Metro Detroit: October 2011 Archives

Newsmakers and links: Oct. 1, 2011




Detachment stands as an ethical pillar of journalism, right beside the marble columns of fairness and accuracy. But in Detroit, an urban symbol of the American recession, it is almost impossible, some journalists argue, to report local news in the dispassionate form taught by J-school textbooks. "I absolutely think we have a responsibility to show people in Detroit -- and beyond -- what positive things the city has to offer," said Lisa Ray, the managing editor at NBC affiliate WDIV, whose Web site,, is the most popular online news source in the market.

Full story: In digital Detroit, TV stations trump papers (Thu, 9/29)



Veteran radio manager exits with Cumulus-Citadel merger

Matt Hanlon, a vice president with Citadel that had been overseeing that company's clusters in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Flint, has exited with the recent completion of the merger of Cumulus and Citadel. Hanlon was a public face of Citadel, especially in the Grand Rapids market, where he made several station format and personnel changes that drew the ire of local radio watchers.




Tomorrow marks one month since LIN-owned stations in seven markets went dark for Mediacom subscribers, and the stalemate is showing no signs of progress. A uniform statement on the LIN-owned stations' sites says negotiations are ongoing.

Full story: A Month Later, Little Progress in LIN-Mediacom Stalemate (Fri, 9/30)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 3, 2011



Bill Bonds, Rich Fisher ready to roll out new radio show today

Two legendary television newsmen are set to return to their broadcasting roots as they take to the Detroit radio airwaves this afternoon from 3 - 6 p.m. on WCAR AM 1090, launching "The Bonds and Fisher Show" with on-air contributions from former WJR and WOMC personality/producer Rachel Nevada and WWJ-TV weathercaster Jim Madaus.

Fans of Bonds and Fisher that are out of the over-the-air listening area of WCAR can listen in over the Internet via the station's web site at

The "Voice" of Mid-Michigan returns as Joel Feick joins the NBC25 Today team. Feick will captain the show as anchor, surrounded by an ensemble cast who will wake viewers up with a smile and laugh, while providing the necessary news and weather information needed to start the day.

"I am excited to be working for a team that wants me and to get back to telling stories again. It's what I love to do," said Feick. "I am thankful for the people who sent me well wishes and prayed for me, and I am looking forward to working with a great team."

Feick previously worked 27 years as an anchor / reporter at WJRT but parted ways as that station downsized.

Full story: Joel Feick joins the NBC25 Team (Mon, 10/3)



Grand Rapids Press:

Gordon R. Gould, age 69 of Lowell, died October 1, 2011 at Metro Health Hospital following a battle with cancer. He taught and was a guidance counselor for years at Lowell High School. He was a well known news reporter on Wood Radio.

Full obit: Gordon Gould (Sun, 10/2)

CUMULUS MEDIA has promoted MATT SPAULDING VP/Market Manager for its MI cluster that includes WWWW, WQKL, WTKA-A and WLBY-A). SPAULDING had been its GSM since AUGUST 2009.

Full story: Cumulus/Ann Arbor Ups Matt Spaulding To VP/Market Mgr. (Mon, 10/3)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 6, 2011



Detroit Free Press:

Mickey Redmond laughs when he thinks of Fox Sports Detroit's "between-the-benches" reporting from NHL Hall of Famer Larry Murphy during Red Wings home games. "I think the benches in my day would have told Larry to 'get out of the road' when they passed him," said Redmond, who played for the Wings in 1970-76 and is a longtime FSD Wings color analyst. "But as we go along, fans today want to know more about players -- their stats, their habits, their passions, their thoughts before, during and after games.

Full story: FSD wants to bring fans high-tech hockey experience (Thu, 10/6)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 7, 2011


CUMULUS/DETROIT has upped Talk WJR-A GM TOM O'BRIEN to the new position of VP/Market Manager for the three-station cluster, including WJR, Hot AC WDVD and Adult Hits WDRQ.

Full story: Tom O'Brien Upped To Cumulus/Detroit VP/Market Mgr. (Thu, 10/6)


BELL MEDIA Alternative CIMX (89X)/DETROIT partners with the DETROIT RED WINGS to support local music during the upcoming NHL season. During the 2nd period at each RED WINGS home game, a local band or musician will be featured in a "MOTOR CITY MUSIC MINUTE" video segment on the jumbo-tron at JOE LOUIS ARENA hosted 89X MD/evening host JAY HUDSON.

