There's one less liberal radio station in southeastern Michigan since Ann Arbor's Cumulus -owned WLBY-AM (1290 ) has dumped its affiliation with Air America and flipped formats to "business talk and news."
Local liberal talk host Lou Perry will keep his 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday talk/call-in show on WLBY. He managed to escape the ax because he has solid advertiser support (Suburban Collection, Big Boy) and a base of listeners.
Perry is marking his 45th year in broadcasting, and he bills his Sunday show on WLBY as the "only" live progressive talk show in southeastern Michigan. Peter Werbe would have a bone to pick with that claim, since Werbe is in his 38th year of hosting "Nightcall," the live call-in/talk show that airs from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. on Detroit rock station WRIF-FM (101.1) . And certainly Mitch Albom may be the lone progressive at WJR-AM (760 ), but he's there.
So what's it like to be one of the few live progressive shows in southeastern Michigan?
You get your choice of liberal guests, Perry says. He's had Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton , Sen. Barack Obama , Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. Debbie Stabenow on the show, and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is a regular.
Perry, 62, has worked at WABC in New York and WJR in Detroit, but his day jobs have included a stint as executive vice president of the Sandy Corp. and he is currently a management consultant.
"If I'd stayed in radio full time all those years, I'd probably be making $10,000 a year," he says.
Where's Arthur P?
Speaking of money, Arthur Penhallow has been off the WRIF-FM (101.1) airwaves since his contract expired in February.
Greater Media general manager John Gallagher says he'll probably talk to Penhallow today or tomorrow to see what the basso-voiced vet wants to do. "Arthur needed some time, he wanted to travel," Gallagher said.
Radio is suffering hard times, but Penhallow is a marquee name, so it will be interesting to see if he accepts the station's offer or if Detroit will lose another veteran air personality.
Sink some basketballs, crack a safe and win big
It's not every day that a bizarre/wonderful radio stunt comes to our attention, and if your skill set includes safe-cracking and sinking basketballs, this could pay off. Sports station The Ticket, WXYT-FM (97.1) is hosting two March Madness-inspired Crack the Safe events from 5-7 p.m. Saturday and 6-8 p.m. March 28 at the Fusion Health & Fitness Club in the Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk mall in Novi.
The Ticket hosts Terry Foster (of The Detroit News) and Bill McAllister will emcee the festivities. On both nights, participants will be asked to sink a specified number of free throws, which then wins them the chance to figure out a four-digit code that will crack a Plexiglas safe. Hey, if it was easy, everybody would win.
The grand prize is $97,100. There are other prizes, including gift certificates for restaurants at Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk, including Bar Louie, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters and Lucky's.