February 2014 Archives


WJBK-TV Ch. 2 / MyFoxDetroit.com:

A local TV station recently relaunched the hit game show 'Bowling for Dollars'. As FOX 2's Rob Wolchek reported last week, some of the show's contestants say they bowled, they won - but never got paid. Some people who worked on the show also say they haven't gotten paid. But now the pay strike seems to be over -- and the participants say the dollars are finally rolling in.

Full story: 'Bowling for Dollars' participants finally see the money roll in (Thu, 2/27)



Detroit Tigers:

Every game on the Detroit Tigers' much-anticipated 2014 regular-season schedule will be televised, including 150 originated by FOX Sports Detroit, five games on FOX Sports 1 and three selected for the FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week. Four games are on ESPN. FOX Sports Detroit's coverage of the Tigers, presented by Belle Tire, continues with five spring training games, followed by the March 31 home opener against Kansas City.

Full story: FOX Sports Detroit Announces 2014 TV Schedule (Thu, 2/27)



Saginaw News:

Snow is one the ground, but for the 47th consecutive season, the Detroit Tigers are beginning the baseball season on WSGW-AM, 790. The Detroit Tigers exhibition opener Wednesday kicked off the 47th consecutive season that the Saginaw station carried the Tigers' games.

Full story: Detroit Tigers begin 47th radio season on WSGW-AM, 790 (Thu, 2/27)




Detroit News:

Radio One told its advertisers about some programming changes Tuesday, including at least two bombshells -- Mildred Gaddis' longtime morning slot on Detroit's NewsTalk AM 1200 (WCHB-AM) will be taken over by the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show from 6-10 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Full story: WCHB shakes up its lineup; Gaddis moves to afternoon (Tue, 2/25)



Detroit Free Press:

Fans of John Mason will soon find the Detroit radio star back in a familiar spot: in the a.m. on the FM dial. Mason will take over the morning drive-time shift at Kiss 105.9 (WDMK-FM) starting Monday, leaving his current afternoon post at Radio One sister station WCHB (1200 AM, 99.9 FM). Mason, who ruled the morning airwaves on Detroit urban radio at WJLB in the 1990s, will broadcast 5:30-10 a.m. weekdays.

Full story: Mason returns to Detroit's morning airwaves Monday (Tue, 2/25)



Muskegon Tribune:

Muskegon's Andy O'Riley is known for being a little larger than life. The area radio personality has spent his career honing an on-air persona, and has focused in recent years on expanding that influence through social media sites like Facebook, with great success.

Full story: Well-known radio personality launches social media business (Tue, 2/25)




ALL ACCESS has learned that BRENT ALBERTS is leaving his PD/afternoon position on CUMULUS Classic Rock WXKR and HD-2 Alternative (100.7 THE ZONE)/TOLEDO. On his FACEBOOK page ALBERTS posted, "After 46 wonderful years in the business I've loved since I was a kid, it's time to do something else."

Full story: Brent Alberts Leaving WXKR (Tue, 2/25)




Grand Rapids Press:

WZZM 13 is in the market for news director. The Gannett-owned, ABC-TV affiliate in Grand Rapids has posted an ad for a news director "who knows how to differentiate a station from the competition."

Full story: WZZM-TV 13 begins search for a new news director (Mon, 2/24)



Detroit News:

They were connected by death, and later by victory. By a bullet from a pistol, and then by a Pulitzer Prize. Dennis Grehl was only defending himself and the assistant frantically emptying the cash register at the little pharmacy in Northwest Detroit. Angelo Henderson was only doing what reporters do.

Full story: Winning together: Henderson's legacy (Mon, 2/24)



Fine Tuning:

  • Raised: Over $1.1 million in pledges during last Friday's Bed & Bread Club Radiothon heard on Cumulus Media's News-Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit. The 16-hour broadcast was hosted by WJR's Paul W. Smith and Frank Beckmann who were joined by retired jock Dick Purtan.

  • Nominated: For Crystal Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters, Lenawee Broadcasting's Adult Contemporary WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian along with CBS Radio/Detroit's Country WYCD-FM 99.5 and All-News WWJ AM 950. The trio are among 50 stations nationwide recognized as finalists; winners will be announced in April.




WJBK-TV Ch. 2 / MyFoxDetroit:

A local TV station recently relaunched the hit game show 'Bowling for Dollars.' Some of the show's contestants say they bowled, they won - but have yet to see the dollars. Some people who worked on the show also say they haven't gotten paid.

Full story: Wolchek Investigation: 'Bowling for Dollars' participants still waiting for dollars (Wed, 2/19)



Fine Tuning:

  • Underway: The Salvation Army's annual Bed and Bread Radiothon on Cumulus Media/Detroit's News/Talk WJR AM 760. The 27th annual event airs live from Oakland Mall in Troy until 10 p.m. today (Friday, Feb 21st). More info on what annually turns out to be one of the largest radio fundraisers in the country and a live web video stream on WJR's web site.

  • Hired: Former WCSX jock Steve Kostan by CBS Radio/Detroit Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3 for weekends (Saturday's 7 p.m. - midnight) and fill-ins.

  • Moving up north: Scott Ehlke is leaving weekend overnights at CBS Radio/Detroit Top 40 WDZH-FM 98.7 (Amp Radio) to become the new weekday nighttime host at MacDonald-Garber's Top 40 WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix/Traverse City starting March 10th. Ehlke takes the spot left open when Ashley "LZ" Elzinga moved across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee.




