November 1999 News and Notes

November 1:

* Summer Arbitrend 12+ ratings for the Tri-Cities have been released. Country WKCQ remains number one, followed by Top 40 WIOG which moved up from 5th in the spring. Improving to 3rd overall was Rock WKQZ. Falling to 4th and 5th overall were Oldies WHNN and News/Talk WSGW. Other stations improving share since the spring included WTCF, WTLZ, WCEN, WEEG, WKNX, and WWBN. Other stations losing share were WGER and WILZ/WYLZ.

November 2:

* Bill Dallman has left the news director position at WZZM-TV 13 Grand Rapids for a job in Denver- Electronic Media

* Call Sign changes:

  • WWCM 990 Ypsilanti is now WDEO (10/18)
  • 91.5 Iron Mountain assigned WBMU (10/29)
  • 89.7 Schoolcraft assigned WBMY (10/29)

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary transfer of license for WODJ 107.3 Greenville to Michigan Media from Goodrich Radio; Granted WKQI 95.5 Detroit a construction permit for auxiliary facilities

November 3:

* FCC Action: Granted license to cover to W68CH Detroit for a new station

November 4:

* Scanlan Television, the owners of WGTU/WGTQ ABC 29&8 in northern Michigan and WBKP ABC 5&28 in the western UP, is planning another full service television station in the UP. The VHF, 316,000-watt station will operate on channel 10. Construction on the station's tower, near Republic, will begin next spring. News, administrative offices, and studios will be located in the Marquette area. A decision to build or renovate an existing property has not been made. Channel 10's coverage area will stretch from Munising in the east to Ontonogon and Gogebic counties in the west, and south into northern Wisconsin- Traverse City Record-Eagle

* WDEO 990 Ypsilanti has dropped AM stereo due to the fact that all its programming is in mono

* New afternoon news anchor/reporter at WKHM Jackson is Scott Claw who moves over from WJKN- All Access

November 5:

* Former morning hosts at WDFN-AM Detroit Mark Wilson and Rob Parker will be hosting a sports talk program weekends on WKRK-FM Detroit. 'Parker and the Man' will air 3-7pm Saturdays and 5-9pm Sundays. Also on Sundays will be Brian Kilmeades with a live NHL talk program from 9-11pm, followed by Inside the NHL 11pm-1am; Matt Drudge will debut his show in Detroit this Sunday from 11pm-midnight on WJR; Summer 12+ ratings for public station WDET-FM Detroit came in at 2.1- the station's highest ever, placing it ahead of stations like WDFN, WKRK, and CIDR; Detroit area CBS-owned radio stations are shuffling- WXYT and WWJ have moved their offices into new facilities in Southfield, to be followed soon by their studios. WKRK's offices have moved to the building abandoned by WXYT, their studios will move into that building also once the WXYT move is completed- Oakland Press

* Kingsley/Traverse City WJZZ AM 1210 has been silent for about a week- and will continue to be off the air until Radio One secures a buyer for the station. The station does not fit into the company's objectives- operating stations that are part of the top 10 urban markets in the country. After operating in an automated mode for several months in order to maintain the station's license, the 50,000 watt daytimer now lies dormant.

* New program director at WKQI-FM Detroit effective about Nov. 22 will be Tim Richards who will be moving from an AMFM station in Tucson, AZ; Former WTCF Saginaw jock Eric Meier takes over the assistant program director and music director roles at WCNF 94.9 Benton Harbor and WCSY 98.3 South Haven. In addition, Eric will be on air afternoons at WCNF- All Access

* FCC Actions:

  • Granted a construction permit for a new FM station at 104.1 in Pinconning. Listed ERP is 4,100 watts at 112 meters
  • Granted a construction permit for a new FM translator for WAAQ Mackinaw City at 89.1 FM in Fremont (W206AZ) Listed ERP is 55 watts at ground level (0 meters HAAT)
  • Granted license to cover for WOTV 41 Battle Creek for a power increase to 5,000,000 watts from 2,000,000
  • Granted license to cover for new station WTLI 89.3 Bear Creek Twp (Boyne City)

November 6:

* WLNS-TV 6 Lansing has applied for its digital facilities on channel 59

November 7:

* Upcoming station changes: WIDG 940 St. Ignace will switch from country to sports (1 on 1 Sports), WYUR 1310 Dearborn will add 1 on 1 Sports to its lineup 7-10pm- DX-midAMerica

November 8:

* FCC Action: Granted license to cover for WMXG 106.3 Stephenson

November 9:

* WILX NBC 10 Lansing has filled its vacant nightside director position with an unusual candidate. Michael Gay, a 20 year old Michigan State University student, has been pulled from the Weekend News 10 Today show (which he helped develop) and been hired full time. The change hands over the reins of the station's 6pm and 11pm newscasts to it's youngest full-time employee.

* WIDG 940 St. Ignace has switched to all sports as 'The Fan', an affiliate of the 1 on 1 Sports Network

* WDWB 20 Detroit has applied for its digital facilities on channel 21

November 10:

* WXYT Detroit and defense lawyer/former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Geoffrey Fieger have announced the immediate end of the Fieger Time program. Due to continued and increasing commitments to his practice and other ventures, Fieger has found it too difficult to continue to do an every day radio show. The decision was made mutually by Fieger and management of WXYT.

November 11:

* New WXYT Detroit programming lineup: Don Imus 6-10am, Mark Scott 10am-noon (moving from 3-6pm), Rush Limbaugh noon-3pm, John McCullogh 3-7pm, Jimmy Barrett 7-10pm (moving from 10am-noon). Frank Turner stays with the station for fill-in duties.

