Television: January 2013 Archives

Newsmakers and links: Jan. 2, 2013


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

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


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

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



Muskegon Chronicle:

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

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



Fine Tuning:

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 3, 2013



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

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

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



Deadline Detroit:

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

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



Detroit News:

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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 4, 2013



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

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

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



Detroit News:

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

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



Fine Tuning:

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


Battle Creek Enquirer:

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

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

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

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


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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 7, 2013



Fine Tuning:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



Detroit Free Press:

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

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


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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 9, 2013



Retransmission dispute with Heritage Broadcasting affecting Northern Michigan Charter customers

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

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

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

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



Detroit News:

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

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


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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 10, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

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

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



Windsor Star:

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

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



FOX Sports Detroit and CCHA to award prizes to Super Fans

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

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

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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 11, 2013


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

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



Fine Tuning:

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

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



Farmington - Farmington Hills Patch

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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 14, 2013



Broadcasting & Cable:

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

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



WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit

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

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



Fine Tuning:

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


Newmakers and links: Jan. 16, 2013



Detroit Free Press:

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

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



Fine Tuning:

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

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

  • Detroit will be one of eight stops for the PBS show Antiques Roadshow on June 1st. Apply for tickets at


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 17, 2013


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

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

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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 18, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

WWMT-TV Channel 3's new, weekend morning newscast debuts this weekend. Reporter Jessica Harthorn and meteorologist Cyndi Kahlbaum will anchor the newscasts from 6-8 a.m. Saturdays and 7-9 a.m. Sundays on Newschannel 3.

Full story: WWMT Newschannel 3's weekend morning newscast makes its debut this weekend (Fri, 1/18)


Veteran Grand Rapids area radio sports broadcaster Rick Berkey has covered nearly every sport imaginable over the past three decades. Berkey said that one of the more memorable events he worked, though, came during last year's East-West Shrine Game, and he will have the opportunity to cover it again this weekend with the EWSG Radio Network.

Full story: Grand Rapids radio broadcaster to serve as sideline reporter at East-West Shrine Game (Fri, 1/18)


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 22, 2013



Waiting for Nash time in Michigan

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

Further speculation is out there that Cumulus might also be changing the format of one of its stations to Country in a major market - might that be in Detroit where Variety Hits WDRQ FM 93.1 has been running for years off a computer and CBS' WYCD-FM 99.5 has essentially had the Country format to itself? Ch. 4 Detroit:

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

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



Detroit Free Press:

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

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



Grand Rapids Press:

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

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



Fine Tuning:

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

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

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

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

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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 28, 2013



Fine Tuning:

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

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

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

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


Newsmakers and links: Jan. 30, 2013



Grand Rapids Press:

The story of PBB contamination that affected 9 of 10 Michigan residents is told in a documentary being presented this evening by WZZM health reporter Valerie Lego. Lego's documentary, "Tainted Michigan: 40 Years of PBB Contamination," documents how in 1973 cattle feed was mixed with a flame retardant chemical, PBB, instead of being mixed with a nutritional supplement.

Full story: WZZM reporter Valerie Lego presents 'Tainted Michigan' documentary investigating effects of PBB contamination (Wed, 1/30)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Television category from January 2013.

Television: February 2013 is the next archive.

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