August 1999 News and Notes

August 2:

* Clear Channel takes over operation of WSNX 104.5 Muskegon/Gd Rapids- on-air changes already taking place with some jocks from WVTI 96.1 moving to WSNX. WSNX is also using the 'Continuous Hit Music' positioner used on WVTI; the WSNX web site has also been taken down. A break down of personality changes so far: Out is WSNX music director and night host Phil Becker; WSNX program director Todd Michaels is shifted to WVTI as assistant program director and host; Afternoon host at WVTI Eric O'Brien moves to the same shift at WSNX; Evening host at WVTI Brad Newman moves to the same shift at WSNX; Working the afternoon shift at WVTI today was swing-shifter Trace Atkins

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary assignment of licenses from Goodrich Radio to Connoisseur Communications for WMRR 101.7 Muskegon Heights, WSHZ 107.9 and WMHG 1600 Muskegon.

August 3:

* Lineup changes at WDFN 1130 Detroit effective 8/16- Rob Parker and Mark Wilson lose an hour from the morning slot, it'll now run from 6-9am. Art Regner and Terry Foster move from evenings to 9am-noon, replacing the syndicated Sports Babe show. Afternoons remain the same, syndicated Jim Rome show from noon-2pm, Jamie Samuelsen and Gregg Henson from 2-4pm, Mike Stone and Bob Wojnowski from 4-7. New evening show (7-10pm) will be local and feature hosts Eric Pate and Sean Beligian.

* The shakeup continues at WSNX/WVTI- New program director at WSNX is current PD of WVTI Jeff Andrews. Former WSNX program director Todd Michaels has decided not to move to WVTI, and midday WSNX host Britta has resigned and is headed for WSHZ 107.9 Muskegon. The music on WSNX has shifted more towards mainstream CHR while the music at WVTI is now more Modern Adult Contemporary/Hot Adult Contemporary- All Access

* WHAK 960 Rogers City is now automated Country Gold

* Half of the Erin & Gonzo show has left WKRK 97.1 Detroit- Erin Carmen is gone, replaced this week by Karen Kay; At WXYT 1270 Detroit, Frank Turner and John McCulloch have started a trial run from 8-10pm, if all goes well this show may shift to a better time slot- Detroit Free Press

* Former WLHT 95.7 Grand Rapids night jock Kristen Taylor lands promotion director and middays at WFAT 96.5 Kalamazoo- All Access

August 4:

* Spring Quarterly 12+ Arbitron reports for Grand Rapids, Lansing, and the Tri-Cities were released today:

In Grand Rapids, Classic Rock WLAV held the number 1 position followed by the surging Country WBCT. Fading but holding the #3 and 4 positions were Alternative WGRD and CHR-Rhythmic WSNX. WOOD-FM is tied for 4th with WSNX and continues to lead the Adult Contemporary battle over WLHT and the surging WTRV. Also tied for 4th is Rocker WKLQ which continues to improve, moving up a full ratings point since the Winter book. Country Gold WCUZ also showed improvement. Stations struggling include WGRD, WSNX, WODJ, WJQK, WMUS, and WMJH.
Over in Lansing, Country WITL increased its listener share by a full 5%, moving to a 14.4 rating overall. Adult Contemporary WFMK holds on to second, with CHR WHZZ surging to 3rd overall on the strength of an improved signal. Rounding out the top 5 were Oldies WJIM-FM and Classic Rock WMMQ.

In the Tri-Cities, Country WKCQ continues at #1 followed by News/Talk WSGW. Rock station WKQZ moves up to third with an impressive 9.4 rating, followed by Oldies WHNN and Hot AC WIOG. Classic Rock combo WILZ/WYLZ improved, along with Adult Contemporary WGER and Country WCEN. Losing listeners since the Winter book were Urban AC WTLZ, Nostalgia WSAM, and Classic Rock WEEG.

