Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Goodbye 2007, Goodbye Lucy Ann Lance

1. January 2008 • Chuck Warpehoski
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In an end-of-year surprise, the Ann Arbor News reports that Lucy Ann Lance has been fired by WAAM.

Lucy Ann was a very community-oriented broadcaster and had an impact wider than the small listenership of WAAM.

  1. No real surprise here. This has been coming since Lloyd Johnson sold the station four years ago to a big out-of-state company. If he cared about the legacy he had built at WAAM, he could have sold to a local broadcaster with a commitment to local programming, but the big boys offered more money and he took it.

    The timing is nice, though. Merry Christmas, Lucy Ann!

       —jvwalt    Jan. 1 '08 - 11:36PM    #
  2. So WAAM will now be a pipeline for syndicated programming, like all other commercial radio stations in the region.

    Meanwhile, Detroit TV stations can’t be bothered with Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti, the Ann Arbor News has gotten rid of most of its local reporters, and the Michigan Daily is out to lunch most of the time.

    So pretty much all we have left for local news is WUOM, WEMU, the small-town weeklies, the monthly Observer, and the blogs?

    For a town the size and sophistication of Ann Arbor, this is pathetic.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 2 '08 - 12:39AM    #
  3. I agree, Larry. And to add to our woes, local Community Television is moving to the 900 channels in the middle of January. Does anyone know if Lucy Ann still works at CTN?

       —Leah Gunn    Jan. 2 '08 - 02:58AM    #
  4. Since when does WUOM do local news? You’re left with WEMU and that’s it.

    15 years ago, there were three radio stations at most local government meetings (WEMU, WAAM, and WTKA) and, often, two newspapers (AA News and Ypsi Press). John Hinchey was usually representin’ the Observer too. Gotta be awfully lonely in the press room these days. I sure am glad that media consolidation has brought better quality content for consumers. Or so I’m told.

       —jvwalt    Jan. 2 '08 - 04:29AM    #
  5. I see a silver lining in this corporate take-over of the media; just like in the old Soviet Union, people new the media was crap so they payed no attention (I never watch corporate news anymore, I’m tired of the Viagra commercials!) The traditional media never should have had the power it did; hopefully, more of that power will pass to blogs (I think a lot already has.) I loved it when the Ann Arbor Snooze endorsed Bush in 2004, it was a wake-up call letting people know just how far out of touch the corporate media really is.

       —Chuck L.    Jan. 2 '08 - 08:58AM    #
  6. Arg! That should be “people knew the media…” not “people new the media…” It’s after 11:00pm, so of course I’ll notice the typo after I send… Anyway, here’s some advice to advance one’s career in the corporate media; parrot the line that, “lower wages equal higher living standards (since it’s always the lazy worker who is keeping us from having the good life!)” It works for Michigan, hell, after the housing market crashes due to all the high paying manufacturing jobs exiting the State, just think of all the money to be made flipping houses that have been repo’ed.

       —Chuck L.    Jan. 2 '08 - 09:21AM    #
  7. That’s a good point, ChuckL re: people knowing that media is corporate and looking elsewhere for news. Btw, another line that one should learn is “The unions are ruining everything by keeping wages too high.” And by “ruining everything”, one means that some corporate type made $1million less this year.
    Happy new year!

       —TeacherPatti    Jan. 2 '08 - 05:36PM    #
  8. Chuck L and TeacherPatti, I know you are trying to be sarcastic here but the sad thing that you clearly don’t realize is that both your statements are actually true. Also, while you say that the AA News was out of touch to endorse Bush in 04, who won? Out of touch with the AA city proper perhaps.

    Also, do you honestly believe we should get our news from blogs? Honestly? Blogs? Blogs are great. They are a new source of entertainment and a place to opine but I would never go to a blog for news.

       —imjustsayin    Jan. 2 '08 - 10:55PM    #
  9. The traditional media are dinosaurs in many ways, but local coverage is the most essential thing they provide. Blogs certainly can provide original reporting, but a lot of the best ones don’t. We need the reporting that, for the most part, only people in traditional media have the time, resources and job freedom to do. Then we can mercilessly snark on them and thus keep them from controlling the way stories are framed. But we need them to provide the stories in the first place.

       —ann arbor is overrated    Jan. 3 '08 - 01:16AM    #
  10. I like AAIO’s suggested model. I’ve gleaned significant info from the AAIO website, in fact. :)

    Now, I have to prepare for my union teaching job that, by providing a good wage for teachers, might have kept an extra grand or two out of our super’s pockets :) :)

       —TeacherPatti    Jan. 3 '08 - 01:22AM    #
  11. In case anyone is interested, I got this message from Lucy Anne as part of being at the Ann Arbor Chamber:

    As of Monday, December 31, 2007 I will no longer be employed at WAAM. Unfortunately, management is streamlining its operations and as a result there were massive layoffs issued on Friday with very few personnel left in the building.

    WAAM has been a good community steward offering local programming when many other outlets have gone the way of cookie-cutter, nationally-based programs.

    I love that station and its heritage in our community.
    It is my hope that one day it will once again be able to serve the Washtenaw region with the local content it desires and deserves.

    My career in broadcasting began at WAAM in 1984 when I served as assistant news director and news anchor for three years under the direction of my mentor and great friend, Ted Heusel. I was overjoyed to return in March of 2004 to host the morning show.

    Nearly four years later I am proud to have worked with a fine group of colleagues, including my morning show producer and operations manager, Drew Priebe. Some of our crowning accomplishments this past year included:

    * Weekly live, satellite interviews with the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and connecting them on the air with their loved ones, as well as hosting a Welcome Home celebration for the 1171st AMSC at the Ypsilanti National Guard.

