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