Full story: 89X Partners With The Detroit Red Wings To Support Local Music (Thu, 10/6)


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

VuoloAs mentioned in my last column about the signing of WWJ as the flagship for Michigan Football and Basketball, I felt there should be a place where the games should be on FM. Sadly, there were simply no available stations on the FM dial. So, I mentioned "how about an HD outlet?" Well, prayers were answered and it's now official that the Michigan Wolverines will be, starting this weekend, on WXYT-FM (97.1) HD-3.

HD Radio has had a slow growth mostly because nobody was putting anything on HD sub-carriers that anyone wanted to hear. When HD Radio was first launched I wrote a piece suggesting that these "hidden stations" should feature music categories NOT available on "regular" FM frequencies because they are TOO niche. Formats like: pre-Beatles oldies from 1955-1964, easy listening and beautiful music, classic country, smooth and traditional jazz and classical music. My pleas fell on deaf ears and, other than WOMC 104.3 HD-2 which does feature the older oldies, not much has gone onto HD to make it interesting...until now!

The good word has come down that WXYT-FM, which already has WWJ-AM (950) on their HD-2 channel, has now fired up a HD-3 channel with a simulcast of WXYT-AM (1270) which recently flipped to all-talk...but when the University of Michigan is playing football the pre-game, the game itself, and the post-game show will all be on WXYT-FM HD-3! There are limited numbers of people with HD-capable radios, but for those of you with this new technology, the games will finally be on crystal-clear FM-HD.

This news has come at a good time because this weekend (October 8th) has the U of M battling Northwestern in Evanston, IL in a night game that starts at 7 pm. WWJ will be on their night pattern for much of the game, which means that the bulk of their coverage is straight north from their multi-tower transmitter site in Berlin Township just north of Monroe. Fans to the east, south and west will be on the fringe of that signal. Out in Ann Arbor it's even worse as WTKA-AM (1050) drops from their impressive daytime signal of 10,000 watts to an anemic 500 watts...yikes! My hair dryer has more power. It drops off by the time you get to the west side of town, and at the moment, sister station W4 Country (102.9 FM) has no plans of simulcasting the game like they did for the Michigan-Notre Dame matchup in September.

So, it's great news for the handful of us with an HD Radio and want to hear the game clean and static-free. WWJ is an historic and heritage radio station, but there are inherit short-comings with nearly all AM stations which is why so many cities are seeing a ground-swell of sports shifting over to FM.

WXYT-FM (The Ticket 97.1) is the top station in metro Detroit right now and it has been the phenomenal success of this station that sparked the nationwide push of sports stations away from AM and over to FM. It all started right here in the Motor City. Rock on sports fans and Go Blue at Ryan Field under the lights and beat the Wildcats of Northwestern in Evanston!

Art Vuolo Jr.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 8, 2011



Detroit Free Press:

Longtime Detroit news anchor Mort Crim will be back on the air -- and up in the air -- this weekend on WDIV-TV (Channel 4). He's the star of "Flight Level Seven Four and Still Climbing," a one-hour special airing at 3 p.m. Sunday that documents the 7,400-mile solo trip Crim took across the United States in his two-seat light-sport aircraft.

Full story: Mort Crim special to air Sunday on WDIV-TV (Sat, 10/8)

WCBN, the student radio station at the University of Michigan, plans to participate in National College Radio Day on Tuesday with a special event on the U-M Diag. "This is the first year WCBN-FM will participate in National College Radio Day - an event to celebrate the contributions of college stations nationwide in broadening the airwaves of their respective college towns with music and reporting that is non-commercial, locally relevant, and produced by students and community members with a passion for non-mainstream culture."

Full story: WCBN to mark College Radio Day with special event (Fri, 10/7)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 10, 2011



CBS Radio/Detroit sets schedule for Tigers and Lions coverage today

Overlap between CBS Radio Detroit's coverage of this evening's Monday Night Football game between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears and this afternoon's American League playoff game between the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers has resulted in the following broadcast lineup today:

- All of the Lions' coverage, including the normal pregame and postgame programming, will be heard on WXYT-FM 97.1. The football game is set to kick off at about 8:30 p.m. Lions' coverage is contractually obligated to air on FM 97.1.

- Tigers' coverage will be simulcast on WWJ AM 950 and WXYT AM 1270 with the first pitch of that game scheduled for 4:19 p.m.

On local broadcast television, WJBK-TV Ch. 2 will have the Tigers broadcast and WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 will carry the Lions game.



Bob Wojnowski joins WRIF-FM Detroit

Sports is king in Detroit at the moment, and rock WRIF-FM 101.1 has enhanced its sports coverage during morning's Drew and Mike show with the addition of Bob 'Wojo' Wojnowski, current Detroit News columnist and former WDFN AM 1130 afternoon co-host.

