* On Friday March 1st, 88.1 The Light (WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing) Reunion and Junu award winning recording artist JAKE performed a concert to benefit the Salvation Army's Lansing food bank. More than 1000 listeners went to South Baptist Church with at least one non-perishable food item per person for admission. At the end of the night, the Lansing Salvation Army had collected five 4 foot tall barrels of food, with enough overflow to fill approximately another 3-5 barrels. A Salvation Army spokesperson estimates that it will take around 4 days to sort and count all the food. Each year, 88.1 The Light's listeners donate hundreds of food baskets which the Salvation Army distributes just before Easter to Lansing area families in need. Last year, Light listeners provided more than 400 Easter food baskets to The Salvation Army.
* Rock Hits WLLC-FM 106.7 Detroit (Alice 106.7) will step outside its normal programming for three days starting this Friday in order to raise funds for the Beaumont Hospital group during the Children's Miracle Network / Alice Cares for Kids Radiothon. Station personalities will broadcast live from Oakland Mall in Troy throughout the weekend. All the money raised during the event will benefit Beaumont and help ensure that every child receives medical treatment regardless of a families' ability to pay. Beaumont treats many patients each year suffering from all types of illness including cancer, AIDS, birth defects, cystic fibrosis, and more.
* WNWN-FM 98.5 Coldwater raised a record $51,000 during their recent St. Jude's Radiothon, topping last year's tally of $43,000- All Access
* FCC Actions: Granted WCEN-FM 94.5 its license for modification of the station's city of license from Mt. Pleasant to Hemlock; Granted WLPC-LP 26 Detroit Class A status
* Joining Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Charlotte/Lansing (92.7 The Ticket) will be Dave 'Mad Dog' DeMarco for afternoon drive 3-6pm beginning March 18th. DeMarco joins The Ticket from crosstown Sports WVFN-AM 730. Also on March 18th, program director Hamilton moves his on-air shift from 6-7pm to 10am-noon.
* Shawn Sheldon has exited Top 40 WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix/Traverse City and Adult Contemporary WLXT-FM 96.3 where he was operations manager- R&R Online
* Former News/Talk WFDF-AM 910 Flint morning man Jim Ellis has returned to Rock WKLT-FM 97.5 Kalkaska/WKLZ-FM 98.9 Petoskey for mornings. It's the second go-round for Ellis as morning show host at Double Rock KLT.
* Country WBCT-FM continued on as the number 1 station in Grand Rapids among listeners age 12 and above. Moving up into second place for the first Winter trend (Nov-Jan) was Top 40 WSNX-FM, followed by News/Talk WOOD-AM which slipped from second in the fall. Rock WKLQ-FM and Classic Rock WLAV-FM rounded out the top 5 stations.
* Central Michigan University has proposed to the FCC swapping its digital TV allotments for Cadillac and Manistee
* FCC Action: Granted WNFR-FM 90.7 Sandusky a construction permit for changes: Change in class from B1 to B, ERP to increase to 50,000 watts from 18,000, HAAT increase to 492 feet from 328, tower location change from northwest of Sandusky to north of Port Huron (near Sanilac/St. Clair county line), pattern to change to directional
* WLXV-FM 96.7 Cadillac has ended its simulcast of sister station Adult Contemporary WLXT-FM 96.3 Petoskey (W-Lite) in favor of its own programming as Hot Adult Contemporary 'Mix 96, the best music from the 80's, 90's, and today'. WLXV and WLXT are owned by MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting.
* Michigan's first Low Power FM station has hit the airwaves in Muskegon as WUVS-LP 103.7 is now on the air with an Urban format.
* Jack Hood, former broadcaster at WJR Detroit, WCEN Mt. Pleasant, WTRX Flint, among other stations, passed away Friday March 8th at the age of 60- Flint Journal
* FCC Actions: Granted the involuntary assignement of licenses from Pyramid Broadcasting (as debtor-in-possesion) to Joseph E. Cohen (chapter 11 trustee) for WEFG-FM 97.5 and WUBR-AM 1490 Whitehall, WLCS-FM 98.3 N. Muskegon
* Radio One Detroit (WDMK-FM 102.7, WDTJ-FM 105.9, WCHB-AM 1200) regional vice president Lance Panton has that title stripped by corporate but keeps his program director responsibilites. According to UrbanInsite.com, Radio One has eliminated that role nationwide and is now making music decisions from corporate.
