Metro Detroit: April 2010 Archives

Detroit News:

Retirement is not the end for Bob Sliva. As he packs his boxes and enjoys a few last slices of goodbye cake, he prefers to look at the move as the start of something new, he says. "Everyone keeps telling me I'm still a young man," Sliva, the vice president and general manager at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), says. He turns 60 on Thursday and leaves the job behind this week. "I certainly feel young. For me, retirement means I'm closing the chapter on my career here but the book is still open." Sliva announced his retirement in January. He has been the vice president and general manager at the local ABC affiliate for a little over two years, a job he took after venerable WXYZ veteran Grace Gilchrist retired. Prior to that, Sliva worked in various jobs in and around the station for 21 years. The most recent was as vice president and director of sales for the Scripps Howard Television Group. With so many years at WXYZ, it's no surprise that Sliva said he looks at his co-workers as family... WXYZ's Sliva ready for next chapter (Thu, 4/1)



WDIV-TV newscasts rank #1 at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 11pm

WDIV-TV Local 4 News: First at 4 triumphed over first run editions of Oprah for the first time in the time period of 4-5 p.m., and Local 4 News won handily at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. in the March 2010 Nielsen ratings period of the Detroit television market.

In the 4-5 p.m. time period, Local 4 News: First at 4 p.m. anchored by Ruth Spencer garnered a 5.1 household rating (RTG) and a 14 share (SHR). Following at 4:30 p.m, Inside Edition with Deborah Norville earned a 5.2 household rating and a 13 share. First-run editions of Oprah on WXYZ earned a 4.4 household rating and 11 share, down 8% over the previous year, while Local 4 News: First at 4 p.m. and Inside Edition registered a growth of 27% and 18% respectively in share year to year.

Local 4 News at 5 p.m. garnered a 6.9 household rating and a 16 share in the 5-6 p.m. time period (compared to WXYZ 5.6 RTG, 13 SHR and WJBK 4.6 RTG, 10 SHR). Local 4 News at 5 p.m. registered a growth of 7% in household ratings over the previous year.

In the 6-6:30 p.m. time period, Local 4 News at 6 p.m. finished #1 in household ratings scoring an 8.4 household rating and an 18 share (compared to WXYZ 5.6 RTG, 12 SHR and WJBK 4.1 RTG, 9 SHR). In addition, Local 4 News at 6 p.m. won in the key demo markets of adults ages 25-54 and women ages 25-54. This signifies a 13% increase in share over the previous year, while competitor WXYZ is down 8% share year to year.

Local 4 News at 11 p.m., the perennial powerhouse of late news anchored by Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian, Chuck Gaidica and Bernie Smilovitz, dominated all local newscasts with the highest ratings of news on any station, in any time-period. In March 2010, Local 4 News at 11 p.m. garnered an 8.7 household rating and a 17 share (compared to WXYZ 5.6 RTG, 11 SHR, WJBK 10pm 8.4 RTG, 14 SHR, and WJBK 11pm M-F 5.5 RTG, 10 SHR). In addition, Local 4 News at 11 p.m. beat the late newscast of all NBC affiliates in the top 10 markets nationwide.

The WDIV programming lineup in other dayparts also fared well. The Ellen Degeneres Show (10-11 a.m.) was #1 and continues to lead in all key demographics. At 3-4 p.m. time period, Dr. Oz was #2 (2.5 HH RTG, 7 SHR), experiencing an increase of 75% in share for the time period year to year. And in the time period of 7-8 p.m., Wheel Of Fortune (9.9 HH RTG, 19 SHR) and Jeopardy (8.4 HH RTG, 15 SHR) are the top-rated shows, and continue to experience growth, up 6% in share from the previous year. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno was also #1 in the 11:35 p.m. time period with a 5.4 household rating and a 13 share, up 17% rating and 18% share over January, the final month of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (4.6 HH RTG, 11 SHR).

Also in March,, WDIV's local and national news, weather, sports and entertainment website, scored over 22.4 million page views, setting an all time record for page views in the month of March. is currently the #1 local media website according to ComScore ratings.


The Oakland Press:

The Bloomfield Hills School District's radio station WBFH, also known as The Biff, will begin broadcasting its 34th Annual Biffstock pledge drive from 7 a.m. Thursday, April 15, through 2 a.m. Saturday, April 17. WBFH students will be collecting money and pledges from listeners in the community to help underwrite radio station enhancement expenses. The shift schedule and other pledge drive information can be found on the station Web site, Listeners can also follow the station on Twitter at Listeners who would like to make a pledge can do so by calling 248-341-WBFH... Student radio station plans two-day broadcast (Fri, 4/2)


FSDetroitAs the Detroit Tigers prepare for the 2010, television partner FOX Sports Detroit has announced its plans for the upcoming year of broadcasts on the regional outlet. Some items of note:

  • The Wednesday, April 7 Tigers game at Kansas City (8:10 pm first pitch) will be joined in progress on FOX Sports Detroit / FOX Sports Detroit HD at approximately 10 pm, immediately after the Red Wings-Columbus hockey game. The Tigers game will re-air in its entirety starting at midnight. During the non-televised portion of the game (8:10 to approximately 10:00 pm), FOX Sports Detroit's John Keating will participate in a live chat session from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City at
  • For the fourth consecutive season, the Tigers home opener (Friday, April 9 vs. Cleveland) will be simulcast on FOX Sports Detroit / HD and WJBK FOX 2 in Detroit.
  • FOX Sports Detroit plans to deliver nearly all of its 158 Tigers telecasts this season in high-definition. The only exceptions will be any games shifted to FOX Sports Detroit Plus (currently only April 11) or if HD production or transmission facilities are unavailable on a given date.


