February 2012 Archives


• Bethesda Christian Broadcasting is selling FM translator W286BC 105.1 Marquette (rebroadcasts WNLI FM 88.5 Sturgeon Bay, WI) to Great Lakes Radio for $25,000 pending FCC approval and closing.



Newsmakers and links: Feb. 1, 2012



WXYZ-TV Detroit names Justin Verlander as its Newsmaker of the Year

WXYZ-TV  ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV has chosen Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander as the station's 2011 Newsmaker of the Year. Verlander will be featured on Channel 7's weekly public affairs/information program Spotlight on the News, hosted by WXYZ Editorial Director Chuck Stokes, Sunday, February 5 at 9:30 a.m. The program will feature an in-depth interview with Verlander who talks about his family, his role models, his game day superstitions and how his life has changed since his record-breaking season.

"In a year when political and economic stories were so critical in metro Detroit, focusing on a hero in the sporting world was a welcome change," said WXYZ Editorial Director Chuck Stokes. "Verlander captured our attention and really brought the region together like no one else did in 2011. Whenever Verlander pitched, people from all walks of life bought tickets and packed Comerica Park."

Spotlight on the News: Newsmaker of the Year recognizes individuals who have had significant impact on southeastern Michigan and the image of the region. Previous WXYZ newsmakers include Dennis Archer, Denise & Atanas Ilitch, Eleanor Josaitis, Peter Karmanos, Mitch Albom, Roger Penske, Max Fisher and Rick Snyder.

Verlander pitched his second no-hitter in the 2011 season. He was named the American League Cy Young Award winner by unanimous vote, and was voted the American League Most Valuable Player. It's a rare honor for a major league player to receive both awards in one season.



Houghton Daily Mining Gazette:

Well-known local radio voice and businessman Francis Samuel Locatelli has died. He was 96. Locatelli, who started WMPL radio in Hancock with two others, died Jan. 24 in New Port Richey, Fla., where he resided.

Full story: Copper Country radio pioneer dies (Tue, 1/31)



Central Michigan Life:

WCMU Mike Sundt said he had no idea Central Michigan University had a public radio station when he moved to Mount Pleasant. "I could've just went and worked for a Big Boy, but I love the music," the Grand Rapids junior said. "Also, I acted a lot in plays in high school, so this gave me a chance to do the two things I'm best at -- talking and playing music." Sundt, a music education major, along with Matt Sumner, a Portland senior working toward a bachelor of science degree in music, can both be heard when tuning into WCMU Public Radio.

Full story: Student musicians work late nights, early mornings as jazz hosts on WCMU Public Radio (Tue, 1/31)



Detroit News:

Russ Gibb has always been good at discovering talent. After all, as the famed owner of the now defunct Grande Ballroom in Detroit, it was Gibb who gave the MC5, Ted Nugent and Iggy Pop their start. He was also responsible for bringing to Detroit rock giants like Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, Cream and The Who.

Full story: Aging rock legend helps mother of four find her voice (Wed, 2/1)



News and notes from Metro Detroit

• Buzz Van Houten is the new GM for the new ESPN 1090 (WCAR AM). Van Houten is a market veteran; his lengthy resume contains three decades of work in the industry and includes stops at WJR AM 760, WRIF FM 101.1 and the former WLLZ FM 98.7.

"We're very excited about the opportunity to have a veteran like Buzz to run our operations at WCAR," said Sima Birach, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Birach Holding Corp. "We believe that he will bring the creative approach that our station needs and our listeners want."

"I am very excited about the opportunity to build this station with an open slate and to bring Detroit listeners something they have long been waiting for," commented Van Houten about his new gig.


• Clear Channel WNIC-FM 100.3 signs on with TMZ Radio for features; the station becomes TMZ Radio's 75th affiliate.


• Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications of Farmington Hills announced that the firm's Co-Founder, Matt Friedman, has been added to the Hall of Fame at legendary radio station WJPZ-FM on the campus of Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

There is so much to say and such limited space. No wait...that was the way it was in the Oakland Press, but here on Michiguide.com/on the Internet I do not have that restriction, but I also need to keep you, the reader, interested.

In mid-January I returned from the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and in my next column (coming very soon) I will outline that experience, what I saw and what it was like to mingle among 153,000 people, with nearly 40,000 of them from dozens of countries around the world. It was incredible, and I promise to offer my views during this month of February.

VuoloAfter wearing out a pair of shoes at CES, you can imagine how anxious I was to stroll through Cobo Center at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. The reports I heard from General Motors, Ford and others is that soon the CD player will disappear from the dashboard. The exit of the 8-track player for the cassette deck didn't bother me. The exchange of the cassette for the CD player affected me more, due primarily to the enormous number of cassettes I own....but now I, like many of you, have a ton of CD's and the thought of no longer being able to listen to them in my car is not a concept that I can enthusiastically embrace.

For the last year or two, there has been talk of the Internet coming to the car, but now it is no longer just talk. People are screaming for streaming and this is going to change everything. At the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville about 5 years ago, futurist Seth Godin said "if you think competing with one other station in your market is tough, wait until you're up against every country station in America...and throughout the world!"

Right now, with a smart phone, you can easily be listening to WYCD-FM (99.5) from here in Detroit while driving through Nashville. None of the four country stations in Music City will make it to your ears. A scary thought for broadcasters.

It's no secret that I love radio, but I am concerned about its longevity and, in particular, the future of the AM band. America's two oldest stations, WWJ here in Detroit and KDKA in Pittsburgh are now both owned by CBS Radio. At last September's NAB Radio Convention in Chicago there was a "power breakfast" in a packed room with six of the biggest CEO's of major radio groups and a very tempting open microphone in the middle of the floor. I cautiously approached it and felt I had to ask THE big question. "In 2020 radio will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Will there be anything on the AM dial other than paid religion, foreign language or brokered programming?"

Their answers were as varied as "yes we're very concerned" to "perhaps the FCC will move the whole AM band like they did to over-the-air analog TV and create an entirely new platform for these stations."

Some feel that perhaps all of the AM stations, that haven't already jumped over to an FM frequency, will wind up on an HD channel and perhaps THAT can be the savior of HD radio, which is still seemingly trying to find itself.

Just about every important AM or FM radio station is now available via the Internet and they tout it on the air. Listen to the legal ID on WJR. Here's a booming 50,000 watt monster that extends out some 300 plus miles from a tall tower in Riverview, yet the deep voice on the ID says "...and around the world on WJR.com." Recently I looked at the ratings for a major market that listed stations so deep that even several out of market stations were listed and there, near the bottom, were four streamed stations and that is just the beginning of what the future is bringing.

There is a piece of equipment known as an audio processor and nearly every radio station employs one between their studio and the transmitter. It's called an Optimod, named for allowing optimum modulation, and that's as technical as I care to get. The man who developed this device is Bob Orban and his partner in that invention was Greg Oganowski, a former Detroiter who worked at W4 (106.7) FM back in 1971 as a teen-ager. The one-time owner of Gregg Labs is still at it creating new and exciting technologies that will completely change the way we listen to the radio. A couple of years ago, while visiting him in southern California, he held up his early generation iPhone and said "Art, here is the new transistor radio."

Recently we got into his Chevy SUV and with his iPhone connected to the audio system, we were able to listen to CKWW-AM 580 from Windsor in far-east L.A. crystal clear and in superb stereo! On my high quality car radio in Novi, my scan won't even stop on this 500 watt station in the daytime, and at night....forget about it. Yet, it sounded sensational out in California via this amazing new application known as StreamSHiFiRadio available at www.streamindex.com. It's a single app which allows the user to dial up just about any station anywhere anytime. In my iPad I needed 5 apps to hear all of my favorite stations. Yup, this changes everything.

