January 2010 Archives

The rumor mill has been cranked up to 'high' over the past week or so with information coming out that Jay Towers has exited as morning co-host at WXYT-FM 97.1 - info that Towers himself confirmed this morning during Fox 2's morning news program. Apparently he's been hired by the Clear Channel cluster locally - but the exact station he'll be heard on will remain a mystery for now.

Logical speculation is that he'll either land at WNIC 100.3, which might be planning to attempt to steal listeners from the recently popular WDVD 96.3, or at WDTW-FM 106.7, which last fall changed formats to rhythmic adult contemporary from country, and has yet to offer a full lineup of personalities.

Of course, speculation of a Towers landing at WNIC opens up a set of new questions - what happens to current morning host Kevin O'Neill for example ... and would the station change it's music to become more like WDVD?

Of course, there's also the possibility that there's something completely different brewing - could Dom Theodore have lured Channel 95-5's morning crew over to CBS Radio's new contemporary hits Amp Radio 98.7 and Clear Channel has hired Towers to backfill that position? Theodore worked with 'Mojo in the Morning' during his tenure at Clear Channel/Detroit before moving to CBS Radio.

Back at 97.1, Towers exit opens the door for changes there too -- will current co-host Bill McAllister remain and take on more responsibility along with Sara Foreacre and Tony Ortiz? Will newly the recently hired Mike Stone be tapped for mornings... or will the station decide to completely revamp its lineup? Right now there are many more questions than answers - but hopefully more information will be available after everyone resumes work tomorrow.

Once those morning dominoes fall into place... you can bet there will be more to fall. For instance, there still are many that question classic rock 94.7 WCSX's choice of bringing in Deminski and Doyle for morning drive - then proceeding to completely change the show's presentation. Are either D&D or WCSX happy with the current arrangement... and how long will it last?

One thing is certain - morning radio in Detroit will not start the same way in 2010 as it finished 2009.

Mike Austerman

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 4, 2010

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WEYI-TV:

A local television legend and dear friend of employees at NBC25 passed away Saturday morning. Jon Bengtson, who worked at WEYI for 35-years, knew just about every job at the station. He served as programming and operations manager. He also managed the traffic department, production, master control, and engineering. His knowledge of television broadcasting business was second to none. JB, as employees knew him, was 58 years old... WEYI staple Jon Bengtson passes away (Sun, 1/3)

 

Cadillac's WATT AM temporarily off-air

News-talk WATT AM 1240 Cadillac has been off the air since 1:30 Sunday afternoon after a snowplow inadvertently cut the power line leading from the transmitter to the tower. Repairs are scheduled for today and the station hopes to get back on the air later today.

 

It's not exactly shocking, but yet still somewhat surprising, that Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 will have a new morning program as former hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle announced that today's edition of their show will be the last one on 'CSX. The duo commented that the station will be refocusing on music in the mornings starting tomorrow.

WCSX later in the day announced that Ken Calvert would be moving to morning drive starting January 11th with Doug Podell returning on-air to fill Calvert's on-air afternoon slot.

"Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle are very talented talk hosts, and we appreciate their contributions to the station," said Podell in a release.

What's interesting is about the announcement is the opportunity for D&D to host what amounted to a farewell show - which is either a classy move by Greater Media / Detroit or a sign that the show might have a future at another of the company's radio stations either locally or in a market such as Boston or Philadelphia.

Deminski and Doyle lasted one year at WCSX. For most regular listeners of both the classic rock format and the Deminski and Doyle program on its former home in afternoon drive on WKRK-FM 97.1, it became apparent early on that neither was perfectly suited for each other and despite adjustments, ratings were mosttly disappointing.

Also this morning, Mike Stone is co-hosting the drive-time show at sports WXYT-FM 97.1 but no announcement has been made if the arrangement is permanent. Jay Towers is no longer with the station - his future radio plans also have not been revealed but they will involve Clear Channel.

Mike Austerman

 

Detroit Free Press:

Today, the WCSX-FM (94.7) morning talk show "Deminski & Doyle" signed off after a year with the classic rock station. Morning commuters heard hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle run through some of their favorite segments over the last year before announcing on air -- before the 9 a.m. hour -- that this would be their last day. The cohosts told their listeners the split was amicable and encouraged fans to continue supporting and listening to WCSX. John Gallagher, market manager of Greater Media, the company that oversees Detroit stations WCSX, WRIF-FM (101.1) and WMGC-FM (105.1), confirmed the dismissals... Deminski and Doyle out at WCSX-FM (Mon, 1/4)

 


 

Detroit News:

Almost exactly a year after debuting a "Deminski & Doyle" morning show, Greater Media, owners of classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7), has pulled the plug on the duo and will put veteran afternoon jock Ken Calvert in the morning slot. The change will take effect Jan. 11. "They were on the air for a year, but we just never saw the ratings get to where we'd originally thought we would," said John Gallagher, Greater Media Detroit market manager. The duo's contract was for more than a year, "but there were different opportunities to come up with an amicable agreement to go our separate ways," Gallagher added. .. WCSX drops 'Deminski & Doyle' (Mon, 1/4)

 

Jay Towers has left "The Ticket" 97.1 FM's morning show "for a new adventure," although he isn't saying yet if that means a much-rumored jump to Clear Channel Detroit's 95.5-FM (WKQI). Towers posted on his Facebook page on Saturday that he'd left the station of his own volition, "after an amazing two years." He told The News that his new plans will be revealed shortly... Jay Towers exits 'Ticket' morning show (Mon, 1/4)

 


 

Crain's Detroit Business:

Almost a year to the day after returning to Detroit morning drive-time radio, Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle are gone from WCSX-FM 94.7, the station said in a press release this morning. They are being replaced local radio veteran Ken Calvert on Jan. 11. Station operations manager Doug Podell will fill Calvert's afternoon slot. The decision to end the show hinged on audience preference, said John Gallagher, market manager for station owner Greater Media Inc. "It's the audience telling us they want music in the morning," he said. Gallagher declined to offer details of the separation, including if there was a buyout... D&D out at WCSX; Ken Calvert named new morning host (Mon, 1/4)

 


 

WDET Launches 'STAR' Program to Support Arts and Culture in Detroit

WDET 101.9 FM has launched a new arts and culture initiative called the "STAR" program, an acronym for Support The Arts, to provide support to nonprofit cultural organizations in Southeast Michigan. Specifically, WDET's STAR program will spotlight, through free on-air promotion and announcements, two organizations each month that promote and nurture the artistic landscape of metro Detroit.

All nonprofit arts organizations can apply, but WDET will reserve opportunities for organizations with annual operating budgets of $500,000 or less. According to WDET General Manager J. Mikel Ellcessor, modest budgets typically prohibit small arts and cultural organizations from devoting substantial resources to marketing or public relations.

"Small arts-oriented nonprofits often rely solely on word-of-mouth to get their name out, depend on a dedicated repeat audience to fill seats at events, and find themselves continually operating at the margin in spite of the fact that the region's cultural community is highly diverse, very energized and of extraordinary quality," Ellcessor said.

He emphasized that these limitations, which are exacerbated by the inherent challenges in fundraising for the arts, make WDET's STAR program invaluable in helping cultural organizations reach a wider audience than otherwise would be possible.

Participating organizations will be selected by WDET staff from applications received online at www.wdet.org. WDET will work with the arts organization selected to craft on-air messages using 30-second spots, as well as longer, produced sonic pieces -- which use sound to help tell a story -- and a possible interview on WDET's Craig Fahle Show.

"WDET embraces its responsibility to encourage the knowledge and growth of metro Detroit's arts and cultural scene," Ellcessor added. "We want to make it easier for arts lovers and arts organizations to find each other."

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 5, 2010

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Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun:

Central Michigan University Public Radio has joined a handful of Michigan stations in offering a digital service that its backers boast provides CD-quality sound from FM radio. Without much fanfare, WCMU-FM 89.5 in Mt. Pleasant turned on its HD service last week, said John Sheffler, CMU Public Broadcasting's director of radio. "The quality is going to be significantly better," Sheffler said. But that's for people who have receivers capable of getting the digital signal. In radio, HD stands for "hybrid digital," but its boosters don't mind at all if its meaning is confused with the television term that means "high definition." With an HD signal, a high-quality digital stream is folded into, or multiplexed, into the station's regular, analog signal. A digital receiver can pick up that signal and reproduce the higher-quality sound. HD radio receivers, however, are still fairly rare. About 1.3 million receivers were in service in late 2009, according to the HD Radio Alliance... WCMU offers digital radio signal for those with the right receiver (Tue, 1/5)

 

FMQB.com

Tom Poleman, Senior Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel Radio, today announced the appointment of Jay Towers as Programming/Talent Consultant for the company. Towers will monitor and work with morning show talent by developing and refining morning show systems and talent coaching tools. He will report directly to Poleman. "We are thrilled to have Jay on board as we further develop our incredible morning show programming, making great radio even better. Jay's background and abilities are a perfect fit for us and we can't wait to see what he'll accomplish working along with our talented on-air personalities and program directors," said Poleman... Clear Channel Appoints Jay Towers Programming/Talent Consultant (Tue, 1/5)

 


 

Detroit News:

The confetti from New Year's Eve was barely swept up when Detroit radio executives started making changes in their morning shows. Almost exactly a year after debuting a "Deminski & Doyle" morning show, Greater Media, owners of classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7), pulled the plug on the duo and will put veteran afternoon jock Ken Calvert in the morning slot. The changes will take effect Monday... Deminski, Doyle out as Metro Detroit radio stations shuffle DJs (Tue, 1/5)

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

WCSX-FM (94.7) morning talk show "Deminski & Doyle" signed off for good Monday after a year on the classic rock station. Morning commuters heard the hosts, Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle, run through some of their favorite segments over the last year before announcing on air that this would be their last day... 'Deminski & Doyle' off 'CSX (Tue, 1/5)

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

Longtime local radio personality Lori Moore announced Monday that she is fighting breast cancer and will not be on-air while she heals. Moore, who has hosted the morning show on WKZO-AM (590) since 1995, had surgery Dec. 29. Her pathology report was good with no signs the cancer had spread, Moore said during a telephone interview Monday afternoon. Moore said she has an appointment at the West Michigan Cancer Center Wednesday to determine what comes next. Moore, whose program runs from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays, said Monday she was sore and didn't have the energy to "get up at 3:45 in the morning at the moment," but she wants "to get back as soon as possible"... Local radio host on WKZO-AM Lori Moore diagnosed with breast cancer (Tue, 1/5)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

CITADEL Country WTNR (94.5 THUNDER COUNTRY)/GRAND RAPIDS, MI APD/afternoon host NICK ALAN will be starting a new gig soon as PD/on-air personality for CITADEL Country KATC/COLORADO SPRINGS. ALAN's first day is MONDAY (1/11). CITADEL Regional Manager of Country Programming and WTNR/PD STEVE STEWART is seeking his replacement... WTNR APD Nick Alan Headed To KATC (Tue, 1/5)

 

• Radio Assist Ministry's FM translator W233BK 94.5 Caro was granted a construction permit to move to 94.7 as W234BP, increase power from 10 to 85 watts, and move north of Caro. The application states the translator would rebroadcast WLKB FM 89.1 Bay City - it currently has temporary remain silent authority from the FCC.