Grammy award-winning artist Darius Rucker will join the WYCD Ten Man Jam lineup Feb. 26 at the Royal Oak Music Theater. The Ten Man Jam sponsored by the country station (99.5 FM) is a "guitar pull" style concert, according to a press release, that will involve two acts consisting of five artists.

Full story: Darius Rucker to host Detroit country station WYCD's Ten Man Jam at Royal Oak Music Theater (Fri, 2/21)




Congratulations to CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT personality LINDA LEE, co-host of the station's "EDWARDS & LEE" afternoon show, for being named a GRACIE AWARD winner by the ALLIANCE FOR WOMEN IN MEDIA FOUNDATION. LEE was cited for helping to create a free mammography program at MCCLAREN MACOMB HOSPITAL in MT. CLEMENS.

Full story: WYCD's Linda Lee Named Gracie Award Winner (Fri, 2/21)



Battle Creek Enquirer ($):

From its roots as headquarters of Fort Custer Military Reservation, which opened in 1917 and closed in 1969, to its later years as the home of studios and offices for the former WUHQ-TV Ch. 41, the Fort Custer headquarters building had a storied past.

Full story: Fort Custer HQ razed (Thu, 2/20)




Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

After having written nothing since November of 2013, this is my second column within the past 30 days, but I have more to say and also offer my observations of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show out in Las Vegas where a comfortable pair of shoes is mandatory!

My regular schedule has me in Sin City for "Media Day," which was Monday January 6th, the day before the trade show opens officially. It is always packed with huge crowds. The CES draws more people than any other confab in Las Vegas at over 150,000 attendees jammed into some two million square feet of space visiting a fraction of the 3,200 exhibitors! On Media Day you get to wait in lines that rival those at Cedar Point on the 4th of July so you can squeeze into rooms that are almost always standing room only and hear about the newest innovations from mega-companies like Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Dish Network and LG. Factoid: LG does NOT stand for "Life's Good" which is just a marketing term. LG was formed by the merger of two Korean companies; Lucky and Goldstar. Lucky brands were primarily sold overseas, but Goldstar was a player in the VCR wars of the 1980's. Now you know! Dish Networks gave away the most goodies, but most remembered was when film director Michael Bay walked off the stage, in a huff, at the Samsung presser because his teleprompter failed. It's not known if the man who hired Bay was reprimanded for his actions, but most of us felt he should have received a promotion, since the event drew more publicity than anything else at the 2014 CES Media Day.

VuoloTuesday at 10 am the show opened, the stampede began, and the price of hotel rooms more than doubled! My room at $29 Sunday night jumped to $49 Monday night and the day the show opened skyrocketed to $199 plus tax. Yikes! Why do they do that? Because they can. In four days you simply can not see it all. We in the press are treated well with places to get online with complimentary Wi-Fi service and a decent box lunch is provided each day, but the time simply flies by. What I liked the most was the opportunity to speak to key representatives of large companies who you would never be able to interact with outside of this venue. Personally I made many invaluable contacts.

Along with the comfy footwear, you need to have an ample supply of business cards. There are enough members of the Jewish faith to warrant several kosher delis, plus my estimate is that clearly 25 to 30% of the attendees are Asian and a multitude of foreign languages permeate the event. It truly is a very International gathering. You also see hundreds of brand names that you never seem to see in stores, but there they are at CES every year. A newish brand, now known by many more thanks to a huge "free promo piece" they received on 60 Minutes last November, is the Go-Pro Camera developed by billionaire Nick Woodman. He was at their booth which was almost as big as the crowd that packed the area to hear him speak. Sony was also showing off a tiny video camera to compete with the Go-Pro.

Every year the electronics industry feels a need to bring out something new and innovative that will, in theory, have everyone buzzing about. This year it was 4K TV which was originally dubbed as Ultra High Definition television. The picture is billed as four times the resolution of today's HD-TV. The majority of households throughout the United States seemed to convert from CRT (cathode ray tube) sets to HD flat screens almost overnight. It was much faster than the changeover from black and white to color TV, or vinyl records to CD's, or videotape to DVD's. Now, they expect the consumer to make another expensive leap to 4K but there's one major problem, or as we say today...issue. No TV stations are broadcasting any programs in 4K. So, get ready for another tug-of-war similar to back in the 1950's when the makers of color TV sets, like RCA, were screaming to the TV networks for more shows in color, while the networks, like NBC (oddly enough related to RCA) were demanding the production of more color TV sets, which by the way were very expensive. When radio stations, late as the mid-1960's) gave away a color TV as a prize, it was a very big deal! Some of these new 4K sets also featured a curved screen, almost Cinerama-like. My feeling is that most people are very satisfied with today's HD-TV, but I've been wrong before. In my next column I will have more news from the CES and what to expect on the electronics horizon.



In local radio news, hats off to Classic Hits WOMC-FM (104.3) for managing, in concert with Kroger stores, to raise a staggering $1.5 million in cash and food for Gleaners Community Food Bank! WXYZ-TV did a fine job of collecting over a half million dollars for the Michigan Humane Society...but don't ever say radio can't hold up against TV. It can and it does repeatedly, especially in the Detroit area.


