Mid-Michigan: February 2011 Archives

There will be no shortage of coverage of the big winter storm that's moving over the southern Lower Peninsula on area radio and television stations. From the weather forecasters to technicians, camera operators, anchors, reporters, and radio program hosts, few outside of essential public service jobs (like snowplow drivers!) will have tougher assignments the next few days. Many will go without sleep, and those working the early shifts tomorrow with likely either try and sleep at their station or hope to grab a room at hotel close enough to minimize the commute.

Viewers and listeners at home will be treated to extensive coverage of the event, which some analysts are saying could result in one of the all-time top storms across the region in terms of snowfall totals and impact on travel and commerce. Several television stations from Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint/Saginaw, and Lansing have already announced to viewers that their morning newscasts will begin as early as 4 a.m. with the latest on the storm itself, school closings (all of em?) and travel conditions.

Radio won't be left out either. Although legacy all-news station WWJ AM 950 in Detroit doesn't plan on adjusting its normal anchor schedule, they will be devoting a lot more resources than normal to provide coverage to this big weather event, providing around the clock information on what's going on with the storm including school and business closings and traffic updates. It's not clear yet if Detroit's WJR AM 760 plans on changing its normal daytime schedule that normally includes talk shows from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to instead focus on storm impacts.

It wasn't all that many years ago that many normally music-focused radio stations would interrupt their normal routines during morning drive in order to provide long lists of school closings. While the Internet and school district initiated robo-calling has helped alleviate some of the demand for the reading of closing lists, it's a pretty safe bet that any radio program that's live and local tomorrow will spend a lot more time than normal on providing community information.

While there will always be those that complain that coverage of these kinds of events is nothing more than hyperbole, the bottom line is having radio and TV being able to react and report on these kinds of regional events is a great opportunity for them to shine and display the kind of professional community involvement that can never be duplicated.

The hard work that will be put in the next couple of days by those working in under-staffed TV news rooms and radio stations is duly noted and appreciated.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 10, 2011




Condolences to family and friends of former MICHIGAN radio broadcaster TED JOHNSON, who died FEBRUARY 4th at 92 in NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL, according to a notice in the HERITAGE NEWSPAPERS of southeastern MICHIGAN. JOHNSON's career started at WHRV-A (now WAAM-A)/ANN ARBOR in 1947, moving later to WXYZ-A/DETROIT and then to FLINT, where he was a personality at WFDF-A and WTAC-A and VP/GM at WTRX and worked for COMCAST... Former Flint Broadcaster Ted Johnson Dies At 92 (Thu, 2/10)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 15, 2011



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

Swing-era bandleader Harry James was such a fan of chili, he held it second only to the thing that was his life's passion. "Next to music there is nothing that lifts the spirits and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili," James once said. There will be a chance to sample approximately 40 good bowls of chili at the annual K105.3 FM Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Competition at the American 1 Events Center, 200 W. Ganson St., on Sunday afternoon. This is K105.3 FM's second year of putting on the popular competition... How hot do you like it?: K105.3's chili cook-off and salsa competition set for Sunday (Tue, 2/15)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 17, 2011



Lansing State Journal:

WKARMargaret Nielsen of East Lansing loves her public radio. So much that some radios in her house are tuned to MSU-based WKAR, for jazz and folk music and local news, while another reels in public affairs programming from Ann Arbor-based WUOM.

"I would very much miss public TV and radio if they went away," said Nielsen, 68, a retired social work professor.

But the U.S. House could vote as soon as today to cut appropriations for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides public radio and TV programming. Possibilities include reducing funds already allocated for the 2011 fiscal year and eliminating future funding.For Michigan State University's WKAR-FM, WKAR-AM and WKAR-TV, that could spell disaster.

"We would have to severely cut back on our services, and that would be our local programming," said DeAnne Hamilton, WKAR's general manager.

About 15 percent of WKAR-TV's budget for 2010 came from federal sources, Hamilton said, amounting to about $1 million. WKAR radio received about $300,000 during 2010... Local public broadcasting programs would be severely cut, WKAR says (Thu, 2/17)




WIOGCITADEL Top 40 WIOG/SAGINAW, MI has been searching some time now for someone to team up with PD DEMAS, who hosts THE EARLY SHIFT. They looked far and wide, only to discover the winning candidate was right down the hall all along. Say hello to BOB MOORE, formerly with NEXTMEDIA Hot AC WGER, but most recently in the employ at the CITADEL cluster... WIOG/Saginaw Adds Morning Co-Host (Thu, 2/17)


WCENCongrats to NEXTMEDIA Country WCEN/SAGINAW, who raised $77,859 for ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL during their recent COUNTRY CARES FOR ST. JUDE KIDS radiothon. Their two-day event was held last THURSDAY (2/10) and FRIDAY (2/11). PD JOBY PHILLIPS tells ALL ACCESS that this year they surpassed last year's amount by $20,000... WCEN Raises Over $77K During 'Country Cares For St. Jude' Radiothon (Wed, 2/16)


Reports are surfacing that Cumulus Broadcasting is on the cusp of acquiring the radio assets of Citadel in a deal worth about $4 billion.