The Detroit morning airwaves feature several former longtime WDFN personalities now on competing stations- Mike Stone, Wojo's former co-host on WDFN, now co-hosts mornings on WXYT-FM, and Jamie Samuelsen handles sports coverage at WCSX-FM 94.7.



Detroit Free Press:

Detroit native George Noory has come a long way since he was making $2 an hour as a production assistant at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) and WXYZ-AM (now WXYT), where he started in 1969 while attending the University of Detroit. Now, his nationally syndicated radio show "Coast to Coast AM," which is carried by more than 500 stations around world, including CKLW-AM (800), can be heard weeknights 1-5 a.m. on WXYT-AM (1270), the same place Noory got his start.

Full story: George Noory's 'Coast to Coast AM' picked up by WXYT (Mon, 10/10)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 12, 2011



Lansing State Journal:

George Blaha was in the Spartan Stadium stands for the 1966 "Game of the Century" between Notre Dame and Michigan State - cheering for the Fighting Irish just months after earning a Notre Dame economics degree. Two years later, he had a master's in business administration from Michigan. Three years after that, he found his true career passion and his true college football love. These affairs have lasted 40 years, with many more planned.

Full story: 'Green' Blaha is Spartans' veteran radio presence (Wed, 11/12)


Dayton and Wyoming were the two schools showing the most interest in East Lansing High offensive tackle Jim Brandstatter. Michigan State - where his father was an All-American and his brother played - wasn't showing much. "That was OK," Brandstatter said. "So be it." Then, Brandstatter had a strong game at Ann Arbor Pioneer, against a defensive end Michigan was recruiting. U-M began to recruit Brandstatter.

Full story: Brandstatter enjoys rivalry from U-M side (Wed, 11/12)



Detroit News:

The country now knows what most sports fan here in Metro Detroit have known for years: we love our football. Early TV ratings for the Lions' 24-13 win Monday over the Bears at Ford Field made ESPN's "Monday Night Football" the second-best rated game of the year for the network, the Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday ... Baseball also drew strong ratings Monday in Detroit as the Tigers squared off against the Rangers for Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. The Tigers' 7-3 loss at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington drew a 26.4 rating and 45 share in Detroit, good for No.1 for its time slot...

Full story: Early numbers show strong TV ratings for Lions, Tigers (Tue, 11/11)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 14, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD-TV (Channel 8) has a new anchor for its weekday newscast at 10 p.m. on WXSP-TV. Marlee Ginter joins Brian Sterling beginning Monday to co-anchor 24 Hour News 8 at 10 p.m.

Full story: 24 Hour News 8 has new anchor for 10 p.m. newscast on WXSP-TV with Brian Sterling (Fri, 10/14)



Broadcasting & Cable:

Tim Redmond, formerly WJBK Detroit's vice president of engineering, has been promoted to vice president of engineering and operations at Fox Television Stations (FTS), announced Betsy Swanson, the company's executive VP of technical operations and CFO. Reporting to Swanson, Redmond will oversee strategic planning and execution of relevant technologies for the 27 Fox owned-and-operated stations.

Full story: Redmond Named Fox TV Stations VP of Engineering and Ops (Fri, 10/14)


Legendary morning personality Jim Harper has announced plans to retire at the end of this year from Greater Media Detroit's Magic 105.1/WMGC-FM. His last day on the air will be December 23, 2011.

"There are so many people I wish to thank for a long and wonderful career, especially my wife, Lynn and the hundreds of talented broadcasters that I've been blessed to work for and with over the years, including Peter Smyth and the "All Star Team" at Greater Media Detroit," said Harper. "But most of all, I would like to thank the people of the Motor City. I hope they have felt the warmth and love I have enjoyed as a member of this "family" of Detroiters for so many years."

"Jim is a true Motor City legend," said Greater Media Market Manager Steve Kosbau. "We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of his radio legacy and wish him the very best as he begins a new chapter in his life."

Jim Harper landed his first radio job in March of 1967 at the young age of 13 at WYNZ-AM, a small radio station in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he hosted 15 minute weekly Saturday show that focused on teen issues.

In 1969, he became the official Sunday sign-on to sign-off announcer, host and newscaster on WHMI-AM in Howell, MI. In 1970-1972, Harper served as the evening on air personality and music director at WAAM-AM in Ann Arbor, before working as the morning and afternoon drive host on WIID-AM in Garden City in 1973. In 1974, he served as the evening host and music director at WCAR-AM. In 1975, he became the midday jock on WDRQ-FM Detroit.

