Mike Austerman: August 2009 Archives

Detroit Free Press:

All week, hosts Mojo and Spike have played guess-the-name-of-the-new-cohost. Bright and early this morning, Shannon Murphy called WKQI-FM (95.5) and introduced herself to fans of the "Mojo in the Morning" show. Murphy, 26, of Grosse Ile announced that she'll be a full-time member of the show starting Aug. 10... New 'Mojo in the Morning' show host introduced to fans (Sat, 8/1)

After being suspended from broadcasting Friday for their ongoing bathroom banter last week, it is unknown whether CIMX-FM (88.7, 89X) morning show hosts Dave Hunter, Chuck the Freak and Lisa Way will be back on the job Monday... 'Morning X' crew's fate uncertain (Sat, 8/1)


Grand Rapids Press:

At 10:05 a.m. on a Monday morning, the Michael Jackson song "Black or White" pumps through a Kentwood radio studio. Time for Skot Welch and Rick Wilson to rock. "Welcome, folks!" Welch pipes into his microphone. "This is 'Radio in Black and White,' the most integrated hour of the week." At the top of their weekly radio show about race, the pair go at it like the old friends they are -- with a good dollop of morning DJ banter thrown in. "The mayor showed up on our fan page! I was amazed!" chimes in Wilson with the smooth charm of a 20-year broadcast pro. "What if the PC people show up?" quips Welch. "We drive them crazy," Wilson retorts. These two aren't worried about political correctness -- in fact they banish it from their studio. Their two-hour show on WPRR-AM (1680) is all about pushing people out of their comfort zones into a meaningful discussion about race relations... Kentwood talk show hosts address racial tensions on morning radio program (Sat, 8/1)


Detroit Free Press:

Metro Detroit commuters who flip on CIMX-FM (88.7, 89X) on the way to work today won't flip out because the familiar shenanigans of morning-show hosts Dave Hunter, Chuck the Freak and Lisa Way are MIA. The "Morning X" team is to be back on the job today after the controversial bathroom banter last week -- coined "Operation Dark Stall" -- that spawned a one-day suspension Friday. What, if anything, will be discussed about the incident where Chuck the Freak found an unidentified employee in a suspiciously dark restroom last Monday is anyone's guess, but after disciplinary action was enforced and the harsh reality that the popular show might be pulled for good, Hunter and Co. might opt to dodge bullets on their return and fire off against less sensitive corporate issues like Madonna's arms, the new Eminem/Mariah Carey diss track or Detroit's City Council... Suspension over, 'Morning X' back on air (Mon, 8/3)



• Langford Broadcasting agreed to purchase FM translator W209BC 89.7 Wakelee from Family Stations for $55,000 pending FCC approval and closing.


• No notable activity for July 30-31.


Detroit's 97.1 evacuates building due to threat

Confusion reigned supreme for listeners of the Jay Towers and Bill McAllister hosted program on WXYT-FM 97.1 Detroit as the show disappeared from the airwaves before 8 a.m. today, replaced by the syndicated Peter Brown program from Sporting News Radio. After the duo returned to the air at 9 a.m. they explained they had to evacuate their offices due to a threat against the building and had shifted to CBS sister station WWJ's building.



• The construction permit for the permanent digital facilities of WWJ-TV Ch. 62 Detroit (DTV Ch. 44) was modified from 345,000 watts @ 1060 feet to 425,000 watts @ 1060 feet.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation's (MABF) annual Online Auction is in full swing. The annual event is a fundraiser hosted by the MABF to raise money for their education and scholarship program which aids students who are pursuing careers within the broadcasting industry.

The final day of bidding on fantastic items and packages is today, Wednesday, August 5th. Bidding will end at 11:00pm. Items available include: University of Michigan Football Package; Michigan State University Football Package; Detroit Tigers Tickets; and A Getaway for two at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

The MAB Foundation has provided more than $60,000 dollars in scholarships to worthy students pursuing a career in broadcasting since its inception. The MABF also sponsors major educational opportunities like the Broadcasting Career Builders Conference (BCBC) which will be held Friday, October 30, 2009 at Lansing Community College's West Campus. BCBC helps young people, and those new to the business, learn more about the inner workings of the broadcasting industry and serves as a great networking opportunity with seasoned professionals. Additionally, the MABF sponsors the following programs: the Michigan High School and College Broadcast Awards program, broadcasting career fairs and the Broadcast Excellence Awards for Michigan Broadcasting professionals.

