Mike Austerman: February 2011 Archives

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 1, 2011



AM 580 to remember "The Day the Music Died"

CKWWOn February 3rd, 1959 the music world lost three of its pioneering rock & roll performers when Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens died in a plane crash.

CKWW AM 580 is planning to salute their legacy with special programming on Thursday. Throughout the day, the music from Buddy Holly as well as the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens will be spotlighted. Included also will be tribute songs like Don McLean's "American Pie" and others.

At 7 p.m. AM 580 will air "The Buddy Holly Radio Special". This exclusive one hour special features archival interviews and music from the trio. The show is hosted by Gord James and written and produced by Doug Thompson and Jeff Kirkwood.



88.1FM Record Show free for PCEP students

WSDPStudents at Plymouth, Canton and Salem High Schools can attend the 88.1FM Record Show for free on Saturday Feb. 26, from 10am to 4pm at the Salem High School Cafeteria.

Collectors will find thousands of vinyl records, CD's, import only releases, 45's and 78's, t-shirts, posters, and other collectibles. The music will span many genres including rock, jazz, pop, country, R&B and folk. The show will also feature special giveaways and door prizes.

"We're excited to offer Plymouth-Canton students the chance to attend the show for free," said Bill Keith, WSDP Station Manager, "It is always exciting to see young people drawn to the hobby. Hopefully the free admission will get students to check it out."

Tickets for non-students are $3, $5 for early admission between 9 and 10am. Ticket proceeds will benefit WSDP, and will help the station to continue serving the community with unique programming and broadcast training for students.

Dealer tables are also still available for $30 for an eight foot table. Interested dealers can contact the station at (734) 416-7732 or by email at bill.keith@pccsmail.net.

Salem High School is located at 46181 Joy Rd., at the corner of Joy and Canton Center in Canton, Michigan.

WSDP is staffed by students at Canton, Plymouth and Salem High Schools. The station has been serving the community since February 14, 1972. You can find out more about the station at www.881TheEscape.com.



Detroit News:

People keep asking Suzanne Sena if this new job will disqualify her from anchoring the news again. She can only hope.

"I left the news," she says, "because it's too depressing," and furthermore too restrictive. Beyond that, her last newscasting job left her not only living like a vampire, but a vampire with no friends. Pretending to be a news anchor is much, much better. Sena, an alumna of Michigan State and Dearborn Edsel Ford High, returned to television this month as Brooke Alvarez, the supremely confident anchor of the world's highest-rated prime-time cable news show.

"FactZone with Brooke Alvarez" claims to be the winner of three "Swoosh Awards for most awesome news graphics." Its regular segments include the First Responders, a panel of experts on any subject offering "the fastest and loudest analysis in TV news," and Beyond the Facts, in which a reporter "goes in-depth, nodding thoughtfully at the real story behind the headline."

It's all part of the "Onion News Network," an off-kilter and absurdly funny send-up of cable news airing at 10 p.m. Fridays on IFC... MSU alumna goes off-kilter with 'Onion News Network' (Tue, 2/1)


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.


WYCDIt's a happy day in the studios of country WYCD FM 99.5 in Detroit as it was announced today that the station and both of it's drivetime shows were nominated for Academy of Country Music awards. The station itself is up for Major Market Station of the Year, while both the Dr. Don Morning Show (Dr. Don Carpenter, Rachael Hunter and Grunwald) and afternoon drive's Edwards and Lee (Chuck Edwards and Linda Lee) are on the list as possible winners of the Major Market On-Air Personality Of The Year award.

Congrats to program director Tim Roberts and the entire staff at WYCD on being one of two stations nominated for three ACM's (along with WIVK Knoxville). Roberts has one of the best problems a PD can have -- having to root equally for both of his highest profile shows to win a major country music award.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 2, 2011



Detroit News:

WWJWhen you're a 30-year veteran of the Detroit radio news business, you know the best way to elicit donations during a fundraiser is to tell the personal stories of those in need.

"If we're asking people to give money to something, they really need to be face-to- face with the people they are going to help," says Marie Osborne, an award-winning news reporter for WWJ-AM (950). "When people hear these stories, they'll pick up the phone because they realize, 'Wow, that could be me.'"

WWJ's Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW (The Heat and Warmth Fund) broadcast for 31 hours this past weekend at the Detroit Science Center. Volunteers on stationary bikes put in hours in the "Pedaling for Power" project. Groups of elementary students presented checks in the "Pennies for Power" program, and others contributed to the online auction. THAW is a statewide nonprofit that provides emergency energy assistance to families facing a serious financial crisis. Working with the utility companies, THAW can prevent threatened utility shut-off, provide fuel and restore services... Digging deep helps THAW raise more than $323K (Wed, 2/2)


Old English DThe Tigers' first spring training game is less than a month away. Their first live telecast isn't much further away. Six Tigers spring training games are scheduled to be telecast from Florida, the first to be featured nationally on ESPN at 1:05 p.m. March 3 against the Braves at the Disney World Complex. The Tigers also end their spring training schedule on ESPN, facing the Yankees in Tampa at 1:05 p.m. March 29. Four other Tigers spring training games will be featured on Fox Sports Detroit, and additional games will be televised on MLB Network, but the network has yet to release its broadcast schedule. Also, a select schedule of matchups will air on WXYT 97.1, 1270... Tigers release spring training TV/radio broadcast schedule (Tue, 2/1)



Detroit Free Press:

In these snowiest of times, here's an update to warm the heart of any baseball fan: The Tigers announced Tuesday their broadcast schedule for spring training. And, with a nod to the late, great Ernie Harwell, the Voice of the Turtle will be heard for the first time on Sunday, Feb. 27 on WXYT-FM (97.1) and WXYT-AM (1270). The Tigers play Toronto in their home Grapefruit League opener at 1:05 that afternoon. This spring marks the Tigers' 75th season in Lakeland, Fla., and 46th straight year at Joker Marchant Stadium. The Tigers open the previous afternoon against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. Twelve Tigers games will be broadcast on the radio. FSD will televise four games... Take heart: First Tigers broadcast Feb. 27 (Tue, 2/1)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 2, 2011



Kalamazoo Gazette:

WMUKGordon Bolar has been named station manager of the local pubic radio station WMUK 102.1-FM. Bolar, 62, of Kalamazoo, has been WMUK's development director since 2006. He replaces Floyd Pientka, who retired Monday after 10 years as station manager. More and more development directors are moving into the role of general manager at public radio stations, Bolar said.