After growing up in Hamtramck and then Westland, he eventually left the Motor City and moved to Houston, Texas in 1976 to host an evening show on KXYZ-AM. Harper returned shortly after to serve as program director and midday host at WDRQ-FM.

In 1977, he moved to WNIC-FM as morning host and later became program director.

Then in 1984, Harper left WNIC-FM to become part owner and morning show host at WDTX-FM in Detroit and part owner of WNCX-FM, located in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1987, he returned to WNIC-FM as morning host and later went on to serve as program director and vice president of operations.

Harper joined MAGIC 105.1/WMGC-FM in Detroit as the morning host and operations manager in July of 2001.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 17, 2011



Radio One's WCHB expands coverage to FM; heard on 105.9 HD2 and translator at 99.9

Radio One's News/talk and gospel formatted WCHB AM 1200 has expanded its listening options in the immediate metro Detroit area with the addition of simulcasts on the company's WDMK-FM HD2 and also a new translator at 99.9 FM that recently signed on.

Radio One purchased the translator quite some time ago and has apparently completed the engineering work to complete a frequency change from 89.1 to 99.9 along with a power increase.

WCHB becomes Detroit's first AM station to add both an FM translator and HD2 signal. Other local AM stations that can be heard on HD subchannels include CBS Radio's WWJ AM 950 (WXYT-FM 97.1 HD2) and WXYT AM 1270 (WXYT-FM HD3). At one time Crawford Broadcasting's WRDT AM 560 and WEXL AM 1340 were heard on HD subchannels on the company's WMUZ-FM 103.5 - however a quick check this evening found that WMUZ was not broadcasting in HD.

Some of the Country Music Assn.'s broadcast winners received the happy news this morning via a call from superstar Taylor Swift, including KCLR Columbia, Mo., which won in both the station of the year and personality of the year categories. WYCD Detroit got news from Swift this morning of its major market station of the year win, but had to wait until Chuck Edwards and Linda Lee of its "Edwards and Lee" afternoon show went on the air to learn, via a surprise phone call from Detroit native Kid Rock, that the show had also won the major market broadcast personality of the year award.

Full story: CMA Names Broadcast Award Winners; WYCD Detroit, KCLR Columbia, Mo., Nab Two (Mon, 10/17)


Full story: CIMX Announces 'The Night 89X Stole Christmas' (Mon, 10/17)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 19, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

WWMT-TV (Channel 3) has hired a new broadcaster to co-anchor its morning news. Marcie Kobriger will join co-anchor Josh Roe and meteorologist Jeff Porter beginning next Monday on Newschannel 3.

Full story: WWMT-TV Channel 3 hires new co-anchor for morning on Newschannel 3 (Wed, 10/19)



Free Beer & Hot Wings for Lansing

Modern rock 'The Edge' WVIC-FM 94.1 Jackson/Lansing has added the syndicated 'Free Beer & Hot Wings' show for morning drive. The program is based in Grand Rapids at WGRD-FM 97.9 and is now heard across much of lower Michigan in addition to numerous markets out of state.

Personalities include Gregg "Free Beer" Daniels and Chris "Hot Wings" Michaels along with Eric "Zane" Zeitunian and "Producer" Joseph Gasmann, Jr.

The Edge has shifted Jay Morris back to 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Span to 3 - 9 p.m. with the change in mornings.



National Public Radio's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" coming to Detroit's Fox Theatre January 19th

NPR's news quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! is hitting the road for the show's first ever live event from Detroit's Fox Theatre, on Thursday, January, 19 at 7:30PM.

The radio show recorded in Detroit will be broadcast Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10 a.m. on WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit, on Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint) at 11 a.m. and throughout the weekend on NPR Member stations nationwide. The program is also available as streaming audio and a free podcast at

Now in its 14th season, the Peabody Award-winning show, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, uses current stories (from the global to the ridiculous) for questions and comedy. Host Peter Sagal, along with official judge and scorekeeper Carl Kasell, leads a rotating panel of comedians, humorists and journalists, listener contestants and celebrity guests through a comic review of the week's news. Contestants vie for the most coveted prize in all of public radio: a custom-recorded greeting by Kasell for their voicemail.

The show will also feature a special guest for its "Not My Job" segment, a game where famous people are quizzed on subjects about which they know nothing. Former contestants include hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons answering three questions about fitness guru Richard Simmons; Star Trek alumnus Leonard Nimoy, who answered questions about child-rearing expert Dr. Spock; and Elvis Costello, who played a game called, 'Elvis...haven't I heard that name before?' about figure skater Elvis Stojko.

Tickets ($38, $58 and $68) go on sale to the public on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (without service charge) at all Ticketmaster locations and To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611.

