Mike Austerman: September 2009 Archives


WWKM FM 89.1 Imlay City was granted a construction permit granted to change frequency to 88.9 and change power to 6,000 watts (vertical) @ 262 feet with a directional antenna. The station's location would move from Lapeer county to Macomb county northwest of Romeo.


• Heartland Communications, the company that owns WIKB-FM/AM 99.1/1230 Iron River, sold part of the company to NorthStar Properties, LLC for $700,000. The transaction also involved a number of stations in northern Wisconsin.


WDFNAfter weeks of speculation, rumors are becoming reality as Clear Channel will once again attempt primarily local-based sports talk on its WDFN AM 1130 in Detroit. Starting on Tuesday, September 8th, the station's new weekday lineup will look like this:

7 - 10 a.m will be hosted by Sean Baligian who returns to the station following what amounts to a nearly 8-month hiatus. Baligian had been hosting mid-mornings for 'DFN until the January 2009 decision to drop nearly all local programming. Sean is a ten year Detroit radio veteran and color commentator for Plymouth Whalers Hockey and will also continue to host afternoons for sister station 96.1 ESPN in the Grand Rapids market.

10 a.m. - noon will be hosted by Ryan Ermanni, best known for his role a sports reporter for FOX 2 television in Detroit.

The highest-profile change to the current lineup at WDFN will happen as the station dumps the syndicated Jim Rome program in favor of ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd. 'The Herd' will be heard from noon - 2 p.m.

Matt Shepard, WDFN's current morning host and Fox Sports Detroit TV personality, will shift to afternoon drive (2 - 6 p.m.) where he'll be paired with Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp.

WDFN also plans on bringing back Tom "Killer" Kowalski, the longest tenured Detroit Lions beat writer, who will be contributing news and commentary throughout the day.

Clear Channel Operations Manager Todd Thomas said, "No radio station in town offers an "inside track" on sports. So, we put together a group of guys that actually hang out with the players, coaches and management of all the Detroit (and Michigan) teams. Not because it's their job... but because they eat, breathe and sleep sports. There is no bigger sports-town in the country than Detroit - don't we deserve a radio station devoted exclusively to talking about what we love?"

WDFN will likely be fighting an uphill battle in trying to gain back listeners in the face of competitor WXYT having advantages such as an FM signal and the broadcast rights to all of the area's major league franchises. The removal of Jim Rome's midday offering will likely receive the most attention as it is had been the longest running program on WDFN - outlasting several morning shows and what had been the station's most popular show hosted by Mike Stone and Bob Wojnowski in afternoon drive until January's massive cutbacks.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 3, 2009



Detroit News:

Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM (101.9) had several announcements today, including, finally, the appointment of a program director. General manager J. Mikel Ellcessor has been doing both jobs for some time. Ron Jones, formerly vice president of programming for Chicago Public Radio, has been named as program director of WDET, to run its broadcast and editorial operations. Ellcessor said Jones' experience will be key in helping WDET build a large, diverse audience and help the station participate as Detroit recovers and "re-images" itself. WDET will launch a monthly open mic The Moth Story/SLAM, premiering Oct. 1 at Cliff Bell's in Detroit. Each show has a theme... WDET-FM appoints program director, launches open mic show (Thu, 9/3)



• The FCC approved the sale of WIMI-FM 99.7 and WJMS AM 590 Ironwood to J & J Broadcasting from Magellan/Barracuda Broadcasting (Armada Media). Sale price was $950,000.


• No notable activity for September 1-2.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 4, 2009



Detroit Free Press:

His voice was clear, his spirit strong, his words tinged with humor. But legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell had bracing news to deliver Thursday: He has a tumor in the area of the bile duct. It is incurable. Yet Harwell said he feels calm and prepared for what comes next. "We don't know how long this lasts," Harwell said in a phone interview. "It could be a year, it could be much less than a year, much less than a half a year. Who knows? "Whatever's in store, I'm ready for a new adventure. That's the way I look at it." Harwell, who gained an enormous following during 55 years as a major league baseball broadcaster -- 42 of them with the Tigers -- spent about a week in the hospital in mid-August with an obstructed bile duct, and tests revealed the tumor. He is 91. Harwell, his family and doctors have decided against surgery or other treatment... Not even cancer diagnosis can shake Harwell's spirit (Fri, 9/4)


The public's response to news of Ernie Harwell's battle with cancer has been "overwhelming," according to his longtime adviser, Gary Spicer. "It's going to be hard for him to rest," Spicer said, citing the amount of phone calls, e-mails, cards, blogged well-wishes and interview requests the 91-year-old former Detroit Tigers broadcaster has received since revealing his condition to the Free Press on Thursday... Ernie Harwell receives 'overwhelming' response (Fri, 9/4)



Detroit News:

