1998 Michigan Broadcasting News Highlights

January:

  • WJZZ-AM 1210 Frankenmuth - granted a modification of its construction permit to change tower location.
  • WILV-TV 41 Battle Creek - application granted for assignment of license from Horizon Broadcasting Corp to DP Media License of Battle Creek.
  • WBYW-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids - application granted for assignment of license and construction permit from Grand Rapids Public Broadcasting Corp. to Cornerstone Baptist Educational Ministries.
  • WAVC-FM 93.9 Mio - application granted for transfer of control from Todd A. Mohr to Del & Mary Reynolds.
  • Construction permit granted to Fairfield Broadcasting to build AM station at 1660 AM in Kalamazoo. Station applied for by WQSN-AM 1470 Kalamazoo.
  • Applications granted for transfer of license for the following stations: WDEO-AM 1290 Saline, and WTKA-AM 1050, WIQB-FM 102.9, and WQKL-FM 107.1 all of Ann Arbor from Arbor Radio to Cumulus Licensing Corp.

February:

  • WDEE-FM 97.3 Reed City is granted its license.
  • Application granted for a transfer of control for WAAH-FM 102.3 Houghton from Houghton Radio Group to Tu-Mar Broadcasting.

March:

  • Application granted for assignment of license for WFXD-FM 103.3 Marquette from Vista Point to Mid Pen Broadcasting.
  • Application granted for assignment of license for WXMI-TV 17 Grand Rapids, W42CB-LP TV42 Hesperia, and W58CU-LP TV58 Big Rapids from TV 17 Unlimited to Tribune New York Radio.
  • Application granted for transfer of control for WXMI-TV 17 Grand Rapids, W42CB-LP TV42 Hesperia, and W58CU-LP TV58 Big Rapids from Dudley Communications Corp to Emmis Broadcasting Corp.
  • Application granted for assignment of license for WKQS-FM 101.9 Negaunee from Todd Staurt Noordyk to Great Lakes Radio.
  • Construction permit granted to Goodrich Radio Marketing for new station at 1680 AM. Currently WMHG-AM is broadcasting on 1600 AM.
  • Application granted for transfer of control for WQBH-AM 1400 Detroit from The Order of the Fisherman Ministry to Martha Jean Steinberg.
  • Application granted for assignment of license for WEWM-FM 94.1 Pentwater from C & S Broadcasting to Quest Communications.
  • Application granted for assignment of licenses for WKYO-AM 1360 and WIDL-FM 92.1 Caro from Jackson Communications to Edwards Communications.

April:

  • Applications granted for voluntary transfer of control to Bloomington Broadcasting Acquisition Corp. for the following stations: WBBL-AM 1340 Grand Rapids, WKLQ-FM 94.5 Holland, and WLAV-FM 96.9 Grand Rapids.
  • Construction permit granted to Northern Radio of Michigan for new station at 100.7 FM in Honor.
  • Applications granted for transfer of licenses of the following stations to Calibre Communications: WIDG-AM 940 St. Ignace, WCBY-AM 1240 Cheboygan, WGFN-FM 98.1 Glen Arbor, WMKC-FM 102.9 St. Ignace, WCKC-FM 107.1 Cadillac, WLJZ-FM 94.5 Mackinaw City, WGFM-FM 105.1 Cheboygan, WAVC-FM 93.9 Mio, and WJZJ-FM 95.5 Glen Arbor.
  • Applications granted for transfer of control of the following stations to Quaestus Management Corp: WTKA-AM 1050 Ann Arbor, WDEO-AM 1290 Saline, WQKL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor, WIQB-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor, and WTWR-FM 98.3 Monroe.
  • Applications granted for transfer of control of the following stations to Radio One Inc: WCHB-AM 1200 Taylor, WJZZ-AM 1210 Frankenmuth, and WCHB-FM 105.9 Detroit.
  • Construction permit granted to Lakes Radio Inc. for new station at 105.5 FM in Gladstone.

