Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

WYCD’s Linda Lee Dies After Cancer Battle, Remembered For Positivity

via WYCD-FM (Detroit).  Video tribute from Art Vuolo, Jr.

Linda Lee, legendary broadcaster, Specs Howard School grad and WYCD 99.5 FM’s award-winning afternoon drive co-host, died Friday (3/31) after a seven-month cancer battle.
She’s survived by her husband Jeff Young, daughter Gina (Dan) Holmes Mills, and step-daughter Alexa Young.

Lee, a Detroit native, revealed her Stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis in September 2016, just a few months after celebrating her 20th year on-the-air at Detroit’s WYCD last July. She was diagnosed two weeks before her daughter’s wedding.

Linda Lee
Linda Lee

Lee began her tenure at WYCD as a member of the morning show in 1996. She later teamed up with co-host Chuck Edwards for the long running “Edwards & Lee” afternoon drive show. Edwards & Lee were together for 16 years – collecting a number of national accolades – before Lee paired with Rob Stone after Edwards moved to mornings in late 2015.

“From the get go, Linda and I forged a friendship that’s lasted for nearly 20 years,” Edwards said. “I could get very mushy about Linda’s attributes, but the glue that kept us together was that we made each other laugh.”

A hearty laugh was her hallmark. Always a fan favorite, Lee was known as personable and warm, the kind of person who never met a stranger.

“Linda had the biggest heart in radio and was one of the most positive people I’ve ever met,” said Tim Roberts, longtime friend and CBS’ VP of country music programming. “Her efforts to help the everyday blue collar worker or friend in need in Detroit were unmatched in radio. It’s easy to understand why people loved her so much, she poured it out every day.”

Her friends are everywhere, from those who listen to her while they work the line to the biggest names in country music. The day Lee celebrated her 20th year at WYCD, Stone arranged for country stars to call and congratulate her; names like Keith Urban, Justin Moore and Frankie Ballard. Big & Rich sent a video message.

While the congratulatory calls were a testament to the imprint Lee left on the industry, she was mostly thankful to spend two decades doing what she loved, in a city that she loved.

“They’ve flown by, right here in my hometown,” Lee told Billboard in July, speaking of her 20 years at WYCD. “I’ve been blessed beyond measure. I am having as much fun today as I had 20 years ago when I first got into the business. Every day is exciting. I can’t believe I get paid for it.”

Even at the end, when the prognosis was dire, Lee stayed positive and strong. Her final messages on Facebook were a testament to her spirit. “Good morning all my AWESOME family & Friends!!” she wrote. “You may have already heard the bad news that my small cell cancer spread during chemo, and was impeding my breathing big time. BUT….KEEP THE FAITH and PRAYERS coming, because God is GREAT” Debbie Kenyon, CBS Detroit’s market manager and senior vice president, described her as a person whose glass was always “90 percent full.”

That’s just who she was.

“My favorite thing about Linda Lee is her tremendous positivity,” Stone said. “No matter what the situation, Linda always finds a way to put her smiling, optimistic spin on things. If we all were as positive as Linda, the world would be a happier place.”

She was also a passionate fan of country music, explaining it this way on WYCD: “Country music is like a ‘best friend,’ always there for you in all your times of need,” she wrote. “There is a country song to describe all the monumental and ordinary moments in my life. And, all it takes is a few bars of a song that has touched my heart, and instantly I am taken back to a time & place in my life, and all the memories that go with it.”

Lee was trying hard to get healthy enough to make the trip to Las Vegas to accept her first Academy of Country Music award as a major market personality on Sunday. Co-host Rob Stone will accept the award on her behalf.

Rest easy, Linda.


FCC Watch: CBS Radio Files Transfer Applications

EntercomCBS_350CBS Radio, as part of their previously announced merger with Entercom Communications Corporation, has filed applications to transfer its radio stations from various licensing divisions to Shareholders of Entercom Communications.

The applications were filed on March 20, 2017.

CBS Detroit radio stations being transferred are:

WXYT-AM from CBS Radio Inc. of Detroit
WOMC-FM/WYCD-FM from CBS Radio Inc. of Michigan

David J. Field, president and CEO of Entercom, will lead the combined company that will have a nationwide footprint of 244 stations, including 23 of the top 25 U.S. markets, as well as digital and events platforms.



NAB to Present “Awareness in Reporting” Event


Join the Conversation About Reporting on Race

NAB-NABEFWhen: 12:30pm ET 4/12/17
Where: Livestream or in-person in Washington, D.C.

Local radio and TV broadcasters are part of the communities they serve. During times of unrest, they capture and reflect the voices and feelings of those around them. As first informers, trusted reporters, investigators and public servants, local reporters put themselves on the front lines to report up-to-the-minute information. Join an important conversation as broadcasters unveil a new toolkit to assist newsrooms in reporting on race.

