July 2000 News and Notes

July 9:

* Michigan Radio has dropped its overnight classical music programming on its broadcast stations (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor, WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids, WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint) in favor of 24 hour-a-day news and talk. The classical music programming has moved to the web only 24 hours per day.

* Kevin O'Neill joined the morning show on WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit on July 6th. O'Neill returned to the Detroit airwaves after a brief stint in Kalamazoo at WFAT-FM 96.5.

* No longer with WODJ-FM 107.3 Grand Rapids is Len O'Kelly who had been the station's program director and morning host

* Back on the air is the Coldwater translator of WFRN-FM Elkhart, IN at 101.1 FM (W266AE)

* The FCC has granted Stafford Broadcasting a permanent waiver to the cross-ownership rule which will allow Stafford to take ownership of WPLB-AM Greenville from Kortes Communications while continuing to own The Daily News newspaper. The transfer of ownership of WPLB-FM Lakeview was also approved.

July 10:

* Former WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids sports director Warren Reynolds has passed away at age 64 from cancer. Reynolds has been on-air at WOOD-TV for over 30 years and was recently inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame- Grand Rapids Press

* WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit has been recognized with an Edward R. Murrow Award for its 'From the Heart' segment featuring Howell Manor, a home for mentally challenged men- Detroit Free Press

* Spring 2000 Phase 2 (Mar-May) Arbitron ratings for Grand Rapids and Lansing have now been posted. The top 5 stations in Grand Rapids were Classic Rock WLAV, Top 40 WSNX, Country WBCT, Alternative Rock WGRD, and Rock WKLQ. Lansing's top 5 were Top 40 WHZZ, Country WITL (tie for 1st), Adult Contemporary WFMK, Oldies WJIM-FM (tie for 3rd), and Rock WJXQ.

* No longer with WGRV-FM 105.1 Detroit is evening personality Karla Foxe- All Access

* Call sign changes:

  • 6/26- new 88.1 Muskegon assigned WPQZ
  • 6/26- new 95.9 Fife Lake assigned WTCU
  • 7/3- WAAQ 88.5 Mackinaw City granted WDQV
  • coming- new 88.3 Onsted assigned WAAQ

* FCC Actions: Granted W214BH 90.7 Mt. Pleasant its license (translator of WAPC); Granted WWJ-TV 62 Detroit its license to cover for increase in power to 5,000,000 watts from 1,000,000 and increase in HAAT to 327 meters from 296 at its new tower location; Granted a construction permit for WWJ-TV 62 Detroit for auxiliary facilities; Granted WOHO-LP Rockford a construction permit to move to channel 33

July 11:

* Be listening to 88.5 in Mackinaw City for the debut of 88dot5 The Dove (WDQV), scheduled to launch later this month. The station will feature Contemporary Christian music and be affiliated with Morningstar Network and SRN.

* The results from the poll concluded today show that most radio fans enjoy checking out the local stations when they travel around the state on vacation- and many of these folks enjoy the difference they hear when out-of-town.

July 13:

* As promised, Governor John Engler has vetoed $15.9 million of funding for Michigan's public broadcasters. The money was to be used to assist stations in their conversion to digital technology, required of TV stations by 2003. Michigan's public broadcasters estimate a total bill of $44 million to complete the transition to digital technology.

"We are disappointed with the veto and that the Governor has expressed reservations about digital broadcasting technology," said Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters President Michael Walenta of West Michigan Public Broadcasting in Grand Rapids. The House of Representatives, the Senate and Michigan citizens all supported the funding and recognize the value of public broadcasting's programming and the increased number of new opportunities available once stations convert to digital technology."

The partial state funding of the digital conversion of public broadcasting stations would have aligned Michigan with the neighboring Great Lakes states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin which have already passed legislation to fund digital conversion in their states. Digital broadcasting will be a critical component of every state's information technology infrastructure in the near future. "Without state support for the digital conversion of public broadcasting, Michigan risks falling behind," Walenta said.

Michigan's public broadcasters plan to re-double their efforts to ensure that Michigan citizens continue to receive the educational information, quality programs and services, and truly state-of-the-art technology from public broadcasting in the new digital age.

* Another option for Classical music is available over the web now from WAUS-FM 90.7 in Berrien Springs. The station from Andrews University previously offered webcasts only to monetary supporters of the station. To listen, visit the station's web site.

* Sold: Mt. Plesant's WCEN-FM/AM 94.5/1150 from Sommerville Associates to WILKS Broadcasting for $6 million, pending for FCC approval- R&R Online

* Former WYCD-FM 99.5 morning host Dr. Don Carpenter will be back on the air next week, guest hosting for the vacationing Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison on WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit.

July 14:

* Changes in the radio dial coming soon to the Upper Peninsula: WCMM-FM 94.7 Gulliver (Manistique) will be changing frequencies to 102.5 later this month to allow Green Bay station WZOR-FM (also on 94.7) to increase power from 6,000 to 25,000 watts. WCMM's frequency change will force the translator of WNMU-FM at 102.3 in Marquette off the air until a new frequency can be allocated. Due to the terrian of Marquette, the translator is used to fill in coverage of WNMU-FM's 90.1 signal. The owners of WZOR picked up the tab to move WCMM from 94.7 to 102.5.

