July 2002 News and Notes

July 1:

* WCAS-AM 1290 Saline/Ann Arbor switched format from Adult Standards to 50s-70s Oldies last Friday (June 28) and captured the 'Honey Radio' name for the station. New calls are set to be WHNE effective July 5th. Honey Radio was the longtime name of the Oldies format played on AM 560 Monroe before that station was sold and changed its format to Spanish and later Religious. Technical changes are underway at AM 1290 in an effort to improve the station's signal. WCAS is owned by Clear Channel.

* Country WKKM-FM 92.1 Harrison has switched to Public Radio as a member of the X-Star Network from Cincinnati, OH based Xavier University which recently closed on the purchase of the station. Xavier now has 3 signals in northern Michigan- in addition to WKKM they own/operate WVXA-FM 96.7 Rogers City and WVXM-FM 97.7 Manistee. WKKM had been on the air for 27 years with its previous Country format.

* Joining Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit for swing shift duties will be former WIQB-FM 102.9 jock John O'Leary. He was last heard on 102.9 after the station's switch to Country as WWWW-FM and has also spent time at the then-Rock WABX-FM 99.5 Detroit. Over at Country WYCD-FM 99.5, Dana Lundon joins for weekend duties.

July 2:

* Rumors are hot and heavy that there is a change brewing this weekend at Rock Hits WLLC-FM 106.7 Detroit. All Access yesterday predicted that the station would drop its ‘Alice’ name and become ‘The Drive, Classic Rock that Really Rocks’ over the long July 4th holiday weekend. The music the station would be playing wouldn’t be all that different from today's playlist, as the station has already dropped much of its 'softer' music over the past few months. Other speculation about the station is that current morning man Mark Davis will be replaced by the syndicated Bob & Tom Show.

* FCC Action: Granted WBKB-TV 11 Alpena a construction permit to slightly modify its tower coordinates

July 3:

* Greg Hammaren, owning more than 20 years of experience in the cable television industry, has been named vice president and general manager of Fox Sports Net Detroit. Hammaren, who begins his new duties in mid-July, spent the last 12 years in various sales positions at Fox Sports Net South in Atlanta. Hammaren replaces interim general manager Hunter Nickell, who continues in his role as senior vice president for Fox Sports Net. In his new position, Hammaren, 43, oversees all aspects of the regional sports business, as well as working with other Fox entities involved with Fox Sports Net. He heads the regional sports cable network that owns the exclusive non-broadcast rights to the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, CCHA hockey and Michigan High School Athletic Association football and basketball championship events. “I am thrilled about this opportunity to build upon the success that Fox Sports Net Detroit already enjoys,” Hammaren said. “I can’t wait to get started in this great sports region with such beloved teams and passionate fans.”

* The second spring ratings trend for Grand Rapids was released yesterday. Tied at the top were Top 40 WSXN-FM and Country WBCT-FM. Up to 3rd among listeners age 12 and above was Active Rock WKLQ-FM, followed by Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM and Modern Rock WGRD-FM. There were many stations with notable ratings changes from the first trend, making the final spring book more interesting to see when it arrives next month.

* Adult Contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1 Detroit overnight jock Jeff Jennings exits the station to take a role in sales in another market. Also leaving WMGC is marketing and promotions director Julie Maxwell- All Access

July 5:

* County WYTC-FM 103.7 Hartford/South Haven has dropped the format and its simulcast of sister station WYTZ-FM 97.5 Bridgman in favor of an Urban-based format with new call sign WZBL. The station apparently switched earlier in the week- its call sign change was effective on July 3rd. WZBL and WYTZ are part of a 7 station southwest Michigan cluster owned by MidWest Family Broadcast Group.

* Tom O'Brien steps down as program director at Modern AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit for personal reasons. Top 40 WDRQ-FM 93.1 PD Alex Tear takes over on an interim basis while the search begins for O'Brien's replacement- Radio and Records

* Marc Jacobson has joined NBC affiliate WEYI-TV 25 Saginaw as the stations new sports director. He'll also anchor sportscasts as well as provide reporting duties. He moves from ABC affiliate WJRT-TV 12 Flint where he was a member of the sports team for the past 2 years. Prior to his duties at WJRT, Marc was sports director at ABC affiliate WBKP-TV 5 Calumet.

