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Soaring to new heights

September 2, 2009
The Daily Mining Gazette

HANCOCK - Deve at Dawn is stepping back in the local spotlight beginning this Friday morning on the Rockin' Eagle.

"I'm looking forward to talking to the people again," Deve said of his show, which will air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 on 98.7 FM. "There's a lot of colorful people around here and that's what made my morning show fun before. You bring one topic up and someone takes it and runs with it. That's what we really want to do is bring the fun back into it."

Deve, whose real name is Derek Sever, is also general manager of Eagle Radio. On top of bringing back his morning show, Deve said they've added local news into the mix for the first time in Eagle Radio history.

Article Photos

Derek 'Deve ' Sever, general manager of Eagle Radio is seen in the studio at the Hancock station.

"Between WCUP, our country station, and WGLI, the Rockin' Eagle, we were always trying to be music intensive," he said. "Now, we still are very music intensive, but we're instilling things that the community wants in local radio and that's news, sports and fun."

News coverage is led by news director Mark Wilcox and airs weekdays at 7, 8, 9 a.m. and noon on both the Rockin Eagle 98.7 and Eagle Country 105.7. Wilcox brings more than 25 years of journalism experience to Eagle Radio. Twenty of those years, he said, were spent in radio. Prior to joining the staff in August, he worked at The Daily Mining Gazette for five years, serving as news editor for two years.

Wilcox said he is pleased to be working alongside such radio legends, like Deve, Dick Storm and Todd VanDyke, who, like himself, has decades of experience.

"This is by far the most experienced staff I have ever been associated with in any venture," he said. "You look at Dick Storm, who is a Michigan Broadcast Hall-of-Famer, Todd VanDyke, who has decades of experience, Deve, who's a local legend and I bring a quarter century into it. I'm really excited about this team."

Covering sports at 7:20 and 8:20 a.m., Deve said depending on the game, it could take anywhere from two to 15 minutes.

"If there's a great play in the Tigers game I'm going to talk about it," he said. "If there's a great save or a great fight in last night's Red Wings game, I'm going to talk about that, too. That's what gets people fired up."

Comedy club is also returning to the area.

"We're bringing in three of them this year. The first is in October," Deve said. "People love those. They're a lot of fun."

The youngest and newest member on staff at Eagle Radio is Mark Price, who hosts the afternoon show the Work Release program from 3 to 7. The Work Release program features contests and music, providing a nice close to the workday.

"He is just so excited to learn everything and do what it takes," Deve said. "It's so cool to have somebody with all of us veterans. We should nickname him Spongebob because he wants to absorb everything."

Deve credited his off-air staff as well, noting they too have years of experience in the business.

Office manager Deborah Hilscher has been around for more than 10 years, while Joyce Winsor, the office secretary, has more than 15 years of experience in radio.

Deve said their sales manager, Mac Marzke, is invaluable for his knowledge of local businesses. Same goes for salesperson John Preston.

"He's been in radio for almost 20 years," Deve said. "So to have all these guys all on one staff, it's incredible."

Public affairs director Dick Storm hosts the weekly Keep it in the U.P. program, which features community announcements. Anyone wanting an announcement on the air can e-mail their community event to Dick, who also hosts the County Oldies Show, said the team Deve put together at Eagle Radio is outstanding.

"You talk about experience and you talk about people who know the area. You talk about institutional knowledge. It's awesome," he said. "It's one of the best crews I've ever worked with."

Dick, who has spent 46 years in radio, primarily news broadcasting, said to have three on-air staff who have been news directors is invaluable.

"We know where it's at," he said. "Deve has put together an excellent team."

Originally from Lake Linden, Deve got started in radio when he was 19.

"I was working for Mac and Dick doing part-time sales and part-time broadcasting," he said.

From there, Deve's morning show held number one ratings for seven years in a row.

When asked what locals would remember from the Deve at Dawn show, he replied "There's a great line that people always said and we use it on our billboard, 'Did you hear what Deve said today?'"

"What people remember is that it was controversial and it would make people laugh," he said. "It was just a very local show. We drew upon the local funny people in the area."

Deve was instrumental in building Eagle Radio, taking the station to number one before he retired.

After a nearly 8-year stint doing facilitation work for the automotive industry, Deve returned to the area in June of 2008.

"We want to be the eyes and the ears of the local community and that's what I think is missing in a lot of local radio right now," he said. "If something happens, good or bad, we will be the radio station people call. That's where I want to take it."

Eagle Radio is owned by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and has the largest listenership in the area, covering Copper Harbor to parts of Marquette County.

Storm said he is grateful for the support the radio station receives from the KBIC.

"We want to thank the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community for putting support into this product and for willingly investing resources in our community," Storm said.

For more information, call WGLI-FM, 98.7, the Rockin' Eagle at 483-4901 or WCUP-FM, 105.7, Eagle Country at 353-9287.

Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Eagle Radio. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.



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