In addition, Michigan Radio is offering a pair of main floor advance tickets during its Fall Pledge Drive. More information about this offer is available at

CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT morning show host DON CARPENTER arranged a surprise meeting between MERCURY NASHVILLE artist SCOTTY McCREERY and fan ALEX BARNES.

Full story: WYCD Sets Up Surprise Meeting With Scotty McCreery For Fan With Cancer (Wed, 10/19)


MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS Rock WJXQ (Q106)/LANSING, MI welcomes back PARKER for nights replacing ANDY GREEN. PARKER worked at 'JXQ from 2003-2005.

Full story: Parker Returns To WJXQ For Nights (Wed, 10/19)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 20, 2011



Detroit News:

Eli Zaret , who has spent the last five years with the Pistons organization, doing sideline reporting and other television assignments, has been let go by the team's new management. "The new guys are very smart, the direction that they're going in, a plan that's different than the one that is in place," said Zaret, who has been part of the Detroit sports scene for more than 30 years.

Full story: Pistons fire sideline reporter Eli Zaret (Thu, 10/20)

CBS RADIO News WWJ-A/DETROIT is presenting NEWSRADIO 950's MICHIGAN Money Summit on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29th. WWJ-A/FOX 2 Business Editor MURRAY FELDMAN will host free panel discussions covering various areas of investing and financial planning.

Full story: WWJ-A Hosts Free Michigan Money Summit (Thu, 10/20)

If you've ever wondered what must go on behind the scenes to make such magic happen, you're in luck because WKAR-TV has just started a new series called "Beneath the Pines: Inside the Spartan Marching Band." The seven-week series premiered Sunday and continues on Monday at 8 p.m. on WKAR World.

Full story: Michigan State's Spartan Marching Band gets dose of reality on WKAR-TV (Thu, 10/20)


WGPR-FM 107.5, the last full-powered independently owned commercial FM radio station in the Detroit market, is in its final hours of that independence programming-wise thanks to a just-announced agreement between WGPR owner the International Masons and broadcasting company Radio One.

At midnight on Sunday night (Monday morning), the hip-hop format of Radio One's 'Hot 102.7' (WHTD) will be moving up the dial to 107.5 as 'Hot 107.5' as Radio One assumes programming responsibilities for WGPR. The entire Hot 102.7 lineup, which includes The Rickey Smiley Morning Show mornings, Paigion middays, Big Greg afternoons, and Shorty da Prince evenings will remain intact in the frequency shift. The change gives the hip-hop format a much stronger market-wide signal, especially in areas to the south and west of Detroit where there is interference from Ann Arbor's country WWWW-FM 102.9.

Back on the 102.7 frequency, Radio One plans on installing a Gospel-based inspirational/religious format as 'Praise 102.7' beginning October 31st on a full-time basis anchored by Yolanda Adams in morning drive.

Market veteran John Mason, who had been hosting mornings on the adult urban WGPR, appears to be without a timeslot on either station. A Radio One spokesperson told The Detroit News that the company intends to explore its options with Mason should he be interested.

Kathy Stinehour, VP and GM of Radio One Detroit commented in a release, "Adding WGPR to our existing portfolio of stations and introducing a brand new inspirational station means Radio One will become the dominant urban provider in the marketplace. We are looking forward to better serving the community and are thrilled Ms. Cathy Hughes and Alfred Liggins are choosing to make this type of major investment in Detroit."

Radio One also owns adult urban WDMK-FM 105.9 and WCHB AM 1200, along with an FM translator for WCHB at 99.9, in the Detroit market. WDMK currently features Tom Joyner in morning drive.

There is no word on the status of the two WGPR side channels currently being leased by Tim Martz's Radio Power with this new agreement between the International Masons and Radio One. WGPR-HD2 carries a smooth jazz format as 'The Oasis' and WGPR-HD3 is rock as 'The Bone'. The Oasis had been heard on an FM translator at 104.7 until earlier this week and The Bone continues to be heard on a translator at 94.3.



Detroit News:

Changes are coming to your radio dial this weekend, thanks to some moves by Radio One Detroit that will affect multiple stations.

Full story: Detroit radio dial faces some shakeups (Fri, 10/21)


Vuolo: The Black Market Changes



Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

VuoloBy the time most of you see this, your radio dial may have already been seriously altered. In the radio business we refer to stations which cater to the African-American community as "urban." If you look up the definition of the word "urban" you'll see nothing about radio stations which program to black listeners. Are we to blame this on "political correctness"? Some say yes.

This could be why we no longer have problems...we have "issues". Also nobody dies anymore. They pass. I'm waiting to see a NO PASSING sign in front of a funeral home. A news item last week actually reported a sign at a mortuary that was being remodeled stating "Pardon our dust." But I digress.

