September 1999 News and Notes

September 1:

* At 6:00pm WWWW 106.7 Detroit stopped regular programing and started airing a 400 Hz steady tone. The station's website, states 'something new is coming to WWWW Detroit'. The stunting has begun- they are promising to give away $25,000 once the test tone ends, along with teasers that the tone will end soon. Last country song played was The Dance, by Garth Brooks, followed by The Star Spangled Banner.

* WMFN AM 640 Zeeland (Holland) switched from all Sports programming to all Business News at midnight as 'My Financial News', leaving Grand Rapids without a Detroit Red Wings affiliate.

September 2:

* The stunting continues at WWWW 106.7 Detroit- 'the tone' is still on the air as of 6:00am. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that morning duo Welch & Woody, program director Tim Roberts, and consultant Joel Raab have all been let go, while afternoon host Michael J. Foxx remains with the station. The Freep is speculating the new format will be rock based- Detroit Free Press

* West Michigan will have to wait several months before UPN programming starts on the WOOD TV owned low power stations across the region as the equipment at the stations needs to be updated before airing the UPN feed.

* Newscasts on Grand Rapids' WZZM 13 won the 25-54 ratings battle for the first time since the mid-1980s, sweeping the #1 position for noon, 5:30, 6 and 11- Grand Rapids Press

* Sold: WGKI 33 Cadillac, WGKU 45 Gaylord, plus 3 other LPTV stations in northern Michigan (all affiliates of Fox and UPN), from GRK Limited Partners to Rockfleet Broadcasting for $12 million- Electronic Media

September 3:

* Congratulations to Midland's WUGN 99.7 on winning the Marconi award for Religious Station of the Year

* 2:05pm: New format is on at WWWW 106.7 Detroit- Rock Hits as 'Alice 106.7, Radio for the rest of us'. Liner is Rockin' Hits of the 80's, 90's, and 70's

* And 'the tone' continues... after 36 hours, the drone of 'the tone' continues on WWWW 106.7 Detroit, with occasional teasers about the $25,000 give away once the station's new format kicks off. Speculation is that the new format (forget about country!) will kick off later today. New program director is sister station's WKQI 95.5 PD Tom O'Brien who shifts to W4- Detroit Free Press

* WXMI 17 Grand Rapids has applied for its digital facilities on channel 19

* FCC Action: Approved the application for the construction permit of WOBE 100.7 Crystal Falls to decrease to 350 watts ERP, 17 meters HAAT (downgraded to Class A from Class C1).

September 4:

* Winner of the $25,000 giveaway on WWWW 106.7 Detroit was Andrea Agee of Westland, who was the first caller once the tone was stopped- Detroit Free Press

* The new morning show host at 'Alice 106.7' (WWWW) will be Michael J. Foxx- the main target demographic for the new station is the 35-44 age group- Detroit Free Press

September 6:

* 4:30pm: WPLT 96.3 Detroit ended its 'Flashback 500' with Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes, and immediately began repeating the teaser 'Planet 96.3, Modern Hits of the 80's and 90's? The end is near' and playing REM's It's the end of the World as we Know It over and over (with commercial breaks!).

* 7:30pm: Stunting ends with the on air announcement that the 'new' format is Alternative Classics- alternative music from the late 70's through the 90's. Morning team Johnny in Morning along with operations manager/program director Garrett Michaels, president/GM Mike Feezey begin the new format by announcing that this is first format of its type anywhere and play the Stone Temple Pilots Plush to kick things off. According to the station, the response to 'Flashback Weekends' is so great that they decided to take the entire format in that direction. The station will keep the Planet 96.3 positioner and on-air staff.

September 7:

* The pending merger of CBS and Viacom should not have an effect on local station ownership. CBS currently owns WWJ-TV 62 and 6 radio stations in Detroit and Paramount (owned by Viacom) owns WKBD-TV 50. The combined group would be 8 stations, 2 TV and 6 radio, right at the new FCC limits set last month.

* FCC Actions: Granted licenses to cover for 2 translators of WHWL 95.7 Marquette for power increases to 10 watts: W224AV Covington (from 5 watts) and W224AW Bergland (from 2 watts). Both stations are at 92.7 FM.

September 8:

* WDWB 20 Detroit helped raise $1,432,557 for the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon- down slightly from 1998, but considered successful in light of this years switch to channel 20 from channel 2.

* WKQI 95.5 Detroit has slightly modified its playlist, leaning more heavily towards an Adult Top 40 sound (more current selections, dropping many 80's tunes) instead of Hot Adult Contemporary; WTWR 98.3 Monroe weekend jock Dan Joseph has left the station- All Access

September 9:

* New midday host and music director at WHZZ 101.7 Lansing is Dave B. Goode- All Access

* Michigan Radio's (WUOM Ann Arbor, WFUM Flint, WVGR Gd. Rapids) Todd Mundt will be subbing for NPR's Carl Kassell on next week's morning newscasts- Detroit Free Press

* FCC Actions: Approved a call sign change for TV 59 W59AZ Rockford (Grand Rapids) to WOHO-LP, effective 9/6/99; Granted license to cover for W280DD 103.9 Ironwood, a translator of WHWL 95.7 Marquette, for power increase to 10 watts from 5 watts; Granted voluntary transfer of license for WJSZ 92.5 Ashley from Owosso Broadcasting to Curwood Broadcasting; Granted voluntary transfer of control for WWCM 990 Ypsilanti from Louis H. Velker and Daniel D. Poole to 990 Investors

September 10:

* Andy O'Reilly has secured the morning drive slot full time at Muskegon's WMRR 101.7. Status of former morning jock The Boatman is still undetermined, but look for the station to switch off the satellite soon and go with local hosts all day.

