End of Year Recap 2007-2008
We began the 2007/2008 School year by celebrating the station’s 35th Anniversary, and closed the year with a concert that will be remembered by our staff members for many years to come. Though those were two of the big events of the year there were many other things that will be remembered as we continued the commitment of serving the community and providing students with broadcast training.
The station celebrated its 35th Anniversary on February 14, but the commemoration of this major event continued throughout the year. The 35th Anniversary culminated on November 10, 2007 with a WSDP Reunion at Fox Hills Golf and Country Club. Nearly 80 alums, family and friends came back to Plymouth and Canton for this special celebration, including former Station Managers Bonny Dore and Andy Melin along with longtime Staff Advisor John Seidelman. The reunion committee planned a wonderful evening complete with dinner, a silent auction and chance for alumni to share their favorite memories of the station. Speakers included Bonny Dore, Rob Milford, Barbara Chlopan, Andy Melin, Jim Heller, Todd Chatman, Patty Williamson, Greg Angel and Erin Bodine. John Seidelman served as the Master of Ceremonies for the festivities. Earlier that afternoon the station was open for tours and alumni interviews. Jeff Robinson (Salem ’83) set up a recording station where current Program Director Erin Bodine interviewed interested alums. The comments everyone shared reminded us how important WSDP has been in the lives of so many people.
One of the other big highlights of the year was the Tally Hall concert. This was the brainstorm of Jake Burnstein and his dad Jim. We had learned that this talented Ann Arbor based band had just signed to Atlantic Records and we thought this would be an amazing time to have them perform a fundraising concert for the station. Jim knew one of the band members from the film class he taught at the University of Michigan and Jake had been singing their praises since his freshman year. Jim put us in touch with the band and their management and we began looking for dates that would work. We settled on Saturday April 19. We also wouldn’t have been able to do this show without the support of Paul Bird, the Salem Auditorium Manager. The auditorium had just been the site of the Park Players production of Jekyl and Hyde. Special thanks goes to Paul and the Park Players for breaking down the set and having the auditorium ready for a show within a week. Photos by Mark Jewett
We crunched numbers and found that we would have to sell about 400 tickets to cover the costs of the band and sound production. Jake had enlisted the help of his partners in crime Sam Rector and Colin Lazorka and they were convinced that we could sell at least 400 and make some additional money for the station.
Sales began slowly and a week or two before the show we were worried that we wouldn’t reach our 400 minimum. I was nervous that our fundraiser would become a fund drainer. Jake and Sam had other things in mind as they gave the staff a kick in the pants and challenged them to reach this goal. The day before the show we were very close to our goal and through ticket sales at the door we sold about 520 tickets.
The concert featured Tally Hall with special guests the Republic Tigers and local favorites Amelia. We were especially excited because the Republic Tigers would be performing on the David Letterman show the next month and Tally Hall would be featured on the Lollapalooza concert in Chicago. These were two bands on the rise.
Amelia opened the show with a blistering set that impressed everyone in attendance. WSDP’s own Colin Lazorka led the band. The Republic Tigers made quite a few new fans with their performance but Tally Hall was definitely the star of the show. As they walked on stage the crowd came to their feet and they had the audience in the palm of their hands for the rest of the show. One of the highlights was their encore performance of Free Bird.
The bands were awesome, and very appreciative of everything we did. Our secret weapon for hospitality was Diana Woodward and the Rock Café. They put together a wonderful spread for the bands and made sure that we were able to meet their needs. Thanks also to Sam Rector’s parents for coordinating our refreshment sales and for the donation of all of our refreshments.
The concert was a major success and we’re already thinking about future shows we could hold at Salem High School, including the possibility of a return visit for Tally Hall.
We also sponsored two other concerts. We teamed up with the Canton Youth Advisory Council for a Thanksgiving Eve Concert at the Summit on the Park. The November 21, concert featured four local favorites including Monument Monument, Forever in a Day, the Dry Leaf Project and Brion Riborn. Thanks to each of the artists for their willingness to donate their performance. We had about 150 kids come out for the show and the music was excellent. We teamed with Signature Audio on this concert, as well as the Tally Hall Show.