While writing this column my ears were positioned between two quality computer speakers and I selected www.wixy1260.com, a web site where you can listen to a re-birth of WIXY a popular top 40 station in Cleveland during the late 60's and early 70's. The quality is incredible and the variety of music blows me away. I can actually hear it via my Internet Wi-Fi Radio or my PC. Another very creative on-line station can be accessed at www.backwhenradiowasboss.com and it features the sound made famous by CKLW when it was The Big 8 and When Radio Was Boss! This Internet station originates right here in the Detroit area and is accentuated by custom jingles performed by the same Johnny Mann Singers who did the original CK jingles many years ago. Check these out, along with the extremely popular www.richbroradio.com from San Diego, and you will see, and hear, why over-the-air radio should be very concerned.

One thing to remember, however, is that most cell phone data plans are not free and if you listen on a smart phone, in your car, with the output plugged into your vehicles audio system, you will be billed for the time. Very few cell phone plans are unlimited or "grandfathered" with flat rates.


In other radio news, February 1st was the date that struggling talk station WCAR AM (1090) flipped to ESPN Sports. This was a good move, since the high profile personalities of that network were last heard locally via WXYT-AM (1270) which is now mostly syndicated talk. WCAR's biggest problem is its night signal which, at 500 watts, is only listenable in regions straight north of its ten tower transmitter site in Garden City.


A station rumored to switch to sports or country after Christmas was WMGC-FM (105.1). Instead, now without longtime morning czar Jim Harper, the station dropped its decade-long name of Magic and has re-branded itself as Detroit's Soft Rock 105.1. My problem with this "new" format is that it sounds like an iPod. If I want something that sounds like an iPod, I will go out and buy an iPod. As I've mentioned in previous columns, the new method of ratings, known as PPM (personal people meters) tends to downplay DJ chatter and rewards stations with more music. So, talents like Chris Edmonds and Mitzi Miles pop on after every 4 or 5 tunes and say very little.


Further proving that life is unfair, Kevin O'Neill has been reduced to weekends and fill-in's at WOMC-FM (104.3) so kudos to PD Tim Roberts for that assignment, but he'd be great full-time on 'OMC.


My assessment of the big electronics show and more radio news is coming soon, so stay tuned.


Contact Art Vuolo, Jr. via e-mail at artvuolo@aol.com


Art Vuolo Jr.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 2, 2012



Jeff Murri, FOX 2 General Manager, has died

WJBK FOX-owned WJBK-TV Ch. 2 (Fox 2) is reporting this afternoon that Jeff Murri, the station's General Manager, has died. No other details were revealed when the information was first released.


From the station: "It is with an extremely sad heart that we report the news that WJBK Fox 2 General Manager Jeff Murri has died. We knew him as a wonderful, energetic and giving person. We are deeply saddened and shocked by his loss. Right now our entire staff at the station simply sends our collective thoughts, love and prayers to his family."


Full story: Jeff Murri, General Manager of WJBK Fox-2, Has Died (Thu, 2/2)



WSJM-FM/AM St. Joseph:

The sound of a radio tower hitting the ground could be heard in the city of South Haven on Wednesday. AM 940 went off the air for good early this month, and now its two towers in the marshy Celery Pond have been taken down. Midwest Family Broadcasting engineer Terry Green told us that it takes some preparation to remove a couple of 220 foot towers.

Full story: South Haven Radio Towers Demolished (Wed, 2/1)



• The previously announced sale of pop WYDM-FM 97.5 by the Monroe Public Schools to Monroe Public Access Cable Television, Inc. has been filed with FCC. Sale price is $25,000 pending FCC approval and closing.


• The construction permit owned by Holy Family School for WRQC FM 88.9 Tawas City was canceled by the FCC and the call sign deleted.


• No notable activity for February 1.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 3, 2012



The Day the Music Died beautifully explained

Don McLean's "American Pie" is played a lot on February 3rd because that is the when many rock & roll fans feel it truly was "The Day the Music Died".

McLean's tribute was released in 1971 and it that was also about the time that Scott Westerman was a DJ on East Lansing's WVIC while a student at Michigan State University. He was known as Scott "The Hugger" Westerman and today, after a successful career in broadcasting and cable television, he heads up the MSU Alumni Association.

A couple of years ago he produced an incredible explanation of the lyrics to "American Pie" and it will change the way you hear the song from now on. It's been posted under "Airchecks" on the new Motor City Radio Flashbacks site (www.mcrfb.com). Listen directly by clicking here.



Grand Rapids Press:

Kevin Matthews couldn't be happier. The Grand Rapids radio icon, fired in November from WLAV-FM, soon traded broadcasting for podcasting.

Full story: Kevin Matthews, former WLAV radio personality, enjoying new career as a podcaster (Fri, 2/3)


For hunters and fishermen, Fred Trost, host of "Michigan Outdoors," and later, "Practical Sportsman," was must-see TV. Once described as the "first outdoor media star," he had a folksy, non-politically correct style, and a love for the outdoors that endeared him to Michigan outdoorsmen.

Full story: Family of outdoors host Fred Trost in fight over debts, show tapes (Thu, 2/2)


Former radio personality Todd Chance has been named the Grand Rapids Entertainment Concierege for MLive Media Group, it was announced today.

Full story: Todd Chance named Grand Rapids 'Entertainment Concierge' for MLive Media Group (Thu, 2/2)



The Oakland Press:

WJBK-TV Vice President and General Manager Jeff Murri has died. Murri, 50, of Shelby Township, died Thursday, according to a statement posted on WJBK-TV's website, myfoxdetroit.com. The death has been ruled a suicide, according to the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office.

Full story: WJBK-TV general manager's death ruled a suicide (Fri, 2/3)



Detroit Free Press:

WJBK-TV (Channel 2) vice president and general manager Jeff Murri died today at the age of 50, representatives from Fox said.

Full story: Jeff Murri, WJBK-TV general manager, dies at 50 (Thu, 2/2)



Detroit News:

WJBK-Fox 2 is mourning the loss of its vice president and general manager, Jeff Murri, who died Thursday at age 50.

Full story: Fox 2 general manager Jeff Murri dies (Thu, 2/2)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 4, 2012



Former WJBK Radio 'Good Guy' Clark Reid dies

Clark Reid, who had been one of the last surviving WJBK 'Good Guys', died Friday, February 3, 2012 at his Novi home. Back in the 1950's and early 1960's, WJBK Radio 15 was one of Detroit's big top 40 hit music dynasties. Their personalities were known on-air and around town as the Good Guys; In addition to Reid, the lineup over the years included jocks Marc Avery, Robert E. Lee, and "Jack The Bellboy" - a pseudonym used by several different jocks on WJBK radio including Ed McKenzie, Dave Shafer, and Robin Walker - among others.

Clark ReidMr. Reid was surrounded by family. Survived by Barbara, his wife of 63 years; children Cathy (Kevin) O'Neil, Jody (Doug) Johnston, David (Carol) Reid, Libby (Jim) Dieterle, and Tim Reid; eleven grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Clark also worked at WJR along with WJBK between 1952-1965. He was a marketing communications specialist with Wilding and Ross Roy until retirement in 1991. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 25 at 11 a.m. at Nardin Park Methodist Church on 11 Mile west of Middlebelt in Farmington Hills. Memorials suggested to Nardin Park Music Program or Fox Run Benevolent Care Fund.

