Mike Austerman: December 2013 Archives

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)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 13, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • E.W. Scripps' Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 has hired Dave Manney away from WNBC New York to take over as WXYZ's News Director starting in January. Read the station's release on Manney.

  • MI News 26 (WMNN-LP Lake City / Cadillac) will broadcast live from Traverse City's annual New Year's CherryT Ball Drop celebration for the second time this year. The live telecast will begin at 10 p.m. on December 31st. Up North TV, seen on Charter digital cable channel 73 and HD channel 789 and on UP North TV cable channel 97, will also carry the broadcast.



Kalamazoo Gazette:

Jeremy Lawrence is the new brand manager and afternoon show co-host for WKZO-AM (590) and brand manager for WQLR-AM (1660), the stations owner Midwest Communications announced earlier this week.

Full story: Kalamazoo radio stations announce new brand managers, hosts (Fri, 12/13)


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. 16, 2013



Fine Tuning:

  • Larry Estlack, longtime broadcaster, engineer, and Michigan Association of Broadcasters staff member, died earlier today after a battle with cancer. Funeral arrangements are still pending. Estlack was well known in broadcasting circles throughout Michigan and was a mentor to many in the business. His professionalism and affable personality will be greatly missed.

    The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has published a nice obituary for Estlack - read it here.

  • WNEM TVHosting: WNEM-TV Ch. 5 Bay City/Saginaw, an all-day telethon today in partnership with Holy Cross Children's Services to raise awareness and to help Mid-Michigan kids in need of a safe and loving home. Details on the WNEM web site.

  • Sold: A construction permit for an FM translator at 101.5 near Jackson by Clear Channel to Bruce Goldsen's Jackson Radio Works for $16,000. Initial plans are for the translator to rebroadcast Contemporary Hits WKHM-FM 105.3.

  • Closed: The sale of Northern Star Broadcasting in Northern Michigan to Del and Mary Reynolds. The radio cluster includes the Classic Rock 'The Bear' stations, the Adult Contemporary 'Easy' stations, and Rock 105 in the Traverse City/Petoskey/Cheboygan area.



WJBK-TV Fox 2 Detroit:

He's a familiar face and voice here on Fox 2 and at 97.1 The Ticket, but nobody is used to seeing Mike Valenti's face with burns on his cheek, his nose and his lip.

Full story: Fox 2 Lions contributor Mike Valenti recovering after getting burned at local restaurant (Mon, 12/16)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 17, 2013



Jacobs Media / JacoBlog:

A couple years back, Larry Rosin offhandedly mentioned to me that one of the grim realities of an aging radio business is that seemingly every week, you read about another radio professional who has passed away. In thinking back over this past year, there is a lot of truth there.

Full story: The Estlackian Way (Tue, 12/17)



The Oakland Press:

Many Metro Detroiters remember WDIV-Channel 4 alumnus Mort Crim reporting the news, but recently Crim, 78, became news. Actor/comedian Will Ferrell has stated in interviews that Crim inspired his alter-ego, Ron Burgundy, the eponymous character of 2004's "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." On Wednesday, "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" opens in theaters here.

Full story: Mort Crim: The Legend Behind The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Tue, 12/17)



Detroit News:

TV and radio sports personality Mike Valenti is recovering from burns after a steak prepared tableside at a popular restaurant flared up and scorched his face.

Full story: Detroit sports personality Mike Valenti injured by flaming steak (Tue, 12/17)


Newsmakers and links: Dec. 19, 2013



Radio legend Larry Lujack dies at age 73

The phrase "radio legend" is oft-used, but definitely applies to the life and career of Larry Lujack, affectionally known as "Uncle Lar" to generations of listeners to Chicago's WLS AM/FM and WCFL AM. "Superjock" Lujack, a Radio Hall of Famer and one of broadcasting's all-time greats, passed away yesterday from esophageal cancer in New Mexico at 73.


Chicago radio authority Robert Feder's must-read remembrance of Larry Lujack: Radio superstar 'cared about people'


The 50,000-watt signals of WLS on AM 890 and WCFL on AM 1000 boomed in to the eastern side of Lake Michigan and many West Michigan radio listeners got to enjoy Lujack during his run on Chicago's airwaves in between 1967-87. Lujack returned to Chicago radio again in the 2000's on FM 103.5 and AM 1690.

A very emotional Art Vuolo checks in: "I just received an e-mail from Larry and his wife Jude responding to my annual Christmas letter on Monday evening the 16th! This is incredible. The e-mail read ' "Thanks for the very informative letter, u have had a busy year, like all of us. We hope ur holidays r filled with love and laughs and warm, wonderful friends surrounding u.' ".

Vuolo continued, "I am numb at this news. I am so thankful that I have numerous clips of Larry on video at WLS, at his NAB Hall or Fame induction, and when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago along with Dick Purtan and Lawry Mays. My first video was at the 1985 WLS 25 year reunion and later at the 2008 WLS Rewind orchestrated by PD Kipper McGee. These videos are now priceless! The last video that I have of Larry Lujack was at the 2008 WLS Rewind. My very first clip of him is in B&W from 1/2" reel-to-reel video from 1976 on WLS-TV Channel 7 with John Coleman hosting a late night live show with Fred Winston and Bob Sirott. Ironically, in amateur ham radio terms, 73 is code for best regards and often used when saying goodbye...signing-off. Very eerie."

"Media consultant Fred Jacobs just wrote a blog about how many radio greats we have lost in 2013, including Bill Bailey and not the least of which was Kidd Kraddick. Now this. We are sadly losing so many icons of our industry."

Vuolo's WLS Rewind video from 2008:


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. 27, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

Christmas Day is come and gone but for some the Christmas season lingers a little longer. If you still have that holiday feeling, tune in to The River in Grand Rapids.

Full story: The Christmas season is over? Not as far as radio is concerned in West Michigan (Fri, 12/27)



Fine Tuning:

  • Funeral services for former Michigan Association of Broadcasters staff member Larry Estlack will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2014, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W Washtenaw St, Lansing, MI. The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday at the funeral home.

  • Escanaba to get own newscasts on WJMN-TV Ch. 3? Upper Midwest Broadcasting reveals a nugget that Nexstar Broadcasting is planning to hire someone to lead a news department at the CBS affiliate that would produce early and late weeknight newscasts. See the job listing here.

  • More from the home town of the Eskymos: Cadillac-based Strong Tower Radio is making final preparations to sign on on a new station in Escanaba. WUPJ FM 90.9 will operate with 100,000 watts carrying religious programming. Strong Tower Radio is also raising funds to finalize the purchase of the currently silent WAVC FM 93.9 Mio.


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

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