Dick Purtan wrapped up his radio broadcast career today at WOMC-FM (104.3) with TV satellite trucks and a standing-room crowd in his studio, a bit more attention than when he started. Back in late May 1965, in the midst of a frenzy over the Friday arrival of nighttime jock Scott Regen to WKNR-AM, Purtan slipped into town to start a late-night shift on the station almost unnoticed. He hit the ground running with a wild show with mile-a-minute quips, and his voice has rarely been absent from the Detroit airwaves since. On the air today, Purtan noted the glut of media trucks, and he said he was stopped on his way in by the Ferndale police. "He said, you didn't think we wouldn't escort you in today, did you?'" Purtan said. The morning show host's wife, Gail, and several of his six daughters (including, of course, on-air sidekick Jackie Purtan) were among the throng in the studio, and a side room decorated with retirement banners and balloons awaited 9 a.m. and the official finale. All week, friends and colleagues have phoned in to his "Purtan's People" morning show to wish the veteran broadcaster well, and he's gotten in many plugs for his Web site, dickpurtan.com, where he promises fans can stay in touch with him and sidekicks "Big" Al Muscovito and Jackie Purtan. There has also been the expected teasing... Purtan wraps up 45 years on air (Fri, 3/26)
Detroit Free Press:
Just after 9 a.m. today, Dick Purtan signed off into retirement giving his "eternal thanks" while playing his favorite song, "Softly, As I Leave You" by Frank Sinatra. The final broadcast on WOMC-FM (104.3) ends the hall of fame broadcasting career punctuated by a historic 45-year run on five different AM and FM stations over the Detroit airwaves. In his Ferndale studio with many of his six daughters, including "Purtan's People" cohost Jackie Purtan, his wife Gail, and some of his grandchildren, Purtan used the last few minutes to thank the many people who worked with him over his career, the media, and his listeners, who he said became family as they followed him from station to station "whether I was playing music you liked or didn't." Purtan started the morning driving to work with his wife, who came to the studio for the very first time in his long broadcasting reign. They were escorted into the WOMC studio by police... After 45 years, Dick Purtan turns off mike (Fri, 3/26)
Friday, April 9 will be more than the Tigers' home opener in the state of Michigan. It also will be Ernie Harwell Day. The Michigan Senate unanimously passed a resolution Thursday -- hey, like anyone would dare vote against Ernie! -- declaring April 9 as his day of honor. The Tigers play the Indians at 1:05 p.m. at Comerica Park. SR 136, sponsored by Sen. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, was adopted with the entire Senate and Lt. Gov. John Cherry asking to be included as co-sponsors. The nine-paragraph resolution, which includes the use of "whereas" six times, stated that "generations of Michigan residents and Tigers fans have grown up listening to Ernie Harwell and often reminisce about his unique broadcasting style that includes a sweet Southern drawl, the annual visit from the Voice of the Turtle, and familiar phrases such as ... 'looooooong gone' "... April 9 is now Ernie Harwell Day (Fri, 3/26)
Syndicated radio host Tom Joyner is to broadcast his show 6-10 a.m. Monday from Renaissance High School in Detroit. Joyner is a Detroit Public Schools graduate in town to support the "I'm In DPS" enrollment campaign. His guests are to include emergency financial manager Robert Bobb and DPS graduate Jessica Clements, who sang the district's "Great Things Are Happening" song. Joyner also plans to visit Mumford High. His show is heard in Detroit on WDMK-FM (105.9)... Tom Joyner to broadcast show Monday (Fri, 3/26)
WDIV-TV and Forgotten Harvest to host telethon to help children throughout Metro Detroit
WDIV-TV and Forgotten Harvest have announced plans for a one-day telethon to benefit food rescue for children in Metro Detroit. On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, the station will air regular segments from 5 a.m. through the 11:00 p.m. newscast to encourage viewers to donate to Forgotten Harvest, the region's only food rescue organization, by calling 1-888-332-7140. Additionally, the station's Web site, www.clickondetroit.com, will accept donations throughout the day.
The telethon marks the culmination of Forgotten Harvest's "Million Meal Challenge For Our Kids," which is raising funds to rescue and deliver fresh, nutritious food for children to eat during the upcoming Spring Break, Summer Vacation and other times when they would ordinarily be eating meals at school. Forgotten Harvest plans to raise enough funds to help feed 20,000 children per day.
"The latest reports show one in three children are hungry in an area that covers every corner of Metro Detroit," said Susan Goodell, President and CEO of Forgotten Harvest. "This telethon and partnership with Local 4 will help Forgotten Harvest expand our ability to rescue more fresh food and get it to children who otherwise would not have access to healthy meals when they're not in school."
Hosted by WDIV-TV personality Beth McLeod, the telethon will feature vignettes focusing on local families that depend on organizations that receive fresh food from Forgotten Harvest. These segments will demonstrate the positive impact Forgotten Harvest has on Metro Detroit children and their families. Every dollar raised in the telethon provides meals for five local children.
"We first partnered with Forgotten Harvest for a telethon last year and were immediately impressed by how this cause prompted the amazing generosity of Local 4 viewers," said Marla Drutz, VP and General Manager of WDIV-TV. "With this telethon we believe our large audience of Metro Detroiters will once again step up to help neighbors in need and support the important mission of Forgotten Harvest."
Just in time for a new baseball season, the Detroit Tigers have donated pairs of tickets that will be given to telethon donors who contribute $120 or more during designated times.
Michigan Radio Raises Record Amount during Spring Membership Drive
Michigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan that includes WUOM FM 91.7 Ann Arbor, WFUM FM 91.1 Flint, and WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids, finished a very successful spring membership drive on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The on-air fundraiser, which ran from March 17- 24, generated over 7000 pledges totaling more than $730,000 from donors throughout the station's listening area. Of that, more than 2400 pledges came from first time donors to the station. The $730,000 amount is a record for a spring membership drive at the station.
Overall, the station saw a fifteen percent increase in total dollars raised compared to last spring's membership drive. The station also continues to see an increase in donors contributing online, with a third of all pledges coming through the station's website.
In addition to the financial donations, the station also received contributions from 18 food donors and the services of almost 400 volunteers who helped in answering phones. The money raised during the membership drive helps pay for programming costs at the station, with membership support being the station's single largest source of income.