Detroit Free Press:

WKQIWhen you cohost a popular radio show known for its celebrity interviews and up-to-the-minute gossip, keeping up with pop culture isn't a hobby. It's a full-time assignment. "It's 24/7, yeah," says Spike of the "Mojo in the Morning" team at WKQI-FM (95.5), describing how much time he spends following the latest scoops. "Because of our job, we have to be aware of everything and pretty much know it before everybody else. So when I'm home, I'm always on the Internet, to my wife's chagrin. And when I'm not home, my BlackBerry is ringing off the hook." An on-air personality who's famous for his sarcastic humor and prank phone calls, he enjoys staying current on the show-biz world. The married father of two does unplug from the Web and unwind during family vacations. But the day he gets back, "I'm connected all night trying to see what I missed, who did what, what's going on," he says. Spike talked to us recently for a pop-culture profile, another in a series of visits with prominent metro Detroiters... Pop culture profile: WKQI-FM's Spike (Sun, 4/4)


Macomb Daily:

The next best thing to playing a professional sports contest is announcing it. That's according to Austin Drake, a L'Anse Creuse High School senior who was awarded second place in the state for his sports radio broadcasts by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. "I love sports," Drake said. "I've played basketball, roller hockey, football, tennis. I did BMX bike racing, freshman, JV and varsity baseball, soccer. But I decided, about the time I was in middle school, that I wasn't going to make it in sports. So I figured, if I am not going to be able to get into that, what would be the second best thing? Getting behind a microphone and talking about sports, and getting paid to do it." This is Drake's second MAB award. Last year, he placed first in the Sports Play-by-Play category, earning him the honor of doing play-by-play as a student broadcaster for the MHSAA Radio Network for the 2009 Class A Boys Basketball Finals at Michigan State University, which he was asked to do again, for this year's win... L'Anse Creuse senior earns award from Michigan Association of Broadcasters (Mon, 4/5)


updated: Tue 4/6, 8:15 a.m.

Clear Channel owned soft rock WNIC FM 100.3 fired morning personalities Kevin O'Neill and Lisa Berry after their show today. In an e-mail, O'Neill reports that the move was, "Not totally unexpected but always an awful feeling when it happens. Ironically, my final break on air I mentioned that it was 30 yrs. yesterday (April 4) that I was first on the air in Detroit at WDRQ in 1980. Had no idea that would be my final break. The only thing I keep telling myself is that each time I've been let go I've gone on to something better. This will be the case, too, I'm sure."

With the recent departure of Dick Purtan from classic hits WOMC FM 104.3, this makes two very high profile morning drive slots currently open in Detroit -- and even with the area's poor economy, one would think these jobs would be filled on a permanent basis sooner rather than later. Understandably WOMC is moving slowly, naming Chris Edmonds and Stacey DuFord as interim hosts while listeners adjust to not having Purtan on-air.

Today's move by WNIC might be more startling to listeners than Purtan's previously announced retirement to many that might have been counting on hearing familiar voices during morning drive on other stations instead of even more changes to their radio dial. Consider that soft rock competitor WMGC FM 105.1 recently has run full page ads in local newspapers inviting former Purtan listeners to sample the Magic Morning Show hosted by Jim Harper.

Are bigger changes on the horizon for 100.3 in terms of either the station's programming direction or personality lineup? Is this an early move to clear the way for Jay Towers to return to the airwaves once his non-compete expires in July?



Detroit News:

Clear Channel-owned WNIC (100.3) fired its "Breakfast Club" morning show hosts, Kevin O'Neill and Lisa Barry, after their airshift Monday morning. WNIC is replacing them with a "very music-intensive" show, according to station operations manager Todd Thomas. He says it was a move prompted by the Arbitron PPM (portable people meter). "Looking at how PPM operates, we're finding that a lot of music really moves the needle," Thomas said. "With the morning show, we were going up against some of the juggernauts that we have in town, it was like David and Goliath, so that was the reason for the decision." WNIC's morning show ranked No. 1 among listeners ages 35-64 over the holiday season, when it played Christmas music, but by February it was tied for 11th place in that demographic (for the overall, 12-plus demographic it ranked No. 14). Monday was almost exactly the 30th anniversary of O'Neill's arrival in Detroit. "The ironic thing was, without knowing what was going to happen, in the final break this morning I alluded to the fact that 30 years ago yesterday, April 4, was my first day on the air in Detroit," said O'Neill, who was still a bit dazed. "Ten minutes later, I'm being marched down the hallway." It was a year ago that O'Neill, then on afternoons at the adult contemporary station, was tapped to replace Chris Edmonds when he was let go from the WNIC morning show. Edmonds is filling in at CBS-owned WOMC-FM (104.3), since Dick Purtan's retirement last week.. WNIC drops morning team O'Neill, Barry (Tue, 4/6)