"You can certainly justify it when funding is a real issue to do the things you want to do," he said. "The development director is in a position of looking down the road and planning in terms of grant deadlines and foundation reports. You get the long view."

WMUK draws about 40,000 listeners a week, he said, and historically, only 10 percent of listeners donate to a station's twice-annual fund drives... Gordon Bolar, development director for local public radio station WMUK 102.1-FM, elevated to general manager (Tue, 2/1)




CUMULUS MEDIA Top 40 WKFR PD KEN EVANS exits after five years at the station.

Said EVANS, "I want to thank OM MIKE MCKELLY for giving me the opportunity to solidify a heritage radio stations ratings, and then trusting me to increase them over my tenure. KFR was #1 18-34P and 25-54P over the past four years and just posted a #1 ranking of over 15 shares in both KALAMAZOO and BATTLE CREEK, the stations best overall numbers since the late '90s!"... Ken Evans Exits The PD Chair At WKFR (Wed, 2/2)



• Low power TV station WDWO-CD Ch. 18 Detroit was granted its license to cover for its flash cut to digital operations. The station reportedly is operating with 3 subchannels from the TCT network; 18.1 and 18.3 are SD and 18.2 is in HD.


• No notable activity for January 31 and February 1.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 5, 2011



Chicago Tribune:

DCRTV.com reports that Bob McBride has died this week at age 83. Chicago old-timers will remember McBride (pictured right), who reportedly died Tuesday, as the WBBM-Ch. 2 weeknight newscaster succeeded by the then-unconventional anchor team of Walter Jacobson and Bill Kurtis back during the CBS-owned outlet's 1973 overhaul under station boss Bob Wussler and news chief Van Gordon Sauter. WBBM probably did McBride no favors by heralding his October 1971 arrival from Detroit's WJBK-TV to compete with WLS-Ch. 7's Fahey Flynn and WMAQ-Ch. 5's Floyd Kalber with a tongue-in-cheek two-page newspaper ad. As described by Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, it touted McBride's "Chicago television debut as something akin to the Second Coming."

"If you watch Fahey or Floyd," the ad said, "you'll miss one of the most important events in WBBM-TV's history. The Chicago television premiere of Bob McBride."

The ad went on to talk about how McBride's hire was "the result of a lengthy search for a news broadcaster who could go up against Fahey and Floyd without getting his brains beat in" and noted "Bob was throlling thousands every night on Detroit television. Since he left, people have been walking around Detroit with their heads down, muttering, the thrill is gone. The thrill is gone"... Bob McBride, WBBM anchor preceded Kurtis and Jacobson in '73 (Thu, 2/3)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 6, 2011



Kalamazoo Gazette:

National Public Radio correspondent Mike Shuster will speak about "Winning Without War: Do Sanctions Work?" at noon Monday at Western Michigan University's Fetzer Center Putney Auditorium, as part of the 2011 "Great Decisions Foreign Policy Lecture Series." The "Great Decisions" series is organized by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids. The series includes two public talks in Kalamazoo and eight in Grand Rapids over consecutive Mondays through March 28. The WMU talks are free.

Shuster is an award-winning diplomatic correspondent and roving foreign correspondent for NPR News West. He covers issues of nuclear non-proliferation, terrorism and the Pacific Rim. His presentation Monday will focus on the use of sanctions by the United States and other countries in regard to North Korea and Iran... NPR correspondent to speak Monday at WMU (Sun, 2/6)



• Religious WKPR AM 1420 Kalamazoo has been granted a construction permit to move to AM 1440 and increase power from 1,000 to 2,700 watts during daytime hours and use 24 watts at night. The station would change from 2 towers to a single tower with the power increase and frequency change. The move to AM 1440 was part of an agreement announced in November between Kalamazoo Broadcasting and Langford Broadcasting, owner of WDOW AM 1440 Dowagiac. Kalamazoo is paying $80,000 to Langford to take WDOW off the air permanently.


• Baraga Broadcasting has closed on its $10,000 purchase of the construction permit for WTCY FM 88.3 Greilickville / Traverse City from the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools.


• No notable activity for February 3.


WDIVNBC affiliate WDIV-TV's "Local 4 News" is claiming ratings victories for its 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts during the January 2011 Nielsen ratings period in the Detroit television market. The station's morning offering is claiming a second place finish at 6 a.m. behind WJBK-TV "Fox 2 Mornings".

Channel 4's 4 p.m. newscasts in January outpaced the Oprah Winfrey Show (which offered several reruns during January) on WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, posting a 6.2 Household Rating and 14 Household Share versus Oprah's 5.0 / 11.

At 5 p.m., WDIV scored a 7.6 rating / 15 share, followed by WXYZ at 6.8 / 14 and WJBK at 5.8 / 11. Similarly, Channel 4 finished ahead of both Channels 7 and 2 at 6 p.m with its 9.4 / 17. Ch. 7 scored a 7.2 / 13 and Ch. 2 a 5.1 / 9.

WDIV had the most-watched late evening newscast with its 9.7 rating and 17 share at 11 p.m. WJBK was second in late evenings with its 7.8 rating and 12 share at 10 p.m. and 4.6 / 8 at 11 p.m. WXYZ's 11 p.m. newscast had a 7.0 rating and 13 share. Local 4 News at 11 p.m. had the highest ratings of news on any station, in any time period in the Detroit television market during January 2011.

NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno was also #1 in the 11:35 p.m. time period with a 4.9 household rating and an 11 share.



