December 2000 News and Notes

December 1:

* Sale price of WVIC-FM 92.7 Charlotte from B&B Broadcasting to Rubber City Radio: $600,000- R&R Online

* Coltrace Communications has filed an application with the FCC to transfer the license of the now silent WJKN-AM 1510 to Spring Arbor College. Coltrace sold the land that the station's broadcast towers were on, forcing the station off the air. Spring Arbor currently owns and operates WSAE-FM 106.9 and KTGG-AM 1540 as well as several FM translators of WSAE. There is no word from Spring Arbor as to what their plans are for the license of WJKN.

* 2 sets of Arbitrend 12+ phase 1 ratings (Aug-Oct) for Michigan were released yesterday:

In Grand Rapids, Country WBCT-FM remained on top with Top 40 WSNX-FM moving from 4th place up to second, improving from 6.9 to 7.7. Modern Rock WGRD-FM and Classic Rock WLAV-FM tied for 3rd, each station suffered notable ratings erosion from the final summer book. Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM remained in 5th overall. Notable ratings winners along with WSNX included WOOD-FM, Adult Contemporary WLHT-FM, and Standards WMJH-AM. Rock stations overall suffered in the latest book; along with the declines at WGRD and WLAV, WKLQ-FM carded a 4.5 rating- it's lowest in quite awhile. Grand Rapids' newest station, Classic Rocker WBFX-FM wieghed in with a 2.8 as the trends begin to reflect the effects of September's format change from Country.

Lansing's Country WITL-FM stayed on top, increasing its ratings a full point from 12.2 to 13.2 since the summer book. The jump increased its lead over Top 40 WHZZ which remained in second place. Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM moved into a third place tie with Oldies WJIM-FM and Classic Rocker WMMQ remained in 5th place. Stations with upward trends include WITL, Urban WQHH-FM, Standards WILS-AM, and Battle Creek-based Top 40 WKFR-FM.

* Detroit native Fanchon Stinger moves from weekend anchor to the 5:30pm weekday newscast as co-anchor on WJBK-TV 2 Detroit, replacing longtime WJBK reporter Sherry Margolis. Sandra Ali takes over the weekend anchor desk.

December 5:

* FCC Actions: Granted Central Michigan University a modification to its license for WWCM-FM 96.9 Standish; Granted the voluntary assignment of construction permits to MS Communications for the following LPTV stations- W67DN Houghton Lake from Harry W. Reed II, W52CO and W55CH Houghton Lake from Terry R. Evans, W21BS Houghton Lake from Marianne Healy; W64CK Petoskey from James Delahoyde, W15BM Traverse City from Stephen Saffold, W20BQ Petoskey from Roger L.D. Smith

December 6:

* Congrats to WLLC-FM Detroit on raising over $331,000 for the Children's Miracle Network during its recent Alice Cares for Kids Radiothon; Also at WLLC, afternooner Steve Black adds the role of assistant program director; Shawn Sheldon is named operations manager at WKHQ-FM Charlevoix- All Access

* The FCC has assigned the call sign WHYT to the construction permit at 89.1 FM in Imlay City

* Spring Arbor College will be obtaining the license for WJKN-AM 1510 Jackson as a gift from John Salov, owner of Coltrace Communications. E. Harold Munn, president of Spring Arbor College Communications comments "At the present time, we are reviewing the options for the WJKN facility while awaiting FCC approval for the transfer. Spring Arbor College has the most extensive student training program in real-time broadcast communications in the midwest as contrasted to the professionally operated "educational" stations operated by other schools, primarily state universities. The FM facility, WSAE, provides coverage of the greater Jackson area and feeds translators in Kalamazoo, Lansing, Battle Creek and Albion. The AM facility, KTGG, provides an alternative service during daytime hours. A more definitive announcement of plans for reactivation of the 1510 kHz facility will be made in late winter after appropriate FCC actions are complete."

December 7:

* New afternoon driver at WATZ-FM 99.3 Alpena starting Monday is Rich Spicer, formerly midday host and promotions director at WCEN-FM Mt. Pleasant. Spicer returns to his hometown for a second stint at WATZ-FM, he was first with the station from 1988-95. The afternoon drive slot opened at WATZ-FM last month when Jack Scott left the station.

