March 2000 News and Notes

March 1:

* Detroit media icon Dick Osgood passed away yesterday following a massive stroke that occured about a week ago. Mr. Osgood was the first person to appear on WXYZ-TV channel 7 when it hit the air in 1948 and also worked for many years at WXYZ radio (1270 AM). Dick Osgood was 98 years old- The Oakland Press

* Affiliation swap: Upper Peninsula LPTV station WUPT 49 Crystal Falls has changed its network affiliation from the Outdoor Channel to the American Independent Network (AIN), effective today. The Outdoor Channel declined to renew the station's contract resulting in the change. WUPT-LP can also be viewed on channel 9 in Republic (near Ishpeming- W09AJ).

March 2:

* Congratulations to all the Michigan Association of Broadcasters 2000 Station of the Year Winners:

  • Market 1 Television: WJBK-TV 2 Detroit
  • Market 2 Television: WWMT-TV 3 Kalamazoo
  • Market 3 Television: WWTV/WWUP-TV 9/10 Cadillac-Traverse City-Sault Ste. Marie
  • Public Broadcasting: Michigan Radio (WOUM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor, WVGR-FM 104.1 Gd. Rapids, WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint)
  • Market 1 Radio: WJR-AM 760 Detroit
  • Market 2 Radio: WOOD-AM 1300 Grand Rapids
  • Market 3 Radio: WHMI-FM 93.5 Howell

* WDCQ-TV 19 Bay City (University Center) has applied for its digital facilities on channel 18

March 3:

* February sweeps results for Detroit's TV stations are in: Channel 7 wins the 5 and 6pm newscast battle, with WDIV capturing 11pm. WJBK continued its winning streak at 10pm over WKBD- Detroit Free Press, Detroit News

* Detroit's WDFN-AM 1130 (The Fan) will be the new radio home for Michigan State University football and basketball play-by-play coverage effective with this fall's football season.

* Leaving WWWW 106.7 (Alice 106.7) Detroit for more responsibilities at AMFM sister station WKQI 95.5 (Q95-5) is midday host/webdesigner Joe Stevens. Stevens has already been working for WKQI parttime- All Access

* New chief meteorologist at Lansing's WLNS-TV 6 will be Pat Michaels, replacing the departed Andy Provenzano- Orlando Sentinel

* Ex WKQI-FM Detroit morning man Steve Cochran is returning to his native Chicago for middays on WGN-AM.

* WDCP-TV 35 Bad Axe has applied for its digital facilities on channel 15

March 4:

* Tomorrow Detroit's WKBD-TV 50 will air the Michigan Humane Society's Petelethon from 2:30-5:00pm. Hosting the event will be WJR 760 newsman Michael Barr.

March 5:

* Petoskey's new 750 AM (WWKK) should be on the air in April with an Oldies format from Westwood One- DX-midAMerica

March 6:

* Today's announcement that Clear Channel has reached deals to spin off 72 stations does not include any of the properties owned by either Clear Channel or AMFM in Grand Rapids- CBS MarketWatch

* WEYI-TV 25 Saginaw will launch a new morning news program on Monday March 13th. The 30 minute program will air at 6:30am and be anchored by Kathy Hoekstra. Weather will be handled by Brian James who is relatively new to the station, having arrived from WGKI/WGKU (Fox 33/45) in Northern Michigan- Flint Journal

* Menominee's WHYB 103.7 (Cat Country) has added a live feed to their web site.

* Heard on Ann Arbor's WQKL-FM 107.1 over the past weekend was former CIDR 93.9 and WCSX 94.7 jock Jeff 'Zippy' Crowe

* FCC Action: Granted voluntary assignment of license from Liggett Broadcast to Citadel Communications for WFMK-FM 99.1 E. Lansing

March 7:

* Nov-Jan (Winter Phase I) 12+ Arbitrend ratings for Detroit were released yesterday. Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM continued its run as #1, increasing is rating from 7.2 to 7.9. All-News WWJ remained second, followed by WJLB which moved into 3rd, up from 5th place in the Fall ratings. WJR, WOMC, WYCD, WVMV, WDRQ, WRIF, and WCSX round out the top 10 stations. Other noteables: Urban Oldies WGRV fell from a 3.1 rating in the Fall to 2.3, FM-Talker WKRK improved slightly, and Full Service WYUR failed to make the book.

* A few on-air changes at Detroit's WWWW (Alice 106.7)- Steve Black (ex of WWBR) moves to afternoon drive and Scott Adams shifts to evenings- All Access

March 8:

* Big Rapids FM/AM combo WBRN 100.9/1460 has added live webcasts to its website. The stations have affiliated with broadcastmusic.com.

* Latest poll results: Michigan Radio (WUOM Ann Arbor / WVGR Grand Rapids / WFUM-FM Flint) was voted as the station with the best web site in the state by a wide margin over Grand Rapids' WBCT and Detroit's WRIF.

