January 1999 News and Notes

January 4:

* Debut day on Detroit area radio: Russ Parr/Olivia Fox on WDJT-FM 105.9, Steve Cochran on WKQI-FM 95.5, Erich 'Mancow' Muller on WKRK-FM 97.1, and Cynthia Canty on WNIC-FM 100.3's Breakfast Club.

* WIQB-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor is now an affiliate of the Bob & Tom morning show.

* WWBN-FM 101.5 Tuscola (Banana 101, Flint) is now an affiliate of the Bob & Tom morning show. Former morning host Stu Allen moves to WCRZ 107.9 (Cars 108) for afternoons- All Access

* WYKL-FM 94.9 Benton Harbor has been granted its license to cover for a new station.

January 6:

* News from the Radio One trio of Detroit stations: WDTJ-FM 105.9 will debut the Russ Parr show on Monday January 11th, one week later than originally scheduled. WCHB-AM 1200 is now scheduled to return to the air on February 1st, but at only 50% (25,000 watts daytime) of its licensed power. And finally, WWBR-FM 102.7 will debut a new format with a new call sign on January 15th- Detroit Free Press

January 7:

* Update on WOLY-AM 1500 Battle Creek: On November 10th 1998, the FCC informed the station that their license had been cancelled. Turns out the reason for this was the station's failure to file for license renewal. The station is gone from the FCC database and is not supposed to be on the air.

* WKYL-FM 94.9 Benton Harbor has changed formats from Gold to Hot AC with new calls/handle WCNF (Coast 94.9). Jim Gifford remains the program director/morning host, Robin Van Dyke is in middays, Pat Garrison is the afternoon guy, and John Vance is the operations manager- All Access

* The former Gold WAIR-FM 92.5 Atlanta Petoskey, now WBYC-FM, has indeed begun simulcasting the country format of sister WBYB-FM 94.3 Leland.

* WWDX-FM 92.1 Lansing morning co-host/promotion director Stacie Hyde has left the station and is being replaced by WDBM-FM 88.9 program director Nikki Chuminatto- All Access

January 8:

* All Access is reporting that WWBR-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens might just become an Adult Contemporary station to compete with the number one station in Detroit, WNIC-FM 100.3, instead of taking on an urban related format.

* WRKR-FM 107.7 Kalamazoo afternooner Alan Cox has left the station for a job in Pittsburgh- All Access

* Former WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit / CIMX-FM 88.7 Windsor and current Detroit Lions public address announcer Jerry Millen has joined the WKBD-TV 50 Detroit sports team- All Access

January 9:

* Anchor Amyre Makupson has been signed to a new 3-year contract by WKBD-TV 50 Detroit- Detroit Free Press

January 12:

* WXMI-TV (Fox 17) Grand Rapids successfully launched first local newscast on Monday 1/11/99- Grand Rapids Press

* New to WXBV-AM 1140 Grand Rapids: Tom Leykis; WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint music director/mid-day host Nathan Reed adds assistant program director to his duties- All Access

January 13:

* WHTV-TV 18 Jackson has been issued a new construction permit. This permit replaces the original construction permit that was granted 11/16/87 and expired on 11/29/92.

* Radio One has closed on the purchase of WWBR-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens/Detroit- Washington (DC) Business Journal

* WKLQ-FM 94.5 Holland Music Director Mark Feurie has added the role of Assistant Program Director- All Access

January 14:

* The Fall 1998 (Oct-Dec) 12+ Arbitrends are in for Detroit- WNIC remains the #1 station.

* John Risher, the General Manager of Regent Communications in Flint (WFNT, WCRZ, and WWBN), has resigned.

January 15:

* From All Access: WKHM-FM 105.3 Jackson has hired Angie Hunter to team with Jamie McKibbin for the morning show. Sister station WKHM-AM 970 has brought back Dave Weatherwax for mornings with News Director Jennifer Guy. At WVTI-FM 96.1 Holland, afternoon host Beau Derek and night-timer Phil Becker are no longer with the station.

January 16:

* 102.7 FM Mt. Clemens/Detroit changes formats:

  • As of this afternoon, WWBR-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens (The Bear) is broadcasting their goodbyes. Steve Black is hosting the show as of 6:00pm and saying on the air that the station will have a format change / is going in a new direction.
  • At 6:33pm, The new owners of 102.7 The Bear Mt. Clemens, Radio One, dumped 'classic rock that really rocks' and is now off the air. The last song played under the old format was When The Music's Over by The Doors.
  • At 6:52pm, the station is back on the air as 'The new 102.7 Kiss-FM, the best variety of light rock from the 80's, 90's, and today'. The first song is Just Another Day by Jon Secada, format is Adult Contemporary.
  • The new Kiss-FM will feature the syndicated Delilah program in the evenings.
  • By midnight 102.7 is not providing any programming, but the transmitter still appears to be up.

January 17:

* WHFB-FM 99.9 Benton Harbor has dumped Hot Adult Contemporary in favor of Country.

* WWBR-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens/Detroit remains silent as of 11:15am, but comes back on the air by Noon.

January 18:

* More on the switch at WWBR-FM 102.7 Detroit:

  • Once again, the station was silent overnight- they went dark at about 11:30pm or so.
  • Today's Detroit Free Press reports that the new call sign applied for is WKSK (thus the "Kiss-FM" tag) and the station will be running jock-less for at least 2 weeks- and maybe up to an entire month.