Channel 4 scheduled to show Valentine's Day special

On Thursday, February 10th at 8 p.m., WDIV's Chuck Gaidica is scheduled to host a whole new kind of 'Cuddle Alert' in a primetime Local 4 special, "All 4 Valentine's Day", from inside the sweetest place of all - a local candy factory. Gaidica will take viewers behind the scenes at a popular local florist, present celebrity jewelry fads at affordable prices, and share touching love stories of metro Detroiters.

Other features include finding out which strange bsmells actually attract the opposite sex and romantic secrets from Nate Berkus, host of The Nate Berkus Show.


WXYZThe Detroit Lions and ABC affiliate WXYZ TV Channel 7 will be partnering for 2011 NFL season, featuring year-round programming and marketing initiatives that include the broadcast of preseason games in High Definition, one-hour weekly pregame shows, an NFL draft special in April, and regular interview segments with head coach Jim Schwartz on Mondays and Lions' players on Thursdays.

The Lions had previously been working with CBS/Detroit for a number of years in similar a agreement that included preseason television game coverage and a weekly coach's show.

"We're thrilled to offer Detroit area viewers the opportunity to experience Lions football in new and exciting ways, especially as the team builds upon the momentum of last season," said WXYZ Vice-President and General Manager, Ed Fernandez. "We understand the passion that people have for Lions football and we're pleased to join the Detroit Lions organization in this exciting new programming and marketing partnership."

"It is important to connect with our great fans through a wide variety of mediums," said Lions President Tom Lewand. "Throughout the entire year, our new venture with the WXYZ team creates the right partnership that will provide valuable broadcast platforms and deliver in-depth Lions' content. We look forward to our work ahead with WXYZ."

In addition to the preseason and weekly programming offerings, there will be initiatives that will highlight the history of the Lions and the team's commitment to serve the community through numerous outreach efforts, as well as the team's non-profit charitable foundation, Detroit Lions Charities. There will also be Lions-oriented digital elements on wxyz.com and detroitlions.com.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 8, 2011



Metro Traffic/Detroit seeking producer

Metro TrafficMetro Traffic, a Westwood One Company, is immediately seeking candidates for a Full Time, split-shift, Traffic Producer position in the Detroit Market.

The position will be based in our Southfield, MI Regional Operations Hub.

Producers use a large variety of traditional and emerging technologies to gather raw traffic data. They then confirm all leads and enter the information into our system for distribution to all traffic reporters, web and mobile platforms and broadcast and new media partners. Efficient and timely handling of all leads and data is REQUIRED of all producers.

Successful candidates may have experience gathering or reporting traffic information, a journalism background or an interest in data collection or distribution. Producers are called upon to work Drive Times, Nights, Weekend and Holiday hours; as our hub provides complete information for our region 24/7/365. We are looking for eager applicants ready to grow in a fast paced and demanding environment.

Knowledge of more than one of our markets in Michigan (Detroit and Grand Rapids) and Ohio (Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo) will be a huge plus. We will train the right people on our technical systems and internal procedures. Experience IS important, but MOST important is the ability to get the job done right and on time.

For consideration, submit a package ASAP that could include an audio sample to:

Howard Bouton
Regional Director of Operations
3000 Town Center, Suite 2160
Southfield, MI 48075



Metro Traffic, Metro Networks, Shadow Broadcasting and Westwood One are EOE Employers.



Detroit News:

WJRLocal radio host Frank Beckmann took issue today with a peer who used the airwaves of Beckmann's WJR-AM 760 on Monday to blast Chrysler's Super Bowl commercial that focused on Detroit, rapper Eminem and its new car, the 200. Beckmann, during his regular morning show, criticized Mark Steyn for being "elitist" in his scathing rebuke of the car ad. Steyn, a conservative commentator filling in for Rush Limbaugh on Monday, said the commercial wrongly placed Detroit in a positive light. "We're now being told that this is the model for America in the 21st century," he said. "If it is, we're all doomed."

Beckmann, who interviewed Steyn during his show today, said he missed the point of the ad and said suggestions that it falsely hid the decay that has gnawed at the city were ridiculous. The goal of the ad, Beckman said, was to sell cars, not tell the world the seemly details of Detroit's problems.

"We know those problems, he's not the first to notice them," Beckmann said. "(The ad) shows a gritty side of Detroit. It shows us how we are"... Beckmann blasts radio host's 'elitist' remarks over Chrysler ad (Tue, 2/8)



Memorial service for Hank O'Neal planned

The memorial service for Henry Burdick, known during his radio career as Hank O'Neal, will be in Traverse City on Sunday April 10th at 2:00 p.m.

It is scheduled for the hall at VFW Post 2780, 3400 Veterans Drive in Traverse City. The nearest cross street is S. Airport, northeast of the Grand Traverse Mall.

Burdick passed away on Saturday January 8th in Florida and spent time on the radio in metro Detroit CKLW, WJBK, and WHND among others both locally and in Northern Michigan.

Click for Google Map of VFW Post 2780



• MacDonald Broadcasting has been granted a construction permit for a new Class A FM radio station to be licensed to Traverse City at 104.5. The station would operate with 1,750 watts @ 614 from an antenna location along M-72 west of Traverse City. MacDonald Broadcasting, primarily controlled by Ken MacDonald, Jr., owns 8 radio stations in Lansing and Saginaw/Bay City. His sister, Patricia MacDonald-Garber, is the principle of 7 northern Michigan radio stations and one translator - a group that was spun off from MacDonald Broadcasting in 1998 after the application for FM 104.5 Traverse City was originally filed with the FCC.


• FM translator W288BK 105.5 Rochester Hills was granted its license to cover for a power increase from 12 watts @ 85 feet to 38 watts @ 171 feet. The translator retransmits contemporary Christian 'K-Love' which is broadcast on WMXD-FM 92.3 HD2.


