Entries in Metro Detroit Category

Newsmakers and links: Jan. 2, 2013




ERIC CHASE, most recently PD/afternoon host at Sports WDFN-A/DETROIT, joins CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WVKS (92.5 KISS FM)/TOLEDO in the same capacity, effective immediately. He replaces DAVE "BOOMER" MAZUR, who left last year for the MD post at MID-WEST FAMILY Top 40/Rhythmic WJQM (93.1 JAMZ)/MADISON. It's also a return to Top 40 for CHASE, a former PD for CLEAR CHANNEL's WAEB/ALLENTOWN.

Full story: Eric Chase To Program WVKS (Wed, 1/2)


Former CCM+E Alternative WEND (106.5 THE END)/CHARLOTTE Promotion Dir. SHELIA TAYLOR joins CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT as Promotion Dir.

Full story: WYCD Hires Shelia Taylor As Promotions Director (Wed, 1/2)



Muskegon Chronicle:

West Michigan is the backdrop for a new children's TV series, slated to be completed in 2013, according to the show's producer.

Full story: New children's TV show filmed in Norton Shores, Grand Haven and other West Michigan locales (Wed, 1/2)



Fine Tuning:

  • CBS/Detroit WXYT AM 1270 made it's anticipated flip from talk back to sports at midnight. The station will carry CBS Sports Radio's lineup of syndicated programming 24 hours / day with the exception of live sports and possibly weekend mornings.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 3, 2013



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

Former Action News reporter Jim Herrington died of complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis. He was 84 years old. Herrington covered it all for 7 Action News, but his favorite topic was politics. Herrington covered governors, presidents and candidates.

Full story: Former Action News reporter Jim Herrington dies at 84 (Thu, 1/3)



Deadline Detroit:

WXYZ-TV has refused to renew the contract of Bill Spencer, the award-winning consumer reporter, who ran the station's "Call for Action" team for 15 years. Channel 7 employees say Spencer's last day was Wednesday. His bio on the station web site has been removed. Spencer could not be reached.

Full story: WXYZ-TV Axes Bill Spencer, The "Call For Action" Consumer Reporter (Thu, 1/3)



Detroit News:

Bill Spencer, longtime consumer advocate/investigative reporter, is no longer with WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), vice president and general manager Ed Fernandez confirmed.

Full story: 'Call to Action' reporter Spencer no longer with WXYZ (Thu, 1/3)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 4, 2013



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

Award-winning television anchor and reporter Jeff Vaughn is joining WXYZ-TV to anchor 7 Action News at 5 p.m. with JoAnne Purtan. In addition to anchoring, Jeff will also be reporting on business and automotive stories. Most recently, Jeff was the primary anchor for KENS-TV in San Antonio, Texas.

Full story: Jeff Vaughn returns to Detroit to join WXYZ-TV (Fri, 1/4)



Detroit News:

When it came to covering news and politics in Michigan, WXYZ-TV veteran reporter Jim Herrington did it all: from questioning presidents, governors and mayors to on camera interviews with looters during the 1967 riots. Herrington, who began his broadcasting career while in the U.S. Navy, died Thursday in Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida from complications of rheumatoid arthritis.

Full story: WXYZ veteran reporter Jim Herrington dead at 84 (Fri, 1/4)



Fine Tuning:

  • Wayne State University Public Radio WDET-FM 101.9 reports that former longtime weekend music host Larry McDaniel has died. McDaniel was known to fans for hosting the bluegrass-focused "The Arkansas Traveler" show on WDET from 1977 through 2009.


Battle Creek Enquirer:

Joe Davis decided he wanted a career in sports broadcasting at a young age - but it was a stroke of blind luck that led to the Potterville High School graduate's landing of his dream job.

Full story: Potterville graduate now full-time ESPN announcer (Sat, 1/5 - $)




Detroit sports personality Rob Parker is still serving a 30-day suspension from ESPN for controversial comments he made about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, but that apparently hasn't stopped him from delivering commentary for a Detroit TV station.

Full story: Rob Parker's ESPN suspension won't stop him from delivering opinions on Detroit's TV airwaves (Fri, 1/4)


Detroit radio station WDET, located on the campus of Wayne State University, seeks some creativity from Metro Detroit for a new audio project.

Full story: 'You know you're a Detroiter when _______.' WDET radio station seeks region's input for project. (Fri, 1/4)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 7, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Clear Channel/Detroit appears to be continuing to cut staff with news today of two more cuts. Morning show co-host Renee Vitale has been let go from Pop WNIC-FM 100.3 as has afternoon host / music director / assistant program director Nick Craig from Contemporary Hits WKQI-FM 95.5. Clear Channel also made a number of cuts to its staff in Detroit and in a number of other markets in December.

  • A sign of things to come? Clear Channel's WDFN AM 1130 Detroit has added the Jonathan Kinloch Show weekdays from 7 - 8 p.m. The politically driven show is a departure from WDFN's usual sports-based programming.

  • Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 has named Jamie Kaye Walters as the station's Creative Services and Programming Director. The newly created role will be responsible for branding, community engagement and programming initiatives. Walters rejoins WDIV from creative production agency Velocity Cow; she was previously with WDIV from 1998 - 2007 as a producer.

  • Timber! The end of the antenna farm formerly used by the now silent WDTW AM 1310 Detroit:




Despite being near the end of a 30-day suspension from ESPN's "First Take" show, Detroit sports personality Rob Parker had a busy weekend giving commentary on Metro Detroit's TV airwaves.

Full story: Rob Parker explains on TV his racially-charged Robert Griffin III rant that led to ESPN suspension (Mon, 1/7)


Radio is a cutthroat business that doesn't guarantee job security and often requires a host to have a resume ready for submission at any moment. Consider 39-year-old Brandon Tierney, a former host at Detroit's WDFN 1130 AM, a survivor that's made the most of his opportunities.

Full story: CBS Sports Radio excites Brandon Tierney; former Detroit host works with Tiki Barber, Dana Jacobson (Mon, 1/7)



Detroit Free Press:

The wave of firings at Clear Channel-owned radio stations claimed two more metro Detroit radio personalities on Monday: WNIC-FM (100.3)'s morning show co-host Renee Vitale and WKQI-FM (95.5)'s Nick Craig, the station's program director and afternoon drive host.

Full story: Morning show co-host Renee Vitale plus program director fired at Clear Channel-owned radio stations (Mon, 1/7)


Suspended ESPN commentator Rob Parker gave his first(?) interview since the Robert Griffin III maelstrom, on WDIV-TV (Channel 4) on Sunday night. Parker, a Detroit-based journalist who contributes to WDIV, spoke for about seven minutes with anchor Devin Scillian.

Full story: ESPN's Rob Parker was 'shocked' at reaction to Robert Griffin III comments (Mon, 1/7)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 8, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Tom Taylor NOW reports that Shila Nathan will be returning to Detroit to co-host mornings on Pop WNIC-FM 100.3 where she'll be reunited with Jay Towers. Shila, let go last month from Wired 96.5 in Philadelphia, spent a relatively short stint with Towers co-hosting 'Motor City Middays' at what was then WKRK-FM 97.1 prior to the station's flip to Sports as WXYT-FM in 2007. Shila would take the role held by Renee Vitale who was fired by WNIC owner Clear Channel yesterday.

  • ESPN has reportedly turned Detroit-based commentator Rob Parker's 30-day suspension into an official parting as the network has declined to renew Parker's contract after it expired at the end of 2012. Parker came under fire for racially charged commentary about Washington Redskin's quaterback Robert Griffin III on ESPN's First Take show in mid December.



Detroit Free Press:

I hear you. You have vowed to never watch the Red Wings. Like ever! I understand. Gary Bettman is an idiot, and the players are sweaty idiots, and the owners are greedy idiots, and that lockout was ridiculous, and besides, the Red Wings might struggle this year, anyway.

Full story: Red Wings announcer Mickey Redmond ready to get back to hockey (Tue, 1/8)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 9, 2013



Retransmission dispute with Heritage Broadcasting affecting Northern Michigan Charter customers

Update: 9 & 10 News reports that Charter accidentally pulled the feed to their stations earlier today and that service has been restored. It also appears that the contract situation between Heritage and Charter has been resolved.

Customers of cable TV company Charter Communications are finding out this morning that two Northern Michigan broadcast affiliates are off the lineup for now as Heritage Broadcasting is no longer allowing its CBS affiliate WWTV-TV Ch. 9 Cadillac/Traverse City & WWUP-TV Ch. 10 Sault Ste. Marie and FOX affiliate WFQX-TV Ch. 32 to be carried while the companies negotiate a new retransmission agreement.

Some Northern Michigan Charter viewers are able to receive CBS and FOX programming from systems that also carry WNEM-TV Ch. 5 Bay City (CBS) and/or WBKB-TV Ch. 11.1 and 11.2 Alpena (CBS and FOX). Others may be able to receive WWTV/WWUP and WFQX via an antenna.

Charter has had this web page set up to explain its position - as of this morning there was no mention of the dispute on the 9 & 10 News web site.



Detroit News:

The AM/FM car radio is getting a run for its money. Automakers are adding more options for drivers to hear their favorite music or news -- from satellite radio, cloud-based music and Web-based applications.

Full story: Carmakers air new options for listening to music, news (Wed, 1/9)


Larry McDaniel, who as "The Arkansas Traveler" entertained Detroiters -- and educated them -- about bluegrass music, died early Friday morning in his Grosse Pointe Park home of multiple organ failure after a lengthy illness. He was 72.

Full story: WDET host 'Arkansas Traveler' dies at 72 (Wed, 1/9)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 10, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

WWMT-TV is launching a weekend morning newscast on Channel 3 beginning Jan. 19.

Full story: WWMT-TV Newschannel 3 is launching a weekend morning newscast on Saturdays and Sundays (Wed, 1/9)



Windsor Star:

The Rock, CKUE-FM (95.1/100.7), has fired morning on-air announcer Mitch O'Connor. The move was the result of poor ratings, John Weese, Blackburn Radio Inc. vice-president of operations, said Wednesday.

Full story: The Rock fires Mitch O'Connor (Wed, 1/9)



FOX Sports Detroit and CCHA to award prizes to Super Fans

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and FOX Sports Detroit have joined together to launch the Celebrate the Legacy Super Fan contest.

The contest is an opportunity for a fan from each of the 11 CCHA member schools to win a Celebrate the Legacy Prize Pack for the final CCHA Championship at Joe Louis Arena on March 23-24, 2013.

"We're excited to partner with the CCHA to host the Celebrate the Legacy Super Fan contest," said Greg Hammaren, FOX Sports Detroit Senior Vice President and General Manager. "We think it's important to honor the fans in each market as we celebrate the final season of the league."

Visit the FOX Sports Detroit website (foxsportsdetroit.com/ccha/) for more details and to enter the CCHA Celebrate the Legacy Super Fan contest.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 11, 2013




BLARNEY STONE BROADCASTING AC WGRY/GRAYLING, MI and Country WQON will switch call letters on MONDAY, JANUARY 14th, 2013. The new WQON-FM will change its musical format from Country to Rock and will be branded as "Q100.3 - The Only Place for Rock & Roll." WQON will also be adding eight hours of live programming. The new WGRY will maintain the current AC format and be re-branded as "Y101.1- Music For Everyone!"

Full story: WGRY And WQON Flip Calls And Formats (Fri, 1/11)



Fine Tuning:

  • Hired: At Clear Channel Contemporary Hits WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit, Bryan LaRoche for afternoon drive 3 - 7 p.m. He will also take over as Assistant Program Director, Music Director for the recently exited Nick Craig when he joins the station on January 14th. LaRoche arrives from Clear Channel's WNWW-FM Jacksonville, FL and will maintain nighttime voicetracking responsibilities at WTMX-FM Tampa.

  • Hired: At Cumulus Media Detroit (WJR AM 760 / WDRQ-FM 93.1 / WDVD-FM 96.3), six new members of their Account Team. The new faces are Paul Bucci, Rita Cargile, Mike Pierce, Linda Mansour, Brian Parks, Lynsay O'Chel and Ron Kasic.



Farmington - Farmington Hills Patch

Under the Radar Michigan focuses its lens on Greene's Hamburgers and Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, in a show airing Saturday.

Full story: Detroit Public TV Show Features Farmington Hills Businesses (Fri, 1/11)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 14, 2013



Broadcasting & Cable:

WBKB-TV, the only station licensed by the FCC to Alpena, Mich., will add a third affiliation thanks to digital multicasting. The primary CBS affiliate is already a Fox affiliate on its 11.2 digital channel. Now it is adding ABC programming through a just-announced affiliation deal between ABC and owner Thunder Bay Broadcasting.

Full story: Alpena, Mich., Gets ABC Affiliate (Mon, 1/14)



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit

(The now retired) Don Shane was honored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association as the 2012 Michigan Sportscaster of the Year. The honor was formally announced today by the NSSA. It's the first time Don has been selected for the award.

Full story: Don Shane named 2012 Michigan Sportscaster of the Year (Fri, 1/11)



Fine Tuning:

  • Confirmed: The flip of Blarney Stone Broadcasting's FM 100.3 Grayling from Country to Rock. The flip also includes call sign changes as WGRY-FM is trading places with sister station 101.1 Roscommon which gives up its WQON calls to the relaunched FM 100.3.


Newmakers and links: Jan. 16, 2013



Detroit Free Press:

Gilbert Maddox made history while exploring African-American history on local Detroit television. He was a breakthrough broadcaster, educator and historian, best known to a generation of Detroiters as the host and producer of "Profiles in Black" -- which aired on Channel 4 in Detroit during the 1970s.

Full story: Gilbert Maddox: He made history with local TV interview show (Wed, 11/16)



Fine Tuning:

  • Kevin Metheny has been named as Program Director for Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit, effective immediately. Prior to joining WJR, Metheny was at WGN AM 720 Chicago and has held numerous other programming and operations positions at stations across the country including WNBC New York in the early 1980s - where he was bestowed with the famous nickname 'Pig Virus' by Howard Stern.

  • FOX Sports Detroit and FS Sports Detroit Plus will broadcast 41 of the upcoming 48 Detroit Red Wings games during the team's abbreviated NHL season that starts Saturday evening. The remaining seven games will be carried by either NBC or NBC Sports Network. For a listing of games and the channels they will be found on, visit www.foxsportsdetroit.com.

  • Detroit will be one of eight stops for the PBS show Antiques Roadshow on June 1st. Apply for tickets at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 17, 2013




BELL MEDIA Alternative CIMX (89X)/WINDSOR-DETROIT ups KIM SCOTT to middays and appoints PHIL KUKAWINSKI as Programming Asst. KIM was filling in on evenings and weekends since joining last FALL from BLACKBURN RADIO Active Rocker CKUE (95.1 THE ROCK).

Full story: 89X Ups Kim Scott To Middays, Phil Kukawinski Named Programming Asst. (Thu, 1/17)




Get a sneak peek of local performances and learn more about your favorite up and coming local bands by tuning into the popular WKAR show "BackStage Pass," which returns this Sunday, Jan. 20 to WKAR.

Full story: 'BackStage Pass' returns to WKAR this Sunday (Tue, 1/15)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 22, 2013



Waiting for Nash time in Michigan

With yesterday's launch of Country on FM 94.7 in New York City by Cumulus Media, the industry trades are reporting that the company plans on expanding the brand across many of its already country-formatted stations across the U.S.A. In Michigan, Cumulus has Country stations on FM in Grand Rapids (WTNR 94.5), Flint (WFBE 95.1), Lansing (WITL 100.7), and Ann Arbor (WWWW 102.9) - as well as in Toledo, OH (WKKO 99.9). It's not too far-fetched to think that any (or all) of these stations might get at least some of the Nash FM tie-in, if not a complete rebranding.

Further speculation is out there that Cumulus might also be changing the format of one of its stations to Country in a major market - might that be in Detroit where Variety Hits WDRQ FM 93.1 has been running for years off a computer and CBS' WYCD-FM 99.5 has essentially had the Country format to itself?



ClickOnDetroit.com/WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit:

A longtime documentary producer and close friend to Local 4 passed away Tuesday. Ted Talbert was an Emmy-award winning producer and co-founder of the Joe Louis Video Memorial Room at Cobo Center. He was also a caring mentor to aspiring journalists.

Full story: Longtime Local 4 producer Ted Talbert dies (Tue, 1/22)



Detroit Free Press:

The Detroit Pistons announced today several changes to their television broadcast schedule on Fox Sports Detroit. Three upcoming broadcasts have been moved from FSD to FS-Plus while three additional broadcasts have moved from FS-Plus to FSD.

Full story: Pistons TV schedule gets some tweaks (Mon, 1/21)



Grand Rapids Press:

It might have been the presidential election that gave news and talk radio a shot in the arm this fall. Or perhaps size does matter - market size, that is.

Full story: Presidential election year puts news and talk radio on top in Grand Rapids for final months of 2012 (Thu, 1/10)



Fine Tuning:

  • Michigan Radio Communications' WLUN (ESPN 100.9-FM) Midland has added 'Crunch Time', a locally produced sports talk show, to the station's weekday lineup from 4 - 6 p.m. The new offering will be hosted by ESPN 100.9-FM's Program Director and play-by-play broadcaster Jared Sandler.

    ESPN Radio's Scott VanPelt show will now air in its entirety from 1 - 4 p.m on WLUN.

    Sandler, a Texas-native, joined ESPN 100.9-FM in March of 2012, as the station's Program Director. In addition, he calls Great Lakes Loons home games with lead play-by-play broadcaster, Brad Golder, and does play-by-play for the station's Saginaw Valley League football and basketball coverage.

  • Lansing's Country Legends Weekend shifts frequency: After being dropped by Cumulus' WITL-FM 100.7 a couple of weeks ago, the program has been picked up by Midwest Communications' WQTX-FM 92.1 'Big Country' where it now airs Sunday mornings from 6 - 10 a.m.

  • Artimis exits evenings at MacDonald-Garber Contemporary Hits WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix/Traverse City.

  • Steve South the new General Sales Manager at Young Broadcasting CBS affiliate WLNS-TV Ch. 6 Lansing.


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 28, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • The Thumb has a new Country-formatted radio station with last month's launch of Positive Country 103.7 on WCZE Harbor Beach. Previously the station had been part of the Contemporary Christian Smile FM statewide chain of stations - that programming can now be heard in the area on WSMB FM 89.3.
    Dennis Edwards hosts mornings on Positive Country 103.7 with afternoons being held down by Jenni Jackson.

  • NBC affliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit has changed the times of two of its daytime talk shows, swapping Ellen and Ricki Lake. Ellen Degeneres' show now airs at 3 p.m., moving from its former 10 a.m. spot. Ricki Lake does the reverse, moving from 3 p.m. to 10 a.m.
    WDIV has broadcast the program since 2004 and the move lines up with a national trend to broadcast the program in the afternoon. "Ellen" is America's #1 rated talk show, among women 25-54, and airs during the afternoon, 3-5 p.m., in the top 20 markets across the country.




Fox Television Stations, in conjunction with Weigel Broadcasting, will premiere Movies!, a new over the air, 24-hour movie network on suchannels of 17 Fox O&O this spring. The network will be available in the following FOX O&O markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa, Minneapolis, Orlando, Austin, Memphis and Ocala, Fla.

Full story: Fox Stations, Weigel launching Movies! (Mon, 1/28)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 29, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Meredith Broadcasting, which also owns primary CBS affiliate WNEM-TV Ch. 5 Bay City, is donating WNEM AM 1250 Bridgeport/Saginaw to Ave Marie Communications. In Michigan, Ave Maria already programs Catholic WDEO AM 990 Ypsilanti and distributes much of that station's programming to stations in northern Michigan in addition to leasing WMAX AM 1440 Bay City which currently carries Ave Maria Radio full time.

    WNEM AM has carried a news/talk/sports format since being acquired by Meredith in 2004. The station is cross-branded with WNEM-TV.



The Oakland Press:

For nearly three decades, Mike Novak's name was synonymous with entertainment in the Detroit area. During his career the Troy-based attorney, a resident of Grosse Pointe Shores, represented the likes of artists such as Bob Seger and Kid Rock, media personalities Ken Calvert, Mike Stone and the team of Drew Lane and Mike Clark, and venues like the Magic Bag in Ferndale and Jeff Daniels' Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea.

Full story: Detroit show business lawyer Mike Novak dies at home (Tue, 1/29)



Battle Creek Enquirer ($$):

A voice familiar to many in Battle Creek is now quiet. Thomas McHale, retired journalist and announcer for local radio station WBCK, died Monday. He was 85.

Full story: WBCK's McHale was an 'old-time journalist' (Tue, 1/29)



Flint Journal:

Jim Baade got into radio just in time. As a twenty-year-old Flint resident in 1980, he would sit in the lobby of the WWCK office just looking to be a part of the action, maybe on the air, and a part of the rock and roll scene.

Full story: 'You felt like a rock star': Former Flint DJ's film captures the rise and fall of the one-time top rock station in the country (Mon, 1/28)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 1, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • On the air today from 5 a.m. - 10 p.m and tomorrow from 9 a.m. - noon: CBS Radio All-News WWJ AM 950 Detroit's 10th Annual Radiothon to benefit The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW). The station will broadcast live from the Art Van Furniture location on 14 Mile in Warren to raise money for thousands of Michigan families who are struggling to heat their homes. Details and information on how to donate here.



Detroit Free Press:

Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh says he will not run for mayor and plans to return to broadcast television. His decision will end the tenure of the city's first openly gay council member and have a major impact on November's mayoral election, where a poll last fall placed him among the top three contenders.

Full story: Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh to get out of politics, back into news (Fri, 2/1)




WADL has "abruptly fired" general manager Matt Uhl, the Detroit independent station announced Friday in a press release. Uhl was fired for violating corporate policy, including "manipulation by a programmer," according to WADL.

Full story: WADL Fires General Manager Matt Uhl For 'Violating Corporate Policy' (Fri, 2/1)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 4, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Oldies WOAP AM 'The Big 1080' Owosso has starting stunting toward a new sound that won't be revealed until Monday, February 25th. In the meanwhile, the station will be feature weeklong looks at the music of the music of the decades of the 1950's (this week), 60's (next week), and the 70's (starting Feb 18th).

  • The Midland-based Great Lakes Loons minor league baseball team is accepting applications for 2013 interns in their departments of TV & Video Production, Communications & Media Relations, Marketing & Promotions, Graphic Design, Finance & Accounting, Stadium Operations, and Ticket Sales. Details at loons.com or call 989-837-BALL.

  • Hired: Patti Taylor as the new General Sales Manager for Greater Media/Detroit Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7. Taylor had previously been the Local Sales manager at CBS Radio/Detroit Country WYCD-FM 99.5.



Detroit News:

Sheryl Crow and chart-topper Gary Allan are set to appear at WYCD-FM's (99.5) Ten Man Jam, Feb. 21 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.

Full story: Sheryl Crow, Gary Allan to co-host WYCD-FM's Ten Man Jam (Mon, 2/4)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 5, 2013



Cumulus/Detroit promotes Lori Bennett to PD at 96.3 WDVD

Lori Bennett has been promoted from Promotions Director at Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 to Program Director at Hot Adult Contemporary/Pop WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit, effective immediately. Bennett succeeds Jesse Addy.

Jan Jefferies, Cumulus Senior Vice President of Programming, said the combination of Bennett's knowledge, experience, and leadership abilities make her an excellent choice for the position.

Bennett is a longtime veteran of Detroit radio who has been with the Cumulus/Detroit cluster since 2011. She began as a featured personality at WDVD and WDRQ before being named as Promotions Director for WJR. She also has worked for multiple years at several other high profile radio stations in Detroit including WNIC, WMGC, and WVMV serving in a variety of roles including Morning Show Host, Program Director, Operations Manager and Marketing Director.

Lori is also a key in-store voiceover talent for multiple national stores such as KMart and has voiced campaigns for leading brands as Phillips SonicCare. Bennett can also be seen on-camera for local businesses like Hagopian Rug Outlet.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 6, 2013



Detroit News:

Frankie Darcell is returning to Mix 92.3 (WMXD-FM). She will be afternoon host of the Clear Channel station from 3 to 7 p.m. beginning March 4, via simulcast from Philadelphia where she is based.

Full story: Radio personality Darcell returning to Mix 92.3 (Wed, 2/6)


Tigers fans craving baseball will have no shortage of opportunities to catch a game this spring. The Tigers announced Wednesday that 35 of the 36 spring training games will be called on WXYT by Dan Dickerson and Jim Price, with the lone exception being the road portion of a split-squad game against the Yankees on March 2.

Full story: All but one of Tigers' 36 spring training games will be on the radio (Wed, 2/6)



Detroit Free Press:

Frankie Darcell is returning to WMXD-FM (92.3) next month, reps from Clear Channel Radio Detroit confirmed today. The popular radio personality was unexpectedly let go from her long-running "Afternoon Mix" radio show two months ago. But when Darcell returns to the Detroit airwaves on March 4, she'll also be working as the afternoon-drive host on Philadelphia's WDAS-FM.

Full story: Frankie Darcell to host radio show in Detroit, Philadelphia starting in March (Wed, 2/6)




A two-car accident did extensive damage to the AM 1700 storefront at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Lt. Mike Kouba of the Ypsilanti Fire Department. "The whole storefront is gone--it's pretty intense," said Brian Robb, a city council member and operator of the station."

Full story: SUV crashes into downtown Ypsilanti radio station (Wed, 2/6)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 11, 2013



Detroit News:

It was difficult for a young George Blaha to stuff his red portable radio under his pillows at night. The internal power source -- small yellow tubes -- helped bring the world of broadcasting to his Marshalltown, Iowa, bedroom. The problem was, those tubes got hot, and Blaha would have to let them cool down. And under a pillow wasn't the safest place to do that.

Full story: Announcer George Blaha still going strong after 37 years (Mon, 2/11)



Grand Rapids Press:

WXMI-TV FOX 17 is jumping aboard the weekend morning news bandwagon. In March, FOX 17 will add Saturday and Sunday morning news shows, matching their weekday news broadcasts, to air news from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., seven days a week.

Full story: WXMI-TV FOX 17 will add weekend morning news shows beginning in March (Mon, 2/11)



The Oakland Press:

Country music star, actress and Rochester native Jana Kramer will headline WYCD-FM (99.5) Detroit's fifth annual Jammin' for Joseph charity benefit. The annual event, at The Fillmore on March 6, will benefit Team Joseph, a Detroit-based nonprofit that funds research to put an end to Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Full story: Country Music artist Jana Kramer headlines WYCD "Jammin' for Joseph" benefit at the Fillmore (Mon, 2/11)



Fine Tuning:


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 13, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Hired: Tom Jordan, by CBS Radio/Detroit All-News WWJ AM 950 to be the station's new morning drive co-host, joining Roberta Jasina in March. Jordan, an Emmy-winning weekend anchor currently working for San Diego television station KUSI, takes the spot vacated by the sudden retirement of Joe Donovan several weeks ago.

  • CBS Radio/Detroit Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3 is holding its annual Radiothon to benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank Of Southeastern Michigan from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. The station is broadcasting living throughout the event from Gleaners and is asking listeners to become a Hunger Hero. Details on how to help here.

  • Oakland University's WXOU-FM 88.3 Rochester Hills and Michigan State University's WDBM-FM 88.9 East Lansing are among the top 25 student-run College Radio Stations in the country that are vying for mtvU's College Radio Woodie Award. To vote, visit http://blog.ratemyprofessors.com/college-radio-woodie/.

  • Monday's Emergency Alert System security breach wasn't just limited to stations in Marquette. The hackers also reportedly gained access to systems in Montana, Utah, and California as well and generated an avalanche of stories from broadcasting-related organizations across the country. Apparently the source of the intrusions has been tracked down as both radio and television stations begin the work of ensuring the security of EAS by taking steps as simple as changing passwords to reviewing their Internet firewalls to prevent similar intrusions in the future.




Last year, PORT HURON, MI resident and BRUNO MARS fan EMILY TORRES posted an online video plea to the producers of ELLEN. In it, she reworked the lyrics to MARS' hit "Locked Out Of Heaven" into a musical invitation for the singer to attend her junior prom.

Full story: WDZH's Buck & Coop Get Bruno Mars To The 'Prom' (Wed, 2/13)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 15, 2013



Detroit News:

A radio fundraiser has netted nearly $1 million for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. The annual 104.3 WOMC FM one-day radiothon, held Wednesday in Detroit, wrapped by raising $930,741, representatives said in a statement.

Full story: Annual radiothon collects nearly $1M for food bank (Thu, 2/14)



Fine Tuning:

  • More local content, less sports at Clear Channel's WDFN AM 1130 Detroit: Former WDTW AM 1310 morning host Tony Trupiano returned to the airwaves on January 28th - his new 'Night Shift' program airs from 8 - 11 p.m. on the mostly-sports station. The daily four hour exception to sports program is now from 7 - 11 p.m. with Trupiano and the Jonathan Kinloch show airing from 7 - 8 p.m.

  • Radio in book format: Iconic Chicago jock John Records Landecker has penned a new book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" that's set to go on sale March 28th with preorders beginning March 1st at www.eckhartzpress.com. The book chronicles a career that spans over forty years - one that has it roots in Michigan but is mostly known for his work in Chicago.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 19, 2013



Grand Rapids Business Journal:

WMKG-CA -- a class A TV station at the Lakeshore -- is up for sale. The station currently airs original and network programming 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Content includes local talk shows, local sports, family programs, local church services, satellite movies and programs from affiliated networks, including Warner Brothers Network, America One, World Harvest Network and The Sportsman Channel.

Full story: Lakeshore TV station broadcasts it's for sale (Mon, 2/18)



Saginaw News:

The Bob and Tom Comedy Show returns to Saginaw, bringing comedians Drew Hastings, Tommy Johnagin and Tim Wilson on Friday, March 22, to the Dow Event Center, 303 Johnson.

Full story: Bob and Tom comedians on their way back to Saginaw (Tue, 2/19)



Fine Tuning:

  • The Salvation Army's 26th Annual radiothon to benefit the Bed & Bread Club will air on Cumulus News/Talk WJR AM 760 this Friday from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. Details at salmich.org.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 20, 2013



Sinclair Broadcast Group warns DirecTV viewers of possible loss of channels

Sinclair Broadcast Group and DirecTV are in the midst of retransmission rights negotiations and appear headed for a showdown that could shut out Sinclair's stations in 47 markets around the country on the satellite provider starting March 1st.

In Michigan, Sinclair owns/operates CBS affiliate WWMT-TV Ch. 3 Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, FOX affiliate WSMH-TV Ch. 66 Flint/Saginaw/Bay City and ABC affiliate WLAJ-TV Ch. 53 Lansing/Jackson. In addition, Sinclair operates CW affiliates in Kalamazoo and Lansing that broadcast of subchannels of WWMT and WLAJ.

Sinclair's statement to viewers reads, in part: "Sinclair Broadcast Group recently began informing its viewers that it does not expect DirecTV to continue to carry any of Sinclair's stations after the existing carriage agreement terminates on February 28, 2013. Although DirecTV and Sinclair have been negotiating for quite some time in an effort to reach a new agreement, at this time it does not appear that these efforts will be successful. Although Sinclair does not believe that it is constructive to negotiate its private business relationships in public, Sinclair is informing the public in advance of the end of carriage because it is aware of the impact on a segment of the public from the end of the relationship between the Sinclair stations and DirecTV.

"We are very sorry that we have not been able to reach agreement with DirecTV and regret the inconvenience this will cause to DirecTV subscribers who want to continue to watch the extremely popular programming that airs on our stations."

DirecTV has issued a statement in response to Sinclair, "We're engaged in productive discussions with Sinclair Broadcast Group to retain their local stations in the DirecTV lineup. Our customers can be assured that neither DirecTV nor Sinclair has any intention of allowing the disruption of their local stations. These are the same unnecessary threats, posing as warnings, that Sinclair has made to frighten customers of other pay TV providers."

These types of disagreements seemingly have become commonplace in recent years - thankfully most service interruptions, if they happen at all, wind up being relatively short-lived. Most viewers in the affected markets should be able to use antennas and receive WWMT/WLAJ/WSMH over the air should the public squabbling escalate to the dropping of Sinclair's channels from DirecTV.




Martin Bandyke, familiar to radio listeners at the host for 6-10 a.m. "drive time" slot on Ann Arbor radio station WQKL (107.1-FM), will mark his 30th year on the air Feb. 21. The milestone has given Bandyke, 58, an opportunity to reflect.

Full story: 107.1's Martin Bandyke to observe his 30 years on area radio with 2 special shows (Wed, 2/20)



Saginaw News:

The Detroit Tigers will begin their Spring Training season at 1 p.m. Friday and with it, their 46th consecutive season on WSGW-AM, 790.

Full story: Detroit Tigers begin 46th season on WSGW, beginning with Spring Training opener (Wed, 2/20)



Detroit Free Press:

Time is running out to cast your vote for two Michigan stations competing to be the top student-run college radio station in the country. Oakland University's WXOU-FM (88.3) and Michigan State University's WDBM-FM (88.9) are among 25 stations still in the running for for the Woodie Award for best college station.

Full story: 2 Michigan college radio stations in running for mtvU Woodie Award (Tue, 2/19)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 21, 2013



Grand Rapids' Rock WBFX 101.3 to reposition from 'The Fox' to 'The Brew'

On Friday, February 22nd at noon, 'The Fox' will give way to 'The Brew' on Clear Channel's WBFX-FM 101.3 Grand Rapids. The station will keep a Rock format, but make some adjustments to its on-air sound. A new on-air lineup will debut featuring a return to Grand Rapids for new morning host "Puddin" (6 - 10 a.m.) and Matt Walker middays (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.). Aly joins for afternoons (3 - 8 p.m.) with nights hosted by "B-Side", the only holdover from the previous staff.



Detroit Free Press:

If you're hoping to catch several Detroit Tigers spring training games on television, you may be in luck. Though many of them will be tape-delayed on MLB Network, the Tigers will have a total of 13 Grapefruit League games air on television.

Full story: Got MLB Network? Tigers to have 13 spring games on TV, many tape-delayed (Thu, 2/21)



Fine Tuning:

  • Southwestern Ontario AM daytimer shuts down: CKOT AM 1510 Tillsonburg ON, Canada's last daytime only AM station, has been silenced as of February 17th. The station had been operating solely as a daytime repeater of CJDL-FM 107.3 for more than five years prior to its final shutdown. Tillsonburg Broadcasting President and General Manager John Lamers commented the costs of maintaining operations far exceeded any possible income, leading to the end of the station.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 22, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

Beer City, USA, is about to get rocked by a new radio station - "101-3 The Brew." Grand Rapids' WBFX-FM "The Fox" 101.3 is revamping with a new format and on-air staff to highlight Grand Rapids as "Beer City, USA."

Full story: West Michigan's 101.3 The Fox is set to become 101-3 The Brew in Beer City, USA (Fri, 2/22)


Watch the in-studio launch of the new 101.3 The Brew from Clear Channel (Fri, 2/22)



Lansing State Journal: ($$)

For local radio listeners, the morning news-and-talk scene is about to get even busier. On Monday, Michael Patrick Shiels adds WQTX (92.1-FM)., from 6 a.m.-9 a.m. That has him collide with three other local shows; it also puts him directly against his former station.

Full story: Michael Patrick Shiels' talk show back on local radio (Thu, 2/21)



ClickOnDetroit.com / WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit:

A meeting of the Milford Township Board of Trustees went deep into the night Wednesday with a discussion about plans to erect a series of radio towers. Birach Broadcasting, which owns AM stations in metro Detroit and in other states, wants to relocate seven 200-foot towers from Fenton, Mich. to Milford Township.