* Margot Smith has left her job as program director at Kalamazoo's WRKR-FM 107.7- All Access

July 18:

* The first of Michigan's Spring Arbitron 12+ ratings reports was released today for Detroit. Continuing to hold down the top spot is Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM, followed by sister station Urban WJLB-FM. Up from 8th place overall in the Winter into 3rd is Smooth Jazz/NAC WVMV which improved its rating from 4.4 to 5.6. 'VMV sister station, Country WYCD-FM also moved up the chart- moving from 8th to 4th overall with a ratings improvment from 4.4 to 5.5. Rock WRIF-FM, News/Talk WJR-AM, Oldies WOMC-FM, News WWJ-AM, Top 40 WDRQ-FM, and Classic Rock WCSX-FM round out Detroit's top 10 stations. In addition to WVMV and WYCD, stations with notable ratings improvements include WRIF, Top 40 WKQI-FM, and Alternative Rock CIMX-FM.

* WCMM-FM has completed its frequency change, moving from 94.7 to 102.5. The translator of WNMU-FM in Marquette at 102.3 is now silent.

* WUPY-FM 101.1 Ontonagon is running with a dayparted format: they are running with their original Oldies format from 5am-1pm and 3-7pm, and using Jones Soft Hits from 1-3pm and 7pm-5am.

* Contemporary Hits WKFR-FM 103.3 Battle Creek has added a live stream to its web site.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses to Rubber City Radio Group from 62nd Street Broadcasting for the following stations- WWDX-FM 92.1 St. Johns, WXIK-FM 94.1 and WJXQ-FM 106.1 Jackson; Granted Daniel L. Pierce a construction permit to move the current construction permit for W61DB channel 61 Pinconning to channel 9 as W09CK in Flint. Antenna location is to be in Otisville on the WFBE tower, ERP 2,520 watts.

July 20:

* Flint to get over-the-air WB affiliate: Acme Communications has made arrangements to obtain the license for an unspecified station that will become an affiliate of the WB network once the FCC grants final approvals. The target date for the new station to be operational is 2001.

July 21:

* The Spring Arbitron 12+ ratings report is out for Ann Arbor. News/Talk WJR-AM 760 continues to lead the pack, followed by Contemporary Hits WKQI-FM 95.5 which moved to 2nd from a tie for 5th place. Ann Arbor's Gold based WKQL-FM 107.1 finished 3rd and led the Washtenaw County stations. Detroit based WNIC-FM 100.3, WDRQ-FM 93.1, WYCD-FM 99.5, WRIF-FM 101.1, WVMV-FM 98.7, WCSX-FM 94.7, and Windsor's CIMX-FM 88.7 rounded out the top 10 stations. Among other Ann Arbor area stations, Rocker WIQB-FM 102.9 finished 14th overall followed by Full Service WAAM-AM 1600 in 15th. Sports talker WTKA-AM 1050 finished 23rd, behind Detroit rival WDFN-AM 1130.

* Mike Couchman has been let go from his evening slot at WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing. Couchman will continue to do swing shift duties at Detroit's WKQI-FM 95.5.

* Approved: The merger of Clear Channel and AMFM by the Department of Justice

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses from Citadel Broadcasting to Wilks Broadcasting for WSGW-AM 790 and WGER-FM 106.3 Saginaw, and WTCF-FM 100.5 Carrollton.

July 24:

* Two more sets of Spring Arbitron 12+ ratings reports were released today. In Flint, Urban WDZZ-FM 92.7 moved back into the top spot, replacing Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5. Adult Contemporary WCRZ-FM 107.9 finished second, followed by WWCK, Oldies WHNN-FM 96.1, and Country WFBE-FM 95.1. Notable ratings gainers since the Fall 1999 book included WDZZ (9.8 to 10.8) and 2 Detroit based stations- WRIF-FM 101.1 (1.3 - 2.0) and WDJT-FM 105.9 (0.8 - 1.7).

Up I-75 in the Tri-Cities, Country WKCQ-FM 98.1 continued in the #1 spot, increasing its ratings from 9.4 in the Winter ratings to a 13.0 mark for the Spring. The rest of the top 5 stations were Top 40 WIOG-FM 102.5, WHNN, Rock WKQZ-FM 93.3, and News/Talk WSGW-AM 790.

* Launched: WZZM-TV 13 Grand Rapids' web site.

July 25:

* Your pick for the best Country station in Michigan? According to the just-concluded Michiguide Poll, it's Grand Rapids' WBCT-FM 93.7 (B-93) by a large margin over Detroit's WYCD-FM 99.5 (Young Country), Traverse City's WTCM-FM 103.5 (Today's Country Music), and Lansing's WITL-FM 100.7 (Wittle).

* Joey B (Joe Stevens) leaves weekend/swing duties at sister stations WKQI-FM 95.5 and WWWW-FM 106.7 Detroit for nights and the music director role at Charlevoix's WKHQ-FM 105.9- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary transfer of control from AMFM to Clear Channel for the following stations- WBXX-FM 95.3, WBCK-AM 930, and WRCC-AM 1400 Battle Creek, WLHT-FM 95.7, WGRD-FM 97.9, WTRV-FM 100.5, and WNWZ-AM 1410 Grand Rapids (WLHT, WGRD, WTRV, and WNWZ have been sold to Regent Communications).

July 26:

* The new WB affiliate in Flint/Saginaw will be on Channel 46 once FCC approval has been granted and the facilites for the station are completed. Acme Communications has purchased W46CR from Three Angels Broadcast Network, which currently airs on channel 46 from Saginaw.

July 27:

* Just say no: Wayne State University has reaffirmed that they have no intention of moving the programming of WDET-FM 101.9 to 90.9 (current home of WDTR)- meaning there is no such deal in the works with Detroit Public Schools- Detroit Free Press


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