• No notable activity for February 7.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 9, 2011



WYCD looking for couples ready to say "I Do" in the drive-thru for Valentines Day

WYCDCouples looking for a fun, no-fuss way to tie the knot or renew their wedding vows on Valentine's Day can pick up coffee and donuts at the same time. Dr. Don Carpenter, host of 99.5 WYCD's Dr. Don Morning Show with Rachael and Grunwald, will be performing wedding ceremonies and vow renewals at the drive-thru window of Tim Horton's (33651 23 Mile Road) in Chesterfield Township on Monday, February 14.

Dr. Don, a legally ordained minister, estimates he has helped 100 couples say "I Do" and in 2009 he did the honors for WYCD's afternoon drive co-host Linda Lee.

"It's not for someone who's looking for something serious. However if getting your vows renewed while waiting for a latte sounds like love to you, then by all means, come on out," said Dr. Don. This Valentine's Day, there's an added bonus of having 99.5 WYCD's morning co-host Rachel Hunter as a bridesmaid.

If you're interested in Dr. Don's drive-thru wedding, email name, contact information and whether you are looking to get wed or renew your vows courtesy of Dr. Don to kimberly.hard@cbsradio.com.


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)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 10, 2011




Syma Chowdhry has been named morning news anchor for First Forecast Mornings, the daily live program on CBS owned-and-operated WWJ Detroit (DMA 11). Chowdhry is anchoring the news segments during the weekday morning program between 5 and 9 a.m., joining First Forecast Mornings meteorologist Lori Pinson and traffic reporter Randy Bhirdo. Chowdhry officially joined WWJ today, Jan. 10. First Forecast Mornings airs from 5 to 7 a.m. on WWJ and from 7 to 9 a.m. on co-owned CW affiliate WKBD. Chowdhry comes to WWJ from the Morning Show and Weekend Edition on regional cable news channel News 12 New Jersey... WWJ adds Syma Chowdhry to morning news (Thu, 2/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 11, 2011



News/Talk/Sports MediaOnline interviews former WKRK/WCSX host Jeff Deminski

Al Peterson spoke at length with Jeff Deminski on how changes in his personal life have impacted his radio career since leaving WCSX. Check out the interview in the latest NTS MediaOnline Weekly Edition.



Detroit Tigers

All but one contest of the Tigers' 162-game regular-season schedule will be broadcast on television. FSN Detroit on Thursday announced its Tigers broadcast slate, which, combined with nine FOX Saturday baseball broadcasts, will cover nearly the entire schedule. The lone Tigers game not currently scheduled for telecast is a Sept. 17 matchup at Oakland. The 4 p.m. ET start falls within the exclusive Saturday afternoon broadcast window for FOX. That could potentially change if the Tigers are in playoff contention in the season's final month.

FSN Detroit is set to broadcast 152 games this regular season, plus four Spring Training broadcasts. All of them are scheduled to be shown in high definition. The regular-season slate begins with Opening Day, March 31 at Yankee Stadium, a game that will be broadcast locally on FSN Detroit and nationally on ESPN. The broadcast tandem of Mario Impemba and Rod Allen returns this season -- Impemba's 10th, and Allen's ninth. Also returning are the pre- and postgame Tigers Live shows, plus Tigers Weekly, beginning April 15.

FSN Detroit will also broadcast four Spring Training games March 16, 22, 24 and 27. All of them are 1:05 p.m. ET starts except for the March 24 game against the Nationals, which begins at 6:05.

"FOX Sports Detroit continues to deliver innovative and insightful coverage of Tigers baseball, enhancing the viewing experience for our fans," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. "We view our partnership with FSD as an extension of the Tigers organization"... Tigers' television slate includes 161 games (Thu, 2/10)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 11, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

Tim Doty claims he didn't watch Super Bowl XLV. It's tough to know whether WXMI-TV's resident Renaissance man was being serious or facetious, but Doty said he wasn't one of the 111 million viewers who tuned in for the big game. That means he missed everything from Christina Aguilera's muffed national anthem to The Black Eyed Peas' awful halftime show and all the commercials in between -- even his own heralding the station's new show.

"I was watching golf and didn't even see the commercial air," Doty said, somewhat mischievously. "I wasn't watching the Super Bowl."

Come on, really?

"You've seen one game, you've seen them all," he said.

Whether or not Doty was joking, he managed to make his presence felt during the telecast -- at least in West Michigan, where thousands of viewers were treated to a humorous ad that also featured Michele DeSelms and touted their new afternoon show, "The One Seven"... WXMI sports director Tim Doty to get new weekday show, exit sports scene (Fri, 2/11)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 13, 2011



Muskegon Chronicle:

WYCEThree local groups have been nominated for community radio station WYCE-FM's annual Jammie honors. The Jammies applaud Michigan's, specifically West Michigan's, best music, and winners will be announced Tuesday night at The Intersection in Grand Rapids. Award nominees from Muskegon include folk duo Max & Ruth Bloomquist, rockers Four Finger Five, and blues band The Vincent Hayes Project. Go to grcmc.org/radio for information... Muskegon-area bands vie for WYCE-FM Jammie Awards (Sun, 2/13)



Grand Rapids Press:

Truth be told, I've never worn jammies to the Jammies. I mean, who could sleep through an event like this? Community radio station WYCE-FM's annual tribute to the best music in West Michigan and beyond has turned into a lively, jam- (and jammies-) packed show that's a must-attend event for musicians, fans and anyone with a passing interest in regional music. On Tuesday night at The Intersection, the 12th edition of the Jammies will roll out 26 musical performances on two stages, with awards doled out in 16 categories, including a few new ones for 2011. Admission is free and those wearing pajamas (or donating food/clothing to charity) can take their pick from CDs offered up by WYCE, which is why so many people I'm sure choose to wear nightgowns, slippers and daffy nightcaps... No dozing at the Jammies; awards show thrills fans and musicians, honors Michigan bands (Sun, 2/13)



• The sale of WJRT TV Ch. 12 Flint and WTVG TV Ch. 13 Toledo by ABC/Disney to SJL Holdings was approved by the FCC. The deal, announced in November, is worth $13.2M for WJRT and $16.8M for WTVG. Closing will return the stations to SJL which sold stations to ABC in 1995 when there was concern about the affiliation of WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit due to affiliate changes involving CBS and Fox in that market.


