic challenges in our state, we are so appreciative of the support we continue to receive from our members," says Director of Broadcasting Steve Schram. "Despite the changing media landscape, our listeners continue to affirm the value they place on public radio and the service we provide."

Michigan Radio is an NPR news station and the state's most listened-to public radio service, attracting approximately 450,000 listeners each week across the southern half of Michigan. Michigan Radio serves Detroit and southeast Michigan at 91.7 FM, west Michigan at 104.1 FM, and 91.1 FM in the Flint area. Michigan Radio is a service of Michigan Public Media.

 


 

WJR's Frank Beckmann Show to broadcast from Detroit Opera House for Tigers Opening Day

Listeners are invited to stop by the Cadillac Café at the Detroit Opera House, located at 1526 Broadway in Detroit, directly across the street from Comerica Park on Friday, April 10, 2009 from 9am - Noon to check out a live broadcast of the Frank Beckmann Show as the Detroit Tigers 2009 home campaign gets started.

 


 

Detroit News:

Controversial City Council President Monica Conyers is getting into the talk show business. On Tuesday, "Ask the Councilwoman With Monica Conyers" debuts on WHPR-TV (Channel 33) from 3:30-4 p.m. It will be filmed at the station's studios in Highland Park, the same day the council has its weekly sessions. Conyers, the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, will interview guests, offer two minutes of commentary and take calls from the public. She's hoping her first show will feature interviews with Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. as well as his mayoral opponent, businessman Dave Bing. Neither has confirmed... Council president Conyers to debut TV talk show Tuesday (Mon, 4/6)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

WMGC Presents 'The Magic 80's Prom': GREATER MEDIA AC WMGC (MAGIC 105.1)/DETROIT presents "THE MAGIC '80s PROM" on SATURDAY (4/11) at the ROYAL OAK MUSIC THEATRE hosted by JIM HARPER and THE MAGIC on-air staff. DETROIT's newest '80s female-fronted tribute act, THE SQUARE PEGZ will be performing hits from the era. In between sets, VJ CHOOCH will show favorite '80s music videos. In addition, MICHAEL ANGELO SALON will be on hand to style guests hair for the occasion, along with '80s video games. The grand-prize winner will receive two tickets to see GREASE at the FISHER THEATRE, and a chance to meet AMERICAN IDOL and lead character TAYLOR HICKS. (Mon, 4/6)

WMUZ/Detroit To Stimulate The Local Economy: CRAWFORD BROADCASTING Christian AC WMUZ (103.5 THE LIGHT)/DETROIT is working to stimulate the economy in metro DETROIT with "REVIVAL ON WHEELS." The focus of the campaign is to give reasons for buying a car in DETROIT during this current economy. PSAs voiced by government officials, dealership and union leaders, autoworkers and lending institutions will help this grassroots effort to touch the lives of listeners who may be intimidated at this time to go out and purchase a car. Already committed to the effort is CHEVROLET GM ED PEPPERS, UAW President RON GETTELFINGER, U.S. Representative THADDEUS McCOTTER, OAKLAND COUNTY Executive L. BROOKS PATTERSON and prominent attorney NORMAN YATOOMA of NORMAN YATOOMA AND ASSOCIATES. "REVIVAL ON WHEELS helps WMUZ to demonstrate true religion by being good citizens and taking the initiative to help turn our economy around," said GM FRANK FRANCIOSI. "In some ways, our troubled economy is more psychological and if we can motivate our listeners to make a smart automobile purchase, then we can really help make a difference in our local economy." (Mon, 4/6)

 

Muskegon Chronicle:

John VanWyck has been the constant. Even before the "Talkin' Muskegon" radio show on WKBZ (1090 AM) was the "Talkin' Muskegon' radio show on WKBZ, VanWyck held forth on another Muskegon station. "Talk 'n' Tunes" was a Saturday morning staple on station WEFG (97.5 FM). Originally hosted by VanWyck and Oscar Osbo, that program's cast of characters included Greg Roberts, Anette Buchholz, Bob Eacker, Brian Werschem and yours truly. VanWyck, Roberts and Werschem eventually landed in the Clear Channel Communications studios on Green Street, a venue best known as the home of popular West Michigan country music station WMUS (106.9 FM). There, "Talkin' Muskegon" on WKBZ -- Muskegon's first and most historic radio station -- has become a Friday afternoon tradition: Real, legitimate local radio taking up the afternoon drive shift from 3-6 p.m. On April 3, the show celebrated its eighth anniversary, with VanWyck and Dean Smith at the controls, and Werschem when he finally arrived leading into the second hour. Roberts departed the airwaves years before... 'Talkin' Muskegon' (Mon, 4/6)

 

• The FCC has granted a petition to modify the FM table of allotments for Evart, Ludington, Pentwater, and Manistee. A new Class A allotment has been created that could provide Evart its first local service at FM 102.7. In order to 'make room' for this potential new station, WMOM Pentwater will move from 102.7 to 96.3, a presently vacant allotment at Ludington will change from 96.3 to 97.7, and WMLQ Manistee will shift from 97.7 to 104.3. The new 102.7 allotment to Evart and the currently vacant Ludington allotment will be auctioned off by the FCC at a later date; meanwhile WMLQ and WMOM will be required to apply for construction permits to change their frequencies and the ultimate permittee of 102.7 Evart will be required to reimburse the owners of WMLQ and WMOM for allowed expenses related to their respective frequency changes. FCC Report and Order (.pdf)

 

WYDM 97.5 Monroe was granted its license to cover for a power increase from 8 to 49 watts.

 

• No notable activity for March 2nd - 6th and 9th.

 

WLCM 1390 was granted its license to cover for a community of license change from Charlotte to Holt and change to two site operations with the station's new nighttime power increasing from 70 to 4,500 watts.

 

• Veritas Communications Corp. was granted a construction permit for a new FM radio station to be licensed to Athens, MI at 88.9. The construction permit specifies the Class A station would operate with 5,900 watts at 138 feet from an antenna located in Calhoun county south of Battle Creek.

 

• No notable activity for March 11th - 12th.

 

WFUP TV 45 Vanderbilt was granted a construction permit for its digital facilites on Channel 45 which will operate with 108,000 watts.

 

• Construction permit granted to WUPZ FM 94.9 to change its community of license from Crystal Falls to Chocolay Township and increase power from 6,200 watts @ 157 feet to 58,000 watts @ 456 feet. The station's broadcast location would also change from Iron to Marquette county.

 

• The proposal to change the digital TV allocation for WPXD Ann Arbor from channel 31 to channel 19 (with a move to Southfield) was terminated by the FCC because of a conflict with a DTV allocation in London, ON. FCC Order (.pdf)

 

• No notable activity for March 17th - 19th.

 

WAAM AM 1600 Ann Arbor has withdrawn is application for a major change which would have moved the station into the Metro Detroit area if it had ultimately been approved by the FCC.

 

• No notable activity for March 23rd - 24th.

 

Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit Public Television has closed out a $22 million capital campaign that will fund, among other things, a new satellite studio located in Detroit. The station, which left Detroit four years ago to move into a state-of-the-art broadcasting building in Wixom, is talking with a couple of different organizations about a new studio in downtown Detroit, said General Manager Rich Homberg. He declined to identify sites the station might be considering, and said it isn't yet clear whether the station will lease or purchase space.

"But I would expect this is something we would expect to launch within the next 12 months," Homberg said. "We're committed to having a studio location in Detroit."

