April 2000 News and Notes

April 2:

* A few new additions to the list of Michigan webcasters: WMQT 107.7 Marquette, WUPX 91.5 Marquette, WNKW 1400 Sault Ste Marie

* Line-up changes in Kalamazoo effective Apr 3: Jim Rome adds WQSN 1660 as an affiliate from noon-3pm; Marci Persky takes the morning slot (6-10am) away from the syndicated Don Imus on WKMI 1360

April 3:

* WNIL-AM 1290 Niles switched from Oldies to Middle-of-the-Road today

* New afternoon (3-6pm) program on WOOD-AM 1300 Grand Rapids is the 'Neal Dionne Show'. Dionne will continue on with his morning show co-hosting duties on sister station WBCT-FM 93.7 (B-93) for now.

April 4:

* WLHT-FM 95.7 Grand Rapids has added the syndicated Delilah program evenings (7pm - 1am)

* Program director Dan Mason of WFAT-FM 96.5 Kalamazoo has left the station. PJ Lacey, PD at sister station WNWN-FM 98.5 takes over the same duties at WFAT. Tony Travatto continues his on-air, music director, and assistant program duties- All Access

April 5:

* The latest trend numbers were released today for the Tri-Cities. The results for listeners age 12 and up for Dec-Feb show that News/Talk WSGW had a good month, moving into the number 1 position. Country WKCQ moved into a second place tie with Oldies WHNN, with WKQZ and WIOG rounding out the top 5. The gap between Contemporary Hits rivals WIOG and WTCF widened a bit in this trend with WIOG increasing its lead to 1.4 points, up from .2 in the Nov-Jan trend.

* New program director and afternoon host at WZUU 92.3 Allegan/Kalamazoo is Mike Tinnes- All Access

* Over $95 million dollars was raised during 1999 as public service to local communities and charities by television and radio stations across the state according the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

* FCC Actions: Granted WADL-TV 38 Mt. Clemens its construction permit for digital facilites on channel 39; Granted WGTU-TV 29 Traverse City a minor change to its licensed facility (construction permit to increase ERP from 1000 to 1170kW, HAAT increase from 396 to 398 meters).

April 6:

* Classic Rock WLAV and Country WBCT continued as the #1 and #2 stations in the Dec-Feb 12+ Arbitrend report released today for Grand Rapids. Contemporary Hits WSNX moved up to third overall, improving its number from 6.1 to 7.0. Also improving was Alternative Rock WGRD which landed 4th this month. The increases at WSNX and WGRD moved the WOOD-FM/AM combo down to 5th and 6th place, followed by WVTI, WKLQ, WLHT, and WTRV.

* Call sign changes: WGKI 33 Cadillac is now WFQX; WGKU 45 Vanderbilt (Gaylord) is now WFVX.

April 7:

* Only one change in the latest 12+ ratings trend for Lansing: Nostalgia WILS moved from 7th to 6th place with a rating of 5.4, up from last month's 4.0. The top 5 stations in Lansing remain WITL, WHZZ, WJIM-FM, WFMK, and WMMQ.

* Music director/assistant program director Tom VanderVeld has left WQKZ 93.3 Midland; Gary Lange plans to retire this spring/summer from his sports duties at WKZO 590 Kalamazoo after 27 years with the station; Changes in WKZO's news department: Ellen Wingertzan is leaving for Milwaukee and on May 1 Cathleen Orr will join the staff; WKFR 103.3 Battle Creek night jock Nick Taylor has added the role of music director- All Access

April 8:

* A couple of firsts on Tuesday the 11th: The Detroit Tigers will play their first ever game in Comerica Park, and for the first time a local Detroit over-the-air station will not be carrying the game. In order to check out both the opening ceremonies and the game, you'll need to have access to Fox Sports Net Detroit via your cable or satellite company- Detroit News

April 12:

* On the air since March 1st is WMXG 106.3 Stephenson (Menominee/Escanaba). The Hot Adult Contemporary station is IDing as 'Mix 106'

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary assignment of licenses from Michigan Media to Citadel Broadcasting for the following stations: WBBL-AM 1340 and WLAV-FM 96.9 Grand Rapids, WKLQ-FM 94.5 Holland, and WODJ-FM 107.3 Greenville.

