* New to mornings at Top 40 WTWR-FM 98.3 Monroe is Ben Coburn. The lineup at WTWR is: Ben Coburn's Morning Experience 6-10am; Terri McCormick 10am-2pm; J-Cruz 2-7pm; and Joe P 7pm-midnight. Coburn arrives from Hot AC WYBR-FM 102.3 Big Rapids. McCormick, also the station's program director, will have a role as co-host on the morning show until a permanent co-host is hired.
* Urban WJNZ-AM 1680 Grand Rapids has recently become affiliated with BET Radio Networks, and plans to add the Russ Parr Morning Show later this month.
* Sister-stations News-Talk WJML-AM 1110 and Talk-Oldies WWKK-AM 750 have been sold by Rick Stone. The buyer, Basic Licensing, is new to the Northern Michigan radio market. Sale price for the combo is $900,000 and is subject to review by the FCC.
* Viewers of WDWB-TV 20 Detroit kicked in $1.6 million to the MDA Labor Day telethon. The national tally was a record $58.3 million.
* Rick Albin has rejoined WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids as political repoerter. He had previously left the station to work for U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra's staff- Grand Rapids Press
* Dave Ryerson steps down as program director at Classic Rock WAOR-FM 95.3 Niles/South Bend but remains as the station's morning drive host. Named as interim PD is Tom Oakes- he's the PD for sister station Country WBYT-FM 100.7- All Access
* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary assignment of construction permit for WSAG-FM 104.1 Pinconning to Blue Moose LLC from Russell James LaFave. The CP is set to expire November 1st.
* WSDS-AM 1480 Ypsilanti is now broadcasting programming from the Michigan Talk Radio Network Monday-Friday and has moved its Classic Country music to the station's web site as an Internet-only feed. The station plans to maintain its local programming on weekends- including Classic Country and Bluegrass shows along with 'Chinese Voice'.
* WKAR-TV East Lansing plans on beginning the installation of its digital TV antenna early next week
* FCC Action: Approved the voluntary transfer of control for WILX-TV 10 Onondaga from Stations Holding Company to Grey Television
* No Sale: The deal between Wilks Broadcasting and Cumulus where the latter was to aquire Wilks' 5 station Tri-Cities cluster (Country WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock, Hot AC WTCF-FM 100.5 Carrollton, Adult Contemporary WGER-FM 106.3, Urban Contemporary WTLZ-FM 107.1, and News/Talk WSGW-AM 790 Saginaw) for $55.6 million is off. Cumulus canceled the agreement which was originally reached in May and approved by the FCC in July. Unsubstantiated reports are that Cumulus balked on the deal because the price was too high.
* The Greaseman (Doug Tracht) is added for mornings at Classic Country WCXI-AM 1160 Fenton/Flint and Talk WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland/Grand Rapids. The program is syndicated by the stations' owner Birach Broadcasting from sister station WGOP-AM Washington DC; New for mornings and a role as promotions director at Contemporary Christian WAYK-FM 88.3 Kalamazoo / WAYG-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids is Brooke Taylor effective Sept 30- All Access
* Tim Little, general manager of Standards WSCG-AM 1380 Greenville and Country WSCG-FM 106.3 Lakeview announced today that he has resigned from that position to take over as program director at Country WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock/Saginaw. Little came to WSCG-AM/FM owner Stafford Broadcasting two years ago as their first GM following the purchase of the former WPLB-FM/AM. Little will exit this week and begin his new role effective Sept. 23. "I am really looking forward to living in Saginaw and getting to work at WCEN. We have a wonderful staff with a tremendous amount of talent. It's going to be a pleasure working with them", said Little who added he will return to using his air name of Tim Rogers at WCEN. Prior to his role at WSCG, Little was program director and afternoon drive host at Country WMKC-FM 102.9 St. Ignace.
* FCC Action: Granted WTAC-FM 89.7 Burton its license to cover (new station)
* WTAC-FM 89.7 Burton/Flint will become part of the network of Contemporary Christian stations in Michigan using 'The Light' moniker once it becomes fully operational. Program director Mike Couchman comments that the new station has been on the air intermittently for testing as the station prepares to launch. WTAC was granted its license on September 3rd. The Light currently consists of 3 stations: WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing, WEJC-FM 88.3 Gladwin, and WTLI-FM 89.3 Boyne City.
* Noted: Detroit LPTV stations W68CH and W33BY are now airing separate programming. Channel 68 is airing MTV2 24/7 and channel 33 is running a hybrid of local and syndicated programs. Channel 33 is supposed to eventually replace channel 68 as its construction permit is for a move off of 68.
* Hot AC WBMI-FM 105.5 West Branch was noted broadcasting in mono over the weekend. It's likely the station will return to stereo again soon
* WLKM-AM 1510 Three Rivers has applied to the FCC to move to 1520 and begin nighttime operations with 8 watts
* FCC Action: Granted WLGH-FM 88.1 Leroy Twp a construction permit for the following changes: ERP from 2,500 watts (V) @ 328 feet (Class A) to 10,000 watts (V) @ 594 feet directional (Class B).