The station's commitment to return to the city sprang from conversations with the community and regional leaders as it wrapped up its capital campaign, he said, and as it looked at where television and all media are headed... Detroit Public Television closes capital campaign, looks for downtown studio space (Wed, 4/8)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

WRIF Ups Suzy Cole To APD/MD: GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WRIF/DETROIT has upped SUZY COLE to APD/MD for the 38-year-old heritage Rock station. "SUZY's experience, energy and passion for the music made her the most obvious choice for this position, especially given the integral role she has played in the development of RIFF 2," said WRIF PD MARK PENNINGTON. "We're thrilled to be able to promote from within and have her take on a more substantial role at WRIF." COLE has been in the radio industry since her early high school years in GRAND RAPIDS. Since then, she has worked in a variety of capacities ranging from on-air and production to programming and sales. In addition, she has spent the past four years at WRIF-FM as a Production Assistant and on-air talent. COLE was also the driving force behind the award winning HD multicast side channel, RIFF2. (Wed, 4/8)

WYCD Announces Lineup For 'Downtown Hoedown': CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT has announced the lineup for their 27th Annual 99.5 WYCD DOWNTOWN HOEDOWN, taking place MAY 15-17 at HART PLAZA. Artists that are slated to appear this year include: WILLIE NELSON, RODNEY ATKINS, PHIL VASSAR, JESSICA ANDREWS, BOMSHEL, LUKE BRYAN, JOSH GRACIN, DARRYL WORLEY, LEE ANN WOMACK, JASON MICHAEL CARROLL, ZAC BROWN BAND, TRAILER CHOIR, WHITNEY DUNCAN, JESSICA HARP, JUSTIN MOORE, STEPHEN COCHRAN, ADAM GREGORY and more. The event is free and open to the public. For more info, including a complete daily concert schedule, visit www.wycd.com. (Wed, 4/8)

89X Celebrates 18th Birthday This Summer: CTVGLOBEMEDIA Alternative CIMX (89X)/DETROIT has announced its 18th "89X BIRTHDAY BASH," which will be held JULY 26th at DTE ENERGY MUSIC THEATRE with INCUBUS and THE DUKE SPIRIT. (Wed, 4/8)

 

• Low power television translator W42CB Ch. 42 Hesperia, which rebroadcasts FOX affiliate WXMI Ch. 17 Grand Rapids, was granted a construction permit to flash cut its operations to digital on Ch. 42.

 

• Smile FM has been granted a construction permit for a new Class A station at 91.5 FM China Township (near Algonac) in St. Clair county. The station would operate with 1,050 watts @ 246 feet with a directional pattern that would cover southern St. Clair county.

 

WHYT 88.1 FM Imlay City (also owned by Smile FM) was granted a construction permit to increase its power from 400 watts (V) @ 581 feet non-directional to 12,500 watts @ 581 feet directional.

 

Grand Rapids Press:

I'd like to invite everyone to join me 10 p.m. Sunday, when I return to WYCE-FM (88.1) for a guest DJ slot on the "Guest List With Michael Cunningham" show. Last time, my set coincided with the perverse commercial exercise known as Valentine's Day, and I was more than happy to spin my favorite break-up and down-with-love songs... Medium Fidelity returns to the WYCE airwaves Sunday night (Thu, 4/9)

 

Huron Daily Tribune:

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

 


 

AllAccess.com:

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

 

Detroit News:

Willie Nelson, Rodney Atkins and Lee Ann Womack are among the more than 50 artists who have been enlisted for this year's WYCD-FM (99.5) Downtown Hoedown, May 15-17, at Detroit's Hart Plaza. The free 27th annual concert features 20 national artists and more than 30 local acts. "We have a great lineup with a cross-section of all types of genres of country music," says Tim Roberts, program director at WYCD. "The thing I really like about country music is there's so many different forms of it, and we have everything from a progressive gal like Jessica Harp; we've got a No. 1 hitmaker like Rodney Atkins; a great songwriter like Phil Vassar; and a guy like Willie Nelson, the all-time classic. "It's a great free show for Detroit"... Willie Nelson to be at Detroit's free Downtown Hoedown in May (Thu, 4/9)

Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV (Channel 56), has achieved its $22 million capital campaign goal. Not only is it the largest amount raised by the local PBS affiliate in its 54-year history, it happened despite Metro Detroit's bleak economic environment... Channel 56 hits record fundraising goal (Thu, 4/9)

 

• The FCC gave final approval of the long outstanding deal between Clear Channel and Cumulus that resulted in 8 Michigan stations in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek shifting from Clear Channel ownership to Cumulus.

 

• No notable activity for March 30th - 31st, April 1st - 3rd, and April 6th.

 

• Best Media, owner of FM translator W206BI 89.1 Hamtramck, was fined a total of $2,000 for late license renewals and unauthorized operation for 4 of its translator stations. FCC Forfeiture Order (.pdf)

 

Central Michigan Life:

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

 

Detroit News:

With the axing of Dick Purtan sidekicks Dana Mills and "Ankles" Stewart , who'll replace them on the veteran WOMC-FM (104.3) morning man's show? Starting Monday, Purtan will test-drive guest co-hosts all week, with Channel 2 health reporter Deena Centofanti doing the 5-10 a.m. stint Monday and Tuesday, and former WCSX-FM (94.7) morning host J.J. Johnson joining Purtan on Wednesday and Thursday. J.J.'s former WCSX co-host Lynne Woodison will take the wheel on Friday morning... Society confidential: Who will Purtan pick? (Fri, 4/10)

 

WZUU Kalamazoo drops Mancow, Scotty Bud moves to mornings on Monday

Changes are coming to the on-air lineup on Kalamazoo's rocker 92.5 WZUU-FM starting Monday April 13th. Kalamazoo radio veteran Scotty 'Bud' Melvin will be taking over the morning show (6 - 10 a.m.) and waking up Southwest Michigan again, something he did for fifteen years prior to arriving at WZUU. "Mancow's Morning Madhouse" has been dropped from the station's lineup.

Melvin was most recently host of 'The Afternooner' from 2 - 6 p.m. on WZUU. Kevin Nash will continue in the midday shift (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.) and Taz and 'The Big Dumb Radio Show' will move to 3 - 8 p.m. Scotty Bud has been on the air in the Kalamazoo area since 1987. He is also the Program Director for WZUU.

"It's going to be great to wake up with everyone again. We'll have a local flavor, talk plenty of sports, and of course play Kalamazoo's Real Rock."

Scotty Bud will be joined by Traver McLaughlin, who previously worked in sports-talk radio in Phoenix.

 

Deano Day

Long time Detroit-based disc jockey Deano Day passed away due to complications of heart surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on Friday, April 10th. Deano had just turned 70 years old days before his death. Born Ordean Anton Moen, he later legally changed his name to Deano Day.

Day was a three-time CMA award-winning "Broadcaster of the Year" and his career spanned the United states but called Detroit home. He was the morning show host on what was country WDEE AM 1500 and also several other local radio stations including the former WCXI AM 1130 Detroit and the current WCXI AM 1160 Fenton. He went on to be a station owner.

Friends remember Deano as an amazing and giving man who will be greatly missed.

Memorial visitation for Deano Day will be held at the Verheyden Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Park on Tuesday April 14th from 4 - 8 p.m. The funeral will be Wednesday 11:00 a.m. at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms. Obituary from Verheyden Funeral Homes

Image courtesy of Larry Garcia, DetroitCountryMusic.com

 

Traverse City Record-Eagle:

A former disc jockey who contends he was harassed, abused and underpaid by a local radio station owner filed a lawsuit. Daniel S. Harrell, also known as Dan Stevens, worked as a disc jockey, production manager and sales person for WLDR-FM 101.9 "Sunny Country" from October 2007 until December, according to his suit. The suit names station owner Roy Henderson and several radio companies that "share authority" over the station, said Harrell's attorney, Jeff Jocks. The suit alleges Henderson "on a regular and systematic basis, and without provocation, harassed, insulted, assaulted, battered, demeaned, enslaved and violated" Harrell throughout his course of employment. Threats and assaults made on Harrell by Henderson "created in him a well-founded and continuing fear of imminent peril," according to the suit... Ex-DJ suing station owner, radio companies (Sat, 4/11)

 

Detroit News:

Deano Day, the longtime king of country radio in Metro Detroit, died Friday, April 10, 2009, at Henry Ford Hospital after complications from heart surgery. The one-time Country Music Association Disc Jockey of the Year and four-time winner of Billboard magazine's best country disc jockey award was 70. "Uncle Deano" to many of his fans, Mr. Day had been a mainstay on country radio in Metro Detroit in the 1970s and 1980s, including WCXI, WDEE and Pontiac's WPON... DJ was voice of country music radio (Mon, 4/13)

 

WDIV partners with United Way for Neighbors4Neighbors Forum

WDIV TV Local 4, and ClickOnDetroit.com today announced a partnership with United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Together they are launching "Neighbors4Neighbors" a new online forum that helps people give and get advice about the issues that matter when you lose a job. The website - www.N4NMichigan.org., will launch on April 14, and will offer visitors an opportunity to share timely advice and information about job loss, healthcare, finances and other topics. WDIV and ClickOnDetroit.com will be the exclusive media partners for Neighbors4Neighbors.

