Mike Austerman: June 2009 Archives


WKFR Kalamazoo Morning Host Exits: The morning team of WALKER AND HATCHER at CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR/KALAMAZOO is no more as MATT WALKER exits the station - and format - heading for mornings at BEASLEY Country WKIS/MIAMI. MATT'S last day will be JUNE 5th and this leaves KFR PD KEN "KRUZE" EVANS with some important shoes to fill as he seeks a new on-air partner for KRISTA. (Mon, 6/1)


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) will present the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Lifetime Achievement Award to Specs Howard, Founder of Specs Howard School of Broadcasting Arts in Southfield, Michigan. The MAB will present the award at their Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat as well as the MAB's 60th anniversary celebration to be held Tuesday, July 14 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Specs Howard, whose real name is Jerry Liebman, began his broadcasting career in 1948 after graduating from Allegeny College and starting his own radio station. After selling his radio station and working for another small Pennsylvania station, Jerry was offered a position with Westinghouse Broadcasting in Cleveland, Ohio where he was first known as Specs Howard.

Specs Howard became half of the well known top-forty comedy team "Martin and Howard" before moving to Detroit's WXYZ-TV. In 1970, Specs invested in a small Redford-based broadcasting school which has evolved into one of the most prominent broadcasting schools in the nation; Specs Howard School of Broadcasting Arts, located in Southfield, Michigan

At age 83 Specs Howard still spends every working day supervising the activities at the school and has seen over 10,000 students graduate. Specs Howard Alumni can be found throughout the country in an array of broadcasting positions. It is estimated that nearly 2,000 Specs graduates are employed in Southeast Michigan alone.

The MAB Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented during the Chairman's Banquet at the MAB Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat. Congratulatory ads are available for purchase, for more information about placing an ad or for conference information, please contact the Michigan Association of Broadcasters or visit the MAB website at www.michmab.com.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) will induct three new members into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame at their Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference as well as the MAB 60th anniversary celebration held Tuesday, July 14 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The inductees were selected based upon their service to the broadcasting industry and their communities. The 2009 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees are:

Thomas J. Cleary, Past MAB Executive Director and Retired Lobbyist, East Lansing, Michigan. Cleary, through his leadership as MAB Executive Director, helped to establish the MAB as a robust and influential organization. More over, Mr. Cleary served the MAB for nearly 20 years as their legislative and congressional champion. As a respected and registered professional lobbyist, he smoothed the path for the MAB in Lansing and Washington, assisting Michigan broadcasters with getting their voices heard on critical regulatory matters by those who made the laws that regulated the broadcasting industry.

Bruce I. Goldsen, President and Owner of Jackson Radio Works, Jackson, Michigan. Goldsen has been an active MAB member since the Mid 90's when he moved from Connecticut to Adrian, Michigan to oversee a radio station. After successfully managing local radio stations in the area, Bruce and his wife and partner Sue, ventured out on their own purchasing Jackson Radio Works. Since then Bruce has contributed a great deal to the Michigan Broadcasting industry serving the Michigan Broadcasters at both the state and national levels. Additionally, Bruce has been an advocate and active board member for the NAB, MAB and MAB Foundation.

Juke Van Oss, On-Air Personality at WHTC-AM, Holland, Michigan. Van Oss, for nearly 58 years, has dedicated his life to the greater Holland area as a local broadcaster for WHTC-AM, carrying out various responsibilities that have arisen throughout the decades. He has served as first class engineer, announcer, program director, assistant station manager and for 47 years, has hosted "Talk of the Town", a local radio talk show he helped to create in 1959. His ability to evolve and maintain a diverse audience is a testament to his outstanding contribution to his community and the broadcasting industry.

The Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees will be presented during the Chairman's Banquet during the MAB Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat. Congratulatory ads are available for purchase, for more information about placing an ad or for conference information, please contact the Michigan Association of Broadcasters or visit the MAB website at www.michmab.com.


• The sale of TV translators W05CR Ch. 5 Escanaba and W26DG St. Ignace from Hispanic Christian Community Network to Confesora Peralta was approved.


• No notable activity for May 28th - 29th.


WTVS-TV Ch. 56 Detroit was granted a construction permit granted to increase effective radiated power from 200,000 watts @ 1043 feet to 600,000 watts at the same height for its digital transmissions on Ch. 43.


• TV translator (WLUK Green Bay, WI) W40AN-D Ch. 40 Escanaba was granted its license to cover to switch to digital operations only on Ch. 40.


Grand Rapids Press:

West Michigan fans, no need to adjust your radio dial. You're not imagining things. Glenn Eckelkamp has returned to familiar roots in the Whitecaps radio booth, filling in for play-by-play announcer Steve Lloyd-Jones, who is with wife Penny after she went into labor Wednesday. The couple are expecting their third child. Eckelkamp, 54, a former WOOD-TV sportscaster (1980-1989), worked as a radio sales executive at Regent Broadcasting from 1990-2005. He joined the Whitecaps front office as an account executive in '05. He has prepared for Lloyd-Jones' absence for weeks, doing the play-by-play for an inning here and there for at least 12 games and doing a complete game... Glenn Eckelkamp joins Whitecaps radio team as fill-in for play-by-play man Steve Lloyd-Jones (Thu, 6/4)


Travel Video News

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


WJR's Beckmann to hit the road and the links

WJR AM 760's Frank Beckmann Show (9am-Noon) hits the road again and will be touring some of the most prominent golf courses throughout Michigan. Frank and crew will broadcast live at the following locations in the coming days:

Friday, June 5th: The Resorts at Tullymore and St. Ives, Stanwood

Monday, June 8th: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme

Tuesday, June 9th: Boyne Highlands Resort, Harbor Springs



Detroit News:

'Money, that's what I want," Motown's Barrett Strong sang back in 1959, and that's what dozens of singers and musicians want from broadcast radio, they told a town forum hosted Tuesday by U.S. Rep. John Conyers at Wayne State University's Spencer Partrich Law Auditorium. Dionne Warwick, Sam Moore and hip-hop artist Rhymefest were among the artists on the panel discussing the controversial Performance Rights Act sponsored by Conyers (and already passed by the Judiciary Committee), which would amend U.S. copyright law and compel broadcast radio to pay performers. Radio executives have come out strongly against the bill, arguing that it would force radio stations to close. This being Detroit, many of the musicians attending were Motown alumni, including Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Detroit Councilwoman Martha Reeves... Radio execs, artists face off over royalties (Tue, 6/2)

Flip on the car radio during a late-rounds Red Wings playoff game and broadcast life is normal: Ken Kal and Paul Woods are the rinkside voices, same as they were once a new season launched in October. Television, of course, is different in the same way a $100 bill has a different face on it than a $1. The higher the currency, the more the people change. It explains why there was no Ken Daniels or Mickey Redmond in the booth after the Red Wings polished off the Ducks and reached the Western Conference finals. Network money (or, rather, what stands for TV network cash in the NHL) kicked in, while Daniels and Redmond were kicked out. And that never has seemed terribly fair to a Detroit audience, let alone to the men displaced... Commentary: Mickey Redmond calls Wings with flair (Tue, 6/2)


It's been a long few days for fans of the ABC network in the Marquette market as WBUP TV 10 has been off the air since Monday while they complete a move of the station from the Marquette Mall to a new location in Ishpeming.

Engineers are hopeful the station will resume broadcasting in advance of tonight's game one of the NBA Finals.


Did you hear? Friday is DTV day!



There will be no shortage of stories on the upcoming transition to digital television over the next week as the clock ticks closer to Friday, June 12th. Here's a sample of some recent coverage from across the state:

Kalamazoo Gazette:

The boxes are still stacked high at the Best Buy store in Portage. And if those who need one don't know about the switch to digital television broadcasts yet, chances are good they won't know until their TVs go fuzzy on Friday. That's the day on which all full-power television stations nationwide are required to have made the switch from analog to digital broadcasts. It is nearly four months after an original February deadline. "I think people that were hot under the collar to get one have picked them up by now," Mark Cassar, a customer solutions manager at the Best Buy store, said of digital converter boxes... Television broadcasts go fully digital on Friday (Sun, 6/7)



After talking about it for more than a year, the switch to Digital Television is upon us all. At 10 a.m. this Friday, June 12, television stations around the country -- including WOOD TV8 -- will switch off their analog transmitters for good. The era of digital transmission begins at that moment. Mike Laemers, the Chief Engineer for WOOD TV8, said viewers will see the 10 a.m. program "and they'll never know anything happened." That is, if you have Digital TV, or an older TV with cable or satellite, or you have a converter box. But if you have an old analog TV and haven't done any of that, the only thing you'll see on your screen is snow. Your TV watching days will be over until you take action... The DTV era is upon us (Fri, 6/5)



WZZM 13 and the other analog television stations in West Michigan will make the digital transition on June 12, 2009 at 10:00am. If you watch local television on an analog TV set with an external antenna, you will need to install a converter box. These converter boxes will convert the digital signals back into analog signals. If you have cable, satellite or telco video service, these providers will do this conversion for you. WZZM 13 Phone Bank: WZZM 13 will have a phone bank staffed... Are you ready for digital television? (Fri, 6/5)


Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

.. Worth Noting: Friday is TV transition day (Sun, 6/7)



It comes with great sadness that after today, there will not be a Weekend Morning Newscast on WZZM 13. Tough economic times have also impacted the broadcasting business and in order for us to "survive the economy", we've decided to sign-off. I wanted our viewers to hear it from me first. On behalf of the Weekend Morning News team, thanks for watching for nearly three years. We have enjoyed providing you with the latest news, weather and segments like Weekend Adventure & Breakfast on the Go. It's been an amazing experience learning about the positive, heartwarming community events, all thanks to the guests to took time out of their weekend to share with us... WZZM-TV drops weekend morning newscasts (Sun, 6/7)


Media outlets across the state continue to cover the digital transition for television scheduled for this Friday:

Macomb Daily:

Time is winding down to the June 12 deadline for the national switch to digital television, but officials say some metro Detroiters are still unprepared. The Federal Communications Commission has determined that 3 percent of people in and around Detroit and up to 3.3 million people nationwide -- are not set up for the switch. The 3 percent figure is down from a much higher number when the transition was first planned for Feb. 17, following the passing of the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. But President Barack Obama on Feb. 11 signed the Digital Television Delay Act, citing that too many people were unprepared... Deadline nears for digital TV switch (Mon, 6/8)


Detroit News:

John and Phyllis Peterson thought they were ready for television's digital transition but found out quite inconveniently they are not. While attempting to watch a program on the local PBS affiliate, WTVS-TV (Channel 56), the Livonia couple recently discovered their digital TV set was no longer picking up this digitally updated station. This wasn't supposed to happen. The clerk at the big-box store where they bought their TV a few years ago said the Petersons "shouldn't need anything." What he didn't tell them is that some "digital ready" televisions don't come with tuners and still need converter boxes and powerful antennas at the very least, and cable at the most, just like their analog cousins... Digital TV: It's time to convert (Mon, 6/8)


WWJ AM 950 Detroit:

There's less than a week left before the switch to digital TV. The switch is taking place on June 12 and after that, all analog TV sets won't get a signal. But many Detroit families still haven't applied for their $40 coupons. They can still apply up until July 31. But they won't get their coupons in time to make the transition... Are You Ready for DTV Transition? (Sun, 6/7)


Lansing State Journal:

By Friday, the last of the full-power television stations must dump their analog signals for digital. Stations such as WLAJ-TV Channel 53, WSYM-TV Fox 47 and WLNS-TV Channel 6 have yet to convert. WKAR-TV Channel 23 and WILX-TV Channel 10 switched months ago. Together they received fewer than 1,500 complaints, representing less than 1 percent of their total viewership and suggesting that the mandated conversion may go smoothly. Concerns about whether poor and rural Americans will be left behind have largely evaporated, according to local officials. As a precaution emergency officials throughout mid-Michigan are finding new ways to get emergency messages - such as tornado warnings - to the public through means other than TV... Mid-Mich. ready for digital TV, officials say (Mon, 6/8)


