Metro Detroit: June 2010 Archives

Detroit Free Press:

Fanchon Stinger will be back on the air soon -- even on a Fox affiliate -- but this time the former Fox2 Problem Solver and morning anchor will read the news in Indianapolis. Stinger is scheduled to debut as an anchor of the 10 p.m. news on Fox59 in Indianapolis on July 6. She also will co-anchor the station's 5 p.m. news broadcast when it debuts in September. It's been two years since Stinger left Fox2 (WJBK-TV) in Detroit, her career derailed by revelations that she was involved with Rayford Jackson, a key figure in the Synagro sludge disposal scandal... Fanchon Stinger set to be anchor in Indianapolis (Tue, 6/1)


Michigan Radio expanding local news coverage

Michigan Radio, the public radio service from the University of Michigan, is announcing several changes which will allow the station to expand its local news coverage, produce more online news content, and devote more resources to investigative and accountability focused journalism. The moves are in response to the changing face of news reporting locally and nationwide, and research about the type of information and news coverage that existing listeners want.

As part of these changes, Lester Graham, formerly the host and Senior Editor for The Environment Report, will be responsible for creating Michigan Radio's new investigative/ accountability reporting unit. His focus will be to research and report on topics that require a more involved examination than is currently available. Among the areas he'll focus on will be state government, education, the environment, jobs and the economy.

In addition, Rebecca Williams will become the new host of The Environment Report. She is currently a reporter/producer for the program. The Environment Report will move from an emphasis on national environmental stories, to a focus on covering issues directly affecting Michigan and the Great Lakes region. The Environment Report is committed to revealing the relationship between the natural world and the everyday lives of people, and will continue to air on Michigan Radio during Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:55 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

Lastly, Mark Brush will become Michigan Radio's new online news content specialist. In this role, he'll work with the station's news staff to augment the web presentation of stories with additional source materials, slide shows, audio features, side bar stories, and other elements designed to create a rich, multi-faceted news presentation on the station's website ( Michigan Radio was recently selected as one of five pilot public radio stations nationwide to participate in a project called "Core Publisher", which will allow the station to better integrate NPR and local station news content; create more local online initiatives and special project websites; and content optimized for mobile devices.

"The media landscape is changing all across the country and public media has an obligation to respond to help fill in the gaps in news coverage that are forming at the local level," says Michigan Radio Program Director Tamar Charney. "In addition, our listeners have told us that they wanted to see the station focus on more investigative journalism, more local and statewide news coverage, and also to provide them with more online news content. These changes will allow us to do exactly that."

These changes will take effect the week of June 7, 2010.


Mobile digital television launch gives Detroit automakers ideal mobile video test bed

With the Detroit television market among the leaders in the nation now launching Mobile Digital Television (DTV), product development teams in the automobile industry now have a local resource for testing reception of Mobile DTV -- the groundbreaking new service that delivers favorite broadcast TV programs to Mobile DTV devices including specially-equipped in-vehicle infotainment systems, mobile phones, netbooks and laptops, DVD players, and other devices.

Detroit's Mobile DTV channels on two local TV broadcast stations were officially launched on June 3rd during a special event sponsored by the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), which represents hundreds of broadcast TV stations throughout the country. In addition to an informative seminar about the technology staged for the benefit of automobile industry executives, today's kickoff event included an in-vehicle demonstration showing a variety of Mobile DTV devices receiving the programs broadcast live from WDIV and WXYZ.

"The introduction of Mobile Digital Television in Detroit changes the broadcast landscape in dramatic and exciting ways. When Mobile DTV consumer devices are widely available, people will be able to take their favorite news, information and entertainment programs with them wherever they go," said Marla Drutz, Vice President and General Manager of WDIV-TV Detroit, the flagship station of Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc., a leading member of the OMVC. "WDIV is proud to be one of the leaders in broadcasting to mobile digital TV devices, and we know our viewers will appreciate taking along our newscasts, weather, sports and their favorite entertainment programs."

