March 2011 Archives


• Religious WYBA FM 90.1 Coldwater was granted a construction permit to increase power from 250 watts @ 62 feet (Class A) to 32,000 watts @ 253 feet (Class B) with a directional antenna. The station's broadcast location would change from near Coldwater in Branch County to between Athens and Battle Creek along M-66 in Calhoun County.

Late last year, ALL ACCESS reported CITADEL Classic Rock WMMQ/LANSING morning maven RICH MICHAELS had been fired (NET NEWS 12/16/2010). MICHAELS had been on the LANSING airwaves at one station or another for more than 20 years. Now, MICHAELS is fighting back against his former employer, claiming "they are trying to bankrupt me and lock me out of work."

MICHAELS told ALL ACCESS, "I had no choice but to sign one of those 1 year non-competes, against my better judgment. Now, I'm like kryptonite because nobody wants to engage litigation. And it isn't as easy as driving 60 miles away to another market because CITADEL has locked up much of MICHIGAN."

He has taken his fight to the web, posting a long explaination of "Why am I not on the air?" at Former WMMQ Morning Man Fights Non-Compete He Claims Is 'Destroying' His Ability To Earn A Living (Wed, 3/2)



Lansing State Journal:

WKAR-TVA TV tradition returns today: WKAR-TV will beg for our money again. Don't fret: This time, especially, it will also entertain us. There will be new concert specials with Harry Connick Jr., Billy Joel, David Foster and piles of guest stars. There will be a new "Laugh-In" collection and a portrait of James Taylor and Carole King.

"The arts, in general, do extremely well" at pledge time, said Paula Kerger, the PBS president.

That's been part of an effort to create bigger national specials for pledge drives. "Stations are always asking PBS for new programs," said DeAnne Hamilton, the WKAR general manager.

And at times, the stations have surprises of their own. On Saturday, WKAR shows a moving film - made for the 50th anniversary of a shipping tragedy - that captures the maritime world of Rogers City, north of Alpena on Lake Huron. Those new specials are joined by the usual suspects, during the 19-day drive... From Harry Connick Jr. to a new 'Laugh In,' WKAR uses top-notch entertainment to attract much needed financial support (Tue, 3/1)


Detroit News:

Anne Doyle first made her mark nationally in 1978 as one of the first women hired in the U.S. as a major market television sports anchor and reporter for CBS-TV in Detroit. But she broke through an even bigger barrier for women when she became one of the first female reporters to gain access to locker rooms for male athletes. More specifically: hot and sweaty male athletes, often in varying states of dress and undress and not entirely thrilled with a woman invading their jock emporium.

At the time, Doyle had 10 years of experience under her belt as a TV news reporter and was also the daughter of Detroit sports broadcasting legend Vince Doyle. But nothing could have prepared her for the verbal assault from the prince of petulance: outfielder Kirk Gibson... Former sports anchor, Ford manager says women need to take the next step (Wed, 3/2)


WGERNextMedia in Saginaw has moved Scott "Shannon" Seipel into the program director's chair for hot adult contemporary 'Mix 106.3', WGER. He succeeds Brian Figula who recently was hired by Greater Media/Detroit to lead adult contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1.

Scott will continue hosting the morning show in addition to his new PD slot. He has been with the station for two years. Prior to joining WGER, he was hosting morning drive and programming stations in Peoria and Bloomington, Illinois from 2000-09. He had previously worked in the Saginaw-Bay City-Midland Michigan market from 1983-91 and had programmed in Flint from 1995-99.

NextMedia operations manager Dave Maurer said he and Scott had worked together during Scott's first tour of duty in the market and was excited when Scott agreed to return to the market. Maurer commented, "I knew eventually Scott would earn his stripes and I look forward to his leading the Mix team for years to come."


NextMedia has also announced the promotion of Ann Turpin Williams to news director for the company's 5 station cluster (WCEN-FM, WSGW-FM/AM, WGER-FM, WTLZ-FM) in Mid-Michigan. Ann has served the past five years as assistant news director and assignment manager for Newsradio 790 and is the station's midday anchor. Prior to that, Ann served as a television assignment manager from 2000-05. Before moving into TV, Ann was a reporter and anchor for WSGW for over 15 years. Ms. Williams is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

In making the announcement, Maurer said, "Ann is so much more than an employee, I consider her a peer and I have great confidence in passing one of my hats to her. She is an exemplary performer who has won dozens of journalism awards for news coverage and special news series."

Maurer, who is also the program director for WSGW, will continue to anchor the station's morning news as he has done since 1979.

Commenting on her new role, Williams said, "I'm honored to have this opportunity to uphold and enhance WSGW's reputation as a regional news leader. I look forward to working, along with my colleagues, on moving our news coverage and presentation forward in the changing world of broadcast journalism."



• New low-power digital TV station WMNN-LD Ch. 26 Lake City has started over-the-air operations and has applied for its license to cover. The station, which serves the Cadillac area, operates on Ch. 14 but maps to Ch. 26 through PSIP. It is owned by Freelancer Television Broadcasting, Inc.


• A construction permit was granted for a new digital low-power television stations to DTV America II to be licensed to Midland on Channel 51 (W51ET-D).


• No notable activity for March 1.


WGER names McNann as music director



NextMedia in Saginaw has moved Kelly McMann into the Music Director's chair for hot adult contemporary WGER-FM, Mix106.3, succeeding Brian Figula. McNann will continue hosting middays in addition to her new MD slot.

Kelly is a graduate of Central Michigan University and has worked in Lansing, Detroit and now Saginaw at WGER for the past 2 years. "To get to work with market vet Scott 'Shannon' Seipel is an honor and privilege," commented McNann. "Scott has taught me so much about the industry and I am so grateful to get to work with someone I consider a mentor and friend."


Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Channel 4, owned by Post-Newsweek, is claiming ratings victories for it's afternoon and late evening newscasts during the February ratings period.

'Local 4 News at 5pm' had a 6.7 rating with a 14 share compared to WXYZ-TV's 6.4/13 and WJBK's 5.1/11 in household ratings. In the 6-6:30 p.m. time period, 'Local 4 News at 6 p.m.' scored an 8.3/16 with Channel 7 second at 6.6/13 and Channel 2 third with a 4.4/8.

'Local 4 News at 11 p.m.' finished well ahead of both Chs. 7 and 2 during that time period. WDIV's numbers were a 9.4 household rating and a 17 share, followed by WXYZ's 7.0/13 and WJBK's 4.2/8. WJBK's 10 p.m. newscast finished with 7.4/12


The Ionia Sentinel-Standard:

According to Ionia City Manager Jason Eppler, the trial concerning the B93 Birthday Bash scheduled for Monday was adjourned and will be settled out of court. He said the city of Ionia is represented by its insurance company, which has hired an attorney. A facilitator, or mediator, has looked at the case to find common elements and see if a settlement can be made.

A total of 13 case numbers were up against the city and county of Ionia, the Free Fair Association, Consumers Energy and Clear Channel. Insurance companies involved include State Farm Mutual Automobile, Progressive of Michigan, Pioneer State Mutual, Frankenmuth Mutual, Auto and Home Owners Insurance, Michigan Insurance, Auto Club Group, Farm Bureau, Michigan Millers, AllState, Citizens, Nationwide and NEEMIC.

