October 1999 News and Notes

October 1:

* June-August 12+ Arbitrend ratings have been released for Grand Rapids, Lansing, and the Tri-Cities.

Country WBCT has returned to the top of the heap, displacing WLAV who fell to 2nd overall. WGRD maintained its 3rd place rating overall, with WOOD-FM and WKLQ finishing tied for 4th. The two Clear Channel programmed contemporary hits stations finished 7th and 8th, with WVTI moving ahead of WSNX. Adult Contemporary WLHT has fallen out of the top 10 stations, coming in at 11th overall.

In Lansing, WITL continued at #1 followed by WFMK. WJIM-FM and WHZZ tied for 3rd overall, followed by WMMQ. The ratings for News/Talk WJIM-AM lost 1.3 ratings points, falling from 4.5 to 3.2, putting it into a tie with Country WXIK.

While WKCQ continued its dominance in the Tri-Cities, rocker WQKZ is making its presence known pulling into a second place tie with Oldies WHNN. WIOG pulled into fourth spot, followed by the sagging News/Talk WSGW. Ratings at WSGW have fallen to 7.5 from 10.2 since the Spring (Apr-June) book.

* John F. Wismer, owner and President of Wismer Broadcasting (WHLS 1450/WSAQ 107.1) passed away last night at Port Huron Hospital. Mr. Wismer, who was 85, started his career at WHLS Radio in 1946. Over the years, he has owned radio stations in Bad Axe, Hillsdale, Grand Rapids and Otsego, Michigan. Wismer brought professional hockey to Port Huron, when he established the Port Huron Flags of the IHL in 1962. He also started cable television in Port Huron in 1968 and in Bad Axe in 1970- WHLS/WSAQ

* The FCC granted the following call sign changes effective 10/1/99:

  • 105.1 FM Detroit from WXDG to WGRV-FM, to match their positioner as 'The Groove'
  • 1290 AM Saline WDEO to WYBN, to match their positioner as 'Your Business News'
  • 104.3 FM Baraga from WBUM to WVCN, to fit with their owner- VCY America
  • 106.3 FM Stephenson from WWHK to WMXG, to fit with their upcoming 'Mix' slogan

* FCC action: Granted a minor modification to the construction permit of WUPT-LP Crystal Falls to modify the coordinates of the tower location slightly

October 2:

* WMUZ 103.5 1-4pm host Mark Gilman adds another hour to his on-air schedule when a new talk show debuts on October 18th. The new show, 'She's Right--He's Male' will run from 11am-noon Monday-Saturday and feature Gilman and co-host Nancy Rice, a former figure skater and model.

October 3:

* WEYI 25 Saginaw has added programming from The WB network to its overnight schedule beginning October 4th. Consult your local listings for exact times and days of the week for air times.

October 4:

* Clear Channel will be acquiring AMFM in a huge merger that will result in a company that owns an anticipated 830 radio stations nationwide. In Michigan, AMFM currently owns 15 stations- 7 in Detroit, 4 in Grand Rapids, and 4 in Battle Creek. Clear Channel owns 6 stations in Michigan, and is in the process of acquiring a 7th (WSNX), all of them in the Grand Rapids area. In order to meet FCC regulations, the deal will have to include the divestiture of 3 Grand Rapids area stations (current FCC ownership limit is 8 radio stations plus 2 TV stations in a market the size of Gd. Rapids). The entire deal is valued at $23.5 billion.

October 6:

* New station in Chatham, ON signs on at 94.3 FM. Station is playing Alternative Rock while operating at temporary facilities (20% of final power, and lower antenna height) using the call slogan 'The Rock at 94.3', call sign is CKUE.

* WZPX 43 Battle Creek debuts The WB network today: WB Kids runs from 7-8am and 3-5pm; WB Primetime 6-8pm Mon-Sat and 6-7pm Sun. Consult your local listings.

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary transfer of license for the following stations:

  • From Mid Pen Broadcasting to Lakes Radio- WQXO AM 1400 & WHCH FM 98.3 Munising, WFXD FM 103.3 Marquette
  • From Goodrich Radio to Clear Channel Communications- WSNX 104.5 Muskegon

October 7:

* Steve Schram has been named cluster vice president of AMFM's entire station group in Detroit- WMXD FM 92.3, WKQI FM 95.5, WJLB FM 97.9, WNIC FM 100.3, WWWW FM 106.7, WDFN AM 1130. AMFM also owns WYUR AM 1310, but leases the signal to Advantage Communications. Previously Schram had been VP and general manager of WKQI and WNIC- Detroit Free Press

October 8:

* Coming to WKRK 97.1 Detroit from Los Angeles for the noon-3pm shift will be Ed Tyll effective October 25th; the show will be syndicated to stations in Sacramento, CA and Portland, OR- All Access

* Kidd O'Shea has left mornings at Battle Creek's WKFR 103.3

* Sold: Construction permit for WAAQ 88.5 Mackinaw City for $108,000 from Great Lakes Broadcast Academy to Broadcast Music Ministries (owner/president is Del Reynolds)- Broadcasting & Cable

October 10:

* A bit more information on CKUE FM 94.3: Currently, the station is running at 10,000 watts from an antenna 300 feet high. The final configuration (expected to be December) will be 50,000 watts from 495 feet. Look for the audio quality to improve this week once the station gets in a new console and audio processor. On November 17th, test programming will end and a full lineup will begin, operating from temporary studios. A new studio complex is under construction and expected to be finished in December or January. The new on air lineup is scheduled to be J.J. and The Bear in mornings, Teddy Bear (Ted Roop) middays and Cordell Green, program director/afternoons. Sister station CFCO AM 630 is also undergoing changes: AM stereo is coming soon- new transmitter equipment has arrived and work is being done to get the stereo signal up and running within the next few weeks. In November or December CFCO will also be getting a pattern improvement and boost to its nighttime power. Nighttime power will go from 1,000 to 6,000 watts, and the slight pattern improvement will improve the signal both west (towards Detroit) and east (towards London) both day and night.

October 12:

* Watch for Gov. John Engler to take the reigns of WJR's morning show for one day sometime in November or December as the payoff of a bet between the governor and regular morning host Paul W. Smith- had Michigan won this past weekend's game versus Michigan St., Paul W. would have been governor for a day- Detroit News

October 13:

* Clear Channel/AMFM spinoffs in Grand Rapids- WLHT 95.7, WGRD 97.9, and WTRV 100.5 have been identified as the stations to be sold off in order to meet FCC ownership requirements before Clear Channel can complete its purchase of AMFM. All 3 stations are currently owned by AMFM- no buyer(s) has been announced.

* WMJZ Gaylord has changed frequencies from 95.3 to 101.5- keeping its satellite fed oldies format from Jones. New positioner is Oldies 101.5.

* The lineup on WKRK 97.1 Detroit starting Oct 25th: Howard Stern 6-11am; Ed Tyll (local only) 11am-noon, (syndicated) noon-3pm; Deminski & Doyle 3-7pm; Tom Leykis 7-10pm (1 hour is dropped); Mancow 10pm-1am; Loveline 1-3am; Mancow repeat 3-6am. Ed Tyll has a bit of Detroit history on his resume- he was part of the short-lived talker WOWF 99.5 in 1993- Detroit Free Press

October 15:

* New WKFR 103.3 Battle Creek lineup effective Monday 10/18: 5:30-10am- John Hammer (ex of WCXT, The Whip) and Louise Brock (ex of WODJ), 10am-noon- program director Dave Michaels, noon-3pm- music director/assistant program director Woody Houston, 3-7pm- Dave Benson, 7pm-midnight- Nick 'at night' Taylor, midnight-5:30am- All Night Cafe. The former WKFR morning team heads in different directions- Kidd O'Shea will join WVTI Grand Rapids' Michelle McCormick for mornings, and Heather McGregor heads for a morning show in Maine- All Access

October 18:

* The quarterly Arbitron 12+ ratings for Detroit (Summer, July-Sept) have been released. None of the stations with format changes in the past 2 months showed ratings improvement- WWWW 106.7 and WPLT 96.3 lost .3 off their ratings since the last quarterly rating and WKQI dropped .2. WDMK 102.7 also fell, to below a 1 share. The most successful recent change has been by WGRV 105.1's switch to Urban Oldies, improving .9 since the Spring. Overall, WJLB has moved into a first place tie with sister station WNIC, WOMC continued a solid third, and WJR and WWJ tied for fourth. WRIF stayed steady in sixth and WDRQ continued its ratings rally, up to 7th overall with an improvement of .7 since the Spring book. Country WYCD has improved slightly with WWWW's September shift to a rock format.

* WSHZ 107.9 Muskegon has dropped its satellite feed in favor of local hosts. Positioner is 'Star 108', format shifts to Adult Contemporary from Hot AC, adding the syndicated Delilah program evenings. Sister station WMHG 1600 has been off the air today due to transmitter problems.