December 8:

* Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh will be shifting stations in Detroit from WXYT-AM 1270 to WJR-AM 760- Detroit Free Press

* WYUR-AM 1310 Detroit will be getting new a new call sign, WXDX, to match is on-air positioner as 'The X'

* Jeff Sattler is leaving his role as vice-president/general manager at WVMV-FM 98.7 Detroit on December 31 after 8 years with the station. Sattler helped shape the station after its switch to Smooth Jazz from Rock and guided it to a top 5 rating- WVMV received highest shares ever for a major market station with the Smooth Jazz/NAC format in Summer 2000- R&R Online

* General sales manager Margaret LaHuis has been promoted to general manager at WGRD-FM Grand Rapids; John Patrick, currently program director at WBXX-FM Battle Creek, adds similar duties at sister station WWKN-FM Marshall- All Access

December 9:

* Bill Carey has been named as WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit news director effective Monday- Detroit News

December 12:

* WVIC-FM 92.7 Charlotte/Lansing has returned to the air simulcasting soon-to-be sister station WWDX-FM 92.1. WVIC is in the process of being purchased by Rubber City Radio Group, current owner of WWDX, WXIK-FM, and WJXQ-FM- closure of the deal is still pending FCC approval.

December 13:

* WXYT radio today announced that The Locker Room is poised to take over the 3-6pm slot on WXYT 1270 Detroit effective January 5th as the station shifts to a Sports format. Locker Room, hosted by Eli Zaret, Kirk Gibson, and Gary Danielson, moves to radio after a run on WDIV-TV and Fox Sports Net. Zaret is a well-known Detroit sportscaster, his resume includes a stint as morning host at rival sports-talker WDFN and several years on television at WDIV and WJBK-TV. Gibson is a former Detroit Tigers star and current color commentator for Tigers broadcasts on Fox Sports Net. Danielson is a former Detroit Lions quarterback and current color commentator for ABC-TV's college football programming. "Gibby, Gary and Eli are franchise players. Adding them to the Red Wings, Lions and Tigers gives us an incredible line-up," said station vice president and general manager Rich Homberg. Danielson said the show will take sports listeners inside the locker room and give them the perspective of the players and coaches. WXYT plans to shift from its current Talk format to Sports as a result of landing play-by-play broadcasts of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings from WJR-AM earlier in the fall- The Oakland Press

* WNIC-FM continues its run at the top of the Detroit 12+ Arbitrend ratings. According to the fall phase 2 trend (Sept-Nov) released yesterday, the Adult Contemporary station continues to have a sizable lead over the remaining top-5 stations- News/Talk WJR-AM, Urban WJLB-FM, News WWJ-AM, and Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM. Of note for this trend was WJR's strength, even without Red Wings broadcasts, and Modern Adult Contemporary WPLT-FM slipping behind FM Talker WKRK-FM.

* Lesleigh Green has left her gig as morning show co-host at WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids; Nathan Reed, assistant program director/music director/midday host at WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint, has left the station in order to continue his education on a fulltime basis- All Access

December 15:

* It's official: Starting 3/1/2001, Detroit area listeners of the Rush Limbaugh program will have to tune to WJR-AM 760 as the show will be moving from longtime home WXYT-AM.

* Howard Stern announced on his show this morning that he is staying with Viacom/Infinity Broadcasting having signed a new 5 year contract. In Michigan, Stern's 6-10:30am show is heard on WKRK-FM Detroit and WKLQ-FM Grand Rapids.

December 18:

* WJR-AM Detroit raised over $80,000 for the Children's Center of Detroit during its recent on-air auction- Detroit Free Press

December 19:

* WHYT-FM 89.1 Imlay City has started preliminary on-air tests. The station is airing Adult Christian Contemporary programming.

