Mike Austerman: February 2015 Archives

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

A public memorial service will be held next month to honor Carl E Lee, the namesake for Western Michigan University's honors college and a radio and television executive. Lee died Feb. 22. He was 96.

Full story: Carl E Lee, broadcasting icon and WMU honors college namesake dies, memorial service March 14 (Fri, 2/27)

 


 

WZZM-TV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids:

On March 1, 2015, WZZM 13 President and General Manager Janet Mason, will be one of six Michigan broadcasters inducted into the prestigious Silver & Gold Circle of the Michigan chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Full story: WZZM 13's Janet Mason honored with NATAS Silver Circle award (Fri, 2/27)

 


 

Bay City Times:

Two public television premieres kick off a weeklong pledge drive on Saturday for Delta College's Q-TV: a look at the cultural history of the Great Lakes Bay Region and a Celtic concert. The spring pledge drive, which runs from February 28 through March 8, helps support programming on the station, explained Q-TV producer and director Bob Przybylski, and can be supported by calling 1-877-472-7677.

Full story: Delta College documentary exploring immigrants and culture, Celtic concert kick off Q-TV pledge drive (Fri, 2/27)

 

 

 

Detroit Free Press:

Broadcast journalism is a metaphorical window on the world -- and sometimes it lets you look inside its windows as well. Starting Thursday at noon, WXYZ-TV will broadcast "7 Action News at Noon" from a glass-enclosed studio in the Qube building (the former Chase Bank building) neighboring Campus Martius.

Full story: Channel 7 moving noon newscast to downtown Detroit (Wed, 2/25)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

ESPN Sports KSPN-A (ESPN L.A. 710 AM)/LOS ANGELES OM DAVE SHORE is headed to the MOTOR CITY to serve as PD at GREATER MEDIA Sports WMGC (DETROIT SPORTS 105.1)/DETROIT. SHORE, who will start on MARCH 23rd and previously worked at CAPITOL BROADCASTING Sports WCMC (99.9 THE FAN)-WDNC-A (620 THE BUZZ)-Sports WCMC-HD-3 (THE TICKET) and Spanish Sports WCLY-A (1550 ESPN DEPORTES)/RALEIGH-DURHAM and at ESPN Sports KESN (ESPN DALLAS 103.3 FM)/DALLAS, replaces JASON DIXON, who exited earlier this month.

Full story: Dave Shore Named PD At Detroit Sports 105.1 (Wed, 2/25)

 

 

 

CBSLocal/Detroit:

I can easily recall the day, September 29, 1975 when WGPR-TV 62 went on the air live for the first time. I was sitting in the director's chair directing that very first live broadcast. To this day I am still amazed and overwhelmed by the incredible opportunity I was given by owner, Dr. William Banks, and Program Director, George White.

Full story: WGPR-TV 62: Where God's Presence Radiates! (Mon, 2/23)

 


 

Detroit News:

Covering President Obama's first international jaunt in Prague in 2009, Don Gonyea stumbled across a bluegrass band called Druha Trava playing Bob Dylan songs in Czech. That's the life of a political correspondent for National Public Radio.

Full story: Tracking the next president: NPR's same old Don Gonyea (Mon, 2/23)

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

During the early days of Detroit television, Betty Bahr was pretty much everywhere. She was a television personality who did commercials, and when the live commercial business was hopping during the 1950s, she was among the busiest talents in Detroit. Bahr, who died Monday at the age of 89, did as many as 17 shows a week during one stretch in 1957.

Full story: Detroit's 'Miss Fairweather,' Betty Bahr, dies (Sun, 2/22)

 


 

WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit:

We're very excited for the premiere of our new studio in downtown Detroit beginning at noon on Thursday, February 26. The studio is located inside the Qube building (formerly the Chase Bank building) on Woodward Avenue along Campus Martius Park.

Full story: New WXYZ downtown Detroit studio to debut Thursday during 7 Action News at Noon (Mon, 2/23)

 

 

 

Lansing State Journal:

Well-known broadcaster Dave Akerly will take over the weekday morning talk radio spot on WILS-AM. Akerly will host the "WILS Morning Wake Up with Dave Akerly" beginning Monday. The show is in the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. slot at WILS, which is at 1320 on the AM dial.

Full story: Dave Akerly starts morning radio show (Thu, 2/19)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

MACDONALD BROADCASTING Urban WQHH (POWER 96.5)/LANSING, MI had a break-in YESTERDAY morning reports the LANSING STATE JOURNAL. A LANSING man, DEANTEA DEVON WRIGHT, 25, faces a pair of misdemeanor charges from the incident that happened shortly before 5a.

