Metro Detroit: July 2011 Archives

Muskegon Chronicle:

The general manager of Muskegon's 103.7 The Beat is grateful the radio station didn't suffer worse damage from a lightning strike and fire Friday. The station is back on the air broadcasting an automated music playlist on reduced power, with full operations hoped for by the end of the week.

Full story: Muskegon radio station 103.7 The Beat recovering from lightning bolt (Tue, 7/5)

Former CHUM RADIO Alternative CIMX (89X)/DETROIT middayer HOLLY HUTTON has been tapped by MARTZ Corporate PD DREW SCOTT as PD/Afternooner for Alternative translator (W232CA) and WGPR-HD3 (94.3 THE BONE)/DETROIT. SCOTT also tells ALL ACCESS that THE BONE will "debut a personality line up on JULY 4th with all hot, sexy and fun female jocks in middays and nights. The morning slot will be filled in a few weeks with a personality that will shake up the market!"

Full story: Holly Hutton Named PD For Detroit's 94.3 The Bone (Tue, 7/5)

Mary Jane Wilson, 67, former program director at WKAR-TV in East Lansing, Mich., died June 26. She served as director from 1989 until her retirement in 2006.

"Those of us who were lucky enough to have Mary Jane as a friend know that she was the real deal," said Carrie Corbin, former program manager at WGVU in Kalamazoo, Mich., who called Wilson "a programmer who would do anything for you."

Full story: Mary Jane Wilson dies; former program director at WKAR-TV (Fri, 7/1)


Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels wins Ty Tyson Award

The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association (DSBA) has announced the winner of its special individual award.

Ken Daniels, play-by-play voice of the Detroit Red Wings on FOX Sports Detroit is the winner of the Ty Tyson Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting for work in the sports year 2010-2011.

"We are so honored that Ken Daniels has won this year's Ty Tyson Award," said DSBA President Will Tieman. "Ken has demonstrated outstanding play-by-play professionalism not only this past season but throughout his long and distinguished career."

Added George Eichorn, DSBA Executive Director: "Ken's award is well-deserved. He has successfully guided the work of so many professionals in our business. The DSBA congratulates him."

Previous Ty Tyson Award winners are Josh Lewin (2000), Ernie Harwell (2001), George Blaha (2002), Ray Lane (2003), Mark Champion (2004), Budd Lynch (2005), Jim Brandstatter (2006), Ken Kal (2007), Dan Dickerson (2008), and Frank Beckmann (2009).



Detroit News:

TV dance shows were once a barometer of all things cool. Teens tuned in to learn the latest moves and fashion trends, to hear the newest music and to see the hippest acts. It was fairly common for cities to air their own dance shows featuring hormonal teens burning off pent-up energy. Before going national, Philadelphia youths went hoppin' to Dick Clark's "Bandstand" (later known as "American Bandstand") while Chicago hitched a ride on the hippest trip with Don Cornelius' "Soul Train." In Detroit, the only way to rock nonstop was with "The Scene." The Nat Morris-hosted show aired for 13 seasons, 1975 to 1987, on WGPR-TV (Channel 62), the nation's first African-American-owned TV station.

Full story: Save the last dance for 'The Scene' reunion (Tue, 7/12)



Grand Rapids Press:

Jenison High School may soon be a regular location mentioned by WOOD-TV meteorologists. Storm Team 8 and Jenison Public Schools are exploring a partnership for the high school to serve as a site for a weather stick, new technology for gathering real-time data and high-definition quality video.

Full story: Jenison Schools could partner with WOOD-TV for weather coverage (Tue, 7/12)

CLEAR CHANNEL Hot AC WNIC (FRESH 100)/DETROIT and morning personality JAY TOWERS are teaming up with WIXOM MARATHON/ATLAS OIL to offer the first 103 listeners to show up 10 gallons of free gasoline.

Full story: WNIC Has Gas! (Tue, 7/12)


2011 Marconi finalists feature Michigan stations, personalities

The National Association of Broadcasters has released its finalist list for the 2011 Marconi Awards and included are several Michigan radio stations and personalities:

The afternoon drive team of Edwards and Lee at country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit are finalists for Large Market Personality of the Year; Full service/adult contemporary WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian is a finalist in two categories, Small Market Station of the Year and AC Station of the Year; WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit has been named a finalist as Oldies Station of the Year, and WXYT-FM/AM 97.1/1270 Detroit is a finalist in the Sports Station of the Year category.