WKZO AM 590 Kalamazoo:

Television stations that haven't already switched off their analog transmitters will turn them off for good Friday at 10AM. U.S. statistics suggest 3.5% of all local viewers are not ready for digital TV. WOOD-TV Chief Engineer Mike Leamers reminds viewers who don't want to buy a digital TV they will need a converter box, and that may not be the end of it. "There's a lot of people that have digital TV's and converter boxes who are still having technical problems getting us, and that's going to be the biggest problem to overcome," Laemers said. A set of rabbit ears probably won't be enough in this area... DTV deadline is approaching (Mon, 6/8)


WZZM-TV 13 announced this morning it is cutting its weekend morning newscast because of the poor economy. The Gannett-owned, ABC affiliate announced at the end of its Sunday morning news show that today was its last day. In a recorded message, and online on its Web site, weekend morning anchor and reporter Jennifer Pascua said today's announcement comes with "great sadness"... Gannett-owned, ABC affiliate WZZM-TV 13 cuts weekend morning newscast, blames poor economy (Sun, 6/7)


WRUP 98.3 completes Marquette move-in

Classic rock 98.3 WRUP Palmer/Marquette is now broadcasting from the same location as Great Lakes Radio sister stations WKQS FM 101.9 and WFXD FM 103.3 FM. Contemporary Christian WKPK 88.3 FM and FOX 19 WMQF also broadcast from this same location. WRUP previously originated from Munising.

The addition of WRUP marks the fifth new FM signal in the Marquette market since July, 2008. WRUP now covers Marquette, Ishpeming, and Negaunee with a clear signal.


Crain's Detroit Business:

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




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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Detroit News:

Witness the dramatic story behind Ann Arbor's Traverwood Branch Library in the Detroit Public Television documentary "Up from Ashes," which airs 8 p.m. Thursday on WTVS-TV (Channel 56). Viewers can relive how the building came into existence and find out how developers harvested hundreds of ash trees that were devastated by the emerald ash borer, and used the trees to build what is arguably one of the most storied and breathtaking libraries in Metro Detroit. Produced by KDN Films Inc. in Madison Heights, "Up from Ashes" takes us through every stage of development, from the architectural drawing boards to the 1-ton draft horses that harvested lumber for O'Neal Construction Inc... Documentary follows growth of Ann Arbor's Traverwood library (Tue, 6/9)



Detroit Free Press:

If you haven't prepared for the digital TV transition, you have until Friday. That's the final deadline for television stations across the country to switch from analog to digital broadcasting. The shift has been talked about for what seems like forever. But some people aren't ready yet. More than 200 calls have been coming in daily to Don-Lors Electronics in Livonia, which has teamed up with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters to answer questions about the transition at 888-643-8809... TV switches to a digital signal Friday; Here's how you can prepare (Tue, 6/9)



MICHAEL ST. CYR's WJNZ RADIO, LLC, licensee of Urban AC WJNZ-A (1140 JAMZ)/GRAND RAPIDS, has been placed into involuntary receivership, according to a filing with the FCC. AMICUS MANAGEMENT, INC., headed by DANIEL J. YEOMANS, has been appointed as receiver by Circuit Court for KENT COUNTY, MI. (Wed, 6/10)



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


Detroit News:

Can President Obama make the next save for the Red Wings? Not likely. After once helping to delay the transition to all-digital TV, the Obama Administration has already said there won't be another, posing potential problems for local folks who want to catch the deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals with their rabbit-ear antennas. The once-delayed transition to digital occurs on Friday, and a spokesman for WDIV-TV (Channel 4) said the station will no longer transmit an analog signal after 9 a.m. For thousands of Metro Detroiters who still haven't gotten a converter box -- and don't have cable or satellite TV -- that means they'll have to find somewhere else to watch the Wings battle the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Cup. Mike Katona of WDIV said the 9 a.m. switch was decided months ago in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission and long before it looked like the Wings would face a make-or-break game... Friday's digital TV switch may trip up some Red Wings viewers (Wed, 6/10)


• Smile FM, owners of the contemporary Christian 'Smile FM' network heard across much of Michigan, has been granted a construction permit for a new Class A station to be licensed to Grosse Pointe Shores. The new 88.3 FM would broadcast from St. Clair Shores in Macomb Couny with 5,500 watts @ 164 feet (vertical polarization) and a directional antenna.


• No notable activity for June 3rd - 5th and 8th - 9th.


Detroit Free Press:

Fans of the top-rated WKQI-FM (95.5) "Mojo in the Morning" show noticed a significant change Wednesday morning: Kyra Dillard, who has been with the station since February 2005, wasn't on the air. "Kyra is no longer with our morning show. Out of respect to her, I'd rather not go into any further details about her business. It's between her and management," host Mojo said on the air Wednesday... Kyra off 'Mojo in the Morning' show (Thu, 6/11)


The digital TV transition is finally here. While television stations work diligently to make the last adjustments before throwing the switch to turn off their analog television signals, citizens across the state are prepared for the transition; nearly all have connected their converter boxes, adjusted their antennas or switched to a paid service. Some viewers purchased a new digital television with a built in tuner and now report to be ready with remote in hand to rescan for all of their favorite channels.

An Michigan Association of Broadcasters survey showed that nearly 100% of those viewers contacted are aware of the digital transition and the latest Nielson survey indicates that only a little over 2% of households in the Detroit market are totally unprepared. Detroit was the only Michigan market surveyed by Nielson. Metro Detroit is the largest over-the-air viewing market in Michigan, so the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is confident that most people throughout the rest of the state are ready for the revolutionary change in the way viewers receive their TV signals.

"Michigan Broadcasters did a wonderful job informing Michigan citizens about the digital transition," said Karole White, President and CEO of the MAB. "There has been a tremendous amount of planning and implementation put forth by everyone involved, and a successful transition will be the pay-off."