Detroit's significant black population has a number of radio choices which cater to its wants and needs. In fact there are six. Clear Channel, America's biggest radio station group, owns two; WJLB-FM (97.9) and WMXD-FM (92.3). Radio One, America's largest black-owned broadcasting company has control of all the rest. They include: WHTD-FM (102.7), WDMK-FM (105.9), WCHB-AM (1200) plus LPFM (99.9), and now has control of WGPR-FM (107.5). Interestingly the call-letters WGPR originally stood for Grosse Pointe Radio. Later it was branded as "Where God's Praise Radiates." As it moved away from its gospel image, it was again re-worked as "The Rhythm of the Avenue." Now it may be returning to its earlier image, but at a new address. The 102.7 frequency has been home to many sets of call-letters and many formats on a signal that has always been considered "less than full-market" because it is first adjacent to 102.9 from Ann Arbor (WWWW-FM) and the transmitting tower being to the far northeast of Detroit in Macomb County. It was originally WBRB-FM Mt. Clemens. So, this "lesser signal" will be surrendered to God as it segues to "Praise 102.7" but will the call-letters be WGPR?

This makes room for WHTD "Hot 102.7" to relocate to what IS a full-market signal on 107.5 and become "Hot 107.5" with a hip-hop format going somewhat head-to-head with Clear Channel's longtime market leader WJLB-FM, known to most listeners as FM 98. Radio One's other big FM is the one-time WCHD, then for many years WJZZ, but now has the WDMK calls. That stands for Detroit, Michigan's Kiss. That station pretty much stays the same in a sea of changes.

The one place stations seem to shine with personalities and localism is in the morning. Yet, the "new" Hot 107.5 will continue to feature Rickey Smiley, who is syndicated out of Atlanta. After Sundays Lions vs. Falcons football game, Atlanta is not a favorite among Detroiters. Kiss 105.9 imports, from Dallas, TX, the Tom Joyner morning show who's good, but NOT local. At least Radio One has local Detroit talent Mildred Gaddis in the morning slot on WCHB (1200 AM and 99.9 FM.) The new gospel format of "Praise 102.7" has Yolanda Adams which is another nationally syndicated program heard in over forty other cities throughout the country. At the Clear Channel fortress in Farmington Hills, WMXD (Mix 92.3) features funnyman Steve Harvey who is very entertaining, but not local (he's in Hollywood, CA.) He's also the newest host of TV game show "The Family Feud" and is one of the best since Richard Dawson, of many decades ago. Kudos to longtime main-stay WJLB with its four-person local morning show featuring Coco, Foolish, Mr. Chase and Max! Three of the four are native Detroiters. All are live and local.

So, even through Radio One is making a great number of changes on the local radio dial, it shouldn't have too many people upset....unless you are a fan of Mason in the Morning or two FM's on 99.9 which you can no longer hear clearly.

John Mason is arguably the dean of black radio personalities in Detroit, but he fell victim to this most recent round of "musical chairs" of stations, formats and on-air personnel. Personally, I hope some station makes room for Mason in the morning...he's needed on the radio in Detroit.


You may have read right here in how one of the two new low power FM's at 94.3 and 104.7 was forced off the air because of interference with a Toledo station. Smooth Jazz, The Oasis 104.7 was conflicting with Toledo rocker WIOT-FM, also on 104.7. They will need to find another frequency where it can be more clearly heard. Now, WCHB-AM (1200) has landed an LPFM to extend their coverage on 99.9. Oddly enough another Toledo station is on that frequency! Country WKKO (known as K-100) is popular south of the Down River Area. Up in St. Clair County, listeners to Sarnia's CFGX-FM, also at 99.9, may experience some co-channel interference.

The FM dial is simply getting TOO crowded. I can remember while living in the Ypsilanti area rotating my FM antenna and getting three stations at 100.7 from Lansing, Cleveland and Elkhart but now there is a new 100.7 in Windsor and another one down in Toledo. Yet, when the regional blackout happened during the Dream Cruise in August of 2003, I was able to pick up, on a portable radio in Novi, WNCI-FM on 97.9 from down in Columbus, OH because WJLB had been knocked off the air due to the outage. This proves that FM signals can travel amazingly far if there weren't so many of them on the limited number of allocations across the dial.