Do not forget to donate to the annual Salvation Army Radiothon, heard on WJR-AM (760) on Friday February 21st. Both Michiguide webmaster Mike Austerman and myself hope to be out at The Oakland Mall in Troy at some point during the fundraising effort. From 4 to 8 p.m., there will be a chance for all of us to see one of Detroit's most loved radio personalities as Dick Purtan emerges from retirement for this worthwhile cause so near and dear to his heart. He'll be joined by former Purtan's People contributors Al Muskavito and Jackie Purtan. WJR's very popular "Hall of Fame" morning host, Paul W. Smith will anchor the event in this its 27th year! The Radiothon starts at 6 am and runs through 10 pm and will be video streamed on www.wjr.com.



If it's not deemed too overly self-serving, my presence on YouTube has ballooned since last we shared this space. Back on Saturday, February 8th I was privileged to have a guest spot on a talk show over KDKA in Pittsburgh, long regarded as the nation's first commercial radio station! Other than a few technical issues, it went well. A video of that program is available on YouTube if you simply use this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyzrC8vUCZ8. Switching channels, the memorial tribute to Chicago's Larry Lujack has garnered a phenomenal 3,500 hits and I hope you will want a copy of the full version, so I can make a significant donation to his favorite charity "Save The Children." The tribute is on the home page of www.vuolovideo.com. Also on YouTube, I just posted (now that I know how to do it) one of my earliest tributes to WGN Chicago's Bob Collins. His untimely death came as the result of a plane crash in February of 2000 and it's worth watching (just 4 minutes) if only for the powerful on-air eulogy broadcast nationally by the iconic Paul Harvey. The tribute can be seen at this link: youtu.be/OGvnu1fCBc4.

Before flying from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for the CES, I was invited by former Detroit radio DJ, Kurt Kelly to guest on his Hollywood interview show on his Live Video.com. Kurt was a personality at the old WTWR (Tower 92) back in 1980. Today, he is a successful voice-over talent in La-La Land! My voice was gone and I looked terrible, but if you feel you can take it, the 38 minute video can be seen via this link: www.kurtkelly.com/watch/art-vuolo-sits-down-with-host-kurt-kelly-on-actorse-chat. If there's a next time I promise to be more prepared.

Proudly, what started out, five years ago, as just six people getting together for lunch in the L.A. area between Christmas and New Years, has turned into an annual reunion of radio junkies now known as The Radio Dream Lunch. If you're still tapped into YouTube there's a video of the latest gathering which, while being wildly entertaining features a few names and faces you might recognize. Use this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI_Egrrzuqc.


Contact Art Vuolo, Jr. via e-mail at artvuolo@aol.com


Art Vuolo Jr.




Plymouth/Canton's 88.1 The Park set to host annual Record Show on Saturday, February 21st

WSDP-FM 88.1 The Park, the student radio station for the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, will present their sixth annual Record Show on Saturday February 22, from 10am to 4pm at the Salem High School Cafeteria.

Collectors will find thousands of vinyl records, CD's, import only releases, t-shirts, posters, and other collectibles. The show will also feature special giveaways and door prizes.

Last year's show was the station's largest with over 230 people attending and 42 dealer tables. Early reservations indicate that this year's show will be even bigger. Much of the success of the show can be tied to the resurgence of interest in vinyl records.

"The record show is my favorite 88.1 event. There's literally every genre of music waiting to be dug up, and it's great to be around people who love music," said Elena Bongiovanni, 88.1 The Park's Production Director.

Admission is $3. Collectors can get early admission between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. for $5. Students at Canton, Plymouth and Salem High Schools will receive free admission with a student ID. All of the proceeds will benefit 88.1 The Park, and will help the station to continue serving the community with unique programming and broadcast training for students. The record show is one of the station's main fundraisers each year.

Interested dealers can contact 88.1 The Park's Station Manager, Bill Keith, at 734-416-7732. Eight foot tables can be reserved for $30 each.

Salem High School is located at 46181 Joy Road in Canton Michigan (corner of Joy and Canton Center). The Salem High School Cafeteria is located on the first floor, just inside the main entrance to the school.

88.1 The Park is staffed by students at Canton, Plymouth and Salem High Schools. The station has been serving the community since February 14, 1972. You can find out more about the station at www.881ThePark.com.



WLNS-TV Ch. 6 Lansing:

A little video fun for WLNS morning co-anchor Evan Pinsonnaul on President's Day: (Mon, 2/17)




The Oakland Press:

A good man, minister, journalist, father, husband and community activist, the Rev. Angelo B. Henderson of Pontiac, died this weekend of natural causes. He was 51. The night before he died, he complained of shortness of breath. He was a Pulizer Prize winner, just one of 25 black journalists to ever win journalism's highest honor. He also was a radio host at WCHB-AM and FM who made his program a platform for voices from all parts of the Detroit-area community.

Full story: Radio host from Pontiac remembered as 'good man and journalist' (Mon, 2/17)



Detroit News:

Funeral services for journalist and radio show host Angelo Henderson begin Saturday at Swanson Funeral Home on the city's northwest side. Visitation for Mr. Henderson is from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Swanson's northwest chapel at 14751 W. McNichols in Detroit.

Full story: Funeral services start this weekend for renowned Detroit journalist, radio show host (Mon, 2/17)



Moody on the Market:

That big, lovable guy who holds down the fort weekday mornings at Mid-West Family Broadcasting's WIRX Radio is packing up his worldly goods this week for a "too good to miss out on" opportunity with a couple of friends who are launching a new business on the south side of Las Vegas. Rex Charger, who has hosted the morning show at Rock 107 since June of 2012, will mark his last day on the air this coming Friday, February 21st and will begin his new career on March 6th with the opening of The Gold Club near the largest outdoor mall in the Las Vegas metro called Town Square.

