August 2003 News and Notes

August 1:

* Infinity FM talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit adds the syndicated Bill O'Reilly program for late evenings 11pm-1am beginning Monday. Debbie Schlussel is dropped from the station's lineup- All Access

* Top 5 Kalamazoo stations this past spring in Kalamazoo were rock WRKR-FM, top 40 WKFR-FM, country WBCT-FM, talk WKMI-AM, and hot AC WQLR-FM. Cumulus, which owns WRKR, WKFR, and WKMI was the top cluster, enjoying a 28.3 share among listeners age 12 and above.

August 4:

* Top 5 stations in the Battle Creek market during the spring 2003 rating period were country WNWN-FM, top 40 WKFR-FM, adult contemporary WBXX-FM, news-talk WBCK-AM, and rock WRKR-FM. Clear Channel was the top rated cluster, followed by Cumulus and Midwest Communications. Ratings are based on listeners 12+ years old, M-F 6am-midnight.

* Casey Cook, the newest addition to the broadcast team at adult contemporary WNBY-FM 93.7 Newberry, who started July 1st, got dunked for charity over the weekend at the Luce/Mackinac County Fair. The evening drive personality/part-time morning show host, donated all proceeds of his dunk tank antics to the Tahquamenon Area School District "Project: Backpack" program, ensuring all kids in the school district will have backpacks with all the goodies to begin the school year.

* Citadel sports WVFN-AM Lansing host Mike Sinnott has left the station in order to spend more time with his role as president of the Sports Flash Radio Network- which currently has over 20 affiliates signed for its localized sports reports- All Access

August 5:

* Clear Channel top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit took advantage of the recent attention given to crop circles in Howell by issuing a couple of press releases earlier today. The first ‘apologized’ for members of its evening show creating the circles – the second retracted the apology as a hoax. The first release gave a somewhat detailed explanation describing the when, who, and how of the event. After the station “accepted full responsibility for wasting the time and efforts of the press in pursing the invalid paranormal event”, WKQI operations manager Dom Theodore apologized to listeners of WKQI, the local media, and the Esper family, who own the field where the circles are located, by airing apologies on the station for a bit on Tuesday. After the story was picked up by the wire services, the station revealed that their first release was a fabrication, obviously cooked up to get attention for the station.

* Silent/out of business: Upper Peninsula low-power TV outlet WUPT-CA 25 Crystal Falls and its simulcast station WUPT-LP 43 Republic Twp. The station had been an affiliate of UPN until May and signed off, likely for good, last month.

August 8:

* Children's WFDF-AM 910 Flint has had its request for a variance for the placement of its proposed new eight-tower daytime array in Monroe County denied by Ash Township. It's uncertain what course of action the station's owner, ABC/Disney, will take next. The proposed new site for WFDF would give the station daytime coverage across the metro Detroit area if it is eventually allowed to be built- Monroe News

* Infinity oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit is set to welcome back Don Phillips to his overnight shift beginning next week. Phillips has been off the air since April after being diagnosed with diabetes; complications from the disease required five different surgeries and a long recuperation. Phillips comments that he's excited to get back to work and wants to thank all the listeners for their cards and notes of encouragement while he was recovering. Phillips will also return to his weekend shift doing "Jukebox Saturday Night" from 7pm-midnight after the Woodward Dream Cruise is over.

August 11:

* The Michigan Assocation of Broadcasters & the FCC have reached a new agreement on the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program. The new program takes effect Sept. 30, 2003, and all stations with valid "certificates of Compliance" will be grandfathered. Several items of the ABIP program have changed. MAB will be mailing details to all stations in the weeks ahead. MAB members can visit the Members Only section of the MAB web site at www.michmab.com for a summary of the changes and the new ABIP contract terms.

* Infinity talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit debuted the Steve Mariucci show today at 7pm- the show will air every Monday night at 7 throughout the NFL season. Detroit Lions' head coach Mariucci will break down all the latest Lions news and information- what happened, why it happened, and what’s next for the Lions.

* Crawford Broadcasting Company of Blue Bell, PA has filed a request with the FCC (08/04/03) on behalf of its AM 560 Monroe to acquire the call sign WRDT. AM 560 presently operates under the call sign WLLZ and is a religious talk format originating from the studios of WMUZ in northwest Detroit. Upon approval of the request, WMUZ plans to unveil "The New WRDT - The WORD 560: Detroit's Christian Talk." The WORD 560 is the anchor station in Detroit for the live nationally syndicated broadcast of "The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly" weekdays at Noon and the live local talk program "On the Word with Paul Edwards" weekdays at 2:00 pm. An affiliated website is being developed and is located at www.wrdt.net.

August 12:

* Arbitron ratings for the Northwest Lower Peninsula were released last Friday. Among listeners age 12 and above, country WTCM-FM continued to be the top station, followed by news-talk WTCM-AM, oldies WCCW-FM, top 40 WKHQ-FM, and modern rock WLJZ/WJZJ-FM. Midwestern Broadcasting had the top cluster, with a 36.9 share of radio listeners.