WGPR FM 107.5 Detroit notified the FCC it plans to add HD broadcasting.


• No notable activity for February 9 - 10.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 14, 2011



Detroit Free Press:

WRIFInterior design expert Nate Berkus' visit with Detroit's Toni Booker & Booker Productions Gospel Choir last month for his syndicated talk show is scheduled to air today...at 2 p.m. on WDIV-TV (Channel 4) ... Detroit's home of rock 'n' roll WRIF-FM (101.1) is turning 40 today, and listeners will have plenty to listen to, program director Mark Pennington told Names and Faces. He said everyone's hoping "Drew & Mike" co-host Mike Clark, who has been sick with bronchitis the last couple of weeks, will be back on air this morning with Drew Lane to kick off the celebration right. Pennington said some of what's on tap includes a bunch of celebrity call-in interviews, like KISS, Ted Nugent and 3 Doors Down and even a talk with Kid Rock is expected... TV host visits Detroit choir (Mon, 2/14)


BBR postcardThe 24th Annual Bed & Bed Club® Radiothon is once again scheduled for the last Friday in February (Feb. 25) at Oakland Mall in Troy from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. And once again, the cost for donors to join the Club will be $120. But those are some of the only details that will remain the same this year as the event shifts not only radio stations, but hosts.

When Dick Purtan and the late Gene Taylor first came up with the idea to launch the daylong event in 1988 on what then WCZY-FM 95.5, they had little idea that their Radiothon would run for more than 23 years now and help raise nearly $25 million to date on two different radio stations. Not only would the event raise millions to help feed thousands and provide shelter to hundreds daily, but it would become a daylong community effort that found support from schoolchildren to regional celebrities, broadcast personalities, politicians, and even radio competitors.

Following Purtan's retirement from WOMC last year, it was announced that WJR would be taking over as the new radio home for the event. WJR personalities Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann, Mitch Albom, and Warren Pierce, among others, will share hosting responsibilities.

As February 25th comes closer, the Salvation Army and WJR have launched a marketing campaign to get the word out that the event will be switching over to AM 760 this year. Past donors have received postcards (pictured above), there are billboards up around town, and there's a YouTube video that shows Purtan seemingly 'passing the torch' to Smith:


With the all the changes to the event, it will be interesting to see how much support the Salvation Army and WJR can transfer without Purtan being the front man for the effort. Certainly, the needs for the program remain the same no matter who is behind the microphone or on what band and frequency the event is broadcast on. The ultimate compliment to Purtan would be to achieve the goal he set each year - to surpass the total of last year's event (about $2.4 million in pledges) by just $1.

For more information, and to donate now, visit wjr.com. Donors can also call (248) 528-0760 during the Radiothon on Friday, February 25th from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.


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)



• MMP1, LLC has closed on its acquisition of FM translator W285DY 104.9 Ludington from Craig Bowman. There was no exchange of real property and no financial consideration involved.


• No notable activity for February 14.



• West Central Michigan Media Ministries is purchasing the construction permit for WUMI FM 90.3 Newberry for $2,500 from Korkee, Inc. pending FCC approval and closing. The construction permit is set to expire on May 16th 2011, however West Central could apply for an 18-month extension as part of the sale. West Central owns and operates religious WGCP FM 91.9 Cadillac and has a construction permit for new 91.9 Reed City (WZMI).


• Horizon Christian Fellowship has applied for an extension of its remain silent authorization for its WTNP FM 91.9 Richland and three of its translators. Horizon is attempting to sell off its broadcast assets.


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)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 17, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

WLAVExpect a lot of hand-picked classic rock and behind-the-music stories - like when the Verve Pipe was booed every night in '96 opening 29 dates for KISS - when singer-songwriter Brian Vander Ark helms a new weekday morning show on WLAV-FM (96.9) that officially debuts Thursday. The show had a soft opening this morning.

"I'm stoked, you know? I've always been a fan of LAV and classic rock. And I've always worn my influences on my sleeve as a writer," the 46-year-old Verve Pipe frontman said. "Huge, huge fan of the songwriters of that genre."

"The Brian Vander Ark Show" will air from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays. The first hour will be shared with "The Kevin Matthews Show" and its co-hosts Deb Hart and Kevin Matthews. That hand-off hour will feature a lot of music, as it normally does, and some bantering between Matthews and Vander Ark... Verve Pipe frontman Brian Vander Ark hosts new morning radio show on WLAV-FM (Wed, 2/16)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 17, 2011



Detroit Free Press:

WKQIWKQI-FM (95.5) "Mojo in the Morning" host Spike found himself staring at a cease-and-desist letter Wednesday after reps from Paramount Pictures peeped out his online photo gallery featuring pics from his recent trip to Los Angeles, where he covered the Grammys. Spike told Names & Faces that he attended a party Friday on Paramount's Hollywood lot, and while checking out the sights, wandered onto the "Glee" set. Thinking that "it's a cool place that not many people get to go to," he made himself comfortable on the bed used by Lea Michelle's character, Rachel, and posed for a shot or two... DJ's 'Glee' pix anger studio (Thu, 2/17)


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


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 18, 2011



WJR names Tom O'Brien as new general manager

WJR owner Citadel Broadcasting has announced that Tom O'Brien has been named general manager for the company's WJR AM 760 Detroit. O'Brien will report to Citadel Broadcasting Midwest president, Matt Hanlon.

"WJR is one of the finest radio stations in the history of broadcasting. This station requires someone with experience, relationships and credibility to lead us day to day. Tom is uniquely qualified to take on this opportunity," commented Hanlon in a release.

"It is truly a privilege to manage this legendary radio station," said O'Brien. "We will continue to focus on relevant content, serving our listeners, the community, our employees and advertisers."

O'Brien joined WJR in December 2004 as director of sales. Previously he was station manager for WWJ AM for 14 years. Tom is a lifelong resident of Metro Detroit.



