September 2010 Archives


• The license for the long-silent analog TV translator of WFQX on Channel 54 licensed to Traverse City was canceled and its W54CR call sign deleted.



WJBK-TV Ch. 7 (PSIP Ch. 2) Detroit was granted its license to cover for its post-transitional digital facilities.



WSXP-CD Ch. 15 Grand Rapids was granted its license to cover for its digital flash cut as it has changed from analog to digital operations.


Specs Howard School of Media Arts is celebrating its 40th anniversary by honoring five extraordinary graduates who have significantly contributed to the media industry with a place in the school's Hall of Fame.

2010 inductees will be determined online - four through nominations submitted to the website and a Specs Howard School panel. The fifth new inductee will be chosen based on a "Popular Vote." "Popular Vote" choices are being taken at Voting started September 1st.

Any former graduate may be nominated. However, for the Detroit on-air "Popular Vote," the following, listed alphabetically, are eligible: Sean Baligian - WDFN, Pat Batcheller - WDET, Mike Bradley - WMGC, Nick Craig - Channel 95.5, Craig Fahle - WDET, Sara Fouracre - 97.1, Billy The Kidd (Green) - Beat, Jay Hudson - 89X, Allyson Martinek - WDVD, Bill McAllister - 97.1, Tracey McCaskill - WMXD, Rachel Nevada - WOMC, Tony Ortiz - CBS Radio, Jeff Riger - 97.1, Fay Samona - WMGC, Bill Stevens - WWJ, O'Neil Stevens - WMXD, Pat Sweeting - WWJ, Scott Vertical - WDVD, Renee Vitale - WNIC.

Once chosen, the new 2010 inductees will join the 37 current members of the Specs Howard Hall of Fame, which include: WRIF's Ann Carlini and "Screamin'" Scott Randall; WJR's Lloyd Jackson; WXYZ's Glenda Lewis; WYCD's Linda Lee and WJBK-TV's Jackie Paige.

The deadline to submit nominations and vote is September 30. Winners will be announced this fall.

The Detroit Red Wings and FOX Sports Detroit today announced the 2010-11 Red Wings local television schedule. FOX Sports Detroit (FSD) continues its exclusive production and carriage of Red Wings games by airing up to 75 regular-season games, plus three pre-season contests. The 78 overall games include 59 slated for FSD and 19 on FOX Sports Detroit Plus (FS PLUS). Up to four regular-season games may later be selected for exclusive national telecast by NBC. Most, if not all, Red Wings games this season on FSD and FS PLUS are expected to be televised in high-definition... Red Wings TV schedule (Wed, 9/1)

The Detroit Pistons announced their 2010-11 local television schedule today with 80 of the team's regular-season games being televised by FOX Sports Detroit. Including one ESPN broadcast as part of the NBA's national television schedule, 81 of the club's 82 regular-season games will be available on television. All Pistons games will be available on either 97.1 FM The Ticket or WWJ 950 AM. FOX Sports Detroit, beginning its 14th season of broadcasting Pistons games, is the exclusive local television provider for Pistons Basketball. The network will televise an all-time high 80 regular-season games, and two preseason contests including the premier of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together for the first time in Miami HEAT uniforms on October 5 at Miami. Most, if not all, Pistons games this season on FOX Sports Detroit and FOX Sports Detroit Plus are expected to be televised in high-definition... Pistons Announce 2010-11 Local Television and Radio Broadcast Schedules (Thu, 9/2)



Former radio host Tom Wilson has passed away

Sad news to report as Tom Wilson, the longtime host of the locally produced 'Somewhere in Time' radio program, reportedly passed away last month. No other details are available at this time.

This Tom Wilson isn't to be confused with current Red Wings' and longtime Pistons/Palace Entertainment executive Tom Wilson.



WDET launches new weekend schedule starting Sunday

Starting this Sunday, September 5th, public WDET-FM 101.9 will be adjusting its weekend schedule to feature more Modern Music and New Soul. Jon Moshier's Friday night program will re-broadcast at 2PM pm Sunday followed by an extra hour of Nick Austin starting at 4PM. An updated programing schedule is available here.


Radio Reunion nearly sold out!



The big Motor City Radio Reunion is about 80% sold out and if you worked in Detroit Radio or are currently with a local station, you will not want to miss this event, billed as the Last Blast! Dick Purtan will emcee for the final time and organizers say, "We're goin' out with a bang!"