November 12:

* Broadcasting twins WSRI 92.1 Beulah and WSRQ 100.1 Bear Lake (Star FM) have been off the air for about two weeks due to staffing problems at the facilities. Plans are for the outage to be temporary; the stations will return to the air once the staffing issues are resolved.

* Stephenson's (Escanaba/Marinette) new 106.3 WMXG has not yet hit the air, even with the FCC's recent license grant. According to station general manager Mike DuBord, the station is scheduled to hit the air sometime after December 1st with an alternative-rock based Top 40 format.

November 15:

* WZZM TV 13 Grand Rapids has applied for its digital facilites on channel 39; WBKP TV 5 Calumet has reapplied for its digital facilities, this time on channel 18 (original application was on channel 39)

* FCC Actions: Granted WOOD TV Grand Rapids a license to cover for its digital facilities on channel 7

November 16:

* The August-October (Fall Phase I) 12+ Arbitrend report has been released for Detroit. WNIC maintained the number 1 position, followed by WJLB, WJR. WOMC and WWJ tied for 4th overall. Overall the Urban format slipped- WJLB lost a full point (5.8 from 6.8), WDTJ was down .3 (3.6 - 3.9), and newcomer WDMK failed to crack a 1.0 rating. Top 40 / contemporary hits WDRQ continued its ratings climb, moving to 6th overall with a 4.9 rating. Country WYCD began to show improvement with the departure of W4 country, landing in the 10th position overall. The ratings for the new format on 106.7 came in at 2.6, down to 16th overall in the market. Ratings for WPLT have remained basically unchanged with the move to Alternative Classics. Talk radio showed improvement- WDFN had its best 12+ ratings ever, scoring a 2.0 and FM talker WKRK improved to a 1.6.

* WJMN-TV 3 Escanaba has applied for its digital facilities on channel 48

November 17:

* On-air changes at WGRV Detroit- Mitzi Miles moves from nights at WOMC to morning co-host, Chris Morgan moves his parttime role from WKQI, and Scotty O'Jay joins the station as production director- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted WGRV-FM Detroit a license to cover for auxiliary facilities on its new tower. The station still has a construction permit for its regular facilities on the new tower (shared with WCSX and WRIF, located near Wyoming and 8 Mile in Royal Oak Twp).

November 19:

* Deaths:

  • Longtime Detroit Free Press columnist Bob Talbert at 63, from complications of heart bypass surgery
  • Former WJBK TV anchor Beverly Payne in California. Ms. Payne was Detroit's first African-American anchorwoman, and one of the first female anchors in the top 10 markets of the USA

* Program director / afternoon host Rich Stevens has left WTCF 100.5 Saginaw; no replacement has been named- All Access

* Digital TV applications: WNEM-TV 5 Bay City on channel 22, WPBN-TV 7 Traverse City on channel 50, WTOM-TV 4 Cheboygan on channel 14, WSMH-TV 66 Flint on channel 16, WLLA-TV 64 Kalamazoo on channel 45; WEYI-TV 25 Saginaw on channel 30; WOTV-TV 41 Battle Creek on channel 20; WLAJ-TV 53 Lansing on channel 51

November 22:

* WGRV-FM 105.1 Detroit parttimer Ron Jamez moves to the overnight gig- All Access

* Digital TV application: WJRT-TV 12 Flint on channel 36

* FCC Action: License to cover granted for a new station to WBGV 92.5 Marlette

November 24:

* Sold: Battle Creek TV station WZPX from DP Media to Paxson Communications as part of a 9 station deal worth $173 million- Electronic Media

* WSTD 96.9 Standish has gone silent. No official word as to why or when the station will return to the air.

* WKFR 103.3 Battle Creek morning co-host Lou Brock has left the station. John Hammer remains with the morning show- All Access

* Digital TV application: WILX-TV 10 Onondaga on channel 57

* FCC Actions: Granted a construction permit to Northland Community Broadcasters for a new station at 88.1 FM in Monroe- power is to be 10,000 watts at 75 meters above average terrain directional; Granted WGKL 105.5 Gladstone its license to cover for a new station.

November 29:

* Cumulus Media will be acquiring Connoisseur Communications in a deal worth $242 million. The impact on Michigan is large- the combined group will result in 19 stations across the state. Here's the rundown by current owner:

  • Cumulus- Ann Arbor: WIQB, WQKL, WTKA, WYBN; Monroe: WTWR; Kalmazoo: WKFR, WRKR, WKMI
  • Connoisseur- Muskegon: WMRR, WMUS-FM/AM, WSHZ, WMHG; Flint/Saginaw: WDZZ, WRSR, WWCK-FM/AM, WTLZ, WFDF

In addition Cumulus also owns 6 stations in the Toledo market, and is the process of acquiring a 7th. The deal also includes an option to acquire WFGR Grand Rapids.

November 30:

* The Fall Phase I (August-October) Arbitrend 12+ ratings for the Tri-Cities have been released. Continuing to hold down the number 1 spot is WKCQ, followed by WIOG in second, a tie for third between WHNN and WKQZ, and WSGW in fifth.

* Update on WSTD Standish: the station will remain silent until a buyer can be found.

* Look for Detroit TV stations 2, 4, 7, and 62 to be added to satellite TV services soon with the passage of new legislation in Washington D.C.

* Digital TV applications: WLUC-TV 6 Marquette on channel 35; WHTV-TV 18 Jackson on channel 34

* FCC Actions: Granted WOBE FM 100.7 Crystal its license to cover for a new station; Granted W61BX Grand Rapids a construction permit to move to channel 48 as W48CL


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