Don Phillips and Nicole Salem
By Bob Burnham
Don and in a different situations, Nicole were at one time regulars on the radio who made me laugh. They are both at least for the moment, “out” of radio. That’s about all they have in common and they are already missed.
Salem did traffic on the Deminski and Doyle show on 97.1 which saw its demise (at least for now) at the end of 2007.
Phillips was a long-time (over 20 years) overnight fixture at WOMC, 104.3. These were both CBS stations, but that really makes no difference.
Don had some health issues he was trying to resolve, but was let go by the station in this month (April 2007). Don graduated from Specs Howard in the 1970s and was lucky enough to be hired by the late Paul Christy at WCAR-FM, who gave him his first big break.
Salem arrived at WKRK as an intern, but soon landed in “the other building” as traffic girl for her paid gig. Obviously, she graduated from Specs much more recently.
I cannot fault anyone in the decision process which ended their respective tenures. As they say, “these things happen.”
Salem recently called in to Gregg Henson’s internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio basically to say “hi.” She had an incredible upbeat attitude. Henson knew her as an intern and made references about how her career had blossomed since then.
“I guess I just grew up!” she said, and spoke fondly of the years she spent working with Deminski and Doyle. “It was the best job I ever had,” she said.
No one who made daily appearances on Jeff and Bill’s show (AKA “D and D”) could ever escape becoming an on-air “regular” that listeners would get to know. Nicole was no exception. Though frequently the target of their jokes, she was an active participant in many of their most memorable on-air antics. Like the rest of the “cast”, on the show Salem developed her own fans as well. D & D made her a part of the show, but her persona was completely her own. She is unique, talented and will go as far as she wants, what ever her next chapter will be. You can be sure she will kick some serious butt!
I have a different feeling toward Don Phillips. He and I go back many years as far back as the disco era as a personal friend.
Growing up in Garden City, Michigan, Don and I were involved in a short-lived broadcast program at the Livonia YMCA as well as other projects.
Don and I would later work together at Southfield’s WSHJ-FM working under Bob Sneddon, who gave Don the Program Director position. I was basically an overnight jock there, who by day, worked at AM radio stations.
Don’s paying gig was spinning disco tunes at “The Connection” in Flatrock. I filled in for him a few times, but he was the best at what he did there, too.
Sneddon (at WSHJ) hooked Don up with a gig at the original WDRQ, and me doing middays at WBRB-AM, but we still worked on projects. Don was always the “talent” and I was always the “engineer.” My job was to make him sound good, but I never had to work very hard.
I always say I’ve been lucky because I have worked with the best in the business, and Don Phillips is certainly among them.
The reason all of us do radio is because it is so much fun! But the part that makes it fun is the people. Good radio cannot exist without good people.
During career burps, the best people ALWAYS land on top. While Salem and Phillips are two completely unrelated people from wildly different walks of life and generations, they are both at the top of their game in what they do.
And to think they both spent time at Specs Howard…. What’s up with that!?
Best wishes Nicole Salem and Don Phillips! You both rock.
And speaking or ROCK, Nicole is currently in the WRIF Rock Girl 2008 competition. If you read this in time, check out her video and give her your vote!
To hear “Gregg and Victor” check out:
Or his blog at