Michigan television stations lead the nation in educating the public. Detroit stations set an example for other states with the implementation of the first "Test Your TV Tuesdays" and other markets followed holding simultaneous DTV soft tests to let viewers know if their TV's were ready for the digital transition.

The MAB and member television stations have spent the past year holding DTV workshops, speaking to community groups and at public gatherings serving as a resource for all information pertaining to the TV transition. The MAB established a Michigan specific DTV website www.michigandtv.com and with the help of our DTV partners, Don-Lors Electronics, we established the premier DTV information source, the Michigan DTV Helpline, 888-MI-DTV-09. Don-Lors Electronics used their 40 phone lines and their own company operators and technicians to answer local questions, as well as providing walk-in help and in-home assistance to needy seniors.

The Detroit Public Libraries utilized all 24 of its branches to help Detroit citizens with hands-on demonstrations, walk-in assistance and information resources on how to connect and operate a digital converter box and how to find the best antenna for specific locations.

"The DTV transition is the largest simultaneous change in technology in our history," said White. "We ask everyone for their patience during this change. It has been a long and at times very challenging journey to reach this point, we are confident that the transition will go as planned and encourage those seeking help or information to call the Michigan DTV Helpline at 1-888-643-8809."

For information or assistance call the Michigan DTV Helpline at 1-888-643-8809. The Michigan DTV Helpline will be open 24 hours through Sunday, June 14, 2009.


Grand Rapids Press:

Staffing changes continue in the newsroom at WWMT-TV (Channel 3). Anchorwoman Diane Daniels was let go and will no longer be anchoring the weekend newscasts, according to the station's news director Cathy Younkin. Holly Doyle will be handling weekend anchor duties for the 6 and 10 p.m. news on CW-7 and the 11 p.m. news on WWMT on Saturdays and Sundays. She also will report three days a week. "Holly's experience and ability to lead will be a huge asset on the weekends," Younkin said. WWMT added positions at the beginning of 2009 and their staffing levels have remained constant throughout the year, she added. Tom Van Howe (former WOOD-TV anchorman) must be enjoying his tenure at TV 3... Staff changes at WWMT-TV Channel 3: Holly Doyle replaces Diane Daniels as weekend anchor (Thu, 6/11)

We have lift off! Friday's national switch from analog to digital television was celebrated with all the pomp of a rocket launch at the Meijer Public Broadcast Center in downtown Grand Rapids. Dignitaries, photographers and reporters jammed into the WGVU-TV control room for a live broadcast counting down the final seven minutes of the station's analog signal. At 10 a.m., retail magnate Fred Meijer, a major supporter of public broadcasting, pushed the button to shut off power to analog Channel 52. Grand Valley State University President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers, who welcomed viewers when the station started broadcasting in 1972, turned off the power to Channel 35. "I thought it would hurt, but it didn't," Lubbers quipped. As the analog monitors in the room went gray, applause could be heard outside the door. The station's digital signal, which has been at full power for more than a year, will replace the analog stations, making it WGVU-TV 5 in Grand Rapids and WGVK-TV 11 in Kalamazoo... DTV conversion celebrated at WGVU; WOOD-TV fields nonstop calls (Fri, 6/12)




Popular grand rapids radio personalities Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis are making a comeback next week. The husband and wife team signed off two years ago after being on air for 20 years at WLHT.They were the longest running morning show in the city. Next week listeners can catch the couple's banter in a new form similar to podcasting. Listeners can catch their daily shows on I-Tunes or the Dave and Geri Show website... Radio personalities Dave and Geri make comeback (Fri, 6/12)


Saginaw News:

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


Detroit News:

As the last of the nation's television stations turned off their analog signals Friday, households unprepared to capture the digital signal found themselves scrambling for converter boxes, antennas and how-to's. Befuddled viewers around Metro Detroit flooded local and national call centers. Many simply needed to be told how to hook up their digital converter boxes, which allow older TVs to tune in the new signals, or how to reset the boxes to capture nearby digital broadcasts. "People are feeling a little technically challenged," said Dave Baumann, creative services director at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), the ABC affiliate in Southfield. The station fielded more than 350 calls from confused viewers after it made the switch at 6 a.m... Digital TV switch puzzles viewers (Sat, 6/13)



Port Huron Times-Herald:

Ruthann Davis has a standing appointment with Bo, Hope and the rest of the "Days of Our Lives" characters. But when 1 p.m. Friday rolled around, she tuned into her NBC affiliate -- WEYI in Saginaw -- and found no drama unfolding in the fictional city of Salem. Instead, all she heard was someone talking about the nationwide transition from analog to digital broadcasting, first in English, then in Spanish. While someone at the FCC later assured Davis, 68, of Sanilac Township her favorite station was in the midst of switching things up Friday afternoon and her service would be restored, not everyone was so lucky... TV switch leaves some in dark (Sat, 6/13)



Specs Howard School inaugurates motion picture film workshops

As film making in Metro Detroit continues at a feverish pace, bringing to the area such luminaries as Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino), Michael Bay (Transformers) and Robert De Niro (Stone), incredible opportunities exist to work both in front of and behind the lens. The key to sustained success for the industry in this region? A trained workforce. Specs Howard is preparing to play a major role in accomplishing exactly that; in turn, educating the next generation of film professionals.

Specs Howard School, Michigan's leading broadcast arts educational school, has announced it is opening a new training facility "Specs Howard On Location" at the Studio Center motion picture production complex in Farmington Hills. Specs Howard's initial workshops, a new 8-week "On Location Film Workshop" and 7-week "On Location Advanced Editing," beginning on July 13th and 21st, are designed to provide participants with a fundamental yet comprehensive introduction to the film industry via Michigan-based creative arts professionals and instructors skilled in a range of disciplines.

