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WDET announces an enhanced program schedule and public service initiatives

Jan. 4 launch of "Support The Arts (STAR)" and WDET-TV Web site to raise visibility of Detroit arts and culture, harness Detroit-centric videos

December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009 (Detroit, Mich.) - Building on a successful yearlong community engagement strategy, WDET-FM (101.9) -- the Detroit public radio station owned and operated by Wayne State University -- today announced an enhanced programming lineup and two high-impact public service initiatives, Support The Arts (STAR) and WDET-TV, that give Detroiters more opportunities to connect with each other and the world.

The program schedule change goes into effect Dec. 26; WDET-TV and STAR launch officially on Jan. 4, 2010. According to J. Mikel Ellcessor, WDET's general manager, WDET's schedule change and the launch of these related initiatives dramatically improve the station's ability to have a positive effect on the region's quality of life. WDET-TV is a comprehensive, online Web destination for Detroit-tagged video. The STAR initiative provides on-air promotion and air time to small, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations at no charge.

Discussing the schedule changes as part of WDET's ongoing evolution, Ellcessor said, "Southeast Michigan news consumers are underserved. There are too few opportunities for curious adults to stay informed. These changes will make more relevant, high quality news and information available and create many more opportunities for people to engage in the Detroit conversation locally and nationally."

WDET's shift to a Detroit-centric public radio format began in 2008 when Ellcessor assumed leadership of the station. The 2009 addition of veteran public radio program director Ron Jones expanded and accelerated the station's public service agenda with substantive, issue-oriented programming that included town hall meetings on health care reform and the future of Detroit Public Schools with Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb; an online H1N1 flu portal featuring up-to-the-minute news and information; and two news-making broadcast series, Facing the Mortgage Crisis: Home is More Than Our House, and The Detroit Agenda, WDET's community-based reporting project on Detroit's local elections.

"This programming has revitalized WDET," Ellcessor said. "The result has been a higher level of local engagement, as demonstrated by the extraordinary response to the Moth StorySLAM, and substantial editorial collaborations with credible local and national media organizations."

Expanding on its strategy to bring underheard voices to the region's airwaves, WDET's enhanced program lineup features:

• A new midday talk lineup: Detroit Today, rebranded as The Craig Fahle Show, will air at 10 a.m. (re-aired at 7 p.m.) and Soundcheck, WNYC's daily talk show about music, will air on weekdays at 2 p.m. Encompassing all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe. The show also strives to give listeners the latest music industry news, trends and ideas

• A continuous Monday-Friday news and information format: WDET's weekday news and information schedule will be strengthened, filling a void in the marketplace, and Destination Jazz: The Ed Love Program will relocate to a weekend time slot.

• New contemporary music programs in the weekend lineup: Building on the success of Ann Delisi's Essential Music, new, locally produced contemporary music programs hosted by Jon Moshier, Rob Reinhart and Nick Austin will join current WDET music hosts Michael Julien, Jay Butler and Ed Love every weekend (click on the link below).



About WDET
WDET 101.9FM is Wayne State University's public radio station and Southeast Michigan's station for in-depth news, conversation and music. WDET serves more than 165,000 individuals every week and is one of Detroit's few remaining media outlets whose primary mission is to serve the region through locally focused news and cultural programming. In addition to award-winning local news coverage, WDET is the National Public Radio member station for metropolitan Detroit.

About Wayne State
Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information on research at Wayne State University, visit

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