Eppler said he has been informed a settlement was reached, however, the information of the settlement is confidential and tentative... B93 Birthday Bash hearing settles out of court (Thu, 3/3)



• Mentor Partners has been granted a construction permit for a new AM radio station to be licensed to Big Rapids. The Class B station would operate with 1,000 watts daytime and 920 watts nighttime from a 3-tower array in Mecosta County at the same location of Mentor's WBRN AM 1460 and WWBR FM 100.9. The company also owns WYBR FM 102.3 and an FM translator for WBRN on 107.7 in Big Rapids.


LIN Media and DISH Network fail to reach retransmission agreement; WOOD-TV and WOTV dropped

As of 2 a.m. today, DISH Network subscribers in West Michigan will have to turn to antennas to receive NBC affiliate WOOD-TV (Channel 8) and ABC affiliate WOTV-TV (Channel 41) as the retransmission agreement between LIN Media and DISH expired without a new agreement being reached.

"We only want what is fair for our local stations, so that we can continue providing the premium news, sports, entertainment, and other local programming that is most important to viewers," said LIN Media's President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent L. Sadusky. "We will continue negotiating with DISH so we may reach an agreement."

LIN also owns and operates Fox affiliates WUPW-TV Ch. 36 in Toledo and WLUK-TV Ch. 11 in Green Bay along with 22 stations in markets across the country, all of which were taken off of DISH Network today.



Grand Rapids Press:

DISH Network subscribers in West Michigan lost their access to WOOD-TV (Channel 8) this morning as negotiations between DISH and LIN Media, the parent company of WOOD-TV, were unresolved. Local viewers who subscribe to DISH's satellite TV woke this morning to find the NBC-TV affiliate in West Michigan had been removed. But in its place on that channel, viewers found a message from DISH informing them that LIN had now increased its demands for a 175 percent fee hike, up from 140 percent, and LIN negotiators had stopped taking calls from DISH... DISH Network subscribers wake up to find WOOD-TV gone from their local satellite TV (Sat, 3/5)


WZZM-TVI recently ran into WZZM-TV (Channel 13) multi-media journalist and anchor Jennifer Pascua, who was making the rounds at Citadel radio stations promoting the return of the ABC affiliate's weekend morning news. Pascua said viewers has been asking for a return to the weekend morning show since it went off the air a couple of years ago. The weekend morning news program returns this weekend and will air from 6-8 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Joining Pascua is new meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer... WZZM (Channel 13) brings back its weekend morning news show (Sat, 3/5)


Specs HowardResponding to an increased demand for a workforce knowledgeable in digital media arts and graphic design, Specs Howard School of Media Arts on Friday announced it will be expanding its Farmington Hills campus at Studio Center by 2,500 sq. ft to add class space and nine editing suites, adding four classes at its Southfield campus, and hiring up to 10 new staff members.

With a legendary broadcast curriculum spanning nearly 40 years, Specs Howard School added a Graphic Design program in 2008, film workshops in 2009 and the Digital Media Arts program in 2010. With each program, the school has increased faculty, student services and support staff. The school has added nearly 40 staffers in the past year in all departments, including faculty, career services, marketing and administration.

For 2011, the school is seeking additional faculty and adjunct faculty for the Graphic Design and Digital Media Arts programs, as well personnel for career services and the business office.

"We hear regularly from employers requesting students from our programs because of the diversified skill-set we provide them. They want media-savvy employees who not only know how to run the soundboards or cameras but who can edit video; have experience in graphics; and understand Web development, compression and content delivery," said Lisa Zahodne, President/COO of Specs Howard School. "Each semester our media programs continue to attract more students, so naturally accommodating this demand requires more classes and additional qualified staff."

Through intensive 12-month programs, Specs Howard School of Media Arts' Graphic Arts and Digital Media Arts curriculum provide students with a comprehensive foundation for careers in the growing graphic design and digital media fields, respectively.

Areas of focus in the Graphic Arts program include: Working With and Manipulating Text, Digital Photography and Editing, Animation for Web Design, Website Maintenance and Design, Package Design, and Portfolio Creation and Presentation.

Areas of focus in the Digital Media Arts program include: Digital Media Production and Editing, ENG (electronic news gathering), Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Website Design, and Writing for Digital Media.

For more information about the school, visit


Saginaw News:

Hans "Jeff" Borger admits that even when WGER's "Beautiful Music" program spread the sounds of Percy Faith and Roger Whitaker across most of the Lower Peninsula, he was not its typical listener. A broadcasting student at Central Michigan University in the mid-1980s, he would spend evenings with John Doremus and his "smokers" while classmates tuned in Sheena Easton and Motley Crue. But the music was so relaxing, the local announcers delivering the news at the top of the hour so personable, "it was liking having a friend always by your side," said the Detroit native, now living in Florida. "And it was on 102.5 back then, broadcasting at 86,000 watts, so you could get it almost everywhere you went."

That's why, more than 20 years after the "Beautiful Music" format left the Saginaw airwaves, Borger established the WGER 102.5 FM Historical Society, a Facebook page where former listeners and staffers swap memories and sound bites... Memories of Saginaw's 'Beautiful Music' spark WGER 102.5 FM Historical Society (Sun, 3/6)


Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo slated for March 9 at the Lansing Center in Lansing

GLBCGovernor Rick Snyder will present his first live address to Michigan broadcasters at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo (GLBC) March 9, 2011 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Michigan.

The Governor will speak during the opening session of the event which brings nearly 1,000 broadcasters and their associates to the capitol city every year. At GLBC attendees will have the opportunity to preview the latest in new technology and media in the Exhibit Hall and attend educational sessions hosted by over 20 nationally recognized industry leaders.

"Many broadcasters have become the quintessential portals to new media for their audiences and clients alike. In addition to the driving force of traditional radio and television, clients can now deliver their messages through mobile marketing," according to MAB President/CEO Karole White. "Our members are now serving a broader audience which not only includes their traditional listening or viewing audiences, but those who access information through the web or mobile devices. Using these various multi-media opportunities enables our members to better serve their audiences and clients."

The event also includes sessions for high school and college students who are interested in a career in broadcasting and media. Students will have the opportunity to network with broadcast professionals during the main luncheon as well as at the Career and Networking Fair immediately following the luncheon.

The conference will conclude with the annual Legislative Reception and Broadcast Excellence Awards (BEA) presentation where broadcasters from across the state compete in a battle for excellence in several broadcasting categories. One station in each of the eight commercial television and radio divisions will take home the coveted title of Station of the Year.



• Heartland Communications is selling its trio of Houghton radio stations (classic hits WOLV-FM 97.7, country WHKB-FM 102.3, and standards WCCY AM 1400) for $535,000 to Houghton Community Broadcasting, pending FCC approval and closing. Stephen Marks is listed as the sole stockholder, officer, and director of Houghton Community Broadcasting; he also owns ABC/CW affiliates WBUP-TV 10 Ishpeming/WBKP-TV 5 Calumet (as Lake Superior Community Broadcasting) and CBS affiliate WBKB-TV 11 Alpena (as Thunder Bay Broadcasting) in Michigan in addition to a number of radio and TV stations in Montana, North Dakota, and Virginia.



WBBLGrand Rapids radio station WBBL 107.3fm will broadcast tonight's basketball game live between Fennville vs. Lawrence in Holland. The game is the first game for Fennville since Wes Leonard, 16, collapsed and died after making the game-winning shot in the last game of the season on Thursday night and the opening game of the MHSAA playoffs. The game has been moved to Hope College in Holland to accomodate the larger crowd that is expected tonight. The broadcast will begin at 6:45pm.