* WXYZ 7 Detroit reporter Kurt Rivera will be leaving the station to take on a morning anchor gig in Bakersfield, CA- Detroit Free Press

September 11:

* May-July 12+ Arbitrend reports have been released for Grand Rapids and Lansing. In Grand Rapids, the top 7 stations maintained their positions led by Classic Rock WLAV, Country WBCT, and Alternative Rock WGRD. 4th place WOOD-FM increased its lead over Adult Contemporary rival WLHT to 1.7 points. 8th place Top40/CHR station WVTI increased its share to 5.1, up from 4.3. Over in the Capital City, the top 9 stations maintined their positions led by Country WITL, Adult Contemporary WFMK, and Top40/CHR WHZZ. Big gainers in Lansing were Nostalgia WILS (4.2 to 5.0) and Country WXIK (2.2 - 2.9).

* New afternoon jock (3-7pm) at WYCD 99.5 Detroit starting Monday is Chuck Edwards, who arrives from Dallas. Staying is co-host Linda Lee- Detroit Free Press

September 13:

* Muskegon's WMRR 101.7 has dropped its satellite feed from Westwood One in favor of a full lineup of local jocks. Primary music format remains classic rock (60's - early 80's), but with a heavier emphasis on more current songs. Satellite feed heavily featured 60's - 70's classic rock.

* May-July 12+ Arbitrend reports are now available for the Tri-Cities. The top 13 stations maintained their positions led by Country WKCQ, News/Talk WSGW, and Oldies WHNN. Contemporary Hits WIOG improved its ratings by 1.6 points, while rhythmic based competitor WTCF showed a .5 increase.

* WDMK 102.7 Mt. Clemens/Detroit program director J.D. Kunes has left the station, accepting a promotion within the Radio One organization- All Access

September 15:

* On air changes at WHZZ 101.7 Lansing: joining the morning show is Joe 'Da Hunk' Reno and producer Jessica 'Sweeney' Addams (wife of program director Jason Addams), new afternoon host and promotions director is Jack Spooner, midday host Dave B. Goode adds interim music director duties, new night host and production coordinator is Mike Couchman (ex of WXIK), new to weekends are Mike Suttles (also ex of WXIK) and Jeff Dekett; WKFR 103.3 Battle Creek morning co-host Heather McGregor has left; WRKR 107.7 Kalamazoo assistant program director/afternoon host Dave Duran has left, WBXX's Greg Thomas takes afternoons and current night jock Kevin O'Conner picks up the APD role; Creative service director Jeff Green for the Cumulus stations in Kalamazoo (WKFR, WRKR, WKMI) is leaving, replacement is Tim Burt- All Access

* FCC Action: Approved the involuntary assignment of license for WKBZ 1520 Muskegon Heights from WLC Broadcasting to Harbor Pointe Broadcasting

September 17:

* Lineup changes at WDFN 1130 Detroit effective Monday 9/20: Jamie Samuelsen & Gregg Henson move to morning drive (6-9am) from middays, the Jim Rome show expands 1 hour from noon - 3 pm, and the Stoney & Wojo show (Mike Stone and Bob Wojnowski) gains an hour and will run from 3-7pm. Gone from the lineup is Parker & The Man (Rob Parker and Mark Wilson).

* FCC Actions: Granted license to cover for W296AX 107.1 Escanaba (translator of WNMU 90.1); granted voluntary transfer of license for WWON 1160 Fenton from GWC Inc. to Birach Broadcasting.

* NBC has purchased 32% of the Pax network for $415 million. Paxson plans to add appropriate programming from NBC, keeping with the Pax family-friendly theme, beginning with made-for-TV movies, miniseries, and shows from NBC News and CNBC. NBC also will have rights to air NBC programming not picked up by the local NBC affiliate on Pax stations.

* FCC Action: Approved a call sign change for TV 25 W25BI Grand Rapids to WOGC-LP, effective 9/10/99

September 19:

* WIDL 92.1 Caro has shifted its format from satellite fed Classic Rock to satellite fed Hot Adult Contemporary

* Bo Andrews, former 3-7pm and 7pm-midnight host on northern Michigan sister stations The Zone and The Bear has left the stations

September 20:

* Congratulations to Grand Rapids' WBCT 93.7 FM on the results of its recent Roofsit for Kids Marathon. The station raised $483,829 to aid in the fight of child abuse and neglect, bringing the seven year total for the event to over $2 million- Grand Rapids Press

September 21:

* The June-August 12+ Arbitrend report has been released for Detroit. This is the last report before the recent changes at WDMK 102.7, WWWW 106.7, and WPLT 96.3 will be measured. WNIC maintained its #1 spot, followed by WJLB. WOMC and WJR swapped #3 and #4, with WOMC jumping ahead of WJR. WWJ moved into a 5th place tie with WRIF, followed by WVMV. WDRQ moved into 7th place overall, followed by WCSX, WDTJ, and WWWW. Urban Oldies WXDG increased to a 3.0 share and maintained its 14th place position.

