HD radio is like a box of chocolates...

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...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







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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on January 23, 2010 5:16 PM.

Television: Newsmakers Jan. 23, 2010 was the previous entry in this blog.

Northern Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 24, 2010 is the next entry in this blog.

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