"All proceeds from tonight's game will benefit Wes Leonard's family which is unprecedented. We're thankful to have the opportunity to share the Fennville-Lawrence match-up with those unable to attend on 107.3 WBBL FM," says color commentator Brett Mueller in a press release... Fennville game to be broadcast on live radio (Mon, 3/7)


WXYZ-TV announces annual Project Healthy Living

WXYZProject Healthy Living, sponsored by Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Channel 7 and administered through the United Health Organization (UHO), is scheduled to take place March 16th through May 21st, featuring over 25 health screening sites in the City of Detroit and the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne. Project Healthy Living provides free or low-cost health screening test to individuals 18 and older. Free tests at all sites include basic screenings for height, weight, hypertension, body composition, vision and hearing.

Tests offered at sites for a nominal cost, include screenings for vitamin D deficiency, glucose levels, and the comprehensive 26-profile blood screening. Other low-cost health screenings measure participant's risk for H. Pylori, stroke, heart attack and low bone density. Participants will also be able to get flu and pneumonia shots at select sites. Lab services are provided by Quest Diagnostic Laboratories.

The United Health Organization recommends pre-registering for testing services at Information on specific sites and tests is available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, through the Project Healthy Living Hotline, (313) 531-9108 or on

Each year over 10,000 screening and counseling services are administered through the project. "Project Healthy Living provides an invaluable service to the community," said Ed Fernandez, WXYZ Vice President and General Manager. "We're grateful and proud to be associated with all the volunteers and agencies that will assist in delivering Project Healthy Living Services."



FOX Sports Detroit closing in on 'April in the D' winning band

FOX Sports DetroitAfter a two weeks of online voting among 10 semifinalists, the field has been trimmed to three finalists to become this year's anthem for 'April in the D' - FOX Sports Detroit's fourth annual month-long campaign to celebrate the city's passion for sports and the welcomed arrival of springtime.

The finalists in the 2011 ARPIL in the D Song Contest are (listed alphabetically): B-Dab, Johnny, Lawrence and Panic Trigger - each from metro Detroit - topping the list of more than 212,000 votes cast from Feb. 21-March 6. The semifinal round of voting involved 10 bands or solo acts from an original field of 50 entrants.

Additional fan voting to determine the grand prize winner will take place March 14-20 at, where visitors can currently view the finalists' music videos. The finalists will perform March 17 at Motor City Casino's Sound Board, following that night's Detroit Red Wings viewing party.

The grand prize winner - to be announced April 1 on FOX Sports Detroit's Pistons Live pregame show from the Palace of Auburn Hills - will receive $5,000, have their song featured in the APRIL in the D on-air campaign and perform live at The Fillmore in downtown Detroit on April 8 prior to the Tigers' home opener. Each finalist will receive a professional recording session valued at $1,000.

The Song Contest and many of its entrants will be the subject of a half-hour program, April in the D: The Playlist, premiering April 2 on FOX Sports Detroit. April in the D programming is highlighted by approximately 40 telecasts among the Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons.

FOX Sports Detroit's APRIL in the D campaign debuted in 2008, in keeping with the ongoing 'D' branding effort by the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Previous winners of the song contest were Detroit-area Victorious Secrets in 2010 and Grand Rapids-based Good Luck Joes in '09. The 2008 theme song was commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Blacklist Union.


WMNNMichigan's first all-digital independent low-power television station is now broadcasting in the Cadillac area with the sign-on of WMNN-LD, Channel 26, late last month.

The station is truly an independent operation, offering 3 sub channels that are not affiliated with any network.

The main signal, on 26.1, is billed as "MI News 26". It currently offers 30-minute programs that consist of five to eight minute feature items from a field reporter along with community news, information, announcements, and weather. There are usually at least two, and up to four, of these 30-minute programs that rotate, forming an hour or two loop that is updated at least once per day. The station runs a ticker at all times on 26.1 that can be quickly updated if there is breaking news or severe weather information that needs to get on the air immediately.

MI News 26 broadcasts at 720p on 26.1, for now making it Northern Michigan's only local news in HD.

26.2 and 26.3 are both offering classic television programming. 26.2 is '26 TV Classics', airing shows from the 1960s and earlier such as Jack Benny, Bonanza, Ozzie and Harriet, and old cartoons. 26.3 is '26 Cinema', airing old movies.

Technically, the station operates on Channel 14, with digital receivers remapping it to Channel 26. The effective radiated power is 425 watts @ 525 feet from an antenna located south of M-55 between US-131 and M-66 west of Cadillac. WMNN-LD is licensed to Lake City and owned by Freelancer Television Broadcasting. The station's web site is



• A legal fight dating back to 2004 over the ownership/control of low power FM station WVBH-LP FM 105.3 Benton Harbor appear to be nearing a conclusion with an application for transfer of control having been filed with the FCC. Details of the battle over the station can be found in these FCC documents: FCC Letter, July 11, 2007, Page 5 of FCC letter (missing in first file).

Essentially, in 2007 the FCC ruled that the first board to have been granted the construction permit for WVBH-LP was still the proper license holder, despite changes in board members and the organization's legal status with the State of Michigan. The FCC ruled that the second group had improperly taken control of the station and ordered it to immediately discontinue operation. Documentation on what might have caused the delay between the July 2007 FCC ruling and this filing is not readily available on the FCC web site.


Detroit News:

A young man has been found dead 1,000 feet up near the top of a broadcast transmission tower in Oak Park. Police said the man, who is believed to be in his 20′s, was found by a crew doing routine maintenance on the 1,100-foot tower. A witness said he was wearing only a t-shirt and underwear. Police said man's body was found resting on a platform. It could have been there for a week or more since it's been that long since anyone has worked on the tower. How the man got up there remains a mystery.

"(We believe) he went up there of his own accord, and we don't have any information on who he is at this point. We don't know how he got up there. It appears he got up there on his own, but the investigation is underway," said Southfield Police Lieutenant Samantha Kretzschmar.

Kretzschmar said it would have taken the man about an hour and a half to climb up that far. TV Channels 20, 56, and 62 were off the air because of the situation... Man Found Dead On Broadcast Tower (Tue, 3/8)



• Variety Hits WUPG FM 96.7 Republic/Marquette has been granted a construction permit to increase power from 23,100 watts @ 341 feet (Class C3) to 50,000 watts @ 351 feet (Class C2) from the same location west of Ishpeming.


Detroit Free Press:

A 23-year-old Detroiter reported missing earlier this month was the man found dead near the top of a broadcast tower in Oak Park, officials said today. The Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the manner of death a suicide but declined to elaborate. The man died of multiple traumatic injuries after falling onto a platform near the top of the tower from a higher point on the 1,100-foot-tall structure.

Oak Park Police Sgt. Jason Ginopolis said the man's family reported him missing March 3. They last saw him Feb. 28. Maintenance workers found the man clad only in underpants and a T-shirt on the platform of the tower near 8 Mile and Meyers around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Oak Park police called in a special technical team of rescuers to remove the body... Death of Detroiter, 23, atop Oak Park TV tower ruled a suicide (Wed, 3/9)


Kettering University's WKUF-FM to introduce new Pac-O-Mojo CD March 18

WKUFNew original songs and a musical performance by Pac-O-Mojo will highlight an official CD release reception and press event on Friday, March 18, hosted by student radio station WKUF 94.3 FM at Kettering University in Flint.