For more information on the Online Auction or for a complete list of items being auctioned, please visit the MAB website at www.michmab.com and click on the Online Auction button.


Grand Rapids Business Journal:

Citadel Communications Corp. will debut a new radio format for its 1340 AM station in Grand Rapids on Monday. WJRW -- "We're Talking West Michigan" is a news and talk format that will feature "live local regional issue based programming" station that "highlights issues and events that are important to Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan." The new format replaces the WBBL Sports programming that was recently moved to Citadel's high-power FM frequency at 107.3. Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Market Manager Matt Hanlon told the Business Journal the 24-hour news talk station is aimed at a primary target of men aged 25 to 64. The station's tentative weekday morning lineup will include the syndicated program of Michael Patrick Shiels, a former J.P. McCarthy radio program producer who has been airing in the Lansing market; the Tony Gates Show by veteran the WLAV personality who will still do his drive-time show on that station; and Frank Beckmann's Citadel-owned WJR morning Detroit program, which will be re-aired locally from noon-2 p.m... GR radio takes on WJR flair (Wed, 8/5)



• Packer Radio WION, LLC is purchasing FM translator W279AP 103.7 Ionia from Horizon Christian Fellowship pending FCC approval and closing. Packer Radio plans on rebroadcasting its full service WION AM 1430 Ionia on the translator.


Tang tapped as new WZZM TV 13 news director

WZZM TV 13 Grand Rapids has promoted Stanton Tang from executive producer to news and information director of wzzm13.com, according to trade publication TVNewsCheck. Tang has been WZZM's executive producer since late 2005 and had been serving as interim news director since the departure of Tim Geraghty earlier this summer.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Aug. 6, 2009



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



• Baraga Broadcasting has been granted a construction permit for changes to FM translator W237CF 95.3 Mackinaw City. It will change frequency to 95.1 as W236BZ, change community of license to St. Ignace, increase power from 27 to 250 watts, and change physical location from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace. The translator rebroadcasts Baraga's religious WTCK FM 90.9 Charlevoix.


Sault Ste. Marie Evening News:

Northern Star Broadcasting and the Lake Superior State Department of Athletics announced that play-by-play coverage will by provided by Paul "Junior" VanWagoner for Laker hockey and Scott Nason for Laker basketball during the 2009-10 season. VanWagoner is a 1993 graduate of Alpena High School and has worked at Northern Star Broadcasting since 1998. He can be heard every morning on Talk Radio 1400 and in the evenings on Yes-FM 99.5. His sportscasting background includes the "E.U.P. Game of the Week" and play-by-play for Soo Eagles Junior A hockey. VanWagoner remembers attending Laker Hockey School as a pee wee player, and his camp counselors were former Lakers Terry Hossack and Mark Vermette... Lakers announce new radio team for hockey, basketball (Tue, 8/4)


Battle Creek Enquirer:

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

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



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

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


Television: Newsmakers Aug. 7, 2009



Crain's Detroit Business:

Fans of the Detroit Tigers have reason to rejoice: cable provider Comcast Corp. has added an all-Tigers channel starting today. "FOX Sports Detroit: Tigers On Demand" is available at no additional cost to Comcast digital cable subscribers in Michigan. The channel will re-air the most recent game in its entirety, including all pregame and postgame coverage, starting two hours after the game ends. Other content will include: a selection of baseball memories featuring Ernie Harwell; the "Tigers Weekly" special on the late Mark Fidrych; and an installment of "FSN Basement: All-Star Edition" from 2005 featuring conversations with Al Kaline and George Kell... New all-Detroit Tigers TV channel debuts on Comcast cable (Fri, 8/7)



WPBN-TV Ch. 7 Traverse City was granted a construction permit for a DTV translator on Ch. 50 to be used to better serve the greater Traverse City area. WPBN was using this facility as its temporary DTV facilities and found that after moving to Ch. 7 in June many viewers were experiencing reception issues. WPBN has also petitioned the FCC to move its digital broadcasts to Ch. 47 from a new tower location in Kalkaska county.



WWTV-TV Ch. 9 Cadillac-Traverse City was granted a construction permit to increase the power of its final DTV facilities from 30,000 to 45,000 watts.