Detroit News:

It's not a done deal yet, but close. According to the online radio tip sheet All Access, Cumulus Media Inc. and Citadel Broadcasting, the latter owner of WJR and two Detroit FM stations, WDRQ and WDVD, have entered into an exclusive agreement to negotiate a merger that would make Cumulus, the dominant partner, the owner of 570 radio stations across the country. Negotiations could still break down. If the deal goes through, it would have to pass muster with the board of directors of both companies, and also be approved by the FCC... Merger talks close to deal on WJR, FM stations (Fri, 2/18)



Detroit Free Press:

Three of Detroit's Citadel owned-radio stations have been sold as part of a huge Citadel deal with Cumulus, according to a report posted Thursday on the Web site of industry trade publication Radio Ink. The three Detroit stations that would be affected by the deal are WJR-AM (760), WDVD-FM (96.3) and WDRQ-FM (93.1). Radio Ink reported that news of the transaction -- valued at $2.4 billion and $1.5 billion in market equity -- was leaked internally. Radio insiders have known about the possible deal for weeks. WJR's Paul W. Smith explored the subject on his show Thursday... 3 Detroit radio stations sold (Fri, 2/18)



Local radio host to participate in 88.1FM Record Show

Matt Watroba will participate as a dealer at the 88.1FM Record/CD/Music Memorabilia Show on Saturday Feb. 26, at Salem High School. The show is from 10am to 4pm at the Salem High School Cafeteria.

Watroba will be selling much of his large collection of music that spans many genres including folk, country, American, bluegrass and blues. He was a long time public radio host in the Detroit area on WDET and WEMU and currently hosts the Sing Out Radio Magazine, Wednesday at 11am on WSDP, 88.1FM and via syndication on other stations across the country. Watroba also is a folk music artist and serves as an announcer and producer for Folkalley.com and WKSU at Kent State University.

"We're excited to have Matt participating in our show," said Bill Keith, WSDP station manager. "He is a wonderful addition to our great line up of dealers. I can't wait to see the music he has for sale."

Collectors that attend the 88.1FM Record Show will find thousands of vinyl records, CD's, import only releases, 45's, t-shirts, posters, and other collectibles. The music will span many genres including rock, jazz, pop, country, R&B and folk. The show will also feature special giveaways and door prizes.

Tickets are $3, $5 for early admission between 9 and 10am, and free for Canton, Plymouth and Salem students. Ticket proceeds will benefit WSDP, and will help the station to continue serving the community with unique programming and broadcast training for students.


MABMichigan's public broadcasters are appealing to listeners, viewers, and even commercial broadcasters to get involved and help preserve funding from the federal government as the U.S. Congress heads for a vote that would eliminate all federal support for local public television and radio stations.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has produced a special electronic edition of its monthly The Michigan Broadcaster newsletter it publishes for broadcasters across the state that features videos from public broadcasting managers making their pitch for continued funding from the federal government.

View the special newsletter here




PBS, NPR and local public media affiliates around the nation could lose substantial federal funding under a spending bill proposed by Republican House members earlier this month. But Rich Homberg, president and general manager of Detroit Public Television, is urging local residents to call their Congress members and urge them to retain the funding, which he calls one of the nation's wisest investments... A war on Big Bird? Detroit Public Television President makes case for federal funding as Congress debates cuts to public media (Fri, 2/18)



• Cadillac Telecasting's FOX affiliate stations in northern lower Michigan, WFQX TV 32 Cadillac and WFUP TV 45 Vanderbilt, were granted their licenses to cover for their post-transition digital facilities.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 22, 2011




Efforts to reduce -- or as is now the case, eliminate -- federal funding for public broadcasting are nothing new. However, current proposals to zero out the $425 million in federal support public broadcasting was expecting this year have public media outlets scrambling to rally listeners against the effort. Michigan Radio, the public broadcasting station associated with the University of Michigan, and WEMU, Eastern Michigan University's public radio station, are both doing as much as possible to make listeners aware of what the elimination of public funding could mean to them.

WEMU (89.1-FM) and WUOM (91.7-FM) are among stations nationwide participating in the grass-roots effort "170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting," designed to inform members of Congress that 170 million Americans use public media every month and persuade them that it's too valuable to be defunded... As funding battles loom, WUOM, WEMU taking part in grass-roots effort to inform lawmakers about the value of public media (Tue, 2/22)




Oh, the twisted and tangled world of black women's hair. Somehow, Fox 2's Andrea Isom thought it was a good idea to boil down centuries of cultural identity, evolution and confusion into a six-minute "special report" for Black History Month. "You can't talk about black history without talking about her-story," Isom said in a report that first aired Monday night and re-aired Tuesday morning... Fox 2's Andrea Isom reminds us the best way to celebrate Black History Month is to get a weave (Tue, 2/22)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 22, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

"Wheel of Fortune" fans may never know if someone won the bonus round, and "Jeopardy" fans have no idea which contestant set the tone on "Teen Jeopardy." WWMT-TV (Channel 3) lost power about 7 p.m. and had trouble getting back on the air. A representative from the newsroom said the station lost power about 7:15 p.m. and station technicians were having a difficult time getting a backup generator to work.

After a blank screen and dead air, the station returned briefly to air the end of "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric," followed by promos for daytime TV show "The Talk" and colon cancer PSAs featuring Couric. The station regained power about 7:45 p.m., just in time for final jeopardy. However, just as contestants were getting ready to answer the question, the station's power went out again. The station regained its power, but still had difficulty with commercials and airing the final minutes of "Jeopardy"... WWMT-TV Channel 3 having technical difficulties tonight (Tue, 2/22)



• Construction permits were granted for 14 new digital low-power television stations in northern Michigan including: 2 to Paul G. Donner (W19DQ-D Ch. 19 and W20DI-D Ch. 20 Traverse City); 1 to West Central Michigan Media Ministries (W23EB-D Ch. 23 Cadillac); 1 to Heritage Broadcasting (W38EV-D Ch. 38 Traverse City), and 10 to CTB Spectrum Services Two, LLC (W34EI-D Ch. 34 and W36EH-D Ch. 36 Gaylord; W41EA-D Ch. 41 Grayling; W20DK-D Ch. 20, W22EB-D Ch. 22, and W27DM-D Ch. 27 Roscommon; W15DF-D Ch. 15, W38EZ-D Ch. 38, and W46EV-D Houghton Lake; W44DI-D Ch. 44 Maple Valley).