Full story: Plan for radio towers stirs heated debate in Milford, Wixom (Wed, 2/20)



Detroit Free Press:

Starting Saturday, fans of Wolfman Mac can get their hairy paws on hundreds of costumes, coffins and props used on his "Chiller Drive-In." The Wolfman and his friends are giving up on the show, which showcased old horror and sci-fi movies.

Full story: Need a coffin? Wolfman Mac is selling TV show horror props (Fri, 2/22)



Saginaw News:

According to those who knew him well, Dave Shore could be remembered for his immense passion for his hometown of Bay City, his opinionated nature, or his vast knowledge on an array of subjects - but he will definitely be remembered for his voice.

Full story: Bay City's Dave Shore will be remembered for his 'golden pipes' (Fri, 2/22)

hat do Brett Mitchell and I have in common, besides the fact that we're both appearing on Delta College's Channel 19, WDCQ, this coming Saturday?

Full story: Brett Mitchell rocks Delta College's WDCQ in "Q the Music Presents" (Fri, 2/22)



Fine Tuning:

  • Raised: Over $1.3 million by Cumulus News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit and the Salvation Army in the 26th Annual Bed & Bread Radiothon. WJR hosts Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann and Mitch Albom were joined by legendary jock Dick Purtan during the 16-hour event that was held at Oakland Mall in Troy.

  • Dropped: Half of the morning show duo at CBS Radio/Detroit Contemporary Hits WDZH-FM (98.7 Amp Radio) with the exit of Buckhead, leaving the show as The Coop Show ... at least for now.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 23 - 24, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

The 14th Annual Jammies Awards presented by WYCE were held at the Intersection on Friday, Feb. 22, with one of the biggest crowds the event has ever seen.

Full story: WYCE Jammies 2013 recap: The Soil and The Sun take top trophy (Sat, 2/23)



minbcnews.com / WEYI-TV Ch. 25:

Heartfelt congratulations going out to NBC25 morning anchor Joel Feick who has been inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Science's "Silver Circle."

Full story: NBC25's Joel Feick honored (Sat, 2/23)



Fine Tuning:

  • Fans of the Big 8 years of CKLW have a couple things to tune in to today for some retro radio: At noon Rewound Radio will feature CK during their DJ Hall of Fame Show. Then from 3 - 5:30 p.m. on WJCU-FM 88.7 Cleveland, their Retro Radio Show with 'Jumpin' Joe Madigan will be saluting CKLW by playing many songs that were on 'The Big 30' from 1969. You will also hear many "Big 8" jingles. Click the links for the Internet streams.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 25, 2013



WOAP AM 1080 Owosso ends stunting, repositions

No major changes after weeks of stunting in the Mid-Michigan region on WOAP AM 1080 Owosso which has simply repositioned itself from "Michigan's Big Oldies" to "Super Hits 1080". The station's music, which had already been leaning toward Classic Hits in the months before the stunting started, now fully features the hits of the 1950s - 80s, perhaps leaning more heavily to the 70s and 80s than it did previously.

The station's staff remains in place.



Crain's Detroit Business:

Fans watched the American League champion Detroit Tigers in record numbers last season on Fox Sports Detroit, and the regional cable network is capitalizing on that thirst this year with double-digit advertising rate increases.

Full story: As Tigers roar on field, Fox Sports wields clout with TV ad rate hikes (Mon, 2/25)


The ubiquitous "1-(800) Call-Sam" advertising slogan will be part of Detroit Tigers' radio broadcasts this season in a marketing expansion for the Southfield-based Sam Bernstein Law Firm that was announced Monday.

Full story: 'Call Sam' ads join Detroit Tigers' radio broadcasts (Mon, 2/25)



Detroit Free Press:

It's been a difficult time for fans since Dave Hunter and Charles (Chuck the Freak) Urquhart departed their popular CIMX-FM (88.7) morning show back in November. However, there was some encouraging news over the weekend and it came via a brief message posted to Dave and Chuck's Facebook page.

Full story: 88.7's Dave, Chuck the Freak hint at new job on Facebook post (Mon, 2/25)




Has morning co-host BUCK "BUCK HEAD" WISE flown the "COOP" at CBS Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT? It would seem that way based on a email sent by Promotions Mgr. ROBERT ARCHER.

Full story: WDZH Morning Co-Host 'Buck' Exits (Mon, 2/25)


...The 26th annual SALVATION ARMY Bed & Bread Club Radiothon brought PURTAN out of retirement again, and last Friday in one day -- on one station -- in 16 hours -- they raised an amazing $1,364,122!

Full story: Dick Purtan And WJR Raise $1.3 Million For Detroit's Salvation Army (Mon, 2/25)


NEXTMEDIA Country WCEN (94.5 THE MOOSE)/ SAGINAW PD/afternoon host JOBY PHILLIPS will be sporting a new 'do next month, as he has agreed to shave his head for charity.

Full story: WCEN's Joby Phillips To Shave Head For St. Jude (Mon, 2/25)


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

Unlike most people, I read a LOT of radio industry trade publications. Most of them, just like this column was, are delivered via e-mail. I wish you could read some of this stuff. A few are truly unique like R.A.M.P. (Radio And Music Professionals) which is written in a creative manner that often makes fun of the silly press releases they get on a daily basis. In a recent issue when commenting on a format flip of a Tucson station from news-talk to country they wrote "the station will be trying a revolutionary new idea of playing 10,000 songs in a row." That technique has been used hundreds of times by dozens of stations nationwide. They further stated, "reach out to the new station by an amazing new technology called e-mail." I love it. Another trade, called Jockline Daily, targets morning DJ's and often includes actual video and/or audio links to stories they cover! Very cool.

VuoloIt's rare to read any press release pertaining to the radio industry without seeing words like "thrilled" or "excited" or "legendary" or "iconic." A typical story might say "I am thrilled to be starting at the legendary (name of station), and excited to be working with an iconic program director like (insert name)." The words legendary and iconic are now overused as much as amazing and awesome once were. Newsflash! One more new word is about to be "worn out" and it's epic. Now, you'll start to notice its over-use.

Other popular phrases include format flip rather than a format change. Flipping has become very in vogue. When referring to another competing station in the same market most publications use the term crosstown like "this flip leaves crosstown WXXX as the only AC station in Balookaville." This is especially humorous when the two radio stations happen to be owned by the same company and are located in the same building, often just down the hall from each other! By the way AC (in radio) does not stand for air conditioning, or alternating current. It's adult contemporary music.


Recently an interesting quote came from well-known iconic Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl, who once worked here in Detroit on the one-time legendary WABX (99.5). He stated, "Radio died the day they started using the Personal People Meter (PPM)."

I actually applauded PPM as being infinitely better than the old system of gathering rating information for radio stations. PPM electronically hears and measures everything you are listening to. The prior method relied on people's memory to write down which stations they listened to. The only problem is that PPM tends to track long-term listening, like in the work place, where the preferred fare is lots of music and little or no talking. Many of us in the radio industry are convinced that it is why PPM is killing personality radio, where entertainment is the key ingredient. Dahl made the statement because his show, while on terrestrial radio, played NO music, it was only talk. He now does an Internet podcast via a paid subscription and still plays no music. He has a huge number of people who pay to hear him talk. Interestingly, Dahl celebrated 35 years on Chicago radio February 23rd. I've always said that people will PAY for what they want, which explains the success satellite radio is currently enjoying.


Speaking of personality radio, there was surely an abundance of marquee names on hand for the 26th Salvation Army Radiothon on February 22nd at the Oakland Mall in Troy. This event began when Dick Purtan called a meeting in 1988 and said "let's do a Radiothon for a charitable organization", and The Salvation Army was selected.

WJR Radiothon Final Tally

Purtan's longtime producer and writer, Gene Taylor, got heavily involved and joined the Salvation Army and helped make it a successful annual event. It stayed on that station even after it's identity was "flipped" to WKQI (Q-95), it's now Channel 9-5-5. When the Dickster segued over to WOMC the event moved out of the studio and into the mall, but Purtan was always the main attraction of the event. After he retired in March of 2010, WOMC didn't want to do it anymore so it shifted over to WJR AM. After a year of absence in 2011, Purtan returned as a special guest star in 2012 and again this year, but, with a sluggish economy and a glut of other fund-raisers, this year the final tote was about $400,000 less than the previous year. All of that withstanding, the bottom line was still an impressive $1,364,122. Not too shabby.

Frank Beckmann and Kevin MethenyOne of the many highlights was WJR's Frank Beckmann (pictured on the left with new WJR Program Director Kevin Metheny to his right) submitting to having his head shaved after $10,000 in pledges. Remembering how fastidious the 33 year voice of the Michigan Wolverines is about his hair in years of having his photo on those annual WJR RADIOGUIDES, I was personally stunned by his adaptation of the Mr. Clean look. The last few months have seen many stations locally asking for your donation; WYCD is the home of the St. Jude Drive, WWJ with its efforts for T.H.A.W., and WOMC now tied in with Gleaners Food Drive just to mention a few. The metro Detroit area is known for its generosity, but with so many events asking for your support, it's understandable how goals are more difficult to attain. Finally hats off to Dave Scott and his crew from Woodward One digital for the outstanding job in video streaming the WJR Radiothon on the Internet. He will be at it again on March 15th for Paul W. Smith's annual St. Patrick's Day Party from the D.A.C. So, in case your invitation gets lost in the mail, you can attend on-line!


WWJ NewsRadio 950 is set to welcome a new morning anchor who will join the legendary Roberta Jasina, Tom Jordan from KUSI-TV 51 in San Diego. Who is the brilliant sales person that convinced him to leave "America's Finest City" to come here for a 3 a.m. wake-up call? WWJ boss Pete Kowalski better place a TV camera in their new studio so Mr. Jordan will feel comfortable in our wonderful picture-free medium.


On a personal note, I just got a Slingbox, a device which allows me the ability to watch any program that's on my home DVR and even record shows all by remote control on my iPad from anywhere in the world where I can get an Internet connection! I'm certain that I will be thrilled with its capabilities. I'm excited to see how it works and will give you a full report soon in this space. Such technology is absolutely epic. Thanks for your valuable time to better understand "Words," and I'm not talking about the song by that iconic group known as The Bee Gee's. Meanwhile keep the radio on, because the Bee Gee's might be coming up next!



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


Art Vuolo Jr.


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 26, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • The National Association of Broadcasters has released the 50 finalists for the trade organization's 26th Annual Crystal Radio Awards. Making the cut are CBS Radio/Detroit's News WWJ AM 950 and Sports WXYT-FM 97.1, joining multi-time nominee Lenawee Broadcasting Company's WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian.

    Finalists are chosen by a panel that represent broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms. Finalists will be honored and winners announced at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 9th.



The Oakland Press:

Potential students visiting Specs Howard School of Media Arts for the first time are always surprised to see 86-year-old Specs Howard still coming to the school on a daily basis. "Visiting employers for the first time, the question I'm most often asked, is if there really is a Specs Howard," explains President Lisa Zahodne.

Full story: Jerry Liebman aka Specs Howard still greeting students at Southfield media academy (Sun, 2/24)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 27, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • CBS/Detroit boasts two Gracie Award winners: Stacey DuFord, morning co-host at Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3, is the winner of the 2013 Outstanding Performance By a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series or Special in the Radio - Local Market category. In the same category Country WYCD-FM 99.5 morning co-host Rachael Hunter is the winner as Outstanding Host - News/Non-Fiction. The Gracies are presented by the Alliance for Women In Media Foundation. Gracie Award winners for excellence in local, online, public and student markets will be honored on June 26, 2013, at the Hilton in New York City.

  • The major awards keep rolling in for CBS Radio/Detroit: Country WYCD-FM 99.5 has scored an Academy of Country Music award for Major Market Station of the Year, announced earlier today in Nashville.




GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WCSX/DETROIT has named KEITH HASTINGS its new PD, replacing BRENT ALBERTS who left the station in NOVEMBER (NET NEWS, 11/15/12). HASTINGS' new position will begin immediately.

Full story: Keith Hastings New WCSX PD (Wed, 2/27)



Radio Ink Magazine:

As the Country Radio Seminar Kicks off today in Nashville, Radio Ink is honoring the programmers who make the country format one of the most popular with consumers. CBS Radio's Tim Roberts (pictured) of WYCD & WOMC in Detroit has been named the Best Country Program Director in America by Radio Ink Magazine. This is the second year in a row Roberts has won the top spot.

Full story: Roberts named best Country PD (Wed, 2/27)



Grand Rapids Press:

Bret Bakita, who has been a fixture on local sports radio for 19 years, broadcast his final show this morning on WBBL-FM (107.3). Bakita, who was program director at WBBL for most of his tenure with the station, announced at the start of Wednesday's "Bakita & Bentley" morning show that he will be leaving.

Full story: Bret Bakita hosts final show on WBBL before leaving for job with Clear Channel (Wed, 2/27)



Detroit Free Press:

Mitch Albom announced Tuesday from his WJR-AM (760) show that "Ernie" -- Albom's stage play about the late Detroit Tigers' broadcaster Ernie Harwell -- will return for a third season this summer ...//... On Monday commuters got a taste of WDZH-FM(98.7)'s Buck-less new "The Coop Show" morning show.

Full story: Names & Faces (Wed, 2/27)


Newsmakers and links: Feb. 28, 2013




LANSER BROADCASTING Contemporary Christian WJQK (JQ99)/GRAND RAPIDS names former AC WTRV (100.5 THE RIVER) midday talent KIM CARSON to host "FAITH HOPE AND LOVE SONGS" SUNDAYS from noon-3p, and online at WWW.JQ99.COM.

Full story: Kim Carson To Host WJQK's 'Faith Hope And Love Songs' (Thu, 2/28)



Lansing State Journal ($$):

Lansing radio-listeners will have another local talk show Monday. This one, however, avoids the morning pile-up. "The Drive With Jack Ebling" will be a sports show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays.

Full story: Jack Ebling launches sports radio show (Thu, 2/28)




Nima Shaffe will be leaving his hometown of Kansas City to join Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ. Shaffe, who is currently a reporter for CBS affiliate KCTV, said in his station bio page he's always thrilled his family gets to see him on air.

Full story: Nima Shaffe to Join WXYZ in Detroit (Thu, 2/28)



Detroit Free Press:

Bettelou Peterson, who worked at the Free Press for about 50 years -- including four decades as a TV beat writer, a position she helped create during the early years of television -- died Friday. She was 87.

Full story: Bettelou Peterson: Pioneering Free Press TV, radio writer gained a national audience with columns (Thu, 2/28)


The Academy of Country Music announced Wednesday that metro Detroit's WYCD-FM (99.5) has been named its major-market radio station of the year.

Full story: Academy of Country Music names WYCD-FM its major-market station of the year (Wed, 2/27)


The Oakland Press:

Oakland University's student-run radio station WXOU-FM has made it to the top 10 finalists for an mtvU College Radio Woodie Award. This is the first year that station, which can be found at 88.3 FM, has been nominated, and it needs votes to take home the award ... Michigan State's WDBM-FM is also in the top 10 to receive a Woodie Award.

Full story: Oakland University's student-run radio station a finalist for MTVU award (Sun, 3/3)


To vote (hopefully for either WXOU or WDBM!), visit www.mtv.com/ontv/woodieawards/2013/college-radio-woodie/



Macomb Daily:

Celebrate America with singers from local schools when Detroit Public Television presents "Detroit Performs: Tim Janis' Celebrate America Southeast Michigan" at 9 p.m. March 7.

Full story: Students sing on Detroit Public Television (Fri, 3/1)



Saginaw News:

WEYI NBC 25, along with WBSF CW 46, will be changing hands, as Sinclair Broadcast Group announced yesterday that it has purchased Barrington Broadcasting Group for $370 million, pending closing conditions.

Full story: WEYI NBC 25 to change ownership as Sinclair offers $370 million to buy Barrington Broadcasting Group (Fri, 3/1)




Fans of sports-talk station WTKA's locally produced "Ann Arbor's Big Show" may have been dismayed Monday to find out it had been replaced by "The Huge Show," a program that originates in west Michigan.

Full story: Budget cuts claim local sports-talk program 'Ann Arbor's Big Show' (Sat, 2/23)




Come Monday afternoon, Lansing sports talk radio listeners will have a choice to make: "The Huge Show" or "The Drive with Jack Ebling". Lansing's The Game 730 AM (WVFN) will now broadcast The Drive with Jack Ebling from 3-6 p.m beginning Monday, March 4.

Full story: Lansing's WVFN to air new sports talk radio show 'The Drive with Jack Ebling' beginning Monday (Sun, 3/3)


Detroit Free Press:

Doesn't anyone out there want to own a TV station? That's the question Bud Kelley, the owner of WMKG (Channel 38) in Muskegon, has been asking himself for five years. He very much wants to sell. He has sent e-mails, hired a media broker to shop it and dropped the asking price to $300,000, down from $500,000. He even listed the station on eBay.

Full story: Muskegon broadcaster's labor of love on the market for $300,000 (Mon, 3/4)



Fine Tuning:

  • Former WCSX/Detroit Program Director Brent Alberts stays in the region, landing the PD job at Cumulus/Toledo Classic Rock WXKR-FM 94.5.

  • Also in Toledo, Mike Shannon has been named morning show host at Cumulus Top 40 WWWM-FM 105.5.



Saginaw News:

Those that have long been listening to Delta College's public radio station might think they are tuning into the wrong station when they set their dials to 90.1 FM on Tuesdays between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Full story: Delta College public radio's 'Nick Danger' brings an alternative sound to Q90.1 (Mon, 3/4)


Fine Tuning:

  • CBS/Detroit Country WYCD-FM 99.5 has announced the lineup for the 31st Annual Downtown Hoedown, set for May 31 and June 1 - 2 on the grounds surrounding Comerica Park in Detroit. Headlining the more than 40 acts that are planned are Joe Nichols, Jake Owen, and Uncle Kracker. A limited number of three day passes will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 8th with individual day tickets available on Friday, March 15th at 10 a.m. Full details at wycd.cbslocal.com/2013-downtown-hoedown-lineup.



Windsor Star:

There's no word on when and if they will resurface on the airwaves, but former 89X radio hosts Dave and Chuck "the Freak" are about to return as stars of a video game. Featuring Vanilla Rice, an evil Detroit mayor and flying penises, the game is true to the colourful and often off-colour style of the pair who hosted a morning show on the Windsor-based alternative rock station for more than 10 years before their abrupt departure in November.

Full story: Dave and Chuck "the Freak" return as a game (Wed, 3/6)



ENVISION RADIO NETWORKS snares WRIF/DETROIT as the newest affiliate of The Core, a two-hour rock show that features the music and artists that thrived in the '90s. Not surprisngly, The CORE is hosted by longtime WRIF air personaity MELTDOWN and programmed by station vet STEVE BLACK.

Full story: WRIF Goes To 'The Core' (Thu, 3/6)


CUMULUS MEDIA Active Rock WKQZ (Z93)/SAGINAW, MI has promoted LYNN ROBERTS to APD. She has been the Promotions Director and on-air talent; along with her new duties as APD, ROBERTS will continue to handle promotions for WKQZ.

Full story: Lynn Roberts New APD At WKQZ (Thu, 3/6)



Greenville News:

A local radio personality will appear on the Rachael Ray Show to have a small plastic-surgery procedure performed on her by a former Greenville resident. Radio host Kara Stevens of M 106.3 will be on the Rachael Ray Show on Friday while Dr. Anthony Youn, a Greenville High School graduate, performs a surgery that repairs ear lobes.

Full story: Local radio host to be on Friday's Rachael Ray Show (Thu, 3/6)


Radio Ink:

I stayed in my seat and listened politely, though I wanted to jump up and cross-examine the people onstage. Frankly, I couldn't believe what I'd just heard, and it was so important that it needed to be clarified immediately. Could it really be true? I'd been predicting it for years, but when I heard those words, it was like seeing an old friend I loved being knifed in the gut. I felt victimized.

Full story: A cold, harsh reality for radio (Fri, 3/8)

There are a number of reasons why automobile manufacturers may be considering dropping AM/FM radios from the car dashboard. Some of the reasons are things our industry cannot do anything about. But some of the reasons are things we can do something about. AM and FM radio receivers are essential in times of emergencies and our industry needs to amp up everyone's recognition of that.

Full story: Vehicles without AM/FM (Fri, 3/8)



Saginaw News:

Conservative pundit, author, radio personality and TV host Armstrong Williams will be running Clio-based NBC affiliate WEYI, after making a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group, according to a report from TVNewsCheck.

Full story: Report: Conservative radio, TV host to run WEYI NBC25 (Fri, 3/8)




GREAT LAKES RADIO Country WFXD/MARQUETTE, MI is rebranding the station. It will now be known as "103 FXD" after dropping the moniker, "EXTREME COUNTRY 103.3."

Full story: WFXD Rebrands To '103 FXD' (Fri, 3/8)



Fine Tuning:

  • Granite Broadcasting primary MyTV affiliate WMYD-TV Ch. 20 Detroit added NBC's Cozi TV to subchannel 20.2 on Friday, March 8th. Cozi TV primarily features programming from 1950s through the 1980s with a mix of movies and classic TV series but also offers some first-run lifestyle programming. WMYD had previously offered The CoolTV on 20.2 - that programming was dropped in 2012 over payment issues.


Fred Jacobs / JacoBlog:

The fireworks started on Friday as Radio Ink's Eric Rhoads ran a controversial blog post and emailed it to his database - "A Cold, Harsh Reality For Radio." It's all about the "connected car" and Eric's "intervention" at last week's Convergence panel that dealt head-on with this issue. Below, I've linked Eric's post, and then followed it up with my response ... And my response: Eric, you must have had a Venti Bold from Starbucks Friday morning. I applaud you for raising an issue that Jacobs Media has emphasized for the past two years - the "connected car" - starting with our annual treks to the Consumer Electronics Show.

Full story: The Sky Isn't Falling (Mon, 3/11)




MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS Rock WJXQ (Q106)/LANSING, MI night-timer PARKER moves to sister Alternative WVIC (94.1 THE EDGE) to do afternoons. Meanwhile, SPAN returns to nights on Q106.

Full story: WVIC's Span and WJXQ's Parker Swap Shifts In Lansing (Mon, 3/11)


Our friends FRED JACOBS, PAUL JACOBS and LORI LEWIS at JACOBS MEDIA will be hosting an event for the MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13th, called "Media IS on the Move!"

Full story: Join The Folks At Jacobs Media For 'Media Is On The Move' (Mon, 3/11)


CUMULUS Classic Hits WLS-F/CHICAGO night host JOHN RECORDS LANDECKER will release a memoir, Records Is Truly My Middle Name, on MARCH 28th via ECKHARTZ PRESS.

Full story: New Book Coming Soon: A John Records Landecker Memoir (Mon, 3/11)




Local fans of non-mainstream, non-commercial radio--especially those who are addicted to great but hard-to-find jazz--are probably familiar with arwulf arwulf. He's been on the air at the University of Michigan's student-run, free-form radio station WCBN (88.3-FM) for more than 30 years as host of the adventurous and experimental program "Face the Music."

Full story: Radio icon arwulf arwulf muses on 30-plus years on local airwaves (Mon, 3/11)



Fine Tuning:

  • Clear Channel/Detroit's Top 40 WKQI-FM (Channel 9-5-5) "Mojo in the Morning" show has a little fun with today's federal conviction and imprisonment of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick with an airplane banner flyover: Mojo Says Goodbye Kwame!.


Detroit Free Press:

Charlie LeDuff, the WJBK-TV (Channel 2) reporter known for bizarre stunts such as eating cat food, taking a shower next to Detroit political consultant Sam Riddle at a downtown gym while interviewing him or timing cops' response to a home break-in while taking a bath, has found himself the subject of a police report involving an alleged brawl during the Corktown St. Patrick's Day Parade Sunday.

Full story: Fox 2's Charlie LeDuff cited after alleged Corktown brawl, finger biting (Tue, 3/12)


Every Tigers game during the regular season will be televised. FOX Sports Detroit announced today that it will televise 152 games this season. The Tigers will also appear eight times on the FOX Saturday Game of the Week, and twice on ESPN.

Full story: All bases covered: Every Tigers game to be televised this season (Tue, 3/12)


Newsmakers and links: March 13, 2013




WJBK investigative reporter Charlie LeDuff was involved in a physical confrontation Sunday after the Detroit St. Patrick's Day parade. A police report of the incident obtained by rival station WXYZ says LeDuff "urinated in public, insulted female police officers, got into a brawl, and bit a security guard who tried to break it up."

Full story: Detroit Stations Report Conflicting Accounts of Altercation Involving WJBK's Charlie LeDuff (Wed, 3/13)


Fine Tuning:

  • Jackie Paige, formerly with WJBK-TV Ch. 2 as a reporter and weathercaster, signs on with CBS Radio/Detroit's News WWJ AM 950 for anchor duties.


Bloomfield Hills' WBFH takes home top High School Radio Station award

Bloomfield Hills School District radio broadcasting students won seven first place awards, four second place awards and six third place awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF) at their annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference held March 13, 2013 at the Lansing Center in Lansing.

The MABF received 625 entries from 33 schools for their annual High School and College Broadcasting Awards competition. WBFH students won 17 of the 27 awards given out in the high school radio division.

Based on the number of awards won, WBFH was named the 2013 High School Station of the Year, the eighth time in the last eleven years the station has won that honor.

Individual award winners included:

  • Andover seniors Eric Bloom (six awards), Bryan Furlong (four), Bryan Brown and Danny Harwood (two each), Tyler Kieft, Adam Kurtagh, Ben Beltser, Alexander Madias, and Marcus Boyd (one each)
  • Lahser seniors Sean Shepard (four) and Michael Blumenthal (three)
  • Andover juniors Winston Parker (three), Mark Stewart (two), and Dylan Deitch (one)
  • Andover sophomores Brock Appleby (two) and Jaron Kirshenbaum (one)

The WBFH management team of Station Manager Pete Bowers and Assistant Manager/Technical Director Ron Wittebols 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 or online at www.wbfh.fm.



Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 and Scripps Media's WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 nab Station of the Year awards for Detroit market

In radio, WJR received eleven 2012 Broadcast Excellence Awards honors in total from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters including WJR's sixth consecutive Station of the Year Award, and its eleventh since the year 2000.

WXYZ-TV won it's third consecutive Station of the Year Award and claimed fourteen awards overall.





Full story: WYCD Afternoon Team Wins 'Best Afternoon Show' Award From MAB (Fri, 3/15)


GREATER MEDIA Active Rock WRIF/DETROIT and DETROIT's ATWATER BREWERY have joined together to create the 101 WRIF LAGER brewed by ATWATER BREWERY. The Lager is a traditional German style lager made with only the finest imported malt and hops to produce a full bodied and drinkable lager that is sure to please.

Full story: WRIF Lager Hits Detroit (Fri, 3/15)



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD-TV 8 has been named 2012 Television Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the 10th time in 12 years the station has received the top honor. WZZM-TV 13 and WXMI-TV 17 also were honored among West Michigan's commercial TV stations, and WGVU-TV 35/52 took home several awards among all Michigan's public TV stations at the MAB's annual Broadcast Excellence Awards, held Wednesday in Lansing.

Full story: WOOD-TV 8 named 2012 Station of the Year by Michigan Association of Broadcasters (Thu, 3/14)



Fine Tuning:

  • A complete rundown of all the 2012 Station of the Year award winners can be found on the Michigan Association of Broadcasters web site: www.michmab.com.

  • Digital low power religious TV station WDWO-CD Ch. 18 Detroit has been sold by TCT Ministries to LocusPoint Networks for $4 million, pending FCC approval and closing. According the apparent web site for LocusPoint Netowrks, the buyer is "an early stage wireless communications company".

  • The Huge Show will be returning to the lineup at Sports WLUN-FM 100.9 Pinconning/Midland starting Monday, March 14th. The show will air on a tape-delayed basis from 6 - 8 p.m., except when preempted by play-by-play coverage.

    "Bringing The Huge Show back to our station enhances the listening experience for our audience," said Great Lakes Loons President and General Manager Paul Barbeau, who also oversees ESPN 100.9-FM. "With Crunch Time and The HUGE Show airing back-to-back, our listeners can now enjoy more quality Michigan-based sports talk radio."



WKAR was honored with seven awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB), including the coveted "Michigan Public Television Station of the Year" award at the annual MAB Awards of Excellence ceremony held on Wednesday, March 13 in Lansing, Michigan.

Full story: WKAR Wins Seven Awards from Michigan Association for Broadcasters (Fri, 3/15)



Grand Rapids Press:

The Tony Gates Morning Show on WLAV-FM was honored with the 2012 award for Best Morning Show Broadcast Personality or Team by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

Full story: 97 LAV's Tony Gates Show honored as Best Morning Show by Michigan Association of Broadcasters (Fri, 3/15)



Fine Tuning:

  • Clear Channel/Detroit has announced that Donielle Flynn will be joining Jay Towers on the morning show at Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM (Fresh 100.3). Flynn returns to the market from the Mid-Atlantic - she previously worked at the former WDZR-FM and WWBR-FM 102.7 during that frequency's time as a Rock station.


Fine Tuning:

  • Anchor Bill Stevens is out at CBS Radio/Detroit All-News WWJ AM 950 Detroit after more than 20 years.

  • Detroit TV stations WXYZ Ch. 7 and WDIV Ch. 4 continue to follow the St. Patrick Day's incident involving Fox 2 (WJBK Ch. 2) reporter Charlie LeDuff in Detroit. Cross-complaining warrants have been filed in Wayne County and are being reviewed - one by LeDuff and the other by the security guard involved. WJBK's updated story.


Detroit Free Press:

WJBK-TV (Channel 2) reporter Charlie LeDuff told police that he and his brother feared for their lives during a brawl at Corktown's St. Patrick's Parade earlier this month, according to a police report.

Full story: Dueling police reports: TV reporter Charlie LeDuff says he feared for his life during parade brawl (Wed, 3/20)



WDIV-TV / ClickOnDetroit.com:

Local 4 is proud to be honored for broadcasting excellence in the categories of Newscast, Weathercast and Community Involvement by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB).

Full story: Local 4 honored with MAB Awards (Mon, 3/18)



Macomb Daily:

Attention ladies: If you enjoy being the center of attention, love music and hanging out with rock stars -- and getting paid for it -- Detroit rock radio station WRIF-FM (101.1) has a gig for you.

Full story: WRIF's Rock Girl search comes to Dooleys Roseville (Wed, 3/20)



Fine Tuning:

  • The Ontario Hockey League playoffs start Friday for the Plymouth Whalers and Sarnia Sting. The first four games of the first-round series will be heard on Plymouth-Canton's WSDP FM 88.1 with games 1 and 2 carried on Comcast Ch. 900. Pete Krupsky has the play-by-play with Sean Baligian providing analysis of all Plymouth home games,



Larry Murphy said he was shocked and disappointed to be let go as a broadcaster and studio analyst for Detroit Red Wings games on Fox Sports Detroit. Murphy was informed last week by Greg Hammaren, senior vice president and general manager of FSD, that his services were no longer required. Murphy had worked for the station in some capacity since 2002-03.

Full story: Larry Murphy shocked, disappointed after being fired as Red Wings' analyst for Fox Sports Detroit (Sat, 3/23)


An online petition has been created, asking fans of Larry Murphy to show their support: www.ipetitions.com/petition/get-fox-sports-detroit-to-rehire-larry-murphy/. The effort had over 700 signatures within hours of its creation.



Detroit News:

Larry Murphy certainly didn't see it coming. Murphy said "it came out of the blue" last week when he was released as part of the Red Wings broadcasting crew for Fox Sports Detroit.

Full story: Wings broadcaster Larry Murphy stunned after FSD fires him (Sun, 3/24)


Detroit Free Press:

Former Detroit Red Wings broadcaster and player Larry Murphy spent the weekend checking out social media and recording several motorsports events on TV, in the wake of his shock sacking by Fox Sports Detroit. Murphy, 52, a Hockey Hall of Famer and the face of Red Wings broadcasts on FSD, was fired last week by the station he began working for in 2003.

Full story: Larry Murphy 'had no clue' FSD was firing him from Red Wings telecasts (Mon, 3/25)



Fine Tuning:

  • Colleagues of Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 have been reporting on social media that newsman Pete Misiak has passed away after experiencing a sudden illness. Condolences to his family, friends, and co-workers.



Morning show host ACE MCKAY is headed to LANSER BROADCASTING Christian WJQK (JQ99)/GRAND RAPIDS. He will team up with co-host SABRINA FAIRCHILD. The "ACE & SABRINA SHOW" will debut 4/8.

Full story: WJQK Has New Ace Up Its Sleeve (Tue, 3/26)




Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ has added three new reporters: Ronnie Dahl (left), Andy Choi (center) and Nima Shaffe (right).

Full story: Detroit's WXYZ Adds Ronnie Dahl, Andy Choi and Nima Shaffe (Wed, 3/27)



Fine Tuning:

  • Northern Michigan Rock simulcasters WGFM-FM 105.1 Cheboygan & WJZJ-FM 95.5 Glen Arbor/Traverse City (Real Rock 105.1 / 95.5) have dropped the Free Beer & Hot Wings show from mornings prior to the launch of a new morning show. WGFM and WJZJ are owned by Northern Star Broadcasting; Free Beer and Hot Wings are syndicated from their home base at WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids.


Grand Rapids Press:

Christian radio personalities Chris and Emilee, who disappeared from WJQK-FM in Holland last week, soon will reveal the next step in their careers.

Full story: Fired Christian radio hosts Chris and Emilee plan to announce what comes next (Sun, 3/31)



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

Television viewers in Jackson and Hillsdale counties will have another outlet for local news, thanks to a new management agreement between the Citizen Patriot's media partner WLNS and WLAJ ABC 53. WLNS will simulcast its 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news shows on ABC 53, starting Monday, April 1. The station will also simulcast its morning show from 5 to 7 a.m. on ABC starting Monday, April 15.

Full story: Citizen Patriot's media partner WLNS to simulcast news shows on WLAJ ABC 53 starting April 1 (Thu, 3/28)



Muskegon Chronicle:

A Muskegon radio station has received national attention for its decision to ban music by rappers Rick Ross and Lil' Wayne from its rotation. The Muskegon-based radio station 103.7 The Beat WUVS-LP released a statement Thursday, March 28 indicating that it would no longer play those artists' music.

Full story: Rick Ross, Lil Wayne pulled from Muskegon radio station now getting national attention (Fri, 3/29)


Emmett Till's family applauds ban of Lil Wayne and Rick Ross from Muskegon radio station (Fri, 3/29)



Crain's Detroit Business:

The Detroit Tigers now have $568 million committed to long-term contracts for three players: Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera. Where does a mid-market team such as Detroit get that sort of cash?

Full story: MLB's TV contracts fuel hefty player contracts for Tigers (Fri, 3/29)


Radio dial changes in Northern Michigan

Soft Adult Contemporary has replaced rock music on what's now WQEZ-FM 95.5 Glen Arbor/Traverse City 'Easy 95-5' as the simulcast formerly heard on 95.5 and WGFM-FM 105.1 Cheboygan has ended. WGFM now identifies as 'Rock 105'. The former call sign on FM 95.5 was WJZJ; the WQEZ call sign had previously been on FM 97.7, which now has taken the WJZJ calls.