Art Vuolo comments, "It's rather eerie that this one-time popular radio personality passed on what most radio people consider to be The Day the Music Died - the February 3, 1959 plane crash near Mason City, Iowa that killed three big rock & roll stars: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and JP Richardson (aka The Big Bopper). It would be nice if a number of Detroit radio people attended his service. If you are so inclined, send a card to his wife Barbara Reid at 41360 Fox Run #201, Novi, MI 48377."

Motor City Radio Flashbacks has posted a couple Reid airchecks in remembrance.



• Michigan State University's WKAR-TV Ch. 23 East Lansing was granted its license to cover for its maximized digital facilities on its new broadcast tower.



Newsmakers and links: Feb. 6, 2012




ALL ACCESS confirms that CBS VP/Top 40 Programming DOM THEODORE has left the company. THEODORE had been PD at Top 40 WXRK (92.3 NOW)/NEW YORK, and at WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT. DOM told ALL ACCESS, "After 3 years non-stop on the road, and hundreds of naked photos through TSA security checkpoints, it was time for a change."

Full story: CBS VP/Top 40 Dom Theodore Exits (Mon, 2/6)



Muskegon Chronicle:

Muskegonites' first chance to watch TV was on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1947, when Industrial Electrical Supply hooked up an RCA model so locals could gawk at Milwaukee station WTMJ's first, short broadcast. The Chronicle was apparently underwhelmed by this momentous event, its three paragraph story omitting exactly what it was the station broadcast.

Full story: Lookback: When TV came to Muskegon (Mon, 2/6)



Flint Journal:

As millions sit down to watch Super Bowl XLVI today, many are looking for commercials, expecting to be entertained. But Becky Butcher, the president and CEO of NBC25, WEIY-TV will be watching those ads from a different perspective. She sees them as revenue.

Full story: Super Bowl the 'biggest revenue day of the year' for WEYI-TV (Sun, 2/5)



• The license for Starboard Media Foundation silent FM station WMUP FM 99.9 Carney was canceled and the call sign deleted by the FCC. Although this station was licensed in 2008, it's not clear for how long (if at all) it actually operated.


• Sovereign Communications Country WMKD FM 105.5 Pickford/Sault Ste Marie and Pop WYSS FM 99.5 Sault Ste Marie were granted six month extensions through August 6 for their Special Temporary Authority to operate at reduced power while repairs are made to the stations' transmission facilities and tower.


• Stratus Radio, LLC (Trustee for Cumulus Media) Country WBCK AM 930 Battle Creek was granted a six month extension through August 6 for its Special Temporary Authority to operate at reduced nighttime power while repairs are made to one of the three towers in the station's array.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 7, 2012



Bob Allison and "Ask Your Neighbor" celebrate 50 years on the air

A true radio gem is celebrating fifty years of broadcasting and Bob Allison's "Ask Your Neighbor" plans on celebrating in style this year with an upcoming documentary on Detroit's PBS TV station, WTVS-TV Ch. 56. The date and time of the TV special are expected to be announced later this year.

The radio show is currently heard weekdays from 9 - 11 a.m. on WNZK AM 690, the program's home since 1997; it's also streamed live via the show's web site at askyourneighbor.com for those outside of the Detroit area.

"Ask Your Neighbor" debuted on February 5th, 1962 on WWJ AM 950, taking the place of the NBC Radio soap opera "My True Story". After some initial controversy with listeners that were upset by the change, "Ask Your Neighbor" would wind up being the most popular radio show for a time in what was the country's fifth largest radio market. When WWJ changed its format to all-News in 1978, "Neighbor" bought airtime at a different station and began selling its own advertising. That concept has helped keep the program going strong at several different stations since the move off WWJ.

Visit 50 years of Bob Allison's "Ask Your Neighbor" a gold standard for Detroit radio for a more complete retrospective on Bob Allison and "Ask Your Neighbor".




WLNS Last week it was announced that Bob Simone was leaving his general manager post at Tucson's KMSB amid the aftermath of the station's shared services agreement with KOLD. Today it was announced that Simone has been named vice president and general manager of WLNS, Young Broadcasting's CBS-affiliate in Lansing, MI.

Full story: Days After Leaving KMSB, Bob Simone Named General Manager of WLNS (Mon, 2/6)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 8, 2012



Detroit News:

Forget the groundhog. The Tigers are reminding us winter's almost over. The ballclub on Wednesday announced that six spring-training games will be televised this year, plus the exhibition in Toledo against the Mud Hens on April 4.

Full story: Tigers on national TV, FSD several times this spring (Wed, 2/8)


If Kimber Howard was nervous when she took to the stage at Cliff Bells last Thursday night, it certainly didn't show. "How many single guys are here tonight?" she called out. Whistles and hoots filled the night club. Howard flashed a wicked smile, and then purred into the microphone: "Well then, let's talk after the show." Thus began the Howard's performance at WDET-FM's Moth Story Slam, where non-actors compete to tell the best true story, live without notes or props, in five minutes.

Full story: Ordinary people inject humor into true-life tales at Moth Story Slams in Detroit (Wed, 2/8)



• The construction permit for WCRR Manistique was modified to change frequency from 91.3 to 88.9; the modified permit specifies the station would operate with 24,500 watts @ 713 feet (Class C2) from a tower located west of Manistique. The permit is held by ChristianRadioBroadcasting.org and is set to expire on December 17, 2012.


• Swick Broadcasting was granted a construction permit for silent FM translator W225BB 92.9 to change its community of license from Battle Creek to Athens and move south. Swick owns full-power stations in Sturgis, MI and also Angola, IN where the company has previously moved-in translators that are used to rebroadcast HD sidechannels.


• No notable activity for February 7.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 9, 2012



Countdown to "April in the D" begins with search for next Fox Sports Detroit Girl

Winter will soon give way to warmer weather and another exciting spring sports season in Detroit which means the arrival of FOX Sports Detroit's fifth annual "April in the D" campaign.

April in the DThis year the network is searching and casting for a new FOX Sports Detroit Girl to serve as a Fan Ambassador in April. The winner will help promote a lineup of more than 40 telecasts that month among the Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers, which includes the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the beginning of a much-anticipated baseball season for the reigning American League Central Division champions.

Through February 25, interested fans can go to FoxSportsDetroit.com where they can upload a video up to two minutes describing/demonstrating their affinity for Detroit sports and why they should be the next FOX Sports Detroit Girl. Five finalists will be selected by the network, with online voting from March 1-15 to help determine the winner. The new FOX Sports Detroit Girl will be announced April 1 during that night's Red Wings telecast. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a Michigan resident.

The new FOX Sports Detroit Girl will be featured throughout April in on-air promos and web/print advertisements. The winner also will make personal appearances at community events and game venues throughout the month.

The current FOX Sports Detroit Girls - Allison and Lauren - were introduced last April and have proven to be popular additions to the area sports scene through their on-air promos, community appearances and social media interaction.

"We've had numerous inquiries about how one becomes a FOX Sports Detroit Girl, so this is a great opportunity," said Lauren Pober, Director of Marketing, FOX Sports Detroit. "We look forward to seeing the entries from our female fans who share our network's passion for Detroit sports."



Bloomberg Businessweek:

Broadcasters are attracting record political advertising from the Republican presidential primaries, a super-PAC-driven windfall for television stations that promises to grow even larger in the general election. The biggest winner may be Lin TV Corp. The Providence, Rhode Island-based owner of 17 stations in the 12 closely divided swing states identified by Gallup Inc. may see revenue rise 12 percent to a record $457 million this year. Hearst Corp. has 12 battleground-state outlets and CBS Corp. has 10.

Full story: Lin TV Wins Big as Swing-State Cash Spreads to Local Stations (Thu, 2/9)



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD Radio (1300AM/106.9 FM) listeners may have been startled Thursday morning when they heard longtime competitor Kevin Matthews on the air with WOOD hosts Gary Allen and Steve Kelly.

