April 2003 News and Notes

April 1:

* Mark Feurie exits from Citadel active rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids. He had been the station's program director before being replaced by Hunter Scott from sister-station WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland last month but reportedly was still going have a role at WKLQ- All Access

* Christian Contemporary WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing celebrated April Fool's Day by changing its morning show this morning to "The Morning ZZZZZZ" (a poke at cross-town WHZZ-FM 101.7 perhaps?). The station replaced its Christian CHR "Positive Hits" format with all mainstream Top 40 parodies, and crossover tunes that are shared with WHZZ. The station told listeners that its owners wanted to target "non-Christian radio listeners" more aggresively by playing only music that those listeners would already know. Reaction was heavy and mixed- the phones rang non-stop for nearly 90 minutes before the joke was revealed. Then, the best part- a listener phoned in and complained that our joking is no different than lying. She went into a rant about pulling her listener support from us while practically in tears. Then she ended the phone call with "I just don't know what else to say. Except APRIL FOOLS!"

* FCC Action: Granted W207BR 89.3 Ironwood its license to cover for changes (moved from 89.5)

April 2:

* A tip of the hat to ABC/Disney news-talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit chief engineer Ed Buterbaugh on being named as one of Radio Ink's '30 Most Admired Engineers in Radio'

* Lightning damage suffered at the facilities of full service WPHM-AM 1380 Pt. Huron on March 27th has the station operating intermittently at reduced power. Station owner RadioFirst Port Huron is seeking replacement parts for repairs. General Manager Larry Smith comments, "We had it on for a while (Saturday), but it won't stay on." He did not know when the transmitter would be repaired- Port Huron Times Herald

* John Sterling has been named as cluster general manager and vice president for NextMedia's Tri-Cities stations (country WCEN-FM 94.5, top 40 WTCF-FM 100.5, AC WGER-FM 106.3, urban AC WTLZ-FM 107.1, and news/talk WSGW-AM 790)- Inside Radio

April 3:

* The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a forfeiture in the amount of $27,500 against FM talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit for an apparent indecency violation. The incident in question occured on January 9th, 2002 between 4:30-5pm during the "Deminski and Doyle Show". According to the FCC, the proposed action is based on the results of its investigation triggered by a complaint concerning material in which station personnel invited listeners to call the station to discuss sexual practices and techniques. Specifically, the Commission found that the broadcast included explicit and graphic sexual and excretory references during separate discussions with nine individuals. In addition, the Commission found that this material was extremely lewd and vulgar, and that it appeared to have been used to pander, titillate, and shock. Thus, the Commission concluded that the material apparently met the indecency standard and warranted sanction. The Commission proposed an upward adjustment of the forfeiture penalty from the base amount of $7,000 set forth in the Commission’s rules, to the statutory maximum of $27,500, based upon the egregious nature of the violation. The Commission also noted that additional serious violations by Infinity may lead to a revocation proceeding, and put broadcasters on notice that the Commission would not hesitate to adopt strong enforcement actions in the future, including possible license revocation. The notice also opened the possibility for broadcasters to be fined for each individual event, instead of just one fine for the overall segment. In this case, the FCC could have issued 9 separate fines for each of the telephone calls placed on the air by WKRK. So far, the only defense offered by Infinity is that the company believes it is unconstitutional for the FCC to determine what indecency consists of. The the station has 30 days to appeal the fine and show just cause as to why it should be reduced or waived.

April 4:

* The top 5 stations in Grand Rapids for the winter second phase Arbitrend report were country WBCT-FM, Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM, top 40 WSNX-FM, classic rock WLAV-FM, and news-talk WOOD-AM. The biggest mover was WOOD-FM, which jumped from 6.4 in the first trend to 7.2 in the February trend. The results are for listeners age 12 and older.

* Darrin Rockcole has exited as weatherman for the Michigan Talk Radio Network and is now doing weather chores for Mid-Michigan Radio classic hits WVIC-FM 94.1 Jackson/Lansing

April 7:

* Deb Michaels exits as morning show host and program director at MacDonald-Garber Broadasting adult contemporary WLXT-FM 96.3 Petoskey- All Access

April 8:

* NextMedia country WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock/Saginaw has been off the air due to damage caused by ice falling from its broadcast tower. The station hopes to return to the air once the remainder of the ice melts and repairs can be made- Saginaw News

* Another ice victim is high school outlet WDSP-FM 88.1 Plymouth. WSDP has been off the air since just past 5 pm yesterday due to the freezing over of the station's tower. Station officials have tried to sign on throughout today but the ice has rendered the station unable to broadcast at any power higher than 5 of their 200 watts. The station will continue trying to sign on throughout the day.