Detroit Free Press:

WNIC-FM (100.3) host Kevin O'Neill was celebrating a big career anniversary Monday, but things turned quickly sour when he and cohost Lisa Barry were fired soon after signing off from their morning "Breakfast Club" show. "I'm still scratching my head about this," O'Neill told Names & Faces on Monday afternoon. He was the afternoon host at the Clear Channel Detroit-operated WNIC before taking over mornings a year ago. He noted that on Sunday, he marked the 30th anniversary of his career in Detroit broadcasting. O'Neill thinks that the "Breakfast Club," which has dipped in the ratings in recent months, should have been given longer to bounce back, especially in light of the recent departure of popular morning host Dick Purtan at WOMC-FM (104.3). Barry, who has spent 25 years on Detroit radio, including stints at WYCD-FM (99.5) and WXYT-AM (1270), said she loved working at the soft-rock WNIC with "one of her best friends" and will cherish the fans who tuned in... WNIC morning hosts let go (Tue, 4/6)

CLEAR CHANNEL AC WNIC/DETROIT "Breakfast Flakes" KEVIN O'NEILL and LISA BARRY are out. The pair were informed this morning after wrapping up their show... Morning Change At WNIC/Detroit (Mon, 4/5)


Flint Journal:

OK ... by now, I've heard the outcries from those vocal commenters who love to rant about the April in the D songs. But your hate just keeps me going. April in the D is unstoppable, and as long as Fox Sports Detroit keeps the promo going, I'm going to keep reporting on it. With opening day for the Tigers going on today and the Red Wings clinching a playoff berth, this April is sure to be exciting even without the Pistons advancing to the playoffs. Below, FSD senior VP and general manager Greg Hammaren was kind enough to answer a few questions (his responses are italicized below) about April in the D, hate mail, viewer feedback and his thoughts on the state of Detroit sports... Interview: Fox Sports Detroit Senior VP/General Manager Greg Hammaren discusses the origins of 'April in the D' (Mon, 4/5)


As the 2010 Major League Baseball regular season takes flight, radio ratings company Arbitron has released a report on how well baseball play-by-play did for stations in Portable People Mover markets during 2009. Coverage of the Detroit Tigers on CBS Radio's WXYT-FM/AM was a definite hit when comparing the results against teams in the other 22 PPM markets in the U.S.

Among men age 25-54, WXYT and the Tigers rank second only to the St. Louis Cardinals and their flagship KTRS. And even when considering overall audience numbers (all listeners age 6+), the WXYT/Tigers combo was the fifth most popular combo, averaging a game-time cume 158,600 listeners - above the top-10 MLB team average of 115,000. The New York Yankees are the runaway leaders in overall cume.

It's no surprise then to see increased coverage of play-by-play sports on the FM dial across Michigan. The Tigers now enjoy FM coverage not only in Detroit, but in Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, Manistee, and most recently in Cadillac. Sports fans appear to be very loyal to their teams' broadcasts on the radio, and that seems to be especially true with the local combination of Dan Dickerson and Jim Price on the Tigers' broadcasts.


With yesterday's departure of Kevin O'Neill and Lisa Berry from morning drive on soft rock WNIC FM 100.3, the station has tapped market veteran Renee Vitale for 6 - 10 a.m. where she will be reporting on traffic and news live during a music-intensive program that the station hopes can attract listeners looking for less talk in the morning.

I incorrectly reported yesterday that the remainder of WNIC's weekday lineup was voicetracked - that is not the case with Theresa Lucas broadcasting live from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Kristin Burns hosting afternoon drive live from the WNIC studios from 3 - 7 p.m. At 7, the syndicated Delilah program is aired through midnight.


WDIV honored with 2010 Murrow Award for Overall Excellence

WDIV-TV Local 4 has been honored for excellence in journalism by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). The station is a proud recipient of a coveted 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in news coverage.

RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. The Edward R. Murrow Award is considered one of the most prestigious awards a news organization can achieve, embodying the spirit of excellence in journalism.

WDIV Local 4 News won the top award for overall Outstanding Excellence in Region 7 of the large market TV category and is the only station in Southeast Michigan to receive a 2010 Morrow award.



Michigan Radio to explore life of "Muslims in Michigan"

Michigan Radio (WUOM FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR FM 104.1 Grand Rapids) is partnering with the University of Michigan Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies to launch a new project examining the religious, ethnic, and social lives of the state's diverse Muslim population. This "Muslims in Michigan" initiative will consist of a five-part radio series, film events, speakers, and a community conversation.