Full story: Kevin Matthews joins WOOD Radio to host annual Fat Tuesday party at The B.O.B. (Thu, 2/9)


A federal jury on Wednesday awarded the widow of TV outdoorsman Fred Trost nearly $195,000 in her lawsuit against his son.

Full story: Federal jury sides with widow of TV outdoors host Fred Trost over his son (Wed, 2/8)



WEMU-FM 89.1 Ypsilanti:

Citing personal reasons, Dr. Arwulf Arwulf, host of the popular traditional jazz program 'The Sunday Best,' (Sundays 10a - 1p) has stepped down as host, effective immediately. 89.1 Jazz host, Nik Thompson will fill in for the short term.

Full story: 'Sunday Best' host Dr. Arwulf Arwulf steps down after 25 years (Wed, 2/8)



• Radio Assist Ministry is selling FM translator W227CB 93.3 Alpena to Northern Lights Enterprises for $15,000 pending FCC approval and closing. The application shows the translator would rebroadcast WPHN FM 90.5 Gaylord.



Newsmakers and links: Feb. 10, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

Jeffrey Zaslow, the West Bloomfield-based author who wrote best-sellers such as "The Last Lecture" about a professor dying of pancreatic cancer and a recent book on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' recovery from a gunshot wound to the head, was killed Friday in a car accident in northern Michigan. Mr. Zaslow, 53, was a Philadelphia native who was married to Sherry Margolis, a Fox 2 Detroit news anchor since 1987, and the father of three daughters.

Full story: Jeffrey Zaslow, West Bloomfield best-selling author, killed in northern Michigan crash (Fri, 2/10)



WSDP Plymouth-Canton Schools' WSDP-FM 88.1 "The New 88.1" will host an Alumni On-Air Day on Saturday Feb. 11, as part of the celebration of the station's 40th Anniversary.

Alums from all decades of the station's operation will be visiting the studio.

One of the special parts of the day will be a one hour show put together by class of '73 alum Rob Milford. Rob has worked in radio news since he graduated. He is currently the morning host at News Radio 1620 in Pensacola Florida. Rob has been interviewing WSDP Alums for the past couple weeks and has put together a one hour show featuring those interviews.

The show will air as part of the Alumni On-Air Day on Saturday at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. It will re-air on Tuesday Feb. 14, at Noon.

WSDP signed on the air Feb. 14, 1972 and can be found on the Internet at 881theescape.com.




Watch out, Bill Steffen. Clips have been circulating on various social sites that show Tom Murphy, news director for Alpena-based CBS/Fox affiliate WBKB-TV, absolutely crushing a series of weather segments. Murphy, a relatively new hire at the station, peppers his weather segments with amusing references to sports and pop culture.

Full story: Does WBKB-TV in Alpena have Michigan's coolest weather man? (Thu, 2/8)



WOOD Radio's Cicchini promoted

News anchor/reporter Paul Cicchini has been named as News Director for Clear Channel news-talk combo WOOD-FM/AM 106.9/1300 in the Grand Rapids market. Cicchini has been with the stations since 2010.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 11, 2012



Benton Harbor LPFM station offered on eBay (update: auction removed)

It appears that City of Benton Harbor has decided to get out of the low-power FM business and is offering the equipment used for WBHC-LP up to the highest bidder on eBay.

The auction starting price was $5,000 and as of Saturday afternoon, there were 2 bids that pushed the price up to $5,100 - not including what's listed as a $1,000 shipping price. The auction is scheduled to close on February 16th at about 6:30 p.m. ET.

In addition to the station's license, the auction includes the antenna, a Crown Broadcast 250 Transmitter, 3 MCA SP1 Mics / with mounting desktop stands, a Mackie 1402 14-channel mixing console, 2 professional CD players, a PBX Port Hybrid, and an Air Tool 600 broadcast audio delay unit ... and patch cords too.

Check out the auction on eBay here



Update 10:55 p.m- the auction has been removed.



Kalamazoo Gazette:

The Glenn Beck Program can no longer be heard on Kalamazoo radio. On Monday, WKZO stopped broadcasting the show from the conservative radio host. Jay Morris, Program Director for the station, said the decision was based on the decline in the show's ratings.

Full story: Glenn Beck off the air at WKZO, replaced with local news hour (Fri, 2/10)




Mark Renzenbrink has been a customer of Tuttle's Select Cigars almost since the tobacco retailer opened in 1994, as Grand Rapids first cigar smoking lounge.

Full story: Two years after losing job, longtime customer decides to buy one of his favorite stores (Sat, 2/11)




SJL Broadcasting announced today that WTVG news director Brian Trauring has been tapped to oversee news operations for all of the company's stations. Trauring will continue serving as WTVG's news director as he takes on the additional title of executive news director for SJL Broadcasting.

Full story: WTVG News Director Tapped to Oversee SJL Broadcasting's News Operations (Fri, 2/10)



• FM translator W248AQ 97.5 Harrison Twp was granted a construction permit to change frequency to 92.7 as W224CC, change community of license to Detroit, increase power from 1 watt @ 13 feet to 250 watts @ 315 feet with a directional antenna, and change location from Harrison Township near Metro Parkway and Crocker to Roseville near 12 Mile and Groesbeck. This translator, currently owned by Radio Assist Ministry, was in the process of being purchased by Radio Power (Martz Communications) prior to Martz pulling out of the Detroit market and shutting down both of their other translators.



Newsmakers and links: Feb. 13, 2012



The Oakland Press:

Radio station WRIF-FM (101.1) today announced it is partnering with Kid Rock's Clarkston-based Made In Detroit brand to create a co-branded T-shirt. The black T-shirt features the station's well known WRIF oval logo with the Made In Detroit logo replacing the "0" in 101.

Full story: WRIF teams up with controversial Clarkston-based Made In Detroit for new T-shirt (Mon, 2/13)



The Maddow Blog / MSNBC.com:

On Friday, we reported on the sale of Benton Harbor, Michigan's city-owned, low-power FM radio station. The state-appointed emergency manager has closed WBHC and listed the equipment and the license on eBay for $5,000. Under Michigan law, an emergency manager can do just about anything he or she wants, including firing elected officials and moving to abolish the town. Selling the station is just one more executive action, really, regardless of how the city feels about it.

Full story: The silencing of Benton Harbor, Michigan (Mon, 2/13)




Funeral services were held this afternoon for Jeffrey Zaslow, the best-selling author and husband of WJBK's Sherry Margolis. Zaslow died in a car accident Friday morning in northern Michigan. WJBK, which recently mourned the loss of general manager Jeff Murri, remembered Zaslow in a long segment during its 10 p.m. newscast on Friday.

Full story: WJBK Remembers Jeffrey Zaslow, Husband of Anchor Sherry Margolis (Mon, 2/13)



WWMT-TV Ch. 3 Kalamazoo:

Newschannel 3 is finding new ways to bring you the news in West Michigan. In early February we started using a new technology to bring you live reports from the field. Live TV has always relied upon live trucks to send video back to the station, which is then rebroadcast to your television through our transmitter.

Full story: A new way to bring you the news (Mon, 2/13)



Detroit Free Press:

As a Catholic TV station based in Ferndale becomes increasingly popular around the world, church officials are trying to tell the public that the media outlet does not represent Catholicism. In two public statements, the Archdiocese of Detroit has taken the unusual step of publicly criticizing Real Catholic TV, saying "that it does not have the authorization required under church law to identify or promote itself as Catholic."

