October 2002 News and Notes

October 1:

* Gregg Henson has exited Sports WDFN-AM 1130 Detroit and has accepted the role of program director at crosstown Sports WXYT-AM 1270. His start date at 'XYT has yet to be determined. Current WXYT PD Rob Sanford will remain with the station and take on different responsibilities. Henson had been the operations manager at both 'DFN and sister station WXDX-AM 1310 in addition to co-hosting WDFN's morning show. No word yet from WDFN as to the direction of the morning show or who might take over as operations manager for the station.

* Classic Rock WDTW-FM 106.7 Detroit has changed its presentation of the Bob & Tom Show mornings. The program now runs 'full strength' instead of being on an edited one hour delay.

October 2:

* Former WLLC-FM 106.7 Detroit (now WDTW) evening jock Scott Adams lands the role as morning driver at just-launched Top 40 WYOK-FM (Hot 104) Mobile, AL.

October 3:

* WSCG-AM 1380 Greenville has changed its format from Adult Standards to News using CNN Headline News

* WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland/Grand Rapids adds play-by-play for the Chicago Bears. The deal is for the remainder of this season and also for next year.

October 7:

* As expected, WXDX-AM 1310 Detroit flipped from sports talk from Fox Sports Radio to more mainstream talk featuring handyman Glenn Haege middays and programming from the Michigan Talk Radio Network along with other syndicated fare. The station is still using its 'X' moniker as 'Talk Radio 1310, The X'. The station will also continue to carry sports programming, including Plymouth Whalers hockey, Central Michigan University football, and NASCAR racing.

* Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM 105.7 Grand Rapids, one of Michigan's 'superpowered' grandfathered FM stations, has applied to change its engineering specifications such that the station would lose its grandfathered status. The application is to reduce power from its current non-directional 265,000 watts @ 810 feet to a directional 50,000 watts @ 446 feet with the transmitter/tower moving off the stick it currently shares with WOOD-TV 8 near Middleville in Barry County to a location in Kent County just east of Caledonia.

* Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit raised $204,000 during last week's radiothon for the Children's Leukemia Foundation. The station has helped raise over $1.9 million over the past 12 years.

October 8:

* WDIV-TV 4 Detroit will become the first television station in Michigan to broadcast a local program in high definition (HDTV), and one of the first few stations in the country to produce and air a live HDTV event. Local 4's coverage of The Parade Company's America's Thanksgiving Parade will air live from downtown Detroit on WDIV channel 4, and on HDTV channel 45 Thanksgiving morning.

* The FCC has granted two more construction permits for new low power FM stations in Michigan:

  • Oceana Broadcasters was granted 100.5 to be licensed to Hart (Oceana County)
  • Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference was granted 100.9 to be licensed to Norton Shores (Muskegon County)

* FCC Action: Granted WMQF-TV 19 Marquette the following modification to its construction permit: ERP from 5,000 kW @ 646 feet nondirectional to 500 kW @ 814 feet directional. The tower location will change from southwest of Marquette to northwest of Marquette using the same location as WKQS-FM 101.9 and WFXD-FM 103.3

October 9:

* Modern Rock WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids launched its new morning show today with midday jock Michael Grey and production director Dave Justus joining Stephanie Webb and Rovin' Ralph who are holdovers from the 'Rick and Scott' show. Grey continues as the station's music director while Justus gives up his production role. Former co-host Scott Winters exits, following the previous exit of Rick Beckett.

* Top 40 WIOG-FM 102.5 Bay City night jock Mason loses the 'interim' off the title of music director- All Access

October 10:

* As expected, the FCC has given the green light for in-band on-channel technology for digital radio

* Valerie Roberts has joined LIN TV’s WEYI-TV 25 Saginaw/Flint as news director.

* WLEW AM-1340 Bad Axe morning host Jack Thomas recently celebrated 40 years in radio. This January 16th he'll mark 30 years of broadcasting from the Thumb. Thomas is currently heard on AM 1340 playing country music intermixed with a lot of local information, from 5:30-9am. He also voicetracks the midday shift on sister station WLEW-FM 102.1 (Cruise 102).

* 100000watts.com reports that channel 69 Lansing has completed its move to channel 27 as W27CN. The LPTV station simulcasts programming from WAQP-TV 49 Saginaw.

October 11:

* FCC Action: Granted WJOF FM 88.1 Monroe a modification to its construction permit: From Class B1 10,000 watts vertical @ 246 feet directional to Class A 910 watts @ 144 feet nondirectional. The station's tower will be located in Monroe instead of near Ida.