* Active Rock WWBN-FM 101.5 Tuscola/Flint has moved its tranmsitter from Tuscola County (near Millington) to Genesee County (near Otisville). The new pattern and location results in better coverage across southern Genesee county. Program director Brian Beddow comments, "The early returns are encouraging. We have been able to fill our signal in the southern end of the county, and I am already noticing the station on in businesses in the mid-county area (Burton, south Flint etc) that were unable to get us in the past".
* An update from DX-midAMerica.com: WDBC-AM 680 Escanaba is using the "Music of Your Life" Adult Standards satellite feed in addition to talk during some dayparts
* The FCC has cancelled the license for the 1,000 watt FM booster for WBYC-FM 92.5 in Petoskey (WBYC-FM1) at the request of owner Northern Radio. WBYC's main transmitter is licensed to Atlanta at 92.5 and is simulcast on WBYB-FM 94.3 Leland/Traverse City.
* Public outlet WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit adds ravis Smiley for a one-hour show 9-10am weekdays starting Sept. 30.
* New morning show co-host at Top 40 WIOG-FM 102.5 Bay City is Andrew Zepada (Andrew Z) who teams with Lacey McCloud. Andrew was last at Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint as its morning show host. As the station had previously announced, Demas moves from mornings to afternoons- All Access
* New lineup at Country WWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor: Mornings (5:30-10am) are now in control of Bubba, formerly of WNWN-FM 98.5 Coldwater. The former morning team of Tom Baker and Andie Lynne shift to other dayparts with Baker moving back to afternoon drive (3-7pm) and Lynn taking middays (10am-3pm). Syndicated shows fill the rest of the schedule with Lia 7pm - midnight and After Midnight running overnights.
* Interim WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint morning show host Brian Figula, "Fig" will leave September 20th to take over nights and the role of music director at heritage CHR WDBR-FM Springfield, IL.
* A format update courtesy of DX-midAMerica.com: WNBY-AM 1450 Newberry has dropped programming from the Michigan Talk Radio Network in favor of satellite fed Classic Country as "Country Gold 1450"
* New to mornings at Hot AC WCNF-FM 94.9 Benton Harbor is Robb Rose- All Access
* Summer phase 2 ratings (Jun-Aug) for Detroit were released today. News-Talk WJR-AM continued to lead all stations among listeners age 12 and above, followed by Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM and Oldies WOMC-FM which tied for second. News WWJ-AM and Urban WJLB-FM rounded out the top 5 stations. The station with the biggest change from the first summer trend was Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM which jumped back into the top 10 stations improving its share from 3.6 to 4.3.
* Jim Kiertzner exits WNEM-TV 5 Bay City and will land at WSMH-TV 66 Flint as that stations lead anchor as it prepares to launch a 10pm newscast in October- Flint Journal
* Classic Hits WVIC-FM 94.1 Jackson/Lansing jock Kim Foster-Stewart moves on for a midday role in Youngstown, OH at WQXK; Former Top 40 WQKI-FM 95.5 Detroit afternooner and music director J. Love lands in Providence, RI at WWKX-FM as program director and midday host- All Access
* Call sign assigned to construction permit for FM 98.7 Hancock: WGLI
* The FCC has ruled that the proposed sale of Full Service WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor from Whitehall Enterprises to Clear Channel must enter into an evidentiary hearing as the commission has determined that "based on Year 2001 revenue estimates from the BIA database, the five stations that Clear Channel proposes to own (in Ann Arbor) account for a 94.9 percent revenue share in the Ann Arbor metro. Post-consummation (of the sale of WAAM), Clear Channel and Ave Maria Foundation (owner of WDEO-AM 990) would collectively control 99.0 percent of the advertising revenue in the Ann Arbor metro. These figures indicate that Clear Channel essentially would have a monopoly position in the Ann Arbor metro." Clear Channel disputes this by suggesting that the Ann Arbor market is really part of the larger Detroit area and advertising revenues for Detroit-area stations that also serve Ann Arbor should be considered. Whitehall and Clear Channel initially reached the deal for Clear Channel to acquire the station for $2 million in August 2001 and has been handling sales for the station since December 2001.
* New night shift jock at Top 40 WKHQ-FM Charlevoix is John Foxx- All Access
* The FCC has modified the FM table of allotments effective Nov. 4 2002 as follows: removed 98.3 from Monroe and added 98.3 to Luna Pier. WTWR-FM is required to file an application to its license to reflect the community of license change
* Observed on the air is low-power FM outlet WFPM-LP 99.5 Battle Creek. The station was airing black gospel and religious programming as 'The Miracle Station'. WFPM-LP is owned by the First Pentecostal Church of God in Christ
* Comerica Park's press box has been named Ernie Harwell Media Center in honor of the broadcaster's amazing career- Detroit Free Press
* Toledo's WTVG-TV 13 has changed its antenna pattern and is now omni-directional. The change results in better coverage in southeast Michigan.
* Added to the lineup this week at Religious WLLZ-AM 560 Monroe/Detroit was the mainstream talk program The Radio Factor with Bill O’Reilly. WLLZ had planned on airing O’Reilly when the program was introduced earlier this year but at the last minute failed to reach an agreement with the program’s syndicator. The show airs from noon-2pm.
