By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jun 13, 2011 at 11:00 AM

WTMJ-AM (620) tweaks its daily schedule starting July 1, dropping the one hour of the syndicated Clark Howard advice show that airs during the day, and expanding Jeff Wagner's daily show to three hours, leading up to 3 p.m. and John Mercure's show.

I know liberals are going to complain about another hour of conservative talk from Wagner, which follows the three and a half hours of Charlie Sykes' one-sided soapbox. And Howard's fans will lament that they'll now have to listen to that show from 11 p.m to 2 a.m.

But it actually makes sense – and it's a sign that the Arbitrons show that Wagner is a ratings draw. An hour of syndicated programming at 2 always seemed like it took away from the branding of WTMJ as a locally focused radio station.

General manager Steve Wexler says listeners are behind the change.

"The impetus is responding to listener feedback for more local discussion of news and current events," he told me in an email. "Clark Howard has been an integral part of the station, and while his show will be on later, his fans will now be able to hear all three hours."

The best news in all this is that WTMJ is dropping Michael Savage's syndicated show. Savage is among the worst of the right-wing talkers, playing an angry character whose ranting added nothing to the political debate.

Wexler explained the Savage axing this way, "There was simply no room for the Savage program as we increased our local programming."

Some listening (and viewing) alternatives: If you don't want to listen to Clark Howard's show at night, there is a podcast version of the show available in the iTunes store or at his website. A TV version of the show airs on HLN Saturdays and Sundays at 5 and 11 a.m., and 3 p.m.

And if you simply must listen to Michael Savage, he airs from 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays on Chicago's WIND-AM (560).

An end-of-the-year fundraiser: WUWM-FM (89.7) launched a fundraiser this morning to pick up $149,689 to end its fiscal year. Once the goal is reached, the drive ends.

You can call in your donation to (414) 227-3210 or donate on-line at the station's website.

On TV: Franklin's Nick Young, 19, is one of the 20 finalists on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance." His specialty is tap and he's been dancing since he was four. The finalists perform Wednesday at 7 on Channel 6. You can follow him on Twitter.

  • Vince Vitrano has taken to his blog to explain why he's not on Channel 4's morning news this week. He's on vacation. Believe me, I hear from viewers when somebody's gone for a day or two, so the explanation is helpful.
  • MTV has euthanized "Skins," the horribly executed U.S. ripoff of the BBC show about precocious teens behaving badly. The problem wasn't just the sexual content – it was the quality of the show that portrayed kids who didn't resemble any American teens I've ever met and its ratings declined as the show ran. Of course, there was also the flight of advertisers who didn't want anything to do with it.
  • Ice T tweets that he's signed a deal for two more years on NBC's "Law & Order: SVU": He writes: "EXCLUSIVE: I've just locked in my new SVU deal. So I'll officially be back for the next 2 years at least. DONE."
  • Alec Baldwin has launched his own website. Although it's not clear why, there has been talk that he may run for mayor of New York City. Really.

TV's breakout sitcom character: NBC's "Parks and Recreation" features one of the best characters in current TV sitcomedy, curmudgeonly libertarian Ron Swanson. 

Of course he's really Nick Offerman, and this interview – while 42 minutes long – may provide some insight into one of current TV's breakout characters:

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.