Entries in Metro Detroit Category

Newsmakers and links: Jan. 3, 2012



Plymouth-Canton's WSDP-FM 88.1 flips to pop

On the afternoon of New Year's Eve, WSDP-FM 88.1 Plymouth wrapped up its stunting and officially took on a pop/Hot AC format, becoming Plymouth and Canton's Hit Music and inviting listeners to come up with a name for the station - and be entered for a chance to win a $100 gas card. Visit the web site for more information and to listen to the station live at TheNew881.com.

Musically, the relaunched station will feature artists such as Adele, Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, Journey, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, The Fray and Bon Jovi.

WSDP will continue to be run by students in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools and provide hourly community news, live broadcasts from throughout Plymouth and Canton, live school sports from Canton, Plymouth and Salem high schools, and Plymouth Whalers Hockey.

WSDP featured an alternative rock format until December 27th, when it began stunting toward its new sound. The station's staff is working on an internet only station that will continue 88.1FM's former format, known as "The Escape."

"We're excited to bring The New 88.1 to listeners in Plymouth and Canton," said Kyle Linford, Program Director, "We look forward to serving the community in the months ahead."



Southwest Michigan AM goes dark

Mid-West Family Broadcasting has taken sports WCSY AM 940 South Haven off the air permanently, electing to cease operations as of 10:40 a.m. on Monday, January 2nd. It's expected the station's two tower array will be removed at a later date.



Cumulus' Spaulding travels down US-23

RAMP reports that Matt Spaulding has exited Cumulus' Ann Arbor, MI cluster (WWWW-FM / WQKL-FM / WTKA AM / WLBY AM) and has been named as VP/Market Manager for the company's Toledo/Monroe operations (WRQN-FM / WXKR-FM / WMIM-FM / WKKO-FM / WWWM-FM / WLQR-FM/AM).


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 4, 2012



Martz to add Bubba the Love Sponge to it's Detroit modern rocker, possibly relaunch smooth jazz on 92.7

The FM translators owned by Tim Martz are in the news today with word that modern rocker 'The Bone', heard on FM 94.3 (W232CA) and on FM 107.5 HD3 (WGPR-HD3) will add the syndicated 'Bubba The Love Sponge' show in morning drive starting next Wednesday, January 11th.

In other Detroit translator news, Martz' Smooth jazz 'The Oasis', currently only heard over-the-air at FM 107.5 HD2, looks to be preparing a return to the analog airwaves on a recently acquired and relocated translator that will take to the air from Macomb county on FM 92.7. The Oasis was previously heard on FM 104.7 but was forced off the air by the FCC due to interference concerns with Toledo's WIOT-FM 104.7 last fall.



Flint Journal:

Ten radio stations are partnering with Michigan Blood to help boost the blood supply in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The stations are participating in Michigan Blood's 23rd annual Broadcast Blood Boost from noon to 7 p.m. Jan. 5 and 6 at Fashion Square Mall in Saginaw Township.

Full story: Michigan Blood partners with local radio stations to host Broadcasting Blood Boost Thursday and Friday (Wed, 1/4)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 6, 2012



The Oakland Press:

Get ready for a local newscast that combines hyper-local news stories with television's immediacy when WADL TV 38 and Journal Register newspapers partner to present the "News @ 9" weekdays beginning Monday, Jan. 16.

Full story: WADL and Journal Register newspapers partner to begin weekday newscast (Fri, 1/6)



Jamie Samuelsen exits WCSX, WXYT-FM next stop?

Inside Radio reports that Jamie Samuelsen has stepped down as sports director and morning show co-host at Greater Media classic rocker WCSX-FM 94.7 and is expected to be joining CBS Radio's sports WXYT-FM 97.1.




WPBN-WTOM anchor Diana Fairbanks is joining Buffalo's WIVB-WNLO on January 16. Fairbanks, who tells TVSpy she is "excited about the opportunity," says she will anchor the 5:30 p.m. newscast on WIVB and the 10 p.m. newscast on WNLO on weekdays. Her last day at WPBN-WTOM, the NBC-affiliate in Traverse City, MI, is Friday.

Full story: Anchor Diana Fairbanks Joining WIVB In Buffalo (Thu, 1/5)



Grand Rapids Press:

Do you follow the syndicated (and very popular) "Free Beer and Hot Wings" show on WGRD-FM (97.9)? Or do you listen to the sports talk show giant in town, better known as "Huge" -- who can be heard across the state (including WBBL-FM 107.3) and found online through his Huge Blog on Mlive.com?

Full story: Radio wars? WGRD's Free Beer and Hot Wings take on WBBL's Huge (Thu, 1/5)



Flint Journal:

Former WJRT (Channel 12) news anchor Bill Harris will soon be back on the air permanently. And he can't wait. "I feel like a 5-year-old on Christmas Eve," Harris said. NBC25 (WEYI) today announced its acquisition of Harris, a 35-year news veteran and nine-time Emmy winner. "Channel 25 is offering me what I really love to do and that's anchoring and special project reporting," Harris said.

Full story: TV news anchor Bill Harris 'like a 5-year-old on Christmas Eve' over new gig at NBC25 (Thu, 1/5)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 9, 2012



Love of the classics brings Dick Wallace back on the air

Longtime classical WQRS-FM 105.1 Detroit music host Dick Wallace headed up north after the station was sold and changed its format back in the 1990s. He spent the remainder of his career at Interlochen Center for the Arts' public classical station WIAA-FM 88.7 near Traverse City before retiring a couple of years ago.

The lure of the mic proved strong, even in retirement, and Wallace has returned to host a weekly specialty show on news-talk WTCM AM 580 Traverse City on Saturday evenings at 9. Titled "Pops Potpourri", the show can be heard online at wtcmradio.com or on the TuneIn Radio app on your smartphone.

"What a kick to be able to do this show, which I did for years on IPR, on WTCM!", commented Wallace on his return to the northern Michigan airwaves.



Detroit News:

The SUV was cruising along in front of them, and then in the time it took to say, "Oh, my God," it wasn't. Channel 2 news anchor Monica Gayle and her family were headed north for a week of skiing. It was two days after Christmas, a little south of Gaylord on Interstate 75. Two vehicles ahead, a Ford Expedition was towing snowmobiles.

Full story: Family's trek up I-75 turns into 'profound' experience of rescuing others (Mon, 1/9)



FOX 2 Detroit adds to weather staff

WJBK-TV Ch. 2 Detroit has hired Alan Longstreet for weekend weather work. He's a native Michigander and was previously working at WTAP in Parkersburg, WV.




CLEAR CHANNEL CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA RPM J.T. BOSCH is on the hunt for a new PD for Top 40 WAEB-F (B104)/ALLENTOWN, as PD ERIC CHASE heads back to DETROIT for Sports/Talk duties at WDFN-A (1130 AM THE FAN). WDFN PD MICHAEL MCCOY tells ALL ACCESS, "I'm really looking forward to ERIC getting here and being able to devote the time to the station that it deserves."

Full story: B104 PD Chase To WDFN (Mon, 1/9)


CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT has added ROB STONE for weekends. ROB exited from CUMULUS Country WITL/LANSING in NOVEMBER.

Full story: Rob Stone Joins WYCD For Weekends (Mon, 1/9)


MARTZ COMMUNICATIONS Alternative WGPR (THE BONE)/DETROIT complements the recently hired BUBBLA THE LOVE SPONGS morning show (NET NEWS, 1/5) with DI DI MICHAELS for news and STORM KENNEDY for weather. Both are currently heard on MARTZ Urban WAMO/PITTSBURGH in the same capacity.

Full story: The Bone/Detroit Adds Di Di Michaels, Storm Kennedy For Bubba Wakeups (Mon, 1/9)


Mario Impemba, best known as the play-by-play of Detroit Tigers baseball for FOX Sports Detroit, has been named as Michigan Sportscaster of the Year for 2011 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). It's the first time Impemba has won the award which was created in 1959 and won that year in Michigan by Van Patrick.

The upcoming 2012 season will be the 11th for Impemba as FOX Sports Detroit's Tigers play-by-play announcer. He's a native metro Detroiter and graduate of Michigan State University. You'll also hear Impemba doing radio and TV play-by-play announcer for Oakland University men's basketball.

Recent winners of the Michigan Sportscaster of the Year award include Ken Daniels, Jim Brandstatter, George Blaha, and Dan Dickerson. The late Ernie Harwell was a 19-time winner.

Detroit Free Press beat writer Mark Snyder claimed the Michigan Sportswriter of the Year award for 2011. He covers University of Michigan athletics for the Freep.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 10, 2012




Dish Nation, the half-hour entertainment news program featuring drive-time personalities from across the nation (including Blaine & Allyson from Detroit's WDVD-FM 96.3) has been sold to the Fox Television Stations. Set for a September launch, Dish Nation has also been sold to Tribune, LIN, Local TV and Cox stations.

Full story: 'Dish Nation' cleared in 55% of the country (Mon, 1/9)



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD-TV reporter Anne Schieber is leaving journalism to become a senior investigative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Full story: WOOD-TV reporter Anne Schieber leaving to join Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Tue, 1/10)




... In other news at the Clear Channel Philly cluster, on air veteran Bobby Holiday joins as morning man for the new "R&B Oldies" WDAS-AM, while creative mastermind Mark Fisher becomes the voice talent at the station. Holiday was last the PD of WDZZ Flint, Michigan, before exiting in April of 2010.

Full story: Clear Channel Urban/Philadelphia makes new hires for WUSL, WDAS-AM (Tue, 1/10)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 12, 2012



Michigan Radio:

As part of the station's ongoing efforts to cover news across the state, Michigan Radio has established a new mid-Michigan news bureau. Based in Jackson, Reporter Steve Carmody will be covering stories in that city, as well as Lansing, Battle Creek and other mid-Michigan communities.

Full story: Michigan Radio establishes Mid-Michigan news bureau (Thu, 1/12)



Toledo Blade:

A Toledo television station is on track to be sold for more than $22 million to a company that has ties to another local station. Paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday states WUPW-TV, Channel 36, is in the process of being bought by American Spirit Media. The head of that company, Thomas Henson, already operates at least three other TV stations with Raycom Media, which is the parent company of WTOL-TV, Channel 11.

Full story: TV channels 11, 36 to share services; WUPW to be sold to company with ties to WTOL for $22M (Thu, 1/12)



Detroit Free Press:

Metro Detroit viewers who caught Fox's "Dish Nation" during its trial run last summer should be excited: The pop culture news-and-entertainment TV show featuring WDVD-FM (96.3)'s "Blaine and Allyson in the Morning" cohosts Blaine Fowler and Allyson Martinek will be back. Producers say that beginning in September, the show will air weeknights 52 weeks a year.

Full story: Detroit DJs to return to TV (Thu, 1/12)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 13, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

"The Bonds and Fisher Show," Bill Bonds and Rich Fisher's weekday afternoon show on WCAR-AM (1090), won't be returning to the metro Detroit airwaves, representatives from the station told the Free Press today. The show has been off the air since mid-December. "We have an exciting new format we're going to unveil in the very near future, but I can officially tell you that 'Bonds and Fisher' will no longer be a title of a show on the afternoon drive for WCAR," said new general manager Buzz Van Houten.

Full story: 'Bonds and Fisher Show' not returning to radio (Thu, 1/12)




The MICHIGAN FILM OFFICE has awarded $191,646 to THECOOLTV e/i program "'ARIEL, ZOEY & ELI Too' for showcasing MICHIGAN locations and talent to a national audience, as well as employing MICHIGAN workers for the production. The nationally syndicated weekly children's show features ARIEL and ZOEY ENGELBERT, 13-year-old twins from ANN ARBOR, and their 10-year-old brother, ELI.

Full story: Michigan Treats TheCoolTV Production (Fri, 1/13)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 16, 2012



Jacobs Media - JacoBlog:

Last month, I wrote a blog post about a campaign that WRIF's Meltdown initiated to get Detroit Red Wings goalie, Jimmy Howard, into the NHL All-Star Game. Inexplicably, Howard had been left off a ballot that contained 18 other goalies. Here's the original post. So we promised to give you the results of the write-in campaign, and yup, Howard made it into the game. OK, so this isn't a flood, a hurricane, a tornado, or any of the natural disasters where local radio always shines. And that's the point - this is one of those everyday events that happens in markets around the country that no one else cares about outside of the Detroit metro.

Full story: Howard's End (Mon, 1/16)



Marco Island Sun Times:

Strong yet smooth, precise yet personable, the voice is somehow vaguely familiar. That may be because Lynn Wheaton long ago mastered the art of broadcast speech. It may also be that Wheaton's career in the upper Midwest brought that voice into the homes of millions of listeners for decades.

Full story: Radio veteran still on air (Sun, 1/15)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 17, 2012



Toledo Blade:

A proposed shared-services agreement between two Toledo TV stations could lead to the shuttering of one channel's news department and the creation of what media transparency advocates say is a move toward limited competition in local TV news.

Full story: Experts fear Toledo TV deal will cut competition (Tue, 1/17)



Chicagoland Radio and Media:

After finding it was too difficult to work for both WIMS-AM & WLS-FM, John Records Landecker, a true Chicago radio legend, has decided to stick with just one station: Chicago's WLS-FM. Landecker exited WIMS-AM as of Friday. Landecker had been working at WIMS-AM since the Fall of 2007 (with the exception of two weeks), doing an afternoon talk show. WIMS-AM is located in nearby Michigan City, IN, close to Landecker's home.

Full story: John Records Landecker Exits WIMS-AM, Sticks With WLS-FM (Sat, 1/14)


CBS Sports WXYT-FM 97.1 will reunite two former WDFN AM 1130 personalities for a new weekday evening drive program starting Monday, January 23rd at 6 p.m.

Featuring Jamie Samuelsen and Bob 'Wojo' Wojnowski, the two hour program will often be abbreviated due to play-by-play coverage of the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons.

Wojnowski, primarily a columnist for The Detroit News, arrives at The Ticket after recently returning on-air at Greater Media's WRIF-FM 101.1 where he was providing periodic segments on sports for morning drive's Drew and Mike Show. He was a longtime afternoon drive co-host on WDFN until budget cuts slashed much of that station's local programming.

"I enjoy broadcasting, entertaining and occasionally whining, and I am excited about the chance to do it again on a regular basis. In 20-plus years as a Detroit columnist, and 15 years on Detroit radio, I have deep connections and passions about the teams and the fans," said Wojnowski, whose former on-air partner Mike Stone co-hosts mornings on The Ticket with Bill McAllister. "The Ticket is the biggest sports boombox imaginable, and Jamie and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to join the fun."

Samuelsen recently exited as sports director and morning show contributor at Greater Media's WCSX-FM 94.7. At WDFN, Samuelsen began as a sports update reporter and then co-hosted middays and then morning drive before exiting due to the slashed budgets at WDFN.

"I'm thrilled to join the team at 97.1 The Ticket. I can't wait to get back on the air to talk sports with the most passionate fans in America," added Samuelsen. "Wojo has been a great friend of mine for a long time, and the chance to work with him every day makes this opportunity even better."

WXYT-FM Program Director Jimmy Powers commented, "We are extremely pleased to have Jaime and Wojo join our line-up. They are a natural fit. They have been dialed into the Detroit sports scene for many years, giving fans information on their favorite teams. Jamie and Wojo will continue to entertain listeners on their way home from work or to the stadium."

Pat Caputo and Dennis Fithian, who had been hosting that time slot, remain with the station and will now be heard starting at 8 p.m. or following play-by-play coverage.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 18, 2012



The Oakland Press:

WADL TV 38 President and CEO Kevin Adell announced on Wednesday that Matt Uhl will be the vice president and general manager of the television station, which is located in Mt.Clemens.

Full story: WADL announces leadership change (Wed, 1/18)



WWJ AM preps for its Winter Survival Radiothon

Although the winter of 2011-12 has thus far been milder than expected, they number of Michigan residents needing assistance in paying their energy bills is still near all-time highs as CBS Radio's WWJ AM 950 gets ready for its 9th Annual WWJ Radiothon to benefit The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW). This year's event is scheduled to be broadcast live from 5 a.m. Friday January 27th through noon on Saturday, January 28th at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.

The goal of the 31-hour effort is to help raise much-needed funds for THAW. To donate call 1-888-579-4950.

Winter is a cold and frightening time of the year for thousands of Michigan families who are struggling to heat their homes. THAW has been assisting Michigan residents facing an emergency energy crisis for 26 years and the need this year is anticipated to be greater than ever.

Heat and lights during a Michigan winter are a necessity, not a luxury. During the cold months ahead many are faced with unimaginable choices such as heating or eating, those most vulnerable in these conditions are children, seniors and people with serious medical conditions.

Last year's Winter Survival Radiothon raised approximately $431,000.

More information on the 9th Annual Winter Survival Radiothon can be found on the CBS/Detroit web site.



Detroit News:

For millions of listeners, National Public Radio's "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" is a hilarious weekend ritual ... The wildly popular news quiz show will take to the stage of the Fox Theatre on Thursday for a live performance. Like other "Wait Wait" shows, it will be taped for national broadcast and will air locally at 10 a.m. Saturday on WDET (101.9 FM) and 11 a.m. on WUOM (91.7 FM).

Full story: Weekend quiz show gets top marks (Wed, 1/18)




The E.W. Scripps Co. announced that it has provided a broad outlook for the revenue performance of its television stations and newspapers in 2012. For the full year 2012, the company expects total television revenues to increase by more than 50 percent.

Full story: Scripps expects higher TV revenue in FY12 (Wed, 1/18)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 19, 2012



Detroit Public Television to air town hall meeting with Governor Snyder

Detroit Public Television (DPTV) has scheduled a first-ever combined broadcast and webcast MiVote Town Hall meeting with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Friday January 20, 2012 at 7 p.m.

The television broadcast will be available to viewers on DPTV's main channel, WTVS-TV, Channel 56. The webcast will be available at the same time via dptv.org.

Just two days after the Governor's State of the State address, more than 75 citizens who have participated in community conversations convened by the Center For Michigan and DPTV about the State's future, will comprise a studio audience that will be able to ask questions of the Governor.

Veteran news anchor Christy McDonald will host the program, along with Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor of the Detroit News and Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor of the Detroit Free Press.

Additionally, other Michigan PBS stations plan to air the Town Hall. WKAR-TV in Lansing will show the broadcast on Sunday January 22, 2012 at 2 p.m. and WNMU-TV in Marquette will show the broadcast on Thursday February 2, 2012 at 8 p.m.

"This special MiVote Town Hall is the latest example of how we are using the power of media to connect Michigan citizens and work to solve the most important issues facing our communities and the State," said Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of DPTV. "We appreciate that Governor Snyder shares that commitment."




BEASLEY BROADCAST Country WKIS/MIAMI adds BROADWAY to the KENNY WALKER and U-TURN LAVERN morning show, starting JANUARY 24th. Previously, BROADWAY did mornings at WSNX and evenings at WBCT/FRAND RAPIDS, MI.

Full story: WKIS Adds Broadway To Mornings (Wed, 1/18)



Grand Rapids Press:

A new TV station, just for women. That's what WOOD-TV (Channel 8) is promising in a promo airing on the NBC-TV affiliate.

Full story: WOTV Channel 41 promising a new TV station just for women coming in February (Wed, 1/18)




"Acoustic Cafe," the weekly, produced-in-Ann Arbor radio show that enjoys a worldwide syndicated audience, will settle in at The Ark Tuesday night for a hometown "Acoustic Cafe" live show featuring three performers familiar to Ann Arbor audiences.

Full story: Ann Arbor-based Acoustic Cafe radio show fine-tunes tour with hometown date Tuesday at The Ark (Wed, 1/18)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 23, 2012



Detroit News:

Don't be surprised if around 6 Monday night on WXYT 97.1, you hear a big, bellowing "Happy NEW YEAR!" A little late, sure. But it's never stopped him before. Bob Wojnowski, AKA Wojo, is set to return to Metro Detroit radio. The two-hour, drive-time show will be co-hosted by Jamie Samuelson.

Full story: He's back! Wojo returns to Detroit radio tonight (Mon, 1/23)



Saginaw News:

The phone rang, and after a slow, easy exchange of greetings, the very familiar voice on the other end of the line said, "This is Garrison Keillor." After more than three decades of "A Prairie Home Companion," minus a short intermission in the late 1980s when the folksy storyteller thought there were better things to pursue, the introduction was hardly necessary.

Full story: Garrison Keillor makes a welcome return (Mon, 1/23)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 24, 2012



Detroit News:

It seems to me like we've had a mild winter, but that's a relative term. It's not that balmy when your house doesn't have heat. That's where THAW comes in, where American Coney Island comes in, and where I show up, too, at 11 a.m. today. THAW, the Heat and Warmth Fund, helped keep the furnace burning for 12,000 Michigan households in 2010-11. CEO Susan Sherer expects that number to jump this year, even as temperatures do the same.

Full story: Buy a coney, help THAW (Tue, 1/24)



WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit:

Radio station 94.7 will raise money for the Children's Miracle Network by bringing back the Stone Soup Project to Detroit. The project, named after the childhood fable which tells the story of a community coming together to each add something to a soup pot, relies on the efforts of local business and listeners to help rebuild a classic car from the ground up.

Full story: Detroit-area radio station 94.7 rebuilds classic car for charity (Mon, 1/23)



Green Bay Press-Gazette:

Jim Irwin, 77, who was the radio voice of the Green Bay Packers from 1969 to 1998, died Sunday. His wife Gloria picked up the phone, unprompted, and called the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Monday. "Green Bay was such an important part of our lives, I just kind of wanted to make it a more personal story for the readers," she said, her voice quivering. The last 24 hours left Gloria drained after watching Jim succumb to metastatic cancer in hospice.

Full story: Former Packers radio announcer Jim Irwin dies at 77 (Mon, 1/23)




MACDONALD BROADCASTING Country WKCQ (98KCQ)/SAGINAW, MI weekend overnight personality MARTIN ANTHONY has resigned to pursue part-time opportunities closer to home (metro DETROIT) or full-time positions anywhere in MICHIGAN.

Full story: Martin Anthony Leaves WKCQ (Mon, 1/23)




Meredith Corp. (owner of CBS affiliate WNEM-TV Ch. 5 Bay City) today reported that fiscal 2012 second quarter Local Media Group operating profit was $27 million, compared to $39 million in the year-ago period. Total revenues were $84 million, compared to $97 million, a 13.5% drop.

Full story: Meredith local media revenue down 13.5% (Tue, 1/24)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 25, 2012



Broadcasting & Cable:

Eight Young Broadcasting stations have agreed to affiliate with ABC's Live Well Network, with the rollout starting Jan. 30. WKRN Nashville, WRIC Richmond, WTEN Albany, WATE Knoxville, WBAY Green Bay, KELO Sioux Falls, WLNS Lansing and KLFY Lafayette (La.) bring the Live Well Network's overall market clearance to more than 58% of U.S. television households.

Full story: Young Broadcasting Stations Look to Live Well (Tue, 1/24)



Grand Rapids' Christian WCSG-FM 91.3 gains Lansing-area coverage

Educational Media Foundation FM translator W237BY 95.3 Mason/Lansing is reported as having switched from rebroadcasting that company's "Air One" contemporary Christian format to a rebroadcast of Cornerstone University's mainstream Christian WCSG-FM 91.3.



Michigan broadcast student award winners announced

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) has revealed the names of its 2012 student broadcasting award winners. A complete list of the 2012 honorees can be found on the MAB web site.



Muskegon Chronicle:

WBLV-FM (90.3) radio host Foley Schuler will present a free, three-part lecture series, "Cities of the Imagination," on the last Tuesdays of January (the 31st), February (28th) and March (27th) at the Nuveen Community Center for the Arts, 8697 Ferry, Montague.

Full story: WBLV radio host Foley Schuler to speak on 'Cities of the Imagination' (Wed, 1/25)



WTVS Ch. 56 Detroit to re-air award-winning documentary

Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV Ch. 56 Detroit, is scheduled to rebroadcast its documentary movie "Beyond the Light Switch" in two parts. The first half will air tonight at 10 p.m. with the second half scheduled for next Wednesday, February 1st, also at 10 p.m.

The program explores the controversy of the status of the current infrastructure used to create and distribute electricity across the United States. The film won the Alfred I. DuPont/Columbia University Award last year and has aired nationally on PBS affiliates.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 26, 2012




President Barack Obama, who is expected to spend tonight in Metro Detroit before a morning speech at the University of Michigan, is scheduled to appear tomorrow as a guest on WJR-AM 760.

Full story: President Barack Obama scheduled to appear on WJR-AM 760 tomorrow morning in Detroit (Thu, 1/26)



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 adds awards to its Detroit 2020 campaign

WXYZ-TV is has announced the inaugural Detroit 2020 Awards as part of the station's ongoing Detroit 2020 campaign. The awards will honor those that exemplify Detroit 2020's motto of "Unify. Inspire. Act."

Viewers are encouraged to nominate people or organizations by going to Detroit2020.com before the March 2nd deadline.

The station plans to give out three awards: A "Unify" award, which will honor an individual or organization that has worked to bring the community and people closer together in 2011; An "Inspire" award, which will honor an individual or organization that worked to motivate the community to accomplish great things in 2011; An "Act" award, which will honor an individual or organization that has made a demonstrable impact and made a difference in 2011.

"WXYZ is excited to recognize the work of those making a profound difference in our community," said Ed Fernandez, WXYZ-TV Vice President and General Manager. "With the inaugural Detroit 2020 Awards, we will honor three people and/or organizations that share our goals to unify, inspire and act."

The Detroit 2020 Awards ceremony will be held in the spring of 2012 with winners being provided cash awards to help further their efforts.



WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit picks up two Academy of Country Music Broadcast Award nominations

CBS Radio country WYCD-FM 99.5 has been recognized by the Academy of Country Music with nominations in two categories: 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.

The ACM Awards show is scheduled to be broadcast live on CBS Television on Sunday April 1st at 8 p.m. Eastern from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.




Paul Longuski joins country WSSL Greenville, S.C., for afternoons effective Feb. 14, when he will be given a new on-air name. He arrives from Cumulus/Grand Rapids, Mich., where his primary job was the lead on WTNR (Thunder Country 94.5's) morning show.

Full story: New P.M. Driver For WSSL Greenville (Wed, 1/25)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 27, 2012



WJR and Salvation Army set February 24th as date for annual Radiothon

The 25th Annual Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club Radiothon will take place on Friday February 24th from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. from Oakland Mall in Troy. Newstalk WJR AM 760 will broadcast the event for the second year - and welcome back longtime host Dick Purtan who retired several months after the 2010 event.

Purtan is scheduled to join WJR hosts Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann, and Mitch Albom to help raise money in support of the Salvation Army's Bed and Bread program that serves nearly 5,000 meals to children, adults, and seniors and shelters 570 people every day and night of the year.

Last year's Radiothon tallied $1,546,584 in pledges.




President Barack Obama says the recovery of Detroit automakers proves that America has the talent and wherewithal to remain an international leader in manufacturing. Obama, who is scheduled to speak later this morning at the University of Michigan, appeared as a guest this morning on WJR-AM 760, where he discussed rising college costs and the auto industry with host Paul W. Smith.

Full story: President Barack Obama talks auto recovery, tuition costs, UM-MSU rivalry on Detroit radio (Fri, 1/27)


Gov. Rick Snyder met with a crowd of Wayne State University students and faculty on Thursday during a taping of "Leaders on Leadership" at Detroit Public Television.

Full story: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder quizzed by WSU students during show taping (Fri, 1/27)



Grand Rapids Press:

Doug Wentworth's smooth and reassuring voice heightened for a moment, saying, "It's a swisheroo for two by Barry Capel." That's all I needed to hear. Finally, the restlessness buzzing through my fevered 8-year-old body eased. I exhaled and sighed in relief.

Full story: Legendary football, basketball radio announcer Doug Wentworth hanging up mic after 50 years, maybe (Thu, 1/26)



Central Michigan Life:

After Michigan State University merged its public broadcasting services with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences last summer, some broadcasting professors have expressed concerns about competition in the mid-Michigan area. The merger, which happened last July, has given many competitive advantages to MSU, including the capability of paying their employees at broadcast stations WKAR-TV and Radio.

Some members of the CMU school of broadcast and cinematic arts believe they could be at a disadvantage from a recruiting standpoint, as more MSU students now have access to better facilities and opportunities.

Full story: Broadcasting department expresses concern after MSU merges broadcast, radio (Thu, 1/26)



Detroit News:

When J.J. Johnson and Lynne Woodison were let go from their morning show at WCSX (94.7-FM), one of their pet projects was abandoned.

Full story: Radio station revives Stone Soup charity effort (Thu, 1/26)


WHNE-LD Flint, a digital low power TV station, recently started regular operations from a broadcast tower near Holly, providing over-the-air service to television viewers in northern Oakland County and in the Flint area.

The station is now on the air 24/7 on channel 26 with directional lobes toward Flint and the south and southeast toward the Metro Detroit area. WHNE-LD would likely have better coverage in metro Detroit if not for a low powered TV station that is currently operating on Channel 26 in Windsor, ON. The station has applied to move to Channel 20 and change its broadcast location to Oak Park - if approved and constructed, WHNE-LD would then enjoy greatly improved reception across much of the metro Detroit area for viewers with antennas.

WHNE-LD currently offers 4 digital subchannels, with plans for a 5th: Retro TV (RTV) on 26.1; Jewelry TV 26.2; America One TV 26.3; Tuff TV 26.4; with Classic TV planned for 26.5.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 28, 2012



The Oakland Press:

The arms of Venus have been found! Or ... maybe not. The whole story unfolds in Terry T. Brown's novella, "The Arms of Venus." The author will appear and sign books from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at The Berkley Book Corner, at 2680 Coolidge Hwy.

Full story: Rochester Hills broadcaster signing copies of crime thriller (Sat, 1/28)



Manistee area gains news/talk radio format

WCUZ FM 100.1 Bear Lake/Manistee and WMTE AM 1340 Manistee have reportedly returned to the air with a news/talk format as 'Talk Radio 1340 WMTE/100.1 FM WCUZ'. WCUZ was heard midday yesterday airing the Rush Limbaugh program.

Both stations are owned by Roy E. Henderson.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 30, 2012



Dave B. Goode exits WLDR Traverse City

RAMP this morning reports that man of many hats Dave B. Goode, whose roles included morning host, Program Director, and sales representative, has left Roy Henderson's country WLDR-FM 101.9 Traverse City to head for WBTU FM 93.3 Fort Wayne, IN. He'll co-host mornings and become that country station's promotions director.



A further update on WMTE AM Manistee

Although sister station WCUZ FM 100.1 appears to have returned to the air with a news-talk format, it seems that WMTE AM 1340 Manistee remains off the air for now despite positioners heard on WCUZ that mention the AM station.

FCC files show the station was granted Special Temporary Authority to return to the air on September 30th, 2011 - however that STA was canceled in early December due to concerns from the FCC over interference and the location of where the station's broadcasts were originating. WMTE was then granted Remain Silent Authority on December 30th that lasts through June 27, 2012. As of January 27th, no further filings had been made with FCC for WMTE.

Owner Roy Henderson reportedly is also carrying the news-talk format of WCUZ on an HD side channel of WLDR (HD-4). (update 1/31: WLDR HD-4 is NOT airing WCUZ/WMTE, but instead continues to broadcast sports from Fox Sports Network).



CBS Detroit:

With your help, WWJ Newsradio 950 has raised over $282,600 in our 9th annual Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW, The Heat and Warmth Fund. With utility partner matching funds, this will translate to more than $1.2 Million in heating assistance! We took your calls for 31 straight hours, broadcasting live from The Henry Ford in Dearborn, collecting donations to keep needy Michigan families in need warm this winter.

Full story: WWJ Newsradio 950 Winter Survival Radiothon A Success! (Sat, 1/28)



Lansing-area coverage for WCSG/Grand Rapids includes second translator

A second FM translator owned by Educational Media Foundation in Lansing (95.9 W240CG, licensed to Webberville) is also reportedly airing the mainstream contemporary Christian programming of Cornerstone College's WCSG-FM 91.3 Grand Rapids, joining W237BY 95.3 Mason. Both had been rebroadcasting EMF's "Air One" contemporary Christian. A third EMF translator in the area, 91.5 W218CJ Grand Ledge, continues to rebroadcast Air One.




GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WRIF/DETROIT got a shout-out of sorts from DETROIT RED WINGS all-star goaltender JIMMY HOWARD at FRIDAY's Media Day at the NHL All-Star Game in OTTAWA, thanking "the local radio station in DETROIT" for helping get him elected to the squad.

Full story: NHL All-Star Thanks WRIF For Help Getting Him Chosen For Squad (Mon, 1/30)


KEN EVANS joins CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WSNX/GRAND RAPIDS as APD/morning maven under PD ERIC O'BRIEN. EVANS has been freelancing within the CLEAR CHANNEL/WEST MICHIGAN cluster for much of 2011, and has been sitting in on the "SNX Morning After" since BILLY MACC's departure to MIAMI on JANUARY 9th.

Full story: Ken Evans Joins WSNX As APD/Morning Host (Mon, 1/30)



Broadcasting & Cable:

Gannett Co. (owner of WZZM-TV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids among other stations across the country) reported fourth quarter broadcasting revenue of $199.8 million, down 14% from the same quarter a year ago. Excluding Gannett's Captivate elevator programming network, television revenue was $192.4 million, down 13% from the same quarter a year ago. Taking out the previous fourth quarter's political spending, TV revenue was up 11.3%, thanks in large part to a "significant" increase in automotive advertising, said Gannett.

Full story: Gannett TV Revenue Down 13% (Mon, 1/30)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 31, 2012



Motor City radio audio archive returns

Motor City Radio Flashbacks (www.mcrfb.com) launched this earlier this week, bringing back online much of the content that was formerly found on the now defunct site DetroitRadioFlashbacks.net.

Motor City Radio Flashbacks is the brainchild of George Griggs and keener13.com curator Scott Westerman. It features tons of airchecks, jingles and other goodies that span many years of Detroit-area radio history.




Tim Skubick, longtime Michigan political writer and host of PBS' "Off the Record," has been named MLive.com's political columnist, starting Wednesday. Skubick has covered Michigan politics and government longer than any other political journalist in state history, starting with the swearing-in of former Gov. William Milliken in 1969.

Full story: Tim Skubick named political columnist for MLive.com (Tue, 1/31)


WCARWCAR AM 1090 Livonia/Detroit will be the new, full time home of programming from sports ESPN Radio starting tomorrow, February 1st. It's expected the station will lean heavily on ESPN Radio's talk show programming but Sima Birach Jr. says that along with the syndicated fare there will be "local programming that features some of Detroit's iconic sports figures."

The switch will displace a number of syndicated programs currently heard on WCAR, including Imus In The Morning, Kilmeade & Friends, John Gibson, Tom Sullivan, Jim Bohannon and First Light.

Birach Broadcasting purchased the station in 2009 for $1.025 million; since then the programming has gone from brokered religious programming to news/talk and now finally to sports starting tomorrow.

ESPN Radio's weekday talk lineup includes:

  • Mike and Mike in the Morning: 6 - 10 a.m. (Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic)
  • The Herd: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Colin Cowherd)
  • The Scott Van Pelt Show: 1 - 4 p.m.
  • The Doug Gottlieb Show: 4 - 7 p.m.
  • Hill & Schlereth: 7 - 10 p.m. (Mike Hill and Mark Schlereth)
  • SportsCenter Tonight, AllNight, and AM: 10 p.m. - 6 a.m.

ESPN Radio has never had a fulltime home in the Detroit market, some of the programming was last heard on WXYT AM 1270 in 2007.

"Detroit is nationally recognized as one of the top-three sports towns in America, and we are ecstatic to bring the full force of the ESPN brand to Detroit's loyal sports fans," commented Birach Jr. "We're confident we'll serve our listeners with the content they've been longing for."

"ESPN Radio is pleased to partner with Birach Broadcasting to serve Detroit sports fans, among the most passionate in the country," said SVP, Affiliate Sales Sean Breen. "WCAR-1090's vision mirrors ESPN's in providing listeners with the most comprehensive coverage of the national and local daily sports scene. We are eager to bring Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd and Scott Van Pelt to the great sports marketplace of Detroit."


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IonTVMuch of the Metro Detroit television market will be receiving a 'new' television on the air soon as Ion Television's WPXD-TV Channel 31 Ann Arbor has starting testing a new transmitter that will give the station essentially full-market over-the-air coverage of the area for the first time.

WPXD started it's tests from near I-696 and M-10 sometime earlier today- however viewers may experience service interceptions as work continues on the new facility.

Once WPXD completes testing and is on the air permanently, viewers that receive TV channels with an antenna should rescan their digital equipment so their receivers can find the new channel. The new WPXD facilities broadcast on physical channel 50 - the same virtual channel that used by CW affiliate WKBD-TV which actually broadcasts on channel 14. Digital TV receivers use mapping to display TV channels on their virtual numbers (often the same channel numbers used when the stations broadcast in analog) instead of the physical channel number, if they happen to be different.

WPXD's new transmitter is carrying all three subchannels: 31.1 is the main Ion Television broadcast in HD, 31.2 carries the children's targeted network qubo, and 31.3 is broadcasting Ion Life.

Since the station first signed on in 1981, it has broadcast from west of Ann Arbor, near Chelsea. The station's transmitter there will be turned off as soon as engineers are comfortable the new facility is operating properly and becomes licensed. Some viewers in the area west of Ann Arbor will lose their coverage of WPXD when this happens - but most will still be able to receive Ion programming on WZPX-TV Ch. 43 Battle Creek.