Among the instructors is Specs Howard's own Steve Julin, Director of Curriculum Development, who created the entire "On Location" film and editing workshops curriculum. Julin has worked on several independent films, including Between Brothers, Mutant Swingers from Mars, Hatred of a Minute and Walk This Way. He has worked with such well-known television companies as The Discovery Channel, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and the General Television Network. He is an Avid Certified Instructor, Certified Boris FX Instructor and Apple Certified Trainer, as well as a recipient of the Golden Eagle Award for documentary editing and an Emmy Award nominee.

The "On Location Film Workshop" will take students behind the scenes to examine and experience pre-production planning and scheduling; breaking down a script; fundamentals of filming a basic scene and principles of editing. Participants also will enjoy hands-on equipment usage including working with dollies, lighting equipment, microphones, editing software and cameras--from learning how to load the industry's most popular film magazines to shooting footage with such high-tech, digital cameras as the Panasonic P2 HD camera.

"Our workshops will offer intensive, practical film industry training unlike anywhere else in Michigan," said Lisa Zahodne, President/COO of Specs Howard School. "Over the course of several weeks, our students will learn the language and craft of film. Our instructors and facilities are here--now--and second to none."

Studio Center: Making movies here, now

Specs Howard joins the campus of professionals at Studio Center, where filmmaking in Michigan has become focused since legislative support was enacted early in 2008. Operating for nearly 30 years, Studio Center is the only active studio production lot in Michigan and has quickly become the hub of new feature film production in the State. It provides a complete range of production services and resources, including three soundstages, post-production facilities, film processing, camera rental, lighting and production offices, all set on nearly seven acres centrally located near major Michigan filming locations.

Grace & Wild is the anchor Studio Center tenant, and along with the other resident businesses, Studio Center has become one of the largest and most productive production facilities outside of Los Angeles. Recent productions serviced include features:

  • Stone, with Robert De Niro and Ed Norton
  • The Irishman, starring Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken
  • The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, produced by Kenn Viselman, mastermind behind the Teletubbies
  • High School, starring Adrien Brody and Michael Chiklis
  • Miss January, starring Kim Cattrall and Brian Dennehy
  • Prayers for Bobby, starring Sigourney Weaver

"This is an ideal collaboration between two long-time Michigan entities, each of us with a history of dedication to the creative industry," said Steven Wild, President of Grace & Wild, Inc. "We are ecstatic that Specs Howard is joining us at Studio Center, the only movie production facility that is open and operating--right now--in the state. Specs Howard will serve as an ideal training ground and talent incubator for future movie industry professionals living and working in our area."

Added Zahodne: "With our 40th anniversary just around the corner, we look forward to continuing the school's evolution into all areas of the creative arts, something we inaugurated last year with our graphics arts program. Our film workshops will also expand over time in terms of scope and content and degree of sophisticated training."

The Specs Howard School "On Location Film Workshop" will meet 3 ½ hours per day, 3 days per week, with day and evening sessions available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. "On Location Advanced Editing" will be available during the day and evening on Mondays and Tuesdays in either day or evening sessions. Students will receive an official certificate of completion at the conclusion of the workshop. Funding from the Michigan Works! program is available to those who qualify.

The "On Location Film Workshop" and "On Location Advanced Editing" workshop are licensed by the State of Michigan as the state's only film training workshops affiliated with a proprietary school.

Open House "Sneak Peek" Set

Specs Howard School will hold an open house on Wednesday, June 24 at 5 pm and again at 6 pm at the new Studio Center office to introduce the workshops. During the open house, attendees will be able to participate in a drawing allowing two people to take the workshop free of charge. Anyone who would like to attend should RSVP at rsvp@specshoward.edu or by calling 866-61-SPECS.

For more information on the Specs Howard School "On Location Film Workshop" and "On Location Advanced Editing," visit: www.specshoward.edu/onlocation or call 866-61-SPECS.


• Spring Arbor University's WJKN AM 1510 Jackson and KTGG AM 1540 Spring Arbor were both granted construction permits for changes. WJKN will remain at 5,000 watts as a daytimer, but change location from near Jackson to south of Spring Arbor (where KTGG currently operates from). The station will use a 2-tower array instead of the current 4 towers. KTGG will change its community of license to Okemos and move from Jackson county to Ingham county. It also will remain a daytime-only station; power will change from 450 watts (185 during critical hours) to 400 watts (219 critical hours) and continue to operate with a single tower.


• No notable activity for June 11th.


• The FCC approved the sale of WMQF TV 19 Marquette from the bankrupt Equity Media Holdings to MMMRC, LLC.


Saginaw News:

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


Toledo Blade:

Sports radio in Toledo will grow by a couple of thousand watts Monday when WLQR-AM 1470 takes over WRWK-FM's spot on the dial, significantly expanding coverage of the Detroit Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings, and Ohio State. The decision by Cumulus Media Inc. will give local sports radio two homes - the same programs will air simultaneously on 1470 and WRWK's 106.5 niche on the FM dial - and a coverage area that goes as far north as Hillsdale, Michigan, and as far south as Findlay. Norm Wamer, program director for WLQR, said the decision to eliminate the FM station's modern rock format in exchange for sports is aimed at the prime demographic of men between the ages of 25 and 54... It's a 2-for-1 'Ticket' with FM simulcast (Wed, 6/17)



Michigan Radio launches Facing the Mortgage Crisis

Every day, more and more families throughout Southeast Michigan are losing their homes to mortgage foreclosure. There were over 100,000 homes affected by mortgage delinquency or foreclosure in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties in 2008, and that number is expected to exceed 150,000 in 2009. A majority of those facing foreclosure are not seeking assistance because they are often unaware of the resources available to them.

In response to the mounting crisis, Michigan Radio (WUOM FM 91.7 / WFUM-FM 91.1 / WVGR-FM 104.1) is launching "Facing the Mortgage Crisis," a community engagement initiative designed to connect area residents to trusted foreclosure prevention resources that can help. The station received a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to fund this initiative, which will consist of on-air reports, special shows, town hall meetings, and information about how we as a society can cope with the foreclosure crisis.