The Reunion will feature special tributes to: Robin Seymour, Sonny Eliot, Specs Howard, the late Ernie Harwell and of course Dick Purtan. Family members will represent local radio/TV icons like: J. P. McCarthy, Lou Gordon and others. Many broadcasters, who were popular in Motown went on to other cities throughout the country. Some of those who will be coming back for the reunion include: Joey Reynolds, Bob Green, Gary Stevens, Jerry Goodwin, Kurt Kelly, Steve Hunter, Todd Wallace, Big Jim Edwards (Davis), Kim Carson, Bill Bailey, Jerry St. James and many more! Numerous CKLW 20/20 newsmen are coming including: Grant Hudson, Keith Radford, Randall Carlisle and Lee Marshall. Top female announcer from E.T. and the Oscar telecasts, Randy Thomas will be here, and LA's top jock, Shotgun Tom Kelly! It's gonna be HUGE!!!

If you were or ARE a part of the local radio scene, log onto the official web site: and secure a ticket before space is all gone. If you have questions, contact Art Vuolo at


Mark Thomas has been named the new market manager for Townsquare Media's West Michigan operation that owns radio stations WLHT-FM (95.7), WGRD-FM (97.9), WTRV-FM (100.5), WFGR- FM (98.7) and WNWZ-AM (1410).

Thomas replaces former general manager Phil Catlett, whose position was vacated at the end of July.

"It's great to be home in Michigan," said Thomas, who worked as a sales manager from 1981-1985 at WGRD.

Thomas moved here a month ago after serving as regional vice president and market manager for seven different radio stations in Kentucky and Indiana.

He plans to get acquainted with the market and decide if there are moves to make.

"Right now I will evaluate where we are and our positions in the marketplace," said Thomas, who has two children and is a graduate of Central Michigan University. (I have) no definitive plans yet. I will be growing our business."

He made one of his first moves this week, making WLHT-FM afternoon on-air personality and programmer Jerry Noble the station's new program director. He takes over for Jerry "JT" Tarrants, who will remain with Townsquare as program director for rock station WGRD classic hits station WFGR, and Spanish station WNWZ.

"He is a super skilled programmer," said Tarrants, who is operations manager for all Townsquare stations in the market, and a consultant to others around the country. "With projects outside of GR requiring my time and the weight of WGRD, it makes sense that Jerry put his expertise and skills to work at WLHT-FM as the new program director."

Noble was hired last year to program WRTV for the departing Bill Bailey, who is now on the air at "real oldies" station WGVU-AM (1480) with former WFGR programmer Len O'Kelly. (Bailey is on the air weekdays from 6-9 a.m. and O'Kelly from 2-6 p.m.)... Changes continue for radio station owner Townsquare Media, formerly Regent Broadcasting (Fri, 9/3)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sept 7, 2010



Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun:

One of mid-Michigan's most familiar voices will be saying "good morning" again today. Veteran radio personality Chris Schaeffer is scheduled to make her debut on WMPX-WMRX today, teaming up with another broadcast veteran, Gary Williams, on the stations' morning show. "I think we're going to have a pretty good vibe," Schaeffer said. Schaeffer has been a fixture in central Michigan radio for more than 25 years. Her career began at Alma's WFYC, right out of Lansing Community College. From there, she moved to Bay City's WHNN, took a brief gig at a Miami jazz station, returned to Alma, then found a long-time home on WCFX. "I was one of the original Breakfast Flakes," Schaeffer said. She then spent 13 years on WUPS, then the last six as a country jock on WGDN from Gladwin. Her morning show with former Sawyer Brown guitarist Bobby Randall was very popular, but that suddenly came to an end with a change in management of the station. "For the first time in my life, I was unemployed," she said. "I've never had to apply for a job." Her Facebook page was swamped with outraged fan comments, and she started getting offers from other radio stations, looking for a warm, engaging, personable morning show host... Popular radio voice returns to air today (Tue, 9/7)



• White Pine Community Broadcasting was granted a construction permit for a new non-commercial FM station at 89.7 to be licensed to Ironwood. The Class A station would operate with 1,800 watts @ 344 feet from an antenna located in Gogebic County. White Pine Community Broadcasting operates a translator of its WXPR FM 91.7 Rhinelander, WI on FM 100.9 in Ironwood.