Grand Rapids Press:

Jim Riekse, a former broadcast journalist for WZZM-TV, will be remembered by family, friends and colleagues as a hard-working, hard-driving fighter for truth and a good laugh. Mr. Riekse, 63, died Wednesday at Saint Mary's Health Care in Grand Rapids. He spent more than 20 years with the ABC-TV affiliate in Muskegon as an investigative reporter beginning in 1971. WZZM-TV anchor Lee Van Ameyde said Mr. Riekse, as a reporter, was better known than the station's anchors in the early 1970s... Former WZZM-TV journalist Jim Riekse remembered as hard-working investigative reporter (Wed, 8/12)

Stanton Tang has been named news and information director for Grand Rapids' WZZM-TV (Channel 13). Tang served on the management team under former vice president/news director Tim Geraghty, who left WZZM in May after being named corporate vice president/information director for KXTV-TV (Channel 10) in Sacramento, Calif. Both television stations are owned and operated by Gannett Co. "There will be no major changes," said Tang, who has served as interim news director for the past two months... WZZM TV-13 names Stanton Tang as news director (Wed, 8/12)



Muskegon Chronicle:

West Michigan country music radio station WMUS -- which commonly refers to itself as "The Moose" -- is presenting a free concert at Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon Saturday. The event features some of today's hottest current performers including Darryl Worley, Jason Michael Carroll, Holly Williams and Justin Moore. The 5th Annual Moose Fest will also feature Canadian country music artist Dean Brody, the Trailer Choir and Grand Rapids-based Union Guns. The first concert will begin at noon. Parking begins at 8 a.m. and concert gates open at 10 a.m. The concert is free, but tickets must be picked up in advance. No tickets will be available at the gate... WMUS presents free country Moose Fest at Heritage Landing (Wed, 8/12)




New Morning Show At WKFR: CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR (103.3 KFR)/KALAMAZOO has been looking for just the right partner for their current morning hostess KRISTA HATCHER, and PD KEN EVANS tells ALL ACCESS the search is over. "I am happy to announce WILL HARVEY is joining us in SEPTEMBER from STARADIO Country WXNU/KANKAKEE, IL where he serves as morning host and also afternoon host on their Adult Top 40 sister WYKT (MY 105.5). In 2008, WILL earned an IBA SILVERDOME AWARD for his program and he has a great passion for morning radio! He's also a MICHIGAN native, so it's a nice welcome home for him." (Wed, 8/12)



WOMC Celebrates The 15th Annual 'Woodward Dream Cruise': CBS Classic Hits WOMC/DETROIT is operating on all cylinders for the 15th Annual "WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE" this SAURDAY, AUGUST 15th. WOMC rides the world's largest one-day celebration of car culture from 7a-9 by covering the 16 mile cruise with continuous broadcasts and activities from eight different locations. "This is the world's largest one day classic car event and 104.3 WOMC is proud to be the official radio station," noted VP/CBS RADIO/Detroit Market Manager DEBBIE KENYON. "This is the MOTOR CITY and our listeners are proud of our automotive heritage." WOMC PD TIM ROBERTS added, "In addition to the live broadcasts, 104.3 WOMC will be featuring the Top 104 Cruising songs of All Time throughout the weekend. Listeners can enjoy the countdown starting at 4p on FRIDAY and repeating throughout the weekend." (Wed, 8/12)


Battle Creek Enquirer:

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



WFQX TV Cadillac was granted a construction permit granted to broadcast from WWTV's tower in northern Osceola county on Channel 32 with effective radiated power of 200,000 watts @ 1384 feet.


WHWG FM 89.9 Trout Lake was granted a construction permit granted to increase power from 500 to 1,000 watts.


• No notable activity for August 11-12.


Detroit News:

Radio host Mildred Gaddis briefly interrupted her morning program today and called the police when a fellow Radio One host with whom she's been feuding entered the station. Police were called to the studios of WHCB (AM 1200) on Franklin near East Jefferson about 6:55 a.m. after staffers complained that an unauthorized person was in the building, said police spokesman John Roach. A squad car was dispatched, but the person -- identified as disc jockey Reggie Reg Davis -- was gone. Roach said he's unsure whether charges will be sought. Davis, who cited a spat with Gaddis as one of the reasons he planned to quit today at Hot 102.7 (WHTD-FM), said he entered the station about 6:45 a.m. to collect his things. He said Gaddis -- who can see anyone walking through the security door -- asked her staff to phone police. Gospel music played when her show went off the air... Radio boss: We support Mildred Gaddis in Reggie Reg feud (Fri, 8/14)