The site will be linked from ClickOnDetroit.com, which averages 1.7 million unique visitors monthly. Local 4's on-air talent will also be featured in a series of promotional announcements for Neighbors4 Neighbors beginning on April 14.

"Neighbors4Neighbors is a very innovative approach to addressing the issues that matter most to our viewers in this economy," said Marla Drutz, WDIV Vice President and General Manager. "WDIV Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.com is proud to utilize our position as the number one website in southeast Michigan as a platform for solutions and support," she added.

Neighbors4Neighbors is the result of a successful collaboration between United Way and the University of Michigan's School of Information. In pooling resources and talents, the two organizations developed a novel way to tap informal networks, allowing unemployed workers the power to communicate with one another in real time.

Neighbors4Neighbors is an outcome of Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm's Keep Michigan Working Task Force. "The value of Neighbors4Neighbors is that it allows people to help themselves right away--and eliminates the wait. This collaborative online resource and community discussion forum will be a catalyst for leading social change in the region," said Michael Brennan, president and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and chair of the Governor's Keep Michigan Working community outreach committee.

 


 

WDTW-FM 106.7, The Fox, and The Chad Show to present "The Inaugural Unemployed Olympics"

WDTW-FM's The Chad Show is encouraging the area's unemployed to take part in what's its calling The Inaugural Unemployed Olympics for a shot at tickets to see Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd on July 17th during their Rock and Rebels Tour.

Some of the creative events they've cooked up will include: Printer Throwing, Pin the Blame on the Boss, Coffee Racing - No spills, Mouse Mat Discus. Tie Tying, and Hands Free Urinal-Cake Carving.

Listeners are invited to visit the Clear Channel studios in Farmington Hills (27675 Halsted) at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday April 16th to take part in the fun.

 


 

Detroit News:

The content-sharing partnership between WJBK-TV (Channel 2) and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) started this week, allowing the Metro Detroit Fox and ABC affiliates, respectively, to pool resources at general news events and eliminate duplicate efforts. Earlier this month, both stations' parent companies, Fox Television Stations and the E.W. Scripps Co., made similar moves in Phoenix and Tampa in a venture called Local News Service or LNS. Fox and NBC affiliates in Philadelphia were the first in the country to test-drive the LNS method last year, and when top brass realized they were saving money and their reporters and photographers suddenly had more time to devote to enterprise stories, they were sold. "Now when the news of the day breaks, there won't be 15 news cameras and microphones jockeying for the same footage," says Jeff Murri, WJBK's vice president and general manager. "It's a necessary evolution for our business"... Fox, ABC affiliates pool news starting this week (Tue, 4/14)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

A series of cost-cutting measures by Regent Broadcasting has left longtime radio personality Bruce Parrott without an on-air home. Parrott has worked at Regent stations for about 14 years, most recently as morning show co-host on WFGR-FM (98.7), the oldies station. The company also has cut WLHT-FM (95.7) personality Denis Prior from its roster. Phil Catlett, president and general manager of Regent in Grand Rapids, said the cuts were made for "totally economic" reasons. The downturn, he said, has cut into advertising revenue. Parrott and Prior are "great people, very talented," Catlett said. "Some of the advertising realities we're dealing with right now are forcing us to do as much as we can to control our expenses"... Regent Broadcasting cuts Bruce Parrott at WFGR, Denis Prior at WLHT (Tue, 4/14)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

WLHT Announces New Line-Up: REGENT AC WLHT/GRAND RAPIDS afternoon host DENIS PRIOR exits due to budget cuts. Midday talent KIM CARSON moves to afternoons and JOHN TESH moves from nights to middays. OM JERRY "JT" TARRANTS replaces JOHN TESH at night. The new WLHT line-up is as follows:
6-10a - BARNABY & FRIENDS
10a-3pm - JOHN TESH
3-7p - KIM CARSON
7p-12a - JT

In other station news, MARK SUMMERS (a.k.a. MUTT) of MUTT PRODUCTIONS has been named as the new voice of WLHT replacing the late great BRIAN JAMES. (Tue, 4/14)

 


 

TVnewsday:

The Gannett ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich., WZZM, has expanded its cable coverage on Comcast in southwest Michigan. Comcast systems in Battle Creek, Lawton, Oshtemo and Three Rivers are now carrying WZZM's standard-definition and high-definition signals. These systems are also carrying WZZM's 13 On Target Weather Network, a 24/7 local weather channel for West Michigan. WZZM's SD channel is part of Comcast's basic package... WZZM Expands Cable Coverage in SW Michigan (Tue, 4/14)

 

WDIV Honored With 2009 Murrow Award

WDIV-TV Detroit, Local 4, has been honored for excellence in journalism by the Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation (RTNDA). The station is a proud recipient of a coveted 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award for the WDIV special Fuel's Gold: From Detroit to Shanghai as outstanding News Documentary.

RTNDA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. The Edward R. Murrow Award is considered one of the most prestigious awards a news organization can achieve. Fuel's Gold: From Detroit to Shanghai won the top award for News Documentary in Region 7 of the large market TV category.

Fuel's Gold: From Detroit to Shanghai, a half-hour documentary, chronicled the automotive state of the art and the impressive showing of Detroit automakers General Motors and Ford among the green elite. In November of 2007, WDIV traveled to Shanghai, China to cover Michelin's Challenge Bibendum, a unique gathering of the world's cutting-edge automotive minds, ideas and vehicles. What may have been the greenest parade of vehicles in history also amounted to a high stakes roulette table on which the world's carmakers were placing their bets on hybrids, biofuels, fuel cells and hydrogen. Fuel's Gold: From Detroit to Shanghai captured this intense focus on the future of the automotive industry and, largely, the future of Detroit.

Fuel's Gold: From Detroit to Shanghai was written, produced and hosted by WDIV Local 4 News anchor Devin Scillian, filmed by WDIV Local 4 News photojournalist Tim Pamplin, and edited by WDIV Local 4 News special projects editor Vanessa Ogletree.

It's the trio's second Edward R. Murrow Award. They also won the honor in 2007 for The China Syndrome, a documentary exploring the rise of the Chinese economy and its impact on Michigan's manufacturing base.

