Metro Detroit: July 2013 Archives

"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:


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


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, 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)







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Metro Detroit category from July 2013.

Metro Detroit: June 2013 is the previous archive.

Metro Detroit: August 2013 is the next archive.

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