Full story: WIRX morning man headed to Vegas (Mon, 2/17)



Fine Tuning:

  • Shaffee exits afternoons at Townsquare Media/Grand Rapids Rock WGRD-FM 97.9 according to his Facebook post.

  • Still kissing: Two contestants as of 7:30 p.m. at LaFontaine Chevrolet in Dexter as part of a contest to win a 2-year lease on a Chevy in a contest sponsored by Cumulus Media/Ann Arbor Country WWWW-FM 102.9. The contest began on Saturday before noon - view a live stream here. to see if there was finally a winner.





Angelo Henderson's widespread impact on Detroit stretched from broadcasting and print journalism to churches and crime watch groups, and expressions of heartbreak over his death Saturday came from all ends of a shaken community. The radio host and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter died around 10 a.m. Saturday of natural causes at his Pontiac home, according to the Oakland County Medical Examiner's office.

Full story: Death of Angelo Henderson a 'devastating' blow to Detroit radio, church and journalism communities (Sat, 2/15)



Detroit News:

Detroit radio icon and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Angelo B. Henderson died early Saturday at his Pontiac home. He was 51. The cause of death is unknown. His death was confirmed by his wife, Felecia D. Henderson, assistant managing editor of features and presentation at The Detroit News.

Full story: Angelo Henderson, Detroit radio personality and Pulitzer Prize winner, dies at 51 (Sat, 2/15)



Detroit Free Press:

Angelo B. Henderson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter turned radio host and minister, died this morning at his Pontiac home. He was 51. Henderson, a Louisville, Ky., native, was working in the Detroit bureau of the Wall Street Journal in 1998 when he wrote a narrative of an armed robbery at a pharmacy in northwest Detroit and its aftermath.

Full story: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Angelo B. Henderson, who also found calling in radio, ministry, dies at 51 (Sat, 2/15)



Fine Tuning:

  • Smooching: Contestants at LaFontaine Chevrolet in Dexter, hoping to win a two-year pre-paid lease on either a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze or 2014 Chevrolet Malibu in Country WWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor's 2014 version of their "Kiss the Car" contest. The Cumulus Media station kicks off the event just before noon Saturday, February 15th when morning show host Bubba will order participants to pucker-up and place their lips on one of two vehicles in hopes of outlasting their fellow contestants.

    Once the clock starts, each contestant will have to keep their lips planted on their car with both feet placed firmly on the ground to remain in the game. Players will have 10 minutes each hour to do whatever they need to power up for the next hour.

    Follow the progress of the event along on Facebook or on the event's web site.

  • Raised: By Detroit's WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Michigan Humane Society Telethon on Thursday, nearly $500,000.

  • Expanding: The reach of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's free live webcasts produced by Detroit Public Television (WTVS-TV Ch. 56) thanks to a new partnership between DPTV and PBS. Beginning February 20th, the DSO's "Live From Orchestra Hall" series of encore performances will be available to national audiences through PBS's video portal.

  • On the air: New sign on WSHN-FM 89.3 Munising with Religious programming as 'Ready FM'.




Fine Tuning:

  • Underway: The Michigan Humane Society's 2014 Valentine's Telethon on E.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit, hosted by morning anchor Alicia Smith. More details here.

  • Raised: By CBS/Radio Detroit's Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3, over $1.5 million in support of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan during yesterday's Radiothon.




Fine Tuning:

  • WOMC_Gleaners CBS Radio/Detroit Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit is on the air today with its "Radiothon for Gleaners", raising money to help Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan fulfill their mission of distributing emergency food to more than 550 partner schools, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties.

    Call (855) 315-3663 to donate or visit womc.com for more details.

  • Lauren 'Shmitty' Smith has changed jobs from morning show producer at Clear Channel/Grand Rapids' News-Talk WOOD-FM/AM 106.9/1300 to morning show co-host at sister station Top 40 WSNX-FM 104.5 where she joins Ken Evans and Internio.

  • FOX UP, a digital subchannel of WLUC-TV Ch. 6 Marquette, will broadcast the February 21 and 22 home-and-home WCHA hockey games between Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan.

    A veteran broadcast team of Mark Evans and Dave Ellis will call the games live at 7 p.m. each evening. Evans was the play-by-play radio voice of NMU hockey from 2001-04 and also served as analyst from 1997-99. He also served as play-by-play voice of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program from 2004-06.Ellis, a native of Calumet, worked at TV6 from 1992-94, hosted shows on Fox Sports Detroit for 12 years and has done play-by-play work for the Big Ten Network in three sports. He's also served as a fill-in analyst for Michigan Tech hockey radio broadcasts on numerous occasions.



Detroit News:

He's carved out a niche as a Tigers broadcaster, that's for sure. Jim Price was at Joker Marchant Stadium on Wednesday, ready for another season as Dan Dickerson's partner in the radio booth. To a large extent, however, Price's season began with the Tigers' fantasy camps last month.

Full story: Broadcaster Jim Price makes fantasy campers' dreams come true (Wed, 2/12)




The Oakland Press:

When Mark Pasman thinks back on his 26-plus year run as host of the Motor City Blues Project radio show on WCSX-FM (94.7), his thoughts go immediately to when he hosted live remote broadcasts from the now defunct Memphis Smoke nightclub in Royal Oak.