Greater Media names Steve Chessare as new Market Manager in Detroit

There's a new boss in the hallways at Greater Media/Detroit's Rock WRIF-FM 101.1, Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 and Adult Contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1 as Steve Chessare has been promoted to Market Manager from Director of Sales, a role he's been in since last fall. Former Market Manager Steve Kosbau, who had been in place since 2010, has apparently stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

Commenting on his new responsibilities Chessare commented in a release, "I'm in this business because I love and believe in radio. Having the opportunity to work with these heritage radio stations, these incredibly professional people and this great organization is the best next step in my career. People that I've worked with and respected over the past 25 years in New York City have asked me 'Why Detroit?' and my answer is simple, 'Greater Media.' I couldn't be more excited!"



WDIV-TV partners with Sam Bernstein Law form to take on bullying

Post-Newsweek's WDIV-TV Ch. 4 (Local 4), the NBC affiliate in Detroit, and The Sam Bernstein Law Firm have announced a new partnership designed to motivate the community to take the next step toward curbing the problem of bullying in schools. By some estimates, one in three American schoolchildren is either a bully or a victim. Studies also find that 160,000 kids skip school every day because they fear being attacked or intimidated.

In addition to informative pieces on television, and advice for parents and students online, The Sam Bernstein Law Firm and Local 4 are partnering to ask students to use their creativity and production skills to produce their own 30-second recorded messages about their perspectives on and experiences with bullying and what to do about it. The station will make their messages available online and will select the top two submissions, to be revealed during the station's Detroit Fireworks broadcast on Monday, June 24, 2013. The top two will be featured on-air both on WDIV-TV and Thistv, and each winner will receive a $500 honorarium for their school.

Interested students should submit their videos at www.clickondetroit.com/bully. There, they also will find advice from experts, including a section detailing their rights in a bullying situation. All entries must be received by midnight June 7, 2013.

"Our family has a three generation commitment to helping people who otherwise may not have a voice," said Mark Bernstein of the Sam Bernstein Law Firm. "We all know bullying is a problem, but we don't know how to take the next step toward solving it. This campaign will use the power of Local 4 and clickondetroit.com to create a dialogue that will help students, parents and our community change behavior and do what's right."

The campaign begins on April 1, 2013 and runs through June 2013.



Grand Rapids Press:

Christian radio personalities Chris and Emilee, who disappeared from the airwaves at WJQK-FM in Holland, plan to return to an Internet ministry they set aside when they joined WJQK-FM four years ago.

Full story: Fired Christian radio personalities Chris and Emilee plan Internet ministry, dish on their departure (Mon, 4/1)


Fine Tuning:

  • Jake Edwards bid adieu to Cumulus/Detroit Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3 at the end of March to move to Tennessee with his wife due to a job transfer with her job. Edwards had been handling middays at 96.3 DVD since moving over from sister station WDRQ-FM 93.1 after that station flipped from Top 40 to Variety Hits in 2005.

  • West Michigan will add another digital subchannel option later this year when Christian Faith Broadcast's WLLA-TV Ch. 64 Kalamazoo adds the classic TV network Me-TV to its viewing options. Me-TV is owned by Weigel Broadcasting claims Me-TV will soon clear 89% of the United States.

  • Interlochen Center for the Arts has signed on a new FM translator in Traverse City on 94.7 FM. The 250 watt translator rebroadcasts Interlochen's Classical WIAA-FM 88.7 and was formerly owned by Pensacola Christian College and had operated in Traverse City on 88.1 FM, rebroadcasting WPCS 'Rejoice Radio' from Pensacola, FL before going silent to make room for WTCY FM 88.3.

  • Communicom Black Gospel WDRJ AM 1440 Inkster/Detroit has filed for "debtor-in-possession" status, as part of an involuntary transfer of control ordered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Colorado - one of four stations owned by Communicom to be part of the bankruptcy proceedings.



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



GREATER MEDIA's Active Rock WRIF/DETROIT is looking for their next Rock Girl. One lucky woman will represent the legendary DETROIT rock radio station at concerts, VIP events and on the air. The winner of the competition will be awarded a $40,000 salary. The "Sexy 16 WRIF Rock Girl" contestants have been selected and posted on WRIF.com. The website features the contestant's photographs and a sixty second video. Voting is open until SUNDAY, APRIL 21st, 2013 until midnight.

Full story: The WRIF Rock Girl Search Is On (Mon, 4/15)




A WXMI photographer suffered fractured leg after he was involved in a crash while driving the station's live truck Friday morning. The photographer was traveling on U.S. 131 Friday morning when he "hit an arrow board traffic sign where a work crew was making an emergency repair to a pothole," according to WXMI.

Full story: WXMI Photographer Recovering From Live Truck Crash (Fri, 4/13)



Fine Tuning:

  • A northern Michigan sale (of sorts): The partnership that is Coltrace Communications (owner of Classic Hits WUPS-FM 98.5 and Country WTWS-FM 92.1 in the Harrison / Houghton Lake / Mt. Pleasant area) is changing with Sindy Fuller ultimately taking over control of the company from John Salov. Prior to this agreement that sees Salov exit ownership of the two radio stations, Fuller had been a 49% owner, Salov controlled 51%.

  • WAVC-FM 93.9 Mio has been reported as off the air in recent weeks by numerous tipsters in the area.


Kalamazoo Gazette:

The B-93 Birthday Bash 21 has released its lineup for this summer's country music festival. One of the biggest summer music events in West Michigan will be held June 8-9 at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin.

Full story: B-93 Birthday Bash 2013: Country music festival announces lineup (Tue, 4/16)



Crain's Detroit Business ($):

Dave Hunter just wasn't having it. Half of the titular duo of still-homeless (for now) radio show "Dave and Chuck The Freak," Hunter was cheerfully deflecting every feeble attempt of mine to pry out of him where the popular morning drive-time program is going to end up.

Full story: 'Dave and Chuck the Freak' are staying in the Detroit market (and on your phone) (Mon, 4/15)



Detroit News:

In adjoining storefronts in downtown Detroit, right where they've been for decades, radio host Craig Fahle has discovered a microcosm of today's political quagmire. For the record, he prefers his microcosm with no onions.

Full story: WDET's Craig Fahle to host Caucus Coney to get questions for Mackinac conference (Tue, 4/16)



Glenn Haege set to celebrate 30 anniversary on Detroit radio

Glenn Haege, who is marketed as America's Master Handyman, host of The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege on Cumulus News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit, will mark his 30th year on radio with his broadcast Saturday, April 20, 2013.

Haege began his broadcast career in 1983 as host of Ask the Handyman on WXYT-AM 1270, and also has hosted his radio show on WDFN AM 1130 and what was WXDX AM 1310 before landing on WJR in 2006. In addition to his local radio show, which is heard every weekend from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, his show is syndicated one more than 140 radio stations across the country, something he launched in 1996.

During his 30 years on air and in personal appearances, Haege estimates he has answered more than 85,000 questions on home improvement. Known for such phrases as "The most important tool in your toolbox is your checkbook", "Water always wins, that's why there is a Grand Canyon", and "Proper prior planning prevents poor projects", Haege said his goal with his radio show, newspaper columns and books is to make sure people use the right products and ask the right questions when they do a project around the home.

"I have probably saved homeowners hundreds of thousands of dollars by helping them with their home improvement questions," Haege said. "Of course, I have also probably given them some ideas that encouraged them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars as well. But in the end, my goal is to make sure people get the kind of results they can brag about when they do any project around the home."

Haege has been named as one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America by Talkers Magazine for 15 years and was also inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011. In addition to his radio show, Haege writes a weekly column for the Detroit News and has authored 11 books on home improvement.

Kevin Metheny, program director at WJR, summed up Haege's impact on his listeners, "As a Glenn Haege listener, I felt as if he knew me, my life, and my unique homeowner challenges before we ever met," said Metheny. " believe speaking to thousands of neighbors one on one in simultaneous personal conversations on which we can all eavesdrop is a lost art and a key to Glenn's amazing record of success. At WJR we're all proud to be the radio flagship of America's Master Handyman and look forward to 30 more years."

For more information, visit his website at www.masterhandyman.com.



Fine Tuning:

  • Detroit's WDIV-TV Ch. 4 to present Michigan School Expo Saturday April 20 from Noon - 6 p.m. At Oakland Mall in Troy: From pre-school to post-grad, local education providers will join together at the 2013 Michigan School Expo which is scheduled to 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 attended the event. Special exhibits this year include Michigan Science Center hands-on displays for kids and the AAA of Michigan Teen Driving Safety program featuring interactive driving simulators. Visit www.clickondetroit.com/school-expo for more information.


Cadillac-based 24/7 news TV station debuts new look and familiar talent

Cadillac-based MI News 26, Michigan's only 24/7 local news channel, has debuted a brand new look, including new on-air graphics, an updated set, and two new but familiar faces from the Detroit area.

Randy Bhirdo and Jill Washburn joined the station's news team this week after spending much of their careers anchoring and reporting for numerous TV stations in Detroit. Washburn is now hosting MI News 26's midday newscasts, which air between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., while Bhirdo presents MI News 26 at 6:00 as well as the station's evening news programming, which runs from 7 p.m. until midnight every day. The two new personalities join Scott Forbes and Kayla Kiley, who host the overnight and morning news programming on the local TV station.

"I'm very excited and proud to be a part of an ever growing news team here at MI News 26," said Bhirdo.

In addition to debuting the new hosts, MI News 26 launched a new graphics package as well as numerous updates to its news set, designed by Michael P. Hill of NewscastStudio.com. The new look encompasses all of the station's locally-produced news programming.

"We were thrilled to work with top-notch talent to take our newscasts to the next level," said Eric Wotila, who owns and serves as the General Manager at MI News 26, "We've been able to bring network-caliber production to the local level thanks to the hard work of a talented and dedicated team."

MI News 26 was launched in early 2011 by 24-year-old news entrepreneur Eric Wotila. The station broadcasts to Wexford, Missaukee and Osceola continues on antenna channel 26 and is available to Charter Digital Cable subscribers throughout northwestern Michigan on SD channel 73 and HD channel 789. Its broadcasts are also streamed live online at MINews26.com.




Former Michigan State star turned Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins had pre-game butterflies in the press box at Spartan Stadium on Saturday afternoon. "I'm excited for this opportunity,'' said Cousins, minutes away from his broadcast debut as a color analyst with the Big Ten Network for the Spartans' Green-White Spring Game. "It's a little scary.''

Full story: Television broadcaster, author and NFL QB, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins is a game changer (Sun, 4/21)



Battle Creek Enquirer: ($)

The spirits are gone from what used to be the Ball Joint Sports Bar, but a different kind of spirit is very much in the house. On this Wednesday morning, Pastor Elmer R. Hess was giving a tour of the spacious, sparkling First Pentecostal Family Worship Center, which moved into the space last November.

Full story: WFPM-FM makes a home for gospel in Battle Creek (Fri, 4/19)



Fine Tuning:

  • Tyler Crawford has exited as afternoon drive host at Cumulus Country WWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor. No replacement has been named.


WJR Detroit's The Paul W. Smith Show ready for 10th Annual "Paul W. Smith Pure Michigan Tour"

For the 10th consecutive year, Cumulus News-Talk WJR AM 760 host Paul W. Smith is hitting the road for his week-long annual Pure Michigan Tour beginning Friday, April 26th 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. April 26: Monroe County Community College La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theatre

  • Mon. April 29: The FAB Magic Company in the Magic Capitol of the World - Colon, MI

    Tues. April 30: Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth


    Wed. May 1: Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island


    Thur. May 2: Hudsonville Ice Cream in Holland


    Fri. May 3: Cobo Center in Detroit



Detroit Free Press:

The Michigan SAG-AFTRA office located in Southfield will be closing. The move is part of a strategic restructuring by the national union, which represents actors and many other movie, TV and radio artists and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA (a merger of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is consolidating and closing 10 of 25 offices across the country.

Full story: Michigan SAG-AFTRA office to close (Tue, 4/23)



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


Newsmakers and links: April 25, 2013




CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WOOD-A-F/GRAND RAPIDS morning man GARY ALLEN is retiring on JUNE 21st after 32 years with the station and 24 years in mornings. ALLEN joined WOOD in MARCH 1981 and became morning host in JUNE 1989.

Full story: Gary Allen To Retire From WOOD/Grand Rapids (Thu, 4/25)



Detroit News:

There is plenty being said on urban talk radio in Detroit, but the conversation is more about enabling the issues that face Detroit than being a problem solver.

Full story: Detroit talk radio's new perspective (Wed, 4/24)


96.3 WDVD Detroit's "Cares for Kids" Radiothon hits the air today

Now in it's 6th year, Cumulus Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3 has teaming up with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to raise funds for children with special medical needs. Today, Friday, April 26th, from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., 96.3 WDVD's Blaine & Allyson in the Morning are broadcasting live from the South Tower of Beaumont's Children's Hospital with all proceeds from the event going towards the purchase of life-saving equipment for local children, as well as specialized pediatric programs and research at Beaumont Children's Hospital in Royal Oak.

Last year, 96.3 WDVD's "Cares for Kids" Radiothon raised over $100,000 for the cause,

Donations will be accepted by phone at 866-963-GIVE (4483), online at 963WDVD.com or in person during the 96.3 WDVD's "Cares for Kids" Radiothon. 100% of the donations will stay in the community to help children in need.



Detroit Free Press:

Baby boomers and Gen Xers, rejoice! "Bowling for Dollars," the Detroit TV hit of the 1970s is coming back to local airwaves. WADL-TV (Channel 38) announced plans Friday to revive the beloved game show and bring back original host Bob Allison, now 81, as the star.

Full story: Detroit TV classic 'Bowling for Dollars' returning with Bob Allison (Fri, 4/26)




BELL MEDIA Alternative CIMX (89X)/WINDSOR-DETROIT has expanded its "89X BIRTHDAY BASH" to birthday weekend with two shows. Day one is SATURDAY, JULY 6th at the FILLMORE DETROIT with HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD, ESCAPE THE FATE, MIDDLE CLASS RUT, 3 PILL MORNING, and more TBA. Day two is SUNDAY, JULY 7th at DTE will be 311, CYPRESS HILL, G. LOVE AND SPECIAL SAUCE, and IAMDYNAMITE.

Full story: 89X Birthday Bash Expands To Two Shows (Fri, 4/26)


Detroit News:

Automakers have killed the cassette player, and CD players are taking a back seat to Bluetooth-connected iPhones. The in-dash car radio, with its dials and knobs, isn't signing off yet. But it's past its prime in the eyes of some automakers, and most aren't prepared to spend much time or money tinkering with it. Instead, they're focusing on the next generation of in-car entertainment, such as Web browsing and music streaming. Startup automaker Detroit Electric plans to be the first without a radio when it rolls out its first car in August -- audio will be delivered via smartphone.

Full story: Automakers tuning out traditional in-car radios (Mon, 4/29)



Fine Tuning:

  • WNEM AM 1250 Bridgeport / Saginaw has gone silent in advance of the completion of the transfer of the station from Meredith Broadcasting to Ave Maria Communications. Meredith donated the former all-News station to Religious/Catholic broadcaster Ave Maria Radio earlier this year and it's expected the station will return to the air with a Catholic format once the transfer is complete.

  • Raised: Over $150,000 by Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit during Friday's Radiothon at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

  • CBS affiliate WWMT-TV Ch. 3 Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids has hired Aaron Dimick as a reporter. Prior to arriving in West Michigan, he was a multimedia journalist in Eau Claire, WI.



Detroit Free Press:

The $300 bill was the breaking point. Maria Wanat Tillitson called WOW and fought for a discount on her packaged cable service, which included TV, home phone and Internet. That was three years ago, and she has been doing it ever since.

Full story: Cable rates are negotiable - for those in the know (Mon, 4/29)


The Oakland Press:

WYCD-FM's Downtown Hoedown is still a month away, but it's offering a preview of this year's festival Friday, May 3 -- for a good cause. The country music station has joined forces with Quicken Loans and Defeat The Label, a national anti-bullying organization, to present a special Stand4Change Day concert from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit.

Full story: WYCD's Stand4Change includes Casey James, Ty Stone, Paulina Jayne (Wed, 5/1)




Clark Smith, a well-known presence and 30-year employee at WEMU (89.1-FM), is retiring effective this Friday, the station announced.

Full story: WEMU announces retirement of Program Director Clark Smith (Wed, 5/1)




CLEAR CHANNEL MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT/DETROIT has tapped AARON KLAUBER as Dir./Marketing and Promotions, effective immediately. KLAUBER will oversee all marketing and promotions for DETROIT's six stations. He joins from CCM+E/Dayton, where he has spent the last 13 years in a variety of roles including marketing, promotions and on-air.

Full story: CCM+E/Detroit Names Aaron Klauber Dir./Marketing and Promotions (Wed, 5/1)



Fine Tuning:

  • Scripps Broadcasting ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit has named Michigan native Fred Corbus as the station's new Director of Sales. He'll take the job on May 6th and is moving to WXYZ from West Michigan where he held the same role at LIN TV's WOOD-TV / WOTV-TV and WXSP-TV Grand Rapids.

    Corbus' appointment fills the vacancy created last year when Mike Murri was elevated from Director of Sales to Station Manager at WXYZ.


Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation opens up Spring Auction to bidders

Bidding is now open for MAB Foundation Spring Online Auction - Bidding ends Wednesday, May 22nd at 3 p.m. To visit the auction, view the items, and bid: visit www.biddingforgood.com/mabfoundation.



Fine Tuning:


MyFoxDetroit.com / WJBK-TV Ch. 2:

FOX 2 has confirmed that 101-WRIF Radio morning show hosts "Drew and Mike" will be replaced by Dave and Chuck of the Freak, the former 89X duo. The last 'Drew and Mike" broadcast is scheduled for May 17. Their contract was not renewed.

Full story: LeDuff exclusive interview with Drew and Mike (Wed, 5/8)



Detroit Free Press:

Morning show blockbuster "Drew & Mike" will be replaced on the WRIF-FM (101.) airwaves will be leaving rock station as of May 17, the Free Press has confirmed.

Full story: Drew and Mike to be replaced on WRIF-FM (Wed, 5/8)



Detroit News:

After 22 years, WRIF-FM (101.1) is dropping the popular, long-running "Drew & Mike" morning show, the station's owner, Greater Media, confirmed Wednesday.

Full story: WRIF to no longer air 'Drew & Mike' morning show (Wed, 5/8)

Bill Proctor stepped under the blinding, high-def lights at WXYZ's Broadcast House to be fussed over one last time. When a producer tells him that the light is hitting his distinguished brow perfectly, Proctor laughs.

Full story: WXYZ-TV reporter Bill Proctor leaves a legacy of big stories as he retires (Wed, 5/8)


Dave & Chuck The Freak expected to take mornings at Greater Media rocker

The proverbial other shoe has dropped in the 'Where will Dave & Chuck The Freak wind up' watch - and it looks like a Shaquille O'Neal-sized shoe - as Greater Media/Detroit has announced that the 22 year run of "Drew (Lane) & Mike (Clark)" will come to a close on its Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 next Friday, May 17th, with a final broadcast that is scheduled to take calls from listeners and past on-air contributors from 6 a.m. - 11 a.m.

The legacy morning show, which includes longtime newsperson Trudi Daniels, has long been a mainstay among young male listeners - a demographic WRIF is obviously trying to keep to itself with the pending official announcement that the station has hired "Dave & Chuck the Freak". That duo exited Bell Media's Modern Rock CIMX-FM 88.7 (89X) late last year and has been sitting out a non-compete clause.

"We would like to thank Drew, Mike, Trudi and the entire team for their many contributions to the station over the years in the Motor City", said Greater Media Detroit Market Manager Steve Chessare in a press release addressing the pending departure of Lane, Clark, and Daniels from WRIF. "They are true professionals and we are very grateful to them."

Dave (Hunter) & Chuck (Urquhart) The Freak also posted strong rating numbers among young males in the Detroit market when they were on the air at 89X; listeners that WRIF obviously hopes will make the switch over to 101.1 once they begin hosting mornings at a yet-to-be-announced date.

Drew & Mike's exit from WRIF adds to the seismic changes in Detroit morning radio that started in 2010 when Dick Purtan retired from WOMC-FM 104.3 followed by Jim Harper's exit from WMGC-FM 105.1 in 2011 and then Joe Donovan's exit from WWJ AM 950 late last year. This departure will likely receive a lot more negative reaction from fans as the departures of Purtan, Harper, and Donovan were all announced as retirements - unlike what for now appears to be the involuntary separation of "Drew & Mike" from WRIF.


Detroit Free Press:

Less than 24 hours after it was revealed that the "Drew and Mike" show would end on WRIF-FM (101.1) May 17, Drew Lane and Mike Clark led a show that looked back at the past, touched upon the present and hinted at the future.

Full story: Drew and Mike address departure, hint at what's next (Thu, 5/9)




It took a while Thursday morning, but Drew Lane and Mike Clark addressed with their traditional off-the-cuff style news reports that their popular radio show "Drew and Mike" will leave Detroit FM radio station WRIF on May 17. Both Lane and Clark confirmed the news and blasted reporters who they claim threw the veteran hosts under the bus now that they're forced to prepare for life after the WRIF and their show that's drawn audiences in for more than two decades.

Full story: 'Drew and Mike' appear open to new job at another Detroit station; they blast local media coverage (Thu, 5/9)



Macomb Daily:

A new free outdoor country music series made its debut in the heart of downtown Mount Clemens on Wednesday night. Titled Nashville in the Neighborhood, the six-date series is presented by WYCD-FM (99.5) with financial support from several sponsors.

Full story: New country series debuts in Mount Clemens (Thu, 5/9)


Detroit Free Press:

It was mostly funny business as usual today for Drew Lane and Mike Clark, who learned this week that their "Drew & Mike" morning show will end its 22-year run on WRIF-FM (101.1) on May 17. They joked about Maxim magazine's just-released list of the world's hottest women and did an abbreviated version of their popular Harris Poll feature, which typically finds the radio hosts dialing up people named Harris and asking them questions about current events.

Full story: Drew & Mike: Don't blame advertisers for end of show (Fri, 5/10)


A week from today, Michigan fans will enjoy one of the favorite days of the off-season. WTKA-AM (1050) in Ann Arbor will host its annual radioathon May 17, with a full day of guests. Michigan stars from the past and some current coaches will help raise money for U-M's Mott Children's Hospital.

Full story: Lineup for Michigan radiothon revealed (Fri, 5/10)



Detroit News:

Long time WDIV-TV (Channel 4) reporter Kevin Dietz has been in the Oakland County Jail since April 18 after being convicted of violating Michigan's tough "super drunk" driving law. According to the office of the Michigan Secretary of State, Dietz was arrested by Bloomfield Hills police on Feb. 2 for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .17 or more.

Full story: WDIV reporter Dietz in jail for drunken driving (Fri, 5/10)




WCSX/DETROIT is hosting a one-day fundraising effort for the family of local firefighter BRIAN WOEHLKE, who was killed in the line of duty. BRIAN WOEHLKE was just 10 months into his dream job when he was killed after a roof collapsed on him during a strip mall fire ... On MONDAY, MAY 13th, CSX personalities JIM O'BRIEN, KEN CALVERT, UNCLE BUCK and JULINE JORDAN will be out collecting for the family at four different locations.

Full story: WCSX Raises Funds For Fallen Firefighter's Family (Fri, 5/10)



Midwest Communications is preparing to breakup its News/Talk simulcast and debut Alternative Rock in Kalamazoo, MI. The News/Talk simulcast of 590 WKZO Kalamazoo and 96.5 WKZO-FM Portage will soon come to an end as 96.5 has applied to change call letters to WZOX.

Full story: Alternative On Way To Kalamazoo (Sun, 5/12)



Detroit Free Press:

Detroiters who missed "Detropia" in theaters in 2012 will get to see it at 9 p.m. Monday, May 13, on WTVS (Channel 56), two weeks ahead of its national PBS airing on "Independent Lens."

Full story: Detroit gets an early look at 'Detropia' on WTVS (Sun, 5/12)




The annual Mott Takeover on WTKA-AM (1050) is a win-win proposition. It helps former Michigan football stars Brian Griese, Steve Hutchinson and Charles Woodson raise money for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital -- to the tune of almost $80,000 last year.

Full story: Star-studded lineup of Michigan football stars to participate in 'Mott Takeover' on WTKA this week (Sun, 5/12)



Grand Rapids Press:

The results of the unofficial battle between "Team TV" and "Team Radio" for the quickest 25K race time in the 2013 Fifth Third Riverbank Run are in and it looks like this year's winners are "Team Radio". Michele DeSelms (FOX17), Shelley Irwin (WGVU Radio), Laura Velasquez (WOOD TV8), and Jackie Green (WGRD-FM) were just a handful of the local media personalities taking part in this year's run.

Full story: Local TV and Radio personalities tackle the Fifth Third River Bank Run (Sat, 5/11)



MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS splits its News/Talk WKZO-A/F simulcast and signs on "Z96.5FM, KALAMAZOO'S ALTERNATIVE" with 10,000 songs in a row and will add air staff in the coming month. The station is online at Z965FM.com. Upon reviewing key research that showed a demand for Alternative music in KALAMAZOO, the decision was made to launch Z96.5 FM. The Z96.5 format will be similar to MIDWEST's Alternative in LANSING, WVIC (94.1 THE EDGE).

Full story: Midwest Communications Launches Z96.5 Kalamazoo's Alternative (Mon, 5/13)



Grand Rapids Press:

Pop singers Jason Derulo and Ed Sheeran will co-headline the 2013 lineup of WSNX-FM's Party in the Park.

Full story: Jason Derulo, Ed Sheeran to headline WSNX's Party in the Park 2013 (Mon, 5/13)




Veteran WDIV investigative reporter Kevin Dietz was released from jail Saturday after serving more than three weeks for DUI, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Full story: WDIV Reporter Released From Jail After Serving 3 Weeks For DUI (Mon, 5/13)


Detroit News:

Nearly 60 percent of Americans predict the death of terrestrial radio will happen within five years, according to results from a Harris Interactive survey released Tuesday.

Full story: Harris survey: 6 in 10 predict demise of terrestrial radio within 5 years (Tue, 5/14)




Bill Spencer has joined Houston NBC affiliate KPRC as a member of its investigative team. "I'm thrilled to be here." Spencer told TVspy. "My first story is an investigative piece on Monday night at 10:00 p.m." In January, Spencer left Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ after 16 years.

Full story: Bill Spencer 'Thrilled' to Join Houston's KPRC (Tue, 5/14)



Fine Tuning:

  • Changes at Cumulus/Ann Arbor Country WWWW-FM 102.9 as Mandy Cooke exits middays; new to evenings at W4 Country is Brian Welch. Also exiting recently was weekender Kyle Linford, who also handled some swing shifts.


Newsmakers and links: May 15, 2013




Popular Detroit radio personalities Drew Lane and Mike Clark are expected to host their final "Drew and Mike" show 6-11 a.m. Friday on 101 WRIF-FM. What happens to their careers after their curtain call on the rock station appears unclear, but at least two experts agree the colorful hosts could be successful at a new home.

Full story: There's radio life for 'Drew and Mike' after WRIF-FM exit, experts say; share your show memories (Wed, 5/15)



Detroit Free Press:

The two-month search for the newest WRIF Rock Girl will end Thursday, May 16, with a concert party at the Hard Rock Café.

Full story: WRIF to crown a new Rock Girl (Wed, 5/15)


Detroit Free Press:

Just hours before his final "Drew and Mike" morning show broadcast on WRIF-FM (101.1), Drew Lane was still focused on making the best radio show possible.

Full story: 'Drew and Mike' crew prepares for final broadcast on Friday (Thu, 5/16)


Jason Strayhorn returned to the Michigan State sidelines for the 2006 season -- John L. Smith's 4-8 exit as head coach -- and has been there for Mark Dantonio's entire tenure. Starting with the 2013 season, Strayhorn will be watching from above. He will replace Jim Miller as color analyst for Spartan Sports Network radio broadcasts, teaming with George Blaha in his 38th season of doing MSU play-by-play.

Full story: Michigan State football radio: Jason Strayhorn replaces Jim Miller as analyst (Thu, 5/16)




Radio has lost a true legend. Top 40 radio pioneer PAUL DREW died of natural causes at VICTOR ROYALE ASSISTED LIVING in GLENDALE, CA; he was 78. DREW launched his radio career in ATLANTA, as a DJ at WAKE, WGST and WQXI -- the latter station promoted him to PD. He also held PD gigs at CKLW/WINDSOR-DETROIT, WIBG/PHILADELPHIA, KFRC/SAN FRANCISCO and KHJ/LOS ANGELES.

Full story: Paul Drew Passes (Thu, 5/16)


Detroit News:

The "Drew & Mike" show headed into its final hours Friday morning with hugs and shots of Jagermeister as Drew Lane, Mike Clark and crew wound down their 22-year run at WRIF-FM (101.1).

Full story: 'Drew & Mike' sign off at WRIF (Fri, 5/17)



Detroit Free Press:

Just as they did much of the past 22 years, Drew Lane and Mike Clark began their radio show at 6 a.m. Friday by cracking jokes, hitting the latest headlines and talking sports. But with local TV crews doing live shots from the show's get-go, a bottle of Jagermeister being passed around, and guests watching from every corner of the studio, the last "Drew and Mike" show broadcast on WRIF-FM (101.1) was an emotional, bittersweet ride.

Full story: Drew and Mike sign off with jokes, guests and a look back (Fri, 5/17)



The Oakland Press:

Did you listen today to the "Drew and Mike Show" on WRIF, 101.1-FM? Drew Lane and Mike Clark wrapped up their popular radio show on the RIF, they highlighted popular past bits from their 22-year run and also interviewed actor-comedian David Spade.

Full story: Drew and Mike wrapped up run at WRIF (Fri, 5/17)




Some Michigan football fans might be doing some double takes around Ann Arbor this weekend as some familiar faces may be walking around town.

Full story: Michigan football alumni take to airwaves to raise money for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (Fri, 5/17)


Crain's Detroit Business:

The question that has puzzled listeners and radio industry insiders alike in recent weeks is why Greater Media Inc. jettisoned longtime morning ratings kings Drew Lane and Mike Clark from 101.1 FM WRIF. The easy answer is age.

Full story: For 'RIF, 'W' is for why: Greater Media may be looking to dial in younger market (Sun, 5/19)



Informal Toledo radio reunion set for May 28th

Hot off the e-mail inbox:

Peter C. Cavanaugh, now prominently showcased in Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, will be joined by other past and present Toledo radio broadcasters in an "Informal Toledo Radio Reunion" at Manhattan's Restaurant & Bar Downtown on Tuesday, May 28th, from 5 till 7 PM.

Mr. Cavanaugh was Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Reams Broadcasting from 1983 through 1992, a period of time which witnessed WIOT-FM become the highest-rated Rock Station in America and, with sister facility WCWA, produce dozens of Toledo "River Rallies" in Promenade Park featuring top national attractions. In the same decade, hundreds of thousands were drawn to annual Fourth of July and Labor Day Fireworks presented by Reams Broadcasting simulcast live and synchronized to music and lasers on the banks of the Maumee.

Cavanaugh, now a private broadcast consultant and writer for McClatchy Newspapers, lives with his wife, Eileen, in Oakhurst, California at the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. This "Reunion" at Manhattan's marks his first visit back to Toledo in a dozen years.

"We're calling this an "informal radio reunion" and that's exactly what's planned", reports Cavanaugh. He continues, " You are enthusiastically invited if you have ever worked for -- or listened to -- any Toledo radio station -- ever. All you have to do is show up! "



Fine Tuning:

  • Birach Broadcasting's Sports WCAR AM 1090 Livonia/Detroit has apparently dropped all of its local weekday programming that had been airing from 1 - 10 p.m. and is now instead carrying the syndicated programming from ESPN Radio full time. Missing from the airwaves since they were last heard on Friday May 3rd have been the afternoon programs hosted locally by Damon 'The Dog' Perry, Eddie Mio and Art Regner, and the evening program hosted by Mark 'The Man' Wilson. Wilson had also held the role of program director -- it's not clear if he is even with the station any longer.

    Nothing official has been released by Birach as to the status of its local programming block.


Detroit News:

Dave Hunter and Chuck "the Freak" Urquhart have been named WRIF-FM's new morning show after months of speculation. The show, made popular on Canadian airways via Windsor's 89X (CIMX-FM) with Lisa Way, will run 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. beginning May 28.

Full story: It's official: Dave and Chuck 'the Freak' headed to WRIF (Mon, 5/20)



Detroit Free Press:

It's official: Dave Hunter and Charles Urquhart, the former hosts of the "Dave and Chuck the Freak" morning show on CIMX-FM (88.7)," will launch a new show on WRIF-FM (101.1) at 6 a.m. on May 28, the show's hosts just told the Free Press.

Full story: It's official: Dave and Chuck 'the Freak' to replace Drew and Mike (Mon, 5/20)




On Saturday, May 18, Fox O&O WJBK Detroit (DMA 11) supported the 22nd annual Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure. More than 30,000 people took to the streets to raise funds to help fight breast cancer.

Full story: WJBK Detroit Supports Komen Race For The Cure (Mon, 5/20)



The Oakland Press:

Lucky customers lined up at the Mobil Crescent gas station in Waterford Monday to load up on free gas.

Full story: Radio station gives away free gas in Waterford (Mon, 5/20)


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

It would be difficult to recall a time when so many people were talking about radio, but lately the listeners have been very vocal about what's been going across the dial. Years ago I stated that there was once a question people would ask, "Honey, can I change the station?" Now the station changes for you. The worst part is that it's being done by "corporate decision makers" and without any concern for you, the listener. They don't care. The giant companies which control nearly all of the major market stations across America care only about the profit and loss columns. Period.

VuoloMuch has been written about the Drew & Mike departure from Detroit's Home of Rock and Roll...WRIF. A lot of it has been speculation and perhaps my thoughts will be as well, but I hope that my words will at least resemble the truth..

Those of you who read my rants, know that I've always said that the answer to ALL questions regarding the goings on of the radio business is MONEY. It's always about the money. Drew & Mike were very popular on The Riff, but they were also expensive. Steve Kosbeau was the general manager of WDVD and WDRQ (Doug-FM) and probably saw the writing on the wall when Cumulus Media took over Citadel Communications, the previous owner of the stations in the Fisher Building. So he assumed a similar position at Greater Media of Detroit, which owns WRIF, as well as WCSX (94.7) and WMGC (105.1) the later of which has seemingly lost its identity after the departure of Jim Harper. The Magic name was dropped and so has its audience. While WCSX maintains a solid presence as Detroit's classic rocker with longtime market fixture Ken Calvert as its morning anchor, WMGC has not. The morning show at 105.1 is hosted by the very talented Chris Edmonds, but you'd have to listen closely to even realize that since its highly restrictive format only permits his speaking about four times an hour. Sad.

Kosbeau was recently replaced by a new boss, Steve Chessare who was brought in from New York. His job is to increase the R&R (ratings and revenue) and the best way to do both is by trimming expenses. Upon reviewing the books and history of the Greater Media trio of stations locally he probably saw that the largest salaries were going to WRIF's Drew & Mike, and before his arrival, Magic's Jim Harper. Well, Harper "retired" in December of 2011 saving a lot of money, but at what cost? That station is pretty much a non-entity at this point. It's running cheap, but who is listening?

It does not take a legal mind to ascertain which large paycheck would be the next one to trim....the boys at Riff. Add to the fact that after 22 years, they (and their audience) was getting older and things starting looking grim. The same could be said of The Bob & Tom Show syndicated nationally from Clear Channel flagship WFBQ in Indianapolis. The youngest member of that show is over 50. They still attract a large audience, are still funny have won more Marconi Awards (Radio's Oscar) than any morning show in America. But, aside from the awards, the same can be said of Drew & Mike.