Reggie Reg Davis, afternoon drive host on Hot 102.7 (WHTD-FM), says he's leaving his job on the popular station today so he's free to run for the city's charter commission. Davis charges that a long-running feud with a Radio One colleague, WCHB-AM (1200) morning show host Mildred Gaddis, is the main reason he's walking away from his high-profile job. The hip-hop jock initially had permission from his corporate Radio One bosses to run for the nine-person commission that will revise the city's charter, but he agreed to stop campaigning for the spot in July after management told him it was a conflict of interest... Deejay blames exit on feud with fellow jock Mildred Gaddis (Fri, 8/14)



Detroit Free Press:

James Steven dreamed of becoming a big-time sports radio personality. A former reporter/producer at WDFN-AM (1130), Mr. Steven died Monday of heart failure at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. The Dearborn Heights resident was 28. "Ever since he was a boy, he dreamed of working in sports radio," said his mother, Patricia Steven. "His ultimate dream job was to become the announcer for University of Michigan football." He was hired as an intern at the radio station in 2004. Coworkers said he was a quick study and eventually worked his way up to handling studio productions of Detroit Pistons basketball games and Detroit Lions football postgame shows... James Steven: He had a passion for sports radio (Fri, 8/14)



Ryan Rides again at 2009 Woodward Dream Cruise

As millions of car buffs assemble down Detroit's Woodward Avenue this weekend for the annual 104.3 WOMC Woodward Dream Cruise, radio fans will hear a familiar voice as Detroit Radio veteran Tom Ryan returns to the airwaves for the cruise with longtime partner "Matinee" Mindy Markowitz.

"Tom has such a great history with the cruise and the radio station it was just absolutely necessary to have him be a part of this year's Cruise and the 104.3 WOMC family", said WOMC VP/General Manager Debbie Kenyon. WOMC Program Director Tim Roberts added, "Tom's knowledge and experience with the Cruise, knowledge of Detroit's Greatest Hits is basically unparalleled in the city. Cruise fans will really enjoy Tom and Mindy's broadcast from 11-1 Saturday from Memorial Park in Royal Oak as they can really add the sense of history and depth to our event."

Tom Ryan was born and raised in Detroit....attended St. Gregory High School and University of Detroit, and started at WOMC June 25, 1984 as the morning show host. Tom moved to afternoons on January 8, 1990 when he teamed up with Mindy Markowitz for "Ridin' Home With Ryan."

Tom began his radio career in 1964 at WKNR and also was well known on television as hosting a local children's show on WKBD, "The Captain Detroit Show" and starred as Count Scary and Sgt. Sacto.

Ryan won three "Big Mac" radio awards in the Detroit News as well as the "Tower" award for outstanding alumni from the University of Detroit.

The Catholic Youth Organization named Tom Ryan Outstanding Citizen in 1993. Tom works closely with the National Kidney Foundation (he gave his wife a kidney in October, 1999) and he won an Emmy Award for his work on the Dick Purtan Comedy Special.

Tom's also the Public Address Announcer for the University of Detroit Basketball games for the past 30 plus years.



CKWW hosting Cruising Woodstock Weekend

This weekend, AM 580 is celebrating two great events with a "Cruising Woodstock Weekend", playing the best "cruising" music to take along to the Dream Cruise as well as marking this weekend's 40th Anniversary of Woodstock. AM 580 is the place to hear real cruisin' Oldies on AM--where they were originally heard! Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane with the songs you cruised Woodward Avenue to back in the day. AM 580 revs up the 50's and 60's hits this weekend.

Also, 40 years ago this weekend nearly 500,000 people gathered in upstate New York for a festival billed as "3 Days of Peace & Music", and it turned into one of the greatest moments in music history. AM 580 will be playing music from the artists who performed that memorable weekend including some of their live performances from the concert. Artists such as Sly & The Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who and many more.

This Sunday morning at 11 AM CKWW will air the 2-hour radio special "Woodstock 40 Years On: Back to Yagur's Farm". You also can also enter to win "Woodstock Prize Packs" featuring Woodstock CD's and more by logging on to www.am580radio.com.



WKAR TV Ch. 23 East Lansing (DTV Ch. 40) was granted a construction permit granted to maximize digital facilities, increasing power from 50,000 to 425,000 watts.