Full story: Views on provocative Real Catholic TV station anger Detroit archdiocese and others (Mon, 2/13)



• Edwards Communications' Hot Adult Contemporary WIDL FM 92.1 was granted a construction permit to change its Community of License from Caro to Cass City, change power from 6,000 watts @ 318 feet (Class A) to 25,000 watts @ 253 feet (Class C3), and relocate its antenna and transmitter from east of Caro to east of Cass City. The station held a similar permit granted in 2005 but it expired before completion.


• Radio Assist Ministry FM translator W273CC 102.5 Alpena was granted its license to cover for a frequency change from 101.9 and change location west of Alpena.


• West Central Michigan Media Ministries has closed on its purchase of the silent WIHC FM 97.9 Newberry from Northern Star Broadcasting.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 14, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

The website Mother Nature Network recently took it upon itself to rank "America's hottest weather forecasters" - and it resulted in WOOD-TV 8's Matt Kirkwood getting a little extra attention.

Full story: Website ranks WOOD-TV 8 meteorologist Matt Kirkwood among 'America's hottest forecasters' (Tue, 2/14)



Fine Tuning:

  • Birach Broadcasting Oldies WOAP AM 1080 (The Big 1080) Owosso is now broadcasting in AM Stereo, becoming the first station in Michigan to add the feature in a number of years.

  • Former WWTV-TV/WWUP-TV Ch. 9/10 Cadillac-Traverse City/Sault Ste Marie morning anchor and health reporter Robyn Haines has landed in Columbus, OH at WCMH where she's taken on reporter duties. Haines left TV 9 & 10 earlier this winter.



• Baraga Broadcasting Religious WTCK FM 90.9 was granted a construction permit to increase power from 1,100 watts @ 659 feet (Class A) to 5,500 watts @ 996 feet (Class C2) and relocate its antenna and transmitter from north of East Jordan in Charlevoix County to north of Harbor Springs in Emmet County.


• The construction permit for Spartan TV, LLC MyNetworkTV affiliate WHTV TV Ch. 18 Jackson/Lansing was modified to increase power from 88,000 to 280,000 watts. The station currently broadcasts with 13,600 watts.


• Low power TV station WLPC-LP Detroit has been granted Special Temporary Authority through August 14, 2012 to broadcast in analog on Channel 38 while repairs are made to the station's digital transmitter on Channel 40.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 15, 2012



ABC 57 South Bend, IN:

According to the Federal Communications Commission, The Benton Harbor community radio station license that was on eBay last week cannot be sold in that manner.

Full story: FCC: Benton Harbor owned radio station can't be sold on eBay (Wed, 2/15)



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

With ingredients like bleu cheese, red wine and smoked sea salt, All-Pro Realty's winning chili recipe at last year's K105.3 FM Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Competition was anything but a tradition concoction.

Full story: Spice it up!: Annual K105.3 FM Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Competition is Sunday (Wed, 2/15)



Grand Rapids Press:

The first thing you'll notice when you meet the band The Crane Wives is their age. They are a young band. But don't let that dissuade you from thinking their music doesn't have depth.

Full story: The Crane Wives: Big winners at The WYCE 2012 Jammies (Wed, 2/15)



Michigan Radio:

A new talk radio show hits the airwaves tonight. It's called "Can U Relate?" and it's produced by and for Detroit Public School students. Ania McKoy is a junior at Detroit School of Arts, and is one of the handful of DPS students working on the new show. She says each episode of "Can U Relate?" will tackle a different topic - like teen pregnancy, bullying, homophobia.

Full story: Detroit students launch new talk radio show for teens (Wed, 2/15)




The Detroit Tigers will have five games moved to FOX's "Saturday Baseball Game of the Week" regional broadcast as part of the network's regular-season coverage, FOX announced Wednesday.

Full story: FOX announces five Detroit Tigers games to be regionally televised, blackouts expected (Wed, 2/15)



Marketplace Morning Report to broadcast live from Michigan

Marketplace Morning Report, a nationally distributed business program from American Public Media, will broadcast live from Michigan Radio's (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint) studios in Ann Arbor the week of Feb. 20. Throughout that week, the show will focus on the economy of Michigan and the Midwest, highlighting the bright spots, the struggles, and what's at stake in Michigan's upcoming presidential primary election. Michigan Radio reporters will also be contributing to this week of special coverage. The show can be heard that week on Michigan Radio at 5:50am, 6:50am and 7:50am.

Hosted by Jeremy Hobson, Marketplace Morning Report offers listeners a look at business and economic news from a global perspective, with a glance ahead to the news which will be making headlines throughout the day. In the time it takes listeners to drink their first cup of coffee, Marketplace Morning Report brings them the morning business news "for the rest of us." Marketplace programs are currently broadcast by more than 500 public radio stations nationwide across the United States and are heard by more than 9 million weekly listeners, the largest audience of any business or economics program on radio or television.



Fine Tuning:

  • CBS Radio/Detroit WYCD-FM 99.5 has missed out on receiving CMA awards this year. The station had received nominations in January for Major Market Station of the Year and Major Market On-Air Personality Of The Year for the station's afternoon drivers, Chuck Edwards and Linda Lee.
  • Tuesday night's Detroit Red Wings - Dallas Stars hockey game in which Detroit earned its NHL-record 21st consecutive home victory will be re-aired by FOX Sports Detroit on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 7-9 p.m.
  • Public Radio WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit host Craig Fahle and Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh will take part in a "listening session" with Oakland County residents on Thursday, February 23rd from 5 - 8 p.m. at the Community House in Birmingham. More details, including ticket information, here.
  • Classical/Jazz WRCJ-FM 90.9 Detroit continues its series of live Detroit Symphony Orchestra broadcasts on Friday (Feb 17) at 10:30 a.m. Pianist Emanuel Ax joins Leonard Slatkin and the DSO to perform the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 22. The DSO will also play Mahler's Fifth Symphony. WRCJ's Dave Wagner and Chris Felcyn host.
  • Josh Lewin, Former FOX Sports Detroit play-by-play voice for the Detroit Tigers, has been hired by WFAN AM New York where he'll join the broadcast team for the New York Mets.



• Midwest Communications FM translator W238CD 95.5 was granted its license to cover for changes: community of license to Coldwater from Camden; move of its antenna/transmitter location closer to Coldwater and increase height. The translator is now on-air simulcasting WTVB AM 1590 Coldwater.


• WYGR, Inc. FM translator W235BN 94.9 was granted its license to cover for changes: community of license to Grand Rapids from Forest Hills; change of frequency from 95.3; move of its antenna/transmitter location closer to downtown Grand Rapids and increase height. The translator is now on-air simulcasting WYGR AM 1530 Wyoming.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 16, 2012



Detroit's WOMC jumps back into Radiothons today

WOMC CBS Radio/Detroit Classic Hits WOMC FM 104.3 is serving up a day-long Radiothon (6 a.m. - 8 p.m.) today; the station has partnered with Gleaner's Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan and is encouraging listeners to become a Hunger Hero by donating at least $20 a month for 12 months to take advantage of special incentives.

Donating at the Hunger Hero level provides 720 meals to people in need through the year. All Hunger Heroes will receive a limited edition Made In Detroit t-shirt. Hunger Heroes who donate by phone at 1-866-GLEANER (453-2637) are entered for a chance to win valuable hourly incentives.

More info on the Radiothon is available at womc.com.

WOMC was the longtime home of the Salvation Army's Radiothon to benefit the Bread and Bread Club until the retirement of longtime morning host Dick Purtan. That Radiothon moved to News/Talk WJR AM 760 in 2011 where it will be heard again this year on Friday, February 24th with Purtan returning behind the mic after a one year hiatus.