• No notable activity for December 30 - 31 and January 4th.

 

AFTRA Detroit hosting a night with local sportscasters

AFTRA Detroit (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is hosting an evening with some of the best known sports broadcasters in Southeast Michigan. They will share their stories and valuable tips on becoming a "player" in the competitive world of sports broadcasting.

Scheduled to appear are Ken Kal (Red Wings play-by-play), Mario Impemba (Tigers TV play-by-play), Jim Brandstatter (color commentator for the Lions and Michigan football), and Tony Ortiz (Detroit Lions reporter and WXYT-FM/WWJ personality).

The event will take place on Monday, January 25th , 2010 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Vangard Building, 23800 West Ten Mile Road, Suite 228 in Southfield, MI.

Cost is $5.00 for ANY union members (not just AFTRA) and students; $10 for those not in a union.

Seating is limited and these sportscasters have DECADES of experience between them - a great evening and a great crowd is expected so an RSVP is required: call (248) 228-3171.

 

• FM translator activity: The FCC granted the transfer of W230BI 93.9 Lapeer from Edgewater Broadcasting to Radio Power and also granted a construction permit to Educational Media Foundation for W237BY 95.3 Mason to change effective power from 27 watts @ 233 feet to 19 watts @ 308 feet and move its transmitter from near Holt to north of downtown Lansing.

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 7, 2010

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Detroit Free Press:

The WKQI-FM (95.5) "Mojo in the Morning" radio team is going to protest the protestors outside Friday's arraignment of the accused underpants bomber. "If the whole world is going to be looking at Detroit we thought let's protest, too, but we have to make it the most nonsensical protest ever," co-host Spike told the Free Press this afternoon. The morning team will meet at 1 p.m. Friday in front of the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse for this special edition of Spike's "Protest" Street Scam, a regular prank bit he does on the air. Spike said he, Mojo and Shannon Murphy will carry signs like "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," "Free Tiger Woods" and "Obama: Bring back 'Jon and Kate Plus 8.'" They're encouraging listeners to join them with posters of their own... Prank protest planned Friday by 'Mojo' radio team (Thu, 1/7)

 

• Educational Media Foundation was granted a construction permit for W262BD 100.3 Dimondale to change effective power from 13 watts @ 394 feet to 22 watts @ 312 feet and move its transmitter from south of Lansing to north of downtown Lansing. The station plans on rebroadasting AM station WWSJ 1580 St. Johns once the move is completed.

 

Traverse City Record-Eagle:

Faith Hershiser doesn't believe she's getting her money's worth from her satellite television provider. Nearly $80 a month goes toward her DirecTV bill. But Hershiser, of Bellaire, no longer can make it through her favorite TV shows without experiencing audio problems. Momentary sound glitches tied to her DirecTV service began in June, and haven't disappeared. "It's like watching TV, but somebody's swearing all the time," she said. "It seems like when you're really interested in something, that's when it happens." Hershiser said she only picks up the audio glitches on local channels. She called local NBC and Fox affiliates, but nobody's been able to fix the problem. Hershiser doesn't appear to be the only DirecTV customer in northern Michigan who's experienced audio problems. Lowell Shore, chief engineer for Heritage Broadcasting Group, which owns 9&10 News and Fox 32, said he's fielded several calls from DirecTV customers over the past month... Audio glitches impact DirecTV customers (Fri, 1/8)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

David Solano is not the type of person who likes to sit around and wait for things to happen. That's why the former weekend sports anchor at WZZM-TV recently made the bold move to Houston -- even though he doesn't have a job lined up. Solano arrived in Houston on Dec. 29. He first visited the Lone Star State a few years back while visiting his girlfriend, a native Texan, and fell in love with the area. He had hoped to find a role in a larger market, but those opportunities did not materialize in Michigan, so he's taking a chance on Houston. Solano has had a few interviews already, both in and out of the TV business, and is confident he will land a gig relatively soon... David Solano looking for work in Houston after leaving WZZM-TV sports job (Fri, 1/8)

 

AllAccess.com:

CBS RADIO Top 40/Mainstream WVMV (98.7 AMP)/DETROIT has named BUCK HEAD as its new afternoon-drive host. He starts on MONDAY, JANUARY 11th. BUCK HEAD's first on-air gig was 12 years ago at WFLZ/TAMPA. After stints in LAS VEGAS and KYSR/LOS ANGELES, where he did nights, BUCK HEAD came to DETROIT to host evenings for the launch of WKQI (CHANNEL 955). He next did mornings at KKRZ (Z100)/PORTLAND and WBZQ (B94)/PITTSBURGH. "BUCK is simply one of the best in the business," VP/Top 40 Programming and 98.7 AMP PD DOM THEODORE said. "There are very few Top 40 personalities in his league. His outrageous and unpredictable style, combined with his online expertise, and previous track record of ratings success in Detroit made him the obvious choice for PM Drive, and I'm thrilled to team back up with him at 98.7 AMP"... Buck Head Amps It Up In Detroit (Fri, 1/8)

 


 

WDIV gearing up for 2010 North American International Auto Show coverage

WDIV TV Detroit, Local 4, is again the official home of the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The most complete NAIAS coverage anywhere includes Auto Show Sneak Peek, a Local 4 primetime preview special, live Local 4 News broadcasts from the exhibit floor, live webcasts of the exciting new car reveals, daily newscast features throughout the media preview week and the public show, and 4 From The Floor: The 2010 NAIAS Charity Preview, a 2-hour live Local 4 primetime special from the Charity Preview event.

Starting with the hour-long primetime preview special on Friday, January 8 at 10 p.m., Auto Show Sneak Peek takes viewers behind the scenes at Cobo Center for an inside look at the hottest new cars you'll be driving now and in the future and the latest technology and gadgets to improve your ride. Hosted by Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian and Guy Gordon and with special reports from Rhonda Walker and Rod Meloni, Auto Show Sneak Peek introduces you to top auto executives, including Susan Docherty, General Motors Western Region Manager, who has been regarded as the most powerful woman in the industry. Viewers will also have the chance to challenge their knowledge of car trivia when they play along with "Auto Jeopardy!" hosted by Alex Trebek.

On Monday, January 11 starting at 5 a.m., Local 4's "Car Guy", Guy Gordon, will have live reports from Cobo Center on Local 4 News Morning. Throughout the day as the "Car and Truck of the Year" winners are announced and exciting vehicle unveilings begin, Local 4 will bring viewers compelling live streaming video coverage on ClickOnDetroit.com. Also Monday, Local 4 News at 5pm and Local 4 News at 6pm will broadcast live from the exhibit floor, anchored on-site by Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian, Chuck Gaidica and Bernie Smilovitz, highlighting the most talked about new vehicles and award winners with special reports from our automotive specialists Guy Gordon and Rod Meloni.

During the NAIAS media preview days (January 11-12), Local 4 will feature special segments each day on Local 4 News Morning, Local 4: First At 4pm, Local 4 News at 5pm, 6pm and the #1 late news in southeast Michigan, Local 4 News at 11pm. In addition, Monday through Friday January 11-15 Local 4 will broadcast a half-hour live webcast from the Auto Show daily at 12:30 p.m. only on ClickOnDetroit.com.

Then, it's one of Metro-Detroit's most anticipated nights, and the biggest black tie extravaganza in town. Friday, January 15 starting at 7 p.m., only Local 4 will take viewers inside the 2010 NAIAS Charity Preview party with a live 2-hour primetime special on a night when a backdrop of beautiful cars sets the scene to raise significant donations for local children's charities. 4 From The Floor: The 2010 NAIAS Charity Preview is hosted by Local 4's Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian, Guy Gordon, Rhonda Walker, Chuck Gaidica, Rod Meloni and Heather Zara and will feature special appearances by stars of NBC's popular daytime drama Days Of Our Lives, Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe) and Shawn Christian (Daniel), as well as Ross Matthews of The Jay Leno Show.

4 From The Floor: The 2010 NAIAS Charity Preview also includes interviews with top auto industry executives, a look at some of this year's most impressive vehicles, and the ultimate buyer's guide to purchasing a new car in these tough economic times with a review of models and features to suit a wide range of driving needs.

In addition to NAIAS coverage on Local 4, the latest daily updates and exclusive stories from the show can be found in a special section on the station's website, ClickOnDetroit.com. The ClickOnDetroit Official Auto Show Guide will be filled with hundreds of photos of impressive vehicles on display, video highlights of the amazing reveals and important information for attending the show with maps of the exhibit floor, parking guides and live weather and traffic to plan your trip downtown.

 

CES: Device-ively unique

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It's been awhile since Art Vuolo has written one of his 'On The Radio' columns for Michiguide.com... but he's out in considerably warmer Las Vegas at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show and files this preliminary report:

The 2010 International CES is exactly that, as attendees communicate in a variety of different languages. There are people here from every corner of the globe with the heaviest representation being from Asia. There are lots of folks from China, Japan, and throughout the far east. There are also many Canadians, French, Hispanics, and South Americans. It truly brings people in from everywhere to experience, first hand, the latest techno gadgets and peer, if you will, into the future, by at least the next 12 months.

The key word at this year's show is unquestionably DEVICE. There is some sort of device in the palm of 99.9% of the people at this show which has drawn far in excess of 110,000 people! On Friday afternoon (January 8th) I felt as though they were trying to recreate the crowd seen in Times Square on New Years Eve. A crushing mass of humanity that made navigating your way throughout the LG booth a life-risking challenge.

This year's CES is unique for me in as much as I have had the distinct privilege of touring it (in part) with the man who actually started the entire event back in 1973 in New York City, Jack Wayman. Jack is a frequent guest on the nationally syndicated Joey Reynolds Show from the WOR Radio Network. Sadly that program is not yet available locally in the Detroit area, but Joey has become a huge fan of this trade show and due to his friendship with Mr. Wayman, both he and I were able to enjoy the festivities on a level not known to the "common man." Honestly, it was like touring Hollywood with a celebrity as Jack Wayman was the constant recipient of the respect he so richly deserves. It's always fun to be in the company of greatness!

