Metro Detroit: January 2011 Archives

Detroit Free Press:

"We're committed to making a difference to the community," Ed Fernandez told the Free Press when he became vice president and general manager of WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) about seven months ago.

Now, metro Detroiters will get to see what he was talking about. Fernandez told Names & Faces last week that his station is launching Detroit 2020, a decadelong initiative designed to dramatically change the course of metro Detroit.

"There are so many great entities in town that are trying to move the region forward," he said. "There are also very few organizations like WXYZ that have the capabilities to really bring people together to inspire, act and execute."

He said that through the station's reporting, various online platforms and community outreach, Detroit 2020 will "touch people each and every day" and "impact people to get involved."

Beginning Tuesday night, WXYZ viewers will see the first in a series of in-depth stories that are being done at a level people are used to seeing on newsmagazine shows like "60 Minutes"... Channel 7 to take on a new Detroit (Mon, 1/3)


Detroit Free Press:

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg had a Harvard dorm room. Apple's Steve Jobs had a garage. Livio Radio's Jake Sigal had a guest bedroom. Having just left his job as a satellite radio project manager at auto supplier Delphi, Sigal stepped out on his own with a lofty goal: changing how the world listens to music. Living off his wife's income, Sigal toiled for months in that guest bedroom -- the incubator for a company now finding a foothold on the national stage. Just three years later, the 29-year-old Ohio native -- he's the one in the hooded sweatshirt and jeans -- has built an Internet radio software and hardware maker whose customer list has ballooned to include Target, Sears, Costco, and home-shopping big-leaguers QVC and HSN. Now Sigal is set to feature his firm's work at the International Consumer Electronics Show -- the world's largest consumer technology trade show -- in Las Vegas on Friday, showing off the latest Livio Radio products conceived and engineered just south of I-696 in Ferndale. Livio produces devices that tap into your home Internet and allow you to listen to free Internet radio stations from around the world. It's content you can get for free elsewhere, but his boxes make it easier for the average consumer to simply turn on and press "Play"... Ferndale engineer's products bring online radio to home and auto (Tue, 1/4)


WJR boss Fezzey leaving radio

WJRNews-Talk WJR AM 760 general manager Mike Fezzey has announced that he's leaving the Citadel-owned station after 30 years to take the role of president of a 'prominent' southeast Michigan financial institution.

In the release, Citadel CEO Farid Suleman commented, "Under Mike's leadership WJR has continuously been recognized as a Michigan thought leader in the broadcasting business. His approach to WJR has always kept the station relevant to the community. We are confident his leadership skills and connection to the community will serve him well in his new role. We are grateful for the extremely strong team Mike has built at WJR. We look forward to working with him in his new role."

Citadel Midwest president Matt Hanlon, whose been with the company overseeing stations in Grand Rapids and Lansing, will assume oversight of WJR.


Detroit Free Press:

Mike Fezzey, longtime president and general manager of WJR-AM (760) radio in Detroit, is leaving the station to become president of Huntington Bancshares' southeast Michigan region. Fezzey, 53, with no previous banking experience, is an unconventional executive hire for the Ohio-based bank holding company. Jim Dunlap, Huntington's senior executive vice president who recruited Fezzey, said that was intentional, as Huntington expands its Michigan presence in business lending... WJR president leaves station for bank (Wed, 1/5)



SW Ontario loses a country signal

Blackburn Radio has dropped the country format of CJSP-FM 92.7 Leamington and replaced it with a variety hits based sound as 92.7 Max FM, 'We Play It All'.

CJSP is a relative newcomer to the dial - it first began regular operations in March 2008 as Country 92.7

Country listeners aren't completely shutout in Southwestern Ontario as Blackburn also owns stations with a country format in Windsor at 95.9 FM (CJWF) and in Chatham at AM 630 and FM 92.9 (CFCO).



WDIV set to air 'Dateline Detroit' this Thursday evening

On Thursday, January 6 at 8 p.m., the premiere of WDIV-TV Ch. 4's 'Dateline Detroit' will explore the positive outlook for the auto industry and discover what a difference a year makes.