May:

  • Applications granted for transfer of licenses of WKMI-AM 1360 Kalamazoo, WRKR-FM 107.7 Portage, and WKFR-FM 103.3 Battle Creek from Crystal Radio Group to Cumulus Licensing Corp.
  • Applicaton granted for transfer of license of WYBR-FM 102.3 Big Rapids from KMF Communications to Mentor Partners.
  • Applicaton granted for transfer of license of WION-AM 1430 Ionia from Rhoden Enterprises to Agricultural Resource Group.
  • Construction permit granted to Superior Communications for new station at 89.3 FM in Bear Creek Township.
  • Construction permit granted to Northland Community Broadcasters for new station at 89.7 FM in Harrisville.
  • Applicaton granted for transfer of license of WTWR-FM 98.3 Monroe from Lesnick Communications to Cumulus Licensing Corp.
  • Application granted for transfer of license of WWMT-TV Channel 3 Kalamazoo from WWMT-TV License to Freedom Broadcasting of Michigan.
  • WGRI-FM 88.9 Flint is granted its license (150 watts).
  • WJZZ-AM 1210 Kingsley is granted its license (10,000 watts daytime / 2,500 watts critical hours). Station also has a construction permit to increase daytime power to 50,000 watts.
  • Construction permit granted to Frankenmuth Radio company for new station at 93.7 FM in Frankenmuth.
  • WCUP-FM 105.7 L'Anse is granted its license (51,000 watts).

June:

  • WJZZ-AM 1210 Kingsley, WCHB-AM 1200, and WCHB-FM 105.9 - Applications granted for assignment of licenses / construction permits from Bell Broadcasting to Radio One of Detroit.
  • The Oakland Press reports that WCAR-AM 1090 will be "purchased by a group of Catholic business and professional people, and will begin broadcasting all-Catholic programming all day this fall". WCAR is already carrying some of the same religious programming heard on WDEO-AM Saline.
  • WHGR-AM 1290 & WUPS-FM 98.5 Houghton Lake - Application granted for voluntary transfer of control from Melling Tool Company to John M. Salov.
  • WJKN-AM 1510 Jackson - Application granted for transfer of license from Jackson Radio Partners to Northlands Communications.
  • WDFN-AM 1130, WYUR-AM 1310, WMXD-FM 92.3, WKQI-FM 95.5, WJLB-FM 97.9, WNIC-FM 100.3, & WWWW-FM 106.7: Applications granted for transfer of licenses to Chancellor Media Radio Licenses.

July:

  • WCAR-AM 1090 Livonia - Application granted for transfer of control from Children's Radio of Detroit to Children's Broadcasting Corporation.
  • WQXC-AM 980 Otsego - Application granted for transfer of license from Forum Communications to Vintage Radio Enterprises.
  • Granite sells WWMT-TV 3 Kalamazoo - Freedom Broadcasting completes acquisition.
  • Radio One takes over WCHB-FM/AM Detroit from Bell broadcasting for $40 million.
  • Application for a construction permit for a new station at 99.5 FM in Naguanee is granted to MWC Inc. Station is to be 1,850 watts.
  • WCAR-AM 1090 Livonia - Application granted for assignment of license from WCAR-AM NC to 1090 Investments.
  • Application for a construction permit for a new station at 88.3 FM in White Star is granted to Superior Communications. Station is to be 30,000 watts.
  • WLAJ-TV 53 Lansing - Application granted for assignment of license from Lansing 53 Inc. to WLAJ License Inc.

August:

  • Fox Kids affiliation in Detroit switches to WADL-TV 38 from WKBD-TV 50 on September 1st.
  • WNIC-FM leads July 12+ Arbitrend for Detroit, taking #1 for the first time
  • The closing of the sale of WLAJ-TV 53 Lansing to Freedom Communications from Granite Broadcasting was announced yesterday. This completes the deal between the two companies that moved both WLAJ and WWMT-TV 3 Kalamazoo from Granite to Freedom.
  • WCRZ-FM 107.9 & WFNT-AM 1470 Flint, WWBN-FM 101.5 Tuscola - Application granted for voluntary transfer of licenses from Faircom Flint to Regent Licensee of Flint.
  • WYBR-FM 102.3 Big Rapids - Application granted for voluntary transfer of control from Thomas R. Dilley to Jeffrey Scarpelli.
  • The CTRC (Canadian regulatory agency) has approved plans for Detroit's 4 major network affilated TV stations to broadcast digital TV. WXYZ-TV 7 and WJBK-TV 2 plan to broadcast a digital signal starting in November.
  • WMUS FM & AM 106.9/1090 Muskegon - Application granted for voluntary transfer of license from Greater Muskegon Broadcasting to Connoisseur Communications of Muskegon.
  • WAGN-AM 1340 & WHYB-FM 103.7 Menominee - Application granted for voluntary assignment of license from Good Neighbor Broadcasting to Badger Communications.
  • WCHB-AM 1200 Detroit has goes silent in order to upgrade its signal. The station is scheduled to return to the air in November with 50,000 watts daytime / 15,000 watts at night and a new talk-gospel format.