View the livestream to hear from those who have been on the front lines.

  • Learn how news directors decide to cover crisis situations.
  • Listen to reporters talk about their experiences reporting breaking news.
  • Understand how social media has changed crisis reporting.
  • Hear about guidelines and recommendations developed by the broadcast industry to assist the corporate offices, news directors, reporters and videographers covering racially sensitive stories.

Click here to view the agenda and list of panelists.

Join the conversation at #AwarenessInReporting.

Register to watch here



Lansing Lugnuts to Townsquare Media

(L-R) Mascot "Big Lug" and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.
(L-R) Lansing Lugnuts mascot “Big Lug” and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.

By:  Jesse Goldberg-Strassler

The Lansing Lugnuts, Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Townsquare Media have announced an exclusive partnership, with WVFN-AM (The Game 730 AM) serving as the new flagship home for Lugnuts baseball.

“We are excited to bring Lugnuts baseball to our listeners,” said Zoe Burdine-Fly, Townsquare Media Regional Vice President – Michigan. “This is a collaboration between two companies that are committed to serving the Lansing community, both now and for many years to come.”

“Baseball provides the soundtrack of summer,” said Lansing Lugnuts General Manager Nick Grueser. “It made only too much sense for fans to hear the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd at Cooley Law School Stadium on Lansing’s top sports station. We are excited to partner with Zoe and such a tremendous radio family of stations in Mid Michigan.”

In addition to The Game 730 AM, the Lugnuts will also welcome in personalities throughout the season from Townsquare Media’s Classic Rock 94.9 WMMQ, 1240 WJIM-AM, 97.5 NOW FM, 99.1 WFMK, and 100.7 WITL.

Jesse Goldberg-Strassler returns for his ninth season as the Lugnuts’ lead play-by-play broadcaster, the longest tenured voice in team history. The Greenbelt, Md. native joined the Lugnuts in 2009 after previous stints with the Brockton Rox, Montgomery Biscuits and Windy City ThunderBolts. In 2013, he was voted Midwest League Broadcaster of the Year by his peers.

Outside of Lansing, fans will be able to tune in for coverage of Lugnuts baseball via the TuneIn Radio app and The

For more information, call (517) 485-4500 or go to

Blarney Stone Broadcasting Wins Best Small Business Award

Jerry and Sheryl Coyne
Jerry and Sheryl Coyne, Blarney Stone Broadcasting

Blarney Stone Broadcasting is one of 12 companies from around the state selected to receive the Michigan Small Business Development Center’s Best Small Business Award.

These companies were chosen from more than 5,500 small businesses that the Michigan SBDC provided with confidential counseling in 2016. The Best Small Business award recipients were identified based on their success in creating jobs, increasing sales, improving their business strategy and their involvement with the Michigan SBDC.

“This year’s awardees have a significant impact on Michigan’s economy and truly represent the success achieved through a strong SBDC consultant and client partnership,” said Keith Brophy, State Director of the Michigan SBDC. “We are excited to take the opportunity to celebrate their success and cheer them on as they continue growing their businesses.”

The recipients will be honored on May 4, in Lansing, at the 13th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business Awards Gala.

“We are overjoyed and proud beyond words to be recognized like this by the Michigan SBDC,” Blarney Stone Broadcasting President Sheryl Coyne said. “But more than that, we are immensely appreciative of the support and guidance we’ve received. The Michigan SBDC spent an extraordinary amount of time working with us to build a strong, viable and growing business, and we couldn’t be more grateful. Their expertise and resources perfectly complemented the commitment and hard work of our entire Blarney Stone Broadcasting staff to help us achieve the success we’re sharing with our Central and North Michigan community.”

Blarney Stone Broadcasting was founded in 2012 by Sheryl and her husband, Jerry, residents of Gaylord. The company owns and operates WQON (FM), licensed to Grayling; WGRY (FM), licensed to Roscommon and WMQU (AM), licensed to Grayling. Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Inc. and Northern Broadcast, Inc., have entered into a purchase agreement that will enable Blarney Stone to significantly increase reach and coverage throughout Northern Michigan.

Northern Broadcast has agreed to sell assets including WKLT (FM), licensed to Kalkaska; WKLZ (FM), licensed to Petoskey; WFCX (FM), licensed to Leland; WFDX (FM), licensed to Atlanta; WSRT (FM), licensed to Gaylord; WSRJ (FM), licensed to Honor. The agreement also includes FM translator station W263CD, licensed to Boyne City; FM translator station W252DA, licensed to Petoskey.