Dave, Lisa, Chuck The FreakSteve Chessare's job is to improve the bottom line. Although management was being very reluctant until this afternoon to confirm the reports that former 89X morning jocks Dave and Chuck the Freak would soon occupy the morning shift at WRIF, they have finally made official what had to be the worst kept secret in local radio. The new show starts the day after Memorial Day, Tuesday May 28th.

It's also been said that you never want to be the person(s) who follows a legend. Just ask Paul W. Smith. Even though he had nearly a full year of Jimmy Barrett filling in after the passing of JP McCarthy, he still fights for acceptance as the heir to the WJR AM drive throne. Today, Smith is doing very well, as is Jimmy Barrett at Richmond's 50,000 watt powerhouse WRVA (1140).

Remember Deminski & Doyle at 97.1 FM? They didn't mesh well with the change to sports and the relocation to mornings from an excellent and lengthy run in afternoons. After a failed attempt at WCSX and sitting out about two years of not working, they jumped at an opportunity to return to New Jersey 101.5. That's the same station they came here from about 13 years ago. So, I guess you can go home again after all. Interestingly for a whole year they fielded calls that began with "Welcome back guys!"

So the speculation is running wild as to where Drew Lane, Mike Clark, and Trudi Daniels, will wind up. Will they have to remain off the air for the traditional six months before another station can hire them? Not sure. Theories that WCSX or WMGC will pick them up are slim to none. Companies don't let people go and then re-hire them for another job within the same building. Yet, it's rare to let radio talent do a final week on the air and host a final show as well. I was able to be in-studio with my HD camcorder for their final show, but management had me leave prior to the actual sign-off. Bummer.

Let me finish with my feeling as to what could happen to the ousted Riff crew. Out in San Diego there was a similar high-priced popular morning show known as DSC (Dave, Shelly & Chainsaw) at KGB-FM (101.5) close frequency too. In a similar fashion, their contract was not renewed (mostly over money) imagine that. The show was in limbo from January 2012 through August. KFMB AM-FM-TV (another rare combination) picked up the trio for KFMB-FM, known these days as Jack-FM. It's a station very similar to Detroit's WDRQ-FM (93.1) known as "Doug-FM." Ironically KFMB-AM is at 760. Do you see a pattern here? WDRQ's AM sister station is WJR. A shift to 93.1 would not displace any existing morning show since the entire station runs out of a hard-drive in a computer. The station already has a spacious hardly used studio, right next to sister FM station WDVD-FM (96.3) which hasn't been used since Jay Towers hosted the WDRQ morning show over six years ago. It seems so logical that it will probably never happen, but we can hope.



Finally, in switching gears, I want to drop in a shameless plug for a new toy that I acquired about three months ago called a Sling-Box. If you don't know what it is, let me give it to you in a few simple sentences. With this device you can, on your tablet or smart phone watch anything on your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) in your home, anywhere in the world. All you need is an Internet Wi-Fi connection! While recently out in the Las Vegas area visiting my folks, there I was at their kitchen table with my iPad watching, in HD the news on Local 4 Detroit crystal-clear in real time with incredible video quality. It even works in an airplane, but not in the HD mode. Even if you don't travel extensively, it gives you great control because you can record or playback anything in your home DVR from anywhere. The unit costs $299, but there is a $149 version too and no monthly subscription. On the west coast I could watch my favorite DJ's on Fox 2's Dish Nation at 9 pm without having to wait till midnight. Ain't technology grand? Happy Summertime!


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


Art Vuolo Jr.


Fine Tuning:

  • The FM dial in Northern Michigan underwent some big changes yesterday with multiple stations swapping frequencies/formats and one returning to the air:

    * WAVC FM 93.9 Mio has returned to the air with a talk format, simulcasting WYPV FM 94.5 Mackinaw City. The stations identify as 'The Patriot'.

    * The WYPV format and calls moved from FM 106.3 Onaway. That frequency is now has the call sign WJZJ and is carrying a soft rock format as Easy 106.3. This station plays the same music as WQEZ FM 95.5 Glen Arbor / Traverse City but with different advertisements and positioning.

    * FM 94.5, which was part of the Classic Rock 'The Bear' service also heard on FM 98.1 in the Traverse City area and FM 107.1 in the Cadillac area, had been using the call sign WLJZ through December when it switched to WOEZ, followed by WJZJ on May 1st, and now WYPV.

    * Classic Rock 'The Bear' is now heard on FM 97.7 Cheboygan and that station has the currently has the WOEZ call sign.

  • In Sarnia, Ontario CHOK AM 1070 and its FM simulcaster on 103.9 has changed its music from Country to a variety of Soft Rock. The station maintains its full-service approach with news, talk, and sports content to go with its music.




TALK MEDIA NETWORK's "FRONTLINES OF FREEDOM" with ARMY Lt. Col. DENNY GILLEM (Ret.) is returning in the GRAND RAPIDS market to its original home, CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WOOD-A-F/GRAND RAPIDS, for SATURDAYS 6-8p (ET), beginning JUNE 1st.

Full story: 'Frontlines Of Freedom' Returns To WOOD (Tue, 5/21)


Detroit News:

Ryan Field's first appearance on national television came 12 years ago in Hollywood, where, as a baby-faced 20-something just graduated from Michigan State, he appeared on "The Price is Right" -- and won four mountain bikes and a trip to Barcelona. He's hit it big again. And again, he's off to Los Angeles.

Full story: FSD correspondent Ryan Field gets national call-up from Fox (Thu, 5/23)



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD TV8's Ryan Takeo, a California native, is heading home to the Golden State. Takeo is joining KPIX-TV in San Francisco as a general assignment reporter/MMJ, the CBS-TV owned station announced Wednesday.

Full story: WOOD TV8's Ryan Takeo leaving Grand Rapids for a Top 10 TV market (Thu, 5/23)



Fine Tuning:

  • Another FM translator sale 'Up North' will get an AM on FM: Richard Stone is purchasing FM translator W236CB 95.1 Charlevoix from Fred Hannel for $10,000. Stone plans on rebroadcasting his News/Talk WJML AM 1110 Petoskey on the translator according to the FCC transfer application.


Newsmakers and links: May 24, 2013



Detroit Free Press:

In 1930, Detroit was the fastest-growing city in the world. Today it's the fastest-shrinking city, with families fleeing every day. That's one of the sobering facts shared in "Detropia," the powerful 2012 documentary about the once-thriving Motor City.

Full story: 'Detropia': PBS to air powerful Detroit doc nationally (Fri, 5/24)




In the aftermath of one of the worst tornados in U.S. history, Scripps-owned WXYZ Detroit (DMA 11) stepped up to help those affected by the deadly tornado that struck Moore, Okla. In partnership with the American Red Cross Southeastern Michigan Region, WXYZ hosted a live telethon on Wednesday, May 22, to raise money for those affected by the Oklahoma disaster.

Full story: WXYZ Detroit Okla. Telethon Raises $85,000 (Fri, 5/24)



TheTicker - Traverse City:

TV 7&4 and 29&8 anchors Erika Erickson, Brody O'Connell and Kate Fox are all moving on from the station they've reported news from the past three years. Erickson and O'Connell are jumping to larger markets; Erickson will be reporting for WJBK-TV FOX 2 in Detroit and O'Connell for WBTV in Charlotte - a Top 50 market.

Full story: Anchors Away: Local NBC, ABC Affiliate Sees Changes (Thu, 5/23)



Detroit Public TV planning coverage of next week's Mackinac Policy Conference

Detroit's WTVS-TV Ch. 56 (DPTV) will offer live broadcasts, live webcasts and keep viewers up to date on analysis and behind-the-scenes information from the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference. It's three days of the most important issues facing Michigan, and the next best thing to being there.

Viewers can tune in for the station's "MiVote Mackinac" nightly wrap-ups airing May 29-31 at 7:30 p.m. ET on the main Channel, 56.1.

There will also be 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:

  • Wednesday, May 29 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 30th from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 31st from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 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.



Michigan AMBER Alert Foundation (MAAF) elects 2013 officers

Newly elected officers include: President, Ellyn Davidson, Managing Partner at Brogan and Partners Communications (Birmingham); Vice President, Rhonda Huffman, MAAO III, PPE, Real Estate Manager, Adams Outdoor Advertising (Lansing); Secretary, Mary Worland, Development Coordinator for the Michigan AMBER Alert Foundation (Lansing); Treasurer, Tom Hahn, Finance Manager for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (Lansing); Immediate Past President Michael Gottlieb, Vice President, Signal Installs (Novi).

"I am thrilled to contribute my time as the new president of the Michigan Amber Alert Foundation Board," said Ellyn Davidson. "There is nothing more important to me than ensuring the safety of all Michigan children, and I'm happy to use my talents to help this great foundation."

The MAAF also welcomed the following members to the board of trustees: Al Blinke, Vice President and General Manager for WNEM-TV, Meredith Corporation (Flint/Saginaw), Bruce Law, Director of Sales for Clear Channel West Michigan, Lila Lazarus, Owner/Producer/Talent of Lila Productions, LLC (Detroit)


Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr. and Jon Quick

Jon Quick worked at WCCO in Minneapolis when I first met him. He spent a decade as program director of the Indianapolis radio station where my radio career began, WIBC. He is today a respected radio consultant and wrote a piece to broadcasters after the horrible tragedy in Moore, OK on May 20th. Here are his words...Quick and to-the-point.


The General Manager from one of my client radio stations asked a very timely and important question of me today. Should we have a disaster plan? The answer is absolutely! An EF-5 tornado in a densely populated area makes you rethink things.

So, in light of the latest tragedy in Oklahoma City, it is again another example of where radio is providing a lifeline to the victims for critical information. But, if you're not on the air, obviously you cannot perform this potentially life-saving public service.

The FCC has a ready made set of guidelines for radio preparedness. See the links below. The first is more general; the second a guide specific to radio stations, and very comprehensive. One thing for sure, be prepared first and foremost with an alternate broadcast location that is working. They recommend running test drills with your staff switching to and broadcasting from that location. The listener doesn't even need to know. I know that stations I was involved with after 9-11 took this seriously and made plans. But it's been a long time and it's one of those things we sometimes neglect to think of -- until the next tragedy strikes. It's time for a refresher course.

You'll need maybe one turntable, a microphone, a way to air the commercials (when appropriate), and connection to news networks. Maybe even food and water. I know many stations have it rigged so you just pull a switch and everything switches over to the "new studio." Let's hope none of us ever need it but we'll thank God that it's there if we do.

I would also recommend running promos encouraging people to add the "Tune-In Radio" app to their smart phones so they can hear you anywhere (if you don't have your own app). If you have an iPhone, try the "Streams hi fi" app. One day soon FM chips will be in the phones too, thanks to the dedication of Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan and the FCC. A no-brainer. Many times if people have to flee, they don't think to grab a radio, but will have their smart phones. Fifty percent of your listeners have smart phones these days. I wish I could remember who said it recently, but the smart phone has become the "remote control" of our lives.



Mr. Quick nailed it! Just a couple of days prior to the destruction in Moore, OK, Jon responded to my column about what is happening to the radio industry in here the 21st century:


Broadcasters must realize that they need to become a brand, with their radio content being available in a choice of ways. Not just on-air, but online, and on smart phones. I believe it's still all about content. If it's great and unique they will find you. This also points to the importance of the personality. I can get the music anywhere. But, I can't get a John Landecker or a Joey Reynolds. I work with several Midwest stations that are big with farm and agri-business news. Today the farmer gets the markets instantaneously on their ... yes, smart phones.

The brands that are making it, offer additional commentary and grass roots connections with the farmer (who are more sophisticated than many give them credit for). So maybe listening ON-AIR will go down ... but if your content and branding is great and compelling.... they will still EXPERIENCE you ... but on different platforms. Let's not disregard the recent survey saying the vast majority of people, including the younger ones still want a radio in their cars.


Final thoughts from Art Vuolo

Really well put, and probably one of the reasons Jon Quick is such a respected radio executive. It's just so sad that as I monitored Oklahoma City's primary news-talk station, KTOK-AM, owned by mega-owner Clear Channel, budget and staff cuts deprive the listeners, of the type of coverage they deserve. KTOK, like so many stations in cities outside of the top ten, runs syndicated network programming after 6 pm, so all they could do was provide the audio track of NBC affiliate KFOR-TV. I hope that would not happen in Detroit.

This is the peak severe weather season for southeast Michigan. The 2012 Dexter tornado was strangely in the winter, on March 15, six days before the official start of spring. March 20, 1976 was when a twister took aim at the intersection of Maple and Orchard Lake Road. God forbid if that was to be repeated today. However, tornadoes in Flint hit on June 8, 1953, in Novi on June 21, 1987, also June 21 in 1996 hit Frankenmuth and just beyond June on July 2, 1997 there were multiple hits in the metro Detroit area and radio here responded in a big way. We are blessed to have two well-staffed AM news-talk and information stations in WJR-AM 760 and WWJ-AM 950. As we head into a critical time for tornadoes in our part of the country you can rest assured that these stations will not simply plug into TV audio to serve our community. Have a safe summer!

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

Contact Jon Quick via e-mail at jonqconsulting@aol.com


Art Vuolo Jr.


Detroit Free Press:

After nearly six months of radio silence, Dave Hunter, Charles (Chuck the Freak) Urquhart and Lisa Way know they won't have any problem finding things to talk about when they make their WRIF-FM (101.1) morning-show debut Tuesday. But it might be another thing altogether finding the right knobs to turn and switches to flip so their buzzed-about "Dave and Chuck the Freak" show is heard by anyone outside their new studio.

Full story: 'Dave and Chuck the Freak' ready to keep rockin' Detroit radio (Sun, 5/26)



Fine Tuning:

  • FOX TV owned WJBK-TV Ch. 2 Detroit has added its first digital subchannel. WJBK 2-2 is currently airing a promo loop for "Movies!", a new digital multicast television network that is co-owned by FOX and Weigel Broadcasting, that is set to debut regular programming at 8 a.m. tomorrow, May 27th.

    Movies! will air "a variety of theatrical motion pictures in a new, viewer and advertiser friendly format, not seen on broadcast television to date", according to the new service. Programming will be broadcast in 16:9 widescreen format.



A new radio era began Tuesday morning at Detroit's WRIF-FM as "Dave and Chuck 'The Freak'" kicked off their first show on the station.

Full story: New era in Detroit radio: 'Dave and Chuck' start first day at WRIF-FM; future for 'Drew and Mike' unclear (Tue, 5/28)



Detroit Free Press:

There was a surreal beat of silence. After the final thank-yous and good-byes were issued Tuesday, Dave Hunter, Chuck (the Freak) Urquhart and Lisa Way sat in silence for a moment.

Full story: 'Dave & Chuck' takes over at WRIF (Tue, 5/28)


Welcome to our tournament to determine the best sports broadcaster in Michigan.

Full story: Bracket: Who is the best sports announcer in Michigan? (Tue, 5/28)


Detroit Free Press:

"Bowling for Dollars" fans, have any time to spare this weekend? The public is invited to the taping of the return of the Detroit TV classic.The first taping for the updated "Bowling for Dollars" will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, the original home of the beloved local game show.

Full story: Public invited to 'Bowling for Dollars' taping Saturday (Wed, 5/29)


Frank Beckmann, the radio voice of Michigan football and host of a daily talk show on WJR-AM (760), today issued an apology for a recent column on golfer Sergio Garcia's reference to "fried chicken" when talking about black golfer Tiger Woods. Beckmann's column in the Detroit News on Friday drew fire from some people who found it racially insensitive.

Full story: Michigan football voice Frank Beckmann apologizes for column on 'fried chicken' flap (Wed, 5/29)



Detroit News:

After talking with some good friends and reflecting on my Friday Detroit News column, "Sergio Garcia 'chicken' gaffe reveals our thin skin," I think I was off base. In my effort to emphasize my disdain for political correctness, I conflated it with the Sergio Garcia/Tiger Woods situation and that was a mistake on my part.

Full story: Frank Beckmann: For my Sergio Garcia column, I apologize (Wed, 5/29)




Congratulations to CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT, which marked its 20th anniversary YESTERDAY (5/28). In 1993, then-owner ALLIANCE flipped NEWS/TALK WOW-FM to YOUNG COUNTRY, just it had previously done with properties in DALLAS, SEATTLE and SAN FRANCISCO.

Full story: WYCD Turns 20 With Hoedown Throwdown (Wed, 5/29)


Newsmakers and links: May 30, 2013



Detroit Free Press:

The University of Michigan today condemned an "offensive" newspaper column by U-M football announcer Frank Beckmann, but has taken no disciplinary action against him, despite concern from some members of the U-M Board of Regents over Beckmann's views.

Full story: Michigan condemns Frank Beckmann for 'fried chicken' column, but does not discipline him (Thu, 5/30)



Fine Tuning:

  • Trudi Daniels, who had apparently just left the Greater Media/Detroit complex last week with the departure of the Drew and Mike show from Rock WRIF-FM 101.1, is now on board as morning host at sister station Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 as of Monday, June 3rd. She'll be joining Ken Calvert for the 5 - 9 a.m. shift - which will be re-titled to give Daniels co-billing.

    Market manager Steve Chessare commented in a release, "The WCSX air staff is a collection of outstanding on-air personalities from Detroit rock radio history. Trudi is an outstanding talent and the perfect choice to co-host the morning show with Ken Calvert. We are thrilled she will continue to remain a part of the Greater Media/Detroit family."

    Daniels added, "I spent most of my life going to concerts and had to find some way to keep getting free tickets. I'm also going for the record for shortest radio move -- about 40 yards and across the hall!"

  • Tim Roberts, already operations manager for Country WYCD-FM 99.5 and Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3 at CBS Radio/Detroit, has added the same responsibility for Top 40 WDZH-FM 98.7 (Amp Radio). Tim Rainey continues on as Program Director for Amp.



Saginaw News:

Meredith Broadcasting and Channel 5, WNEM have given the 1250-AM radio station to Ave Maria Communications. The former news and talk radio station, which featured syndicated talk shows including Neal Boortz and Dave Ramsey, is off the air. It will begin offering Catholic programming within the next few months.

Full story: WNEM, Channel 5 gives 1250-AM radio station to Ave Maria Communications for Catholic programming (Thu, 5/30)



Kalamazoo Gazette:

The B-93 Birthday Bash continues to roll out locations for its free ticket giveaways for the major country music festival on June 8-9 at the U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, 1249 12th St. in Martin.

Full story: B-93 Birthday Bash 2013: Ticket giveaways in Kalamazoo today, other West Michigan locations through June 7 (Thu, 5/30)


Detroit Free Press:

Pastor Steven Thrasher was in the hot seat today as the first bowler to go before the cameras for the new version of the Detroit 1970s TV classic "Bowling for Dollars."

Full story: Fans flock to taping of Detroit's revived 'Bowling for Dollars' (Sat, 6/1)



Grand Rapids Press:

"Frontlines of Freedom," the weekly military talk show that originated on WOOD Radio, hosted by retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Denny Gillem, is returning to its first home. The syndicated talk show that recently aired on WJRW-AM (1340) on Sunday mornings is returning tonight to the Clear Channel Media-owned station that launched it in 2007.

Full story: Nationally syndicated military talk show returns to its home on WOOD Radio (Sat, 6/1)



Fine Tuning:

  • Spring sports championships take center stage on the MHSAA.tv website the next three Saturdays, with over 80 hours of live streaming video beginning with Saturday's (June 5) coverage of running events from the MHSAA Track & Field Finals. Coverage begins at 10 a.m. (EDT) with the morning preliminaries in the Lower Peninsula, and the 3,200-meter relay final in the Upper Peninsula. The U.P. action will run continuously without a break, while the L.P. coverage takes a break after the semifinals in the 100 and 200 dashes and the high hurdles, resuming at approximately 1 p.m. with the afternoon finals. The afternoon session could begin up to 30 minutes earlier based on the finish of the morning session. A complete schedule for both peninsulas, and lists of qualifiers, can be found on the Track & Field Pages of the MHSAA website.

    The track coverage will be followed on subsequent Saturdays with the Boys & Girls Lacrosse Finals on June 8, beginning at 2 p.m.; the Baseball-Softball Finals on June 15, beginning at 9:30 a.m.; and the Girls Soccer Finals on June 15, beginning at Noon.

    All of the live video streams are free and will be archived on the MHSAA.tv website. DVD's will also be available at MHSAA.tv.

    The MHSAA Network will also stream live audio of the Lacrosse Finals on June 8; the Girls Soccer Finals on June 15;, and in addition to the Baseball-Softball Finals on June 15, the Network will also stream live audio of the Semifinal games in both sports on June 14 from Bailey Park in Battle Creek.

    All of the live audio streams, and on-demand archives, will be available at MHSAANetwork.com.


True North Radio / Alpenanow.com:

True North Radio Network made a format change effective Friday, May 24th at 11am. The station formerly known as Thunder Country at 100.7 FM became Thunder Rock 100.7 FM. "The change was based on surveys from listeners and advertisers in the area", according to General Manager Darrel Kelly. Classic rock is the soundtrack of the baby boom generation. It features the greatest rock from the 70′s , 80′s, and 90′s. The station will be known officially as "Thunder Rock 100.7, The Sunrise side's classic rock." In addition, a new morning show, "Free Beer and Hot Wings" will be on weekdays from 5 until 10am.

Full story: 100.7 Changes Format to Thunder Rock (Fri, 5/24)



Fine Tuning:

  • Dean La Douceur, writer, speaker and professional collaborator, will host a podcast on BlogTalkRadio with special guest Katrina Hancock, former WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit sports reporter and weekend sports anchor, on Wednesday, June 5th at 11:00 am ET.

    Hancock will be making her first public comments since a non-disclosure lapsed from WDIV, and she will be talking about what happened. Katrina is is now President of Media Creations by Katrina, LLC, what she describes as "a multi-faceted media company offering all forms of videos, media training, interview coaching, public relations, marketing, community project organization, and social media education."

    Tune in to On The Dean's list at www.blogtalkradio.com/onthedeanslist/2013/06/05/katrina-hancock.


Fine Tuning:

  • After about 3 months on the job, Keith Hastings has bid a hasty adieu to Greater Media/Detroit Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7, where he was briefly the station's Program Director, to head for San Antonio, TX where he'll be PD at Classic Rock KISS-FM. Hastings was named as the successor to Brent Alberts - who has since landed in Toledo.




Media General and Young Broadcasting have announced an agreement to merge the two companies. The new company will retain the Media General name and location, based in Richmond, Va. (In Michigan, Young Broadcasting owns/operates CBS affiliate WLNS-TV Ch. 6 Lansing)

Full story: Young Broadcasting, Media General to Merge (Thu, 6/6)



Gannett-owned ABC affiliate WZZM Grand Rapids, Mich. (DMA 39), has created a Watchdog Team headed by veteran reporter and anchor, Lee Van Ameyde who has been with the station for more than 36 years. Van Ameyde, the stations says, "is known in the community and professional arenas as being an advocate for those without a voice and for seeking answers on tough and controversial issues."

Full story: WZZM Launches Watchdog Reporting Team (Fri, 6/7)




LANSER BROADCASTING Contemporary Christian WJQK (JQ 99.3)/GRAND RAPIDS recently partnered with churches in HOLLAND & ZEELAND, MI as a part of their JQ & U Campaign called "ONE LORD, ONE CHURCH," which brought churches together for two weeks to rally the community together all in the name of serving one God.

Full story: JQ99/Grand Rapids Partnering With Churches (Thu, 6/6)



Saginaw News:

Howard Sharper felt a little empty a few weeks ago, as if something was missing in his life.His battle with high blood pressure and congestive heart failure forced him into medical leave from his position as director of programming and production at Delta College's public radio station WUCX-FM, 90.1, "and I was feeling erased," he said.

Full story: Radio icon Howard Sharper says he 'didn't do anything special' as musicians recognize his support (Tue, 6/4)


When Michael Brush headed to Delta College's broadcasting center last February, the jazzman from Freeland was surprised to learn the radio station's director of programming and production wasn't in the WUCX-FM, 90.1, offices.

Full story: Musicians say thanks to radio icon Howard Sharper with scholarship concert at Bay City's State Theatre (Wed, 6/5)



Fine Tuning:

  • Clear Channel/Detroit's 'Mojo In the Morning' crew of Top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 is getting lots of attention for its clever stunt earlier this week involving a Ryan Gosling look-a-like. Check out the Lyin' Gosling Street Scam for yourself.

  • Cumulus Media rearranges some of its management personnel in the area, moving VP Market Manager Matt Spaulding from Toledo to Ann Arbor where he'll keep the same role. Filling the position in Toledo will be John Gallagher, who shifts from Kansas City where he was VP of Sales for the Cumulus' cluster there. Gallagher's name might be familiar; he spent time in Detroit in management roles at WJR-AM 760 and Greater Media's cluster that includes WCSX-FM 94.7 / WRIF-FM 101.1 / WMGC-FM 105.1. Spaulding's move marks a return to Ann Arbor for him.


Bill Bailey, WGVU AM morning host and radio icon in Michigan, dies suddenly at age 66

WOOD-FM/AM 106.9/1300 Grand Rapids/Muskegon:

West Michigan radio icon Bill Bailey has died. He had a long career that started with Armed Forces Radio when he served in Vietnam, according to his peer and friend Phil Catlett. "Bill was a major-market talent that worked in Washington, DC, and Cincinnati, and the famed WLS in Chicago before he came to Grand Rapids."

Full story: West Michigan Radio Icon Bill Bailey Dies (Wed, 6/12)

Note: Bailey also worked in Detroit and was perhaps best known in that city for his time hosting morning drive at WDRQ-FM 93.1 in the 1970s. His WGVU profile states that he had been in the radio business for more than 30 years with gigs at WLS AM Chicago and WXTR-FM in Washington DC, among many others. Prior to joining WGVU, he was the Program Director and afternoon host for WLHT-FM 95.7 and as Program Director at WTRV-FM 100.5 in Grand Rapids.

His award-winning career included recognition from the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award, winning for Station of the Year in 1998. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 he was a finalist for the NAB's Crystal Award and he was also a finalist for Billboard Magazine's Air Personality of the Year and Program Director of the Year.

Bill is survived by his wife Sandy and had one daughter.



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

After a career in journalism that has spanned more than 35 years, 7 Action News reporter Cheryl Chodun has announced her retirement. Chodun began her career as a freelance newspaper reporter before joining WXYZ in 1978 as a news writer. She went on to report news for WCXI and WWJ radio before being recruited back to WXYZ's 7 Action News as an on-air reporter in 1988.

Full story: 7 Action News reporter Cheryl Chodun announces her retirement (Wed, 6/12)



Michigan Radio receives national UNITY Award

The Radio Television Digital News Association has honored Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint) with a RTDNA/UNITY Award for its recent "Infant Mortality in Michigan" documentary. Michigan Radio received the award in the large market radio category. This is Michigan Radio's second UNITY Award; the first was awarded for the station's 2011 series "Muslims in Michigan."

"This national RTDNA/UNITY Award is a tremendous acknowledgement of important journalism from the State of Opportunity team," said Stephen Schram, Michigan Radio's Director of Broadcasting. "We also extend our thanks and congratulations to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation whose sole support of State of Opportunity makes this work possible."


Remembering Bill Bailey

Longtime West Michigan radio icon Bill Bailey died suddenly at the age of 66 on the golf course after suffering an apparent heart attack on Wednesday, June 12th at the age of 66. He was working a station event for Public/Oldies WGVU AM 1480/850 in the Grand Rapids area where he was the Program Director and morning host. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Listen back to Bill when he was hosting mornings at Detroit's WDRQ-FM 93.1 back in the 1970s on George Griggs' Motor City Radio Flashbacks site.


Art Vuolo remembers Bill with a Video Air Check featuring some of his work at WLHT-FM 95.7 Grand Rapids and at a WLS Chicago rewind, seen below:




Detroit Free Press:

Matt Dery of 97.1 The Ticket has a new gig with an old franchise. The sports radio personality will be the new host of the rebooted "Bowling for Dollars." The iconic Detroit game show that ruled the local airwaves in the 1970s is being revived by WADL (Channel 38) starting this weekend.

Full story: 'Bowling for Dollars' names Matt Dery new host (Fri, 6/14)


Saginaw News:

A huge crowd estimated at 110,000 people biked, walked and boated its way to Saginaw's Ojibway Island to see country music headliner Gary Allan perform his chart-toppers at the KCQ Country Music Fest. The event has drawn country music fans to Saginaw for 22 years and surpassed the Saginaw County Police Department's initial expectations of 90,000.

Full story: KCQ Country Music Fest draws estimated 110,000 fans as country star Gary Allan plays Saginaw's Ojibway Island (Sat, 6/15)


The coolers have been packed, cowboy hats have been bought and the crowds have gathered as the KCQ Free Country Music Fest kicked off on Saginaw's Ojibway Island. Some fans camped out starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, like Saginaw resident Ashley Hummel, 32, who set up chairs for her friends and family next to a willow tree.

Full story: Saginaw's Ojibway Island two-stepping with country fans at KCQ Country Music Fest (Sat, 6/15)



Flint Journal:

Gospel radio host Sam Williams used to end his shows with the phrase, "What on Earth are you doing for Heaven's sake?" Flint radio listeners have been able to answer that question for him for more than 50 years as he hosted his Sam Williams Sunday Morning Gospel Show for more than five decades.

Full story: Sam Williams has served up gospel to Flint for more than 50 years on Sunday radio show (Sat, 6/15)



Detroit News:

There is not a day that goes by without me thinking about my father ... Some baby boomers and most of their parents would remember Dick Westerkamp as a pioneer and icon of local Detroit broadcasting from the mid-1950s through the late 1960s.

Full story: Father's Day tribute: Remembering Detroit TV pioneer Dick Westerkamp (Sun, 6/16)




WKAR kicks off its fifth season of its televised series BackStage Pass with free concerts in East Lansing this week, offering local music fans the chance to be part of the television audience.

Full story: WKAR-TV's Backstage Pass invites you to 3 nights of free concerts this week (Mon, 6/17)



Fine Tuning:

  • A memorial celebration for former WGVU AM morning host / Program Director Bill Bailey will be held Sunday, June 23 at the Eberhard Center, 301 Fulton St., Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1pm - 5pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to operationhomefront.net. Donations provide aid to service members' families. The family welcomes memories and messages in their guest book online at mlive.com which will be active on Friday, June 21.

  • Congratulations to all the EMMY winners announced on Saturday evening at the 35th Annual EMMY Gala hosted by the Michigan chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A complete list of all the winners is available at natasmichigan.org.


Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD Radio's farewell for announcer Gary Allen is going to be unlike anything ever heard before. Special guests including Suzanne Geha and Peter Chan will be on WOOD Radio on Thursday during a 12-hour salute to Allen, who retires on Friday.

Full story: WOOD Radio says farewell to Gary Allen with 12-hour, 50-guest radio show on Thursday (Wed, 6/19)


The voice of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Bob Kaser, called Tuesday "a night of joy like no other I've experienced." He wasn't alone in the sentiment.

Full story: Calder Cup victory 'emotional' for Griffins play-by-play announcer (Wed, 6/19)



Oakland Press:

After creating countless memories for Spartan and Piston fans for decades behind a microphone, play-by-play broadcaster George Blaha created one more memory on Monday. Except this time, it was on a golf course. The voice of the Detroit Pistons and Michigan State football was the man behind the 24th George Blaha High Hopes Golf Outing, held at Knollwood Country Club, which has raised over $1.5 million to date for Vista Maria.

Full story: Pistons announcer George Blaha helps raise $1 million for at-risk kids (Wed, 6/19)




Viewers of WEYI were not happy after the station took a power hit that knocked the Flint, MI, NBC affiliate off the air during the finale of the NBC show "The Voice." Viewers screens froze around 10:25 p.m. last night during the build up to the announcement of the winner.

Full story: WEYI Pushes News Back to Let Viewers Watch 'Voice' Finale After Power Outage (Wed, 6/19)



Fine Tuning:

  • If the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are extended to a Game 6 on Monday June 24th, Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 will not carry that particular game as it devotes its evening to covering the fireworks show along the Detroit riverfront. Instead, game coverage will shift to WADL-TV Ch. 38 for that night only. The games can also been seen in the Detroit area on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's CBET-TV Ch. 9 from Windsor, ON.


Veteran reporter Dave Fortin returns to TV in Northern Michigan

A familiar face to northern Michigan TV viewers is back on air. Dave Fortin, who reported for WPBN in Traverse City for 42 years before retiring in 2006, has joined 24/7 local news channel MI News 26, and will be expanding the station's presence in Traverse City this summer.

Dave Fortin 

Fortin will report from popular events in the area, including the Cherry Festival and Traverse City Film Festival. He'll also focus on spot news coverage and feature reports from around northern Michigan.

"I spent over 40 years as a television journalist here in northern Michigan," explained Fortin, "Eventually, the excitement wore off... but I'm 're-excited' after discovering MI News 26; I'll once again be covering news from this area."

Fortin has a long history in local news. In addition to interviewing high-profile personalities including Johnny Cash and Bob Hope, Fortin has won numerous awards for his work in journalism, including the Farm Bureau Agriculture Reporter of the Year and Traverse City's own Very Cherry Award for coverage of the cherry industry.

"We're very excited to be working with Dave Fortin," said Eric Wotila, who owns and serves as the General Manager at MI News 26, "He is, without a doubt, one of northern Michigan's best and best-known journalists, and we're looking forward to working with Dave to expand our coverage of Traverse City news and events."

MI News 26, based in Cadillac, was launched by 24-year-old news entrepreneur Eric Wotila in early 2011. The station is available to Charter Digital Cable subscribers throughout northwestern Michigan on SD channel 73 and HD channel 789. It also broadcasts to Wexford, Missaukee and Osceola counties on antenna channel 26, in addition to streaming live online at MINews26.com.



Detroit News:

Scott Lewis, part of WXYZ-TV (Channel 7)'s investigative team since July 2010, will leave the station in July, when his contract is up. The announcement came from Lewis' publicist, Mort Meisner.

Full story: Scott Lewis leaving WXYZ investigative news team (Mon, 6/24)



WJBK-TV / Fox 2 Detroit:

Fox 2's Lee Thomas told the world about his struggle with vitiligo a few years ago. Now after searching to find a treatment for the medical condition, he has finally found something this is working. This is his inspiring update. I have a disease called vitiligo. Over the years, my skin pigment had been slowly leaving until at one point it was all the way gone, but it is coming back.

Full story: Vitiligo update: Lee Thomas regaining his skin pigmentation (Mon, 6/24)



Fine Tuning:

  • Hockey fans in the Detroit area looking for NBC's coverage of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins can find the game on WADL-TV Ch. 38 this evening at 8 p.m.; the game broadcast is being preempted by WDIV-TV Ch. 4 due to that station's coverage of this evening's fireworks on the Detroit River.

    Another option for fans is to tune into CBC's CBET-TV Ch. 9 Windsor, ON - available over the air with an HD signal as well on many cable systems in the region.


Fine Tuning:

  • Former WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit morning co-host Drew Lane returns to the Internet with a podcast co-hosted by 'Drew & Mike' producers Mike Wolters and Marc Fellhauer on SoundCloud. Listen: soundcloud.com/mikewolters16/dm-m-podcast-062613.

  • Religious/Christian WCTP 88.5 Gagetown/Bad Axe has expanded its reach with the addition of an FM Translator at 105.1 in Saginaw that is now on the air.

