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Detroit’s WJR Sees Revamp On-Air Lineup Ahead of 100th Year

Following the retirement of WJR’s News Director, Dick Haefner, last December, the February death of Rush Limbaugh and the retirement of Frank Beckmann in March have resulted in these upcoming changes. 

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WJR in Detroit is revamping its on-air lineup as the radio station prepares to celebrate its 100th year. 

Following the retirement of WJR’s News Director, Dick Haefner, last December, the February death of Rush Limbaugh and the retirement of Frank Beckmann in March have resulted in these upcoming changes. 

Since then, WJR has made a series of moves as the station announced several changes heading into 2022, including:

  • Ann Thomas has been promoted from Senior Executive Producer to Assistant Program Director of WJR. 
  • Paul W. Smith is joined by co-host Sean Baligian, who has spent most of his career in Detroit sports, including a pre-and post-game host of WJR’s Detroit Lions coverage. 
  • Frank Beckmann’s former late morning shift sees a rebrand as “All Talk with Tom Jordan and Kevin Dietz.”
  • Laura Hessen moves from the “Guy Gordon Show” to operate as Executive Producer of “All Talk with Tom Jordan and Kevin Dietz.”
  • In June, Westwood One’s Dan Bongino was added to the WJR lineup, replacing the late Rush Limbaugh.
  • Nick Roddy, a former Detroit Lions Broadcast Producer, takes the reins as Executive Producer of the 3 PM-5 PM “Guy Gordon Show.”
  • Blake Majchrzak joins WJR as Studio & Audio Engineer for the “Mitch Albom Show.” Albom, NY Times Best Selling Author, philanthropist, and newspaper columnist, also celebrated his 25th year with WJR – making his show the longest-running afternoon show in Detroit – from 5 PM-7 PM.
  • FOX News Radio has been added as the WJR network news provider. WJR news reporter/anchor Marie Osborne, WJR producer Chris Renwick, and former WJR news reporter Lloyd Jackson have signed on as the first WJR Senior News Analysts. 
  • Ken Rogulski joins Dayna Clark to provide in-house coverage of WJR’s Traffic and Weather First.
  • WJR also announces significant upgrades on weekends by adding legendary Detroit Morning Show Host Jim Harper with his Great Michigan Weekend Show.

“We are extremely proud of this team, their credentials, their integrity, and their ability to represent WJR and Cumulus in the tradition expected by all Michiganders,” VP/Market Manager Steve Finateri said. 

“The new talent we’ve added around our longtime superstars Paul W. Smith, Guy Gordon, and Mitch Albom makes WJR one of the most powerful and trusted media outlets among all peers. Individually they each are ‘A’ players with big brands, and as a collective group of broadcasters, we feel we have the absolute strongest lineup in Michigan radio, maybe anywhere in the country.”

News Radio

WYPR, The Baltimore Banner Enter Joint Operating Agreement

As part of this new collaboration, the two parties state they will work together on stories and special reports and create collaborative programming

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The city of Baltimore will see two nonprofit organizations form a partnership to share resources, grow their reach, and deliver local news across the region. Your Public Radio Corp. news/talk WYPR (88.1) is entering a joint agreement with The Baltimore Banner. 

As part of this new collaboration, the two parties state they will work together on stories and special reports and create collaborative programming to serve the needs of residents in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.

“We are looking forward to the possibilities of this unique model of nonprofit news as we work to preserve and strengthen local journalism here in greater Baltimore,” LaFontaine Oliver, President of Your Public Radio and GM of WYPR, said in a release, per Inside Radio

“This partnership between Your Public Radio and The Baltimore Banner is an important step to bolster our local newsrooms in Maryland – with trusted, community reporting at the core of the agreement between the two organizations.”

The partnership opens the door to expanding the capacity and reach of each organization’s newsroom and boosts the capability to cover more community matters. Furthermore, WYPR will use its audio expertise to produce a series of joint podcasts and radio programs.

“Our goal is to strengthen Baltimore’s local reporting, growing our coverage statewide,” Imtiaz Patel, CEO of The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism, noted. 

“This partnership is a force multiplier for both organizations to expand our coverage and bring the very best local news to the region and state.”

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The Bumper Song for Rush Limbaugh Will Be Retired

Clay Travis and Buck Sexton told their audience Thursday that the rights to Rush’s iconic bumper music “My City was Gone” are set to expire.

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It’s official. The final piece of Rush Limbaugh on syndicated radio will be retired soon. Clay Travis and Buck Sexton told their audience Thursday that the rights to Rush’s iconic bumper music “My City was Gone” are set to expire. 

Limbaugh popularized the song performed by The Pretenders using it as a bumper song which then became synonymous with his overall brand. 

“For decades, Rush’s theme song has reminded everyone about their truth and clarity are on the way,” Travis said. “It’s an iconic song forever that’s going to be attached to Rush Limbaugh and everything that he represented.”

With the one-year anniversary of the “Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” approaching, the duo spent time reflecting on the show’s inception and the indelible mark that Limbaugh left on millions of Americans.  

“And for us, this is really like retiring the jersey in sports,” said Sexton. “Because Rush’s theme song is forever attached to his memory, everything he built, and we deeply honor that, his legacy. And that song is a part of his legacy, of course.” 

Clay & Buck’s new theme song is “My Own Worst Enemy.”

“These guys moved to Tennessee from California because they were so frustrated with the direction that California politics had gone (laughing), and they are going to be longtime listeners of this show,” Travis said.  

“They loved Rush. And when we had this conversation with them, Buck, I mean you should have seen their faces and how excited they were to be able to bring their music to this audience and connect their brand and their spirit with the spirit and brand of the greatest radio show audience that has ever existed in American history,” he added. 

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News Radio

WOLB’s Larry Young Recovering After Having His Leg Amputated

WOLB’s Larry Young has been off the air since April 10.

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A popular Baltimore radio host is recovering after having his leg amputated due to an allergy triggered by his Type 2 diabetes. According to the Baltimore Sun, WOLB’s Larry Young has been off the air since April 10.

“I knew I had a problem,” Young told the paper. “I didn’t know it was as severe as it was. When I got to the hospital, the doctors gave me two options: amputation or death. That is a terrible thing to hear.”

Young has been hosting the morning show on the Urban One-owned station for nearly three decades. He reportedly is planning to retire at the end of the year. 

“Larry is a wonderful person, and we all miss him terribly,” said WOLB GM Howard Mazer. “I’m sure all of our listeners are looking forward to his return.”

Young is no stranger to health scares. 18 years ago, he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart episode. Young said at the time, doctors gave him less than a 1% chance of surviving. 

“The word ‘no’ is not in Larry’s vocabulary,” Mazer said. “He will go out of his way to help someone, no matter what.

Former mayor Catherine Pugh will fill-in during Young’s absence. 

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