Heritage Broadcasting owns WWTV/WWUP-TV Chs. 9/10, West Central Michigan Ministries owns radio station WGCP FM 91.9 Cadillac, and neither Paul G. Donnor or CTB Spectrum Services Two currently own broadcast properties in Michigan.

CTB Networks will likely be using these for pure data services and not traditional TV broadcasting. More on CTB Networks is available at www.ctbnetworks.com.


• The transactions regarding the sale of two former Clear Channel-owned radio stations in Battle Creek as part of a multi-station sale to Cumulus Broadcasting have closed. WBCK AM 930 is now controlled by Stratus Radio and planned to be sold to another party. WBFN AM 1400 was transferred to the Aloha Station Trust and Cumulus Licensing and expected to be formally transferred via donation to Family Life Radio.


• No notable activity for February 18.



• The transaction for the sale of 6 former Clear Channel-owned radio stations in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek as part of a multi-station sale to Cumulus Broadcasting has closed. The six stations are WWWW-FM 102.9, WQKL FM 107.1, WTKA AM 1050, WLBY AM 1290 (Ann Arbor) along with WBCK-FM 95.3 and WBXX-FM 104.9 (Battle Creek). The sale took over four years to complete due to complications with the reconstruction of the broadcast tower for WWWW-FM.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 24, 2011



Detroit Free Press:

WJRWJR-AM (760) morning-drive host Paul W. Smith says he's excited about his new role as cohost of the 24th Annual Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club Radiothon on Friday.

"This is a really important experience for all of us," Smith told Names & Faces on Wednesday. "There aren't that many charities that can always say 100% of the donations will go directly to the services. And the need, I think we all know, it's greater than ever."

Smith will join Frank Beckmann, Free Press columnist Mitch Albom and other personalities from WJR at the event. Since it was launched in 1988 with host Dick Purtan, the annual Salvation Army Radiothon has raised more than $23 million for the Bed & Bread program, which brings food, shelter and services to poor people in metro Detroit. Purtan, who retired from radio last year, says he has been enjoying his freedom but has also worked behind the scenes for this year's fund-raiser... Paul W. Smith to cohost Bed & Bread (Thu, 2/24)



Detroit News:

Take a moment today to wish Paul Carey well. According to his wife, Nancy, the former Tigers broadcaster suffered a heart attack on Wednesday. She said in an email Wednesday night that Carey, 82, is "doing fine and is stable" in the cardiac care unit at Beaumont Hospital in Troy after having a stent inserted to alleviate a blockage... Ex-Tigers broadcaster Paul Carey, 82, recovering after heart attack (Thu, 2/24)



WOMC looking for new midday host

WOMCClassic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit is looking for a new midday host as 'JT', John Thomas' prepares to make his exit from the 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. shift and head out of the snow after about three years. RAMP reports this morning that his new home will be in Jacksonville, Florida at another classic hits station, WJGH FM 107.3.




CITADEL Hot AC WDVD and Adult Hits WDRQ/DETROIT Station Mgr. BYRON "RON" HARRELL promotes RON SMERIGAN to Marketing/Promotions Director... WDVD Promotes Ron Smerigan To Marketing/Promotions Director (Thu, 2/24)




WMYDGranit Broadcasting MNT affiliate WMYD Detroit (DMA 11), is launching an unusual twist on a free viewer lotto game on Mon, Feb 28. Scratch for Cash uses the station's shows, names of show stars and on-air talent instead of numbers in the drawing.

Viewers pick up free scratch-off cards at local WMYD advertiser locations, scratch off six circles to reveal a random match of shows and talent names. A Scratch for Cash Lotto machine picks six balls during the nightly 10 p.m. newscast. If a card matches that day's six names, the cardholder win $150,000 cash. There's a different scratch card issued by WMYD for each day the contest runs, so viewers have a new chance every day. The contest runs every weeknight from Feb. 28 until March 25... WMYD launches $150,000 'Scratch for Cash' (Thu, 2/24)



• Low power TV station WUDT Ch. 23 Detroit has applied for a digital flash cut. The station is already operating with a digital companion channel on Ch. 8 and has turned off its analog signal on Ch. 23.


• Larlen Communications WXPZ FM 90.1 Clyde Township (near Saugatuck) has applied for an extension of its remain silent authorization.


WOMCVeteran jock Jim Johnson has been announced as the new midday host at classic hits WOMC FM 104.3 starting on Monday, February 28th. He'll host weekdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., replacing John Thomas, 'JT', who is outbound for Jacksonville, FL.

"I am so fortunate to be joining CBS Radio 's WOMC, one of the premier broadcasting companies and stations in the country," said Johnson, who has been a Detroit radio fixture for over three decades. "I am eager to get back on air. Radio is in my blood."

Tim Roberts, WOMC operations manager and program director, said, "We're absolutely thrilled to have a veteran Detroit talent like Jim Johnson on our on-air staff. JJ understands the music history of Detroit, which fits in perfectly with WOMC's classic hits format. Stay tuned because we have exciting plans for JJ and WOMC listeners."

Johnson, a lifelong Detroiter and father of four, attended Central Michigan University to play football and learn broadcasting. His Detroit radio resume includes high-profile gigs at rockers WWWW-FM 106.7, WRIF-FM 101.1, WLLZ-FM 98.7, and WCSX-FM 94.7 dating back to the 1970s.

"Jim Johnson is a great addition to the WOMC air staff and we are very excited to have him join our team," said Debbie Kenyon, Sr. VP/Market Manager of CBS RADIO Detroit. "Jim has such history in the market and a wonderful ability to relate to Detroit listeners."