 


 

Windsor Star:

Melanie Deveau, longtime afternoon drive host at CKLW-AM (800), was fired this morning in a round of layoffs at the CTV-owned radio stations."It's a bloodbath over there," said Deveau, a 25-year veteran of the local station... Axe falls at CKLW, sister stations (Wed, 4/15)

 


 

Vince Cannova Ends Nearly 20-Year Run At 89X: CHUM RADIO Alternative CIMX (89X)/DETROIT PD/afternooner VINCE CANNOVA exits after almost 20 years with the station. CANNOVA was elevated from APD/MD to PD back in NOVEMBER 2006 and was a longtime on-air fixture at 89X. Also, 89X midday vet HOLLY HUTTON has exited. (Wed, 4/15)

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

Deano Day, the longtime voice of country music on the Detroit airwaves, will be laid to rest today. The well-known DJ, 70, died Friday of complications after heart surgery. Known as Uncle Deano to his listeners, Day was a four-time winner of Billboard magazine's best country disc jockey award and also a winner of the Country Music Association's DJ of the year award. In Detroit, Day started work at WDEE-AM (1500) in 1971 before shifting over to WCXI-AM (1130) and, later, Pontiac's WPON-AM (1460). He worked at numerous stations and cities over the years, but always considered Detroit home. "Everyone woke up to the famous 'It's a Country Deano Day' jingle," said Larry Garcia, founder of DetroitCountryMusic.com. "He was known to play humorous songs, parodies (some of which he created), bring oddball characters to the studio and generally show that life can be a good time"... Country DJ Deano Day to be celebrated (Wed, 4/15)

 


 

Radio and Records / Street Talk Daily:

J. Geils Must Have Got Lost: Somewhere down the line ... but now they've been found! How cool is this? After enduring the reunions of every cheesy '80s band in the world, the authentically cool reunion that fans have been waiting years for is now a reality: Boston's legendary J. Geils Band has agreed to reunite at the Fillmore in Detroit for one very special occasion - the April 24 Birthday Breakdown, celebrating 22 years of Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX. Getting all the original band members (J. Geils, Peter Wolf, Magic Dick, etc.) wasn't easy, and that task fell to the guy that some are now calling "the Henry Kissinger of rock band reunions," Greater Media/Detroit Director of Rock Programming Doug Podell: "I had to spend a half hour on the phone talking to Peter - we go back - to assure him it was going to be big and special," Podell tells ST Daily. "The demand for tickets is crazy! We did two shows, and they sold out in 13 minutes! I have to thank Dave Clark and everyone at Live Nation for all their hard work and planning to help us bring them in for the WCSX 22nd anniversary." Podell says all the original band members will be performing together, and it does not appear that they are booking any more dates at this time. "We just started giving away the tickets on-air, along with $94 in cash," says Podell. "One guy said, 'Thanks, I can use the money, but all I wanted were those Geils tickets.' Welcome to Detroit Rock City!" (Wed, 4/15)

Spank Buda, weekend personality heard live on WGCI/Chicago and via voicetrack on WKKV (V100.7 Jams)/Milwaukee, will relocate from Chicago to Detroit to accept the night show host position (7-11 p.m.) at Clear Channel CHR/top 40 sister WKQI (Channel 95.5)/Detroit. He gets started on Monday (April 20) and will shorten his moniker to "Buda." He replaces Big Boy (now known as Chunky), who resigned last month to join newly launched CBS top 40 WXRK (92.3 Now FM)/New York... Buda Tapped For Nights At WKQI (Wed, 4/15)

 


 

Detroit News:

One week into Monica Conyers' stint as a talk show host, and she's already relying on reruns. The City Council president was a no-show Tuesday for "Ask the Councilwoman With Monica Conyers" on WHPR-TV (Channel 33). The show is filmed live at 3:30 p.m. at the station's studios in Highland Park. After showing commercials for 10 minutes, the station aired last week's debut episode... Council president Conyers skips TV show filming (Wed, 4/15)

 

Windsor Star:

Windsor's struggling radio and TV outlets took another hit Wednesday when longtime CKLW-AM announcer Melanie Deveau was fired. The 46-year-old host of AM-800's afternoon Windsor Now was among six employees -- five full-time and one part-time -- who were let go by station owner, CTV Globemedia. Also fired were 89X program director and on-air host Vince Canova, Windsor Now producer Ron Stang, program assistants Holly Hutton and Lisa Lozon, and general sales manager Sandra Naposlen. "This was certainly a shock," said Deveau, who arrived for a regular Wednesday staff meeting only to be told she was fired and sent home. Deveau has been an employee of CTV and previous owner, CHUM, since 1984. She worked for six years in Toronto before moving back to her hometown Windsor in 1990... Deveau a casualty of CKLW firings (Wed, 4/15)

 

Time to tweak

It's been relatively quiet as far as major news goes about the Detroit airwaves. A few relatively small changes to note over the weekend:

- WTVS TV Channel 56 followed through with its plans to turn off its analog transmitter last week and now broadcasts only in digital.

- Oldies are out once again at WOMC FM 104.3 - the station now ID's itself simply as 104.3 WOMC, Detroit's Greatest Hits. The station's musical selections now heavily feature pop/rock songs from the 1970s and 1980s along with classic 1960's songs from the biggest artists of that decade.

- Deminski and Doyle at classic rock WCSX FM 94.7 have had their morning air shift trimmed back an hour; their mostly-talk fest now wraps at 9 a.m. instead of 10 when the station shifts back into mostly-music mode.

 


 

Michigan Radio (WUOM/WFUM/WVGR) staff honored for News Excellence

Staff from Michigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan, were recognized with several awards from the Detroit Metropolitan Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for news coverage in 2008. Among these were three first place awards, three second place awards, and two third place awards, which were presented at a banquet on April 15 in Troy. In addition to the awards for news coverage, Michigan Radio's Dustin Dwyer was honored as a Finalist for Young Journalist of the Year.

Michigan Radio received SPJ Awards for broadcast journalism in the following categories: Features Reporting, News Special/Documentary, Investigative Reporting, General News Reporting, Newscast, and Spot or Breaking News Reporting.

The judges-- the Chicago, Minnesota and North Central Florida professional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists--enthusiastically praised the winning entries. They commented that, in general, "Michigan Radio has some of the most listenable and professional newscasts in the country. They are a joy to listen to and the reporting is superb."

Of Jennifer Guerra's Northern Arts Series, First Place in Features Reporting, judges noted that this "inspired and diverse series of feature stories" is "what feature radio reporting should be." The SPJ judges also praised "Foreclosing on the American Dream" on "tackling a formidable subject in a moving, instructional way."

The Detroit SPJ Chapter presents Excellence in Media awards annually for outstanding news reporting and analysis in local publications, broadcast, and new electronic media. This year's contest received 325 entries from Detroit area newspapers, magazines, and broadcast outlets. All of these entries aired between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

 


 

AllAccess.com:

Bo Money Exits Radio One/Detroit: ALL ACCESS has just learned that RADIO ONE DETROIT Cluster Program Manager BO MONEY is out. BO was overseeing Urban WHTD, Urban AC WDMK and Black Gospel WCHB. Our sources say the economy and declining sales were the reason for the move. No official word on a replacement. (Mon, 4/20)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Popular longtime WOOD-AM (1300) radio morning show host Gary Allen is "doing great" at Spectrum Health's Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center after undergoing successful double-bypass heart surgery Monday morning. "He's a trooper," said Allen's wife, Laurie, noting the radio host was sitting up in bed by late afternoon. "I think that's pretty good that he's talking to me at 4 o'clock after four hours." Allen, 62, has been off the air since Wednesday after experiencing shortness of breath and "chest discomfort" caused by blockage in two arteries, Laurie Allen said. After three hours of surgery, the prognosis for Allen is excellent, she said. Doctors expect four to six weeks of recovery time, though Allen is "planning on three weeks," she said. "He'd love to go back (to WOOD-AM) in three weeks, but we'll see." It's the second time in three years the veteran Grand Rapids radio voice has been off the air after undergoing surgery... WOOD-AM radio host Gary Allen 'doing great' after double-bypass heart surgery, wife says (Mon, 4/20)

 

And more tweaking

Looks like another morning show has lost its 9-10 a.m. hour as Dick Purtan and Purtan's People heard on WOMC 104.3 now sign off at 9 in favor of a long music set that this morning lasted about 45 minutes without a break. On Monday, WCSX's Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle also had their last hour replaced by music.

 


 

This week's Tigers Weekly devoted to Mark Fidrych

FOX Sports Detroit series Tigers Weekly, Remembering "The Bird", is scheduled to premiere Friday April 24th at 7 pm on FOX Sports Detroit Plus, and will also air Saturday at 11:30 am on FOX Sports Detroit. There will be additional airings of the program on Fox Sports Detroit on Saturday at 6 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., Monday at 2 p.m., and Tuesday at 11 a.m.

This special edition of Tigers Weekly will focus on the memory of Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, the former Tigers pitcher who died April 13 at the age of 54. The show chronicles Fidrych's brief but memorable career, including how he became a box office attraction in his rookie season of 1976. Also shown are some of FOX Sports Detroit's interviews with Fidrych, as well as recollections about "The Bird" from teammates, media members, and fans.