* FCC Actions:

  • Granted construction permits for 4 new translator stations:
  • W208BB 89.5 Royal Oak, 2 watts @ 62 meters, Calvary Chapel of Twin falls (KAWZ-FM 89.9 Twin Falls, ID)
  • W209BR 89.7 Columbia Twp (SE of Jackson), 10 watts @ 38 meters, W205BZ 88.9 Adrian, 10 watts @ 29 meters, W211BQ 90.1 Adrian, 10 watts @ 29 meters- all 3 Great Lakes Broadcast Academy (WAAQ-FM 88.3 Onsted)
  • Granted licenses to cover for changes to WLNZ-FM 89.7 Lansing and W214BH 90.7 Mt. Pleasant; Granted WGRV-FM 105.1 Detroit its license to modify its auxiliary transmitting antenna

December 20:

* 'Tis the season for charity and fundraising- WOMC-FM Detroit raised over $238,000 for Children's Hospital of Michigan during its Christmas is for Kids radiothon; Bob Bauer of WKRK-FM Detroit gathered 96 tons of food for the needy during his 16th annual Marathon for Meals; Tic Tak of WDRQ-FM gathered more than 25,000 toys during 'Stuffabus'- donations filled two buses.

December 21:

* Maureen Lesourd, currently vice president and general manager at Detroit's WYCD-FM, adds the same roles at Infinity-owned sister station WVMV-FM- Detroit Free Press

December 22:

* Sold: WOBE-FM 100.7 Crystal Falls from Crystal Radio Company to Results Broadcasting of Iron Mountain for $800,000. Crystal Radio is owned by Lyle Evans, also the owner of WMXG-FM 106.3 Stephenson/Escanaba. WOBE is currently silent; the station has a construction permit to increase power from 350 watts to 100,000 watts. WOBE will be the second Michigan station for Results Broadcasting which also currently owns WJNR-FM 101.5.

December 26:

* WVIC-FM 92.7 Charlotte/Lansing has dropped the simulcast of WWDX-FM (The Edge) in favor of playing pre-recorded sports bits as '92.7 the Ticket'.

* WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit has shifted positioners from 'Talkradio 1270' to 'Team 1270' as the station continues to migrate away from conservative-based talk to all-sports programming.

December 28:

* Sold: SportsTalk WMAX-AM 1440 Bay City from Saginaw Bay Broadcasting to 990 Investors for $485,000. 990 Investors is controlled by Tom Monaghan, the current owner of Ypsilanti's Catholic WDEO-AM 990 (Ave Maria Radio).

* Midwest Communications is now LMA'ing WEVS-FM 92.7 Saugatuck from Conrad Communications- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted licenses to cover for two FM translators- W19CA 91.7 Kalamazoo (Rejoice Broadcasting) and W203AX 88.5 Caro (Calvary Satellite Network)

December 29:

* Arbitrend phase 2 ratings (September-November) were released yesterday for both Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Country WBCT-FM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, Classic Rock WLAV-FM, Modern Rock WGRD-FM, and News/Talk WOOD-AM were the top 5 12+ stations in Grand Rapids. WOOD-AM was the biggest winner this time, moving to 5th place from 7th with a ratings gain from 4.9 to 5.8 since the August-October trend.

Lansing's Country WITL-FM continued at number 1 overall, followed by Top 40 WHZZ-FM, Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM, Oldies WJIM-FM, and Rock WJXQ-FM. WFMK had the biggest ratings gain among the top 5 stations, improving on its phase 1 trend by moving to 8.8 from 8.0.

* Mt. Clemens/Detroit's WADL-TV 38 has added programming from the newly formed and co-owned The Word Network. Billed as Urban Religious Programming, The Word Network features local, regional, and national ministers, gospel music, and more.

* On December 21st, President Clinton signed into law legislation that limited the FCC's planned roll-out of low powered FM radio (LPFM). The FCC has accepted for filing 24 of the 88 applications for LPFM's in Michigan. These 24 are for stations that a) satisify the 3rd adjacent rule, and b) have only one applicant per frequency (Note: although 93.1 Grand Rapids and 105.3 Benton Harbor DO have 'competing' applications, the FCC has included these). Acceptance of filing for frequencies that have multilple applications will come at a later date.


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