Metro Detroit: July 2010 Archives

Detroit Free Press:

Motor City media personality Jay Towers is adding a new stop to his busy commute: Starting July 12 he'll launch a new morning radio show on WNIC-FM (100.3). Towers, with co-host Renee Vitale, will power up Detroit commuters from 5:30-10 a.m. He'll also serve as program director for WDTW-FM (106.7, the Beat), a sister station in Clear Channel's Detroit radio cluster, Clear Channel announced today. Clear Channel Detroit, which runs WNIC, also oversees WKQI-FM (95.5), WJLB-FM (97.9), WMXD-FM (92.3), WDFN-AM (1130), and WDTW-AM (1310). "The morning show is going to be a mix of what's going on in Detroit and feature all kinds of lifestyle and entertainment news and music," Towers told the Free Press today. "We're going to keep it fresh and moving; it's not going to sound like anything else." Towers, who announced his departure from WXYT-FM (97.1, the Ticket) in January to become national talent and programming consultant for Clear Channel Radio, will still hold that role, too... Jay Towers to join WNIC-FM morning show (Thu, 7/1)



Detroit News:

Jay Towers has been named the new morning host for Clear Channel's adult contemporary station WNIC-FM (100.3). Renee Vitale will co-host, and the show will start airing 5:30-10 a.m. Monday through Friday on July 12. Towers had left CBS-owned sports-talk 97.1 in January, then Kevin O'Neill and Lisa Barry were let go from WNIC's morning slot in early April, in a wave of morning host shuffling... Jay Towers taking over WNIC morning spot (Thu, 7/1)


Detroit Free Press:

Kevin O'Neill is back on the airwaves. The longtime Detroit radio personality -- who was let go from the morning shift on WNIC-FM (100.3) in April -- was today named the evening host of WMGC-FM (105.1, Magic), the station announced. His shift will run 7 p.m.-midnight weekdays beginning Monday. (He's also subbing for Chris Edmonds in the afternoon this week.) His 30-year career in Detroit radio has included stops at WDVD-FM, WOMC-FM and WKQI-FM... Kevin O'Neill joins WMGC-FM on evenings (Tue, 7/6)


John Gallagher exits from Greater Media/Detroit

John Gallagher has exited as market manager and general manager of Greater Media's Detroit cluster of radio stations where he was overseeing rock WRIF-FM 101.1, classic rock WCSX-FM 94.7, and soft rock WMGC-FM 105.1. He joined the group in May 2008.

A statement from Heidi Raphael, vice president of corporate communication for Greater Media reads, "Greater Media and Detroit Market Manager John Gallagher have decided not to renew our employment agreement. We are grateful for John's dedication and many contributions to the cluster, and we wish him the very best. John Fullam, Vice President & Market Manager of Greater Media Philadelphia, will serve as the acting Market Manager during our search process."



WDIV to host final Republican debate before Michigan primary

WDIV-TV, Local 4, will be the only Detroit television station to carry complete live coverage of the final scheduled debate between Republican candidates before the August 3rd Michigan Gubernatorial primary election. Decision 2010: The Republican Gubernatorial Debate is scheduled to air on Tuesday, July 13, at 8 p.m. on Local 4. The hour-long debate, to be broadcast live from Meadow Brook Theatre on the campus of Oakland University, will be moderated by Devin Scillian, Local 4 News anchor and host of Flashpoint, Local 4's weekly political and public affairs program.

Republican candidates for governor committed to participating in the debate are Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, Michigan Senator Tom George, M.D., and U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra.

Viewers can visit for an opportunity to submit their own questions to the candidates that may be included in the debate. Decision 2010: The Republican Gubernatorial Debate will also be offered via live-streaming video online at ClickOnDetroit on July 13 at 8 p.m., and will be immediately followed by an exclusive live webcast featuring analysis from experts behind the scenes at the debate.



Detroit News:

Long before Paul Gross was a veteran weatherman with thinning hair, he was a young weatherman with thinning hair. Several times back then, 20-plus years ago, he ran into local legend Sonny Eliot, whose own dome has had outside assistance. "He'd pull me aside," Gross says, "and he'd say, 'Paul, get a rug.'" Ever a realist, Gross would shake his head. "Sonny," he'd say, "they're not watching me because of my looks." As on-air meteorologists go, Gross is not thunderously handsome or lightning-quick with ad-libs. He understands that. But the executive producer of weather and fill-in forecaster at WDIV-TV (Channel 4) also understands weather -- and adores it, appreciates it and continues to be awed by it. His book about it, "Extreme Michigan Weather: The Wild World of the Great Lakes State" (University of Michigan Press, $24.95) came out last week, and orders for the first 1,500 were brisk enough that the publisher is cranking out another batch... Weatherman's page-turner (Mon, 7/12)