The live show will be in BJ's Lounge in the lower level of Kettering University's Campus Center. Doors open at 8 p.m., live music begins at 9 p.m. Admission is free. Kettering University is located at 1700 University Ave. in Flint.

Pac-O-Mojo was founded by Curt Johnson and offers a blend of contemporary urban lyrics and rock'n'roll styling for a fresh sound. A long-time Michigan rocker, Johnson is a former member of Mojo and The Nightwalkers and Terry Night and The Pack -- bands that he played in with life-long friend Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad. Pac-O-Mojo made its debut opening for Farner at Flint's Atwood Stadium in August 2009.

The concert will be broadcast live on WKUF 94.3 FM during The Butcher Shop Show with RT and Metal Mike, beginning at 9 p.m. on March 18. The show is streamed live on-line at



• By Grace Through Faith is selling the construction permit for WSHM FM 88.3 Wixom (suburban Detroit) for $1 to Victor Broadcasting pending FCC approval and closing. The construction permit was issued in May 2008 and is currently set to expire on May 11, 2011; with the sale, Victor Broadcasting has requested an 18-month extension of the permit.


Cumulus to acquire Citadel



Radio across lower Michigan is about to become super-consolidated with this morning's announcement that Cumulus has officially "entered into a definitive merger agreement to purchase Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, under which Cumulus would acquire all of the outstanding common stock and warrants of Citadel at a price of $37.00 per share. This consideration is payable in cash and shares of Cumulus stock, and values Citadel as an enterprise at approximately $2.4 billion. Citadel owns and operates 225 radio stations in over 50 markets and also operates the Citadel Media business, which is among the largest radio networks in the U.S." The combined operations of Cumulus and Citadel would be about 572 radio stations across 120 markets should the deal get the green light from the government.

In Michigan, the combined Cumulus and Citadel properties would result in a 38 station grouping of stations that would include properties in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Flint, Saginaw/Bay City, and Toledo, OH -- pending FCC review and approval.

The biggest local downside of this deal will undoubtedly be the likely consolidation of positions in Michigan as Cumulus attempts to leverage the sheer number of stations it will own and markets it will cover in the I-75, I-94, and I-96 corridors.


Grand Rapids Press:

WLAVLocal radio pioneer Ed "Uncle Buck" Buchanan is signing off WLAV-FM (96.9)'s "The Kevin Matthews Morning Show," but the veteran announcer and producer of 44 years isn't retiring completely just yet. The lifelong Grand Rapids resident, 62, was to announce his departure from the station on air at 7:30 a.m. today(Thursday). His last day is Friday.

"I'm tired of getting up at three in the morning every day. I've been doing that a long time," said Buchanan, sitting in the breakroom at LAV's studios on Wednesday. "I've been doing radio in this market since 1967. So, you know, it's time to start slowin' down a little bit. It's a bittersweet thing."

Maybe not so bittersweet for Kevin Matthews, who had a quick answer to the question of whether he will miss his former boss and current sidekick... Veteran radio personality 'Uncle Buck' signs off WLAV's morning show (Thu, 3/10)


MABThe Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented the recipients of its 2010 'Station of the Year' Broadcast Excellence Awards (BEA) during the annual BEA program on Wednesday, March 9 in Lansing. The awards are based on the cumulative number of points scored from the winning BEA entries and is given to the station with the most points in each commercial radio and television market.

The following stations were the recipients of 2010 Station of the Year awards:

Market 1:
Television: WXYZ-TV Detroit
Radio: WJR AM Detroit

Market 2:
Television: WOOD-TV Grand Rapids
Radio: WKZO-FM/AM Kalamazoo

Market 3:
Television: WWTV/WWUP-TV Cadillac/Traverse City/Sault Ste Marie
Radio: WKHM AM Jackson

Market 4:
Television: WLUC-TV Marquette
Radio: WTVB AM Coldwater



Also receiving awards yesterday in Lansing at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference were the state's student-operated radio and televisino stations. Congratulations to the 2011 Student Station / Program of the Year winners:

College Radio: Michigan State University's WDBM-FM

College TV: Central Michigan University's MHTV

High School Radio (tie): Bloomfield Hills Public Schools WBFH-FM and Golightly Career & Technical Center

High School TV: Davison High School's DTV


Michigan engineers honored with MAB's Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award

MABThe Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented its most prestigious engineering award to a pair of Michigan broadcasters who, combined, have served in the industry for nearly eight decades. The Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards were presented during the Engineering Luncheon at the MAB's annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo (GLBC) held March 9 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.

Radio Winner: Ralph Haines III, Engineer & Co-Owner WGDN Radio and Broadcast Engineer Services, Gladwin, Michigan. Haines is Co-Owner and Chief Engineer for WGDN Radio in Gladwin in addition to owning and operating Broadcast Engineer Services. Ralph began his radio career in 1968, while he was still in high school. Since then he has worked for a variety of different stations throughout Michigan and Illinois.

In 1972, Ralph briefly left the broadcast industry when he married his wife, Annette and took a job at IBM as a Customer Engineer. While with IBM Ralph was transferred back to Lansing where he returned to the broadcasting industry.

In September 2003, Ralph retired from IBM and in 2004 started the contract engineering company Broadcast Engineer Services (BES). Today Ralph is still a staple in Michigan broadcasting and has no current plans to retire from the broadcasting industry.


Television Winner: Mike Laemers, Chief Engineer, WOOD/WOTV/WXSP - TV, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Laemers is the Director of Engineering at WOOD/WOTV/ WXSP, Grand Rapids. He has over 35 years experience in the field of Broadcast Engineering and has been a vital component in developing the television market in the Grand Rapids DMA. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Western Michigan University.

His many accomplishments in the field of television engineering include building one of the first television LMA and hub operations in the country as well as building a virtual television station which later became WXSP. Mike also headed WOOD-TV's transition to digital where he made WOOD-TV the technical leader in the market with the first all digital plant.

His many years in the business also include other areas of television station management. Mike's experience in program buying, traffic operations and labor relations have rounded his career in television management. He has served as a member of the board of directors of Channel 41, Inc. and has past memberships in the I.E.E.E. (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), S.M.P.T.E. (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), Broadcast Pioneers, and the Michigan Association of Broadcaster's Engineering Committee.



Dennis Mellott presented with the MAB Associate of the Year award

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented Dennis Mellott of Saga Communications with the organization's Associate of the Year Award. The presentation was made Wednesday, March 9 during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Lansing. The award recognizes the significant contributions made by MAB associate members, and acknowledges their efforts in enhancing the quality and integrity of broadcasting while supporting their community.

Mellott has worked within the radio industry for over twenty-nine years, seventeen of which have been spent in the network business. He serves as president and general manager of Saga Communications' group of five regional networks: The Illinois Radio Network, The Minnesota News and Farm Networks, Michigan Radio Network, and Michigan Farm Radio Network.

Located in the upper Midwest, the networks provide radio stations across their respective states, programming and event broadcasts such as state news, farm news, professional and collegiate sports distribution, public service and weekend programming. In Michigan, the networks offer a variety of programming as well as specialty broadcasts.

"Dennis Mellott has been a great asset to the MAB," said Karole White, MAB President and CEO. "His forward thinking and great talent for organization made him an industry leader, however, Dennis has always made time to serve the MAB and its members, and that I why he is our Associate of the Year."