September:

  • WQSN-AM 1470 Kalamazoo starts simulcasting on the AM extended band at 1660.
  • WGRI-FM 88.9 Flint- Voluntary assignment of license from Nationwide Inspirational Broadcast to Gospel Radio International.
  • The FCC has approved the voluntary assignment of licenses from Calibre Communications to Northern Star Broadcasting for the following stations: WIDG-AM 940 & WMKC-FM 102.9 St. Ignace, WCBY-AM 1240 & WGFM-FM 105.1 Cheboygan, WCKC-FM 107.1 Cadillac, WLJZ-FM 94.5 Mackinaw City, WAVC-FM 93.9 Mio, WGFN-FM 98.1 & WJZJ-FM 95.5 Glen Arbor.
  • WCMB-FM 95.7 Oscoda- New station is granted its license.
  • WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw - Liggett Broadcasting has filed an application with the FCC to acquire this station from Mid-America Broadcasting.
  • Veteran WJR-AM on-air personality and commercial producer Mike Deja passes away at age 46. Deja had worked for 19 years at WJR.
  • WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit on Monday unveiled a harder rock format termed "Extreme Radio". The format was created by the station's new program director Mike Stern during his stint in Las Vegas. The station has dropped all classic rock from its playlist in favor of artists like Metallica, Against the Machine, and Nine Inch Nails. The Howard Stern program will continue to occupy the morning drive slot

October:

  • WJKN-AM 1510 Jackson to swaps format from Full Service to All News.
  • WWBR-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens will be sold by Allur-Detroit to Radio One. Radio One currently owns WDTJ-FM 105.9 and WCHB-AM 1200 in the Detroit area.
  • WBUM-FM 104.3 Baraga was granted its license as a new station.
  • WXYZ-TV to debut HDTV in Detroit on November 1st with airing of '101 Dalmations'
  • WVIC-FM 92.7 Charlotte is heard on the air again with a Classical format
  • WLHT-FM 95.7 Grand Rapids wins the NAB's 1998 Marconi Award for AC Station of the Year
  • The license of WTCF-FM 100.5 Carrollton (Saginaw) has voluntarily been transferred from Mid-America Broadcasting to Liggett Broadcast.
  • The licenses of WKNW-AM 1400 & WYSS-FM 99.5 Sault Ste. Marie have voluntarily been transferred from Algoma Broadcasting to Marathon Media of Michigan.
  • The licenses of WMIQ-AM 1450 & WIMK-FM 93.1 Iron Mountain, WUPK-FM 94.1 Marquette, and WZNL-FM 94.3 Norway have voluntarily been transferred from Zephyr Broadcasting to Marathon Media of Michigan.
  • The license of WIHC-FM 97.9 Newberry has voluntarily been transferred from Cambrian Broadcasting to Marathon Media of Michigan.
  • WBUM-FM 104.3 Baraga is on the air with religious programming, most of it coming from VCY America.
  • WNIC-FM 100.3 Detroit is new #1 station in Detroit according to new quarterly ratings report
  • WBHD-AM 1680 Ada (Grand Rapids) has started broadcasting with a format of Urban/Rap
  • Citadel Communications agrees to acquire 6 Michigan radio stations (WKQZ-FM Midland, WMJK-FM Pinconning, WIOG-FM Bay City, WMJA-FM Saginaw, WSGW-AM Saginaw, and WGER-FM Saginaw) for $35 Million from 62nd Street Communications
  • The FCC has approves the request of WMJZ-FM Gaylord to move up the dial from 95.3 FM to 101.5 FM.
  • Both WXYZ-TV Channel 7 and WJBK-TV Channel 2 Detroit are now providing digital service. Channel 7 says they started at 4:32pm on 9/29/98, Channel 2 says they started on 10/1/98.
  • Construction permit granted to Interlochen Center for the Arts for a new station at 91.5 FM in Traverse City, power 4,400 watts. This station will replace the translator for WIAA-FM 88.7 (Interlochen Public Radio) currently at 100.7 FM in Traverse City. The 100.7 FM frequency will be used by WIAR-FM, which currently has a construction permit for a new station in Honor.
  • WIXC-FM 97.3 Essexville: Application granted for voluntary assignment of license from WIXC Limited Partnership to The MacDonald Broadcasting Co.