Metro Times:

Steve Wilson, the mountainous, hard-charging former investigative reporter for Detroit's Channel 7 (WXYZ) released by the station in an apparent cost cutting move last March, had planned to launch his own nonprofit independent investigative unit called The Michigan News Center July 1. However, a bigger story delayed the grand opening - breaking news regarding life and death. His own. Wilson, possibly still best known for his dogged pursuit of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, suffered a massive heart attack the day his Michigan News Center was slated to begin operation. Alone in his condominium when chest pains struck, he drove himself to Henry Ford Hospital. "I've had a couple of other 'heart issues' through the years," Wilson says, "but this one turned out to be 'the Big One, Elizabeth.'" He says the attack completely collapsed the main aortic valve at the front of his heart... Ace Reporter Steve Wilson is Lucky to be Alive (Tue, 7/13)


Detroit News:

It's official. Former WJBK-TV (Channel 2) anchor Sandra Ali is returning to Metro Detroit after six years. This time around, she'll be working for WDIV-TV (Channel 4) , the local NBC affiliate confirms. Ali is coming to WDIV from Cincinnati's NBC affiliate and is moving back here with her husband, fellow journalist Shawn Ley, and their child. She will be reporting from the field on WDIV's 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts starting this week, station management says ... WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) has also made some new hires of note. Chief among them is Tim Dye , the station's newly appointed news director. Dye comes to the local ABC affiliate from the Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids ... As for on-air talent, you may have noticed the addition of Olga Breese. She has been working at WXYZ as a part-time meteorologist for a little more than a week. Breese has worked in broadcast journalism as a reporter, anchor and meteorologist for just less than a decade and comes to WXYZ from the NBC affiliate in Lancaster, Pa... Ex-Channel 2 anchor joins Channel 4 staff (Wed, 7/14)



Detroit Free Press:

Up-and-coming singers, bring your A-game to Flat 151 in Detroit on Thursday. WDMK-FM (105.9) will host the regional round of Andre Harrell's Super Star Soul Search Auditions, a contest that will end with one singer signing a recording contract and winning $10,000. Only one Detroiter will move on in the competition, which culminates with finals July 31 in Atlanta ... Names & Faces (Wed, 7/14)

Congratulations to Allyson Martinek, who will be celebrating her 15th year at WDVD-FM (96.3) today. The "Blaine and Allyson in the Morning" cohost tells Names & Faces that after graduating from the Specs Howard School, she sent an audition tape to the station (which was then WHYT). She says she sent out only one tape because WHYT was the only station where she wanted to work. Just three days later, she was hired and she's been at the station ever since... Names & Faces (Tue, 7/13)



Dearborn Press & Guide:

"We're a miracle," Jay Korinek said. Korinek is the station adviser for WHFR-FM, Henry Ford Community College's student-run radio station. It broadcasts live 24/7 on a shoestring budget. And it understands Detroit music better than any commercial radio station in the area, Korinek said. "Our mission is to not play what the other stations play," Korinek said. "Our format is unique -- more local, Detroit, indie artists than any other station in this area. Nobody else does Detroit or Michigan artists like we do." Korinek, who joined HFCC in 1968 as an English instructor, has been with the station since its infancy. The college's WHFC Broadcasting Guild, a school club, was granted the last space on the metro Detroit dial -- 89.3 FM -- in 1979, Korinek said. The station finally began broadcasting in 1985, sending a clear signal in a 6-8 mile radius from HFCC's campus, Korinek said... HFCC's WHFR: A miracle that provides a special kind of radio (Tue, 7/13)


Investigative Reporter Scott Lewis Joins WXYZ-TV

ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Detroit has announced that investigative reporter Scott Lewis will be joining the Channel 7 Action News team. Lewis joins the WXYZ "On Your Side," special projects unit that includes Heather Catallo, Bill Spencer, JoAnne Purtan and Carolyn Clifford.

Lewis, a veteran broadcast journalist with more than twenty years of television experience in Detroit, has a reputation for breaking big stories, exposing corruption and getting results through his investigative efforts.

Lewis' investigations have led to the arrest and conviction of corrupt government officials, exposed a serial killer murdering prostitutes in Detroit, broke new ground in the 30-year old Oakland County child killer case, uncovered the neglect of developmentally disabled adults, and sparked a federal investigation that removed a Suburban mayor from office. Lewis' legendary "busted on the job" reports prompted crack downs by local government officials.