Lansing gets its Edge back - on a stronger frequency

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



WOAP Owosso resumes operations

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

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



Saginaw News:

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


Grand Rapids Press:

A new 24-hour news-and-talk radio format hits the local airwaves today, with a West Michigan television news anchor hosting a weekday afternoon show. The former WBBL Radio signal at 1340 AM now has the call letters WJRW, with owner Citadel Broadcasting Corp. recasting the former sports station. The new format took effect at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, replacing WBBL's sports programming. That got moved in late May to the 50,000-watt signal at 107.3 FM, the former home of rock station WKLQ. Among WJRW's hosts is Lee VanAmeyde, an anchor for WZZM-TV, Channel 13. He is hosting a show 3-4 p.m. Monday through Friday focused on politics and local issues, said Matt Hanlon, regional president for Citadel Broadcasting. WJRW's format will feature local issues-based programming, he said... Citadel Broadcasting launches 24-hour news-and-talk format at 1340 AM on WJRW Radio (Tue, 8/18)



• The FCC has modified the Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments to reflect that WPXD-TV 31 Ann Arbor will be moving from Ch. 31 to Ch. 50. The station will apply for a construction permit for DTV Ch. 50 in Southfield which will shift its broadcast area to the east and add approximately 1.8 million viewers to its over-the-air coverage area. FCC Report & Order (.pdf)


• No notable activity for August 17.



WZZM 13 and Citadel Radio are expanding their relationship for Citadel's new News/Talk radio station WJRW 1340-AM. WZZM 13's Lee Van Ameyde will host a talk show from 3:00pm - 4:00pm and anchor news from 4:00pm - 6:00pm weekdays. The show will focus on current issues and politics and will originate from a studio at WZZM. "This opportunity to return to radio, while continuing at WZZM 13, is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Lee Van Amedye. "I think WJRW is going to make a tremendous impact on the community, and I am excited about being a part of it." Lee's career started in radio at WUOM, The University of Michigan radio station where he began doing news and sports. He also worked at radio stations WAAM in Ann Arbor, as well as WNIC and WOMC in Detroit. Lee has been at WZZM for 32 years. Citadel is positioning the station, with the motto "We're Talking West Michigan," as a West Michigan sister station to Detroit's WJR Radio, 760 AM, which also owned by Citadel... WZZM 13 and Citadel Radio expand for new Grand Rapids talk station (Wed, 8/19)


WTKA Ann Arbor adds Ira Weintraub as assistant program director

Effective August 17th, Ira Weintraub was been named Assistant Program Director for Sports Talk 1050 WTKA as of Monday. In addition he will be co-hosting and producing the "Michigan Insider with Sam Webb" morning show.

"Ira is such a major addition. His resume is rich with broadcasting, programming, and producing experience. I am so excited to see the places WTKA will go with Ira", stated Brian Cowan, Program Director of WTKA.

Having studied at the University of Michigan and University of Maryland for his undergrad work, Ira received his degree from the journalism school at the University of Maryland in May 2005. Ira's sports radio background comes from work at Sports Talk 980, WTEM in Washington. While at WTEM, he served in numerous roles including Promotions Coordinator and producer for The John Thompson Show, hosted by the Hall of Fame basketball coach of the Georgetown Hoyas and resumed his sports media career as a high school sports columnist and beat reporter in Chico, Calif. After 13 months on the West Coast, Ira returned in August 2006 to work at Redskins Radio as a producer and serve as the station's Web editor. He then relocated to Southeastern Michigan in December 2007 and worked briefly in Monroe before joining Ann Arbor Radio in early 2009 in a part-time role.



• The construction permit for WJOM FM 88.5 Eagle to increase power from its current 4,300 watts has been modified from 10,000 watts @ 289 feet to 25,000 watts @ 131 feet.


Fox 2 Detroit gets back hour for local morning news

With the shutdown of FOX's 'Mike & Juliet' show, Fox 2 Detroit (WJBK) will add back the 9-10am hour to its morning news block starting September 14th. That hour had been cut off when FOX rolled out M&J in 2007. WJBK's morning newscast will now run 5 1/2 hours - from 4:30 - 10 am and will offer longer features like live music, interviews and cooking segments.

"The expansion of FOX 2 News Morning is a natural evolution for our station, as we continue to grow our already strong presence in the market," said Vice President/General Manager Jeff Murri. "In addition, it will allow us to provide viewers with enhanced coverage of news events and breaking stories throughout the morning."