November:

  • WKQL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor has been slowing modifying its playlist to include soft rock hits from the 70's, 80's, and 90's. The station's web site now refers to their music mix as Adult Contemporary Gold instead of pure oldies.
  • WBKP-TV 5 Calumet- License granted for new station (station has been operating under a construction permit).
  • As a result of bankuptcy, ownership of WKBZ-FM/AM in the Muskegon area has been awarded to Grand Valley State University. GVSU orginally sold the stations to WLC Broadcasting- who declared bankruptcy before paying off the debt on the stations. WLC has moved the news/talk format of WKBZ-AM to WQWQ-AM and GVSU has begun simulcasting the signals of WGVU-FM/AM on the WKBZ pair- Muskegon Chronicle
  • Voluntary assignment of licenses from MacDonald Broadcasting to MacDonald Garber Broadcasting for these stations: WKHQ-FM 105.9 & WMKT-AM 1270 Charlevoix, WLXT-FM 96.3 & WMBN-AM 1340 Petoskey, WLXV-FM 96.7 & WATT-AM 1240 Cadillac.
  • WOLY-AM 1500 Battle Creek: The FCC notified this station via a letter on November 10th that their licensed has been cancelled. The station has applied for reinstatement of their license.
  • WIAN-AM 1240 & WJPD-FM 92.3 Ishpeming, WDMJ-AM 1320 Marquette, and WNGE-FM 99.5 Negaunee: Voluntary transfer of licenses (construction permit for WNGE-FM) are approved from Goetz Communications to Marathon Media Midwest.
  • WCVM-FM 94.7 Bronson: New station is granted its license.
  • WDIV-TV 4 Detroit started live RealVideo webcasts of its Noon newscasts on October 30th.
  • WCLS-FM 100.7 Oscoda- Application granted for voluntary transfer of control from Spectrum Communications to Ives Broadcasting.
  • WJBK-TV Detroit reports that rock legend Ted Nugent's last day at WWBR-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens will be November 25th.

December:

  • Voluntary transfer of licenses from 62nd Street Broadcasting to Citadel is approved for the following stations: WSGW-AM 790, WMJA-FM 104.5, and WGER-FM 106.3 Saginaw; WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland; WMJK-FM 100.9 Pinconning; WIOG-FM 102.5 Bay City.
  • WGDN-AM 1350 Gladwin switched format to satellite fed Southern Gospel
  • WAIR-FM 92.5 Atlanta has dropped its Gold format in favor of simulcasting the country format of WBYB-FM 94.3 Leland. New call sign is WBYC.
  • Goodrich Radio to sell West Michigan stations WSNX-FM 104.5, WODJ-FM 107.3, WXBV-AM 1140, and WJNZ-AM 1680 according to a report on WOOD-AM Grand Rapids. Potential buyer- Clear Channel Communications
  • Ernie Harwell signs a contract with the Detroit Tigers to return to the radio broadcast booth for 1999-2000
  • The FCC approved the voluntary assignment of the licenses of these West Michigan stations from Patterson to Capstar TX Limited Partnership: WNWZ-AM 1410, WGRD-FM 97.9, and WLHT-FM 95.7 Grand Rapids; WBCK-AM 930, WRCC-AM 1400, and WBXX-FM 95.3 Battle Creek; WTRV-FM 100.5 Walker; and WWKN-FM 104.9 Marshall.
  • WCHB-AM 1200 is hoping to be back on the air in early January with 50,000 watts of daytime power as Spirit 1200, a talk-gospel music format.
  • WTLZ-FM 107.1 Saginaw- Application granted for voluntary transfer of license from WTL Inc. to Connoisseur Communications of Saginaw.
  • Look for WKBZ-FM/AM Muskegon to get new call signs in January: WGVS-FM/AM. WQWQ-AM will probably then pick up the WKBZ call sign
  • WOAP-AM 1080 Owosso is being sold from Connoisseur Communications to William J. Janego.

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