May 2001 News and Notes

May 2:

* WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw (Mix 100.5) program director Mike McDonald has left the station. Bud Ford, PD at sister station WCEN-FM 94.5 (The Moose) will fill in for now- All Access

May 3:

* On April 23rd WMUS-AM 1090 Muskegon dropped its long-time simulcast of Country formatted sister station WMUS-FM 106.9 in favor of News-Talk programming as "NewsTalk 1090". The station's current programming lineup features Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh, and Dave Ramsey along with AP News. Some of the weekend programs include On the Garden Line and At Home with Gary Sullivan. WMUS-AM is a 1,000 watt daytimer, owned by Clear Channel.

May 4:

* WZRZ-FM 93.7 Frankenmuth hit the air for the first time today with an 80's based Adult Contemporary / Pop format. It is believed the station is still in its testing phase. WZRZ is licensed to the Frankenmuth Radio Company.

* Arbitron 12+ Winter 2001 ratings for Grand Rapids were released today. Country WBCT-FM remained first overall, but saw its winter ratings drop to 8.7 from 10.4 in the fall. Contemporary Hits WSNX-FM, News/Talk WOOD-AM, and Classic Rock WLAV-FM also maintained their positions from the fall, finishing in places 2 through 4 respectively. WSNX was the biggest ratings gainer in the group, up to 8.4 from 7.9. There was a three-way tie for 5th place this winter- Adult Contemporary stations WOOD-FM and WLHT-FM tied with Alternative Rock station WGRD-FM. Noteable ratings improvements since the fall book were experienced at Rock WKLQ-FM (4.8 - 5.4) and Classic Rock WBFX-FM (2.8 - 3.8).

* Lia, syndicated from Jones Networks, is set to debut on Country WBCT-FM 93.7 (B93) Grand Rapids on May 14th. The show will occupy the 7pm-Midnight slot- Radio Ink

* FCC Ruling: The FM table of allotments will be modified to allow WIDL-FM 92.1 to move from a Class A station licensed to Caro to a Class C3 station licensed to Cass City, effective 6/18/01. The station will remain at 92.1 FM.

* Wilks Broadcasting has applied to change the city of license of WCEN-FM 94.5 from Mt. Pleasant to Hemlock (in northwestern Saginaw County).

May 7:

* Arbitron Winter 2001 ratings for Lansing were released today. Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM continued to hold the top spot among listners age 12 and above. Contemporary Hits WHZZ-FM and Country WITL-FM tied for second place, with Oldies WJIM-FM and Rock WJXQ-FM finishing up the top 5. WFMK's ratings rose from 9.8 in the fall to an 11.6 rating for the winter, making it station with the biggest ratings gain. Other stations with large gains were WJXQ (6.5 - 7.9) and News/Talk WJIM-AM (3.3 - 4.6). Urban station WQHH-FM suffered the biggest ratings drop (6.0 - 2.9) Also of note, FM Sports talker WQTX overtook similarly-formatted WVFN-AM in the winter book.

May 10:

* WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix night host Tammy Paige moves behind the scenes for a sales position. Taking over the shift is Phillipe Chiccini who moves from a swing role at WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit- All Access

* WSJM-AM 1400 Benton Harbor and WCSG-FM 106.3 Lakeview add the Internet Insider with David Radin Saturday afternoons from noon-2pm

* Correction: WADW-FM 105.5 Pickford/Sault Ste. Marie is airing a local-based Oldies format (previously reported as Adult Standards). The locally-programmed station has been on the air since late January and has a broad playlist- at times airing songs common to an Adult Standards format

* FCC Action: Assigned WMSQ to new FM 89.3 Marlette

May 11:

* Sold: By Coltrace Communications to Clear Channel- 4,900 watt Adult Standards daytime-only WHGR-AM 1290 Houghton Lake for $250,000. This purchase marks Clear Channel's first entry into northern Michigan. Coltrace retains WUPS-FM 98.5- R&R Online

May 14:

* Will the FM dial be changing soon in Northern lower Michigan? Possibly! Here's a summary of a proposal and two counter proposals currently before the FCC:

  • Initially, Escanaba Radio Company proposed a new Class C2 allocation in Cheboygan at 99.9 FM, forcing Northern Radio Network's WHAK-FM 99.9 (C2) Rogers City to move to 106.3 (C2).
  • A counter proposal was filed by Northern Radio Network that would leave WHAK-FM at 99.9, but create two new FM allocations: 106.3 C2 Onaway and 98.7 C3 Cheboygan.
  • Another counter proposal was then filed by Fort Bend Broadcasting. This one is the most complicated, but creates the most new allocations:
    • Move WSRQ-FM 100.1 (A) Bear Lake to FM 99.9 (C1) Bellaire
    • Move WHAK-FM 99.9 (C2) to 106.3 (C2)
    • Change allotment of 98.9 (A) Walhalla to 106.5 (A)
    • New allotment at 99.7 (A) Rapid River
    • New allotment at 106.1 (A) Bear Lake
    • Change allotment of 99.9 (A) Manistique to 100.9 (A)
    • Move WKLA-FM 106.3 (A) Ludington to 98.7 (A)

Using history as a rule, the FCC generally likes to approve proposals that ultimately create new allocations for cities without a current radio service. The Fort Bend plan adds 3 new allocations (1 in the U.P., 2 in the Northwest lower peninsula). will report on where your favorite station might be moving after the FCC makes its ruling(s).

* FCC Action: Granted WWMT-TV 3 Kalamazoo its construction permit application for digital facilities on channel 2

May 16:

* WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint raised over $140,000 last weekend during its Children's Miracle Network radiothon; the money raised goes to Hurley Medical Center; Leaving WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit is Dash, who held the role of director of creative imaging- All Access

May 17:

* Adult Contemporary WLHT-FM 95.7 Grand Rapids (W-Lite) has switched syndicated evening shows- gone is Delilah in favor of Friday Epley's Heart to Heart show.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of license for WJZZ-AM 1210 Kingsley from Radio One to Fort Bend Broadcasing; Granted WCML-TV 6 Alpena its construction permit for digital facilities on channel 57; Granted the license to cover for Great Lakes Broadcasting's FM translator on 89.7 in Columbia Twp. (SE of Jackson)

* Notable: Winstar Broadcasting has filed with the FCC for the voluntary transfer of the construction permit for new TV channel 19 in Marquette to Montana Broadcasting Group

May 21:

* Notable: WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit (Team 1270) has applied to increase its nighttime power to 48,000 watts using a nine tower array (AM towers are used to 'custom fit' the pattern- preventing interference to other stations). The station plans to use a site about 5 miles west of the current location of WWJ-AM 950's nighttime site in Monroe county. No application has been filed to date proposing a change to the stations current daytime license (5,000 watts).

* FCC Action: Granted WFUM-TV 28 Flint a construction permit for its digital facilites on channel 52

May 22:

* A surprise atop the newest Arbitrend ratings for Detroit that were released today: Adult Contemporary WNIC has fallen from the number one slot - a position it has held in every trend and ratings book since 1998. The February-April 12+ trend (Spring Phase 1) finds News/Talk WJR-AM moving up to the top spot and WNIC in second. Contemporary Hits WDRQ-FM moved up to third place followed by All-News WWJ-AM in fourth. Urban WJLB-FM and Rock WRIF-FM finished in a fifth place tie. Stations with .5 or better ratings gains since the Winter 2001 book were WDRQ and Rock Hits WLLC-FM. Stations losing .5 or better included WNIC and WWJ.

* FCC Action: Approved a construction permit for WHKB-FM 102.3 Houghton to increase power from 1,050 watts to 4,800 watts. Height above average terrain will be reduced to 105 meters from 169 and the antenna location will change from south of Houghton to north of Houghton. Note: WHKB also has a construction permit to increase power to 36,000 watts at 150 meters from its current site.

May 25:

* Jim Harper, longtime morning host at Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM 100.3 (Detroit's Nicest Rock) is apparently leaving the station to accept a morning role at Urban Oldies WGRV-FM 105.1 (The Groove) beginning July 1st.

* FCC Actions: Approved the voluntary transfer of licenses for WMPL-FM/AM 93.5/920 Hancock from Copper Country Enterprises to Victor Corporation

May 29:

* Bill Vogel, 'The Captain', has returned to the airwaves of northwest lower Michigan- his 3-7pm Michigan Talk Radio Network program is now heard on WJZZ-AM 1210 Kingsley/Traverse City and WJML-AM 1110 Petoskey. Vogel was the longtime morning host at WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix before retiring from that role earlier this year.

May 31:

* Ty the Nite Guy has left his role at WWDX-FM 92.1 St. Johns/Lansing (The Edge) in order to pursue higher education. All Access reports Ty will keep an on-air presence doing parttime/swing shifts at WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint (CK-105.5)




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