Full story: WQHH Burglar Caught In The Act By Police (Fri, 2/20)

 

Effective MONDAY, APRIL 20th, NATE BELL will transition from RADIO ONE/RALEIGH to the OM role overseeing RADIO ONE/DETROIT.

Full story: Radio One/Detroit Names Nate Bell OM (Fri, 2/20)

 


 

Broadcasting & Cable:

The over-the-air signal for WMNT, the MyNetworkTV affiliate in Toledo, is out of commission for the next few days. While viewers in DMA No. 76 can watch WMNT on cable or telco TV, it is "temporarily down" over the air, reports Melissa Knight, general manager. "We're having some technical difficulties. We're in the process of fixing that."

Full story: WMNT Toledo Temporarily Off the Air (Fri, 2/20)

 


 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

With the departure of morning show host Wayne Powers, WKZO-AM (590) finds itself without a permanent host in that slot for the second time in less than 18 months.

Full story: Readers react to departure of WKZO morning host; vote for the kind of host you'd like to listen to (Thu, 2/19)

 

 

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

It's been a pretty chaotic last few days around here, as events took a sudden sharp turn and caught many folks by surprise -- including me. The many emails, postings and messages of support I've received since my termination from WKZO last Thursday have been overwhelming to say the least.

Full story: Former WKZO morning host Wayne Powers writes open letter to listeners about his sudden departure (Wed, 2/18)

 


 

Fine Tuning:

  • Cumulus Media/Ann Arbor Country WWWW-FM 102.9 is bringing back its popular 'Kiss the Car' contest starting about noon this Saturday, February 21st, at LaFontaine Chevrolet in Dexter. More info at kissthecar.com or on Facebook. The winner drives off with a two-year lease on a 2015 Chevy Cruze.

 

 

 

MLive.com:

It was a long road getting Good Shepherd Catholic Radio on the air, but president Doug Shumard can only look back and laugh at the process. The station broadcasts out of the St. Joseph Convent, at 704 N. East Ave., but it took five long years to make it happen.

Full story: Five years in the making, Good Shepherd Catholic Radio hits the airwaves (Tue, 2/17)

 

Michigan Radio and Olympia Entertainment will welcome Garrison Keillor to Detroit on May 30 for a live broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion." The show will take place at the Fox Theatre and include live performances and comedy skits by Keillor and the entire "Prairie Home" cast.

Full story: Garrison Keillor's 'A Prairie Home Companion' booked for Detroit's Fox Theatre in May (Mon, 2/16)

 


 

WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit:

The WGPR TV Historical Society announced the approval of a historical marker to be placed at the station. WGPR was the first black owned and operated television station in the country. This year marks its 40th anniversary. Mayor Mike Duggan attended Monday's event. He says his administration is dedicated to adding more historical markers in the city.

Full story: WGPR Gets Historical Marker (Mon, 2/16)

 

 

Remembering Gary Owens

| | Comments

 

 

From Beautiful Downtown Burbank, Announcer Gary Owens gone at 80

Written by Art Vuolo, Jr.

He probably made Burbank more popular than Warner Brothers, Walt Disney and all of the other studios in this nearby Los Angeles suburb. With his left hand cupped over his ear, the man with the slicked back black hair and his signature horn-rimmed glasses, Gary Owens WAS the voice of Rowan & Martin's "Laugh In" on NBC-TV from 1968 to 1973.

Owens was also big in RADIO, putting in 20 years with Gene Autrey's Golden West Broadcasting and the 50,000 watt AM 710 KMPC. At that station he worked for PD James K. Davis, remembered locally in the early 70's as Big Jim Edwards at CKLW. Golden West also owned Detroit's once famous WCAR-AM 1130 (now WDFN). Owens was a popular DJ long before his venture into network TV. He even voiced hundreds of cartoons and wrote for the famous Rocky & Bullwinkle Show! He was truly multi-talented.

He is survived by two sons Chris and Scott and his wife of 57 years, Ardie and he lived in the San Fernando Valley community of Encino. I was lucky to get to know Gary fairly well and remember when he told me he was probably the only person in LA to subscribe to The Ann Arbor News! Turns out he was a property owner in Ann Arbor...a little known fact.

At the start of 1998, I was fortunate to be able to videotape Gary doing his syndicated Music of Your Life radio show featuring adult standards music. Click here to actually see what a master he was at his craft. There are simply no personalities on radio today that represent the iconic Gary Owens.