* WDIV-TV 4 Detroit weekend weathercaster Reynolds Wolf is leaving the station for a role at Post-Newsweek sister station WKMG-TV Orlando- Detroit Free Press
* Blain Ensley will join the Rocky Allen morning show at Modern AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit beginning Monday. The move reunites Allen and Ensley who have done morning radio together in New York, Buffalo, and at WLAV-FM 96.9 Grand Rapids- All Access
* Fox Sports Net Detroit has agreed to a deal with the Detroit Red Wings that results in the cable station having exclusive rights to regular season Wings' games beginning with the 2003-04 season- Detroit Free Press
* 8 technicians working for Infinity Detroit sister stations News WWJ-AM 950 and Sports WXYT-AM 1270 voted unaminously in favor of AFTRA representation, joining anchors, board operators, producers, reporters, and talk show hosts at both stations who previously voted to join the union.
* Wasn't that a party! News/Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit held its annual St. Patrick's Day party a couple days early today, hosted by morning man Paul W. Smith. This year's event featured visits from gubernatorial candidates James Blanchard, David Bonior, Jennifer Granholm, and Dick Posthumus along with Detroit mayor Kwami Kilpatrick and former mayor Dennis Archer among others. The St. Patrick's day event at WJR was kicked off by legendary morning man J.P. McCarthy years ago and continues to be one of 'the' events to be seen at each year for local politicians and business leaders.
* Jeff Kelly is out as program director and morning man at Oldies WODJ-FM 107.3 Greenville/Gd. Rapids- All Access
* The FCC has granted a construction permit for a new FM station at 98.7 to be licensed to Hancock. Lyle R. Evans, also the owner of WMXG-FM 106.3 Stephenson/Escanaba, has been granted the permit for the station which is to be 100,000 watts at 522 feet from a transmitter located near Houghton. TuMar Broadcasting, owner of Houghton area stations WOLV-FM 97.7, WHKB-FM 102.3, and WCCY-AM 1400, had filed a petition with the FCC to dismiss or deny the application which was rejected.
* WIMK-FM 93.1 Iron Mountain and WUPK-FM 94.1 Marquette, which had been simulcasting each other with a Rock format as 'K-Rock', have switched their format to Classic Rock as 'The Bear' under new owner Northern Star Broadcasting. The stations air the Bob & Tom morning show. The move expands Northern Star's Classic Rock 'Bear' stations across much of the Upper Peninsula. Earlier in the year, WIHC-FM 97.9 Newberry dropped its Country format for the programming, joining WGFM-FM 105.1 Cheboygan, WGFN-FM 98.1 Glen Arbor/Traverse City, and WCKC-FM 107.1 Cadillac. WIMK and WUPK continue to simulcast each other and are programmed separately from the other 'Bear' stations. Northern Star acquired 11 U.P. stations late last year from Marathon Media.
* WMLZ-LP 107.9 Temperance has become Michigan's second low power FM station to hit the air. The station has been heard testing with Classic Rock programming and has filed for its license to cover. WMLZ-LP is owned by the Bedford Public Schools.
* FCC Action: Granted WOBC-LP 14 Battle Creek (construction permit) Class A status
* Repositioned: Marquette's Country WJPD-FM 92.3 from 'The Giant' to 'Big Country 92.3' under new owner Northern Star Broadcasting. Although the name is the same as Northern Star's WMKC-FM 102.9 St. Ignace and WAVC-FM 93.9 Mio, programming is separate.
* Former Oldies WCCW-FM 107.5 Traverse City jock Deborah Sale-Butler has joined Animal Radio Network (ARN) as an executive producer. She'll also continue producing "Moving Targets" sketch improvisation in Los Angeles. ARN produces "Caring for Creatures"- heard on 104 affiliates and the USA Radio Network- All Access
* A construction permit for a new FM station at 103.7 licensed to Harbor Beach has been granted by the FCC to Jennifer and Edward Czelada. The new station will likely carry one of two Contemporary Christian formats: Joy FM (run by Ed) is currently heard on WHYT-FM 89.1 Imlay City and WJOJ-FM 89.7 Harrisville; The Light (run by Jenn) is heard on WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing, WEJC-FM 88.3 Gladwin, and WTLI-FM 89.3 Boyne City. The permit is for 50,000 watts at 440 feet (directional) from a tower in Huron County southeast of Bad Axe. The station has applied for the call sign WCZE.