The eventual permanent sign on of WPXD from Southfield will make it the first full-power TV station to obtain full market reach in Detroit since WADL Channel 38 started operations from Mt. Clemens in 1986.


943TheBoneMartz Communications has given up on the idea of using low-powered FM translators to make inroads in a tough Detroit radio market. Owner Tim Martz has pulled the plug on the local operations and put the translators up for sale.

Fans of modern rock '94.3 The Bone' in Metro Detroit had the station disappear off the airwaves this afternoon as it's FM translator on 94.3 (W232CA) suddenly went silent, along with it's HD counterpart on WGPR-FM HD3. A brief message on the station's Facebook page read, "All good things must come to an end. We're sorry to say that The Bone has ceased operations today. Thanks for your support Detroit. You're the best."

927TheOasisA similar message was found on the Facebook page of The Oasis - a station that had already lost its FM translator on 104.7 due to interference issues with Toledo's WIOT-FM on the 104.7 frequency.

As of 5 p.m. today. WGPR was no longer broadcasting in HD - meaning both subchannels were no longer available.

The idea of using single FM translators to cover a market the size of Detroit seemed to be dubious at best from the start. On the east side of Metro Detroit, 94.3 suffered from interference from CKSY-FM from Chatham, ON. The interference issues on 104.7 were well documented in the southern portion of the metro area. It appeared that Martz was planning to bring back The Oasis on FM 92.7- the station had repositioned itself using that frequency and the company had purchased a third translator that was going through the process with the FCC to move it into southern Macomb County.

Having subpar over-the-air frequencies in an already tough financial market for radio may have been too much to overcome in terms of trying to make money for Martz.


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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.


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.


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)


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)


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. 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)


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.


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.


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'.


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.


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.


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.


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)


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)


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)


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 1, 2012



Antenna TV to offer weekend Davy Jones tribute

Tribune Broadcasting DT subchannel network Antenna TV will offer a tribute to Davy Jones, front man for 60s group The Monkees who died yesterday at age 66 from a heart attack.

From 1 - 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 4th the network will show the Monkees' 1968 movie Head, followed at 5 p.m. by a marathon of all 58 thirty minute episodes of The Monkees TV series that will run through 10 p.m. Sunday. Head will then re-air at 10 p.m.

There are three Antenna TV affiliates in Michigan: WADL Ch. 38.2 Detroit, WXMI Ch. 17.2 Grand Rapids, and WZMQ Ch. 19.3 Marquette.



Detroit News:

Cracking wise up to the very end, retired radio host Dick Purtan did his duty Thursday morning, stepping up to a mirror behind a Bed & Breakfast truck outside the Salvation Army in Detroit, and shaving his iconic 42-year-old moustache off.

Full story: Dick Purtan takes it off for the Salvation Army (Thu, 3/1)


Michigan residents were bombarded with $7.6 million in broadcast TV political advertising in the first two months of 2012 by the Republican presidential candidates, President Barack Obama, super PACs and nonprofit groups running issue-specific ads.

Full story: Michigan primary brought $7.6M in TV ads to state (Thu, 3/1)



Detroit Free Press:

Dick Purtan is saying so long to a beloved fuzzy friend he's had since 1970. While cohosting the Salvation Army's annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon last week, the retired local radio legend told Frank Beckmann of WJR-AM (760) that he'd shave off his signature moustache if listeners pledged $100,000 during a one-hour segment of the radiothon.

Full story: Names and Faces (Thu, 3/1)



WZZM-TV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids:

Andy O'Riley, the very popular radio personality on WMRR in Muskegon and 101.3 the Fox in Grand Rapids, has left the airwaves.

Full story: Radio personality Andy O'Riley takes new gig (with video) (Thu, 3/1)



Holland Sentinel:

When spring blooms in Saugatuck and Douglas, the production of the first Michigan Hometown Stories documentary series on WGVU public television will begin to grow as well. "It's an ongoing project. It's going forward," said Jon Helmrich on Monday.

Full story: WGVU documentary work picks up as season warms up (Wed, 2/29)



Fine Tuning

  • Detroit's WDIV-TV claims February ratings win: PR Newswire

  • Yesterday's fundraiser hosted by three of Ann Arbor's Cumulus-owned stations raised over $75,000 for the United Way of Washtenaw County. Stations taking part were Sports WTKA AM 1050, Country WWWW FM 102.9, and Adult Alternative WQKL FM 107.1.


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 2, 2012



Eight WSDP-FM 88.1 Plymouth/Canton students receive awards from the MABF

Four sports broadcasters for the New 88.1 were among the state's best in the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation High School and College Broadcast Competition. They joined four other Plymouth-Canton students in receiving awards from the MAB.

Sophomores Joe Zylka (Plymouth High School) and Logan Lazorka (Salem) received first place in the Sports Play-by-Play Category. Sophomore Adam Duxter (Canton) and Junior Mason Mills (Salem) received honorable mention.

"We receive a lot of positive comments when Joe, Logan, Adam and Mason broadcast games," said Bill Keith, Station Manager, "They work hard to deliver their play-by-play with skill and style."

The MAB Foundation will present the High School and College Awards during the conference luncheon in Lansing on Wednesday March 14. Broadcasters from throughout the state will be in attendance.

"I see the great work our students do every day so I'm not surprised that they received this recognition," commented Keith.

Seniors Kyle Linford (Plymouth), Christina Edgerton (Canton), Bill Turnau (Salem), and Laura Terkelsen (Plymouth) were the other Plymouth-Canton district students receiving recognition.




CBS RADIO Top 40/Mainstream WDZH (98.7 AMP)/DETROIT morning snack PUDDIN' helped make LEAP DAY, FEBRUARY 29th, a special day for a MOTOWN couple.

Full story: Love Is In The Air With Puddin At WDZH (Fri, 3/2)



Fine Tuning

  • Kelly McMann has left her roles as Music Director and midday host for NextMedia's Pop WGER FM (Mix 106.3) Saginaw to become the afternoon host at Cleveland Pop station WQAL (Q104). McMann also spent some time behind the mic at WDVD FM 96.3 Detroit.

  • Radio Ink has recognized Tim Roberts, Program Director for CBS Radio/Detroit's Country WYCD FM 99.5, as their top Country PD in the U.S.A.

  • Calvary Radio Network WQKO-FM 91.9 Howe, IN has gone silent while the tower the station broadcasts from is reconstructed. Calvary hopes to resume operations of WQKO once it secures financing for replacement hardware and installation - a process that could take a minimum of several months. The silencing of WQKO also reportedly is affecting the organization's FM translator W274AQ 102.7 Battle Creek, which remains on the air but is now likely rebroadcasting WMJC FM 91.9 Richland.



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



• The non-commercial band in Metro Detroit may be getting a bit more crowded as the FCC has granted Educational Media Foundation a construction permit for a major change that will move its KVLZ FM 89.9 from Sheridan Wyoming to Rochester Hills where it will, if the construction permit is built and licensed, occupy FM 90.3 and operate with 1,200 watts @ 174 feet (Class A) with a directional antenna located near downtown Rochester.

The company currently operates an FM translator from the same location on FM 105.5 (W288BK) that rebroadcasts the Contemporary Christian "K-Love" format that airs on the leased digital subchannel of Clear Channel's WMXD-FM 92.3 HD2.

Some of the communities that would be served by the new station include Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Troy, Sterling Heights, Utica, and the Townships of Oakland, Shelby, Washington, Macomb, and Clinton.

The construction permit for the change / move will not expire until March 5, 2015 - giving the organization plenty of time to complete the necessary work. However, with some of the required infrastructure such as power and the tower already in place with the translator operating there, turnaround time could be rather quick.

One of the exhibits in the application for the move states, "Educational Media Foundation ("EMF") certifies that the proposed facility will provide a first NCE aural service to at least 10% of the persons residing in the proposed 60 dBu and that this population exceeds 2,000 persons. In fact, as can be seen in Exhibits 10-A and 10-B, the proposed facility provides first service to 54,830 persons, which is 43.4% of the overall population within its 60 dBu service contour." However, this exhibit appears to completely overlook the fact that WDET-FM 101.9 provides noncommercial educational service to these residents. Whether or not this could be the grounds for another broadcaster to appeal this FCC decision remains to be seen.


• Radio Power was granted Remain Silent Authorization for FM translator W232CA 94.3 Detroit through September 1, 2012.


• First Ventures Capital Partners FM translator W277BB 103.3 Grand Haven was granted a construction permit to change power from 27 watts @ 282 feet to 250 watts @ 36 feet and change location from east of Spring Lake to west of Coopersville. The application showed the translator would rebroadcast WCSG FM 91.3 Grand Rapids.


• No notable activity for March 2.


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 6, 2012




Newsmakers and links: Mar. 8, 2012




Former CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WRVA-A/RICHMOND afternoon host and WLW-A/CINCINNATI midday host DOC THOMPSON has landed at CBS RADIO Talk WXYT-A/DETROIT for 3-6p (ET), starting MONDAY (3/12). THOMPSON's arrival bumps the syndicated TODD SCHNITT show to 6-9p.

"DETROIT has (a) history of great radio and I'm very excited to be part of it," said THOMPSON. "We are living in stressful times and the news can be pretty depressing. I offer a unique and compelling viewpoint with lots of humor and fun."

Full story: Doc Thompson Joins WXYT-A/Detroit For Afternoons (Thu, 3/8)


Central Michigan Life:

Central Michigan University's student-run radio station Modern Rock 91.5 WHMW-FM will rebrand itself, including a name change, in the fall 2012 semester. The station's new name, "Moore Rock Radio," has been approved for change on Oct. 1. The name was proposed by executive staff members to develop a new image and encompass a broader arrangement of music, and was announced at the Student Broadcast Executive Council's Feb. 23 meeting.

Full story: WMHW Modern Rock 91.5 to rebrand, change station name in fall (Sun, 3/11)



Detroit News:

He sounds the same, but doesn't look the same. That's what the loss of 40 pounds can do to anyone. Unfortunately, that's what a second bout with cancer can do as well. Tigers' longtime broadcaster Jim Price had his adrenal glands removed in a 41/2-hour procedure at Troy Beaumont Hospital in January.

Full story: Tigers broadcaster Jim Price bounces back after second bout with cancer (Sat, 3/10)



Kalamazoo Gazette:

WIDR Week will take on a more serious tone when the heart of the annual fundraising drive of the Western Michigan University student-run radio station kicks off on Sunday. WIDR General Manager Johanna Kelly said the station, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in September, needs to raise around $20,000 through its series of events and on-air funding campaign.

Full story: WIDR-FM's annual fundraiser WIDR Week to kick off this weekend, campaign key to independent station's future (Thu, 3/8)



WXMI Fox 17 Grand Rapids:

A handful of people held a protest in favor of radio-talk-show-host Rush Limbaugh early Saturday afternoon in downtown Grand Rapids.

Full story: Women, Girls Hold Protest For Rush (Sat, 3/10)



Grand Rapids Press:

When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a "slut," he similarly attacked women like Auna Harris and Laura Woodbury, Calvin College students who believe contraception should be available under health plans. The pair were among a dozen protesters today who delivered letters to Clear Channel Communications' Grand Rapids offices.

Full story: Protesters try to run Rush Limbaugh off Grand Rapids airwaves for 'slut' comment (Wed, 3/7)


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 12, 2012



Big changes coming to WYCD/Detroit's Downtown Hoedown for event's 30th anniversary

What had once been billed as the world's largest free country music festival is making major changes for its 30th anniversary, starting with becoming a ticketed event for the first time ever. The Hoedown will be changing its location away from the riverfront at Hart Plaza, moving to areas surrounding Comerica Park. The other big change will be on the calendar as the event shifts from its traditional early May weekend to June 8th - 12th.

WYCD HoedownThe adjustments will be likely be welcomed by many regular attendees - as the festival has grown through the years, so too have the challenges involved with keeping the experience a positive one for music fans.

"The 30th anniversary of the WYCD Downtown Hoedown marks a tremendous milestone for this iconic Detroit event and offers an ideal opportunity to enrich the overall experience of the attendees," said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of CBS Radio Detroit. "We had outgrown our previous riverfront location but remained 100 percent committed to keeping the WYCD Downtown Hoedown in the city of Detroit. We can provide the best of everything on the user-friendly grounds surrounding Comerica Park. People feel it's very safe and truly enjoy attending sporting events and concerts there. The layout also allows for much larger and more elaborate staging and better visibility for fans to enjoy the performers. Attendees will also have easier access to concessions, cleaner, more plentiful restroom facilities, and opportunities to take a break in the shade of the Comerica Park concourse."

"We have three fantastic days of entertainment lined up with mega-stars like Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, Dierks Bentley and Chris Young," said Tim Roberts, Program Director and Operations Manager at WYCD. "With over 40 bands, our three stages and new bigger main stage will provide our fans with a fantastic country music experience and the ability to also head over to Comerica Park for concessions and fun."

Tickets will be required for everyone age 5 and older - prices for individual ticket prices will be announced soon - but a limited number of 30th anniversary 3-day passes at $30 each will go on sale Friday, March 16th at 10 a.m., while supplies last at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, or service fee free at the Joe Louis Arena Box Office, the Fox Theatre Box Office and Hockeytown Authentics in Troy.

The changes announced today address criticisms the event has been drawing in recent years that have ranged from poor weather, crowd control/lines, and attendees that were less interested in the country music being played and more interested in taking part in unwelcome behavior.

More info on the event can be found on WYCD's web site.



Detroit sports media left reeling with loss of Fox Sports Detroit's Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant was much more than the director of media relations with FOX Sports Detroit to many members of the media that touch on sports coverage in Detroit. His sudden death at age 53 over the weekend leaves a huge void, not only for his family, but for anyone that worked with or watched sports on FOX Sports Detroit.

I'll remember Tim as a guy that was always helpful and friendly - and always seemed to put in an extra effort to answer a question or address an issue.

Two of his co-workers have written their memories of Tim:

John Keating: Remembering a gentleman, sports scholar

Mario Imbemba: We've lost a good friend at FSD



Kalamazoo Gazette:

A longtime reporter for WWMT-TV Newschannel 3 has left the local station to join the team of Michigan Blood, officials said. Carolyn Wyllie will serve as the organization's public relations supervisor, overseeing public relations activities for a region that includes Kalamazoo, and the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph areas, according to a news release issued by Michigan Blood.

Full story: Carolyn Wyllie, longtime reporter at WWMT-TV, leaving station to join staff of Michigan Blood (Mon, 3/12)



Michigan Association of Broadcasters:

It is with the deepest of sadness that we inform you of the passing of John F.X. Browne. He served on the Michigan Association of Broadcasters board of directors and has been part of our Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference since its beginning. He helped to write the broadcasting tower rules with the Michigan Aeronautics Commission.

Full story: John F.X. Browne Passes (Mon, 3/12)


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 13, 2012



Tim Rainey new PD for Detroit's 98.7 AMP Radio

WDZH CBS Radio/Detroit Contemporary Hits WDZH-FM 98.7 "AMP Radio" has hired Tim Rainey to serve as the station's new Program Director. Rainey was most recently director of programming/brand manager/afternoon personality at WNOU-FM (Radio One Inc) in Indianapolis, Indiana. He starts at AMP Radio tomorrow, March 14th.

"After six amazing years in Indianapolis I can't wait to join the AMP Radio team already in place and do some amazing, fun and exciting radio in the Motor City," said Rainey. "Oh, and you have a baseball team? Even better!"

Rainey, who goes by the nickname Rayne, started his career in radio before he could even drive, working as a board operator on Leeza Gibbons' Top 25 Countdown. In addition to his most recent position in Indiana, he has worked at stations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Las Vegas, Nevada, Reno, Nevada, and Colby, Kansas. Rainey likes to interact with his listeners through Facebook and Twitter and says he loves to try new and different things, just as he knows his audience does.

"Tim is the perfect addition to 98.7 AMP Radio," said Michael Martin, Vice President of Top 40 Programming for CBS Radio. "His passion and creativity will help lead the team to new heights!"

Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice-President and Market Manager of CBS Radio Detroit, said: "I am excited to bring a talent like Tim Rainey to Detroit. Tim is a talented, creative programmer, and I look forward to those attributes being used to continue the growth of WDZH."

Rainey succeeds Dom Theodore who exited CBS Radio recently to focus on radio ownership and consulting.



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit wins Associated Press Awards

Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Channel 7 won eight first place awards in the 2011 AP Broadcasters Association awards, more than any other station in the Detroit market. Included in the first place awards were the prestigious general excellence award and the highly coveted best newscast award.

"WXYZ is proud to receive these awards for journalistic excellence in news coverage," said WXYZ Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. "This is a great honor for all those who work hard every day to take action for our viewers. It's very rewarding to be recognized for these efforts."

The 7 Action News Investigators won in the categories of hard news, continuing coverage, news documentary, and enterprise/investigative reporting, for their on-going reporting of corruption and scandal in local government. Detroit 2020, WXYZ's decade-long, multi-platform, community outreach initiative was also a winner in the best feature story category, and reporter Bill Spencer took top honors in individual reporting.

WXYZ also earned two honorable mentions in the photojournalism and website categories.



Grand Rapids Press:

Mayor George Heartwell was an indirect influence on the spring Hat Trick Concert Series. His State of the City speech focused on the plight of underprivileged children in Grand Rapids, so organizers decided to donate the proceeds from the series to local youth-oriented charities.

Full story: WYCE's Hat Trick Concert Series focuses on raising money for Grand Rapids youth charities (Tue, 3/13)



Lansing State Journal:

Michael Patrick Shiels will be honored as the "Network Radio Personality of the Year" by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. The Lansing-based talk radio host will receive the 2012 award Wednesday at the Lansing Center. He has won it four other times.

Full story: Shiels will receive broadcast honor (Tue, 3/13)



Fine Tuning

  • Adell Broadcasting independent WADL-TV Ch. 38 Detroit has hired veteran Detroit TV reporter Joelle Lukasiewicz as the station's News Director where she will oversee the station's "News @ 9" broadcast. Lukasiewicz lengthy resume includes stints at the news operations of Detroit's WDIV Ch. 4, WXYZ Ch. 7, and WKBD Ch. 50.
    Lukasiewicz is wife of station owner Kevin Adell and has been hosting the station's Saturday's "Motor City Movie Night".


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 14, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

Tim Bryant left the Motor City to play golf in Florida last weekend. Sadly, we won't have the chance to ask him how he struck the ball. Bryant, the always-smiling, self-effacing director of media relations for Fox Sports Detroit, died in his sleep, according to his family, some time before he was to have picked up a friend at the airport in Florida on Sunday morning.

Full story: Family, friends and colleagues miss FSD media director Tim Bryant (Wed, 3/14)



Fine Tuning

  • Former WJBK-TV Ch. 2 Detroit (FOX 2) reporter/anchor Brad Edwards has been hired in Chicago at CBS 2 (WBBM-TV). Edwards left Detroit in 2010 to head to WISH-TV in Indianapolis.


Pure Michigan campaign set for national run

A $12 million advertising campaign will start on Monday, March 19th and run through June on more than twenty national cable stations such as Animal Planet, CNN, and The Weather Channel. The goal is to duplicate the success of similar campaigns that in the past have successfully lured tourists to Michigan during the summer travel season.

Travel destinations to be highlighted include Mackinac Island, The Henry Ford, Traverse City and Ann Arbor - organizations that each contributed $500,000 toward the Pure Michigan effort.



FOX Sports Detroit, FSD Detroit+ providing live coverage of MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals

The Michigan High School Athletic Association Girls Basketball Finals are being broadcast by FOX Sports Detroit and FOX Sports Detroit+ on Saturday, March 17th.

The Class D final began at 10 a.m. on FOX Sports Detroit. That game will be followed by the Class A game at noon on FSD, Class C at 4 p.m. on FSD, and Class B at 6 p.m. on FSD PLUS.




Nicole DiDonato and Morgan Bond have been hired at WXMI, the Fox-affiliate in Grand Rapids. DiDonato will be a multimedia journalist on the station's morning newscast ... Bond will be a multimedia journalist for the station's evening newscasts.

Full story: Nicole DiDonato, Morgan Bond Join WXMI (Thu, 3/15)



Fine Tuning

  • Former WYCD/Detroit midday host Mike Scott starts Monday, March 19th as the new afternoon drive host and Program Director at KZKX-FM 96.9 Lincoln, NE.
  • Peter Chan has exited as chief meteorologist from Tribune FOX affiliate WXMI-TV Ch. 17 Grand Rapids.
  • NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit has come to terms with Bright House Networks on a retransmission agreement that will ensure the station remains on the cable system serving portions of Oakland and Wayne counties.
  • CBS-owned WWJ-TV Ch. 62 Detroit has re-branded itself from 'CBS Detroit' to 'CBS 62'.



Twelve WBFH/Bloomfield Hills take home awards from MABF

Bloomfield Hills School District radio broadcasting students won four first place awards, two second place awards and three third place awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF) at their annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference held March 14, 2012 at the Lansing Center in Lansing.

The MABF received 571 entries from 31 schools for their annual High School and College Broadcasting Awards competition. WBFH students won nine of the 25 awards given out in the high school radio division:

• Andover senior Cameron Billes won three awards: 1st Place (tie), MHSAA Sports PSA (with Bryan Furlong); 2nd Place, Public Service Announcement (with Sean Shepard); 3rd Place, Talk Show (with Bryan Furlong).

• Andover senior Paul Stewart won two awards: 1st Place, Talk Show; 3rd Place, Station Activities Report (with Justin Lopas).

• Andover senior Kenny Selander won one award: 1st Place, Public Service Announcement (with Harrison Kenum).

• Andover senior Harrison Kenum won one award: 1st Place, Public Service Announcement (with Kenny Selander).

• Andover junior Danny Harwood won one award: 1st Place, Michigan National Guard Current Events Program (with Winston Parker).

• Andover sophomore Winston Parker won one award: 1st Place, Michigan National Guard Current Events Program (with Danny Harwood).

• Andover junior Bryan Furlong won two awards: 1st Place (tie), MHSAA Sports PSA (with Cameron Billes); 3rd Place, Talk Show (with Cameron Billes).

• Lahser junior Sean Shepard won two awards: 2nd Place, Public Service Announcement (with Cameron Billes); 3rd Place, Promotional Announcement (with Ayman Alam and Michael Blumenthal).

• Andover senior Grace McIlhon won one award: 2nd Place, Daily Newscast/News Feature.

• Andover senior Justin Lopas won one award: 3rd Place, Station Activities Report (with Paul Stewart).

• Lahser junior Michael Blumenthal won one award: 3rd Place, Promotional Announcement (with Ayman Alam and Sean Shepard).

• Andover sophomore Ayman Alam won one award: 3rd Place, Promotional Announcement (with Sean Shepard and Michael Blumenthal).

Billes, McIlhon, Harwood and Selander won MABF awards last year. Stewart, Lopas, Kenum, Parker, Furlong, Shepard, Alam and Blumenthal are all first-time MABF award winners.

Stewart was one of only three high school students to be awarded an MAB Foundation scholarship. Students who won a scholarship have been accepted at a MABF-approved Michigan college, university or trade school and plan to pursue a career in a broadcast-related field. Each one-time scholarship award is $750. Stewart will attend Albion College next fall.

The WBFH management team of Station Manager Pete Bowers and Assistant Manager/Technical Director Randy Carr were present to congratulate the award winning students. "I'm so proud of all the Biff students who won awards, especially those who won for the first time" said Bowers.

WBFH, also known as The Biff, is a non-commercial, educational radio station broadcasting at 88.1 on the FM dial in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills - or online at www.wbfh.fm.


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 19, 2012



New Detroit Public TV Series premieres this week

WTVS Detroit Public Television (DPTV) will launch a new news/public affairs program designed to meet the community's evolving need for journalism-focused context and perspective on the top news and issues affecting Metro Detroit, the State of Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

The program, MiWeek, debuts on DPTV's main television channel, WTVS-TV Channel 56, on Friday March 23, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., its regularly weekly time slot.

The show will be available to viewers on-demand, at any time, at dptv.org.

Veteran Michigan news anchor Christy McDonald will host MiWeek. McDonald's work with DPTV in the past year includes anchoring live coverage of the Mackinac Policy Conference and Great Lakes Week. Joining her each week for analysis will be Nolan Finley, Detroit News Editorial Page Editor and Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor of the Detroit Free Press. Henderson will continue to host American Black Journal on DPTV.

Debbie Dingell, who had served as a co-host on the program "Am I Right?" which will no longer be produced by DPTV, will serve as a contributor to MiWeek and other DPTV productions.

"In a crowded and often confusing environment for citizens bombarded with headlines, soundbites, tweets and commercials, MiWeek will serve as a place to help the community make sense of the news, in order to focus on solving issues and moving forward," said Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of DPTV. "The creation of MiWeek is a reflection of our refocused mission to partner with the community to help solve its most important issues through the power of public media. It is a natural continuation of our recent productions that provided unprecedented access to the most important gatherings in our state last year - the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference and Great Lakes Week in Detroit."

The program also plans to introduce new, important and authoritative voices to provide additional perspective on the news. MiWeek will also have access to in-depth journalistic content from Bridge Magazine, the online publication produced by The Center For Michigan.

"By producing a weekly program presenting diverse points of view on the stories and issues that matter most, MiWeek will complement what is available on air and online elsewhere and live up to the trust that our audience places in public television," added Homberg.

MiWeek is the latest example of new capabilities that DPTV has built in recent years. Those include a national documentary productions unit that produced "Beyond The Light Switch," a winner of a duPont-Columbia University Award, the highest honor in broadcast journalism. DPTV is also producing new, national PBS fundraising programs, including a concert with the internationally renowned group Il Volo, recorded in 2011 at the Detroit Opera House. MiWeek will maintain a website at www.miweek.org.



Fine Tuning

  • Cumulus' numerous changes in Toledo: Morning host Mark Benson returns to Classic Rock WXKR-FM 94.5 after spending some time at sister station WMIM-FM 98.3; that move coincides with shifting Free Beer & Hot Wings off WXKR and on to Modern Rock "Toledo's Zone" which is now back on FM translator W264AK 100.7 in addition to an HD subchannel of WXKR.

    The web site for Contemporary Hits "100.7 The Vibe" (which was also on a WXKR HD subchannel and previously heard on the 100.7 translator) now redirects to sister station Pop WWWM-FM 105.5 "Star 105" and has ceased operating as WWWM shifts its musical focus toward Contemporary Hits. Andrew Z joins Star 105 for mornings.

  • Greater Media's Detroit active rocker WRIF-FM 101.1 has launched its annual search for a new Rock Girl - casting calls start this week to fill the position that pays $40,000 for a year's worth of representing the station at concerts and other events as well as some on-air duties. Details at wrif.com.


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 20, 2012



Detroit News:

Don Shane is not used to being in the spotlight. For 38 years -- 23 of them at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) -- Shane has been the sports reporter asking the tough questions and chasing down the good stories. Now, that's coming to an end. The 59-year-old Baltimore native has retired as the station's sports director. And today, his soon-to-be former co-workers will hold an on-air tribute to him with a series of special goodbyes complete with clips and highlights.

Full story: WXYZ says so long to Don Shane (Tue, 3/20)



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD-TV and WZZM-TV won the lion's share of awards for its market in the Michigan Association of Broadcasters' Broadcast Excellence Awards for 2011. WGVU-TV, meanwhile, took four statewide awards for public television, more than any other public TV station in Michigan.

Full story: 24 Hour News 8 and WZZM 13 win most of 2011 Michigan Association of Broadcasters awards for its market size (Tue, 3/20)


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 21, 2012



Crain's Detroit Business:

Will conservative-bent Detroit talk station WJR 760 AM replace the beleaguered "Rush Limbaugh Show" in the noon to 3 p.m. weekday slot with former Republican presidential candidate-turned-media personality Mike Huckabee's new show month? Right now, it's unclear but the station's parent company is sending messages that such a switch is very possible on its outlets.

Full story: Colossal Conservative Clash: Will Rush Limbaugh be replaced by Mike Huckabee on Detroit radio, or just challenged? (Wed, 3/21)



Grand Rapids Press:

Question: If a radio DJ shaves his head, does his voice change? I'm thinking of the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. Samson's strength was directly tied to his flowing locks.

Full story: WLAV's Rob Brandt to shave head to raise awareness and money for Van Andel Institute (Wed, 3/21)

WGVU Radio has been named Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for 2011. WGVU Radio, a service of Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, was awarded five of seven possible Best in Category awards at the annual statewide Broadcast Excellence Awards ceremony held last week in Lansing.

Full story: WGVU radio named 2011 Station of the Year by Michigan Association of Broadcasters (Wed, 3/21)


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 22, 2012



Detroit's WMYD Ch. 20 suffering from extended outage

MyNetworkTV WMYD-TV Ch. 20 Detroit has been noted off the air for much of today, March 22nd. The reason for the surprisingly lengthy outage is not immediately clear.

The outage does not appear to be affecting the other TV stations (WWJ-TV Ch. 62, WTVS-TV Ch. 56, WUDT-CA Ch. 23) that also broadcast from the same tower. The outage affects both Ch. 20.1 and Ch. 20.2. At least some cable providers are also affected- Comcast is displaying blue 'technical difficulty screens for Ch 20.1, both SD and HD, and Ch. 20.2.



Detroit News:

A serial killer once confessed to Bill Gallagher, even before he'd confided in the cops. Returned a call, found Gallagher in a Channel 2 truck, started running down the list: murder, murder, rape, yeah, he did it. The very same Bill Gallagher won a Peabody Award -- sort of like the Oscars, but for people who have to rent their tuxedos -- in his first year at his first full-time TV job.

Full story: WJBK newsman Bill Gallagher signing off (Thu, 3/22)



Detroit Free Press / Associated Press:

Rush Limbaugh's opponents are starting a radio campaign against him Thursday, seizing upon the radio star's attack of a Georgetown law student as a "slut" to make a long-term effort aimed at weakening his business.

Full story: $100K radio campaign aiming to tarnish Rush Limbaugh will air in Detroit (Thu, 3/22)



Grand Rapids Press:

Fox 17 has posted a want ad for a new chief meteorologist following the departure of Peter Chan last week from WXMI-TV in Grand Rapids.

Full story: Fox17 begins search for chief meteorologist to replace Peter Chan at WXMI-TV in Grand Rapids (Thu, 3/22)




The Scripps station group has announced a restructuring in station leadership, with general managers Ed Fernandez, Sam Rosenwasser and Steve Wasserman taking on expanded roles. Fernandez, currently the general manager of WXYZ in Detroit, will also oversee KSHB-KMCI in Kansas City and the Azteca America affiliates.

Full story: 3 Scripps General Managers Take On Expanded Roles (Thu, 3/22)


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 23, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

Michigan Radio at the University of Michigan raised $817,000 during its spring membership drive, some 6 percent beyond its goal. Named 2011 Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for Public Radio Stations with budgets above $2 million, the Michigan Radio Network includes WUOM-FM (91.7) in Ann Arbor, WFUM-FM (91.1) in Flint and WVGR-FM (104.1) in Grand Rapids.

Full story: Michigan Radio raises more than $800,000 in spring membership drive, 6 percent above goal (Thu, 3/22)



Detroit News:

A Night of Giggles & Gloves II, a benefit for Mittens for Detroit, is 7-10 p.m. Saturday at the Grand Ballroom inside MGM Grand Detroit, 1777 Third St.

Full story: Radio host Coco to highlight Mittens for Detroit fundraiser (Fri, 3/23)


To further encourage viewers, a number of local PBS affiliates produced vignettes that run on air and online in conjunction with "Finding Your Roots." In turn, Detroit Public Television WTVS-TV (Channel 56) is spotlighting a few Metro Detroiters with compelling ancestral stories.

Full story: New PBS series traces noncelebrity lineages, too (Fri, 3/23)


Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV (Channel 56) is launching "MiWeek," a new show that debuts at 7:30 tonight. The news and public affairs program is designed to meet the community's evolving need for a journalism-focused perspective on the top news stories and issues affecting Metro Detroit, the State of Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

Full story: Friday TV pick: 'MiWeek' (Fri, 3/23)



Detroit Free Press:

Some years it is a grind, Will Tieman admitted. Tieman, the Michigan State play-by-play radio broadcaster, reflected on the season before Thursday's 57-44 loss to Louisville.

Full story: Play-by-play man Will Tieman enjoys this Michigan State team (Fri, 3/23)



The State News:

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters recently named WKAR-TV the Public Television Station of the Year at the Broadcast Excellence Awards ceremony. The station had seven individual winning entries in the children's programming, community involvement and membership appeal categories among others.

Full story: WKAR named 'Public Television Station of the Year' (Fri, 3/23)


Fox 2 Detroit:

Bill Gallagher, the professor of local journalism, went to work Friday for perhaps the 7,000th time. But the day was a special one. After more than 10,000 television news stories, today's would be his last. The day began much like the others -- with a false start.

Full story: TV Bill's Excellent Adventure (Fri, 3/23)



Flint Journal:

Michigan Public Radio will host a discussion on the state's emergency manager law at 6 p.m. Monday at Blackstone's Pub, 531 S. Saginaw St. in downtown Flint. Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio's senior political analyst, is expected to lead the dialogue on the controversial measure. The event is part of Michigan Radio's Issues & Ale series.

Full story: Michigan Radio to host emergency manager discussion in downtown Flint (Thu, 3/22)



Fine Tuning

  • Thursday's hours-long outage at Detroit's WMYD-TV Ch. 20 was apparently a power-related issue. The station was noted back on the air in the early hours of Friday.

  • A couple of AM radio format changes that slipped by over the last several months: Ludington's WKLA AM 1450 has dropped News/Talk in favor of Oldies; Sault Ste Marie's WKNW AM 1400 also dropped News/Talk in favor of Sports.


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 26, 2012



Salem Communications buys Metro Detroit FM translator

Salem Communications' Pennsylvania Media Associates has agreed to purchase FM translator W248AQ 97.5 Harrison Township from Martz Communications' Radio Power for $250,000 pending FCC approval and closing. This translator, which has a construction permit to move to FM 92.7 as W224CC where it would serve much of southern Macomb County from an antenna located in Roseville, was recently acquired by Martz from Radio Assist Ministry.

The sale application shows that Salem plans to use the translator to rebroadcast its news/talk WDTK AM 1400.

Martz purchased agreed purchase this particular translator for $32,000 in November, 2011 and closed on the acquisition earlier this month. Martz never used it as part of the short-lived attempt to use two other area translators to rebroadcast digital subchannels of WGPR-FM. Those two offerings (104.7 The Oasis and 94.3 The Bone) folded earlier this year and the two associated translators have remained silent.



WJBK-TV, Fox 2 Detroit:

Photojournalist Rodney Ferguson was 50-years-old and had worked at WJBK Channel 2 since 1989. He died suddenly from complications of sickle cell anemia early Sunday morning. He leaves behind his beautiful wife Ramona, his handsome step-sons, Derrick and Zachary, his gorgeous daughter Danielle, and his granddaughter Arielle -- and he was crazy about that kid. His colleagues were crazy about him, to use one of his sayings: "He was most humble and lovable without a doubt."

Full story: Fox 2 Remembers Rodney 'Hot Rod' Ferguson (Mon, 3/26)




Chris Hansen recently spoke about his alleged extramarital relationship with former WPTV reporter Kristyn Caddell with the "Mojo in the Morning" radio show, saying that the series of National Enquirer reports from last summer were "full of hurtful lies."

Full story: Chris Hansen Says National Enquirer Reports of Affair Were 'Full of Hurtful Lies' (Mon, 3/26)


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 28, 2012



FOX Sports Detroit:

FOX Sports Detroit is thrilled to announce the addition of former Major League outfielder Craig Monroe as a studio analyst for the 2012 Tigers season.

Full story: Craig Monroe joins FSD as analyst (Wed, 3/28)



Bloomfield Hills WBFH sets annual 'Biffstock' fundraiser

The Bloomfield Hills School District's radio station WBFH FM 88.1, also known as The Biff, will begin broadcasting its 36th Annual Biffstock pledge drive at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 12, 2012 and will continue until 11 p.m. Friday, April 13.  WBFH students will be collecting money and pledges from listeners in the community to help underwrite radio station enhancement expenses.

"Our radio-a-thon is a fun event for the radio students and it gives listeners a chance to support community radio with their donations" said WBFH Biffstock Chair and Andover Senior Zac Barnett.   All 28 WBFH staff students from Andover and Lahser will be on the air for one-hour shifts for a total of 28 hours of live programming.  The shift schedule and other pledge drive information can be found on the station website:  www.wbfh.fm. Listeners can also follow the station on Twitter @TheBiff881.

There are four levels of support for those that want to be a fan of The Biff:  $25, $50, $100 and $250 or more.  Those who donate receive donor announcements aired on the station and listing on the station's website.  Listeners who would like to be an underwriter can do so by calling (248) 341-WBFH. They can also fax in pledges to (248) 341-5679 or e-mail pledges to TheBiff@Radio.fm.

Listeners are also encouraged to join The Biff Fan Group on Facebook.  Search "WBFH 88.1 FM, The Biff" and click "Like".

The station will be broadcasting live during the school day from Lahser High School Thursday, April 12 and from Andover High School Friday, April 13.

In connection with the pledge drive, a benefit rock concert is scheduled for May 18 in the Andover Theater at 7 p.m.  Details about the concert will be posted on the station website.  A $5 donation will be collected at the door.