"WXYZ is committed to being a trusted source of Detroit-area news and information, whenever and wherever our audience demands it -- whether it's on air, online or, with today's announcement, on the go," said Ed Fernandez, the vice president and general manager of WXYZ, the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Detroit. "This mobile technology marries the promise of better and faster information for our valued viewers with the potential to help our area's businesses strengthen their marketing programs."

"The launch of Mobile DTV broadcasting in the Detroit market is critical for the success of this exciting new technology, because this is where decisions are made about the future of automotive infotainment systems. Complementing favorite recorded programs offered on DVD, the addition of Mobile DTV to an automobile will mean instantaneous access to local traffic reports, news, developing weather, and of course your passenger's favorite shows. WDIV and WXYZ are taking a leadership role in the broadcast TV industry, and we're delighted to add them to the list of stations around the country now offering Mobile DTV capability," said Anne Schelle, Executive Director of the OMVC, which represents nearly 900 broadcast TV stations throughout the U.S.

Today's OMVC workshop for automotive industry executives was co-sponsored by LG Electronics and Harris Corporation, co-developers of the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard. Harris is the leading provider of mobile TV broadcast equipment, and LG is the leading supplier of mobile DTV receiver chips for automotive and other applications.

The Detroit television market is among the first in the nation to begin transmitting Mobile DTV signals of broadcast programming. Last week, the Open Mobile Video Coalition launched the first-ever Consumer Showcase of Mobile DTV with hundreds of local viewers in the Nation's Capital now experiencing Mobile DTV on specially-equipped cell phones and netbooks with ongoing focus group studies featuring DVD players and mobile receivers equipped to pick up Mobile DTV signals.


Detroit News:

The best thing about the $10,000 giveaway at WMGC-FM is that the promotions department didn't dream it up. Or, it's that almost every one of the 4,000 people who offered ideas the first time around thought about someone else. Or, it's that instead of igniting rivalries, it inspired admiration and friendships. Or -- if you happen to play in the Richmond High School band -- it's that maybe you won't have to march anymore in 40-year-old pants. In April, Magic 105.1 conducted what amounted to a sociology experiment on the air. "How would you," asked Jim Harper and the Magic Morning Show, "give away $10,000?" The answer, resoundingly, was this: With enthusiasm, with imagination, and with an understanding that as much as we love Grandma, there are more vital things than whether she has a flat-screen TV. The giveaway was such a joyous success that Harper, his co-hosts and their secret donor are doing it again. Come July 12, some other worthy party will pick up a $10,000 check, be it to help pay for something useful or to help do something admirable... Magic 105.1 giveaway inspires charity (Thu, 6/10)


WADL TV-38 adds to sales team with climbing viewer numbers

Independent Detroit TV station WADL channel 38 continues to evolve as a broadcast property. Following last month's decision by CEO Kevin Adell to appoint veteran broadcaster Steve Antoniotti as Vice President and General Manager, the station has tapped two experienced local television sales executives to guide its sales efforts.

Antoniotti has named Scott Cote as WADL's Local Sales Manager. Cote comes to the WADL team with twenty years of television experience with the most recent including six years as the local sales manager for WWJ-TV, Detroit's CBS station. Cote has served in sales and sales management for group and national television sales organizations in Michigan and Philadelphia.

"Scott Cote brings a new level of experience and knowledge to our sales efforts," says Antoniotti. "We're confident he can help WADL maximize results as our viewership continues to grow."

Also joining the station's sales management team is Rhonda Mays, a ten year veteran of local and regional sales at WXYZ TV, Detroit's ABC affiliate, and 18 years of national television sales representation in Houston and Detroit for the Katz Media Group. Mays will focus on regional and national sales.

"Rhonda Mays has the personal connections at every level of the television advertising community to help us tell WADL's success story. We want our programming to reflect what Detroit loves," comments Antoniotti.

With WADL's substantial growth and popularity since November 2007, the station continues to upgrade its talent, programming and persona. Along with the recent changes in the sales team WADL has also announced that Petry Media will no longer serve as the rep firm of record.