As part of "Facing the Mortgage Crisis," Michigan Radio and its partner, Detroit Public TV, will feature special programs and reports looking at how the foreclosure crisis has affected Michigan as a state, and Southeast Michigan in particular. Michigan Radio's upcoming programming will examine why this crisis has hit Michigan particularly hard and provide residents with information on managing mortgage issues.

Michigan Radio is partnering with several other community organizations to help provide the community with resources on how to prevent and deal with foreclosure. Among them are the United Way of Southeast Michigan 211, Wayne County Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program, and the Metro Net Library Consortium, which will host town hall events around metro Detroit.

As part of this initiative, Michigan Radio and Detroit Public TV have created a special website that will feature resources for those facing foreclosure, information from partner organizations, up-to-date program details, and opportunities for the public to provide feedback on how the foreclosure crisis is affecting them. This website can be accessed at: www.facingthemortgagecrisis.org.

"Facing the Mortgage Crisis" is part of a national project spearheaded by KETC, a public television station based in St. Louis, MO, as well as a part of CPB's Public Service Media Economic Response Initiative.



Michigan Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awards Emmys

Check out the complete list of Michigan Emmy award winners on the NATAS Michigan web site at www.mi-nta.org. Congratulations to all the winners.



WVMV's Zonjic set to release new CD

Flutist and Windsor native Alexander Zonjic tips his hat to his adopted city of Detroit on Doin' The D, his new album set for worldwide release on June 23 on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group.

Doin' The D takes its title from a catchphrase that's common to residents of the greater Detroit area. To "do the D" is to spend an evening or a weekend checking out the various cultural and entertainment attractions offered by a city rich with musical history and cultural diversity.

"Detroit and its people embraced me on a profound level many, many years ago, and they're the main reason that I've had such a great career," says Zonjic.

Other local nods include the powerful crescendos of The Motor City Horns on one album track and a song titled "River Raisin Nights" takes its name from the River Raisin Jazz Festival that Zonjic produces each August.

The album also features guest appearances by saxophonist Kenny G, who rarely ever plays on other artists' albums, Special EFX guitarist Chieli Minucci, vocalist Maysa and many others. Longtime collaborators Jeff Lorber and Bob James make substantial contributions to Doin' The D.

"It's always interesting when a new record starts coming together," says Zonjic. "I basically throw an invitation out to all my music buddies and wonder how many of them will come to the party."

In addition to being a recording artist and performer of international stature, Zonjic plays numerous roles in Detroit's music and entertainment scene. He is morning drive-time personality on Smooth Jazz V98.7 (WVMV-FM), artistic director of several summer music festivals, year-round concert promoter, restaurateur (Seldom Blues Jazz Supper Club) and more.

"Obviously, the city is going through its share of tough times right now - like so many other cities. But I continue to appreciate everything "The D" has done for my career, and I will always support it."




CBC Gets Windsor AM-to-FM Move Approved: The CBC has been granted a new FM frequency at 97.5 FM in WINDSOR, ON by the CRTC to replace its RADIO ONE outlet there, CBE-A. The station will run 3,200 watts average ERP (19,000 watts at 130.1 meters) and will be accompanied by a second transmitter at 91.5 FM in LEAMINGTON. (Wed, 6/17)


Adrian Daily Telegram:

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



Mt. Pleasant Sun:

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


Grand Rapids Press:

Radio veterans Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis have launched a new venture -- a free weekday podcast called "Dave and Geri On Demand." "We thought it was time to get back to doing what we love: talking with West Michigan," Jarvis said in a release. "The great thing about this type of media is that you can listen whenever and wherever you like." The podcasts, which started Monday, will be available on iTunes, as well as through the couple's Web site, DaveandGeri.com. The site also includes links to their e-mail, blog and social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more... Catch local radio personalities Dave and Geri again, now on podcast (Wed, 6/17)


WDIV TV 4 Detroit (DTV Ch. 45) was granted a construction permit to change effective radiated power from 973,000 watts @ 922 feet to 872,000 watts @ 1004 feet. The station is operating with temporary authority of 540,000 watts @ 840 feet.


WCML TV 6 Alpena (DTV Ch. 24) was granted a construction permit to increase power from 106,000 to 300,000 watts.


WTLJ TV 54 Muskegon (DTV Ch. 24) was granted a construction permit to increase effective radiated power from 280,000 watts @ 922 feet to 310,000 watts @ 928 feet.


• No notable activity for June 16th.


Grand Rapids Press:

Kim Carson, WLHT-FM (95.7) afternoon drivetime on-air personality, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. Carson made the announcement in a recorded message at 4 p.m. today. "It's terrifying. It's terrifying. I'm gonna have to record it, because I tried doing it last night, and I can't get through it without crying," Carson said in an interview before the public announcement... WLHT's Kim Carson has colon cancer; she says diagnosis comes at height of her career (Thu, 6/18)


Country music stars love a good Bash! That is, of course, the annual B-93 Birthday Bash. This weekend, fans will flock to Ionia for two days of free country music, thanks to sponsoring radio station WBCT-FM (93.7). This is the 17th year B-93 has celebrated its birthday by throwing a party for listeners attended by stars and newcomers in country music. With Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley returning to headline Saturday and Sunday, respectively, this year is no exception... B-93 Birthday Bash shines spotlights on Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, other country music stars (Thu, 6/18)



John Smyntek reports on the condition of former WXYT and WJR talk host David Newman in his latest column for YourNews.com. Check it out by clicking here.



WJR hosting auto supplier roundtable this evening

With two major automakers going through bankruptcy, models and brands are being phased out and the supplier base is trying to figure out what's next. Join WJR's Paul W. Smith as he hosts, The Automotive Supplier Roundtable, this evening, June 18th, at 7pm. This round table discussion will tackle the tough questions facing suppliers today. Guests expected to appear include:
* Tom Manganello, Auto Practice Chairman at Warner Norcross & Judd
* Mark Gardner, US Automotive Consulting Leader at Deloitte Consulting
* Neil De Koker, President & CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA)
* Douglas J. Grimm, Chief Executive Officer of Citation Corporation


• Soft rock WKQS FM 101.9 Negaunee/Marquette was granted a construction permit to change effective radiated power from 12,000 watts @ 1007 feet to 13,000 watts @ 938 feet.