* 'Man Made Radio' with Hunter Scott and Sean Kelly debuted as the afternoon show on Citadel active rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 yesterday. The duo also returned to sister-station active rock WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland as the show is now simulcast on both stations. Jay Randall, who had temporarily shifted to afternoons, slides back to his evening role at 'KQZ.

* Dave Justus exits from the morning show at Regent modern rock WGRD-FM 97.9 after only 6 months. Michael Grey and Stephanie Webb remain as co-hosts along with producer Rovin' Ralph. Also at WGRD, afternoon jock Remy has exited with Suzy Cole moving in to that shift from evenings.

April 10:

* 3 of Cumulus' Flint area radio stations put up a poll on their web sites asking "have you ever been involved in an Arbitron survey?" The polls have since been removed, but Arbitron frowns on this type of thing and could send Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5, Urban AC WDZZ-FM 92.7, and Classic Rock WRSR-FM 103.9 'below the line' in the next book - or possibly withhold their ratings all together- InsideRadio

April 11:

* Mid-Michigan Radio shuffles the on-air lineups at two of its Lansing area stations: Current modern rock WWDX-FM 92.1 morning man Mojo moves to Rock WJXQ-FM 106.1 for afternoon drive. Also at Q106, program director Bob Olson and Kevin Conrad will split the 10am - 3pm shift. Back at the Edge, nighttime guy Parker moves in to the morning shift, joining holdover Kelly Bradley. Weekender Lefty moves in to Parker's old slot- All Access

* Brian Nelson exits as program director at contemporary Christian WAYK-FM 88.3 Kalamazoo and WAYG-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids to take over mornings plus the roles of assitant PD and music director at contemporary Christian WJQK-FM 99.3 Zeeland/Gd Rapids effective May 2nd. It'll be the second tour of duty for Nelson at 'WJQ; MacDonald Broadcasting top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing afternoon host and productions director Mike Sinclair exits- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted WAWB-LP 107.3 West Branch its license to cover (new station); Granted WUPY-FM 101.1 Ontonagon a construction permit for changes (ERP from 30,000 to 100,000 watts)

April 14:

* News-talk WTCM-AM 580 Traverse City has applied to the FCC for a boost in both its daytime and nighttime power. The daytime application specifies 35,000 watts (currently 15,000) and the nighttime 1,100 watts (800), all using a 4 tower array.

* Dave Jaconette is now program director at Fairfield Broadcasting news-talk WKZO-AM 590 Kalamazoo in addition to his afternoon shift. He succeeds Richard Piet who exited the radio business last month.

April 15:

* Disney hot AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit has its new program director as Greg Ausham will join the station April 17th. Greg's inbound from Cleveland where he was operations manager for a group of stations owned by Clear Channel- All Access

* FCC Actions: Cancelled the license of W272AG 102.3 Marquette (station had been silent since WWCM-FM moved from 94.7 to 102.5); Granted WLKM-AM 1520 Three Rivers its license to cover for changes (move from AM 1510, add 8 watt night service)

April 16:

* Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit officially flipped the switch on its new facilities in Monroe County today at about 1:00pm. LockerRoom hosts Eli Zaret and Gary Danielson made the announcement on the station at 5pm. WXYT now boasts a 50,000 watt signal both during the day and at night, although the patterns for both are directional to protect other stations from interference. The new pattern should improve coverage in the areas surrounding Metro Detroit, especially in Livingston, Washtenaw and Monroe counties.

* The Citadel active rock WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland 'Joe and the Poorboy' morning show has added a station. Sister station sports WTRX-AM 1330 Flint now simulcasts the 6-10am show.

April 17:

* Citadel country WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint afternoon guy 'Big' Steve Duncan exits. He also had held the roles of assistant program director and music director for the station. Program director Coyote Collins takes over the 3-7pm air shift- All Access

April 18:

* Infinity smooth jazz WVMV-FM Detroit has made some adjustments to its on-air lineup, adding former adult contemporary WNIC-FM program director and morning show contributor Lori Bennett to its midday slot from 9am-2pm. To make room for Bennett, Madison Leigh has moved from middays to evenings, 7pm-midnight. Finally, former evening host Jon Bond now handles the overnight period from midnight-5am in addition to hosting traffic reports during Sandy Kovach’s afternoon show.

* FCC Actions: Granted WCZW-FM 107.9 Charlevoix its license to cover (new station); Granted WDQV-FM 88.5 Mackinaw City its license to cover for changes (ERP from Class A 3,800 watts @ 417 feet to Class C2 20,000 watts @ 430 feet directional)

April 21:

* Infinity country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit raised over $10,000 during last Thursday's Operation Homefront fundraiser for families and military members in the Detroit metropolitan area. Proceeds will be donated to the Family Readiness Program at Selfridge ANG Base. They provide a variety of services to military members and their families, such as food certificates, phone cards, and emergency assistance.

