Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 26, 2010




Detroit Free Press:

It's just a little bit after 10 a.m. and more than $580,000 has been raised at Dick Purtan's annual radiothon to benefit the Salvation Army. The scene at Oakland Mall today is filling up quickly with fans and longtime friends who share a sense of community with Purtan, who announced two weeks ago that he will retire his "Purtan's People" morning show March 26, the final bow of a nearly 45-year Motor City broadcasting career... Dick Purtan radiothon raises thousands (Fri, 2/26)


It will likely be an emotional scene today as Dick Purtan hosts his final radiothon to benefit the Salvation Army. "For me, this is the culmination of these past 23 years of work," Purtan told the Free Press of the Dick Purtan Radiothon, which has raised nearly $22 million for metro Detroit's homeless and hungry people. Purtan announced two weeks ago that he will retire his "Purtan's People" morning show March 26, the final bow of a nearly 45-year Motor City broadcasting career. The news of his retirement is sure to put an even brighter spotlight on his biggest annual event... Broadcasting legend Purtan to host final radiothon today (Fri, 2/26)


After nearly a decade of busting bad guys, bulldog Channel 7 investigative reporter Steve Wilson is losing his job. But he's not losing his sense of humor. "Isn't it ironic that Kwame Kilpatrick still has his job after I'm losing mine?" he observed wryly this week. "That will teach you a lesson in fairness." In a way, Wilson outlasted the man perceived to be his nemesis. Arriving just before Kilpatrick finished first in the 2001 mayoral primary, Wilson stuck around as chief investigative reporter at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) well after Kilpatrick resigned as mayor, spent 99 days in jail and moved his family to Texas. That's cold comfort in a television market that just a few years ago bristled with investigative reporters. Wilson's imminent departure in what he characterized as a cost-cutting move, coupled with Scott Lewis' sign-off at WJBK-TV (Channel 2) in December and cutbacks in the investigative unit at WDIV-TV (Channel 4), show that one way local stations are dealing with financial pressures is by shrinking the high-impact -- but high-cost -- special project teams... Reporter Steve Wilson losing job at Channel 7 (Fri, 2/26)



Detroit News:

Steve Wilson, the dogged Channel 7 chief investigative reporter known for pursuing ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for alleged misdeeds from Detroit to California, is being ousted, he said Thursday. "It's a business decision made by a corporate owner who is not in this community," Wilson told The Detroit News on Thursday night. He said he was given notice that his contract would not be renewed when it expires next month. Wilson also posted the news on, a popular local Web forum. "Simply put, Channel 7's corporate management in Cincinnati just does not see the value in continuing to invest in me and the work I do here in Detroit," he wrote on the forum. The award-winning reporter, who joined WXYZ in 2001, said he hopes to launch a nonprofit that would house an investigative reporting team producing items for other media outlets... Steve Wilson loses job as TV reporter at Ch. 7 (Fri, 2/26)



A Prairie Home Companion announces special musical guests for Detroit show

Michigan Radio and Olympia Entertainment will present a special live performance of A Prairie Home Companion, this Saturday, February 27. Host Garrison Keillor and special guests will take the stage at Detroit's historic Fox Theater for a live, national broadcast beginning at 5:45 pm.

Saturday's show will feature live performances by special musical guests, including blues and soul legend Bettye LaVette, Detroit singer and songwriter "Sir" Mack Rice, and gospel singers Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele. Host Garrison Keillor will weave local humor into the show and share his signature monologue, "The News From Lake Wobegon," with Detroit audiences, in addition to performing comic skits with the Prairie Home cast.

Bettye LaVette, who has been recording soul music since 1962, is best known for her 2005 album I've Got My Own Hell To Raise and Grammy-nominated 2007 album The Scene of the Crime. She has previously appeared on NPR's All Things Considered as well as Late Night with David Letterman, The Conan O'Brien Show, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

"Sir" Mack Rice has been a nationally prominent songwriter for over 50 years, and lives in the Detroit area. He has written compositions for artists including The Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Johnny Taylor, Rufus Thomas, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Busta Rhymes, and Ike and Tina Turner. Among his best known compositions are "Respect Yourself" and "Mustang Sally," a song he wrote and recorded, that gained even greater popularity after Wilson Pickett covered it in 1966.

A Prairie Home Companion is currently carried coast-to-coast on over 580 public radio stations, with a nationwide audience of over 4 million listeners. The show regularly airs across southern Michigan on Michigan Radio (91.7 FM in Ann Arbor & Detroit, 91.1 FM in Flint, 104.1 FM in West Michigan) Saturdays at 6:00 pm and is repeated Sundays at noon.



Flint Journal:

For the uninitiated, it might be hard to grasp exactly what "A Prairie Home Companion" is, and what makes it so popular. It's a throwback serial radio program, sure, but one that combines live theater, music, comedy and melodrama into an entertainment stew that works unbelievably well... Love 'Prairie Home Companion'? See it live Saturday in Detroit (Fri, 2/26)







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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on February 26, 2010 2:15 PM.

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 26, 2010 was the previous entry in this blog.

23rd Dick Purtan Radiothon wraps with nearly $2.4 million pledged is the next entry in this blog.

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