"Scott Lewis brings a wealth of experience and solid journalism to our team," said WXYZ-TV Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. "The addition of a new advocate for our community affirms our commitment to strong investigative journalism and our belief that this kind of reporting is more important than ever. With Scott Lewis joining our "On Your Side" team, Channel 7 continues to be the strongest viewer advocacy station in the Detroit market."

Previously, Lewis was an investigative reporter at WJBK Fox 2. He was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists as the 2001 Journalist of the year and was runner up for the award in 2006. He has received 13 Michigan Emmy Awards from the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, and been honored with numerous awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. In 2010, he received the Michigan Associated Press Lifetime Achievement Award.

Scott Lewis begins with the WXYZ-TV Action News team on July 19.


Detroit News:

Calling all disc jockeys, talk show hosts, board jockeys, ad salespeople and other Detroit radio folk: Dick Purtan will emcee the 2010 Motor City Radio Reunion, taking place Sept. 25 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Novi. The gathering is intended to bring together anybody and everybody who worked in Detroit radio over the decades. The deadline to pay just $80 for a ticket is fast approaching -- Aug. 1. After that, tickets will be $110 each. Organizer Art Vuolo reports that almost 400 tickets have been pre-ordered, and the capacity is 450, so time is running out. Go to to reserve tickets. Purtan to emcee Radio Reunion (Wed, 7/21)


Detroit Free Press:

Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty was hired by sports-oriented radio station 97.1-FM. McCarty will be a regular contributor to the station and co-host a variety of shows throughout the week. "I'm thrilled to have former Red Wing Darren McCarty join us at 97.1 The Ticket," said program director Jimmy Powers in a release. "Since his playing days, Darren has remained a resident of the city and is extremely passionate about all of the local teams. McCarty has always been a favorite with the fans, so I'm pleased to have him as a regular contributor." McCarty has been a hockey analyst for the Versus cable network. He had a long career with the Red Wings, playing with the team in 1993-2004 and again in 2007-09... Ex-Red Wing Darren McCarty joins on-air staff at 97.1-FM (Wed, 7/21)


Detroit Free Press:

Radio station WXYT has extended its broadcast agreements with the Tigers and Red Wings, according to a news release sent by the station. Terms and length of the agreement were not announced. WXYT has been the flagship station for the Red Wings since the 2000-01 season and for the Tigers since 2001. Under the new agreement, 97.1-FM and 1270-AM will continue to broadcast preseason, regular-season and postseason games... Tigers, Wings games will remain on WXYT (Fri, 7/23)

Despite a heavy-packed rookie lineup that dons a record slightly above .500, the Tigers are still sporting one of the best radio and regional television ratings in Major League Baseball. SportsBusiness Journal's John Ourand reported Monday morning that the Tigers television broadcasts are the seventh most watched in the league -- averaging 117,761 households in the Detroit market. The Tigers also attract a 6.23 average rating per broadcast, which ranks them sixth overall. The team's average ratings in the first half on FS Detroit dropped 1.9 percent from last season, but its local numbers trail only the Cardinals (9.70), Twins (7.85), Phillies (7.20), Reds (6.52) and Red Sox (6.25)... Tigers local radio, TV ratings among best in Major League Baseball (Mon, 7/26)

Officials in Detroit say they worry that television police shows using the city as a backdrop may lead to negative perceptions about Detroit and its residents. Mayor Dave Bing has already ended the city police department's relationship with A&E reality show "First 48," and said he was stunned to see former Police Chief Warren Evans promoting a new fictional series about homicide detectives in the city, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday. Bing said Evans' decision to participate in "The Chief" promo was one of the reasons why he demanded Evans' resignation last week... Detroit worries about television 'image' (Sun, 7/25)


Detroit News:

Iconic TV anchorman Jac LeGoff has died at the age of 87. LeGoff, who anchored the news desk at both WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) and WJBK-TV (Channel 2), was a fixture on local broadcasts during the 1970s, according to Channel 7. After serving in the Navy during World War II, LeGoff completed his education at Columbia College in Chicago and began his journalism career in 1948, then joining an NBC station in Youngstown, Ohio. LeGoff became news director at Channel 2, starting in 1953, before moving over to Channel 7, where he served as news anchor. Later, he served as editorial director and news anchor at WDIV-TV (Channel 4). He retired in 1990... TV news anchor Jac LeGoff dies at 87 (Tue, 7/27)


WXYZ-TV meteorologist Jerry Hodak announces retirement

After more than 45 years on television in Detroit at WXYZ-TV Channel 7 and WJBK-TV Channel 2, Jerry Hodak today announced his retirement as of September 23rd. He made the announcement during WXYZ's 6:00pm newscast today.

While primarily known as a weathercaster for Channel 7, Hodak also spent a number of years behind the anchor desk for Channel 2.