Full story: Longtime WCSX weekend personality Mark Pasman off the air (Tue, 2/11)



Ann Arbor News:

Last fall, when the Federal Communications Commission accepted applications for new Low Power FM radio station licenses (for the first time in more than a decade), only one Washtenaw County-based group, called Ann Arbor Community Radio, applied; the bid was successful, and A2CR was among the first new LPFM stations granted approval for a construction permit in January.

Full story: Just-licensed Ann Arbor Community Radio must raise money for transmitter, studio (Tue, 2/11)



Fine Tuning:

  • On the air: A new FM translator for Contemporary Christian Smile FM on 103.9 operating with 10 watts from near Hamlin and Ryan Roads in Shelby Township. The construction permit for W280EL shows the community of license for the translator to be Yates.




WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit owner E.W. Scripps buying WMYD-TV 20 Detroit

A second television duopoly is on the way in the Detroit market with today's announcement that E.W. Scripps, already the owner of ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7, is purchasing MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD-TV Ch. 20 from Granite Broadcasting as part of a deal that also includes ABC affiliate WKBW-TV Ch. 7 in Buffalo, NY. Sale price for WMYD and WKBW is $110 million in cash.

E.W. Scripps Prior to the sale getting governmental approval and closing, Scripps will broker between four and six hours of daily programming on WMYD from Granite.

"These two stations are a terrific fit for our TV portfolio," said Brian Lawlor, senior vice president of television for E.W. Scripps. "We love doing business in Detroit. WXYZ is one of our most important TV stations, and our ability to marry it with the MyNetworkTV station allows us to extend our commitment to that market and continue the conversation and the passion driving the renaissance of this great American city."

The pending WXYZ/WMYD duopoly will join an existing duopoly in Detroit made up of CBS-owned WWJ-TV Ch. 62 (CBS) and WKBD-TV Ch. 50 (CW). Adding WMYD will give Scripps more flexibility to carry more of its own programming in the market with shows such as Let's Ask America, The List, and RightThisMinute along with news programming from WXYZ. Channel 7 currently carries Minute at 12:30 p.m. and America at 7:30 p.m. weekdays.

WMYD, which currently broadcasts a 30-minute newscast at 10 p.m. that is produced by one of Granite's TV stations in Fort Wayne, IN, will likely see changes in that timeslot in the near future with the distinct possibility that WXYZ will look to bring its own news show on the air at 10 p.m. on Channel 20 to compete directly with FOX's WJBK-TV Channel 2. WXYZ at one time produced a relatively short-lived 10 p.m. newscast for WKBD prior to that station's move into full CBS ownership.



Flint Journal:

Just hours before ABC 12 thought it might have had its programming pulled from DirecTV, officials announced a contract dispute was settled and that programming would continue.

Full story: ABC 12 settles contract dispute, will continue airing on DirecTV (Mon, 2/10)




WWJ AM 950 Detroit:

WWJ Newsradio 950′s annual Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW, The Heat and Warmth Fund wrapped up Friday evening topping previous years by a wide margin. Metro Detroiters, local businesses and corporations helped to make the 2014 THAW Radiothon a success to the tune of $1,154,198.

Full story: WWJ's Winter Survival Radiothon For THAW Raises Over $1 Million! (Fri, 2/7)



The Oakland Press:

Anyone who has ever turned on a radio knows a station has to have a tower to broadcast the programming, right? Not so with today's new technology. Student radio broadcasters such as Mark Stewart and Blake Perlman, and station manager Pete Bowers at Bloomfield Hills High School's award-winning WBFH 88.1 FM radio station, known as the Biff, have found two new methods to keep broadcasting their music, sports and hot topic talk shows since they lost their tower in June.

Full story: Tower-less student broadcasters reach audience with new app & website (Fri, 2/7)



Detroit News:

Detroit loses another veteran radio personality, as Mark Pasman, longtime host of WCSX-FM (94.7)'s "Motor City Blues Project" was fired last week by the station. The show, with its "Anything blue will do" tagline, aired from 7 p.m. to midnight Sundays. Because Pasman is a musician as well, it was a reliable way to find out what was happening in Detroit's blues scene and virtually the only outlet for local blues releases to be played.

Full story: WCSX fires blues host Mark Pasman (Fri, 2/7)



Fine Tuning:

  • Two more Michigan stations adding Cumulus' "America's Morning Show": No surprise as the company has now confirmed the Blair Garner led syndicated morning program will be added to WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint and WTNR-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids and be among 19 new stations adding the show- including WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit as revealed late last week.

  • Hired: Greg Smith as the new General Sales Manager at Greater Media/Detroit's Active Rock WRIF-FM 101.1. Prior to moving to WRIF, Smith held the same job at CBS Radio/Detroit's All-News WWJ AM 950.

  • Exited: Midday host Glen Dillon from Townsquare Media's WKFR-FM 103.3 Battle Creek / Kalamazoo.



Saginaw News:

The Frankenmuth International Aid Foundation has added $1,014 to its fund courtesy of the Bronner's Hot Shot Local Media Celebrity Archery Contest. For the second year in a row, Larry Elliot of ABC 12 shot his way to the top prize Friday, Feb. 7, at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, 25 Christmas Lane, in Frankenmuth, resulting in the funding going to the foundation on his behalf.