* Darren Davis has been named as operations manager for Clear Channel's Detroit cluster (WMXD-FM 92.3, WKQI-FM 95.5, WJLB-FM 97.9, WNIC-FM 100.3, WDTW-FM 106.7, WDFN-AM 1130, and WXDX-AM 1310). He arrives from Houston to begin his new job September 30th
* Clear Channel and Whitehall Enterprises will both walk away from the deal that would have moved WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor to Clear Channel after the FCC's announcement that the deal was set to be reviewed at a hearing. No other buyer has been identified for the station, which will remain under the ownership of Whitehall.
* Joining Tony Magoo as co-host at Country WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint will be Diane Grey who makes the move from Allentown, PA; Nikki Lane joins Contemporary Christian WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing for morning co-host and news chores. She'll be partnered with current co-hosts Tim and Tiana. Lane moves to WLGH from crosstown Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7- All Access
* Adult Top 40 simulcasters WKPK-FM 106.7 Gaylord and WKVK-FM 100.7 Honor move more towards a Hot Adult Contemporary sound and have added the positioner 'The Best Hits of the 80's, 90's, and Today' to its 'The Peak' moniker. WKPK began moving away from Mainstream Top 40 in Feburary of 2001 when it shifted to an Adult Top 40 sound. New night jock at the stations is Andrew Daily, who was elevated from swing, replacing Goose- All Access
* New Clear Channel Detroit operating manager Darren Davis also gets the role of regional vice president of programming from the Detroit area- All Access
* Sports WXDX-AM 1310 Detroit will change its format to news-talk beginning on Monday October 7th. The long-rumored switch will feature 'The Handyman Show', hosted by Glenn Haege, from noon-2pm. The rest of the daytime schedule will consist of programming from the Michigan Talk Radio Network, including mornings with Dave Scott and Laurel Hess, the Don Chiodo Show, the Dave Barber Show, and 'The Captain & Crew'. Former WRIF-FM and WCSX-FM morning co-host George Baier (Dick the Bruiser) returns to the Detroit airwaves as part of 'The Captain & Crew' along with co-host Bill Vogel.
* A few changes to note about the Michigan Talk Radio Network (MTRN): New to the morning show is television broadcast journalist Laurel Hess. Her resume includes experience with WDIV-TV 4 Detroit, WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids, WLNS-TV 6 Lansing in addition to hosting 'Comcast Newsmakers' on CNN Headline News on all Michigan Comcast cable systems and she is the Midwest corespondent for NBC News Channel. Effective October 7th, the times for the MTRN lineup will change:
In addition to adding WXDX Detroit as an affiliate, WBRN-AM 1460 Big Rapids, WPHM-AM 1380 Port Huron, and WKYO-AM 1360 Caro have all added the MTRN morning show to their lineups. Recently WSDS-AM 1480 Ypsilanti also joined the list of affiliates and now clears all MTRN programming Monday-Friday.
* The second phase of Grand Rapids ratings trends for the summer period was released today. Tied for the number one spot among listeners age 12 and above were Top 40 WSNX-FM and Country WBCT-FM, followed by Classic Rock WLAV-FM, Active Rock WKLQ-FM, and Modern Rock WGRD-FM.
* Josh and Holly exit mornings at Hot AC WTCF-FM 100.5, "100.5 The Fox," for afternoons at Top 40 WSTO-FM Evansville, IN. In addition to their on-air roles at WSTO, Holly will serve as promotions director and Josh will take over as the station's music director.
* Michigan Representative Paul DeWeese presented Contemporary Christian WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing (The Light) with a tribute from the Michigan Legislature and Governor Engler recognizing the radio station’s service to the community.
* FCC Action: Granted WUPK-FM 94.1 Marquette a construction permit for changes- ERP from 4,500 watts @ 377 feet to 4,400 watts @ 381 feet with a slight change to tower location
* More of the likely programming for WXDX-AM 1310 Detroit when it switches from sports to talk on Oct 7th has been revealed. In addition to Glenn Haege's midday show and other daytime programming from the Michigan Talk Radio Network, it's expected the station will air syndicated evening and overnight programs from Phil Hendrie and Art Bell. WXDX took on its current Sports format - primarily a feed of Fox Sports Radio - in November 2000.
* Inside Radio reports that Ann Arbor is the 2nd lowest market in the country in terms of the level of radio listening. Only 10.9% of the 12+ population is listening to radio in any given quarter-hour. The lowest level goes to another college town- Lafayette, IN with 10.6%. Tops was Miami, FL which has a 17.1% listening level. Average listenership across the country is 14.55%. The numbers were based on the Spring 2002 Arbitron book.
* Beginning Sunday (Oct 6), the Detroit Symphony Orchestra radio broadcasts will return for a third season to Adult Standards CKWW-AM 580 Windsor/Detroit. Hosted by Dick Cavett, the DSO's General Motors "Mark of Excellence" radio broadcasts are recorded live from Detroit's famed Orchestra Hall. The series runs for 26 weeks and will air on CKWW every Sunday from 9-11am.