October 2000 News and Notes

October 1:

* More on WCEN-FM 94.5 Mt. Pleasant's repositioning: At 7:00pm on Friday 9/29 Road Man by Big House was the last song played as 'Hot Rockin Country', which featured songs from 'fringe' artists such as Delbert McClinton, Steve Earle, and The Allman Brothers, ended. After 5 seconds of silence, the Star Spangled Banner was played with a ticking sound and a radio scanner on top of it. Once the clock stopped ticking, a mainstream county format was launched as 'The Tri-Cities Continuous Country, 94.5 The Moose'- the station will move its studios near Saginaw and focus more on the population centers of Bay City, Saginaw, and Midland. Most, if not all, of the current staff is believed to have been retained.

October 2:

* Cumulus Broadcasting reportedly completed its purchase of Connoisseur Communications this afternoon, just barely making the deadline for closing the deal. Stations involved include the Muskegon area's WMRR-FM 101.7, WMUS-FM 106.9, WMUS-AM 1090, WSHZ-FM 107.9, and WMHG-AM 1600 along with the Flint and Tri-Cities areas' WDZZ-FM 92.7, WRSR-FM 103.9, WWCK-FM 105.5, WWCK-AM 1570, WTLZ-FM 107.1, and WFDF-AM 910. The Muskegon group of 5 stations will be spun off to Clear Channel by Cumulus once FCC approval is received- Inside Radio

* On-air: Low power TV station WOHO on channel 33 in Holland after moving from channel 59 Rockford. The station is part of WOOD-TV's LPTV network of stations across West Michigan that carry UPN programming, Detroit sports coverage from UPN 50 in Detroit, and a local weather service.

* WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit midday host Dave Fuller signs to stay with the station for 5 more years- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary transfer of license from D & B Broadcasting to Fort Bend Broadcasting for WSRI-FM 92.1 Beulah and WSRQ-FM 100.1 Bear Lake; Also granted WSRI-FM its license to cover

October 3:

* According the just completed Michiguide.com poll, there was a lot of interest in watching the Olympics live in Michigan- about half of the respondents caught the Olympics on Canada's CBC which offered live coverage versus NBC's tape delayed offerings.

* Rubber City Radio has closed on its acquisition of Lansing/Jackson area stations WWDX-FM 92.1, WXIK-FM 94.1, and WJXQ-FM 106.1. Rubber City has been running the stations with a Local Marketing Agreement since May- R&R Online

* John Flint has left his position as operations manager of Cumulus' Kalamazoo radio group (WKFR-FM 103.3, WRKR-FM 107.7, WKMI-AM 1360); Chris Winters joins WZUU-FM 92.3 Kalamazoo for middays- All Access

* WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit has added the positioner "Greatest Hits of the 60's and 70's" while retaining it's "Oldies 104.3" slogan

October 4:

* Rock jock Aris Hampers has returned to the Grand Rapids airwaves on new classic rocker WBFX-FM 101.3 (The Fox) for afternoons 2-6pm. Also added to the lineup at The Fox is Allison Harte who'll handle the 6-9pm shift. Hampers' Grand Rapids resume includes stays at rockers WLAV-FM 96.9, where he was hired in 1972 and later fired from in August 1998, WKLQ-FM 94.5, and WCUZ-FM 101.3 during the early 1980's.

  • The lineup on The Fox:
  • 6am-10am: Bob & Tom
  • 10am-2pm: TBA
  • 2pm-6pm: Aris Hampers
  • 6pm-9pm: Allison Harte
  • 9pm-12am: Ranger Bob

* Former WCUZ-FM 101.3 Grand Rapids morning host Carl E. will land at Ann Arbor's WWWW-FM 102.9 (W4 Country)

October 5:

* A 20 station Detroit Red Wings' radio network is set to debut tonight; Wings and flagship station WXYT will work to add more affiliates in parts of the state not yet covered. Areas such as Lansing, Alpena, and Gaylord will be without radio coverage - along with parts of Metro Detroit on the fringe of WXYT's coverage area - as the Wings take the ice tonight.