The half hour Dateline Detroit special is hosted by Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian and Guy Gordon. Highlights include an in-depth look at the new realities of electric cars, a special glimpse at famous athletes and their special rides, and a Karen Drew report on the women behind the redesign of Ford Explorer and the special way they balance their career and families while overhauling an American classic.

If you think radio is too predictable, then obviously you haven't been listening to WCBN. Tucked away in the basement of the Student Activities Building on the University of Michigan central campus, WCBN -- the U-M's student-run, freeform station at 88.3 FM -- is about as far from mainstream radio as you can get. With programming that can see Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop" land next to James Blood Ulmer's "We Bop Black Rock" and the Osmond Brothers next to Pete Seeger, and shows ranging from folk to funk to techno and everything in between, the station is a listening adventure. You never know what you'll hear, and that's the plan, said Kristin Sumrall, U-M alum and WCBN program director... You never know what the DJs will play next, and that's the point, at U-M student station WCBN (Wed, 1/5)

GREATER MEDIA has promoted JENNIFER WILLIAMS to Dir./Interactive Marketing. In her new corporate role, WILLIAMS will be responsible for overseeing the interactive marketing efforts of GREATER MEDIA's 23 radio properties. She most recently served as the Dir./Interactive Marketing at GREATER MEDIA/DETROIT... Jennifer Williams Upped To Dir./Interactive Marketing At Greater Media (Wed, 1/5)


WXYZ-TV expanding its coverage for 2011 North American International Auto Show

WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit has announced expanded coverage of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, beginning with press preview days on January 10, and extending through the end of public show days on January 23, 2011.

In addition to extensive news coverage during press preview days, WXYZ-TV will air a live broadcast of the Charity Preview event on Friday, January 14. The show, Red Carpet Charity Preview Special, will air at 7 p.m. and will be anchored by Stephen Clark and Carolyn Clifford, with live reports across the show floor from reporters Mary Conway, JoAnne Purtan, Dave LewAllen and Dave Rexroth. The program, broadcast entirely in high definition, will showcase the latest trends and technologies in the automotive industry, and will include live interviews with top auto executives. An encore presentation will air Saturday, January 15, at 8 a.m.

As part of WXYZ's on-going commitment to automotive reporting, Channel 7 is "On Your Side" with a consumer-oriented program, Cars are Stars, on Saturday, January 15, 7-7:30 p.m. The show, anchored by Stephen Clark and Diana Lewis with reports from Alicia Smith, Vic Faust and Glenda Lewis, will highlight what's new in the car market for consumers, including the latest gadgets and a guide to electric vehicles. An encore presentation of Cars are Stars, will air Sunday, January 16, at 9 a.m.

On Friday, January 21, WXYZ is proud to host Channel 7 Family Day at the Auto Show. The day will include musical performances, giveaways, and a chance to meet Channel 7 on-air personalities. Musical acts scheduled to appear include Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, Amazin' Blue (the U of M acapella chorus), the Motor City Bloodhounds, LaShell Griffin, the Blue Pigs and many others.

WXYZ will also provide complete Auto Show coverage on where users will find up the minute reports on the latest vehicle releases and photo galleries with the hottest concept cars. Special Auto Show sections, complete with streaming video, will be available on WXYZ mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices as well as most other smartphones, for users on the go.

"Channel 7 is thrilled to be part of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, the premiere event of the year for Detroit and the region," said WXYZ Vice-President and General Manager, Ed Fernandez. "WXYZ is grateful to the NAIAS leadership for this special opportunity, and we're committed to using the resources of Channel 7 to provide a unique experience for both Channel 7 viewers and auto show visitors during the entire two weeks of the event."

CBS Television Stations today named Mark Arminio VP of sales for WWJ and WKBD, the group's Detroit CBS and CW stations, effective Jan. 10. Arminio will be responsible for overseeing all sales operations at the two outlets in the country's 11th market... CBS picks Arminio to head sales in Detroit (Thu, 1/6)


Detroit affiliate WXYZ-TV Channel 7 has hired market vet Chris Edwards to join its weather forecasting team starting January 22nd. The release did not reveal exactly what role Edwards will play; the station currently employs Dave Rexroth as its chief meteorologist and on-air for the station's 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekday newscasts with Sean Ash, Keenan Smith, and Olga Breese sharing duties on the station's other telecasts.