On Wednesday January 6th, the day prior to the opening of this four-day trade show, which is NOT open to the public, it was "Press Day" featuring numerous keynotes and presentations. A few that I attended included one with Mircosoft's Steve Balmer. It was a fascinating peek into the future from one of the best visionaries of our time. A couple of others were presented by Samsung, Panasonic and Sony.

On Thursday morning January 7th, we were treated to a memorizing keynote by Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally. He spoke, with the help of others at Ford and contributing partners, about the new automobile of the 2010's and how we will be talking MORE to our cars, while they too will be talking back to us! There was very little reference to radio, either HD, Sirius XM or regular terrestrial offerings. I think it got mentioned twice. At the conclusion I ran into NAB Radio president John David and said, "It didn't take a calculator to count the number of times they talked about radio."

The automobile is the last major stage for radio and it's being pushed off the podium and into the orchestra pit. Scary! I'm not sure if anyone is really trying to raise the slowly sinking ship. I fear that by 2020, when commercial AM radio is to celebrate it's 100th birthday, that there won't be much to celebrate on the AM band. As a radio lover for over 50 years, that hurts to say, but I must be honest as I look into the future.

General Motors hit 100 in 2008, but because of the bad economy and threats of bankruptcy, there was very little celebrating by GM. The last format keeping radio solvent has been news, talk and sports and that is now starting to segue, in droves, to the FM band. WXYT-FM (97.1 The Ticket) is perhaps one of the most successful FM talk & sports stations in the nation.

While on my west coast tour, I even saw a TV spot for Buick which featured a dashboard shot and the announcer stating what pleasure you can enjoy from playing back your favorite down-loaded music. There was no mention of AM or FM radio. While taking a cab from my hotel to the convention center I asked David the cabbie what radio stations he liked in Las Vegas, and he held up his iPod which was "jacked" into his car radio. Yikes! Now we're even losing the cab drivers. When will it end.

Brian, a 30-ish computer researcher in Cincinnati, never even heard of 700 WLW, which is that city's top station with double-digit ratings!

The "DEVICE" that is getting the most attention at the show is 3-D TV and it's getting heavy buzz. High-Definition Television seemed like natural much like stereo sound, but 3-D (although impressive) needs special glasses, unless you want to stay within a very restricted space in front of the set, and requires more new hardware. Some people find looking at their favorite TV personalities on certain shows, or even the local news, to be a bit TOO revealing in HD. When you add 3-D it might simply be TOO much.

At the conclusion of the show I will have some additional thoughts and observations. I also hope to be on Murray Gula's Home Improvement Show on WDFN-AM (1130) on Sunday, January 10th, reporting what I've seen, between noon and 2 p.m.

This is your MIA radio reporter Art Vuolo, Jr., signing off from Sin City. I will spare you the local weather report.

Art Vuolo Jr.

Reach Art Vuolo at artvuolo@aol.com or visit his web site at vuolovideo.com

 

Television: Newsmakers Jan. 9, 2010

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Grand Rapids Press:

Could lightning strike twice for West Michigan rock bands? Last year, East Grand Rapids-bred The Good Luck Joes won FOX Sports Detroit's "April in the D" song contest, spotlighting the pop-flavored band in commercials about the Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings that aired from late March through April 2009. It also awarded the group $5,000 and a headlining slot in a concert on the Tigers' opening day in downtown Detroit. Well, the sports network once again is looking for entries from bands who create "songs that are positive and full of energy, promoting the virtues of Detroit with a focus on the Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings." The entry deadline for songs (which must be submitted on DVD and be no longer than 3 minutes, 30 seconds) is Feb. 10. Mail them to FOX Sports Detroit, 26555 Evergreen, Suite 90, Southfield, Michigan, 48076... 'April in the D' song contest once again seeks entries from sports-loving Michigan bands (Sat, 1/9)

 

AllAccess.com:

CBS RADIO Top 40/Mainstream WVMV (98.7 AMP)/DETROIT has tapped morning dessert THE PUDDIN PLAYHOUSE as its new morning driver, coming in from CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WSNX/GRAND RAPIDS, (NET NEWS 1/5). PUDDIN starts today (1/11), as does BUCK HEAD (NET NEWS 1/8) for afternoons... Puddin Show Debuts In Mornings At 98.7 AMP Radio (Mon, 1/11)

 

MediaWeek:

Detroit has had a front-row seat to the recession, suffering 17 percent unemployment in a state with the highest unemployment rate. Among the top 25 Nielsen markets, Detroit had the steepest drop in TV households at 1.9 percent. Still coping with the aftereffects, the city has laid the groundwork to transition from a market dependent primarily on the auto business to a more diverse economy. Attracting a number of businesses that can harness unemployed autoworkers and engineers, Detroit is working to attract renewable and alternative energy and medical technology companies. For example, a 320-acre Ford plant is being turned into a manufacturing park for renewable energy companies. The auto business is also strengthening, with Chrysler adding shifts and General Motors making a commitment to alternative energy. Advertising is beginning to return from such categories as auto, fast food, retail and, of course, political. With a governor's race gearing up, media outlets are expecting activity for the primaries in August, along with several statewide races and issue advertising around property and housing taxes. Newspapers took big hits in Detroit, making it one of the few markets that doesn't have daily delivery of a paper... Market Profile: Detroit (Sun, 1/10)

 

Cadillac gets new religious FM at 91.9

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Strong Tower Radio, WGCP FM 91.9, has been on the air since late last month offering listeners around Cadillac a new option in religious broadcasting. The station's web site, www.wgcpfm.org claims, "Strong Tower Radio WGCP 91.9-FM is not owned or operated by any church, denomination or organization, and we believe people from all cultures and backgrounds will appreciate our programming."

Much of the station's schedule is filled with shows from 3ABN (Three Angels Broadcasting Network) .

WGCP is a Class A station, broadcasting with 2,100 watts @ 144 feet that covers much of central Wexford county including the city of Cadillac. It is owned by West Central Michigan Media Ministries.

 

Crain's Detroit Business:

Bob Sliva will retire as vice president and general manager of Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-Channel 7 on April 1, he said today. Sliva, 59, replaced longtime Channel 7 veteran Grace Gilchrist in those roles on Jan. 1, 2008, when she retired. He turns 60 on April 1. "I've decided 35 years (in the TV business) is enough," he said. "I think I'm going to the beach for awhile." Sliva said he plans to spend time with his wife at a cabin they bought along Lake Huron near Port Sanilac... Bob Sliva, WXYZ-Channel 7 general manager, to retire April 1 (Wed, 1/13)

 

WZZM TV 13 Grand Rapids was granted a construction permit to increase effective radiated power from 16,500 watts @ 1064 feet to 24,500 watts @ 1064 feet.

• No notable activity for January 8th and 11th - 12th.

 

St. Joseph Herald Palladium:

Jason Lee knew his morning radio show on WIRX-FM (107.1) was doomed eight weeks before he got the official word. "When we received the shipment of 2010 station calendars, the Jason Lee Show logo was no where on there," Lee says from his home in St. Joseph. "When our logo didn't make the calendar we knew we were going to get booted. We just sat around for eight Fridays waiting to get called into the office." The call came on Nov. 20. That's when Lee was told that his show was the latest victim of budget cuts at Benton Harbor's WSJM, Inc., which operates the five Southwest Michigan radio stations owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting. Since Lee's last broadcast nearly two months ago, a growing number of local supporters has been pressuring the company to put the deejay back on the air. The group, which has nearly 1,300 members, started a letter-writing campaign and a Facebook petition, organized a picket line in front of at least one WIRX advertiser, and are planning a benefit concert featuring Morgan Ingle, The Last Mangos, The Michigan City Vandals and Mike Struwin on Feb. 6 at Czar's 505 in St. Joseph. Proceeds from the concert will be used for signs, bumper stickers and T-shirts to continue a campaign to get Lee back on the air... Radio listeners rally for displaced deejay (Thu, 1/14)

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

Do you follow the syndicated (and very popular) "Free Beer and Hot Wings" show on WGRD-FM (97.9)? Or do you listen to the sports talk show giant in town, better known as "Huge" -- who can be heard across the state (including WBBL-FM 107.3) and found online through his Huge Blog on Mlive.com? It may or may not be a case of old-school radio wars, but today Free Beer and Hot Wings, along with the show's Eric Zane, finished a segment with Grand Rapids Griffins captain Jamie Tardif with a little playful banter about Huge... Radio wars? WGRD's Free Beer and Hot Wings take on WBBL's Huge (Thu, 1/14)

 

• Synergy Management Group is acquiring FM translator W254BL 98.7 from Horizon Christian Fellowship for $3,200 plus the forgiveness of unpaid tower rent pending FCC approval and closing. The application states the translator, which is currently silent, would rebroadcast Synergy's WMLQ FM 97.7 Manistee.

 

Auto Show hits high gear with TV, radio broadcasts of Charity Preview

Tonight is the official kickoff of the 2010 North American International Auto Show with the annual Charity Preview. It's always one of the most anticipated evenings for Metro Detroit, but especially so this year with all the attention on the auto industry this past year. It's always been a big night and a great place to be seen and heard.

If you can't be there in person, WDIV-TV 4 and WJR AM 760 have you covered on television and radio.

Starting at 7 p.m., Local 4 will take viewers inside the 2010 NAIAS Charity Preview party with a live 2-hour primetime special on a night when a backdrop of beautiful cars sets the scene to raise significant donations for local children's charities. 4 From The Floor: The 2010 NAIAS Charity Preview is hosted by Local 4's Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian, Guy Gordon, Rhonda Walker, Chuck Gaidica, Rod Meloni and Heather Zara and will feature special appearances by stars of NBC's popular daytime drama Days Of Our Lives, Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe) and Shawn Christian (Daniel), Ross Matthews of The Jay Leno Show, and popular television actor Erik Estrada.

4 From The Floor: The 2010 NAIAS Charity Preview also includes interviews with top auto industry executives, a look at some of this year's most impressive vehicles, and the ultimate buyer's guide to purchasing a new car in these tough economic times with a review of models and features to suit a wide range of driving needs. Viewers will also have the chance to challenge their knowledge of car trivia when they play along with "Auto Jeopardy!" hosted by Alex Trebek.