It began in July with what he hoped was just an upset stomach. But it was more than that -- and is more than that. At 91, Ernie Harwell has incurable bile duct cancer. However, with the firm resolve it is "God's plan for me," the Tigers Hall-of-Fame broadcaster who became a part of our lives, a favorite of generations and a friend of those he hadn't even met is facing his illness with the grace that has been the hallmark of his career. He'd like to ask a favor of everyone, though. Wish him well, keep him in your thoughts. Pray for him if you pray. But please don't refer to him yet in the past tense. "I'm not saying goodbye, I'm here," Ernie said on Friday with characteristic spunk. "I plan to live life to the fullest until it's over. In fact, I'm heading out to lunch in a few minutes, and I'm going to have some ice cream. Maybe even some macaroni"... Harwell: 'I'm not saying goodbye; I'm here' (Fri, 9/4)


He'd been waiting for test results. His voice last week sounded strong -- as strong as always. By the end of the conversation, however, it didn't. Ernie Harwell, the treasured voice of the Tigers for all those years, has incurable bile duct cancer. In comments to the Detroit Free Press on Thursday, he said he won't undergo surgery. But in those same comments, he said he's ready for the next adventure. It's been no secret lately that Ernie -- as nearly everyone knows him -- hadn't been feeling well. He was in the hospital, then out. There'd been speculation about pneumonia. But most of all there'd been speculation something was wrong. "Just feeling a little weak at times," he said when called by The Detroit News recently. "We'll see where this takes us. I know I'll be in good hands." Now he also knows what was wrong. "We don't know how long this lasts," Harwell, 91, told the Free Press. "It could be a year. It could be much less than a year, much less than a half year. Who knows? Whatever is in store, I'm ready for a new adventure." That's Ernie for you. Life always has been an adventure for him... Ernie Harwell, 91, has incurable cancer (Fri, 9/4)


After months of rumors, Clear Channel has flipped its Detroit country station "The Fox," WDTW-FM (106.7), to "The Beat," a frothy, upbeat mix of new and vintage dance music. The station launched today with Madonna's dance classic "Into the Groove" and 10,000 commercial-free songs. The music seemed to be mostly from the early '80s to the present... WDTW-FM drops country for dance as 'The Beat' (Fri, 9/4)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 8, 2009



WDFN rethinks 'Herd' mentality

Clones rejoice - the plug has not been pulled on Jim Rome's midday chatfest and will continue to be heard on WDFN AM 1130 from noon-2pm. It appears that he'll still lose the 2-3pm hour - but fans of the show will no doubt be pleased that WDFN gave the show a last minute reprieve and won't be airing ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd in that spot, as was previously announced. Today marks the return of primarily local-based programming after nearly 8 months on WDFN, led of this morning by Sean Baligian.



Detroit News:

Ernie Harwell never asked to be gushed over when he was healthy, and he wouldn't want anyone to start now that he's not. But the next logical time to tell this story would be after his incurable cancer does what incurable cancers do, so why wait? Listeners always had the sense that Harwell was the nicest man on the planet. They were correct. He has a knack for deflecting and refocusing awe -- for turning all of the attention to people who are dumbstruck at being in the presence of William Earnest Harwell. You want to talk about him, but he wants to hear about you. He's a truly humble soul who has accepted last week's diagnosis with the same grace he accepted all the good things to come his way. The Lord giveth a Hall of Fame broadcasting career and the adoration of millions, and the Lord giveth a tumor in the bile duct of a 91-year-old. He knows that's a pretty good trade-off... Ernie Harwell accepts cancer news as humbly as accolades (Tue, 9/8)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 9, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

As a novice triathlete, Eric Zane knows he'll have his work cut out for him when the 39-year-old radio personality competes in Saturday's Rhoades McKee Reeds Lake Triathlon. Zane also knows that pulling 11-year-old Kate Veldink of Jenison on a raft through the half-mile swim and in a stroller over the 17.2-mile bike course, then pushing her on the 4.9-mile road race in a running stroller will make things more difficult. And Zane will love every minute of it. Zane, along with veteran triathletes Pam Otto of Wyoming and Kevin Diekevers of Byron Center, will be accompanied by Veldink, her 7-year-old sister, Olivia, and 9-year-old Aaron Biros of Fruitport in the Reeds Lake Triathlon to raise funds and awareness for the disease ataxia-telangiectasia... Radio's Eric Zane enters Reeds Lake Triathlon to raise awareness for rare childhood disease (Wed, 9/9)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 9, 2009



Michigan Radio and Wharton Center to present live broadcast of Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know?" on October 31

Michigan Radio and Wharton Center are bringing a live national broadcast of Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know?" to East Lansing's MSU Concert Auditorium on Saturday, October 31. Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know?" is a two-hour comedy/quiz/ interview show, currently broadcast on nearly 300 public radio stations across the United States. The program airs on Michigan Radio (91.7 FM Ann Arbor/Detroit, 104.1 FM West Michigan, 91.1 FM Flint) each Saturday at noon.

As part of the "Whad'Ya Know?" studio audience, guests can experience the spontaneity of a live radio show, see host Michael Feldman, announcer Jim Packard, and the Whad'Ya Know? band in person, and even have a chance to play the "Whad'Ya Know?" Quiz on the air. They can also look forward to a few local Michigan twists, and the audience is encouraged to dress in costume for this special Halloween show!