* Low Power TV station WOWD-LP 15 Grand Rapids has changed its call sign to WXSP-LP to minimize confusion with 'parent' station WOOD-TV

October 6:

* WDIV-TV 4 Detroit and WHMI-FM 93.5 Howell weatherman Tom Sorrells is leaving the area for a TV weather job in Orlando- Detroit Free Press

* New market manager for Rubber City Radio's Lansing cluster (WWDX-FM 92.1, WXIK-FM 94.1, WJXQ-FM 106.1) is Dale Clarke who replaces Nancy Dymond; New general sales manager at WLLC-FM 106.7 Detroit (Alice 106.7) is Tom O'Brien (not to be confused with WPLT-FM Detroit's program director, also named Tom O'Brien, who moved from Alice 106.7 earlier this year)- All Access

October 9:

* WMXG-FM 106.3 Stephenson/Escanaba (Mix 106.3) has dropped the harder rock titles from its playlist and moved to a more traditional Hot Adult Contemporary format. The station previously was airing harder rock selections from bands such as Metallica and AC/DC along with current pop hits.

* WTWR-FM 98.3 Monroe night jock Nick Craig moves to weekends only while he looks for other opportunities. Former afternooner Rick Nichols returns to the station for the spot vacated by Craig- All Access

October 10:

* Clark Kent has left his gig as part of the 'Morning Revolution' on WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit's morning show for radio work in Seattle; Jack Johansson has been promoted to executive producer of special projects at Detroit's WXYZ-TV 7- Detroit Free Press

October 11:

* WUOM-FM's Tom Hemingway to retire after nearly 40 years at Michigan Radio- Ann Arbor News

* WYUR-AM 1310 Detroit will air all 82 Detroit Vipers games again this year. The Vipers had aired on AM 1310 last season when the station was being operated by AdVantage Communications- an arrangement that ended earlier this year. WYUR currently simulcasts most of its programming from sister station WNIC-FM 100.3. Matt Shepard and Dave Shand will handle the broadcast duties for the games, which includes a 21 game schedule on Fox Sports Net Detroit. Over in Grand Rapids, the Griffins will once again be heard on WOOD-AM 1300 with new play-by-play man Bob Kaser. Color commentators Larry Figurski and Don McSween will be in the booth for about 20 games each. Selected Griffins games will also be heard on WHTC-AM 1450 Holland and WDEE-FM 97.3 Reed City. WTKG-AM 1230 Grand Rapids will serve as the conflict station for WOOD-AM.

* Summary of changes at sister stations WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix and WLXT-FM 96.3 Petoskey/WLXV-FM 96.7 Cadillac- All Access:

  • Joey B. trades in assistant program director/music director roles at WKHQ for the program director job at WLXT/WLXV. He'll keep his midday on-air gig at WKHQ too.
  • Ron Pritchard, program director at WKHQ, is now the music director at both WKHQ and WLXT/WLXV
  • Misty Moon, promotions director/overnighter at WKHQ, has left the station, as has news director Coco Welsh
  • Overnights at WKHQ is Superradio's syndicated All Night Cafe' with Matt L.A. Reid

* FCC Action: Granted WMSD-FM 90.9 Rose City its license to cover for a new station

October 12:

* The FCC has fined WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit $4,000 for failure to make sponsorship identification announcements. This action comes as a result of the FCC finding that WKQI's airing of the Bryan Adams song On a Day Like Today during late 1998 was in consideration for a personal appearance by Adams at a concert promoted by the station.

* John Vance returns to WAOR-FM 95.3 Niles/South Bend for mornings along with Gary Hegland- All Access

* Jennifer Mefford moves from local sales manager at WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit to general sales manager at sister WCSX-FM- Inside Radio

October 13:

* Back on the air with an automated Urban Oldies format is Kingsley/Traverse City daytimer WJZZ-AM 1210. Owner Radio One brought the station back online to avoid losing its license while a buyer is sought.

October 14:

* On the air since October 1st is WDQV-FM 88.5 Mackinaw City. 'The Dove' is an Adult Contemporary Christian music station with programming provided by the Morningstar Network and national news from S.R.N. on the top of each hour. Local news updates are hosted by market veteran Karen Manzel and former TV 9 & 10 weather man Bill Spencer is providing weather forecasts. The 3,800 watt station has its studios in Cheboygan and transmits from an antenna located south of Mackinaw City. WDQV is owned and operated by Broadcast Music Ministries.

