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Ann Thomas Named Program Director of WJR, Mike Wheeler Promoted to OM

This move makes Thomas the first female Program Director in the station’s 101-year history.

Ryan Hedrick

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A photo of Ann Thomas with the WJR logo
(Photo: Cumulus Media)

Ann Thomas has been promoted to Program Director for WJR 760AM, the legendary Detroit News/Talk station owned by Cumulus Media. This move makes Thomas the first female Program Director in the station’s 101-year history. Thomas previously served as Assistant Program Director and Executive Producer for WJR. 

Thomas has spent her entire 40-year broadcasting career at WJR, starting as an intern in 1982 and eventually becoming a WJR News Reporter and Anchor. She has won several Breaking News and Auto Negotiations awards from Associated Press, United Press International, and Detroit Press Club.

“I am deeply honored to be promoted to WJR Program Director,” Thomas said. “WJR is THE Great Voice of the Great Lakes, and I am looking forward to serving our audience in any way I can.”

In 1999, Thomas was named Executive Producer of The Paul W. Smith Show and received multiple “Best Morning Show” awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, including in 2022 and 2023.

Thomas has also hosted several WJR shows, including The Healthy Woman Show, Opportunity Detroit, The WJR Gardening Show, and Women Who Lead.

Thomas has been inducted into the Michigan Business Women’s Hall of Fame. She was also the 2014 recipient of the Michigan Business and Professional Association’s Women and Leadership in the Workplace Award. She has received the prestigious “Diamond” award from the Association for Women in Communications. Thomas has helped WJR raise millions for various local charitable organizations. 

Additionally, Mike Wheeler, former WJR Program Director, has been promoted to Operations Manager for Cumulus Detroit/Ann Arbor.

In this newly created position, he will manage operations for Cumulus Media’s four Detroit stations and four Ann Arbor stations. Wheeler, who is from Detroit, has over 20 years of experience in regional roles with Clear Channel Communications/iHeart Media in Toledo, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Hartford. 

Steve Finateri, Regional Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Detroit/Ann Arbor, said: “Ann Thomas is the heart and soul of WJR and has been deserving of this move for a long time. Her fingerprints are already all over this heritage, award-winning radio station, but we are all excited to see what the future holds with Ann in the driver’s seat!” 

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News Radio

Civic Media Admits Earl Ingram Interview with President Biden Was Edited At White House’s Request

“Civic Media unequivocally stands by Earl Ingram and his team.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the Civic Media logo

After the controversy surrounding WURD hosts admitting they were fed questions by the team for President Biden, Civic Media in Milwaukee has admitted a recent interview with the commander-in-chief and Earl Ingram was edited.

The Milwaukee radio host interviewed President Biden on Wednesday, July 3rd before airing it on his morning show the following day.

However, on Monday morning, the company was notified that after the interview, someone affiliated with the Biden campaign asked for edits to the interview, which Ingrahm and his producers enacted.

“Immediately after the phone interview was recorded, the Biden campaign called and asked for two edits to the recording before it aired. Civic Media management immediately undertook an investigation and determined that the production team at the time viewed the edits as non-substantive and broadcast and published the interview with two short segments removed,” the station said in a statement.

The station says that the portions that were edited out of the published interview included Biden’s statement that he has “more Blacks in my administration than any other president, all other presidents combined,” and another that referenced former President Donald Trump called for the hanging of the Central Park Five in the last 1980s.

“With a high-profile interview comes a listener expectation that journalistic interview standards will be applied, even for non-news programming.  We did not meet those expectations. Civic Media disagrees with the team’s judgments in the moment, both with respect to the handling of the interview questions and the decision to edit the interview audio,” the statement from the company continued.

“Civic Media unequivocally stands by Earl Ingram and his team. Earl is an invaluable voice for Milwaukee and Wisconsin, and remains a crucial member of the Civic Media organization. The decision to make the requested edits to the interview was made in good faith. While we disagree with the decision, we stand by our team. This has been a learning experience and we will do better moving forward.”

The admission that the interview was edited comes on the heels of Earl Ingram admitting to ABC News that he — like WURD host Andrea Lawful-Sanders — accepted questions from the Biden White House in exchange for the interview.

After the controversies were uncovered, the Biden campaign and White House has claimed it will no longer suggest questions to potential interviewers.

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The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, Sean Hannity, Jesse Kelly All to Host On-Location for Republican National Convention

Additionally, The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show will broadcast from 1130 WISN on Friday, July 19th after the Republican National Convention has concluded.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Clay Travis, Buck Sexton, Sean Hannity, and Jesse Kelly
(Photo: Premiere Networks)

With the Republican National Convention taking place in Milwaukee next week, it is sure to be the center of the political world. That’s why shows like The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, The Sean Hannity Show, and The Jesse Kelly Show will be in the Wisconsin city for the event.

The Premiere Networks programs hosted by Travis and Sexton, as well as Kelly, will originate from the convention center in Milwaukee, while both Hannity’s radio show and Fox News program will also be hosted live from the Wisconsin city.

Additionally, The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show will broadcast from 1130 WISN on Friday, July 19th after the Republican National Convention has concluded.

While The Glenn Beck Program will not be hosted from Milwaukee during the convention, the program will still offer extensive coverage. Blaze Media correspondent Chris Bedford will be on location to offer insight and analysis for the show.

Nationally syndicated weekend host Ben Ferguson will also be at the convention and will be collecting coverage for his radio show, The Ben Ferguson Podcast, and the series he hosts alongside Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Verdict.

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620 WTMJ Names Michael Spaulding New Director of Content

Spaulding has worked at the outlet since 2016.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Michael Spaulding and the 620 WTMJ logo
(Photo: Good Karma Brands)

620 WTMJ has elevated Michael Spaulding to serve as its new Director of Content for the Good Karma Brands Milwaukee news/talk station.

Spaulding has worked at the outlet since 2016. Since originally joining as a news anchor/reporter, he has ascended to roles of assignment editor, managing editor, and Assistant Program Director before being named as the Director of Content.

Previous stops in his career include WJBC in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois, and also WSOY in Decatur before taking the job in Milwaukee.

Michael Spaulding takes the reins of the news/talk outlet as the station solidifies itself after launching several new shows and creating a new pairing in its midday timeslot earlier this year.

Additionally, Spaulding becomes the leader of 620 WTMJ as Milwaukee is set to be the center of the political world as host of the 2024 Republican National Convention next week. At the convention, former President Donald Trump is slated to be officially recognized as the party’s nominee for the Oval Office. He is also expected to name who his Vice Presidential running mate will be in the Wisconsin city.

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