Congrats to all the finalists.



Grand Rapids Press:

Steve "Scrubs" Stewart of "Scrubs in the Morning," which airs locally on Thunder Country 94.5, is leaving to become a program director in St. Louis. Stewart has been named program director of Clear Channel Radio's KSD-FM (93.7) "The Bull"...

Full story: 'Scrubs in the Morning' host Steve Stewart leaving country radio in Michigan for St. Louis (Wed, 7/13)


Family, friends, historians and Betty Ford herself reflect on her life as a political spouse; an accidental and outspoken first lady; breast cancer survivor; and feminist pro-choice Republican in Betty Ford: The Real Deal, a one-hour biography which will air Sunday, July 17 at 7 p.m. on WGVU-HD.

Full story: Documentary on Betty Ford to air this weekend on WGVU (Tue, 7/12)


FOX Sports Detroit to offer dual telecast for Friday's Tigers/White Sox game

When the Tigers return from the All-Star break on Friday, that night's game against the White Sox will be shown on both FOX Sports Detroit and FOX Sports Detroit Plus.

The FSD telecast is the traditional coverage with Mario Impemba and Rod Allen.

Meanwhile, the FS Plus audience will be treated to a unique live look at what goes on inside the production truck in order to deliver a Tigers telecast into viewers' homes. Viewers will see a split screen presentation: part game action (as seen on FS Detroit); part an inside view/explanation of what goes on in the production truck, the broadcast booth, a camera location or other behind-the-scenes aspects of the telecast.

John Keating will be the tour guide for the FS Plus telecast and will spend various innings spotlighting the roles/functions of the following positions: Producer, Director, Graphics, Audio, FOX Box Operator, Replay Room, Replay Operator, Video Room (showing all sources of video available), Stage Manager, Camera Location(s), Announce Booth Personnel.

Tigers Live (6:30 and after the game) will be simulcast on FSD and FS Plus.

A list of FS Plus channel numbers for tomorrow's alternate telecast can be found here



Windsor Star:

The pending government-mandated requirement to switch broadcasting signals in Canada from analogue to digital will affect more people in Windsor than any other metropolitan area in Canada. Perhaps due to the wealth of TV stations available over the air in Detroit, Windsor has a lower percentage of people who subscribe to cable or satellite television services than other Canadian cities. According to BBM Canada data, less than 74 percent of Windsor-area residents subscribe to cable or satellite, compared to perhaps 93 per cent on average across Canada.

Full story: Get ready to retire those rabbit ears; Canadian stations making switch to digital TV in weeks (Thu, 7/14)

CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT morning personality/APD/MD MIKE SCOTT has exited after 12 years with the station. SCOTT, who has 29 years major-market experience, tells ALL ACCESS is looking for his next opportunity and is willing to relocate for a comparable position.

Full story: Mike Scott Exits WYCD/Detroit (Tue, 7/19)


Grand Rapids Press:

Allison Harte, the veteran Grand Rapids disc jockey who was pulled from a pool Tuesday at her Rockford-area home, has died, according to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital officials.

Full story: Allison Harte, veteran Grand Rapids radio personality, dies two days after being pulled from pool (Thu, 7/21)


We knew her as Allison Harte, the smooth-talking rock music disc jockey who began blazing a trail for women in the local radio business three decades ago. Loyal listeners tuned in to jam along with her playlist, and followed her on-air career moves to different spots on the radio dial.

Full story: After drowning, family remembers 'Prudy' behind public radio personality Allison Harte (Fri, 7/22)


WOOD-TV 8 sports director Jack Doles isn't the type of person who likes to sit around and do nothing. That's what made the two months he was off the air so difficult. It was almost as painful as the neck surgery he needed to fix a spinal stenosis.

Full story: WOOD-TV 8 sports director Jack Doles happy to be back on air after neck surgery (Fri, 7/22)



Detroit Free Press:

After 45 years of broadcasting in the Motor City, Dick Purtan signed off of terrestrial radio and into retirement on March 26, 2010. Today, the Detroit radio legend and philanthropist's distinctive voice will be available for fans via a brand new weekly podcast. Purtan told Names & Faces on Thursday that -- with "a wing and a prayer" -- he'll be delivering his take on the latest local and national news, pop culture news and other entertaining tidbits of info.