Detroit News:

One of the oldest churches in the city is faced with closing its doors if it doesn't raise $490,000 in nine days. The 92-year-old First Baptist Institutional Church was the victim of an investment scheme that snared some 300 other churches nationwide. The holder of the churches' mortgages was Indianapolis-based Alanar, whose executives have been sent to jail for defrauding the churches. First Baptist's original mortgage, issued in the mid-1990s, was for $3.3 million, but church officials became alarmed when Alanar sent a statement three years ago that said the balance was $7.5 million. To settle the debt, the federal government is asking the church to pay $490,000, approximately 70 percent of the church's appraised value, by Aug. 28. On Sunday, the church will hold a radiothon from 6-8 p.m. on WGPR-FM (107.5)... Radiothon will mean hope for Detroit church (Thu, 8/20)

WYCD To Host Free Beach Party Prior To Chesney Show: CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT will host a free BEACH BASH PARTY prior to BNA star KENNY CHESNEY's concert this SATURDAY (8/22). The festivities will kick off TOMORROW (8/21) with a live interview on the air with KENNY's tour mate, COLUMBIA artist MIRANDA LAMBERT, at 4:30p (ET). Fans can also hear it online at www.wycd.com. The BEACH BASH PARTY will take place SATURDAY (8/22) from 1-4p (ET) on Brush and Adams Streets in front of the FORD FIELD's GATE A entrance. KENNY's SUN CITY CARNIVAL show will begin at 4:30p (ET) inside FORD FIELD. The BEACH BASH features live entertainment from REPUBLIC NASHVILLE's FAST RYDE, BIG MACHINE duo KATE & KACEY and local DETROIT artist DAVID SHELBY. There will also be games, prize giveaways and the opportunity to win backstage passes to KENNY's concert. (Thu, 8/20)


Muskegon Chronicle:

He was scheduled to perform for one hour. He wanted to play for two. And for a moment, it appeared Justin Moore, one of country music's fastest-rising stars, would do just that during "Moose Fest," an all-day country music event at Muskegon's Heritage Landing on Saturday. "He probably could have done a second set," said Dave Taft, program manager for radio station WMUS ("The Moose," ), with a laugh. "He was really having a good time." The thousands of country music fans who turned out for the free concert hosted by the radio station also seemed to have a good time. This year's lineup included Darryl Worley, Jason Michael Carroll, Holly Williams and Dean Brody. The Trailer Choir and Grand Rapids-based Union Guns also performed. "I think this was our best lineup yet," said Taft, who noted this was the 6th year... Country music's Justin Moore kicks it up at Moose Fest (Thu, 8/20)


Michigan Almanac: Aug. 25, 2009




At age 13 Art Vuolo huddled under the blanket at night listening in the dark with an earpiece. His rocket-shaped plastic radio had an antenna sprouting from its nose. With an alligator clip to ground the radio to a wall plug, he could tune in "Night Beat" with Bernie Herman on WIRE(AM), a station a few miles away from his home in Indianapolis. This was 1958. Within 10 years Vuolo would be on his way to making his own radio history, not as a DJ but as an archivist of the radio industry. "The radio bug really bit me then," said Vuolo (pronounced VOE-low) from his home in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Mich. "Another radio personality who had a big influence on me was Jim Shelton, who hosted record hops in addition to 'Platter Party' on WIBC(AM). He let me help him out at remotes and dances, and I got to the point where I could sign his name on his 8-by-10 promo photos as well as he could." By DXing, Vuolo was able to extend his horizons and tune in stations all over the country at night. He kept a log of what he heard and came to appreciate the air talents in each market... Art Vuolo: Still Radio's Best Friend (Tue, 8/25)



• Low power TV station WLPC-LP Ch. 26 Detroit was granted a construction permit for a digital companion channel on Ch. 40.


• No notable activity for August 20-21 and 24.


The Michigan High School Athletic Association Network has a redesigned website ready for the start of the 2009-10 school year, which kicks off its schedule of MHSAA Game Night events on Friday (Aug. 28) when Watervliet and Coloma meet for the 100th time in football at Panther Stadium in Watervliet at 7 p.m.

Last year, the MHSAA Network televised over 400 events on the MHSAA.tv website and with its cable television partner, Comcast Cable. This year, the weekly featured Friday regular-season contests will generally be available online Saturday morning; and other coverage will generally debut online late each week.

The MHSAA.tv website will also be the home to video content being created by member schools. A pilot video streaming program is being undertaken involving schools from the Capital Area Activities Conference in mid-Michigan, plus Carsonville-Port Sanilac High School, which will chronicle its first season of eight-player football online.