We also sponsored a holiday jazz concert in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of our show Lemonade. The concert featured the Keith Vreeland Trio and was held at the Trinity House Theatre on Thursday December 6. Lemonade host Betty Smith was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening and Betty and her friends provided a delicious array of refreshments. We had a small crowd but everyone left enjoying the great music that Keith and the trio provided. This concert was an important way to pay tribute to Betty Smith and her dedication to WSDP. She has consistently put together an excellent radio show that provides a true service to the community, especially local seniors. Ten years have flown by very fast but we hope she’ll be a part of our staff for many years to come.
This winter we encountered a major problem with our antenna system. We thought the antenna was icing over and that we would have to wait out a warming spell. As the problem continued we had a tower company come out to inspect the antenna. They found problems with the coax that connects the antenna to the transmitter. $3,700 later we had replaced the coax and we’re still having problems with our signal. While replacing the coax they found some additional problems with the antenna and suggested replacing the antenna. One of our engineers, Rick Grzebik investigated various options and we ordered a new two bay antenna from Shively Labs. Rick also found a tower specialist that was willing to donate his time to put the antenna up. Brian Windom came down from the Houghton Lake area on April 19 and spent the day with Rick and Mike Dault, an Engineer with Clear Channel. The antenna was in place but we were still having problems getting to full power. We had to have the original tower company return to make some corrections on the coax. Rick also replaced the cable that connects the coax to the transmitter and we were back to full power.
We couldn’t keep this station running strong without the generous support of our engineers. Steve Martin has been serving the station since the late 1980’s and his knowledge of engineering and broadcasting is unmatched. We also have benefited from the friendship of Rick Grzebik. We met Rick through a couple of our graduates that worked with him at ABC Radio in Detroit. Rick now works for Munn-Reese Consultants in Coldwater. Both of these gentlemen have given very generously of their time to make WSDP a better place. This past year has been especially busy as we dismantled our studio, set up a temporary studio at Canton High School and rebuilt the studio.
We’ve also put a major effort into fundraising this year. It has been our goal to move WSDP to greater financial self-sufficiency this year. The board of education wants us to find alternative funding sources to cover 20% or more of the budget by the 2009/2010 school year.
Some of the fundraisers haven’t been well received. We probably won’t sell Entertainment Books again. But others have been fun and successful at adding to our bottom line. The Guest Grillers night at BD’s Mongolian Grill was a great night out for our staff. We had a number of alums, staff members and media celebrities step in as guest grillers and all the griller tips went to the radio station. We raised about $500 and enjoyed a delicious night of food. Thanks to Jody Gross, Colin Lazorka, Denny Kapp, Pam Rossi, and Jeff Robinson for helping with the grilling.
We also enjoyed wrapping gifts at Borders in Canton for the Holidays. We picked a couple nights just before Christmas so the store was very busy. We were able to put out a tip jar and many of the people we wrapped gifts for were very generous. It was also exciting to get more visibility in the community. We were able to raise about $250.
We also presented our first on-air pledge drive. This was modeled on pledge drives done by other public broadcasters. We decided to start small and held our pledge drive from December 5-7, 2008. We received about $1,000 in pledges, not bad for a first attempt.
Our largest fundraiser each year is the WSDP Radio Auction. This year’s auction was Saturday May 10, 2008 and it was the 20th auction on WSDP. The downturn of the economy made this year’s auction even more challenging. We are always amazed by the generosity of local businesses and they still came through with great donations. We combined our on-air auction with a special silent auction among the high school staff. The silent auction is done via e-mail and many of the staff members donate items. The silent auction helped us raise a couple hundred dollars more this year. But our overall auction totals were lower. Due to the down economy and a smaller staff we raised about $9,000 which was significantly lower than 2007’s $14,000. We couldn’t do this auction without the hard work and dedication of our parent and student volunteers. Thanks to each of them for contacting businesses and helping to arrange for donations.
WSDP has also benefited from the support of our two assistant managers. Lew Perrotta joined our staff in the fall of 2003. We benefited from his expertise in marketing and promotions. The last couple years he’s been taking classes at Eastern Michigan to complete his teaching certificate. He took time off from the station in January 2008 to student teach. John Bommarito began working with us in March to cover the Assistant Manager’s position. John is a very talented on-air host for Ann Arbor’s 107.1FM and WHFR 89.3FM. We’re looking forward to the great things John continues to bring to the station in this new role.