WJR's Paul W. Smith will also broadcast the event live from the Ford Motor Company exhibit from 6:30pm-8pm. Expect timely guests and reports as the evening unfolds. WJR will also be on hand all next week for the following broadcasts: Saturday, January 16th and 23rd: 9am-11am - The CAR Show; Sunday, January 17th: Noon-2pm - The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege; and Monday, January 18th - Friday, January 22nd: 9am-Noon - The Frank Beckmann Show.

 


 

AllAccess.com:

RADIO ONE DETROIT OM MS. SMILEY checks in to update us on some changes that have taken place at Urban WHTD (HOT 102.7). Middayer SUGAR RAY is out. SHORTY DA PRINCE goes to nights and replaces BIG GREG, who moves to middays... Ch-Ch-Changes at Radio One Detroit (Fri, 1/15)

 

• The Escanaba translator of WNMU FM 90.1 at FM 107.1 (W296AX) has been granted a construction permit to move to FM 96.5 as W243CQ. FM 107.1 has been noted causing inference with WUPF FM 107.3 Powers/Escanaba prompting the frequency change.

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 16, 2010

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Midland Daily News:

Delta College's Public Television Station, Q-TV, will launch the new year with a community forum that brings together local leaders to discuss the future trends and directions for the region. The discussion will pursue what is needed for the region to successfully provide for its citizens and effectively compete in the global marketplace. "Hard Times. Hard Choices. How Will Mid-Michigan Recover?" airs Monday, starting at 9 p.m. The evening looks at the Michigan and mid-Michigan region's economy and features expert panelists and community members. This broadcast town meeting is a partnership between MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and Delta College's WDCQ-TV. Starting a 8 p.m., the channel will air "By The People: Michigan Hard Times, Hard Choices." Kwame Holman, correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," moderates this statewide documentary that looks at the crucial issues related to Michigan's economy, education and housing as the 2010 general election approaches. At 9 p.m., the Mid-Michigan program begins. Andy Rapp, a 40-year broadcast journalist and host of Q-TV's "Currently Speaking," moderates the live discussion... Delta College's Q-TV program examines the future of our region (Sat, 1/16)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 17, 2010

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The Oakland Press:

Specs Howard is a name that is synonymous with broadcast arts. But the Southfield-based school is branching out even further into digital media arts in 2010, which will likely increase the school's enrollment and its revenue. It will be known as the Specs Howard School of Broadcasting and Media Arts once the school completes its digital media arts curriculum, most likely in May, said President Lisa Zahodne. The new name is already being promoted in radio advertisements that began this month. Like its graphics program, which was established in 2008, the digital media arts program will take 12 months for students to complete, requiring them to be in the classroom two days a week, and doing the rest of their work remotely and online the remainder of the week. The desire to add this new discipline is based on the demand for digital content from not just traditional media such as television and radio, but also from corporations that want to enhance their online profiles by using video, audio and other digital tools... Broadcasting school adds digital media curriculum (Sun, 1/17)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

The Salvation Army will focus its 2010 edition of its annual Radiothon fundraising event Tuesday on raising money for its relief work in Haiti. The radio station 95.7 WLHT will host the 12-hour Radiothon that will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Woodland Mall, located at 28th Street and the East Beltline west of I-96. The Salvation Army has pledged that 100 percent of donations received for disaster relief will be used for that purpose. The radiothon will include up-to-the-minute information on the Salvation Army's relief efforts from "on the ground" in Haiti... Salvation Army's Radiothon on 95.7 WLHT to give all proceeds to Haiti (Mon, 1/18)

 

William "Broadway" Bertshinger left WBCT-FM (93.7 B-93) last week Wednesday to start his new morning show, "The Morning After," on sister station WSNX-FM (104.5). The new show debuted this morning. "To be honest with you, he's always been one of my favorite people to work with," WSNX program director Eric O'Brien said. "The stars aligned, and we lucked out to have him back." Broadway replaces Justin "Puddin" Barclay and his "Puddin's Playhouse" morning radio show, which has landed at Detroit Top 40 radio station WVMV-FM (98.7), AMP Radio... William "Broadway" Bertshinger leaves B-93 to launch new morning show on 104.5 WSNX-FM (Mon, 1/18)

 

As of Friday January 15th, The University of Michigan has turned over the programming of its WFUM-TV Channel 28 to Central Michigan University's WCMU operation. The handoff occured just past 11am.

CMU is in the process of acquiring WFUM from U-M and the paperwork has now been filed with the FCC and the official ownership transfer will happen once the sale has been approved.

WCMU plans to put together a community advisory board in the Flint area to help make decisions about what local programming initiatives are appropriate for the market. Already there are plans to incorporate the Flint area in many of the local programs WCMU already produces, such as:

• ASK THE SPECIALISTS- a live call in show every Thursday evening at 8 pm. Viewers are invited to call in their questions to a panel of experts ranging weekly from Doctors, Lawyers, Builders, Veterinarians, etc.

• DESTINATION MICHIGAN- this is a new local series that started this year featuring stories about the people and places that make up our great state of Michigan.

• CAPITOL REPORT- a weekly public affairs program featuring one on one interviews with elected officials. This series is expanded into MEET THE CANDIDATES during election years in order to interview candidates for State and National office seats.

• QUIZ CENTRAL- this series is very close to the High School quiz bowl program formerly produced by WFUM. WCMU has been producing its version for the past 4 years and currently have 32 teams competing.

 

Central Michigan's press release:

Central Michigan University has entered into an agreement with the University of Michigan to acquire WFUM TV which serves the greater Flint area. We are excited to be in the Flint area and to offer the same great PBS programs you love along with our own brand of local shows which highlight the best that Michigan has to offer, including Quiz Central, Destination Michigan, Ask The Specialists, and Capitol Report--just to name a few.

But we're much more than a broadcaster. As Michigan's largest television service, CMU Public Television takes pride in working with local arts and service organizations throughout the state. We've successfully partnered with schools and local groups to provide early childhood literacy training through our Ready to Learn program, encouraged creativity among early elementary students with the annual PBS Kids Go! Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, ensured families have warm clothes through the annual Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive, and taught young mothers how best to prepare healthy meals for their children in our Healthy Weight for Preschoolers program. At the other end of the age spectrum, WCMU addresses issues facing our older viewers including programming and community projects that deal with caring for parents and Alzheimer's disease. We look forward to getting to know the Flint community better, and to tell the stories in the greater-Flint and southeast Michigan areas that need to be told and shared with the rest of the state.

We pride ourselves at being available and responsive to our viewers. If you should ever have any questions, comments, praise, complaints, advice or concerns regarding a program you saw or perhaps the station in general, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-727-9268 or contact us via e-mail at the following addresses:

• TV Programming Matters - Rick Schudiske @ schud1ra@cmich.edu
• Membership Matters - Kim Walters @ walte1kj@cmich.edu
• General Station Matters - Ed Grant @ grant1eb@cmich.edu

 

News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit and Michigan State University have extended their relationship for another 10 years, keeping WJR as the flagship station for MSU football and men's basketball through 2020. WJR became the flagship for those broadcasts in 2006 after previously doing so from 1963 to 1976.

"MSU's relationship with WJR is truly a partnership," MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a university release. "It's more than broadcasting our sporting events. It's become a mutually reinforcing set of conversations in which we've been able to use the power of WJR and MSU together to promote prosperity in the region."

WJR President Mike Fezzey called it a "great partnership that encompasses athletics, academics and everything in between."

The extension was announced today on WJR's Paul W. Smith show.

 


 

Adult Contemporary WNIC FM 100.3 Detroit has added the syndicated Delilah program for evenings, displacing Joe Haze. It's the third go-round for Delilah on Detroit stations - her program had abbreviated runs on soft rockers WMGC FM 105.1 and what was WDMK FM 102.7 in years past but fell victim to either poor ratings or a format change.

 


 

Contemporary hits Channel 95-5's 'Mojo In the Morning' program adds some listeners in the desert with the announcement that KOHT FM in Tucson, AZ has picked up the program. It'll air live starting really early in the morning there - with the last two hours replayed for later risers.

It marks a return to the market for host Mojo, who hosted mornings at KRQQ before moving here in 2000.

KOHT ops manager Tim Roberts commented, "We couldn't be happier to welcome Mojo In the Morning back to Tucson! He has created a morning show dynasty in Detroit since 2000 and we believe that he and the team will take Hot 98.3 to the next level."

Mojo added, "I have deep family roots in Tucson and I'm excited to be back here on the radio. Spike, Shannon, and I look forward to helping Hot 98.3 listeners start their day!"

 

Vuolo: Where's our FM talk station?

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column written by Art Vuolo, Jr.

It's been far too long since last I submitted a column to Michiguide.com, but I have a lot of news and a great deal of opinion about what is going on in the radio industry, which is getting stranger every day. Don't misread me, I still love radio with a deep passion, but the people in charge of running it have been making decisions which are, at least to me, not in the best interest of you, the listener, nor the people working in the radio business.

 

VuoloWe might as well start with very late breaking news that you may have just read about, regarding broadcasts of college sports. Both WJR-AM (760) and Michigan State University have just announced that the current five year deal to broadcast MSU football and basketball, has been extended for the next ten years! This will keep the Green and White on "The Big Stick" until the year 2020, when (oddly enough) commercial radio celebrates its 100th anniversary. Both WWJ in Detroit and KDKA in Pittsburgh went on the air in August and November, respectively, that year.

This news is not good for University of Michigan supporters. Many Wolverine fans hoped that after this season when the five year contract, which was announced on October 13, 2005, would be expiring that the Maize & Blue would revert back to Michigan's most powerful AM station. Ain't gonna happen.

Meanwhile, Spartan fans are no doubt excited to keep their teams on the 50,000 watt blow-torch, but it's not all bad for long-suffering U-M fans who hope the 2010 season of college football will be better than the last two. WOMC-FM (104.3) will again have ALL of the Michigan games this fall, and with nearly 200,000 watts of boost, that's not such a bad deal. Games will also, in all probability, be carried on CKLW-AM (800) which reaches from Fort Wayne, IN to the far side of NE Ohio. However, locally the FM is the clearest and most consistent signal for the games. We like to think of WOMC as standing for Where Only Michigan Counts.

 

According to industry "experts" the two most popular and profitable formats in radio today are country and talk. Yet, in Southeastern Michigan we have only one of each. WYCD has re-claimed its sole lock on country music when WDTW-FM (106.7), when it was known as 'The Fox' gave up as a distant number two. WYCD's only competition comes from far outside the market with stations in Ann Arbor (W4 102.9 FM), Toledo (K-100 99.9 FM), Flint (WFBE 95.1 FM), Port Huron (WSAQ 107.1 FM) and Lansing (WITL 100.7 FM).

