Tag Archives: Issue 68

Broadcaster Bill Thompson Hangs Up His Headphones

(L-R) Bill Thompson with friend and colleague Tim Skubick at retirement party on December 12.

On December 12, longtime Michigan broadcaster Bill Thompson, surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, celebrated a 40-year radio career with a retirement party in Lansing.

Thompson’s career began as a weekend announcer and DJ at WFYC-AM (Alma) in 1975 and after graduation from Central Michigan University in 1978, moved on to WSOO-AM (Sault Ste. Marie) as Production Director.  In late 1979, he moved on to become Program Director at WJOR-AM (South Haven).  A year later, Thompson moved to Lansing an afternoon news anchor job at WJIM Radio. In 1983, he was promoted to Capitol Correspondent and joined the Capitol Press Corp for WJIM until the station was sold in 1985.  In 1986, Thompson joined WITL-AM/FM in Lansing (as “Bill Perry”), eventually taking over as News Director.

In 1991, Thompson then worked as a news reporter at WION-AM (Ionia).

He is best known throughout the state for his 23-year tenure as a statewide network news reporter/anchor/editor, beginning in 1992 with the Michigan News Network/Great Lakes Media Group.  Thompson remained with the network, renamed the Michigan Radio Network through a series of owners including Full Circle Broadcasting, Saga Communications and Learfield Communications.

He also served as a member of the CMU Broadcast and Cinematic Arts Alumni Advisory Board for 14 years and has helped mentor BCA students since his graduation nearly 40 years ago.

Bill and his wife Debbie reside in Mason.

Blarney Stone Broadcasting Announces New Line Up on WQON

Following the retirement of Dave “Big Dog” Sherbert, from WQON-FM (Grayling), Blarney Stone Broadcasting has announced a new on-air line-up for the station.

The new schedule, effective this week, moves station co-owner Jerry Coyne from afternoons to the midday slot formerly occupied by Sherbert.  Coyne’s new show title will be “J.C.’s Midday Mind Trip” and will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Coyne follows morning personality J.J.

Jomarie “Jomama” Leone

Replacing Coyne in the 3 to 7 p.m. afternoon slot is “Jomama’s Joy Ride” with former weekend air personality Jomarie Leone.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to move Jomama from weekends to our weekday afternoon time slot, and I’m sure her listeners are just as excited,” said Sheryl Coyne, president of Blarney Stone Broadcasting, which owns WQON-FM and several other stations in Northern Michigan. “She is a unique and interesting voice and as I know, people loved Jerry’s show. I know Jomama will develop develop her own faithful following.”

A successful voice actor, Leone holds a master’s degree in theatre arts and produces and directs shows for the Kirtland Center for the Performing Arts. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent her high school years in the Rocky Mountain town of St. Maries, Idaho. She has two children, both actors, and spends her free time on the golf course.

J.C., meantime, looks forward to his new time slot, though it pains him to leave the friends who listened to his show every morning.

“But this move is for the good of the station,” he said. “I’m confident that Jomama will continue to grow what we’ve built over the years here. And honestly, my on-air time represented just a fraction of my duties with the company. This will afford me more time to commit to helping Sheryl with the business end of things here.”

The station is also introducing Weekend Request Fest with Roadrunner, Randy Long, on Saturday’s from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday’s from noon-6 p.m.


Dave & Chuck The Freak Expand to Boston

Top L-R: WRIF-FM Morning Personalities Dave Hunter, Chuck “the Freak,” Lisa Way, and Andy Green. Bottom L-R: Jason Watson (phone screener and video editor) and James Campbell (show producer)

Beasley Media Group, Inc.,
has announced that the company’s Detroit-based WRIF-FM Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show will now be simulcast on the company’s WBOS-FM (ALT 92.9) in Boston, effective July 24.

The consistently rated #1 award-winning morning show will be heard in both markets from 5:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

The Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show, known for its unique style of humor and banter, along with heavy social media interaction with fans, will provide wicked laughs and entertainment weekday mornings for Boston listeners.

Dave Hunter and Charles Urquhart (along with show member Lisa Way) began working together in April of 2001 on Windsor, Canada’s 89X (CIMX 88.7 FM) until November of 2012. The show officially debuted on the WRIF-FM airwaves in May of 2013. Since then, they’ve added Cohost Andy Green, Producer James Campbell and Video Editor Jason Watson.

“We have been eager to expand Dave and Chuck’s content beyond Detroit and I couldn’t be more thrilled that it all starts in Boston,” said Beasley Media Group Executive Vice President of Programming Justin Chase. “This is a market where their genre of show has been very successful in the past and I’m certain Boston will love D&C!”