The combination of the two companies would create a radio behemoth that could own as many as 38 radio stations in the Lower Peninsula, and 7 more in nearby Toledo -- depending on any possible FCC ownership limitations that might be looked in at in West Michigan across the Grand Rapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek markets.

Surprisingly though with a possible transaction this large, there is really very little overlap between the two companies in most markets, both in terms of station numbers and similar formats. The highest profile example of competitors that might be soon owned by the same company are contemporary hits WIOG FM 102.5 Bay City and WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint. WIOG's powerful signal covers most of the Flint market and the two stations compete against each other for advertisers and listeners in Genesee County.

Here's a quick look at what Cumulus might look like across lower Michigan should a purchase of Citadel get completed without any spinoffs:


Detroit (currently Citadel):

  • WDRQ-FM 93.1
  • WDVD-FM 96.3
  • WJR AM 760

Ann Arbor (currently Cumulus operated):

  • WWWW-FM 102.9
  • WQKL-FM 107.1
  • WTKA AM 1050
  • WLBY AM 1290

Grand Rapids/Muskegon (currently Citadel):

  • WLAW-FM 92.5
  • WTNR-FM 94.5
  • WLAV-FM 96.9
  • WWSN-FM 97.5
  • WLCS-FM 98.3
  • WVIB-FM 100.1
  • WHTS-FM 105.3
  • WBBL-FM 107.3
  • WJRW AM 1340
  • WKLQ AM 1490

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek (currently Cumulus):

  • WBCK-FM 95.3
  • WKFR-FM 103.3
  • WBXX-FM 104.9
  • WRKR-FM 107.7
  • WBCK AM 930 (to be divested as part of a previous sale)
  • WKMI AM 1360

Lansing (currently Citadel):

  • WMMQ-FM 94.9
  • WJIM-FM 97.5
  • WFMK-FM 99.1
  • WITL-FM 100.7
  • WVFN AM 730
  • WJIM AM 1240

Flint (currently both):

  • WDZZ-FM 92.7 (Cumulus)
  • WFBE-FM 95.1 (Citadel)
  • WRSR-FM 103.9 (Cumulus)
  • WWCK-FM 105.5 (Cumulus)
  • WTRX AM 1330 (Citadel)
  • WWCK AM 1570 (Cumulus)

Saginaw/Bay City/Midland (currently Citadel):

  • WKQZ-FM 93.3
  • WHNN-FM 96.1
  • WIOG-FM 102.5
  • WILZ-FM 104.5

Toledo: (currently Cumulus)

  • WRQN-FM 93.5
  • WXKR-FM 94.5
  • WMIM-FM 98.3
  • WKKO-FM 99.9
  • WWWM-FM 105.5
  • WLQR-FM 106.5
  • WLQR AM 1470


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 28, 2011




Monday marked the last day at ABC12 news for Tom Bryson, the general manager. Bryson has been a broadcaster for 50 years. The last 26 have been spent as the GM of ABC12. Bryson sat down Monday to talk about his career and where this television station has gone during his tenure, with a laugh or two along the way.

"I started out in radio, new," Bryson said.

"He is almost like a father figure," said ABC12 anchor Bill Harris.

"In Washington D.C. I was a cub reporter and then I went to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1965. I was there in three years in television, produced the 11 p.m. and became the news director," Bryson said.

"When people ask me about Tom Bryson, I'm the first to say he's a 'news dog.' He's a newshound," Harris said... Monday marks last day at ABC12 for general manager (Mon, 2/28)




Congratulations to the fine folks at CITADEL Top 40 WIOG/SAGINAW, MI upon completion of its annual CARES FOR KIDS radiothon, benefitting the CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK hospitals throughout mid-MICHIGAN. The station's two-day effort, held at HURLEY MEDICAL CENTER, netted the charity $71,102... WIOG Cares For Kids Radiothon Wrapup (Mon, 2/28)







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Mid-Michigan category from February 2011.

Mid-Michigan: January 2011 is the previous archive.

Mid-Michigan: March 2011 is the next archive.

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