Full story: ABC 12's Larry Elliot on target for charity in Bronner's archery competition (Sat, 2/8)



Vuolo Commentary: State of the Art

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Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

Well, if you see this in time, mark your calendar or hang a sticky note on the frig door that your favorite (but absent for far too long) radio reporter will be a guest at 5 p.m. Saturday February 8th on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh! I will be the guest of native Detroiter Stoney Richards who, for true radiophiles. was Chuck Richards back in the 1970's on W-4 106.7 FM. Today he's the successful afternoon drive personality on Country Music Y-108 in The Steel City. You can easily tune in via any computer, smart phone or similar device. You need only to search kdkaradio.com and you'll be able to listen live.

VuoloOn the program I will be discussing, of all things, the state of radio these days and there is much to talk about. One of the most recent alterations was the deletion of all on-air DJ's on Sirius XM's 90's and 50's channels. Personally I didn't frequent the 90's channel much, but the 50's on Channel 5 played a lot of music that you just don't hear anymore because it appeals to an audience who are too old. Ouch! Most of today's "oldies" stations find that any word with OLD in it as being poison to selling advertising. So, we call them Classic Hits these days and remind me how overused the word "classic" is?

With this "cost-cutting" budgetary move by satellite radio, a number of popular jocks were shown the door, including: Pat St. John and Jim Kerr, both with Detroit area roots, Dave Hoeffel, Ken Merson and "Mr. Music" Norm N. Nite. Norm did his show each weekend from the Alan Freed Studio at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. As one of pop music's true experts, his was the only LIVE show on the channel. All of the rest pre-recorded their programs via that method known as "voice-tracking" which is another way of saying they weren't making very much money. So how come they were all dumped?


As those of you who have read my musings in the past know, I have strong opinions about the state of the industry these days and I am not afraid to state them. I also attend a great many radio conferences. Most of the time I see the same people, talking about the same thing and seemingly never practicing what they preach. Every broadcaster screams the same credo LIVE & LOCAL, yet music FM's continue to voice track the majority of their programs and talk AM's lift most of their content from a program syndicator via a satellite. The large corporations which own the majority of the radio stations across this country are far more concerned with the bottom-line and the stock value of the company, than what type of product comes out of the speaker.


Again, if you see this in time, CKWW-AM (580) is doing a Beatles Invasion Weekend on February 8th and 9th like many stations are celebrating the 50th anniversary of when the Beatles premiered in America on The Ed Sullivan Show. The DVR's will be set for 8 pm on Sunday night when CBS recreates that special night in 1964. Now, I bet you wished you owned a DVD-RECORDER! When the hard drive needs more space, this will be a tough one to delete. Interestingly CKWW is heavily accessed via the Internet, since its anemic 500 watt signal limits its over-the-air availability. I still wish Bell Broadcasting, which owns both CKWW and CKLW would simply flip the formats of these two stations. The 580 signal is fine for the local news and talk of AM 800 which only appeals to the Windsor community. Just thinking out loud.


Make a note that on Sunday morning between 7:45 and 8 a.m. Warren Pierce will feature former WKNR great Bob Green talking about when Keener 13 brought the Beatles to Olympia for a Detroit concert back in 1964. So, on your way to church, breakfast or the bathroom, be sure to dial up Warren and Greeny Bob on WJR-AM (760).


Detroit's newest country station, WDRQ-FM (93.1), disguised as Nash-FM, is adding live jocks ... but the all-important morning show will not be local. The station will feature Blair Garner and America's Morning Show. Blair did a hugely popular overnight show for 25 years called "After Midnite." He left that program to anchor this new morning show on WNSH (Nash-FM) in New York City, but the program originates from Nashville. Now, Cumulus Media, which owns WJR, WDVD and WDRQ in Detroit is adding the show to dozens of Nash-FM clones all over the country, including The Motor City. Oddly enough Blair Garner was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame the same evening as WJR's Paul W. Smith back on November 10, 2013. Now, they'll be opposite each other in Motown. Friends, you simply can't make this stuff up.


Speaking of Paul W. Smith, his new contract with Cumulus had people throughout the entire radio industry talking. These days if you get a one year deal, you're doing OK, a three year contract means they really believe in you, and a five year contract means they love you and feel that you're the best in the business for the future of the station. Paul W. got a seven year renewal! It had to give this Monroe, MI native a great feeling of confidence, as this unprecedented deal keeps him comfortably ensconced onto the eighth floor of the Fisher Building past the year 2020 which interestingly will mark the 100th anniversary of commercial radio in the U.S.


One floor below, on the FM side, WDVD (96.3) morning host Blaine Fowler, got a new deal as well for three years which proves he is also doing a great job, along with co-host Allyson and studio-mate Dana. Blaine is a good fit on the pop music station. He's from Michigan's Upper Peninsula so this winter has been no problem for the boyish-looking radio personality.


Before we leave the Golden Tower on Grand Blvd., I have to say, with no disrespect to Mitch Albom, that when he is away from the microphone his "B-Team" is simply the best! Big Al (formerly with Dick Purtan) along with Ed Kelly (top-notch voice guy) then add in Kevin O'Neill on traffic and this trio is so wildly entertaining that it actually becomes "destination listening." One day I sat in the Costco parking lot, with the engine running, for ten minutes because I could not tear myself away from the radio. When was the last time you found a program that riveting, and on an AM station to boot? Just a few days ago, with Mitch back at the helm, his playing DJ with O'Neill (who can't be stumped on music trivia) were having fun with lesser heard songs like "Tighten Up" by Archie Bell & the Drells and "Killer Joe" by the Rocky Fellers. It was outrageously fun to listen to. Talk radio just needs to lighten up and give politics a rest every now and then.