October 14:

* There was a new ratings leader in Detroit during the summer: Oldies WOMC-FM jumped ahead of News-Talk WJR-AM among listeners age 12 and above. Both stations saw their ratings share increase since the spring book- WOMC moved to 6.5 from 5.2 and WJR was up to 6.4 from 6.1. The remainder of the top 10 included Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM, News WWJ-AM, Rock WRIF-FM, Urban WJLB-FM, Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM, Urban WDTJ-FM, and Top 40 outlets WDRQ-FM and WKQI-FM. Along with WOMC's big gain since spring, WNIC had a sizeable gain up to 4.9 from 3.5, putting itself confortably ahead of AC rival WMGC which carded a 3.2 in the summer. WKQI also improved nicely, up to 3.8 from 3.1. The sports battle between WDFN-AM and WXYT-AM remained tied, but down in overall ratings since spring.

* WTRC-AM 1340 Elhart, IN (South Bend) is set to move into new studios on Wednesday of this week. The station drops its music programs and shifts to fulltime News-Talk as NewsRadio 1340.

October 15:

* Dom Theodore, already program director for Top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit, adds the responsibility of operations manager for the station as well as two sister stations, Talk WXDX-AM 1310 and Sports WDFN-AM 1130. Rona Danziger adds the role of program director at WDFN to her responsibility as PD at WXDX. WKQI marketing and promotions director Rebecca Falk will now oversee marketing and promotions at all 7 Clear Channel-owned stations in Detroit (WKQI, WDFN, WXDX, plus WMXD-FM 92.3, WJLB-FM 97.9, WNIC-FM 100.3, and WDTW-FM 106.7)- Radio and Records

* Exiting as weathercaster at WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit is Mary Kay Kleist as she accepts a role at WBBM-TV Chicago. Shay Ryan, who had been doing fill-in and weekend work at WXYZ will take over the spot vacated by Kleist. Ryan has left WNEM-TV 5 Bay City.

October 16:

* Kirk Gibson, Sports WXYT-AM 1270 afternoon drive co-host and Fox Sports Net Detroit analyst for Tigers' broadcasts, leaves those roles to join the Detroit Tigers as bench coach. Also exiting his broadcast role to become a coach for the Tigers is Lance Parrish who steps down from the analyst position for WKBD-TV 50's Tigers' coverage. Each of the media outlets for Tigers' baseball will have new voices next year- the radio outlet (WXYT) needs a play-by-play man with the retirement of Ernie Harwell and both TV outlets are now looking for new color analysts.

October 17:

* Added to the lineup at Talk/Oldies WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City is Sean Hannity

* FCC Action: Granted W33BY LPTV ch. 33 Detroit its license to cover (move from ch. 68 at new tower location)

October 20:

* FM Talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit evening co-host Rob Parker has been named as host of a new 30 minute weekly sports/music program titled "Sports Rap" that will premiere at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, on WWJ-TV 62. Joining Parker will be Urban WJLB-FM 97.9 jock "Reggie Reg" Davis and former Detroit Lions player Ron Rice- Detroit News

October 22:

* WDMK-FM 102.7 Detroit has shifted its Adult Urban Contemporary to all 'Old School' Rhythm and Blues by dropping most current music. The station is still using its 'Kiss' moniker as '102.7 Kiss-FM'. WDMK is owned by Radio One, which also owns Detroit stations WDTJ-FM 105.9 and WCHB-AM 1200.

* Fox affiliate WSMH-TV 66 Flint is set to launch a 10pm newscast beginning Monday (Oct 28th). WSMH will serve as the test site for owner Sinclair, which plans on rolling out a hybrid local-national newscast to 30 of its stations. The WSMH newscast will be anchored by former WNEM-TV 5 Saginaw anchor/reporter Jim Kiertzner.

* FCC Action: Granted WSAG-FM 104.1 Pinconning the following change to its construction permit- power to 6,000 watts @ 213 feet from 4,100 watts @ 367 feet and a change in tower location north into Arenac county

* WCAR-AM 1090 Livonia/Detroit has applied for the following change: daytime power to 1,000 watts from 250, nighttime power to 800 watts from 500, and add critical hours licensing at 1,000 watts. The application specifies using the station's current nighttime 6 tower array for all patterns- current the daytime signal uses 4 of the 6 towers.