April 13:

* Gone from AM 1470 WFNT Flint as of 2:00pm today is its News/Talk format in favor of satellite fed Adult Standards. The service is ABC Radio's Stardust. Gone from the airwaves of Flint (save for coverage from out-of-town stations) are Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, and Dr. Joy Browne, among others.

* Central Michigan University Television has applied for its digital facilities: WCMU Mt. Pleasant on channel 56, WCML Alpena on channel 57, WCMW Manistee on channel 17, and WCMV Cadillac on channel 58

April 14:

* The latest Michigan radio station to add a live webcasting feature is Bay City's WKNX 1250.

* A couple news director appointments in Detroit: At WKRK-FM 97.1 Rik Jagger (ex of WHYT/WPLT 96.3) gets the gig; Moving from Michigan Radio (WUOM/WFUM-FM/WVGR) to WDET-FM 101.9 is Joan Silvi- Oakland Press

* New program director at WAOR-FM 95.3 Niles/South Bend is John Vance- All Access

* Sale price of WCFX 95.3 Clare/Mt. Pleasant was $1.1 million (from Mackin Broadcasting to Goldsen Broadcasting)- Broadcasting & Cable

* The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill that would prevent the FCC from rolling out the Low Power FM plan that was announced late last year. The legislation would dramatically limit the number of new LFPMs by keeping in place the '3rd adjacent rule'- something the National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio insist is necessary to prevent interference to existing stations. While the bill passed the House easily, it fell short of securing a 2/3 majority- necessary should President Clinton veto the bill if and when it is approved by the Senate. The White House has stated it is favor of the original FCC plan.

April 15:

* Off the air for several hours today was WDMK-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens/Detroit. The station is in the process of upgrading its antenna system and needed to take the station off the air while changes were being made. The station will be operating at reduced power until the FCC approves the station's license with the new antenna data.

* Another new station adds webcasting- WKQS-FM 101.9 Negaunee/Marquette

* Call sign for new station to be at 107.9 in Charlevoix is WCZW

April 17:

* Michigan's first high school station to broadcast its radio station signal (in stereo!) over the Internet is Bloomfield Hills' (metro Detroit) WBFH-FM 88.1.

* Agri-Valley Communications, owner of the currently silent WSTD-FM 96.9 in Standish, has reached an agreement to donate the station to Central Michigan University. The station will become part of CMU's public radio network once FCC approval is approved- expected sometime during the summer. CMU Public Radio expects to have the station back on the air by November- Central Michigan Life

* FCC Action: Granted WLLA-TV 64 Kalamazoo a construction permit to increase effective radiated power to 5,000,000 watts (from 1,450,000), increase height above average terrain to 331 meters (from 305)

April 18:

* TV Notes from Detroit: Longtime anchor Bill Bonds is no longer doing commentary for WXYZ-TV 7- you might have seen Bonds doing ads for Garder-White Furniture in the past week; Returning to WXYZ effective today will be former anchor Frank Turner- he'll be doing weekend anchor duties alongside Carolyn Clifford as well as street reporting during the week. Turner left the station two years ago after personal problems became public. He's spent time hosting radio programs on WXYT-AM 1270 while off TV; Reporter Suzanne Wangler left WDIV-TV 4 about 2 weeks ago; WJBK-TV 2 main sports guy Dan Miller is off in Europe for the next couple of weeks doing play-by-play for the Fox network's NFL Europe telecasts- Detroit Free Press, Detroit News

April 20:

* Nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame is WOMC 104.3 Detroit jock Dick Purtan. Purtan's Detroit resume includes WOMC, WKQI/WCZY, CKLW, WXYZ, and WKNR.