  • Former Escanaba radio host (WDBC/WYKX) Lee Wayne Jeffries died earlier this month at the age of 50: Obituary.


WJR's Paul W. Smith gets call into National Radio Hall of Fame

Paul W. Smith, morning man at News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit since 1996, has been selected for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF). Smith was part of the Class of 2013 that was announced today that also includes Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, Blair Garner, John Lanigan, Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo, Charley Steiner, and Powel Crosley Jr. (posthumously).

Highlights of Paul W. Smith's career include his WJR gig where he's been a mainstay since July 1996 as well as being a regular fill-in on programs such as "The Rush Limbaugh Show," "The Sean Hannity Show", and even as a primary sub for the legendary Paul Harvey. Paul W. has hosted shows on the ABC Radio Network and the former Financial News Network as well as in Philadelphia, New York City, and Toledo.

A University of Michigan graduate, Smith devotes time to many public service groups, including Think Detroit PAL.

The black-tie induction ceremony, hosted by broadcast icon Larry King, will take place on Saturday, November 9 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. Jim Bohannon of Dial Global Networks will be the announcer for the ceremony and broadcast.

More info on all the inductees and the induction ceremony at www.radiohof.org.



IPR to add Stateside with Cynthia Canty in July

Michigan Radio's (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint) weekday local talk show, Stateside with Cynthia Canty, will begin airing in Northern Michigan on Interlochen Public Radio beginning July 1, 2013. Stateside will be broadcast live, Monday-Thursday from 3-4 PM on IPR News Radio stations 91.5 FM, Traverse City; 90.1 FM, Harbor Springs/Petoskey; and 89.7 FM, Manistee/Ludington.

With conversations about what matters in Michigan, Stateside with Cynthia Canty covers a wide range of Michigan news and policy issues--as well as culture and lifestyle stories. Guests on the show include newsmakers, politicians, writers, artists, and cultural influencers of all stripes. Veteran Detroit radio personality and Emmy Award winning news anchor, Cynthia Canty, has hosted the show since its premiere on Michigan Radio in September 2012. Zoe Clark serves as Executive Producer of the show.

"We are excited to broaden the listening area for this dynamic and compelling show," said Stephen Schram, Director of Broadcasting at Michigan Radio, "Stateside, anchored by an experienced professional like Cyndy, helps listeners make sense of events and issues affecting their lives and lifestyle here in Michigan."

Stateside originates from Michigan Radio's studios in Ann Arbor, and can be heard across southern Michigan, Monday-Thursday from 3-4 PM with a repeat from 10-11 PM.

Cynthia Canty is veteran Detroit radio personality and Emmy Award winning news anchor. Prior to joining Michigan Radio, she served as a news anchor and morning show personality with Jim Harper at WNIC-100.3 FM, WDTX-99.5 FM and WMGC-105.1 FM. She has also hosted public affairs programs at WKBD-TV, and served as reporter and anchor on WKBD's "Ten O'Clock News."



Fine Tuning:

  • Great Lakes Radio has dropped the talk format formerly heard on FM 92.7 Manistique/Escanaba in favor of a simulcast of Classic Rock WRUP FM 98.3 Palmer/Marquette. FM 92.7 has also changed its call sign from WPIQ to WRPP. The stations ID as 'Real Classic Rock, Coast-to-Coast.


Detroit Free Press:

A staple of Fox Sports Detroit's broadcasts is hanging 'em up. No, not Mickey York or Shannon Hogan or John Keating or any of the cast of characters who bring your Detroit sports teams to the television sets, but rather Lauren, one of two charter members of the Fox Sports Detroit Girls. In a heartfelt YouTube video Lauren said good-bye to the great Detroit fans.

Full story: Ticker: Longtime Fox Sports Detroit girl Lauren retires (Sat, 6/29)



Grand Rapids Press:

Christian radio personalities Chris and Emilee, who formerly were heard on WJQK-FM in Holland, are returning radio. Make that Internet radio.

Full story: Christian radio personalities Chris and Emilee plan return to radio online (Sun, 6/30)


"Live in the D" coming to WDIV-TV/Detroit in August

Post-Newsweek NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit has announced the debut of a new hour-long news and talk program called "Live in the D" scheduled to debut on Aug. 12 at 11 a.m.

According to the press release, "Live in the D" will focus on local and national news and will explore the intersections of culture, entertainment and lifestyle, and how it affects life in Metro Detroit. It will have the elements of a daytime newscast with additional guest-driven conversations and feature a core of contributors. The station named Local 4 News anchor and reporter Guy Gordon and Local 4 News anchor and Defender Karen Drew as co-hosts of its new daytime show.

"When we started conceiving this program, we didn't have to look far to find the right people to host this next step in our daytime line-up. We are thrilled to have Guy and Karen as the face of our new show," said Marla Drutz, vice-president and general manager of Local 4.



Grand Rapids Press:

Tune in today and find out what Christian radio personalities Chris and Emilee Danielson are up to.

Full story: Tune in today to hear the new 'Chris and Emilee Show' on Internet radio (Mon, 7/1)



Fine Tuning:

  • Daytimer WOAP AM 1080 Owosso reportedly changed format over the weekend from Classic Hits / Oldies to Spanish, ending the station's run as 'The Big 1080'.

  • Cumulus will changeup the syndicated 'Perez Hilton Live' evening show and relaunch it as 'Nights Live With Adam Bomb', but still feature reports from Hilton had been airing from 7 - 11 p.m. on Cumulus' Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit, Top 40 WHTS-FM 105.3 Grand Rapids, and Top 40 WJIM-FM 97.5 Lansing.

  • Indiana Radio Watch reports that Kent Fulmer is the station and sales manager at Classic Hits WGTO AM 910 Cassopolis. The station is also heard on FM translator W266BS 101.1 Cassopolis.



Ann Arbor talk radio station WLBY (1290-AM) was off the broadcast airwaves for more than 2 days, but it's now live again. At around 8 a.m. Monday, the power supply on the station's primary transmitter failed, Program Director Chris Ammel said. Engineers worked on the problem over two days, restoring power about 11:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Full story: After transmitter failure, WLBY returns to the air (Wed, 7/3)



Fine Tuning:

  • Bell Media News/Talk CKLW AM 800 Windsor, ON adds The Money Pit Home Improvement Show to its lineup.

  • WJR operations manager Kevin Metheny talked with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis for the Simon/Hollis-hosted MSU Today earlier this week. Direct link to podcast: spartanpodcast.com/?p=3060.


Grand Rapids Press:

Townsquare Media Grand Rapids has announced a multi-year contract extension between 97.9 WGRD and the Free Beer & Hot Wings Morning Show. The new contract keeps the morning show on its flagship station in Grand Rapids through 2018.

Full story: Townsquare Media extends contract with Free Beer and Hot Wings radio show (Tue, 7/9)




Randy Wimbley has joined the news team at Fox O&O WJBK Detroit (DMA 11). Effective Monday, July 15, Wimbley will be a general assignment reporter contributing to various newscasts throughout the week. Most recently, Wimbley was a reporter at WATN Memphis for the past three years. Prior to that, he was a reporter for WNEM Saginaw, Mich., and a freelance reporter for WUPW Toledo, Ohio.

Full story: Randy Wimbley joins WJBK Detroit (Tue, 7/9)



There's a new night jock at CBS Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT as HAZE made his debut this past MONDAY (7/8). PD TIM RAINEY said he feels confident HAZE will feel right at home...

Full story: WDZH Detroit Adds HaZe As New Night Jock (Wed, 7/10)



Full story: WBMI Adds Country Oldies Show (Wed, 7/10)



Muskegon Chronicle:

City of Muskegon officials are expecting from 4,000-6,000 people to ascend on Smith-Ryerson Park Thursday, July 11 at noon for a free family event sponsored by a Grand Rapids television station. The city will play host to WOTV Channel 4's Maranda Park Party from noon to 2 p.m.

Full story: Television station's free event at Muskegon's Smith-Ryerson Park July 11 may create traffic issues (Wed, 7/10)


WDIV/Detroit adding Evrod Cassimy as new morning co-anchor

Post-Newsweek NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 (Local 4) has announced that Evrod Cassimy will join the newly named morning newscast, Local 4 News Today, beginning Aug. 12. Cassimy will co-anchor 4:30 a.m. - 7 a.m. weekdays alongside current anchor Rhonda Walker.

The station's release states that Cassimy is currently the morning anchor and reporter for CBS4 News in Denver where he has covered several big stories including the Aurora movie theater shootings, Michael Moore's Occupy Denver protests and the Colorado wildfires. He began his career in Grand Junction, Colorado at KJCT News 8 and worked in Madison, Wisconsin; Orlando, Florida; and Richmond, Virginia where he won the Virginia Associated Press Award for "Best Coverage of Breaking News" in 2010.

Update: Current morning co-anchor Guy Gordon is leaving mornings to co-host a new 11 a.m. show on WDIV that will launch on August 12th.



Grand Rapids Press:

WLAV-FM has been delivering rock and roll to the ears of West Michigan radio listeners for 40 years and is throwing an anniversary party with a free concert to commemorate the milestone. A concert featuring performances by Loverboy and Mark Farner, formerly of Grand Funk Railroad, is planned for Sunday, Aug. 4 at the Cannonsburg Ski Area.

Full story: 97 WLAV-FM celebrates 40 years with free concert at Cannonsburg Ski Area (Thu, 7/11)



GREATER MEDIA/DETROIT has named JERRY "JT" TARRANTS as its new PD for Classic Rocker WCSX, effective MONDAY, JULY 29th. He replaces KEITH HASTINGS, who left to join COX MEDIA GROUP Classic Rocker KISS/SAN ANTONIO last month (NET NEWS 6/5). TARRANTS joins from the OM/PD post at TOWNSQUARE Rocker WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS. He also oversaw Hot AC WLHT, Classic Hits WFGR, AC WTRV and Comedy WNWZ.

Full story: WCSX Taps Jerry 'JT' Tarrants As PD (Fri, 7/12)



Radio Ink:

According to a new report from the Media Audit which highlights the top public radio stations, WUOM, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, ranks highest in seven-day cume listening. According to the study, 25.1 percent of Ann Arbor's metro area adult population has listened to the public radio station in the past seven days

Full story: WUOM-FM highest-ranked public station (Fri, 7/12)


Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit's FM radio dial may soon have some competition for the sports talk audience. Radio industry scuttlebutt for months has been rife with speculation that Greater Media Inc.'s WMGC 105.1 FM will change formats next month from adult contemporary music to sports.

Full story: WMGC's possible format flip could heat up local sports talk (Sun, 7/14)



Fine Tuning:

  • Birach Broadcasting Sports WCAR AM 1090 Livonia/Detroit has changed its syndicated programming from ESPN to NBC Sports Radio and repositions from 'ESPN Detroit' to 'NBC Sports Radio Detroit' No local programming has been noted since the station dropped an afternoon block of shows earlier this year.



Flint Journal:

Club 93.7 FM paired its musical expertise with Flint's automotive history on Saturday with its annual car show at Perani Arena and Event Center. The event, which the radio station worked on with Townsquare Media, was outside in Perani's parking lot, with bathrooms and concessions inside of the building.

Full story: Club 93.7 throws annual car show with 14 prize categories, Jon Connor performance (Sat, 7/13)



Reports and speculation have surfaced for several weeks now about a potential format change at a FM station that could make the Detroit sports talk radio neighborhood a lot tougher.

Full story: A new Detroit sports talk radio station? Speculation heats up; former 'Drew and Mike' host an option (Mon, 7/15)




ALL ACCESS has been hearing rumors from multiple sources that something may be up at GREATER MEDIA AC WMGC (TODAY'S 105.1)/DETROIT, and the leading rumor is a flip to Sports to take on CBS RADIO Sports WXYT-F (97.1 THE TICKET).

Full story: Rumors Of Changes Swirl Around WMGC (Mon, 7/15)


CUMULUS Country WTNR/GRAND RAPIDS has a PD opening following last week's departure of BRAD AUSTIN for the programming chair at DELMARVA Country WXCY/WILIMINGTON, DE.

Full story: WTNR Has PD Opening (Mon, 7/15)



Grand Rapids Press:

The fifth annual WSNX Party In The Park begins Wednesday, July 17, at 5 p.m. at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park. This year's headliner is Jason Derulo, best known for his 2009 single "Watcha Say," who is set to release his third album this fall.

Full story: Michael Franti, Hits of the '80s, WSNX Party in the Park on The Playlist (Sun, 7/14)



Detroit Free Press:

It seemed just like old times. Except Mike Clark made his "Drewcast" debut Monday by proudly reciting the seven "filthy words" made famous by George Carlin.

Full story: Drew and Mike reunite via podcast (Mon, 7/15)


Detroit News:

Donate food at Gleaners Friday for a chance to win tickets to upcoming concerts. Clear Channel and local radio personalities like Spike and Shannon, Jay Towers, Tracey McCaskill and others will be on hand 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday at Gleaners Community Food Bank, 24140 Mound in Warren.

Full story: Gleaners/ Clear Channel deal partner for food drive (Tue, 7/16)



Crain's Detroit Business:

Southfield-based Fox Sports Detroit has sustained the highest per-game average cable television ratings for its Detroit Tigers broadcasts in all of Major League Baseball with a 9.13 prior to the All-Star Game, the network said this afternoon.

Full story: Tigers games have highest cable TV ratings in MLB at halfway point of season (Mon, 7/15 - $$)




GREATER MEDIA/DETROIT stations Classic Rock WCSX, Active Rock WRIF and AC WMGC (TODAY's 105.1) will stage a PAWS AT THE HILL event on SATURDAY, JULY 27th from 10a-6p at FREEDOM HILL COUNTY PARK in STERLING HEIGHTS, MI. PAWS AT THE HILL will feature entertainment, adoptions, education, shopping, food and beverages.

Full story: Greater Media/Detroit Has A Pet Cause (Tue, 7/16)



St. Joseph/Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium:

After a year's silence, WHFB-AM 1060 is expected to be back on the air in the Twin Cities by Sept. 1 under new ownership. Ric Federighi and his brothers, Marc and Scott Federighi, bought the station June 10 under the name Gerard Media in Michigan City, Ind., and Illinois. They are weighing programming decisions.

Full story: Bringing back WHFB (Fri, 7/12 - $$)



Grand Rapids Press:

WSNX's Party in the Park is bringing top tier talent to Fifth Third Ballpark for one night of music Wednesday, July 17. Jason Derulo and Ed Sheeran headline the 2013 lineup.

Full story: Ed Sheeran / Jason Derulo set to perform at WSNX's Party in the Park 2013 (Tue, 7/16)


Kyonate Belcher and Daquan Reynolds always knew they wanted to have careers in music. Not only do they get to fulfill their childhood dreams, but they get to perform on a big stage in the city where it all started.

Full story: The Action Figures, Grand Rapids hip hop group, achieves dream, will perform at WSNX's Party in the Park (Tue, 7/16)



Fine Tuning:

  • Matt Dery has exited CBS sports talker WXYT-FM 97.1 Detroit where he was an update reporter and host of the Detroit Pistons pre and post games shows.

  • West Michigan listeners report that WMJH AM 810 has returned to the air after being silent for at least several weeks, though at reduced power. The station has apparently changed format from Regional Mexican to Classic Hits as 'Super Hits 810'.


Fine Tuning:

  • John O'Leary exits Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit where he was handling weekend and swing shift duties along with regular weekday hosting on the station's HD-2 "Deep Trax" offering. O'Leary announced his resignation on his Facebook page last night.



Grand Rapids Press:

WSNX's Party in the Park took to Fifth Third Ballpark for one hot night of music Wednesday, July 17. With temperatures still hovering around 90 degrees at sunset, thousands of music fans came to see one of five acts performing.

Full story: 'Hot and Loud': WSNX hosts thousands at ballpark concert featuring Ed Sheeran and Jason Derulo (Wed, 7/17)


WZZM-TV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids:

Monday's 13 On Your Side investigation on panhandling is getting a lot of attention on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. It also got the attention of the Free Beer and Hot Wings Show, a nationally-syndicated radio program originating from WGRD-FM in Grand Rapids.

Full story: Free Beer & Hot Wings raise $2,200 for Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (Thu, 7/18)



Fine Tuning:

  • Morning show meteorologist Ben Bailey has announced his departure from FOX 2 (WJBK-TV Ch. 2) Detroit after nearly nine years. Bailey's last day with the station is today.

  • Michigan 2013 Marconi Award nominees include Sports WXYT-FM 97.1 Detroit (Large Market and Sports Station of the Year) and Adult Contemporary/Full Service WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian (Small Market Station of the Year). Winners will be announced at Radio Show in Orlando, Fla., on September 19, 2013

  • The Detroit News reports on pending motherhood and marriage for WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit morning traffic reporter Erin Nicole.



Grand Rapids Press:

TV news reporter Brad Edwards recalls growing up gay in Grand Rapids wasn't easy, especially for a youngster dreaming of a career in broadcast news.

Full story: Former WOOD-TV8 reporter Brad Edwards: Growing up gay in Grand Rapids was tough (Fri, 7/19)


Newsmakers and links: July 22, 2013




The addition of BIRACH Sports WCAR-A (NBC SPORTS RADIO 1090)/DETROIT as an affiliate of NBC SPORTS RADIO has pushed the network's lineup to 284 affiliates. As ALL ACCESS previously reported, WCAR added NBC SPORTS RADIO and rebranded on JULY 15th after losing the ESPN RADIO affiliation, which market rumors have possibly heading to crosstown GREATER MEDIA AC WMGC (TODAY'S 105.1).

Full story: Addition Of WCAR/Detroit Puts NBC Sports Radio At 284 Affiliates (Mon, 7/22)


Newsmakers and links: July 23, 2013



Detroit News:

It's a typical spring day in Michigan: Storm clouds gather in the west, a sheet of torrential rain advances toward Detroit and funnel clouds have been sighted somewhere near Dexter. While everybody else is driving away from the eye of the storm, veteran WXYZ-TV reporter Cheryl Chodun heads into it, riding shotgun on the Channel 7 news truck.

Full story: Retiring Cheryl Chodun reflects on 25 years at WXYZ (Tue, 7/23)




BRYAN LAROCHE has announced that he is leaving CLEAR CHANNEL MEDIA + ENTERTAINMENT Top 40 WKQI (CHANNEL 95.5)/DETROIT in AUGUST, which means that PD TONY TRAVATTO is looking for a new APD/MD/PM drive host.

Full story: Bryan Laroche To Exit WKQI (Tue, 7/23)



Grand Rapids Press:

The band Loverboy is still on tour, still loves to rock, and is hoping you will spend part of your weekend with them on Sunday, Aug. 4, during WLAV-FM's 40th anniversary party at Cannonsburg Ski Area, 6800 Cannonsburg Road NE.

Full story: Loverboy still 'Workin' For The Weekend' and ready to play WLAV concert (Tue, 7/23)


More than 20 breweries will be offering samples of their beer at WGRD's third annual Summer Craft Beer Festival. The rain-or-shine event will take place from 2-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 at John Ball Park.

Full story: WGRD bringing back Summer Craft Beer Fest for third year (Tue, 7/23)



Fine Tuning:

  • Crain's Detroit Business reports that Wayne State University's Public WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit is looking for a new General Manager following the resignation of current GM J. Mikel Ellcessor last week. Ellcessor, who will leave WDET next month, has been running WDET since 2008.



Siobhan Riley, a reporter for Flint, MI, ABC affiliate WJRT, tried to illustrate which streets would be affected by construction in downtown Saginaw.

Full story: Flint Reporter's Road Construction Map Looks Suspiciously Familiar (Wed, 7/24)




Is the game not enough for you? Do you want more out of your baseball broadcast than nine innings of a game? Then this will be good news.

Full story: Fox Sports Detroit Plus to broadcast batting practice prior to game Saturday between Tigers, Phillies (Wed, 7/24)



WJBK reporter Charlie LeDuff is hitting back at a report from a rival station claiming he encouraged a Detroit mayoral candidate to enter the race. Mike Dugeon told ABC affiliate WXYZ he entered the primary race as a write-in candidate after a visit from LeDuff.

Full story: WJBK Reporter Denies Reports He Encouraged Detroit Mayoral Candidate to Enter Race (Fri, 7/26)




CUMULUS MEDIA Country WLAW (92.5 THE OUTLAW)/MUSKEGON, MI will air USHL junior hockey's MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS for the next three seasons. All 60 regular season games and playoffs will air, with Media Relations Coordinator BRYAN FONGERS back for his second season calling the action.

Full story: Muskegon Lumberjacks To Air On 92.5 The Outlaw (Thu, 7/25)


REELWORLD JINGLES has launched a second custom jingle package for CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT TODAY (7/25). REELWORLD developed a previous jingle package for the station in 2009.

Full story: ReelWorld Launches New Jingles For WYCD (Thu, 7/25)



WXMI-TV Ch. 17 Grand Rapids:

A blooper on FOX 17 Morning News spawned a viral video after a reporter had a laughing attack. During reporter Leigh Ann Towne's live shot Wednesday, two llamas began mating behind her, forcing her to spend the next three minutes trying to fulfill her on air commitment in hysterics.

Full story: Reporter Reflects on Llamas Love Making (Thu, 7/25)



In a major shakeup for the radio industry, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest broadcaster in the country, is planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of the year, an industry source told POLITICO on Sunday. Cumulus has decided that it will not renew its contracts with either host, the source said, a move that would remove the two most highly rated conservative talk personalities from more than 40 Cumulus channels in major markets.

Full story: Cumulus planning to drop Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity (Sun, 7/28)



Fine Tuning:

  • Detroit Public Television (WTVS-TV Ch. 56) leader Rich Homberg talks about the state and future of television with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on WJR. Listen to the Spartan podcast at spartanpodcast.com/?p=3130.


High tide for Detroit radio rumors



Commentary on media in Michigan by Mike Austerman

Today's hottest rumor, and one that seems extremely likely to turn into reality, is that Cumulus Media will be walking away from its deal with Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks at the end of the year, dropping from their stations two of the biggest names in talk radio, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

The biggest impact of such a move in Michigan would be in the Detroit market where Limbaugh and Hannity currently air on Cumulus' WJR AM 760 from noon - 5 p.m. Cumulus' WBCK-FM 95.3 Battle Creek, WKMI AM 1360 Kalamazoo and WJIM AM 1240 Lansing also carry the Limbaugh/Hannity combo. The company's WWCK AM 1570 Flint carries Limbaugh only.

If (when) this happens, there will be a 5 hour gap on WJR that would need to be filled. Would Cumulus simply use its own syndicated talkers such as adding Mike Huckabee and changing the schedule for Mark Levin and Michael Savage? Or could WJR think about going back to more local programming under the direction of recently hired program director Kevin Metheny? His resume includes time at was then WNBC AM in New York, managing a guy named Howard Stern. Wouldn't it be interesting if WJR entered in the bidding for the services of Drew Lane (and perhaps Mike Clark?) and took the opportunity to rebuild the image of WJR back into being a spot on the dial where local talk dominated the lineup from dawn 'til dusk?

Rumors of Greater Media's WMGC-FM 105.1 switching from Adult Contemporary to some kind of Talk format have been around since even before former morning man Jim Harper announced his retirement in 2011. Thanks to DetroitSportsRag.com, among others, that chatter has picked up serious momentum of late with media prognosticators seeing Sports Talk landing on 105.1 as soon as August with a lineup that would be anchored by Drew Lane in afternoons along with ESPN Radio. Thus far Greater Media's response to questions about this have been the equivalent of a shoulder shrug. Perhaps they are holding their cards close to the vest in case they plan to make a play for Limbaugh and Hannity and shift to mainstream talk instead of going sports?

The most likely scenario for Limbaugh and Hannity though is Clear Channel deciding to put their shows on one of their own stations in Detroit. The most obvious landing spot would be on the company's WDFN AM 1130. That station, currently formatted with Sports Talk with the exception of a 4-hour block from 7 - 11 pm weekdays, boasts a 50,000 watt signal in the daytime that covers the market well. But many radio watchers will also point to current Classic Rock station WDTW-FM 106.7 'The D' - a station that has never managed to regain the prominence it enjoyed as Country WWWW-FM in the 1990s under previous owner Shamrock Broadcasting. Limbaugh and Hannity alone though don't make a successful radio station. Clearly a big investment in morning drive would have to be made to make either 1130 or 106.7 a successful talker.

The possibility of change is always interesting to think about. All these rumors could result in something as minor as the syndicated shows from Limbaugh and Hannity moving from 760 to 1130 AM, essentially just replacing what is currently other syndicated shows. WJR would then plug in more syndicated programs to fill the spots left open by Limbaugh and Hannity. Or, there could be a major shakup on the horizon that would include a new over-the-air home for Lane and crew and possible format changes on the FM dial.

The truth will probably be somewhere in between.


WJBK-TV Fox 2 Detroit:

From Black to Light National radio personality Steve Black's true life story of love, adventure, music, cancer, death, despair, tragedy and triumph while interacting with rock and roll royalty. Steve and Sabrina Black have spent a combined 40 years on the radio, mainly in Detroit, Michigan. Sabrina was diagnosed with cancer on the way to their wedding in Hawaii in 2000, and passed away six years later.

Full story: Radio personality Steve Black to release autobiography (Tue, 7/30)



Detroit News:

Bisi Onile-Ere, a reporter at WDIV-TV (Channel 4), has joined Al Jazeera America to be the first correspondent in its new Detroit bureau, one of 12 that the channel is opening in the U.S.

Full story: Channel 4 reporter moves to Al Jazeera America to be to Detroit correspondent (Tue, 7/30)




CUMULUS MEDIA has promoted AMIE BURKE to Promotions Dir. for its FLINT, MI cluster, effective immediately.

Full story: Cumulus/Flint, MI Ups Amie Burke To Promotions Dir. (Tue, 7/30)



Fine Tuning:




GREATER MEDIA has upped JAKE MCCANN to Dir./Sales at its MOTOR CITY-based stations, including Rock WRIF, Classic Rock WCSX and AC WMGC. He will begin his new position on MONDAY, AUGUST 12th.

Full story: Jake McCann Promoted To Dir./Sales At Greater Media/Detroit (Wed, 7/31)


Oakland Press:

Clarkston will be in the spotlight Friday when Mojo, Spike and Shannon come to town. From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., the cast of MOJO in the Morning will broadcast the popular radio show from the Clarkston Union restaurant on Main Street. "We're going to eat mac 'n cheese at 6 o'clock in the morning," said Spike, referring to the Union's most famous dish.

Full story: MOJO in the Morning cast to visit Clarkston Friday (Thu, 8/1)




The drumbeat over GREATER MEDIA AC WMGC (TODAY'S 105.1)/DETROIT's pending flip to Sports continues with one source telling ALL ACCESS that the flip to ESPN 105.1 will happen on AUGUST 30th and studio banter before DREW LANE's podcast on WEDNESDAY (8/1) including a discussion of GREATER MEDIA/DETROIT Market Manager STEVE CHESSARE waiting on the final ESPN affiliation contract.

Full story: More Rumors Fly About WMGC/Detroit Sports Flip (Thu, 8/1)



Lansing State Journal ($):

Growing up just outside Washington, D.C., Michigan existed more as a legend to me than anything else. I had somehow become a diehard Detroit Tigers fan in the midst of Baltimore Orioles territory, and those Tigers played in the mitten-shaped state amid the blue-colored Great Lakes on my United States placemat. And now I live here.

Full story: Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler: 'I truly did luck out' (Wed, 7/31)


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 2, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

After less than two years in an all-comedy format, local radio station WNWZ-AM (1410) is now getting "The Touch." On Monday the Townsquare Media-owned radio outlet begins airing The Touch satellite network, spinning a mix of "Today's R&B and Old School" music artists.

Full story: "The Touch" will bring "R&B, old school" music to local radio station (Fri, 8/2)



Traverse City Record-Eagle ($):

Garrison Keillor has been called many things during the past 39 years -- humorist, storyteller, musician, raconteur, the man who revived the art and beauty of American radio with his ever-popular "A Prairie Home Companion."

Full story: 'A Prairie Home Companion' coming here (Fri, 8/2)



Fine Tuning:

  • Bright House Networks cable TV customers in Oakland and Wayne Counties have lost access to CBS owned WWJ-TV Ch. 62 and CW affiliate WKBD-TV Ch. 50 as of 5 p.m. today as part of a retransmission dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable. Time Warner and Bright House maintain a strong business relationship that includes TWC negotiating on behalf of BHC in this disagreement. Also blacked out on Bright House are several CBS-owned cable only services.

  • On the air: an FM translator at FM 93.3 in the Marquette area, rebroadcasting the Sports/ESPN Radio format of WZAM AM 970.



Detroit is not unaccustomed to exaggerated, outdated or uninformed perceptions of the city being thrown around in the national media. And everyone knew it was coming in waves after the bankruptcy filing last month.

Full story: Detroit radio station calls out Rush Limbaugh over false statements on Motor City history (Sat, 8/3)



Crain's Detroit Business:

Outspoken, and sometimes the subject of controversy herself, longtime talk radio host and unapologetic gadfly Mildred Gaddis and her show for years have been a mandatory advertising buy for Detroit political candidates.

Full story: Gaddis' small radio show wields big political clout (Sun, 8/4)


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 6, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Airing live: Friday's NFL preseason game between the Detroit Lions and New York Jets at 7:30 p.m. on WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit as the Lions have reached the required number of ticket sales to qualify the game as a sellout..

  • Going: Former WDIV-TV Ch. 4 reporter Chris Hanson from NBC and Dateline NBC where he became well-known nationwide for his 'To Catch a Predator' segments. More from the New York Daily News here.

  • Coming: To the soon-to-be-launched cable network FOX Sports 1, former NHL great and current Red Wings' front office advisor Chris Chelios for coverage of hockey at the Winter Olympics in Russia.

  • Changing: The corporate name for WDIV-TV Ch. 4 owner Post-Newsweek with the sale of the Washington Post newspaper. After the sale is complete, the company will no longer own either of the properties the company was named for - The Post and Newsweek magazine. WDIV has been the company's flagship operation for a number of years.

  • Added: Shopping network QVC to subchannels of WPXD-TV Ch. 31 Ann Arbor / Detroit (31.5) and WZPX-TV Ch. 43 Battle Creek (43.5).

  • Celebrating: Six months on the air, WLUN-FM (100.9 ESPN) Pinconning/Midland's CrunchTime with Jared Sandler, a locally produced sports talk show that airs weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. In a release Sandler commented, "We really like what we have started. We are always looking at ways to improve the CrunchTime brand, but we have built a good foundation. One of our silent promises is that we're going to continue to work our tails off to get better and hopefully that is reflected over the next six months."



U-M's Michigan Radio honored by the National Association of Black Journalists

Michigan Radio (WOUM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint) was recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) with two Salute to Excellence Awards this past weekend. The station won a Salute to Excellence Award in the Documentary category for "Infant Mortality in Michigan," and Feature category for "Idlewild, the Black Eden, celebrates 100 years."

The "Infant Mortality in Michigan" documentary was produced by Michigan Radio's Jennifer Guerra and examined the disparity in race and infant mortality rates in Michigan. The documentary is part of Michigan Radio's "State of Opportunity" project, a multi-year initiative looking at what can be done to break the cycle of poverty and improve opportunities for Michigan's most disadvantaged children. State of Opportunity is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

"Idlewild, the Black Eden, celebrates 100 years" was produced by Michigan Radio's Kate Wells. The feature examined the history of the resort town's heyday as a summer haven for African Americans from the 1920's to the 1960's, and the hopes of current residents for its resurgence. Funding for this report was provided by the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.




Brian Hannan has been named regional vice president of finance and administration for the Fox owned stations in Chicago and Detroit.

Full story: Fox Names Brian Hannan Regional VP of Finance and Administration for WFLD, WJBK (Tue, 8/6)


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 7, 2013



Detroit Free Press:

An Ann Arbor-based Catholic radio station has invited anti-Islam blogger and author Robert Spencer to speak at a symposium at Eastern Michigan University on Saturday. Spencer, who blogs at www.jihadwatch.org, is scheduled to speak at "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?" sponsored by Ave Maria Radio.

Full story: Catholic radio station invites anti-Islam blogger to speak at EMU (Wed, 8/7)


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 8, 2013



Has the rumored format flip at 105.1 Detroit been accelerated?

Completely unverifiable rumors are making the rounds today that Greater Media's soft rock WMGC-FM 105.1 Detroit is set to flip as soon as this Monday -- or even earlier -- to "Detroit Sports 105.1" with regular programming starting at 3 p.m. Monday with Drew Lane in afternoon drive. The station would be affiliated with ESPN Radio and heavily feature that network's programming.

The change has been a poorly-kept secret on social media for months. Indeed, there has been social media speculation about Greater Media taking 105.1 to a spoken word format, either mainstream or sports talk, for at least two years. Reports in some radio trade publications the past couple of weeks have speculated the station would make the change to sports on August 30th as the college and pro football seasons kick off.

A format change would be the frequency's 4th since Greater Media took ownership in 1996 when 105.1 was Classical WQRS. In 1997 the classics gave way to Alternative Rock 'The Edge' followed by Urban Oldies 'The Groove' in 1999 and then Adult Contemporary 'Magic 105.1' in 2001.

After the retirement of Jim Harper in 2011, the AC format has changed names from Magic 105.1 to Soft Rock 105.1 to the presently used Today's 105.1.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 9, 2013



The downside of radio format changes - apparent firings at WMGC/Detroit

The buzz on social media this afternoon is the apparent firing of at least some of the airstaff and the Program Director at Greater Media's Adult Contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1 Detroit. Weekend and swing shift host Lisa Jesswein posted on Facebook that she was let go from the station today. Trade publication RAMP reports that PD Brian Figula is out and states rumors that morning host Chris Edmonds has also been let go.

This in from the department of redundancy department: Greater Media has announced a press conference at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 12th where they will announce that Drew Lane is returning to the airwaves in Detroit.



Detroit Free Press:

Longtime Detroit radio personality Drew Lane is set to return to the Motor City airwaves, according to Greater Media Detroit, which operates WRIF-FM (101.1), WCSX-FM (94.7) and WMGC-FM (105.1).

Full story: Drew Lane returning to radio; sources say he'll do sports talk at WMGC (Fri, 8/9)


On Monday at the Detroit Golf Club, 260 golfers and a slew of corporate sponsors will raise more than $500,000 to help thousands of youths join athletic and mentorship programs in partnership with the Detroit Police Department, putting an exclamation point on a remarkable 10-year run for the Paul W. Smith Golf Classic to benefit Detroit PAL.

Full story: Radio host Paul W. Smith's leadership scores big bucks for Detroit PAL (Fri, 8/9)


The old guard is leaving Michigan football -- seemingly all at once. After equipment manager Jon Falk and longtime PR man Bruce Madej said they will retire after the season, IMG today announced that 33-year radio play-by-play man Frank Beckmann will make 2013 his final season.

Full story: Frank Beckmann, voice of Michigan football, retiring after season: 'Now's a good time' (Fri, 8/9)


It wasn't just for kicks or to fulfill a bucket list moment. Red Wings radio play-by-play announcer Ken Kal was behind the microphone last week at Comerica Park for a mock broadcast.

Full story: Red Wings' Ken Kal takes a shot at broadcasting Tigers' game (Fri, 8/9)


Fox Sports Detroit says Wednesday night was its highest-rated Tigers game of the season.