Regular features of the "Whad'Ya Know?" show include Michael Feldman's comic monologue, interviews with authors, musicians or other local "celebrities", and "Thanks for the Memos", in which Feldman reads actual, and quite humorous, company memos. A central part of the show is the Whad'Ya Know? Trivia Quiz, where a studio audience member and a caller are matched up with a chance to win prizes.

Tickets for the "Whad'Ya Know?"show are priced at $30 and $45 and go on sale this Friday, September 11 at 10:00 a.m. through the Wharton Center box office (www.whartoncenter.com).

Most of what Michael Feldman has to say he expresses in a laconic monologue or short comic asides and dizzingly fast repartee with guests and show colleagues. The youngest of four brothers (two are physicians and one is an attorney), Michael credits his family with fine-tuning his sense of the world and his ability to express it briefly. He says his dad "always gave me the kind of insightful fatherly advice that took him years of experience and wisdom to learn, but often only a few seconds to tell me."

Feldman has authored several books including: the autobiographical "Whad'Ya Know?"; "Whad'Ya Knowledge"; "Thanks for the Memos", a compilation of actual memos sent in by his listeners; "Wisconsin Curiosities"; "Something I Said?: Innuendo and Out the Other"; "Glad You Asked" and "Whad'Ya Know? (A Bathroom Reader) ".

Note: Because this is a live national broadcast, all patrons must be in their seats no later than 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 31.



• Children's pop WFDF AM 910 Farmington Hills/Detroit was granted its license to cover for a nighttime power change to 25,000 watts from 19,000 watts.


• No notable activity for September 4 and 8.



• Religious WHWG-FM 89.9 Trout Lake was granted its license to cover for a power change from 500 to 1,000 watts.


• FM translator W285DY 104.9 Ludington (WMLQ/Manistee) was granted its license to cover to change location and power from 250 watts to 19 watts @ 331 feet.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 11, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

WXMI-TV (Channel 17) is expanding its news lineup. On Sept. 21, the station is adding an early evening news broadcast, which will air from 6-7 p.m. "We are so thankful for viewer support," said Tim Dye, Fox 17's news director. "Lots of people have always asked us to add a 6 p.m. show. Now is the time." He also said the Tribune-owned station was encouraged by corporate to do more local programming. It was 10 years ago when news anchor Michelle DeSelms and meteorologist Peter Chan helped launch Fox 17's 10 p.m. newscast. Now they will anchor the 6 p.m. news with co-anchor Christian Frank and sports director Tim Doty... WXMI-TV Fox 17 adds 6 p.m. newscast starting Sept. 21 (Thu, 9/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 11, 2009



Samuelsen to return to the air; Rome's slot expands

A couple quick notes for sports radio fans in Detroit- Jamie Samuelsen will be joining Deminski & Doyle's morning show (6-9am) on classic rock WCSX-FM, taking over as sports anchor for Jason Carr who's been tasked with extra responsibilities at Fox 2 as that station expands its morning news program and is leaving 'CSX. Samuelsen, who had been part of the ensemble morning show at Greater Media sister station WRIF-FM prior to the return of Drew Lane, remained with the company and will no doubt be excited to get back on the air starting Monday, Sept 14th.

Looks like some second thoughts were heard about how the midday Jim Rome program was going to be first dropped and then trimmed on renewed local WDFN AM 1130. After the station first announced that the program was being dropped, it relented and added the who back, minus the 2-3pm hour. That lasted all of about a day and Rome is now heard in its entirety from noon-3pm.


Upper Peninsula: Newsmakers Sept. 14, 2009



Marquette's Channel 19 returns

Now known as WZMQ, channel 19 is back on the air in the central Upper Peninsula, featuring programming from My Network TV and also This TV. WZMQ was formerly known as WMQF and was an affiliate of FOX under previous owner Equity Broadcasting. New owner MMMRC, LLC had the station off the air since about June- with it's return it has reportedly also returned to the lineup on Charter Cable in the U.P.

Marquette's FOX affiliate is now WLUC TV which carries that programming on digital subchannel 6.2.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 14, 2009



The Moth Radio Hour returns to Michigan Radio

Due to overwhelming interest, Michigan Radio is presenting an encore performance of the special 5-part series The Moth Radio Hour, all this week at 10 pm. This live storytelling show, which recently aired on Michigan Radio Saturdays throughout August, received an unprecedented response from listeners.

The Moth Radio Hour, based on the New York phenomenon The Moth, features true stories told live on stage without scripts, notes, props, or accompaniment. Each Moth Radio Hour mixes humorous, heartbreaking, and poignant tales...all told with honesty, bravery, and wit.

Michigan Radio listeners reacted to these engaging stories with comments like these:

- "Wow! More, more, more!! I was so moved in many different ways by the stories I heard on your program yesterday."

- "Love, love, love The Moth! Can we have it all the time, not just through Labor Day?"

"The Moth Radio Hour is the best thing on Michigan Radio! It is refreshing, edgy, hip and full of substance. Please keep it up!"