 


 

Michigan Radio's (WUOM/WFUM/WVGR) audience reaches record levels

Michigan Radio, the public radio service from the University of Michigan, reports it has reached a record level in terms of weekly listening audience. According to data recently released from the Fall, 2008 Arbitron National Regional Database, the station now has a statewide weekly cumulative audience of 513,600 listeners per week.

This marks the largest audience in the history of the station, which also has the biggest cumulative audience of any public radio station in the state. Previously, the station's largest total audience was 457,800 listeners, measured in fall 2006. Michigan Radio is the most listened to NPR station in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint, and Grand Rapids markets, and the most listened to radio station of any kind (public or commercial) in the Ann Arbor market.

Michigan Radio's audience growth reflects a trend that many public radio stations across the country have been experiencing. The number of weekly listeners nationwide for all NPR programming reached a record in 2008 with 23.6 million people tuning in each week. This marks a 95% increase in audience that NPR has experienced since 1998.

Michigan Radio's audience numbers are from the Fall, 2008 Arbitron National Regional Database. Measurements are based on persons age 12+, tuning in Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight. These ratings measure the number of unduplicated listeners across all of the markets that Michigan Radio serves.

 


 

AllAccess.com:

Over the weekend, CITADEL Hot AC WDVD/DETROIT hosted a "PROM DRESS DRIVE" collecting donations of over 1,300 new and gently used dresses for area girls in need. WDVD will open the "PROJECT PROM PRINCESS BOUTIQUE" for young women to select a dress and a piece of jewelry. (Tue, 4/21)

 

A DJ so nice, you can hear him twice

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

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

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

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

 

• The application to establish a new daytime-only station on AM 1020 Jenison/Grand Rapids was withdrawn and the station will not be built. It was to have moved from the Chicago area.

 

• The FCC changed the post-transition digital channel for WFQX TV Cadillac from Channel 47 to Channel 32. FCC Report and Order (.pdf)

 

• No notable activity for April 9th - 10th, 13th - 17th, and 20th.

 

Radio One names new bosses for Detroit stations

Maybe in honor of Earth Day, Radio One has announced that it will be conserving (human) resources and programming its Detroit stations with folks located in other cities. John Candelaria, who is based in Dallas, is the new PD at urban WHTD-FM 102.7 and Brian Wallace will handle the same duties at adult urban WDMK-FM 105.9 from Indianapolis. The appointments fill the vacancies created when former Detroit-based operations manager Bo Money was downsized last week.

 


 

Detroit News:

Put together the staff of a top-rated morning show and their audience of listeners -- more than a million people, on and off, in southeastern Michigan -- and you have quite an army. Mojo and Spike from Channel 95.5's Mojo in the Morning show resolved to tap into that human army to do some good in the hard-hit region. A year ago, Mojo and Spike started to talk about what they could do to help the city where they've been on the air for nine years. "It was like, we're No. 1 now, how can we use our power for good, not evil?" Spike said. Putting on yet another radiothon in a city dominated by several successful ones didn't seem to fit. "People are just barely getting by right now, wondering if they're the next person who might need charity," Spike said Tuesday. "But everybody has the opportunity to donate time. In fact, a lot of the people who were laid off are looking for something to do. And it will build up good karma for them." Here's the way it works: Mojo, Spike and the 95.5 morning show staff list events at timeteam.com where they need volunteers. Listeners sign up for the event, day and time they can show up. Once enough volunteers are signed up, that event is closed out and listeners are invited to sign up for something else. Mojo, Spike and their morning show cohorts are doing Time Team on their own, but with the blessing of their radio station employers... Join 99.5's Mojo as a Time Team volunteer (Wed, 4/22)

 


 

WJR to air Detroit mayoral debate

WJR AM 760 will cover the mayoral debate between Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. and Dave Bing live tomorrow beginning at 8pm. WJR's Lloyd Jackson will be a featured panelist in this debate.

 


 

Michigan Radio special to explore efforts to transform Michigan's economy

Michigan Radio, the public radio service from the University of Michigan, will be broadcasting a special live call-in show on Friday, April 24, that explores the ways Detroit and Michigan can redefine its economy during hard times and adapt to the demands of a new era.

"Remaking Michigan", which airs Friday at 1 pm, will complement a series of reports from NPR's Morning Edition. All this week, Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep is in Detroit reporting on the people and companies that have been striving to transform the city's economy amidst the recession and the decline of the American automotive industry. The economic downturn and the recent changes in the auto industry have resulted in high statewide unemployment and the loss of 400,000 jobs since 2000. With host pieces, interviews and reports from local Michigan reporters, Morning Edition is telling stories about Detroiters and Michiganders who are adapting to these changes: people imagining a city and state that might emerge from this economic crisis stronger, and smarter.

"Remaking Michigan" will expand on Morning Edition's coverage by approaching the same issues from a local and statewide perspective. Michigan Radio's Charity Nebbe will host the program, which will feature highlights from Morning Edition's series, interviews with Michigan's economic experts, and a live call-in portion to address listeners' questions and comments. These segments will examine how Michigan's economic challenges are affecting Detroit and the state as a whole. Michigan Radio will also explore how Michigan has been transformed so far, whether it has begun to recover, and how the nation has perceived its troubles throughout this crisis.

 


 

Metro Times:

Radio and TV categories voted on included: Best radio music show, Best Radio Show / Best Radio Personality, Best Radio News, Best TV News, Best Local Activist... Best of Detroit Public Square - Reader Picks (Wed, 4/22)

Best TV hair, Best radio pipes we may never hear again, Best thing to happen to public radio since ... well we can't remember when... Best of Detroit Public Square - Staff Picks (Wed, 4/22)

Best Hot News Anchor: Carmen Harlan (Wed, 4/22)

 

As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Equity Media Holdings has auctioned off a number of its television stations, including the Marquette FOX affiliate and low power outlets in Detroit and Grand Rapids.

FOX affiliate WMQF TV 19 Marquette is Equity's only full-power station in Michigan and will be dealt to an organization identified only as MMMC for $100,000.

Religious operator Daystar Television Network will be acquiring low-power stations WUDT-CA Ch. 23 Detroit, currently an affiliate of the Spanish-language Univision network, and WUHQ-LP Ch. 29 Grand Rapids, current an affiliate of Spanish-language LAT TV as part of a 15-station agreement valued at $7.4 million.

The sales will need to clear hurdles through both bankruptcy court and with federal regulators.

 

Will WOMC survive the recession?

|

 

Susan Whitall of the Detroit News reports this afternoon that classic hits WOMC has bought out the contract of afternoon host Ted 'The Bear' Richards and taken him off the air effective immediately as part of a consolidation between that station and CBS Radio sister station country WYCD-FM 99.5. Just yesterday it was revealed that the final hour of Dick Purtan's radio program had been cut just weeks after popular Purtan's People members John 'Ankles' Stewart and Dana Mills were fired.

Plugged in for afternoon drive at WOMC, at least for according to the station's web site, is Dave Fuller who is also the 7pm - midnight host at WYCD. Beau Derek was on the air this afternoon on WOMC.

All of these changes can't help but make fans of the station wonder if its days are numbered.

 


 

Detroit News:

CBS Radio Detroit is consolidating two of its stations: Country WYCD-FM (99.5) will move out of its Farmington space and into the Ferndale studios of "greatest hits" broadcaster WOMC-FM (104.3). As part of the consolidation, WOMC afternoon drive personality Ted "The Bear" Richards was let go Wednesday. "They bought out my contract," said Richards, who was severed from the station immediately. "We own the 'OMC building and our transmitter is there, plus it's actually a very large building, so it makes sense from a sharing of resources standpoint to put them together," said CBS Detroit market manager Debbie Kenyon... WOMC drops Ted 'The Bear' Richards (Wed, 4/22)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

• Country WTWS FM 92.1 and classic hits WUPS FM 98.5 were granted licenses to cover to swap their communities of license (WTWS now licensed to Houghton Lake, WUPS to Harrison). WTWS was also granted its license to cover for its new broadcast location - the station now operates from the same tower as WUPS in Roscommon county near Houghton Lake. Both stations are owned by Coltrace Communications.