Sorry to see Mark Pasman get dropped by Greater Media's classic rocker WCSX-FM (94.7). His Sunday night show was a 20 year staple on the station. In recent months, a scary number of people have exited those Royal Oak Township studios. Think about it: Jim Harper, Drew & Mike, Ken Calvert and others. Some have returned in limited or alternative capacities, but come on. If WRIF, also a Greater Media station, drops their Sunday night talk show with Peter Werbe, then I'll know that the world is coming to an end.


Finally, since my audio and video archive of radio people is rather extensive, it seems like my responsibility of late is to create nice video tributes to people whom we have lost and the list is growing far too fast. My tribute to Bill Bailey (WDRQ in the 70's) was watched on YouTube over 2,500 times. My latest is for Chicago Super-Jock Larry Lujack, of WLS and WCFL. Old Uncle Lar was known throughout the Midwest thanks to the massive signals of both of these iconic stations. If you visit my web site www.vuolovideo.com, an edited version of the video is available to watch. Copies of the un-edited 73 minute version are available and 25% of every DVD ordered is going to Mr. Lujack's favorite charity Save the Children.


Next time I write, I will offer my views of things I saw in January at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. My sore legs are still recovering. Stay warm, stay informed and most importantly keep the radio on!


Contact Art Vuolo, Jr. via e-mail at artvuolo@aol.com


Art Vuolo Jr.





President Barack Obama is headed to Michigan State University today, where he'll sign the farm bill and talk about its importance to the nation's economy ... While it's not open to the public, you can watch his speech live in the video stream below. Local television stations -- including WLNS 6, ABC 53 and WILX 10 -- will interrupt regular programming to broadcast Obama's visit.

Full story: Watch President Obama as he signs farm bill at Michigan State University (Fri, 2/7)



Radio joins TV to celebrate 50th anniversary of The Beatles in America

Fifty years ago today, February 7th 1964, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, launching the British Invasion and Beatlemania into the stratosphere. Two nights later, the foursome took to the took to the stage of the Ed Sullivan Show where their performance was watched by 73 million across the country. Radio stations across North America are celebrating all weekend, including in Metro Detroit:

  • Bell Media's Oldies CKWW AM 580 Windsor / Detroit will feature a Beatles Invasion Weekend, taking a look back and pour through AM 580's music library to feature tons of music from "The Fab Four" as well as historical clips from the era and much more.

    The station will also air a special edition of the weekly "Breakfast with the Beatles" show. Host Dennis Mitchell will re-create the evening of the Beatles debut on American TV by airing all of the audio from the group's Ed Sullivan Show February 9 1964 appearance along with interviews with some of the people who were in the audience of screaming fans. He will even air vintage commercials that ran during the TV show along with many more surprises.

    Also, "Shake, Rattle Showtime", which airs Saturday morning from 10 -Noon, will feature a special hour-long edition of Steve Mitchell's" Roots of Rock" from 11- Noon. It will re-visit the historic occasion of the Beatles landing in the USA, provide highlights of the group's evolution to this point, Beatles music and commentary from "the lads".

  • CBS Radio's Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit will count down their top 104 Beatles songs at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The countdown list was compiled from airplay and requests on WOMC over the years.

    WOMC program director Tim Roberts commented, "This truly is an amazing weekend and WOMC is excited to be part of a worldwide salute to the Beatles. We're highlighting their hits all weekend long and then we'll countdown the top 104 Fab Four songs that we all know and love on the weekend that changed America!"

  • Greater Media's Classic Rock WCSX-FM will feature a Beatles-themed Triple Shot Weekend, highlighted with CD giveaways with one winner receiving a deluxe collectors edition Beatles U.S. Albums box set which includes a 64 page booklet and a pair of tickets to see Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles at the Fox Theater on March 8th.

  • Nationally, SiriusXM Radio kicks off "64 on 6" on it's Channel 6 starting at 3 p.m. today. The special programming will highlight the biggest British hits of 1964 along with a live broadcast from Cousin Brucie from The Fest For Beatles Fans 2014 in New York City on Saturday, February 8th, from 6 - 9 p.m. ET. The event will feature live performances as well as interviews with special guests and audience members as they reminisce on their favorite memories of 1964. Peter Noone, lead singer of Herman's Hermits, will host a show featuring British hits of 1964 and the channel's weekly Satellite Survey Show is featuring a 1964 special.

  • On television, the biggest highlight will be the CBS Television special from the Ed Sullivan Theater "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles" on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will be among the performers.




WWJ/Detroit / CBSLocal.com:

Make your lunch plans to join WWJ Newsradio 950 for the 3rd annual Celebrity "Coneys for a Cause" to benefit The Heat And Warmth Fund (THAW). WWJ's Tom Jordan, Charlie Langton, Marie Osborne, Vickie Thomas and other local celebrities will be serving up coneys between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at American Coney Island in downtown Detroit.

Full story: Join WWJ For Lunch As Local Celebs Serve 'Coneys For A Cause' (Thu, 2/6)



Detroit News:

There's a dusty tire sitting on top of the trunk, and random pieces of the body are stacked on the roof. Where you'd expect to find the snarling engine on a 1970 Pontiac Firebird, there are mostly milk crates and cardboard cartons full of parts, paperwork and even a pair of canvas gloves. It's perfect.

