1999 Michigan Broadcasting News Highlights

January 1999:

  • WYKL-FM 94.9 Benton Harbor granted its license
  • WKYL-FM 94.9 Benton Harbor changed formats from Gold to Hot AC with new calls/handle WCNF (Coast 94.9).
  • WXMI-TV (Fox 17) Grand Rapids successfully launched first local newscast on Monday 1/11/99
  • WHTV-TV 18 Jackson issued a new construction permit. This permit replaces the original construction permit that was granted 11/16/87 and expired on 11/29/92.
  • WWBR-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens/Detroit switched from Classic Rock to Adult Contemporary on 1/16/99
  • WHFB-FM 99.9 Benton Harbor dumped Hot Adult Contemporary in favor of Country.
  • Construction permit granted to Great Lakes Broadcast Academy for new FM station at 88.5 in Mackinaw City
  • WMOM-FM Pentwater has construction permit modified for frequency change from 103.1 to 102.7
  • WWJ-AM 950 Detroit moved to new tower in Monroe County, will boost nighttime power to 50,000 watts, daytime to 12,000
  • WNIL-AM 1290 Niles dropped sports programming and now is Oldies full time
  • The FCC officially proposes licensing low power FM stations (LPFM)

February 1999:

  • WAYG-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids signed back on (was previously public WBYW) as simulcast of sister station WAYK Kalamazoo (WAY-FM)
  • Construction permit granted to Gospel Opportunities for a new FM station at 89.9 in Trout Lake
  • WLJN-FM 89.9 Traverse City granted construction permit to upgrade to 39,000 watts from 12,500
  • WJML-AM 1110 Petoskey added blocks of Oldies programming to talk lineup in response to FM 92.5 moving from Oldies to Country
  • WMJZ-FM 95.3 Gaylord switched from Adult Contemporary to Oldies
  • WJBK-TV 2 Detroit is first in state to get its digital facilites licensed

March 1999:

  • WDIV-TV 4 Detroit began airing digital programming on March 1st at 3pm with a video about the Chevy Corvette
  • WCHB-AM 1200 Detroit returned to the air after being silent to upgrade its daytime signal to 50,000 watts
  • LPTV station W18BT Alpena was granted its license
  • WTLZ-FM 107.1 Saginaw repositioned from Urban to Adult Urban Contemporary
  • D&B Broadcasting acquired WZTU-FM 100.1 Bear Lake and the construction permit for WBVE-FM 92.1 Beulah from Roger Hoppe
  • WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit, while still CHR/Rhythmic, begans to lean CHR/mainstream
  • Classic Rock simulcasters WMJK-FM 100.9 Pinconning and WMJA-FM 104.5 Saginaw began stunting. On April 1st, the format remained Classic Rock, but a new positioner, Wheelz 104.5/101 with new calls WYLZ/WILZ, was adopted.

April 1999:

  • WZTU-FM 100.1 Bear Lake retured to the air as '100.1 The Storm' with an Adult Alternative format for about one week before falling silent again
  • WXDG-FM 105.1 dropped Modern Rock after only about 18 months in favor of Urban Oldies on Easter Sunday
  • WYUR-AM 1310 Detroit added Classic Music blocks to its programming
  • WIBM-AM 1450 Jackson switched its format from Soft Adult Contemporary to Sports
  • WGKL-FM 105.5 Gladstone is on the air with an Oldies format as 'Kool 105.5'
  • FCC approves transfer of WGVS-FM 95.3 and WGVS-AM 850 in the Muskegon area to Grand Valley State University from KBZ Broadcasting
  • WYCE-FM 88.1 Grand Rapids granted construction permit to increase power to 7,000 watts from 1,000
  • WYTZ-FM 97.5 Bridgman / WZTY-FM 103.7 Hartford won a Crystal Award (improving a community's quality of life) from the National Association of Broadcasters

May 1999:

  • Sister stations WVHQ-FM 92.1 and WDOW-AM 1440 Dowagiac sold to Jason Communications by VanHawke Communications for $680,000
  • Announced that the Jerry Lewis Telethon on Labor Day weekend is moving off of WJBK channel 2 Detroit after 20 years. WDWB-TV 20 picks up the program
  • New name for Chancellor Media will be AM/FM once acquisition of Capstar is complete. FCC approves transfer of the following Capstar-owned Michigan properties to Chancellor Media: WBCK-AM 930, WRCC-AM 1400, and WBXX-FM 95.3 Battle Creek, WNWZ-AM 1410, WLHT-FM 95.7, and WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids, WTRV-FM 100.5 Walker, and WWKN-FM 104.9 Marshall.
  • WHFB-AM 1060 Benton Harbor switched format from 70's Oldies to CNN Headline News
  • WEFG-FM 97.5 Whitehall/Muskegon switched format from 70's Oldies to Urban Oldies
  • WHAK-FM 99.9 Rogers City switched format from Country to Oldies as "99.9 The Wave"
  • Construction permit granted to Gaylord Baptist Church School for new FM station at 88.1 in Gaylord, to be 3,000 watts
  • WOWE-FM 98.9 Vassar/Flint switched format from Urban AC to Urban Oldies
  • WLKM-AM 1510 Three Rivers switched format from News/Talk to Nostalgia with some talk

June 1999:

  • Former WABX-FM 99.5 Detroit air-ace Dave Dixon passed away at age 60
  • WJLB-FM 97.9 Detroit nighttime co-host Arthur Young passed away from leukemia at age 21
  • Announced that former Domino's Pizza and Detroit Tigers owner Tom Monaghan will be purchasing WWCM-AM 990 Ypsilanti for $2.5 million
  • WXBV-AM 1140 Grand Rapids switched format from News/Talk to Urban Oldies as WKWM
  • WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit morning man Dick Purtan was named Oldies Personality of the Year by Radio and Records
  • WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw repositioned from Top 40/Mainstream to Top 40/Rhythmic as Pirate Radio
  • WPLB-FM/AM 106.3/1380 Lakeview/Greenville was sold from Kortes Communications to Stafford Communications Group, pending FCC approval
  • WSRQ FM 100.1 Bear Lake and WBVE FM 92.1 Beulah are on-air as 'Star FM' with 80's format
  • Muskegon area stations WMHG AM 1600, WMRR FM 101.7, and WSHZ FM 107.9 Muskegon are sold from Goodrich Radio to Connoisseur Communications for $2.7 million.
  • WZPX-TV 43 Battle Creek to add WB programming for Fall season.
  • WBGV-FM 92.5 Marlette begins testing
  • WVIC-FM 92.7 Charlotte, which had been running an automated Classic format, goes dark

July 1999:

  • WCXT-FM 105.3 Hart switched format from Adult Contemporary to Top 40/Rhythmic as 'The Whip' under prospective buyer Harbor Pointe Communications. The station is being operated under a local marketing agreement. Harbor Pointe is also in the process of purchasing WKBZ-AM 1520 Muskegon for $434,000
  • Founder of Flint station WAMM (WFLT) Al Binder passed away at age 73
  • WAGN-AM 1340 Menominee switched format from Oldies/Talk to Nostalgia
  • WWJ-TV 62 Detroit increased power to 5,000,000 watts
  • WHWG-FM 89.9 Trout Lake is on the air (duplicates WHWL-FM 95.7 Marquette)
  • VCY America acquires WBUM-FM 104.3 Baraga
  • WHTV-TV 18 Jackson signed on carrying programming from Bloomberg
  • WWON-AM 1160 Fenton is acquired by Birach Broadcasting
  • WGLQ-FM 97.1 Escanaba repositioned away from Hot Adult Contemporary towards Top 40/Mainstream
  • 106.3 FM Stephenson is on-air testing
  • WUPY-FM 101.1 Ontonagon granted construction permit to increase to 100,000 watts from 30,000
  • WBGV-FM 92.5 is on-air full time with Country format
  • Pathfinder Communications acquired WAOR-FM 95.3 and WNIL-AM 1290 Niles from Niles Broadcasting
  • WODJ-FM 107.3 Greenville/Gd Rapids is sold to Bloomington Broadcasting from Goodrich
  • WSNX-FM 104.5 Muskegon/Gd Rapids is sold to Clear Channel from Goodrich
  • WJZZ-AM 1210 Kingsley/Traverse City returned to the air with an Urban Oldies format

August 1999:

  • Clear Channel took over operations of WSNX-FM 104.5 Muskegon/Gd Rapids, format moved to Top 40 from Top 40/Rhythmic
  • WVTI-FM 96.1 Holland Gd Rapids moved from Top 40 towards Modern Adult Contemporary
  • WHAK-AM 960 Rogers City switched from Country to Country Gold
  • WION-AM 1430 Ionia acquired by Agricultural Resource Group as part of bankruptcy settlement for $111,000
  • WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids began digital services on channel 7
  • WZZM-TV 13 Grand Rapids aired final 'Bozo' program after 33 years
  • Announced that West Michigan's UPN affiliation will move from WZPX to a group of Low Power TV stations in West Michigan owned by WOOD-TV
  • Lakes Radio acquired WQXO-AM 1400 and WHCH-FM 98.3 Munising, and WFXD-FM 103.3 Marquette from Mid-Pen Broadcasting for $1.15 million
  • WDMK-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens/Detroit switched format from Adult Contemporary to Urban Adult Contemporary. The station retained use of the 'Kiss-FM' positioner