* Correction- Scott Seipel remains on the job as program director and morning co-host at Flint's WWCK-FM 105.5 instead of heading to South Carolina- All Access

* WWJ-AM 950 Detroit has named Pam Woodley as its news director- R&R Online

* In as producer of the morning show on WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit is Jeff Williams, replacing Mark Blackwell- Detroit Free Press

* WKAR-TV 23 E. Lansing has applied for its digital facilities on channel 55

April 21:

* WFAT has repositioned itself towards a more mainstream Adult Contemporary sound, moving away from Hot AC. Ace Armstrong signed off from the morning show for the last time after today's show- he'll remain with the station as a part-timer and web designer- All Access

* Off the air for much of today was Mt. Pleasant's WCEN-FM 94.5 due to transmission line problems.

* FCC Action: Granted WNEM-TV 5 Bay City its construction permit for digital facilities on channel 22

April 22:

* The problem causing Mt. Pleasant's WCEN-FM to be off the air since the early morning of Friday 4/21 is severe lightning damage to the transmission line. New parts--a new transmission line and possibly a new antenna--must be ordered, shipped and installed, and WCEN-FM is expected to remain silent through the weekend.

* Kam Carman will be co-hosting WJBK-TV 2 Detroit's morning show while Lucy Noland is out on maternity leave. Noland has been ordered to rest by her doctor.

April 24:

* Sister stations WMPL-FM and WMPL-AM in Hancock now have a live stream of their programming available.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses from Wismer Broadcasting to Liggett Communications for WSAQ-FM 107.1 and WHLS 1450 Pt. Huron; Granted WWTV-TV 9 Cadillac/Traverse City its construction permit for digital facilities on channel 40

April 26:

* The operators of WYUR-AM 1310 in Dearborn have decided to close down their operations. The station will revert to a simulcast of WNIC-FM 100.3 at midnight on Saturday- The Oakland Press

* Winter 2000 Arbitron ratings for Detroit were released today. Adult Contemporary WNIC continued as Detroit's #1 station for listeners age 12 and over with Urban WJLB second, All-News WWJ third, News/Talk WJR fourth, and Oldies WOMC fifth. Stations with notable changes since the fall include Urban WDTJ up to 3.7 from 3.1; Urban Oldies WGRV down to 2.0 from 3.1, and All-Sports WDFN down to 1.3 from 1.8.

* Mt. Pleasant's WCEN-FM returned to the air at reduced power today- full repairs are expected by the end of the week.

* Moving from morning show producer at WLHT-FM Grand Rapids to mornings at Muskegon's WSHZ-FM is John Roberts- All Access

* New program director at WWDX-FM 92.1 Lansing is Jeff Welling

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses from Hanson Communications to Liggett Communications for WBTI-FM 96.9 Lexington, WPHM-AM 1380 Pt. Huron, and WHYT-AM 1590 Marine City

April 27:

* Former WWDX program director Chris Brunt left the station for a position with a website development company in metro Detroit- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted a construction permit for W59AJ Jackson (translator of WAPQ-TV Saginaw) to move to channel 27 as W27CJ and to move both facilities and city of license to Ann Arbor

April 28:

* Citadel yesterday announced the sale of Saginaw radio stations WTCF-FM 100.5, WGER-FM 106.3, and WSGW-AM 790 to Delaware based W & W Broadcasting for an undisclosed amount, pending FCC approval later this year- Saginaw News

* The shareholders of AMFM and Clear Channel this week both approved the merger of the companies. Look for the finalization of the merger to be complete about September 30th

April 29:

* Detroit's WYCD-FM 99.5 has added a classic country show on Saturday nights from 8pm-12am hosted by JR Nelson, Mike Williams, and Tom Baker; Former WWJ-AM 950 Detroit news director Steve Kay has passed away from a brain tumor- All Access

* No Nightly News for Pax stations- plans to rebroadcast the NBC Nightly News on Pax stations one hour after it airs on NBC stations has been delayed while the network negoitates with its affiliates- Broadcasting & Cable

* Sold: Manistee's WXYQ-FM 101.5 from Crystal Clear Communications (also owns WBNZ-FM 99.3 Frankfort) to Lake Michigan Broadcasting (WKLA-FM/AM 106.3/1450 Ludington, WKZC-FM 94.9 Scottville, and WMTE-AM 1340 Manistee) for $300,000- Broadcasting & Cable


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