- "There was an episode of the Moth Radio Hour a few weeks back that included the story of a comedian who told the story of his appearances on the Tonight Show as his daughter was battling and died of cancer. What a story! It has stayed with me for weeks and I want others to hear it."

Curious? Tune in to Michigan Radio at 10 pm Sept. 14-18 to hear what the buzz is about!

For more information on The Moth Radio Hour, which is produced by Atlantic Public Media and distributed by the Public Radio Exchange, visit www.prx.org/the-moth




WILX-TV 10 Onondaga/Lansing was granted a construction permit to increase digital power from 14,800 to 30,000 watts.


• No notable activity for September 11.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 15, 2009



Tigers.com (MLB.com):

Hall of Fame broadcaster and Tigers icon Ernie Harwell will visit Comerica Park to meet with the team and thank fans for their support on Wednesday night, when the Tigers host the Royals. Harwell, 91, who revealed earlier this month that he has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the bile duct, plans to visit with players, media members and friends before the 7:05 p.m. ET game. He'll take an opportunity to thank fans at some point during the game, though it will not come in a formal ceremony in accordance with his wishes, according to a Tigers spokesperson. The team has had an open invitation for Harwell to visit ever since he retired from play-by-play broadcasting after the 2002 season, and he has visited several times. At least a couple players, Brandon Inge and Ramon Santiago, were on the team during Harwell's final season as the Tigers' radio voice. More recently, the club invited him to come out if he wished and felt up to it after his diagnosis. At this point in his battle with cancer, Harwell is strong and moving around well. "He wants to thank the fans for their love and support and gratitude," Tigers vice president of communications Ron Colangelo said. Harwell has received countless messages of support from fans since he went public with the diagnosis. The day the news came out, he said, his phone was ringing non-stop. His representative, S. Gary Spicer, also said he has received countless messages of support. Harwell spent 55 seasons broadcasting in the Major Leagues, the last 42 of them in Detroit... Harwell to visit Comerica Wednesday (Mon, 9/14)




You've seen him on Detroit television and in the newspaper, but starting Wednesday you'll be able to see Mike Wendland in a new program. The former investigative reporter and technology columnist will be hosting a new church program titled "Get Real: A Christian Take on Current Events" at the Woodside Bible Church Troy Campus. People can participate and watch the program live each Wednesday evening at 6:45... Former TV Reporter To Start New Church Program (Sat, 9/12)



• Swick Broadasting agreed to purchase FM translators W223AM 92.5 Bronson and W258AO 99.5 Hillsdale from Horizon Christan Fellowship for $30,000. The application states both translators would be used to fill in WNWN-FM 98.5 Coldwater.


• BAG, LLC agreed to purchase LPTV station WMKG-CA 38 Muskegon from Kelley Enterprises for $250,000 pending FCC approval and closing.


• Baraga Broadcasting was granted its license to cover to change FM translator W237CF 95.3 Mackinaw City; It has changed frequency to 95.1 as W236BZ, changed community of license to St. Ignace, increase power from 27 to 250 watts, and changed physical location from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 16, 2009



Detroit News:

Think of it as a celebration. Ernie Harwell will speak into a microphone tonight at Comerica Park. But it won't be like old times. It never again will be like old times. He's not returning for an inning to the broadcast booth. He won't be telling us a man from Portage caught that ball. He won't be saying a hitter was guilty of excessive window shopping -- as much as we wish he would. As much as we wish he could. But when he's about to convey what we all have meant to him, aren't we doing Ernie a disservice to think only in terms of what he's meant to us, however natural it is? This man has been part of our lives a long time. His voice came into our living rooms. It mowed the lawn with us. His voice soothed us when we lost the loved ones with whom we used to listen to the games. Dad. Mom. Uncle Henry. They all were part of the Ernie era. But our friend is ill now. Seriously ill. His cancer is being called incurable. We know what that probably means. So does he. We can't honor him in loftier fashion, though, than to meet the challenge he's facing the same way he is. With peace. With serenity... Thank you, too, Ernie (Wed, 9/16)



• Central Michigan University is acquiring FM translator W214BH 90.7 Mt. Pleasant from Great Lakes Community Broadcasting for $5,000 pending FCC approval and closing. The application states the translator will be used to rebroadcast CMU's WMHW-FM 91.5 Mt. Pleasant.



• Radioactive, LLC is selling the construction permit for WRAX-FM 98.9 Walhalla/Ludington to Beaubark Communications, LLC for $210,000 pending FCC approval and closing.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 18, 2009



Crazy Al saying goodbye

Crazy Al and Larry Matthews will be air their final live shows on WPON AM 1460 Pontiac the week of Sept. 21-25, from 8am to 10 am live. The final show will air on Friday, Sept. 25 at 8 am live. Listeners who know and love them are encouraged to call 1.866.9.oldies that week and/or email them at ca@crazyalsradioparty.com or ca@industryvisions.com. The new show will be a classical/inspirational talk show for business that can be heard by going to www.industryvisions.com or ITunes, talk, WVSN Visionary Radio.



