New leadership propels WDET into national arena with fresh talk-show, music programming that gives Detroiters a "voice" to tell their story

February 9, 2009


Wayne State-owned public radio station actively fulfills university's urban, community engagement mission

February 9, 2009 (Detroit, MI) - WDET-FM, the Detroit public radio station owned and operated by Wayne State University, today announced that it will institute a new programming line-up intended to deepen local service by better reflecting the ideas, musical tastes and attitudes that characterize the city and its people. The new format, which goes into effect on February 23, 2009, adds three hours of live, interactive programming to WDET's weekday schedule and creative, Detroit-centric music shows on the weekend.

"As everyone in the region feels every day, Detroit has a set of unique, complicated and urgent needs," said J. Mikel Ellcessor, the station's new General Manager. "WDET's schedule now more accurately addresses those needs and mirrors the city's tone, style and approach. This schedule change will put WDET much more in step with Detroit in 2009. The new national programs will allow Detroit's residents to feed their thoughts and experiences back up into the programming and give the city a new voice in the national dialogue. Given Detroit's resilience and experience, the world will benefit from hearing what our listeners have to say."

Monday through Friday, "Morning Edition" will run from 5 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. immediately followed by "The Takeaway" from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m., a newly added, live, morning news and analysis program co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC Radio in collaboration with the BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Boston. "The Takeaway," which airs in 27 markets from coast-to-coast, invites listeners to become a part of the American conversation on-air and on-line at

"Detroit Today," previously heard each day from 10:00 a.m. - 12 Noon, will move back in the daily schedule to make way for "On Point", from 10:00- 11:00 a.m., and the WDET favorite "Tell Me More," moves to 11:00 a.m. - 12 Noon, from its former 1:00 p.m. time slot. "On Point" is a fast-paced, timely and interactive take on the day's top stories. Hosted by award-winning journalist Tom Ashbrook, the show's inclusive approach will welcome Detroit listeners into a national conversation. "Tell Me More" will get a second daily play from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. The remainder of the weekday schedule includes many popular WDET programs: "Fresh Air," "Detroit Today," NPR's "All Things Considered," "Marketplace," "The Ed Love Program," "The Evolution of Jazz," and BBC News from midnight to 5:00 a.m.

On the weekend, the most noteworthy schedule change is the addition of "Ann Delisi's Essential Music." Delisi, a graduate of Wayne State University and a former employee of WDET, has been an influential part of Detroit media for over 20 years.

"Ann's new show will be a fun, contemporary and thoroughly hand-picked approach to music that moves Detroit," said Ellcessor. "Ann will guide us through the essential music, both new and familiar, that's shaping our culture and will feature music Made in Detroit every hour." "Ann Delisi's Essential Music" will air Saturday and Sunday, 12 Noon - 4 p.m.

According to Ellcessor, "WDET will best serve the community with programming and community engagement activities that emphasize the ideas behind the events. The station's editorial and outreach activities will focus on Detroit's Next Economy and our generation-spanning ties to the auto industry. We will welcome our listeners into conversation on health care and the health of our city, education, the environment, the arts and many other powerful, pressing issues facing one of the country's most important cities.

"WDET is poised to occupy a needed, valuable space where we facilitate and stimulate informed conversation about ideas with the goal of providing our listeners with a deeper understanding of the world and greater connection to their community," said Ellcessor. "We will continue to test our assumptions about how we tell a story and find new ways to include a more diverse cross section of Detroit voices, sources and opinions in our programming. Ultimately, the audience will tell us we are successful when they say, ‘WDET talks to me about where I live.'"

Wayne State University is a premier institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 31,000 students.



  • Contact: Francine Wunder
    Phone: 313-577-8155
  • Contact: J. Mikel
    Phone: (313) 577-4146