 

• College WVAC FM 107.9 Adrian was granted its license to cover for changes (move to a new broadcast tower on Adrian's campus).

 

• No notable activity for April 22nd.

 

Former newspaper columnist and radio host Rob Parker joins WDIV TV for web work

WDIV-TV, Local 4, and ClickOnDetroit.com have announced a new partnership with writer Rob Parker who will work as a sports columnist for ClickOnDetroit.com. Beginning Monday, April 27th. Parker will write several columns each week exclusively for ClickOnDetroit in addition to contributing podcasts and blogs. Parker will also continue his weekly appearances on Sports Final Edition airing Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on Local 4.

Parker's new column, Rob Parker: Confidential, will be exclusively featured on ClickOnDetroit, what the station calls the most visited news and information website in southeast Michigan. Rob Parker: Confidential will also be a prominent part of ClickOnDetroit Morning Home Delivery, a daily newsletter delivered for free to thousands of metro Detroiters' home computers every day by 5 a.m.

"We're excited to add a one-of-kind columnist like Rob to ClickOnDetroit, taking our exclusive online sports coverage to a whole new level," said Marla Drutz, V.P. and General Manager of WDIV.

"I'm thrilled to join the best news team in Detroit," said Parker, who took a buyout from The Detroit News in December. "ClickOnDetroit is the future, not old and dying like other media outlets. The biggest website in Motown just got better for sports fans."

"My column won't change one bit," added Parker, who has written a column for the past 16 years. "I will continue to break news, bring fans on the inside. I will also continue to go to bat for the fans and hold players, management and teams accountable. Detroit fans deserve the best and I'm the watch dog or attack dog, it I need to be."

Parker, who graduated with a B.S. in journalism from Southern Connecticut State University and Masters in journalism from Columbia University, has been an award-winning sports columnist for more than 16 years. His has been a columnist for the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, and his work has appeared in the New York Daily News, the Greenwich Time, the New Haven Register and the Cincinnati Enquirer to name a few. He has been a regular contributor on Sports Final Edition on Local 4 since 1993, and his popular Clubhouse Confidential features have become a staple for Detroit sports fans. Parker is also a regular contributor on ESPN First Take and has co-hosted several sports programs on various Detroit radio stations.

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

A west-side kid who began his career in the television studio at Murray Wright High School, Charles Pugh always knew his dream: to be a TV anchor. But his dreams have changed. The former Fox 2 anchor and WJLB morning personality confirmed Thursday that he has filed to run for a seat on the Detroit City Council. Pugh will formally announce on May 3 in his old neighborhood at Trumbull and I-94. And at that time, he plans to issue a call to leadership to all Detroiters -- urging them to stop watching the news and start making their own... Pugh's new dream: Help change Detroit (Fri, 4/24)

 


 

AM 1520 Toledo drops talk format, now Contemporary Christian K-Love

In the process of being sold along with WNKL-FM 96.9 to K-Love operator Educational Media Foundation, northwest Ohio's WNWT has now dropped all of its news-talk elements and is now broadcasting only the contemporary Christan format.

 

AllAccess.com:

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

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

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

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

 

WSGW Saginaw becomes home for University of Michigan sports broadcasts

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

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

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

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

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

 

WDET reschedules Town Hall with Robert Bobb, emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, for April 28

Robert Bobb, emergency financial manager, Detroit Public Schools will be interviewed by Bankole Thompson, senior editor of The Michigan Chronicle and WDET-FM tomorrow, Tuesday April 28th, at 7 p.m. This will be Bobb's first forum for the general public since taking the job as emergency financial manager for the Detroit Public Schools. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will take place 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 audio will be broadcast on WDET Radio, 101.9FM, on Wednesday, April 29, at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m.

 

Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

On The RadioA recently completed documentary that I had the privilege of contributing video clips for, is entitled "The Rise and Fall of Rock and Roll Radio." It was produced by Carolyn Travis and Chris Gilson of Travesty Productions in Miami, FL. In the opinion of many radio listeners, including myself, another such program could be produced now by simply dropping the words "rock & roll."

What has happened to radio of late? Does anyone care? Bloggers like Jerry Del Colliano and John Gorman speak the truth about the radio industry and a great deal of the "industry leaders" categorize them as nutcases who are just bitter about how they have personally been treated by the big conglomerates who own the majority of major market radio stations. They are not. One high-level executive who works for Citadel Broadcasting recently told me that he reads Del Colliano's postings almost daily and feels he is right on target...and his company is often the topic of these bloggers who DO care about the future of radio.

Anyone who is currently working in radio, collecting a paycheck that clears, and has a solid contract offering at least some degree of job security is indeed blessed. Anymore loyalty and a long track record of success means nothing to bankers and bean counters who have erased any and all of the luster the radio broadcasting industry ever had. If you need proof of this, you need not look very far, since right here in southeast Michigan we have seen our share of un-welcomed changes and alterations in our local radio dial. Folks used to say "honey can you please change the station?" Now, the stations change on their own and usually it is not appreciated by the people they surely should avoid upsetting...YOU the listener!

My goal with the balance of this column is not to jeopardize the relationships I personally enjoy with dozens of local broadcasters. These are solely MY opinions, because I care as well. Every decision that is made by radio executives can usually be traced back to "the bottom line." I vividly recall respected local icon Tom Bender being quoted "it was a business decision" when he flipped the 37 year format of, then classical , WQRS-FM (105.1) to a trio of tries at it morphed into The Edge, The Groove and finally Magic.

Now that same company, Greater Media, considered one of the best in the business, has been recently criticized. Drew and Mike reduced to solo Mike Clark, Arthur Penhallow, after 39 years, suddenly gone, Doug Podell is off the air...and all of that, just at WRIF-FM (101.1). Across the hall at classic rock WCSX everyone knows that longtime morning hosts Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison were let go in favor of popular talk duo Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle. A recent ratings report shows D&D not doing as well as JJ & Lynne, but it's still early. When programmers mess with the morning routine of the radio listener, it's (at best) risky. Perception is another important factor. Even though the former WKRK-FM (97.1)...now WXYT The Ticket, moved D&D into mornings prior to not renewing their contract 16 months ago, the audience thought of Jeff and Bill as a personality-driven afternoon show from 3 to 7 p.m. on an FM Talk Station. They did a lot of personal appearances and promotions incorporated into remote broadcasts at popular eating and drinking venues. Such listener involvement is difficult in morning drive.

Speaking of mornings, what is going on at Oldies 104.3? Whoops I guess they chased that terrible word "oldies" off the frequency AGAIN. This has to be burdensome to Detroit's most beloved radio legend Dick Purtan. He had a hard time remembering to stop saying "oldies" the first time it was dropped. So, they brought it back and returned a visual logo very similar to their long-time red and white trademark. Now, along with another change comes even more with, the exodus of Purtan's news gal Dana Mills, whom he attracted away from WJR-AM (760) many years ago. Then, he suffered the loss of his side-kick engineer, chief laugher and longtime friend John "Ankles" Stewart, who has run Dick's controls for nearly 30 years! Blamed on the proverbial "budget cuts" these changes have seriously altered the sound of a program that has been a staple in this radio market for decades. Then if all this wasn't enough, the final hour, from 9 till 10 a.m. of Purtan's show, was eliminated. Lastly, unless I'm imagining it, there seems to be less comedy and a lot more music on the program. When radio loses its personality, we might as well just load up our iPod's for a non-stop musical marathon.