• News/talk WSGW-FM 100.5 Carrollton/Saginaw was granted a construction permit granted to increase power from 3,000 to 6,000 watts and change to a directional pattern.


WMQF TV 19 Marquette was granted a construction permit for modified digital facilities on Ch. 19 (another modification was approved days later by the FCC).


Kalamazoo Gazette:

Southwest Michigan appears to have weathered the switch to digital television. A week after most television stations in the nation dropped their analog signals to broadcast only in digital, complaints and concerns coming to help lines and local television repair shops have slowed. "Most people have been pretty happy," said Bob Strand, a television repairman with M & T Electronics, in Paw Paw. "I expected that we would be getting a rash of calls when they switched over." During the first five days of the switch, the Federal Communications Commission handled about 1,200 calls from the Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Battle Creek market, said FCC spokesman Rick Kaplan... 'Most people ... pretty happy' with digital TV signal switch in Southwest Michigan (Fri, 6/19)


Michigan Almanac: June 20, 2009




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


• Great Lakes Community Broadcasting / Great Lakes Broadcast Academy had licenses or construction permits canceled and/or deleted by the FCC because they expired: WQLO FM 89.7 Lake Odessa, WAAQ FM 88.1 Rogers Heights, WJCQ FM 89.7 Jackson, WPQZ FM 88.1 Muskegon, W207BL FM 89.3 Pinnebog, W206AZ FM 89.1 Fremont, and W211BI FM 90.1 Ann Arbor. FCC Memorandum Opinion and Order (.pdf)


Grand Rapids Press:

Frustration levels, as well as water levels, continued to rise today for B-93 concert-goers who had their cars stranded in a lot at the Ionia Fairgrounds due to flooding on the Grand River. Officials of WBCT-FM (93.7) as well as public safety officials told hundreds of fans they will have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest before they have access to their vehicles, many of them submerged in water up to windshields... Water levels, frustrations continue to rise in aftermath of B-93 Birthday Bash at Ionia Fairgrounds (Sun, 6/21)




It could be mid-week before hundreds of cars trapped by water at the Ionia County Fairgrounds are able to be removed, according to officials from Ionia County and Clear Channel Radio. Thousands of people were trapped when water from the Webber Dam was diverted due to the torrential rains Friday night. The Ionia County Fairgrounds flooded early Saturday evening, forcing the evacuation of the concert and an emergency shelter set up. There are at least several hundred cars trapped south of the Grand River, and another 100 or more in other spots, said Tim Feagan, the vice president of Clear Channel Grand Rapids, and Jason Eppler, the Ionia city manager... B93 Birthday Bash cars stuck til Wed. (Sun, 6/21)


Saginaw News:

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


Greater Media announces that popular morning personality Drew Lane will return to the airwaves on 101 WRIF and reunite with former co-host Mike Clark in morning drive from 6 to 10:30am. Lane will resume his on-air duties on Monday, July 13th, 2009.

Drew Lane has been off the air since September 2007, after a 14 year stint with Clark on WRIF. Since Lane's departure, Clark has teamed with long-time show contributors Trudi Daniels and Marc Fellhauer, along with Detroit radio veteran Jamie Samuelsen, to maintain the station's number-one morning rank (adults 25-54) as the "Mike in the Morning" show.

The Drew and Mike Show had owned the top share of the Motor City morning drive audience since the mid 90's, at times doubling the ratings of its closest competitor. The show's unique blend of pop culture, current events, sports, and humor provided a rare communal experience that appealed to all ages and backgrounds, from CEOs, politicians, and community leaders to college and high school students.

"I'm glad to be back with Mike," said Lane. "After having worked with a great team like this, it would have been hard to do anything else."

"I am very excited to welcome Drew back," said Clark. "After nearly 17 years together, the sequel should be a lot of fun and wildly enjoyable for both of us and the listeners."

"We are thrilled to have the Drew and Mike morning team back together at the RIF," said Greater Media Detroit Market Manager John Gallagher. "Mike has done an outstanding job as the central morning personality on the station for more than a year. To have Drew and Mike together again is not only great for WRIF, but great for Detroit."


• The FCC approved the sale of low power TV station WUDT-CA Ch. 23 Detroit to Word of God Fellowship from the bankrupt Equity Broadcasting.


WMSH-FM 99.3 Sturgis was granted a construction permit to increase radiated power from 3,000 watts @ 328 feet to 4,400 watts @ 328 feet.


• No notable activity for June 22nd.


Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison tapped to fill in for a week of morning drive on WOMC

When Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison were fired from classic rock WCSX FM 94.7 last year, they were taken off the air without being able to host a farewell program for their fans. Now they'll get that chance and more as the duo sits in for the vacationing Dick Purtan and Purtan's People on classic hits WOMC FM 104.3 next week (June 29 - July 1, and possibly July 2-3).

It's a unique scenario - having an (available) established morning program fill in for what's essentially your franchise. Radio executives generally aren't known for doing 'nice things' without there being some kind of other motivation behind it.



Detroit News:

They tore down Tiger Stadium and GM's still in bankruptcy court, but here's a bright spot for Detroit radio fans: Drew Lane is returning to the WRIF-FM (101.1) airwaves on July 13 to restart the "Drew and Mike" show with longtime co-host Mike Clark. "I wish I got paid every time someone asked me when I was going back to WRIF," Lane quipped on Tuesday. Now he will get paid -- for going to WRIF every morning. Greater Media Detroit market manager John Gallagher confirmed that both Lane and Clark signed multi-year contracts, "So they're locked in as Drew and Mike for several years"... The 'Drew and Mike' show returns to radio (Wed, 6/24)



Detroit Free Press:

It's the news WRIF-FM (101.1) listeners have waited months to hear. The station announced Tuesday that Drew Lane is returning July 13 to his morning slot next to Mike Clark for version 2.0 of the popular "Drew & Mike Show"... Drew Lane will return to 'Drew & Mike Show' (Wed, 6/24)


WJBK TV 2 Detroit (DTV Ch. 7) was granted a modification to its construction permit to change effective radiated power to 27,200 watts @ 1030 feet with a directional antenna.