Full story: A tribute on wheels (Thu, 2/6)



Fine Tuning:

  • Tomorrow is the 11th Annual WWJ Winter Survival Radiothon For THAW as CBS Radio/Detroit's All-News WWJ AM 950 raises money from 5 a.m. - 7 p.m. to help Michigan families facing an emergency energy crisis. Last year's Radiothon helped raise $300,000.

  • Adding: The syndicated re-mix rock program "Skratch N Sniff" to Saturday nights on Bell Media's Modern Rock CIMX-FM 88.7 Windsor/Detroit. The program is hosted by Malcolm Ryker and DJ Mike Czech and is also heard in Tampa, Charlotte, Washington DC, Boston, Cleveland, Denver, and San Diego,




Former Detroit Red Wings forward Igor Larionov is coming to a satellite radio station near you. Larionov, a member of the Red Wings' famed Russian Five, will be part a five-part series called "Igor Larionov's Triple Overtime Radio" on SiriusXM beginning at 8 p.m. Friday. The show will be hosted by his daughter, Alyonka Larionov.

Full story: Former Detroit Red Wings forward Igor Larionov to host satellite radio show during Winter Olympics (Thu, 2/6)




Fine Tuning:

  • Adding: "America's Morning Show" to the lineup at the recently launched Country Nash FM 93.1 Detroit starting on Monday, February 10th. America's Morning Show is hosted by Blair Gardner with Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks, and Erika Grace Powell. Originally launched on the first Nash station in New York City (WNSH-FM 94.7), the program expands to 20 Cumulus-owned stations, including Detroit's WDRQ, as of Monday.




For the third year in a row, Oakland University's student-run radio station WXOU has been named the Michigan Association of Broadcasters College Radio Station of the Year. The station, which can be found at 88.3 FM, first won the award in 2012 -- beating Michigan State University, which had won the award for 11 years straight.

Full story: WXOU takes college station of the year award for 3rd year (Tue, 2/4)



Fine Tuning:

  • Dropped: By Greater Media/Detroit Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7, Mark Pasman, longtime host of the Motor City Blues Project. That show had been hosted by 'Paz' and heard for 20 years on Sunday evenings (9 p.m - midnight) on WCSX.




Fine Tuning:

  • Rebranding: Cumulus Media's Country radio stations in Grand Rapids and Flint to the nationwide "Nash FM" brand name; Grand Rapids' "Thunder 94.5" WTNR-FM and Flint's "B95" WFBE-FM 95.1 join Detroit's WDRQ-FM 93.1 and become Cumulus' 2nd and 3rd Nash Country music stations in Michigan.

    Cumulus today also switched 9 other stations across the country to the Nash brand, including WKDF-FM Nashville, TN.

  • Added: To the lineup starting tonight at Clear Channel/Detroit Classic Rock WDTW-FM 106.7, the Sixx Sense show evenings from 7 p.m. - Midnight. The program is heard on various stations across the country and hosted by Motley Crue bandmember Nikki Sixx and Kerri Kasem.



Ann Arbor News:

In the fall of 2013, for the first time in over a decade, the Federal Communications Commission accepted applications for Low Power FM radio station licenses; and one proposal from Washtenaw County - for Ann Arbor Community Radio, which now streams through its website and mobile devices - was submitted and accepted.

Full story: Ann Arbor Community Radio gets radio station license from FCC (Mon, 2/3)



MLive.com / Grand Valley State University:

Grand Valley State University Athletics announced today the addition of three new radio affiliates to the GVSU Football radio network. The Grand Valley Sports Network has partnered with a Big Rapids radio network to broadcast Laker football games on three of their radio stations covering Newaygo, Oceana, Mecosta, Montcalm, Osceola and Lake Counties. The new stations include two Big Rapids stations, WBRN-AM 1460 & WBRN-FM 107.7, along with Reed City's WBRN-FM 95.1.

Full story: GVSU football adds affiliates in Big Rapids and Reed City (Mon, 2/3)




WXMI-TV FOX 17 Grand Rapids:

This month FOX 17 News begins a special series on something that has the potential of impacting every person in West Michigan. For the past six months, FOX 17 collaborated with staff of community organizations - Merpi Media, Hospice of Michigan, Aquinas College, Catholic Information Center - to discuss ways to best produce a television series that will help inspire and teach families how to have 'The Talk,' a conversation about planning end-of-life decisions.

Full story: FOX 17 to Launch Special Series: Have You Had The Talk? (Sat, 2/1)



Fine Tuning:

  • Across the border format change I: Southwestern Ontario's CKUE-FM 100.7 / 95.1 Windsor / Chatham flipped from a Mainstream Rock format to Adult Contemporary as 'Lite FM' on Thursday evening. The station's former format 'The Rock' continues online only at canadasrock.ca, but without personalities Jeff Burrows and Rod Martens who were fired in the switchover.

    The Windsor Star's Ted Shaw blogs about the change.

  • Across the border format change II: On the Door Peninsula of Northeastern Wisconsin, Sturgeon Bay's WNLI-FM 88.5 has switched to Educational Media Foundation's Christian Rock "Air 1" network with sister station WPFF-FM 90.5 switching over to EMF's Christian Contemporary "K-Love". The station's had been primarily programmed locally before last week programming changes.

    The changeover also includes translators in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The two stations are in the process being acquired by EMF from Bethesda Christian Broadcasting.








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This page is an archive of entries from February 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

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