The schools voluntarily participating in the pilot are being provided at no cost the equipment necessary to create video and stream it to the MHSAA.tv website. When We Were Young Productions, which powers the MHSAA Network, and its technical partner, PlayON! Sports, are providing the equipment and the robust streaming platform.

Schools participating in the pilot will be paid for their participation, and will be allowed to use the equipment and the streaming solution to distribute their regular-season events in any sport they choose, at any level they wish. CAAC schools will have portal pages on the MHSAA.tv website which fans can directly access to see the content created by and for their school. Their only participation requirement is to stream those indoor MHSAA tournament games they host.

Based on this fall's pilot, the MHSAA plans to expand the streaming program to include those schools hosting many of its winter sports tournaments.

"The proliferation of streaming video on the web has schools excited about the possibilities this has to bring recognition to their programs and stay in contact with their alumni, their communities and their fans," said John E. "Jack" Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. "It also has schools contacting our office to seek guidance about putting their games on the Internet, and that conversation usually ends with the callers asking 'why doesn't the MHSAA just do it?'

"With the vision of When We Were Young Productions and PlayON! Sports, we're pleased that we can provide schools with a safe place where they can stream their athletic events; give students some hands-on experience in a growing field; and provide our schools with revenue for their programs without them having to hold their hand out in the community."

Content created by schools for the MHSAA.tv website will generally become available for viewing online at 11:30 p.m. the day of the contest, or the following day. Most CAAC schools involved recently were trained on the use of the production kits and the streaming solution, and Roberts said those schools will begin to stream games as they become comfortable using the equipment.

Cable viewers on Comcast Channel 900 will be able to watch the weekly featured MHSAA Game Night football contest on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. One girls volleyball contest and one boys soccer match will also air weekly in prime time, with volleyball getting its first airing Thursdays at 8 p.m.; and soccer on Sundays at 6:30 p.m. Two additional football games will be shown on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sundays will also feature reairings of selected contests. In addition, Comcast will air MHSAA championship action of past years daily at 3 p.m. Visit the MHSAA.tv website and click on TV Schedule to see complete listings.

Comcast will also feature highlights packages of selected contests through its Video On Demand service. To watch, go to the Video On Demand channel, selected Get Local and then MHSAA. You can also visit MHSAA.tv to see a complete schedule of what's available on Comcast Video On Demand.

Roberts said the MHSAA Network is still seeking clearances for its programming with other video distributors in areas not served by Comcast.


Grand Rapids Press:

WGVU AM is answering more than a few West Michigan prayers with newly announced radio station, Real Oldies 1480/850. The all-oldies NPR radio station, playing local to national hits from the mid-'50s to early '70s, will be hosted by former WFGR-FM (98.7) personality Len O'Kelly and Bill Bailey, formerly of WLHT. The announcement comes on the heels of WFGR changing its format from Oldies to Classic Hits -- a maneuver that displeased many loyal oldies listeners in the area. "It's our hope that through public support that (oldies music) doesn't get taken away again," O'Kelly said. The format was abandoned in 2004 with WODJ and again recently with WFGR. "Our hope is third time's a charm," O'Kelly said. The station will play a library of over 5,000 oldies hits, with many focusing on local groups that charted in the '60s. WFGR had an oldies library of about 1,000 songs... Music from '50s through '70s returns to the airways with WGVU-AM move to oldies format (Thu, 8/27)


Detroit Free Press:

For years, Motor City commuters navigated their way to work with the help of Jackie Paige's traffic reports on "Fox 2 News Morning" on WJBK-TV (Channel 2). After today, however, Paige's energetic morning reports will be no more. "I will be staying on to do some other stuff -- feature reporting, filling in on the anchor desk, weather, the 'Made in Michigan' segments -- and you'll probably see me on the morning show, but not on a regular basis," Paige told the Free Press on Thursday. "I won't be waking up every day at 2:30 a.m.," she said with a laugh. Paige, who did traffic reports from 1994 through 1999 and then came back in 2002, said stepping away from her full-time slot was difficult ... WYCD-FM (99.5) is launching its inaugural Salvation Army Radiothon for Kids today. The radiothon, aimed at raising money for needy metro Detroit children, kicks off at 6 a.m. and concludes at 9 p.m. and will feature the country station's top personalities... Paige ends Fox traffic reports (Fri, 8/28)



WPBN-TV Ch. 7 Traverse City proposed to the FCC a channel substitution for the station's digital operations from channel 7 to channel 47. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (.pdf)


• No notable activity for August 26-27.