For talk, WJR is pretty much it. Sadly, this great station is roughly 70% syndicated programming, as are the great majority of talk stations nationally. WJR's only live and local shows are mornings with Paul W. Smith, followed by Frank Beckmann and later in the afternoon a couple of hours with Mitch Albom and a news feature with Lloyd Jackson.

FM talk is the new buzz and, in many cities, AM powerhouse stations have flipped over to FM. I do not expect that will happen at WJR, but in several cities it has. In Seattle KIRO flipped to FM, as did WIBC in Indianapolis and KTAR in Phoenix. We could certainly use an FM talk station (done properly) in the Motor City. WKRK-FM (97.1) was more successful than WOW-FM (WOWF 99.5) which didn't even last six months back in 1993.

Dedicated radio buffs will recall that the first FM talker in Detroit was WDRQ-FM (93.1) which premiered after Father's Day in late June of 1971. They were truly far ahead of their time. It lasted about 18 months and then flipped to the Top 40 hits format that frequency is probably best remembered for.

In the Garden State, New Jersey 101.5 FM garners ratings that any broadcasting company would envy. They dominate with no syndicated fare, all local programs and originating from the state capital in Trenton. They cater only to New Jersey...not Philadelphia and not New York and it works! Why can't something similar work in Detroit?

 

Bill Doyle and Jeff Deminski were two of the more popular personalities to work on FM talk radio locally, but 2009 was not a good year for the duo while at classic rocker WCSX-FM (94.7). It wasn't a good fit. It was the wrong station. Interestingly the Bob & Tom show (available throughout Michigan, but not in Detroit) is a funny, mostly talk, syndicated morning program that does work and mostly on classic rock FM's. D&D were on a station known to be "music-intensive" and listeners didn't seem to accept their all-talk in the morning format.

Prior to segueing over to 94.7 FM, the boys sat out a full year of unemployment due to a "non-compete" clause in their deal with CBS, which owns 97.1 FM. When music was being interjected on their WCSX program, the handwriting was on the wall. Listeners were unhappy with the lack of classic rock in the morning and operations boss Doug Podell tried appeasing the audience with at least "some" music. It obviously wasn't good enough and at the end of the year their contract was not renewed.

D&D built their largest fan-base as an afternoon drive program at WKRK and didn't like it when they were pushed into mornings, as the station began to evolve as an all-sports outlet. This is unfortunate because Deminski & Doyle are very good and they like Detroit. Hopefully some under-performing FM station will adapt a talk format and make them their first hire for afternoons. Oddly enough both Bill and Jeff came to Detroit from a very successful run in afternoon drive at NJ 101.5.

 

Another morning show alteration, since last we met, was at WXYT-FM/AM (97.1 The Ticket) when Jay Towers either left on his own or HIS contact was also not renewed. It depends on who you talk to. None-the-less, Bill McAllister and Sara were left "Tower-less" until sports radio guru Tom Bigby and Ticket PD Jimmy Powers decided to try out former WDFN-AM (1130) host Mike "Stoney" Stone. Gentlemen you've hit the jackpot! Don't change a thing. Stoney works! It is a programmers dream come true when chemistry in the studio happens. Well, it's happened and just say "thank you God" and leave it alone.

Jay Towers future is, to an extent, uncertain. He has left CBS Radio and is slated to work for Clear Channel Radio, an arch-rival to CBS, as a "morning show consultant." I will have been in radio 50 years by this summer, and I've never heard of such a position. He is also supposedly going to continue working at WJBK-TV Fox 2 doing weekend anchoring and reporting.

 

Over the holidays I was on the west coast and in Las Vegas for nearly three weeks. Don't be jealous, in San Diego I had to scrape ice off windshield and no they don't have scrapers in southern California rental cars. It seems that everyone "in touch with today" has an I-Phone or a Blackberry rather than just an ordinary cell phone. Since I felt a need to be "SoCal Cool" I stopped into the world's ONLY Blackberry store at 14 Mile and Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills and picked up a new Blackberry Tour. My I-Phone friends made me feel inferior but, soon I learned how to get nearly every radio station I like on this phone. Very cool.

If you have one of these type phones, you can tune into nearly any station you want by simply downloading a special program or application (app) and bingo...you are connected. Folks at the Blackberry store helped me with two excellent app's. All Clear Channel-owned stations can be listened to with I heart radio, and you can easily bookmark your favorites. Most other stations can be heard with Radio Companion by Nobex. Both have web sites and are easy to understand.

While out in L.A. I could instantly punch up WWJ or WJR and find out news and weather information back home. I always felt in touch. The three-hour time difference was a problem at times, but it seems somewhat supernatural hearing stations from Detroit or New York a couple of thousand miles away! Best of all, you can run the audio output of these cell phones, via a simple patch cord that has a mini-stereo pin plug at each end, right into the auxiliary jack on most new car radios. The audio quality (in stereo) that fills your car from your cell phone is phenomenal. It will dazzle your friends. No longer, even while driving, will you be limited by the range of an AM or FM radio signal.

This week while Southern California was being slammed with floods, mud slides, high winds and even tornadoes I felt as though I was right there again tuned to WWJ's CBS sister station NewsRadio 1070 KNX. I recall how during the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, WJR ran a simulcast of sister ABC station KGO in the Bay Area. Now, we can be instantly connected to anyplace a major news story or situation is occurring!

This technology is changing everything.

 

With a promise to not be so absent from this site in 2010, I want to end with an update on former Detroit radio personality Joey Ryan. Joey is still in rough shape, but he's hangin' in there at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. He truly enjoys hearing from old radio pals in Detroit. He even got a card from WOMC's Dick Purtan. Please send a get well card to him via his real name; Joseph Pietruska c/o Home for Vets, 3000 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49505. If more convenient, longtime friend Kenn Christopher of Plymouth, MI has set up an e-mail account for messages of encouragement. E-mail Joey at joeymrboogieryan@gmail.com.

Art Vuolo Jr.

Reach Art Vuolo at artvuolo@aol.com or visit his web site at vuolovideo.com

 

• Goodrich Radio, LLC is purchasing FM translator W237CZ 95.3 Hudsonville from Horizon Christian Fellowship for $79,000 pending FCC approval and closing. Goodrich plans on rebroadcasting its talk WPRR AM 1680 Ada/Grand Rapids on the translator; a construction permit has been granted to increase power to 250 watts.

 

WDIV and partners helping with Haiti relief effort

WDIV-TV Detroit, Local 4, has announced a major relief effort, Help 4 Haiti, to raise funds that will send food, water and desperately needed medical supplies to the tens of thousands of people and families suffering through devastating after effects of the destructive earthquake in Haiti. Partnering with Forgotten Harvest, the Detroit Pistons, WJR, Walgreens, Project Medishare, Cross International and over 30 local urban and suburban churches, WDIV-TV Local 4's Help 4 Haiti will bring supplies donated by metro Detroiters to the hardest hit areas in Haiti.

Dr. Frank McGeorge, Local 4 News Good Health reporter and emergency room doctor at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, is on his way to Haiti to provide medical assistance in the field. Beginning Wednesday, January 20, he will report from the scene during Local 4 News Morning, Local 4 News at 5pm and 6pm and Local 4 News at 11pm. Traveling along with Dr. McGeorge, Local 4 News photographer Tim Pamplin, also known as the Nightcam, will share sights and sounds of the relief effort with viewers here at home.

"First and foremost I sincerely hope I will be able to help the injured. My training in Emergency Medicine will be perfectly suited for the situation," said Dr. McGeorge. "I also believe there will be incredible value in translating through the eyes of a doctor reports that will help viewers understand the magnitude of the tragedy."

Help 4 Haiti monetary donations can be made during Local 4 Newscasts by calling the WDIV phone bank at (313) 298-WDIV, or 24 hours a day by calling toll-free at (888) 332-7140. Online contributions can be made through links posted at ClickOnDetroit.com. Beginning Friday, Jan. 22, suggested items purchased at over 150 metro Detroit Walgreens locations can be donated in the Help 4 Haiti drop box at each store.

 


 

Crain's Detroit Business:

A look at metro Detroit's transportation and infrastructure will be featured in a new PBS special called "Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City." It will air at 10 p.m. Feb. 8 on Detroit Public Television, Channel 56. A private reception, screening and panel discussion are scheduled for next Wednesday at the Detroit Public Library's main branch, sponsored by the station and the Troy-based Kresge Foundation... PBS special makes case for Detroit transportation, infrastructure upgrades (Tue, 1/19)

 

Detroit Free Press:

As a young man growing up in the projects of Royal Oak Township, a community just north of Detroit, I have memories of watching and listening to the sights and sounds of sports. It was the late 1950s and early '60s, and most of the sights and sounds came by way of the radio. We'd hear the words and sounds while our imagination provided the sights -- put them together and it was all good. The next-best thing to being there. Soon those magnificent radio voices that had been our front-row ticket to the world of sports gave way to television. On the local scene, names like Al Ackerman and Dave Diles fed us a solid diet of sports, and the smooth and melodic voice of Charlie Neal delivered sports to our living rooms... Van Patrick helped kids connect with Lions (Thu, 1/21)

 

• Variety hits WUPG FM 96.7 Republic has been granted a construction permit to change effective radiated power from 25,000 watts @ 172 feet to 18,750 watts @ 381 feet from a broadcast tower located several miles to the east of its current location.

 

• Calvary Radio Network of Indiana is buying 31 FM stations and translators from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, CA for $1 million. The deal includes W247AM 97.3 Kalamazoo and W274AQ 102.7 Battle Creek, both of which relay WQKO FM 91.9 Howe, IN- which is also part of the sale. This transaction essentially undoes a sale between the two groups late in 2008.

 

• No notable activity for January 20.