The Muslims in Michigan radio series, which airs April 12-16, will explore topics such as sharia law, halal meats, and the construction of a new mosque in Grand Rapids. Additionally, Michigan Radio's reporters will profile individual Muslims who have recently converted to Islam. The series will include contributions by reporters Jennifer Guerra, Sarah Hulett, and Dustin Dwyer. The station will broadcast these reports all next week during Morning Edition at approximately 6:20 and 8:20 am, and during All Things Considered between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

The Muslims in Michigan Community Conversation supplementing this radio series will take place on Thursday, April 15, at 7 pm at the Arthur Miller Theater on the University of Michigan's North Campus. This event will be an opportunity for listeners and members of the community to learn more about Michigan's Muslim population. Information about this event, and others associated with this project, can be found at



Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit Public TV has acquired a $1.5 million high definition truck and mobile studio. The 35-foot Ford F650 vehicle was purchased thanks to funding from local nonprofits the Kresge Foundation and the Hudson-Webber Foundation. The truck includes a mobile studio outfitted with the latest in video and audio production technology. The vehicle also carries a diesel generator for areas without electrical service. Jeff Forster, vice president for production and station enterprises at Detroit Public Television, said that the mobile studio will allow the station to do more work from the field. . "The truck will allow us to reflect the culture and arts that goes on in Southeast Michigan," he said... Detroit Public TV acquires HD production truck (Wed, 4/7)



WJR's Frank Beckmann Show to broadcast from Detroit Opera House for Tigers' opening day

News/Talk 760 WJR's Frank Beckmann Show (Weekdays 9am-Noon) will broadcast live on Friday, April 9th from the Cadillac Café at the Detroit Opera House located at 1526 Broadway in Detroit, directly across the street from Comerica Park to help kick off MLB baseball in Detroit for 2010.


MetroMix Detroit:

It was madness in March, that's for sure. Metromix's inaugural Detroit Radio Battle -- the NCAA-styled elimination tournament featuring 16 of metro Detroit's top radio shows and most colorful personalities -- has a winner: 89X's Mornings with Dave and Chuck "The Freak." Netting more than 60% of the final round's tally and registering more than 25,000 votes by Metromix users throughout the tourney helped lift the CIMX-FM (88.7) morning show to the big victory. "It's incredible -- there's a lot of amazing talent in the city and a few of the finalists (were) in our own company, so to even be considered among that group in the first place was a big deal for us. Then to win the whole thing is just the icing on the cake of a great year for the Dave and Chuck 'the Freak' show," " Dave Hunter says to Metromix after learning of the victory. The tournament was completely unscientific... Detroit Radio Battle 2010: And the winner is... (Wed, 4/7)



WCSX joins in on Opening Day Fun

Classic rock WCSX-FM midday host Karen Savelly will be broadcasting live tomorrow from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. from the Elwood Bar and Grill on East Adams across from Comerica Park to help celebrate Tigers' Opening Day. The party will feature the chance to win Tiger tickets, prizes and more.



On the 40th anniversary, AM 580 to presents "And In The End...The Break-up of The Beatles"

On April 10th, 1970, Paul McCartney told the world that they had heard and seen the Beatles as a band for the last time....the Beatles were breaking up. This Saturday night on the 40th anniversary of the world's most famous group calling it quits, CKWW AM 580 will air a two-hour special: "And In The End...The Breakup of The Beatles" from 7 to 9 PM.

"Breakfast with the Beatles" host Dennis Mitchell looks back at how and why the Beatles ended as a group. He'll talk with Yoko Ono along with former Apple Records chief Ken Mansfield, Tommy Roe, and many others who were part of this historic event in music history. The special will also feature rare audio of the Beatles, plus a lot of great music the band produced before and after that time. He will also examine why their music continues to have such a profound influence.

"And In The End...The Break-up of The Beatles" airs this Saturday, April 10th from 7 to 9 PM with an encore broadcast on Monday, April 12th from 7 to 9 PM.


Searching for Human Voices

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column written by Art Vuolo, Jr.

Art Vuolo Jr.I'm not sure how you feel, but I like to wake up to human voices. I like to know what the day ahead is going to be like. I want to know about the weather, the traffic problems, the important news, and the light-hearted stories that make me want to say Hmmm. I want humor, funny stories and, dare I say it... entertainment! My bed is surrounded by three, count 'em, three AM-FM radios and one home-style satellite radio. The one I wake up to has pre-set push buttons which allow me to easily punch up any number of various stations on both bands. I usually don't go to Sirius XM until after 10 a.m. when most terrestrial stations shift into a more music mode, and it's often not the music I want.