Mr. Mellott has served as President of the National Association of State Radio Networks; associate board member for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and is a current member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.



• Coolarity A2, LLC is purchasing talk WAAM AM 1600 Ann Arbor from Ann Arbor First Ventures LP for $1,050,000 pending FCC approval and closing. The sale will put the station in the hands of an independent local owner for the first time since 2003 when Lloyd Johnson sold the station to First Broadcasting Partners.

The new owner is the current station general manager Linda Hughes, who in a statement commented, "Ownership of WAAM is an exciting next step for me personally and for the station. I am proud of the show lineup and features we've been able to bring to WAAM and I am thrilled about the future possibilities for WAAM to better serve our local communities and local advertisers."

Hughes is married to Thayrone, host of WAAM's afternoon show "On The Edge With Thayrone".


• The license for FM translator W285DU 104.9 Fremont was canceled and its call sign was deleted by the FCC. It had been owned by Horizon Christian Fellowship and had been off the air for an extended period of time.


• No notable activity for March 10.


The 2011 Pistons Care Telethon benefiting all Boys & Girls Clubs in Michigan will take place on Friday, March 18; The NBA's Detroit Pistons will devote the entire day leading up to the Pistons' game against the New York Knicks, including their in-arena presentation and game broadcasts, to raise money for Boys & Girls Clubs. The telethon begins at 5 a.m. with live radio and television broadcasts at The Palace and runs throughout the day, culminating with the Pistons-Knicks game at 7:30 p.m., broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket.

Boys & Girls Clubs will utilize all proceeds from this year's telethon to funding memberships, programs and initiatives to help children enhance their lives in the areas of character and leadership; education and career development; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and health and life skills. Many Michigan children struggle with the effects of single-parent households and families dealing with economic struggles, substance abuse, violence and poverty. The team and the entire Palace Sports & Entertainment organization are asking for the support of the Pistons community.

"We are excited to announce the Boys & Girls Clubs of Michigan as the beneficiary of the 2011 Pistons Care Telethon," said Karen Davidson, owner of the Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment. "Bill Davidson's legacy of philanthropy lives on through Pistons Care and Pistons-Palace Foundation's community outreach efforts."

"We have a unique opportunity as a professional sports organization to give back and make a consequential and lasting impact on people's lives," said Alan Ostfield, President & CEO of the Pistons and PS&E. "Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe and developmental environment for kids when they need it most and The Palace family is dedicated to providing services for youth statewide during the 2011 calendar year."

Donations can be made immediately by visiting and clicking the "Donate Now" button. Online donations will be accepted until March 18. Donors interested in participating on the day of the telethon will be provided a toll free number to call throughout the day. To learn about other fundraising programs that allow individuals, businesses, schools or churches to get involved, please call the Pistons community relations department at (248) 377-0100.

"We would like thank the entire Pistons organization for its commitment and dedication in supporting Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state of Michigan as this year's beneficiary of the Pistons Care Telethon. Together, Boys & Girls Clubs across the state serve some 100,000 children annually, ages 6-18, 1st -12th grades," said Len Krichko, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan.

In 2008, the Pistons became the first professional sports team in Detroit and in the NBA to present an entire home game as a charitable fundraiser and since then has raised more than $1.3 million in pledges through the annual Pistons Care Telethon.


CKWW to air "Bridge Over Troubled Water Radio Special"

CKWWCKWW AM 580 Motor City Favorites will air a one-hour special that goes inside one of the most beloved albums of the last 40 years, Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

The program will air this Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the 40th anniversary of the album's 1971 Grammy Awards sweep of Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year for Bridge Over Troubled Water and its title track. It will include first hand accounts by the people who made the album including brand-new interviews with Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel as well as producer Roy Halee. Listeners will get the stories behind the classic songs: "The Boxer," "Cecilia," the title track, and fan favorite album cuts like "Why Don't You Write Me" and "Baby Driver." All 11 album tracks are featured in the special.

The "Bridge Over Troubled Water Radio Special" will air this Wednesday, March 16th at 7 PM with an encore broadcast this Sunday, March 20th at 11 AM on AM 580 Motor City Favorites.



Observer & Eccentric:

WBFHBloomfield Hills School District radio broadcasting students won four first place awards, three second place awards and three third place awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF) at their annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference held March 9, at the Lansing Center in Lansing. WBFH tied for the most cumulative points in all categories entered and was awarded the 2011 High School Station of the Year. This was the seventh time in the last nine years that WBFH has won the Station of the Year Award.

The MABF received 411 entries from 29 schools for their annual High School and College Broadcasting Awards competition. WBFH students won 10 of the 24 awards given out in the high school radio division... WBFH wins a host of awards (Sun, 3/13)


With parent company TV Corp. reaching a retransmission agreement for its 27 television stations across 17 markets with DISH Network yesterday, the signals of West Michigan NBC affiliate WOOD-TV Ch. 8 and ABC affiliate WOTV Ch. 41 have been restored on the DISH system.

Terms of the new agreement were not released- the dispute over money between LIN and DISH affected viewers for 8 days with each party blaming the other for the disruption to viewers.

A statement on WOOD-TVs web site reads: "Attention DISH subscribers: We are pleased to inform you that we have reached a contract with DISH Network. We appreciate your tremendous support throughout these negotiations. This fair resolution ensures that we can continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment and other local programming that is most important to you. Thank you for supporting LOCAL television."


FOX Sports DetroitFOX Sports Detroit's coverage of Michigan high school championship events continues this month with the 2011 MHSAA Girls and Boys Basketball Finals on consecutive Saturdays, March 19 & 26 at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.

This marks the 13th consecutive year that FOX Sports Detroit has aired the girls' finals and the 14th for the boys' event. For the first time, these games will be produced in high-definition.

Semifinal games on March 17-18 (girls) and March 24-25 (boys) will be streamed live at

MHSAA Girls Basketball Semifinals - Thursday, March 17
Class C: 1:00 & 2:50 pm, Web:
Class D: 6:00 & 7:50 pm, Web:

MHSAA Girls Basketball Semifinals - Friday, March 18
Class A: 1:00 & 2:50 pm, Web:
Class B: 6:00 & 7:50 pm, Web:

MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals - Saturday, March 19
Class D: 10:00 am, TV: FOX Sports Detroit / HD (Dan Gutowsky, Mateen Cleaves)
Class A: 12:00 pm, TV: FOX Sports Detroit / HD (Gutowsky, Greg Kelser)
Class C: 4:00 pm, TV: FOX Sports Detroit / HD (John Keating, Kelser)
Class B: 6:00 pm, TV: FOX Sports Detroit / HD & Web: (Keating, Kelser)


MHSAA Boys Basketball Semifinals - Thursday, March 24
Class C: 1:00 & 2:50 pm, Web:
Class D: 6:00 & 7:50 pm, Web:

MHSAA Boys Basketball Semifinals - Friday, March 25
Class A: 1:00 & 2:50 pm, Web:
Class B: 6:00 & 7:50 pm, Web:

MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals - Saturday, March 26
Class D: 10:00 am, TV: FOX Sports Detroit / HD (John Keating, Mateen Cleaves)
Class C: 12:00 pm, TV: FOX Sports Detroit / HD (Dan Gutowsky, Cleaves)
Class A: 4:00 pm, TV: FOX Sports Detroit / HD & Web: (Matt Shepard, Tim McCormick)
Class B: 8:00 pm, Web:; TV: 10:00 pm, delay FOX Sports Detroit / HD (Shepard, McCormick)

Radio personality Donnie Simpson said in a Facebook posting today that he wouldn't be returning to the airwaves after a one-year absence -- but don't count him out just yet. Rumors of Simpson, a Detroit native who began his career at WJLB, coming back on air stemmed from a report on AOL Black Voices. According to the report, Simpson would be hosting a late-night show that would possibly be syndicated and compete with Keith Sweat's "The Sweat Hotel," which airs locally on WMXD (92.3). Not true, Simpson says... Detroit native Donnie Simpson shoots down report of return to radio with syndicated show (Wed, 3/16)



• Digital low power TV station WMNN-LD Ch. 26 (mapped from Ch. 14) Lake City / Cadillac was granted its license. The station recently began operations.