Regarding the music, WOMC seems to be going through a significant change of life. As one who graduated from high school in the mid-1960's, I am not fond of the new direction that the music has taken. When I hear the "Loco-Motion" I want to hear it by Little Eva, with no disrespect to Flint's Grand Funk Railroad, who did the cover version in 1974. It was a jolt to hear "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," not by The Tokens, but the 1972 remake by Robert John. Yikes! This reminded me somewhat of the 1950's when white artists covered songs originally recorded by black singers, known as "race records." Thank God that type of discrimination no longer happens. Do not misunderstand. I love the oldies from the 1970's, but I also like the music I grew up on from the 50's and 60's as well.

We now have three radio stations all playing similar music; WDRQ (as Doug-FM 93.1), WCSX-FM (94.7) and now WOMC. I realize program directors and most radio people would argue that statement, but to the average listener they all sound somewhat alike, and there are more listeners in the audience than radio people and PD's.

This is all the fault of the advertising community. I have written about this before, but perhaps it needs to be repeated. The people who place advertising on radio and television control what you see and hear. TV seems to have learned that people beyond the age of 55 not only spend money, but actually have more time to do so than young people. Yet, the radio time buyers are still stuck in a rut which dictates that only people between 25 and 54 are attractive to advertisers. That is insane. Until this changes, radio is suffering from a type of "commercial cancer" that is killing it in a slow and agonizing manner. Do us all a favor, if you work at an ad agency, or know someone who does, print out this portion and post it on the door of the head media buyer.

Before I am charged with relentless rambling and ranting about how bad things are, I still believe in commercial terrestrial radio, but now for MY favorite music I am being forced over to the satellite offerings of Sirius XM, where live on-air personalities are also becoming scarce. So, let me end with some timely local news and updates.

During the middle two weeks of April I was outlining the state of Florida, putting a staggering 1,715 miles on my rental car and listening to a lot of radio and much of it all sounded the same. I recall that the last time I was in the Sunshine State, I got a call from Mindy Markowitz telling me that she and Tom Ryan were let go at WOMC. This time I return just in time to watch the same thing happen to Ryan's replacement Ted "The Bear" Richards. During last years Dream Cruise it was so great to hear him, along with former CKLW traffic reporter Jo-Jo Shutty-MacGregor. Now, after barely 15 months, Richards is gone. He spent over 15 years out in Colorado doing mornings on dozens of oldies stations nationwide via major syndicator Jones Radio which is now known as Dial-Global. A popular local DJ said "This gets scarier by the day. Ted Richards shows up for work, is told that 'OMC and 'YCD are "consolidating" talent, and is shown the door. Give me a break!" On a lighter note one big fan of Ted the Bear quipped "this makes 104.3 a little less bear-able."

To wrap up the news from the WOMC building in "fashionable Ferndale" it was announced that sister station country WYCD-FM (99.5) will be re-locating from their longtime home in the Travelers Building at Evergreen and I-696 in Southfield into the building CBS Radio owns near I-696 and I-75 as a consolidation of facilities to further reduce costs. In an unprecedented move, they will also be sharing staff. Multiple stations under the same roof has now become commonplace, but sharing employees, especially on-air talent is something new. WYCD program director, Tim Roberts, will now double his responsibilities as PD of BOTH 99.5 and 104.3. Hey Tim, that's one way to get a press box pass to U-M football games this fall, since WOMC is the flagship for the games...and remember that the call-letters now stand for Where Only Michigan Counts! With the huge Downtown Hoedown coming on May 15th, and then The Dream Cruise in August, it will be a busy summer for Timothy who is one of Detroit radio's "nice guys."

Old business: While I was out of state I got word of the passing of the legendary country personality Deano Day. He was perhaps THE most notable country jock ever in Motown, with tours of duty at The Big Dee WDEE-AM (1500) now WLQV, CKLW-FM (93.9) now the River and most notably at WCXI-AM (1130) now WDFN. Longtime fan, Scott Price of Southfield, recalled "back in 1980 when I worked as a press agent for the Michigan Opry and we had a show with Hank Williams Jr. and his Whiskey Bent and Hellbound tour. Deano Day was the emcee and he pulled up in his brand new Don Massey Cadillac and left it parked in front of the theatre. The police were ready to tow it away because he was blocking traffic and Deano flipped me the keys and told me to move it. He than went on stage with his wit and comedy and knocked the audience dead and the crowd really enjoyed him. Those were the good ole days and Uncle Deano will be missed by many country music fans." That says it all Scott.

Some great news and time to mark your calendar. This Memorial Day Weekend, Detroit native (Farmington) Jim Hampton will return to present a special Detroit DJ Reunion on WPON-AM (1460) and on line at www.wpon.com. Jim will play many Top 40 hits from the beginning of rock 'n roll, plus the hard to find rare songs that are uniquely Detroit. Hampton has compiled actual airchecks from many of Detroit's Top DJ's from the 60's that performed on WXYZ, WJLB, WJBK, CKLW, and WKNR. Celebrities such as: Tom Clay, Bud Davies, Robin Seymour, Terry Knight, Frantic Ernie Durham, Paul Winter, Joel Sebastian, Tom Shannon, Bob Green, Lee Alan, Dave Shafer, Dave Prince and many more will be featured throughout the shows. And, there will be some special surprise in-studio guests, too. Mike will have more information soon on the web site.

Spring has sprung and the leaves and dandelions are returning...and so are some of your radio favorites. The man who used to write the Names and Faces column in the Detroit Free Press and cover radio news almost as extensively as Mike and I do (LOL), John Smyntek, can't handle retirement and is coming back to an on-line paper called www.Yournews.com and by entering your zip code you get the local version and his column regarding media. Perhaps Sminty saw what we did when The Oakland Press dropped our column and now going to do this Internet version. Welcome back John.

Lastly, the much anticipated return of the Home Improvement guru Murray Gula is scheduled for the first weekend in June on Saturday and Sunday from noon till 2 pm on 50,000 watt WDFN-AM (1130). Gula was last heard on that frequency about a year ago. He is still seen on Channel 7's web chat show Thursdays at noon on "Lunch with Murray," on www.wxyz.com. Best wishes to Murray as he recovers from some serious knee replacement surgery. We await his return. My return will be in May with more news about what's ON THE RADIO.

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

 

Here's a truly unique idea from former WKRK-FM 97.1 duo Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick -- cash back (or travel) rewards for leads that result in them getting hired back into radio as a team.

In addition to their partnership at WKRK, Henson is known locally for his work at sports outlets WDFN and WXYT while McKormick was popular in Grand Rapids at WVTI and WGRD.

Check out greggandmichelle.com for all the details on how you can claim 'prizes' such as a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico or Las Vegas, tickets to this fall's Michigan-Ohio State football game ... or even have the chance to visit Henson in Round Rock, Texas where you'll hang out with Henson family and have the chance sneak on to a golf course.

This is the most creative self-marketing scheme I've seen recently. But -- if you hire them based on this shameless Michiguide.com blurb, let them know I'm gonna pass on a trip to Mexico about now.

 

Another wave of headcount reductions at Clear Channel

Lots of bad news swirling about 590 job cuts at Clear Channel stations across the country, including at soft rock WNIC FM 100.3 locally where morning man Chris Edmonds has been let go in addition to a number of other folks. Kevin O'Neill will reportedly segue to mornings from afternoons and the afternoon drive slot will be voicetracked syndicated on WNIC.

Edmonds just about made 21 years at WNIC and was fired the day before his birthday. His tenure at WNIC started at 1988 when he signed on for afternoons and moved to morning drive when Jim Harper jumped to 105.1. He moved back to afternoon drive while Chuck Gaidica took a turn in mornings, then retook morning drive until today. Ironically, WNIC was the tops rating-wise in the age 25-54 demo in the last Arbitron Portable People Monitor month.

Prior to WNIC he was at WDTX-FM 99.5 from the fall of 1985 through the summer of 1988 handling just about every daypart, but mostly afternoon drive. He arrived in Detroit in February 1985 at WLLZ-FM 98.7 where he briefly co-hosted mornings with Jim Rodeo before that station landed JJ & The Morning Crew from WRIF that same fall.

Over at sports WDFN AM 1130, update reporter Rob Otto was also released. He was one of the few remaining staffers at 'DFN after that station was nearly gutted of local personalities a couple months ago.