Hodak, a native Detroiter, began his broadcasting career as a newscaster at WDET-FM at Wayne State University. He went on to report for WDBO-TV in Orlando, Florida and covered many of the early space launches from Cape Canaveral for the CBS radio and television networks.

He returned to Detroit in 1965 as a weathercaster for WJBK-TV. In 1977, he joined WXYZ as a weathercaster and Science Editor. He currently appears on Action News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

"Jerry Hodak is synonymous with weather in Detroit and we will certainly miss his calming style, smooth approach and delivery," said WXYZ-TV Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. "We in the WXYZ family are grateful for his years of service and dedication to WXYZ, the broadcast industry, and the viewers of Detroit. Jerry is a true professional who will be sorely missed for his gracious nature and his gentlemanly style inside the halls of Broadcast House. We wish him all the best as he makes this important decision for his life and begins to enjoy more time with his family and friends."

A favorite with television viewers for his accuracy and science expertise, Hodak has earned the Television Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society and has won numerous awards for his science reporting.

Some of his most memorable work was done during the country's most significant weather events. In 1997 he went tornado chasing in Oklahoma and Texas. He covered the California mudslides in 1998, and reported from Florida on the devastation caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

Hodak has been honored with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Award. Earlier this year he was inducted into both the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

"Anybody who has a passion for their job and loves what they do is certainly going to miss it, but the time comes in everyone's life for a slower pace. For more than 40 years I've gotten home after midnight every night, so I'm looking forward to spending evenings with my family."

Jerry has passed his love of broadcasting down to a new generation. Two of Jerry's three daughters are in the television business.

Throughout the months of August and September, Channel 7 will celebrate Hodak's accomplishments and the many contributions he has made to broadcasting and to WXYZ-TV throughout his career. Evening newscasts will feature tributes to the man Detroit viewers affectionately know as "The Chief." Fans can meet Jerry and wish him well on August 21 at Channel 7's broadcast booth at the Woodward Dream Cruise.



Detroit News:

Longtime TV anchorman Jac LeGoff, who died at 87 Tuesday, was remembered by many for his affable, laid-back demeanor on the air. "He's the last of the tranquil news guys who weren't full of flash and dash, but were that solid rock that Detroit needed and wanted," said Erik Smith, who worked with LeGoff at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). LeGoff was so popular during his 20-year reign at WJBK-TV (Channel 2) -- Fox 2 now -- that he, co-anchor John Kelly and weathercasters Jerry Hodak and Marilyn Turner were all hired away by WXYZ in the mid-1970s. Channel 7 trumpeted its hirings with a 1974 ad campaign, "We Got Who You Wanted." "WJBK was so overpowering that the only way Channel 7 could stop it was to buy everybody -- Kelly, Hodak and LeGoff," said Tim Kiska, former Detroit News reporter and author of "A Newscast for the Masses" (Wayne State University Press) and "Detroit Television" (Arcadia). "It took WJBK years to recover." Former WXYZ anchor Bill Bonds insists that his station was becoming more competitive after its feisty coverage of the '67 riots, and solidified its position in the mid-1970s by raiding WJBK... Veteran newsman ruled the Detroit TV market (Wed, 7/28)



Detroit Free Press:

Jac LeGoff, the calm, straight-shooting TV anchor who worked at four Detroit-area stations in a five-decade career, died Sunday in Novi. He was 87. LeGoff was one of the first big names in the Detroit TV news market. Frequently teamed with John Kelly, LeGoff became a trusted news reader and ratings grabber on WJBK-TV (Channel 2) and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) in the '60s and '70s. "Jac was pretty much a straight-ahead guy," said Kelly, 82, who is now retired. "The tenor of the time was nobody laughed, nobody giggled. You were solemn and you did the news." Later, as the times changed, Kelly said humor was introduced in their newscasts... Jac LeGoff: News anchor worked all over the Detroit television dial (Wed, 7/28)


By now, you've probably heard about the huge Motor City Radio Reunion to be held on September 25, 2010 in Novi. The price of tickets will be jumping from $80 to $110 by this Monday. If you'd like to save a few dollars log onto the web site: and order your ticket(s) now. Attendance will offer to you a chance to meet and greet many of the legendary names who made Detroit one of the most exciting radio markets in America! Already confirmed are most of the WKNR Keener jocks, Big 8 DJ's and CKLW newsmen, plus stars from WXYZ, WJR and WWJ among others. Organizers have indicated, "This will be the final such event, and those who miss it will surely regret it as time goes on. We hope you will be a part of this very special event."







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About this Archive

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

Metro Detroit: June 2010 is the previous archive.

Metro Detroit: August 2010 is the next archive.

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