Lastly, God knows we have a plethora of Christian and religious radio stations in the greater Detroit area with several full-signal FM and AM stations, plus a whole lot of small coverage LPFM's that make up the K-Love Network. These Christian pop music stations are found on 98.3 in Detroit, 105.5 in Rochester, 102.3 in Ferndale, and 106.3 in Westland . As a regular church attendee I have always felt that the people who listen to religious radio stations are already right with their faith. The people who NEED to listen don't....but what do I know? I'll have more observations as the final days of 2011 unfold. Stay tuned.

Art Vuolo Jr.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 24, 2011



WGPR-FM waves goodbye to listeners

Radio One took control of WGPR-FM 107.5 early this morning and started a stunt of sorts by playing the Boyz II Men song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" repeatedly and directing listeners to WDMK-FM 105.9 between each playing.

The next move will the shift of the hip-hop format of 102.7 to 107.5 on Wednesday at 5:00pm; it's possible those two frequencies will then simulcast until Monday, October 31st when 102.7 will launch it's new Gospel-based format as 'Praise 102.7'.



Windsor's Country 95.9 lands a familiar voice

Former country WYCD-FM 99.5 midday host Mike Scott has landed at CJWF-FM 95.5 (Country 95.9) for weekend and fill-in work. Scott was let go from WYCD this past summer.

I knew something was up when late Friday on the drive home, WGPR (107.5) played a rap-free version of Kelly Rowland's "Motivation." The only other urban adult contemporary station, to my knowledge, that had spun that tune was WDMK (105.9). It wasn't a surprise for 105.9 to be playing it; urban adult contemporary stations tend to pick up on certain hits after they've been played to death on younger-targeted stations. But 107.5 has rarely been a follower of other stations in the Detroit market.

Full story: The death of 107.5, or why urban radio in Detroit continues on its downward spiral (Mon, 10/24)



Cumulus' WDVD and WDRQ Detroit hosting Canned Film Festival

96.3 WDVD & 93.1 Doug-FM will present the Canned Film Festival, Thursday, November 10th at MJR Digital Cinemas. Anyone who donates at least five cans of food at any MJR Digital Cinema (excluding the Adrian location) will get free admission to the movie of their choosing from 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. that evening only. It's a "win-win" situation to help feed the area's hungry while getting to see a first-run movie.

96.3 WDVD's afternoon drive DJ, Jesse Addy, will be broadcasting live from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the new MJR Westland Grand Digital Cinema 16 located at 6800 North Wayne Road, Westland, MI 48185.

All canned food donated during the Canned Film Festival will be collected and distributed by Gleaners Food Bank to food providers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Livingston Counties. Kroger has issued a challenge to the public: for every Kroger brand canned good donated, Kroger will match the donations up to $5,000! Last year's Canned Film Festival was highly successful with over 9,000 people attending the six MJR Digital Cinemas and donating 48,000 pounds of food.

MJR Digital Cinemas participating in the 2011 Canned Film Festival are: Brighton Towne Square 20, Chesterfield Crossing 16, Marketplace Sterling Heights 20, Southgate 20, Partridge Creek 14, Waterford 16, and Westland Grand 16.



FOX Sports Detroit readies for expanded coverage of MHSAA Football Playoffs

FOX Sports Detroit plans to offer a lineup of Web & TV content throughout the Prep Postseason, starting with this Friday's boys football district matchups. The MHSAA Network will produce 16 games in the 2011 Football Playoffs to be streamed live on The Prep Zone is a new feature of the MHSAA's television package this year. Four games will be streamed live each Friday for the first three weekends of the Playoffs, and four Semifinal games will be streamed live on Saturday, Nov. 19. Prep Zone games will be archived for on-demand viewing on the Website.

The Prep Zone games for Friday, Oct. 28 are:

  • Romeo at Troy Athens (Division 1)
  • South Lyon at Holly (Division 2)
  • Sturgis at Mason (Division 3)
  • Saugatuck at Muskegon Catholic Central (Division 8)

Other prep football programming will include:

- MHSAA Football Friday Overtime: Fridays - Midnight (live), Saturday - 11 a.m. (replay) on FOX Sports Detroit (through Nov. 18-19) Throughout the postseason leading up to the championship round, FOX Sports Detroit continues its fast-paced Friday night presentation with host Mickey York and analyst Rob Rubick, complete with highlights, interviews and results from various games throughout the state.

- FOX Sports Detroit PLUS will televise live the inaugural MHSAA 8-Player Final on Fri. Nov. 18 at 7 pm from the Superior Dome in Marquette.