August 14:

* On-air: Great Lakes Radio's WHTO-FM 106.7 Iron Mountain. The station is programming an 80's based format.

August 15:

* Cindy Austin is the new 7pm-midnight host at Citadel country WFBE-FM Flint. Austin also picks up the role of assistant promotions director. Also at WFBE, former afternoon jock Dave Geronimo returns to the station after about a 1 year absence in the same role- All Access

* FCC actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses for WNBY-FM 93.7 and WNBY-AM 1450 Newberry from F&W Broadcasting to Sovereign Communications.

August 19:

* The first ratings trend for the summer was released for Detroit yesterday. Maintaining the top spot among listeners age 12 and above was news WWJ-AM followed by urban WJLB-FM, which moved into second place overall. Down a spot to third was news-talk WJR-AM, followed by smooth jazz WVMV-FM. Fifth place overall was a tie between rock WRIF-FM and urban AC WMXD-FM.

* Fox Sports Net Detroit has hired Ryan Field as a correspondent for its Detroit Sports Report. Field has been a sports reporter at WJBK-TV (FOX 2) in Detroit since August 2000 and has also provided sports updates on WDFN-AM 1130.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses for WGTU-TV 29 Traverse City and WGTQ-TV 8 Sault Ste Marie from Scanlan Communications to MTC License (Max Media)

August 20:

* Call sign changes: WMXE FM 102.5 Hudson became WBZV on July 23; WIZY FM 100.9 East Jordan became WICV on August 11; new LPFM 100.9 Norton Shores became WMBC-LP on August 18

August 21:

* ABC affiliate WOTV-TV 41 Battle Creek will drop its news department, effective today. The station will still carry news, but it will be a simulcast of LIN Television sister station NBC affiliate WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids. WOTV will continue its ABC affiliation and carry that network's news, sports, and entertainment programming. According to LIN, the combination of a sluggish economy and an increasingly competitive local media market (five local newscasts and three cable newscasts) led to the decision. The move will eliminate 24 employee positions within the WOTV news department but will maintain a Battle Creek/Kalamazoo bureau at the station that will be staffed by one reporter, two photographers and one producer. This team will contribute to coverage of the area on WOOD-TV. WOTV's local sales and production teams will remain in Battle Creek as well as the engineering staff. Employees were notified of the decision earlier today.

* Infinity Detroit (WKRK-FM 97.1, WVMV-FM 98.7, WYCD-FM 99.5, WOMC-FM 104.3, WWJ-AM 950, and WXYT-AM 1270) vice president / market manager Maureen Lesourd will be transfering to Los Angeles where she'll take on the role of vice president and general manager for Infinity's oldies KRTH (K-EARTH 101).

* Full service WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor was sold for $1.5 million by Whitehall Enterprises to Big D Broadcasting, which is a subsidiary of First Broadcasting Company. The deal must get FCC approval before becoming final. Broker was Gary Lillie and Associates of Ann Arbor.

August 26:

* Joy FM (WHYT-FM 89.1 Imlay City, WJOF-FM 88.1 Monroe, WJOJ-FM 89.7 Harrisville) welcomes Michael Floe to their on-air staff, bringing 20 years of radio experience along with him to the stations. Floe has lived and worked on the east coast, the west coast, and various points between. Michael's rich smooth voice has also been heard in television voiceovers and in comedy bits. His show will air 10am-3pm weekdays.

* Sold: Top 40 WCFX-FM 95.3 Clare/Mt. Pleasant by Goldsen Broadcasting/Jackson Radio works for $2.88 million to Florida-based Greenax Broadcasting, pending FCC approval. Goldsen purchased the station in 2000 from Mackin Broadcasting.

August 27:

* Fairfield sports WQSN-AM 1660 Kalamazoo juggles its lineup; ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike return for mornings with PD Ryan Maguire shifting to late mornings 10am-noon. The station will keep Jim Rome middays, but replace Fox Sports Radio programming with ESPN Radio. Afternoons will still be held by Citadel's regionally syndicated Bob Simonson. Morning co-host Seth Harp remains with Fairfield in an off-air role- All Access

August 28:

* Sold: Talk-full service WION-AM 1430 Ionia for $100,000 by Agricultural Resource Group to Stafford Broadcasting, pending FCC approval. Stafford owns WSCG-AM 1380 Greenville and WSCG-FM 106.3 Lakeview.

* FCC Action: Granted WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City a construction permit to add nighttime service at 129 watts from the same 3-tower array the station currently uses for daytime operations.

August 29:

* Talk/oldies WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City will add a locally-based sports talk show effective Monday September 1. 'SportsLine' will air daily from 2-3pm. This will be the first local radio sports show in the Tri-Cities area since the departure of sports programming on WMAX-AM 1440.

* Country WBCT-FM continues on as Grand Rapids' top station among listeners age 12 and above according to the first summer phase ratings that were released yesterday. Top 40 WSNX-FM was second, followed by news-talk WOOD-AM, classic rock WLAV-FM, and modern rock WGRD-FM. Clear Channel continues to dominate the market overall, with a 38.6 share, more than double the shares of Regent and Citadel.


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