Observer & Eccentric:

An old friend has a new look and, if you haven't yet noticed, it's time you did. WSDP 88.1, the student-run radio station that serves Plymouth-Canton Community Schools and the surrounding area, got a facelift as the new year dawned, and "The New 88.1," Plymouth and Canton's Hit Music was born.

Full story: 'New' station deserves a listen (Thu, 2/16)



Detroit News:

Here's how random this world can be. How arbitrary. How absurd: Jeff Zaslow almost didn't go to Pittsburgh. His three girls were his priority, and it looked like one of them was going to need a ride home from school. So instead of driving to hear Randy Pausch give his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, Zaslow figured he could just call.

Full story: Random, or a master plan (Thu, 2/16)




CBS CORP. offered mixed results of its Q4 and full year 2011 numbers. While earnings rose 31% in Q4 and revenue rose to $370 million, full-year revenue fell 3%. Specific number crunching can be found here. CBS RADIO revenues increased slightly from the prior year, reflecting growth in domestic auto, financial services, and retail advertising, partially offset by lower political advertising sales. However, for the full year, Radio revenue decreased 5%, reflecting the decline in political spending, which was partially offset by growth in domestic auto and financial services advertising.

Full story: CBS Corp., Radio Produce Mixed Results In Q4, 2011 (Wed, 2/15)



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

Michigan Radio has added a reporter to cover the south-central portion of the state. Steve Carmody, a Jackson resident, has been with Michigan Radio since 2005. However, late last year began making the transition to a beat reporter for Mid-Michigan.

Full story: Jackson resident Steve Carmody covering new mid-state beat for Michigan Radio (Wed, 2/15)



Fine Tuning

  • Every game on the Detroit Tigers' much-anticipated 2012 regular-season schedule will be televised, including 157 originated by FOX Sports Detroit and five selected for the FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week. Most of the team's televised game will be on FOX Sports Detroit, with some on FOX Sports Detroit Plus due to conflicts with coverage of Detroit Red Wings hockey or Detroit Pistons Basketball. The schedule is also subject to change based on games that might be picked up for national broadcast on FOX or ESPN and for weather issues. Get more info from FSD here.

  • Tony Clark has exited as General Manager of Oldies WOAP AM 1080 Owosso for opportunities outside of radio. Sue Collins is currently managing things at 'The Big 1080'.



• Smile FM is acquiring the construction permit for FM 89.7 Speaker Township (southern Sanilac County, northwest of Port Huron) from Speaker Radio in exchange for Smile FM agreeing to air underwriting announcements for non-profit organizations for which Speaker Radio is affiliated twice per day over twelve months. Smile FM, which has in recent years has expanded their footprint of Contemporary Christian formatted FM stations across much of Michigan, is also obtaining WYOR FM 88.5 Republic, OH (southeast of Toledo) and the construction permit for FM 91.9 Yorktown, AR (southeast of Pine Bluff).


• Smile FM's WSMF FM 88.1 Monroe was granted a construction permit to change its power/height from 1,200 watts @ 135 feet to 900 watts @ 449 feet with a directional signal from a different tower location northeast of Monroe.


• Plymouth-Canton Schools Pop/Community WSDP-FM 88.1 Plymouth was granted a construction permit to increase power from 200 to 300 watts; the station has also corrected the coordinates of its antenna location.


• West Central Michigan Media Ministries, new owner of WIHC FM 97.9 Newberry has applied to change the station from commercial to non-commercial operation. It's anticipated the station will return to the air soon broadcasting the organization's Religious 'Strong Tower Radio' format that originates from Cadillac on WGCP-FM 91.9.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 17, 2012



Fine Tuning

  • Paul Edwards has excited as afternoon host at Salem Communications' WLQV 1500 AM (Faith Talk 1500) Detroit. The Paul Edwards Show had been on WLQV for the previous six years and was in the 4 - 6 p.m. time slot until its last airing yesterday. No word on future plans for either WLQV or Edwards.

  • Yesterday's 104.3 WOMC Radiothon for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan received $377,177 in pledges - or enough for 1,113,846 meals. It was the first airing of this particular fundraiser for the CBS Radio/Detroit Classic Hits station.

  • Your Home with Murray Gula returns to WDFN AM 1130 Detroit this Sunday from Noon - 2 p.m. Host Gula has been off the air recuperating from health issues for the past four months.

  • Missed the fun of Plymouth/Canton's WSDP-FM 88.1's 40th anniversary celebration? The event was recorded for airing on the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools' Cable TV Station and can be seen by clicking here.


WKFR-HD2 Cumulus Broadcasting has started regular operations of FM translator W273AR 102.5 in the Kalamazoo market with a Country format and 10,000 songs in a row as "102.5 Great Country - The 90s to Now". The 250 watt translator provides the immediate Kalamazoo area with coverage of the new format.

The translator rebroadcasts the HD2 channel of Cumulus' WKFR-FM 103.3 - those with digital radios will have two options to receive the new offering on either WKFR-HD2 or the analog 102.5 translator.

The country format in Kalamazoo had previously been provided primarily by Clear Channel's WBCT-FM 93.7 from Grand Rapids and Midwest Communications' WNWN-FM 98.5 from Coldwater/Battle Creek until yesterday's startup of Great Country.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 18 - 19, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

Detroit needs more Detroiters to volunteer -- and more suburbanites with ideas for improving Detroit. That's the premise of two public forums, both 5-8 p.m., that Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh plans to host this week -- Wednesday in Detroit, when Pugh hopes to recruit hundreds of volunteers; and Thursday in Birmingham, where he plans to ask, "What would it take for you to move to Detroit?"

Full story: City Council President Charles Pugh, radio show host to lead meetings on transforming Detroit (Sun, 2/19)




Central Michigan University will honor broadcaster Dick Enberg, a 1957 alumnus and 1993 inductee into the CMU Athletics Hall of Fame, at halftime of tonight's CMU-Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball game in McGuirk Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

Full story: Dick Enberg to be honored at tonight's Central Michigan University basketball game (Sat, 2/18)



Fine Tuning

  • Andy O'Riley, long time morning host for Clear Channel Rock WMRR-FM 101.7 Muskegon, has announced on his Facebook page that he'll be leaving the station for opportunities outside of radio.


Bed & Bread Radiothon Friday, February 24th will mark the Silver Anniversary of the most successful series of Radiothons in Detroit radio. Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 will take their second spin broadcasting the Salvation Army's Bed & Bread Club® Radiothon from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. in front of a live audience from the Center Court of Oakland Mall in Troy.

This year, to make it extra special, Dick Purtan is scheduled to return to co-host the event with WJR's Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann and Mitch Albom.

Contributions help the Salvation Army Bed & Bread program serve approximately 5,000 meals each day to children, adults, and seniors in the Detroit area. In addition, 570 men, women, and children are sheltered by The Salvation Army's Bed & Bread program every day and night of the year.

Donors are encouraged to become members of the Bed & Bread Club® by making a donation of $120- either all at once or in monthly increments of $10 a month. Make a donation of $240 or more, and you'll receive this year's Bed & Bread Club® incentive, which will be announced during the event.

Donations are being accepted now - click here to donate and/or learn more about how YOU can help out with this great cause that relies solely on the generosity of Metro Detroiters to help out other Metro Detroiters.



• David L. Smith's new WGRL FM 95.3 Tuscarora Township (Indian River) was granted its license to cover. Any reports of what this station is airing (or not) would be greatly appreciated. Click here to send a message.


