Entries in Vuolo Commentary Category

Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Art Vuolo Jr.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Vuolo: What has happened to radio?

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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.

 

Michiguide.com 2012 News Archive

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