Mike Austerman: April 2013 Archives

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)


Flint Journal:

A pair of Genesee County natives are using the airwaves to help fellow Flintstones take better care of themselves and stay informed about their communities. Chuniq Inpower and Tynee Sims are the new hosts of "Hood Health 101 Radio," a new talk radio segment airing from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday nights on Flint's Club 93.7, and online.

Full story: Flint natives host new 'Hood Health 101' radio show (Wed, 4/3)



Fine Tuning:

  • Cartman is the new morning host at Rock WGFM-FM 105.1 Cheboygan / Traverse City (Rock 105 FM).

  • The Soft Adult Contemporary format of WQEZ-FM 95.5 Glen Arbor/Traverse City, which launched on Monday, continues to be heard on its original frequency FM 97.7 Cheboygan.


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.


Grand Rapids Press:

WXMI FOX 17's Courtney Perna is heading to the Lone Star State. Perna, a reporter and producer for the FOX affiliate in West Michigan, announced today she's leaving for Houston to become a feature news correspondent for "Great Day Houston" at KHOU-TV.

Full story: WXMI-TV FOX 17's Courtney Perna is bound for Texas (Wed, 4/10)



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.


Grand Rapids Press:

Christian radio personalities Chris and Emilee, who disappeared from the West Michigan airwaves in March, return to the limelight on Thursday. Chris and Emilee Danielson, former hosts of "The Chris & Emilee Show," heard on WJQK-FM in Holland, will hold a comedy celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in the Allendale Fine Arts Center at Allendale High School.

Full story: Fired Christian radio personalities Chris and Emilee return to limelight (Wed, 4/17)


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)







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mike Austerman in April 2013.

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