* The American Family Association and the Great Lakes Broadcast Academy have applied to trade their Muskegon construction permits. AFA's current CP at 88.1 (WPQZ, 580 watts @ 344 feet) would be traded for GLBA's 91.7 CP (6,000 watts @ 328 feet) if approved by the FCC

October 23:

* Starboard Broadcasting has agreed to purchase three Upper Peninsula stations in two separate deals worth a total of $1.6 million. First, Starboard will acquire Country WYKX-FM 104.7 and Full Service WDBC-AM 680 Escanaba from KMB Broadcasting for $850,000. The second deal will add Oldies WADW-FM 105.5 Pickford/Sault Ste. Marie to Starboard's new Michigan cluster for $750,000. Seaway Broadcasting is current owner and seller of WADW. Programming is likely to shift to religious once the deals close as Starboard currently operates Catholic-based stations across much of Wisconsin and is in the process actively expanding the reach of its programming. Both the WADW and WYKX/WDBC deals are subject to FCC approval.

* Nick Taylor exits as morning co-host at Top 40 WKFR-FM 103.3 Battle Creek/Kalamazoo to head for South Bend at fellow Top 40 outlet WNDV-FM 92.9- All Access

* WMSH-AM 1230 Sturgis has dropped its simulcast of sister station Oldies WMSH-FM 99.3 in favor of Sports from ESPN Radio- 100000watts.com

* WILX-TV 10 Lansing anchor Melissa Proffitt has left the TV business to join Top 40 radio outlet WHZZ-FM 101.7 for mornings- Lansing State Journal

* Clear Channel Ann Arbor plans on completing its move out of the Domino's Farm complex this week and into new facilities near Briarwood Mall. The new home for WWWW-FM 102.9, WKQL-FM 107.1, WTKA-AM 1050, and WHNE-AM 1290 will feature all new equipment and 10 studios- 1 each for WWWW, WQKL, and WHNE, 2 each for WTKA and production work, 1 for voicetracking, and 2 auxiliary studios.

* FCC Action: Granted WOGC-LP 25 Holland its license to cover for changes (move to Holland from Grand Rapids)

October 24:

* Chili Walker will exit Modern Rock WWDX-FM 92.1 Lansing effective November 24th. He'll be leaving open the afternoon drive and program director positions- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted WFYC-AM 1280 Alma a construction permit to increase its nighttime power to 56 watts from 45

October 25:

* Upper Midwest Broadcasting reports that Country WYKX-FM 104.7 Escanaba will be spun off by Starboard once its purchase of the station from KMB Broadcasting is complete. The eventual owner is likely to be Lyle Evans-- who also currently owns Top 40 WMXG-FM 106.3 Stephenson and a construction permit at 98.7 FM (WGLI) Hancock.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses from Stone Communications to Basic Licensing for WWKK-AM 750 and WJML-AM 1110 Petoskey; Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses from Joseph E. Cohen to Unity Broadcasting for WUBR-AM 1490 and WEFG-FM 97.5 Whitehall, and WLCS-FM 98.3 N. Muskegon; Granted WDWO-LP 18 Detroit Class A status

October 27:

* Brook Taylor joins Christian WAYK-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids as morning co-host. Taylor arrives from Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing- Grand Rapids Press

October 28:

* Country WBCT-FM returned to the number one spot among listeners age 12 and over in Grand Rapids over the summer ratings period. Top 40 WSNX-FM, which had been on top in the spring, finished second. The remainder of the top 5 stations were Classic Rock WLAV-FM, Modern Rock WGRD-FM, and Active Rock WKLQ-FM. WGRD was the book's big winner - up from a 4.4 share in spring to 6.4 for the summer.

* Former Northern Michigan University broadcaster Joe Blake has had the Berry Events Center press box named after him- Marquette Mining Journal

October 29:

* Broadway Billy Macc exits as night jock from Top 40 WSNX-FM 104.5 Grand Rapids; Clear Channel/Muskegon market manager Jeff Morton exits to take the director of sales role at Citadel/Grand Rapids- All Access

* Noted: Top 40 WTWR-FM 98.3 Monroe has applied for its new facilites with COL change to Luna Pier. The application with the FCC is to change power from 1,400 watts @ 466 feet non-directional to 3,400 watts @ 440 feet directional to the northeast. The tower location would move to Lucas County, OH from Monroe County using the same facilities as sister-station WKKO-FM 99.9.

October 30:

* Jerry O'Donnell exits the morning drive role after 16+ years at Adult Contemporary WGER-FM 106.3 Saginaw to take over mornings at Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint. In addition, O'Donnell has been named as operations manager for Cumulus sister stations Urban WDZZ-FM 92.7, Classic Rock WRSR-FM 103.9, and Gospel WWCK-AM 1570. Taking over the mic at WGER will be Jim Johnson who moves from WCRZ-FM 107.9 Flint and WJSZ-FM 92.5 Ashley. Michelle Langley and Bill Anders will remain with the WGER morning show- Saginaw News


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