Full story: Dick Purtan to air weekly podcasts (Fri, 7/22)

Beau Daniels, who left contemporary hits station WKQI (95.5-FM) earlier this year, will now be spinning oldies at WOMC (104.3-FM). Daniels will take over the 3-7 p.m. afternoon drive slot starting on August 15. Current afternoon jock Dave Fuller moves to the 7 p.m.-midnight slot.

Full story: Ex-Channel 955 jock Beau Daniels lands at WOMC (Fri, 7/22)



WJBK-TV Ch.2 Detroit:

They are a familiar sound on the airwaves of Detroit. Now, Blaine Fowler and Allyson Martinek from 96.3 WDVD are taking their radio show nationwide on television.

Full story: 'Dish Nation' to Feature 96.3 WDVD's Blaine & Allyson (Thu, 7/21)


On this hottest day of the year, 98.7 AMP Radio was giving away air conditioners to some lucky and deserving listeners.

Full story: 98.7 AMP Radio Gives Metro Detroit Woman an Air Conditioner (Thu, 7/21)



Broadcast Engineering:

NAB president Gordon Smith said the FCC's spectrum reclamation plan might leave major American cities along the Canadian and Mexican borders without television coverage. Smith said that if the FCC moves forward with its goal of allocating 120MHz of broadcast spectrum, cities like Detroit would be impacted because there would be no channels available for the city's 14 stations. He also added that every border city is at risk of having no broadcast TV if Canadian and Mexican channel reservations are taken into account.

Full story: FCC spectrum reclamation plan threatens TV coverage in border cities (Thu, 7/21)

TOWNSQUARE/FLINT GM ZOE BURDINE-FLY is heading to NEW JERSEY to oversee the recently acquired MILLENIUM radio properties, replacing MILLENNIUM Pres./CEO BILL SAUER.

Full story: Townsquare Brings In Flint GM To Oversee New Jersey Stations (Fri, 7/22)


Detroit Free Press:

Metro Detroiters have been energized and entertained by WDVD-FM (96.3)'s "Blaine and Allyson in the Morning" show for the past six years. Starting Monday, the popular Motor City radio jocks are joining morning shows from three other markets to power the six-week run of "Dish Nation," a fast-paced, pop-culture driven syndicated TV show that will air at midnight weeknights on WJBK-TV (Channel 2), Fox's Detroit affiliate.

Full story: WDVD's Blaine and Allyson will represent the D on new Fox pop-culture series (Sat, 7/23)


It was in May of 2006 when the University of Michigan reached a five year deal with CBS Radio in Detroit that would land U-M football on WOMC FM 104.3 and most of the school's men's basketball games on WWJ AM 950. That agreement has since expired and there has been no word of where the broadcasts might end up, or indeed who the announcers might be, with only 40 days to go until kickoff of a new sports season.

Let the speculation begin in earnest!

The University of Michigan may now face an ever bigger challenge for clearance of its broadcasts in Detroit than it did in 2006 when Big Ten rival school Michigan State scored a touchdown by partnering with WJR AM 760, punting U-M off the 'Great Voice of the Great Lakes'. Getting coverage for 12 or 13 high profile football games a year is one thing -- but adding a full slate of men's basketball games to a radio station in the fall and winter can be quite another.

The landscape at CBS Radio/Detroit has changed dramatically in the five years since 2006: Hot Talk was replaced by sports on FM 97.1 (The Ticket, WXYT-FM), and Dick Purtan has retired from WOMC. WXYT-FM/AM are now the flagship stations for all 4 of Detroit's professional sports teams, having added the Pistons to play-by-play coverage of the Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings. Listening to games on 97.1 is much more popular than trying to tune in on AM 1270 - but when there are two or more teams playing the same time, it often requires some searching and static to find the team you want to hear.

CBS Radio/Detroit is likely interested in adding University of Michigan sports to its lineup on 97.1 -- but questions would likely come up about which team would have priority on what station. It would be in U-M's best interest to have all of its games found consistently in one spot; Michigan games being pushed off to AM 1270, especially on September 10th when the Tigers play the Twins in the afternoon and the Wolverines play their first ever 8 p.m. home game against Notre Dame, can't look too attractive to Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon.

Would CBS Radio consider offering one of its music FM's up for football again, as it did with WOMC the past five years? Michigan sports probably wouldn't be considered a good fit for either Top 40 WDZH-FM 98.7 (Amp Radio) or Country WYCD-FM 99.5 and it's not clear if WOMC would be made available again. Would Michigan be satisfied going back to an AM-only solution on WWJ?