March 9:

* Music Director changes at both Detroit Top-40 stations: In at WDRQ 93.1 is Keith Curry replacing Jay Towers who keeps his assistant program director title along with morning gig; Dana Lundon has resigned at WKQI 95.5- All Access

March 10:

* More stations add webcasting: Country WIHC-FM 97.9 Newberry and Hot AC WQBX-FM 104.9 Alma.

* WDIV-TV 4 Detroit reporter Bob Bennett is retiring from the station this summer. Bennett will have been at the station for 32 years- Detroit News

* Named as news director at WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit is 22-year station veteran Al Upchurch.

March 11:

* Taking over the 9am-2pm shift at WWWW-FM 106.7 (Alice) Detroit is Carey Carlson who moves from weekends at WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit- Detroit News

* Nov-Jan 12+ Arbitrends for Toledo have been posted. WKKO, WVKS, and WRVF continue to hold down positions 1-2-3.

March 13:

* WKFR-FM 103.3 Battle Creek program director Dave Michaels has left the station. Woody Houston moves up to that position from music director/assistant program director- All Access

* Pirate station operating from downtown Pontiac on 106.3 FM as 'Christian Musical Radio' has had its $5000 Notice of Forfeiture reaffirmed by the FCC.

* Call sign assignment: New TV channel 10 in Ishpeming has been assigned the call sign WBUP

March 14:

* The shakeout involving the AMFM station group in Grand Rapids is now clarified. Regent Communications will be acquiring WTRV-FM 100.5, WGRD-FM 97.9, and WLHT-FM 95.7 in a deal with Clear Channel that involves the swapping of 11 current Regent-owned stations in smaller markets plus $67 million for the Grand Rapids group plus 5 other AMFM stations in Albany, NY. Currently, Regent Communications owns 3 other stations in Michigan- WCRZ-FM 107.9 and WFNT-AM 1470 Flint, WWBN-FM 101.5 Tuscola.

* WHFM AM 1060 Benton Harbor has switched format from CNN Headline News to Talk- Radio/DX Wisconsin

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for 2 new FM translators owned by Great Lakes Community Broadcasting- W205BQ 88.9 Brevort (NW of St. Ignace- translator of WAAQ Mackinaw City) and W214BH 90.7 Mt. Pleasant (translator of WAPC Terre Haute, IN)

March 15:

* New midday host at WHZZ 101.7 Lansing is Paul Morgan- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted WHTV its application for digital facilities on channel 34

March 16:

* Liggett Communications is acquiring 3 more Pt. Huron stations, this time from Hanson Communications. Applications were filed with the FCC to transfer the licenses of WBTI-FM 96.9 Lexington, WPHM-AM 1380 Pt. Huron, and WHYT-AM 1590 Marine City from Hanson to Liggett bringing Liggett's station ownership total in Port Huron to 5. In February it was announced that Liggett would be acquiring WSAQ-FM 107.1 and WHLS-AM 1450 from the estate of the late John Wismer. Both Pt. Huron deals come on the heels of a larger transaction that transferred all of Liggett's previous stations in Lansing, Flint, and the Tri-Cities to Citadel Communications.

* Former WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit part-timer Beau Derek moves to South Bend for afternoons and the role of music director at WNDV-FM 92.9- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted construction permit for a new FM translator owned by Great Lakes Community Broadcasting- W207BL 89.3 Pinnebog (N of Bad Axe- translator of WAAQ Mackinaw City)

March 17:

* Exiting Detroit's WPLT 96.3 for Seattle effective next Friday is program director Garett Michaels- All Access

* Classic Rock WLAV and Country WBCT continue to be the #1 and #2 stations in the latest 12+ ratings released for Grand Rapids. Moving into a 3rd place tie were WOOD-FM, WOOD-AM, and WSNX. Falling to 6th was WGRD, down to 7th overall was WKLQ. WLHT, WVTI, and WJKQ hold down spots 8-10, with Classical WFGR moving up to 11th spot overall.

* In Lansing, Country WITL returned to #1 after falling to second in the Fall book, followed by Top 40 WHZZ, Oldies WJIM-FM, and Classic Rock WMMQ.

* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary assignment of license for WZPX-TV 43 Battle Creek from DP Media to Paxson Communications

March 19:

* Saginaw's WTCF 100.5 (was ID'ing as The Pirate Station) started stunting over the weekend, playing audio from Star Wars films. At 10:00pm, The Empire Strikes Back was being played. The station's website promises changes at 6:15am tomorrow.

March 20:

* After stunting with David Bowie's Changes playing with teases of the station making 'changes' between replays of the song, Saginaw's WTCF didn't switch formats after all. The station remains 'Pirate Radio', rhythmic CHR.

* WIOG-FM 102.5 Bay City was also heard stunting this morning- they were playing The Bare Naked Ladies' If I Had a Million Dollars repeatedly before announcing a promotion to possibly give away $1 million dollars. New morning team at the station as of today is Man @ Large (who moves from evenings) and Andie Lynne (ex of WKCQ and WWWW). Demas moves from WTCF over to WIOG for nights.