• First Ventures Capital Partners is selling FM translator W243BD 96.5 Beechwood to Lanser Broadcasting for $48,500 pending FCC approval and closing. The application shows that Lanser plans to rebroadcast its Talk/Religious WPNW AM 1260 Zeeland on the translator.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 21, 2012



Muskegon Chronicle:

Local radio personality Andy O'Riley has announced he is leaving The Rock 101.7 WMRR. The popular disk jockey, who has participated in numerous community events throughout his twelve years in Muskegon broke the news on his Facebook profile Feb. 18.

Full story: Popular Muskegon radio personality leaving The Rock 101.7 (Tue, 2/21)




WADL Matt Stevens on Monday was named news director of Adell Broadcasting's WADL Detroit (DMA 11). WADL debuted its 9 p.m. newscast on Monday, Jan. 16. Stevens has 30 years of TV news experience as a reporter, anchor, producer and manager. Most recently, he was senior correspondent at WOIO Cleveland.

Full story: WADL Detroit names Matt Stevens News Dir. (Mon, 2/20)



Grand Rapids Press:

If you're like me, the extent to which you are connected to New Orleans and Mardi Gras is pronouncing the word guarantee as "gair-ohn-tee" like ca jun chef Justin Wilson would do in his classic videos.

Full story: Gumbo contest and live music at the B.O.B. with WOOD radio and Kevin Matthews (Tue, 2/21)




CC MEDIA HOLDINGS has reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended DECEMBER 31st, 2011.

Full story: CC Media Holdings 2011 Revenues Increase 5% To $6.16 Billion (Tue, 2/21)



Fine Tuning

  • Thanks to several e-mailers who report from the Indian River area in Northern Michigan that the recently-licensed WGRL FM 95.3 Tuscarora Township isn't currently on the air. If the station has operated at all, apparently it wasn't for very long. WGRL is owned by David L. Smith.



• Radio Power FM translator W232CA 94.3 Detroit has applied for Remain Silent Authorization "because the current economic climate does not make it possible for the translator to cover the costs of station operations." The translator shut down on January 31st and had been operating as Modern Rock "94.3 The Bone" prior to going off the air.



Newsmakers and links: Feb. 22, 2012



Crain's Detroit Business:

Strategic Staffing Solutions CEO Cynthia Pasky has filed a defamation lawsuit against WJBK-TV2, reporter Charles LeDuff and others for a report that aired in early February. Also named in the suit are New World Communications of Detroit Inc. in Southfield and WJBK producer Douglas McKenzie.

Full story: Strategic Staffing's Cynthia Pasky sues WJBK, reporter LeDuff for defamation (Wed, 2/22)


WTKA Retired radio broadcaster Dick Purtan will return to the airwaves for the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit's annual Bed and Bread Club Radiothon, an event he helped to found 25 years ago. The 16-hour event takes place Friday on NewsTalk 760 WJR Radio from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Purtan was instrumental in establishing the radiothon and hosting it under its orginal name, the Dick Purtan Radiothon, every year up until last year at WOMC FM 104.3.

Full story: Purtan returning to airwaves for 25th annual radiothon to benefit the Salvation Army (Tue, 2/21)



Dexter Patch:

WTKA Michigan International Speedway and WTKA 1050-AM in Ann Arbor have teamed up again to focus on NASCAR with its weekly radio show, the "NASCAR Insider." The special broadcast of "NASCAR Insider" with hosts Jeff DeFran and Roger Curtis airs every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on 1050 AM in Ann Arbor. Listeners outside the area can also catch the show on www.wtka.com and afterward on the station's Podcasts, which will be available on all the speedway's social channels.

Full story: MIS, WTKA Team for NASCAR Insider Radio Show (Tue, 2/21)



Fine Tuning

  • Rob Otto signs as Sports Director for Birach Broadcasting's new Sports "ESPN 1090" WCAR Livonia/Detroit. Otto, a veteran of CBS Radio/Detroit's WXYT-FM and WWJ AM, and before that WDFN AM 1130 and WHMI-FM 93.5, will also be tasked with providing local on-air sports updates for WCAR and helping the station establish local programming and marketing. He'll also be moving his sports-related blog from MLive.com to ESPN 1090's web site at espn1090.com.

  • CBS Radio has named Michael Martin as its new Vice President of CHR programming, replacing Dom Theodore who recently exited to focus on consulting and his family's radio business in Northern Michigan (currently WCDY-FM 107.9 Cadillac).



Information added/updated periodically throughout the day. Refresh the page for the latest version.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 23, 2012



TV38 CEO and Owner Kevin Adell Terminates Kevin O'Brien for Violation of Numerous Corporate Policies

WADL TV-38 Detroit announced yesterday that Kevin O'Brien, who had been working as a consultant for the independent station the past two months, had been terminating. The station cited that violations of corporate policies led to the termination.

Prior to O'Brien's firing, CEO Kevin Adell instructed Rich Mazzari, a retired FBI agent, to conduct a thorough investigation. Upon review of Mazzari's findings, Adell determined O'Brien's termination be immediately effective.

Adell issued the following statement: "I am deeply saddened that in this day and age this type of behavior still exists. I have zero tolerance for this, and I will personally disgorge any money paid to Mr. O'Brien as a consultant for the past two months."


TVSpy.com: WADL Fires Kevin O'Brien After P.I. Finds 'Violations of Numerous Corporate Policies' (Thu, 2/23)



• Jackson Lansing Catholic Radio is purchasing noncommercial WJKQ FM 88.5 Jackson from Great Lakes Community Broadcasting for $14,000 pending FCC approval and closing.


• The FCC has approved the sale of Pop WYDM-FM 97.5 Monroe from the Monroe Public Schools to Monroe Public Access Cable Television, Inc. Sale price was $25,000.


• No notable activity for February 22.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 24, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

Retired Detroit broadcasting great Dick Purtan will be back on the air for today's Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club Radiothon, but he thinks it might be the last time he's behind the mic ... Purtan is scheduled to be on the air with WJR-AM (760) hosts Paul W. Smith (7-9 a.m.), Frank Beckmann (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and Mitch Albom (4-6 p.m.) before joining all of the show's on-air hosts from 8 to 10 p.m.

Full story: Names and Faces (Fri, 2/24)



Charlotte (NC) Observer:

Brenda Matthews, the new midday host on WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7), grew up in suburban Detroit in the Motown era, surrounded by great music coming from the radio. Once a week, she'd run down the street to a nearby record store to get the radio station hit lists when they came out. But it was still strange she chose a career in radio - she was shy as a kid.

Full story: Host on 'K' beat shyness for radio work (Fri, 2/24)



WNEM-TV Ch. 5 Bay City:

Old time radio lovers will be happy to hear about a big event going on in Lansing this weekend. On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Michigan Historical Museum welcomes all those interested in the Golden Age of radio, and particularly those who have an antique set on hand that needs a little TLC. The Michigan Antique Radio Club will be at the museum for "Radio Rescue" beginning at 1 p.m. Club members will be available to discuss the history of radio and its effect on Michigan. Visitors are invited to bring in their cherished, time-worn radios for personalized advice on repair and restoration.

Full story: Celebrate Golden Age of radio in Lansing Saturday (Fri, 2/24)



Grand Rapids Press:

Another Friday, another update on the Rock Paper Scissors challenge. It was a pretty slow week. I didn't get too many matches tossed my way. But it's a long, long road to 1,000 wins and I'm sure there will be busier weeks.

Full story: Gravy from 105.3 HOTFM the next challenger for the citywide Rock, Paper, Scissors challenge (Fri, 2/24)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 25 - 26, 2012



Radiothon raises nearly $1.8M

A very successful Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club Radiothon wrapped up at Oakland Mall yesterday evening with a final tally of $1,733,977 in pledges, surpassing last year's mark of just over $1.5M.

