Metro Detroit: January 2012 Archives

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

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

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 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

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 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 ( launched this earlier this week, bringing back online much of the content that was formerly found on the now defunct site

Motor City Radio Flashbacks is the brainchild of George Griggs and 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'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 (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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This page is a archive of entries in the Metro Detroit category from January 2012.

Metro Detroit: February 2012 is the next archive.

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