Metro Detroit: August 2013 Archives

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, 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 /

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 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 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)







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About this Archive

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

Metro Detroit: July 2013 is the previous archive.

Metro Detroit: September 2013 is the next archive.

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