 

Traverse City Record-Eagle:

The Roundup radio variety show is hitting the road. The weekly program -- taped at the Hayloft Inn and broadcast on WNMC -- will be making its way to a location near you beginning in February, said show host Bill Dungjen. "We're going to take our Roundup radio show with Sour Mash, the (bluegrass) house band, to different venues around the area -- township halls, association halls, Elks clubs -- and we'll invite hand-picked guests a la Garrison Keillor," Dungjen said, referring to the host of the national radio variety show, "A Prairie Home Companion." The Roundup road trips will be more polished versions of the regular show, which generally airs at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays and at 5:30 p.m. on Sundays, Dungjen said... Road Trip: Radio show on tour (Fri, 1/22)

 

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 22, 2010

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Detroit News:

Cameraman Joe Conrad was inside a traffic helicopter as it swept over Interstate 696 in Oakland County preparing for its morning rush hour report. Suddenly a strange noise rocked the helicopter, signaling engine failure to the crew of three, but their fate was in one man's hands -- pilot Joel Alexander. "It was frightening, when that engine died," Conrad said. "But I had complete confidence in Joel. He is like the Sully Sullenberger of the helicopter world." Alexander is being credited with saving the lives of the crew and landing the helicopter safely on the eastern edge of Oakland County Community College's Orchard Ridge Campus just after 8 a.m. this morning... Traffic helicopter pilot's safe landing saved lives, crew says (Fri, 1/22)

 


 

WJR AM:

WJR's Jetcopter made an emergency landing at Oakland Community College this morning. Everyone on board is ok... WJR Jetcoper Makes Emergency Landing; Paul W. Smith and pilot Joel Alexander discuss the incident (Fri, 1/22)

 


 

WWJ AM:

An emergency landing for the WWJ-Metro Networks traffic chopper Friday morning. WWJ traffic reporter Bill Szumanski and others in the chopper had to land at Oakland Community College at 12 Mile and Orchard Lake roads in Farmington Hills because of an engine fire. Farmington Hills police say the chopper was at about 800 to 1,000 feet in the air when it lost power and had to land. An Oakland Community College officer told Farmington Hills police he saw flames coming from the engine before the chopper landed on the sidewalk near the college's parking lot. No injuries are reported... Traffic Chopper Makes Emergency Landing (Fri, 1/22)

 


 

WXYZ-TV:

Channel 7 joined forces with the American Red Cross to bring "Help for Haiti." Thanks to you we were able to raise more than $178,227.40 during our telethon... Help For Haiti Telethon Raises $178,227 (Wed, 1/20)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

NBC paid a record $2.2 billion for the television rights to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and next month's Winter Games in Vancouver. That means all eyes locally will be on NBC affiliate WOOD-TV during the 835 hours of the network's planned television and Web coverage. But the veteran sports eyes of WOOD-TV sports director Jack Doles will not be in Vancouver Feb. 12-28. Lin Television, WOOD's the parent company, is not sending a crew to file localized reports for their stations around the country, and that is keeping Doles home in Grand Rapids. "It's a business decision, the economy," Doles said. "I will miss not being there, but I feel really fortunate that I've been to the Olympics seven times. It's the most incredible thing to cover. Nothing else really compares." Jack DolesDoles, 45, first covered the Olympics in 1988 for Conus Communications, fresh out of Drake University... After seven Olympics, WOOD-TV's Jack Doles will sit out Vancouver Games (Fri, 1/22)

 

Radio personality William "Broadway" Bertshinger says his new morning show on WSNX-FM (104.5) will boast more music. "It's going to be very listener driven," said Broadway, whose "The Morning After" last week replaced Justin "Puddin" Barclay and his "Puddin's Playhouse" morning show. Broadway left sister-station WBCT-FM (93.7) for the new gig. Puddin' left hip-hop station WSNX for Detroit Top 40 station WVMV-FM (98.7). Broadway began his radio career at WSNX as a junior in high school, working nights at the station for several years... B-93's 'Electric Barnyard' host replaces Justin Puddin' Barclay on WSNX morning show (Fri, 1/22)

 

Television: Newsmakers Jan. 23, 2010

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Lansing State Journal:

Comcast Corp. reached a lawsuit settlement that will allow customers with analog television service to continue viewing public access channels without change. The Philadelphia, Pa.-based telecommunications company's Michigan region settled a lawsuit with three communities regarding access to public, education and government (PEG) channels. The parties will ask the U.S. District Court to dismiss the pending suit. Meridian Township, Bloomfield Township and the city of Dearborn sued Comcast in January 2008 to prevent it from digitizing public access channels. They alleged the move was discriminatory against the public access channels and would have required analog customers to purchase a digital-ready television or a digital converter box to view the channels. Comcast wanted to move the public access channels from the basic tier to digital channels in order to free up bandwidth for more services and high definition channels, said spokeswoman Mary Beth Halprin. In the settlement, Comcast agreed to continue offering existing public access channels in analog format on the $15.99-per-month limited basic tier until the company digitizes the entire tier or until the communities agree to digitize the channels... Comcast settles suit on access to public channels (Sat, 1/23)

 

...You never really know what you're gonna get - at least when it comes to programming on Detroit's HD subchannels.

Recent changes to the offerings on CBS Radio's WYCD-FM 99.5 and WOMC-FM 104.3 include the shifting of PhysicRadio (now called New Sky Radio) from WYCD-HD3 to WOMC-HD3 and the addition of MichiganSaver Radio to WYCD-HD3. Visitors to either station's web site wouldn't know this though as neither clearly makes mention of their HD3 offerings - but you can learn more at either MichiganSaver.com or www.newskyradio.com.

The idea behind MichiganSaver Radio is intriguing as a new way to tie advertisers and cost-conscious consumers together. CBS Radio Detroit provided the following info in a release:

Both the station (WYCD-FM 99.5-HD3) and website are designed with the cost-conscious consumer in mind. The MichiganSaver brand is 100% devoted to Michigan consumers and connects them to the best deals and cost savings available.

MichiganSaver.com is the first stop: a website where consumers can find ways to save money and make money, no matter how they like to shop. Among the programs offered at MichiganSaver.com are:


• Michigan Half Off, where consumers have the opportunity to purchase merchant or restaurant certificates and tickets at half price.

• Michigan Saver Classifieds, which allows consumers to post ads to sell goods they no longer need, or buy items from others.

• Michigan Saver Click-It Coupons are free-to-the-consumer money-saving coupons from local merchants that they can download and print on their home computers.

• SavingsAngel is a paid subscription service for the avid coupon clipper.

• GreenBack Street, an online shopping program that features hundreds of national and regional retail sites and offers a cash-back incentive to consumers who begin their shopping trip through the GreenBack Street portal.


MichiganSaver Radio ties all these programs together and helps consumers make the most of them. MichiganSaver Radio will air local and national news and will provide Michigan consumers with news they can use.

"MichiganSaver Radio is an exciting new radio station and website that will help consumers make the most of their money," noted Tim Roberts, Operations Manager of MichiganSaver Radio. "Our goal is to give our listeners one location with a variety of ways to save and stretch their hard earned dollars."

In addition, MichiganSaver Radio will air such shows as "Home Talk," "Car Clinic," "Garden Life," and "Computer America." These shows are provided through Business Talk Radio Network and will provide Michigan consumers with advice and info.

Another relatively new HD3 addition is on FM 103.5 where WMUZ now rebroadcasts its WRDT AM 560, providing an interference-free option for those with HD radios to hear that station. WMUZ's HD2 regularly features contemporary Christian music programming.

While the remainder of the HD2 offerings up and the dial don't appear to have changed formats of late, it's still somewhat surprising to observe the number of times when they are not functioning properly. In recent weeks, I've had several instances where WDTW-FM's country/rock HD2 channel is totally offline as well as not hearing any audio from gospel WMXD-HD2.

There are bright spots on the local HD2 lineup, including a WWJ AM simulcast on WXYT-FM 97.1 HD2, the smooth jazz format on WVMV-FM 98.7 HD2, and the longest running digital offerings in town, 94.7 WCSX-FM's Deep Trax and 101.1 WRIF-FM's Riff2.

Oldies fans can tune in to WOMC-HD2 and a more eclectic 'we play everything' format on WDRQ-FM 93.1 HD2. Pop music of various styles dominates on WKQI-FM 95.5 HD2, WDVD-FM 96.3 HD2, WNIC-FM 100.3 HD2, and WMGC-FM 105. HD2. Fans of classic Hip Hop can tune in to WJLB-FM 97.9 HD2. WYCD's HD2 features more of its country music format and WDET-FM's HD2 heavily features a variety of musical styles.

One of the biggest opportunities to market these stations is for the most part being missed - trying to find information on the vast majority of the HD2 and HD3 stations just isn't available easily from the respective stations' web sites. It seems hard that you'll succeed in convincing listeners on the product when it appears to be treated as nothing more than an afterthought. It's hard to understand what you're going to hear - and why you should listen without at least some sort of explanation.

Other opportunities could be for either WDRQ or WDVD to add sister station WJR as one of their HDs to catch those who might have trouble receiving interference-free reception of AM. And maybe for the other to work out a deal to rebroadcast the kids-targeted format of Radio Disney heard locally on WFDF AM 910 - but not listened to by many due to the station's poor reception and audio quality. WFDF rarely appears on any Arbitron reports with any market share despite a published report stating that Radio Disney continued to gain listeners in other parts of the country in 2009.

 


 

WOMC adds Edmonds and DuFord for Sunday duties

Nice of WOMC to at least give some part time opportunities to veteran jocks Chris Edmonds and Stacey DuFord who are now hosting 'Sunday Brunch' from 10 am - 2 pm on the classic hits outlet. The show schedule runs at least through July - each week the duo is scheduled to broadcast live from advertiser locations around Metro Detroit.

Edmonds was most recently morning host at WNIC and has a long career in metro Detroit. DuFord is probably best known as part of Jim Harper's morning team on WNIC and is now seen as a spokesperson for Belle Tire.

 


 

Lineup changes coming to WDTW AM

I've received no response yet to an inquiry to Clear Channel Detroit about what its plans are for filling the programming void left by this week's Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shutdown of Air America Media for its WDTW AM 1310. In addition to providing many hours of overnight and weekend programming for WDTW, Air America's Ron Reagan show had been heard weekdays from 6 - 9 pm as well as Rachel Maddow from 5 - 6 am.

WDTW AM is one of the area's least listened to stations with a 0.2 share and cume of just 40,400 listeners in the December portable people mover report from Arbitron. The station is plagued with poor reception across much of the northern and eastern areas of Metro Detroit.