WBFH is one of only ten high schools in the state with an FM radio station.  The station is supervised by the WBFH management team of Station Manager/Electronic Media Teacher Pete Bowers and Assistant Manager/Technical Director Randy Carr.



Saginaw News:

Delta College's radio station, WUCX Q90.1 was recently honored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, winning three awards during the organization's state meeting. The college won a merit award in the categories of Feature Use of Medium, Community Involvement and Membership Appeal.

Full story: Delta College's radio station wins three awards from Michigan Association of Broadcasters (Tue, 3/27)




This year, the E.W. Scripps Co. will morph from a newspaper company that owns television stations to a broadcast company that owns some newspapers. With this year's addition of the McGraw-Hill station group, which Scripps purchased for $212 million, annual broadcast revenue will jump 50% to roughly $450 million. Publishing, by contrast, will contribute a just $400 million.

Full story: Scripps Co.: Old media dog full of new tricks (Wed, 3/28)


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 29, 2012



Another awful day at Clear Channel affects Detroit market...

It's become an annual (or even more regular) event at Clear Channel's radio stations across the country - mass layoffs that affect people in markets from coast to coast.

Another wave hit today, and apparently there have been a number of people that were let go from some of Clear Channel's seven stations in the Detroit market. Names that have been reported in various trade publications, on social networks, and on message boards include Russ McNamara and Tom 'The Gov' Millikan from WDFN AM 1130, Joe Rosati from WQKI-FM 95.5, O'Neill Stevens from WMXD-FM 92.3, and Dr. Darrius from WJLB-FM 97.9. There are others as well, many of them hard working people behind the scenes that unfortunately will be making phone calls to MARVIN soon.


... and Grand Rapids too

Clear Channel's operations in West Michigan apparently weren't entirely spared from the cutbacks either. Only the name of ESPN 96.1 producer/host Ryan Terpstra has been identified thus far, but as is the case in Detroit there are likely others that received bad news about their jobs today.



Smile FM expansion in southeast Michigan continues

A slice of eastern Macomb and southern St. Clair counties are the newest areas served by Contemporary Christian Smile FM with this week's sign on of WVMV FM 91.5 China Township. The new station's antenna is located between New Baltimore and Algonac.

The Smile FM network added service in the downriver area of Metro Detroit with the sign on of WDTP FM 89.5 last summer and is heard across many other areas of the state.



WXYZ-TV, WDET-FM to air this evening's Town Hall with Governor Snyder and Deputy Detroit Mayor Kirk Lewis

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis, filling in for Mayor Dave Bing, will meet face-to-face to tackle the issue of Detroit's financial future on a special Detroit 2020 live interactive town hall meeting on Thursday, March 29th, from 7-8 p.m. on WXYZ-TV Channel 7 and simulcast on WDET-FM 101.9. The special, "The Challenge of Change," will allow viewers to engage in the conversation through social media, and ask questions of the Governor and Deputy Mayor on Facebook, Twitter and on-line.

This special comes at a critical time for Detroit, as city and state officials continue to debate plans for the financially troubled city that could include the appointment of an emergency manager. "The Challenge of Change," will offer a live forum for viewers to participate in a dialogue about the fiscal challenges facing the city.

"We believe it's an important service to our viewers to allow them to engage in an important discussion that will ultimately have a dramatic impact on their lives and the future of their city," said WXYZ Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. "This show is part of our ongoing commitment through Detroit 2020 to take action for our viewers on-air, on-line and on mobile platforms."

"The Challenge of Change" will be hosted by 7 Action News anchors Stephen Clark and Carolyn Clifford, with reports from Diana Lewis, JoAnne Purtan, and Dave LewAllen.



Grand Rapids Press:

The Grand Rapids-based country radio station WBCT-FM (93.7) will again deliver some of the biggest names in the industry for its annual party. Birthday Bash 20 will be held on June 23-24 at the U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin.

Full story: Dierks Bentley, Montgomery Gentry, Brantley Gilbert and Lee Brice top list of acts at B-93 Birthday Bash 20 (Wed, 3/27)



Fine Tuning

  • Dahmer exits afternoons at Townsquare Media Modern Rock WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids to take a still-to-be-announced gig at Clear Channel Classic Rock WDTW-FM 106.7 Detroit.

  • Former Detroit radio personality Rick Gillette (he spent about 10 years in the Motor City between WHYT and WKQI) has been named as Program Director for CBS Radio's 92.3 Now in New York City. After leaving Detroit, Gillette has spent time in Chicago and, most recently, Phoenix.


Newsmakers and links: Mar. 30, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

"Into the Dark," the documentary about the murder of Shannon Siders, will air at midnight Monday on local PBS station WGVU-TV (Channel 35). Directed by David Schock, the film investigates the unsolved crime, which took place in 1989 in Newaygo County.

Full story: Documentary about Shannon Siders' murder, 'Into the Dark,' to air on WGVU (Thu, 3/29)



Detroit Free Press:

A funeral will be held today for photojournalist Rodney Ferguson, 50, who died Sunday from complications of sickle cell anemia, according to WJBK-TV (Channel 2), where he had worked since 1989.

Full story: Funeral is today for Fox 2 Detroit photojournalist (Fri, 3/30)


WDZH Tim Rainey, hired in mid-March as the Program Director for CBS Radio/Detroit's Contemporary Hits WDZH-FM 98.7 "AMP Radio", has started revamping the sound of the station, starting with a major tinkering of the lineup of personalities.

Gone from the station's web site are morning drive's Puddin's Playhouse and midday's Shay Shay - no replacements were listed yet. The Buck Head Show (3 - 7 p.m.) and Stylz (7 - 11 p.m.) remain in place.

Regular listeners have also reported a noticeable change in the station's playlist over the weekend. Hip-Hop and Rap selections appear to be playing much less often, replaced by more mainstream Pop.

In the latest age 6+ ratings for Detroit, AMP Radio trailed competitors Channel 95-5, 96.3 WDVD and Fresh 100.3 in both rating and total listeners.


Newsmakers and links: Apr. 2, 2012




Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Monday that it has closed on its acquisition of the Freedom Communications broadcast assets for $385 million. The deal was announced last November. (In Michigan, Sinclair adds CBS affiliate WWMT-TV Ch.3 Grand Rapids and ABC affiliate WLAJ-TV Ch. 53 Lansing)

Full story: Sinclair closes Freedom stations purchase (Mon, 4/2)



Fine Tuning

  • Radio-Canada has signed on French Language CBEF-FM 105.5 Windsor. The heavily directional station, which simulcasts CBEF AM 540, doesn't reach far into the Detroit area.

  • Cumulus Country Thunder 94.5 (WTNR-FM) Grand Rapids adds CMT Radio Live with Cody Allen to evenings (7 p.m. - midnight); former evening host Chris Tyler shifts to afternoon drive (3 - 7 p.m.), replacing Shane Goad in that time slot. Goad, formerly the station's Program Director, has exited.


WDZH CBS Radio/Detroit WDZH-FM 98.7 AMP Radio has named The Buck and Coop Show as the Contemporary Hits station's new morning drive program starting Monday, April 9, 2012.

Buck "Buck Head" Wise moves to the morning slot from afternoon drive on AMP Radio. Sean "Coop" Tabler moves from sister station CBS Radio Country 99.5 WYCD, where he served as the evening host.

"When I arrived at AMP a few weeks ago, I was eager for the opportunity to work with a talent like Buck Head. From Las Vegas, LA, Portland and Pittsburgh, I've always been a fan of his work and now having the opportunity to put him in morning drive is a great step in the progress of 98.7 AMP Radio," said Tim "Rayne" Rainey, program director of WDZH. "Coop is a great talent on WYCD, and I'm thrilled to bring his radio passion to our format. I am excited to watch the evolution of this great Top 40 station in Detroit."

Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice-President and Market Manager of CBS Radio Detroit, said: "I am proud to announce The Buck and Coop Show on 98.7 AMP Radio! Buck Head and Coop have been friends for years; they have great on-air chemistry and a lot of fun with each other. I'm delighted that we were able to bring two strong talents together to form Detroit's next great morning show."

Buck & Coop Buck Head started his radio career at age 17 in Tampa, Florida. He has worked at stations in Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles, California, Detroit, Michigan, Portland, Oregon and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He joined 98.7 AMP Radio as afternoon drive host in 2010. Coop, a Virginia Beach, Virginia-native, has worked as an on-air personality at stations in Evansville, Indiana, Seattle, Washington, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before landing at 99.5 WYCD in Detroit in 2010.

Gillian Reilly will serve as the show's executive producer. Reilly has worked as a traffic producer, traffic reporter and on-air personality since starting her radio career in 2009. Will Kosnik, who has worked as an on-air personality and executive producer at 99.5 WYCD for the past four years, will act as the show's technical producer.

Further announcements are expected soon on the vacated afternoon drive and evening slots at AMP Radio and WYCD - as well as middays on AMP.


Newsmakers and links: Apr. 4, 2012




The general manager of WWMT-News Channel 3 says the station's acquisition by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. will mean positive change.

Full story: New ownership for WWMT-Channel 3 means positive change, its local leader says (Wed, 4/4)



Fine Tuning

  • Independent WADL-TV Ch. 38 Detroit has switched its 38.1 feed to 16:9 at 1080i, giving the station the ability to broadcast programming in high definition. It was noted this afternoon stretching 4:3 programming to fill a 16:9 screen. The station is also offering a non-stretched 4:3 480i feed of the station's main programming on a new subchannel, 38.4. WADL is owned by Adell broadcasting.


Newsmakers and links: Apr. 5, 2012



WJBK-TV, Fox 2 Detroit:

Working for one of Detroit's top radio stations is a prestigious job, and meeting someone who works for a big station like "The Riff" is exciting. However, that excitement wanes when you realize you've been duped by a fast-talking wannabe. Problem Solver Rob Wolchek says he comes up to you while you're waiting for a concert or game wearing press passes and WRIF badges. By the time you find out the gift card you paid him for is no good, he is long gone. (Video)

Full story: Don't Get Played by WRIF Radio Phoney (Wed, 4/4)



FOX 17/Grand Rapids restored for DirecTV subscribers

DirecTV and Tribune reached a retransmission consent deal yesterday for the subscription TV service to carry all of Tribune's 23 local TV stations in 19 markets, including WXMI-TV Ch. 17 (FOX 17) Grand Rapids, as well as WGN America for the next five years. Financial terms weren't released.

The impasse resulted in a blackout of all of Tribune's stations that started at midnight on April 1st. Service was restored during prime time programming yesterday.



Macomb Daily:

WADL-TV Channel 38 will start airing the classic television show, "WKRP in Cincinnati" starting April 8. Longtime fans of the hapless radio crew will rejoice at the chance to get "More news and Les Nessman." (Video)

Full story: WCSX jocks ready for return of 'WKRP' (Thu, 4/5)



Fine Tuning

  • Detroit Tigers' Opening Day television coverage starts at 9 a.m. today on WJBK-TV FOX 2 Detroit. FOX Sports Detroit's pregame and play-by-play of the game will be simulcast once again this year for over-the-air viewers in the Detroit area on WJBK-TV Ch. 2. First pitch of the game will be shortly after 1 p.m., FSD's pregame starts at noon.

  • The Kalamazoo Community Foundation will make a gift to the nonprofit group Open Doors equal to 10% of dollars pledged or donated to Western Michigan University Public Radio station WMUK-FM 102.1 during the station's Spring fundraising campaign. More details are available at wmuk.org.

  • Stan Stachak has announced his retirement as Chief Meteorologist at 13 ABC WTVG-TV Toledo, OH. Jay Berschback will move from mornings into the role.


Newsmakers and links: Apr. 6, 2012




Student-run television station WOLV at the University of Michigan might be one of the U-M's best-kept secrets, but that could be about to change. "We are quite unknown, but we are fixing that this year," Director Lauren Blanchard said.

Full story: U-M student TV station WOLV may be small, but it provides big experience for would-be broadcasters (Fri, 4/6)




WHFB BROADCAST ASSOCIATES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP is selling Country WHFB-F (REAL COUNTRY 99.9)/BENTON HARBOR, MI-SOUTH BEND, IN to DOUGLAS ROAD RADIO, INC. for $20,000. With the assignment of an option to buy the station from SCHURZ COMMUNICATIONS' WSBT, INC., the latter will end its time brokerage agreement to program the station.

Full story: WHFB/Benton Harbor-South Bend Sold (Fri, 4/6)


Owosso Argus-Press:

Birach Broadcasting this week finalized the sale of WOAP's 1080 AM radio license to Cano's Broadcasting, which owns one station and manages another in the Grand Rapids area.

Full story: WOAP radio station changing hands (Sat, 4/7)



WJBK-TV, MyFoxDetroit.com:

You know Charlie Langton from FOX 2 and from his new morning show on WXYT radio. Now the station is adding to the line up. A man who grew up listening to Detroit radio joins WXYT as its afternoon host. Doc Thompson's career has taken him to Cincinnati, West Virginia and now Michigan. (video)

Full story: Meet WXYT's Afternoon Drive Radio Host (Sat, 4/7)




Nik Thompson has been named the new permanent host of "Sunday Best," the popular traditional jazz program on WEMU (89.1-FM). Thompson has been serving as interim host of the show since longtime host Arwulf Arwulf stepped down in early February.

Full story: WEMU names new host for 'Sunday Best' (Fri, 4/6)


WXYZ-TV and the Detroit Lions extend partnership

E.W. Scripps ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV today announced a new agreement with the NFL's Detroit Lions that will extend the station's partnership with the team through the 2015 NFL season. The agreement includes on-air, on-line and mobile elements.

PR Newswire: WXYZ-TV and the Detroit Lions Announce New Partnership (Mon, 4/9)



WDIV-TV, ClickonDetroit.com:

Mike Wallace, of CBS's "60 Minutes" died at the age of 93 the network said on Sunday. The longtime newsman has many ties to Michigan and came from Brookline, Mass. to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. During his time at U of M, Wallace was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. He also reported for the student-run newspaper The Michigan Daily and did radio work as well, graduating in 1939.

Full story: Mike Wallace's Michigan legacy (Sun, 4/8)



Grand Rapids Press:

Mike Wallace, the longtime CBS newsman who died Saturday at age 93, kick-started his lengthy broadcast career at WOOD Radio in Grand Rapids, according to the station and multiple media reports.

Full story: Mike Wallace, longtime CBS newsman, started broadcast career in Grand Rapids (Sun, 4/8)



Wings' NHL playoff TV schedule set for Round 1

When the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators drop the puck on their NHL Playoff series on Wednesday, there will be an unprecedented number of options for television viewers to catch the action throughout the series.

In the Detroit area, several games will be carried on the Wings regular TV home, FOX Sports Detroit (or FS Detroit+) with game 3 being carried over the air by NBC (WDIV-TV Ch. 4 in Detroit). Over the air and many cable viewers will also have the option of watching the Canadian broadcasts from CBC's Hockey Night in Canada on CBET-TV Ch. 9 from Windsor as that network has the rights to the entire series.

Part of NBC Sports new agreement with the NHL will bring access for the first time ever to viewers in the US to every NHL Playoff game on either NBC, the NBC Sports Network, CNBC, or the NHL Network, excluding games carried by the teams' local broadcast partners in their home regions.

For viewers outside of FOX Sports Detroit's region, that means every game of the Detroit/Nashville series will be available on either NBC, CNBC or the NBC Sports Network.

Here is the schedule (times are EDT):

  • Wed April 11, 8 p.m.: Detroit at Nashville - FS Detroit, CNBC, CBC
  • Fri April 13, 7:30 p.m.: Detroit at Nashville - FS Detroit, CNBC, CBC
  • Sun April 15, Noon: Nashville at Detroit - NBC, CBC
  • Tue April 17, 7:30 p.m.: Nashville at Detroit - FS Detroit, NBC Sports Network, CBC
  • *Fri April 20, 8 p.m.: Detroit at Nashville - FS Detroit (or +), CNBC, CBC
  • *Sun April 22, TBD: Nashville at Detroit - TBD, CBC
  • *Tue April 24 TBD: Detroit at Nashville - FS Detroit (or +), TBD, CBC

  • * - if necessary


Newsmakers and links: April 10, 2012



106.7 The D adds some personality

WDTW-FMClear Channel/Detroit Classic Rock WDTW-FM 106.7 (The D) has added its first regular jocks to the lineup since changing format in November; Sheri Donovan is now hosting middays with Dahmer manning the afternoon shift.

Donovan should be a familiar voice to many rock listeners in Detroit; after starting her career at WTCM/Traverse City in 1983, she moved to rock radio at WWCK 105.5 Flint in 1985, then was on board at Oldies WKSG-FM 102.7 from 1986-88 when she also was featured in the March 1986 edition of Playboy Magazine. Behind the mic, she was perhaps best known around Detroit during her days at Rocker WLLZ-FM 98.7 from 1988-94.

Donovan then moved on to Los Angeles where her career continues today at Bonneville Radio Album Rocker KSWD 'The Sound'; she currently co-hosts morning drive on the west coast while simultaneously being heard here in Detroit on The D.

Dahmer was most recently at Townsquare Media Modern Rocker WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids.




You may want to fasten your seatbelts for this one. On the surface, WHFB-FM in Benton Harbor MI is being sold for a relatively small amount of cash. But there is lot's more going on here. Just for starters, the station is considered to be part of a market in a different state. And there is a lot more money involved, a third party deal participant and an LMA that dates back to 1998.

Full story: More than meets the eye to Benton Harbor FM buy (Mon, 4/9)



Birach Broadcasting selling Washtenaw County AM

Birach Broadcasting is Spanish-formattted WSDS AM 1480 Salem Township (near Ypsilanti) for $1.45 million to Vazquez Broadcasting, pending FCC approval and closing. Birach acquired the station in 2005 for $1.5 million and changed the station's format from Classic Country to Spanish Pop 'La Explosiva' in June 2005.

WSDS' coverage area also includes much of western Wayne County.




After just six months in the position (NET NEWS 10/4/11), TOWNSQUARE SVP/Sales MATT HANLON has abruptly resigned. HANLON joined TOWNSQUARE from CITADEL, where he last served as Pres./Midwest Region.

Full story: SVP/Sales Matt Hanlon Resigns From Townsquare Media (Tue, 4/10)



Fine Tuning

  • Clear Channel/Grand Rapids Country WBCT-FM 93.7 has added Baltimore, MD based Michael J to evenings (7 p.m. - midnight) and shifted Bobby Bare to overnights (midnight - 5 a.m.).

    Michael J spent a number of years in Detroit (he was known then as Michael J Foxx) and was the last jock heard on what was WWWW-FM 106.7 when it changed format from Country to Rock in 1999. Michael J has been 'brought back' to Michigan on various other Country stations via voicetracking since moving to Baltimore.

  • WBCK AM 930 Battle Creek has reportedly changed its format from Country to Sports. The station is currently owned by the Status Radio trust after being spun off by Cumulus as part of a 2007 transaction involving radio stations owned by Cumulus and Clear Channel in Battle Creek, Ann Arbor, and Canton, OH.


Barrington Broadcasting to add Bounce TV as digital subchannel in Flint/Tri-Cities

Bounce TV, the nation's first and only over-the-air broadcast television network for African Americans, will launch in the Flint and Tri-Cities market on Monday, April 16th.

Bounce TV will be seen over the air on WEYI's 25.3 digital channel. Charter Cable has agreed to carry it on channel 445 and Comcast will begin airing Bounce TV on May 24, 2012 on channel 291.

"We are very excited to be launching another television station in the Genesee and Great Lakes Bay Region. Bounce TV gives our viewers another option for programming and entertainment, and we are very happy to be affiliated with Bounce TV", said Becky Butcher President and CEO of WEYI and WBSF television.

Bounce TV will air twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The new network will feature a programming mix of theatrical motion pictures, live sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, off-net series, original programming and more.



Birach Broadcasting files to sell to more of its Michigan radio stations

Following yesterday's filing of the sale of WSDS-AM Salem Township comes the filing that reveals that Birach is selling Mexican formatted WMJH AM 810 Rockford (Grand Rapids) along with Oldies WOAP AM 1080 Owosso for a total of $1.1 million to Cano's Broadcasting. Cano's has been programming WMJH via a local marketing agreement for a number of years. Both WMJH and WOAP are daytime-only stations.



96.3 launches 4th annual Project Prom Princess

Prom is one of the most memorable events in a young lady's life. Unfortunately, many high school students and their families are feeling the hurt of our tough economy. This should be no reason for girls to be denied the time-honored tradition of going to Prom. 96.3 WDVD and Lakeside Mall will make every effort to make sure less fortunate girls receive a FREE Prom Dress! 96.3 WDVD will be collecting gently worn formal dresses, shoes and accessories (less than 5 years old) at Lakeside Mall (upper level, next to Macy's Women's Store) Friday, April 13 - Sunday, April 15, 2012. 96.3 WDVD on-air personalities will broadcast from inside the Project Prom Princess Boutique all weekend long. Our mission is to fill the store with racks of dresses, shoes and accessories to make hundreds of girls feel like a true princess on prom night.

Less fortunate girls that may be in need of a dress for prom can log on to www.963WDVD.com to register for an appointment. Selected girls will be asked to join us inside the Project Prom Princess Boutique to pick out a free dress for prom.

Visitors to the Prom Princess Boutique will be able to register for the chance to win a Prom production package courtesy of AV7 Productions.


The Oakland Press:

WXOU, Oakland University's student radio station, has been named the Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. The victory brings an end to an 11-year run of dominance by Michigan State University's college radio station, Impact 89-FM.

Full story: Oakland University's radio station takes title of top station from MSU (Thu, 4/12)



Saginaw News:

What might make the KCQ Country Music Fest just "A Little Bit Stronger" this year? How about Sara Evans as the free concert's headliner, with a Phil Vassar chaser? The popular outdoor concert that typically draws nearly 100,000 people to Ojibway Island in Saginaw returns Saturday, June 16, with still a third act yet to be announced.

Full story: Sara Evans, Phil Vassar on their way to KCQ Country Music Fest (Thu, 4/12)


Newsmakers and links: April 15, 2012




Detroit Tigers radio analyst Jim Price will not be in the radio booth for the next four games due to "general health concerns," the team announced this morning. Price will miss the final game of the three-game series today in Chicago against the White Sox as well as the three-game series in Kansas City that begins Monday.

Full story: Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan Petry to fill in for Jim Price on radio broadcasts (Sun, 4/15)


Crain's Detroit Business:

The financial ripple effects from the record $2.15 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to find their way 2,000 miles east to Detroit. The sale price, reportedly for $500 million more than the next highest bid, is largely predicated on an expected bidding war for the baseball team's local television broadcast rights in the nation's second-largest market.

Full story: A record L.A. TV deal could score for Tigers (Sun, 4/15)



Detroit Free Press:

Jim Price, the analyst on Tigers radio broadcasts, said today he'll be back in the booth Thursday when the Tigers open a home stand. Price is missing the three-game series in Kansas City that starts tonight because of what he describes as an infection.

Full story: Tigers broadcaster Jim Price to miss Kansas City series due to infection (Mon, 4/16)



Fine Tuning


WDIV-TV / Local 4 Detroit:

Today marks the kickoff of our third annual NOAA Weather Radio Campaign. Since the program began, well over 17,000 radios have been purchased. If you already have yours, then congratulations: you will be warned of an approaching tornado even if it happens in the middle of the night when you're sleeping.

Full story: Local 4 hosts 'Weather Radio' day: Why you need a weather radio (Tue, 4/17)


WDIV claims 2012 Murrow Award

Post-Newsweek NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit was honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for the fourth straight year with an Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism.

Local 4 News won the top award in Region 7 of the large market TV Writing category for it's public affairs program "Flashpoint" with Devin Scillian.




MACDONALD/GARBER BROADCAST GROUP AC WLXT (LITE 96.3)/TRAVERSE CITY brings in market vet LISA KNIGHT as morning show co-host with TIM NIXON, beginning next MONDAY (4/23). KNIGHT will also take over mid-day duties on sister Top 40 WKHQ.

Full story: Lisa Knight To Co-Host Wakeups On WLXT, Middays On WKHQ (Wed, 4/18)


Detroit News:

Dan Petry sure had fun. But he's made this perfectly clear, too: He's not out to take anybody's job. "I told Jim Price, 'I am keeping your seat warm. Hurry up and get back,'" Petry said this week from Kansas City, Mo., where he worked with Dan Dickerson on three Tigers radio broadcasts while Price was out with an illness. "I was in the pinch-hitter's role."

Full story: Ex-Tiger Dan Petry happy with radio relief role (Thu, 4/19)




Detroit Tigers color commentator Jim Price was back in the radio booth Thursday after missing five broadcasts due to illness. It was the first assignment he's missed in 20 years, he said.

Full story: Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jim Price returns to radio booth after battling illness (Thu, 4/19)



Fine Tuning

  • Val Clark, veteran reporter and fill-in anchor at Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7, announced she will retire from the station this summer.


Grand Rapids Press:

Matt Hanlon, a former top radio executive for Citadel Broadcasting and until recently Townsquare Media, is accused of drunken driving after a crash that injured a Grand Rapids couple, police and court records show.

Full story: Former radio executive Matt Hanlon charged with drunken driving after Grand Rapids couple injured in crash (Fri, 4/20)



Toledo Blade:

The sign is already there: "Toledo News Now." That's the slogan for the new combined newsroom product of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and WUPW-TV, Channel 36, as part of the FCC-approved shared services agreement.

Full story: TV news merger moving forward (Fri, 4/20)


Arbitron drops Ann Arbor and Tri-Cities markets from its ratings service

Radio ratings service Arbitron has backed out of two Michigan markets, dropping Ann Arbor (ranked as the 155th largest market in the country) and Saginaw/Bay City/Midland (139th largest) from the list of areas where it provides service.

Both Ann Arbor and the Tri-Cities were diary-based markets and had been receiving Fall and Spring reports from Arbitron. They were dropped due to lack of client support - meaning not enough radio stations in those markets were subscribing to Arbitron's services.

Arbitron also recently made another change to all of the markets it serves - ratings information for non-subscribing stations will no longer be part of any publicly released ratings reports, making it tough for the general public to know exactly where stations rank in markets where there are non-subscribing stations.



Traverse City's Good News Media wins FM Auction 93 bid

The recently concluded FCC Auction 93 offered up 93 new FM frequencies for bid across the country. In Michigan, Traverse City based Good News Media was the high bidder at $109,000 for a new Class C3 station at 95.9 to be licensed to Grand Traverse County's Fife Lake.

Good News Media is the owner of religious formatted stations WJLN-FM/AM 89.9 / 1400 Traverse City and WLJW AM 1370 Cadillac. WLJN-FM was also recently granted a construction permit to increase power from 39,000 to 100,000 watts.




Sinclair Communications-owned CBS affiliate WWMT Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich., (DMA 42), today launched a 4:30 a.m. newscast. The expanded early morning newscast will air every weekday.

Full story: WWMT launches 4:30 am newscast (Mon, 4/23)




TOWNSQUARE Active Rocker WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS, MI and FREE BEER & HOT WINGS announce WINGSTOCK 2012. The show is JUNE 16th at FIFTH THIRD BALLPARK with headliners OUR LADY PEACE, also local boys POP EVIL with DOKKEN, WAYLAND and more acts to be announced.

Full story: WGRD Announces Wingstock 2012 (Mon, 4/23)



Macomb Daily:

Using 100 percent donated parts and the sweat of volunteers, Keith Strong and his crew at Ice Nine Group in Clinton Township can now get to the task at hand: building a reproduction of a 1969 Ford Mustang as part of WCSX radio's Stone Soup Project to raise funds for children's charities.

Full story: Ice Nine Group, WCSX to build new '69 Boss Mustang (Sat, 4/21)



Fine Tuning

  • Steve Stewart has exited as the longtime Operations Manager at Cumulus News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit. Ron Harrell takes over the role - he also oversees Cumulus' other two stations in Detroit, WDVD-FM 96.3 and WDRQ-FM 93.1. Stewart's career at WJR spanned 22 years.


5th Annual 96.3 WDVD Cares For Kids Radiothon underway

Cumulus Pop WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit has partnered with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to help raise funds in support of children with special medical needs. All proceeds from the event go towards the purchase of life-saving equipment for children, as well as specialized pediatric programs and research at Beaumont Children's Hospital in Royal Oak.

96.3 WDVD's Blaine & Allison kicked off a live broadcast at 6 a.m. from Beaumont Royal Oak - the station will continue to broadcast live through 7 p.m.

Last year, 96.3 WDVD's "Cares for Kids" Radiothon helped raise over $100,000 for the cause and the station is inviting listeners to make a difference by spreading the word and helping raise money for children in need. 100% of the donations will stay in the community to help children in need.

To make a donation, call at (866) 963-GIVE (4483), stop by the radiothon to give in person, or visit the station's web site at 963wdvd.com.



Detroit's WDIV-TV Ch. 4 to presents Michigan School Expo April 28 - 29

From pre-school to post-grad, local education providers will join together at the 2012 Michigan School Expo on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday April 29 from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. throughout Oakland Mall in Troy. The event is presented by Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV-TV, Local 4.

The Michigan School Expo will include representatives from local, national and online universities, community colleges, technical/trade schools, and private and public pre-elementary and secondary schools. Last year, over 40 thousand people were in attendance at Oakland Mall during the first-ever Michigan School Expo.

Confirmed educational providers at the 2012 Michigan School Expo include Hazel Park Schools "Promise Zone" - offering college tuition to high school graduates, the Hinoki International School - a unique bi-lingual public charter school, the University of Toledo, Specs Howard School of Media Arts, Oakland Schools Technical Campuses and many more. Special exhibits include the AAA of Michigan Teen Driving Safety program featuring interactive driving simulators, "Financial Jeopardy" from the Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union where representatives from 3 local schools will vie for $500 in prize money for their institution, and an opportunity to show your forecasting skills at the WDIV Local4Casters Weather Wall.

The Michigan School Expo kicks off Saturday with a special performance by Oak Park High School Marching Band. Visit the Local 4 booth at the Michigan School Expo to meet several of WDIV news personalities including Rhonda Walker, Guy Gordon and Ashlee Baracy of Local 4 News Morning.

For more info on the Michigan School Expo, including a continually updated list of participating schools, visit www.ClickOnDetroit.com/School-Expo.




CUMULUS Talk WJIM-A/LANSING, MI and the MICHIGAN TALK NETWORK have settled on the official replacement for MICHAEL PATRICK SHIELS on the statewide-syndicated "MICHIGAN'S MORNING SHOW," with former NBC affiliate WILX-TV news anchor STEVE GRUBER and CBS affiliate WLNS-TV host JO ANNE PAUL as hosts, according to the LANSING STATE JOURNAL.

Full story: 'Michigan's Morning Show' Has New Hosts (Thu, 4/26)



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



After a brief hiatus from the radio, Michael Patrick Shiels is set to return to the morning talk circuit Wednesday, May 2. Shiels left his previous show in February. He said the new show will be bigger, better and reach more listeners.

Full story: Radio host Michael Patrick Shiels returns to Michigan airwaves Wednesday (Mon, 4/30)



Lansing State Journal:

Michael Patrick Shiels will soon be back on radio and TV. He'll return quietly -- not his natural state. "This is a soft opening," Shiels said. "There will be a big one later." His "Michigan's Big Show" was set to start today. In a late switch Friday, it was pushed back, due to what Shiels called paperwork problems concerning city code in building his downtown studio.

Full story: Michael Patrick Shiels coming back 'Big' (Mon, 4/30)



Detroit News:

Dick Purtan was a big influence, of course, and J.P. McCarthy was huge. But you don't want to overlook the career contributions of Michael Corleone and Dick Cheney. Michael Shiels started in radio as Purtan's intern. He left it, or so he thought, as McCarthy's producer.

Full story: Ex-Purtan intern gives career a makeover and returns to airwaves in Detroit (Mon, 4/30)



Fine Tuning

  • Radio One News/Talk WCHB AM 1200 has added dayparted Smooth Jazz programming overnights and weekends. The station is also heard on WDMK-FM 105.9 HD2 and an FM translator on 99.9.


Two Michigan high school radio stations to help celebrate High School Radio Day on May 16

High school radio stations in the United States will come together for one day of celebration May 16 when the first-ever High School Radio Day is launched.

Since there are so few high schools with radio stations, organizers hope that High School Radio Day will raise a greater awareness of the ones that are still broadcasting after so many have been shut down due to school district budget cuts.

A website has been created to publicize the activities planned by participating stations on May 16: www.highschoolradioday.com. Schools can register their stations on that site with a link to their station website. The day will include an open video call where stations will be able to talk to one another and share technical expertise, fundraising events, programming and promotion ideas.

High School Radio Day comes on the heels of College Radio Day that occurred last October. Though College Radio Day did allow high school stations to register, organizers felt that high school stations should have their own day. High School Radio Day founder Pete Bowers (Station Manager, WBFH-FM, Bloomfield Hills, MI) decided to hold the day in May since the first U.S. high school radio station, WNAS, went on the air in May, 1949.

Bowers estimates that there are only about 200 high schools in the nation with either a terrestrial over-the-air non-commercial, educational radio station or an internet-only radio station. "And that number is dropping," said Bowers. "That's why we need to unite on High School Radio Day and make the public aware of what we do, how we do it, and the service we provide our communities," he said.

Two high school radio stations from Michigan have registered as a Participating Schools. WBFH-FM in Bloomfield Hills and WSDP-FM in Canton will be two of the schools in the nation promoting High School Radio Day.

Bowers knows that this inaugural High School Radio Day will be just the start of what he hopes will be an annual event. Participating high school stations are listed on www.highschoolradioday.com. Students and advisors at those stations will be reaching out to potential listeners in their broadcast area and online to give them a listen and be prepared to hear creative programming not heard on commercial stations.




CBS RADIO Top 40/Mainstream WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT and its sister stations are teaming with the anti-bullying movement DEFEAT THE LABEL to join an international call to action against bullying that will take place across the world. The stations along with WYCD, WOMC, WXYT, WWJ-A and WXYT-A will join millions of students, teachers and parents across 170 countries on MAY 4th, 2012 at noon ET in unison against bullying.

Full story: CBS Radio/Detroit, 98.7 AMP Stand Up Against Bullying (Tue, 5/1)



Detroit News:

Pepper liked to nest beneath the silverware drawer. That would have been a good story to tell -- how she'd fly right over the forks and spoons, land on the back of the open bin and ease herself down. Or the neon sign story. That's a good one, too, says Dr. Don Carpenter, and he probably would have told it if only he'd been able to choke the words out.

Full story: One spicy parrot: Bird owner stirs hearts with tales of Pepper (Tue, 5/1)


Longtime WFUR/Grand Rapids morning host Dave Kuiper dies

Dave Kuiper, son of the late longtime WFUR-FM/AM 102.9/1570 owner William Kuiper, died on April 28th at the age of 58. Dave hosted mornings at WFUR for over 30 years.

- Obituary from MLive.com



U-M's Michigan Radio to sponsor "One Minute Michigan" story writing contest

The University of Michigan's Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids), in partnership with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, is presenting a "One Minute Michigan" story writing contest. People across Michigan are being invited to submit stories about their favorite Michigan memories or experiences. The contest is open to anyone with a personal Michigan-themed story to tell. Entrants are asked to submit a 120-word description of a uniquely Michigan experience - for example, a Michigan travel or adventure moment, a Michigan landmark, where they were when they ate your favorite Michigan food for the first time, and so on.

Three winning essays will be recorded and aired on Michigan Radio and posted on the Michigan Radio website, www.michiganradio.org. The three winners will also each receive a pair of tickets to "Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass" on June 23 at Ann Arbor's Power Center, and admission to the evening's private reception with Ira Glass. One of the three winning essays will be selected and read onstage by Ira Glass during the performance.

Stories must be a maximum of 120 words and must mention at least one Michigan location. All entries must be submitted by midnight on Thursday, May 31, 2012. People can submit a story at: http://michiganradio.org/one-minute-michigan-story-writing-contest.

"Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass" will take place at 8 p.m. on June 23 at the Power Center for the Performing Arts in Ann Arbor. The creator of the public radio show This American Life will talk about his program and how it's put together: what makes a compelling story, where they find the amazing stories for their show, how he and his staff are trying to push broadcast journalism to do things it doesn't usually do.

As part of the event, Glass will mix stories from the show--live onstage--and play funny and memorable This American Life moments and discuss their creation. Tickets for the show are available at www.annarborsummerfestival.org.



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

The debut of "Buzz TV Jackson" has been pushed back two weeks. The new 30-minute, Jackson-produced variety show, which was to debut after "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Friday night will not air as planned.

Full story: "Buzz TV Jackson" premiere pushed back until May 18 (Wed, 5/2)


Paul W. Smith to take WJR show on the road for Pure Michigan Tour

For the 9th consecutive year, Cumulus News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit host Paul W. Smith is hitting the road for his week-long annual Pure Michigan Tour beginning Friday, May 4th in Monroe at the Monroe County Community College La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theatre.