* Lineup at WMRR 101.7 Muskegon so far: 5:30-10am is Andy O'Riley who also adds music director responsibilities; Bill Marshall does middays (10am-2pm) and holds the creative services director role; afternoons (2-7pm) are held by former morning host The Boatman who also keeps his duties as promotions coordinator- Muskegon Chronicle

September 23:

* Format changes in the Ann Arbor area: WWCM 990 Ypsilanti, recently purchased by a group led by former Domino's Pizza owner Tom Monaghan, has dropped its Christian music format in favor of Catholic radio, simulcasting WCAR 1090 Livonia. This programming moved from WDEO 1290 Saline, which is now formatted as business news/talk '1290 Your Business News'.

* WJR AM 760 Detroit's Mitch Albom afternoon show has added a full time affiliate: WHJJ Providence, Rhode Island; Mike Austin has left the morning gig at WFAT 96.5 Kalamazoo, replaced by former WRKR Kalamazoo jock Dave Doran; Former morning show cost-host PJ Lacey at WNWN 98.5 Coldwater has moved to middays, bumping Jay Sommers to afternoons, nights are held down by Erica Crews. New to the WNWN morning show is Deana, who moves from Detroit- All Access

September 24:

* New morning show host effective Monday Sept. 27th at WDMK 102.7 Detroit is Frankie Darcell, who is moving from afternoon drive at WJLB 97.9 Detroit. Reggie Reg will take over the vacated spot at WJLB- Detroit News

* The CRTC (Canadian equivalent of the FCC) has approved a new station for Chatham, Ontario to be located at 94.3 FM. Approved ERP is 50,000 watts, the owner is Bea-Ver Communications (current owner of CFCO 630 and CKSY 95.1).

* Changes at Grand Rapids area stations WVTI 96.1 and WSNX 104.5: Afternoon jock at WSNX Eric O'Brien adds assistant program director duties for both WSNX and WVTI, Brad Newman adds the music director title at WSNX to his night on air shift role, and Ken Evans is named as night timer and music director at WVTI- All Access

* New nighttime (7pm-midnight) jock at The Bear (northern Michigan) is Sue Carson.

* New program director at WXYT 1270 Detroit is Sean Cherry- Detroit Free Press

September 27:

* The owners of WCXT FM 105.3 Hart have taken control of the station once again, ending the Local Marketing Agreement with Harbor Pointe Entertainment, and ending the Dance format known as 'The Whip'. The station has reverted back to its previous format - Adult Contemporary - after about 3 months as The Whip.

* New station WMOM FM 102.7 Pentwater officially signed on yesterday (9/26) as Adult Top 40, current hits of the 80's and 90's. The liner being used is 'Remember to Listen to Your MOM - WMOM'.

September 28:

* Morning host Keith Kelly has left WIOG FM 102.5 Bay City. Filling in with current co-hosts Lisa Farrell an Andrea Patzer until a new permanent host is announced will be program director Mark Anderson- All Access

September 29:

* WOMC 104.3 Detroit afternoon DJ Tom Ryan and his wife Joan will be undergoing transplant surgery today as Tom donates one of his kindeys to Joan. Mrs. Ryan has had kindey troubles for years, luckily husband Tom was a tissue match. Today's surgery comes one day before the couple's 27th wedding anniversary.

* Shannyn Cook is the new program director and afternoon drive host at Ann Arbor's WQKL 107.1. Previously Shannyn could heard parttime on WKQI 95.5 Detroit and as the midday traffic reporter on WWJ 950 Detroit.

September 30:

* More classical music programming is coming to WYUR 1310 Detroit starting October 11th. The station will add 5 more hours of classics- the new schedule will be: 6-9am- Jimmy Launce (moving from middays); 9am-Noon- Classical Music; Noon-1pm- 'Lunch With the Lawyers'; 1-3pm- Classical Music; 3-7pm- Jim Davis; and from 7pm-6am- Classical Music. Former WQRS host Dick Wallace will be the voice of the classical programming during the daytime, Davis Gloff and Pat McElroy will continue their nighttime and weekend duties. Voluntarily moving off the air is current morning host Bob Hynes and current afternoon host Joe Martelle. Hynes and Martelle are the co-founders of WYUR, and will remain with the station- Oakland Press

* WNMC 90.7 Traverse City has dropped its morning show, 'Community Connection', hosted by general manager Rita Mellotti and now signs on at 8am instead of 6am

* WKFR 103.3 Battle Creek recently raised over $74,000 for the Child At Heart Fund during 'Roof Sit 99'- All Access




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