April 22:

* All-news WWJ-AM was the top-rated station among listeners age 12 and above in Detroit over the winter ratings period, displacing news-talk WJR-AM in the number one position. WJR finished a close second. Urban WJLB was third, followed by oldies WOMC-FM, rock WRIF-FM, smooth jazz WVMV-FM, urban WDTJ-FM, urban AC WMXD-FM, adult contemporary WNIC-FM, and country WYCD-FM. WWJ's rating share jumped to 6.0 from 5.3 in the fall- the station, along with sister FM talk WKRK-FM led all stations in ratings improvements over the fall book. WKRK was up to 2.4 from 1.7. Infinity lead the ratings among the cluster owners, carding a 23.6 share. Clear Channel was next with 21.6, followed by Greater Media (11.4), ABC/Disney (11.1), Radio One (8.3), CHUM Ltd (6.3), and Crawford (1.6).

* ABC/Disney news-talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit morning host Paul W. Smith is off the air this week for a very good reason- He and wife Myreya are the proud new parents of Sophia Marie Smith, who was born April 19th weighing 7lbs 5oz. Paul W. should have no trouble remembering the baby's birthdate as it was just one day after his 50th birthday!

* Lewis Dalone joins Cumulus urban AC WDZZ-FM 92.7 as the stations' nighttime jock- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted WKAD-FM 93.7 Harrietta its license to cover (new station)

April 23:

* Terry Foster exits Infinity sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit to rejoin cross-town Clear Channel sports WDFN-AM 1130. Foster, 44, was co-host of the popular “Sports Doctors” show from 1995-2001, and currently writes a column in the Detroit News covering local sports and national issues. Foster will do fill-in on WDFN and is in talks with the Michigan Talk Network to host a weekend show on sister station WXDX.

April 24:

* Low power FM WLWZ-LP 97.1 Dowagiac has been heard on the air testing with a simulcast of oldies outlet WGTO-AM 910.

April 25:

* The ongoing saga over the sale of WDBC-AM 680 Escanaba from KMB Broadcasting to Starboard Media has taken another turn- after the FCC denied a petition by Polly Flinders to deny the sale in March, Flinders filed an application for review of that decision earlier this month - preventing the deal from closing while the FCC reviews continue.

* Call sign action: WMII has been assigned to the construction permit for 650 AM Manistique

* FCC Action: Granted WIBM-AM 1450 Jackson a construction permit for minor changes: ERP from 780 watts unlimited to 810 watts unlimited. The station will remain omnidirectional, however its transmitter location will change slightly.

April 27:

* New to mornings at Midwest Communications classic hits WYVN-FM 92.7 Holland is Tim Steele; Exiting as morning show co-host at contemporary Christian WJQK-FM 99.3 Zeeland is Buster Brown- Grand Rapids Press

April 28:

* FCC Action: Granted WMMT-LP 106.1 Muskegon its license to cover (new station)

April 29:

* Lineup change at Clear Channel classic hits WDTW-FM 106.7 Detroit: Steve Black shifts from evenings 7pm-midnight to middays 10am-2pm, Randi West moves from 10am-3pm to 2-7pm, and Renee Vitale moves from weekend duties into the evening shift. Gone from the lineup is the voicetracked show from Jon Ballard.

* Keith Allen has joined NextMedia country WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock/Saginaw for afternoons as well as taking the role of music director. Allen was last at cross-town MacDonald Broadcasting country WKCQ-FM 98.1 and before that at Citadel country WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint; 'Big' Steve Duncan is the new program director at NextMedia top 40 WTCF-FM 100.5 Carrollton/Saginaw. Duncan recently exited WFBE where he'd been afternoon host and assistant PD- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted W20BZ LPTV ch. 20 Escanaba its license to cover (new station)

April 30:

* The Don Chiodo Show adds two affiliates next month: WION-AM 1430 Ionia joins May 1st and WMMI-AM 830 Mt. Pleasant will begin airing the 9am-noon show on May 7th. Chiodo's show, a current events/call-in program focusing on Michigan news, sports, and entertainment, is heard on the Michigan Talk Radio Network- WMMI and WION will bring program's affiliate total to 9.

* Call sign actions: 4/23, W32BT Mt. Pleasant became WBWM-LP; 4/24, W29CR Grand Rapids became WUHQ-LP; 4/24 W57CS Pinconning became WUHO-LP. All three LPTV stations are owned by P&P Cable Holdings.

* FCC Action: Granted Montcalm Public Radio a construction permit for a new LPFM station at 92.9 to be licensed to Fenwick (Montcalm County, 100 watts max ERP @ 97 feet)




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