* WXYZ 7 Detroit weekend weatherman Chad Myers has left the station to pursue weekend weather tasks at CNN in Atlanta. Spouse Sandy Heng will retain her reporting duties at channel 7- Detroit Free Press

* Mike Benson has officially been named as program director and morning host at WOOD-FM 105.7, moving from WTRV 100.5- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translator stations- 91.5 in Iron Mountain for VCY America (WVCY Milwaukee), 500 watts @ 183 meters; 89.7 in Schoolcraft for Family Stations, 1100 watts @ 42 meters. The Schoolcraft translator will replace one currently at 88.7 FM, 88 watts @ 0 meters.

October 20:

* Winners of the recent FCC Auction involving Michigan frequencies:

  • FM 99.9 Manistique- Todd Stuart Noordyk $196,000
  • FM 107.9 Charlevoix- WBCM Radio $150,000
  • TV 19 Marquette- Winstar Broadcasting $320,000
  • * New morning host at The Zone (N. Michigan 94.3/95.5/93.9) is Tom Devitt, replacing Mark Wayne

    October 21:

    * WWTV/WWUP-TV 9&10 northern Michigan has added a co-anchor: Doug Petcash has joined Trish O'Shea for the stations' 6 & 11pm newscasts. Doug arrives to the area from Pocatello, ID- Traverse City Record-Eagle

    October 22:

    * FCC Action: Granted WKBD TV 50 Detroit a construction permit to increase ERP to 5,000,000 watts from current 2,340,000

    October 24:

    * WCLS 100.7 Oscoda has switched format to satellite fed Adult Contemporary (Jones) as 'Sunny 100dot7' from Country. The change moves the station back to its original format after only about 1 year.

    * Michigan Radio's (WUOM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WVGR 104.1 Grand Rapids / WFUM 91.1 Flint) raised a record $587,537 during its recent fund drive- over $100,000 more than what was raised in March- Ann Arbor News

    October 27:

    * Tim Kiesling has shifted from program director of WJIM-FM Lansing to the same role at sister station WFMK-FM. New PD at WJIM is Hunter Scott; WGRD-FM Grand Rapids' Remy moves from overnights to nights and picks up assistant promotion director duties- All Access

    October 29:

    * Arbitrend 12+ ratings for the summer quarter have been released for Grand Rapids and Lansing.

    The top 5 stations in Grand Rapids this past summer were Country WBCT, Classic Rock WLAV, Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM, Alternative Rock WGRD, and News/Talk WOOD-AM. Country music as a whole showed a dramatic ratings boost- WBCT (+1.4- 2nd place to 1st), WCUZ (+1.7- 12th to 9th), and WMUS (+1.3- 18th to 13th) gave that format a 4.4% boost. WOOD-FM seems to have taken control of the Adult Contemporary battle, improving to 3rd overall while competitors WLHT and WTRV both sank. Other stations with gains included WOOD-AM, WVTI, WODJ, and WMJH. Stations losing ground included WLAV, WGRD, WSNX, and WKLQ.

    In Lansing, Country WITL retains its #1 position, but with a 2.6 point drop since the spring. WFMK stays a solid second, improving its ratings to 10.1 from spring's 8.9. WHZZ, WJIM-FM, and WJXQ rounded out the top five- with each station improving its shave versus the spring book. Classic Rocker WMMQ has fallen into 6th place overall, losing another .8 off its ratings. Country WXIK's recent ratings improvements have seemed to reverse themselves; the station finished with a 2.5 rating in 11th place overall.

    * WDET Detroit's recent fundraiser netted the station $520,000- Oakland Press

    * New program director at WYUR Detroit is Cliff Coleman, who replaces Joe Martelle. Martelle remains as a consultant while he seeks other opportunities- Detroit Free Press

    * Program director Mark Anderson officially adds the morning show to his tasks at Bay City's WIOG 102.5- the new show is called '2 Girls & a Guy' with Anderson, Andrea Patzer, and Lisa Farrell. More from WIOG- Music director and midday jock Brent Carey adds assistant program director duties. Lynn Roberts joins the station from WBTI 96.9 Lexington as on-air Promotion Director. Nighttime's Man At Large has added the role of creative director; Overnights are now handled by Dylan Forbes and Steve Spencer; New night host and imaging director at WRKR Kalamazoo is Weasel- All Access

    * FCC Action: Granted a minor modification of the construction permit at 90.7 in Walker (W214AY)- increase in power from 8 to 13 watts.

    October 30:

    * Station swaps: WHCH FM 98.3 and WQXO AM 1400 Munising, along with WFXD FM 103.3 Marquette are to be 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- Broadcasting & Cable

    * WGPR 107.5 Detroit's Rosetta Hines celebrates her 31 year career in radio in style- with a celebration concert at Detroit's Music Hall tomorrow at 8pm. Featured acts include Angela Bofill, Najee, and Roy Ayers- Detroit Free Press




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