“We are continually amazed at how far the show has progressed over the years and are so excited to take it to the next level on ALT 92.9 in Boston,” said Dave Hunter. “We love the city and can’t wait to get some Boston folks on the air with us every morning.”

“The Dave & Chuck the Freak show is both funny and relatable, and its cast is made up of masterful storytellers with an eye for the extraordinary,” said Beasley Media Boston Director of Programming Cadillac Jack. “When you combine their natural talent, great chemistry and impeccable work ethic, the results are unparalleled and we’re especially excited to welcome them to ALT 92.9!”

Detroit Air Personality Bob Bauer Passes

Radio and Records Newspaper – January 19, 1990.

radio personality Bob Bauer passed away July 21 at his home in Pinckney.  He was 63 years old.

Bauer was a 1979 graduate of Specs Howard School of Media Arts.

WCSX-FM Program Director Doug Podell, who hired Bauer for afternoons when he was PD at WLLZ, remembers Bauer hosting annual food drives by living in a rented house trailer on a prominent metro Detroit street corner for several weeks during the holiday season. Podell told the Detroit Free Press that Bauer “donated his time energy and effort to do that and it turned out to be a lifetime thing for him.”

FCC Watch: WHST (Tawas City) Sold to Carroll Enterprises

Here’s the latest Michigan-related FCC broadcast filings:

July 21:  The Transfer of Control application filed June 30 by Good News Media, Inc. has been approved.  The Transfer of Control covered gradual changes in the non-commercial licensee’s board of directors.  The stations affected are WLJD-FM (Charlevoix), WLJN-AM (Elmwood Township), WLJN-FM (Traverse City), WLJW-AM (Cadillac) and WLJW-FM (Fife Lake).

July 20:  The application filed May 11 to transfer 55 percent of the licensee of WYGR-AM (Grand Rapids) has been approved.  Roland Rusticus is selling 55 percent of WYGR, LLC, licensee of WYGR-AM and associated translator W235BN to partners Scott R. Pastoor and Eric A. Mills for $123,000.

July 19:  Northern Christian Radio, Inc. has filed an application to transfer the license of WHST-FM (Tawas City) to Carroll Enterprises, Inc.  The purchase price listed on the sale agreement filed with the application is $175,000.  The station is presently operated as a non-commercial educational station, but will presumably convert to a commercial operation upon acquisition by Carroll.

July 19:  Michigan Community Radio has filed an application to make a minor modification to the construction permit of FM translator W248CC (Ecorse).  The modification seeks to change the translator output frequency from 97.5 MHz to 99.1 MHz and reduce ERP.

July 19:  Michigan Community Radio has filed an application for changes to FM translator W260CQ (Plainfield Township).   The application seeks to increase the translator’s ERP.

WKHM Raises Thousands for Area Charities

K-105.3 (WKHM-FM) and NewsTalk 970AM/101.5FM (WKHM-AM) (Jackson)
hosted their annual Live Radio Charity Auction on July 20 from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

A total of 31 area businesses and organizations participated by donating items for listeners to place bids on by calling in to the radio station.

Radio co-hosts Scott Clow & Mallory Sullivan of the K-105.3 Morning Show were joined in the studio by Greg O’Connor, host
of “AM Jackson” on NewsTalk, describing items on-air and taking bids from callers. The auction was simulcast on both

“It’s a complete flurry of chaos in the studio but so much fun. Easily one of my favorite events of the year,” said station Promotions
Director Ashley Smith.  A grand total of $3,175 was raised and will be split equally between two local charities:  American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Salvation Army.

Traffic Tidbits

Denise Weston, Director of Membership and Services

Your MAB has asked traffic departments from all across Michigan to offer some memories, tips, tricks, and traffic stories for your enjoyment. Here are a few thoughts from other Michigan traffic employees in the radio and television business.  Names will remain confidential to protect the innocent:


“Every once in a while we get a call from a listener asking if the roads are busy or if there are any major traffic delays!”


“Stay ahead as much as possible. With logs, avail inventory, orders. Work as far ahead as possible, while staying efficient. I work very closely with my team. I couldn’t do it without everyone.”


“I frequently get Garth Brooks ‘If tomorrow never comes’ stuck in my head. Because if I don’t do my job, logs don’t get merged and ‘tomorrow’ won’t come at Midnight.”

If you would like to share your thoughts or tips to be shared in the newsletter, please send them to [email protected] with the subject” TRAFFIC TIDBITS.”


Michigan Radio Revisits Detroit’s Long, Hot Summer of Rebellion

Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM/WFUM-FM/WVGR-FM)
has gone to social media, specifically Twitter, to mark the events of the 1967 Detroit uprising.

On July 23, the station began tweeting the events of the 1967 Detroit uprising as they happened, as though Michigan Radio were on the scene, documenting in real time the confusion and chaos that spread through the city.

