December 1999 News and Notes

December 1:

* From All Access: Morning host Steve Cochran, co-host/comedian John Heffron, and producer Steve Grunwald have all resigned from Detroit's WQKI 95.5. Kevin O'Neill moves to mornings on an interim basis while a new morning show is sought; WTCF 100.5 Saginaw's new program director effective next Wednesday is Jay Slater who moves from weekends/creative image director

December 2:

* WNIC's 'Pillow Talk' hosted by Alan Almond has agreed to a national syndication deal and will be distributed by Boston-based Superadio Networks- Detroit Free Press

* Digital TV applications: WGTU-TV 29 Traverse City on channel 31; WGTQ-TV 8 Sault Ste. Marie on channel 56

December 3:

* WDIV 4 Detroit general manager Alan Frank has been promoted to president of parent company Post-Newsweek's Stations division, effective 1/1/2000. Mr. Frank has been GM at WDIV since 1988- Electronic Media

* Call sign changes: Assigned WJOF to new station at 88.1 in Monroe

* Digital TV applications: WWTV-TV 9 Cadillac/Traverse City on channel 40; WWUP-TV 10 Sault Ste. Marie on channel 49

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary assignment of license from Great Lakes Radio to Lakes Radio for the following stations: WTIQ 1490 Manistique, WCMM 94.7 Gulliver; Approved the voluntary assignment of license from Lakes Radio to Great Lakes Radio for the following stations: WHCH 98.3 and WQXO 1400 Munising, WFXD 103.3 Marquette.

December 6:

* Citadel Communications will be acquiring 9 stations owned by Liggett Broadcast (Lansing's WJIM-AM/FM, WFMK-FM, WITL-FM, WMMQ-FM, and WVFN-AM; Bay City's WHNN-FM; Flint's WFBE-FM; Saginaw's WTCF-FM) for $120.5 million dollars. The acquisition will put Citadel over the ownership limit in the Tri-Cities as it already owns 6 stations in that market (Bay City's WIOG-FM; Midland's WKQZ-FM; Pinconning's WYLZ-FM; and Saginaw's WILZ-FM, WGER-FM, and WSGW-AM), requiring that at least 2 stations be sold off before the deal is approved. Liggett owner Robert G. Liggett, Jr. will get a new chair on Citadel's board of directors once the deal is closed.

* DirecTV signs deal with ABC and NBC to carry all of the networks owned-and-operated local affiliates. ABC/Disney owns WJRT 12 Flint and WTVG 13 Toledo, OH- Broadcasting and Cable

* WSNQ 900 Gaylord has gone silent; station is for sale

* Digital TV application: WDHS-TV 8 Iron Mountain on channel 22

December 7:

* WRIF 101.1 Detroit has unveiled its new website design, it now features both a live stream of the station's feed plus a new interactive Internet only radio station named iRIF.

* FCC Actions: Granted license to cover for WHZZ 101.7 Lansing for changes- power increase to 4,100 watts from 3,300 and antenna height to 121 meters from 88; Granted license to cover for W284AH 104.7 Lansing (translator of WSAE Spring Arbor) for a power increase to from 50 to 250 watts.

* Digital TV application: WBKB-TV 11 Alpena on channel 13

December 9:

* The latest 12+ Arbitrend reports for August-October have been released for both Grand Rapids and Lansing.

In Grand Rapids WBCT remains at #1, followed by WLAV, WGRD, WOOD-AM, and WKLQ. The Adult Contemporary battle tightened considerably with WOOD-FM falling to 6th overall with a 5.4 rating and WLHT improving to 8th overall with a 5.0.

Lansing's WITL and WFMK continued to hold the 1-2 positions, followed by WHZZ, WJIM-FM, and WMMQ. Country WXIK fell to a 1.5 rating, behind Detroit's WJR-AM.

* Detroit's WKBD Channel 50 has fired anchor David Scott- he'll be replaced by former WXYZ and WJBK anchor Rich Fisher- Detroit News

December 10:

* Windsor stations CIMX 88.7, CIDR 93.9, and CKWW 580 have been granted an extension to their special status in reference to Canadian content (Can-con). The stations are required only to program 20% Can-con versus the 35% required of other Canadian broadcasters due to their special status: competing against large commercial broadcasters in the USA that don't have any content requirements- Oakland Press

* Effecive Jan. 1st the new general manager at Kalamzoo's WMUK 102.1 will be Floyd Pientka. He will be replacing Garrard Macleod who is retiring Dec. 31st after 30 years as the station's GM- Kalamazoo Gazette

* Pete Travers, music director at Windsor's CIDR 93.9, has left the station to accept a role as program director at CHUM group sister stations in Kitchener- All Access

* Digital TV application: WSYM-TV 47 Lansing on channel 38

December 12:

* Digital radio coming to Windsor: The CHUM group of stations (CKWW 580, CKLW 800, CIMX 88.7, CIDR 93.9) is planning to bring up their digital transmitter by the beginning of January. It will carry 6 feeds (the 4 CHUM stations, plus the two CBC English-language services) and broadcast in the L-band (1.4 GHz) using the Eureka-147 system that was approved for use in Canada (and elsewhere around the world). The coverage area will be Windsor and downtown Detroit initially, but may expand in the future. The availability of receivers in Windsor is still uncertain; they are available in Toronto, and it is hoped that local stereo stores in Windsor will begin carrying them soon. Currently across Canada, digital stations are operating in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Note that this is NOT the same as the proposed digital systems in the U.S. Those are all IBOC (In Band, On Channel).

December 13:

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary transfer of license from GRK Productions Joint Venture to Rockfleet Broadcasting for the following stations: WGKI 33 Cadillac, WGKU 45 Gaylord, W31BO Alpena, W40AY Traverse City, W61CR Sault Ste. Marie; Granted a construction permit to WOBC 20 Battle Creek to move to channel 14; Granted a construction permit and license to cover to WUFN 96.7 Albion for minor changes

* Digital TV applications: WGKI-TV 33 Cadillac on channel 47; WGKU-TV 45 Gaylord on channel 59

December 14:

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary transfer of license from Detroit World Outreach Assembly of God to TCT Michigan for WDWO-LP 44 (construction permit on ch. 18) Detroit; Granted W46CR Saginaw/Midland its license to cover (new station).

December 15:

* As of Sunday 12/12, Chatham Ontario's CKUE 94.3 (The Rock @ 94.3) has started operating at its licensed power of 50,000 watts. As for the pirate station formerly at 94.3 in SW Detroit- it has apparently been shutdown to make room for CKUE.

December 17:

* WDET 101.9 Detroit news director Roger Adams is leaving the station to become program director for Wyoming Public Radio- Oakland Press

* FCC Actions: Granted a construction permit for a new FM radio station to Superior Communications at 89.7 in Burton, facilities to be 15,000 watts ERP (directional) at 39 meters above average terrain; Granted a construction permit to WOBE 100.7 Crystal Falls to increase power from 350 to 100,000 watts and height above above terrain from 37 to 200 meters; Granted the voluntary assignment of license from MTVN Online to The Box Worldwide for WBXD-LP 5 Detroit.

December 20:

* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary transfer of license from Jackson TV Company to Spartan TV for WHTV-TV 18 Jackson.

December 21:

* The September-November (Fall Phase II) 12+ Arbitrend report has been released for Detroit. WNIC continued to lead the pack, followed by a surging WWJ which moved up to #2, WOMC 3rd, and a slipping WJLB in 4th overall. WJR fell from 3rd to 5th, followed by WYCD which has moved up to 6th overall since the demise of country music on WWWW. The final fall ratings - important to advertisers - will be released in January.

* Toledo's WBUZ 106.5 (simulcast on 97.3 WJZE) has dropped the Howard Stern program, effective yesterday.

* Call sign changes:

  • 12/08/99 - 750 AM WJNL Petoskey now WWKK
  • 12/07/99 - 91.5 FM WBMU Iron Mountain now WVCM

December 26:

* WWKK 750 Petoskey now on the air for engineering testing

* WWON 1160 Fenton returns to air for testing- dead carrier heard 12/23

* LPTV's in Petoskey now testing, running test pattern with 'U.P. Wireless' title on channels 14, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 31, 36, 39, 51, 53, 55, 57, 62, 64, 66, and 68.

December 27:

* The Tri-Cities Sept-Nov 12+ Arbitrend report is now out- and with a surprise: Former #1 Country WKCQ has fallen all the way to 5th place overall with a 7.9 rating, down from a 10.5 for the Aug-Oct report. New at #1 is Oldies WHNN (up from 3rd), followed by Top-40 WIOG, Rock WKQZ, and News/Talk WSGW.

December 28:

* News from All Access:

  • WWWW 106.7 Detroit (Alice 106.7) morning host Michael J. Foxx has picked up and moved to Baltimore- he'll keep an on-air shift in Detroit via remote from Baltimore (cyberjocking); New operations manager for the Cumulus group of stations in Kalamazoo (WKFR, WRKR, WKMI) is John Flint, effective 1/4/00.

December 31:

* WYUR 1310 Detroit morning host Jimmy Launce is leaving the station to move to Florida; former morning host Bob Hynes will return to that role- Oakland Press

* FCC Actions: Granted the modification of construction permit for W30BQ Pinconning to move to Flint on channel 54 as W54DA, effective radiated power 40.9 kW; Granted a construction permit for a new translator station at 88.1 FM (W201CM) in Traverse City for WPCS Pensacola FL (Rejoice Radio).


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