January 19:

* Metro Detroit static from the Detroit Free Press:

  • Just weeks after the original 'Young Country' station in Dallas dropped the ID, WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit plans on doing the same. The format of the station will remain Country.
  • Plans to move CBS/Infinity sister AM stations WWJ 950 and WXYT 1270 into the same building are off. New plans call for possibly constructing a new building to be ready sometime in late 2000 or early 2001.
  • WKRK-FM 97.1 (Extreme Radio) is still moving towards becoming all talk. New plans include 'best-of' segements of Steve Dahl from 3-8pm on Saturdays. Will Ted Nugent get some weekend air time on Extreme Radio? Other possible shows targeting NASCAR and wrestling may fill weekend time slots too.
  • The reason WWBR-FM 102.7 was off the air 'again' on Sunday/Monday after switching formats? It wasn't a plot to confuse listeners- instead there were electrical problems at the transmitter site.

* Grand Rapids static from the Grand Rapids Press:

  • Bill Freeman has returned to the Grand Rapids airwaves on WXBV-AM 1140: The former WGVU-AM host kicked off "The Bill Freeman Show" on January 11th. The program airs 11am - 2pm weekdays.
  • At WVTI-FM 96.1 Holland (I-96): Michelle McCormick is now hosting the morning show by herself as Eric O'Brien moves to afternoons 2pm - 7pm. Evening host (7pm - midnight) is Brad Newman.
  • WCSG-FM 91.3 exceeded it's goal of $670,000 by about $14,000 during December's 19th annual Sharathon.
  • New Director of Community Relations at WFGR-FM 98.7 is Dale Hull, former Executive Director of Grand Rapids Ballet.

January 20:

* WMOM-FM 102.7 Pentwater: Application approved to change frequency of construction permit from 103.1 to 102.7 FM.

* 88.5 Mackinaw City: Great Lakes Broadcast Academy has been granted a construction permit for a new non-commercial educational station. Power to be 3,800 watts.

* These Mt. Pleasant LPTV stations have had their construction permits have been extended: W32BT, W60CO, W61DC, W62CV, W69DX. These Pinconning LPTV stations have had their construction permits have been extended: W15BP, W17BY, W21BT, W22CC, W30BQ, W32BR, W41CB, W44BO, W51CS, W52CU, W54CM, W55CO, W57CS, W58CW, W61DB, W69DW.

January 21:

* WWJ-AM 950 Detroit is now transmitting full time from its new tower in northern Monroe County; but not quite at the power on its construction permit (12,000 watts daytime and 50,000 watts nighttime). The signal has been improved considerably however for fringe areas around Detroit- thanks, Ken Beck of WWJ

January 22:

* WKBD-TV 50 Detroit announces plans to scale back its 10:00pm news to 35 minutes and increase local sports coverage to 25 minutes beginning 1/25/99. Channel 50 will attempt to boost up ratings by taking advantage of its unique position of local carriage of the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons- Detroit News

January 23:

* A couple of weekend TV announcements in Detroit- WDIV-TV 4 Detroit has hired former (1976-82) WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit reporter Rick Edland for weekend anchor work beginning March 3rd. He'll replace the retiring Dan Mountney. Over at WKBD-TV 50 Detroit, Sherry Jones has been named as co-anchor of that stations weekend newscasts- Detroit Free Press

January 24:

* Another Detroit area pirate is reported on the air, this time on 92.7 FM broadcasting in an Arabic-type language.

January 25:

* FCC Actions- WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit, WWJQ-AM 1260 Zeeland: License to cover granted for license modification. WMOM-FM 102.7 Pentwater: Application granted for extension of construction permit.

January 26:

* FCC Action- WCUZ-FM 101.3 Grand Rapids has cancelled its construction permit to change its HAAT and ERP.

January 27:

* WNIL-AM 1290 Niles has dropped sports programming and now is Oldies full time- DX-MidAMerica

* W25BI and W59AZ, two low power TV stations in/near Grand Rapids, have been sold to the owners of WOOD-TV. Applications filed with the FCC request the assignment of the licenses of these two stations from Donald Crandall to WOOD-TV.

* The new Detroit-area pirate on 92.7 is now reported to be programming in English- and providing a Classic Rock format.

* FCC Action- WZRK-FM 106.3 Stephenson has been granted a modification of its construction permit to change its antenna site.

January 29:

* The FCC has officially proposed licensing low power FM stations

* The Oakland Press reports today in Robert Musial's 'On The Radio' feature that the Young Country slogan for WYCD-FM 99.5 may stick around a bit longer than expected- although other CBS/Infinity country stations are repositioning themselves as 'Super Country' it's not likely to happen here; probably because competitor W-4 Country (106.7 FM) is already using that slogan.

January 30:

* WDZZ-FM 92.7 is Flint's new #1 station according to the Fall 1998 Arbitrends, jumping over CHR WWCK FM/AM. Country competitors WFBE-FM 95.1 and WKCQ-FM 98.1 each lost significant share, but still hang on in the top 6. Hot Adult Contemporary/CHR WIOG-FM 102.5 joins WDZZ as the stations with the most improved ratings.

January 31:

* WLAV-FM 96.9 continues as Grand Rapids' #1 station as country WBCT-FM 93.7 lands in second over CHR WSNX-FM 104.5. The twin WOOD stations both made gains; WOOD-AM 1300 lands in 4th place and WOOD-FM (EZ 105.7) passes AC rival WLHT-FM 95.7- All Access

* It seems that Kalamazoo's WLLA-TV 64 has had transmitter problems since 12/22/98- they've been running at reduced power on their auxiliary transmitter. According to information from the station, the problems require complete replacement of the main transmitter- which has been ordered.


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