The project is drawing from a variety of academic and historic sources, including the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University and the Detroit Public Library. Reference books, including Sidney Fine’s “Violence in the Model City: The Cavanagh Administration,” “Race Relations” and ” Detroit Riot of 1967,” and Joel Stone’s “Detroit 1967: Origin, Impact, Legacies,” provided many details about the uprising.

Michigan Radio is also referencing and sharing news articles, radio reports, and television broadcasts from various media organizations created during and after the uprising of 1967.

Follow the Michigan Radio Stateside Twitter feed here.


How to Have Millennials Show Up to Work on Time

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Inc.com Columnist

How often are workers late to work? Is the 9-to-5 schedule obsolete? Are employers becoming more lenient with worker tardiness?

CareerBuilder recently explored this topic with a Jan 2017 nationwide survey of more than 2,600 hiring and human resource managers and more than 3,400 workers across industries. Here are the findings…

  • Twenty-nine percent of workers admitted they were late to work at least once a month. (Up from 25 percent last year.)
  • Sixty-four percent of employers and employees believe the concept of “working 9 to 5” is an antiquated practice, but 53 percent of employers expect employees to be on time every day.
  • Forty-one percent of employers have fired someone for being late.
  • Twenty-nine percent say they have no problem with the occasional late arrival, as long as it doesn’t become a pattern. (Down from 33 percent last year.)
  • Sixty-nine percent of workers who arrive late will stay later to make up for it. (Up from 62 percent last year.)
  • Top reasons for being late to work: Traffic (49 percent), oversleeping (32 percent), bad weather (26 percent), too tired to get out of bed (25 percent), and procrastination (17 percent).

Even though these trends point to a greater employer lenience for tardiness, arriving at work or meetings on time remains a pertinent challenge that I hear frequently from my audiences of folks who manage Millennials.

Millennials have a 24/7 always-on approach to work so coming in late at 9:45am isn’t a big deal since they were sending emails since they woke up at 7:00am and plan to work until 11:00pm. And other times, Millennials are simply unaware that their tardiness is having an effect on those around them.

Whatever the case may be, these six steps should help managers:

1. Believe the Best

Leadership expert, Andy Stanley, says, “Occasionally, there are gaps between what we expect people to do and what they actually do. As leaders, we choose what to put in this gap. And what you as a leader choose to put in that gap will shape your culture. And what you put into that gap, will also be what your staff puts in that gap. You will either assume the worst or believe the best.”

“Developing a culture of trust is critical to the health of your organization. Trust fuels productivity. The message of trust is this…I think you are smart enough to know what to do, and you make a mistake, you will tell me then fix it,” says Stanley.

Stanley makes a compelling case to insert trust into the gap when you see your Millennial employee show up late. Choosing to insert your own assumption (for example: all Millennials are lazy) could cause you to overreact or lash-out and ultimately erode trust.

If the tardiness becomes a chronic issue, continue with the below steps.

2. Address Quickly

“If you want to build a culture of trust, you must confront fairly and quickly and refuse to sit on it. Before I assume the worst, I should at least ask for the facts. The consequences of concealment are far greater than the consequences of confrontation,” says Stanley.

Waiting so long that you react in anger towards the tardy employee is unacceptable and unprofessional. Or waiting too long and beginning to document their every move, you run the risk of making the employee feel like they are “being watched.”

After a few offenses, approach the employee directly. Schedule a one on one, coffee run, or lunch where there is ample time for both the employee and the leader to discuss the issue. They might not have a valid excuse or reason for their behavior, but they will appreciate you believing the best.

Don’t let your fear of being the “micro-manager” or “bad manager” get in the way of being the manager they need.

3. Diagnose the Cause

While in conversation with the late-arriver, take the posture of a coach trying to help the Millennial employee (like a doctor trying to diagnose the problem) and ask probing questions like…

  • Are you late for some things or everything?
  • Is there a certain day or time when you’re late?
  • How do you feel when you are late?
  • Does the amount of time you are late vary? (It’s likely there is a psychological hurdle if the amount of time is always the same and a mechanical problem if the amount of time varies day to day.)
  • What causes you to be late? According to Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged, there are seven categories for late people:
    • The Evader: Struggle leaving the existing task until it’s perfect or 100 percent completed.
    • The Indulger: Lacking in self-control.
    • The Rationalizer: Won’t admit the problem and blame external factors.
    • The Rebel: Actually enjoy the idea of knowing that other people are waiting for them.
    • The Absent Minded Professor: Prone to innocent flakiness or the condition of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and get easily distracted on their way. They often lose track of time, misplace car keys, and forget appointments.
    • The Producers: Over-achievers who simply over-schedule their days and underestimate the amount of time their tasks will take.
    • The Deadliner: Subconsciously enjoy the thrill of the last minute rush. Rushing relieves boredom.