Full story: Highest-rated Detroit Tigers games on Fox Sports Detroit this season (Fri, 8/9)




ALL ACCESS has learned that the flip at GREATER MEDIA AC WMGC (TODAY'S 105.1)/DETROIT's to Sports will happen on MONDAY (8/12), with a press conference in the morning and former sister Active Rock WRIF "DREW AND MIKE" co-host DREW LANE debuting his new afternoon show at 3p (ET), with former WRIF producer MARC FELLHAUER on hand.

Full story: WMGC/Detroit Sports Flip Coming Monday (Fri, 8/9)



Detroit News:

Frank Beckmann, the longtime Michigan football play-by-play announcer, said he has considered retirement for a while. He decided two weeks ago he would retire after the upcoming season.

Full story: Michigan radio voice Beckmann says News column 'non-issue' in his retiring (Fri, 8/9)



WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit / ClickOnDetroit.com:

Local 4 is launching a new hour-long news and talk program called "Live in the D" debuting Monday, August 12 at 11 a.m. "Live in the D" will focus on local and national news and will explore the intersections of culture, entertainment and lifestyle, and how it affects life in Metro Detroit.

Full story: Local 4 launches new show 'Live in the D' (Fri, 8/9)



CBS Detroit:

It started eight years ago as a four-week election special with journalist Carol Cain as producer and host, and outspoken Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and business executive Denise Ilitch as panelists, and "Michigan Matters" was on its way.

Full story: CBS 62's 'Michigan Matters' Marks Milestone! (Fri, 8/9)



WOOD Radio Grand Rapids:

The underground parking garage at the northeast corner of Louis and Ionia in Grand Rapids flooded late Friday morning. A pipe burst and filled the area with water ... The gasoline vapor filled the garage and spread through a tunnel to the building at 77 Monroe Center, where Clear Channel Media + Entertainment stations, including WOOD Radio, operate.

Full story: Complications from Broken Water Line Cause Tenants to Evacuate GR Building (Fri, 8/9)


Frank Beckmann, current mid-morning host at Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit, has announced his retirement as play-by-play host for University of Michigan Football at the conclusion of the Wolverines' 2013 season. He is expected to remain at WJR.

Beckmann took over in the booth for the late Bob Ufer in 1981 and stayed on the job after WJR dropped the games and they wound up first on CBS Radio's WOMC-FM 104.3 and currently CBS' WWJ AM 950 in Detroit.

In May of this year Beckmann penned a controversial column for The Detroit News about political correctness that centered on the flap over a racially insensitive comment made by pro golfer Sergio Garcia towards fellow golfer Tiger Woods. The fallout of that column resulted in the University of Michigan condemning it as offensive, but took no public disciplinary action against him. Beckmann later apologized for the column.


Part of official retirement statement from IMG Networks:

"We appreciate all that Frank has done for Michigan football for the past 33 years," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics at the University of Michigan. "Frank has dedicated his Saturday afternoons to telling the story of Michigan football through the radio to our fans. His voice has become synonymous with some of the great calls in the history of our football program. We look forward to enjoying one more season of Frank being the voice of Michigan football before he begins his well-deserved retirement. We thank Frank for all the years of talent, travel and support of Michigan Athletics. We look forward to celebrating his contribution to our football program as the 2013 season unfolds."

"It has been a pleasure for all of us at the IMG Audio network and our marketing staff at University of Michigan to work with Frank," said Chris Ferris, VP of Audio for IMG College, the school's multimedia rights partner. "While we will miss Frank's distinctive call, we are very grateful to have his continuing involvement in our broadcasts this season as well as in consulting the IMG operation and participating in broadcasting features for IMG in the future."


Beckmann is a member of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and has won numerous awards for his sports broadcasting - a career that has included time as the play-by-play voice of the Detroit Tigers on both radio and television as well as covering the Detroit Pistons and recently as a fill-in for University of Michigan basketball play-by-play.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 12, 2013



Detroit News:

As the last strains of soft rock faded and the choppy guitar intro to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" flooded the 105.1 airwaves, Drew Lane made his debut as a sports talk host on the new "Detroit Sports 105.1," with former "Drew & Mike" producer Marc Fellhauer joining him as an on-air foil.

Full story: Drew Lane starts new gig as WMGC flips to Detroit Sports 105.1 (Mon, 8/12)



Detroit Free Press:

It's official: The former adult contemporary formatted WMGC-FM (105.1) was re-branded as Detroit Sports 105.1 when Drew Lane's new "Sports & More" afternoon show made it debut at 3 p.m. today.

Full story: Drew Lane back on the air at new Detroit sports station (Mon, 8/12)


Drew Lane will be is returning to the Detroit radio airwaves -- but without his old partner-in-crime Mike Clark. Lane will be hosting the "Sports and More" show from 3-7 p.m. at 105.1, which will lose its adult contemporary format and become Detroit Sports 105.1, the new ESPN sports radio affiliate in Detroit, station owner Greater Media announced today.

Full story: Mike Clark's thoughts on Drew Lane landing a new radio gig - without him (Mon, 8/12)




As expected (NET NEWS 7/15, 8/1, and 8/9), GREATER MEDIA is flipping AC WMGC (TODAY'S 105.1)/DETROIT to Sports as DETROIT SPORTS 105.1 and bringing DREW LANE back to the local airwaves as afternoon host, beginning TODAY (8/12).

Full story: It's Official: WMGC/Detroit Flips To Sports (Mon, 8/12)




Detroit appears to have a new FM sports radio station. But it was unclear, as of 11:25 a.m. Monday, when listeners of the station, currently with a music format, would actually be notified of the change on the air.

Full story: Detroit gets new FM sports radio station; Drew Lane of WRIF's 'Drew and Mike' gets drive-time slot (Mon, 8/12)




Kristen Lowe has made her debut as evening anchor for Traverse City, MI, NBC affiliate WPBN-WTOM. Lowe joined the station from KWES in Midland, Texas where she was the morning anchor for three years.

Full story: Kristen Lowe Has Joined WPBN-WTOM as Evening Anchor (Mon, 8/12)



Grand Rapids Press:

FOX 17 Chief Meteorologist Rick Mecklenburg apparently doesn't know what's a cow and what's not when he sees one.

Full story: FOX 17 meteorologist Rick Mecklenburg takes to Twitter with his cow mishap (Mon, 8/12)



Fine Tuning:

  • With today's launch of its new one-hour newscast titled 'Live in the D' at 11 a.m., WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit has moved Jeopardy into the timeslot formerly occupied by a 30-minute noon newscast. It appears paid programming will now air full time at 12:30 pm. The 11 a.m. show puts Ch. 4 in direct competition with an hour-long newscast on FOX 2 (WJBK-TV) and leaves WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 as the only local station offering news at 12 p.m.


Detroit Sports 105.1 The worst kept secret in Detroit radio is now official with Greater Media's WMGC-FM 105.1's flip from Adult Contemporary to Sports Talk as 'Detroit Sports 105.1' today at 3 p.m. The first live voice on the new station was Drew Lane, half of the 'Drew and Mike' morning program that was entrenched for years at sister station Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 until earlier this year. 'Detroit Sports 105.1' is the market's 5th station that will focus primarily on sports, and the second on the FM dial.

After a few sports-related and 'message' songs, the station launched with with some best of clips from the old 'Drew and Mike' show that segued into a couple famous Detroit-related sports clips, Lane opened the microphone and commented on the absence of Mike Clark in the new venture. The first show topic, the Detroit Tigers and star player Miguel Cabrera.

The newly titled (and possibly temporarily-named) 'Sports and More' afternoon show with Lane will focus first on sports, but will also drift into the hot topics of the day. Lane, who will the show's primary host, assured fans during the press conference announcing the format change that the "38,000 drops" that were part of the 'Drew and Mike' show on WRIF were safe and available for use - a hint that the offering on 105.1 won't be dramatically different than what listeners were used to hearing on 101.1. The program, which will air from 3 - 7 p.m. weekdays, will feature a mix of talk and analysis with well-known guests and callers also contributing.

The station will be affiliated with ESPN Radio and will carry that network's 'Mike and Mike' mornings from 6 - 10 and 'Colin Cowherd' from 10 a.m. - noon. ESPN Radio will also be heard from 8 p.m. - 6 a.m. and on weekends. The station becomes ESPN Radio's 148th affiliate on the FM dial.

At its launch, 'Detroit Sports 105.1' will offer listeners other local weekday programming in addition to Lane. FOX 2 sports reporter Ryan Ermanni and former WDFN AM 1130 host Rico Beard will be in place from noon - 3 p.m. starting tomorrow. Beard's role is apparently temporary; it's anticipated he'll move to weekends when former WXYT-FM and WDFN reporter Matt Dery joins the station at the completion of a non-compete clause he had with WXYT. Former WJR sports reporter Tom Mazawey will also be part of the midday show.

In addition, there will be a local 1-hour show from 7 - 8 p.m. hosted by Marc Fellhauer, longtime producer/contributor to the 'Drew and Mike' show on WRIF - a role he'll keep with Lane's afternoon show on the new 105.1.

The station's new Program Director is Jason Dixon who arrives from Raleigh, NC. He will lead the station up against four other Sports-focused stations in Detroit: CBS Radio's market leader WXYT-FM 97.1 which also owns/operates the mostly-syndicated CBS Sports Radio WXYT AM 1270; Clear Channel's WDFN AM 1130, which features Fox Sports Radio; and also Birach Broadcasting's WCAR AM 1090 which currently carries NBC Sports Radio.

CBS Radio currently holds the play-by-play rights to all four of Detroit's major league sports teams, (Lions, Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons) as well as the rights to University of Michigan football and basketball. The U-M games are carried on WWJ AM 950 with the Lions/Tigers/Wings/Pistons sharing WXYT-FM/AM with an occasional airing on WWJ when there are three of the pro teams playing simultaneously. Cumulus Media's WJR AM 760 is the Detroit flagship for Michigan State University football and basketball.

Greater Media/Detroit Market Manager Steve Chessare commented, "We are thrilled to be able to offer Detroit a new alternative that will be designed with our loyal and dedicated sports fans in mind. We look forward to providing the very best local and national talent on the airwaves for our listeners. We will have more announcements surrounding the new station in the near future."


Detroit Sports 105.1 on Social Media:


Greater Media press release here.


Regular listeners of the soft rock 'Today's 105.1' format will no doubt be looking for a new station to tune into. Stations like 'Fresh 100' Clear Channel's WNIC-FM 100.3, and '963 WDVD', Cumulus' WDVD-FM 96.3, will likely be the biggest beneficiaries in both listeners and advertiser dollars to today's change. Other stations that play at least some similar music include CBS' Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3, Bell Media's CIDR-FM 93.9 and Cumulus' WDRQ-FM 93.1.

The switch increases Greater Media/Detroit's focus on male listeners - in addition to 105.1, the station's cluster includes Active Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 and Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7. The switch should improve the company's ability to lure more advertisers willing to put spots on all three of its stations. Trade publications have reported that with the Adult Contemporary format WMGC-FM was lagging behind many other stations in the market in terms of ad revenue.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 13, 2013




Detroit sports fans who want to talk sports and hear coach and player interviews from the city's four pro teams had a new midday option Tuesday with the debut of the "Ryan and Rico" show on the new Detroit Sports 105.1 FM. Consider it a statement from the station - one of five with a sports talk format in Detroit - that it's ready to compete in a crowded marketplace.

Full story: Detroit Sports 105.1 FM makes midday statement with Red Wings, Pistons, Lions, Tigers interviews (Tue, 8/13)



Detroit News:

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is not in any rush to hire a football play-by-play radio announcer to replace Frank Beckmann, who will retire after this season. Beckmann is entering his 34th season as Michigan's play-by-play voice.

Full story: Michigan not rushing search for Frank Beckmann's replacement, AD Dave Brandon says (Tue, 8/13)



Muskegon Chronicle:

A local country music radio station will take up residence at Heritage Landing on Saturday, Aug. 17, for its annual Moose Fest. Moose Fest, put on by 107WMUS, will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday and continue throughout the day with seven country music acts.

Full story: Moose Fest to bring seven country music acts to Heritage Landing (Tue, 8/13)



Fine Tuning:

  • Michigan State University's WKAR-TV Ch. 23 East Lansing is looking for audience members on Thursday for the launch of the station's new 'Current Sports' show hosted by Al Martin with special guest Greg "Special K" Kelser. More details on WKAR web site. Tickets are free for the asking while they last.

  • Miss yesterday's flip from Adult Contemporary to Sports on WMGC-FM 105.1 Detroit? Check it out on YouTube.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 15, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD TV8 has added a Spanish-speaking Michigander as its newest reporter. Koco McAboy, from the Detroit area, joined 24 Hour News 8 as an associate producer in February.

Full story: WOOD TV8 adds Spanish-speaking, Detroit-area native to news staff (Thu, 8/15)



Detroit News:

In his first-ever baseball broadcast, he had two goals. "I don't want to call the grass the ice," Ken Kal said, "and I don't want to call the ball the puck." Thursday night was the baseball broadcast debut for Kal, the radio voice of the Red Wings since 1995, and before that for the University of Michigan hockey team since 1984.

Full story: Hockey announcer Ken Kal eager for Tigers play-by-play debut (Thu, 8/15)




LANSER BROADCASTING Contemporary Christian WJQK (99.3)/GRAND RAPIDS teamed up with WORLD MISSION MINISTRIES for the JQ-99 SHOE DRIVE. Listeners dropped off over 7000 pair of shoes at various locations across WESTERN MICHIGAN.

Full story: WJQK Grand Rapids Collects 7000 Pair of Shoes (Thu, 8/15)



Fine Tuning:

  • Filling in: Ken Kal for Dan Dickerson on tonight's Detroit Tigers broadcast on WXYT AM 1270 Detroit and the Tigers' radio network. Kal is the play-by-play voice for the NHL's Detroit Red Wings and will be broadcasting his first Major League baseball game. (The Tigers are on AM 1270 as the Detroit Lions preseason game will be broadcast on WXYT-FM 97.1.

  • Announced: Plans for a podcast hosted by Mike Clark and Mike Wolters at facebook.com/thedetroitcast. Clark was half of the WRIF 'Drew and Mike' show and Wolters one of that show's producers and contributors. The other main pieces of 'Drew and Mike', Drew Lane and Marc Fellhauer, started a new gig at WMGC-FM 105.1 but without Clark and Wolters.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 16, 2013



Oakland Press:

A cameraman gave Cheryl Chodun the nickname "Cho-Cho Chodun" because she never stops. "I'll take that as a compliment," said Chodun, laughing. However, Chodun is learning how to stop, having retired from Channel 7 on July 26 after more than 35 years in journalism - 25 years at Channel 7.

Full story: Cheryl Chodun discusses her first weeks of retirement from WXYZ (Fri, 8/16)



Detroit News:

I've always tried to use this column as a way to promote an exchange of ideas, to stimulate thought and conversation on issues that interest you and me. Today, I hope you'll forgive me from taking leave of those ideals to engage in a bit of self absorption. A week ago, I announced I was stepping away from my role as the play-by-play announcer for University of Michigan football games.

Full story: Why I stepped away from Michigan football (Fri, 8/16)



Eastern Michigan University:

The radio broadcast team for the 122nd season of Eastern Michigan University football will be comprised of longtime play-by-play voice Matt Shepard with former Detroit Lion standout Rob Rubick returning as the color analyst after a two-year hiatus. WEMU will continue to serve as the FM flagship and originating station for EMU football and basketball broadcasts.

Full story: EMU Announces 2013 Football Broadcast Crew (Thu, 8/15)



Fine Tuning:

  • Sports WDFN AM 1130 Detroit will air BTNLive, a daily program covering the latest in Big Ten football, weekdays from 6 - 7 p.m. beginning August 26th. The show will be a simulcast of the TV show airing on the Big Ten Network.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 20, 2013



Saginaw News:

For a whole generation of Michigan baby boomers, Bob Dyer was a cultural icon. Dyer, a WKNX-AM, 1210, disc jockey, was one of the first in the country to introduce The Beatles to the airwaves. And with Dick Fabian, he brought the music home, hosting dances throughout the region with performers including Simon and Garfunkel. Dyer, who with Fabian was recently named to the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends' Hall of Fame, died Sunday morning. He was 85.

Full story: A life remembered: Saginaw radio icon Bob Dyer among first in nation to air The Beatles, had record longevity at WKNX (Tue, 8/20)



Grand Rapids Press:

What do Bob & Tom, Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern and Kevin Matthews have in common? They're four of the Top 25 Radio Personalities of the Last 25 years.

Full story: Grand Rapids' Kevin Matthews named one of Top 25 Most Influential Radio hosts of past 25 years (Tue, 8/20)




Spartan TV LLC, licensee of MNT affiliate WHTV Lansing, Mich., is asking the agency to put a hold on the merger of Media General Inc. and New Young Broadcasting, pending certification that the shared services and joint sales agreements between Young's CBS affiliate, WLNS, and Sheldon Galloway's ABC affiliate, WLAJ, comply with FCC regulations.

Full story: Spartan blows whistle on Young Lansing SSA (Tue, 8/20)



Fine Tuning:

  • Podcasting: Mike Clark and Mike Wolters at thedetroitcast.com. The duo, both formerly part of 'Drew and Mike' on WRIF up until earlier this year, launched their online efforts yesterday.


  • Celebrating: CBS Radio's WWJ AM 950 Detroit which first took to the airwaves on August 20, 1920 as 8MK making the station 93 years old today.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 21, 2013



Detroit News:

Two WDET-FM (101.9) staffers have been named interim general managers of the station as J. Mikel Ellcessor steps down from the role for a job with an independent production company. Craig Fahle and Michelle Srbinovich will serve as interim co-general managers effective Saturday.

Full story: Ellcessor steps down as WDET GM; 2 staffers to lead station in interim (Wed, 8/21)



Detroit Free Press:

Talk show host Craig Fahle and Michelle Srbinovich have been named interim co-general managers of WDET-FM (101.9), departing general manager J. Mikel Ellcessor told the Free Press on Wednesday.

Full story: WDET names Fahle, Srbinovich as interim co-managers (Wed, 8/21)



Fox Sports Detroit to air 151 Red Wings and Pistons games in 2013-14 season

Schedule includes 80 Detroit Pistons and 71 Detroit Red Wings games

Both the Wings and Pistons are scheduled to play 82 regular season games. 80 of the Pistons games will be on Fox Sports Detroit or FSD+ with 2 airing on ESPN nationally. 71 Red Wings games will be carried by Fox Sports Detroit or FSD+ with the other 11 being carried nationally either by NBC or the NBC Sports Network. Several Wings' games will also air on CBC as part of that Canadian Network's Hockey Night in Canada.



Fine Tuning:

  • There has been more speculation recently on the future of syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity on Cumulus Media owned radio stations across the country with the latest reports claiming that Limbaugh will be staying on Cumulus' stations and Hannity will be going. What's clear is that the future of where these shows might or might not be at the beginning of 2014 is still very much up in the air.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 22, 2013





Full story: 89X Brings 'Turkey-Chella' To Fillmore Detroit (Thu, 8/22)


If you noticed the absence last week of CBS Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO)/DETROIT MD/afternoon host SLACKER, it's because he was out making an honest woman of his beautiful (and long-suffering) girlfriend AMANDA.

Full story: WDZH's Slacker Ties The Knot (Thu, 8/22)



Grand Rapids Press:

As long as a cold front doesn't grip her feet, wedding bells are in the forecast for Rockford native and current Good Morning America weekend weather anchor Ginger Zee.

Full story: Good Morning America's Ginger Zee engaged to colleague and 'soulmate' (Thu, 8/22)



Fine Tuning:


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 23, 2013



Detroit Free Press:

Former "Drew & Mike" radio host Mike Clark and longtime producer Mike Wolters don't know what the future holds for their online talk show, "The Detroit Cast," but they're happy to be on Apple's iTunes top audio podcast chart just two shows after making their debut.

Full story: Former 'Drew & Mike' host Mike Clark scores some early success with podcast (Fri, 8/23)



WXMI-TV Fox 17 Grand Rapids:

The recruiting environment surrounding high school football players continues to grow, becoming more interesting to not just die-hard football fans but casual ones as well. Now, all West Michigan high school football fans have an outlet on television to turn to for the latest recruiting information. FOX 17 is teaming up with Ira Childress of the Lake Michigan Football Report to bring you the Blitz Spotlight, a weekly segment airing every Monday during the high school football season on FOX 17 News at Six and Ten.

Full story: FOX 17 Teaming Up With The Lake Michigan Football Report For The Blitz Spotlight (Thu, 8/22)




CUMULUS MEDIA has named JOHN CRENSHAW Regional PD/MICHIGAN. He will be responsible for the 32 MICHIGAN properties that are outside of DETROIT, and will also serve as OM for the company's GRAND RAPIDS cluster and PD for WTNR/GRAND RAPIDS.

Full story: Cumulus/Michigan Names John Crenshaw Regional PD (Fri, 8/23)



Fine Tuning:

  • Confirmed: Rush Limbaugh remains with Cumulus Media with a new three year agreement, keeping the talk host on WJR AM 760 Detroit and several other stations in Michigan.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 26, 2013



Detroit News:

The 1968 Detroit Tigers and Strat-O-Matic baseball. Many young fans learned to love baseball because of that championship team and that tabletop board game. Dan Dickerson certainly did. That combination forged a love for baseball that's lasted a lifetime for the Tigers' radio play-by-play man.

Full story: A day with Dan Dickerson: Face behind voice of the Tigers (Mon, 8/26)




If you're an Eminem fan who wants to hear Monday night the debut of his new song called "Berzerk," you have a few options.

Full story: Eminem to premiere 'Berzerk' song on Shade45 SiriusXM channel, Detroit's WJLB radio station (Mon, 8/26)



Fine Tuning:

  • WMXG-FM 106.3 Stephenson / Escanaba has filed for Special Temporary Authority to remain silent because of "The unreliability of the existing transmitter, and the next-to-nonexistent business, and the ongoing uncertainty over the resolution of estate matters". Owned by Escanaba License Corp, the station has been reported as mostly off the air for some time and is for sale.


Newsmakers and links: Aug. 30, 2013



Huge radio deal will directly involve stations in Michigan

Details have been released on the sale of 53 radio stations worth $238 million by Cumulus Media to Townsquare Media as part Cumulus' $260 million acquisition of radio syndicator Dial Global.

In Michigan, Cumulus will be selling off its 11 stations in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Lansing to Townsquare.

The Michigan stations currently owned by Cumulus that will be moving to Townsquare ownership in Battle Creek/Kalamazoo include: News/Talk WBCK-FM 95.3, Top 40 WKFR-FM 103.3, Adult Contemporary WBXX-FM 104.9, Rock WRKR-FM 107.7 and News/Talk WKMI AM 1360. And in Lansing: Classic Rock WMMQ-FM 94.9, Top 40 WJIM-FM 97.5, Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM 99.1, Country WITL-FM 100.7, Sports WVFN AM 730 and News/Talk WJIM AM 1240. Cumulus also owns an FM translator in Kalamazoo at 102.5 that has a country format. The future of the ownership of Sports WBCK AM 930 is uncertain; that station was placed in a trust as part of a sale between Clear Channel and Cumulus a number of years ago.

Prior to this deal, which will require FCC approval, Townsquare Media owned 11 Michigan stations in Grand Rapids and Flint. According to the press release, Townsquare will own 312 radio stations in 66 markets and have operations in 25 states, making it the third largest owner of radio stations in the United States and the largest, best-capitalized owner and operator of radio stations solely focused on small and mid-sized markets.



Official: Cumulus Buys Dial Global, Spins Some Stations To Townsquare; Peak Stations Sold To Townsquare, Fresno Spun To Cumulus (Fri, 8/30)


Cumulus Media press release here (pdf)


Townsquare Media press release here



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

WXYZ-TV is pleased to announce that Simon Shaykhet will be joining the 7 Action News team as a reporter. Shaykhet is a native Detroiter who has worked on both sides of the camera.

Full story: Simon Shaykhet joins WXYZ-TV as a reporter (Thu, 8/29)




MAUMEE VALLEY Southern Gospel WPOS (102.3)/HOLLAND-TOLEDO, OH is preparing to flip to Contemporary Christian. According to PD/CLIFF SMITHERS, the plan is to begin stunting on LABOR DAY, and officially relaunch as PROCLAIM FM on MONDAY 9-9 at 6a ET.

Full story: WPOS Flipping To Contemporary Christian (Fri, 8/30)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 3, 2013




Sault Ste. Marie radio listeners started hearing a new name on their favourite radio station this morning. At 8 a.m., the station formerly known as EZ Rock rebranded itself to Today's Best Music ... KiSS 100.5. KiSS 100.5 announced early in the summer that it would be looking for a new name, something fun and more reflective of the upbeat, contemporary music featured on the station from stars like P!nk, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Kelly Clarkson.

Full story: It's new and it's an EZ KiSS (Thu, 8/29)



Crain's Detroit Business:

As the co-founder of radio station 89X and longtime columnist for Metro Times, Lex Kuhne has had a high media profile around Detroit for years. As an attorney, Kuhne runs a private practice, Alexander E. Kuhne PC, that focuses in part on entertainment law.

Full story: Who's who in Detroit Music; Lex Kuhne, Attorney (Thu, 8/29)



Fine Tuning:

  • Resotred: CBS-owned stations WWJ-TV Ch. 62 (CBS) and WKBD-TV Ch. 50 (CW) to Bright House cable systems in Oakland and Wayne counties yesterday evening after being blacked out for a month during a retransmission dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable (which negotiates for Bright House).


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 5, 2013



Lansing State Journal ($):

Detroit-based radio personality Steve Black has spent the past 24 years in the entertainment world, and now, those adventures are immortalized in Black's new autobiography, "From Black to Light." Black's book doesn't shy from very personal details. "From Black to Light" touches on everything from Black losing his first wife to cancer to watching radio colleagues fall victim to drug addictions.

Full story: Michigan radio personality opens up (Wed, 9/4)



Kalamazoo Gazette:

After more than three decades on Kalamazoo airwaves, including 18 as the host of her own morning show on WKZO-AM (590), it's no surprise Lori Moore has a big following.

Full story: Readers rally around Lori Moore as longtime radio personality prepares to sign off at WKZO (Thu, 9/5)



Grand Rapids Press:

An evening with the BoDeans will be the inaugural show in the new WYCE Live at Wealthy Concert Series.

Full story: BoDeans to kick off new WYCE concert series at Wealthy Theatre (Thu, 9/5)



Fine Tuning:

  • Confirmed: Cumulus Media is parting ways with the syndicated program hosted by Sean Hannity at the end of 2013, opening a couple hours on the weekday afternoon schedule at Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit.

    Several other stations in Michigan currently owned by Cumulus that air Hannity (WBCK-FM 95.3 Battle Creek, WKMI AM 1360 Kalamazoo and WJIM AM 1240 Lansing) are being sold to Townsquare Media and the future of Hannity on those stations is not clear due to the pending ownership change.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 9, 2013



Fox Sports Detroit:

FOX Sports Detroit is thrilled to announce the addition of former National Hockey League goaltender Chris Osgood as a game and studio analyst for the 2013-14 season. Osgood's 17-year NHL career included three Stanley Cup championships with the Detroit Red Wings. In 2010-11, his final NHL season as a player, Osgood became just the 10th goaltender in NHL history to win 400 games. He's also one of only 10 goaltenders in NHL history to have scored a goal, and one of only five to have scored by shooting the puck directly into the opponent's net.

Full story: Osgood joins FSD as hockey analyst (Mon, 9/9)




GRAND RAPIDS market veteran JUSTIN BARCLAY is launching a new local show on CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WOOD-A-F/GRAND RAPIDS TODAY (9/9).

Full story: WOOD Adds Justin Barclay Show (Mon, 9/9)



Lansing State Journal ($):

For local TV stations, this is moving day. It's time to re-arrange the slots that networks don't control. Leaving are Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake, Anderson Cooper and others. Arriving are Arsenio Hall and Bethenney Frankel today and Queen Latifah next Monday.

Full story: Changes afoot as local TV shuffle begins (Mon, 9/9)



Fine Tuning:

  • Former Detroit Lions great Herman Moore has joined Greater Media Sports WMGC-FM 105.1 Detroit as an analyst for the station's post game coverage of Lions' football games.

  • ESPN 100.9 FM (WLUN Pinconning/Midland) has announced a weekly CrunchTime segment featuring former University of Michigan defensive back and Super Bowl champion Cato June that is scheduled to air every Monday during the football season at 4:30 p.m. EST starting today. June will join CrunchTime host Jared Sandler every week to provide analysis of Michigan and Michigan State football, along with commentary on the Detroit Lions and the National Football League.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 11, 2013




CCM+E/DETROIT VP/Programming and Top 40 WKQI (CHANNEL 955) PD TONY TRAVATTO reports that Promotion Dir./weekend-swinger STICK (aka SAM DAY, not STICK from WNOU) is trading up to APD/MD/nights.

Full story: WKQI Elevates Stick To APD/MD/Nights (Wed, 9/11)



Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD TV 8 will present the Art Van Concert Series during ArtPrize 2013, showcasing 21 West Michigan acts for 10 nights at Rosa Parks Circle. The shows will take place weeknights at 5 p.m., starting Sept. 23 with Thirsty Perch Blues Band.

Full story: WOOD TV to host live concert series at Rosa Parks Circle for ArtPrize 2013 (Wed, 9/11)



Flint Journal:

This weekend, Genesee County children will get a chance to relax from their first couple weeks back at school with a free festival in Flint.

Full story: Perani Arena & Event Center to host 9th annual FOX66 Fall Festival (Wed, 9/11)



WKAR-TV Ch. 23 East Lansing:

On the premiere of Current Sports TV, host Al Martin talks in depth with former Spartan and NBA star Greg "Special K" Kelser. Now an announcer for Fox Sports and the Big Ten, Kelser talks about his experiences at MSU and in the NBA and offers his opinion on the controversial issue of whether or not to compensate university athletes. Also, comments by MSU athletic director Mark Hollis. (Current Sports is set to debut at 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

Full story: Current Sports TV | Guest: Greg Kelser | #101 (Tue, 9/3)



Fine Tuning:

  • Troy Campbell has been hired as a general assignment reporter at Fox affiliate WXMI-TV Ch. 17 Grand Rapids. Campbell makes the move from KERO-TV in Bakersfield, CA.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 12, 2013



Detroit Public TV's Rich Homberg will serve on National PBS Board

Detroit Public Television (WTVS-TV Ch. 56) announced Rich Homberg, president and CEO of the station, was voted by public television member stations across the country to serve as one of four station leaders elected to serve as Professional Directors on the PBS Board of Directors. He will serve a three-year term that begins on November 6 at the fall meeting of the PBS Board.

"We're very proud that Rich is joining the PBS Board," said Detroit Public TV Board of Trustees Chair Chuck Ciuni. "It's an indication of the growing recognition of Rich's leadership and how the work being done here in Detroit can be a model nationally for using public media to strengthen local communities."

"PBS and our member stations are in the midst of an exciting moment in our shared history - with the reach of our content and our system's ability to impact lives continuing to grow," said Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO. "At the same time, our country's still-recovering economy and the media landscape's ongoing evolution challenges us to work in new ways. We are extremely fortunate to have Rich Homberg join our Board, which is composed of extraordinary leaders who give generously of their time, energy and expertise to guide our public service enterprise."

The PBS Board includes both professional directors, who lead public television stations, and general directors, who represent the general public. The membership of PBS elects the professional directors. The general directors are elected by the Board, which also appoints the PBS president and CEO.

The directors are responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. In total, the Board comprises 27 members: 14 professional directors; 12 general directors; and the PBS president. All PBS Board members serve three-year terms without pay.

Prior to joining Detroit Public TV, Homberg was an executive for CBS Radio in Detroit.



Detroit News:

Lions. Tigers. Red Wings. Pistons. Michigan. Michigan State. Few media markets in the United States boast four major pro teams and multiple big-time college programs. Detroit does. And the fans follow. Intensely.

Full story: Radio wars are heating up in Detroit (Thu, 9/12)


He usually has the Old English D on his shirt, an orange polo one recent afternoon. He's always got his home Tigers cap on. Often, he's got a baseball in hand. Drew Lane, former Virginia Tech baseball player himself, has the look of a sports-talk radio host.

Full story: Local legend Drew Lane making the bumpy transition to sports talk (Thu, 9/12)



Detroit Free Press:

Former WXYT-FM (97.1) producer Matt Dery signed a contract today with Greater Media Detroit's WMGC-FM (105.1). He'll hit the Detroit Sports 105.1 radio airwaves at 7 tonight and again Friday before launching his new midday show, "The Discussion with Matt Dery," at noon Monday.

Full story: Matt Dery to host new midday radio show on Detroit Sports 105.1 (Thu, 9/12)



Grand Rapids Press:

Classic Rock WLAV (96.9) is adding a well-known air talent to its lineup with the addition of Kim Carson to the midday shift from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Carson will host her first official air shift on Thursday, Sept. 12 after having filled in on a part time basis over the past few weeks. She was most recently on the air at the Christian station JQ99, but has pulled classic rock duties before.

Full story: WLAV 96.9 names Kim Carson as new midday host (Thu, 9/12)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 13, 2013




Flint, MI, NBC affiliate WEYI said goodbye to morning anchor Elizabeth MacFarland after six years with the station.

Full story: WEYI Says Goodbye to Morning Anchor Elizabeth MacFarland (Fri, 9/13)



Fine Tuning:

  • Cleveland public radio outlet WJCU will salute "CKLW 1970'' Saturday afternoon (Sept. 14) from 3:00 to 5:30 (Eastern Time). Listen online at wjcu.org.

  • Radio ratings company Arbitron has released its latest rankings of market sizes across the USA. The Detroit market has fallen once again, this time from the 11th largest to the 12th largest, dropping behind Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL. Grand Rapids is now the 69th largest market in the rankings, Lansing-East Lansing 127th, Flint 135th, Ann Arbor 153rd, Kalamazoo 183rd, and Traverse City-Petoskey 196th.

    The complete report here (.pdf).


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 16, 2013




LANSER BROADCASTING Contemporary Christian WJQK (JQ99.3)/GRAND RAPIDS-ZEELAND invited CROSS INTERNATIONAL into the studio for a two day fundraiser to help kids in HAITI. Over 350 scholarships were needed to help fill 12 classrooms, and they blew past the goal with 380 total scholarships collected.

Full story: WJQK Teams Up With Cross International (Mon, 9/16)



Radio Ink:

I met Debbie at a casino. Now that may seem like a line from a Martin Scorcese film, but when you need to stay in downtown Detroit, the casino hotels are some of the best in the city. Debbie was a breath of fresh air; she was smart, knew the market inside and out, and had a full understanding of her stations from sales to programming and everything in between.

Full story: CBS Detroit VP Debbie Kenyon (Fri, 9/13)



Fine Tuning:

  • FOX 2's (WJBK-TV Ch. 2 Detroit) Roop Raj moves from anchoring weekend mornings to the station's 4:30 a.m. newscast.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 17, 2013




As early as 1932, the public was becoming dissatisfied with the sound quality of AM broadcasting. They complained about low fidelity, heterodynes and squeals, AC hum on some stations and the ever-present static. The Federal Radio Commission (soon to become the FCC) started investigating the possibility of "high-fidelity" radio.

Full story: A Detroit Apex Station in 1936 (Tue, 9/17)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 18, 2013



Detroit News:

WJBK-TV (Channel 2) vice president and news director Dana Hahn is leaving Fox 2 for a job in Washington, D.C., Fox announced Wednesday. Hahn, who has been at Fox 2 for 17 years, is taking over as vice president and news director of Washington, D.C.'s, WTTG/WDCA-TV stations.