Traveling all around the state in a custom tour bus provided by Dean Trailways of Michigan, Paul W. and Executive Producer Ann Thomas will be visiting Michigan's vacation destinations, talking with city officials and promoting the glory of spending our summer vacations right here in the Great Lakes state. Here's where Paul W. and Ann will be broadcasting live with Pure Michigan - Your Trip Begins at Michigan.org:

  • Fri. May 4: Monroe/Lobby of the Monroe County Community College La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theatre
  • Mon. May 7: Holland/CityFlats Hotel in Downtown Holland
  • Tues. May 8: Gaylord/Legends Restaurant at Treetops Resort
  • Wed. May 9: Mackinac Island/Grand Hotel
  • Thur. May 10: Bad Axe/Bad Axe Theatre
  • Fri. May 11: Detroit/The Wintergarden Studio on the Detroit Riverfront



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

He is one of Detroit's most well-known personalities but now he may be in some hot water for an on-air incident, and a letter obtained exclusively by Action News spells out the potential legal trouble for the morning show host.A letter, sent to Thomas Carballo, better known as "Mojo" from the Mojo in the Morning show on 95.5, informs him that former cast member, "Rob the Web Guy" plans to file a lawsuit against "Mojo" and Clear Channel which owns the radio station.

Full story: Popular radio host Mojo to face legal action from former cast member (Thu, 5/3)


Detroit News:

Tigers radio analyst Jim Price will miss the team's nine-game road trip that starts Monday night, but the team insists he is feeling fine. Price, 70, has been battling health problems in recent months and missed a series in Kansas City last month.

Full story: Dan Petry to pinch-hit for Jim Price on Tigers' nine-game road trip (Mon, 5/7)



Fine Tuning

  • Cumulus Pop WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit will add the new syndicated program from Perez Hilton weekday evenings starting May 21st.

  • Fox Sports Detroit's Mario Impemba providing DVD's of Detroit Tigers opening day to troops for 4th straight year: Operation Opening Day

  • Former WKMH AM 1310 engineer Russell G. Betz died at the age of 89: Obituary, Lenconnect.com


Detroit News:

As a former high-school newspaper nerd, it warms my heart to see student journalists reaching new heights. This is one reason I'm spotlighting the broadcast journalism students at Fraser High School who recently earned two awards from the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Full story: Fraser High broadcast students pull down awards (Tue, 5/8)



WJBK-TV, FOX 2 Detroit:

Dale Pegg has been capturing the news for WJBK since the 1970s. Working for the CBS affiliate all the way up to the present day FOX affiliate, Dale has seen it all. Now, after 42 years, he plans to retire.

Full story: FOX 2 Pays Tribute to Longtime Photographer Dale Pegg (Mon, 5/7)


Detroit Free Press:

The annual Mott Children's Hospital takeover of WTKA-AM (1050) will be next Friday, May 18. Michigan football guests will dominate the airwaves from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. The event kicks off the Brian Griese/Steve Hutchinson/Charles Woodson fundraising weekend, during which the stars of the 1997 national championship team put on an array of events to raise money for the hospital, including a gala dinner and a golf outing.

Full story: Lineup set for Michigan football charity radio 'takeover' (Thu, 5/10)




WZZM , the Gannett-owned ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich. (DMA 42), will replay its 6 a.m. newscast on its ch. 13.2, WZZM 13 On Target Weather Network, Mondays through Fridays beginning June 4 at 7 a.m.

Full story: WZZM to replay 6 A.M. news on subchannel (Thu, 5/10)



WDIV-TV Local 4 Detroit:

Alan Frank, president and chief executive officer of Post-Newsweek Stations, the television broadcasting division of The Washington Post Company, has announced that he will retire from that position at the end of 2012. "Alan Frank has been a key contributor to the company for more than 30 years and a brilliant head of Post-Newsweek Stations," said Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of The Washington Post Company.

Full story: Alan Frank, President and CEO of Post-Newsweek Stations, to retire at end of 2012 (Wed, 5/9)



Crain's Detroit Business:

The headquarters of Post-Newsweek Stations Inc., which owns the local NBC affiliate WDIV-Channel 4, will officially move next year from Detroit to Chicago to accommodate the broadcaster's incoming president and CEO. The geographical shift is largely symbolic.

Full story: Post-Newsweek Stations, owner of WDIV-Channel 4, to move headquarters from Detroit to Chicago next year (Wed, 5/9)



Grand Rapids Press:

It's been 27 years since former WZZM 13 Chief Meteorologist Craig James set foot in the studios on 3 Mile Road NW. "It's been great fun seeing all the old people," he said.

Full story: Behind the scenes look as former anchormen return to WZZM 13, share memories (Wed, 5/9)


WZZM-TV's anchormen were having a good time. Former newsmen Barry Shanley, meteorologist Craig James and sportscaster Sam Hooks were on air Monday with anchorman Lee Van Ameyde to remember the 80's.

Full story: WZZM-TV former broadcasters reminisce about the 'golden era' of TV news in the 1980s (Wed, 5/9)



Fine Tuning

  • After less than three months on the job, Rob Otto has been let go as Sports Director at Birach Broadcasting Sports WCAR AM 1090.


WDIV-TV / ClickOnDetroit.com:

Many of you have e-mailed me questions about Local 4's annual NOAA Weather Radio campaign, so I'll answer those questions here: How long do I have to buy one of the radios at the special WDIV discounted price? Our campaign extends well into the summer, so you have plenty of time to buy your radio for $29.99, which is $10 off the normal retail price.

Full story: Paul Gross gives weather radio campaign update (Mon, 5/14)


Bloomfield-Bloomfield Hills Patch:

The Biff, 88.1 FM, will host the first ever nationwide celebration of high school radio stations on Wednesday. The brainchild of WBHF's award-winning station manager Pete Bowers, the event is modeled after National College Radio Day in October, and consists of 30 stations from 14 states around the country.

Full story: BIFF Hosts First National High School Radio Day (Tue, 5/15)



WZZM-TV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids:

Guy Gordon has spent nearly three decades anchoring newscasts in Detroit. He credits a lot of his success to what he learned at WZZM 13 in the 1980's. He worked at the station from 1981 to 1984 as the weekend anchor.

Full story: Guy Gordon credits WZZM for success (Mon, 5/14)



Grand Rapids Press:

Doing the news for WZZM-TV was good for former anchor Guy Gordon and for John Keating, formerly known as Steve Knight.

Full story: WZZM-TV 13 was a good start for two former newsmen still broadcasting today (Tue, 5/15)


The anchormen are back again. Still not Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell or even Christina Applegate. But WZZM-TV 13's 50th anniversary celebration continues this week with more familiar faces from the past.

Full story: WZZM-TV 13 anchors return for second week of blast from the past to celebrate 50th anniversary (Mon, 5/14)



WSB-TV Atlanta, GA:

A television anchor is coming forward with an emotional story of an attack in downtown Atlanta, hoping that she can find the man who came to her rescue more than two decades ago. Diana Lewis, an anchor at WXYZ-TV in Detroit, was interviewing for a job at CNN in October 1986 when she took a wrong turn.

Full story: TV anchor searching for "angel" 20 years after attack (Mon, 5/14)



WJBK-TV Fox 2 Detroit:

Former Fox 2 Photo-Journalist Earl L. "Bud" Johnson Dies at Age 83 (Tue, 5/15)


Detroit News:

WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) and its viewers are losing yet another on-air personality to retirement. Reporter and fill-in anchor Val Clark, who has been at the local ABC affiliate for more than 30 years, announced she is retiring from the station this summer. Earlier this week, the Detroit City Council honored Clark for being tough but fair.

Full story: Television reporter Val Clark to retire (Wed, 5/16)



Detroit Free Press:

Tigers radio analyst Jim Price said he missed the team's just-concluded trip at the suggestion of owner Mike Ilitch, who was concerned the West Coast swing might tax Price's health.

Full story: TTigers radio analyst Jim Price on his return: 'I feel great' (Thu, 5/17)


Ann Arbor.com:

Dozens of former Michigan football players returned to Ann Arbor on Friday for a good cause, and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital will reap plenty of benefit because of it. Ex-Wolverines Charles Woodson, Steve Hutchinson and Brian Griese are hosting their annual Champions for Children's Heart weekend in Ann Arbor, an event that kicked off Friday with WTKA-AM's day-long radiothon in support of the hospital.

Full story: WTKA raises nearly $80,000 for Mott Children's Hospital during Michigan football radio 'takeover' (Fri, 5/18)



Grand Rapids Press:

WZZM-TV's first home, 50 years ago, was in the Pantlind Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. It wasn't exactly the swanky studio you might imagine today.

Full story: Remember WZZM-TV 13's first studio in Grand Rapids? The station's 50th anniversary celebration takes you there (Fri, 5/18)



The once-rockin' "Bone" signal has recently been silent, on a facility that Martz-operated Radio Power Inc. acquired from Edgewater Broadcasting about two years ago. For a while, Radio Power translator W232CA was simulcasting the HD-3 signal of full-power WGPR (107.5). The translator is licensed for 99 watts at 911 feet, coming into Detroit from the northwest. Price: $150,000. The new owner will be Family Life Broadcasting System.

Full story: Tim Martz sells Detroit's ex-"Bone 94.3" translator to Family Life Broadcasting (Mon, 5/21)


Broadcasting & Cable:

Scripps is producing a pair of new programs that will debut Sept. 17 in seven of the company's 13 TV markets. The programs, a game show called Let's Ask America and a news mag called The List, are replacing Scripps' current syndicated shows, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, in access and early fringe. Scripps has made a substantial effort to produce its own programming and cut back on syndicated costs. It is a partner, along with Cox and Raycom, on the daily show RightThisMinute ... The shows launch in Phoenix, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Tampa and Tulsa. When contracts for other syndicated shows expire in the remaining Scripps markets (Detroit, Denver, San Diego, Indianapolis, Kansas City, West Palm Beach and Bakersfield), Let's Ask America and The List will move into those timeslots.

Full story: Scripps Producing New Game Show and News Mag for Stations (Tue, 5/22)




TOWNSQUARE Active Rocker WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS, MI PD JERRY TARRANTS brings in SHAFEE for afternoon duties. SHAFFEE started MONDAY, MAY 21st. SHAFFEE and TARRANTS have been trying to get in the same building for a while now.

Full story: Shaffee Heads To WGRD For Afternoons (Tue, 5/22)




WEYI has hired Neille Giffune as assistant news director. In April, WEYI's owner, Barrington Broadcasting, tapped news director Kathy Reynolds to oversee sister station WNWO in Toledo, in addition to leading the news department at the Flint NBC-affiliate. Giffune will assist Reynolds as she splits time between both stations.

Full story: WEYI Hires Assistant News Director (Mon, 5/21)


WADL-TV Ch. 38 Detroit dropping 'News at 9' collaboration

Adell Broadcasting's attempt to offer the Detroit market an alternative evening newscast at 9:00 p.m. on WADL-TV Ch. 38 is coming to a close and the station has will end its collaboration with The Oakland Press, The Macomb Daily, and The Daily Tribune which where helping provide content for the 30-minute weekday program.

WADL plans on adding new syndicated CBS programs including: "The Parkers," "One on One," and "Girlfriends".

"WADL is moving in a new direction, and the news programming will not be a part of its new format," says CEO Kevin Adell. "I want to personally thank everyone who helped us test the 'News@9' segment and also thank CBS Television for providing great programming that serves our market."



Grand Rapids Press:

WXMI-TV's Carl Apple is leaving TV news to become director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Full story: WXMI-TV reporter Carl Apple leaving FOX 17 News to head communications for Grand Rapids Roman Catholic Diocese (Wed, 5/23)


"Why not give the Kenowa Hills principal a bike?" That's what morning radio host Kevin "Gravy" Canup thought when he and others at Hot-FM (105.3) first heard about the senior prank Tuesday morning at Kenowa Hills High School.

Full story: 'Gravy in the Morning' host presents a bike to Kenowa Hills principal (Wed, 5/23)




On Friday morning, right around 9 a.m., Linda Yohn will flip the switch that turns on her studio microphone at WEMU, 89.1-FM. When she does, she'll be marking a milestone--her 25th anniversary of being an on-air host at Eastern Michigan University's venerable public-radio station.

Full story: Linda Yohn celebrating 25 years playing jazz at WEMU (Wed, 5/23)



CLEAR CHANNEL Classic Rock WDTW (106.7 THE D)/DETROIT hires CHAD "TANNER" HANEY for 6-10p weeknights. TANNER joins from sister Classic Rock KFBW (105.9 THE BREW)/PORTLAND, OR. In addition to on-air, TANNER will handle imaging for Top 40 WKQI (CHANNEL 955) and THE D.

Full story: Tanner Joins WDTW For Nights (Fri, 5/25)



Crain's Detroit Business:

Former high-profile local investigative reporter Steve Wilson will return to television news after a two-year absence -- but not in Detroit. Wilson, whose contract wasn't renewed at ABC affiliate WXYZ-Channel 7 in February 2010, has taken a job as an investigative reporter with First Coast News in Jacksonville, Fla.

Full story: Former WXYZ-Channel 7 reporter Steve Wilson returns to TV -- in Florida (Thu, 5/24)


Detroit Public TV offering viewers extensive coverage of Mackinac Conference

Detroit Public Television's WTVS-TV Ch. 56 (DPTV) will be offering live broadcasts and webcasts to keep interested viewers up to date on analysis and behind-the-scenes information from the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference. The station will cover three days of the discussions about the most important issues facing Michigan.

WTVS will program miVote Mackinac nightly wrap-ups on May 29-31 at 7:30 p.m. ET on the station's main channel, 56.1.

Viewers can catch full-length coverage of the Conference in Metro Detroit on DPTV's Channel 56.2 for over-the-air viewers, Channel 287 on Comcast, Channel 155 on Brighthouse and Channel 432 on Charter at the following times:

  • Tuesday, May 29 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 30th from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 31st from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The same coverage will stream live on the MiVote.org website and on many commercial news organizations' websites. MiVote.org will also feature edited segments of Conference sessions and interviews with newsmakers at the Conference, as well as social media interaction through @MiVote.



Broadcasting & Cable:

Fox Television Stations (FTS) and AccuWeather are partnering in 11 Fox markets starting this summer, with AccuWeather's content running on air and online at the Fox-owned stations in Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa, Minneapolis, Orlando, Memphis, Austin and Gainesville (Fla.).

Full story: Fox Owned Stations Partner With AccuWeather (Tue, 5/29)



WOOD-FM/AM Grand Rapids:

Clear Channel West Michigan is mourning the loss of a team member. WOOD TV reports 40-year-old Matt Sly died when his off-road vehicle rolled down a hill Sunday in Mecosta County.

Full story: ORV Crash Claims CC Employee (Mon, 5/28)


Newsmakers and links: May 30, 2012



Changes atop Clear Channel Detroit's cluster

A press release from Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has announced the hiring of Nick Gnau as President and Market Manager for the company's Detroit group of stations, effective immediately. Gnau will lead Detroit's seven station cluster and will report to Hartley Adkins, Executive Vice President of Operations for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

TIl Levesque, who had previously held those titles, exits after 14 years.

Gnau has been in the radio industry for more than 24 years. His 20-year career with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment began with Clear Channel Dayton, when he graduated from the University of Cincinnati. After 10 years in Dayton, he was promoted to Vice President and Market Manager for the Dayton, Lima and Marion markets. Gnau most recently served as Vice President and Regional Market Manager for the Dayton, Lima, Marion and Chillicothe markets, managing a total of 23 stations in Ohio.

"I'm thrilled for this next chapter in my career and to continue with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. I'm very excited to work with the tremendous brands and amazingly talented people in the Detroit market," said Gnau. "I'm looking forward to anchoring myself in the community and dedicating all of our brands and efforts to meeting the needs of our listeners and advertisers."

"Nick Gnau will bring his energy and leadership to the Clear Channel Detroit team," said Adkins. "Nick most recently oversaw 23 stations and will take his breadth of experience to now focus on only seven stations. I'm confident we can all look forward to great things ahead in Detroit as a result of his 'roll your sleeves up experience and attitude'."



MHSAA Spring Sports Streaming Starts Saturday

Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Spring sports tournaments are scheduled to conclude over the next three weekends, and the MHSAA Network will provide live video coverage of championships of Girls and Boys Track & Field, Girls and Boys Lacrosse, Baseball, Lower Peninsula Girls Soccer, and Softball online at MHSAA.tv and FoxSportsDetroit.com.

Over the next three weekends, nearly 80 hours of live championship activity will be produced by PlayOn! Sports Midwest for internet viewing; with the championship games in Baseball, Lacrosse, Soccer and Softball also being shown on a delayed basis on Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Detroit PLUS beginning in late June.

Highlights of MHSAA Finals in Lower Peninsula Boys Golf, Upper Peninsula Girls and Boys Golf, Upper Peninsula Boys Tennis, and Track & Field will be shown during the summer on Fox Sports Detroit on the Spring Super Show.

Track coverage from East Kentwood High School in Lower Peninsula Division One, Houseman Field in Grand Rapids in Lower Peninsula Division 2, Comstock Park in Lower Peninsula Division 3, Jenison High School in Lower Peninsula Division 4, and Kingsford High School in the Upper Peninsula will begin at approximately 10 a.m. on Saturday (June 2). Morning coverage in the Lower Peninsula will include the Finals of the 3,200 Relay; as well as the preliminaries and semifinals in the 100 and 200-Meter Dashes and the High Hurdles. Afternoon coverage begins at approximately 12:30 p.m. of all other running finals. For the Upper Peninsula Finals, the 3,200-Meter Relay Finals begin at 10 a.m., and all other running Finals begin at Noon.


WXYZ-TV/Detroit offering expanded coverage of Detroit Grand Prix

With the return of auto racing to Detroit, ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Channel 7 will be offering viewers expanded live coverage beginning Thursday, May 31.

The station's coverage of race weekend began today on 7 Action News this Morning and continues throughout the day with 7 Action Sports reporters Tom Leyden and Brad Galli. On Friday, June 1, Vic Faust will field anchor 7 Action News this Morning live from Belle Isle. WXYZ will have all the excitement of free day at the Grand Prix with anchors Stephen Clark and Carolyn Clifford during 7 Action News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., featuring Chief Meteorologist Dave Rexroth with weather updates from the racetrack on Belle Isle.

On Friday, June 1 at 7 p.m., WXYZ revs up the fun with "Countdown to the Green Flag," a half-hour show that includes interviews with top Indy drivers and looks at the impact of the race on Metro Detroit. Then at 8:00 p.m., get a grandstand seat with "Prix View to the Race," a one-hour prime-time special that includes an exclusive look at the hottest ticket in town, the Grand Prixmiere party, featuring interviews with Indy drivers, team owners and Detroit celebrities.

Then on Sunday, June 3, WXYZ begins race coverage with two one-hour specials that capture all the energy of race day; "Start Your Engines " at 9 a.m. and the "Checkered Flag," at noon. The shows will give viewers a live look at all the excitement of race preparations, plus information about where to park and the best spots to watch the race.

Then, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., "Pit Pass" will feature up-to-the-minute coverage before the Indy race begins.

At 3:30 p.m., the checkered flag waves and WXYZ will broadcast ABC's live coverage of the Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix, presented by showautoweek.com. Then, following the race, join WXYZ for "Winners Circle," live coverage of the all the action including post-race analysis and an interview with the winner.

"This is an exciting time for Metro Detroit," said WXYZ Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. "WXYZ is thrilled to celebrate the return of world-class auto racing to Detroit with live coverage of the 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and more than six hours of local programming during race weekend."

The station's web site, wxyz.com, will have live coverage during race weekend including video reports, photo galleries, and social media events. WXYZ will give web users exclusive behind the scenes access to race activities on line and in person at a special event during the Grand Prix's social media day on Saturday, June 2.



Grand Rapids Press:

According to her Facebook page, Kim Carson is no longer holding on-air duties at WTRV-FM 100.5 The River.

Full story: What Kim Carson says about leaving WTRV-FM The River after 30 years in radio (Thu, 5/31)



Flint Journal:

Angie Hendershot has been addressing the need for youth mentors in Genesee County for the last 10 years through her work with ABC 12's segment Monday's Child. The news anchor has been selected to be honored at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint's 37th annual golf tournament on June 8.

Full story: ABC 12 News anchor Angie Hendershot to be recognized for work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint (Thu, 5/31)



Salem closes on Detroit area translator purchase

Radio-Info.com reports that Salem Broadcasting has closed on the purchase of FM translator W248AQ Harrison Township from Tim Martz' Radio Power, Inc. After constructing new FM translator facilities pursuant to the construction permit granted by the FCC, Salem plans to rebroadcast WDTK AM 1400 Detroit on this FM translator. Purchase price $250,000. Exclusive broker for the deal was John Pierce.



WHFB AM Benton Harbor on borrowed time?

There is speculation in Southwest Michigan that Benton Harbor's WHFB AM 1060 may soon cease operations. The station was not part of a recent transaction involving sister station WHFB-FM 99.9 and one source says owner Woody Stover is considering turning the station's license in to the FCC instead of continuing operations as a stand alone.




After over a decade of broadcasting from the heart of the SUNSET STRIP in HOLLYWOOD, CA, the "MONSTERS OF ROCK" radio program is officially packing its CDs and moving east. HARLAN HENDRICKSON, host and creator of the MONSTERS OF ROCK, will now make his home at GREATER MEDIA Rocker WRIF/DETROIT, as the station becomes his new flagship affiliate.

Full story: Monsters Of Rock Names WRIF/Detroit As New Flagship Station (Thu, 5/31)


CBS RADIO Top 40/Rhythmic WBBM-FM (B96)/CHICAGO Imaging Dir. MICHAEL HORN tells ALL ACCESS "that in addition to my role as Imaging Director for B96, I have just signed on to image fellow CBS Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT.

Full story: Michael Horn Adds Imaging For WDZH (Thu, 5/31)


An affiliation deal between FOX SPORTS RADIO and FEDERATED MEDIA will bring the network to the FORT WAYNE and SOUTH BEND-ELKHART areas.

Full story: Fox Sports Radio Adds Four Federated Media Stations In Northern Indiana (Thu, 5/24)


WHFB AM Benton Harbor says farewell

News-talk WHFB AM 1060 Benton Harbor signed off at midnight today and it appears that the station has thrown in the towel on its operations permanently. The station was left as a stand-alone operation earlier this year when WHFB-FM 99.9 was sold. The station's web site, whfbam.com has also been turned off.



Ann Arbor's Michigan Radio switches up weekend programs

The University of Michigan's public radio outlets, WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids, will be featuring a new lineup of weekend shows starting tomorrow, June 2nd. New to the lineup are the TED Radio Hour, Ask Me Another, and The Dinner Party - what the station calls three promising new programs that they want their listeners to have a chance to hear.

The changes were made based on listener feedback, audience research, and the great response these shows have been receiving from podcast listeners across the country.

Details at michiganradio.org/michigan-radio-s-new-weekend-schedule.



More changes are coming to CBS Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT. Last month saw the arrival of midday host ROXANNE from crosstown CITADEL Hot AC WDVD. Now comes word that APD/MD/afternoon jock GROOVES is leaving the station mid-month; thus the search begins for his replacement.

Full story: Grooves To Exit WDZH Detroit (Mon, 6/4)


MNEXTMEDIA Country WCEN/SAGINAW is giving away a free year of college tuition. PD JOBY PHILLIPS tells ALL ACCESS that the station is spending the month of JUNE qualifying listeners to play "ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A MOOSE," for a year of free tuition at MID-MICHIGAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE.

Full story: WCEN To Give Away A Free Year Of College Tuition (Mon, 6/4)



On-the-Town / MLive.com:

WGVU Public Media is happy to announce that its television production of Hope College Christmas Vespers 2011 has been named as a nominee in the 34th Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television and Sciences Michigan Chapter.

Full story: WGVU program nominated for a Michigan Emmy Award (Mon, 6/4)


Jacobs Media - JacoBLOG

Fred Jacobs: I was asked to be the guest speaker at the 2012 banquet for WSDP (88.1 The Escape), a high school FM station that operates out of the Plymouth-Canton district here in suburban Detroit.

Full story: Who Rescued Who? (Mon, 6/4)



Detroit News:

Lila Lazarus says she lives by three words: love, laughter and adventure. These past five months, the former television reporter has also had to concern herself with two more: "I do."

Full story: Lila Lazarus finds perfect setting for a wedding ceremony - even catered (Tue, 6/5)



Kalamazoo Gazette:

The B-93 Birthday Bash announced its ticket drops for this year's country music festival to be held June 23-24 at the U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin.

Full story: B-93 Birthday Bash announces ticket drops for this year's country music festival (Tue, 6/5)



After their record-setting 1995-96 season ended with a loss to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference finals, there were very few who believed this rendition of the Detroit Red Wings would win a Stanley Cup. They were labeled "the greatest team that never won anything," with the whole hockey world taking potshots at the Wings.

Full story: Unlikely ride to the Cup -- and in radio booth (Wed, 6/6)



Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit-based Strategic Staffing Solutions Inc. says it has resolved its defamation lawsuit against WJBK-TV2, reporter Charlie LeDuff and others over a report that aired in early February. Also named in the suit were New World Communications of Detroit Inc. in Southfield and WJBK producer Douglas McKenzie.

Full story: Strategic Staffing Solutions resolves defamation suit against WJBK-TV2 over February story (Wed, 6/6)



Flint Journal:

Townsquare Media of Flint Inc. has been fined $4,000 by the Federal Communications Commission, which says the company's country music station in Lapeer continued broadcasting when it wasn't licensed to do so.

Full story: FCC fines Townsquare Media of Flint, says radio station WLCO in Lapeer operated too late (Wed, 6/6)



Detroit News:

Jimmy Powers, program director for 97.1 The Ticket, made a hole-in-one and won a new Lincoln during the Lions' charity golf outing Wednesday at TPC Michigan.

Full story: Radio station program director wins Lincoln for ace at Lions' outing (Wed, 6/6)


MI News 26 Cadillac appeals to community to help raise funds for new programming

Low Power TV station WMNN-LD Ch. 26 Cadillac is doing community-based fundraising to help cover the cost of additional cameras, control room equipment and edit bays necessary to expand the station's local programming. The goal of the effort is to build a new, HD control room and upgrade a dated mobile production van to allow for the production of live, local programming to compliment current local news coverage.

Traditionally, this sort of expansion would be paid for through corporate funding or advertising dollars, but as a community-oriented TV station, the station is looking to get the community involved. MI News 26 is using Kickstarter to give everyone a chance to support and be a part of northern Michigan television... and that support won't go unrewarded. Every contributor will get something in return, ranging from recognition on our web site to your very own TV show.

To donate, or for more information, visit: www.kickstarter.com/projects/ericwotila/launch-new-local-tv-programming-in-northern-mi.



Detroit News:

Fans couldn't have asked for better weather for the Friday kickoff of the three-day, country music festival, WYCD's Downtown Hoedown. The festival celebrates its 30th year of bringing the biggest and brightest names in country music to Detroit.

Full story: Hoedown's still a hit - paid admission and all (Sat, 6/9)


Thousands of county music fans will converge on Detroit this weekend for the 30th year of WYCD's Downtown Hoedown. But this time, the longest-running country music festival gets a new location and an admission fee.

Full story: Country music fans find Downtown Hoedown in new location this year (Sat, 6/9)



Detroit Free Press:

For the Downtown Hoedown, it seems, there's no place like a new home. Detroit's annual country music festival, making its debut as a paid concert after three decades as a free event, eased smoothly out of the gate Friday as it took over the grounds of Comerica Park.

Full story: WYCD Downtown Hoedown: First night is smooth sailing (Sat, 6/9)



Former THREE EAGLES COMMUNICATIONS Country KZKX (PROUD COUNTRY)/LINCOLN, NE PD/afternoon host MIKE SCOTT, who recently exited that station after just four months on the job, has landed on his feet, returning to DETROIT as OM/PD at BIRACH BROADCASTING Sports WCAR-A (ESPN 1090)/DETROIT. SCOTT is the former longtime CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT APD/MD/middayer.

Full story: Mike Scott Named OM/PD At ESPN 1090/Detroit (Tue, 6/12)


WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

WXYZ-TV is pleased to name sports reporter and anchor Tom Leyden as the Sports Director for Channel 7. Leyden follows in the footsteps of Don Shane who retired from the station earlier this year. Leyden was hired at WXYZ in 2004.

Full story: Tom Leyden named Sports Director for WXYZ (Wed, 6/13)



Detroit News:

Federal agents are scrutinizing $75,000 in payments to a private company owned by Detroit radio host Mildred Gaddis from firms affiliated with two former guest hosts now facing criminal charges, according to two sources. Highland Park school board member Robert Davis and former Wayne County Assistant Executive Michael Grundy were once regulars on Gaddis' "Inside Detroit" morning show on WCHB-AM 1200.

Full story: Pay to Mildred Gaddis' firm probed (Wed, 6/13)




The FCC has rejected the appeal of GREAT LAKES COMMUNITY BROADCASTING of the denial of its renewal applications for noncommercial WJKQ/JACKSON, MI and WAQQ/ONSTED, MI and sale of WJKQ to JACKSON LANSING CATHOLIC RADIO, and has also rejected the renewals of FM translators W206AZ/FREMONT, MI and W206BF and W220CW/ROGERS HEIGHTS, MI.

Full story: FCC Rejects Appeal, Orders Two Michigan Noncomms Shut (Wed, 6/13)


CBS Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT continues to see changes in its air staff, as night slammer NICK WIZE, know on-air as STYLZ, will exit.

Full story: WDZH Night Host Stylz Exits (Wed, 6/13)



Full story: CKLW Adds 'Blue Lifestyle' (Wed, 6/13)


Radio format change in central Upper Peninsula at WOBE 100.7

WOBE FM 100.7 Iron Mountain, located in the south-central part of the Upper Peninsula, has changed its format from Classic Hits 'B100' to Contemporary Hits '100.7 Radio Now'.

WOBE is owned by Results Broadcasting of Iron Mountain which also owns and programs a Classic Hits format on its WHTO FM 106.7 and also Country WJNR-FM 101.5 in the Iron Mountain area.

WOBE operates with 100,000 watts and covers a large portion of the area south of Marquette, west of Escanaba, and across northeastern Wisconsin.



U-M's Michigan Radio launches multi-year project examining economic future of Michigan's children

The University of Michigan's Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids) has been awarded a major three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to report on the many issues related to childhood poverty. The $995,000 grant, the largest in the station's history, will allow Michigan Radio to move beyond traditional radio reporting to reach a wide variety of audiences about the plight facing Michigan's most vulnerable children. The project, called State of Opportunity: Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?, will utilize documentary feature reports, first-person storytelling, youth journalists, a robust online portal, and Michigan Radio's Public Insight Network to expose the barriers to achieving success for children of low income families in Michigan. Michigan Radio will dedicate three full time journalists to this new endeavor.

State of Opportunity will also engage community members and people directly affected by poverty. It will provide opportunities to share concerns and connect with community resources. The project will also help teach people to better advocate for themselves and their children through town hall discussions, panel events and several planned youth policymaker forums.

State of Opportunity reporters will examine the impact that healthcare, schools, family, the local community, and public policy have on child development...from cradle to college. Throughout the project, diverse voices will be heard, including families and youth struggling with these issues, community leaders, legislators, and experts.

"The future of Michigan's children and the future of our economy are intertwined," said Steve Schram, Director of Broadcasting. "Michigan Radio is excited about State of Opportunity's potential to help shed light on the problems facing Michigan's underserved children, and we hope that our outreach efforts will help empower listeners, members of the general public, and community leaders alike to identify causes and solutions."

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.



Grand Rapids Press:

Matt Hanlon, the former top radio executive for Citadel Broadcasting, has pleaded guilty to impaired driving. Hanlon, 49, was arrested after an April crash that injured a Grand Rapids couple, records showed.

Full story: Former Citadel radio executive Matt Hanlon pleads to impaired driving (Wed, 6/13)




The FCC has also proposed a $4,000 fine against BIRACH BROADCASTING for repeated operation at night at Oldies daytimer WOAP-A/OWASSO, MI. The station does not have nighttime authority but was heard on the air after local sunset on multiple occasions in OCTOBER 2011.

Full story: FCC Warns More Unlicensed Station Operators (Thu, 6/14)



WNEM-TV Ch.5 Bay City:

Scot Johnson grew up in Pacifica, graduating from Terra Nova High School in 1982 and going off to college at Humboldt State University. He's been working in Saginaw, Michigan, at WNEM-TV5 since 1996 and is now the Sports Director at that television station.

Full story: TV5 sports guy 'pops the question' in creative way (Thu, 6/14)


John W Hill, 69, died Tuesday, June 12, 2012 after a battle with cancer. He started his radio career in 1964 in Gaylord and spent the last 37 years at Port Huron's WPHM AM 1380. In addition to his work behind the microphone, Hill was a teacher at St. Clair County Community College since 1984, instructing and advising many students over the years. Hill often commented on how fortunate he was not only to have a single job he loved, but two jobs.

Paul Miller, current WPHM Program Director and Morning Host, commented, "I grew up listening to John on WPHM and never in a million years did I imagine one day I would be doing his job, hosting the Morning Show on WPHM."

"As the world changed throughout the decades, John Hill remained the constant for Port Huron area listeners. He truly was the voice of the community. And in an era of electronic media in which being an on-air personality has meant having a strong opinion and shouting it from the rooftop, John managed to be a trusted voice who would ask tough questions of community leaders when needed, but never with any disdain. He truly loved the Port Huron area, and his love for the place showed in many ways."

"John ended his broadcasting career ten years ago but remained a presence in the Port Huron area, producing promotional videos and being involved in a number of community initiatives. He was truly a kind and gentle man, and will be missed."

Hill had quietly endured (and ignored) cancer, refusing to let it invade his life as he continued enjoying everything he wanted and loved to do: ski trips with family, half marathons and triathlons , a 28 mile mountain bike epic in the Upper Peninsula with his sons, biking, kayaking, boating, golfing, piano, U. of M football, Red Wings and grandchildrens' hockey, Tiger baseball, and, of course, whistling. Born in Grosse Pointe to the late Dorothy and William Hill, he attended Grosse Pointe schools and graduated with a Bachelor and Masters of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University. He had been vitally active in the Port Huron community, serving on many boards and committees, including the St Clair County Community Foundation and SC4 Alumni Association.

Contributions may be made in his memory to the SC4 Foundation, International Symphony Orchestra, or charity of the donor's choice . To send condolences and view funeral arrangments, please visit smithfamilyfuneralhome.com.

He was known by many in the Blue Water area as a wonderful man and amazing talent.


Newsmakers and links: June 15, 2012



Benton Harbor / South Bend getting new outlet for Bob & Tom Show

WSBT-TV South Bend posted on Facebook today that Bob and Tom will take over mornings at Country WHFB-FM 99.9 Benton Harbor soon. Current morning host Shelli Harmon will be moving to the afternoons on 'Real Country 99 Nine'. No date for the switch was announced.



Upper Peninsula radio updates

In addition to the format change earlier this week at WOBE FM 100.7 Iron Mountain, a couple other items of note:

  • WMXD FM 106.3 Stephenson / Escanaba has been silent for a number of weeks. No word on when or if the station will return to the air.
  • WKQS-FM 101.9 Negaunee-Marquette (Sunny 101.9) is now featuring all 80's Weekends as "Weekends in the 80's", becoming the only station in the Upper Peninsula to offer this feature. Every hour of music from Midnight Friday through 7pm Sundays is all 80's. The station continues its regular Brite Adult Contemporary format during the week.
  • WFXD-FM 103.3 Marquette has dropped the 'FOX 103 WFXD' moniker in favor of '103.3 The Country Extreme - Your Station for America's Music'. The station is a currents-based Country station that is programmed locally.



CKWW Windsor/Detroit adds Casey Kasem's American Top 40 - The 70's

The most iconic voice in radio history, Detroit's own Casey Kasem, is home again as Oldies CKWW AM 580 has added American Top 40 - The 70's to its lineup.

Casey has unlocked the AT40 vault and is replaying original shows from the 1970's. Relive the classic hits, the great stories and the interesting musical trivia each week as the archives are opened an original American Top 40 with Casey Kasem airs on AM 580.

The three-hour program airs Sunday evenings at 7 PM with an encore broadcast Tuesday evenings at 7 PM.



Fox O&O WJBK Detroit (DMA 11) and the Detroit Zoological Society are teaming up to give three lucky children from Metro Detroit an opportunity to be reporters for the day and tape a report at Detroit Zoo animal habitat for WJBK news. The station is inviting parents of children ages 7 to 12 to submit a video via MyFoxDetroit.com of their youngster delivering a report on their favorite zoo animal.

Full story: WJBK sponsoring Junior Zoo Reporter contest (Tue, 6/19)


Detroit News:

Sometimes, it's just quiet he craves. Occasionally he finds it at a favorite Detroit haunt, taking a few moments to enjoy a cigar, or stays home with his fianceé and dog where he can disappear into his man cave to watch televised games. Mostly, he just wants to decompress. Mike Valenti, the opinionated, brash New Yorker and unabashed fan of his alma mater, Michigan State, is loud four hours a day, hosting the popular, caller-driven "Valenti and Foster Show" with News writer Terry Foster every afternoon on 97.1 The Ticket.

Full story: Radio host Mike Valenti stirs strong feelings among fans, detractors (Thu, 6/21)



Detroit's ESPN 1090 adds local afternoon show

Birach Broadcasting's Sports WCAR AM 1090 Livonia/Detroit has added Damon 'The Dog' Perry to weekday afternoons from 3 - 5 p.m. Perry is a former sports talk host at WDFN AM 1130.


CBS Sports updates begin in September with 24/7 programming scheduled to begin in January. Clearances in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, and Toledo

CBS Corporation today announced it will be launching CBS Sports Radio, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week lineup of national programming from CBS Radio and CBS Sports. Cumulus Media was selected as the syndicator and sales partner to secure affiliate agreements and ad sales with radio stations across the country. CBS will also add CBS Radio programming to 67 of its own stations.