Michigan Almanac: Aug. 31, 2009



The Michigan Farm Radio Network (MFRN), The Voice of Michigan's Farm Families has added Annette Weston, former news director of WSJM-AM Radio in St. Joseph / Benton Harbor, as an agri-news reporter. Weston is an award-winning broadcast journalist with vast radio news experience. Annette brings several years of news coverage and broadcast journalism in Michigan, continuing the MFRN tradition of gathering and delivering vital information from the Michigan ag industry leaders and policy makers affecting the producers in the state.

She will work with Rob Buttery, who moves into an editorial role as MFRN's agri-news editor. This team will offer its audience as well as the newsmakers a network with a great deal of radio experience.

Located in view of the Capitol in Lansing, the Michigan Farm Radio Network delivers programming to radio station affiliates targeted to a pure Michigan farm audience. Still committed to Michigan farming, it continues to serve as the only state-based radio network delivering 16 programs each day to over 20 affiliates.

The hiring of Weston was announced by Dennis Mellott, president and general manager of the Michigan Farm Radio Network.


Crain's Detroit Business:

Sarah Norat-Phillips, president and general manager at Detroit's WMYD-TV Channel 20 -- better known as My TV20 Detroit -- is out after today in what appears to be a high-level changing of the guard within the station's parent company. Norat-Phillips and her employer both said in e-mails last week that she was leaving the station, owned by New York City-based Granite Broadcasting Inc. Former WMYD sales director David Bangura will replace her... Sarah Norat-Phillips out as president, general manager at WMYD-TV (Mon, 8/31)



WDIV-TV, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and The Parade Company help launch The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition

WDIV-TV, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and The Parade Company have launched The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition contest Today. Six contestants from Metro Detroit have been selected from approximately 200 applicants to compete in this 12-week weight loss challenge that will be featured on ClickonDetroit.com.

"The Biggest Loser is one of the most popular programs in metro Detroit, and America's Thanksgiving Parade is one of our treasured traditions on Local 4," said Marla Drutz, WDIV vice president and general manager. "By partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Parade Company, we're confident that this a great opportunity for our entire community to begin a new focus on healthy living. It's sure to be an exciting competition."

All six contestants will come together during a contest kick off party at The Parade Company where they will each weigh-in for the first time and begin their journey to better health.

"We are so excited to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield and WDIV on the Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition," said Tony Michaels, president and CEO, The Parade Company. "This program encourages healthy eating and exercising and we, along with our partners, look forward to helping people take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle."

The emphasis on healthy lifestyles was the attraction for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's involvement.

"The Blues are committed to Michigan's health through our unique mission and believe in supporting healthy lifestyles," said Ken Dallafior, BCBSM senior vice president of group sales and corporate marketing. "That's why we're proud to join forces with WDIV-TV and The Parade Company for The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition contest."

To guide the contestants through this weight loss journey, the Blues will provide each contestant a health coach who will meet with them once a week to provide nutrition and exercise advice. Together, BCBSM and WDIV-TV will track the progress of each contestant on ClickonDetroit.com, through blog and video posts.

The fitness program for the participating contestants will be based on the NBC hit reality series The Biggest Loser, which begins its highly anticipated 8th season on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. on WDIV Local 4.

On Thursday, Nov. 26, one of the six contestants will be named winner of The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition, win great prizes including an Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit, gift certificates towards a new wardrobe, exercise equipment, and more. In addition, the winner will be named an Honorary Grand Marshall of the parade and ride on a float during America's Thanksgiving Parade, televised live on WDIV Local 4.

"This contest is about eating well and exercising to lose weight," said Dallafior. "And the Michigan Blues are looking forward to helping people take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle."


Grand Rapids Press:

WWMT-TV (Channel 3) announced today that syndicated talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw will replace daytime TV's longest running daytime drama "Guiding Light" when it goes off the air on Sept. 18. West Michigan viewers will see "Dr. Phil" at 3 p.m. weekdays beginning Sept. 21, according to WWMT marketing director Mark Bishop. "This is a great move for Dr. Phil and WWMT. Our goal was to give West Michigan viewers the strongest lineup of syndicated shows at convenient time periods that allow them the best access," said Jim Lutton, vice president and general manager for WWMT, in a news release... Dr. Phil, 'Let's Make a Deal with Wayne Brady' to replace 'Guiding Light' on WWMT Channel 3 (Mon, 8/31)







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

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