• No notable activity for September 3.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 8, 2010



Flint Journal:

A fire at a local radio station company caused six of its stations to go off air for more than six hours Wednesday morning. The stations, WCRL 93.7, WCRZ 107.9, Flint News Talk WFNT 1470 AM, the Banana WWBN 101.5 FM, Lapeer country station WCLO 1530 AM and WQUS 103.1 FM, were silent from about 4:30 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. Aaron McEachern, chief engineer at Townsquare Media Flint, said the stations had been running on generator power since 6:30 p.m. Tuesday after strong winds caused a tree to hit power lines. About 4:30 a.m., Erin Bishop, the morning personality for WCRZ 107.9, called to say the generator had quit working, McEachern said. Bishop went outside and saw the east-side exterior of the building was on fire... Local radio stations back on air after early morning fire (Wed, 9/8)

Several local radio stations -- including WCRL 93.7 and WCRZ 107.9 -- are off the air this morning after a fire broke out at Townsquare Media, located in Bristol Road in Burton. Flint News Talk WFNT 1470 AM, the Banana WWBN 101.5 FM, Lapeer country station WCLO 1530 AM and WQUS 103.1 FM are also off the air this morning. Aaron McEachern, chief engineer at Townsquare Media Flint, said the morning personality for WCRZ 107.9 called at about 4:30 a.m. after a generator the business was using had stopped. The business had not had power since 6:30 p.m. Tuesday due to a wind storm, McEachern said. The employee went outside and saw that a fire had broke out on the east-side exterior part of the building. The Burton Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire quickly, McEachern said... Several local radio stations off the air this morning after fire in Burton (Wed, 9/8)



• The construction permit for LPTV station WYHD-LP Ch. 5 Escanaba is being transferred by Confesora Peralta to Hispanic Family Christian Network as payment for outstanding debt pending FCC approval and closing.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 9, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

If you're part of the WBCT-FM (93.7) "listener family," then you're well aware of the B-93 "Roofsit for Kids," a charity event that raises money annually to help abused and neglected children in West Michigan. This year's Roofsit, which once again is being led by B-93 morning air personality Neal Dionne, began on Tuesday. As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, the station posted on its website that $21,000 had been raised. You can still donate online or by calling 1-800-B93 KIDS. On Thursday, the B-93 radio-thon will feature a free "thank you" concert at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids as part of Celebration on the Grand... B-93's 17th annual 'Roofsit for Kids' concludes Thursday at Rosa Parks Circle (Thu, 9/9)

WGVU's Real Oldies (1480-AM), the country's first National Public Radio-affiliated radio stations to play rock music, is celebrating its first birthday. WGVU's Real Oldies, which also is on 850-AM in Muskegon, marks its one-year anniversary on the air. The station is commercial-free and a service of Grand Valley State University. It's made up of experienced radio veterans Bill Bailey, Len O'Kelley, and Bob Mason as on -air personalities. "We are so very excited to make it a year and have covered all expenses. That's rare," said O'Kelley, who also serves as the program manager in addition to his 2-6 p.m. on-air shift. The station's oldies format appeals to baby boomers or anyone who enjoys listening to doowop, soul, Motown, early rock and roll, the surfer sound, or British invasion... WGVU Oldies, NPR's 1st rock station, celebrates 1-year anniversary (Thu, 9/9)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 9, 2010



Detroit News:

Longtime weathercaster Sonny Eliot will open the mike for his last weathercast on WWJ at 4:20 p.m. Friday. Eliot's joke-filled weathercasts, as much shtick as science, first debuted on WWJ (950 AM) in 1950, when the station was still owned by The Detroit News. His decades on the air spanned huge changes in broadcasting, from the days of 1940s radio dramas like the Detroit-produced "Lone Ranger" and his early TV weathercasts, to today's Doppler radar reports. For decades Eliot delighted listeners -- and TV viewers on Channel 4, and then Channel 2 -- with an unrelenting barrage of quips, funny noises, unusual city names and -- on TV -- his ever-present marker and board, on which he'd scrawl made-up words like clilly (for "chilly and "cloudy") to describe the weather. WWJ will air special audio clips of Sonny throughout the day Friday, including many of his classic one-liners. A video tribute to Eliot will be up on Weathercaster Sonny Eliot on retirement: 'I hope I'll be missed' (Thu, 9/9)



Detroit Free Press:

Legendary TV and radio weathercaster Sonny Eliot is retiring from broadcasting, his radio station announced today. His last day at WWJ-AM (950) will be Friday. He debuted at that station in 1950, and over the years worked at multiple TV stations, most prominently Channels 4 and 2. He was perhaps best known for an irrepressible -- often zany -- sense of humor and his frequent shout-outs during his weathercasts to smaller cities around the state, a favorite being the tiny town of Engadine in the Upper Peninsula. Asked why the decision to retire came with such a short turnaround between the announcement and his last day, Eliot told the Free Press: "I just decided that if you're gonna do it, just do it. I don't play around"... Weathercaster Sonny Eliot set to retire (Thu, 9/9)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 12, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Applause greeted Matt Hanlon as the 47-year-old regional president of Citadel Broadcasting took the stage at Rosa Parks Circle recently in the middle of the 94.5 Thunder Country Jam. Several thousand people had shown up at the radio station's first all-day country music celebration, and everything seemed to be running smoothly. "We're pretty good at this," Hanlon told the crowd, citing many summers of WLAV's weekly Blues on the Mall and the annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop, which received another round of applause... Profile: Citadel Broadcasting's Matt Hanlon never regrets leaving AOL in New York for Grand Rapids radio scene (Sun, 9/12)

Radio in Black and White, which airs on WARP-AM (1680) and is simulcast on 95.3 FM from 10 a.m.-noon on Mondays, has been on the air for four years. To celebrate, the public is invited to join hosts Rick Wilson and Sot Welch as they broadcast their 200th show live at Celebration Cinema South from 10 a.m.-noon on Monday. The program will welcome to the anniversary show special guest, Michael Fosberg, who has written an autobiographical play called "Incognito." His powerful story of racial identity is being shared as he tours the country with his one-man play. Radio in Black and White discusses issues of race and racism by providing positive conversation about diversity and relationships. Guests and live callers discuss new models emerging in business and community life to develop new language and perspective... Radio in Black and White, about race and racism, celebrates fourth year (Thu, 9/9)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 12, 2010



Detroit News:

Sonny Eliot performed his last weathercast on the WWJ-AM airwaves Friday afternoon, departing "exacitally" as he'd started, in a flurry of one-liners, outrageous flirting and general bonhomie. "From now on it's all warm showers and clean pajamas, every night," the veteran weathercaster said on his way into the studio where anchors Jayne Bower and Bill Stevens awaited him. There were a few wistful moments as his colleagues watched the curtain come down on a 63-year career, but mostly laughter and the always faintly naughty quips. "It's good to see you sober!," he yelled to a WWJ salesman. Seeing an attractive woman would prompt mention of Room 401 at the Bluebird Motel, "and don't be late!" Bower noted that Sonny started at WWJ in 1947, to be exact... Sonny Eliot ends 63 years of weathercasting just like he started -- with jokes (Sun, 9/12)



Detroit Free Press:

Metro Detroit's favorite weatherman, Sonny Eliot, 89, gave his final forecast Friday on WWJ-AM (950). The station paid tribute to Eliot throughout the day before he took the mic for his final forecast at 4:20 p.m. He packed his final moments with some of his signature humor, letting listeners know that Saturday's temperatures would be "just warm enough to hatch alligator eggs" and that Sunday's thundershowers would "make things busier than a fat man's fork at a smorgasbord." Eliot closed his four-minute weathercast with these words: "Well, it's been fun. I look forward to the next set, wherever it is. And we'll do it all together again. You're all cordially invited. We'll all wile away the hours conferring with the flowers. To hell with the rain!" Eliot announced Thursday that he was retiring after more than 60 years in broadcasting in Detroit to spend more time with his wife and family... Sonny Eliot goes out joking (Sat, 9/11)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 13, 2010



Saginaw News:

The television debut of the Michigan Jazz Trail, a concert featuring mid-Michigan talent, was captured live this summer and will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 15 on Delta College's Q-TV. Several mid-Michigan artists performed during the first event held on June 19 at Midland Center for the Arts including Mike Brush and Julie Mulady, Molly McFadden and the Bistro Boys, Mary Gilbert, Good Company, Mr. Abbott, and the Michigan Jazz Trail Big Band. The band features several local musicians including Jeff Hall on saxophone and keyboard, and Carlos Melendez on guitar. The Michigan Jazz Trail concert was initiated by Molly McFadden, a Midland jazz singer. Her dream is for the communities of Midland, Saginaw, Bay City, Freeland and Mt. Pleasant to come together to celebrate our region and eventually partner with other music festivals in the state to create The Michigan Jazz Trail... Michigan Jazz Trail premieres in Delta College Q-TV Special (Mon, 9/13)



• FM translator W230BI 93.9 was granted a construction permit to change community of license from Oxford to Rochester Hills, increase power from 125 to 250 watts, and relocate its broadcast location to the south within Oakland County. The application states the translator would rebroadcast WRCJ-FM 90.9.


• FM translator W237CZ 95.3 was granted a construction permit to change community of license from Hudsonville to Grand Rapids and increase antenna height from 138 to 184 feet. The translator will stay at 250 watts and continue to rebroadcast WPRR AM 1680 Ada.