 

 

 

Bay City Times:

Longtime WNEM TV5 news anchor Katie O'Mara has taken a leave of absence from the station due to a blood disease. O'Mara, who has been away from the station since the first of the year, said she has been battling her medical condition for "quite some time and it's chronic."

Full story: WNEM TV5 anchor Katie O'Mara takes leave of absence due to blood disease (Fri, 2/13)

 


 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

Radio personality Wayne Powers, who was named the new host of the WKZO-AM (590) morning show in October, is no longer with the station. He said that after Thursday morning's show, he met with station management over his contract and his duties, and at the end of the meeting he was asked to empty his desk and was escorted out of the building.

Full story: WKZO morning host Wayne Powers parts ways with radio station after four months (Fri, 2/13)

 


 

Detroit News:

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch said Wednesday a desire for "even more knowledge" and "more Tigers guys" prompted Tuesday's announcement that former stars Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris would join Tigers/FSD telecasts in 2015.

Full story: Ilitch: I wanted 'more Tigers guys' in booth (Thu, 2/12)

 


 

JacoBlog:

Those of you who have been following our innovation series know that we've been bouncing around between today's hot new innovations in radio broadcasting to the amazing inventions and experiments from the past that turned out to be highly successful. Some of our innovations and the people behind them are familiar to you, but hopefully, there's been a surprise or two along the way. I'm thinking that this week's "Radio's Most Innovative" honoree, WNIC's Pillow Talk evening show starring Alan Almond is one that many people don't know about.

Full story: Radio's Most Innovative: WNIC's "Pillow Talk" with Alan Almond (Fri, 2/13)

 

 

 

Detroit News:

The Tigers and Fox Sports Detroit announced Tuesday that their TV telecast team will expand in 2015 to a three-man rotation of analysts, with Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris and Rod Allen taking turns alongside play-by-play captain Mario Impemba.

Full story: FSD shakeup: Gibson happy to come home (Tue, 2/10)

 

Tom Leyden has had an eventful career as WXYZ anchor and sports director. And as he prepares to depart in April for a new job in Boston, he appeared on WTKA's "Michigan Insider" radio show Tuesday morning.

Full story: WXYZ's Tom Leyden remembers day Bo died (Tue, 2/10)

 

Eighteen months after the much-hyped launch of Detroit Sports 105.1, the station has cut ties with program director Jason Dixon. On his Twitter account, Dixon changed his profile to "Program Director for Hire."

Full story: Program director out at Detroit Sports 105.1 (Tue, 2/10)

 

 

 

Crain's Detroit Business:

Local broadcaster Kevin Adell's potential payday for selling his independent TV station keeps getting bigger. The Federal Communications Commission has significantly increased its expected opening bid for Adell's WADL TV-38 in Clinton Township to a maximum of $380 million with a median price of $360 million.

Full story: WADL may command even larger auction price than expected: up to $380M, FCC says (Fri, 2/6)

 


 

Detroit News:

Tom Leyden's not a native Detroiter. But he sure could've fooled the viewers night in and night out as, for more than a decade, he has steered the sports dialogue on one topic after another. "It didn't take him long to understand the pulse of the Detroit sports fans," said WXYZ's Brad Galli. "For every second he was on the air, he was believable." Those seconds are running out in Detroit.

Full story: Tom Leyden leaving WXYZ for job in Boston (Fri, 2/6)

 


 

TVSpy.com:

Megan Spencer will join Ron Savage on the WJBK 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. weekend newscasts. Before coming to the FOX owned Detroit station, she worked at WTVQ in Lexington, Ky. as an anchor until 2011.

Full story: WJBK Adds Co-Anchor to Weekend Newscast (Thu, 2/5)

 

 

 

Midland's Great Lakes Loons minor league baseball team hires new radio voice

The Great Lakes Loons and ESPN 100.9-FM (WLUN-FM 100.9 Pinconning/Midland) have announced the hiring of Chris Vosters as their new play-by-play announcer. Vosters, who worked last season as the number two play-by-play voice of the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders, replaces longtime Loons broadcaster Brad Golder, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

"We are excited to have Chris as the new voice of Loons baseball," said Loons President and General Manager, Scott Litle. "He has a great ability to call a baseball game and will continue to make Loons baseball fun to listen to all summer."

Vosters, a native of Brookfield, Wis., comes to the Loons with extensive broadcast experience. A 2013 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Vosters is a nine-time Wisconsin Broadcasters Association award winner. He was the Sports Director of WSUM-FM 91.7, the student voice of Wisconsin athletics, and covered three Rose Bowls and two Big Ten Championship football games.

Vosters' baseball broadcast experience also includes two seasons in the collegiate summer Northwoods Baseball League, where he provided play-by-play for the league's All-Star Game, Big League Dream Showcase, and select postseason games.