Edwards began his career as a weathercaster in the U.S. Air Force. He was one of the first meteorologists with The Weather Channel in Atlanta, before moving on to forecast at WISN-TV in Milwaukee, and KYW-TV in Philadelphia. He then was chief meteorologist at WJBK-TV Channel 2 in Detroit before stepping down in 2004 to spend more time with his family and to start his own business teaching weather science to students. Until recently, he had also been doing some fill-in work for Channel 2.

"We're extremely pleased to add such a talented and experienced meteorologist to the Channel 7 weather staff," said news director Tim Dye. "Chris brings more than 30 years of forecasting experience, much of that in the Southeast Michigan region. His first-hand knowledge will be a tremendous asset to our viewers."

"WXYZ-TV is infusing so much energy into the community and it's exciting to be part of that effort," said Edwards. "As a weather team, it's our job to build and maintain the trust of the community we serve and being part of a weather team that's committed to that effort is very exciting."

Edwards received the American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval in 1986. He has been honored with numerous awards, including recognition from the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences for Best Weathercast in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

"We're thrilled to have Chris on our team," said chief meteorologist Dave Rexroth. "We feel that with Chris on staff, we have the most experienced forecast team in the market."


Detroit Free Press:

Destination 313, a new radio show that sings Detroit's praises, starts airing tonight on WJR-AM at 7 p.m. The show is a partnership between Quicken Loans and the station and will air every other Friday. It's hosted by Paul W. Smith and Stephen Luigi Piazza, a Quicken executive, and focuses on what the Motor City has to offer and the people working to bring it back. Guests on the first show are Quicken Loans President Jay D. Farner, Ross Sanders of Bizdom U, and Linda McIntosh, of the Somerset Collection... Destination 313 boosts Motor City (Fri, 1/7)


Michigan Radio and Olympia Entertainment welcome A Prairie Home Companion to Detroit

Public radio station Michigan Radio (91.7 FM Ann Arbor/Detroit) and Olympia Entertainment will present a live performance of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor from Detroit on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 5:45 p.m. The celebrated radio variety show, produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented and distributed by American Public Media, will take the stage at the historic Fox Theatre for a live, national broadcast.

Tickets will go on sale through the Fox Theatre box office, through Ticketmaster (Ph: 800-745-3000), and online at this Friday, January 14 at 10:00 a.m. Ticket prices are $38.50, $58.50, and $68.50.

A Prairie Home Companion performed at the Fox Theatre last February, with Detroit soul singers Bettye LaVette and Sir Mack Rice as featured guests. That show sold out in only one week.

This year's A Prairie Home Companion show, on May 7, will feature live performances and comical skits by Keillor, the Prairie Home cast, and special guests (who have yet to be announced). Keillor will weave local humor into the show and share his signature monologue, "The News From Lake Wobegon," with Detroit audiences.


Ken Daniels, longtime play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports Detroit's coverage of the Detroit Red Wings, has been recognized as Michigan Sportscaster of the Year for 2010 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). It is the second such honor for Daniels, who also earned the NSSA award in 2003.

Daniels, in his 14th season with FOX Sports Detroit, is among the 110 state sportscasters and sportswriters from 49 states and the District of Columbia to be honored during the NSSA's 52nd Annual Awards Weekend, May 14-16 at the organization's headquarters in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Mick McCabe and Michael Rosenberg, co-workers at the Detroit Free Press, share the Michigan Sportswriter of the Year award.

In addition to the state award winners, the NSAA will recognize its 2011 Hall of Fame inductees Brent Musburger, Bob Uecker and Bob Ryan, as well as 2010 National Sportscaster of the Year Mike Tirico and National Sportswriter of the Year Peter King.