* Free Gasoline! Detroit's WGRV-FM (The Groove) gave away free gas to the first 105 listeners to show up at a gas station in Southfield this afternoon- causing traffic headaches for the busy afternoon commute in the area.

* FCC Actions: Granted voluntary assignment of licenses from Connoisseur Communications to Cumulus Broadcasting for the following stations: WDZZ-FM 92.7, WFDF-AM 910, and WWCK-FM/AM 105.5/1570 Flint; WSHZ-FM 107.9, WMUS-FM/AM 106.9/1090, and WMHG-AM 1600 Muskegon, WMRR-FM 101.7 Muskegon Heights, WRSR-FM 103.9 Owosso, WTLZ-FM 107.1 Saginaw

March 21:

* WQXC 100.9 Kalamazoo has affiliated with BroadcastMusic.com and is now available on the web. Visit the station's home page to listen.

March 22:

* Your favorite all-time Detroit area radio station? According to the lastest Michigan Broadcast Guide poll, Oldies WHND over rocker WABX and The Big 8 CKLW. Although none of these stations exist in the form that made them famous, the impact these stations had on Detroit is still felt today.

March 23:

* WDOW-AM 1440 Dowagiac has dropped country programming in favor of a simulcast with sister station WVHQ-FM 92.1. The format is Adult Contemporary- DX-midAMerica

* Former WKFR program director Dave Michaels will be doing weekend on-air shifts at Detroit's WDRQ 93.1 as he continues to search for a new programming opportunity- All Access

March 24:

* Sale prices for two recent Port Huron area radio transactions: WSAQ/WHLS sold for $3.2 million, WBTI/WPHM/WHYT sold for $2.24 million. Liggett Communications was the purchaser of all 5 stations- WSAQ/WHLS were sold by Wismer Broadcasting, WBTI/WPHM/WHYT were sold by Hanson Communications- Broadcasting & Cable

* Chad Mitchell will be joining the 'Mojo in the Morning' show on Detroit's WKQI 95.5- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted Superior Communications a construction permit for a translator of WLGH Lansing on 89.1 FM (W206BD) in Hart Township (near Hart in Oceana county)

March 25:

* WZUU 92.3 Kalamazoo has affiliated with BroadcastMusic.com and is now available on the web. Visit the station's home page to listen.

* Detroit's WDRQ 93.1 joined the latest radio station trend- giving away free gasoline. The first 93 visitors to a South Lyon radio station yesterday evening were rewared with 10 free gallons of gas- the next 93 were able to buy gas at 93 cents/gallon.

March 27:

* The Winter phase II 12+ Arbitrend report was released today for Detroit. WNIC continues at #1, followed by WJLB which moves up to 2nd, with WWJ, WJR, and WOMC rounding out the top 5. WRIF moves up to 6th overall, bumping WYCD down to 7th. WDRQ, WVMV, and WCSX round out the top 10 this time around.

* Today was WJLB's turn for a free gas givaway- the first 98 listeners to a station in Detroit were able fill up this evening courtesy of the station.

* Joining the Deminski and Doyle afternoon show on WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit as executive producer is Bill Tortoriello. Bill moves from New Jersey 101.5, where the duo's show aired before the move to Detroit- All Access

March 29:

* The FCC announced dates for the 5 day open windows for filing applications for Low Power FM dates. Michigan is part of a group of states that will have its window in late August of this year- All Access

March 30:

* The simulcast of sister station WVHQ-FM 92.1 has ended for Dowagiac's WDOW 1440. The station is now News/Talk, after being Country for many years before dumping that format in favor of the FM simulcast earlier this month.

* WCFX 95.3 Clare/Mt. Pleasant has been sold from Mackin-Hults Broadcasting to Goldsen Broadcasting for an undisclosed amount. Goldsen, owned by Bruce and Sue Goldsen, is the majority owner of Jackson Radio Works, which consists of Jackson stations WKHM-FM/AM and WIBM-AM. The new owners have no immediate plans for changes to either on-air staff or programming. FCC approval is expected in June.

* Nancy McCauley of WJBK-TV 2 Detroit has resigned from the station after 25 years- Detroit News

* New to nights at WKQI 95.5 Detroit will be 'Booker' (Tim Stevens) who will arrive from Utah- All Access

March 31:

* When heritage Country station W4 (WWWW) in Detroit flipped format to Rockin' Hits last September, one of the more frequent questions heard was 'What about the Downtown Hoedown?'. Predictably, the show will go on in 2000 during the weekend of May 19-21. The radio sponsor? Young Country WYCD 99.5, which today is announcing the scheduled performers by having them call in to the station throughout the day. The Hoedown is one of the largest free concerts in the USA.

* FCC Actions: Granted a construction permit for a new FM station at 107.9 in Charlevoix. The station will be owned by Midwestern Broadcasting, which also owns 9 other stations in Northern Michigan.


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