What might be in the best interest of U-M would be a partnership with a different radio group. Most likely suitors for Michigan sports outside of CBS include Clear Channel, Greater Media, and what will soon be Cumulus as it takes over Citadel's stations.

Perhaps the most logical fit would be with Clear Channel which already has a sports-formatted station in its WDFN AM 1130 - a station that no longer has play-by-play ties with any high profile Detroit-area team. The biggest holdback with WDFN is the lack of an FM signal and abysmal nighttime coverage area. Any deal with Clear Channel and U-M would undoubtedly have to include FM coverage for every football game, at a minimum. Clear Channel's Detroit FM stations include adult urban WMXD-FM 92.3, contemporary hits WKQI-FM 95.5, urban WJLB-FM 97.9, pop WNIC-FM 100.3 and contemporary WDTW-FM 106.7; none of which currently carry formats that would be considered a good fit with sports play-by-play.

There have been cries from sports fans for years about changing 106.7 to a simulcast of WDFN - but unless a deal with U-M is viewed as more profitable than what the current format on 106.7 is, a wholesale change remains a questionable possibility at best.

Cumulus owns Ann Arbor's WTKA AM 1050, a station that heavily features Michigan sports, and will soon take control of Citadel's three Detroit stations including WJR, Adult Hits WDRQ-FM 93.1 (Doug FM), and WDVD-FM 96.3. Could there be a scenario where Doug-FM carries the broadcasts of the games and adds an HD sidechannel that simulcasts WTKA to provide the Detroit market more coverage of U-M sports? One issue that a Cumulus/Citadel deal could ease would be the return of WJR's Frank Beckmann as football play-by-play announcer.

Greater Media might be a bit of a dark horse, but still a possibility; you wouldn't think of U-M sports on stations like Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7, Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 or Pop WMGC-FM 105.1 at first. But the company launched an FM sports station in Philadelphia in 2009 and has experience in FM talk radio as well. At one time WRIF was speculated as a possible landing spot for Detroit Lions broadcasts; perhaps there is still a desire for a sports-oriented direction within that group.

The other large commercial U.S. radio groups in the market include Radio One (FM 102.7, 105.9, and AM 1200) and Crawford Broadcasting (FM 103.5, AM 560 and 1340) - neither of which is likely to be a factor.

U-M's Brandon is facing one of his biggest challenges in terms of protecting and enhancing the Michigan brand, something he has emphasized as being one of the most important responsibilities he has as athletic director. Securing a high-profile (and stable) radio partner in the Detroit market has to be high on the list of priorities as the summer rapidly fades into autumn. One of the biggest tests of your brand has to be how well you can sell it in what's essentially your home market.

Take all of this as pure speculation. There are no comments being made publicly about the situation by the University of Michigan athletic department, its media partner IMG College, or any of the area's broadcast companies.

To paraphrase legendary Wolverines' former coach Bo Schembechler, "Toe meets leather" at 3:30pm on September 3rd. Ready or not, but on 'W---which station'!


Newsmakers and links: July 27, 2011



Ryan Ermanni exits sports WDFN Detroit

A lineup change today at sports WDFN AM 1130 Detroit as Ryan Ermanni exits; the station is airing 'The Dan Patrick Show' instead this morning.

Ermanni, whose other job is as a sports reporter for Fox 2 Detroit, commented via Facebook, "Thanks to everyone for your support over the last 2 years but the radio show is no more. Working 7 days a week for 2 years, most of which were leave home at 8am, get home at midnight has just took it's toll. I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to have done it, now I can focus solely on my passion of tv, and live a little bit as well."


106.7 The Beat jock Jevon Hollywood in critical condition after accident

WDTW-FM 106.7 night jock (10 p.m - 1 a.m.) Jevon Hollywood was hit by a car in the area of 7 Mile Road and Haggerty early this morning (July 28th) and is currently hospitalized in critical condition with injuries including a broken leg and pelvis that required surgery. Hollywood apparently stepped into a path of an oncoming vehicle before sunrise during a rainstorm.

The radio station has set up a Facebook page so listeners can send get well wishes: click here to leave a message for him.



WYCD/Detroit announces new afternoon host

Jack Shell will take over middays at country WYCD-FM 99.5 starting September 5th, filling the spot that was opened earlier this month with the departure of Mike Scott.

Shell will arrive in Detroit from Nashville where he's currently at WKDF and will also take on the role of music director at WYCD.