On the FM side I land most often on Indianapolis-based Bob & Tom, which I re-transmit from my Internet Wi-Fi Radio via their flagship station, WFBQ (known as Q-95). Three times per hour, that show takes a six minute break, which is when I sample other morning fare. Often, if another show keeps me interested, it will take me longer to return to the boys from Indy. On the FM side, I go to Drew & Mike on WRIF (101.1), MoJo & Crew on WKQI (95.5), Blaine & Allyson on WDVD (96.3) or Stoney, Bill and Sara on WXYT (97.1 the Ticket). Since Dick Purtan's departure I hit the WOMC button less, since it's mostly music and, until such time when Chris Edmonds and Stacey DuFord are allowed to be funny, I'll wait on 104.3 FM. My WNIC button is about to be exchanged for WYCD (99.5) for Dr. Don and Rachael Hunter.

My reason for that exchange was the recent disposal of WNIC Breakfast Club hosts Kevin O'Neill and Lisa Barry. I used that word "disposal" because that's what the radio industry has been doing with what we once referred to as the "on-air talent." Corporate radio, as it is now commonly called, cares little about what comes out of the speaker, but mostly about the profit and loss columns. This is why we, the listeners, are considered the lowest common denominator within the radio broadcasting equation.

Most of the members of Detroit's radio fraternity are good people, who sincerely WISH they could do better, with larger staffs, bigger budgets and creative programming. Sadly, today's economic climate has greatly restricted the incorporation of the very elements that made radio a fun place to work and a fun place to listen.

When Dick Purtan retired on March 26, it signaled the end of an era. Dick got out at the right time. He even honestly stated it on TV saying that "it just wasn't as much fun anymore." Think about it. A few years ago he lost two key cast members in Gene Taylor and shortly there-after Mark "Doc" Andrews. In the last year we saw his show get trimmed by an hour, the loss of longtime engineer John "ankles" Stewart and news reporter Dana Mills. The new method of taking radio ratings, known as the Personal People Meter (PPM), has made more music and less talk more popular. It also gives radio companies a good excuse for trimming expensive personalities in exchange for DJ's that just know how to hammer out the hits, interjecting very little of what we used to call "entertainment."

So, after Mr. Purtan left in a blaze of glory, surrounded by lots of family and close friends, the radio landscape in Detroit was suddenly up for grabs, as other shows scrambled to steal away audience from 104.3 WOMC. Don't expect that station roll over and die. Far from it. Throughout the next few weeks a new and exciting image will occupy the space previously known as the home of Purtan's People, but it will take time and (the always lacking) money.

Meanwhile, other stations in town are clamoring for Dick's listeners. Did you see the big ad that Greater Media took out in the paper? It was a tastefully done campaign to get you to try out Jim Harper and his crew at WMGC, known as Magic 105.1. Good move. Perplexing is why did Clear Channel Radio dump 30 year market veteran Kevin O'Neill and 25 year morning staple Lisa Barry? I don't think it was money. That company now has Jay Towers on the payroll, but he can't go on the air locally until this summer when his "non-compete" clause with CBS Radio expires. So why was the trigger pulled now? I have no idea.

Lisa has survived a plethora of morning partners dating back through Chris Edmonds and Chuck Gaidica, but now she's also seeking her next opportunity. Kevin O'Neill, as we've stated in previous columns, is among the nicest and kindest broadcasters in this town. He's worked at WDRQ, WHND, WOMC, WYCD, WDVD and WNIC over the past three decades. He's never made, what industry insiders would call, big money but, has been as loyal to each station as anyone in recent years. So, what do Mr. O'Neill and Ms. Barry get as their reward for such unprecedented loyalty? They were told, on Easter Monday no less, as they ended their program that it was their last. They were coldly escorted out of the building with little regard for the service given to the WNIC audience. It was the only LIVE show on the station. Every other time slot at 100.3 FM is voice-tracked. That is where it may sound live, but it's all put together in a computer. You can't call in and talk to the jock on the air, or make requests. When major news breaks, you won't hear about it, because the computer doesn't know about it. The death of Michael Jackson was proof of how bad that can be. Worst of all, it's not getting any better. It's getting worse. Very few of the DJ's on any music station throughout the nation are live.

The last venue of actual LIVE radio can be found on news, news-talk and sports-talk stations. However the vast majority of such stations take most of their programming from a syndicator via satellite. We are lucky here in SE Michigan with a sports station (WXYT 97.1 FM & 1270 AM) that is mostly live and local. We have a second such station on AM WDFN (1130) which reverted back to a number of local hosts. Best of all, we have WCHB AM 1200 for the black community, a great all-news station, which is never automated, in WWJ-AM (950) and a heritage news-talk giant in WJR-AM (760) and they all sport a diverse cast of outstanding on-air personalities.

Before I get labeled as being too negative I'll remind you that earlier in this writing I heaped plenty-o-compliments on numerous broadcasters. However, my main issue with today's TALK radio is the extreme division it causes. It seems that a talk station is either ALL right-wing conservative or ALL left-wing progressive (the new word for liberal). About 85% to 90% of talk radio throughout this land is conservative. Some of what I've heard on Rush, Sean, Glenn and the like is outrageously disrespectful. On a recent Michael Savage (an appropriate name) Show I stumbled upon the program just in time to hear him make the most outlandish accusations against the current presidential administration. Regardless as to whether you voted for Barack Obama, the commander-in-chief deserves a certain level of respect. Savage was spewing forth commentary that, only a few years ago would not only get him fired immediately, but escorted out of the building. Instead that type of treatment goes to nice people like Kevin O'Neill and Lisa Barry, as previously described. Go figure.

