By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jul 01, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Summerfest is a perfect combination of music and music fans for some radio stations.

For classic rocker WKLH-FM (96.5), it's a chance to connect the audience for some of the big classic rock acts -- artists like Eric Clapton and Tom Petty -- with a station that plays their music.

And from 3 to 7 p.m., it's a chance to broadcast live -- generally alternating Downstairs Dan and Marilynn Mee from the Summerfest grounds. Mee is scheduled to be there Thursday afternoon.

Program director Bob Bellini says that even morning hosts Dave Luczak and Carole Caine have been on the grounds doing a couple special 5 to 7 p.m. shows, bringing special guests and big crowds for the top-rated morning team.

"It's a chance for people to see 'KLH , believe it or not, with eyes and meet the personalities. And it's a chance for us to meet our listeners.

As Summerfest has shifted its marketing to a slightly older audience, it's increased WKLH's fit with the event. 

But younger music fans are also a big part of the crowd.

Bill Hurwitz is general manager of WLUM-FM (102.1), which broadcasts 2 to midnight daily from the Summerfest grounds.

"With our focus on listeners 21-34, we sponsor the alternative station. For us, we can't get a better return on investment. The median age of Summerfest is basically  our audience," he says.

In addition to the live broadcast, there's WLUM's sponsorship of the alternative music venue, the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage with Leinenkugel’s and FM 102.1.

With an older target audience, sister station WLDB-FM (93.3) -- known to listeners as B-93 -- has a presence at the grounds, but doesn't broadcast from Summerfest.

"Summerfest, to me, is a signature of Milwaukee," says Hurwitz, who's also a member of the Summerfest board. "We're local radio stations, we want to be at a local event."

Even a new radio station, like Saga's WZBK-FM (106.9), which markets itself as "Big Buck Country," takes advantage of Summerfest. Its first live on-air voice, Cindy Huber, started doing the noon to 6 p.m. shift this week.

To introduce Huber to her new listeners, she's spending evenings this week at the WZBK's Summerfest tent.

On TV: The CW Network is the first of the broadcast networks to announce fall premiere dates. The season starts Sept. 8 with "America's Next Top Model" and the new "Hellcats." "Vampire Diaries and "Nikita" starts Sept. 9. Sept. 13 is season premiere date for "90210 and "Gossip Girl." "One Tree Hill" and "Life Unexpected" return Sept. 14" and "Smallville" and "Supernatural" are back Sept. 24.

  • Starz has canceled "Party Down," a quirky little comedy that had something of a cult following. Jane Lynch was a cast member pre-"Glee."
  • The sci-fi site is floating the story that Johnny Depp may star in a big-screen "Dr. Who."
  • Deadline Hollywood says Joy Behar is talking to CNN about taking over Larry King's job. As for Larry, he wants Ryan Seacrest to replace him when he retires this fall.

Speaking of Larry King: The CNN talker's announcement this week that he's leaving the nightly show brings back memories of some of the moments in the past couple years where he seemed a little unsure of what was going on around him, such as this uncomfortable visit with Jerry Seinfeld:

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.