Detroit Free Press:

A caravan of vehicles led by Detroit police snaked its way down Mansfield to Communication & Media Arts High School, filled with crew from a new national reality TV show. A helicopter circled overhead, with another group on board taking aerial shots of the school. And the hosts of the show prepared to make a major announcement: CMA had been selected for a makeover from "School Pride," an NBC show that premieres in mid-September. With a host of building issues, including wiring and plumbing in the science labs so antiquated that students can't do experiments, CMA is among seven schools to appear in the pilot season. It also was picked because of its 97% graduation rate. Inside the school Thursday, students were oblivious. Then the fire alarm rang. Classrooms emptied. And it took only seconds for students to realize the alarm was just a ruse. Their old school, built in 1959, will get a renovation producers say will cost about six figures and will be geared to improving the way students learn. Earlier this week, students and staff got another piece of good news -- their passionate efforts to save their school paid off when it was removed from a list of schools that will close this summer... Detroit school lands TV makeover (Fri, 6/11)


Macomb Daily:

Former Court TV reporter Scott Weinberg resisted the temptation to become a Nancy Grace or Star Jones. But the metro-Detroit lawyer retained his passion for informing the public about legal issues. That has manifested itself as Weinberg, a former assistant Macomb prosecutor, recently began hosting the radio show, "Weinberg on the Law," from 9 to 10 a.m. Sunday mornings on WXYT-AM (1270) and WXYT-FM (97.1). It is also syndicated on and on CBS internet radio. "I love informing people about the law," Weinberg told The Macomb Daily. "I think there's a need for a show to discuss legal issues and give legal advice over the air waves." Weinberg, who has practiced for 23 years, specializes in criminal law, and is the only criminal lawyer in the Detroit area on the air... Former prosecutor hosts own radio show (Mon, 6/14)



WJR's Beckmann highlighting Michigan golf destinations

During a tour that started on Friday at The Resorts at Tullymore and St. Ives in Stanwood, The Frank Beckmann Show (9am - Noon) is on the road touring some of the most prominent golf courses throughout the state of Michigan. Frank and his crew will broadcast live this week from Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs today and from The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme on Tuesday.


WDIV Channel 4 and The Parade Company set to present Target Fireworks in HD on June 21

WDIV TV Channel 4 will again be the exclusive television home of The Target Fireworks, the highest-rated local television event of the summer.

Live coverage of the 52nd annual The Target Fireworks presented by The Parade Company begins at 8 p.m. Monday, June 21 on Local 4. The three-hour primetime event can also be seen via live-streaming video at

Local 4 News anchors Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian, Chuck Gaidica and Bernie Smilovitz host The Target Fireworks live from an exclusive rooftop venue overlooking the Detroit River. Special appearances during The Target Fireworks broadcast on Local 4 include movie star Jackson Rathbone of soon-to-be-released "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" and "The Last Airbender", Nicola Peltz of the "The Last Airbender", Tamra Barney of television's "The Real Housewives of Orange County" and a special instrumental performance of the national anthem by Bob Seger Silver Bullet Sax Man Alto Reed.

From the launch of The Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition II, to a unique look at the history of keeping cool in the summer heat, the three-hour special will also feature Big Summer Giveaways all night long. Viewers at home will be able to join in on the fun by texting to win great summer prize packages from local businesses.


Michigan Radio's 'The Environment Report' wins 2010 National Edward R. Murrow Award

The Environment Report from Michigan Radio has been recognized for excellence in broadcast journalism by the Radio Television Digital News Association with a 2010 National Edward R. Murrow Award. The Environment Report received the award for Best Audio News Series in the Radio Network category for "Dioxin Delays". In the five part series, The Environment Report's Shawn Allee investigated Dow Chemical and the on-going problem of dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan. The reports looked at who has been affected by the contamination, why it has taken so long to clean up, how dioxin research has affected the clean up, and what this case means for other polluted areas around of the country. The series was originally broadcast in November, 2009.

The Environment Report was the only radio news organization in Michigan to receive a 2010 National Edward R. Murrow Award. Among the other organizations competing in the Radio Network category were NPR, CBS Radio News, CNN and AP Radio News. This award is the second national Murrow Award that The Environment Report has received. The news service also received a National Murrow Award in 2002 for a report entitled "Mallard Ducks on the Decline."