Full story: Longtime Fox 2 news director takes on Washington job (Wed, 9/18)



Fine Tuning:

  • WHFB AM 1060 Benton Harbor has been reported as back on the air, likely in a testing mode. The station, which is in the process of being sold, was observed broadcasting Adult Standards / Oldies music only with no on-air hosts or commercials.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 23, 2013




A free sneak preview for a new PBS show called "Genealogy Roadshow" will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Detroit Public Library.

Full story: PBS to offer free 'Genealogy Roadshow' TV show sneak preview at Detroit Public Library (Mon, 9/23)


Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green were two of Michigan State's biggest stars in the past few years, and now both are wearing Michigan State while endorsing businesses based in the state.

Full story: Ex-Michigan State stars Kirk Cousins, Draymond Green appear on local television commercials (Wed, 9/18)



Fine Tuning:

  • Glenn Haege, America's Master Handyman® and host of The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege on weekends on News/Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit, has released a newly revised and expanded version of his premiere home improvement book, "Fix it Fast and Easy" as an eBook.

    The eBook version of Fix It Fast & Easy can now be downloaded to your iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Mac and PC on Amazon.com and through the Apple iTunes bookstore for $4.99.

    Haege, who is the author of 11 home improvement books and writes a weekly column for the Detroit News, said releasing this eBook enables homeowners to easily access his clear, concise home improvement advice using the latest technology.

    "I have people call my show when they can't remember the name of a product they heard me mention, but now they can access the book on their smart phone or tablet wherever they are to get that type of information and help them with their home project," Haege said.

    In addition to hosting his local radio show on WJR-AM in Detroit Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m., it is also aired on more than 140 radio stations across the country.

    For more information, visit his website at www.masterhandyman.com.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 24, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Steve Kostan exits Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit where he had been the station's evening host.

    Kostan has been a fixture in Detroit rock radio since 1977, having spent time behind the mic at WABX, W4, WRIF, and finally at WCSX in a career that has lasted over 36 years.

    He was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.



Detroit News:

Steve Kostan, longtime WCSX-FM (94.7) on-air personality, says he was told Monday that his contract with the Greater Media-owned station, which expires Oct. 1, would not be renewed.

Full story: WCSX pulls plug on Steve Kostan (Tue, 9/24)




Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ hosted a reunion for 300 past and present employees Saturday night (with video).

Full story: WXYZ Reunion Brings Together 300 Past and Present Station Employees (Tue, 9/24)



Macomb Daily:

The founder of two metro-Detroit TV networks says he may pursue legal action after his attempt to purchase a piece of Wall Street history was bungled by the auction house.

Full story: TV network owner blames auction error in Lehman Brothers sign snafu (Sun, 9/22)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 26, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • The Michael Savage show will be shifting timeslots in January on Cumulus' News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit. Savage will move from late evenings to the slot being vacated by the departure of Sean Hannity.



Detroit Public Television wins national award for "Arab American Stories"

WTVS-TV Ch. 56, Detroit Public Television, will be the recipient of the Belva Davis Broadcaster Award at the first SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards. The awards are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on Friday, Sept. 27 as part of the Celebration event honoring SAG-AFTRA's inaugural convention. The Inaugural National Convention Celebration is a dinner event with host Mary Hart (Entertainment Tonight). The evening includes entertainment and a special musical performance led by Dorian Holley from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The American Scene Awards continues the tradition established in 1985 by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to honor union productions in the industry that realistically portray the "American Scene" by intelligently and progressively employing the talents of diverse ethnicities, people with disabilities, women, seniors, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender, and other misrepresented or underrepresented groups.

Joining Detroit Public Television in receiving a 2013 American Scene Award are ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Universal Music Group.

Jenny O'Hara, co-chair of the SAG-AFTRA Honors and Tributes Committee said of the "Belva Davis" Broadcaster Award recipient, "'Arab American Stories' presents a varied and multifaceted view of Arab-Americans from all walks of life. This series has given audiences an opportunity to learn about the significant contributions of those featured to their professions, communities and the world at large in a format which is highly entertaining and relatable."

"We're extremely pleased that 'Arab American Stories' has been selected to receive this honor," said Detroit Public Television President and CEO Rich Homberg. "The series explores the diversity of the Arab-American experience and we thank SAG-AFTRA for recognizing the power of public media to promote greater understanding of misrepresented or underrepresented groups in our communities." Host/narrator Neda Ulaby of National Public Radio will accept on his behalf.

Past recipients of the AFTRA American Scene Award have included American Idol, Sesame Street and the Children's Television Workshop, Modern Family, Parenthood, The Voice, As the World Turns, Warner Bros. Records/Nashville, ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago, KCBS/KCAL Los Angeles and the WGBH Educational Foundation, among many other industry leaders.

Based on the Emmy Award-winning success of "Arab American Stories", Detroit Public Television, in cooperation with public television stations and local libraries, has also launched a series of community events in cities throughout America to increase public understanding of Arab American contributions to society. The outreach project is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich.

"Arab American Stories" was produced by Alicia Sams, also the producer/director of the Emmy Award-winning film "By the People: The Election of Barack Obama." For more information, visit arabamericanstories.org.


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 27, 2013



Detroit News / Associated Press:

A museum is planned in Detroit to honor WGPR-TV, one of the first black owned and operated television stations in the U.S. The WGPR-TV Historical Society is set to discuss its plans for the museum during a news event on Friday. The museum will be established within the WGPR studios in Detroit.

Full story: Museum planned about pioneering Michigan TV station (Fri, 9/27)




LIN Media has announced the retirement of Scott Blumenthal, executive vice president television and the appointment of his successor, Jay Howell ... He was hired by LIN in 1983 as local sales manager for WISH in Indianapolis and was named president and general manager of WOOD and WOTV in Grand Rapids, MI, in 1994.

Full story: LIN Announces Blumenthal Retiring, Names Howell Successor (Fri, 9/27)


Newsmakers and links: Sep. 30, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Sean Baligian, current ESPN 96.1 Grand Rapids host and ex of WDFN Detroit, will join Dean La Douceur on his "On The Dean's List" podcast on Wednesday, October 2nd at 11:00 a.m.

    Baligian can also be found on the air on Fox 2 Detroit's Sunday Night Round Table and Fantasy Football Geekly webcasts. He's also works on Plymouth Whalers OHL broadcasts, for the State Champs! TV show, as the voice of Wayne State football play-by-play, and also pens MLive.com's Fantasy Football Geekly blog.

  • Arbitron is officially no more as Nielsen closes on its purchase of the radio ratings giant and rebrands the service as 'Nielsen Audio'.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 1, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • The competition over sports radio listeners on FM in Detroit will be amped up a bit starting on Friday evening when both WXYT-FM 97.1 and WMGC-FM 105.1 will air play-by-play of the Detroit Tigers - Oakland A's American League Divisional Series.

    WXYT is of course the flagship of the Tigers' radio network and will be offering the familiar voices of Dan Dickerson and Jim Price calling the game. Thanks to its affiliation with ESPN Radio, WMGC-FM will be carrying the games from ESPN Radio.

    A similar situation existed last season as well when then ESPN-affiliate WCAR AM 1090 carried the games from ESPN Radio - however that station's signal is severely limited in the metro area at night when the games aired.

  • The September ratings from Nielsen Audio were released today and they reflect the first full month of WMGC with its new Sports format. Among all listeners, WMGC carded a 0.6 - way below the 7.8 put up by WXYT-FM. WXYT's number improved from August, up from 7.2 in August and just below Country WYCD-FM which was first overall with a 7.9.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 2, 2013




Casey Kasem ... the legendary DJ who hosted America's Top 40 for decades, is in dire condition, and a family feud has erupted between Casey's kids and their stepmom. Jean Kasem -- Casey's wife -- will NOT allow Kerri, Julie and Mike to visit their father, who lives in the exclusive Holmby Hills area near Bev Hills. We're told they've been trying to make contact with their dad for 3 months, to no avail. Casey -- who is 81 and has advanced Parkinson's -- hasn't been heard from in months.

Full story: Casey Kasem - Family Feud, Cops Called (Tue, 10/1)



Sports Business Journal:

MLB saw its largest local ratings gains in its smallest markets this season. Six of the league's eight smallest TV markets posted double-digit ratings jumps this year. On the flip side, the poor on-field performance of many of the league's big-market teams led to ratings declines, with numbers down sharply in four of MLB's five biggest TV markets ... The Detroit Tigers were the top-rated team for a second year in a row. The Tigers averaged a 9.60 rating on FS Detroit during their run to the postseason.

Full story: Smallest MLB markets show ratings boost (Mon, 9/30)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 8, 2013




Popular radio personality and voice actor Casey Kasem, a Detroit native, reportedly suffers from advanced Parkinson's Disease and and is losing his ability to speak on the phone.

Full story: Casey Kasem, a Detroit native, has advanced Parkinson's and speech loss, daughter claims (Tue, 10/8)




Kevin Roseborough has been named vice president and news director at WJBK, the Fox owned station in Detroit. Roseborough joined WJBK in 2004 as the station's managing editor. Since 2006, he has been assistant news director. He replaces Dana Hahn, who was recently named news director at WTTG, the Fox owned station in Washington, D.C.

Full story: Kevin Roseborough Named News Director at WJBK in Detroit (Tue, 10/8)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 9, 2013




Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ will host the final debate between Detroit mayoral candidates Benny Napoleon and Mike Duggan on October 29. The candidates will face off in front of a live studio audience for a one-hour debate exactly a week before Detroit residents head to the polls. WXYZ editorial and public affairs director Chuck Stokes will serve as debate moderator, and questions will be asked by a panel including anchor Lloyd Jackson.

Full story: WXYZ to Host Final Detroit Mayoral Debate (Wed, 10/9)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 11, 2013




GREATER MEDIA Classic Rock WCSX/DETROIT has named DAVE DAHMER as the new evening host replacing STEVE KOSTAN (NET NEWS 9/25) who exited the station last month.

Full story: Dave Dahmer New Evening Host At WCSX (Fri, 10/11)




During last night's 11:00 p.m. news on Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV, investigative reporter Kevin Dietz aired an open letter to Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Detroit mayor who was sentenced today to 28 years in prison for corruption. On the surface, the letter plays out as the long saga of a corrupt politician who finally fell after his years of denials were countered by dogged investigation.

Full story: Detroit Reporter Shows Sometimes It Takes 12 Years to Get 'Story of the Decade' (Thu, 10/10)



Fine Tuning:

  • There are reports that WDTW AM 1310 Dearborn/Detroit, which had been silent since New Year's Day, was back on the air on Wednesday simulcasting Classic Rock WDTW-FM 106.7 for several hours. The station has since gone silent again, but the operations on Wednesday essentially 'reset the clock' for the station's license as it will now be able to remain silent for up to one year.

    WDTW AM's broadcast towers were removed in the early part of this year from along I-94 east of Metro Airport and it remains unknown from where the station performed its temporary operation on Wednesday.




ALL ACCESS sends out our deepest condolences to RADIO's BEST FRIEND, the beloved ART VUOLO, JR. and his family on the loss of his mom, AMY at the age of 90. She was living in BELLINGHAM, WA at the time of her passing, YESTERDAY, (10/10). AMY is survived by her husband, ART VUOLO, SR, ART's siblings WAYNE, JOHN and TRISH. No word on services, yet. Reach ART at artvuolo@aol.com, with your comforting thoughts.

Full story: Condolences To Art Vuolo On Passing Of His Mom, Amy (Fri, 10/11)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 16, 2013



... Fox didn't seem affected, but longtime radio announcers, first-time callers Dan Dickerson and Jim Price had to phone it in for 97.1 the Ticket until the power came on. Dickerson said he and Price tried to use their usual headsets for several minutes but there was too much static. So their engineer handed them an old-time phone to share for 2 minutes while the system rebooted.

Full story: When lights went out, Dan Dickerson, Jim Price had to broadcast old-school style (Wed, 10/16)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 17, 2013



Detroit News:

Make a living speaking into an open microphone and you lead at least a somewhat open life. Jim Price, for instance, had cancer. If you tune into the Detroit Tigers on the radio, chances are you know that, the same way you know about the autism nonprofit he named after his son. But you probably don't know about the butterscotch candies, and that's important to him. That's about respecting the audience.

Full story: Candies vs. cancer (Thu, 10/17)



Fine Tuning:

  • Announced: Dates for Country WBCT-FM 93.7 Grand Rapids' 22nd Annual Birthday Bash; the country music festival will take place June 7th and 8th, 2014.

  • Sold: Stand-alone AM/FM combo WMMI 830 and WCZY-FM 104.3 Mt. Pleasant by Central Michigan Communications to Latitude Media, LLC. Sale price for the combo is $774,000 plus a $5,000 non-compete agreement. WMMI airs a Talk and Sports format and WCZY is programmed with Adult Hits. The deal is subject to FCC approval and closing.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 18, 2013




Members of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO Local 54048, which represents WNEM TV-5 employees, have voted down the latest contract offer from the television station and are organizing a campaign to make the community and advertisers aware of the labor dispute, according to a news release. The union represents 50 WNEM TV-5 employees, including photographers, editors, directors, on-air talent and engineers, according to the release.

Full story: Union representing WNEM TV-5 employees rejects contract offer (Fri, 10/18)




Aereo is on its way to another major metropolitan area. The upstart service, which provides cloud-based broadcast TV service to consumers for a starting price of $8 per month, is heading to Detroit on October 28. The offering will be available across nine counties around the Motor City.

Full story: Aereo to motor into Detroit on October 28 (Fri, 10/18)



Fine Tuning:

  • Selling: Armada Media, its cluster of stations in Memominee and Marinette, WI to Radio Plus Bay Cities, LLC for price to be announced. Stations in the deal include Sports WMAM AM 570, Talk WAGN AM 1340, Country WLST-FM 95.1, Adult Hits WSFQ-FM 96.3, Olides WHYB-FM 103.7.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 21, 2013




Members of the union representing workers at WNEM have rejected the latest offer from the Meredith owned Saginaw, MI, CBS affiliate. "WNEM's latest contract proposal would severely jeopardized (sic) workers' job security, retirement security, work jurisdiction and reduce on-air employees to 'at will' employment status," Zara Maldonado, president of NABET-CWA Local 54048, said in a statement.

Full story: NABET Rejects Latest Contract Offer from Michigan Station (Mon, 10/21)




Popular radio personality and voice actor Casey Kasem, a Detroit native, reportedly suffers from advanced Parkinson's Disease reportedly has only a few months to live, according to a representative for his wife. News of Kasem's failing health surfaced Saturday on the celebrity news website TMZ and came about a week after the New York Daily News reported that three of his children went to court to seek conservatorship over the ailing radio icon.

Full story: Casey Kasem, a Detroit native, has a few months to live, rep for wife claims (Sun, 10/20)





Full story: CIMX Announces The 89X Nutcracker Lineup (Mon, 10/21)


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 22, 2013



Detroit News:

Aereo, an online service that allows users to view broadcast television through Internet-enabled devices for a monthly fee, will be available in the Detroit area next week, the company announced. The controversial service, which streams programming from broadcast outlets such as NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox onto smartphones and Internet-friendly televisions but doesn't pay rights fees to the networks, is seen as a threat to those networks and their local affiliates.

Full story: Aereo TV streaming service brings controversy to Detroit (Tue, 10/22)




Gannett-owned ABC affiliate WZZM Grand Rapids, Mich. (DMA 39) has hired John Hogan as part of its Watchdog Investigative Team. The Watchdog Team is headed by Lee Van Ameyde who has been a reporter and anchor at WZZM for more than 36 years.

Full story: John Hogan joins WZZM Investigative Team (Tue, 10/22)



Kalamazoo Gazette:

Alan Kazam is pretty certain he won't be the lead story on a newscast from WWMT News Channel 3 this weekend. Kazam, the longtime Kalamazoo magician, will hold the 5th annual Halloween Spooktacular at the Kalamazoo State Theatre at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27.

Full story: WWMT's Marcie Kobriger to be sawed in half by Kalamazoo magician (Tue, 10/22)



Fine Tuning:

  • The first ever DASH Conference kicks off at 1 pm on Wednesday October 23rd and run through 4:30 pm on Thursday at the Metro Airport Weston Hotel in Romulus.

    This is a major radio conference being held right here in Detroit with big names coming in from all over the country. The event is being hosted by B. Eric Rhoads, publisher of Radio Ink magazine, and Fred Jacobs of locally-based Jacobs Media.

    Late registration and more information can be found at www.dashconference.com. This is a "must attend" for anyone in radio wanting to know the truth about the Connected Car and how the Dashboard is changing everything!


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 23, 2013



Sports Business Journal:

The NBA is poised to become the first major U.S.-based sports league to allow its games to be streamed live locally. The league is finalizing TV Everywhere deals with Fox Sports Media Group and NBC Sports Group, the country's two biggest owners of regional sports networks.

Full story: NBA near deals to allow live local streaming leaguewide (Mon, 10/21)




The DASH CONFERENCE, sponsored by JACOBS MEDIA and RADIO INK, opened to a full house at the WESTIN HOTEL in DETROIT. You can follow the goings-on via TWITTER at #DashAudio.

Full story: DASH Conference Opening Day Coverage Shines Light On Growing Health Of Radio Usage And Symbiotic Relationship With Cars (Wed, 10/23)



Fine Tuning:

  • On the 'air': Streaming service Aereo for customers that preregistered in the Detroit market. Stations included in the service include the primary programming (.1) from Channels 2 (Fox), 4 (NBC), 7 (ABC), 20 (MNT), 31 (Ion), 38 (Ind), 50 (CW), 56 (PBS), and 62 (CBS).

    In addition subchannels Channels 2.2 (Movies), 4.2 (ThisTV), 7.2 (LiveWell), 7.3 (BounceTV), 20.2 (CoziTV), 31.2 (Qubo), 31.3 (IonLife), 31.4 (IonShop), 38.2 (AntennaTV), 38.3 (Word), 56.2 (DPTV+), and 56.3 (PBS Create) are included.

    Not included is over-the-air programming from Canada (Windsor's Channel 9.1 CBC or 32.1 TVO for example).

  • For sale: The license and transmitter for the silent WDTW AM 1310 Detroit. The station, owned by Clear Channel was shut down at the end of 2012 and has reportedly only operated for one day earlier this month. When it was shutdown, it was announced that the station's license was being donated - a plan that now appears to have changed.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 24, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • CKWW AM 580 Windsor/Detroit will once again present an annual Halloween treat by airing one of the most famous radio broadcasts of all-time on its 75th anniversary. The radio adaptation of H.G. Wells "The War of the Worlds" was directed and narrated by Orson Welles and will be presented on Thursday, October 31st at 8 PM on CKWW in its entirety, commercial-free. AM580 is proud to continue the tradition of airing the original historic broadcast every year at Halloween since the early 1990's.

  • Sold: Door County Wisconsin Christian radio stations WPFF-FM 90.5 and WNLI-FM 88.5 by Bethesda Christian Broadcasting to Educational Media Foundation, owner of the K-Love and Air-1 services heard around the country. In addition to the two full-power stations, the deal involves FM translators in Marquette, Escanaba, Iron Mountain, and Ishpeming. Sale price was $825,000.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 25, 2013



Keener 13 50th anniversary special to air on WCXI AM 1160 Fenton

Next weekend (Oct. 31 and Nov. 1) will mark the 50th anniversary of the birth of 'Keener 13', what was then WKNR AM 1310 Detroit. On Halloween day of 1963 the station switched from WKMH to WKNR and spent the entire day airing various ghost stories. The next day, Keener 13 kicked off their Top 40 music format, and, needless to say, the rest is history.

On Friday afternoon, November 1st, former Keener 13 DJ Greg Innis will bring many Keener airchecks, promos and jingles to WCXI AM 1160 Fenton and join Jimmy James and tribute to Keener 13.

Innis and James will count down the entire 1st-ever Keener music guide as part of the tribute. They hope to talk on the air to a couple of former Keener jocks from the 60's as well as hear from various listeners as they share their memories of WKNR.

The show will air from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. If you have a hard time getting the signal, you can listen via TuneIn at tunein.com/radio/WCXI-1160-s28114/.




Former University of Michigan men's basketball All-American Terry Mills (1988-90) will join the Michigan IMG Radio Network's crew as the analyst for the upcoming 2013-14 season. Mills joins lead play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard. In addition to all U-M's game broadcasts, Mills is scheduled to assist with the Inside Michigan Basketball Radio Show.

Full story: Former All-American Terry Mills Joins Michigan Radio Crew (Fri, 10/25)



Fine Tuning:

  • University of Michigan football fans can renew a tradition as WTKA AM 1050 Ann Arbor airs a classic U-M football game during the team's bye week. WTKA will be running the 1979 UM-MSU game with Bob Ufer behind the mic at noon on Saturday, October 26th.

    The game was supplied to AM 1050 WTKA by Art Vuolo who has just about all the games going back many years on both audio and video. His web site is www.vuolovideo.com; Click on UM Football.


Newsmakers and links: Oct. 28, 2013



Jacobs Media / JacoBlog:

I have to tell you that of all the things I've been involved with in my professional life, especially since forming Jacobs Media 30 years ago, DASH ranks right up there. We hit a "responsive chord" (as Tony Schwartz called it) as evidenced by the nearly 300 engaged professionals who showed up in Detroit last week.

Full story: DASH Takeaways (Mon, 10/28)




Eminem and Rihanna are expected to release Monday might a new song called "The Monster" that will be featured on Slim Shady's new 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2" album.

Full story: Eminem, Rihanna to release 'The Monster;' two Detroit radio stations to debut it (Mon, 10/28)





Full story: Lineup Announced For The Night 89X Stole Christmas (Mon, 10/28)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 2 - 3, 2013




WeatherNation TV, Inc., announced its partnership with ABC12 WJRT-TV to broadcast a 24-hour local weather channel for the Flint-Saginaw-Bay City markets starting in early November 2013.

Full story: ABC12 launches new 24-hour weather channel for Flint, Saginaw, Bay City regions (Sat, 11/2)



Cornerstone University Herald:

Chuck Gaidica, lead meteorologist for WDIV Channel 4 Detroit, is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership through Cornerstone University's online program.

Full story: Detroit television meteorologist attends GRTS (Sat, 11/2)



Grand Rapids Press:

A fake Halloween radio broadcast about a train chemical spill leading to zombie-like behavior fooled some people calling 911 in Grand Traverse County.

Full story: Fake Traverse City radio broadcast on chemical spill, zombies leads to 911 calls (Fri, 11/1)



Detroit Free Press:

Frank Beckmann was joking, saying that all he hoped was Michigan would score a point Saturday against Michigan State. "I don't know if they will," he said, before wondering aloud in jest to broadcasting partner Jim Brandstatter whether the pair should even bother to show up to Spartan Stadium.

Full story: Michigan radio's Frank Beckmann accepts excellence award for Detroit broadcasting, reflects on rivalry vs. Michigan State (Wed, 10/30)



Michigan Association of Broadcasters:

The National Radio Hall of Fame will induct WJR-AM (Detroit) talk show host Paul W. Smith as part of its 2013 Induction gala on November 9. Smith will be sharing the stage with other inductees including Steve Dahl and Garry Meier (Chicago), Blair Garner (Nashville), John Lanigan (Cleveland), Eddie "Poilin" Sotelo (Los Angeles), Charle Steiner (Los Angeles) and (posthumously) Powel Crosley, Jr. (Cincinnati and Sarasota-Bradenton, FL).

Full story: Radio Hall of Fame to Honor Paul W. Smith November 9 (Fri, 11/1)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 4, 2013



Flint Journal / MLive.com:

Workers at WNEM TV 5 picketed outside studios in Flint and Saginaw in hopes of getting back to the bargaining table, according to union officials. Photojournalist Tom Knaub was one of seven people holding up signs outside the WNEM-TV5 office along Saginaw Street in downtown Flint on Monday, Nov. 4.

Full story: WNEM television workers picket downtown Flint studio (Mon, 11/4)

More: WNEM TV-5 employees protest outside Saginaw studio as part of ongoing labor dispute (Mon, 11/4)




GREATER MEDIA's Classic Rock WCSX/DETROIT invited listeners to join them in an exclusive WCSX Hangout session with TED NUGENT. WCSX afternoon host DOUG PODELL hosted the Internet hangout with several listeners who were able to use virtual time and interact live with NUGENT.

Full story: Ted Nugent To Run For President? (Mon, 11/4)


GREATER MEDIA's Active Rock WRIF/DETROIT is doing its part to raise awareness of men's cancer. During the entire month of NOVEMBER, WRIF morning show hosts DAVE and CHUCK "THE FREAK" are growing mustaches to raise awareness of men's cancer and support patient care and research at KARMANOS CANCER INSTITUTE.

Full story: WRIF Presents Movember Mustaches For Cancer (Mon, 11/4)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 6, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Don PhillipsFormer Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit overnight and weekend host Don Phillips passed away earlier today after a long illness. Phillips was also known for his work as a DJ at JR's Bar & Grill (now known as The Emergency Room) in suburban Westland.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 7, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • If you guessed November 7 at about 8:30 a.m., then you were correct as to when Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM 100.3 Detroit would make its annual flip to All-Christmas music. Expect many more holiday season flips across the state in the coming days. WNIC has also apparently scrubbed away the 'Fresh' name from its on-air presentation and is again referring to itself as simply WNIC 100.3.



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

The Detroit Pistons and WXYZ have partnered to deliver the team's official television show on a weekly basis to millions of basketball fans across Southeast Michigan and beyond. "State of the Pistons" will debut Sunday, November 10 at 12 p.m. and will regularly air in that timeslot throughout the season, immediately following Ford Lions Report Live, which airs at 11 a.m.

Full story: State of the Pistons debuts on WXYZ Sunday, November 10 (Tue, 11/5)



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


Vuolo: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly



Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

The GOOD: It took a little adjusting of the format back to its adult contemporary roots to prompt Clear Channel to see the light, but today (11-07-13) local Detroit area VP of programming, Tony Travatto flipped the identity of 100.3 FM from "Fresh" back to 100.3 WNIC at the same time the station launched its annual All-Christmas marathon. Changing back to the name that most listeners still used anyhow was a brilliant move! Tony is among the best in this business and it's nice (no pun intended) to see the company let him actually do his job.

VuoloIt was not that long ago that we got together for lunch and I remarked that nobody knows the name "Fresh." Most people think it's a description of Subway sandwiches or the Markets at Meijer. Everyone knows 100.3/WNIC which easily flows off the lips as well. So, my hat is off to Tony and his staff.


The BAD: Speaking of cut-throat, I know it's no big secret that the AM talk station that I feel is the best in America is the one also known as "The Nation's Station" and that is 700 WLW from down in Cincinnati. Well the man who set up that format of original and local news and talk programming has been let go. His name is Darryl Parks. Those of you who have driven down I-75 to Florida have perhaps noticed the huge diamond-shaped 900 foot tower off to the east in Mason, OH just north of Cincinnati and tuned in the station known as "The Big One."

For 11 years WLW was programmed by Parks who finally got frustrated by the direction that Clear Channel wanted to take the station that he resigned. Afraid that he might sign up with a competitive company, CC-VP Tom Ownes (originally from Cincy) resurrected a position that had been eliminated to keep Parks on board; VP of News-Talk Stations for all of Clear Channel. That is a job that had previously been held by industry vet Gabe Hobbs at WFLA in Tampa.

Everything was good until, as is the case each year, the holidays are coming and so are the cut-backs at Clear Channel. Someone with a Scrooge-like attitude at the company seems to feel it's best to cut jobs before the year ends and just ahead of the Holiday Season...and that leads us to...


The UGLY: Find me a city where an AM station still maintains double-digit ratings. They are very rare and yet 700 WLW is there! Gabe Hobbs, who has a very keen insight on the news-talk format, said "WLW has the best talent in the world (even better than KFI) but they DO need to be managed."

He's right.

KFI in Los Angeles, WIOD in Miami and WTAM in Cleveland are all good CC news-talk stations, but much of their schedule is syndicated fare provided by The Premiere Radio Networks. Premiere is owned by Clear Channel and is an excellent provider of top-notch talent like: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. However, because CC in Cincinnati owns FOUR AM stations, they place the network shows on 55 WKRC, the FOX and ESPN sports on 1530 and 1360, leaving WLW free to boast a schedule of ALL live and local programming.

Industry insiders feel the real reason Parks was cut was (like it always is) money. His job will be rolled into the responsibilities of Executive VP of Talk Programming at Premiere, Carl Anderson and the company reduces its pay-roll. Unfortunately, it also cuts an excellent programmer and terrific talk host from 50,000 watt 700 WLW.


My prediction as we near the end of 2013, is that when WJR loses Sean Hannity in exchange for Michael Savage after January 1st, that Clear Channel may very well pick up the popular host and convert AM 1130, now known as The Fan, from sports to news-talk. It would be a smart move. Detroit now has TWO FM sports stations with 97.1 The Ticket and newcomer Sports 105.1. Add to this, WXYT-AM 1270, WCAR AM 1090 in Livonia and WTKA-AM 1050 from Ann Arbor and that's a lot of Jock-Talk!


The GREAT: Saturday night in Chicago, WJR morning man Paul W. Smith will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago! I will be there and will report on how it went. Paul, who was J.P. McCarthy's personal choice to succeed him, has done an outstanding job over the past 16 years and is most worthy of this coveted honor on November 9th. Regards, Paul W. Smith, you deserve it all.

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


Art Vuolo Jr.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 8, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

It's Christmas time again in Grand Rapids, at least on the radio. In West Michigan, Star 105.7 today made the switch to all holiday music, all the time, for the next seven weeks ... The River 100.5 followed suit...

Full story: Christmas music all the time returns to two Grand Rapids area radio stations (Fri, 11/8)



Detroit Free Press:

J.P. McCarthy spent more than 30 years entertaining Michigan and the region on WJR-AM (760). But he was more than a radio personality. He was a force of nature, who broadcast reports from auto shows around the world, hosted the annual Auto Show Charity Preview in Detroit and interviewed famous Wolverines the day before the fierce, annual University of Michigan's game against Ohio State University.

Full story: Paul W. Smith to be inducted in National Radio Hall of Fame (Fri, 11/8)




On MONDAY (11/11), the popular game-show LET'S ASK AMERICA will air a new episode featuring four well-known radio personalities in their "BATTLE OF THE DJs," where each DJ will compete for a prize that will benefit a charity of their choice. The contestants participating on the show include ... CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT afternoon co-host LINDA LEE ...

Full story: Let's Ask America To Air 'Battle Of The DJs' (Fri, 11/8)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 11, 2013




A group of radio stations plan to hold a donation drive Tuesday for the burial of three men who died last week when a gunman opened fire on a Detroit barbershop. Four Radio One affiliates, WCHB AM 1200, Praise 102.7, KISS 105.9, and HOT 107.5 will be raising funds for the family of Joezell Williams, 61, of Detroit, Bryan Williams, 29, of Detroit and Kevin Perryman, 40, of Clinton Township.

Full story: Detroit radio stations to raise funds for burial of three men killed in barbershop shootings (Mon, 11/11)



Windsor Star:

The University of Windsor's radio station wants a more powerful voice. Vernon Smith, station manager for CJAM 99.1 FM, said Monday that the not-for-profit broadcaster hopes to hear over the next several months whether its application to quadruple the power of its signal will be approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. He said the station has already raised almost $50,000 in donations to pay for equipment to spread its signal beyond Windsor and downtown Detroit.

Full story: CJAM radio to seek power increase (Mon, 11/11)



Fine Tuning:

  • Cumulus Media Detroit, which includes Pop WDVD-FM 96.3, News/Talk WJR AM 760, and Variety Hits WDRQ-FM 93.1, in partnership with MJR Digital Cinemas will host the 8th annual Canned Film Festival food drive to benefit Gleaners Food Bank of Southeast Michigan. Moviegoers on Thursday, November 14th to bring five canned good items to any of the seven participating MJR Digital Cinemas in the Detroit area to receive free admission to any movie, that day only, any time from 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 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.

    More info at 963wdvd.com or www.mjrtheatres.com" target="_blank">mjrtheatres.com.

  • Cumulus Media has announced plans to roll out a new national evening show to all 84 of the company's country-formatted radio stations. "Nash Nights Live" will be hosted by Los Angeles based Shawn Parr and launch on January 6th.

    Cumulus' Michigan Country stations include WWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor, WTNR-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids and WLAW-FM 92.5 Newaygo, and WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint.

    Country Lansing (WITL-FM 100.7) is in the process of being acquired from Cumulus by Townsquare Media and the future of that station's on-air lineup is not clear.



Detroit News:

If all goes as scheduled, tonight I will join "the giants of a medium that has permeated American society for most of the 20th century, and today in the 21st century." Tonight, in Chicago, I will be inducted in to the National Radio Hall of Fame. "The National Radio Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to recognizing those who have contributed to the development of the radio medium throughout its history in the United States."

Full story: Nothing but thanks for a Hall of Fame career (Sat, 11/9)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 12, 2013




Meteorologist Derek Kevra is joining WJBK in Detroit, a spokesperson for the Fox O&O confirms to TVSpy. Kevra comes from WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans. Kevra, who joined WWL in 2009, is the noon and 5 p.m. meteorologist at the station. With his move to Detroit, he returns to the station where he began his television career as an intern.

Full story: Meteorologist Derek Kevra Set to Join WJBK (Tue, 11/12)




As they said they would last week in the wake FCC approval, Media General and Young Broadcasting closed on their merger Tuesday. The combination creates a mega-group with 31 stations operating in 28 markets, reaching 16.5 million, or 14%, of U.S. TV households. On the pro forma basis, the merged company had 2012 revenues of $605 million.

Full story: Media General, Young now officially one (Tue, 11/12)

Note: Young Broadcasting was the owner of CBS affiliate WLNS-TV Ch. 6 and ABC affiliate WLAJ-TV Ch. 53 in Lansing Jackson. Young has also been operating MyTV affiliate WHTV-TV Ch. 18 in the market.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 14, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Josh Garber is exiting as morning co-host at MacDonald-Garber's Top 40 WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix/Traverse City to take on afternoons at Townsquare Media's Top 40 WLHT-FM 95.7 Grand Rapids later this month. Garber will also take on the role of Assistant Program Director at both Channel 95-7 and sister station Adult Contemporary WTRV-FM 100.5.




CBS RADIO in DETROIT recently completed construction of a state-of-the-art performance studio. To celebrate the occasion, Top 40 WDZH (98.7 AMP RADIO) and sister Country WYCD (99.5 WYCD) joined their hugely successful 'Switch Party' and 'Studio 995' series to present superstar HUNTER HAYES. The intimate event that gave fans an up-close-and-personal experience with an amazing artist.

Full story: CBS/Detroit Unveils New Performance Studio; First Performer: Hunter Hayes (Thu, 11/14)




The Lions aren't scoring points only on the playing field or limiting their impact to the NFC North standings. Their games are scoring big numbers in the Metro Detroit television ratings. And like their performances of late, they're gaining momentum. Whether it is the offense engineering a game-winning drive or the defense coming through with a clinching stop, ratings are peaking late in games.

Full story: Winning Lions are also scoring big in Metro Detroit television ratings (Tue, 11/12)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 15, 2013



Detroit News:

With all the media hand-wringing over WDIV Local 4 reporter Lauren Podell'saccidental F-bomb dropped on the air Wednesday morning up at the Lapeer fire, we surely thought the world would come to an end ...

Full story: Society Confidential: Media news and notes (Fri, 11/15)



Fine Tuning:

  • Dick Purtan, legendary former Detroit radio personality will tell his story of surviving prostate cancer as part of the latest episode of the public television series "The Embrace of Aging: The Male Perspective of Growing Old" on Sunday November 17, 2013 at 6:30pm on Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV Channel 56.