The NSSA was founded in 1959 as a way to honor the nation's sportscaster and sportswriters for their craft. For more information, visit


WYCD to presents 3rd annual Ten Man Jam Concert

WYCDOn Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 99.5 WYCD is scheduled to host its third-annual Ten Man Jam at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. The concert will feature acoustic performances by 10 top country music artists, each showcasing several of their own songs, in addition to playing with the other featured artists.

Artists performing at this year's Ten

Man Jam include Uncle Kracker, Lee Brice, Justin Moore, Randy Houser, Sunny Sweeney, Adam Brand, Brett Eldredge, Whitey Morgan and Ashton Sheperd. An additional surprise act will be announced.

Detroit native Uncle Kracker has quickly climbed the charts to become a nationwide country staple with hits including "Smile," and "Good to Be Me" (a duet with Kid Rock).

Since 2007 Lee Brice has released four singles, all of which have charted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. The fourth of these, "Love Like Crazy," holds the record for the longest chart run achieved in the history of that chart. Brice has also co-written singles for Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and Adam Gregory.

Justin Moore released his first country album in 2008, skyrocketing to the top of the Hot Country Songs charts with four Top 40 singles including the Number One hit "Small Town USA" and Top Ten single "Backwoods."

"WYCD's Ten Man Jam brings ten world class musicians together on stage in one night," said WYCD Program Director Tim Roberts. "The concert is about musicians singing the songs they wrote and love in an up-close-and-personal style."

Tickets for the 99.5 WYCD Ten Man Jam cannot be purchased. Tickets can only be obtained through promotions and giveaways as announced on 99.5 WYCD.

CLEAR CHANNEL AC WNIC (FRESH 100.3)/DETROIT names DANIELLE CAR of sister WDTW (106.7 THE BEAT OF DETROIT) for weekends... WNIC Names Danielle Car For Weekends (Fri, 1/14)

GREATER MEDIA AC WMGC (MAGIC 105.1)/DETROIT announces the addition of NEXTMEDIA Hot AC WHBC/CANTON, OH and WGER/SAGINAW, MI PD BRIAN FIGULA for PD duties effective TUESDAY (1/18). According to GREATER MEDIA Market Mgr. STEVE KOSBAU, "BRIAN's energy, focus and vision will help us maximize the great opportunity that comes with being DETROIT's only mainstream AC radio station"... WMGC Names Brian Figula PD (Fri, 1/14)

GREATER MEDIA has appointed JULIE LAW Dir./Marketing and Promotion for its DETROIT cluster, which include WRIF, WCSX and WMGC. She starts on TUESDAY, JANUARY 18th, 2011. Previously, LAW held a similar post at crosstown stations WDVD and WDRQ. "JULIE is a fantastic person with precisely the experience and perspective for this position," GREATER MEDIA/DETROIT Market Manager STEVE KOSBAU said. "We are thrilled to have her on our team"... Greater Media/Detroit Names Julie Law Dir./Marketing & Promotion (Thu, 1/13)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan. 17, 2011


VAN WILLIAMS, TV's "GREEN HORNET," gave an exclusive interview to SALEM Religion WLQV-A (FAITH TALK 1500)/DETROIT host PAUL EDWARDS FRIDAY to discuss the new movie version of the iconic character. The interview will be rebroadcast TODAY (1/17). In the interview, WILLIAMS said he has seen only the movie trailer but, based on that and on comments from friends, had turned down an invitation to attend the film's premiere. He discussed the making of the TV series and the casting of SETH ROGEN for the film in the role WILLIAMS played on television. Asked by EDWARDS whether he'll go see the movie, which opened this weekend, WILLIAMS said, "You know, I might. I guess because I did the GREEN HORNET, and I was loyal to it, I guess I really should go see it"... WLQV's Paul Edwards Interviews TV's 'Green Hornet' (Mon, 1/17) to present the first Citizens' State of the State is scheduled to present a first-of-its-kind program featuring a panel of diverse Michigan citizens discussing what they feel should be Michigan's top priorities and action items, in reaction to Governor Rick Snyder's first State of the State Address.

