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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.”

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WSIU Airing Korean War Documentary for Memorial Day

The documentary will air on Sunday, May 29 at 2 pm and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 9 pm.

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It’s Memorial Day weekend, and WSIU is marking the occasion with a documentary centered around the Korean War. The radio station announced that “Shrapnel Down: My Korean War Story” will be broadcast on the WSIU stations.

The documentary will air on Sunday, May 29 at 2 pm and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 9 pm. The film plans to feature never-before-seen war footage caught by Iowa native and veteran Bill Rector during his tour of duty during the Korean War. 

“There are so many impactful stories WSIU proudly shares, and those of our brave U.S. veterans certainly deserve special attention,” film producer/director Mark St. George said. 

“In Shrapnel Down, I hope viewers will discover a personal story that lurks behind the great veil of war; of the humanity that was ever-present beyond the shots fired. Shrapnel Down is a documentary about war – true – but told through the camera lens of one extraordinary sailor who shares his story, documenting his experiences of war, friendship, and loss.”

Rector used an 8mm camera to document his war experiences, capturing this never-before-seen footage. In addition, the film contains an in-depth interview with Rector where he recounts vital moments such as the battles during the Blockade of Wonsan, the most prolonged battle in modern naval history, and the Court of Neptune ritual.

“The film is a time capsule that we are opening with viewers for the very first time,” St. George said. “The documentary features original, 8mm war footage that has, until now, been locked away. Shrapnel Down breaks the seal on this time capsule, and we’re happy to share it with viewers.”

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Salem Media Group Inks Julie Hartman to a Deal

Hartman will work with the company’s Podcast and Radio Networks and the Salem News Channel.

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Salem Media Group is signing newly graduated Harvard University student Julie Hartman to a deal. As part of this agreement, she will work with the company’s Podcast and Radio Networks and the Salem News Channel.

“I am honored that Salem Radio Network has entrusted me with this responsibility,” Hartman said, per Radio Ink. “Finding Dennis Prager’s work and getting to know him has illuminated my life’s vocation. 

“Because of him, I’ve been able to collaborate with many other remarkably talented people at Salem. My generation needs courageous, independent, truth-telling voices. My goal is to be among the best of them.”

Hartman appeared as a frequent guest on “The Dennis Prager Radio Show,” illustrating how college students are brainwashed with liberal ideologies in colleges across the country, including Harvard. 

During her time as a guest, she caught the eye of and hired her as a substitute host on the show, later doing a weekly podcast called “Dennis and Julie.”

“Julie represents a new generation of young media professionals, and we are adding some to the Salem platform, proving that even at Harvard you can come out a conservative if you keep your wits about you,” Phil Boyce, SVP of Spoken Word, said. 

“Her story is compelling and even riveting and will probably be a book and a movie someday.”

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NPR Gets $1M Grant to Help Diversify Its Content, Employees

NPR expresses the million-dollar funding will make it possible for the public radio station to continue that work, including the Reflect America and Code Switch Fellowships.

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NPR is receiving a $1-million grant that will assist in the radio station’s efforts to focus on the diversity of content and employees. Furthermore, the company wants to appeal to a diverse audience, which is at the root of improving this aspect.

“This generous gift will help support the four main categories of our DEI work: audience, content, staffing, and workplace diversity,” NPR’s Chief Diversity Officer Keith Woods in the announcement, said, per Inside Radio.

“At NPR, diversity is not a program or initiative. It is an inextricable part of our mission to serve the American public.”

The network has grown to focus on DEI – or diversity, equity, and inclusion. NPR expresses the million-dollar funding will make it possible for the public radio station to continue that work, including the Reflect America and Code Switch Fellowships.

NPR has mainly concentrated on diversifying its audience, including collaborative initiatives conducted with Member Stations. 

The company wants to put a more significant effort into having the audience hear and see themselves and their communities in NPR reporting. Furthermore, the station also intends to display a greater diversity of life experiences and perspectives in its shows.

“I’m extremely proud to support NPR in bringing even greater intention to ensuring a culture that both represents and serves all,” said Foundation Vice Chair Mollie Hale Carter in the announcement. “As a mission-driven organization, inclusion provides the foundation for a strong and healthy future.”

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