* WYCD 99.5 Detroit swing shifter/music director Brian Hatfield has left the station; Final lineup for WCXT 105.3 Hart is John & Connie mornings, Stewart Jerome 10am-2pm, Beau Derek 2-7pm, Tim Hartley 7pm-midnight, and Jeff Wicker overnights- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted WHTV 18 Jackson its license

August 8:

* CHR/Top-40 WKFR 103.3 Kalamazoo has its best ratings report since 1992 with a 12+ jump of 9.2-12.6, taking the #1 spot from sister station WRKR. The station also had #1 demos in 18-34 and 18-49 (tied with WRKR). View the Spring 12+ Arbitrons for Kalamazoo- All Access, Radio & Records

* WKQI 95.5 Detroit afternoon jock Jo Jo Kincaid will be doing double shifts as he adds mornings at the new WLOL Minneapolis to his responsibilities until a permanent replacement is hired

* FCC Actions: Announced new ownership rules as follows (changes max # of TV stations to 2):

  • In markets with less than 20 media outlets- maximum of 4 radio stations and 2 TV stations
  • In markets with 20 or more media outlets- maximum of 8 properties, with no more than 2 TV stations;
  • Also, modified the call sign of 106.7 Detroit from WWWW to WWWW-FM

August 9:

* Country WNWN-FM and CHR/Top-40 WKFR lead the Spring ratings for Battle Creek. Rounding out the top five were Rock WRKR, News/Talk WBCK, and Rock WJXQ.

* Programming change in Grand Rapids as G. Gordon Liddy moves back to WOOD 1300 from sister station WTKG 1230. The program can be heard from 5-9pm. The Big Broadcast hosted by Phil Tower drops to 2 hours, running from 3-5pm.

* WWMT 3 Kalamazoo has applied for digital facilities on channel 2

August 10:

* Sold: WION 1430 Ionia to Agricultural Resource Group by the Ionia County Bank for $111,000 as part of a bankruptcy proceeding

* FCC Actions: Application accepted for the voluntary transfer of license from VJN LPTV Corp. to MTVN Online L.P. for WBXD-LP 5 Detroit

August 11:

* New operations manager and program director at WXDG 105.1 Detroit is Bill Fries; marketing director Vanessa Wilde of Radio One's Detroit station (WDTJ 105.9, WDMK 102.7, WCHB 1200) has left the company. Maureen Barkume takes over for WDTJ and WCHB, and Jaysen Schaffer will handle WDMK- All Access

August 12:

* The Spring 12+ Arbitron for Northwest Michigan has been released. Country combo WTCM/WBCM continue at #1 overall, with Rock combo WKLT/WKLZ improving to #2. Adult Contemporary WLXT/WLXV suffered sliding from 2nd to 8th, losing 3.5 ratings points. News/Talk moves up to third, followed by the surging Oldies WCCW. Classic Rockers WGFM/WGFN round out the top 5 stations. WKPK improves to #6, passing CHR rival WKHQ. Country combo WBYB/WBYC (formerly Oldies) lost almost 2 ratings points and finished 12th overall.

* WTLJ 54 Muskegon and WAQP 49 Saginaw have applied for digital facilities, WTLJ on channel 24 and WAQP on channel 48

August 13:

* Vice president and general manager of WJLB 97.9 Detroit Verna Green has resigned those positions. Taking over GM duties on an interim basis is Peter Connolly, current VP/GM for sister stations WMXD, WWWW, and WDFN- Radio & Records

August 15:

* The Dr. Laura Schlessinger show changes Jackson affiliates, moving from WJKN 1510 back to WKHM 970 effective 8/23- Jackson Citizen Patroit

August 17:

* WOOD TV Grand Rapids has started broadcasting programming in digital format on channel 7- Grand Rapids Press

* New program director at WHZZ 101.7 Lansing is Jason Addams- All Access

August 18:

* WZZM TV Grand Rapids set to air its final 'Bozo's Big Top' after 33 years on August 28th- Detroit Free Press

August 19:

* Replacing WZPX TV 43 Battle Creek as West Michigan's UPN affiliate will be the low power TV (LPTV) stations owned by WOOD TV- effective September 1st. There are currently 7 LPTV stations in West Michigan: 1 in Battle Creek, 1 in Muskegon, 1 in Kalamazoo, and 4 in the Grand Rapids metro area.