    The series is produced and directed by local Emmy winner Keith Famie.

    This episode also includes a gathering of a group of men hosted by well-known New York restaurateur Drew Nieporent and actor Steve Schirripa (from the HBO series "The Sopranos"), where they talk openly about their prostate issues. Dr. Kenneth Pienta, Professor of Internal Medicine and Urology/American Cancer Society at the University of Michigan, talks about urology and men's issues. He explains the importance of prostate exams. The episode follows the story of one his patients who is battling late stage prostate cancer. He is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran whose prostate cancer is due to exposure to Agent Orange while serving in the jungles of Vietnam.



Detroit Free Press:

Fox Sports Detroit today announced the addition of former Detroit Pistons player Jerry Stackhouse as a studio analyst for select "Pistons Live" shows this season. Stackhouse averaged almost 17 points per game during his 18-year NBA career, including 1997-2002 with the Pistons.

Full story: Jerry Stackhouse joins FSD as Detroit Pistons analyst (Fri, 11/15)




The deals by which CUMULUS MEDIA spun off stations in 12 markets to TOWNSQUARE MEDIA and PEAK sold its BOISE and FRESNO clusters to TOWNSQUARE, then CUMULUS acquired the FRESNO cluster for 15 stations in DUBUQUE and POUGHKEEPSIE, has closed. The deal sent 53 stations in the BATTLE CREEK, MI; CEDAR RAPIDS, IA; DANBURY, CT; FARIBAULT-OWATONNA, MN; KALAMAZOO, MI; LANSING, MI; PORTLAND, ME; PORTSMOUTH-DOVER-ROCHESTER, NH; QUAD CITIES, IA-IL; ROCHESTER, MN; ROCKFORD, IL; and WATERLOO, IA markets to TOWNSQUARE as well as the DUBUQUE, POUGHKEEPSIE, and BOISE stations has closed, according to paperwork filed with the FCC.

Full story: Cumulus-Townsquare-Peak Deal Closes (Fri, 11/15)


Vuolo: Big Al & Ed Kelly sub for Mitch



Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

While Mitch Albom is on a heavy schedule of promoting his new book "The First Call From Heaven," listeners are in for a treat once again as Big Al and Ed Kelly sit in for the author/talk host. Big Al Muskovito, as he was called for many years on the Dick Purtan Show at WOMC, is wildly entertaining and very funny. When you add in the multi-voiced Ed Kelly it gets even better. Then toss in Kevin O'Neill on traffic and STOP THE MUSIC! Oh, that's right there is no music on WJR. It's a talk show for God's sake!

A few weeks ago when Kevin and Big Al (who's not as big as he once was...weight-wise) did a show together, I phoned WJR program director Kevin Metheny and told him to sign these two guys to a long-term contract immediately. It was, hands-down, the most entertaining radio I have heard on the 760 AM frequency in a very long time.

What a joy it is to listen to a program where I hear nothing about Obama-Care or democrats versus republicans and hatred being spewed all over the giant 50,000 watts of the Great Voice of the Great Lakes. If you read this in time, Big Al & Ed plus Kevin will be available on WJR-AM 5 pm till 7 pm Monday and Tuesday November 18th and 19th. DO NOT MISS IT!

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


Art Vuolo Jr.


Written by Art Vuolo, Jr.

Just last Thursday I was honored to join a table-full of iconic Ann Arbor area sports broadcasters for their weekly lunch at Banfield's Sports Bar on the east side of town. It was good to see Tom Johnston, who I've known since the late 1960's. He was a true sports innovator. I had no idea it would be the last time that I would see Tom. Another longtime friend and chronicler of media in Washtenaw County, Dale R. Leslie, was also at that lunch and provided the following account of Tom Johnston's amazing career:

"Tom Johnston was an Ann Arbor Hometown Boy who grew to earn utmost respect in the collegiate and professional sports world and was paid to do what he loved best- Broadcast Sports. Johnston passed away on Saturday, November 16, 2013 in his residence in Ann Arbor. Memorial Services are slated for mid-December."

Tom Johnston Tom, pictured at right, was an innovator over the course of his career with WAAM AM 1600 Ann Arbor and WKBD-TV Channel 50, one of the nation's first all-sports channels. He encouraged the novelty of a tape delay broadcast when the station's schedule became full. With the blessing of University of Michigan Athletic Director Fritz Crisler in the 1960s, he initiated the Coaches Corner show on WAAM that was broadcast during the U-M football, hockey and basketball seasons and was built around the format of a public luncheon. The current U-M Monday noon public meetings with coaches are not broadcast but evolved from Johnston's Coaches Corner.

Tom Johnston was a charter member of Kaiser Broadcasting's WKBD-TV, Channel 50 in Detroit which was a forerunner of today's ESPN when WKBD launched with all-sports format in 1965. Johnston brought television cameras into the dusty, high corners of Big Ten field houses and did play-by-play of Michigan's Cazzie Russell-era exciting basketball teams. I remember seeing Johnston- sitting on a stool, smoking a cigar, alone in a Channel 50 studio- and delivering a detailed sportscast without a stitch of notes.

But his lasting legacy is in the hearts of those he trained and gave a chance to begin a broadcasting career. As a middle-school student, I was his shadow at WAAM radio. "Can you type?" he asked. When I said I could he gave me a story to rewrite. What faith! What a thrill! I can see him rushing down the hall to the broadcast studio completely encased with wire sports copy and smoking a big cigar. He would deliver a polished broadcast and no listener could guess that much of what he was reading was for the first time.

A consummate professional sports broadcaster- that was Tom Johnston. Arrangements are being made through Muehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor.

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


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 21, 2013



Oakland Press:

Rochester Hills-based Avon Players is proud to present Marty Bufalini's "It's a Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play," opening Friday, Nov. 29. The play, an adaptation of Frank Capra's beloved holiday classic, is set in a 1940s radio studio with actors playing the many parts and performing the radio sound effects of the timeless story of George Bailey learning what life would be like if he had never been born. Bufalini, an on-air personality on WWJ-AM950, is the director of the show and also performs several of the key voices, including that of Mr. Potter.

Full story: Radio personality and original Lone Ranger cast member perform 'It's a Wonderful Life' at Rochester Hills theatre (Thu, 11/21)



Oakland Press:

Rochester Hills-based Avon Players is proud to present Marty Bufalini's "It's a Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play," opening Friday, Nov. 29. The play, an adaptation of Frank Capra's beloved holiday classic, is set in a 1940s radio studio with actors playing the many parts and performing the radio sound effects of the timeless story of George Bailey learning what life would be like if he had never been born. Bufalini, an on-air personality on WWJ-AM950, is the director of the show and also performs several of the key voices, including that of Mr. Potter.

Full story: Radio personality and original Lone Ranger cast member perform 'It's a Wonderful Life' at Rochester Hills theatre (Thu, 11/21)




Whether or not this makes good radio remains to be seen, however, it's importance is unquestioned. 97.1 The Ticket's morning hosts Stoney and Bill will be getting a prostate exam in the studio, while on the air.

Full story: Detroit jocks getting live prostate exams (Thu, 11/21)



Grand Rapids Press:

Kevin Matthews, a Grand Rapids radio icon who spent many years in Chicago, is returning to the airwaves of the Windy City, virtually speaking.

Full story: Grand Rapids DJ Kevin Matthews set to be voice of WGN online (Thu, 11/21)



Flint Journal:

A former Flint DJ and Michigan history author is promoting a documentary that looks back on a tragic event in Michigan -- one he says most Michiganders don't know about, but should, especially in Flint.

Full story: Former Flint DJ promotes documentary showcasing centennial of tragic Michigan event (Mon, 11/18)



Fine Tuning:

  • Cumulus Media Detroit's Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3, News/Talk WJR AM 760, and Variety Hits WDRQ-FM 93.1, in partnership with MJR Digital Cinemas and Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan, are thanking listeners that contributed to make this year's Canned Film Festival an overwhelming success. Due to the generosity of thousands of metro Detroiters, 46,488 pounds of non-perishable food items have been donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank to help feed the hungry of southeast Michigan; a 7% increase over last year's total.

    In addition, Kroger had issued a challenge to the public that for every Kroger brand canned good donated, Kroger would donate $1 up to $5,000 - a goal that was exceeded that goal by almost 2,000 cans.

    All canned food donated during the Canned Film Festival will be distributed by Gleaners Community Food Bank to food providers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Livingston Counties.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 25, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • The recent Low Power FM application window with the FCC finds 46 attempts to land a new LPFM across Michigan from Addison to Wyoming.

    Some of the highlights include three applications in Detroit, all on frequencies (95.9, 96.7, 102.3) currently in use by radio stations in southwestern Ontario that are easily received in Detroit.

    In Grand Rapids, there are three organizations attempting to use 97.3 - and in Flint, there were four applications for 96.7.

    Take a quick look at all 46 applications here (.pdf), or straight from the FCC here.

  • The Great Lakes Bay Area is fully celebrating the Christmas spirit, at least on the radio, with Classic Hits WHNN-FM 96.1 Bay City flipping late last week, joining WSAG-FM 104.1 Linwood / WSAM AM 1400 Saginaw.

  • Named: Jim Brandstatter, longtime commentator for Detroit Lions and University of Michigan football, to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

    Other 2014 inductees will include Nicklas Lidstrom, retired Detroit Wings defenseman, Jason Hanson, retired Detroit Lions placekicker, John Smoltz, retired Atlanta Braves pitcher, Percy Snow, former Michigan State All-American, Dorne Dibble, former Michigan State All-American, Tom Mach, Detroit Catholic Central football coach, and Alexi Lalas, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook and World Cup soccer player.



Grand Rapids Press:

WWMT Newschannel 3 will welcome a new morning anchor to its news team in January. Kirk Mason, of WSBT-TV in South Bend, Indiana, moves to the Battle Creek-Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo TV market, the 39th largest in the United States, to serve as morning and noon anchor at the station headquartered in Kalamazoo.

Full story: WWMT Newschannel 3's new morning anchor is coming from South Bend (Mon, 11/25)



Detroit Free Press:

Sure, Charlie LeDuff is a Motor City maniac. But GQ's uncontested Mad Man of the Year? That's the fact, Jack. National taste-maker magazine GQ has bestowed the title on LeDuff and it says it made the choice based on a string of stories LeDuff has done for local Fox affiliate WJBK-TV (Channel 2)

Full story: Charlie LeDuff wins GQ's Mad Man of the Year title (Mon, 11/25)



Cornerstone University Herald:

WaYfm will cease to exist on Nov. 29. Chris Lemke, executive director of CURadio, has seen significant growth in both WCSG and Mission Network News in the last few months, but WaYfm listener numbers have stagnated. WaYfm services over 35,000 listeners in West Michigan, while WCSG sits around 150,000.

Full story: CU radio stations set to merge (Sun, 11/24)


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 26, 2013



Broadcasting & Cable:

Sinclair Broadcast Group has closed on its $370 million acquisition of Barrington Broadcasting. The 24 stations, including WEYI Flint-Saginaw and WNWO Toledo, are located in 15 markets and reach 3.4% of the U.S. TV households. The acquisition was funded through cash on hand ... In addition, the license assets of WBSF Flint and WGTU-WGTQ Traverse City-Cadillac were purchased by Cunningham, while the license assets of WEYI Flint and WWMB Myrtle Beach were purchase by Howard Stirk Holdings. Sinclair will provide services to the stations.

Full story: Sinclair Closes on $370 Million Barrington Deal (Mon, 11/25)



Detroit News:

As the Islanders carried the puck through center ice, a forward rifled it into the Red Wings' end behind Jonas Gustavsson. A sharp rebound off the end boards in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum created a scoring chance. "Yeah, you're going to get about the same bounce off the boards here as you do at Joe Louis," said Chris Osgood, on the Fox Sports Detroit broadcast.

Full story: Ex-Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood smooth in booth, too (Tue, 11/26)



Ann Arbor News:

Thanksgiving weekend just wouldn't be complete - at least musically - without Matt Watroba's annual fall folk show at The Ark, where he performs on Friday night.

Full story: No turkey: Matt Watroba's annual Thanksgiving weekend show marks 25 years at The Ark Friday (Tue, 11/26)


It may come as a surprise to some, but Jews have a proud history of loving, parodying, and even writing Christmas carols. In nearly every community across the country, there is at least one radio station that indulges my -- and the general public's -- love for the holiday songs.

Full story: Carolers rejoice: Christmas songs hit the airwaves earlier than ever at WNIC in Detroit (Tue, 11/26)



Fine Tuning:

  • Matt Hendricks exits as midday host from Townsquare Media's Classic Hits WFGR-FM 98.7 Grand Rapids.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 27, 2013



Flippin' for St. Nick at WOMC/Detroit

Detroit has a new entry in the All-Christmas on the radio marathon with CBS Radio's Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3 flip to all holiday tunes this morning at 7:00 a.m. The station, ID'ing itself as "Detroit's Christmas Hits" is for the first time taking on the all-holiday sound for the month leading to Christmas and will be playing the usual traditional holiday favorites and also feature eclectic Motown covers.

WOMC program director Tim Roberts commented, "We have an awesome playlist of all Christmas classics, and offer a different holiday experience to our listeners. WOMC will play a huge variety of Christmas music, with favorite Christmas classics from everyone like Elton John, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks with Motown covers and all time classics. We have a lot of festive holiday events planned for our listeners as well!"

The change at 104.3 gives Detroit its second all-Christmas station, as has been the case for the past several years. Clear Channel's heritage Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM 100.3 has been making the switch for years, but lost an in-format and all-Christmas competitor with this autumn's change from soft rock to Sports at Greater Media's WMGC-FM 105.1 - the other Detroit station that had been making the holiday flip in years past.

For it's part, WOMC is going all-in on the Christmas theme and will roll out a new float during tomorrow's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Morning show hosts Bobby Mitchell and Stacey DuFord will share in the Christmas spirit from float, which of course feature a Christmas theme. The station will also be hosting numerous community-based activities and events for families throughout the entire holiday season.


Newsmakers and links: Nov. 29, 2013



WNEM-TV Ch. 5 Bay City/Saginaw:

TV5 is deeply saddened to report the passing of a member of our family. A family member has confirmed that former TV5 Reporter-Anchor Brian Wood died on Thanksgiving Day. He collapsed at his home and was rushed to Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw where he died. Brian recently retired after 27 years of service to TV5 News and the Mid-Michigan community.

Full story: Veteran TV5 reporter Brian Wood dies (Thu, 11/28)



Ann Arbor News:

Only time will tell how much Frank Beckmann will miss doing the only thing he grew up wanting to do. For 33 seasons, Beckmann has been the radio voice of University of Michigan Football. But Saturday, when the Wolverines take on Ohio State in Michigan Stadium, will be his last time in that role.

Full story: Frank Beckmann contemplates last game as radio voice of Michigan Football (Fri, 11/29)



Fine Tuning:

  • All-Christmas returned to radio in the Eastern Upper Peninsula with the with the annual flip of Oldies WNBY-FM 93.9 Newberry earlier this week. The station has been making the switch for several years near Thanksgiving for the holiday season.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 1, 2013



Detroit Free Press:

Anyone who grew up glued to the tube will appreciate "Detroit Remember When: The History of Detroit Television," a treasure trove of vintage clips debuting at 8 p.m. Monday on WTVS (Channel 56). Created by Michael Collins and Tim Kiska, this look back at the glory days of Motor City broadcasting covers all of the essentials: suave movie host Bill Kennedy, comedy great Soupy Sales, Ron Burgundy-wishes-he-was-this-legendary anchorman Bill Bonds, iconic pitchman Mr. Belvedere and more.

Full story: From Soupy Sales to Bill Bonds, a history of Detroit TV (Sun, 12/1)


Sportscaster Jim Brandstatter sat on a ledge near the outer edges of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School's parking lot, clutching his hands together for warmth as looked out at a quiet Michigan Stadium. Several fans recognized him and asked for pictures or handshakes, and he gladly obliged.

Full story: Michigan ticker: Frank Beckmann calls last game at Big House (Sun, 12/1)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 2, 2013



Detroit News:

Flush with money after World War II, Detroit was a cultural hotbed in the decade after World War II. Local TV was one of the places where a generation of young creatives ran wild, to the delight of viewers.

Full story: PBS flashes back to TV golden age (Mon, 12/2)



Grand Rapids Press:

"Good Morning America's" weekend meteorologist Ginger Zee is moving to days.

Full story: 'Good Morning America' names Grand Rapids' Ginger Zee as weekday weather anchor (Mon, 12/2)




After 17 years, CORNERSTONE UNIVERSITY Contemporary Christian WAYG (89.9)/GRAND RAPIDS is off the air. As first reported in OCTOBER, this move is due to budgetary constraints and the blurred line between AC and Top 40 musical formats.

Full story: WAYG Simulcasting WCSG (Mon, 12/2)



Fine Tuning:

  • Art Vuolo checks in with the following recommendation for radio fans this Cyber Monday:

    "What is arguably the best radio application for the iPhone is on sale today only for Cyber Monday, December 2nd. If you're an iPhone user, search in the App Store for 'StreamS hi fi' and you'll see a thumb-nail photo of a yellow lab dog with an aqua background. This app is ideal for anyone who loves radio and it gets all the various radio companies so you don't need several different ones to access your favorites. It's regularly priced at $3.99 for the iPhone and $1.99 for the iPad. On Cyber Monday it will be on sale for only 99 cents. Check it out!"


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 3, 2013



WDVD/Detroit stuffing busses for Christmas

Cumulus Media's Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3 is inviting listeners to help make sure no child goes without a toy this holiday season by helping 96.3 WDVD stuff three buses full of new toys. The drive starts Thursday, December 5 and runs through Sunday, December 8.

96.3 WDVD DJs will be live from all three collection locations in Canton (Ford Rd, near Kohl's), Royal Oak (Woodward and 13 Mile), and Clinton Twp (Hall Rd. near Nino Salvaggio). Listeners are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to one of our Stuff-A-Bus locations, and help stuff the buses to benefit local children's 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 street addresses for the drop off locations, can be found at www.963WDVD.com.




ALL ACCESS has learned that legendary DETROIT Jazz and Blues radio veteran GENE ELZY passed away over the weekend. GENE ELZY's career spanned 45 years in DETROIT radio including stops at legendary stations WJZZ, WDET, WJR-A, and WCHB AM & FM (now WDMK). He was also the host for several programs on DETROIT PUBLIC TELEVISION's AMERICAN BLACK JOURNAL.

Full story: Gene Elzy Passes Away (Tue, 12/3)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 4, 2013



WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit:

Video: Former WDIV Local 4 newsman Dwayne X. Riley died this week at the age of 84.

Full story: Remembering Dwayne X. Riley (Wed, 12/4)


In case you haven't noticed, "Anchorman 2" is coming out very soon. Will Ferrell, who stars in the movie as anchorman Ron Burgundy, told the New York Times in an interview that former WDIV anchor Mort Crim was his biggest inspiration for the character.

Full story: Will Ferrell says Mort Crim inspired 'Anchorman' (Wed, 12/4)



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

WXYZ-TV is proud to announce that we are joining forces with St. Vincent de Paul for the 7th annual Joy of Giving Telethon. We will air the all-day telethon on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 from 5:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. It will feature inspiring stories of hope that highlight the services that St. Vincent de Paul helps provide in southeast Michigan.

Full story: WXYZ-TV airing 7th annual Joy of Giving St. Vincent de Paul telethon on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 (Tue, 12/3)



WJR AM 760 Detroit:

News/Talk 760 WJR will be providing live coverage all day on December 5 of the Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon. The event will benefit a number of Mitch'scharitable organizations to provide food and shelter for lower-income families in the Metro-Detroit area, and will feature live bands, celebrity guests, and items up for auction.

Full story: 2nd Annual Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon



Detroit Free Press:

Gene Elzy, a Detroit broadcast personality of more than 45 years who entertained listeners with his jazz and R&B programs on stations like WJR-AM (760) and WDET-FM (101.9), died of natural causes Saturday evening, according to his family. He was 81.

Full story: Detroit radio host Gene Elzy dies at 81


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 6, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Returned: Beau Derek to the airwaves in Detroit on Cumulus' Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3 for afternoon drive, 2 - 7 p.m. The adjusted weekday lineup at 96.3 WDVD now features Blaine & Allyson 5:30 - 10 a.m., Lori Bennett 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Derek, Tom Baker 7 - 10 p.m, and the syndicated Adam Bomb 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. Listeners may remember Derek from previous stops in Detroit at WOMC-FM 104.3 and WDRQ-FM 93.1. He'd most recently been working at WHTS-FM 105.3 Grand Rapids.

  • Adding: News/Talk WTCM AM 580 Traverse City is apparently planning to launch a local weekday afternoon talk show on January 2nd hosted by Dave Barr, Bill Froelich and Colleen Wares that will air in the 3 - 6 p.m. time slot currently occupied by Sean Hannity. Hannity's program is expected to air on delay at 9 p.m.

  • Leaving: Casey Ford recently exited as on-air host at WZAM AM 970 Marquette (ESPN U.P.) after a 7 year run behind the mic.



Mid-West Family Broadcasting / Moody on the Market:

Fans of good local radio will be delighted to know that the New Year will bring them another full-tilt local radio station originating out of the South Haven studios of Mid-West Family Broadcasting. When the New Year's Rockin' Eve countdown reaches midnight and 2014 is born, COSY-FM Radio returns to local control. By way of explanation, the station has always been in local managerial control, however syndicated music programming prevailed for most of the day. Starting at that stroke of midnight...everything that comes out of the 103.7-FM speakers will be local...local...local.

Full story: Cosy radio is coming home


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 9, 2013



Crain's Detroit Business:

Longtime local radio host Ken Calvert will retire from his morning show on classic rock station WCSX 94.7 FM on Dec. 20, station owner Greater Media Inc. said this morning. Calvert will continue to host a weekend show and write his "KC's Korner" for the station's website, Greater Media said in a statement.

Full story: WCSX-FM morning host Ken Calvert to retire (Mon, 12/9)



Fine Tuning:

  • Mike Couchman is returning to Smile FM after a 10-year hiatus, He'll be handling filling-in duties the next few weeks on Sundays 3 - 7 p.m. and then settle in to do 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on weekends. Couchman was handling mornings at Cornerstone University's WaY FM in West Michigan until those stations switched to a simulcast of sister station WCSG-FM earlier this fall. He also was previously the Program Director at WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing, which is now part of the Smile FM roster of stations.

    Smile FM is heard on a number of stations throughout the state - a list of frequencies and cities at smile.fm.

  • Collected: By Cumulus' Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3, over 4,000 toys to ensure local in-need children and families have a memorable Christmas this year due to the generosity of metro Detroiters. The station's annual Stuff-a-bus campaign supports several local charities.



Detroit Free Press:

Longtime Detroit radio host Ken Calvert says he'll be signing off from the WCSX-FM (94.7) morning show Dec. 20, but plans to stay active in retirement by doing podcasts and a Saturday show for WCSX and writing for the station's website.

Full story: Ken Calvert retiring from WCSX-FM (Mon, 12/9)


Now the world knows what Detroit has long realized. Motor City news legend Mort Crim is the ideal template for an anchorman -- and "Anchorman."

Full story: Besides the voice, what Mort Crim and 'Anchorman' Ron Burgundy have in common (Sun, 12/8)



Detroit News:

Longtime Detroit air personality Ken Calvert is retiring from the morning show on WCSX-FM (94.7) after 13 years with the station. His last show will be Dec. 20.

Full story: WCSX personality Ken Calvert to retire (Mon, 12/9)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 10, 2013



Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation Holiday Online Auction taking bids

The MAB Foundation Holiday Auction opened December 4th and runs through December 13th featuring items that range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise.

Proceeds go to the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation in order to support educational scholarships, internships and broadcast education, supporting student broadcasters across Michigan.

Visit www.biddingforgood.com/mabfoundation to bid and get more information.



Detroit Free Press:

In the midst of concern over how Detroit's bankruptcy could impact the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit public TV station WTVS-TV (Channel 56) is presenting a new documentary on the famed museum at 9 p.m. Wednesday. "Detroit Art City" is an in-depth look at how the DIA, one of the top art museums in the country, is facing the reality of the city's struggles and what they could mean for the future of its collection.

Full story: DIA documentary to debut on Detroit's PBS station (Tue, 12/10)




MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS/KALAMAZOO, MI welcomes JEREMY LAWRENCE as the new Brand Manager/afternoon co-host for N/T WKZO-A and Brand Manager for Sports WQLR. Former WKZO Brand Manager JAY MORRIS moves into his new position as Brand Manager for Alternative WZOX (Z96.5)/KALAMAZOO. He continues as Brand Manager for Alternative WVIC (94.1 THE EDGE)/LANSING, MI. MORRIS will host "Music In Morning" in KALAMAZOO, and host the "Night Show" in LANSING.

Full story: Midwest Communications Names Jeremy Lawrence And Jay Morris Brand Managers In Kalamazoo (Tue, 12/10)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 12, 2013



CBS/Detroit's Country WYCD-FM 99.5 kicks off two-day radiothon

As the station has done for a number of years, CBS Radio's Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit has set aside a couple of days to help raise money during the annual WYCD Cares For St. Jude Kids Radiothon. This year's event takes place this Thursday & Friday from the Southland Center in Taylor and will feature WYCD hosts broadcasting live from the mall in order to raise the money that is critical to help kids who are battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Follow WYCD's effort's on their web site - or just call 800-374-4995 to donate and become a Partner In Hope.



Fine Tuning:

  • Brando is the name that Frank Beckmann affectionately called color analyst Jim Brandstatter for many years in the radio booth at The Big House. But about 35 years prior, the late Bob Ufer had Don Lund at his side and referred to him as Lundo! Ufer, the voice of Meeechigan football from 1945 till is passing in 1981, worked with Lund for a couple of decades. Don Lund died earlier this week at the age of 90. From the Ann Arbor News / MLive.com: Memorial services set for University of Michigan, Detroit Tigers legend Don Lund (Wed, 12/11).

  • Videotape free for the taking: A production company in Southfield is being liquidated and there is a LOT of very usable videotape and some audio tape free for any responsible audio or video producer or engineer who still employs the linear format of tape over the more current digital technology. The facility needs to be void of this considerable inventory before the end of this month. If interested, please contact estate handler Patty Livernois at (248) 320-1585 or e-mail her at estatesalesbypatty@gmail.com. Other items and equipment is also available at very reasonable prices.

    Michiguide contributor Art Vuolo visited the site and came away with several boxes of goodies. So, bring your own boxes, just like at Costco, if you wish to take advantage of this limited time offer.

  • Granted: To Detroit Public Television (WTVS-TV Ch. 56), Detroit Public Radio (WDET-FM 101.9), Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor), the Center for Michigan, and New Michigan Media, cooperative grant money for coverage of Detroit's bankruptcy from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.




Adrienne Broaddus is joining Minneapolis-St. Paul NBC affiliate KARE as a general assignment reporter ... Before coming to WISH in August 2010, Broadsus worked at WNEM in Saginaw and WSMH in Flint, MI. She started her career by working at WILX in Lansing, MI, while still in college.

Full story: Adrienne Broaddus Moving to KARE (Thu, 12/12)


Doug FM gives way to NashFM, launches with all-Christmas

Cumulus Media entered the Country music business in Detroit this morning at 9:31, flipping the company's WDRQ-FM 93.1 Variety Hits 'Doug FM' to 'NashFM', a country lifestyle format that was first introduced in New York City and has since expanded, at least in part, to many of Cumulus' previously formatted Country stations across the country.

Doug FM, a completely automated radio station that employed no on-air hosts, checked out at 9:30 a.m. with Sugar Ray's "Someday" which gave way to a presentation of NashFM's Country Christmas. Commercial breaks have continued on their normal rotation following the format change. Doug had been around 'playing everything' since April 1, 2005 when the station flipped from Contemporary Hits.

It's expected that Nash FM in Detroit will feature Blair Garner and "America's Morning Show" that also features Country artists Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks, and Erika Grace Powell with reports from HLN's Robin Meade. Jesse Addy, former WDVD-FM 96.3 jock, holds down afternoon drive on New York's NashFM -- might he be adding responsibilities for an air shift in Detroit too?

The Country format has been enjoying successful ratings numbers in desirable demographics in many markets across the USA, including here in Detroit where current the current heritage Country station is CBS Radio's WYCD-FM 99.5. While it'll be considered a longshot that newcomer NashFM 93.1 will surpass WYCD in ratings and revenue with a lineup that might feature several out-of-town jocks, the ultimate goal for Cumulus might be to take enough listeners away from WYCD to help its Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD while increasing the reach of its NashFM brand.

On the web: www.nashfm931.com




CUMULUS Adult Hits WDRQ/DETROIT made the flip to Country this morning (12/13) at 9:31a (ET), debuting as NASH FM 93.1 and playing All-CHRISTMAS Country music, with plans for a JANUARY 1st launch of regular music programming.

Full story: WDRQ/Detroit Flips To Country (Fri, 12/13)



Detroit News:

"Doug-FM" listeners got a jolt of twang this morning instead of the usual adult alternative music, as Cumulus Media's "Adult Hits" WDRQ-FM flipped to country at 9:31 a.m.

Full story: WDRQ's 'Doug-FM' flips to country with new 'Nash FM 93.1' format (Fri, 12/13)



Detroit Free Press:

Doug FM (93.1) is no more. Earlier today, Atlanta-based Cumulus Media pulled the plug on the metro Detroit adult hits station and installed a new country format.

Full story: 93.1 Doug FM switches format from adult hits to country (Fri, 12/13)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 14 - 15, 2013



Lansing State Journal: (pay site)

Michigan State University George Blaha has seen the highs and lows of Michigan State football in his 36 seasons as the team's play-by-play announcer.

Full story: Countdown to the Rose Bowl: Blaha excited to call his first Rose Bowl game ($) (Sat, 12/14)



Fine Tuning:

  • WYCD Raised: By CBS Radio's Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit, $503,625 in pledges during their two day WYCD Cares For Kids St. Jude Radiothon. The event was hosted at Southland Mall in Taylor on Thursday and Friday.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 20, 2013



Crain's Detroit Business:

Paul W. Smith's voice will continue to grace Detroit-area radio waves for another seven years. Atlanta-based Cumulus Media signed a seven-year contract for its veteran morning show host on WJR-AM 760.

Full story: Paul W. Smith signs 7-year contract with WJR (Thu, 12/19)



Fine Tuning:

  • Promoted: Scott Litle to Vice President at WLUN-FM Pinconning/Midland (ESPN 100.9-FM). Litle, who has worked in the Great Lakes Loons front office since 2006, has been promoted by the team to Vice President and General Manager where he will oversee all day-today operations related to the team's affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers, its coaching staff, its Midwest League partners, and also the radio station.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 23, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Added: The Antenna TV network to WILX-TV Ch. 10 Lansing on subchannel 10.3.

  • Bad weather affecting radio stations in the region: The weekend ice storm that cut a wide swath over the lower peninsula hit the University of Michigan's three radio stations hard. At one point WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids was knocked completely off the air while WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor and WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint were forced to operate at reduced power.

    In the eastern U.P., CBC's Radio One outlet serving Sault Ste Marie (CBSM-FM 89.5) was noted off the air late last week.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 24, 2013



Detroit Free Press:

Even with big-picture bankruptcy looming large, Detroit is a hotbed of small start-up businesses. Next week, a new series on public television from a Detroit entrepreneur, will conclude its first season of profiling start-up success stories here and elsewhere.

Full story: Detroit-based PBS series 'Start Up' showcases entrepreneurial spirit (Mon, 12/23)



Fine Tuning:

  • One week after the silencing of one of Chicago radio's greatest voices of all time, memories of Larry Lujack continue to be heard. Dick Purtan, one of Detroit radio's greatest voices of all time, shares some of his memories of his run-ins with Lujack:

    "Shocked to hear about Larry. I remember the time he and I, along with Larry King and the late great Deano Day, were on stage at a National Association of Broadcasters luncheon in Chicago when at the end Lujack and I almost fell off the stage when Deano took off his cowboy hat and a white dove flew out over the audience...it had been sitting on his head throughout the entire lunch.

    "I also remember Larry at the unveiling of ABC's SuperRadio at the Helmsley Palace in New York listening totally bored wearing jeans and a cowboy hat, reading a newspaper, with his broken leg propped up on a chair as Leonard Goldenson, the CEO and founder of ABC, made the big announcement.

    "And finally, I remember the half an hour or so the two of us spent 'shooting the breeze' in the Chicago hotel lobby just prior to our induction in the National Radio Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

    "He was a great talent...and a great guy! My sincere condolences to his wife Jude and family!"

  • Gregg Henson, former WDFN AM, WXYT AM, and WKRK-FM personality and current Director of Programming/Sports Content Director at Clear Channel's Talk WPGB-FM and Sports WBGG AM in Pittsburgh, will return to Detroit radio temporarily next week, filling in for Matt Shepard on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday morning at Clear Channel's Sports WDFN AM 1130.

  • Today's Tom Taylor NOW newsletter has an update on some FM translator wheeling and dealing in the Upper Peninsula: "Some creative translator dealmaking in Wisconsin and Michigan, where Illinois-based Sister Grace Inc. and Wisconsin-based WRVM Inc. resolve three "MX" problems arising from the FCC's recent Auction 83. Both groups had applied for new translators in similar situations - what the Commission calls 'mutually exclusive,' meaning that it couldn't grant both applications. In return for WRVM Inc. dismissing its apps for a new translator at 101.5 in Escanaba, Michigan and a new 103.5 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Sister Grace agrees to assign its new construction permit for 105.9/Iron Mountain, Wisconsin to the WRVM group. The Iron Mountain signal will rebroadcast Christian teaching WMVM Goodman, Wisconsin. While Sister Grace can go forward with its plans for a new 101.5 in Gladstone, Michigan (which no longer competes with Escanaba) and 103.5 in Manitowoc - and everybody's happy, including the FCC. Also, WRVM is cleared to apply for a new translator at Norway, Michigan.


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 26, 2013



Kalamazoo Gazette:


Full story: Update: Plainwell radio station is back on the air five days after being silenced by the ice storm (Thu, 12/26)



Detroit News via the Associated Press:

A former 1970s anchorman is enjoying a little more time in the limelight, thanks to the return of his fictional counterpart Ron Burgundy. Comedian Will Ferrell has said the inspiration for his character in the "Anchorman" movies was Mort Crim, who moved to northeast Florida in 1998 after retiring as a TV news anchor in Detroit.

Full story: Ex-anchorman Mort Crim enjoys comparison to Ron Burgundy (Wed, 12/25)




Evan Pinsonnault, best known for being the anchor on WLNS Channel 6's morning newscast, is embarking on something completely different as he starts his new variety show, "The Evan Michael Show" on New Year's Day.

Full story: WLNS anchor Evan Pinsonnault to debut variety show on New Year's Day (Wed, 12/25)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 28 - 29, 2013



Detroit News:

For the briefest of moments, as Frank Beckmann waved to the Michigan Stadium crowd from his familiar perch in the press box after being honored in the third quarter, he got a little choked up.

Full story: Frank Beckmann greets final call for Michigan with pride, not sadness (Sat, 12/28)



Detroit Free Press:

For Michigan football fans living in the state, it's difficult to remember a game day without Frank Beckmann.

Full story: Michigan football's Frank Beckmann says good-bye after tonight's bowl game (Sat, 12/28)


Michiguide.com 2013 News Archive




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