Mike Austerman

 

Traverse City Record-Eagle:

A few days ago I was listening to WTCM, my favorite AM radio station, which has been broadcasting in Traverse City since 1941. It was getting dark when suddenly their signal level dropped significantly and I could hear the crackle of static coming from my radio along with another station, from some far-off place, in the background. What my ears had witnessed was their nighttime reduction of power from 50,000 watts to 1,100 watts. This station, like many others, is required by FCC regulations to reduce power at sunset. The reason for this is that AM radio waves travel farther at night and multiple stations across the country are assigned to the same frequency... Radio's 'golden age' (Sun, 1/24)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 24, 2010

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Grand Rapids Press:

Mike Avery is the new morning news co-anchor at WXMI-TV (Channel 17) weekdays, with Sarah Brodhead, meteorologist Jon Shaner and traffic anchor Robb Westaby. Avery has co-anchored the Fox 17 Morning News on an interim basis since November. He joined WXMI in June 2005 as co-anchor for the weekend edition of Fox 17 News at 10. Avery came to Grand Rapids from Savannah, Ga., where he worked as a reporter... Mike Avery named new morning co-anchor on WXMI Fox 17 (Sat, 1/23)

 

Crain's Detroit Business:

Michigan's still-nebulous 2010 gubernatorial race situation -- along with a number of Congressional and state office races -- could see a spending explosion on broadcast media triggered by last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision that loosened some restrictions on corporate and nonprofit campaign advertising spending. Local television executives say it's too soon to estimate what financial impact the changes to the McCain-Feingold Act will have, but they do expect to see advertising revenue increases because of the court ruling and Michigan's wide-open election situation. "I don't know what impact it will have here. You'd have to have a very active crystal ball here to predict that," said Marla Drutz, vice president and general manager WDIV-Ch. 4, Detroit's NBC affiliate. "I think overall there's a lot of political activity. That does translate positively for media"... TV stations expect increase in political advertising from court ruling (Mon, 1/25)

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

Nearing the end of life's journey, all of us have a tendency to look back -- often with regret. It happened to me last week as I read the record of my grades at Emory University, rediscovering that I was not a good student. If that's not the understatement of the 21st Century, it's close. Like saying Marie Antoinette died of a sore throat or Brigham Young was a married man. I was a bad student because of majoring in everything except study. I was much too busy editing the Emory Wheel newspaper, misguiding my SAE fraternity and dancing life away. I was concentrating on being an entrepreneur -- a nicer way of saying a promoter or hustler. One of my ventures into such activity was my first foray into the world of music... Too busy hustling for study (Mon, 1/25)

 

Michigan Almanac: Jan. 25, 2010

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MAB Says Goodbye to Former FCC Chairman and Michigan Broadcast Pioneer James H. Quello

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters sent out this release today on the death of James Quello:

It is with a heavy heart that the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) announces the death of our friend, Michigan native, broadcast pioneer, MAB Past President and former FCC Chairman, James H. Quello. Quello died Sunday, January 24 surrounded by friends and family at his Alexandria, VA home after heart and kidney failure. He was 95.

James QuelloQuello, a World War II Lieutenant and Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and a war hero, started his career in radio broadcasting immediately after returning from Europe in 1945. He worked in the promotions department at WXYZ-AM (Detroit) and two years later moved to rival station WJR-AM (Detroit). He later became Vice President and General Manager of WJR-AM in 1960.

Quello was one of the original MAB members. He supported and helped to build the association from a small group of radio managers looking for representation on legal issues to what it currently is today - a nationally-recognized association representing more than 300 Michigan radio and television stations. Jim served as president of the MAB in 1959 and credited the MAB, his colleagues and friends from Michigan for mounting a campaign to get him appointed to the FCC in 1974. He served there until 1997 when he retired. For eleven months in 1993, Quello was the Acting Chairman of the FCC. He was honored with the prestigious MAB Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 and many other awards too numerous to mention is this brief article. You could always find our friend Jim attending MAB conferences - catching up with old Michigan broadcast friends during a reception or participating in a tennis match - Jim was one of us and we will miss him.

This past Friday, January 22, MAB President/CEO Karole White spoke briefly with Jim:

"Weak and frail he used his limited breath to be uplifting to me," said White. "He thanks his friends in the MAB, 'The Greatest Broadcasting Association in the States,' he said. I'm to tell everyone he loves them and good bye (from Jim)."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

 


 

WZZM-TV Grand Rapids:

James Henry Quello, a one-time broadcaster who served as an FCC commissioner for 24 years, and as acting FCC chairman in 1993, died today at age 95. Appointed to the FCC in 1974 by then President Richard Nixon, Quello, a Democrat, kept winning reappointments to the commission until 1998, when he retired. He was named acting chairman of the FCC in 1993, bridging the gap between the tenure of Republican Albert Sikes and Democratic appointee, Reed Hundt. Quello's initial appointment to the FCC sparked protests from consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who called the new commissioner "a pawn for broadcasters." Although his tenure as acting chairman of the FCC was brief, the New York Times described his tenure with the headline, "Temporary Chief Proves More Than a Fill-In." As an FCC commissioner, Quelo became known for his independent thinking. He championed the preservation of free universal television and he sat on the commission as it and the media transitioned into the Information Age, during a period of revolutionary technological change and the birth of the Internet... Michigan native and former Detroit Radio manager James Quello dies (Sun, 1/24)

 

• The FCC approved the sale of FM translators W219DG 91.7 South Haven, W225BA 92.9 Hastings, and W243BH 96.5 Muskegon to World Radio Link from Horizon Christian Fellowship. Sale prices and stations to be rebroadcast (according to documents filed with the FCC): W219DG- $11,500 WGNB-FM; W225BA- $10,000 WEMU-FM; W243BH- $10,000 WMBC-LP. World Radio Link is run by Clark Parrish who is/was also involved with Edgewater Broadcasting and Radio Assist Ministry, two other groups that have assembed large numbers of FM translators across the country.

 

• No notable activity for January 22.

 

WDIV anchor Carmen Harlan to report from Haiti

WDIV-TV Local 4 News anchor Carmen Harlan will travel to Haiti to report on the devastation and despair in the wake of destructive earthquakes that have rocked the impoverished nation. Starting Thursday, January 28, Carmen's special reports will be featured on Local 4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m.

"After seeing Dr. McGeorge's gut-wrenching reports from Haiti, it's now more clear than ever how desperately this country needs our help," said Harlan, who herself has relatives living on the island. "I'll be travelling there to bring you first-hand stories of personal heartache, and of undying hope."

Local 4's Good Health reporter Dr. Frank McGeorge, an emergency room doctor at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, recently returned from Haiti where, in addition to reporting on the conditions on Local 4 News, he carried out his mission of saving lives by treating the injured in a makeshift clinic.

"The devastation is just incredible, the amount of destruction was honestly more than I had expected having seen the news reports at home," said Dr. McGeorge. "We encountered a second wave of casualties, those who survived the initial quake, but whose injuries or infections continue to put their lives at risk. I'm glad to have been there and have be able to help in every way I could."

Local 4 and Forgotten Harvest have partnered with other distinguished local organizations to launch Help 4 Haiti, a major relief effort that has already raised over $600,000 worth of total aid. Partnering with Walgreens, the Detroit Pistons, Project Medishare, Cross International, WJR, Detroit Media Partnership, TMT, Michigan Business and Professional Association, Michigan Food and Beverage Association and over 30 local urban and suburban churches, Help 4 Haiti is sending food, water and desperately needed medical supplies donated by metro Detroiters the hardest hit areas in Haiti.

"Despite facing a dire economic crisis, the people and organizations of metro Detroit have once again proven that they will leap to the aid of others in need," said Russ Russell, Forgotten Harvest Chief Development Officer. "Forgotten Harvest is proud to be a part of the consortium of giving and will continue in its efforts to offer hope and sustenance to those less fortunate."

Help 4 Haiti monetary donations can be made now during Local 4 Newscasts by calling the WDIV phone bank at (313) 298-WDIV, or 24 hours a day by calling toll-free at (888) 332-7140. Online contributions can be made at www.forgottenharvest.org, or through links posted at ClickOnDetroit.com. In addition, household medical supply items purchased at nearly 100 metro Detroit Walgreens locations can be donated in the Help 4 Haiti drop box at each store.

 


 

WDTW AM's new lineup revealed

With the demise of Air America, talker WDTW AM 1310 has plugged in the Joey Reynolds show for overnights (1 - 6 a.m.) and airs a rebroadcast of the Bill Press program from 6 - 9 p.m., replacing the Ron Reagan Show.

An inquiry to the station on programming changes has not been replied to.

 


 

Veteran jock gets The Beat

Lisa Orlando, better known as Lisa Lisa, was been detected by listeners to adult rhythmic WDTW-FM 106.7 this past Sunday evening. No word from the Clear Channel camp if the assignment is permanent or what air shifts Orlando might be assigned to.

Lisa Lisa was last heard hosting weekends for WOMC-FM 104.3 and is best known for stints on WDRQ-FM 93.1 and what was then WHYT-FM 96.3.

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

When Dr. Frank McGeorge describes what it was like in Haiti last week, it's with the precision of a medical expert and the emotions of someone who's seen the earthquake-ravaged nation up close. The tent cities he saw didn't have many tents. "They consist largely of sticks that are stuck in the ground that are holding up a piece of string that is holding up a blanket, a sheet or some rags," he said Monday after returning to the United States ... McGeorge, an emergency room doctor at Henry Ford Hospital who covers health topics for WDIV-TV (Channel 4), arrived in Haiti late on Jan. 19 to do double-duty as a physician and reporter. Tim Pamplin, the Channel 4 photographer known for his NightCam segments, accompanied him... Assignment Haiti (Wed, 1/27)

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 28, 2010

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Brian Figula gets added responsibility for NextMedia

NextMedia has promoted Brian Figula who will add program director responsibilities at hot AC WHBC FM 94.1 in Canton, OH to his duties at hot AC WGER FM 106.3 Saginaw and will be now be overseeing both stations.

"Fig has taken WGER - Magic from a background, wallpaper radio station to an active, entertaining Hot AC station with great audience participation. Brian's passion, vision and expertise in executing the Hot AC format has proven to be a winning combination in a year's time in Saginaw. Fig has been a great asset to our Saginaw team and while his physical presence will be missed in the halls of the Saginaw office, I am sure he will continue to be effective in moving WGER forward," commented VP/General Manager of NextMedia's Saginaw cluster Shannone Dunlap.

 

column written by Art Vuolo, Jr.

VuoloAfter a long dry-spell, it seems I have a number of observations to share with you, the many fans of what comes out of your radio speaker. So, get comfortable.

 

I dislike starting off with sad news, but the recent passing of James H. Quello hit me hard as I first met him up in his office at WJR in the 1960's. I remember saying to him, "Why not call the station Junior Radio with Senior Sound." I think he wanted to throw me out of the 22nd story of the Fisher Building! I last saw him up at Crystal Mountain Resort during a Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) summer conference about 5 years ago. He was pushing 90 and looked sensational.