Jackson Radio Works Receives Chamber Award

Jamie McKibben
Jamie McKibbin

On March 23, Jackson Radio Works (WKHM-AM/FM, WIBM-AM) was the recipient of an appreciation award from the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce, honoring the company for 20 years of service (“hyper local content that matters”) to the community.

WKHM-FM is licensed to Brooklyn.  Accepting the award was  General ManagerJamie McKibbin, who tells the MAB that the staff at Jackson Radio Works is pretty excited about the honor.

“Big Boy” Returns to Detroit Radio

(L-R) Big Boy and Shay Shay
(L-R) Big Boy and Shay Shay

Beasley’s WMGC-FM (105.1 The Bounce) has announced that “Big Boy” has returned to Detroit radio, joining “Shay Shay” to anchor the station’s morning show.

In a press release, the station notes that “Big Boy has been blessed to be able to talk on the radio for a living since he was 17 years old.  It’s not only what he loves doing, it’s what’s in his blood. He’s had the privilege to travel to many cities to host radio shows, but whenever people ask what his favorite city was, he always says ‘Detroit!’ His previous three years in Detroit from 2006-2009 were some of the best years of his life. He met so many people who listened to his show. When he got the opportunity to come back and host the morning show on The Bounce, he jumped at this opportunity, saying “not only are the city and the people here amazing, but The Bounce literally plays my favorite songs!”

“This is a big throwback ‘good times’ for our city!” added 105.1 The Bounce Program Director Al Payne. “I have been a huge fan of Big Boy for a long time, yet being able to add him to this station and
our cast of Bounce Ambassadors is epic!”

Rich Fisher Passes

Rich Fisher
Rich Fisher

Longtime Michigan newsman and Detroit TV anchor Rich Fisher has passed away.

Fisher died March 24 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was 67.

Fisher spent 7 years at WJBK-TV (Detroit) before resigning in 1997.  He later anchored a late-news broadcast at WWJ-TV (Detroit) up until 2002.

Prior to WJBK, Fisher spent 12 years as an anchor and reporter for WXYZ-TV (Detroit).  His resume also included 5 years at WJRT-TV (Flint).  He began is career in 1968 at WATZ-AM/FM in Alpena.

Among Fisher’s awards was the 1993 Michigan Associated Press Award for individual reporting for Toxic Threat, an investigative report on chemical pollution and a 1986 national award from the American Bar Association for his series on Michigan’s jury system.

Visitation is set for 3-8 p.m. Wednesday (3/29) at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks in Clawson. A memorial service is 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

FCC Chairman Appears on WJR

(L-R) FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and WJR-AM’s Paui W. Smith

Last Friday (3/17), FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made a guest appearance on Paul W. Smith’s WJR-AM (Detroit) morning show.  The Chairman had been an occasional guest while serving as a Commissioner.

Pai called the station in advance to let them know he would be in town. He dropped by Smith’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration show, which was broadcast live from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.  See highlights of the show below:

FCC Filings: WMXG-FM Acquired by Radio Results Network

RRN_300On March 21, 2017, an application was filed with the FCC to transfer the license of WMXG-FM (Stephenson) from Escanaba License Corporation to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC (Armada Media/Radio Results Network).

The asset purchase agreement sets a price of $325,000, including a building in downtown Escanaba.

AMC Partners already has an LMA in place for WMXG and its currently simulcasting its news/talk AM station, WCHT.

In a separate release posted on the Radio Results Network website, the company announced the purchase:

Armada Media Purchases WMXG Radio Frequency and Building

Armada Media, based in Fond du Lac, WI is pleased to announce the purchase of WMXG-FM, 106.3 and the building at 1101 Ludington Street in downtown Escanaba.

WMXG will join Bay Cities Radio – a 5 station group based in the Marinette & Menominee market and Radio Results Network – a 9 station group based in Escanaba, Marquette & Manistique.

“We are excited to be able to expand our coverage even further into the Central U.P. market as the premier media company in Upper Michigan. We have exciting plans for the building and frequency which we plan to unveil in the coming months,” says General Manager Jesse Huff. “This now gives us 15 radio stations in the Central U.P. that are each committed to great local radio and serving as a resource for the communities in which we serve. We now have even more resources and opportunities to offer our listeners and advertisers.”

Chris Bernier, President and CEO of Armada Media Partners says, “We plan to make this the crown jewel of broadcast studios for small market radio in the Midwest. We have some great ideas and this 12,000 square foot building gives us the structure to turn our vision into a reality.”

“We truly enjoy doing business in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” says Bernier. “We serve some amazing communities with one of the most experienced and talented staffs that you’ll find anywhere. This is a great opportunity for us further establish our roots in these communities.”

In addition to the stations in Upper Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin, Armada Media also owns radio stations in Watertown, South Dakota; North Platte, McCook and Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Ortonville, Minnesota.