Detour radio show takes a detour of its own

The Detour Radio Show is moving from its former home at WRDT AM 560 Monroe/Detroit to WDTR FM 88.1 Monroe (Smile FM). The program can be heard Saturday nights at 9 p.m.

From the program's Myspace: When you hear the word 'Detour', what do you think of? Road closed ahead, bridge out, a safe way to get around danger ahead? At The Detour Radio Program, our aim is just that. On today's radio airwaves, there is a lot of negative stuff out there. Bad lyrics, bad hosts, bad commercials, all promoting the wrong behaviors. We aim to change that in our radio program. Positive, local music with the youth's taste in mind, call in time to discuss issues, and just a great program to listen to, instead of all the trash out there. So what are you waiting for? Tune in!

Dale Baker and Pastor Joe Kimbrough are the program's primary hosts. Visit Detour Radio Show's web site at www.thedetour.org or www.myspace.com/detourdetroit.



John Smyntek breaks down August radio ratings

No one can analyze radio ratings as well as YourNews Detroit's John Smyntek and he's at it again looking at August's numbers. Go to YourNews.com, then enter a zip code from Wayne, Macomb or Oakland county (48093 for example), click on the Entertainment menu bar, then Sminty's Snark Central to check it out.



WXYZ Channel 7 news director exits

Scripps Howard ABC affiliate WXYZ TV 7 Detroit has parted way with now former news director Andrea Parquet-Taylor who had been with the station in that role for most of the 2000s. A search for her successor is underway.



Detroit News:

WADL-TV announced today that it is pulling "Sixty Seconds with the Mayor" following complaints that Mayor Dave Bing was receiving free air time before the Nov. 3 election. Lewis Gibbs, the president of WADL-TV (Channel 38), told The Detroit News that it will resume the unfettered 60-second slot for whoever wins the election between Bing and Tom Barrow. The station had considered giving Barrow equal time, Gibbs said, but decided it was more prudent to stop airing the spots in which the mayor speaks about issues facing the city... Complaints prompt TV station to yank Bing from air (Fri, 9/18)



CKWW helping to wind down summer

As we head in to the last official weekend of summer, AM 580 is keeping the sounds of summer going with a "Summer Songs Weekend". Throughout the weekend the station will spotlight some of the best "summer oldies" from the 50's, 60's and 70's. From the Beach Boys to Stevie Wonder, the sounds of summer will be heard on Detroit's Station for Great Fun and Great Oldies, AM 580.



Where are they now?

Former WOMC afternoon drive jock Ted "the Bear" Richards, who was exited the station last April, is now working at WVCO 94.9 The Surf in Myrtle Beach, SC. Richards loved being back in Detroit while it lasted, but is now closer to his mother and kids. "Instead of walking the dog in ice and in snow, I'll be walking her and Mrs. Bear on the shore in sand," Ted reports.

Check out the surf at www.949thesurf.com.



• LPTV station W48CL Ch. 48 Grand Rapids was granted a construction permit to flash cut to digital operations (station will remain on Ch. 48).


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 19, 2009



Detroit Free Press:

His distinctive voice was his calling card, and anyone who encountered Bruce Brown readily understood why. Deep and rich in its resonance, it was used for announcing news and advertisements, local emceeing and occasionally singing the national anthem at area sporting events, family members said. Mr. Brown, a native Detroiter and former TV and radio news broadcaster with several local stations, died of colon cancer Tuesday at Detroit Receiving Hospital. He was 74. "If you ever heard that rich baritone sound of his, you never forgot it," said his sister Barbara Brown King, who indicated that her brother identified himself as the Voice on his business cards. "It was unmistakable and immediately captured everyone's attention." ... Mr. Brown worked with several radio and TV stations in New York and California before returning to Detroit, where he became a news anchor on "Evening Edition" with WTVS-TV (Channel 56), Detroit's public television station. He later worked as a morning news announcer with Detroit radio station WLTI-FM for two years prior to going to WDIV-TV (Channel 4) as a 24-hour Newsbeat announcer... Bruce Brown: Broadcaster made mark with rich voice (Sat, 9/19)


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

Jeff Haas' radio show will be broadcast live Sunday from Chateau Chantal. It's the first time Haas' show, "Jazz Connections," will be live. It airs on Interlochen Public Radio, 88.7 FM, beginning at 6 p.m. Chanteau Chantal will host a wine-tasting reception beginning at 5 p.m. Haas also said IPR is offering the show for syndication this year, meaning it may be broadcast around the country and the world. "I have had seven NPR stations -- five in Michigan, one in South Carolina and one in Chicago -- already request to carry the show," Haas said. Proceeds from the Sunday show will benefit Haas' new nonprofit organization, Building Bridges with Music. Haas has been conducting workshops for K-12 schools for past 15 years, using his music "as a springboard for discussing diversity, the importance of open-mindedness and acceptance of people from different cultures, races and backgrounds," he said... Haas broadcasts live, syndicates show (Fri, 9/18)



• The construction permit for public WLNZ FM 89.7 Lansing to increase power was modified from 1,200 watts @ 95 feet to 1,000 watts @ 120 feet. The station's new facilities would give it much better coverage of the Lansing area.