The Citizens' State of the State will air on Detroit Public Television (WTVS-TV Channel 56) on Sunday January 23, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. and will also be accessible online anytime on the website. The program and the website are jointly sponsored by the Center for Michigan and Detroit Public Television.

Moderated by the Center for Michigan's Executive Director John Bebow, the program is the result of a series of more than 600 community conversations on the future of Michigan. Each panelist for the Citizens' State of the State participated in those conversations, which have gathered a collective voice to help guide the Center's work.

Throughout 2011, will focus on ongoing community engagement on the issues that are most important to the future of Michigan. The site will feature discussion by citizens and government leaders, exchanging ideas and identifying priorities.

"The Citizens' State of the State is the launch of a campaign to continue the voter engagement that convened during the 2010 Election Season," said Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of Detroit Public TV. "This is the latest example of how we are using the power of media to help advance important discussions on the issues of greatest importance to our region and our state."



Crain's Detroit Business:

Longtime friends Jim Edelman and Tom Daldin both found themselves without jobs as part of advertising cutbacks in recent years. Edelman lost his position as national sales manager for Clear Channel Communications Inc. in January 2008. Daldin had spent 12 years producing high-end video materials for the auto industry and was a staff producer with Royal Oak-based Dark Spark Media until May 2010 before work started drying up, taking away 80 percent of his income. So the two friends, who originally met in 1982 while working at WRIF-101.1 FM, approached Rich Homberg, president and general manager of WTVS-Channel 56, about developing some projects for PBS. Edelman and Daldin first tried to re-pitch "Bob's Jobs," an Emmy-winning children's show Daldin created and starred in five years ago on Channel 56. Due to lack of funding, "Bob's Jobs" was canceled... Off-the-cuff concept lands jobless friends public TV show (Sun, 1/16)



Former radio jock Hank O'Neal dies

O'NeilHank Burdick, known on-air as Hank On'Neal, passed away on Saturday January 8th. O'Neal was behind the mic at in metro Detroit CKLW, WJBK, WHND, and WWWW.

An April memorial service is being planned.

A statewide public television series called "Under the Radar Michigan" showcases Ann Arbor in an episode showing this week. The show, hosted by Tom Daldin, generally features two or three communities each week and highlights some of the local attractions. The current episode features Munising as well as Ann Arbor. Local stops include Afternoon Delight, the Hands-On Museum and the decidedly on-the-radar Zingerman's Deli. The full Munising / Ann Arbor episode is available online. It has already aired on broadcast TV, but it's scheduled for another showing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on WTVS, channel 56 in Detroit. The guide to the episode includes this description: "Ann Arbor is a very comfortable and intellectual place, where people are passionate about learning, and independent thought; and boy, do they love good food, In Ann Arbor, Tom discovers why a meal at the restaurant, Afternoon Delight, is totally worth the wait; and where Bo Schembechler always went to make sure he looked good for game-day... Public TV show 'Under the Radar Michigan' showcases Ann Arbor (Wed, 1/19)


Round Table Productions is scheduled to present Jamie Samuelsen and Christy McDonald together, talking about balancing career, marriage and family at the Third Thursday Round Table to be held during the lunch hour on February 17, 2011 in Troy, Michigan.

The married couple are two well known and well respected Southeast Michigan broadcasters. Jamie is Sports Director at WCSX-FM, a blogger at and a member of the Fox-2 SportsWorks Roundtable. Christy was an Emmy Award winning News Anchor and General Assignment Reporter at WXYZ TV-7. She recently made a big career decision to leave Channel 7 in December 2010, after management told her she could no longer work part time, but had to come back full time. As the mom of three young children, she is trying to find balance with her career and family life.

Jamie and Christy will share about working their beats and meeting deadlines while changing diapers, tending to toddlers and finding time for their family, their relationship and themselves. "This is the first time in six years I've had two Third Thursday presenters at the same time," says event host and founder Dean La Douceur, "and I couldn't think of two nicer people with a more genuine story to tell than Christy and Jamie."