August 20:

* Moving up from part time status to full time nights at WWDX 92.1 Lansing is Brock; Leaving WLJB 97.9 Detroit is promotions director Jason Gani- All Access

August 21:

* Ratings for Michigan's newest rated market, Muskegon, are now available. Leading this debut book is Country WMUS, followed by Classic Rock WMRR, Rock WKLQ, Hot AC WSHZ, and Oldies WLCS rounding out the top 5.

* The translator for WFRN at 101.1 in Coldwater has fallen silent while the owners (Friends of Christian Radio) look for a new location for the hardware

August 23:

* A voice from the past is returning: Former Big 8 (CKLW) jock Bill Gable - then known as 'Brother' Bill Gable - will be the new morning host at WXDG 105.1 Detroit. He'll be reunited with PD Bill Fries, who got his start in radio as Gable's intern in Orlando, FL- All Access

* Jim Johnson and the morning crew at WCSX recently raised $240,000 for the Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan during their annual Radiothon, eclipsing last year's $224,000 total; WDIV producer Jeff Fish is leaving the station to start his own production company, he's already landed local gigs such as the Freedom Festival Fireworks and Thanksgiving Day Parade- Detroit Free Press

August 24:

* St. Clair Shores gets approval for 10 watt TIS station at 1170 AM- Detroit News

* FCC Action: Granted WCHB 1200 Detroit its license to cover for its 50,000 watt daytime and 15,000 nighttime power levels/patterns.

August 26:

* From All Access:

  • Changes at WFAT 96.5 Kalamazoo: Music director Tony Travatto adds assitant program director tasks, and midday host Kristen Taylor adds promotion director duties
  • WHZZ 101.7 Lansing program director/morning host Jason Addams adds music director to his role as former MD and afternoon host Jeff Welling has left the station

* Sold: WQXO 1400 and WHCH 98.3 Munising, WFXD 103.3 Marquette from Mid Pen Broadcasting to Lakes Radio for 1.15 million

* FCC Actions: Granted WHWG 89.9 Trout Lake its license to cover; granted WRKR 107.7 Portage a construction permit to change its TL and its HAAT from 149m to 148m

August 27:

* WDMK 102.7 Mt. Clemens shifts format to Urban Adult Contemporary, moving away from mainstream Adult Contemporary. The niche is to be somewhere between Urban WJLB 97.9 and Urban AdCon WMXD 92.3. The station will be running jockless until a new on-air staff is hired. The station will keep the 'Kiss-FM' positioner- Detroit Free Press

August 30:

* The May/June/July Detroit 12+ Arbitrends were released- the top 6 stations maintain their positions. The big gainer was Urban Oldies WXDG 105.1 which increased its share from 2.2 to 2.8, and moved into the top 15 (#14). The recent format change to Urban Adult Contemporary at Mt. Clemens' WDMK 102.7 seems justified as the ratings sunk below the 1.0 level to 0.8 with the old mainstream Adult Contemporary format.

* WXYZ 7 Detroit expands local morning newscast- start time moved from 5:30am to 5:00am

* WPXD 31 Ann Arbor has applied for its digital facilities on channel 33

August 31:

* WNEM 5 Bay City captures pictures of funnel cloud live on newscast- Saginaw News (8/27/99)

* New assistant program director and music director at WYCD 99.5 Detroit is Ron Chatman; New night guy at WBTI 96.9 Lexington is 'Big Steve' Duncan, who also keeps his weekend gig at WKQI 95.5 Detroit. Heather Bopra moves from nights at WBTI to the morning show- All Access

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary transfer of control for WLKM-FM 95.9 Three Rivers to BJ and ZK Shipley, trustees, and J. Williams Middendorf; approved the acquisition of negative control for WLKM AM 1510 by BJ and ZK Shipley, trustees, and J. Williams Middendorf


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