* Leaving WFAT-FM 96.5 Kalamazoo at the end of the month will be afternoon host/music director/assistant program director Tony Travatto as he's moving to Illinois for a program director job- All Access

October 15:

* WHTV-TV 18 Jackson adds UPN programming effective tomorrow

October 16:

* Summer 2000 12+ ratings were released today for Detroit. Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM continues to lead the ratings race, followed by News/Talk WJR-AM which moved up to second from 6th place in the Spring. Rocker WRIF-FM finished 3rd, Urban WJLB-FM was 4th, and Oldies WOMC-FM tied for 5th place with News/Talk WWJ-AM. Notable movements in this book included WJR's rise, Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM's slip from 3rd to 7th place overall since the Spring, Country WYCD-FM's ratings decay to 11th place down from 4th in the Spring, and Urban WDTJ-FM's move back into the top 10.

* Delayed: WHTV-TV 18 Jackson's launch of UPN programming. The station was still airing Bloomberg News this evening.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of construction permits to MS Communications from James R. Karsten for the following LPTV stations in Houghton Lake: W24CG (Ch. 24) and W50CD (Ch. 50)

October 17:

* The latest Michiguide.com poll results show that the format switch to country at 102.9 in Ann Arbor has the most impact of the multiple changes that happened across Michigan in September.

* Post-Newsweek's TV operations are moving from Washington D.C. to Detroit effective early next year- Detroit News

* WRIF-FM Detroit's Troy Hanson was named Billboard Magazine's assitant program director/music director of the year for mainstream rock stations- Detroit Free Press

October 18:

* Mike Couchman has had the interim tag removed from his role of program director at 'The Light' (WLGH 88.1 Lansing/WLTI 89.3 Boyne City). In addition, he'll keep his swing activities at Detroit's WKQI-FM 95.5. Right now The Light has on-air openings for afternoon drive and morning co-host- if you're interested get your package together and contact Mike at: 148 East Grand River Avenue - Williamston, MI 48895

October 19:

* Georgeann Herbert has been named as operations manager at WWJ-AM 950 and WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit effective November 27th. Herbert moves from sister station WBBM-AM Chicago and takes the role vacated by Ken Beck in August; Gary Shores will remain at Toledo's WKKO-FM 99.9 as program director instead of moving to Ann Arbor's WWWW-FM for that station's program director role; Greg O'Conner, formerly of the now silent WJKN, moves to WKHM-AM Jackson for late-mornings and sister station WIBM-AM for afternoons- All Access

* Andie Lynn has joined the on-air staff of Ann Arbor's WWWW-FM 102.9 for middays. She was last at WIOG-FM 102.5 Bay City as morning co-host and is a former jock at the old W4 Country (106.7 Detroit).

October 20:

* WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit wrapped up its fall fundraiser yesterday at about 9:30am when the station hit a record $575,000 in pledges over 110 hours.

* WJR-AM 760 Detroit morning host Paul W. Smith will be subbing for nationally syndicated Paul Harvey next week. Frank Beckmann will be holding down 'JR's morning show for Smith- Detroit Free Press

* Radio and Records is reporting that a Florida Senate candidate has filed consumer fraud charges against Clear Channel in all 50 states stemming from national radio contests that the company runs. Andy Martin alleges that the company defrauds listeners "by using contests that are portrayed as 'local,' but are in fact nationwide." Martin's claim goes on to state that Clear Channel is "defrauding listeners into thinking they are competing for a prize on only one station, when in fact they are competing with people listening on hundreds of stations." Martin has also asked the FCC to open an investigation into this matter. In Michigan, there are several Clear Channel owned stations that run these types of promotions, including Detroit's WKQI-FM 95.5 which is currently running "$100,000 Thursdays". When asked about these types of contests, many listeners express mixed feelings- they like the idea of winning large amounts of money, but don't like to compete against so many other listeners from across the entire country for the same prize.

October 24:

* Effective tomorrow, WPLB-FM/AM Greenville will become WSCG-FM/AM to reflect the stations' new ownership by Stafford Communications Group. General Manager Tim Rogers comments that the AM station will maintain its present Adult Standards format with the FM taking on a new sound after January 1 after both studios and the production room are rebuilt. Also being added is a small studio in Big Rapids.

