April 1999 News and Notes

April 1:

* The stunting on WMJA-FM 104.5 Saginaw / WMJK-FM 100.9 Pinconning? The stations remain classic rock with a new positioner- 'Wheels 104.5 and 101' to go with new call signs, WILZ for 104.5 and WYLZ for 100.9.

* The winners of the 1998 Associated Press Michigan Broadcast Contest for news have been announced. Capturing the General Excellence awards were: WKBD-TV 50 Detroit, WZZM-TV 13 Grand Rapids, and WLAJ-TV 53 Lansing for television. For non-commercial radio, the winner was: WUOM/WFUM/WVGR (Michigan Radio) based in Ann Arbor. For commercial radio, the winners were: WJR-AM 760 Detroit, WSGW-AM 790 Saginaw, and WHMI-FM 93.5 Howell- Detroit Free Press

* Kalamazoo's WQLR-FM 106.5 has dropped the 'Q-Lite' positioner in favor of 'Q106.5' while adding a few more current up-tempo songs.

* WOOD-TV Channel 8 Grand Rapids has begun its 50th anniversary celebrations with the airing of the first of four specials about the history and future of TV 8. August 15th is the actual anniversary date for the station and will also be the day that digital programming begins

April 2:

* New to the WILZ-FM 104.5 Saginaw/WYLZ-FM 100.9 Pinconning combo is the Bob and Tom Show mornings.

April 3:

* New station manager at WYCE-FM 88.1 Grand Rapids is Michael Packer, effective April 5th- Grand Rapids Press

* Two stations in the UP with construction permits have plans for formats and sign-on dates: WWHK-FM 106.3 Stephenson is to be Hot Country on or about June 21st; WOBE-FM 100.7 Crystal Falls is to be 70's and 80's hits on or about Labor Day- Radio/DX Information from Wisconsin

April 4:

* In a shocking move, The Edge at 105.1 (WXDG-FM) in Detroit has dumped Alternative Rock in favor of Urban Oldies/Classic Soul. 105.1 was the former home of WQRS-FM, Detroit's Classical Music station for over 25 years, before that format was dumped for the Alternative format. In its approximately 18 months, the Edge never achieved the ratings levels of WQRS.

* WZTU-FM 100.1 Bear Lake, silent since March 1998, has returned to the air as '100.1 The Storm', a Modern Adult Contemporary (Adult Alternative)

April 5:

* A bit more fallout from the format switch at WXDG-FM 105.1: The entire on-air staff has been let go. Remaining with the station is Program Director Amy Doyle- All Access

* Jeff Jennings, ex of WOMC, has returned to the airwaves for the 3-7pm afternoon drive slot at Kiss-FM (WWBR) 102.7 Mt. Clemens.

* On April 1st, WTKA-AM 1050 Ann Arbor dropped the syndicated Damon Perry show mornings in favor of local programming. The new morning show features Ann Arbor News sports columnist Rich Thomaselli.

April 6:

* Today's Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, and Oakland Press are all reporting that WYUR-AM 1310 Dearborn will take a Classical Music format from 7pm - 5am beginning Saturday 4/10. The overnight hosts of 'Classic Music Dusk 'til Dawn' will include Dick Wallace weeknights, Dave Wagner hosting a Sunday Evening Pops Concert, and Pat McElroy on Saturday. Dick Wallace and Dave Wagner are both popular former WQRS personalities.

* WPLT-FM 96.3 Detroit has added live web broadcasting

* WIBM-AM 1450 Jackson has dropped its Soft Adult Contemporary format in favor of Sports Talk.

* The report of the return of WZTU-FM 100.1 Bear Lake to the airwaves fulltime was a bit premature. Apparently, they signed on temporarily in order to prevent their license from being cancelled. Reports this week are that the station has fallen silent once again.

* New News Director at WXYZ-TV Channel 7 effective April 26th will be Detroit native David Roberts- Detroit Free Press

* FCC Action: License to cover granted to WGKI Channel 33 Cadillac for an increase in power to 776 kW from 219. HAAT was decreased to 297 meters from 311.