Hardly anyone currently working in the radio industry, if they're being 100% honest, will say that the business is better and more fun than ever, because it isn't. Let's hope that radio will, one day soon, realize that the way into the listeners heart, and most importantly their ears, is to offer something that we can actually get excited about. Wow....what a concept!


Reach Art Vuolo at or visit his web site at

CLEAR CHANNEL Rhythmic AC WKTU/NEW YORK morning star PAUL "CUBBY" BRYANT will now be simultaneously heard on CLEAR CHANNEL Rhythmic AC WDTW (106.7 THE BEAT)/DETROIT. He also can be heard on WMIA/MIAMI and KSYU/ALBUQUERQUE... Cubby Gets The Beat In Detroit (Fri, 4/9)


Grand Rapids Press:

Jim Price is down to one kidney, but the cancer is gone. And his peace of mind has returned. "It was a life-or-death thing if they hadn't gotten it out when they did," said Price, the radio analyst for Detroit Tigers games and a catcher with the 1968 world champions. "I just have the one kidney now, but I can lead a normal life. "Something like this gives you a whole different perspective." He is embarking on another West Coast trip, with Detroit playing Friday night against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, and life is good again. Price, 68, is back for his 18th season as a Tigers broadcaster. But several days before Thanksgiving, he got the news that made him wonder if there would be another season. "I had a large, cancerous tumor in my kidney that was exploding my kidney," Price said. "It was so big, and I didn't even know it. I went to the bathroom and there was a lot of blood when I urinated. My wife, Lisa, made me go to the emergency room. She strong-armed me." There wasn't any time to waste after X-rays and a full-body scan revealed the problem. Five and a half hours worth of surgery at Beaumont Hospital in Troy two days before Thanksgiving saved his life... 'Life is good again' for Tigers radio analyst Jim Price after bout with cancer (Thu, 4/15)



Detroit Free Press:

Motor City commuters who tuned into WRIF-FM's (101.1) top-rated "Drew & Mike" morning show Wednesday briefly heard a few words from former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Hosts Drew Lane and Mike Clark thought they'd give the Dallas-based Kilpatrick a heads-up that new reports about Manoogian Mansion shenanigans were making headlines back home. Their call was disconnected after the two radio hosts identified themselves, but when they redialed seconds later, Kilpatrick picked up with a chuckle. The ex-mayor told the dynamic duo he's busy starting his life over in Texas and doesn't want to be featured on radio and TV or in newspapers... Drew, Mike dial up Kwame (Thu, 4/15)



Classical/Jazz WRCJ using hard sell in fundraising campaign

A marketing e-mail from Detroit Public TV operated classical/jazz WRCJ FM 90.9 begins with what's either a desperate plea -- or an outright threat, depending on your point of view: "The CBC has cut back on classical music. A Detroit "smooth jazz" radio station is off the air. Detroit went nine years without a classical music service when the old WQRS changed formats. Don't let this happen again! Please support WRCJ 90.9 FM as it concludes its Spring Membership Drive. Classical Days and Jazzy Nights rely on tax-deductible contributions from listeners like you, but we're short of our goal. We must stay on track to keep classical music alive on Detroit airwaves."

The message is pretty clear - without more financial support, the station's programming is in jeopardy. While run sby DPTV, the Detroit Public Schools is the owner of WRCJ.

Potential donors can visit or call 866-909-9725 to contribute.


WXYZ TV names Eduardo Fernadez as station's new VP/GM

Eduardo Fernandez, accomplished television executive and experienced community leader, has been named vice president and general manager of WXYZ, the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Detroit.

"Ed is known throughout the industry for his commitment to a high-quality on-air product, his strong record of sales success and his passion for community enrichment," said Brian Lawlor, senior vice president of the Scripps television division. "More than any other market in America today, Detroit needs a local television voice that will be a passionate advocate for its citizens and businesses, and no TV executive is better suited for that task than Ed Fernandez."

Fernandez begins his new assignment on April 26. He replaces Bob Sliva, who retired earlier this month after leading the station since 2007.

Most recently, Fernandez, age 47, served as president and general manager of NBC Universal's WSNS, Telemundo Chicago, where he was responsible for all station operations, including news, sales, marketing and promotions, engineering, and production.

Before joining Telemundo in 2003, Fernandez worked for 14 years at WXMI Fox 17 in Grand Rapids. He joined the station as a local sales manager, served as general sales manager, station manager and eventually became vice president/general manager. Earlier in his career, he served as an account executive for Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV and WZZM-TV as well as WSB-TV Atlanta.