• No notable activity for September 9 - 10 and 13.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 16, 2010



Michigan Radio to air special series focused on remaking the Midwest Manufacturing Belt beginning September 20

Changing Gears: Remaking the Manufacturing Belt, a fresh new multi-media series focusing on the future of the Industrial Midwest, will air its inaugural installments beginning the week of Monday, September 20, 2010. Michigan Radio will air the series, which examines topics from the region's financial outlook and its status as a new center for film production to its signature food offerings, during Morning Edition (5:00 - 9:00am) and All Things Considered (4:00 - 6:30pm). There will also be a special Changing Gears call-in show broadcast on Friday, Sept. 24 from 3:00 - 4:00pm.

Changing Gears is a project of a unique collaboration between three Midwest public media institutions: Michigan Radio, Chicago's WBEZ 91.5 FM, and Cleveland's ideastream® (90.3 WCPN and WVIZ/PBS). The three are sharing resources as a Local Journalism Center (LJC) funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to cover the Great Lakes Region. Chicago-based senior editor, veteran journalist Micheline (Micki) Maynard leads the editorial team, which encompasses award-winning reporters Dan Bobkoff, Niala Boodhoo and Kate Davidson, based in Cleveland, Chicago and Ann Arbor, respectively, along with new media editor George Nemeth, out of Cleveland.

"The situation in the region reminds me of the old saying about the weather, everybody talks about it but nobody can do anything about it, "said Maynard. "With Changing Gears, we want to do more than talk about the issues facing our region. We want to get our audiences involved in finding solutions. We'll be using radio features, interviews, blogs, social media and community events to spur an ongoing regional conversation about the future."

To launch the series, Changing Gears programming will air daily the week of September 20. Stories include:

  • Monday, September 20: Changing Gears presents The Film Factory- Across the Industrial Midwest, the search has long been on for the next silver bullet to replace the automobile industry. Lately, it's film production - and every state wants a piece of the $57 billion industry. Michigan, Illinois and now Ohio are all offering generous incentive programs to attract movie crews, and it seems to be working. Stars from Shia LeBeouf to Clint Eastwood to Drew Barrymore have all taken part in movies filmed in the region, and movie crews on Detroit streets have become as common a sight as they are in New York City. The Film Factory will examine if the cost is too high. Some states, like Iowa, have pulled way back on their film programs. Michigan has run into legal problems with at least one entrepreneur who wanted to build a soundstage with state money. And despite all these efforts, California still leads the nation in landing the most movies. Field reports will come from the entire Changing Gears reporting team.
  • Tuesday, September 21: Bobkoff launches a series of regular reports on Sandusky, Ohio, which is best known for the Cedar Point amusement park but which is much more diverse than any visitor who rides its roller coasters might suspect.
  • Wednesday, September 22: Davidson looks at the "Reversal of Fortune" afflicting auto plant families. Generations of the same family are working side by side on the assembly line but making vastly different wages, due to the cuts ordered as part of the Obama administration's bailout plan.
  • Thursday, September 23: Boodhoo takes a look at a spot on Chicago's far Southwest side that once housed an International Harvester plant but now produces solar energy.
  • Friday, September 24, 3:00 - 4:00 pm: Changing Gears hosts a call-in program on "Big versus Small," addressing where the focus should be for the Midwest - on reviving its big troubled cities or on supporting smaller, more successful ones. Maynard and award-winning public radio journalist Katherine Lanpher will be joined by three experts on the industrial Midwest: Kevin Boyle, a professor of history at Ohio State University and winner of the National Book Award for "Arc of Justice," the story of a landmark civil rights case in Detroit; Donald Grimes, University of Michigan economist and senior associate with the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy; and Richard Longworth, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and author of "Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism."

Future Changing Gears programming on-air and on-line will include Reinvention Recipes, contributor Michael Nagrant's look at innovative chefs and food purveyors across the region, a timeline that showcases significant moments in the history of the industrial Great Lakes region, a music contest in partnership with the nationally-syndicated WBEZ program Sound Opinions and interactive opportunities for the citizens of the region to share their stories on the future of the region.