April 8:

* Confirmation from DXmidAMerica that WGKL-FM 105.5 Gladstone is indeed on the air with a satellite-fed Oldies format. During AM drive the station is simulcasting WCHT-AM 600 Escanaba.

April 9:

* Three sets of Arbitrend reports today for Dec-Feb from All Access:

  • CHR WSNX-FM 104.5 remains at #1 in the Grand Rapids market, followed by Country WBCT-FM 93.7. WLAV-FM 96.9 has fallen to third place in the latest report. WOOD-FM 105.7 has again taken the lead in the Adult Contemporary battle with WLHT-FM 95.7. Falling on hard times is Classic Country WMUZ 101.3; the station has slid behind Classical WFGR-FM 98.7.
  • Tri-Cities Country station WKCQ-FM 98.1 continues at #1, followed WSGW-AM 790. Oldies WHNN-FM 96.1 has slid from second to fourth, while Hot AC WIOG has moved up to 3rd place overall.
  • In Lansing, Classic Rock WMMQ-FM 94.9 has taken the #1 spot away from longtime market leader Country WITL-FM 100.7. Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM 99.1 finished third, remaining .1 behind WITL.

* More on the WIBM 1450 Jackson format change to Sports from Bruce Golden, President/G.M.: The station is an affiliate of 1 On 1 Sports and carries play-by-play for the following teams: Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Lions, Michigan State Football, and Michigan State Basketball.

April 13:

* At WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit, program director Doug Gondek has moved out of that role and placed on special assignments. Ken Beck takes over operations of WXYT as well as keeping the same post at WWJ-AM 950- Detroit Free Press

April 14:

* The new call sign for 102.7 FM Mt. Clemens Detroit will be WDMK, 'Detroit Michigan's Kiss-FM'. What happened to the plan to go with WKSK-FM? Negotiations with the North Carolina company that owns the call sign on AM broke down when the NC company wanted to reserve the right to take back the WKSK-FM sign, should they decide to use it themselves on FM- Radio Digest Detroit

* The contract for Don Imus' show on WXYT expires shortly; the Detroit Free Press and Radio Digest Detroit speculate a new, local show may replace the I-man soon.

* FCC Actions: Dismissed the application of WBKP-TV Calumet for digital facilities on channel 39 in Marquette County; Approved the voluntary assignment of licenses for WGVS-FM 95.3 Muskegon & WGVS AM 850 Whitehall from KBZ Broadcasting to Grand Valley State University; Approved the use of WGVS-FM 95.3 as a satellite station of WGVU-FM 88.5 Allendale; WWWW-FM 106.7 Detroit: Granted license to cover for auxiliary antenna (ERP: 19,000 watts, HATT: 135 meters), Granted construction permit to change HAAT of main antenna from 155 meters to 163 meters, Granted construction permit for installation of auxiliary antenna system.

April 15:

* From All Access: Jack Lawson of WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland has been promoted to Operations Manager for WKQZ, WILZ-FM 104.5 Saginaw, and WYLZ 100.9 Pinconning; Former morning host at WXYT (and WWWW, WYCD, WWBR) Joe Wade Formicola has been pulling fill-ins at 'XYT; WXDG-FM 105.1 Detroit has picked up Al Bandiero's Jammin' Party.

* Temporarily filling in for an ailing Kim Craig as a street reporter for WXYZ-TV Ch. 7 Detroit is former WKBD-TV Ch. 50 Detroit reporter Joelle Lukasiewicz- Detroit Free Press

April 16:

* WGRT-FM 102.3 Port Huron has added live web broadcasting to its website

* Former WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing Program Director Woody Austin has landed at WKFR-FM 103.3 Battle Creek as Assistant Program Director and midday host effective 4/26; Amy Doyle has left the Program Director slot at WXDG-FM 105.1 Detroit less than two weeks after the format switch from Alternative to Urban Oldies- All Access

April 19:

* WSUE-FM 101.3 and WSOO-AM 1230 Sault Ste. Marie have both added live web broadcasting to their web sites

* FCC Action: Granted a construction permit to WYCE-FM 88.1 Wyoming (Gd. Rapids) to increase a)ERP to 7000 watts from 1000, b) HAAT to 51 meters from 22, c) structure height, and d) class to B1 from A.