Fernandez, whose stations have won numerous local Emmys, has received a number of awards, including the Central Michigan University Distinguished Alumni award, Grand Rapids Business Journal "Forty Under Forty" award and St. Augustine College's "El Puente" award for his commitment to the Chicago Hispanic community.

Fernandez's professional involvement includes membership with the Michigan Association Broadcasters and the Illinois Broadcasters Association Board.

Originally from West Michigan, he earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast and cinematic arts from Central Michigan University. He was the Robert R. McCormick/Tribune Foundation Fellowship Recipient through the National Association of Broadcasters. He also completed a management development course and leadership, innovation and growth program through GE/NBC Universal's executive training program.

The Chicago resident will be relocating to Michigan. He has three teenage daughters.



96.3 WDVD launches Project Prom Princess

Prom is one of the most important events in a young lady's life. Unfortunately, many high school students and their families are feeling the hurt of our tough economy. This should be no reason for girls to be denied the time-honored tradition of going to Prom. 96.3 WDVD & Somerset Collection will make every effort to make sure less fortunate girls receive a FREE Prom Dress! 96.3 WDVD will be collecting gently worn formal dresses, shoes and accessories (less than 5 years old) at Somerset Collection (upper level, next to Saks Fifth Avenue) Friday, April 16- Sunday, April 18, 2010. 96.3 WDVD on-air personalities will broadcast from inside the Project Prom Princess space all weekend long. Our mission is to fill the store with racks of dresses, shoes and accessories to make hundreds of girls feel like a true Princess on Prom Night.

The first one hundred people to donate a dress will receive a pair of Sheryl Crow at DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 19h.

Young ladies that are in need of a Prom dress, log onto to fill out a request form. Selected girls will be asked to join us inside the Project Prom Princess store to pick out a free dress for Prom.

More information on Project Prom Princess is available on the station's web site.


Detroit Free Press:

Chris Hansen's latest project isn't just another look at what's happening in the Motor City. "America Now: City of Heartbreak and Hope," which airs at 7 tonight on "Dateline NBC," is a journey home for Hansen that focuses on the city's economic blight, population flight and political scandals and also on the people who are pouring their hearts into improving the situation. The veteran correspondent -- who's famous for his "To Catch a Predator" investigations -- grew up in Bloomfield Township and covered the city and region for local stations WXYZ-TV and WDIV-TV before joining NBC News in 1993. Hansen talked recently about the "Dateline" episode, which puts Detroit's challenges into perspective for a national audience... NBC looks at the spirit of Detroit (Sun, 4/18)


Detroit News:

Anne Thompson owes her success to a lot of things, among them talent, timing and perseverance. Odd business that television is, she can also thank a quadruple murderer from Lincoln Park. When you see her now, she's someplace glamorous, important or both, reporting for NBC News. To find her a bit more than 20 years ago, though, you'd have needed to look in Channel 4's doghouse. "I was going to be fired," Thompson says. The executive who ran the newsroom at WDIV-TV had told her in clear, short syllables that the trap door was open, and the only question was how quickly he'd be able to drop her through it. Instead, she wound up spending 11 years at WDIV, living in Farmington Hills and then Grosse Pointe Farms before NBC snapped her up in 1997 and sent her to Chicago... NBC reporter turned challenge into opportunity (Mon, 4/19)



Detroit Free Press:

Today at 6 a.m. the voting begins on WMGC-FM's (105.1) web site for the "How would you give away $10,000?" contest Jim Harper is hosting through his "Magic Morning Show." Voting is to run through April 30 before the winner is announced May 4 ... Southfield-based WPON-AM (1460) is to launch "Spooky Talk" at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Hosted by Dearborn resident Clyde Brown, "Spooky" is a family-oriented talk show, centered on all things supernatural that is to run weekly from 5-5:30 p.m... Names and Faces (Mon, 4/19)



Michigan Radio wins eleven Michigan Associated Press awards

Michigan Radio, the public radio service from the University of Michigan that includes WUOM 91.7 Ann Arbor, WFUM 91.1 Flint, and WVGR 104.1 Grand Rapids, received eleven awards from the Michigan Associated Press for news coverage in 2009, including nine "Best Of" awards, one Honorable Mention, and the award for General Excellence in the Non-Commercial Radio category.

The judges--AP members from outside of Michigan--enthusiastically praised many of winning entries. Of the station's "GM Bankruptcy" Spot News report, the judges noted "This is how news is done. Top-notch work...." The judges also praised "Facing the Mortgage Crisis," Michigan Radio's long running project dealing with the state's foreclosure crisis, as "...public service journalism at its finest."

All entries aired between January 1 and December 31, 2009. The awards were presented at the Michigan AP Awards Banquet this past Saturday, April 17th in Southfield.


WJR's Paul W. Smith broadcasts live from Beijing

WJRWJR continues its coverage of auto shows around the globe with this morning's (5:30 - 9 a.m.) live broadcast of the Paul W. Smith Show from the 2010 Beijing Auto Show. Smith hears from automotive movers and shakers at one of the world's largest car shows.