This past year our listeners have enjoyed the musical expertise of our special program hosts. Colin Lazorka has been a regular part of our programming schedule with his blues show Stormy Monday, which airs Monday’s from 6 to 8pm. Radio in Technicolour has also been on the WSDP schedule for the past two years. The show combines the best music from our playlist along with some comedy written by Timothy Thompson. His co-hosts were Sean Trombley and Alex Lamb. Friday mornings received a special wake up from Jake Burnstein, Sam Rector, and Colin “The Cougar” Lazorka. Their show, Extra Pulp, brought PCEP listeners the hour to get them through six. Erin Bodine and John Bonello wrapped up the afternoon with teen and pre-teen favorites on Peanut Butter Jamz, featuring two hours of Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Ally and AJ and many others.
In February we added a few shows. We’ve been looking for someone to take on a local show and Ashley Forystek and Ariel Rojo stepped up with Loco for Local on Monday night’s from 8-10pm. Sarah Mendonca and Matt Majzlik focused on the harder rock sounds on Tuesday nights from 8-10pm on Insanity.
We wrapped up the year with the WSDP Banquet on Wed. May 21, at Fox Hills Golf and Country Club. The student award winners are listed below. We were also fortunate to have Daniel Anstandig as our guest speaker. Daniel is the President of New Media for McVay Media and Billboard Magazine named him one of the top 5 innovators in media. He is also a two-time member of the Top 30 Under 30 in Radio. At age 24 he has an amazing understanding of the broadcast industry and it was a real privilege that the students had a chance to hear from him. He shared about the significance of their opportunities at WSDP, the need to network with people for future career opportunities, and the importance of simple acts of gratitude.
Though this covers much of what we did this past year it only scratches at the surface of WSDP’s accomplishments. Our graduating seniors (Erin Bodine, Alyssa Dickey, Ashley Forystek, Katie Hagen, Colin Lazorka, Matt Mazlik, Sarah Mendonca and Sean Trombley) have left big shoes to fill.
John Seidelman Scholarship – Erin Bodine (Salem)
Jeffrey L. Cardinal Scholarship – Sarah Mendonca (Canton)
|Most Improved DJ||Derek Harbison (Plymouth)|
|Best DJ||Colin Lazorka (Salem)|
|Best DJ||Sean Trombley (Plymouth)|
|Best News||Timothy Thompson (Salem)|
|Best Sports||Alyssa Dickey (Canton)|
|Best Production||Matt Majzlik (Canton)|
|Best Newcomer||Maggie DePentu (Canton)|
|Most Valuable Person||Timothy Thompson (Salem)|
|Music||Matt Majzlik (Canton)|
|News||Allison Korte (Plymouth)|
|Mary Hourani (Salem)|
|Rodney Harris (Canton)|
Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation Awards
First Place/Aircheck – Colin Lazorka (Salem Senior)
Second Place/Promotional Announcement – Colin Lazorka (Salem Senior)
First Place/Station Activities Report – Erin Bodine (Salem Senior)
Honorable Mention/Talk Show – Timothy Thompson (Salem Junior)
Michigan Association of Educational Broadcasters Awards
Timothy Thompson (Salem Junior) Gold, Production
Timothy Thompson, Silver, Talk Show
Timothy Thompson, Bronze, Interview
Erin Bodine (Salem Senior), Silver, Production
Erin Bodine, Bronze, Interview
Colin Lazorka (Salem Senior), Silver, Production
Colin Lazorka, Bronze, Aircheck
Sarah Mendonca (Canton Senior), Silver, Production
Ashley Forystek (Salem Senior), Bronze, Production
Ariel Rojo (Salem Junior), Bronze, Production
Daniel Riley (Plymouth Senior), Bronze, Newscast
John Drury High School Radio Awards
Timothy Thompson, First Place, Best Public Affairs Program
Timothy Thompson, Second Place, Best PSA
John Dalton (Salem, Junior), Third Place, Best Public Affairs Program
Colin Lazorka, Third Place, Best Promo
Sarah Mendonca, Finalist, Best Public Affairs Program
Program – Erin Bodine (Salem)
Music – Sarah Mendonca (Canton)
Asst. Music – Matt Majzlik (Canton)
Asst. Music – Maggie Depentu (Canton)
News – Timothy Thompson (Salem)
Sports – Alyssa Dickey (Canton)
Promotions – Ashley Forystek (Salem)
Promotions – Katie Hagen (Plymouth)
Production – Colin Lazorka (Salem)