• The FCC approved the purchase of FM translator W219DA 91.7 Paw Paw by Cumulus Broadcasting from Horizon Christian Fellowship. Sale price was $12,500; the translator also received an extension of its special temporary authority to remain silent.


• No notable activity for March 14 - 15.



• Holy Family Oratory of St. Philip Neri has agreed to sell the construction permit for WSPB FM 89.7 Bedford (Battle Creek area) to Missouri based Catholic Radio Network, Inc. for $1000 pending FCC approval and closing. The construction permit was set to expire on May 14th; Catholic Radio Network will be eligible for an 18 month extension should the sale be approved.


• CMU Public Television station WCML-TV Ch. 6 (mapped from Ch. 24) Alpena has been granted a construction permit to increase power from 300,000 watts @ 1289 feet to 400,000 watts at @ 1311 feet. The station will continue to have a directional antenna.


Detroit's Channel 7 to host digital town hall meeting

">WXYZWXYZ-TV Channel 7 is planning to host a unique one hour Detroit 2020 event on Tuesday, March 22 from 7-8 p.m. "Tough Times, Real Answers," is a live digital multi-platform interactive town hall meeting with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.

The program offers Channel 7 viewers and followers, an opportunity to ask questions... on air, on line and on mobile, about the future of Detroit and the state of Michigan. The three county executives, Robert Ficano from Wayne County, Brooks Patterson from Oakland County, and Mark Hackel from Macomb County, will also weigh in during the discussion.

The show will address the topics that WXYZ-TV viewers have determined are most critical to the future of our region. Questions during the show will come from concerned citizens through emails, Facebook and Twitter. A live chat on will give viewers a forum to share their thoughts during the live broadcast.

The show will be hosted by WXYZ-TV anchors Stephen Clark and Carolyn Clifford, with reports from Diana Lewis and JoAnne Purtan.

"This is a truly groundbreaking opportunity for our viewers to speak directly to the decision makers," said WXYZ Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. "WXYZ is leading the way in interactive programming with this first of its kind event featuring both the Mayor and the Governor."

The show is part of WXYZ's decade long project, Detroit 2020, a WXYZ commitment to address the challenges facing the region. The goal is to unify, inspire change and help make Detroit a better place to live, work, and raise families.



WDIV Ch. 4 Detroit names Kim Voet as News Director

WDIVWDIV-TV Channel 4 in Detroit has announced the promotion of Kim Voet to the position of News Director. Voet, a 14-year veteran of the WDIV newsroom, has held the positions of Local 4 News Producer, Executive Producer of Local 4 News at 11pm, Special Projects Executive Producer, Senior Executive Producer, and most recently, the position of Assistant News Director since December 2009.

Voet has been honored with awards for news coverage from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, The Associated Press and the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In addition, twice during her tenure in the newsroom, the station has received the RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in News Coverage, recognizing the efforts of the entire WDIV news staff. Voet has described these team awards as her proudest accomplishments.

"Throughout her many years at Local 4, Kim has had a hand in every key initiative in our newsroom, and has been a driving force behind our election coverage," said Marla Drutz, WDIV Vice President and General Manager. "She has consistently demonstrated a passion for being the best in breaking news coverage, and has a great understanding of what is truly important to our community."

A native of St. Louis and graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia school of Journalism, Voet has been a part of news organizations since 1988 including positions at KMOV-TV in St. Louis, WKBD-TV in Detroit, and WFMY-TV and WXII-TV, both in North Carolina.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke on Thursday criticized a House vote to end federal funding for National Public Radio, urging the Senate to reverse course and "allow the valued listeners of Detroit's WDET to hear the best quality national programming."

Clarke and his fellow Michigan Democrats voted against the bill, while all state Republicans -- except freshman Rep. Justin Amash, who voted "present" -- chose to end NPR funding.

"What happens around the world impacts the quality of life of people living in Metro Detroit," Clarke said on the House floor, suggesting WDET connects local listeners to national programming they might not find anywhere else on the radio dial.

The legislation would eliminate federal funding for NPR and bar local affiliates from using federal money to pay dues and purchase national programming. Mikel Ellcessor, general manager at WDET, told The L.A. Times the bill would deeply complicate accounting measures for local stations that utilize federal grants... Hansen Clarke sticks up for Detroit's WDET in wake of House vote to cut NPR funding (Fri, 3/18)


Michigan Almanac: March 18, 2011



Grand Rapids Press / Associated Press: has published a complete rundown of the numerous winners of Michigan Associated Press awards from across Michigan:

Top Michigan television and radio newscasts are honored by Associated Press (Fri, 3/18)


Non-commercial radio, General Excellence: Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor
Class I radio, General Excellence: WWJ, Detroit
Class II radio, General Excellence: WSGW, Saginaw
Class III radio, General Excellence: WGHN, Grand Haven

Class I television General Excellence: WJBK-TV, Detroit
Class II television General Excellence: WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids
Class III television General Excellence: WLNS-TV, Lansing


Grand Rapids Press:


Fox 17's Michelle DeSelms says co-hosting the station's new afternoon show "The One Seven" with Tim Doty already feels "like we've been doing it forever."

The comfortable camaraderie is evident on the nontraditional 5-6 p.m. weekday show, which debuted March 7 and features lifestyle elements, art, entertainment, cooking, fitness, fashion and some news elements.

"It's going great. I mean, we've been waiting for a show like this for a couple years now," DeSelms said. "We are just thrilled to finally be on the air with it. It's even better than we hoped."

DeSelms, a Rockford resident who has been with the station since its beginning 12 years ago, is happy that the show offers "a little something for everyone"... Fox-17's 'One Seven' co-hosts Michelle DeSelms and Tim Doty ease into new afternoon show (Fri, 3/18)



• Contemporary Christian WTAC FM 89.7 Burton was granted a construction permit to increase power from 1,000 watts @ 187 feet (Class A) to 15,000 watts @ 361 feet (Class B1). The station's broadcast location would change from near Beecher to south of Fenton and replaces a previous permit to increase power to 25,000 watts from near Holly.


• High School WAHS FM 89.5 Auburn Hills was granted a construction permit to increase power from 100 watts @ 141 feet nondirectional to 2,400 watts @ 177 feet with a directional antenna. A similar construction permit for changes expired in 2010 without being completed.