    * More than doubling our collection goal for the Salvation Army Angel Tree Toy Drive

    * Receiving the Outstanding Media Award from the Michigan Crime Prevention Association

    * Helping raise funds for Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor through our “First Annual Ted Heusel Memorial Golf Outing” at Barton Hills Country Club

    * Hosting the biggest Michigan Tailgate Party each home football Saturday and giving away a thousand brats with tip money raised going to the Washtenaw United Way.

    Thanks so much for your friendship over the years. I look forward to working with you again in our community endeavors. My main goal right now is to find jobs for my 10 colleagues who were laid off as well.

    All the best,
    Lucy Ann

    Lucy Ann Lance
    Cell: 734.717.2182
    H: 2801 Yost Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

       —Nancy Shore    Jan. 3 '08 - 02:58AM    #
  12. City meetings would be a lot easier to cover if there were regularly produced transcripts and audio recordings of the meetings.

    I believe that if someone who qualified for assisted media for the meetings (per this:

    were to step up and ask for this, the folks who aren’t hearing impaired but who are childcare-impaired and meeting-attendance impaired could take advantage of their work.

       —Edward Vielmetti    Jan. 3 '08 - 08:28AM    #
  13. That’s a shame about Lucy Ann Lance. I’m more of an NPR guy myself, but my Dad has a big crush on her and will really miss hearing her on the air. I hope she’ll pop back up on the dial somewhere.

    Maybe a good opportunity for WUOM to spend some of those massive fund raising dollars in town and add some local flavor. Hint, hint….

       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jan. 3 '08 - 11:45PM    #
  14. And as long as I’m on the topic, I have a soft spot for Lucy Ann myself because she quite charmingly emceed a Mott volunteer thank-you banquet I happened to attend a few years back. Upon hearing that I had seen her in the flesh my Dad was all like “Did you see her up close? What did she look like? Was she as pretty as she sounds?”

       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jan. 3 '08 - 11:53PM    #
  15. Quietly, on December 18, 2007, the FCC overturned a 32-year-old ban and will now allow ownership of a radio station and a newspaper in the same market. Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now writes that the mergers that could occur because of this change “will result in newsroom layoffs and less, not more, coverage of local issues.” This may or may not be related to WAAM’s recent downsizing but I just wanted to bring it up.

    Also apparently related, is WAAM’s planned move from Ann Arbor to Oak Park.WAAM’s Wikipedia entry indicates that WAAM has filed an application for the move and is waiting for the FCC’s approval.

    I’m now trying to type the characters to pass AU’s new spam prevention security and I’m not sure if the fourth character is a zero or the 15th letter in the alphabet. I will find out in a few seconds, I suppose. Update: Tip to users – when faced with an ambiguous character, hit “Preview”, and you will receive a different set.

       —Michael Schils    Jan. 4 '08 - 07:27PM    #
  16. “Tip to users – when faced with an ambiguous character, hit “Preview”, and you will receive a different set.”

    Yeah, it'll give you four tries. After that, email us at and we can probably help.
       —Bruce Fields    Jan. 4 '08 - 08:14PM    #

  17. Nothing personal about Lucy Lance, but did anyone really listen to WAAM anymore? I have stuck with WWJ, WJR, and WTKA for the last twenty years, and never heard on WAAM that made me want to switch.

       —Fred Zimmerman    Jan. 4 '08 - 08:40PM    #
  18. I was shocked to hear the news. Drew Priebe and Lucy Ann are wonderful people who care about about their jobs past the money. Lets face it, radio isnt alwasy the best pay. Drew Priebe started there as a News Anchor and worked his way up to be a wonder Operations Manager within 3 years. Without his management and knowledge of radio, WAAM will continue to go down hill. Drew and Lucy cared about providing the best quality local radio in Ann Arbor. I heard this dissapointing news from Family and Friends that were very dissapointed. News travels fast I guess. I wish Drew and Lucy Ann the best and hope they move forward into even better more, promising and fullfilling careers. Ann Arbor will bring you back! I’m very sorry & Good luck!

       —CMU Waam Fan    Jan. 5 '08 - 11:18PM    #
  19. I was sorry to hear bout Lucy Ann. I am not surprised either since this is the business of radio and has been for many years. I worked at WAAM three different times over the years. I worked with many great people there, but also some real morons (those reading this will know who they are). The business is thankless and cruel which is the main reason I left the profession. I enjoyed WAAM especially when it ran the music on the weekends and the old time programs, such as “When Radio Was.” It will always have a special place for me. We covered local news back then (10-12 years ago) and I’m afraid all that is forever gone.


       —timscoffee    Jan. 7 '08 - 09:46AM    #
  20. It makes me more disappointed every time I think about it. Are the national heads going to advertise the Food Gatherers’ project and Rockin for the Hungry? When a local kid makes some kind of academic splash (spelling bee, poetry slam) is the station going to bring them on to talk about it? I can’t start to talk about how much she did for us after our fatal car crash in ’98. Good luck with your next gig Lucy Ann.

       —mfedel    Jan. 9 '08 - 03:47AM    #
  21. So very sad to learn about the demise of the Lucy Ann Lance in the morning show. Lucy Ann fostered a deep sense of community, and represented Ann Arbor very well. Lucy Ann and Drew will be greatly missed. Best wishes to you both!

    Sadly for management, they have lost yet another listener.

       —Deborah Collingridge    Jan. 14 '08 - 06:42PM    #
  22. I miss Lucy Ann Lance, but not that producer. Drew was annoying on the air. I hope WAAM brings Lucy Ann back soon.

       —scruds    Feb. 2 '08 - 08:19PM    #