* Gidget moves from WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit to WBTI-FM 96.9 Lexington/Pt. Huron for nights. Tim Timmerman shifts from nights to afternoons, replacing Keith Allen who has left the station for a radio job in Ohio- All Access

October 26:

* Recent additions to the roster of Michigan area webcasters: WXOU-FM 88.3 Rochester Hills, WDOW-FM 92.1 Dowagiac, WAOR-FM 95.3 Niles/South Bend, WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit, WMTR-FM 96.1 Archbold OH, WZOW-FM 97.7 Goshen IN, WOWE-FM 98.9 Vassar/Flint, WCMM-FM 102.5 Manistique/Escanaba/Marquette, WRKR-FM 107.7 Kalamazoo, WKAM-AM 1460 Goshen IN

* WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit music director Troy Hanson officially adds the assistant program director role; Former WIQB-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor operations manager Mark Thompson lands in Dayton, OH as a program director; Former WRKR-FM 107.7 Kalamazoo program director Margot Smith lands in Arkansas in the same role- All Access

October 27:

* Finishing at the top of the Summer 12+ ratings in Grand Rapids was Country WBCT-FM which improved from 3rd in the Spring book. Alternative Rock WGRD-FM also improved 2 positions, moving into 2nd from 4th. Classic Rock WLAV-FM, which was the number one station in the Spring fell to 3rd, followed by Top 40 WSNX-FM and Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM. Stations making ratings improvements along with WBCT and WGRD were Religious WJQK-FM and Urban Oldies WKWM-AM. Country Gold WCUZ-FM, now Classic Rock WBFX-FM, finished its last book in 10th place with its old format.

* Both houses of the US Congress have passed legislation that would dramatically limit the FCC's rollout of Low Power FM. On Thursday, the House passed the bill that appropriates funding for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State by a vote of 206-198. Today the Senate passed the same bill, which includes the LPFM amendment, 49-42. Provisions of the LPFM amendment include the following features:

  • The FCC is allowed to move forward with licensing LPFM stations, but it must modify its current order authorizing LPFM by taking into account third-adjacent channel protections.
  • It requires that a test of nine markets be conducted by an independent third party to see how LPFM (without third-adjacent channel protections) would affect current listening audiences. The FCC must report back to Congress by February 2001 on the findings of the nine test markets.
  • The bill makes permanent the current third-adjacent channel protections until such time that Congress may choose to amend those protections.
  • President Clinton has promised a veto on the entire bill due to disagreements over not only the LPFM issue but also other provisions in the legislation. FCC Chairman William Kennard has commented that if this legislation does become law, over 80% of the current LPFM applications already on file will be affected.

* Michigan's first public TV station to begin its digital broadcasts is WTVS-TV 56 Detroit. The station recently completed the installation of its digital transmitter and started broadcasting with it as of a couple days ago.

* Country WITL-FM is the top station in the Lansing Summer 2000 12+ ratings which were released yesterday. Top 40 WHZZ-FM remained in second place overall even though the station lost 1.9 points since the Spring book. Rounding out the top 5 stations were Oldies WJIM-FM, Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM, and Classic Rock WMMQ-FM. Stations with ratings gains of .5 or larger since the Spring included WITL, WJIM-FM, News/Talk WJIM-AM, and News/Talk WJR-AM. Making appearances in the book were Kalamazoo Adult Contemporary station WQLR-FM and Midland rocker WKQZ-FM.

* WDMK-FM 102.7 Detroit program director James Alexander heads to Louisiana to be operations manager for a cluster of stations owned by Citadel- Inside Radio

October 28:

* WJR-AM 760 Detroit is bringing back Warren Pierce for a familiar time slot- 9-11pm starting Monday. Pierce held the same slot during his first tenure with the station in the 1970's before being shuffled to middays to make room for an expanded Sportswrap show. Now the reverse is true with the sports talk show losing its last 2 hours- it'll run from 7-9pm- Detroit Free Press

* Flint's WJRT-TV 12 has added a web presence. With the addition of WJRT, there are now only 2 full-power on-air television stations left without web sites- WJMN-TV 3 Escanaba and WADL-TV 38 Mt. Clemens.

* Comcast and ABC have agreed to a one month extension for carriage of ABC owned broadcast stations on Comcast's cable system. The extension expires November 29th, keeping ABC affiliates WJRT-TV in Flint and WTVG-TV in Toledo available through the November sweeps period.

October 31:

* Tom Baker moves from swing duties at Young Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit to afternoons at W4 Country WWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor; W4 also has added the syndicated 'After Midnight' program for overnights.

* FCC Actions: Granted Best Media a construction permit for a translator of WGTE-FM 91.3 Toledo, OH in Hamtramck at 89.1 (W206BI)- to be 10 watts directional at 200 feet.

* Note: Arbitron has not released summer 2000 ratings for the Tri-Cities




Follow Michiguide on Facebook