The Murrow Award recognizes the "best of the best", and is considered one of the most prestigious awards in electronic journalism. In all, 59 news organizations across the country were selected to receive National Murrow awards.

Been missing "Folks Like Us," the popular regional acoustic-music program that WDET canceled late last year? Matt Watroba -- the host of that show and a well-known area singer and musician -- will guest host for Jeremy Baldwin on "The Roots Music Project" this Saturday on WEMU, the station announced. "The Roots Music Project" airs from noon-2 p.m. Saturday on WEMU (89.1-FM), the public radio station at Eastern Michigan University... Matt Watroba to guest host on WEMU this Saturday (Wed, 6/16)

After a 10-month absence to raise her new baby boy, anchor Sandra Ali is getting back into TV -- at top-rated WDIV-TV in Detroit. And husband Shawn Ley will quit Channel 12 on Friday June 25 and go to WDIV-TV with her. Sandra will anchor and report for WDIV-TV; Ley will be a reporter... Sandra Ali, Shawn Ley Returning To Detroit (Mon, 6/21)

Dr. Oz today strengthened its case to become Oprah's replacement by securing three-year deals to take Oprah's 4 p.m. time slots on Scripps' ABC affiliates WXYZ Detroit and WEWS Cleveland beginning in 2011-12, industry sources have confirmed. Distributed by Sony Pictures Television, the hour-long talk show has now secured deals in six of the top 20 markets, including the top four. It will air at 4 p.m. in all six markets. In five markets, it will serve as local news lead-in... WXYZ, WEWS Take 'Dr. Oz' Prescription (Thu, 6/17)


Radio Ink:

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman has ordered Lynne Woodison's complaint against Greater Media's WCSX/Detroit to arbitration. Woodison, who is alleging sex discrimination at the station, had argued that, with her contract expired, the clause no longer applies. Woodison had a contract that ran from 2007 through February 2008, and continued to work at WCSX after that agreement expired. Greater Media was unable to produce a contract renewal, but did come up with a memo referring to a renewed contract that ran through February 2009. Additionally, says the ruling, "[Woodison] never protested that she was not in fact employed under a renewal of the 2007 Employment Agreement, accepted her increased $5,200/month salary, and continued to accept wages and bonuses for three months after her last day of work: from November 11, 2008 to February 28, 2009." Borman ruled that the arbitration agreement is binding even after the contract's expiration, and in any event was persuaded by Greater Media's argument that the contract had indeed been renewed. The court case is now stayed pending the outcome of arbitration... WCSX discrimination case ordered to arbitration (Tue, 6/22)


Remembrances by Art Vuolo, Jr.

It was very tempting to have gone for the sensational and somewhat misleading headline "JR signs off," but Joey Ryan wouldn't have wanted that, even though he had a great sense of humor. He also wanted no fancy ceremony to commemorate his life and multifaceted career in radio. However, we can still remember him as one of the most familiar voices on Detroit radio and TV, and he was one of the very best ever. Joey died on Wednesday June 23, 2010.

Seemingly, of late, I am mostly writing about friends whom we've lost, and we're losing a lot of them. Earlier this year, a group of us went up to Grand Rapids where Joseph Pietruska, best known as Joey Ryan had been transferred from the Dingell Veterans Hospital in Detroit. Back in December, legendary Detroit radio personality Lee Alan, and I went to visit Joey at the facility down near Wayne State University. Frankly, we left feeling it would be the last time we'd ever see him. I said "Lee I don't think he'll make it to the end of the year." Well, he did. In fact he lasted another 6 months! When we all went up to GR on February 13th he stunned all of us when he asked "well are ya gonna shoot a video of me before I die?" I raced to my car, where my video camcorder was stashed in the trunk. You can see that video here.