After over five years with CLEAR CHANNEL/TOLEDO, OM TOM COOK has resigned to join TOWNSQUARE MEDIA Hot AC WLHT (CHANNEL 95.7) and AC WTRV (THE RIVER 100.5)/GRAND RAPIDS, MI for PD duties.

Full story: Tom Cook Named PD For WLHT/WTRV (Thu, 7/28)


Detroit Free Press:

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is looking into a new radio deal since the current contract -- signed in 2006 -- expired after last season. The previous deal was signed with CBS Radio, the Chum Radio Group of Canada and Radio One. U-M football was broadcast on WOMC-FM (104.3) in Detroit and CLKW-AM (800) in Canada, with basketball on WWJ-AM (950) and WCHB-AM (1290). Broadcasts of both sports were simulcast on WTKA-AM (1050). WTKA also carried non-revenue sports, including hockey and women's basketball.

Full story: Michigan working on a new radio deal (Fri, 7/29)



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 airing Detroit Lions special tonight

ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV will help get Detroit football fans ready for the new NFL season with an hour of programming this evening. At 7:00 p.m., WXYZ will broadcast a half-hour live special, Ford Lions Report Live: Training Camp Update. The show will be hosted by Don Shane with reports from Tom Leyden and Brad Galli, and will feature a preview of the Lions season including interviews with Coach Jim Schwartz and key Lions players Matthew Stafford and Kyle Vanden Bosch. The program will capture all the energy as the players and coaches prepare to kick off an exciting new season.

"These are unprecedented circumstances," said WXYZ Sports Director Don Shane. "There's so much to accomplish in a short time. The pressure is on to keep the players you need to keep and sign the free agents you've targeted to sign. We're going to bring you all the excitement of training camp and update you on what's happening in conversations with Tom Lewand, Jim Schwartz, and key Lions players."

At 7:30 p.m., WXYZ will broadcast Breaking Through: the NFL Lions Highlight Show, a high-energy half-hour produced by NFL films. The show will take viewers inside the huddle with highlights from the Detroit Lions 2010 season, including the season's winning end. The program will also preview the Lions match-ups for the 2011 season.

Ford Lions Report Live: Training Camp Update and the NFL Lions Highlight Show are part of a unique programming and marketing partnership between WXYZ and the Detroit Lions. WXYZ will broadcast Lions preseason games on August 12, August 19, and September 1, as well as weekly Ford Lions Report Live programs on Sundays during the regular season from 11-noon. Also during the regular season, WXYZ Action News will feature weekly interviews with Coach Schwartz on Mondays and special player interviews on Thursdays, as well as extensive Lions coverage in Sunday Sports Update. In addition, and will feature digital elements and interactive coverage that will allow Lions fans to stay in touch with their favorite team.

The Michigan Football season gets underway in a month and they still don't have a local radio home. The rumors are that Michigan will either resign with CBS radio or go to Clear Channel. Either way works fine, but neither is the best decision for Michigan Athletics. Because of the late date, I think the best plan for Michigan is...

Full story: What Radio Station Will Carry U of M Sports in 2011 and Beyond? (Wed, 7/27)



Lansing State Journal:

WLNS TV-6 anchor Dave Akerly is leaving the station after nearly 21 years. Akerly originally joined the Lansing station on the sports desk. He took over as a news anchor about 10 years ago. Akerly's last day will be Monday.

Full story: WLNS TV-6 anchor Dave Akerly leaving (Fri, 7/29)


If bill becomes law, all Detroit over-the-air TV stations risk losing their ability to broadcast over the air

The wrangling in Washington D.C. over the country's debt ceiling may claim victim to more than just the USA's credit rating. According to an alert sent out by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, "Devastating language in Senator Reid's Debt Ceiling bill would remove 100% of the TV stations in Detroit from the public airwaves. Because of a treaty with Canada, U.S. television stations may not interfere with Canadian TV stations. There simply isn't any place to reallocate the TV stations in Detroit and other border states in the nation. With 12% of the population in Detroit receiving their television only over-the-air due to financial constraints, this could impact their public safety during emergency weather situations when TV gives the only in-depth information."

The MAB alert can be viewed here and includes links to get more information on what could be a devastating blow to Detroit's television broadcasters.







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About this Archive

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

Metro Detroit: June 2011 is the previous archive.

Metro Detroit: August 2011 is the next archive.

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