The sixteen-hour event was broadcast live on News/Talk WJR AM 760 in Detroit and featured special guest Dick Purtan along with WJR personalities Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann, Mitch Albom, Warren Pierce, Steve Courtney, Ken Brown, and many others. Some of the former crew of Purtan's People also chipped in this year with Rebekah Rhodes and Big Al Muskavito offering up big contributions to the very worthy cause.

The Bed & Bread Program serves 5,000 meals to the hungry each day. That's nearly 1.7 million meals every year to men, women and children that would otherwise go without. In addition, The Bed & Bread Program provides nearly 500 homeless individuals shelter each night. That's nearly 167,000 nights of shelter annually.

This year's Radiothon was the 25th - and pushes the grand total over the years to nearly $27 million. The event will also cost Mr. Purtan his mustache, along with the $50,000 he personally donated.



Detroit News:

A contentious legal dispute over a multimillion-dollar trust left by WADL-TV owner Franklin Z. Adell has been settled quietly through mediation. Kevin Adell, son of the late Bloomfield Hills businessman, has been battling his two sisters since 2008 in Oakland County Probate Court over their father's estate, estimated at one point at $40 million, according to his attorney, Michael Alan Schwartz.

Full story: Dispute over WADL estate settled (Sat, 2/25)


We started the 25th annual Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club Radiothon on the right foot Friday at the Oakland Mall, joined by its founder, Dick Purtan, and WJR's Steve Courtney. Our special (6-11 a.m.) Paul W. Smith Show broadcast raised $500,000 (with 11 more hours to go.)

Full story: Detroiters pitch in for Salvation Army (Sat, 2/25)



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

A "Saturday Night Live"-like variety show featuring local entertainers? "Buzz TV Jackson," which will be something in the way of that idea, is coming to the Lansing/Jackson ABC affiliate WLAJ on Friday nights beginning in early May.

Full story: 'Buzz TV Jackson,' a Jackson-based 'SNL'-like variety show, coming to WLAJ in May (Fri, 2/24)




- Washington Post Co. Announces Revenue Decline (Fri, 2/24; Note: Washington Post Co. owns WDIV TV Ch. 4 Detroit)

- Scripps Reports 16% Decrease in Q4 Revenue, Looks to Future Following McGraw-Hill Acquisition (Fri, 2/24; Note: Scripps owns WXYX TV Ch. 7 Detroit)

- Gray Television Reports Revenue Drop in 'Off Year' (Fri, 2/24; Note: Gray Television owns WILX TV Ch. 10 Lansing)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 27, 2012




Trying to make a name for itself in news, Detroit independent station WADL is making a lot of news of its own. A month after launching a 9 p.m. newscast, WADL fired recently hired news director Matt Stevens on his first day, today.

Full story: WADL Fires News Director on His First Day (Mon, 2/27)



The Oakland Press:

Barry Sanders has filed for a divorce from his wife of more than 10 years, Lauren Campbell Sanders. Court records show that the former Detroit Lions running back filed the complaint Friday in Oakland County Circuit Court ... Lauren Sanders is an anchor on WDIV-Channel 4.

Full story: Lions great Barry Sanders files for divorce after more than decade of marriage (Mon, 2/27)



Crain's Detroit Business:

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit's annual Bed and Bread Club Radiothon raised over $1.7 million Friday with a little help from an old friend.

Full story: Salvation Army raises $1.7 million in Dick Purtan's return to Bed and Bread Club Radiothon (Mon, 2/27)



• David L. Smith has applied for Remain Silent Authority for the recently licensed WGRL FM 95.3 Tuscarora Township. The application states that the station commenced test operations from 5:30 - 8 p.m. ET on January 31, 2012 and again from 8:16 a.m - 10:26 p.m. February 1st using a power generator and needs to complete work on a power line in order to resume operations.


• No notable activity for February 24 and 26.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 28, 2012




After his very public termination as a WADL consultant, Kevin O'Brien is firing back at the independent station and its owner Kevin Adell. Today an attorney representing O'Brien circulated a press release defending him against the "defamatory" press release WADL sent out last week announcing his dismissal.

Full story: Abruptly Fired by WADL, Kevin O'Brien Shares His Side of the Story (Tue, 2/28)


After firing consultant Kevin O'Brien last week, WADL issued a press release stating only that the former Meredith executive had violated "numerous corporate policies." Now a clearer picture of O'Brien's termination is starting to develop. NewsBlues recently obtained a copy of the letter WADL sent to O'Brien, outlining his dismissal.

Full story: Letter Reveals WADL Fired Temporary President for Trying to Land Another Job (Tue, 2/28)



Flint Journal:

The entire country could have known Cleodia Myles, but Flint got to keep him for itself. The local radio legend known for his all-night jazz shows at Flint radio stations died Feb. 21 at age 76. Family members and friends remember him as a hard-working guy with one of the most popular radio shows--and smoothest voices--around.

Full story: Flint radio legend Cleodia Myles remembered for deep voice, deeper commitment to Flint (Mon, 2/27)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 29, 2012



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

WXYZ-TV After more than 38 years interviewing sports celebrities and covering every major sporting event from the Super Bowl to the NBA finals, 7 ACTION NEWS Sports Director Don Shane will retire from WXYZ in March. Before joining WXYZ-TV in 1989, Shane worked at WBZ-TV in Boston, WMAQ-TV in Chicago and WDIV-TV in Detroit. He has received numerous awards for his reporting including 23 Michigan Emmy Awards, a best sports anchor honor, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Award, as well as awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Associated Press.

Full story: 7 Action News Sports Director Don Shane announces he will retire after 23 years at WXYZ (Wed, 2/29)



Shiels exits "Michigan's Morning Show"

Michael Patrick Shiels has exited "Michigan's Morning Show", heard from 5:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. on nine radio stations across the state. The program originated at Cumulus' WJIM AM 1240 Lansing and is produced and syndicated by the Cumulus-owned Michigan Talk Network. A series of guests will fill in temporarily while the search is on for a new permanent host.

Shiels leaves after hosting the program for the past seven years. "The fact of the matter is I decided to leave Cumulus Broadcasting. It was an amicable parting and I'm hoping I'll get the opportunity down the road to re-connect with my Michigan listeners," commented Shiels.



Detroit News:

Local PBS affiliate WTVS-TV (Channel 56) has a lot to be proud of as of late. The station's production of "Il Volo Takes Flight," which features the amazing trio of young Italian tenors, is going national. Detroit Public Television partnered with the Michigan Opera Theatre, using the Detroit Opera House and MOT's 49-member orchestra, for the October concert. It was broadcast locally in December and will air nationally beginning this weekend as a part of PBS' national fundraising drive.

Full story: WTVS-TV expands locally and takes flight nationally (Wed, 2/29)



Fine Tuning

  • Today's Real Detroit Weekly celebrates its 'Best Of Detroit' issue. Best Media TV and radio winners include Huel Perkins, FOX 2 News, ClickOnDetroit.com, Jay Towers, Jay Hudson, Drew and Mike, Valenti and Foster, 89X, Glenda Lewis, and Dan Miller.

  • Listeners of Cumulus' Contemporary Hits WIOG-FM Bay City/Saginaw helped raise $64,128 during last week's Radiothon for Flint's Hurley Medical Center.



Toledo Blade:

A Toledo television station has officially informed the state that it plans to lay off 63 employees this spring when the station is sold. The Blade reported in January that WUPW, Channel 36, was being sold to American Spirit Media. The layoffs are expected to take place between April 24 and May 8, according to a letter from LIN Media, which owns WUPW, to Ohio's Office of Workforce Development.

Full story: Toledo TV station WUPW plans to lay off 63 employees (Wed, 2/29)







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