For more information on Changing Gears: Remaking the Manufacturing Belt, please visit


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 18, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

An attorney for dozens of people with flood-damaged cars in the aftermath of the 2009 B-93 Birthday bash will press on with a legal case, despite a recent setback at the state Court of Appeals. Appeals court justices decided not to hear attorney John Tallman's argument to give class-action status to the car owners. An Ionia County judge earlier denied the status. Now, Tallman said he plans to seek a reversal from the state Supreme Court. "The political balance is different there," he said. "Maybe they will see things differently." Tallman is representing 61 clients in connection with vehicles flooded when the Grand River rose rapidly June 20, 2009, leaving up to 1,400 vehicles in varying levels of water... Car owners flooded by B-93 Birthday Bash in 2009 can't seek class-action suit, appeals court says (Fri, 9/17)



WSMH TV Ch. 16 (PSIP Ch. 66) was granted its license to cover for its post-transition digital facilties.


• Contemporary Christian WSFP FM 88.5 was granted a construction permit to change community of license from Rust Township to Harrisville, change from Class A on 88.5 to Class C2 on 88.1, increase power from 480 watts @ 472 feet to 18,000 watts @ 472 feet, and change antenna location from west of Alpena to northwest of Harrisville.


• Contemporary Christian WJOJ FM 89.7 was granted a construction permit to change community of license from Harrisville to Rust Township.


• No notable activity for September 15 - 16.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 22, 2010



Detroit News:

Metro Detroit is losing its weather chief. After 45 years in the business, Jerry Hodak, the beloved chief meteorologist for WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) is retiring. His last day is Thursday. "People on the street call me chief," says Hodak, who traces the term of endearment back to his colleague and friend, anchorwoman Diana Lewis. "Chief meteorologist is such a mouthful. She just shortened it and it caught on. Now people love calling me that. "And I will never forget that viewers feel so close to me that they call me chief. How great is that?" This is just one of the many memories Hodak says he will take with him when he steps down. He has worked at the local ABC affiliate for 33 years, which means he has a heart full of fondness. Before coming to WXYZ, Hodak won the trust of viewers while working at WJBK-TV (Channel 2) when it was a CBS affiliate. He worked there 12 years. The stint was briefly preceded by a weather job in Orlando, Fla., where he cut his career teeth. "I never wanted to leave Detroit," says Hodak, 68, who was born in Providence Hospital and graduated from Denby High School and, later, Wayne State University. "It's a dream come true. So many people are not fortunate enough, at least in this industry, to be able to spend their whole career in their hometown and be close to family and friends. It's wonderful. I wish everybody could do it." Saying goodbye will be bittersweet, Hodak says... Jerry Hodak wraps up 45 years on Detroit television (Wed, 9/22)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 22, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

This week I started a new morning routine, just in time for the fall TV season and this thing called ArtPrize. Each weekday I get a chance to hang out with Citadel Broadcasting radio stations WHTS-FM (105.3), WTNR-FM (94.5), WLAV-FM (96.9) and WJRW-AM (1340). Each station plays a different format, and each one has its own style. So far it's been a little unpredictable, but fun. I start the day about 6:45 a.m. recording a few segments for news/talk stations WJRW-AM where I give a few tips of what to do in Grand Rapids, ala my Top 5. Those air at 7:57 a.m. and 1:57 p.m. weekdays. Also during ArtPrize, I'm offering a daily "ArtPrize Update" segment at 8:57 a.m. Many of them are the same tidbits you find in The Press, on our website or on my "Going Gonzo" blog... Making the rounds at WHTS, WTNR, WLAV and WJRW (Wed, 9/22)



• Smile FM was granted a construction permit for a new non-commercial FM station at 91.9 to be licensed to Mount Forest. The Class A station would operate with 3,800 watts @ 328 feet from a directional antenna located in Arenac County.


• Trinity Broadcasting is donating a number of its analog LPTV stations nationwide to Minority Media Telecommunications, pending FCC approval and closing. In Michigan, this includes W17CS Marquette, W18BT Alpena and W20BZ Escanaba along with W18CF Elkhart, IN.


• No notable activity for September 20 - 21.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 23, 2010



Detroit News:

A drawn-out tug-of-war over gubernatorial debates ended Wednesday with Virg Bernero and Rick Snyder agreeing to a single meeting. The one-hour debate is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 10 and will be broadcast live on television stations across the state. Bernero originally called for eight debates between the candidates. Snyder wanted three. Talks broke off and hopes of an agreement dimmed until the deal announced Wednesday. Political experts agree Snyder -- who is leading the Lansing mayor by roughly 20 percentage points in most polls -- has little to gain from debating his opponent... Snyder, Bernero to debate Oct. 10 (Thu, 9/23)



Detroit Free Press:

The debate over the debates wasn't so great. But it's over. And now the Great Debate, governor's edition, is scheduled for Oct. 10.Democrat Virg Bernero and Republican Rick Snyder have agreed to participate in a single, Sunday evening televised debate at the facilities of Detroit Public TV in Wixom. The broadcast is to be carried by other public TV stations around Michigan and will be available free of charge to all commercial channels that wish to carry it, said John Bebow, executive director at the Center for Michigan, a debate sponsor. The center leads the Great Debates coalition of about 20 organizations, including the Free Press, which will host the gubernatorial debate... Finally, a debate for Snyder and Bernero Decision 2010 (Thu, 9/23)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 24, 2010



WDET, WUOM to air live call-in programs with candidates for Michigan governor

Michigan gubernatorial candidates Virg Bernero and Rick Snyder will take telephone calls from across the state in two special live call-in shows to air on Michigan Radio,(WUOM FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR FM 104.1 Grand Rapids), WDET FM 101.9 Detroit and other Michigan Public Radio Network stations the week of September 27.

Each candidate will appear in a separate hour-long call-in show, both of which will be hosted by Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network managing editor and state capitol bureau chief. The program with Democratic candidate Virg Bernero will be Monday, Sept. 27 from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Republican candidate Rick Snyder will appear Friday, Oct. 1, also from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Both programs will have an open format with the candidates fielding questions from listeners on a variety of topics.

Listener phone calls will be accepted during the program by calling toll-free 877-952-7870.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 27, 2010



p>Detroit Free Press:

There will be plenty more local sights and sounds during Tuesday's episode of ABC's "Detroit 1-8-7," including Dick Purtan's longtime on-air partner (Big) Al Muskavito. Muskavito, who delivers a few critical lines as a polka band leader on the second episode of the made-in-Detroit cop series, tells Names & Faces that shooting scenes with "1-8-7" stars James McDaniel and Shaun Majumder was exhilarating. "It's really different than being on radio where you can hide from everyone," says the 55-year-old Muskavito, who spent 19 years crafting a plethora of zany characters and voices before Purtan signed off of WOMC-FM (104.3) on March 26 and retired his radio show. Muskavito, who says Purtan is fabulous and enjoying his new life, admits he was nervous when he auditioned for the "1-8-7" role July 13, but had a lot of fun once he was shooting on the Detroit Princess, in the riverboat's ballroom, July 21... Dick Purtan's (Big) Al does 'Detroit 1-8-7' (Mon, 9/27)



• Variety hits WUPG FM 96.7 Republic (Marquette) was granted its license to cover to change from 25,000 watts @ 172 feet to 23,100 watts @ 341 feet.


• The translator of public WNMU-FM 90.1 in Stephenson was granted its license to cover for its move from FM 107.3 to FM 96.7 as W244CM.


• No notable activity for September 23 - 24.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 28, 2010



Detroit News:

Nit-picking critics -- that includes all of us -- will be happy to hear that the second episode of ABC's new crime show "Detroit 1-8-7," airing tonight at 10 p.m., has an infusion of Detroit flavor: Polish flavor, to be exact. Part of the action takes place at a raucous Polish wedding (warning, sexual shenanigans are in play) on the Detroit Princess river boat. Local talent figures in: "Big Al" Muscovedo, of the now-defunct WOMC Dick Purtan morning show, plays a polka band leader who announces the traditional "money dance," or pani mloda. There's also some comic relief back at police headquarters when detectives try -- and fail -- to pronounce the last names of wedding guests called in as witnesses. The second episode also features numerous shots of the GM-logoed Renaissance Center, Hart Plaza (where a body is discovered), and many moody views of the Detroit River at night, dark water rippling ominously around the lit-up Princess. The city's late 19th/early 20th century housing stock -- those familiar, sturdy red brick or white frame buildings with second-floor balconies, and often, an iron-barred front door -- gives the right tone to the neighborhood scenes... 'Detroit 1-8-7' rolls on the river (Tue, 9/28)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 28, 2010


LIN Media has picked up the CoolTV multicast network in 11 of its 17 markets encompassing six million TV homes, 5.2% of all TV homes, according to Cool Music Network, the startup behind the network. Combined with Sinclair (33 markets) and Journal Broadcast Group (nine markets), the LIN deal puts the eclectic 24/7 music network in a total of 53 markets and extends its reach to approximately 30% of all U.S. TV homes, according to Cool Music COO David Hampe. The LIN markets: Indianapolis; Hartford, Conn.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Providence, R.I.; Toledo, Ohio; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Springfield, Mass.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Lafayette, Ind. CoolTV is customized for each market to reflect the local demographics and music scenes. "It's our ability to deliver a unique viewer experience to each market that creates the local radio-on-TV style," said Joe Comparato, Cool Music CEO, in a prepared statement... LIN Media To Air CoolTV In 11 Markets (Tue, 9/28)



• College WUPX FM 91.5 Marquette was granted a construction permit to increase power from 360 watts @ 138 feet to 1,700 watts @ 413 feet and change its broadcast location from north to west of Marquette.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 29, 2010



WXYZ-TV anchor Robbie Timmons announces her retirement

Robbie Timmons, a long-time news anchor and reporter at ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV, is announcing she is leaving the station to pursue personal interests.