• The FM translator for WSAE FM Spring Arbor on 99.5 in Kalamazoo was granted its license to cover for changes. W258AH now operates with 13 watts @ 361 feet.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 22, 2009



Michigan Public Media names Jennifer White to new role

Michigan Public Media is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer White to the position of Director of Media Outreach and Community Relations.

White has served Michigan Public Media in a variety of capacities throughout her 10 years of service. Most recently, White served as Station Manager for Michigan Television in Flint, a role she will maintain as the station transitions to new ownership. She will also continue her role as co-executive producer and on-air host talent for the upcoming second season of "Out of the Blue - The Michigan Difference." "Out of the Blue" is a television program produced by the Office of the Vice President for Communications and Michigan Public Media on behalf of The University of Michigan for national broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Among White's new responsibilities will be the development and maintenance of cooperative relationships with representatives of the extended community served by Michigan Radio, MPM's public radio service. As Director of Media Outreach & Community Relations, White will recruit and maintain a Community Advisory Board for Michigan Radio to focus on strengthening the presence of Michigan Radio through community relations. Additionally, White will manage The Michigan Channel, the University of Michigan's cable channel devoted to intelligent talk and lifelong learning.

"We are very pleased that Jennifer will make new contributions to our team at Michigan Public Media," says Stephen Schram, Michigan Public Media's Director of Broadcasting. "She brings tremendous experience to this position, and her enthusiasm and commitment to public media and outreach makes her ideal for this new role."



Tigers/Indians gets HD add from FSN Detroit

The Detroit Tigers three game series with the Cleveland Indians, which starts tonight, has now added high-definition broadcasts. Tune in Fox Sports Detroit's HD channel to catch the action.



Detroit News:

Blaine Fowler wondered aloud the other day about the best way to slither out of jury duty. Since he does his wondering into a microphone, his random musings tend to get more attention than most people's. And because the co-host of "Blaine & Lisa with Allyson" on WDVD-FM (96.3) meant it -- he really, truly didn't want to serve on a jury -- he posted the same question on his Facebook page. Via phone and keyboard, suggestions poured in. "Tell them you're nursing," said a woman from Milford. "Tell them you'd be a great juror," said a paramedic from Monroe, "because you can spot guilty people" -- snap! -- "just like that!" To be fair, there were also a few stalwart citizens who urged him to do his part. More important, there were 14 wise words from one of the few other people besides a drive-time jock who'd be online and coherent at 4:42 a.m... Radio host Blaine Fowler comes down with jury duty syndrome (Tue, 9/22)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 22, 2009



Bob & Tom lose Grand Rapids affiliate

The long running Bob & Tom Show (Bob Kevoian, Tom Griswold) is without a broadcast home in the Grand Rapids market as rock WBFX-FM 101.3 has dropped the program in favor of an all-music direction.

The station has published a statement on it's website:


"We have had a number of questions regarding the Fox and Bob and Tom and after being on the station for a decade it was time for a change for a number of reasons. The first reason was that there is no home for music in the morning as every other radio station in town talks and plays spots in the morning. So, with KLQ going away, Radio X going away, and the rest of the changes in the market we felt it was a good time to change the direction of the station. This is not to say we think any less of Bob and Tom and in fact you can still hear them here and while we understand you may have frustrations with this decision we welcome any comments to our program director Eric O'Brien ericobrien@clearchannel.com. We thank you for listening and look forward to hearing from you. Have a great week."


It's refreshing to see a radio station acknowledge the reasons behind their decision and solicit listener feedback on the move.



Muskegon Chronicle:

Low-power television station WMKG-TV 38, known for broadcasting local sports, hunting shows and live bingo, is being sold to a company out of New York. Owner Fenton "Bud" Kelley, 67, launched the local station 20 years ago and remembers the first broadcast -- a live bingo game -- like it was yesterday. Back then, the station used the call letters W40AK. Kelley said it's time to retire, and he's pleased a buyer surfaced for the family-owned station. Kelley confirmed that BAG LLC of New York is purchasing the business and its building, 4237 Airline, for an undisclosed price. Kelley said he is not certain what type of programming the new owners will broadcast. Attempts to reach BAG LLC and its managers were unsuccessful. The sale is pending approval of the Federal Communications Commission, but Kelley said he does not foresee complications. He said the FCC is expected to make a ruling by year's end... Muskegon's WKMG-TV sold, pending federal approval (Tue, 9/22)



Grand Rapids Press:

Three months after flooding at the B-93 Birthday Bash left hundreds of vehicles stranded in standing water, about 150 people have shown interest so far in joining a class-action lawsuit against the sponsoring Grand Rapids radio station's owner. Ionia County Circuit Judge Suzanne Kreeger will hear arguments Oct. 27 whether to certify the class-action, Grand Rapids attorney John Tallman said. About 1,400 vehicles were stranded in a grassy parking lot next to the Grand River at the Ionia County Fairgrounds when the Grand River flooded its banks June 20. Many sustained significant damage. Tallman, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Plainfield Township man in July, estimated about 1,000 vehicles were damaged... Arguments to be heard in class-action lawsuit against B-93 owner Clear Channel for Birthday Bash flood damage in Ionia (Tue, 9/22)



• Country WJMS AM 590 Ironwood has been granted a construction permit to remove one of the towers from the station's nighttime array. WJMS will reduce nighttime power from 1,000 to 900 watts using 2 towers instead of 3; daytime power will remain at 5,000 watts using one tower.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 23, 2009




A Grand Rapids broadcaster who claims the African American community will lose its voice on the airwaves is fighting to block the sale of radio station WJNZ. Radio personality Robert S. Womack tried to buy the station he works for, but was not the highest bidder. He said Huntington Bank was foreclosing on the station owner for a loan default. Huntington Bank first accepted Womack's bid, but then decided to reopen the bidding process, he told 24 Hour News 8. Womack's next bid fell short. Next, Christian radio programmer Holy Family Radio of Lowell outbid him, Womack said... Broadcaster fighting to block WJNZ sale (Tue, 9/22)



• The FCC granted the voluntary assignment of license for FM translator W209BC 89.7 Wakelee from Family Stations to Larry Langford, Jr. Sale price was $55,000.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 24, 2009



Detroit News:

Before there was MTV, before the Internet and YouTube, if you wanted to see what your favorite musicians looked like, you had to tune in at 8 o'clock Sunday night to the "Ed Sullivan Show." The whole family would watch the plate twirlers, the Vegas comedians, the puppet Topo Gigio, the indescribable Senor Wences, until finally, stiff-necked Ed would present, "for the youngsters in the Yew-nited States and Canada," the hottest pop music act of the week. This Saturday at 9 p.m., Detroit Public Television WTVS will air "Ed Sullivan -- The '60s," ahead of most of the country (it airs nationally in December). The show is hosted by producer T.J. Lubinsky, Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer and radio personality Jay Thomas. Music clips from the vast Ed Sullivan library have been shown before, but this is the first time so many from the '60s are being shown together as intact performances... WTVS airs the best musical performances from 'Ed Sullivan' (Thu, 9/24)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 25, 2009



University of Michigan hockey returns to AM 580

University of Michigan Hockey will be returning to CKWW AM 580 for another season starting October 3rd. AM 580 is scheduled to air 29 regular season games as part of the 2009/2010 schedule. The action gets underway Saturday, October 3rd with the "USA NTDP Under 18" game starting at 7:35 PM. Al Randall enters his 15th year as the play-by-play voice for Michigan ice hockey.




CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT will host the "Rebels For A Cause - Maddie's Ride" MAKE-A-WISH fundraiser, featuring CURB/NASHVILLE's RODNEY ATKINS. The ride will take place OCTOBER 4th, beginning at the DETROIT HARLEY-DAVIDSON and ending at BLAKE's ORCHARD and CIDER MILL in ARMADA. RODNEY will perform a concert after the ride. The event is being held in honor of MADDIE TRUDEL, who was 7-years-old when she passed away from bone cancer in NOVEMBER 2006. Prior to her passing, MADDIE's "Wish" was granted by the MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION of MICHIGAN for a trip to DISNEY WORLD. MADDIE's father, PAUL, created the "Rebels For A Cause" ride to help other children's wishes come true in memory of MADDIE. For more info, click here.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 25, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

Gospel singer Marvin Sapp and his wife, MaLinda, are supporting Robert S. Womack's bid to gain ownership of WJNZ 1140 AM. "This is a bigger picture," said MaLinda Sapp, who sat in a Kent County Courthouse hearing Friday to block the station's sale. "It's not financially-driven, it's community-driven. (The radio station) serves a purpose and exposes issues that are important to our community. We are here because we want to maintain this as part of the African American community. We are not exclusive (but) if you eradicate this station, we won't have a voice." The couple bid on the radio station through the entity Praise Place, which also is challenging the station's sale to Holy Family Radio. During the hearing, attorney Christina Mims who represented Praise Place said the entity would be working with Womack on a bid for the radio station. In order for the Oct. 9 hearing to move forward, Womack's group needs to place $315,000 in escrow -- which is $5,000 higher than the winning bid of Holy Family Radio... Supporters of Robert S., WJNZ Radio march through downtown Grand Rapids (Fri, 9/25)


Barbecue and live country music are a natural combination, so WBCT-FM (93.7) is throwing a party and calling it The B-93 Country Rib Jam. Admission and parking are free to the three-day event on tap Friday through Sunday in the parking lot at the DeltaPlex Arena and Convention Center. The Rib Jam's outdoor stage will feature free performances by several area country acts, and while folks enjoy the music, they can purchase cold beer and tasty barbecue from several renowned West Michigan restaurants... B-93 hosts Country Rib Jam all weekend at DeltaPlex (Fri, 9/25)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 28, 2009



