By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jun 30, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Eric Von returns to WMCS-AM (1290) on July 19 to host the resurrected "Morning Magazine" from 7 to 10 a.m. weekdays.

He's had something of a boomerang relationship with the station targeting Milwaukee's African American community. Von ended a long run as host of "Morning Magazine" in 2002 to move to Phoenix, coming back to WMCS two years later to take the afternoon shift.

He resigned from the station in February 2009 amid budget cutting.

This return is tied to another change at the station, this January's firing of morning hosts Joel McNally and Cassandra Cassandra, which enraged many station listeners. The move was a cost-cutting effort at a time when the economic downturn had hit radio particularly hard.

"The community obviously reacted, and they reacted in a big way," said WMCS general manager Bill Hurwitz. "I got, literally, hundreds of e-mails, letters and phone calls."

One response to the reaction is to focus Von's "Morning Magazine" on four key issues: black-on-black crime, teen pregnancy, high school dropout rates and unemployment, "in addition the regular things we do."

Hurwitz said it made sense to return Von to WMCS' air.

"He is synonymous with 1290," he said.

In addition, the station lined up a couple big corporate sponsors, Northwestern Mutual and Johnson Controls, to make the show work. 

A new afternoon voice for WYMS: Also starting July 19 is Rachel Rose, the new afternoon drive-time host on WYMS-AM (88.9). She'll also be music director of the eclectic non-commercial station that dubs itself 88Nine RadioMilwaukee.

She comes from Boston's WERS-FM, where she spent nearly three years. She's also been assistant music director and mid-day host at WNTI-FM in Hackettstown, N.J.

She graduates from Boston's Emerson College in July.

A radio repository: An enthusiastic fan of 1980s Milwaukee radio has turned his Facebook page into a website featuring audio clips he's collected from various now-departed radio stations. Mark Pfeifer's site features 1982 clips from Bob Reitman on the old WKTI-FM. 

You, too, can be a "Mad Dog": Sports talker Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo is looking for a new sports talker in a Sirius XM satellite radio competition called "You Think You Can Talk Sports."

If you think you can, get a 5-minute audition CD together by July 30. Contest details are available at the Mad Dog Radio chanel's site. (Sirius Channel 123/XM Channel 144).

Five finalists will be picked in August to do live on-air auditions alongisde Russo on his afternoon show, "Mad Dog Unleashed.

Jon Stewart, Joe Biden and custard: Comedy Central's Jon Stewart took his whack Tuesday at the video of Vice President Joe Biden calling the manager of Kopp's a "smart-ass."

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Custardy Battle

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.