April 20:

* The Zone in Northern Michigan (WAVC 93.9 Mio / WLJZ 94.5 Mackinaw City / WJZJ 95.5 Glen Arbor) has added DJ's for the first time. The schedule that started yesterday:

  • 6-10 AM: Mark Wayne
  • 10-3 PM: Kimberly Fox
  • 3-7 PM: Bo Andrews
  • 7 PM -6 AM: Automation/DJ-less

* Don't look for Detroit Lions games to be simulcast on WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit this season. The plan is to simulcast the 4 games that kick off after 4:00pm on WWJ-AM 950 Detroit to take advantage of that station's increased broadcast range. WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit is the flagship for Lions football, but must power down at sunset leaving many Detroit area listeners without adequate reception- Detroit News

April 21:

* Detroit area public radio fundraisers exceed goals: Detroit's WDET-FM 101.9 raised $440,000 in a record 5 days; Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint / WVGR-FM 104.1 Gd Rapids) made $475,000, $175,000 over their goal; WEMU-FM 89.1 Ypsilanti raised $102,000, which exceeded their $85,000 goal- Detroit Free Press

April 22:

* Congratulations to WYTZ-FM 97.5 Bridgman / WZTY-FM 103.7 Hartford on being honored with the National Association of Broadcasters Crystal Awards. 10 stations across the country were recognized for improving the quality of life in their communities- All Access

April 23:

* Detroit Emmy nominations: WJBK-TV 2- 51; WXYZ-TV 7- 48 + 1 shared; WDIV-TV 4- 42 + 3 shared; WKBD-TV 50- 25 + 3 shared; WTVS-TV 56- 17; WWJ-TV 62- 11 - Detroit Free Press

April 24:

* Winter 1999 Quarterly Arbitron is out for Detroit- WWJ-AM 950 has passed WJR-AM 760 for the first time in over 30 years in a quarterly rating, moving into 4th place behind WNIC-FM 100.3, WJLB-FM 97.9, and WOMC-FM 104.3. The Edge, WXDG-FM 105.1, now defunct, scored its best ratings book ever with a 1.8 before this month's sudden format switch to Urban Oldies. Talk station WKRK-FM 97.1 has slid to a 1.4 rating, down from a 2.3 in the Fall '98 ratings. Morning host Howard Stern has fallen behind fellow talker Don Imus who is heard on WXYT-AM 1270. Adult Contemporary newcomer Kiss-FM 102.7 was not able to crack the top 20 this quarter- All Access, Radio Digest Detroit, Detroit News

* The former staffers of The Edge, WXDG-FM 105.1, will be doing a farewell show via the Internet on May 1st at 8:00pm. The 6 hour show will be broadcast via Real Audio from The Edge web site- Detroit News

April 27:

* WQKL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor has added the syndicated Delilah program evenings from 7pm - Midnight as the station migrates even more towards Adult Contemporary from Oldies.

April 28:

* WPON-AM 1460 Walled Lake has added live web broadcasts to their web site

* FCC Action: WKQS-FM 101.9 Negaunee has been granted its license to cover for an increase in ERP from 2,300 to 12,000 watts.

April 30:

* A live broadcast WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit is now available via Real Audio

* From All Access:

  • WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids has moved nighttime host Tim Hartley off the air to the Promotion Director position. New night host is Frank the Friendly Neighborhood DJ.
  • WIOG-FM 102.5 Bay City has a new morning show- Kelly & Company Keith Kelly, Lisa Farrell (from WTCF), and Andrea Patzer (from WBTI/WPHM). Keith Kelly moves from middays and hands the Music Director role to Program Director Mark Anderson. Morning show producer Aaron Adams will now handle middays. Nighttime jock Ronnie Z has left the station.
  • WODJ-FM 107.3 Greenville picks up some Jammin' Oldies with the addition of the syndicated Jammin' Party hosted by Al Bandiero.

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