QuelloAfter his reign at WJR as general manager he moved on, eventually becoming one of the best remembered FCC commissioners ever. He was beloved in Washington, DC. Although maybe he wasn't "beloved" by Howard Stern, with whom he tangled in the 1990s. But I'll bet Howard respected him as a guy who'd earned his way up the ranks. He wasn't an Al Sikes-style bureaucrat (it was Sikes on whom Stern once wished cancer).

Current FCC Chair Julius Genachowski called him, "A role model to generations of FCC employees and advocates, for his decency, personal charm and commitment to his work."

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said, "We have lost an American original."

Jim Quello was one of a kind, the type of broadcaster you can read about in books, but perhaps never actually meet in person. I'm glad that I did.

 

Speaking of Mr. Stern, and I hate giving him more "ink" since that's what he's very good at doing, whenever he feels he's been off the "front page" for too long he starts tongues a waggin' with reports (that he starts) about leaving Sirius XM satellite radio and segueing back to terrestrial FM radio.

Ain't gonna happen.

It's all talk to help him renegotiate his deal with Sirius XM head honcho Mel Karmazin. The entire ploy is so obviously manipulative I don't know why the broadcast and print media can't see through it. Must have been a "slow news day" when this "news" broke.

I found the most hysterical part of this situation the offer from Clear Channel, the behemoth conglomerate that Stern hates, to have him work for them! That ain't gonna happen either.

Funniest photo was in a trade Tom Taylor edits called www.radio-info.com showing a picture of a Clear Channel executive, presumed to be CC radio boss John Hogan, with a bouquet of roses as a "peace offering" to the self-proclaimed King of All Media. Stern said, "I can't imagine the day where I would ever work for them again."

Stern and Bubba still have hard feelings about the way they left Clear Channel nearly six years ago.

Meanwhile Hogan emailed this statement to Business Week, "We clearly have the willingness and the financial wherewithal to consider high-profile talent such as Stern."

Of course any talks with him would be heavily lawyered so that he would have to deliver an FCC-friendly show. Again...ain't gonna happen. So to all who fell for this well orchestrated ploy, how could you all be so freakin' gullible?

 

In an unrelated story, we also just watched the left-leaning Air America Network go off the air, which will no doubt have Rush Limabuagh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck along with the rest gloating over this Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation filing - though some of the conservative talkers predicted this would happen in 2004, soon after Air America's March 31 launch. Insiders felt they didn't have enough experienced radio talent and management, though Al Franken was a pretty fast learner and Randi Rhodes is an obvious radio pro. Now, with talkers like Ed Schultz, Bill Press, Lionel, Stephanie Miller and Rhodes, there is no shortage of left-leaning progressive talk show talent.

The local twist to this story is AM 1310 WDTW. For longtime Detroit radio fans, we can remember when this now beleaguered frequency was once the number one station in the metro area as the legendary WKNR Keener 13 (by the way, radio enthusiasts can go into overload about this top 40 dynasty of the 1960's at www.keener13.com or at www.detroitradioflashbacks.net). Well now that Air America is history, this 5,000 watt signal emanating from those six towers along I-94 in Allen Park, might just start to gain a spot on one of your AM car radio buttons. Since most talk radio is decidedly right-wing conservative with an agenda attracting a largely Republican audience, it's nice to have an alternative offering a different point of view.

The new line-up on WDTW includes: Bill Press 6-9 am, Stephanie Miller 9-noon, Thom Hartman noon-3 pm, Ed Schultz 3-6 pm Replays of Bill Press & Stephanie Miller 6-10 pm, Alan Colmes 10 pm-1 am and Joey Reynolds 1 am-6 am. This schedule is not bad. Sadly, there are no LOCAL shows, it all comes via satellite and network syndication.

In a perfect world I would love to hear it over on the FM band at 106.7, now trying to re-invent itself as "The Beat of Detroit." Truthfully that frequency hasn't been a real winner since it was W4 Country, which vacated Labor Day weekend in 1999 and it became Alice 106.7. It was also known as The Drive, The Fox and now The Beat.

As mentioned in my last column we could really use a decent FM talker in this town. Some of these WDTW shows, mixed in with a liberal dose of local talent, could be a winner for Clear Channel, which owns these stations. Talk radio can be expensive, and nobody is spending money during these difficult economic times.

ReynoldsAside from all of this, I am personally most thrilled with the addition of Joey Reynolds overnights at 1310 AM. Although I am right on the far west fringe of the highly directional night-time signal, I can still hear it at my house in Novi. Joey, who worked at WXYZ-AM (1270) in 1966 for a brief six months, is still remembered by many dedicated local radio fans. He was so outrageous in those days and cycled through 38 radio jobs throughout his checkered career.

He's also one of very few radio personalities enshrined into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland (one of the many cities he also once worked in).

Joey did an encore appearance as morning host for a couple of months in 1984 when local (but nationally known) consultant Gary Berkowitz brought him into WHYT-FM (96.3), now WDVD. His current home, for a remarkable 14+ years, is New York's WOR-AM (710) - the oldest station in New York and considered to be America's first talk station. Today, Joey does a variety talk show with little if any talk about political issues. He packs his studio nightly with comics, singers, actors and a plethora of entertainers. It's truly a different type of talk radio and will soon be even more unique as it will soon be a triple-cast on radio, NBC-TV 2 and on the Internet live from a street level showcase studio in Times Square!

Check out Joey's show either late at night or early in the morning. WDTW 1310 AM does not currently stream, but the New York flagship station does at www.wor710.com.

 

Where are they now?

FormicolaLocal country music fans will long remember Joe Wade Formicola at both W4 FM (106.7) and at WYCD-FM (99.5) and have wondered what he's doing today. Well, similar to Tom Shannon, who seemingly bounced back and forth between Detroit and Buffalo, Joe Wade ran a similar track between Detroit and Raleigh, NC and WRAL-FM. Now, the venerable favorite is following the advice of Horace (Go West Young Man...Go West) Greeley. In fact his destination won't be far from the town of Greeley, CO as Formicola pulls his snow shovel out of the attic and heads to Denver where he will work on their syndicated country format. The company is Dial Global (formerly Jones Radio) and it's where CKLW vet, and mostly recently at WOMC, Ted "The Bear" Richards worked doing mornings on their oldies format for over 15 years. The DG studios are in Englewood on the south side of Denver, so perhaps there will be less snow there. Joe Wade most recently was with WRSF in Nags Head, NC.

"Joe has a strong programming background and is a great jock," commented DG's EVP of Programming chief Beau Phillips.

It's nice to see one of the decent people catch a good break.

DonutsBrian Hatfield is another one of the early WYCD jocks who worked with Joe Wade - and Hatfield is STILL in North Carolina. He's from the Detroit area and has been doing very well for a number of years down in Asheville, NC as the afternoon jock and music director for WKSF-FM. So, he's not really working for Krispy Kreme Donuts.

The photo shows a sweet gift from Jason Aldean's record label to kick off his concert tour. After polishing off the box, Brian and his buddies were said to be more glazed than the donuts.

 

Speaking of food, I realize this is a radio column, but who in radio doesn't love to eat? I seriously want to put you wise to a phenomenal restaurant called Jordan's II in Romulus. It's on the eastside of Merriman Road just south of Van Borne, only 2 miles north of Metro Airport. The atmosphere is a C-, but both the food and the prices are an A+. Huge portions, excellent food and (as Crazy Eddie in NYC used to say) low prices that are insane. If you're making an airport run around mealtime this is the place to chow-down. Check it out.

 

A personal note to WXYT-FM/AM 97.1/1270 'The Ticket' big boss Tom Bigby and PD Jimmy Powers, who still seem to be messing with the morning show hosts. As I stated in my last column the combo of Bill, Sara and Stoney is sensational. Don't mess with it. Of course I'm NOT the program director, but I (like many of you) know when something good comes out of the radio speaker.

 

Lisa Orlando, as reported here in michiguide.com, has surfaced at 106.7 FM The Beat along with the Joe Show in the afternoon giving a bit of a human element to the otherwise music machine. She is best known as Lisa Lisa from WDRQ, WOMC, and WHYT. She has been making the rounds hasn't she?

 

Lastly, WDFN-AM (1130) home improvement host Murray Gula, heard mid-days on the weekend, should be streaming his program with video on the Internet by this weekend while he's on the air over the 50,000 watt sports station. He will be at the big Home Show at Novi's huge Rock Financial Center this weekend, January 30-31.

You can watch the remote broadcast on his web site: www.whocanbuildit.com.

 

Art Vuolo Jr.

Reach Art Vuolo at artvuolo@aol.com or visit his web site at vuolovideo.com

 

Traverse City Record-Eagle:

A Feb. 4 broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" beamed live to Traverse City's State Theatre is sold out, so a Feb. 9 rebroadcast has been added. The Feb. 4 show will be performed in front of a live audience at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, Minn., and beamed via satellite to theaters around the country. Because the local broadcast sold out, WIPR, the hosting radio station, scheduled a rebroadcast Tickets for the Feb. 9 rebroadcast, scheduled for 8 p.m., are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for students and children... Another 'Prairie Home' telecast added (Fri, 1/29)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

A "Help for Haiti" radiothon sponsored by WLHT-FM (95.7) and the Salvation Army raised more than $24,000 for Haitian recovery efforts through online donations and phones set up Jan. 19 at Woodland Mall, said Jerry Terrants, Regent Broadcasting's operations manager. Their goal was $15,000. "We were elated," said Terrants, who helped the station plan for the event in only four days... Grand Rapids area radio stations help Haiti after earthquake (Fri, 1/29)

 

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 30, 2010

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Lansing State Journal:

Two major changes are coming to local talk-radio:
• Tony Conley takes over Monday, as morning man at WILS (1320-AM). "It's going to be fast, it's going to be fun and it's going to be local," said Conley, who grew up in Okemos and lives in Williamston. An emphasis will be on interaction, he said, via phone, Twitter, Facebook and E-mail.
• An Internet-only station is being created. TalkLansing.net is scheduled to debut Feb. 15, with 12 hours of talk aired twice each weekday. Both changes revolve around Walt Sorg. He quit the WILS show - Friday was his day - and will own the Internet station with Chris Holman and Jim Fordyce. "I see this as the evolution of radio," Sorg said. "We call it 'Radio 3.0.'" The first phases were AM and FM., he said. Now Internet-radio offers a stronger sound... Web-only radio hits airwaves in Feb. (Sat, 1/30)

 

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