These are not excuses. Knowing the tardiness tendencies is the first step in getting lateness under control.

Both parties have responsibilities: Managers should take an active role in helping Millennials diagnose the cause and Millennials must be open and willing to discover the causes or tendencies that cause them to be late.

Alternate Step: Offer a Flexible Schedule

Why fight biology, hardened habits, or extenuating circumstances (family obligations, medical issues, etc.) when a re-engineered or custom schedule would allow the employee to be more productive and relieve you of some heartburn. Steps 1-3 may reveal that a flexible schedule would work best for the individual and team.

If you go this route, be prepared to explore other options for other employees, but you might be due for a 9-to-5 shake-up anyways. (Read this for how to manage a Millennial remote team.)

4. Communicate the Consequences

Don’t assume Millennials realize how their tardiness impacts others. Help them to see it clearly.

Quantify it. When you’re 10 minutes late to a meeting with 10 of your teammates, that is 10 minutes times 10, which is 100 minutes of unproductive time.

Help the Millennial to see the ramifications/consequences their tardiness has on other people. For example, because you were 15 minutes late, James had to fill in for you and the client ended up having to wait. Or not having you available online at 8:00am results in customer requests that sit for more than one hour.

Or consider putting it into context Millennials might understand: imagine having an issue with your Netflix account, submitting a trouble ticket and waiting an hour for someone to contact you. Would you tolerate that timeline?

Also communicate some of the intangible consequences of being late: diminished trust, colleague resentment, and looking less responsible as a professional.

5. Discipline

Every employee but especially the early-career Millennials will have varied learning curves when it comes to correcting their tardiness. Some will only need a subtle reminder while others will need disciplinary action.

Disciplinary action could include:

  • Requiring they make up the time.
  • Docking their pay.
  • Decreasing their bonus.

Enforcing steeper disciplinary action may be warranted if their behavior has negatively impacted the bottomline, the company culture, or a client relationship. (Read this for how to terminate a Millennial.)

6. Acknowledge Improvement

If the Millennial employee’s behavior improves, make it a priority to acknowledge it. (Read this for how to deliver recognition to Millennials.)

(This is 1 of the 47 strategies Ryan shares in his new book, The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work.)

This article was originally posted on Ryan’s Inc.com column, Next Generation Insights.

Reprinted with permission.

Station Information Packets, Old School Marketing Techniques That Still Work and Show Your PD Some Love!

Gary Berkowitz

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

Some new tips for programming and management:

Fill out your Nielsen SIP (Station Information Packet). They may say you don’t have to, but I say do it. Make sure your SIP is correct. You never know when an editor may need clarification. Why take a chance that your information is out of date? You need every quarter hour you can get!

Do you have a “relationship” with your P1’s? This the #1 and most important way to achieve strong ratings. You can play all the right songs; have all the right sweepers and the best jingles in the market, however, if you’re missing that hard-to-describe link that bonds the listener to your station, the ratings will most likely not be there. Remember the old saying “People Listen to People They Like.” Is your station likable? P1’s always fuel their favorite radio station with lots of 1/4 hours.

Listener databases still work.  A little “old school” can go a long way. Take advantage of technology that is sitting on your desk today and is free. A listener database is a great way to speak to listeners and thank them with special offers that mean something to them. Many stations are wasting this by dumping worthless promotions into these databases. “Here’s what’s happening at WAAA” does not mean anything. It sends out a message that communication from my favorite station is really spam.

Better: Send out an e-mail blast on Wednesday that says when you will play a secret song on Thursday. Give a “special number” to call to win $100. Make sure they understand that this contest is only for them. For $100 a week (less than some spend on lunch) you could set yourself up for a ratings spike.

“Change” is not AC’s friend.  About to make an adjustment? Think about them carefully. When changes in programming are made on a whim it could ultimately hurt or even worse, open up an opportunity for a competitor. By the way, listeners are more aware of on-air changes than we think, so yes, they do hear that “extra spot.”

The earlier the better with marketing. If you are marketing for the book, starting early in the book is preferred. Many believe that it takes 60-90 days for changes to affect a rating book. By starting early, you allow the cumulative effect of your marketing to affect the book.

GM’s & Owners: Programmers need love too! Have a weekly meeting or lunch out of the station to catch up and allow your PD quality time for important matters. Tell a jock you heard a good break. Send a note after a jock does a nice job at a remote. Walk by the studio and give thumbs up.

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations. www.garyberk.com

Gary can be reached at (248) 737-3727 or [email protected].