Detroit Free Press:

Detroit jazz club Cliff Bell's, which already offers patrons a genuine art deco-era dining and nightclub experience, is delving deeper into those thrilling days of yesteryear. "WTYN Detroit Radio," premiering Monday, is a stage play that recalls the heyday of serialized radio dramas like "The Lone Ranger" and "The Green Hornet," both of which originated in Detroit. It's set at a small-time radio station that produces a detective drama titled "The City Desk." The show's actors and producers work for a station owner who has ties to organized crime.

"WTYN" is set in Detroit in 1936, and the play makes references to everything from Vernor's and Belle Isle to rival radio station WXYZ. A dozen actors will don Depression-era costumes, but the set will be intentionally spartan... Nostalgic stage play 'WTYN Detroit Radio' showcases serialized dramas (Sun, 3/20)

RADIO ONE has elevated MS. SMILEY to PD of its DETROIT stations, which include Urban AC WDMK (105.9 KISS), Urban WHTD (HOT 102.7) and N/T WCHB-A. MS. SMILEY had been acting PD for several months. Now, the promotion is official.

"My VP/Programming, JAY STEVENS, positioned me to be able to study under some of the greatest Program Directors and analysts in the country, including AL PAYNE, JOHN CANDELARIA, BRIAN WALLACE, ELROY SMITH and EARL BOSTON," said SMILEY... Ms. Smiley Promoted To PD Of Radio One Detroit Stations (Mon, 3/21)



Crain's Detroit Business:

WTVSFive years after leaving Detroit for Wixom, Detroit Public Television is returning to the city with a new satellite studio in Midtown. The Woodward Avenue studio, which is in Wayne State University's historic Maccabees Building, previously housed WXYZ-Channel 7 and the "Soupy Sales Show."

Detroit Public Television and WSU plan to move taping of "Leaders on Leadership" to the new studio on Friday with a live taping featuring WSU President Allan Gilmour and the backing of Detroit Public Television's 35-foot high-definition truck. The station had produced the show for the past four years from St. Andrew's Hall on WSU's campus. The host was Larry Fobes, director of the WSU School of Business Administration's Institute for Organizational and Industrial Competitiveness.

"We knew we wanted to have a studio in Detroit," said DPTV President and General Manager Rich Homberg. "Clearly, Midtown is really emerging as ground zero for the renaissance of Detroit"... Public TV starts Midtown studio, revives WSU relationship (Mon, 3/21)


Grand Rapids Press:

The Morning After show on WSNX 104.5 criticized WOOD-TV8 for doing a special on Wes Leonard, the Fennville basketball player who died shortly after making the winning shot at a game to keep the team's winning record. Diane Kniowski, president and general manager of WOOD, called the radio station, which recorded the conversation and is playing it on their web site. She said the radio folks were wrong in accusing WOOD of exploiting the situation because the TV station isn't in a rating period. "I think you're making assumptions," she said, and complained that no one from WSNX called the station for comment... Audio of WOOD-TV GM's defense for running Wes Leonard special, says it's not a ratings ploy (Mon, 3/21)



• Family Stations is selling FM translator W239AX 95.7 Camden to Midwest Communications for $40,000 pending FCC approval and closing. The application states Midwest plans on rebroadasting full service/oldies WTVB AM 1590 Coldwater on the translator.


• Horizon Christian Fellowship has agreed to sell 73 FM translators across the country to First Ventures Capital Partners for $275,000, including W227AS 93.3 Whitehall, W243BD 96.5 Beechwood, and W277BB 103.3 Grand Haven in Michigan.



• The construction permit for WHTV TV Ch. 18 (using Ch. 34) Jackson was modified from 540,000 watts @ 863 feet directional to 88,000 watts @ 945 feet nondirectional. The permit is schedule to expire on September 29, 2013.

WCSGCORNERSTONE MINISTRIES Contemporary Christian WCSG/GRAND RAPIDS recently partnered with FAITH COMES BY HEARING (FCBH) during the station's annual Sharathon. The partnership was to support American troops with the Bible in audio through MILITARY BIBLESTICKS. WCSG promoted the MILITARY BIBLESTICK on air during its fundraising campaign and via its website. As a result, listeners donated monies to make more than 300 BIBLESTICKS available to members of the armed forces.

"Partnering with FAITH COMES BY HEARING by providing MILITARY BIBLESTICKS is a natural extension of WCSG's heart; that is to encourage and engage listeners to a deeper relationship with Christ. What better gift could we give to our military service men and women who serve so sacrificially?" said WCSG Executive Director CHRIS LEMKE... WCSG, Faith Comes By Hearing Partner To Provide Military BibleSticks (Wed, 3/23)



• FM translator W236BK 95.1 Forest Hills was granted its license to cover for changes; it is now operating on FM 95.3 as W237BW, rebroadcasting WYGR AM 1530 Wyoming.


Michigan Radio trumpets successful Spring Membership Drive

WUOMMichigan Radio, the public radio service of the University of Michigan, finished a successful spring membership drive on Wednesday. The on-air fundraiser, which ran from March 16-23, generated 8,500 pledges totaling more than $980,000 from donors across southern Michigan and northern Ohio. Overall, the spring 2011 membership drive saw an increase of more than a thirty percent in total dollars raised over last spring's campaign.

As part of the station's effort to reduce on-air fundraising time, Michigan Radio once again used an innovative approach on the first day of the membership drive. The station attempted to raise the entire first day's goal in just one hour, from 7 - 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16. This proved to be successful, and the station exceeded its goal of $90,000 by 48%. More than $133,000 in donations came from over 1,150 people who pledged during Michigan Radio's "Power Hour."

"We have deep appreciation for all of our listeners who support us so generously," said Director of Broadcasting Steve Schram. "With this outstanding commitment, Michigan Radio looks forward to continuing our service to the community with in-depth news, talk and intelligent analysis, as we have for over 60 years."

Throughout the membership drive, the recent controversy over federal funding for public media seemed to encourage many listeners to contribute for the first time, or to resume giving after a hiatus. This sample of member comments indicates that the current threat to funding for NPR has increased the awareness and enthusiasm regarding the value of public broadcasting for many listeners:

  • "All the talk about Congress cutting funding for NPR made me pledge. Thank you for your outstanding service to the public."
  • "An America without NPR is unthinkable."
  • "I am returning to giving to Michigan Radio in light of the attacks being made on public broadcasting, the coverage I rely on for basic events, and programs I love...."
  • "Great news source--it would be great if contributions could totally sustain NPR."

Michigan Radio receives funding from diverse sources, with approximately 54% coming from individual donors, 21% from business underwriters, 12% from the University of Michigan and 8% from the federal government via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.



• Sovereign Communications closed on its purchase of 11 Upper Peninsula radio stations from Northern Star Broadcasting on March 18th. Included in the $3.5 million deal were WYSS-FM, WMKD-FM, WKNW AM in Sault Ste Marie area; WJPD-FM, WUPK-FM, WNGE-FM, WDMJ AM, and WIAN AM in the Marquette area; WIMK-FM, WZNL-FM and WMIQ AM in Iron Mountain. The deal had first been announced over one year ago.


• Northern Star Broadcasting's WIHC FM 97.9 Newberry, the company's lone remaining U.P. radio station, has applied for special temporary authority to remain silent. The station has primarily been off the air since the first half of 2010, but apparently had resumed operations long enough for it to 'reset' the FCC's clock that would force license cancellation if the station hadn't resumed operations within one year.