Also featured on WJR today is this evening's Big Story with Lloyd Jackson (7 - 8 p.m.) who will be hosting Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. Mayor Bing will take listener calls at (800) 859-0957. reporter extraordinaire Tom Taylor reports that Michigan attorney General Mike Cox has filed information with federal bankruptcy court that Citadel (which owns several radio stations in Detroit, Grand Rapids and mid-Michigan) has "failed to file its 2008 Michigan Business tax return and to remit the taxes, penalties and interest," and that Michigan doubts "as to whether the debtor's proposed plan [to re-organize and flush away two-thirds of its debt] is offered in good faith." The AG's office also claims that under Michigan law, "Certain 'responsible persons' and officers [are] personally liable for certain unpaid corporate obligations."

Michigan is an an unsecured creditor as Citadel proceeds through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the state has obviously decided to make an attempt to collect on those taxes.

CUMULUS Classic Rock WXKR/TOLEDO's WXKR-HD2 Translator (W265CB) at 100.9 FM re-launched Alternative on FM and HD TODAY as "TOLEDO'S NEW MUSIC ALTERNATIVE 100.9 THE ZONE" under OM/PD DAN MCCLINTOCK. The Alternative station previously aired at 106.5 THE ZONE before WRWK switched to a Sports simulcast of WLQR-A 10 months ago... Alternative Returns To Toledo At 100.9 The Zone (Fri, 4/23)


The Tuesday, April 27 Detroit Tigers-Minnesota Twins game will now be televised on FOX Sports Detroit Plus. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Tigers Live, followed by the game at 7:00.

Game 7 of the Red Wings-Phoenix playoff series will be on FOX Sports Detroit, starting at 8:30 with Red Wings LIve, followed by the game at 9:00. A list of FOX Sports Detroit PLUS channel numbers is available at (click "Channel Finder").


FOX Sports Detroit enjoying April in the D with Wings' ratings; coverage of series against San Jose Sharks set

FOX Sports Detroit attracted its third largest viewing audience all-time for Tuesday's Game 7 of the NHL Western Conference Quarterfinal series between the Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes. Based on data received from Nielsen Media Research, the 9:00-11:45 p.m. telecast registered a 16.7 household rating in the Detroit metro area, an average of 315,663 homes tuned in over the course of the telecast (one rating point equals approximately 18,902 households). The telecast peaked at a 20.3 rating (383,710 households) from 10:45-11:15 as the Red Wings were on their way to a 6-1 victory to capture the best-of-seven series four games to three.

Tuesday's viewership ranks No. 3 on the network's all-time ratings list, trailing a pair of Red Wings games from last year's second round playoff series against Anaheim (17.5 for Game 7 on May 14, 2009 and 17.1 for Game 5 on May 1, 2009).

FOX Sports Detroit is averaging an 11.5 household rating for five Red Wings games this postseason, 9% greater than the 10.7 rating for the first five playoff telecasts in 2009.

With the release of the schedule for the Wings/Sharks second round series, FOX Sports Detroit is scheduled to televise games 3 through 7. Versus has national exclusivity for Game 1 and 2 (Versus is subject to blackout in the FOX Sports Detroit coverage area for games 3 - 7).

Western Conference Semifinals: #5 Detroit Red Wings vs. #1 San Jose Sharks

  • Game 1 - Thu. April 29 at San Jose, 9:00 PM ET Versus (national exclusive)
  • Game 2 - Sun. May 2 at San Jose, 8:00 PM ET Versus (national exclusive)
  • Game 3 - Tue. May 4 at Detroit, 7:30 PM ET FOX Sports Detroit / HD
  • Game 4 - Thu. May 6 at Detroit, 7:30 PM ET FOX Sports Detroit / HD
  • Game 5* - Sat. May 8 at San Jose, 10:00 PM ET FOX Sports Detroit / HD
  • Game 6* - Mon. May 10 at Detroit, 7:30 PM ET FOX Sports Detroit / HD
  • Game 7* - Wed. May 12 at San Jose, Time TBD FOX Sports Detroit / HD



WRCJ reports success in membership drive

The music will continue at Classical/Jazz WRCJ FM 90.9 as the station has successfully reached its spring fundraising goals. Listeners are still encouraged to make contributions by visiting or by calling (866) 909-9725. Contributions of $30 or more will get a WRCJ Eco-Tote Bag as a thank-you gift.

WRCJ is owned by the Detroit Public Schools and operated by Detroit Public TV.



Toledo's AM 1560 returns to air

After being off-air for several days while work was being done on the station's equipment, AM 1560 Toledo is back on the air with a new format and call sign under new owner CSN International. The former talk outlet WTOD is now WWYC and features religious programming based out of Twin Falls, ID as part of the Calvary Satellite Network. WWYC replaces CSN's FM translator which was previously heard on FM 100.7 -- that station is now back on the air as well carrying the modern rock format of Cumulus' WXKR-FM HD2 (The Zone).







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Metro Detroit category from April 2010.

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