"I'm really excited to join the Great Lakes Loons and to be part of an organization that plays such an important role in the community," said Vosters. "I'm looking to add my own element to Loons broadcasts while continuing the great work that Brad Golder has done over the years."

Golder has been the Loons play-by-play announcer since the team's inaugural 2007 season.

Vosters will also serve as ESPN 100.9-FM's Program Manager, as well as its lead announcer for high school football and basketball. He's been the preps broadcaster for 620 WTMJ in Milwaukee since last September.

The Great Lakes Loons are a ninth-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 


 

Fine Tuning:

  • Reported: via e-mail, that Adult Contemporary WLDR-FM 101.9 Traverse City returned to the air yesterday after being off-air for about 2 weeks.
  •  

  • On the air: CBS Radio/Detroit All-News WWJ AM 950 will host its annual Radiothon to benefit The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) tomorrow, February 6th, from 5 a.m. - 7 p.m. WWJ partners with DTE Energy to raise money to help those struggling to pay their utility bills get through the cold Michigan winter. Donations can be made by calling (888) 579-4950 or by going either to www.thawfund.org or www.cbsdetroit.com.

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

Thirty-two years ago, "Motown 25" rocked the airwaves, drawing a U.S. audience of 47 million and becoming one of the era's cultural touchstones. On Feb. 28, the venerable special will finally return to television, airing on more than 300 public television stations as part of TJ Lubinsky's popular "My Music" series.

Full story: 'Motown 25' returns to TV three decades later (Thu, 2/5)

 

 

 

Midwest Communications signs on pair of Battle Creek radio stations

Midwest Communications has launched two new radio stations in Battle Creek, WTOU AM 930 and an FM translator at 102.7. Operations officially started today, Monday, February 2, 2015, with testing happening over the weekend.

WTOU AM/FM features an Urban Adult Contemporary format and also offer award-winning local programming. Station Brand Manager Troy "T. Robb" Robertson stated, "The Battle Creek area has been asking for 'The Touch' ever since we brought Urban Adult Contemporary programming to Kalamazoo. We finally are able to answer their call."

WTOU AM/FM will be an extension of Urban Adult Contemporary programming on AM 1560 and FM 95.5 in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo stations, also called 'The Touch', have been serving Kalamazoo listeners for over 17 years. The format offers Urban Adult Contemporary music, local news and weather, Gospel music, Christian spoken word programs and community talk programs designed to educate and inform.

"'The Touch' is more than a music jukebox, it is the place where the community comes together", Robertson said. "We look forward to including Battle Creek in our news and community service programming."

"WTOU 'The Touch' will give local, regional and national advertisers an opportunity to reach a unique and desirable demographic that no other stations can reach," according to General Sales Manager Dennis Martin. "We look forward to offering WTOU 'The Touch' along with Country station WNWN-FM (WIN 98.5), Adult Contemporary WVFM (FM 106.5), Rock WJXQ (Q106) and Alternative WVIC (94.1) to our Battle Creek advertisers."

"AM 930 is Battle Creek's original radio station and we are so pleased to be able to return the station to the air and add a new [simulcast] FM transmitter on 102.7. AM 930 has a long history of serving the community and we look forward to continuing that tradition. Midwest Communications has installed new transmission equipment to ensure the station sounds great," said Michael Klein, Vice President of Midwest Communications.

 


 

WOAP AM Owosso flips back to English language programming

After spending several months with a Spanish language regional Mexican format, WOAP AM 1080 Owosso has flipped back to English and is currently airing an 80s-based Classic Hits format. The current licensee of the station is Birach Broadcasting although the station applied for approval of a sale to Cano's Broadcasting nearly three years ago.

 


 

Crain's Detroit Business:

Two weeks of controversy and a thrilling ending -- along with an audience trapped inside by a snowstorm -- fueled enormous ratings for WDIV-Channel 4's telecast of Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday evening.

Full story: WDIV reports whopping 55 rating for Super Bowl: More than 1 million metro Detroit homes tuned in (Mon, 2/2)

 


 

MLive.com:

Broadcaster Dick Nelson, "the voice of Lakers football" at Grand Valley State for 37 years, died Sunday. Nelson did the play by play for Lakers games for all but seven years of the program until he retired before the start of the 2014 season.

Full story: Longtime Grand Valley State broadcaster Dick Nelson dies (Sun, 2/1)

 

 

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mike Austerman in February 2015.

Mike Austerman: January 2015 is the previous archive.

Mike Austerman: March 2015 is the next archive.

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