It also appears that country WDTW-FM 106.7 may been stripped of all of its local jocks, including the Chad Show (Chad Mitchell) which has been removed from morning drive. A quick visit to the station's web site shows the entire on-air lineup has been removed ... adding to speculation that yet another format flip is imminent.

More info as it becomes available, including cuts at other Clear Channel-owned stations in the market.

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

WCSX-FM (94.7) dynamic duo Deminski and Doyle want elected officials in Washington, D.C., to know that the decisions they make alter the lives of real people. "We know things have to change. No one's asking for X amount of jobs to be spared or X amount of additional dollars," cohost Jeff Deminski says to Names & Faces. "We're not asking for anything other than just please look at these people, at these faces, these families, before making your next big decisions. These are the very people who embodied the American dream for so long. If you care about that dream, you have to care about them." Inspired in part by an idea from D&D executive producer Jim O'Brien as well as Bob Seger's song "Feel Like a Number" and the toll the economic meltdown is taking on Michigan, D&D recently launched the Faces Not Numbers campaign... D&D's Faces Not Numbers (Tue, 4/28)

 


 

Detroit News:

Everybody knew that there was going to be another round of job-slashing coming at Clear Channel Radio, the former behemoth that once dominated the national radio landscape ... and so it was. This afternoon it was announced that the company was letting go of 3 percent of its staff, some 590 employees. In Detroit that includes WNIC-FM (100.3) Breakfast Club host Chris Edmonds. WNIC afternoon jock Kevin O'Neill will take over Edmonds' morning slot. Clear Channel market manager Til Levesque wouldn't comment on specific jobs lost in Detroit, but this afternoon Edmonds' name was already gone from the Breakfast Club roster on WNIC's Web site, replaced by O'Neill's name... Clear Channel layoffs hit WNIC, WDTW (Tue, 4/28)

If you've been missing WDIV-TV (Channel 4) meteorologist Kim Adams during the station's 4 p.m. weekday newscast, don't worry. The three-time mommy is on maternity leave and will be back in June. Adams gave birth to Alexander William Daudert on April 5, and both are doing well. Little Alexander is the latest addition for Adams and her husband, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander. A homegrown talent, Adams is a Mount Clemens native who earned her bachelor's degree from Oakland University and her master's from Wayne State University... WDIV's Kim Adams off air with baby No. 3 (Tue, 4/28)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

89X Ups Dave Hunter To PD: CHUM RADIO Alternative CIMX (89)/WINDSOR-DETROIT morning show co-host DAVE HUNTER is upped to PD replacing VINCE CANNOVA, who exited a couple weeks ago due to budget cuts. HUNTER has been with CHUM RADIO for over 16 years. CHUM RADIO VP/GM ERIC PROKSCH said, "I am confident that DAVE's talent, dedication and personal approach will move 89X to the next level. DAVE will continue to be an integral part of the 89X Morning Show while expanding his programming responsibilities on the station. I am extremely excited about working directly with DAVE and about the new opportunities that I am sure will unfold under his guidance." HUNTER told ALL ACCESS, "I am excited to be part of such a heritage Alternative Rock radio station like 89X. It has been a leader in the format for 18 years and I look forward to my new opportunity to continue and grow the brand in this changing time." (Tue, 4/28)

 

New Orleans Times-Picayune

It was free scoop day at a chain ice cream parlor, and Roop Raj was the afternoon's celebrity scooper. Community outreach is part of the brand-building job for TV news personalities, and Raj estimates he's done hundreds of things just like this -- senior-center talks, emceeing charity events, Cherry Garcia distribution -- but a big difference this time was that he's not going to be around to reap the professional benefits of working a benefit. Raj, morning and midday anchor for WDSU-Channel 6 since 2002, is leaving for a reporter-anchor job in Detroit, near his hometown of Troy, Mich ... Raj's parents will be able to see his work at WJBK-TV, Detroit's Fox affiliate, which, as it happens, was his favorite station growing up... WDSU morning news anchor Roop Raj takes a job in his home state of Michigan (Tue, 4/28)

 

Detroit News:

At Saturday night's J. Geils Band concert at the Fillmore, WCSX-FM (94.7) 's Steve Kostan gave credit to "the good doc of rock," Doug Podell , for coming up with the idea to have the band reunite for a Detroit show (two, as it turned out). Podell talked to promoter Live Nation and they made it happen. Podell said he was looking for something special for the first anniversary of his new job overseeing both WCSX and WRIF-FM (101.1), as well as for WCSX's 22nd anniversary. "I always loved J. Geils, and I've been trying to reunite them for years, but it never made sense to do it with WRIF," Podell says. "When I saw that charity concert they were going to do in Boston, that's when I put the call in to (Live Nation's) Dave Clark." Lead singer Peter Wolf and the band were skeptical about how well a show would do, or if anyone even cared anymore. The shows sold out in minutes, and audiences were ecstatic. The band was overjoyed as well... Liked J. Geils Band? Thank Doug Podell (Thu, 4/30)

Hire a morning radio team, get a free vacation. The vacation is supposed to be five days in Mexico, the swine flu capital of North America, so that part might need some tinkering, But rather than sit back and wait for offers, former Detroit radio hosts Gregg Henson and Michelle McKormick are trying something proactive: Bribery... Radio gig? They'll pay: Former Detroit duo offers trips for return to airwaves (Thu, 4/30)

 

WTCM's Jack O'Malley set to celebrate 25 years on the air

In the pre-dawn hours of May 3, 1984, a young man sat in a radio studio on Front Street in Traverse City. He nervously switched on the microphone, introduced himself, and began building a legacy. On May 3, 2009, Jack O'Malley will mark 25 years as morning host of WTCM radio, thereby writing a new chapter as the longest running and highest rated morning show in Northwest Michigan history.

Jack's bright and cheerful voice, rich sense of humor, and absolute devotion to his family, his country, and his beloved Detroit Tigers, has won the hearts of thousands of WTCM listeners across two generations.

With the love and support of his wife Joann, Jack shared with us the birth of his two daughters Beth and Grace, the agony of sending them off to kindergarten, the trials of teenage years, and the pride in their remarkable achievements as they grew into young women. He has taken us along on expeditions to Hawaii, New York City, Nashville, and the Caribbean. He's flown in stunt planes, delivered letters, care packages, and cigars to soldiers in the war zone, danced for snowflakes, and comforted us on 9/11.

He let us witness the earliest sparks of skyrocketing superstars like Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, Leanne Rimes, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift. On April Fools Days past, he has sold the Detroit Tigers to Toyota, convinced listeners to cover their telephone handsets with plastic bags while the fiber optic lines were blown out, and introduced us to the fabled Michigan Dogman. Traveling thousands of miles through all kinds of weather, Jack crisscrossed the state for seven years to broadcast play-by-play of Traverse City High School football and basketball. Along the way, he sent home many memorable milestones, including two thrilling State Championships in Class A football for the Traverse City Trojans.

Jack's influence has extended far beyond the microphone. His tireless efforts have transformed Traverse City's Memorial Day ceremony into a fitting patriotic tribute to our fallen soldiers. His long-running television feature, "Jack's Journal" introduced us to scores of interesting stories, products, and people. He has also merged his lifelong love of baseball into coaching, instilling character and teamwork to a new generation of young women on Traverse City West High School's girls softball team.

To his legion of loyal fans, he is the familiar voice of the morning - every bit as vital as their first cup of coffee. To his colleagues and co-workers, he is universally trusted, respected, and admired. To his players, he is Coach O'Malley. To his family, he is a dedicated dad and loving husband. To everyone he touches, he is above all else, our friend Jack.

Jack will share memories and stories from the past 25 years, Friday, May 1, 2009 from 5:30 - 10:00 a.m. on WTCM-FM 103.5 and 93.5FM.

 

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About this Archive

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

Mike Austerman: March 2009 is the previous archive.

Mike Austerman: May 2009 is the next archive.

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