CBS is touting that the new effort will be able to reach listeners in nine of the nation's Top 10 markets, with a cumulative audience reach at debut close to 10 million listeners - nearly 90% of them located in Top 50 markets at launch. CBS Sports Radio is designed to enhance CBS's existing sports properties and extend the national reach of the CBS Sports and CBS Radio brands to additional outlets across the country.

In Detroit, WXYT AM 1270 will change its format to CBS Sports Radio on January 2, 2013. WXYT-FM 97.1 will add elements beginning on Tuesday, September 4th including hourly headlines, breaking news and scores from the day's major events and stories.

Outstate, Cumulus' WBBL-FM 107.3 Grand Rapids, WTRX AM 1330 Flint, and WLQR AM 1470 Toledo will broadcast at least some CBS Sports Radio programming.

"As one of the leading media companies in the world, and a dominant force in sports programming, we look forward to bringing to bear the full resources of CBS and capitalizing on an exciting new growth opportunity for the company," said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation. "CBS Sports and CBS RADIO have been widely recognized for their outstanding contributions to sports broadcasting. This next step in their evolution will serve an ever-expanding audience of sports fans from coast to coast."

"We are pleased to partner with CBS to deliver the leading entrant into the sports radio market," said Lew Dickey, Chairman, President and CEO, Cumulus Media. "CBS Sports Radio is an exciting opportunity for us to offer compelling sports content to listeners nationwide, and unique sports marketing opportunities for our advertisers."


Grand Rapids Press

WWMT-TV's new meteorologist is a Michigan native and the daughter of a meteorologist. That makes Cyndi Kahlbaum a great catch for Newschannel 3, joining meteorologists Keith Thompson and Jeff Porter, said Steve Koles, WWMT-TV news director.

Full story: WWMT's new meteorologist, a Michigan native, is a second-generation meteorologist (Mon, 6/25)



Detroit News:

Budd Lynch may well have amassed a million memories, and he's easily heard a million cheers. But a million dollars is something new. The Detroit Red Wings' Hall of Fame broadcaster and public address announcer will host the 23rd annual Budd Lynch Celebrity Golf Classic today at Grosse Ile Golf & Country Club.

Full story: Ex-Wings broadcaster Budd Lynch, 94, honored for charitable work for kids (Mon, 6/25)


Grand Rapids Press:

Radio personality Kevin Matthews, ArtPrize, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and Star 105.7 are collaborating on a fund raising project to support the hospital.

Full story: Radio personality Kevin Matthews is cooking up an ArtPrize 2012 project to raise money for Helen DeVos Children's Hospital (Tue, 6/26)


When a familiar face from local TV news disappears, people ask questions. Meteorologist Peter Chan's unexplained disappearance from WXMI-TV in March still generates calls and emails.

Full story: WWMT meteorologist switches from delivering weather reports to coaching collegiate athletics (Tue, 6/26)





Full story: Michigan Trio Sold (Tue, 6/26)



Livingston Daily News:

A Detroit radio host with ties to Howell was more than deflated when he was denied media access to last weekend's Michigan Challenge Balloonfest despite being invited to broadcast at Livingston County's signature summer event.

Full story: Detroit radio host upset about being denied media access to Michigan Challenge Balloonfest (Tue, 6/26)



WXYZ announced today that David Solano will be joining the Detroit ABC-affiliate in July as a weekend sports anchor and reporter.

Full story: WXYZ adds sports anchor David Solano (Thu, 6/28)




LAKE MICHIGAN BROADCASTING, INC. is selling Oldies WKLA-A and AC WKLA-F/LUDINGTON, MI and Country WKZC (Z95)/SCOTTVILLE, MI to TODD MOHR's SYNERGY MEDIA, INC. for payment of a $580,000 loan owed by the Seller to WEST SHORE BANK, plus an LMA for the two FMs and a Shared Services Agreement for the AM and Classic Hits WMTE-F (KOOL 101.5)/MANISTEE, MI before closing.

Full story: Michigan Cluster Sold (Thu, 6/28)



Grand Rapids Press:

The answer is Emmylou Harris and Rufus Wainright. The question is, who is WGVU-FM's Shelley Irwin going to be talking about on Friday?

Full story: WGVU-FM highlights Emmylou Harris, Rufus Wainright, Meijer Gardens Summer Series artists on Friday morning (Thu, 6/28)



Fine Tuning

  • Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit celebrates its 25th anniversary today. The format replaced soft rock WMJC 'Magic 95' and was among one of the first major-market Classic Rock stations in the country when it debuted.


WJR Detroit making changes to traffic coverage

  • Joel Alexander has exited as the longtime helicopter reporter/pilot for Cumulus' News-Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit. as the station changes up its traffic coverage. The station has reportedly grounded its use of "Jetcopter 760", which was actually a shared resource among several stations in town.

    The station has added more frequent reports throughout the day and hired Kevin O'Neill to provide updates weekdays from 4:00 - 10:00 p.m. weekdays and 10:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m. Saturdays. O'Neill had been working weekends at Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3 Also joining WJR for traffic reporting are Dana Clark, daughter of Val Clark (Ch. 7), mornings with middays being handled by longtime local jock Mark Micthell who was at WDRQ and WKQI as a DJ and image voice.


Detroit Free Press:

To believe or not to believe. That is the question for Beliebers. Earlier today, listeners hoping to get their WKQI-FM (95.5) "Mojo in the Morning" fix were disappointed to discover that hosts Mojo, Spike and Shannon Murphy weren't broadcasting live. Instead, the station was airing material from the show's archives.

Full story: Radio show has last laugh with Justin Bieber prank (Mon, 7/2)



Radio Ink Magazine:

We'll have to wait and see if Mojo from Clear Channel's "Mojo in the Morning" is on the air this morning. On Friday, Mojo aired a taped interview with Justin Bieber that ended with the young singing sensation getting angered enough to hang up on the Detroit morning show host. Mojo tweeted on Saturday "suspended over @JustinBieber. This is some bull$#&%." Of course, this is a holiday week and it could all be a stunt.

Full story: Was Mojo suspended over Justin Bieber? (Mon, 7/2)



CCM+E/COLUMBUS OM and Top 40 WNCI PD TONY TRAVATTO is transferring to the OM post at CCM+E/DETROIT, replacing TODD THOMAS, after only a short time in COLUMBUS. In his new OM role in DETROIT, TRAVATTO will oversee Top 40 WKQI, Urban WJLB, Urban AC WMXD, Classic Rocker WDTW, Talk WDTW-A and Sports WDFN-A, as well as assuming the day-to-day PD duties at Hot AC WNIC (FRESH 100.3).

Full story: Tony Travatto Becomes OM At CCM+E/Detroit (Tue, 7/3)



Michigan Association of Broadcasters announces 2012 Summer Awards Honorees

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters will be honoring the following broadcasters during its 2012 Summer Celebration and Annual Meeting on Monday, August 20 at the Motor City Casino Hotel:

  • 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award: Edward K. Christian, Chairman/President/CEO Saga Communications

  • 2012 Distinguished Lifetime of Public Service Award: The Honorable John D. Dingell, United States Congressman from Michigan

  • 2012 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame: Michael J. King, Vice President/General Manager WILX-TV, Lansing / Julie M. Koehn, President/General Manager Lenawee Broadcasting Company, Adrian / W. Palmer Pyle, Former President/Founder Northern Star Broadcasting, Traverse City

  • 2012 MAPB Professional Pioneer Award: Rick Schudiske, Assistant General Manager/Director of Television CMU Public Broadcasting, Mt. Pleasant

  • Special Honors: Alan Frank Endowment Scholarship Alan Frank, President/CEO Post-Newsweek Stations


Radio Business Report:

Acreage in the southeast corner of Milford Township, MI has been pegged as a site for a cluster of AM towers for Birach Broadcasting. The township planning commission is considering a proposal by owner/CEO Sima Birach, who wants to construct seven directional, 199-foot towers on vacant land just west of Charms Road and north of East Maple Road, reports The Observer & Eccentric. The tower cluster will service Fenton, MI-based WCXI-AM (1160) and Walled Lake, MI-based WPON-AM (1460).

Full story: Birach looking at new site for Detroit AMs (Thu, 7/5)



Grand Rapids Press:

It's all about focus. Thursday morning on Fox17, local reporter Nicole DiDonato received a surprise visit from a cat while reporting live.

Full story: Watch video of cat jumping on Grand Rapids reporter on live TV (Thu, 7/5)




WJBK's Charlie LeDuff has made a career out of taking on difficult stories but the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter may have found his biggest challenge yet: golfing across the city of Detroit. Literally golfing, shot-to-shot, across the length of Detroit.

Full story: WJBK Reporter Golfs Across Detroit (Thu, 7/5)




GREATER MEDIA Classic Rocker WCSX/DETROIT's THE KEN CALVERT IN THE MORNING SHOW received an unexpected "you rock" this morning from the FORD MOTORS CEO, ALAN MULALLY.

Full story: Ford CEO Gives A 'You Rock' To WCSX's Ken Calvert (Thu, 7/5)




For the first time since 2007, the Detroit Lions sold out all of their home games last season, and local fans watching on TV didn't have to worry about the NFL and its blackout rules. With attendance down 4.5 percent since 2007, according to the Wall Street Journal, the NFL will allow for local broadcasts of games even when as few as 85 percent of tickets are sold.

Full story: Local TV blackouts unlikely for Detroit Lions fans as NFL loosens rules (Thu, 7/6)


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

It's been months since last I wrote a column for this website, but I could hold off no longer as I sit back and observe a plethora of bazaar behavior on the radio dial, and decisions made by management at stations that defies logic or any benefit for we, the listeners.


VuoloA few years ago I suggested to, then-publisher, Erica Farber at the now defunct Radio & Records trade paper, that they should change the name since there is no more radio, as we remember it and CD's did away with vinyl records a couple of decades ago...but it could still be called R&R, which would today stand for Ratings & Revenue which is ALL that is important to the broadcasting industry anymore. If it doesn't make the cash register ring, it doesn't mean a thing. I can still hear the newly divorced Tom Cruise yelling (from "Jerry McGuire") SHOW ME THE MONEY! It's not about what comes out of the speaker...it's "making budget."


At Clear Channel Radio Detroit there have been an amazing number of changes, at the top, many of which you have read about here on michiguide.com. The top two jobs at their Farmington Hills complex saw a "changing of the guard" when 14 year market manager Til Levesque (La-veck) was suddenly replaced by Nick Gnau (Naw) who is a dyed-in-the-wool Buckeye, spending much of his career in Ohio. It could be time to trade in those scarlet and gray shirts for something in green and white or maize and blue perhaps.

Then in a surprising move Todd Thomas, who oversaw Fresh 100.3 (WNIC) and is a Detroit boy, was shown the door and T.T. was replaced by another T.T. by the name of Tony Travatto who is also a Michigander from the west side of the state. After a few years in Clear Channels headquarters market of San Antonio, TX, Tony got a bit closer to home when transferred last October up to Columbus, OH. I asked him if they knew that he was a Michigan fan? He said "they already knew." So, now after only nine months the company moves him again even closer to home! So, now he doesn't have to fear for his life. In getting to know Travatto, in recent years, he seems to be just what the doctor ordered to help the seven stations at 12 Mile and Halsted achieve the type of success Clear Channel Media and Entertainment (their new name) expect in the Motor City. He'll oversee: WNIC, WKQI, WJLB, WMXD, WDTW, WDTW AM and WDFN AM. Offer prayers.

On a personal note, I would love to see 100.3 return to its longtime image as WNIC and toss the "Fresh" name which means nothing to most listeners. It's right up there with "a better mix of today's best variety in music". Lame. The WNIC name goes all the way back to 1972 when it switched from WKNR AM and FM.

It would also be nice to see WDTW 106.7 do something to make its presence known. With the clever moniker of "The D" it's playing music similar to Doug 93.1, WCSX 94.7 and even WOMC 104.3 with a dearth of any known personalities and an over-all iPod sound.


There are Cumulus Clouds hanging over the Fisher Building as a reduction in staff at WJR and WDVD have left the lower floors with a lot of excess space. Steve Stewart, who programmed WJR and was affiliated with the station for over twenty years was jettisoned the day after the March St. Patrick's Day broadcast. Bridgett Burns of their promotion department went out the same exit as Mr. Stewart being replaced by former WMGC PD Lori Bennett.

One of the bigger surprises came in the stations traffic coverage. After a longtime arrangement with Metro-Traffic, WJR's new owner, Cumulus Media, wanted to start there own service with a line-up of familiar names who do the reports right from the 760 AM studios. Reports are now being filed by Dana Clark, daughter of Val Clark (of Ch. 7 fame) followed by Mark Mitchell, who goes back to WDRQ Jay Towers days and later as imaging voice and production director at WKQI (Channel 955) and had been in need of a job. The biggest surprise to me was the 4 pm to 10 pm reporter Kevin O'Neill, who has done nearly every format at almost every station in town. On Sunday July 1st he did his last weekend show on WOMC and started the next day with Mitch Albom reporting "right now" traffic on the fives.

The stunner was the grounding of WJR's famous Jetcopter 760 with its well-known pilot/reporter Joel Alexander who resigned rather than taking a desk job in the studio. After speaking with Joel, he indicated that he has various opportunities to explore and should "land" something soon. It was an emotional parting at 8:50 a.m. Friday the 29th of June on Paul W. Smith's first day back on the air.


My Sunday mornings have been somewhat altered too as Warren Pierce loses both Danielle Banks of the Weather Channel and Tony Bruscotto on traffic. That trio was company heading to church. I just hope they don't drop the coffee and donuts after mass. However, someone please tell Warren that WJR is radio and to go easy with all the television audio and instructions to WATCH this!


Even with recent TV spots, a lot of people still don't know who is hosting mornings on WOMC. I asked a demographically-ideal couple of ladies at a restaurant recently that question. One said Dick Purtan (who retired over two years ago) and the other said "no he's gone and I can't think of who it is now." Most people know only that the weather comes from Chuck Gaidica, while newsman Bob Schuman (one of the best in town), co-host Stacey Duford and head announcer Bobby Mitchell are NOT known with top-of-mind awareness. Marketing is key.


Meanwhile what's with WMGC, now known by the non-descript name of Soft-Rock 105.1 FM? The only names on the station anyone would know are morning man Chris Edmonds, whose talents are truly being wasted with a music-box format and mid-day host Mitzi Miles. It's amazing that after Jim Harper left six months ago the whole radio station seemed to just fall apart at the seams. Harper was good, but my God so are a lot of people and now we have at least three or four FM stations in Detroit which seemingly sound like an automated record changer. Yuck.


It's admirable that some AM talk stations are gaining FM signals, even if low-power FM's to reach out with a clearer signal. WCHB AM 1200 managed to snag 99.9 FM which is amazing to me since there are 99.9 full-power stations in Sarnia, Ontario to the north and Toledo, OH to the south. The frequency of 94.3 FM used by the defunct rock station known as "The Bone" which now simulcasts WDTK AM 1400 from Salem Communications. The AM signal, once home to the legendary WJLB, is today rather anemic and can use even the low-power FM help.


The rumors are hot and heavy that WWJ AM 950 might soon find a slot on the FM dial, but not certain where. It would always remain on AM, but an FM outlet rather than just an HD-Radio repeater would make a lot of news-radio fans happy. It would also thrill the front office at the University of Michigan Athletic Department considering that WWJ is the current home of Michigan football and basketball. Sports on FM, as evidence by the success of 97.1 The Ticket locally, is the rage all over the country. One wonders what will become of the AM dial by the year 2020.


Congrats to WJR morning host, Paul W. Smith, on his recent nuptials to Kim Guisinger. They recently returned from their honeymoon in Italy and Spain. Smith said it was the first time in memory that he had a full two weeks off and is now trying the become acclimated to the new formatics of the WJR morning show. Welcome back Pauley and many years of happiness ahead.


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


Art Vuolo Jr.


Detroit News:

The set of "The War Room with Jennifer Granholm" looks a lot like a politician's campaign headquarters. Posters that boast slogans like "Occupy the Majority," "Forward with Roosevelt" and "Speaker Nancy Pelosi" hang on exposed brick walls in an open, airy and modern space undeniably influenced by New York lofts.

Full story: Jennifer Granholm makes smooth transition to hosting political TV show (Tue, 7/10)


Paul Carey said I shouldn't write about him because he hasn't done anything in 21 years. He's a wonderful guy and I wouldn't want to vex him, so I'm writing about CATCH instead.

Full story: CATCH pitches top honor to veteran Tigers announcer Paul Carey (Tue, 7/10)



Grand Rapids Press:

Jason Terzis, WOOD-TV 8 weekend sports anchor for the past 14½ years, will never forget loading up his U-Haul trailer and making the long drive from Georgia to West Michigan and arriving just in time to make his on-air debut at the local NBC affiliate on Christmas Day in 1997.

Full story: Jason Terzis leaving WOOD-TV after 14 years as weekend sports anchor (Tue, 7/10)



Detroit Free Press:

He was the beefy man with the handlebar moustache known as Tom Greene to legions of television news viewers. His reports about Lansing politicians -- first on radio, then on Channels 2 and 4 in Detroit through the 1970s and '80s -- were hard-hitting, so much so that he adopted the on-air surname of Greene, although his real name was Thomas Pratt, said his wife, Dottie Pratt.

Full story: Thomas Pratt: Reporter kept watch over politicians (Sun, 7/8)




CBS RADIO Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT has promoted part-time personality IAN "SLACKER" RICHARDS to MD/afternoon-drive host, effective MONDAY, JULY 16th. Previously MD/nights at WRCL/FLINT, MI, SLACKER has simultaneously been doing part-time at AMP RADIO launched in OCTOBER 2009.

Full story: WDZH Ups Ian 'Slacker' Richards To MD/Afternoons (Mon, 7/10)



Fine Tuning

  • Manistee's WMTE-FM 101.5 has changed format from Classic Hits back to Oldies, simulcasting WKLA AM 1450 Ludington.


Detroit's WXYZ-TV to add Bounce TV to digital subchannel

Bounce TV announced today that E.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit will add the network targeted toward African Americans to a digital subchannel.

The addition of WXYZ-TV drives Bounce TV past 75% penetration of African American television homes and to nearly 55% of the total U.S.

"By creating room on their digital spectrum for Bounce TV, WXYZ-TV clearly sees the enormous value of Bounce TV as a network that can make a difference locally. It is our privilege to be in business with E.W. Scripps and we welcome them to our growing family of Bounce TV affiliates," commented Jeffrey Wolf, Bounce TV Executive Vice President of Distribution in making the announcement. "We are thrilled that Bounce TV will be seen on such a strong station as WXYZ in such a critical market as Detroit."

"Bounce TV is a very meaningful programming option for our digital spectrum and an ideal way to serve the 390,000 African-American Households throughout Southeast Michigan. We are delighted to be their exclusive home in Detroit," said Ed Fernandez, E.W. Scripps Divisional General Manager and WXYZ-TV Vice President and General Manager.




CBS RADIO Top 40/Mainstream WDZH (98.7 AMP Radio)/DETROIT has named MICHAEL "MIKEY V" VINCI as its new nights host, effective MONDAY, JULY 16th. Previously, VINCI did nights and imaging for RADIO ONE Top 40/Mainstream WNOU (RADIO NOW 100.9)/INDIANAPOLIS.

Full story: WDZH Puts 'Mikey V' Vinci In Nights (Thu, 7/12)


MIDWESTERN BROADCASTING GROUP Sports WCCW-A (ESPN RADIO 1310 AM)/TRAVERSE CITY, MI will switch to FOX SPORTS RADIO on AUGUST 30th. The station will take FSR's entire lineup plus PREMIERE's JIM ROME.

Full story: WCCW-A/Traverse City To Switch To Fox Sports Radio (Thu, 7/12)



Detroit News:

They have been a sputtering club, no better than third place in the American League Central Division. They are two games north of .500 following some puzzling spring-summer antics that have not come close to expectations. But the Tigers are having a bonanza business year, at the box office and in living rooms, where FSD's ratings are record-setting.

Full story: Tigers are hit on TV and at the turnstiles (Thu, 7/12)


Detroit Free Press:

Jayne Smith and Chellie Harvey -- who say they're more than just good girlfriends, they're like family -- sat inside a silver Airstream trailer in downtown Detroit last week and talked into big round microphones about the beginning of their friendship. "What was your first memory of me?" asks Smith, who is 30, lives in Detroit and writes radio copy for a living.

Full story: StoryCorps captures the lives and times of metro Detroiters (Sun, 7/15)


Detroit Free Press:

Here's one more thing Detroit does well: Sports talk radio. The editors at TALKERS magazine put together their first annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk, which ranks the top 100 sports talk radio hosts in America by importance. WXYT-FM (97.1 The Ticket) made three appearances in the top 20.

Full story: Valenti and Foster rank No. 5 on Top 100 most important sports talk radio hosts (Mon, 7/16)



More sports radio apparently coming to Northern Michigan

Northern Radio Talk combo WSRT-FM 106.7 Gaylord and WSRJ-FM 105.5 Honor/Traverse City (You FM) will reportedly be moving to an all-Sports format on August 30th, picking up the ESPN Radio affiliation in the region currently heard on Midwestern Broadcasting's WCCW AM 1310 Traverse City. WCCW announced last week it would be switching to programming from FOX Sports Radio.



Fine Tuning

  • A couple of recent sign-ons in Northern Lower Michigan so far this summer: WYPV FM 106.3 Onaway has been heard testing with All-Christmas music since June and WGZR FM 89.1 has started operations with Catholic programming from owner Baraga Broadcasting. WYPV is owned by Michigan Broadcasters, LLC.


CBS Radio/Detroit stations and personalities among finalists for NAB Marconi Radio Awards

Earlier today, the National Association of Broadcasters released its finalists for its 2012 NAB Marconi Radio Awards. Among the finalists are CBS Radio Detroit stations WXYT-FM 97.1 for Large Market Station of the Year and Sports Station of the Year, WYCD-FM 99.5 for Country Station of the Year, and WYCD's Dr. Don Show with Dr. Don Carpenter, Rachael and Grunwald as Large Market Personality of the Year.

The annual Marconi Awards honor radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting with this year's winners announced on September 20th at the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Awards Dinner & Show in Dallas.



Canadian regulators agree to CBC/Radio-Canada's plan to end analog broadcasting

620 analog transmitters for CBC/Radio-Canada television stations are in their final days of operation as the CRTC has agreed with a plan to end analog broadcasts across Canada. English language CBC and French language Radio-Canada analog transmitters will be turned off on July 31st - affecting areas that border Michigan such as Windsor, Sarnia, and Sault Ste. Marie. Even larger cities such as London, ON will be affected and will no longer have their own over-the-air CBC or Radio-Canada stations.


As pro football prepares for new season, WXYZ-TV Detroit ready to kick off coverage of Lions

Scripps Howard ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV, Ch.7 Detroit will get fans ready for a new season of Detroit Lions football with extensive coverage of the team's preseason activities, beginning with special July programming featuring an insider's look at training camp and coverage of a brand-new Coach's Kickoff event.

First up is Ford Lions Report LIVE: Training Camp Update on Wednesday, July 25th from 7-7:30 p.m. Then, on August 5th, WXYZ will bring viewers inside all the fun from the first annual Coach's Kickoff event, live from Ford Field. WXYZ will also produce and broadcast three Detroit Lions preseason games with full pregame shows:

  • Friday, August 10th, 7:00 p.m. pregame, 7:30 p.m. Detroit vs. Cleveland (Home)
  • Saturday, August 25th at 6:30 p.m. pregame, 7:00 p.m. Detroit vs. Oakland (at Oakland)
  • Thursday, August 30th at 6:30 p.m. pre-game, 7:00 p.m. Detroit vs. Buffalo (Home)

The preseason game broadcast team will be anchored by NFL broadcast veteran Matt Shepard, and NFL Analyst Rob Rubick, with sideline coverage from 7 Action Sports Director Tom Leyden.

WXYZ will also regular season coverage of the team with a weekly pregame show Sunday mornings from 11 a.m. - noon along with other weekly features during the station's newscasts and Sunday evening sports recap program.



Grand Rapids Press:

WLHT-FM, back when it was "W-Lite," had "Barnaby and Friends" in the morning. In October 2010, Gerry Barnaby and W-Lite was out. In came "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning" to the new "Channel 95-7."

Full story: WLHT-FM is looking for a new, locally-based morning team on 95.7 to replace Kidd Kraddick (Mon, 7/23)



Detroit mayor to speak at MAB's Annual Meeting

Detroit mayor Dave Bing has been scheduled to speak about his efforts to lead Detroit back to being an economic power and how that will impact the remainder of the state as a special guest at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Annual Meeting in Detroit on August 20.

More on MAB's Summer Celebration here.




WJBK investigative reporter Charlie LeDuff says his favorite thing about golfing the length of Detroit is that the finished product is "anti-local TV." "It's 11 minutes long. There's no story there. No one was murdered, we're not at the scene of an arson. It's just taking a walk and trying to take a look at the city," LeDuff told TVSpy in a recent interview.

Full story: WJBK's Charlie LeDuff on Golfing Through Detroit: A 'Sweet and Sour' Look at the City (Mon, 7/23)


IonTVMany areas of the Detroit television market can now receive a new full power over-the-air TV station as Ion Television's WPXD-TV Channel 31 Ann Arbor is now operating its new transmitter from Southfield, providing the station full-market coverage of the area for the first time.

WPXD first started started testing the new transmitter, located near I-696 and M-10, in January and it has been noted on and off the air since then. WPXD is now running a scroll on its old transmitter (located in western Washtenaw County) informing viewers they will need to rescan their digital TV equipment in order to continue receiving the station. The scroll is not running on the Southfield transmitter.

WPXD viewers that use an antenna may also need to re-aim their antenna in order to receive the station's signal. The new WPXD facilities broadcast on physical channel 50 - the same virtual channel that used by CW affiliate WKBD-TV which actually broadcasts on channel 14. Digital TV receivers use mapping to display TV channels on their virtual numbers (often the same channel numbers used when the stations broadcast in analog) instead of the physical channel number, if they happen to be different.

WPXD's new transmitter is carrying all three subchannels: 31.1 is the main Ion Television broadcast in HD (16 x 9, 720p), Ch. 31.2 carries the children's targeted network qubo, and 31.3 is broadcasting Ion Life.

Since the station first signed on in 1981, it has broadcast from west of Ann Arbor, near Chelsea. The station's transmitter there will be turned off as soon as engineers are comfortable the new facility is operating properly and becomes licensed. Some viewers in the area west of Ann Arbor will lose their coverage of WPXD when this happens - but most will still be able to receive Ion programming on WZPX-TV Ch. 43 Battle Creek.

The sign on of WPXD from Southfield makes it the first full-power TV station to obtain full market reach in Detroit since WADL Channel 38 started operations from Mt. Clemens in 1986.


Newsmakers and links: July 25, 2012



Crain's Detroit Business:

Diana Lewis, a fixture on WXYZ-Channel 7's evening newscast, will retire in October after 44 years on television, she told Crain's Tuesday afternoon. The Detroit ABCaffiliate will announce her decision today. Lewis, 69, will co-anchor the station's 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. "Action News with JoAnne Purtan" for the final time Oct. 4, she said.

Full story: 44-year newscaster Diana Lewis plans retirement from WXYZ-Channel 7 (Wed, 7/25)


WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

After a career that has spanned more than four decades in broadcasting, Diana Lewis will retire from WXYZ-TV, Channel 7. Lewis, one of the most recognized and respected faces on Detroit television, has been an anchor on 7 Action News for more than 35 years ... WXYZ will celebrate Diana Lewis's legendary career and her contributions to Detroit broadcasting through special events and programming throughout August and September.

Full story: Legendary WXYZ anchor Diana Lewis to retire after more than 35 years on 7 Action News (Wed, 7/25)



Fine Tuning:

  • Salem Communications has been testing its recently purchased FM translator in Metro Detroit on 92.7. The station has been on and off air over the past week or so rebroadcasting Salem's WDTK AM 1400. The translator's transmitter is in southern Macomb County.


Fine Tuning:

  • Rob Stone has been named to evenings (7 p.m. - midnight) at CBS' Country WYCD-FM 99.5. He starts on Monday, July 30.

  • Jake Kelly exits nights at Midwestern Broadcasting Contemporary Hits WJZQ-FM 92.9 Cadillac/Traverse City to move to afternoons at WIXX-FM Green Bay, WI.

  • Non-commercial Contemporary Christian 'The Fuse' WPRJ-FM 101.7 Coleman (Clare/Midland/Mt. Pleasant area) has been sold by Partnership Ministries to Spirit Communications along with an FM translator at 96.7 in Alma for $100,000.

  • Tribune has extended its affiliation agreement with FOX, assuring Grand Rapids' WXMI-TV Ch. 17 will remain with the network for at least the next several years.


Detroit Free Press:

Diana Lewis is retiring. The WXYZ-TV Channel 7 newswoman, who has never been just an anchor, has decided to step down after 35 years behind the Channel 7 desk and 44 years in television, some of that time next to the irascible and beloved local legend Bill Bonds. Lewis will co-anchor the station's 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. "Action News" for the last time on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Lewis, 69, who was born and raised in Pennsylvania and had TV stints In Philadelphia and Los Angeles before coming to Detroit, said that she plans to "relax and do a little traveling."

Full story: Iconic local TV news anchor Diana Lewis is signing off (Thu, 7/25)



Crain's Detroit Business:

After 44 years in TV news, Channel 7's Diana Lewis reflects on Detroit, career (Mon, 7/30 - $, subscribers only)


The Oakland Press:

The CBS game show "The Price Is Right" is searching for contestants in Detroit. Channel 62 is proud to host the only contestant search event in Michigan in Westland.

Full story: Channel 62 hosts "Price Is Right" contestant search on August 13 (Tue, 7/31)



Fine Tuning:

  • Kettering University Low Power FM station WKUF-LP 94.3 Flint has been off the air because of storm damage the station suffered last week. Repairs are anticipated to completed over the course of the next several days.

  • Ludington's WKLA-FM 106.3 recently repositioned to 'Hits 106 KLA' from '106.3 KLA; The Lake Shores' Hit Music Station'. The station's format remains Pop / Hot Adult Contemporary.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 1, 2012



Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit Free Press reporter M.L. Elrick, who shared the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Kwame Kilpatrick saga, is leaving the newspaper to become an investigative reporter at the city's Fox affiliate, WJBK-TV2.

Full story: Pulitzer winner M.L. Elrick leaving Free Press for Fox 2 (Wed, 8/1)



Fine Tuning:

  • Flint's WKUF-LP FM 94.3 retuned to the air yesterday after the completion of equipment repairs.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 3, 2012



Detroit Public TV, MiVote.org to air Primary Election special

Detroit Public Television (DPTV, WTVS-TV Ch. 56 Detroit) has announced a new special broadcast that is scheduled to air on Public Television stations throughout Michigan and on-demand at mivote.org designed to educate Michigan voters on the important choices in the August 7, 2012 Primary Election.

The show will air at 7:30 p.m. on Monday August 6th on Detroit Public Television 's main channel, WTVS-TV Channel 56 (check local listings for air times in other markets across the state).

The broadcast will look at the critical races across Michigan, featuring excerpts from the more than 100 one-on-one candidate interviews recorded during the a MiVote "Road Show." Veteran Michigan journalist Christy McDonald will anchor the show, with insight and analysis from Detroit Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson and Detroit News Editorial Page Editor Nolan Finley.

The show will also feature a look at how newspaper endorsements are made and a chance for voters to interact through social media.



CMU Public TV set to air local documentary

CMU Public Television will premiere a new, original documentary, "Into The North," on Sunday, August 5 at 8 p.m. CMU Public TV can be seen on WCMU-TV Ch. 14 Mt. Pleasant, WCMZ-TV Ch. 28 Flint, WCML-TV Ch. 6 Alpena, WCMV-TV Ch. 27 Cadillac, and WCMW-TV Ch. 21 Manistee. The station is also carried on many cable systems in the lower peninsula.

At the turn of the century, the Little Traverse Bay area became a key destination for tourism as railroad companies began advertising a pristine haven where one could escape city life and enjoy a "rustic" experience. "Into The North"--a "postcard from the past"-- tells the story of the families who traveled by train and steamship to a summer paradise with opulent hotels, resort communities with famous guests, clean air and million dollar sunsets. The film includes interviews with local historians and residents, a representative from the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians describing Native American history in the area, as well as longtime summer residents from around the Little Traverse Bay.

Encore presentations can been seen on Wednesday, August 8 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 19 at 5 p.m.



The Lansing Lugnuts will be turning back the clock -- and the radio dial -- during Sunday's home game against the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Lugnuts, Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, will broadcast the game as a re-creation to mark the 91st anniversary of the first baseball broadcast in history, which was on Pittsburgh station KDKA. That means Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Keaton Gillogly, who will handle the broadcast from Cooley Stadium in Lansing, Mich., won't actually be watching the game.

Full story: Lansing Lugnuts radio broadcast goes retro (Fri, 8/3)



Detroit Free Press:

Detroit Public TV has received a $250,000 grant from a foundation in Battle Creek to increase public understanding of the Arab-American community, officials announced Thursday. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded the station the money to build a program based on its 13-part public TV series, "Arab-American Stories," which has already run. The new program, to be called "Arab-American Stories -- A National Dialogue," is to focus on reaching out to non-Arab Americans, as well as Arab Americans.

Full story: Detroit Public TV gets $250K grant to create program around 'Arab-American Stories' (Fri, 8/3)


Newsmakers and links: Aug 6, 2012



Dick Kernen receives tribute from State of Michigan

Specs Howard School of Media Arts Vice President of Industry Relations, Dick Kernen, was recently given Special Tribute from the State of Michigan to honor his 40 years of service to the school and industry.

The award was presented by State Representative George T. Darany (D-Dearborn), as a "Special Tribute to Dick Kernen" and was signed by State Senator Morris W. Hood III (D-Detroit) and Governor Rick Snyder.

Kernen's career began as a mail carrier for WXYZ AM in 1956. After a short navy career, Kernen spent 12 years at WXYZ, moving from through the ranks with various mid-level positions. In 1966, the FCC ruled AM and FM stations could no longer be simulcast, and in 1969, Kernen assumed a programming role for WXYZ's FM station, at a time when most vehicles did not even have FM radios. He helped popularize the station under its new WRIF moniker and is responsible for hiring one of Detroit's most recognizable voices: Arthur Penhallow, who was known as Cicero Grimes at the time at WNRS in Ann Arbor.

By 1972, Kernen had years of broadcasting and networking experience, making his transition to a career with Specs Howard a natural evolution. As an instructor and placement advisor for Specs Howard School, Kernen has been a cornerstone in the broadcasting industry for the State of Michigan, having placed thousands of Specs Howard graduates in radio, television and other media positions.


Newsmakers and links: Aug 7, 2012




CCM+E Top 40 WKQI (CHANNEL 95.5)/DETROIT PD MICHAEL McCOY has accepted the OM post at CCM+E/COLUMBUS and will once again become PD at Top 40 WNCI, which he programmed until mid-2009 ... Tony Travatto Adds WKQI PD Duties - This completes the COLUMBUS to MOTOR CITY circle as TRAVATTO, who recently left the PD chair at WNCI to become OM at CCM+E/DETORIT (NET NEWS 7/3) and become PD at Hot AC WNIC and Classic Rocker WDTW, will now add PD duties at WKQI.

Full story: WKQI PD Michael McCoy To CCM+E/Columbus OM Post & WNCI PD; Tony Travatto Adds WKQI PD Duties (Tue, 8/7)



Detroit News:

Devin Scillian, WDIV Channel 4 anchorman and award-winning country music singer and songwriter, will perform with the Arizona Son band at Stars in the Park from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday in Farmington Hills' Heritage Park on Farmington Road between 10 Mile and 11 Mile.

Full story: WDIV anchor to perform with Arizona Son band (Tue, 8/7)


Newsmakers and links: Aug 8, 2012



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

After nearly three decades at WXYZ-TV, reporter Mary Conway announced today that she plans to leave 7 Action News and move to Colorado to be closer to family. Conway is well known in the Detroit area as an expert on the automotive industry ... It's fitting that Conway will celebrate her last day at Channel 7 on August 18, 2012, during the annual broadcast of the Woodward Dream Cruise from 7-9 p.m.

Full story: After 29 years at WXYZ-TV, Mary Conway heads west (Wed, 8/8)




Greater Media's 105.1 WMGC Detroit is on the verge of yet another rebranding ... Now the station is identifying simply by its 105.1 frequency on the air as it prepares to change its moniker to "Today's 105.1".

Full story: WMGC Detroit Relaunching Again (Wed, 8/8)


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 10, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM 101.9 will be airing a special presentation of the one hour documentary "Go for It: Life Lessons From Girl Boxers" featuring Flint gold medalist Claressa Shields today at 2 and 7 p.m.

  • Casey Jones is the new weekend sports anchor at NBC affiliate WOOD-TV Ch. 8 Grand Rapids. It marks a return to WOOD-TV for Grand Rapids native Jones who was a part-timer before leaving for a job at WSJV-TV in South Bend last year.