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 25, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

WMAX-FMThere's a part of Rick Berkey that longs for the golden days of sports on the radio. Years ago, he enjoyed listening to the nightly recaps on WJR out of Detroit. But that was before call-in shows, ESPN and professional sports took over the airwaves and frequently made high school athletics an afterthought.

"The high school coverage sometimes takes a backseat, and I think it's such an important part of communities across the area," Berkey said. "Communities may not rally around their schools quite as much as they used to, but it still can be a unifying force."

That's one reason why the longtime West Michigan broadcaster will be hosting a high school basketball tournament show in March on WMAX-FM (96.1). "The Fox Honda Tournament Time Scoreboard" will include scores and interviews with players and coaches from both boys and girls teams from 9 to 10 p.m. on March 7, 9, 11, 14 and 15. (The March 11 broadcast will start after a Grand Rapids Griffins game.) The timing is set to coincide with the start of the boys district and girls regional tournaments. It also gives WMAX a presence on the high school basketball scene... Rick Berkey hopes to tap into West Michigan's March Madness with show on WMAX-FM (Fri, 2/25)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 25, 2011



Car-smoochin' to commence for Ann Arbor's W4 Country

WWWW-FMWWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor, W4 Country, will be presenting a Kiss The Car! endurance contest starting Saturday, February 26th at 10 a.m. at LaFontaine Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram in Saline.

The station's most-enduring (or craziest) listeners will have to pucker up to win a new car from The LaFontaine Automotive Group by keeping two feet on the ground and two lips on the car to stay in the competition. Similar competitions have lasted nearly 72 hours.

W4 Country morning host Brian "Bubba" Cowan is excited for the contest to begin. "It's always fun to do a contest that is a little bit outside of the box," says Cowan. "It will be interesting to see who wins and how long this actually goes. It's all part of the fun of being in local radio."

The grand prize is a two year lease on a brand new car from The LaFontaine Automotive Group. Second prize is a 4 Day Western Caribbean Cruise from Miami for 2 including air-fare. Third place will receive a Lady's 18 karat gold diamond heart necklace from Lewis Jewelers.

The dealership is located at 900 West Michigan Avenue in Saline.




Bob Seger fans itching for some new material should make an appointment to tune into WCSX on Monday. At 7:30 a.m. during Ken Calvert's morning show, the classic rock station will premiere an unheard tune from Seger titled "Downtown Train." There's no word on when "Downtown Train" was recorded. Rod Stewart recorded a song with the same name, and legend has it that Seger actually wrote the tune but failed to copyright it. Or, it's possible that there's an entirely new song with just the same name... New Bob Seger song to premiere Monday morning on WCSX (Fri, 2/25)


Bed and BreadThe 24th Annual Salvation Army Radiothon to benefit the Bed & Bread Club successfully helped generate $1,546,584 in pledges today during a 16-hour event that aired for the first time on news/talk WJR AM 760 Detroit after transitioning from its longtime home at WOMC-FM 104.3.

WJR hosts Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann, Mitch Albom, Warren Pierce, John McCollough, Glenn Haege, Steve Courtney, and Ken Brown shared the hosting duties throughout the day, talking about the thousands of people that Salvation Army helps feed and shelter each day in Southeastern Michigan and helping keep the phones ringing and pledges coming in.

As in the previous 23 years when the event was hosted by retired jock Dick Purtan and his crew, the day featured numerous local celebrity visits and call-ins, hourly incentives, and added several special big-ticket incentive items like insider tours of the WJR studios and special access to the debut of Albom's play Ernie.

The evening ended with all of WJR's weekday hosts sharing the hosting simultaneously - a rare treat for fans of the station.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 27, 2011



Detroit News:

It's Sunday morning, three hours before game time, and Dan Dickerson is in the booth preparing for his first Tigers' broadcast of the spring. But not just of the spring. Of his 12th year as the radio voice of the Tigers. Dickerson doesn't begin the year with the time-honored 'voice of the turtle', as Ernie Harwell used to do. But for the last nine years, he has opened the spring with a verse written by B.J. Phillips.

"In the beginning, there was no baseball. But ever since, there have been few beginnings as good as the start of a baseball season. It is the most splendid time in sport." Said Dickerson, "I don't even know who B.J. Phillips is. But I found this saying in Time Magazine in 1980, liked it, and open every year with it."

Actually the way Dickerson opens every year is by pouring over as many handbooks as possible, making sure he has something to say about every Tiger and Tigers' prospect who might get in a spring game.

"I'm ready for all 58 of 'em," he said Sunday morning. "But there's always going to be someone from the minor-league fields across the street that you've written nothing down about. You don't like it when it happens, but it happens when all you can say is "No. 88 swings, and there's a grounder to second. . . "

Dickerson tells a great story about a colleague from another city who got into the same number-without-a-name bind that all broadcasters eventually face in spring training... Dan Dickerson muses on his 12th year as radio voice of the Tigers (Sun, 2/27)



• Radio Power has applied for remain silent authority for FM translator W284BQ 104.7 Detroit. The station had been rebroadcasting classical/jazz WRCJ-FM 90.9 Detroit.


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)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 28, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

DISH Network subscribers who enjoy watching WOOD-TV and WOTV-TV may lose access to the NBC-TV and ABC-TV affiliates. An impasse in contract negotiations between DISH Network and LIN Media, the parent company of WOOD-TV, WOTV-TV and WXSP, led officials for the West Michigan-based television stations to announce broadcasts could end at midnight Friday.

"If we can't reach a negotiation deal by Friday at midnight, WOOD TV and WOTV may no longer be available to DISH subscribers," said Diane Kniowski, general manager of WOOD, WOTV and WXSP, this afternoon.

Money appears to be the main issue. In a statement posted on its website, WOOD-TV said its parent company is seeking "fair compensation"... DISH subscribers in danger of losing WOOD-TV and WOTV on their satellite TV (Mon, 2/28)







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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mike Austerman in February 2011.

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