Joey RyanMy first meeting with Joey Ryan came back in the very early 70's at WHFI Birmingham at 94.7 FM (now WCSX). He is probably best remembered, by longtime radio listeners, for his years at WDRQ in the mid-1970's, which is where he was dubbed "Mr. Boogie." In the early 1980's he was the evening DJ at WTWR (Tower 92) which is now WMXD Mix 92.3. The Tower was an oldies station and Joey did his night show 7 pm till midnight from high atop the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. That was the only time I managed to get video of him while on the air, and a clip of that footage is on the end of the video shot a few months ago up in Grand Rapids.

The group who went up to see Joey in February included Kevin O'Neill, most recently with WNIC, Kevin Sanderson, now with Metro Traffic, "the reel" Tom Ryan, former CKLW & WYUR engineer and myself. We were joined with current Grand Rapids radio folks Kim Carson, who once worked at WCZY when it was Z-95.5 and the well-known Bill Bailey who worked with Joey at 93.1 WDRQ in the 1970's. Right now, we can all say that we're certainly glad we took the time and made the effort since it turned out to be the last time we would see him. Personally, I am amazed that he hung on through nearly half of 2010. You can hear recordings of Joey on the amazing web site

The last station I recall hearing him as a DJ was the short-lived Star 97 WYST (97.1 FM) now WXYT, The Ticket. While there he also did a great deal of, what is known as, booth announcing at WJBK-TV 2. Both the FM station and WWJ-AM shared the same building on 9 Mile Road in Southfield. Joey voiced hundreds of commercials, promos and presentations. He died from a number of complicated health issues and the last few years were tough on this talented radio broadcaster.

I, for one, am going to miss him, but will always be grateful that on three separate occasions had a chance to preserve his image forever on videotape, hold his hand, give him a gentle hug and assure him that he was loved by dozens of radio fans who have a superb eye and ear for exceptional talent. Joey Ryan would have been 63 on July 12th. Rest in peace my friend.

Art Vuolo Jr.

Reach Art Vuolo at or visit his web site at



A helicopter being used by Channel 7 Action News has made a hard landing in a farm field in Clinton Township. Two Channel 7 employees, Ken McQuillan and Marty Herak, were on board along with the pilot, Gary Boudreau. Everyone is alright. The chopper was experiencing some type of problem when it went down. The crew heard two loud bangs, the chopper lost power and then auto-rotated safely into a field about four miles west of Selfridge... Helicopter being used by Channel 7 makes hard landing in Clinton Township (Thu, 6/24)



Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit Public Television's viewership increased last year in spite of a 2 percent decline in the number of households in the region, according to Nielsen Media Research. The average number of unduplicated households tuning in each week to WTVS-Channel 56 rose by 3 percent over the previous season to 709,500 households. Those households encompass approximately 1.5 million people, the station said in a release. Among PBS stations in the Top 25 U.S. markets, Detroit Public Television is ranked No. 2 in both prime-time and full-day viewership... Detroit Public Television grows audience by 3 percent (Thu, 6/24)


Detroit News:

Terry Nicholson had a special touch when he took to the local airwaves. The longtime WGPR (107.5 FM) radio personality had eclectic musical tastes, and loved switching up playlists to engage his listeners. "He was very dynamic. He could go from one genre to another," said his brother, Darryl. "He knew a lot of music." Mr. Nicholson died Monday, June 7, 2010, after complications from a kidney condition. He was 55. Born June 1, 1955, he grew up on the city's west side. While attending Mackenzie High School, he became a teen reporter at radio station WCHB-AM in Detroit, covering school events, relatives said. After graduating, he was hired by longtime mentor and disc jockey Wade "Butterball Jr." Briggs to work at the station as an on-air personality and teen coordinator... Radio personality was jack of all trades, mentor to the young (Fri, 6/25)



Meteorologist Brandon Roux joins WDIV

WDIV Local 4 has announced the hiring of Meteorologist Brandon Roux as the newest member of the Local4Casters weather team. Roux joins the team led by Chuck Gaidica, Local 4's Director of Meteorology.

Starting July 3, Roux will be featured on the weekend editions of Local 4 News Morning with Lauren Sanders and Gail Anderson, and Local 4 News at 6pm and Local 4 News at 11pm with Steve Garagiola.