The Oakland Press:

On a cold winter evening in December 1990, I answered the phone and a warm summer breeze wafted over me. It was the mellifluous baritone of Ernie Harwell. We talked a few moments, then Ernie said he had a favor to ask: Would I be able to come to the Tiger Stadium the next day? He wanted me to be there with him for a press conference. Marcy and I had been with Ernie and Lulu for dinner not long before and both seemed in good health. Still, my first thought was that Ernie was going to announce his retirement. But I knew if he wanted me to know the purpose of the press conference, he would already have told me... Ernie Harwell: 'The Inferno at Michigan and Trumbull' (Mon, 9/28)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 28, 2009




Judge Christopher Yates ruled WJNZ will stay on the air as usual until the parties involved in the contested sale of the station have time to gather their evidence on the process of the sale. The station, at 1140-AM, was in foreclosure. Holy Family Radio, a Lowell-based Catholic programmer, was awarded the station after their $310,000 bid was accepted. But Robert S. Womack, a station personality and competing bidder, said the foreclosure sale process was not fair. He challenged the process in court Friday. Judge Yates ruled that any party who wants to continue in the bidding process to buy the station must put up $315,000 in escrow. Beyond Womack and Holy Family Radio, a group headed by Marvin Sapp, Praise Place, is also interested. After the court proceeding, Sapp would not comment on Praise Place's bid, but said he was joining forces with Womack... Sale of WJNZ put on hold (Fri, 9/25)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 29, 2009



Detroit News:

The Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts has been around so long, it's easy to forget there is a living, breathing man behind the name. January marks the 40th anniversary of the school that longtime air personality Howard founded in 1970 with two turntables, two tape recorders and 600 square feet of space in a Redford Township storefront. Four decades later, the Southfield-based Specs Howard has evolved beyond a tight radio/TV broadcast focus and now offers study in video, film and graphic arts. The school has graduated 10,000 students, an influential part of southeastern Michigan's broadcast community that includes WXYZ Channel 7 reporter/anchor Glenda Lewis and Fox 2 News legal analyst Charlie Langton (see box). Howard, 83, was honored for his 60-year career with a Lifetime Achievement Award in June by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He founded Specs Howard in 1970 as a way to wind down his on-air career and keep his family in one city. At the time, there were several correspondence-style broadcast schools in Metro Detroit, including the Columbia School of Broadcasting, but only one other school offered actual studio training... Specs Howard continues tradition of producing top Metro Detroit air talent (Tue, 9/29)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 29, 2009




Noble Wins PD Prize In Grand Rapids: After spending the summer tackling the 'honey-do' list, cataloging his record/CD collection, and finally finishing that novel he'd been working on, JERRY NOBLE (former PD at CITADEL Top 40 WIOG/SAGINAW) heads back to the real world! He didn't have to go too far to do it, either, as he has been named PD for REGENT/GRAND RAPIDS' Classic Hits WFGR and Soft AC WTRV. NOBLE is also back behind the mic as afternoon host at the cluster's AC, WLHT, following KIM CARSON, who returns to her midday shift, which moves JOHN TESH to afternoons at WTRV. "JERRY's resume of success made him an easy choice to help assist getting our REGENT cluster of radio stations to the next level" REGENT/GRAND RAPIDS OM JERRY TARRANTS said. "JERRY brings a wealth of experience to our already stellar lineup of talented professionals here in GRAND RAPIDS." In addition, WFGR adds syndicated BOB & TOM for mornings. TARRANTS noted, "BOB & TOM give us a great foundation to build upon as we continue to evolve WFGR from the Oldies format to Classic Hits."



Grand Rapids Press:

Radio personality Robert S. Womack has come up with $315,000 needed to get his second day in court in his fight to bid on the radio station he works for. Womack is trying to stop the sale of longtime black station WJNZ 1140 AM to Holy Family Radio, a Catholic group. On Oct. 9, a Kent County Circuit Court judge will consider whether there were irregularities in the bidding process... Robert S. Womack comes up with money to bid on black station WJNZ 1140AM (Tue, 9/29)


Anybody who misses the "Bob & Tom Show" can sit tight. They'll be back -- just on a different station. Starting 6 a.m. Monday, the popular syndicated show will air on Regent Broadcasting's WFGR-FM (98.7). As of two Mondays ago, Clear Channel dropped the program from WBFX-FM (101.3), where it had aired for years... 'Bob & Tom Show' moves to WFGR-FM 98.7 (Tue, 9/29)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 30, 2009




Bobby Holiday Accepts PD Post At WDZZ: ALL ACCESS has learned that CUMULUS Urban AC WMXU/COLUMBUS-STARKVILLE, MS. PD/PM driver BOBBY HOLIDAY has accepted the PD position at CUMULUS sister station Urban AC WDZZ (Z-92.7)/FLINT, MI. HOLIDAY's career path includes stops in PHILADELPHIA and LOS ANGELES. No word yet on his replacement at WMXU. (Wed, 9/30)







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

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