Timmons has been anchoring Detroit evening news for 34 years. She joined WXYZ-TV in 1982, anchoring the 5 p.m. newscast alongside legendary newsman Bill Bonds, and more recently with Emmy award winning anchor Carolyn Clifford. She has also anchored Action News at Noon, the number one rated noon newscast with Clifford. Prior to joining WXYZ, Timmons was behind the anchor desk at WJBK-TV, Channel 2.

During her time at Channel 7, Timmons co-hosted a variety of programs, including the Michigan Humane Society Telethon, St. Vincent DePaul Telethon, and Channel 7's Town Hall Meeting on Breast Cancer Research. She has co-anchored special coverage of Red Wings Stanley Cup Parades, Detroit Pistons NBA Championships, the University of Michigan National NCAA Football Championship, as well as U of M Big Ten Championships and Rose Bowl trips.

"I have enjoyed being part of the Channel 7 family and viewers' families for nearly 30 years," said Timmons. "We've been together on bad news days and good news days...seen changes in Detroit and the State of Michigan, and we've witnessed people giving us hope and making a difference."

"WXYZ has been fortunate to have Robbie's talent and experience as part of our Action News team," said Vice-President and General Manager, Ed Fernandez. "Always the consummate professional, Robbie has played an important role in the success of WXYZ-TV and we wish her all the best as she starts this new chapter in her life."

Timmons began her career in 1972 at WILX-TV in Lansing where she became the first female in the country to anchor evening newscasts at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. She went on to anchor WJBK-TV's 11 p.m. newscast and produce Emmy winning documentaries for the CBS station, before joining WXYZ-TV.

Her work has earned Timmons six Emmy awards from the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She has also been recognized for her volunteer work on behalf of Forgotten Harvest, St. Vincent DePaul, the Humane Society, the Detroit Zoo, the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center.

Timmons' reports on thoroughbred horse racing and the closure of the Detroit Race Course in 1997, prompted her to become active in efforts to rescue thoroughbreds. She became an officer of CANTER, a thoroughbred rescue organization that prevents the slaughter of thoroughbreds and helps find homes for racehorses. The organization also provides educational opportunities for Michigan State University Veterinary students who assist with surgeries to repair racetrack injuries. Timmons has helped take CANTER from a Michigan-only organization, to a national all-volunteer rescue effort that continues to expand across the United States.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to dedicate more of my time and energy to the organization that I feel so passionately about," said Timmons who will be a full time volunteer for CANTER and the national organization's treasurer.

Timmons' work with CANTER inspired her to write the popular children's book, "Twoey and the Goat," based on the true story of a unique friendship between a thoroughbred champion and a goat. The book is being considered as the subject for a feature film.

Timmons says she plans to continue writing children's books and is looking forward to spending more time with family, friends, and her Sheltie, Cassie.

Timmons last day at WXYZ-TV will be October 14.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Sept. 30, 2010



Detroit Free Press:

Longtime Detroit newscaster Robbie Timmons announced on the air Tuesday that she's leaving WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). "I started broadcasting in 1972 and have done this every single day for almost 40 years," Timmons told Names & Faces on Wednesday. "I love it, but now seemed like a good time to step back from broadcasting and pursue my other passions." Timmons says she's going to travel (and thanked the Detroit Lions for having a schedule that includes games in Florida) and take some time for herself and family. She'll also dedicate herself to Canter USA, a nonprofit group that finds new homes and careers for thoroughbred ex-racehorses. She's the treasure for the group's national chapter. The Columbus, Ohio, native and Ohio State University graduate began her career at WILX-TV (Channel 10) in Lansing, where she was the first woman in the country to anchor evening newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m. She entered the Detroit market via WJBK-TV (Channel 2) and joined WXYZ in 1982, where she anchored the 5 p.m. newscast alongside legendary newsman Bill Bonds and, more recently, Carolyn Clifford. She also has anchored the noon news... Anchor leaving Channel 7 news (Thu, 9/30)







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