* Low Power FM WMLZ-LP Temperance has launched its programming as Hot Adult Contemporary as 'Blend 107.9, the Best Blend of the 80's 90's and today'. Watch for a web site coming soon at http://www.wmlz.org.
* A new live talk radio program was launched in Detroit last month on WLLZ-AM 560. On the Word with host Paul Edwards features author interviews and commentary on a wide range of cultural issues with relevance to the conservative Christian community in Detroit. It airs M-F from 3:15-4:30pm. Visit the show's web site at http://ontheword.net.
* Longtime Branch County community leader and broadcaster Ken Delaney has decided to seek the 58th District State House of Representatives seat that covers Branch and Hillsdale counties in the August 6th Republican Primary. Delaney is currently station manager and morning show co-host for WTVB-AM 1590 Coldwater. Under his direction, the radio station’s sponsored and supported projects have raised over a half-million dollars for local organizations over the last 10 years. He is a three time winner of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Personality of the Year as well as numerous other awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Michigan Associated Press.
* FCC Action: Granted Soul's Harbor Assembly of God Church a construction permit for a new Low Power FM station at 104.3 to be licensed to Roscommon. Station will broadcast with a maximum of 100 watts at 54 feet from Roscommon County.
* WWBN-FM 101.5 Tuscola/Flint (Banana 101.5) has shifted its format from Mainstream Rock to Active Rock by dropping most of its Classic titles. The station is owned by Regent Communications, which recently launched a Classic Rock format on WRXF-FM 103.1 Lapeer/Flint (US 103.1).
* Jim Bauer is the new 10pm-midnight Mon-Thur host at Public WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit- Detroit Free Press
* Public outlet WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit has nabbed five Michigan Associated Press Awards, receiving the General Excellence Award, and top honors for Best Newscast, Best Spot News, Best Hard News, and Best Individual Reporting. Best Newscast was awarded to WDET’s morning news host Craig Fahle. Best Spot News was awarded to the entire WDET news team for its comprehensive coverage of the events on September 11th. Assistant News Director Jerome Vaughn received top awards in the categories of Best Hard News for his coverage of the DaimlerChrysler job cuts and Best Individual Reporting.
“I am so proud of our news team and congratulate them on these great honors,” says Caryn Mathes, WDET general manager. “WDET’s News Department continues to win awards and be a leader in solid reporting for our community.” The WDET News Department adds this year’s Michigan Associated Press awards to a growing list of recognition for excellence in journalism. “It is a special honor for the entire news department to receive the Michigan Associated Press General Excellence award,” says Joan Silvi, WDET news director. “It is wonderful to be recognized for our work. This recognition supports WDET’s continued commitment to excellence in local news coverage.”
* The Dec-Feb ratings trend for Detroit was relatively stable, with only one station having a share change of .5 or more- Urban AC WDMK-FM slipped to a 1.8 rating from 2.3 in the last trend. The top 5 stations were News/Talk WJR-AM, News WWJ-AM, Urban WJLB-FM, Urban WDTJ-FM, and Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM.