"Growing up around the Great Lakes, Brandon gets Michigan weather," said Chuck Gaidica. "He'll help make sure you're able to plan your weekends with your family, rain or shine."

Roux, recognized with the Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, most recently was the weekend Meteorologist and Environmental Reporter at WBNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to that role, Roux worked at WFTC-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota, KTNV-TV in Las Vegas, Nevada and KIVI-TV in Boise, Idaho. He has received several awards for weather coverage, including the 2009 Associated Press award for Outstanding Weather Operation and the 2009 Society of Professional Journalists award for Best Weather Continuing Coverage.

A native of Chicago, Roux and his wife have two children.


Tim Dye named News Director of Detroit's WXYZ-TV

Award-winning News Executive Tim Dye has been named News Director at WXYZ-TV. Dye comes to ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV from WXMI-TV in Grand Rapids where he led the FOX station's late news to first place in all key demographics in the May 2010 Nielsen Media Research Rating survey.

Dye has more than 15 years experience in newsroom leadership and special project planning. He also served as the Assistant News Director at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids and Managing Editor at WNEM-TV in Saginaw.

"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to bring Tim Dye on board as the next news leader of WXYZ-TV," said Ed Fernandez, Vice-President and General Manager of WXYZ-TV.

"Tim is a consummate professional with a strong journalistic background and a keen knowledge of the future of news gathering for today's news consumer. With his award-winning background, strong personnel skills and knowledge of Michigan, he will be a great addition to the WXYZ team."

Dye is a highly respected news leader with strong knowledge of multi-platform news gathering. He won the Tribune Journalism Excellence Award in 2004; Regional Emmy Awards for Best Newscast in 2004, 2002, and 2001; the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Best Newscast award in 2001, and several Merit awards from the Associated Press in the Best Newscast category.

A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Dye earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Central Michigan University in 1984. He will begin his new position on July 19.


Metro Traffic, a Westwood One Company, is immediately seeking candidates for Traffic Producer positions in the Detroit Market. Some people may be asked to work FULL TIME.

All positions will be based in our Southfield, MI Regional Operations Hub.

Producers use a large variety of traditional and emerging technologies to gather raw traffic data. They then confirm all leads and enter the information into our system for distribution to all traffic reporters, web and mobile platforms and broadcast and new media partners. Efficient and timely handling of all leads and data is REQUIRED of all producers.

Successful candidates may have experience gathering or reporting traffic information, a journalism background or an interest in data collection or distribution. Producers will be called upon to work Drive Times, Nights, Weekend and Holiday hours; as our hub provides complete information for our region 24/7/365. We are looking for eager applicants ready to grow in a fast paced and demanding environment.


Metro Traffic is also immediately seeking candidates for Part-Time and Fill-In On-Air Traffic and News positions in the Detroit Market.

Assignments may vary, based on affiliate approval, scheduling needs and candidate ability. Some shifts will be based at affiliate locations, some at the Southfield, MI Regional Operations Hub and some in our traffic chopper--including running our FLIR Gyro Cam for TV station footage. Some candidates will also be considered for On Camera television assignments.

We need our anchors to be able to gather complete and timely information from ALL available sources, digest the "big picture" of what's going on out there and then deliver compelling, concise reports to stations within the constraints of their formats.

Successful candidates will have appropriate experience in traffic and/or news reporting, writing and anchoring, the ability to work night, weekend and holiday hours, a great on-air sound and an eagerness to grow in a fast paced and demanding environment.


For all of the openings above, knowledge of more than one of our markets in Michigan (Detroit and Grand Rapids) and Ohio (Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo) will be a huge plus. We will train the right people on our technical systems and internal procedures. Experience IS important, but MOST important is the ability to get the job done right, on time and without drama.

For consideration, submit a package ASAP that includes an audio sample to:

Howard Bouton
Regional Director of Operations
3000 Town Center, Suite 2160
Southfield, MI 48075








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About this Archive

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

Metro Detroit: May 2010 is the previous archive.

Metro Detroit: July 2010 is the next archive.

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