  • The Detroit Lions' first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns is a sellout allowing WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 to air the broadcast live tonight at 7:30 p.m.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 13, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Bob Simonson, veteran West Michigan DJ at stations such as WLHT, WBCT, and WCUZ, jumps back behind the microphone at Grand Valley State's Public/Oldies WGVU AM 1480 Kentwood and WGVS AM 850 Muskegon for weekday afternoons 2 - 6 p.m. WGVU AM Program Director Len O'Kelly, who had been hosting that airshift, has added teaching responsibilities at GVSU.

  • Cumulus/Toledo has dropped the all-sports format on WLQR AM 1470 and placed a syndicated talk format on the station. The sports format can still be heard heard on WLQR-FM 106.5 in most of the Toledo area. AM 1470 will continue to carry some sports play-by-play, including broadcasts of Detroit Tigers baseball.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 14, 2012



Michigan Sinclair-owned TV stations preparing DISH customers for blackout

Another retransmission dispute between an over-the-air broadcasting company and a satellite company appears to be headed to a blackout for affected viewers. Sinclair Broadcast Group is warning that it expects its stations to be off DISH network beginning at midnight on August 16th.

Sinclair's Michigan stations include CBS affiliate WWMT-TV Ch. 3 Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, ABC affliate WLAJ-TV Ch. 53 Lansing, and FOX affiliate WSMH-TV Ch. 66 Flint. In addition Sinclair has CW affiliations in Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo ("CW7", over-the-air Channel 3.2) and Lansing ("CW5", over-the-air Channel 53.2).

As has become typical in these disputes, each side is blaming the other for the possibility of a blackout - with viewers likely being stuck in the middle without TV service. DISH carries 70 Sinclair signals in 45 cities across the U.S.



WXYZ-TV Detroit elevates Murri to Station Manager

Scripps Broadcasting ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit has named Mike Murri as Station Manager, effective immediately. In his new role he'll be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of WXYZ. Murri has been with the station since 1983 and previously held the titles of Account Executive and Local Sales Manager before being promoted to Director of Sales in 2001.

"Mike has tremendous knowledge of the Detroit market and a history of success with the organization, said WXYZ Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. "More importantly, the passion and dedication he brings to his work makes him the ideal candidate to assume this role."

"With all the momentum at the station these past few years, this is a tremendously exciting time for WXYZ and for Detroit," said Murri. "It's a great privilege to work with such a dedicated and talented group of professionals. WXYZ is truly one of the great stations in America and I'm humbled by the opportunity to be in a leadership role at this station."


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 16, 2012



Dish Network and Sinclair reach tentative agreement, local stations stay

CBS (WWMT-TV Ch. 3), ABC (WLAJ-TV Ch. 53), FOX (WSMH-TV Ch. 66) and CW affiliates in Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids, Lansing/Jackson, and Flint are still available to Dish Network subscribers thanks to a tentative agreement between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Dish Network over retransmission costs. The companies agreed to a two week extension of the old agreement to keep the stations on Dish while the agreement is finalized.




Veteran Detroit radio personality and Emmy Award-winning news anchor Cynthia Canty is joining Michigan Radio to host a new local, weekly talk show. "Stateside with Cynthia Canty" will premiere on Thursday, Sept. 6 from 3-4 p.m. and will feature a mix of interviews, features and listener call-in segments.

Full story: Cynthia Canty joins Michigan Radio for new local talk show (Thu, 8/16)


Detroit News: New weekly radio show gives Cyndy Canty a new piece on life (Thu, 8/16)


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 20, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Art Vuolo, Michiguide.com contributor and 'Radio's Best Friend', sat in with legendary Detroit DJ and podcaster Dick Purtan last week. Check out the conversation at www.dickpurtan.com/blog/2012/8/17/purtan-podcast-54-radio-its-going-through-the-change-with-ev.html. Since he retired from radio, Purtan has continued to please fans with his podcasts that aren't bound by the 'rules' of radio.

  • Bill Simonson will take his Huge Show on the road to Midland on Thursday afternoon, August 23rd, hosting the program live from the WLUN-FM 100.9 (ESPN 100.9-fm) studios at Great Lakes Loons' Dow Diamond.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 23, 2012




Western Michigan University's Bronco Radio Network will be reaching new audiences this sports season. Midwest Communications' WKZO-FM (96.5), which serves Kalamazoo and Portage, returns this season as the flagship station of the network and WVIC-FM (94.1) also returns as an affiliate station serving Battle Creek, Jackson, Lansing and mid-Michigan.

Full story: Western Michigan's Bronco Radio Network expands to Grand Rapids and Detroit areas (Wed, 8/22)



WXYZ-TV/Detroit to provide free back-to-school immunizations

Scripps ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Channel 7 and the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, along with DTE Energy Foundation will give thousands of Detroit area children a "boost" at the 35th annual "Healthy Living for Kids" immunization fair. The program will be held Sunday, August 26th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Visit www.wxyz.com for more information.



Fine Tuning:

  • WMPA FM 93.1 Ferrysburg started regular operations earlier in the week with a Country format as 'Country 93.1'. The station will carry Muskegon Catholic Central sports and NASCAR races. WMPA is co-owned with WGHN-FM / AM Grand Haven. Afternoons are being hosted locally by John Roberts.

  • The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF) elected their 2012-2013 Board of Directors and Officers during the Summer Celebration and MAB Annual Meeting August 20 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit. The newly elected officers include: Chairman, Julie Koehn, Lenawee Broadcasting Company, Adrian, Vice Chairman/Chairman-Elect, Rick Sykes, Central Michigan University/MHTV, Secretary/Treasurer, Chuck Stokes, WXYZ-TV, Detroit, Immediate Past Chairman, Dave Downing. Members elected for their first full-term include: Director, Randy Scott, Davison High School, Davison, Director, Pam Manor, WNEM-AM/TV, Saginaw. Members elected for their second full-term include: Director, Todd Mohr, Synergy Broadcast Group, Ludington, Director, Chuck Stokes, WXYZ-TV, Detroit.



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


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 24, 2012



Detroit News:

Exhibition football or a big race in the Sprint Cup Series? That is the television viewing dilemma for some sports fans in Metro Detroit on Saturday, when the Lions play the Raiders and Rochester Hills driver Brad Keselowski and the rest of the NASCAR crews are racing in Tennessee, three events before the start of the Chase to the Sprint Cup.

Full story: Lions TV bumps NASCAR down dial (Fri, 8/24)



Fine Tuning:

  • Back on the air: FM 95.3 from near Indian River with a Country format. Now with the calls WWSS, the station ID's as 'Straits Country'. It had previously been on the air earlier this year as WGRL but sent silent for a few months while the station addressed issues with electric power. WWSS is licensed to Tuscarora Township and licensed to David L. Smith.

  • Ricky Burns is the new to evenings and the Music Director role at Townsquare Rhythmic Pop WRCL FM 93.7 (Club 93.7) Frankenmuth/Flint. Burns had been a swing-shifter at WDZH FM 98.7 (Amp Radio) Detroit.

  • Ty Shesky is the new meteorologist for NBC affiliate WEYI-TV Ch. 25 Flint/Saginaw/Bay City. He arrives from Rockford, IL.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 30, 2012



Royal Oak Patch:

WXYZ-TV anchor Diana Lewis joins the festivities as Honorary Chair of the Rainbow Connection's Walk for Kids on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Detroit Zoo.

Full story: WXYZ Anchor Fills in for L. Brooks Patterson (Thu, 8/30)


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 31, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

West Michigan once again is among the Top 40 TV media markets in the United States. Nielsen just released its local television market estimates for 2013 showing the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek DMA is the 39th largest in the country.

Full story: West Michigan TV once again is among the Top 40 markets in the United States (Fri, 8/31)




Linda Yohn, music director and on-air host at WEMU, was named Jazz Programmer of the Year in a major market for the fourth straight year Thursday at the JazzWeek Summit's annual awards dinner in Detroit.

Full story: WEMU's Linda Yohn wins top jazz radio award for 4th straight year (Fri, 8/31)


Want to hit the annual Detroit Jazz Festival this weekend but don't want to deal with driving and parking? WEMU and Golden Limousine will again this year offer a shuttle service between Ypsilanti and the festival site, in downtown Detroit around Hart Plaza and Campus Martius. WEMU (89.1-FM), the public-radio station at Eastern Michigan University which plays a lot of jazz, has sponsored the service for the last few years and found it to be a hit.

Full story: WEMU offering shuttle to Detroit Jazz Festival (Thu, 8/30)



WXYZ Ch. 7 Detroit to air special on Kilpatrick corruption case

Scripps ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Detroit '7 Action News Investigators' will take viewers inside the federal public corruption case of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in a 7 Action News special, Wednesday, September 5, at 7 p.m. on Channel 7.  The half-hour program, "Kilpatrick Corruption Case," uncovers new information about Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, his friend Bobby Ferguson and former water department director Victor Mercado, who are scheduled to go to trial September 6th.

The program will feature a report from investigator Scott Lewis, who travelled to Kilpatrick's home in Grand Prairie, Texas for an exclusive report on the former mayor and a look at his Texas lifestyle.

PR Newswire: (http://s.tt/1m8ry)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 1 - 3, 2012



Detroit News:

Dan Dickerson and Jim Price have become summer fixtures to legions of Tigers fans. The radio announcing team has been together since 2003 and has become a summer staple for baseball fans who listen to the Tigers throughout the state. Dickerson, 54, spent some time at Comerica Park recently chatting about life in the broadcast booth.

Full story: Dan Dickerson is part of the fabric of summer for Tigers fans (Mon, 9/3)



Grand Rapids Press:

It was almost a year ago Rockford native Ginger Zee landed a network job at ABC News and a regular stint on "Good Morning America" Weekend.

Full story: Ginger Zee: 'GMA...has given me the opportunity I never imagined' (Mon, 9/3)



Bay City Times:

Delta College Public Broadcasting's Q-TV will premiere its new documentary, "The Korean War: Voices from the 38th Parallel" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8.

Full story: Delta's Q-TV to premiere Korean War documentary Sept. 8 (Sun, 9/2)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 4, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

I started as a fill-in host in the summer of 2011 when WJRW-AM (1340) was going through some programming changes. Once the dust settled, WJRW-AM program director Josh Leng asked me if I wanted to host my own one-hour show.

Full story: 'Going Gonzo' show on WJRW: Entertainment talk show celebrates one-year anniversary (Tue, 9/4)



Observer & Eccentric:

Plans by CBS Radio to consolidate its southeast Michigan operations in Southfield were music to the ears of most city council members, who Monday night approved an industrial development district and awarded a five-year personal property tax abatement to the company. The approvals pave the way for CBS to move its Farmington Hills, Ferndale and current Southfield operations into a building formerly occupied by Panasonic, in the American Center Drive area of northwest Southfield.

Full story: CBS wins tax break with $2.8M Southfield move (Sat, 9/1)



Fine Tuning:

  • Changed: The talk format of WSRT/WSRJ FM 106.7/105.5 Gaylord/Honor from talk to sports using ESPN Radio on September 1st.

  • Dropped: Secondary network 'TheCoolTV' by WSMH-TV Ch. 66 Flint on 66.2.

  • Added: A weekday Big Ten football radio program from FOX Sports Radio and the Big Ten Network from 7 - 8 p.m. on WDFN AM 1130 Detroit.

  • Launched: NBC Sports Radio, heard on 178 station across the country at launch, but only one in Michigan has signed on so far. Rock WMRR-FM 101.7 Muskegon is listed as carrying only sports update products from the new network.

  • Hired: Former Northern Michigan (Northern Star Broadcasting) and Tri-Cities (Citadel) radio executive Chris Monk by media company Alliance 180, LLC.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 5, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Radio Power is donating Detroit FM translator at 104.7 W284BQ to Family Life Radio, owner/operator of daytimer WUFL AM 1030. W284BQ was briefly known as '104.7 The Oasis' with a smooth jazz format before being forced off the air due to interference issues with Toledo's WIOT-FM 104.7.



Kalamazoo Gazette:

This year's corn maze at Gull Meadow Farms, unveiled on the orchard's Facebook page today, will feature Country Singer Alan Jackson and his hat, as well as the WIN 98.5 country music radio station's call letters.

Full story: Alan Jackson in his hat featured in this year's Gull Meadow Farms's corn maze (Wed, 9/5)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 6, 2012



Michigan Radio to host 'Open Newsroom' discussions

The University of Michigan's public Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids) is providing an opportunity for members of the public to meet directly with the station's reporters, producers and on-air hosts during the inaugural "Open Newsroom" event. On Wednesday, September 12, Michigan Radio's news staff will fan out to Biggby Coffee locations across the state in an effort to engage listeners and the general public in one-on-one conversations about the issues that matter most to them.

Visitors at each event can offer news tips, suggestions for story topics or discuss issues they feel should receive more news coverage. They can also sign up to be part of Michigan Radio's Public Insight Network (PIN). PIN is a network of people that help to inform the station's coverage and news stories with insights from their personal experiences.

Michigan Radio's "Open Newsroom" events will take place on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. simultaneously at these Biggby Coffee locations, with the following Michigan Radio news staff:

  • Ann Arbor (539 E. Liberty): Dustin Dwyer, Steve Schram
  • Birmingham (112 S. Old Woodward Ave.): Sarah Hulett, Kate Wells
  • Midtown Detroit (4501 Woodward Ave.): Jenn White, Mercedes Mejia
  • Fenton (235 N. Leroy St.): Rebecca Williams
  • Grand Rapids (146 Monroe Center NW): Vincent Duffy
  • Jackson (1025 N. Wisner St.): Steve Carmody, Kyle Norris
  • Kalamazoo (4560 W. Main): Rina Miller
  • Lansing (115 W. Allegan St.): Lester Graham, Zoe Clark
  • Northville (20570 Haggerty Rd.): Sarah Cwiek, Sarah Alvarez

More details on the event and complete list and map of Open Newsroom locations are available on the station's web site.



Fine Tuning:

  • Cumulus/Detroit Program Director Ron Harrell is leaving the Motor City behind and headed to Dallas. In addition to the PD role at News/Talk WJR AM 760, Pop WDVD-FM 96.3 and Variety Hits WDRQ-FM 93.1, Harrell was also Regional Operations Manager for 47 Cumulus stations in Michigan and Northwest Ohio. In Dallas/Fort Worth, Harrell becomes Director of Music Programming for CBS Radio.

  • New Windsor radio station begins testing- CINA-FM 102.3 is now on the air with an automated loop of Ethnic programming. The station, owned by Neeti P. Ray, operates with a peak of 5,000 watts with a directional antenna. The station has a strong enough signal along the Macomb/Oakland County border to completely overrun reception of WGRT FM 102.3 Port Huron. Interspersed with the Ethnic music selections are jingles in English proclaiming 'All the Hits, All the Time'.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 10, 2012



WJR's Beckmann celebrates 40 years

Cumulus' News-Talk WJR AM 760 midday host Frank Beckmann was saluted live on the air earlier today during his 9 a.m. - noon show to help celebrate his 40th anniversary with the station. He was started work in the WJR news department on September 11th 1972 and has since worked in the sports department, as a play-by-play broadcaster and talk show host.

Joining Beckmann on-air today were numerous local sports, media, business and political figures to help celebrate. Also joining in the salute were Beckmann's wife Karen, son John, and daughter Tori, along with WJR's parent company Cumulus Broadcasting owner John Dickey.

Beckmann will spend his official anniversary date broadcasting live on WJR to support the Fallen Wounded and Soldier's Fund outing at Moose Ridge Golf Course in South Lyon as part of the 9/11"Day of Remembrance" memorial.



Detroit Free Press:

Get ready for a small-screen encore performance by Blaine and Allyson. The popular WDVD-FM (96.3) "Blaine and Allyson in the Morning" hosts are about to light up TVs across the country when "Dish Nation," a fast-paced, pop-culture driven syndicated show, returns to the tube beginning at midnight today on WJBK-TV (Channel 2), Fox's Detroit affiliate.

Full story: Detroit radio hosts Blaine and Allyson ready to dish on TV (Mon, 9/10)



Detroit News:

Sabrina's Voice carries on: The Sabrina Black Foundation is no more. Disc jockey Steve Black, widowed in 2006 when she died of Hodgkin's lymphoma, told me a few weeks ago that the board had agreed by a 4-1 vote to fold its assets into Gilda's Club Metro Detroit and raise money in her name there.

Full story: Ex-cop finds a new calling, and we remember an ex-radio personality and ball player (Mon, 9/10)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 17, 2012




A Southfield-based company's proposal to erect seven 199-foot radio broadcast towers on the border of Wixom and Milford Township has caused a stir among Wixom residents and city officials.

Full story: Possible Milford radio towers spark static in Wixom (Wed, 9/12)



Detroit News:

Maybe the best sign of how moving Eli Zaret's documentary is, is that halfway through you stop noticing it's Eli Zaret's documentary. It's also instructive that he doesn't want it to be thought of as Eli Zaret's documentary, even though he's the executive producer, co-writer and narrator.

Full story: Former sportscaster Eli Zaret uses talents for documentary on the Friendship Circle (Mon, 9/17)



Radio Ink:

Anthony, also known as Dexter Andrews, was heard on WAKV, The Memory Station, (Michigan).

Full story: Bill Anthony dies at the age of 61 (Mon, 9/17)



Fine Tuning:

  • Tim Feagan, General Manager for Clear Channel's West Michigan radio stations, has taken over as Chairman of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He replaces Trey Fabacher who recently left WWJ-TV Detroit for a job in Atlanta, GA.

  • Viewers of the Michigan Lottery's televised drawings will soon be missing the three long time personalities who rotated on-camera time. The Lottery will not be renewing the contracts of Aggy Usedly, Beth McCleod and Darryl Wood as of September 29th - after that, the drawings will all be automated. Usedly had the longest tenure of the trio, spending 35 years hosting lottery events on television. The drawings are seen statewide on a single TV station in each market.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 19, 2012



WKAR-TV's QuizBusters launches new season tonight

Michigan State University's locally produced quiz show QuizBusters starts a new season this evening on the school's public TV station, WKAR-TV Ch. 23 East Lansing at 8 p.m. Two Special Edition episodes kick off the 24th season of QuizBusters in primetime and feature a visit from MSU Athletics' mascot Sparty along with other local celebrities. QuizBusters regularly features students from mid-Michigan high schools competing in a fast-paced question and answer game.



Pistons announce local TV and radio broadcast schedules

The Detroit Pistons announced their 2012-13 local television schedule today with 80 of the team's regular-season games being televised by FOX Sports Detroit and FOX Sports Detroit Plus. Including one ESPN broadcast as part of the NBA's national television schedule, 81 of the club's 82 regular-season games will be available on television. George Blaha and Greg Kelser return as the voices of the Pistons on TV.

The Pistons also announced their radio broadcast schedule which includes 80 regular season games on the Pistons' flagship station 97.1 FM The Ticket and one game carried on WWJ 950 AM. All radio broadcasts will include exclusive pre- and postgame coverage. Additionally, 97.1 FM The Ticket will air special weekly interviews with coaches and players and expanded Pistons coverage throughout each week of the NBA season on-air and online at www.971theticket.com. Mark Champion will continue as the voice of Pistons radio broadcasts with Pistons legend Rick Mahorn adding color commentary for all home and away contests.



Grand Rapids Press:

B-93 radio personality Dave Conrad says he has two good reasons to spread the word about an ArtPrize entry: The artist is his kidney donor, and the drawing she has created is a compelling picture that reflects her giving nature.

Full story: B-93 radio personality Dave Conrad is No. 1 fan for his kidney donor's ArtPrize entry (Wed, 9/19)

WOOD-TV will host a concert series at Rosa Parks Circle starting today, and taking place every weekday for the duration of ArtPrize.

Full story: Verve Pipe, La Famiglia, Edie Evans Hyde among performers in ArtPrize concert series hosted by WOOD-TV (Wed, 9/19)



Fine Tuning:

  • Extended: The Mojo in the Morning show on Contemporary Hits WKQI FM 95.5 Detroit thanks to a new multi-year agreement. The show has been a market mainstay since February 2000.

  • Dropped: By WMYD-TV Ch. 20 Detroit, secondary network music video based TheCoolTV from 20.2 as of today. The station instead is airing an SD simulcast of its primary programming on 20.1.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 20, 2012



Detroit News:

The Detroit Historical Society celebrated the opening of its own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Wednesday morning, showcasing the handprints and signatures of almost two dozen Detroit icons. Detroit Legends Plaza had its official ribbon cutting ceremony just outside the Detroit Historical Museum's southwest entrance in Midtown.

Full story: Detroit Legends Plaza opens with city's biggest celebrities immortalized (Wed, 9/19)



Detroit Free Press:

Veteran news anchor Diana Lewis of WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) says Hollywood can keep its Walk of Fame now that the Motor City has its Detroit Legends Plaza. Lewis and WJR-AM (760)'s Paul W. Smith were honored at Wednesday's ceremony celebrating the opening of the Detroit Historical Society's Detroit Legends Plaza, an outdoor attraction at the Midtown museum.

Full story: Detroit Legends Plaza opens (Thu, 9/20)



Detroit's WTVS-TV taking part in Saturday's American Graduate Day

Detroit Public Television (WTVS-TV Ch, 56, DPTV) is part of the national American Graduate Day on Saturday September 22, featuring seven uninterrupted hours of TV and online programming, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., designed to call attention to solutions to America's dropout crisis.

American Graduate Day is part of the American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help local communities across America address the dropout crisis. Metro Detroit is one of the program's participating markets.

National American Graduate Day programming will break each hour for local broadcasters to offer their own programming. In Southeast Michigan, DPTV will feature solutions offered by more than a dozen organizations focused locally and regionally, including: Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Black Family Development, City Year, Communities in Schools, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Excellent Schools Detroit, Matrix Theatre Company, the Michigan Department of Education, the United Way for Southeast Michigan, Widening Advancements for Youth, Winning Futures and the YMCA.

Additionally, throughout the broadcast, hosts Fred Nahhat and Desiree Cooper will provide the audience with opportunities to connect to mentorship and volunteer opportunities.

"American Graduate Day is part of our long-term commitment to work with the Southeast Michigan community on this vital issue," said Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of Detroit Public Television. "We are using power of media to provide the community with new tools needed to raise awareness of this dropout crisis and convene the people who have the best chance at reversing the trends."

American Graduate Day can be seen on DPTV's main channel, WTVS-TV, Channel 56 and via www.miamericangraduate.org.

Excellent Schools Detroit, the MGM Grand Detroit and the United Way for Southeast Michigan each provided underwriting support for the programming. More information on American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen is available at www.americangraduate.org.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 21, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

Christian Music Broadcasters has named Grand Rapids radio station WCSG-FM 91.3 as "Station of the Year," one of four stations honored across North America, based on market size.

Full story: Grand Rapids radio station surprised by 'Station of the Year' award in Christian radio (Thu, 9/20)




BIRACH BROADCASTING Sports WCAR (ESPN)/DETROIT has appointed veteran MOTOWN TV and radio personality MARK WILSON as OM/PD/nights host. A multiple winner of the MICHIGAN BEST SPORTSCAST AWARD, WILSON returns to DETROIT following a stint in LAS VEGAS.

Full story: ESPN/Detroit Names Mark Wilson OM/PD/Nights (Thu, 9/20)



Fine Tuning:

  • CBS/Detroit's WYCD-FM 99.5 was the winner of the 2012 Marconi Award for Country Station of the Year, awarded last night in Dallas during the National Association of Broadcasters' annual Radio Show.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 22 - 23, 2012



WXYZ-TV/Detroit set to debut Bounce TV on Wednesday on Ch. 7.3

E.W. Scripps affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit will launch Bounce TV, the nation's first broadcast television network designed for African-American audiences, on Wednesday, September 26th, the day the network celebrates its first birthday. The new network will be seen over-the-air on channel 7.3.

Bounce TV programming targets African-Americans between the ages of 25 and 54, with a programming mix of theatrical motions pictures, live sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, off-net series and original series.

The network is currently available in 60% of television households in 17 of the top 20 television markets, and in more than 80% of African American homes.

"We're extremely excited to provide this unique programming opportunity for the roughly 400,000 African-American homes throughout Southeast Michigan," says Ed Fernandez, Divisional General Manager and VP & GM of WXYZ. "We look forward to building this network for our local viewers and believe this effort, as has always been the case at WXYZ, will serve our community well".

More information on Bounce TV programming is available at www.bouncetv.com.

WXYZ has been testing the new channel this week; over-the-air viewers have been receiving a visual test pattern with what seemed to be audio from the network.



WTVS/Detroit hosting annual Premiere Night Gala on Thursday; honoring community leaders

In celebration of the 2012 fall line-up and to honor four Southeastern Michigan community leaders, Detroit Public Television (WTVS-TV Ch. 56, DPTV) will host its 11th Annual Premiere Night gala on Thursday, Sept. 27. Held at The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, the event will begin at 6 p.m.

Premiere Night is DPTV's signature fundraising event, which unveils the fully-loaded PBS fall season and a variety of new local DPTV productions. Widely regarded as one of the most anticipated fundraising events in Metro Detroit, guests of Premiere Night will enjoy an elegant evening of cocktails,hors d'oeuvres, dinner, a live auction and the presentation of DPTV's dedicated community leader awards.

More information on the event and the award winners at www.dptv.org/support/premierenight2012.shtml.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 24, 2012



Detroit News:

In the cutthroat world of morning radio, where personalities are discarded like a half-empty cup of coffee, he's been a consistent voice for 12 years. Now Spike, part of the morning crew at WKQI-FM's (95.5) "Mojo in the Morning," will be around a little bit longer.

Full story: Small Talk: Spike signs deal to keep 'Mojo' on in the morning (Mon, 9/24)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 26, 2012



WWTV-TV/WWUP-TV Ch. 9/10 Traverse City (9and10News.com) :

With heavy hearts we are sad to report 9&10 News/Fox 32 Anchor Scott Michael Trager died unexpectedly this morning. He was an accomplished journalist, caring family-man, and a friend to many. Scott Michael Trager began his career at 9&10 News in 1990 and was currently the co-anchor of Northern Michigan's favorite morning show Michigan This Morning. Over the twenty plus years he spent at 9&10 News he earned many accolades including two Emmy Awards from the National Television Academy Michigan Chapter. He also helped create the award winning Sports Overtime show while Sports Director at 9&10 News in the mid 1990's.

Full story: Northern Michigan Says Goodbye to Scott Michael Trager (Wed, 9/26)



Grand Rapids Press:

Ginger Zee and "Good Morning America" will be broadcasting on Saturday from the Gerald R. Ford Museum.

Full story: Ginger Zee brings 'Good Morning America' to West Michigan for ArtPrize 2012 (Wed, 9/26)




I see ya, Rod and Mario. In an effort to determine which television broadcast teams are most biased in Major League Baseball, The Wall Street Journal has released a study identifying baseball's top TV "homers."

Full story: Announcer-Bias Index: Mario Impemba, Rod Allen rank 13th among biased broadcast teams in MLB (Wed, 9/26)



Fine Tuning:

  • Falling: Detroit's market rank according to radio ratings service Arbitron. Metro Detroit will be behind Miami, FL this autumn as the 12th largest market (down from 11th) in the country after losing over 28,000 residents over age 12. The Detroit area's 12+ population loss combined with South Florida's gain of over 110,000 resulted in the latest drop for Detroit. Arbitron's market area for Metro Detroit shows 3,760,200 people age 12 and above, behind Miami's 3,781,100 and ahead of Seattle's 3,538,100.

  • Other Arbitron market rankings for Fall 2012: Grand Rapids, 69; Lansing, 127; Flint, 135, Traverse City, 197; Muskegon, 235; Battle Creek 253. Ann Arbor and Saginaw are no longer Arbitron-rated markets.

  • On the air: Bounce TV on WXYZ-TV Ch. 7.3 Detroit. The new subchannel was noted broadcasting yesterday afternoon without the test pattern.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 28, 2012




WWTV-WFQX devoted time on the Thursday morning newscasts to remember Scott Michael Trager, who died unexpectedly Wednesday morning. Trager was the morning anchor at the Traverse City CBS and Fox affiliates. He joined WWTV in 1990 and spent several years as sports director before switching to news.

Full story: WWTV-WFQX Remembers Anchor Scott Michael Trager: 'Not just a colleague, but a dear friend as well' (Thu, 9/27 - with video)



Fine Tuning:

  • WTKA offers up annual University of Michigan football flashback: Sports WTKA AM 1050 Ann Arbor will be rebroadcasting the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game tomorrow, Saturday September 29th, at noon. This year's featured game originally took place on October 6, 1979 in East Lansing with legendary "homer" Bob Ufer calling the game. Since it's a bye week for U-M's football team, this is a way for Wolverine fans to still get their football fix said Tom Ufer, who obtained the audio from the deep archives of Art Vuolo, who maintains www.vuolovideo.com and can be reached at artvuolo@aol.com. In areas outside of WTKA's listening area, the game will also be streamed at www.wtka.com.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 29 - 30, 2012



Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to guest host mornings on WJR/Detroit

Cumulus News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit will tap Governor Rick Snyder as one of three guest hosts while morning legend Paul W. Smith takes a short break on Tuesday, October 2nd and Wednesday, October 3rd. Mary Kramer; Publisher of Crain's Detroit Business along with Daniel Howes of the Detroit News will co-host from 6a-9a Tuesday, while Governor Rick Snyder is scheduled to host the morning show Wednesday.

Smith, the morning "Great Voice of the Great Lakes" at WJR since 1996, said: "Finally, Governor Snyder gets the chance to be on the other side of the microphone! I'm thrilled and honored that he, Mary and Daniel have taken time out of their very busy schedules to host the morning show for me on Detroit's News/Talk leader."



Hour Detroit:

Jeff Murri, the charismatic vice president and general manager of Detroit's Fox 2 (WJBK-TV), was walking across the parking lot of his favorite lunchtime restaurant after a business meal with his general sales manager, Sheila Bruce, when a motorist stopped at a nearby red light had his speakers pumping music so loudly that Murri barely could hear his voice in conversation.

Full story: Fox 2 Executive Jeff Murri's Suicide Leaves Questions (Sat, 9/29)




WWTV-WFQX-TV has set up a memorial fund in the name of Scott Michael Trager who died suddenly on Wednesday.

Full story: Memorial fund set up for northern Michigan news anchor who died suddenly at 46 (Thu, 9/27)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 2, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

Here's how the Tigers' 6-3, American League Central-clinching win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night sounded:

Full story: What the Tigers' AL Central-clinching win sounded like on TV, radio (Mon, 10/1)



Detroit News:

With an outright American League Central Division title and a playoff berth within reach, and a star who's closing in on an historic season, the Tigers are giving fans plenty of reason to pay attention. It's been reflected in the TV ratings.

Full story: Tigers on pace to win local TV ratings crown (Mon, 10/1)


Detroit radio personalities Kimberly "Paigion" Walker and Jordan Johnson, aka "Shorty da Prince," have been named the new co-hosts of BET's "106 & Park." Walker and Johnson are both on-air jocks at WGPR-FM (107.5). Their last day at the station will be Oct. 5.

Full story: WGPR-FM jocks Walker, Johnson to join BET's '106 & Park' (Tue, 10/2)



Grand Rapids Press:

Julius "Juke" Van Oss was sitting behind a wooden table, signing books inside Holland's Readers' World bookstore, when a longtime listener to his "Talk of the Town" radio program stopped in.

Full story: Juke Van Oss, popular Holland radio host, pens a new book (Mon, 10/1)



Fine Tuning:

  • News/Talk 760 WJR updated their guest host list for the Wednesday, October 3rd broadcast anchored by Governor Rick Snyder. The Governor will be joined by Michigan State University Athletic Director, Mark Hollis and David Brandon, Athletic Director for University of Michigan. Hollis and Brandon will be taking turns subbing for Sports Director, Steve Courtney, also taking a short hiatus this week. Courtney is also the broadcast anchor for WJR's tailgate shows at all MSU home games.

    Said Courtney with tongue firmly in cheek: "I'm not sure if Mark and David know what they're getting into, not being used to performing under pressure or anything. At least at WJR they can get the finest in lukewarm coffee, stale donuts and verbal harangues from Executive Producer Ann Thomas to make them feel at home."

  • Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids) News Director Vincent Duffy has taken office as chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). Duffy is the first public media news director ever elected to this position with the national organization. Duffy served as chair-elect of the RTDNA during 2011. He takes over the chairmanship from Kevin Benz of CultureMap Austin, who now assumes the role of chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation.

    "I'm excited about this opportunity to represent electronic journalists, including digital journalists, and advocate on their behalf," commented Duffy. Looking forward, Duffy hopes to grow the membership of the organization and increase RTDNA's journalism training and advocacy work.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 3, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Dr. Don Carpenter, morning host at CBS/Detroit Country WYCD-FM 99.5, has been named as an inductee to the 2013 class of the Country Radio Hall of Fame in Nashville. Carpenter has been with the station for over 20 years.

  • Legendary Detroit news anchor Diana Lewis wrapped up her career behind the anchor desk for Scripps ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 this evening, co-anchoring the station's 5 and 6 p.m. news broadcasts for the final time as she heads into retirement. Congratulations and best wishes to one of the most-liked and respected news personalities the Detroit market has ever seen.

  • Clear Channel/Grand Rapids Country WBCT-FM 93.7 raised over $135,000 in last month's annual Roofsit for Kids. The event raises money for West Michigan agencies with programs that work with neglected and abused kids.

  • Cumulus/Flint Country WFBE-FM 95.1 raised over $50,000 in a Children's Miracle Network fundraiser for Flint's Hurley Medical Center on September 27th-28th.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 4, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

"To everyone at home, God bless you. Thanks so much for loving me. I love you back." With those heartfelt words, longtime Detroit news anchor Diana Lewis concluded a 44-year-career in television at the end of this evening's 6 p.m news on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7).

Full story: Channel 7 anchor Diana Lewis says farewell to viewers after final newscast (Wed, 10/3)



Detroit Free News:

It's called the WHFR Record Show, but this fifth annual event at Henry Ford Community College features more than just vinyl records. A social event for collectors and music lovers, the show draws vendors selling and trading CDs, videos and music and pop-culture memorabilia.

Full story: Rare vinyl and memorabilia at annual WHFR record show (Thu, 10/4)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 5, 2012



Detroit News:

Legendary news anchor Diana Lewis left an indelible mark not only on TV viewers but also on her co-workers at WXYZ-TV. Lewis, who retired Wednesday, was back on the set Thursday, where she received a well-deserved televised send-off called "Diana Lewis: A Friend Forever." JoAnne Purtan, who co-anchored "Action News" at 5 p.m. with Lewis, hosted the segment, which included appearances by former WXYZ-TV personalities such as meteorologist Jerry Hodak, sports anchor Don Shane and of course the equally legendary Bill Bonds.

Full story: News anchor Lewis starts retirement with a bash (Thu, 10/4)



Detroit Free Press:

More Details: Colleagues give Diana Lewis big send-off: "Is that Billy?" asked Diana Lewis as she waited to go on the air Thursday for a salute to her broadcast news career. Bill Bonds was seated nearby with a group of WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) luminaries and several Lewis family members.

Full story: Names and Faces (Fri, 10/5)




If you were bothered by the radio station shake up in Detroit that left the city with out it's nationally noted 107.5 jazz station, on-air personality Koffey Brown feels you. And she's been working to address the issues and alleviate the pain of it all, through candid discussion of Detroit's radio wars.

Full story: Radio Wars in Detroit: 107.5′s Koffey Brown Explains (Thu, 10/4)



Fine Tuning:

  • Major League Baseball to frustrate some MLB playoff viewers: Sunday's Detroit Tigers - Oakland A's playoff game, scheduled for noon, will only be available on television to cable and satellite customers on systems that carry MLB Network. Unlike the National Football League, which offers games to local broadcast affiliates when games air either on NFL Network or ESPN, MLB Network will maintain its exclusive rights to carry two Division Championship Series games - including Sunday's Tigers-A's contest. In the immediate Detroit area, the decision will affect numerous subscribers to WOW!, the country's 15th largest cable provider.

  • Yet another retransmission contract issue may affect TV viewers in West Michigan as Gannett, owner of ABC affiliate WZZM-TV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids, threatens to pull its 19 stations off Dish Network at midnight on October 8th. A new twist to these negotiations is Gannett's displeasure with Dish Network's automatic commercial-skipping technology used on its DVRs.

  • Out: The Bob & Tom Show from Townsquare Media Classic Hits WFGR-FM 98.7 Grand Rapids; Andy O'Riley And Dave Kaechele take over morning drive with a new local offering starting on Monday.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 6 - 7, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

Two local talents, one from radio and the other from television, will be joining to wake up West Michigan residents as the newest morning show in town on Classic Hits 98.7FM-WFGR starting Monday. Townsquare Media announced today that Andy O'Riley and Dave Kaechele will be the new local morning show on as "Andy and Dave in the Morning".

Full story: Townsquare Media names new Classic Hits WFGR-FM morning show team (Fri, 10/5)



WZZM-TV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids:

You may have noticed commercials and information running on WZZM 13 regarding DISH network. WZZM 13's parent company, Gannett Broadcast, is in negotiations with DISH over the fees that DISH must pay to carry WZZM 13's programming. Gannett has released a statement:

Full story: Gannett TV stations could go dark on DISH Network (Fri, 10/5)




The Milford Township Planning Commission hopes to soon vote on whether to recommend approval of a proposal to build seven 199-foot radio broadcast towers on the border of Wixom and Milford Township.