July 8:

* Mark Pennington joins Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit in the roles of music director and assistant program director effective July 22. He arrives from WMMS-FM Cleveland- All Access

* A bit more information on WZBL-FM 103.7 Hartford- the format is Adult Urban Contemporary with Tom Joyner mornings. The station is currently satellite fed and identifies itself as 'Z 103-7'.

* Congratulations to Oldies WHNN-FM 96.1 Bay City morning show co-host Jody McHugh who won over $100,000 on NBC-TV's Weakest Link game show on Sunday night. Incidently, the program was a special edition, featuring 8 contestants - both male and female - that were all eerily similar in appearance to show host Anne Robinson.

July 9:

* Do-it-yourself handyman Glenn Haege will be his leaving longtime Detroit radio home at Sports WXYT-AM 1270 after all as he signs a deal with Clear Channel owned Sports WDFN-AM 1130 that will begin August 3rd. The deal is 5 years in length. Haege's program will return to 4 hours each weekend morning, airing 8am-noon Saturday and Sunday. The show had aired on WXYT for the past 19 years- it is unclear if WXYT will continue to air Haege's syndicated show over the next 3 weekends.

* Former WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit weathercaster Kim Adams has reached a deal to join crosstown WDIV-TV 4. She'll hit the air after her non-compete clause runs its course. Shay Ryan has been will continue to provide fill-in and weekend work for now at channel 7. Also at channel 4, weekend anchor Tom Haynes will be exiting the station. He was slated to replace current morning anchor Steve Garagiola who will remain in that role- Detroit Free Press

* Lansing/Jackson ABC affiliate WLAJ-TV 53 has dropped its 11:00pm newscast/talkshow in favor of reruns of M*A*S*H and a 5 minute news update airing at 11:30 just before Nightline. The station has kept its 6:00pm weekday news.

July 10:

* WLLC-FM 106.7 dropped its regular programming and started stunting towards 'The Buzz' at about 4:53 this afternoon. The station played short snippets from movies, etc. and promising that 'The Buzz' will be revealed at 5....one of the interesting clips was from an Alice sweeper asking 'Why would anyone name a radio station Alice?' At 5pm, the stunting switched to a bunch of clips containing the word 'Drive'. The station announced itself as '106.7 The Drive' with the new call sign WDTW and then played Sammy Hagar's I Can't Drive 55. The next on-air announcement was that Bob and Tom would be taking over mornings (likely in a different form using 'best of' clips along with music). The Drive is still using the old Alice positioner 'Rock and Roll Variety'. The second song, Led Zepplin's Rock and Roll appears to fit the rumored format of Classic Rock that really Rocks- only a slight modification to the station's previous Classic Rock leaning format. The station's new website is online at http://www.1067thedrive.com. With the exception of mornings, The Drive's personality lineup appears intact from the Alice days.

* Released from his evening duties at Rock WJXQ-FM 106.1 Jackson was Shaffee. Also let go at sister station Modern Rock WWDX-FM 92.1 St. Johns was its evening jock, El Jefe.

* New marketing director at Urban WJLB-FM 97.9 and WMXD-FM 92.3 Detroit is Shawn Martin. He also is tasked with the role of promotions director at WJLB- Inside Radio

* Sports WQSN-AM Kalamazoo has added Kalamazoo College Associate Professor of Physical Education and former head basketball coach Joe Haklin for a Monday feature during Ryan Maguire's "The Afternoon Drive" show- All Access

July 11:

* The Bob & Tom Show made its debut on Classic Rock WDTW-FM 106.7 Detroit this morning in a modified form. Instead of broadcasting the syndicated feed live, much of the presentation is specially selected clips that are played back on a tape-delayed basis. Mark Davis, who had been hosting mornings on the station, remains and provides news, sports, and weather updates. The station also is including a few music breaks during the program, however they total as few as 4 songs per hour.

* Michigan Talk Radio Network 9am-Noon host Dave Barber has sued Major League Baseball over Tuesday's decision to call the game after 11 innings when it was tied at 7-7. Dave was featured on the opening hour of the Jim Bohanan show last night talking about the suit. "To the fans baseball has left, this is an outrage," stated Barber. "The average annual income for a big league player is $2.38 million and they do not have the ability to finish the All Star Game," he added.