September 1999:

  • WWWW-FM 106.7 Detroit switched format from Country to Rockin' Hits
  • WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland switched format from Sports to Business News
  • Rockfleet Broadcasting purchases Fox affliates WGKI-TV 33 Cadillac and WGKU-TV 45 Vanderbilt
  • WUGN-FM 99.7 Midland won the Marconi award for Religious Station of the Year
  • WPLT-FM 96.3 Detroit tweaked format from Modern Rock Hits to Alternative Classics
  • WKQI-FM 99.5 Detroit tweaked format from Hot Adult Contemporary to Adult Top 40, dropping most 80's music
  • WJSZ-FM 92.5 Ashley is sold to Curwood Broadcasting by Owosso Broadcasting
  • WIDL-FM 92.1 Caro changed format from Classic Rock to Hot Adult Contemporary
  • WWCM-AM 990 Ypsilanti changed format from Christian Music to Catholic Talk
  • WDEO-AM 1290 Saline changed format from Catholic Talk to Business News/Talk
  • WCXT-FM 105.3 Hart switched its format back to Adult Contemporary from Contemporary Hits/Dance after the owners, Waters Broadcasting, pulled the Local Marketing agreement with Harbor Point Broadcasting. The deal to sell the station from Waters to Harbor Point is also off.
  • WMOM-FM 102.7 Pentwater/Ludington signs on with Adult Top 40 format

October 1999:

  • John F. Wismer, owner and president of Wismer Broadcasting (WHLS 1450/WSAQ 107.1 Pt. Huron) passed away
  • Clear Channel and AM/FM announce merger
  • Construction permit for 88.5 FM Mackinaw City is sold by Great Lakes Broadcast Academy to Broadcast Music Ministries for $108,000
  • WMJZ-FM Gaylord shifted frequency from 95.3 to 101.5
  • WSHZ-FM 107.9 Muskegon moved its format from Hot Adult Contemporary to Adult Contemporary
  • WCLS-FM 100.7 Oscoda switched format from Country to Adult Contemporary. The station had switched from AC to Country about 1 year ago.
  • WHCH-FM 98.3 and WQXO-AM 1400 Munising, along with WFXD-FM 103.3 Marquette are swapped from Lakes Radio to Great Lakes Radio in exchange for WCCM 94.7 and WTIQ 1490 Manistique. Total value of transaction- $1.15 million plus accounts receivable

November 1999:

  • W68CH 68 Detroit granted license
  • WJZZ-AM 1210 Kingsley went silent
  • WTLI-FM 89.3 Boyne City granted license
  • WIDG-AM 940 St. Ignace switched format from Country to Sports
  • WMXG-FM 106.3 Stephenson granted license
  • Simulcasters WSRI-FM 92.1 Beulah and WSRQ-FM 100.1 Bear Lake went silent
  • Former WJBK-TV 2 Detroit anchor Beverly Payne passed away. Ms. Payne was Detroit's first African-American anchorwoman, and one of the first female anchors in the top 10 markets of the USA
  • WZPX-TV 43 Battle Creek was sold by DP Media to Paxson Communications
  • WGKL-FM 105.5 Gladstone granted license
  • WBGV-FM 92.5 Marlette granted license
  • WSTD-FM 96.9 Standish went silent
  • WOBE-FM 100.7 Crystal Falls granted license
  • Cumulus Media announced the acquisition of Connoisseur Communications in a deal worth $242 million. Connoisseur owned the following Michigan stations: Muskegon- WMRR, WMUS-FM/AM, WSHZ, WMHG; Flint/Saginaw- WDZZ, WRSR, WWCK-FM/AM, WTLZ, WFDF

December 1999:

  • Citadel announced the purchase of Liggett Broadcast- the sale included 9 stations (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). The deal was worth $120.5 million.
  • WSNQ-AM 900 Gaylord went silent
  • WDWO-LP 44 Detroit (moving to ch. 18) was sold from Detroit World Outreach Assembly of God to TCT Michigan
  • WHTV-TV 18 Jackson was sold from Jackson TV Company to Spartan TV




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