Full story: Planners may vote on radio towers later this month (Wed, 10/3)



Fine Tuning:

  • Back on the air: FM 90.7 Harrison with new religious programming from West Central Michigan Media Ministries as 'Strong Tower Radio'. The station has changed its call sign to WBHL and increased power to 10,000 watts, greatly expanding the station's previous coverage area when it operated with a non-commercial Classic Country format as WKKM with 100 watts.

  • Former WRKR-FM 107.7 morning co-host Diane Vunovich will resurface on Adult Contemporary WBXX-FM 104.9 Battle Creek in middays starting October 15th. The syndicated Rick Dees show will be dropped to make room for the local programming.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 8, 2012



WOOD-TV Ch. 8 Grand Rapids:

For the first time in more than a decade, 24 Hour News 8 has a new set. Construction took place during ArtPrize 2012 - when 24 Hour News 8 moved its studio into the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Full story: 24 Hour News 8 debuts new set (Mon, 10/8 - with video)




Justin Verlander pitched the Detroit Tigers to a 3-1 victory over the Oakland A's last night in the first game of the American League Division Series. But for the Tigers, the bigger story may be that the team is in the fifth year of a 10-year cable contract with FoxSports Detroit in which the regional sports network pays the team an average $40 million a season, or about $256,000 per game. That is peanuts by today's standards, and since cable deals with Fox have an option for the team and network to negotiate a revised deal at the mid-point of the contract, the MLB team is about to cash in.

Note: FOX Sports Detroit is disputing the accuracy of this article

Full story: Postseason Success Means Rich Cable Deal Looms For Tigers (Sun, 10/7)



Fine Tuning:

  • A possible blackout of Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM-TV Ch. 13 on Dish Network was averted today as Gannett, WZZM's parent company, and the satellite company have come to terms on a new agreement on programming fees. No specific details were released. The two sides earlier in the day agreed to an extension that kept Gannett stations on Dish in 19 cities across the country.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 9, 2012



Detroit Red Wings:

It is with saddened hearts that the Detroit Red Wings announce the passing of a beloved member of our organization and hockey family, Mr. Frank Joseph James 'Budd' Lynch. Budd, the longest-tenured employee in Red Wings history at 63 years, passed away this morning after a brief illness at a local rehabilitation center. He was 95-years-old.

Full story: Red Wings mourn the loss of longtime play-by-play voice and public address announcer Budd Lynch (Tue, 10/9)


Video tribute


Detroit News: Longtime Detroit Red Wings public address announcer Budd Lynch dies


Detroit Free Press: Red Wings legend Budd Lynch dies



Detroit News:

For many baseball fans, the voice of Tigers radio color analyst Jim Price is as recognizable as a close friend's. Many fans feel as if they know him; his commentary is as omnipresent in the summer and fall as normal dinner conversation. But almost knowing him isn't close to truly knowing him or what he has gone through the past few years -- and what he's still battling. Price, 71, is in his 20th season as a Tigers broadcaster and his voice is as strong as ever -- even in the midst of his second bout with cancer.

Full story: Tigers announcer Jim Price stays tough despite cancer fight (Tue, 10/9)




Al Allen has announced his retirement from WJBK, the Fox O&O in Detroit. Allen was interviewed about his long career at WJBK by reporter Jason Carr.

Full story: Reporter Al Allen to Retire After 28 Years at WJBK (Tue, 10/9)


Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan had a testy exchange during an interview on Monday with with WJRT in Flint, Mich.

Full story: Paul Ryan's Testy Exchange with WJRT Anchor Terry Camp (Tue, 10/9)



Fine Tuning:

  • On the air, Part I: WLDN-FM 98.7 Pentwater / Ludington has launched, signing on earlier this month simulcasting sister station Adult Contemporary 'Coast FM' WMLQ-FM 97.7 Manistee. That format is expected to be temporary with WLDN moving to a News-Talk format featuring a combination of local and syndicated talk programs along with Michigan State sports play-by-play. WLDN is owned by Synergy Media.

  • On the air, Part II: WUPN-FM 95.1 Paradise / Sault Ste Marie has also launched this fall with a Classic Hits format as 'Radio Eagle Soo'. The station joins other 'Radio Eagle' stations in the Northern Lower and Upper Peninsulas owned by Darby Advertising.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 10, 2012



C & G News:

If you grew up watching local TV during the early '60s, you may know Fraser resident Don Kolke. From September 1963 to December 1964, Kolke earned local fame as CKLW-TV's Hercules. "I welcomed it," said Kolke, 72, of being cast as the muscular, square-jawed strongman. "I wanted to be on television, and I figured I could have fun with this."

Full story: The Mighty Hercules -- Fraser man recalls playing a Greek hero on TV (Wed, 10/10)



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD TV8 news does have a new look. Your eyes are not deceiving you.

Full story: Your eyes are not deceiving you; WOOD TV8 has a new set for 24 Hour News 8 (Wed, 10/10)




WOOD-TV, 24 Hour News 8, switched to an upgraded set Monday. The new set is by Orlando based designer FX Design Group.

Full story: Grand Rapids NBC debuts major upgrade from FX Design Group (Tue, 10/9)



Detroit Free Press:

The Detroit Pistons today announced that Fox Sports Detroit has added five telecasts to its preseason broadcast schedule while also dropping the Oct. 24 exhibition vs. Minnesota in Winnipeg

Full story: FSD adds five Pistons exhibitions to TV schedule but also drops one (Tue, 10/9)



Fine Tuning:

  • Former AM station WSHN AM 1550 Fremont has been deleted from the FCC databases. The station has been off the air for a number of years.


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

Those are the opening lyrics to a 1960 oldie by Joe Jones and it got me thinking about the radio business that, as most of you know, I am passionate about. In particular, it made me think about TALK radio. Each morning in my e-mail in-box I receive numerous radio trade publications which are now primarily sent out electronically. Several of these "trades" are specifically dedicated to the talk radio format, which includes news and sports as well.


VuoloLet it be stated, up front, that I am personally neither registered as a Republican or Democrat and consider myself a "moderate" without a distinct lean to the right or the left. Talk radio, in general, as anyone who listens knows, skews very heavily to the right, while television news, other than the talking heads on cable news channels, tends to be more left leaning. What worries me is that the media, especially talk radio, is reshaping the country into "The Divided States of America." Think back to the amazing unity within our nation immediately after the 9-11 attack. Then remember how fast that wonderful level of patriotism dwindled into a faint memory.


What bothers me the most is the ridiculous amount of on-air conversation centered around politics. Political talk seems to consume nearly 90% of talk radio and, this being an election year, it's been especially overwhelming. Didn't it seem as though a year after the current administration was placed into service, talk radio was over-analyzing the job our President was doing and started to heavily speculate which Republican candidate could put him out of his job in 2012. It's been the better part of three years of second guessing who would be occupying the White House in January of 2013.

Frankly, if talk radio is successful in placing "their man" into the top job in the country, one wonders what they would have to talk about? Secretly Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et al probably hope the president is re-elected so they'll have four more years of "material" to rant about.

Thank God for the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that many cable TV subscribers have, including myself, so that we can time-shift programming and scoot past all those political ad's. It's important for us to know about how to vote on certain proposals etc., but most of us can do without the mud-slinging commercials for the candidates. Is a DVR of sorts coming for radio? We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, I appreciate having an Internet radio, a smart phone and an iPad all of which allow me to dial up some of the few stations, around the country, which know how to discuss topics other than politics. I only wish we had one here in the Detroit area.

Joey Reynolds was tossed off the air at New York City's WOR Radio to make room for Detroit-native George Noory and his AM coast-to-coast program. Noory, who talks heavily about the paranormal and extraterrestrials, was dropped by WABC a couple of years ago and his network, Premiere Radio (owned by Clear Channel) needed another New York affiliate. This is called "clearing the market," and they needed to clear a station in the Big Apple. So, a live local show got canceled so a syndicated program on 599 stations could get one more clearance. Reynolds is not bitter, just disappointed. Swami Joey predicted that all media is going to hand-held devices nearly seven years ago. He also points out that the proliferation of political talk has probably done much to propel the rapid growth of Sports Talk Radio.


It may not be widely known, but the landslide move of sports radio to the FM band, was propelled by the success of WXYT-FM, known best as 97.1 The Ticket, right here in southeast Michigan. It was originally the brain-child of top-notch sports programmer Tom Bigby, and is being carried forward by current Ticket PD Jimmy Powers. All over the country sports stations are racing off of their AM frequencies and migrating over to FM. It also happened in Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Orlando and now in New York City! What is considered to be the nation's first all-sports station, WFAN-AM 660, is now moving to FM in Manhattan. The 50,000 watt signal on 660 is much greater than the new 101.9 FM coverage...but it's FM, and that's where most of the audience is. Same goes for Orlando where WDBO-AM moved its news-talk format to FM. The AM 580, with a huge signal reaching from the ocean to the gulf, takes on ESPN sports. Yikes!

Here in the Detroit area, the ratings The Ticket has generated quickly pushed it ahead of WDFN-AM 1130. Livonia's AM 1090 WCAR (which were once the call-letters on 1130) took on the ESPN sports format, and after January 1st, WXYT-AM (1270) will drop its format of mostly syndicated talk and feature the new CBS Sports Network. That means goodbye to Charlie Langton in the morning and Doc Thompson in the afternoon. WXYT is owned by CBS. This will make four sports stations for our area, and that's not including WTKA-AM 1050, a strong station from Ann Arbor.

Speaking of sports, as Howard Cosell used to say, here's a tip you may not have thought of regarding your greater enjoyment of local sports broadcasts. Ever since the old days of when the ultimate U-M homer Bob Ufer was colorfully describing the Maize and Blue, avid fans have often enjoyed our local RADIO announcers more than the (supposedly) un-biased TV analysts. If you have a, as previously mentioned, DVR you are in luck. This weekend, while watching Michigan take on Illinois, just pause your DVR for seven seconds to accommodate the seven second delay on WWJ-AM 950. U-M games are also on 97.1 FM HD-2 with a delay of about 41 seconds. This way you can have the audio pretty much in very close sync with the video on your HD TV! Spartan fans, can do the same thing with WJR-AM 760 for the Michigan State supporters. With the Tigers in the hunt for the World Series, let's face it the radio guys run circles around the TV folks. Before the DVR this was not possible, but then before Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl in 2004 we didn't have to deal with all these broadcast delay factors.


Let me know if you agree with anything I pontificated about in this column, or if I'm suffering from the delusions of turning another year older a couple of weeks ago.


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


Art Vuolo Jr.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 12, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Denny McLain and Ron Cameron to try TV: Former Tigers pitcher Denny McLain will co-host a 30 minute sports-talk show along with radio veteran Ron Cameron starting this Sunday morning at 11 a.m. on WADL-TV Ch. 38 Detroit. WADL CEO Kevin Adell commented in a release, "There's no other show like this one in the Metro Detroit area. You won't want to miss a minute of the explosive action."

  • Upper Midwest Broadcasting reports that Northern Star and Baraga Broadcasting have worked out a deal that will change the originating station of FM translator W264CF 100.7 St. Ignace from Baraga's Catholic WIDG AM 940 St. Ignace to Northern Star's Classic Country WCBY AM 1240 Cheboygan. Baraga will sell W364CF to Northern Star for $1 plus 4 years rent on one of Northern Star's towers in the Northern Lower Peninsula.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 15, 2012




Young Broadcasting is setting up triopoly for itself in Lansing, Mich. (DMA 116), with the help of partner Shield Media. Shield is buying ABC affiliate WLAJ in Lansing from Sinclair Broadcast Group, but, through joint sales and sharing agreements, will turn over its operation to Young, which already owns CBS affiliate WLNS in the market and manages MNT affiliate WHTV through a joint sales agreement with owner Venture Technologies.

Full story: Young piecing together triopoly In Lansing (Mon, 10/15)



Detroit News:

The passing of Budd Lynch last week touched many in the local sports media. Lynch, 95, was a Red Wings employee for 63 years, highlighted by his broadcasting career and later his work as the public address announcer. Ken Daniels, the current Red Wings TV broadcaster, was practically a next door neighbor of Lynch in the Joe Louis Arena press box, sharing thoughts, observations and jokes with the venerable Lynch on a nightly basis.

Full story: Small Talk: Ken Daniels reflects on Budd Lynch, Red Wings broadcasting (Mon, 10/15)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 16, 2012




The CRTC has approved the CBC's application to move PREMIERE CHAINE affiliate CBEF-A/WINDSOR from 540 AM to 1550 AM, the former facility of English-language CBC RADIO 1 affiliate CBE-A (now on FM). CBEF will operate with 10,000 watts from MAIDSTONE, ON; it requested the move due to concern over rust problems at the 540 AM site that necessitated a C$600,000 expense to replace four towers and led the CBC to ask to move the station to CBE's old site and frequency instead. CBEF has also been approved for an FM transmitter at 98.3 FM in SARNIA, ON to fill in coverage that the area will lose when CBEF goes to 1550 AM.

Full story: CRTC OKs CBEF Move To 1550 AM (Tue, 10/16)


ARISTA NASHVILLE artist BRAD PAISLEY is known for his practical jokes and sense of humor. However, a wager that began five years ago with CBS RADIO Country WYCD/ DETROIT morning show co-host STEVE GRUNWALD, has now affected an entire tribe in KENYA, AFRICA -- in a positive way.

Full story: WYCD's Steve Grunwald Delivers Cow That Brad Paisley Purchased For African Tribe (Tue, 10/16)


Condolences to the family and friends of FEDERATED MEDIA Rock WRBR/SOUTH BEND night slammer REVEREND RYNO (of The Church Of Rock), who died this morning at the age of 31 of a heart attack and stroke.

Full story: WRBR's Reverend Ryno Dead At 31 (Tue, 10/16)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 17, 2012




CCM+E Classic Rock WDTW (106.7 The D)/DETROIT has appointed CASEY KRUKOWSKI as PD, effective immediately. KRUKOWSKI most recently served as PD for CCM+E Rocker WEBN/CINCINNATI.

Full story: Casey Krukowski Named PD At WDTW (Wed, 10/11)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 20 - 21, 2012



Macomb Daily:

Dick Kernen has been with Specs Howard School of Media Arts for 40 years, and while many things have changed in technology and communication, the value of an internship has not. "We're a little school with a funny name and a lousy football team," the vice president of industry relations said he's long joked, but their game is on when it comes to helping their students.

Full story: There is still great value in an internship (Fri, 10/19)



Detroit Free Press:

Those who worked the control panel at WWJ-AM Radio (950) in the 1970s and '80s surely remember a button marked "VOG," short for Voice of God. That was the button they pushed to contact Robb Mahr.

Full story: Robb Mahr: Broadcaster worked 20 years at WWJ (Sat, 10/20)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 22, 2012



Saginaw News:

When Great Lakes Bay-area Detroit Tigers fans turn on the radio to follow the World Series, they may be in for a surprise. Instead of the usual voices of Jim Price and Dan Dickerson, Detroit Tigers fans will probably hear Orel Hershiser, Jon Sciambi, Chris Singleton and Peter Pascarelli.

Full story: Detroit Tigers World Series radio broadcasts shift to ESPN announcers on WSGW-AM, 790 (Mon, 10/22)



Detroit News:

Fox Sports Detroit will air the American Hockey League Grand Rapids Griffins-Charlotte Checkers game at 7 p.m. Friday. The game will be called by Red Wings broadcast tandem Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond.

Full story: Fox Sports Detroit to carry Grand Rapids Griffins game Friday (Mon, 10/22)




Singing sensation RYAN BEATTY is using his success in the music industry and strong social media following to take a stand against bullying and promote self-empowerment.

Full story: CBS Radio In Detroit And Las Vegas Team Up With Ryan Beatty To Beat Teen Bullying (Mon, 10/22)



Fine Tuning:

  • CBS Radio/Detroit Sports WXYT-FM 97.1 will be the only radio station in Michigan carrying the local call of the Tigers' in the World Series due to contract rights ESPN Radio has with Major League Baseball for the Fall Classic. Affiliates on the Tigers' Network during the year will have access to ESPN Radio's broadcasts if there are no conflicts in the market with other ESPN Radio affiliates. The call from the Tigers' Dan Dickerson and Jim Price will also be available on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 25, 2012



Lansing City Pulse:

Lansing's four major television networks are seeing more than $5 million in revenue this campaign season. But it's not as much as the stations hoped -- and not as much as it could have been. With neither the presidential or U.S. Senate races competitive in Michigan, the ad revenue isn't coming into the local stations like it did even in 2010.

Full story: Lansing TV stations see $5M boost from political ads (Wed, 10/24)



Fine Tuning:

  • Added: Michael Savage to the lineup at Cumulus News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit weeknights from 11 p.m. - 1 a.m., replacing John Batchelor in a move that swaps once syndicated program for another.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 26, 2012



Detroit News:

WJLB-FM (98) "Morning Show" personality Ingrid "COCO" Walton will host the breast cancer fundraiser "Testimonies in Pink: fight chronicles," from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 4 at Creative Arts Center, 47 Williams St., Pontiac. The event is the brainchild of Tawonna Anthony, a 32-year-old mother from Pontiac who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.

Full story: Radio host COCO to host breast cancer fundraiser Nov. 4 (Fri, 10/26)



Broadcasting & Cable:

Tom Canedo has been named vice president and general manager of the CBS duopoly WWJ-WKBD Detroit. He comes from WUPA Atlanta, the CBS-owned CW affiliate, where he was general manager. He joined WUPA as local sales manager in 1999 and was named vice president, station manager and director of sales in 2006.

Full story: Canedo named WWJ Detroit GM (Fri, 10/26)



Fine Tuning:

  • Citadel/Detroit beefs up sales team: The company announced that Laine Buszka, Patrick Delaney, Kevin Hayes, Janet Jablonski, Jon Loughridge, Tyrone Noble, Bethany Rista are the newest members of the Accounts Team for 760 WJR-AM, 93.1 WDRQ-FM and 96.3 WDVD-FM.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 30, 2012



Observer & Eccentric:

The hits keep on coming for WSDP, the student-run radio station serving Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. A slate of the station's volunteers were honored Tuesday with the Board of Education's Volunteer in Public Schools award for their efforts in keeping the award-winning station on the air.

Full story: Radio station celebrates 40 years (Sun, 10/28)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 31, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

Michael Savage and "The Savage Nation" is back in Grand Rapids. Hurricane Sandy's effects marred satellite transmission, but Cumulus Media-owned WJRW-AM 1340 in Grand Rapids yesterday began airing the conservative talk show host's syndicated show, which airs 9 p.m. to 12 midnight, weekdays.

Full story: Michael Savage, 'The Savage Nation,' returns suddenly to Grand Rapids radio on WJRW-AM 1340 (Wed, 10/31)



Huffington Post:

Rhonda Walker's commitment to community service springs from her deep roots in the community, and permeates all her activities. Rhonda Walker started in television news 11 years ago, when she applied to Fox 2 News for a position as traffic reporter. She aspired to the news reporting and anchoring side, but decided to take whatever was available to get into broadcasting. Her foot in the door was traffic. Rhonda's prior work experience was in pharmaceutical sales.

Full story: Rhonda Walker, Detroit News Anchor, Uses TV Platform To Inspire Teen Girls (Wed, 10/31)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 1, 2012



The number one question in radio on November 1st is...

... "Where is the Christmas Music?!?" The morning show at legacy adult pop station WNIC-FM 100.3 (Fresh 100.3) posed the question to it's listeners this morning via Facebook and has been flooded with responses to the question, Now, Later, After Thanksgiving, or December?

Clearly from looking over those replies, there is plenty of support out there for dusting off the Yuletide tunes as soon as the candle in the pumpkin is extinguished. So the real questions this first day of November become 'which station does it first', WNIC or pop rival WMGC-FM 105.1, and 'how long can they afford to wait'?




The Milford Township Planning Commission at its Thursday, Oct. 25 meeting approved recommending a wireless overlay zone and special use permit for seven 199-foot radio broadcast towers to be built on the border of Wixom and Milford Township. Both votes were close as the recommendations were each passed by a 5-4 margin. Sima Birach, the owner of Southfield-based Birach Broadcasting Corporation, asked for a rezoning, special use and site plan approval for the towers -- proposed to be located off Maple Road, just west of the Wixom Department of Public Works facility on Charms Road -- after he purchased two parcels totaling more than 61 acres so he could relocate the towers from Fenton to Milford Township.

Full story: Cell towers get planners' OK in split Milford vote (Wed, 10/31)



Fine Tuning:

  • Some visitors to the Michigan Radio & TV Buzzboard discussion forum are reporting today that they cannot access the popular site and instead are being redirected to a placeholder page. It appears that there is some type of domain name issue causing the redirect.

    Users familiar and comfortable with editing their computer's hosts file may still be able to reach the Buzzboard using IP address Changes to the hosts file are done at your own risk - and may cause further issues should the IP address of the host server change in the future.

    Update 11:00 p.m.: DNS issues have been resolved and the redirect problem should be gone within the next 24 hours

    (Please note: Michiguide.com is not associated with the Buzzboard)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 2, 2012



Observer & Eccentric / HometownLife.com:

A 5-4 vote last week has the Milford Township Planning Commission recommending rezoning a parcel that abuts Wixom and creating a wireless communications overlay district that is needed for a proposed radio antenna cluster to be built there. It's now up to the township's Board of Trustees to decide whether to go along with the recommendations -- which will determine if Sima Birach of Birach Broadcasting Corp. moves forward with his plan to build seven, 199-foot towers to service two of his AM radio stations: Fenton-based WCXI-AM (1160) and Walled Lake-based WPON-AM (1460).

Full story: Antenna project gets nod from Milford planners (Thu, 11/1)



Fine Tuning:

  • Windsor, Ontario Radio Canada French language (La Première Chaîne network) station CBEF AM 540 has started simulcasting on AM 1550, the former home of English language CBC Radio 1. The French programming will leave AM 540 after a period of simulcasting to take advantage of the stronger signal of AM 1550. Radio One programming is now heard on FM.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 5, 2012



Flint Journal:

Minutes before TV broadcast, Randy Scott has a bone to pick with his sports anchor. "Hey Shawn, CarMAN, not CarMEN," Scott said, referring to the way Carman-Ainsworth schools was misspelled on the day's script.

Full story: Davison student TV news program named among nation's best (Mon, 11/5)




Gannett-owned ABC affiliate WZZM Grand Rapids, Mich. (DMA 39), and the America Red Cross of West Michigan raised nearly $34,000 to help the victims of Super Storm Sandy with an 11-hour telethon.

Full story: WZZM, Red Cross raise nearly $34,000 (Mon, 11/5)



Crain's Detroit Business:

Holiday standards from Bing Crosby, Burl Ives and Brenda Lee bring Christmas cheer in the form of fourth-quarter revenue boosts for radio stations that change format this time of year. Local stations annually switch to a Christmas music format in November, following a nationwide trend that radio analysts said broadcasters have adopted in large numbers in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Full story: 'Tis the season stations cash in on holiday music? Ho, yeah (Sun, 11/4)



Fine Tuning:

  • Listeners with HD radios in metro Detroit looking for an early dose of Christmas music can tune to Greater Media's WMGC-FM 105.1 HD2; 'Christmas 105.1' launched over the weekend.

  • Suzy Cole has exited her role as weekend host at Greater Media Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit.

  • Get out and vote: For your favorite male TV host in Detroit in a contest running on Cumulus Pop WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit. click here to vote


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 8, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

Merry Christmas from The River. If you tuned into WTRV-FM 100.5 this morning, you were greeted with the seasonal sounds of Christmas.

Full story: Christmas music comes to town on Grand Rapids radio for the holiday season (Thu, 11/8)



Fine Tuning:

  • Grand Rapids has not one but two All-Christmas stations as of this morning: Following WTRV's midnight flip, Clear Channel Soft Rock WSRW-FM 105.7 (Star 105.7) made its annual switchover at about 6 a.m.

  • Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7, along with the Detroit 300 Conservancy, will "Light Up the Season," with the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony, live from the heart of Detroit at Campus Martius Park on Friday, November 16th, 7:30-8 p.m. Hosted by news anchors Carolyn Clifford and Stephen Clark, "Light Up The Season" will feature performances by Detroit vocalist KEM, the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Quintet, the Detroit Skating Club, the Arctic Figure Skating Club and the Metropolitan Opera Theatre Children's Chorus, as well as a visit from Santa himself.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 9, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Two Soft Rock/Pop stations in Detroit made their annual flip to All-Christmas music earlier today; Clear Channel's WNIC-FM 100.3 (Fresh 100.3) and Greater Media's WMGC-FM 105.1 (Today's 105.1) will be all-Yule all the time through Christmas. They join a pair of stations in Grand Rapids (WSRW-FM 105.7 and WTRV 100.5) that flipped earlier in the week. It's expected that stations in other markets across Michigan will follow suit soon.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 12, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • More Christmas cheer: In the Toledo, OH market, competing soft rock/pop stations WMIM-FM 98.3 and WRVF-FM 101.5 switched to playing all-Christmas music on Friday. The region (southern Michigan / northwest Ohio) was home to at least 6 full-time Christmas stations out of about 40 across the country that had switched for this previous weekend.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 13, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

WXMI-TV's Emily Richett is moving on. What's next for the FOX 17 personality has yet to be revealed, but Richett announced Monday, Nov. 11, that this is her last week at the West Michigan FOX-TV affiliate.

Full story: WXMI-TV personality Emily Richett announces she's leaving FOX 17 (Tue, 11/13)



Fine Tuning:

  • Another addition to the options for Christmas music in southeast Michigan as Radio First AM simulcasters WHLS 1450 Port Huron and WHLX 1590 Marine City have stopped the oldies/classic hits and joined the holiday parade.



Cumulus/Detroit hosting 7th Annual Canned Food Festival Nov. 14

WDVD-FM 96.3, WDRQ-FM 93.1, and WJR AM 760, in partnership with MJR Digital Cinemas, will host their 7th annual Canned Film Festival food drive to benefit Gleaners Food Bank of Southeast Michigan. On Wednesday, November 14th, bring five canned good items to any of the seven participating MJR Digital Cinemas, and receive free admission to any movie, that day only, any time from 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. It's a "win-win" situation to help feed the area's hungry while getting to see a first-run movie.

96.3 WDVD's afternoon host, Jesse, will be broadcasting live from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the new MJR Westland Grand Digital Cinema located at 6800 North Wayne Road, Westland, MI 48185.

All canned food donated during the Canned Film Festival will be collected and distributed by Gleaners Food Bank to food providers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Livingston Counties.

Kroger has issued a challenge to the public: for every Kroger brand canned good donated, Kroger will MATCH the donations up to $5,000.

Last year's Canned Film Festival was highly successful with over 9,000 people attending the seven MJR Digital Cinemas, and donating over 47,000 pounds of food.

Participating MJR Digital Cinemas are Brighton Towne Square Digital Cinema 20, Chesterfield Crossing Digital Cinema 16, Marketplace Sterling Heights Digital Cinema 20, Partridge Creek Digital Cinema 14, Southgate Digital Cinema 20, Waterford Digital Cinema 16, and Westland Grand Digital Cinema 16.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 16, 2012



Legendary Detroit radio/TV personality Sonny Eliot dies at age 91


CBS Detroit: Beloved Detroit Weatherman and WWJ Newsradio 950′s own Sonny Eliot has died at age 91. Eliot died peacefully at his Farmington Hills home with family members and loved ones by his side. // Stories: Beloved Detroit Weatherman Sonny Eliot Dies     ||     Metro Detroiters Remember The Legendary Sonny Eliot (Fri, 11/16)


WDIV-TV Detroit: The legendary Detroit weatherman who always managed to spread sunshine even when the forecast called for rain, Sonny Eliot, has died. // Full story: Legendary Detroit weatherman Sonny Eliot dies (Fri, 11/16)


Detroit News: Sonny Eliot, the Metro Detroit weatherman known for a flurry of one-liners, has died at the age of 91. According to WWJ-AM (950) -- the radio station he called home for decades -- Eliot died at his Farmington Hills home with family by his side. // Full story: Famed weatherman Sonny Eliot dead at age 91 (Fri, 11/16)


Detroit Free Press: Sonny Eliot, whose radio and television career ran longer than any other broadcaster in Detroit history, died Thursday at his home in Farmington Hills, according to reports. // Full story: Sonny Eliot, longtime Detroit broadcaster, dies at 91 (Fri, 11/16)


Documentary feature 'Pioneers of Detroit Television' from WTVS-TV (DPTV):




After three years as general manager of WFLD in Chicago, Mike Renda is jumping to another Fox O&O. Effective January 7, Renda will be the VP-GM at WJBK in Detroit.

Full story: Fox General Manager Mike Renda Moves From Chicago to Detroit (Fri, 11/16)



Brent Alberts exits from Program Director position at Greater Media's Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit

Alberts himself broke the news yesterday via his Facebook page: "As of this morning I am no longer with Greater Media Detroit. WCSX has been one of the highlights of my career, and what a great staff. I will miss the many folks I worked with here. It was truly an honor to program and work for this company in Detroit. Who knows what's next for me. Only time will tell!"

Alberts is a native Michigander that had been programming 'CSX for the past couple of years and before that had been with Citadel in Grand Rapids and Lansing for eight years where he had last been overseeing rock programming. His contract was not renewed with WCSX.

Buzz Knight, Greater Media's Vice President of Program Development in Detroit adds programming responsibilities for WCSX while a search takes place for a full time replacement for Alberts.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 18, 2012




I grew up in the 70s and 80s watching a whole lot of television weathercasts. It was a great time period to become fascinated with weather. We had the tornado outbreak in 1974, the Thanksgiving snowstorm in 1975, the ice storm of 1976, and of course the blizzard of 1978. During that era, watching all of these storms being broadcast by our favorite TV weatherperson formed many of the meteorologists you watch today.

Full story: Sonny Eliot made lasting impression on television meteorologists (Sat, 11/17)



Detroit Free Press:

Mitch Albom and WJR-AM (760) are teaming up to raise money for Detroit charities, they announced Friday. The Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon will take place Nov. 27 at the Somerset Collection in Troy.

Full story: Free Press columnist Mitch Albom and WJR-AM plan radiothon (Sat, 11/17)



Soo Evening News:

Country music is now being beamed into Northern Michigan from a new transmitting base near Indian River. Straits Country 95.3 FM is licensed by the FCC to operate as WWSS, Tuscarora Township. The radio station's owner, Dave Smith, said Thursday his programming fills a need in the Northern Michigan market.

Full story: New country radio station in town (Thu, 11/15)



Fine Tuning:

  • Contemporary Hits WCDY FM 107.9 Cadillac switched to an All-Christmas format on Saturday afternoon, returning to the "Sounds of the Season" temporarily - as the station did when it first launched.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 19, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Katrina Hancock announced via Facebook that she'll be leaving her role as weekend sports anchor and weekday sports reporter at NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit after this coming weekend.
    Her comments on the social media site: "Hey everyone, I want to thank you for your support of my work over the past six years, but I have decided that it's time to take a break from the business and move on. I have enjoyed working in such an amazing sports city and I've been blessed to cover some wonderful stories. I truly do love Detroit. I will always be an ambassador for this city for the rest of my life. The people make this city so amazing and I'm so happy to have called Detroit my home for the past 6 years."


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 20, 2012




Charter Communications cable subscribers may lose WOOD-TV, WOTV-TV and WXSP-TV next week if the station owners do not reach a new agreement with the cable provider. In West Michigan, Charter Communications provides cable services in the towns of Greenville, Grand Haven, Holland, Allegan, Big Rapids, Ludington and Portage.

Full story: Charter Communications cable subscribers may lose local TV stations in fee dispute (Tue, 11/20)



Fine Tuning:

  • Can Art Vuolo still jock? As a special Thanksgiving weekend treat on this Sunday November 25th, Art Vuolo, known for years as "Radio's Best Friend" will try is hand at doing an oldies DJ show on an Internet station from Cleveland, OH. The site is a recreation of the legendary WIXY1260 (1965-1975). So, write it down and prepare your computer, smart phone or Internet radio for 3 to 6 pm EST to hear if Mr. Vuolo can still hit a post! It's www.wixy1260online.com and is in no way affiliated with the WIXY of today (country) in Champaign, IL, Saga Communications or Ed Christian. Art says it will go well with leftovers and NFL football with the TV sound turned down.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 23, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • 'Dave and Chuck the Freak' have exited mornings at BellMedia Modern Rock CIMX-FM 88.7 (89X) Windsor/Detroit. The Windsor Star expects the trio (Dave Hunter and Chuck Urquhart along with Lisa Way) to land at another broadcaster after receiving a better offer that wasn't matched by BellMedia.

  • With Thanksgiving now behind us, time to update the list of stations that have gone to all-Christmas programming around the region. Stations confirmed as on board include WHNN-FM 96.1 Bay City, WFMK-FM 99.1 Lansing, WRVF-FM 101.5 Toledo, and WBXX-FM 104.9 Battle Creek.



Go Blue Then & Now and ESPN Radio Detroit celebrate Michigan sports philanthropy during Thanksgiving week

Go Blue Then and Now, a not for profit corporation, and ESPN Radio Detroit (WCAR AM 1090) have joined for Thanksgiving week to raise awareness for numerous charitable foundations created by Michigan alumni football letter winners.

During Thanksgiving week, ESPN Detroit Radio is doing on air interviews of Michigan M Men who will share their thoughts on the upcoming game against Ohio State and provide updates on their current efforts to give back to their communities through player foundations and in working with young athletes. The interviews will allow Michigan fans insights into prior battles with the Buckeyes and to learn about players giving back. The broader focus is to share the Michigan tradition of philanthropy by both the Michigan Athletic Department and those who learned values on the Michigan playing fields.

Fans will have an opportunity to call in and talk to these former Michigan stars. Among those scheduled for interviews are Chris Howard, Phil Brabbs, Chris Perry, Todd Howard and David Underwood. On air appearances will be during the one to four ET afternoon show.



Windsor Star:

It's a black Friday for 89X listeners in the Windsor-Detroit area today. After more than 10 years of being on air, the wacky radio morning show hosts of Dave and Chuck "The Freak" have called it quits.

Full story: Dave and Chuck "The Freak" call it quits on 89X (Fri, 11/23)



Detroit News:

A radio team known for its risque brand of humor has left its long-time Windsor home. The Dave and Chuck "the Freak" show, broadcast on CMIX-FM (88.7), will no longer be part of the station's lineup, having accepted an undisclosed offer to work elsewhere, said Eric Proksch, vice president and general manager for Bell Media Radio in Windsor-Detroit.

Full story: Dave and Chuck 'the Freak' leaving 89x, accepted undisclosed offer elsewhere (Fri, 11/23)



Detroit Free Press:

It's a different kind of Black Friday for 89X listeners. Early this morning Dave Hunter and Charles Urquhart, otherwise known as the host of the station's "Dave and Chuck the Freak" morning show, announced on their Facebook page that the show was history.

Full story: 'Dave & Chuck The Freak' radio show leaves 89X (Fri, 11/23)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 25, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

... And that is what I'm doing. Asking you to come to a mall. Well, the Somerset Collection in Troy. More than a mall, really. A high-end, retail shopping experience, or, for purposes of this column, a charity event that has my larynx worried. On Tuesday, from the north side of the Somerset Collection, we will attempt to broadcast for 15 hours straight, 6 a.m.-9 p.m., to raise funds for Detroit's neediest citizens this holiday season.

Full story: Mitch Albom: It's all-day radio for better days in city (Sun, 11/25)


Volunteers needed for Free Press Columnist Mitch Albom's charity radiothon (Sat, 11/24)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 27, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Sold: Contemporary Christian WXPZ-FM 90.1 Clyde Twp. ('The Light') by Larlen Communications to WPRR, INC. (Goodrich Radio) for $55,000 pending FCC approval and closing. WPRR itself is a talk station on AM 1680 licensed to Ada. WXPZ operates from along the Lake Michigan shoreline south of Saugatuck.

  • For sale: Land, buildings, and broadcast towers once used by the currently silent WHFB AM 1060 and Country WHFB-FM 99.9. The $250,000 sale price likely does not include the license for the FM, which is operated out of South Bend, IN and was recently part of a separate sale. Real estate listing here.

  • Off the air: The syndicated Laura Ingraham program which had been heard on several stations in Michigan. The host has left her syndicator (Talk Radio Network) and her future plans have not yet been revealed.

  • Announced: Public radio station Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7) and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival will welcome America's favorite storyteller, Garrison Keillor, to Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 1, 2013, at 5:45 p.m. for a special live performance of "A Prairie Home Companion". The show will take place at Hill Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan, as part of that historic venue's 100th anniversary celebration. Tickets will be available starting in April.

  • Updated: The status of former Modern Rock CIMX-FM 88.7 Windsor/Detroit (89X) morning hosts Dave and Chuck 'The Freak' - they are now sitting out a six month non-compete clause, increasing speculation they will reappear on a Detroit-based station sometime this coming Spring once they are legally able to do so.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 28, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

After 15 straight hours on the air, Free Press columnist Mitch Albom, his voice still strong but physically spent, ended his first S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon with a big number: $401,321.34! That's how much listeners contributed to the S.A.Y. (Super All Year) Detroit charities, founded by Albom, and their partner programs, such as Working Homes/Working Families, 100 Houses, A Time To Help, S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic and Detroit Dream Scholars.

Full story: Mitch Albom, radiothon help raise more than $401,000 for needy (Wed, 11/28)


After prominent on-air roles on SportsCenter and First Take over a decade at ESPN, Dana Jacobson last spring did something you pretty much never see in TV sports -- she took herself off the air.