* WSDP-FM 88.1 Canton was presented with a $1,200 grant by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association (DSBA) at their 16th Annual Charity Golf Scramble. The money will be used for a studio automation system for the student-run radio station. "We're honored to be recognized," said Bill Keith, station manager. "Their gift is extremely generous." The DSBA Charity Fund was established in 1955 as a scholarship program. Since then the fund has dispersed thousands of dollars to worthy individuals and organizations. The DSBA is dedicated to serving the professional and developmental interest of its members while promoting sports broadcasting through meaningful programs and community participation. The golf scramble was held on Monday July 8, at Mystic Creek Golf Club and Banquet Center in Milford. The grant was presented by Jim Brandstatter, DSBA President and Detroit Lions Announcer. WSDP is owned and operated by the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. The station is celebrating 30 years of serving the Plymouth-Canton Community.

* Joelle Lukasiewicz, most recently at WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit and before that WKBD-TV 50, has been hired as a freelance reporter for WDIV-TV 4- Detroit Free Press

* FCC Action: Granted WOLV-FM 97.7 Houghton its license to cover for changes (ERP from 880 watts to 6,500, HAAT from 509 feet to 591, Class A to Class C3; all from new tower location)

July 12:

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of license from Wilks License Co. to Cumulus License Co. for the following stations: WSGW-AM 790, WGER-FM 106.3, and WTLZ-FM 107.1 Saginaw, WTCF-FM 100.5 Carrollton, and WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock

July 16:

* New program director at Oldies WODJ-FM 107.3 Greenville/Gd Rapids is Scott Walker, he's also the station's afternoon drive host. Walker replaces Jeff Kelly in the PD's chair- All Access

* The Hot Talk afternoon duo of Deminski and Doyle at WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit raised more than $4,000 for the family of slain Detroit police officer Michael Scanlon that past Saturday. Over 100 listeners joined D&D for a 7-hour long paintball outing with hosts newsman Rik Jagger, producer Bill Tortoriello, and phone screener Rudy DeSantis- All Access

* Former WLLC-FM 106.7 Detroit morning co-host Darla Jaye moves on to host a talk radio afternoon program at WVNN-AM Huntsville, Alabama. Jaye is also a veteran of the Grand Rapids radio wars.

* Kudo's to our friends at Keener13.com on scoring the Detroit Free Press' award for one of Michigan's Best Websites. The Keener13.com won under the 'Miscellaneous' category.

* FCC Action: Granted WGDN-AM 1350 Gladwin its license to cover for changes (decrease daytime power from 1,000 watts directional with 2 towers to 250 watts non-directional with 1 tower)

July 17:

* Look for FM 92.1 Harrison to return to the air tomorrow at 7:00am as WVXH. The station, which will sign on in stereo for the first time, will be a member of the X-Star Radio Network run by Xavier University. WVXH replaces what was Country WKKM, which signed off last month after the sale of the station was completed to Xavier from David Carmine.

* Brent Alberts will be joining Classic Rock WLAV-FM 96.9 Grand Rapids as that station's new program director. Current PD Tony Gates will focus on his morning show in addition to new responsibilities as vice president of station development for both WLAV and Active Rock sister station WKLQ-FM 94.5- Radio and Records

July 18:

* News-Talk WJR-AM continues to be the top rated Detroit radio station among all listeners age 12 and above according to today's Spring 2002 Arbitron ratings book. Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM moved up to second place overall, followed by News WWJ-AM. Urban WJLB-FM and Oldies WOMC-FM tied for fourth place. WJR maintained the top spot despite losing .5 of a share since the Winter book- the same amount lost by WWJ. WVMV had a strong spring, improving from sixth place with a 4.7 to its second place showing with a 5.9. Country WYCD-FM also made a strong gain, moving into the top 10 stations with a 7th place finish. Its ratings share moved from 3.8 to 4.4. The battle for Adult Contemporary listeners appears to be as tight as ever with WNIC-FM and WMGC-FM tied for 11th place overall. The sports battle between WXYT-AM 1270 and WDFN-AM 1130 also was a dead heat- the stations were tied for 21st in the market.

July 19:

* The Michael Radio Group (dba Blue Moose Broadcasting) is the new buyer an FM construction permit at 104.1 (WSAG) Pinconning. Last year, there was a deal for Fort Bend Broadcasting to purchase the permit however this deal fell through. Current owner Russell LaFave will receive $195,000 for the property once the deal is approved by the FCC. The previous deal with Ft. Bend was worth $250,000.