The event is a part of the on-going of Third Thursday Round Table lunch and learns series, held at Shield's Restaurant, 1476 W. Maple Road, Troy, MI 48084. Doors open at 11:30 am, with open networking before and after the event. Seating for lunch is at Noon. The program begins at 12:35 pm. Event Admission is $15. Event guests order lunch from Shields lunch menu and are responsible for their own meal, beverage and gratuity. For more information or to register, or call 248-383-5793. Limited seating available.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has announced the passing of former MAB President (1973) and Board Member John Anderson.

John Anderson, founder of WCCW-AM/FM in Traverse City, passed away January 19 at age 83. Born in Coopersville, Anderson graduated from high school in Cadillac, attended MSU and graduated from the Radio and Television Institute in Chicago. From 1944 to 1948, Anderson served with the United States Army and during that time started his broadcast career as an announcer for Armed Forces Radio Network.

In 1950, he worked in Marion, Indiana at WBAT as their program director. He then moved to Cadillac where he was a sports announcer with WWTV. In 1954, he moved to Traverse City and was the station manager at WPBN. In 1960, Anderson founded WCCW-AM/FM, which he owned and operated until 1984. Throughout his career he served on the board of directors of the Michigan Assocation of Broadcasters (MAB) and was president of the organization in 1973-74. During the 1970s, he was the president of the Michigan Associated Press Broadcasters. From 1975 to 1979, Anderson served on the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors, representing Michigan and Indiana.

Karole White, MAB President stated, "John was one of a handful of broadcasters who's leadership molded broadcasting in Michigan. John and other dedicated broadcast volunteers made the MAB one of the top state broadcast associations in the nation. Our condolences to his family and friends."

Those wishing to honor John may do so by making a tax-deductible donation to the MAB Foundation General Scholarship Fund in John's name. Your contribution to the fund and those of others helps MABF to annually award scholarships to seventeen deserving young people seeking careers in broadcasting industry. Click here for more information:

To read the full obituary please click here (from the Traverse City Record-Eagle):


Radio & Television Business Report:

Pete Skorich, Detroit Pistons Director of Broadcasting, addressed a rumor that RBR-TVBR heard regarding a rate reduction in The Detroit Pistons contract with Clear Channel's Sports WDFN-AM 1130 kHz over poor reception in the evenings. Details had it that 50-kW KMOX St. Louis (1120) and 50-kW WRVA Richmond (1140) were killing WDFN's nighttime signal because of their skywave HD Radio carriers on 1130. Well, Skorich tells us there was no rate reduction but instead a complete move to CBS Radio's The Ticket (WXYT) simulcast of 97.1 and 1270 some two years ago.

But he did note it was because of reception complaints: "That was one of the components, and we were with them for five years. They had a weak signal and we were getting a lot of people that could not hear us. It could have been [because of] HD Radio, but at the time we were totally unaware of it."

WDFN is 50-kW during the day, but lowers its power to 10-kW in the evenings. CBS Radio's KMOX added HD Radio in May, 2006. In the Summer of 2008, CC Radio pulled WRVA's nighttime digital signal "due to destructive interference to three high-power AM stations the company owns in Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis operating on adjacent 1130 kHz," according to This was potentially just after the Pistons moved to The Ticket... Detroit Pistons moved to CBS due to HD Radio interference? (Wed, 1/26)



It's been a long, cold winter

Just in case you might be wondering with Super Bowl XLV just a little over a week away, a quick check on XLV (45) to see if any radio station has those letters as part of their calls finds that that there are indeed two stations, and both are non-commercial. WXLV is at 90.3, a little 420 watt FM at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville, PA, near Allentown and Easton. KXLV is a "K-Love" Christian station at 89.1 FM with 27,500 watts in Amarillo, TX.

The next few three letter Super Bowls will numbers 52 (LII), 54 (LIV), and 56 (LVI) and it looks like WLII is the only combo available for the taking at the moment.







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This page is a archive of entries in the Metro Detroit category from January 2011.

Metro Detroit: February 2011 is the next archive.

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