- The Division 1 - 8 MHSAA Football Finals will be aired on Fri. Nov. 25 & Sat. Nov. 26 on FOX Sports Detroit PLUS for the 14th consecutive year, live from Ford Field in Detroit.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 25, 2011



WDFN/Detroit and ESPN 96.1/Grand Rapids afternoon show exits

Less than two months after the sudden death of co-host Tom Kowalski, the Sean, Terp, and Killer show has come to an end on sports formatted sister stations WDFN AM 1130 Detroit and WMAX-FM 96.1 Grand Rapids. Sean Baligian announced on social networks yesterday evening that he had made the decision to move on and is no longer with WDFN after about 12 years.

Ryan Terpstra will remain with ESPN 96.1 in Grand Rapids and for the immediate future will continue to host afternoons on that station only.



Notice something different on 24 Hour News 8 this past weekend? WOOD-TV (channel 8) began airing its news broadcasts in full HDTV on Saturday.

Full story: WOOD-TV's 24 Hour News 8 begins broadcasting news in HDTV format (Mon, 10/24)



Windsor's CKWW AM 580 carries on an annual Halloween tradition

Martians will once again invade the airwaves of Windsor/Detroit as AM580 will present a Halloween treat with the airing of one of the most infamous radio broadcasts of all-time on Monday, October 31st at 8 PM.

"The War of the Worlds" was originally broadcast in 1938 as part of the "Mercury Theatre on the Air" program. Based on the H.G. Wells science fiction novel, this radio show was directed and narrated by Orson Welles and had a nation convinced Martians were invading. Despite numerous disclaimers, the simulated news bulletins were so believable that panic gripped the country as thousands actually thought aliens had landed in Grover's Mill, New Jersey and were taking over the world!

CKWW has aired the original 1938 historic broadcast every year since the early 1990's.



Radio Ink:

P.D. Brent Alberts helps revive the rock ratings in Detroit. When Alberts arrived at Greater Media's WCSX in June 2010, the station had been the Classic Rock Station of record in Detroit for 23 years, yet they were ranked #9 25-54 adults in the May 2010 PPM. After making sure the product was well targeted, clutter at a minimum, and the station totally reimaged, Alberts challenged the staff to step it up, do great content and play a lot of music. July and August 2010 WCSX moved to #4 25-54 adults and in September and October #3.

Full story: Rock & Roll is Alive And Well in The Motor City (Tue, 10/25)

CBS RADIO News WWJ-A/DETROIT is hosting a business breakfast forum on "Resurrecting DETROIT" as part of its "WWJ NEWSRADIO 950/GREAT LAKES AND TECHNOLOGY REPORT (GLITR) UnWIRED Coffee Series" on THURSDAY (10/27). The event, at LAWRENCE TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY's ULTC GALLERY, will be moderated by WWJ Technology Editor MATT ROUSH and will include panelists DEIRDRE GREENE GROVES, Exec. Dir. of THE COLLABORATIVE GROUP; CMPUWARE Chairman/CEO PETER KARAMANOS, JR.; and KIM YOST, CEO of ART VAN FURNITURE.

Full story: WWJ To Host Breakfast Forum On 'Resurrecting Detroit' (Mon, 10/24)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 27, 2011



Monroe News:

WYDM, Dream 97.5, the non-profit radio station that has been kind of a learning lab for Monroe High School and Monroe County Community College students over the years, soon will be run by Monroe Public Access Cable Television. Monroe Public Schools board members unanimously agreed Tuesday night to sell the FM radio station license and equipment to MPACT for $25,000. The station's future has been up in the air since Monroe County Community College dropped funding for it earlier this year

Full story: Radio station license, equipment sold (Wed, 10/26)



FCC dings WHPR-FM 88.1 Highland Park with notice of possible $22,000 fine for violations

Not following FCC rules to the letter of the law can prove very costly, and especially burdensome if you're a small community station in one of the poorest communities in Michigan. WHPR-FM 88.1 in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park has been served with a $22,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for violations including transmitting from a location nearly one half of a mile from where it's licensed, public file issues, and emergency alert problems. In addition to the possible fine of $22,000 the station must also "submit a written statement signed under penalty of perjury stating that Station WHPR-FM is now in compliance."

FCC Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order (.pdf)


As the clock struck 5 p.m. this afternoon, it was officially time to start celebrating the Christmas season in Detroit as pop WMGC-FM 105.1 flipped to "Christmas 105.1".

So as you're passing out candy for Halloween and carving your turkey for Thanksgiving, you'll also have the opportunity to make believe it's actually December 25th.

The annual switchover to Christmas music by radio stations across the U.S.A. has typically resulted in a ratings bonanza - despite the inevitable criticism from some listeners that prefer to wait to listen to the sounds of the season until it's actually the season.







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About this Archive

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

Metro Detroit: September 2011 is the previous archive.

Metro Detroit: November 2011 is the next archive.

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