July 22:

* Spring ratings for Ann Arbor were released today- the top 6 stations among listeners age 12 and above were News/Talk WJR-AM, Rock WRIF-FM, Top 40 WKQI-FM, Country WWWW-FM, and Classic Rock WCSX-FM along with Oldies WOMC-FM which tied for 5th place. After W4, the order of Washtenaw County based stations was Gold-based Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM (tied for 13th overall), followed by Sports WTKA-AM (tied for 15th) and Talk WAAM-AM (tied for 19th).

* New executive vice president and chief operating officer for sister stations WKBD-TV 50 and WWJ-TV 62 Detroit is Dennis Swanson- Detroit Free Press

* Swing-shifter Scott Miller exits Adult Contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1 Detroit- All Access

July 23:

* Ted Kramer has been named as morning show host at Top 40 WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix. Kramer joins Lisa Knight for the wakeup shift- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses for WLSP-AM 1530 and WRXF-FM 103.1 Lapeer from Covenant Communications to Regent Broadcasting

July 24:

* Two more Michigan radio markets received thier springs ratings report cards today. Rhythmic WRCL-FM made its presence known in both Flint and the Tri-Cities by debuting in Flint as the 8th most popular station among listeners age 12 and above. In the Tri-Cities, WRCL finished in 13th place overall. Looking overall at Flint, the top 5 stations were Urban WDZZ-FM, Adult Contemporary WCRZ-FM, Top 40 WWCK-FM, Country WFBE-FM, and Oldies WHNN-FM. Of note in the Flint ratings is the presence of Country WBCT-FM from Grand Rapids-- which shares the 93.7 frequency with WRCL. Up I-75 in the Tri-Cities market, the top 5 stations were WHNN, Country WKCQ-FM, Active Rock WKQZ-FM, Top 40 WIOG-FM, and News-Talk WSGW-AM.

July 26:

* WPHM-AM 1380 Port Huron morning show host John Hill is resetting his alarm clock. After 27 years of rising at 4:00am to begin the day of thousands of Blue Water residents and commuters, Hill has announced his retirement from WPHM radio, effective August 9th. "I am NOT leaving because I don't like it anymore. It is simply time to do some other things." said Hill. Hill has been with the station for 35 of his 40 years in broadcasting, dating back to then WTTH, lasting through 5 different owners, 5 general managers, "and more announcers and staff members than I can remember."

Hill was originally hired as the station's news director back in August 1967, and then was named program director in December of that year. He began hosting the morning show in 1975, where he has interviewed literally hundreds of guests over AM 1380. Every governor, senator, sports and entertainment figures, and most importantly, countless local listeners have started their morning with John. "John has certainly earned the right to sleep in. He has been the first voice many people in the Blue Water have heard for 35 years. As much as we'll miss working with John, we do understand his decision and wish him well as he moves to the next phase of his life.", said Larry Smith, general manager of Liggett Communications.

WPHM will conduct a search for what program director Jerry Noble calls "our next morning host" and not "John Hill's replacement. You don't replace a legend." The station and owner Liggett Communications are planning a community wide send-off for Hill's final broadcast on August 9th.

* New account executive specializing in Automotive Markeing at WDIV-TV 4 Detroit is Nicole Gize who moves from Modern AC WDVD-FM 96.3 where she held the role of account executive for 4 years. Also new to WDIV is Dana Senkowski who joins in the role of a sales assistant.

July 30:

* Frustrating news out of Sports WDFN-AM 1130 Detroit as news reporter Sabrina Black has been informed by doctors that her Hodgkin's disease has returned. Black, along with morning hosts Gregg Henson and Jamie Samuelsen discussed on the air this morning the probable treatment that will be undertaken in hopes of finally knocking the cancer out. Last fall, Black underwent a stem cell transplant using her own healthy cells along with chemotherapy and radiation that seemed to succeed. Recent tests have shown that the cancer unfortunately has returned and further treatments will be necessary- this time a donor will be needed for a bone marrow transplant. As far as her on-air chores at WDFN, Black will likely be off the air in about 3 or so weeks as treaments intensify and not be able to return for at least 8 months. Henson, who is also operations manager for the station, insured her on the air that her job would be there when she wanted to come back. Black is married to WDTW-FM 106.7 evening jock Steve Black.

July 31:

* Noted off the air for the past couple of weeks is WJKN-AM 1510 Jackson. The station, owned by Spring Arbor University, had been simulcasting the programming of WSAE-FM 106.9.

* Joey B moves his part time role in Detroit from Top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 to Adult Contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1- All Access


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