Full story: Michigan native Dana Jacobson headed to CBS Sports Radio (Wed, 11/28)




While many TV stations use social media like facebook or twitter to connect with their viewers, Detroit anchor Stephen Clark may have found a way to translate those clicks and tweets into viewership. In the video above, the anchor for the Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ tells the story of his ongoing twitter conversation called #backchannel.

Full story: 'Silver Fish Handcatch!': Detroit Anchor Uses Twitter To Engage TV Audience (Wed, 11/28)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 29, 2012



Detroit News:

A public service will be held next week for beloved and wacky weatherman Sonny Eliot who died earlier this month at age 91. According to WWJ-AM (950) -- a station that broadcast Eliot from 1947 to 2010 -- Wayne State University will hold "Always Sonny!" on Dec. 6. The event is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the university's Community Arts Auditorium, located at 450 Reuther Mall.

Full story: Event to celebrate life, career of beloved broadcaster Sonny Eliot (Thu, 11/29)



Detroit Free Press:

Wayne State University has announced it will host a memorial service next week for the late broadcaster Sonny Eliot. The well-known media personality and longtime broadcaster on WWJ-AM (950) radio died Nov. 16 at age 91.

Full story: Wayne State to host Sonny Eliot memorial on Dec. 6 (Thu, 11/29)



West Michigan retransmission agreement battles near blackout status

Two television retransmission agreements affecting West Michigan are coming down to the wire.

Update: LIN and Charter reached an agreement and all of LIN's stations remained on Charter Cable today.

The first, between LIN Media and Charter Cable, is set to expire at 5 p.m. today potentially affecting Charter customers that receive LIN's NBC affiliate WOOD-TV Ch. 8 Grand Rapids, ABC affiliate WOTV-TV Ch. 41 Battle Creek, and My affiliate WXSP-TV Ch. 15 Grand Rapids. A statement from LIN reads, "We are working hard to reach a new agreement with Charter, however, we feel it is our duty to keep our viewers informed when a contract deadline approaches and a new agreement has not yet been reached. If we do not reach an agreement, by law, Charter cannot carry our signal on its cable system. Our stations are important assets to the local community. Without a fair agreement, we will not be able to provide the premiere news, sports, entertainment, weather, traffic updates, political coverage and other local and national programming that is most important to you. Please call 1-888-438-2427 and tell Charter that you do not want to lose your favorite programming."

Another negotiation is underway between DirecTV and Gannett, owner of Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM-TV Ch. 13. That agreement is set to expire on December 1st - without a new agreement or extension in place by then, expect WZZM to come off DirecTV at midnight tomorrow.

Read WZZM's statement on the situation here.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 30, 2012



Detroit News:

Now that the Dodgers are closing in on a $6 billion-$7 billion television deal, their haul for granting Fox Sports the privilege to carry their games, it's understandable if the Tigers and other teams are jealous, angry, or even a tad homicidal. They'd appreciate even half of that $240 million-$280 million per year the Dodgers are projected to pull in once the new contract's ink is dry within a few days or weeks.

Full story: Tigers say Fox Sports Detroit deal a good one (Fri, 11/30)



Grand Rapids Press:

The owners of WZZM TV-13 are warning viewers that its programming may not be available via DirecTV after midnight Friday, Nov. 30.

Full story: WZZM's owners say they may ditch DirecTV subscribers by midnight Friday (Fri, 11/30)




"Crush Collision"--an electronic dance music show on WCBN (88.3-FM), the student radio station at the University of Michigan--celebrates a remarkable 25-year run Saturday, Dec. 1 at Necto.

Full story: WCBN show 'Crush Collision' marking 25 years with special night at Necto (Fri, 11/30)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 1 - 2, 2012



Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit's morning radio landscape is braced for another shake-up: where the "Dave and Chuck the Freak" show and its lucrative ratings end up. The sudden departure last month of the show's hosts from the Windsor-based alternative-rock station "89X" -- the on-air branding for CIMX 88.7 FM -- with what's thought to be more than two years left on their contract is the latest major local morning radio change since Dick Purtan retired in March 2010 from WOMC FM 104.3 and Jim Harper retired from WMGC 105.1 FM in December 2011.

Full story: Morning radio abuzz over where Dave and Chuck might rise again (Sun, 12/2)



Fine Tuning:

  • An agreement between ABC affiliate WZZM-TV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids owner Gannett and DirecTV on Saturday morning has kept the station available for viewers on the satellite service. As is normally the case, no further information on the agreement has been released publicly.

  • Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures LLC, will be guest hosting the Paul W. Smith show on Monday, December 3rd from 6 - 9 a.m. Where is Paul W. Smith going on this Monday? As a pledge for the "Movember" program, which encourages better awareness of men's health, he's going for his annual physical.

    Smith commented, "It's not just about supporting the growth of a fine mustache for 30 days. It's about acting on what we're telling men they need to get better at being proactive about their health."


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 3, 2012



DJ Arnie Dorton gone too soon

Arnie DortonAlthough he didn't work on the air at any local station, Arnie Martin, a.k.a. Arnie Dorton was a likeable, kind and giving person. He Dee-Jay'ed countless events throughout southeast Michigan. Based in the down river communities of Taylor and Brownstown Township, he was fixture at every Art Vuolo Media Party in Novi. He handled audio duties at the last two Motor City Radio Reunions and, according to Vuolo, "Always gave far more than was expected of himself and is truly someone who will be greatly missed."

Vuolo also said, "Arnie produced commemorative audio CD's of great Detroit oldies for both Detroit Radio Reunions in 2005 and 2010. Arnie was a very spiritual man and created numerous inspirational Christian songs and videos. He was simply the best."

Dorton had been recently dealing with a foot infection and had undergone some preventive surgery. However on Friday, November 30th he suffered a heart attack which claimed his life. He was only 60 years old.

Friends and family can call at the R.C. Aleks & Son Funeral Home at 1324 Southfield Road (at Fort Street) in Lincoln Park, MI 48146 (313) 382-7878 after 2 p.m. on Tuesday December 4th. A service will be held at 7 p.m.



Fine Tuning:

  • Ken Calvert returned to the airwaves this morning at Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit after a two week hiatus following back surgery. Calvert told The Oakland Press, ""I've never been happier to feel ike a part of society again. The pain I was in was something you can't explain to people. And when it's fixed, it's like, 'Oh my God, I forgot what this is like...' "

  • The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation Holiday Auction is now open and will run until noon on Friday, December 14th. Proceeds will to to the MAB Foundation to support scholarships, internships and broadcast education in Michigan. Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to signed memorabilia guaranteed to delight and surprise.

    Visit www.biddingforgood.com/mabfoundation to view and bid on items.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 4, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Cumulus/Detroit Pop WDVD-FM 96.3 is asking listeners to help make sure no child goes without a toy this holiday season as the station attempts to stuff three buses full of new toys from Thursday, December 6 through Sunday, December 9, 2012. 96.3 WDVD DJs will broadcast live from all three locations, in Canton on Ford Road in the New Towne Center Shopping Center (near Kohl's), in Royal Oak at the Northwood Shopping Center at Woodward Avenue and 13 Mile Road and in Clinton Township on Hall Road at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace.

    Bring new, unwrapped toys to one of Stuff-A-Bus locations- Toys will benefit local charities including Beaumont Children's Hospital, Bottomless Toy Chest, Bridgepointe, Goodfellows, Neighborhood Service Organization, Orchards Children's Services, Ronald McDonald House and Volunteers of America! More info including hours and location specifics at www.963WDVD.com.

  • CBS Radio/Detroit Country WYCD-FM 99.5 will be hosting its 13th Annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids radiothon on Thursday, December 6th to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This year's fundraising marathon will be broadcast live from Southland Center in Taylor and build upon the $6.6 million the station has raised over the years. Visit www.wycd.com for info on the live broadcast and how you can donate.



Grand Rapids Press:

24 Hour News 8 has a new reporter, fresh from a TV station in Washington State. Heather Walker, a native of Toledo, Ohio, returns to the Midwest from KIMA-TV Channel 29 in Yakima, Wash., where she worked as an investigative reporter and anchor for the CBS-TV affiliate, owned by Fisher Communications.

Full story: Ohio native joins 24 Hour News 8 from TV station in Washington State (Tue, 12/4)




Young Broadcasting's CBS affiliate WLNS Lansing, Mich. (DMA 115), seeking to assist struggling mid-Michigan families, will team with its nonprofit partners for the sixth annual Day of Giving on Thursday, Dec. 13. They are encouraging viewers to join in the daylong effort to collect funds, food and clothing for local chapters of philanthropic organizations, which provide residents with basic needs during the holidays and throughout the year.

Full story: WLNS, nonprofits to aid struggling families (Tue, 12/4)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 5, 2012



Detroit News:

WJBK Fox 2 News viewers will have to steady themselves for a blow this week. Veteran reporter Al Allen will bid farewell to viewers Friday after nearly 30 years on the job. That his last day falls on the remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor is not lost on some colleagues.

Full story: Newsman Al Allen signs off Fox 2 after nearly five decades in the business (Wed, 12/5)



Grand Rapids Press:

Robert Howard Blodgett, a former Wyoming resident and homebuilder who once hosted a popular radio call-in show, died last week while serving his 2011 prison sentence for extortion.

Full story: Former host of WOOD radio call-in show dies while serving prison sentence (Wed, 12/5)



Fine Tuning:

  • Cumulus/Ann Arbor Adult Alternative WQKL-FM 107.1 kicked off their annual "Rockin' For the Hungry" food drive to benefit Food Gatherers this morning at the Westgate Kroger store on S. Maple near Jackson. Personalities including Martin Bandyke, John Bommarito, and Kelly Brown will be broadcasting live through Sunday hoping to get donations of 200 tons of nutritious food.

    Every day, thousands of people in Washtenaw County rely on Food Gatherers, the area's largest food rescue and collection organization, distributing more than 4.6 million pounds of food to over 150 local non-profit organizations that see to it our neighbors in need, mostly families and children, won't go hungry.

    Gifts of non-perishable food can be taken to any Washtenaw County Kroger location. More info at www.annarbors107one.com.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 6, 2012



Clear Channel layoffs affect Michigan

Word is coming out of the Farmington Hills building that houses Clear Channel/Detroit's seven station cluster (WMXD-FM 92,3, WKQI-FM 95.5, WJLB-FM 97.9, WNIC-FM 100.3, WDTW-FM 106.7, WDFN AM 1130, WDTW AM 1310) that a number of people working both on and off the air have been let go as of today in yet another round of year-end downsizing.

More coverage:


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 7, 2012




When I began my career as an agent, Ed Christian was one of the first people I met at an NAB in the 80s. He was so nice to me that I wanted to do business with him just to spend time with him. I quickly learned that before owning stations he had worked in a similar career as me and knew a great deal more than I did.

Full story: How Saga CEO Ed Christian got in to radio (Fri, 12/7)




Greater Media Active Rock WRIF/Detroit has named Townsquare Active Rock WGRD/Grand Rapids' Andy Green as APD/MD effective December 17th, filling the slot left open by the departure of Suzy Cole, who left to join Beats BY Dre in Los Angeles.

Full story: Andy Green Named APD/MD At WRIF (Fri, 12/7)



MyFoxDetroit/WJBK-TV Ch. 2:

On the best mornings and the worst mornings, Al Allen has been there to make sure we knew what was going on in our neighborhoods. His voice is a warm, familiar blanket to comfort us through the ups and downs in the city. Now, it's his turn to sleep in. After 28 years at WJBK, Al will retire after one last morning of reporting Friday.

Full story: Al Allen, a Detroit media icon, set to retire Friday (Fri, 12/7)



Detroit Free Press:

Inside Marko's Cozy Café in Southfield, Al Allen glances over the handwritten notes he's prepared. But before the veteran broadcast journalist can share another memory from one of the many landmark local stories he's covered, a man walks up to the booth and says: "I'm so mad at you."

Full story: Al Allen, vet broadcast reporter, recounts famed stories on day of retirement (Fri, 12/7)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 8 - 9, 2012



New York Times:

Usually at this time of year, hockey fans would plant themselves in front of their televisions and watch players like Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Marian Hossa command the ice. Instead, they have been reminded that Ken Dryden was tall, Guy Lafleur had a side part, and the boards in arenas once bore only team logos.

Full story: N.H.L. Void Has Networks Scrambling (Sat, 12/8)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 10, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Raised: by CBS/Radio Detroit's Country WYCD-FM 99.5, over $500,000 for St. Jude's Children's Hospital during a two-day radiothon last week.

  • Hired: By Radio One operated WGPR-FM Detroit (Hot 107.5), Dr. Darrius Summers II for weekdays 7 p.m. - midnight.

  • Renown Michigan-based radio consultant Gary Berkowitz was interviewed by WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit this morning explaining why the type of highly publicized radio prank that went wrong involving the Duchess of York is less likely to happen in the United States. See the video here.




CBS RADIO Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT PD TIM "RAYNE" RAINEY has taken a leave of absence from the station after his conviction for driving under the influence.

Full story: PD Tim Rainey Takes Leave From 98.7 Amp Radio/Detroit To Serve DUI Sentence (Mon, 12/10)



Grand Rapids Press:

The headline performance for the 2012 HOT New Year's Eve party in downtown Grand Rapids will be Jesse McCartney, Cumulus Media and 105.3 HOT-FM announced Monday morning.

Full story: HOT-FM New Year's Eve party to bring Jesse McCartney, Baby Bash, more for free concert, ball drop (Mon, 12/10)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 11, 2012



Sports about to disappear from AM 1130 Detroit?

In what could signs that Clear Channel is preparing to flip the format of its WDFN AM 1130 Detroit from sports to talk, it's been announced that the non-sports talk Jonathon Kinloch Show will be added to the lineup on WDFN starting January 7th. Kinloch is currently heard weeknights from 9 - 10 p.m. on WDTK AM 1400 Detroit.

Other indicators of a possible wholesale format change include the shifting of the midday Jim Rome Show off WDFN to WXYT AM 1270 after the first of the year, the firing of WDFN's afternoon show last week, and pending donation of sister station WDTW AM 1310.

Combine all that info with two relatively new AM sports talkers in WCAR AM 1090 and (soon to be) WXYT AM 1270 and it appears that having 3 full-time AM sports talkers along with the ratings leader in the format on FM (WXYT-FM 97.1) might be too many.

WDFN was Detroit's original all-sports radio station when it hit the air in July, 1994. The station enjoyed a good deal of success among male listeners during the 1990s and into the 2000s. The station initially fared well when faced with serious competition from WXYT AM 1270 after a flip to sports but eventually lost the ratings and revenue battle when WXYT shifted to FM ... and when parent company Clear Channel opted to move on from a number of popular on-air personalities.




CLEAR CHANNEL is donating another AM station to the MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL, this time Talk WDTW-A/DETROIT. The 5,000-watt progressive talk station will be given to the MMTC under the MMTC-CLEAR CHANNEL Ownership Diversity Initiative.

Full story: Clear Channel Donates WDTW-A/Detroit To MMTC (Tue, 12/11)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 12, 2012



Spinal Column:

Milford Township officials are still investigating whether they will permit seven 199-foot radio broadcast towers to be built on the border of Wixom and Milford Township, after recently receiving a recommendation from a key commission.

Full story: County panel against so-called 'radio farm' plan (Wed, 12/5)





Full story: West Virginia Combo, California AM Sold (Fri, 12/7)



Fine Tuning:

  • The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation Holiday Auction has added two MSU ticket packages: Four tickets to the January 5th Michigan State vs. Purdue men's basketball game at the Breslin Center; and four tickets to the January 11th Michigan State vs. Notre Dame hockey game at Munn Ice Arena. Bidding is open through noon on Friday, December 14th.

    Visit biddingforgood.com/mabfoundation for details and to bid.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 13, 2012



Broadcasting & Cable:

CBS-owned WWJ Ch. 62 Detroit is scrapping its First Forecast Mornings newscast, a two-hour show that debuted in May 2009. The program, which initially featured headlines from the Detroit Free Press, billed itself as "an ongoing report of current and forecasted weather as well as the most current conditions on area roads." The last day of the program is Dec. 28. A CBS spokesperson said a small number of layoffs would result.

Full story: WWJ Detroit scrapping morning news (Wed, 12/12)




Former Detroit News columnist Rob Parker made inappropriate commentsabout Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, ESPN said Thursday. Parker, who lives in Detroit, questioned how authentically black Griffin is on ESPN's "First Take" TV show.

Full story: ESPN and Detroit sports-talker Rob Parker lambasted for racial comments about RG3 (Thu, 12/13)



Grand Rapids Press:

"Downtown Abbey," documentaries by Ken Burns, and PBS NewsHour are a few of the shows WGVU-TV has brought to West Michigan over the years. WGVU Public Media celebrates its 40th anniversary with a series of events including a free preview screening of the upcoming season of "Downton Abbey" in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

Full story: WGVU hosts a free, sneak peek of next season's 'Downton Abbey' in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo (Thu, 12/13)




Brittany Noble is returning home to St. Louis as she joins CBS affiliate KMOV as a reporter. Since September 2011, Noble has reported for the morning newscast at WEYI, the NBC affiliate in Saginaw, Mich. Her first day at KMOV will be January 7.

Full story: Reporter Brittany Noble Joins KMOV From WEYI (Thu, 12/13)



Toledo Blade:

Based on a demand from the parent companies of WUPW-TV, Channel 36, and WTOL-TV, Channel 11, Buckeye CableSystem stopped broadcasting WUPW at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Full story: Fox affiliate's legal dispute with Buckeye CableSystem also involves WTOL's owner (Thu, 12/13)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 14, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Joe Donovan, morning co-anchor at CBS Radio All-News WWJ AM 950 Detroit, reportedly resigned on-air this morning at the very end of his shift. He had been with WWJ since 1976 and had first become known in Detroit as a "20-20 News" anchor at 'The Big 8', CKLW AM 800 Windsor starting in 1970.



Detroit News:

Joe Donovan, longtime co-anchor (with Roberta Jasina) of WWJ-AM's (950) morning show, signed off Friday morning after some 36 years with the station. Donovan simply thanked Detroiters for listening in a goodbye that lasted mere seconds.

Full story: WWJ-AM's Donovan, Walton no longer at station (Fri, 12/14)




The state government cable channel is going all-online. Michigan Government Television, or MGTV, will be replaced with the MiTV web portal in January ... The station's board of cable industry executives recently decided to drop the station due to lack of demand, said Kurt Weiss, spokesman for the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Full story: MGTV, Michigan's government cable station, to be replaced with online format (Fri, 12/14)




BELL MEDIA/DETROIT-WINDSOR,CANADA VP/GM ERIC PROKSCH has named JAY HUDSON as PD of Alternative CIMX (89X). HUDSON has served as the station's MD and evening jock for the last six years. HUDSON will move into the 3-7p shift, formally held by CAL CAGNO. CAGNO will take over mornings on 89X alongside newly acquired host RUSTY THOMSON.

Full story: 89X/Detroit Promotes Jay Hudson To PD (Fri, 12/14)



Hour Detroit Magazine:

When Dr. Partha Nandi struck up a conversation at a private dinner party, he never dreamed it would lead to a second full-time job. The father of one of the guests was battling pancreatic cancer, and Partha, a metro Detroit-based gastroenterologist, took note. For the next hour, the doctor thoroughly went over the disease, discussing treatment options and insurance issues so the man could better understand the situation his father faced.

Full story: Locally Produced Medical TV Show Aims for National Syndication (Fri, 12/14)


On the heels of the announcement that Clear Channel will be donating Progressive Talk WDTW AM 1310 Detroit to MMTC (The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council) comes the news that the station will end operations and go silent at midnight on December 31st. WDTW's six tower array along I-94 east of Telegraph in Taylor will be dismantled after the station signs off.

Current morning show host Tony Trupiano broke the news at the end of his 6 - 10 a.m. program this morning. The decision to shutdown the station will cost Trupiano his gig after about 18 months with his last show taking place next Friday, December 21st. A clearly emotional Trupiano explained to listeners that he had been given two different explanations for the shutdown of the station, one official and one unofficial - and that he tended to believe the unofficial version. He told listeners he would be posting further information for listeners on his Facebook page.

Outside of the live/local morning drive show, WDTW primarily airs syndicated programming that includes shows from Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, Phil Hendrie, and Alan Colmes.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, AM 1310 was the home of legendary Top 40 station WKNR, known as Keener 13. It had been the longtime sister station to WNIC-FM 100.3 and was at one time the flagship station for Detroit Tigers baseball.

The station first began operations on December 29th, 1946 on AM 1540 as WKMH and moved to AM 1310 in 1948. The original owners were Fred Knorr, Bill McCoy, and Harvey Hansen ( thus the original "KMH" call sign). Knorr later bought out his partners and became the station's sole owner. After ownership passed from the Knorr family in 1972, ownership of the station (along with sister station WNIC) shifted among several different companies, ultimately becoming part of Clear Channel in 2000.

After the station's days as Keener 13, it went through a number of different formats including periods simulcasting WNIC-FM. Most notable of the station's formats over the last 40 years prior to the current Progressive Talk offering were perhaps the attempts at Full Service and a combination of Full Service and Classical as WYUR ('Your Radio'), Children's programming as WDOZ 'Radio AAHS', Sports as WXDX 'The X', and Classic Soul/Motown Gold as WMTG.

It's unclear how long the station will be silent pending the donation to MMTC which will attempt to find a minority owner that would likely launch its own programming.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 17, 2012



Grand Rapids Press:

Forty years ago, before Masterpiece's "Downton Abbey" or Ken Burns' "The Civil War" or "Jazz" were imagined, WGVU-TV first went on the air as the PBS-TV station in Grand Rapids. When it debuted in 1972, the Grand Valley State University station was on the air just four hours a day.

Full story: WGVU-TV marks 40th anniversary of its debut as West Michigan's PBS-TV station (Mon, 12/17)



Fine Tuning:

  • Rockin' for the Hungry Meets 200 Ton Goal by Extending Fund Drive: Cumulus Adult Alternative WQKL-FM (Ann Arbor's 107one), Food Gatherers and Kroger have announced they have met their 200 ton food and fund drive goal. Following the final Rockin' for the Hungry broadcast on Sunday, December 9, annarbor's 107one continued a "Post-Rockin'" campaign urging donors to make donations on Food Gatherers' website. Online gifts, combined with two significant recent gifts, brought the total up to 200 tons.

    "Our deepest thanks to all the ann arbor's 107one radio personalities and folks behind the scenes who make this annual event possible," said Eileen Spring, President/CEO of Food Gatherers. "Through the determination of the radio station, Kroger and our community, we have met this Rockin' goal which will have a tremendous and immediate impact on our daily hunger relief efforts."


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 18, 2012




The job status of sports commentator Rob Parker at Detroit's WDIV-TV (Channel 4) is unclear after the former Detroit News columnist got suspended indefinitely from ESPN's "First Take" show last week after an on-air racially-charged rant about Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Full story: Rob Parker's job status at Detroit's WDIV-TV unclear after ESPN 'First Take' controversy; station silent (Tue, 12/18)


Rob Parker-ESPN controversy leads to National Association of Black Journalists statement, investigation (Tue, 12/18)



Fine Tuning:


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 19, 2012



The Oakland Press:

Two Oakland County school districts sent letters home to parents this week after a WDIV-TV camera operator attempted to enter schools on the first school day following the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. Every West Bloomfield School District building was placed on lockdown Monday after a Local 4 News camera operator attempted to enter Gretchko Elementary School, near Hiller and Greer roads. The man attempted to enter the lower-level elementary school, which houses kindergartners and first-graders, through multiple doors.

Full story: WDIV camera operator causes lockdown of West Bloomfield schools, enters Walled Lake school (Wed, 12/19)



Detroit News:

A local television station apologized to the West Bloomfield School District and local law enforcement after one of its photographers allegedly tried to enter at least one elementary school, prompting a districtwide lockdown Monday. "We never intended to exacerbate an already intense situation, and apologize to West Bloomfield Police and the school," said Marla Drutz, WDIV-TV (Channel 4) vice president and general manager.

Full story: TV photographer prompts West Bloomfield schools lockdown (Wed, 12/19)



Fine Tuning:

  • Randy Carr, Assistant Manager, Technical Director, and teacher for Bloomfield Hills Schools WBFH-FM 88.1 is retiring on Friday after 13 years with the district. Carr's radio career also included 35 years in commercial radio.



Detroit Free Press:

MGTV -- the cable television station that has broadcast the machinations of state government since 1996 -- will go dark by mid-January. The service, provided by five of the state's largest cable television providers, will be transferred to the state's Technology, Management and Budget department and will be available only online.

Full story: Cable stations drop government TV station; some content to be online (Wed, 12/19)


Detroit-based ESPN commentator Rob Parker today apologized for the racial comments about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III that got him suspended by the network last week.

Full story: ESPN's Rob Parker apologizes for Robert Griffin III comments (Wed, 12/19)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 20, 2012



Fine Tuning:

  • Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 has won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, regarded as the highest award in broadcast journalism, for its years-long investigative series: "Wayne County Confidential: Government Run Amok." WXYZ's Investigative Unit broke the story of former Wayne County Economic Development Director Turkia Mullin 's secret $200,000 severance package and revealed other secret severance deals, a political machine fueled with county resources and global travel for county officials funded by secret donors. The reports led to an FBI investigation, a series of indictments, criminal charges, resignations, firings and stronger ethic rules.

    "The duPont-Columbia award recognizes the very best in broadcast journalism," said Ed Fernandez , E.W. Scripps divisional vice-president and WXYZ vice-president and general manager. "WXYZ is honored to receive this award for upholding the highest journalism standards as we serve our community."

    The award will be presented to WXYZ on January 22, 2013 at Columbia University in New York City.

  • WHTV-TV Ch. 18 Lansing/Jackson has relocated its broadcast location from Ingham County east of Lansing to Washtenaw County northwest of Ann Arbor. The station uses Channel 34 for its broadcasts - digital tuners remap the station to Ch. 18.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 21, 2012



Detroit News:

If you hear the sound of champagne corks popping at WXYZ-TV in Southfield, they're celebrating winning the Alfred I. DuPont/Columbia Award, the highest award in broadcast journalism, for the series "Wayne County Confidential: Government Run Amok."

Full story: Society confidential: Jones, Catallo and Channel 7 I-team honored (Fri, 12/21)



Grand Rapids Press:

WKTV, the Wyoming-Kentwood community television station, will broadcast HOT-FM's New Year's Eve party. The live simulcast will be available to area Comcast subscribers on channel 24, and to AT&T U-Verse subscribers on channel 99.

Full story: HOT-FM New Year's Eve party to be broadcast on local television (Fri, 12/21)



Fine Tuning:

  • WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit will simulcast ESPN's coverage of tomorrow's Detroit Lions - Atlanta Falcons NFL game. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. EST.


Vuolo: What has happened to radio?



Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

The business is changing in ways we could never have imagined. My goal is to keep this column under a thousand words, but that will be a challenge. So much is happening and much of it, although good for the big corporations which own most radio stations, is not particularly good for us, the listeners.

VuoloOn the evening of December 6th I was fortunate enough to attend and videotape the memorial service and incredible tribute to the late Sonny Eliot. It was held at Wayne State University and it offered far more laughs than tears. That's the way Sonny would have wanted it. An all-star line-up, which even included weathercaster giants Jerry Hodak and Chuck Gaidica, was emceed by Jim Brandstatter and it did not disappoint any of the 500 plus in the audience. One of the other talents who spoke about Sonny was WWJ's longtime morning news anchor Joe Donovan. Little did we know, nor could we have imagined, that eight days later Big Joe would be gone from the airwaves after more than 40 years in Detroit. Some felt he quit on the air. Others thought he just had enough and walked off the job. He did feel it was time to "hang it up" and retire from his daily routine, but nobody was prepared for his sudden departure done in such an unceremonious fashion. At around 9:50 a.m. (that number sounds familiar) on December 14 he thanked his listeners and said goodbye to Detroit. Yes, it was about the time that a major and horrible news story was breaking from Newtown, Connecticut with the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Joe Donovan came to Detroit as a Big 8 CKLW newsman in 1970 and his big voice carried over well to his job at WWJ where he helped launch the all-News format in 1976. It will be interesting to see who succeeds him. He or she will have to blend smoothly with co-anchor Roberta Jasina, who remains with the station. Interestingly, WWJ is about to move into brand new state-of-the-art studios right next door to their current address on American Drive in Southfield. One of the names being mentioned is WOMC morning news guy Bob Schuman, and with WOMC and WYCD also moving into the same building with all of the other CBS stations, his commute would remain the same. In the meantime, midday anchor Greg Bowman is doing a fine job getting our day started.


One of the other stories that needs to be addressed is Clear Channel Detroit giving away one of its AM stations to the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) as a "tax write-off." Friends, if the companies which actually own AM stations can't see any value in them, why should they expect we, the listeners, to tune them in?

To put this situation into greater perspective, this is the same station that was once WKMH, "Your Tiger Station." They had Tiger baseball even before WJR! On Halloween night of 1963, this 1310 AM frequency was transformed into WKNR 'Keener 13' and in less than two months propelled itself to Detroit's number one pop music station, which anyone over 50 still remembers with fondness. Here on this web site, Mike Austerman has already listed its numerous incarnations since. Personally, I am surprised that Salem Communications didn't want the frequency. They own secular and Christian talk stations on WDTK-AM (1400) and WLQV-AM (1500) neither of which have good signals, but then it wouldn't have been a donation. I wonder if the Mother Waddles Foundation would be interested?

One of the most amazing part of this "killing off" of WDTW-AM (1310) is that it does not include the six broadcast towers along the south side of I-94 between Telegraph and the Southfield Freeway. They have been there since 1948. It also creates an imbalance of the local talk radio scene, since most stations are conservative right-wing stations. AM-1310 was a left-wing progressive outlet. So, whomever gets the frequency will have to find a new plot of land to build a new transmitter site. This is probably due to the condition of the six current towers and the value of the real estate they occupy. It's all about the money. It always is.


Speaking of AM transmitter sites, Sima Birach is enduring the wrath of residents near the border of Wixom and Milford in Oakland County as he attempts to erect a seven tower site for two of his AM stations; WPON-AM (1460) and WCXI-AM (1160). Currently 1460 is off the air, but 1160 is still broadcasting from two towers along US 23 at North Road in Fenton. Locals fear the towers will be an eyesore and cause health issues from excessive radiation. C'mon people, stop being ridiculous. Neither should be a factor. AM radio is certainly facing a lot of challenges.

Don't get me started on why we don't have a non-political FM talk station in southeast Michigan. As I write this column, I'm listening to a wildly entertaining FM talk station, but it's coming from New Jersey via my Internet radio because there are no local talk stations on FM other than sports-talk 97.1 The Ticket. Sometimes we just need a break from the sports fanatics.


A lot of people in the broadcasting industry are buzzing about a mega-merger that saw the king of TV ratings, The A. C. Nielsen Company, buying the king of radio ratings, Arbitron. What affect will this have? It's hard to forecast right now, but consider it another chapter in the book of consolidation. If this wasn't a large enough transaction, the rumor mill is gaining heavy momentum on a potential deal that would see Clear Channel Media and Entertainment bought out by ultra-powerful Comcast! I'm not going to even speculate what this would mean for radio, but most "experts" feel it would be good (but for whom?). In case you didn't know, Comcast already owns NBC/Universal and a host of other entities. Ya know, Mrs. Smith doesn't make the pies anymore either.

Yes, Clear Channel is the company that recently fired over 200 people across the country just a couple of weeks before Christmas. Happy Holidays. One respected radio trade publisher said that it's very common for a large company to make a reduction in personnel before a major divestiture. My curiosity is if will it happen during the "deadest business week" of the year...between Christmas and New Year's Day. Clear Channel is also the same company that planned one of its first "group firings" on January 20, 2009, the day of President Obama's Inauguration just so it would get lost in the news. This is also the same company that this past week took over New York City's heritage AM station WOR. They handed out a slew of pink slips firing a number of famous radio hosts, including Dr. Joy Browne. WOR, for years, was known for LOCAL programming, but now analysts feel national shows like Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck will shift from Cumulus-owned WABC over to WOR, while shows syndicated by Cumulus, which now owns WABC, will be featured on THEIR property. As confusing as it sounds, what's actually happening is radio stations, especially talk stations, are simply becoming clearing houses for programs that they own. Very sad.


This is also the time of year for significant changes as on-air personalities seem to disappear or shift to another frequency after the holidays. Stations which adapt the popular all-Christmas music format often use such programming as a transition to something new, or at least different. My money is on 105.1 FM locally. It's been, classical WQRS, hard rock WXDG, soul-oldies WGRV, and pop as Magic WMGC, but lately it's had no definitive sound. What will it be on January 2nd? Can't even guess, but I hope they do something smart. After Jim Harper left a year ago, the Magic name was dropped and 30+ year market veteran, Chris Edmonds, is being "wasted" on an all-music presentation. Who is calling the shots? What is surprising is that 105.1 FM's owner, Greater Media, is a good company which normally makes smart decisions. Stay tuned to this one. Personally I'm still bummed that Clear Channel dropped 100.3 WNIC and now calls that station "Fresh 100.3" which makes me think of Subway, not a radio station. I want to eat fresh, not listen to fresh. Who is making these decisions?


Since we're in "speculation mode," fans of the longtime popular morning duo Dave & Chuck the Freak at Windsor's 89X (CIMX-FM 88.7) are wondering at which Detroit area station they'll reappear after their six month non-compete expires in May. You can bet the farm it will be a station on this side of the Detroit River. WDTW-FM (106.7) recently brought in Alan Cox from sister station WMMS in Cleveland for wake-up duties at The D, but it wouldn't surprise me if Dave (Hunter) & Chuck (Urquhart) the Freak landed at the Clear Channel building in Farmington Hills. What DID surprise me was the dismissal of popular Mix 92.3 star Frankie Darcell. Surely another urban station will pick her up soon. Popular hosts in large cities nationwide have been dropped by their respective stations, not because of bad ratings, but because they are making too much money. Money continues to be the answer to almost every question regarding local media.


What kind of year will 2013 be for Southeast Michigan radio listeners? The only thing I will predict is that the local radio dial will be considerably different one year from today and you will probably learn about it all right here on michiguide.com. I hope I'm lucky enough to report some of it for you, but it is 20...13! Happiest Holidays to you and yours, and please let me know your thoughts on any of what I had to say.


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


Art Vuolo Jr.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 24, 2012



Merry Christmas!



Fine Tuning:

  • Rich Spicer has joined Pop WCDY-FM Cadillac '107.9 CDY' as morning host (6 - 10 a.m.) starting Wednesday, December 26th. Spicer was last on-air at crosstown Pop WLXV-FM 96.7.




CUMULUS MEDIA Top 40/Mainstream WWWM (STAR 105)/TOLEDO morning man "ANDREW Z" ZEPEDA has been sentenced to 30 days in WOOD COUNTY jail and five years of probation for orchestrating a break-in or a pizzeria he foremrly owned, the TOLEDO BLADE reports. ZEPEDA will begin serving the jail time no later than JAN. 21st and could apply for work release, which would allow him to go to work every morning and return to the jail afterward.

Full story: WWWM's Andrew Z Gets 30 Days For Breaking Probation (Mon, 12/24)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 26, 2012



Detroit Free Press:

Another change is coming to sports radio in Detroit: WXYT-AM (1270) is going back to an all-sports format. The sister station to WXYT-FM (97.1, The Ticket) has carried mostly national news and conservative political talk since September 2011. The AM station previously had been the main sports carrier, then simulcasted with FM, then moved away from sports, with the exception of occasions when more than one game was happening at once.

Full story: WXYT-AM (1270) going all-sports, starting Jan. 2 (Wed, 12/26)



Toledo Blade:

Andrew Zepeda, host of the weekday drive-time show Andrew Z in the Morning on WWWM-FM 105 (Star 105), was fired Wednesday afternoon from the Cumulus Media station along with four of his on-air team including wife Michelle Zepeda. Matt Spaulding, Cumulus Toledo general manager, declined to comment on why the popular radio show host was let go. He said the station is "exploring all options at the moment" in finding a replacement show of either local or syndicated programming.

Full story: Andrew Zepeda fired from WWWM-FM 105 radio show (Wed, 12/26)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 31, 2012



Happy New Year!



Detroit News:

Charlie Langton isn't blaming his bosses, and neither should you. If you want to blame his bosses' bosses, though, that's fine. Somewhere in the upper reaches of a New York skyscraper, CBS Radio executives decided that what Detroit really needs is an all-sports station packed with syndicated hosts who don't know who's coaching third base for the Tigers, don't care, and are only marginally aware that Comerica Park actually has a third base.

Full story: Charlie Langton's WXYT-AM morning show to be replaced by sports radio (Mon, 12/31)




CBS Sports Radio launches this week in several big city markets including Detroit, and its lineup will include two former TV and radio personalities with ties to the area.

Full story: CBS Sports Radio to enter Detroit market this week. Can area support three sports stations? (Mon, 12/31)



Fine Tuning:

  • In addition to WXYT AM's flip back to sports, Detroit AM station WDTW 1310 is expected to go silent at midnight tonight. The station's license is in the process of being donated by Clear Channel and it is expected that the broadcast towers for the station will be torn down soon. It will likely be months before the station resumes broadcasting under a new owner.

  • Following the Christmas holiday and the end of all-Christmas radio formats across the state, there were no format flips noted.


Michiguide.com 2012 News Archive




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