• Soul's Harbor Assembly of God Church was issued a $500 forfeiture by the FCC to Low-Power FM Station WRDS-LP Roscommon for late license renewal and unlicensed operations. Forfeiture Order (.pdf)


Detroit Free Press:

Detroit -- the city that gave Michael Jackson his start -- continues to pay respect to the 'King of Pop' nearly three hours after his death was confirmed today. The city's radio stations are blasting only Jackson's music, and encouraging listeners to call in and share their fondest memories. Angie Starr, a Mason Radio -- 107.5 FM -- personality said the station will host a tribute dance featuring Jackson's music until 2a.m. at Nikki's in Greektown... Detroit radio stations pay their respects (Thu, 6/25)


Grand Rapids Press:

Like more than 1,000 others, Matt Hartwig spent this past week without his car, trapped last weekend in the flooded Ionia Fairgrounds parking lot after the B-93 Birthday Bash ... The first 100 car owners of the more than 1,000 stranded last week were allowed access to their vehicles for the first time on Saturday. Crews from Reed & Hoppes Towing and Equipment, of Portland, early in the morning began towing cars out of the parking lot that had been under water for most of the week when the Grand River flooded its banks. Representatives from several insurers, including AAA, Allstate and State Farm, were on hand to handle claims. "It's just a bad situation," said Sam Pace, of Burlington, summing up how many felt, as he waited Saturday morning at the Ionia Intermediate School District Building to be among the first to claim his 2005 Dodge Dakota... B-93 Birthday Bash concertgoers discover fate of their vehicles towed from formerly flooded Ionia Fairgrounds parking lot (Sun, 6/28)


Grand Rapids Press:

Oldies station WFGR-FM (98.7) is now "Classic Hits" 98.7, playing more Fleetwood Mac than Buddy Holly. "It's an evolution, really, from oldies to classic hits," said Phil Catlett, president and general manager of Regent Broadcasting. The station made the switch at 9 a.m. today. In the first hour, the station played "Spirit of Radio" by Rush, "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne, "Strawberry Fields Forever" by the Beatles and "You Better You Bet" by The Who. "As people get older, we want to bring some younger listeners into the fold," WFGR-FM program director Len O'Kelly said. "What we're basically doing is finding a way to incorporate some newer music into things. It's hard to play a Fleetwood Mac record next to a Buddy Holly record." Listeners still will get an earful of the Beatles, but expect less '60s-era tunes and a lot more '70s and '80s Top 40/pop hits from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Chicago, Foreigner, Journey, The Eagles, Kansas, Tom Petty, and the Rolling Stones. Catlett said the station will be different from classic rock stations WLAV-FM (96.9) and WBFX-FM (101.3 The Fox), saying it won't be as heavy. Also, "Classic Hits" will be focusing on music, while the competitors feature talk-heavy morning shows... Oldies station WFGR-FM 98.7 shifts to 'classic hits' format, hosts party in downtown Grand Rapids to celebrate today (Mon, 6/29)


Detroit News:

Michael Jackson's death highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of radio, as broadcasters either scrambled to react to his death or hit the snooze button. Some stations reacted quickly, but considering how important an artist Jackson was to radio in the 1980s, others were on an endless loop of voicetracking. Songs like "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" could be heard all over the dial over the weekend. To quantify it, according to Nielsen BDS research cited by Billboard, in the week before his death, the only Jackson song to rack up more than 500 plays was "Rock with You." After his death, 22 Jackson songs got more than 1,000 plays each. Predictably, Detroit urban stations WJLB-FM (97.9) and WMXD-FM (92.3) and Radio One's Detroit stations (WDMK-FM, 105.9, WHTD-FM, 102.7, WCHB-AM, 1200) were in heavy Jackson mode. But some stations that rely heavily on '80s pop (including Jackson), like "Doug-FM" (WDRQ-FM, 93.1), just continued as the automated jukeboxes that they are... Jackson songs get heavy airplay (Tue, 6/30)


Mayor Dave Bing is the newest Detroit politician to star in his own basic cable television show. Bing's new show is titled "From the Mayor's Office" and will debut today on the city's government access station, Channel 10. The first show will tackle "hot button issues," such as the city's budget, Detroit Public Schools and "the overall approach of his administration," according to a written statement released today... Dave Bing TV show debuts today (Tue, 6/30)



WJR's 'Big Story' to focus on Detroit Public Schools tonight

WJR's Lloyd Jackson will host a special edition of 'The Big Story' tonight from 7 - 8 p.m., welcoming Robert Bobb, the Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager. Listeners are invited to call in to WJR and give their thoughts. 1.800.859.0-WJR.


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

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

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

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



Muskegon Lumberjacks Ink Deal With WLAW: The INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE's MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS will be heard on CITADEL Country WLAW (92.5 THE OUTLAW)/MUSKEGON, MI this season in the first year of a four-year deal. The game broadcasts will include a half-hour pre-game show and a "Star of the Game Show" and post-game show attached. The weekly "JACKS JAM" show will air on MONDAY nights, and a daily "LUMBERJACKS HOCKEY UPDATE" will air on sister Sports WEFG (97.5 THE CHAMP). The JACKS' predecessor in pro hockey, the MUSKEGON FURY, were heard on THE OUTLAW in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. (Tue, 6/30)


WJQK Signs Rachelle Renee: LANSER Christian AC WJQK (JQ99)/GRAND RAPIDS signs former KXOJ and KKCM/TULSA air talent RACHELLE RENEE to handle SATURDAY and SUNDAY voicetracking duties. (Tue, 6/30)







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About this Archive

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

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