* General sales manager Dave Johnson has been promoted to market manager for Rubber City Radio's Mid-Michigan Radio Group (Modern Rock WWDX-FM 92.1 St. Johns, Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Charlotte, Classic Hits WVIC-FM 94.1, and Rock WJXQ-FM 106.1 Jackson); Sports WQSN-AM 1660 Kalamazoo affiliates with Fox Sports Radio and will add programming from that network effective April 1. Joining the lineup will be Kiley and Booms, J.T. the Brick, and We Are There Weeknights. Out of the lineup will be Tim Brando and 'Papa' Joe Chevalier- All Access
* FCC Actions: Granted licenses to cover for changes to WKQS-FM 101.9 Negaunee (new tower location), WUPT-CA 25 Crystal Falls (move to channel 25 from 49)
* Michael Saunders, former vice president and operations manager for Urban WJLB-FM 97.9 and Urban AC WMXD-FM 92.3 Detroit, lands in New York City to program that city's newest station, Top40/Rhythmic Power 105.1; WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix night guy KFC exits effective April 4- All Access
* Benedek Communications, owner of Lansing NBC affiliate WILX-TV 10, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection- Broadcasting and Cable
* FCC Actions: Granted W54CR Traverse City (translator of WFQX-TV 33 Cadillac) its license to cover for changes (moved from channel 40); Granted W34CR and W41CK Petoskey their licenses to cover (new stations)
* WWKK-AM 750 Petoskey has dropped its Oldies programming from its weekday schedule in favor of expanded Talk programming, much of it from the Michigan Talk Radio Network. According to station owner and manager Rick Stone, Sister station WJML-AM 1110 Petoskey's successful News-Talk programming has "overflowed" onto KOOL-750 as they have found more great talk programming and advertiser demand for it. Oldies will remain on KOOL-750 on the weekends, although a few specialty talk programs have been added. MTRN also remains on WJML with the morning show with Dave Scott, and The Captain and Crew weekday afternoons. An additional hour of Neal Boortz, plus the Jason Jarvis Show has been added on WJML. "We anticipate some additional changes in the coming weeks as KOOL Oldies 750 evolves into KOOL Talk 750", comments Stone. "Our plan is to develop each station with a different 'personality', each attracting a different audience: On the left will be AM 750 with the more liberal and lifestyle talk programming, and the station on the right will be AM 1110 with more news and conservative political talk."
* Added to the lineup on WCAR-AM 1090 Livonia/Detroit and WOAP-AM 1080 Owosso (Michigan Catholic Radio) effective Monday afternoon (April 1st) will be the syndicated Michael Medved program. WCAR will air repeats 4-7am- All Access
* Call sign action: Construction permit for FM 104.9 Lake City assigned WAIR
* Upper Peninsula ABC affiliate WBKP-TV 5 Calumet dropped all of its local newscasts yesterday without warning. Station owner Tom Scanlon sites finanical trouble stemming primarily from the ABC network cancelling its affiliation contract, and the approximately $250,000 annual payments that went with it, as the main reason for dropping local news. 15 station employees had their jobs eliminated with the cutbacks. Plans for a new over-the-air station on channel 10 (WBUP) serving Marquette are apparently still intact. The station will continue to air ABC programming. For the full press release, visit the station's web site at http://www.abcnews10.com.
* This year's final tally for WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing's (The Light) annual Easter listener drive was 303 clothing/food baskets that were donated to Salvation Army. Each was packed with food for a Lansing area family in need for their Easter meal. The 2002 Easter food drive was kicked off on Friday March 1st with a free concert from Light artist Jake. Over 2100 usable food items were donated at the concert- enough to feed almost 200 families for one week. All together, 88.1 The Light listeners helped more than 500 families in need this Easter!
* Were Hot Talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit midday prankster's Kramer and Twitch fired for today's 'almost' on-air stunt that was to have a listener shoot himself in the foot in order to win Opening Day Tigers' tickets? Program director Terry Lieberman 'fired' the pair on the air today, and there's a statement posted on the station's web site stating that they were let go. What's likely though is that it's yet another of Kramer & Twitch's pranks and they'll return after April Fool's Day.
* The Northern Paul Bunyon Radio Company has proposed a new Class A FM allotment at 93.1, to be licensed to Ferrysburg (Ottawa County, near the Muskegon County line). The deadline on comments to the FCC is May 20th.
* The radio consulting firm Jacobs Media of Southfield has been awarded Mainstream Rock Consultant of the Year by Billboard Monitor; it was the sixth consecutive annual award for the company. "This is a tribute to our entire staff," said president Fred Jacobs. The company provides programming, promotion, Internet and sales consulting to radio groups across the country and locally to Greater Media - Detroit's Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 and Rock WRIF-FM 101.1. The firm is known for creating the classic rock format in 1984, the most successful new radio format of the past two decades.