Radio Insight

Martz Communications Group via its Radio Power Inc. subsidiary is preparing to launch two new stations via translator in Detroit. 94.3 W230BI and 104.7 W284BQ are both currently testing with simulcasts of Classical/Jazz 90.9 WRCJ, but will soon flip to commercial formats. At 94.3, Martz has registered a pair of domains hinting at its future format: and seem to indicate a younger skewing Rock format targeting CTVglobemedia's Modern Rock 88.7 CIMX Windsor, ON. W230BI will operate with 99 watts vertically from 911 feet. Martz has recently filed for an STA to take 104.7 silent, but it has once again begun testing. In June 2010, was registered for use with this translator, however it is quite possible plans have changed since... Two New Translators Coming To Detroit (Fri, 3/25)

Just a week after announcing she was named PD of Urban WHTD Detroit ( , Radio One fires Ms. Smiley. Smiley had been the long time PD of Urban AC WDMK and talk WCHB, and was serving as interim PD of WHTD "Hot 102.7" for the past several months. Word from sources inside the station say Ms. Smiley was involved in an altercation at a station event... Ms. Smiley Exits Radio One Detroit (Fri, 3/25)

Both of Washtenaw County's public-radio operations this week announced successful spring fund-raising drives. WEMU (89.1-FM), the public-radio station at Eastern Michigan University, recorded an all-time fund-raising record. Michigan Radio, the University of Michigan-based service that operates WUOM (91.7-FM) as well as stations in Grand Rapids and Flint, raised $133,000 in a single "power hour" on the first day of donations. Both stations reported that recent challenges to federal funding of public radio seemed to energize supporters... Michigan Radio, WEMU wrap up successful spring fund-raising drives (Fri, 3/25)


Detroit Free Press:

He is the baritone voice of the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, heard during June and August NASCAR weekends delivering the goods over the public-address system on drivers, teams and speeds. MIS track announcer Larry Henry, 59, of West Bloomfield will be at the microphone again this season in the Irish Hills. Henry, a former on-air talent at Detroit radio stations WWJ-AM (950) and WJR-AM (760), returned earlier this week from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring sports-car race last Saturday at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, where he broadcast on behalf of the American Le Mans Series and hosted the winner's circle celebrations. Henry spoke to Free Press auto racing reporter Mike Brudenell about his craft and passion for racing... Larry Henry is the talk of the track (Sat, 3/26)



• Radio Assist Ministry has applied for special temporary authority for FM translator W234BP 94.7 Caro to remain silent stating financial considerations.


Fred Douglas got his first taste of broadcasting by working at the student-run radio station at Olivet College. He got hooked shortly thereafter during a brief stint delivering the news at the former WOWE radio station in his hometown of Allegan, and his career took off when he was barely out of his teens and got a job as a reporter for WKZO radio and television in Kalamazoo. Although a departure from his music and political science studies at Olivet and Western Michigan University, the news business appealed to Douglas and he put his education on permanent hold.

"It's sort of like a dalmatian in a fire truck; it's hard to walk away from," Douglas, 70, said during a recent interview, 50 years after launching a 25-year career at WKZO, 20 years of which he was news director for both the radio and television stations.

When Douglas began, John Fetzer owned both the radio and television stations. Douglas signed off for the last time 25 years later in March 1986 after Fetzer sold them and the television call letters were changed to today's WWMT-TV. He went to work as community services director for Consumers Energy, which was then Consumers Power Co. After five years, he returned to WKZO radio, then owned by Fetzer associate Carl Lee, and helped in the conversion of the station to a 24-hour news format... Where is he now? Catching up with Kalamazoo radio and TV personality Fred Douglas (Mon, 3/28)


The State News:

WDBMWith a proposed cut of up to $430 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting adding to the constant array of changes facing radio broadcasting, the futures of the medium and the students pursuing it as a career are in limbo. Gary Reid, general manager of Impact (89FM), MSU's student radio station, said many of the 120 students who work for Impact have expressed concern to him about the future of news. Impact consists mostly of music-based programing, but it also has a daily news program called Impact Exposure, which is similar to the style of National Public Radio, or NPR, programs such as "This American Life" and "The Rest of the Story," Reid said. Numerous students have gone on from Impact to work for NPR.

"Over the years, broadcasting in general and radio in general (have) moved away from objective journalism -- we've come to expect a certain amount of subjectivity," Reid said. "In-depth radio is the last vestige of objective journalism. NPR is perceived as being a journalistic bastion."

Music education senior Emily Fox said she has known she wanted to work for NPR for the past two years. She spoke to a few NPR affiliate stations in Michigan, inquiring about job opportunities after she graduates. Most told her now is not the time to apply, she said. But Fox said she views public radio as being as crucial as ever... Federal cuts affect MSU radio, students (Mon, 3/28)



• Three FM translators owned by Horizon Christian Fellowship (W227AS 93.3 Whitehall, W243BD 96.5 Beechwood, and W277BB 103.3 Grand Haven) were granted special temporary authority to remain silent for six more months. All are being sold to First Ventures Capital Partners.


• No notable activity for March 29.


Michigan Radio and Center for Michigan to discuss Governor Snyder's budget at upcoming Issues & Ale event

WUOMMichigan Radio and The Center for Michigan will be hosting the next event in their popular Issues & Ale discussion series on Tuesday, April 5, at 6:00 pm at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle in Royal Oak (310 S. Troy Street). The theme for this event is "How will the Governor's budget affect you?"

Governor Rick Snyder has proposed sweeping reforms to Michigan's budget, including changes in taxes, spending, and the organization and workings of government. Many Michigan citizen's will be impacted, including senior citizens, students, the working poor, businesses, union members, and many others. This event will give attendees an opportunity to explore how the Governor's budget will affect them and ask questions about it.

Michigan Radio Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry will host this discussion with guests including John Bebow, executive director of The Center for Michigan, and Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and former Senate Majority Leader. The public is invited to stop by, listen to the discussion, and join in with their questions and comments. Admission is free.

The Issues & Ale event series provides an informal setting for people to engage in discussions about the state's most important an informal atmosphere. At previous events in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Lansing, panelists and attendees have participated in lively discussions about campaign ads and the priorities for the new administration.



Detroit Free Press:

iger blood, please? Keeping up with Charlie Sheen is dizzying. Late Tuesday, members of Sheen's camp reached out to two Detroit radio stations to help recruit talent for his tour-opening show at the Fox Theatre show Saturday. WRIF-FM (101.1)'s "Drew & Mike" show will help Sheen select a female intern that the master warlock plans to put to work at the Fox. What will the work entail? Who knows, but Sheen wants females of the good-looking variety, apparently ... Just left on your Detroit radio dial is the high-powered "Mojo in the Morning" show on WKQI-FM (95.5). Mojo and Co. will be recruiting a singer to open Sheen's show with a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Candidates are required to shoot a YouTube video of a national anthem performance and get it to the station by 10 a.m. today... Uncle Charlie wants you, and you (Thu, 3/31)

CITADEL Top 40 WHTS/GRAND RAPIDS MD GRAVY has only been hosting mornings (with the lovely ELLEN TAYLOR) for just over a month, and now spreads his empire to include mornings at sister Top 40 WJIM/LANSING. Current WJIM morning host/PD JOSH STRICKLAND moves to afternoons, replacing ALABAMA, who had been covering GRAVY's old night shift via voicetracking, but will now do nights for both stations live from the LANSING studios... Air Talent Doubles Up At Citadel Grand Rapids & Lansing (Thu, 3/31)







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