February 2003 News and Notes

February 1:

* Winners of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation's High School & College Broadcast Awards have been announced are available for viewing at www.michmab.com/hscolawards.html.

* Mark Spindler has changed stations from Sports WDFN-AM 1130 to Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit. Spindler, a former Detroit Lion, will serve as fill-in host at WXYT, the same role he had at WDFN.

* Bruce Goldsen, owner of WKHM-FM/AM, WIBM Jackson and WCFX-FM Clare, has been elected to the National Association of Broadcaster's Radio Board for a two year term, beginning this June.

* FCC Action: Created a new Class A FM allotment for Alpena at 105.7 effective March 17th

February 3:

* WMQF-TV 19 Marquette began testing yesterday. The station signed on with color bars and audio from FOX programming. It's expected the station's primary affiliation will be with FOX, with secondary affilitions with UPN and possibly PAX.

* WPHM-AM 1380 Port Huron's 46th annual “Jail & Bail” fundraiser netted $201,300 despite a challenging economy and the space shuttle tragedy on February 1st. Bluewater area residents responded again for the March of Dimes by bailing out area “prisoners” going to “jail” in order to raise funds as part of the March Of Dimes campaign to discover and prevent the causes of premature birth.

* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary assignment of construction permit for WGLI-FM 98.7 Hancock from Lyle Robert Evans to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

February 4:

* WLKM-AM 1510 Three Rivers has moved to AM 1520 and changed format from Adult Standards to Classic Country. The station has also added nighttime service, but only at 8 watts

* New to mornings at Rock WZUU-FM 92.3 Allegan/Kalamazoo is the syndicated Steve and DC show.

February 5:

* The Howard Stern morning show has returned to Grand Rapids on Sports WBBL-AM 1340. The show had been off for over three weeks while negotiations between WBBL parent company Citadel and Stern's representatives worked out a new deal for carrying the show on WBBL instead of Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5- where it had been heard until being bumped off in late December- Grand Rapids Press

* Clay Church exits nights at Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint and lands the same shift at Rhythmic Top 40 WRCL-FM 93.7 Frankenmuth- All Access

February 7:

* Steve Sinicropi has exited the role of vice president and general manager for FM Talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit to take a similar job in Greenville, SC. Maureen Lesourd, recently named Infinity/Detroit market manager, has reportedly taken over the day-to-day management of WKRK.

* New morning traffic reporter at WDIV-TV 4 Detroit will be Tracy Gary- current reporter Debra McGann exits next week. Gary is had been working as a traffic reporter for WWJ-AM 950 Detroit- Detroit Free Press

* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary assignment of construction permit for WHTO-FM 106.7 Iron Mountain from Donald James Noordyk to Todd Stuart Noordyk.

February 9:

* Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit wrapped up its fourth annual 99.5 WYCD Hunt for a Cure to Benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fundraiser yesterday. The event, held at Southland Center in Taylor, raised $340,000.

February 11:

* Childrens WFDF-AM 910 Flint has applied for a daytime power boost to 50,000 watts from an 8-tower facility that would be located near Carleton in northern Monroe county. The pattern of the station would point primarily north and continue to provide Flint with a daytime 5 mV/m contour, in addition to adding good coverage to most of metro Detroit. If no night changes are made, the station would then become a two-site operation, with nighttime facilities remaining in Genesee county. The approval of the application would be contingent on WFRO-AM 900 Fremont, OH becoming silent. ABC owns both WFRO and WFDF.

* Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit program director Bill Stedman has resigned from the station to pursue opportunities at a station-to-be-named later.

February 12:

* WGLI-FM 98.7 Hancock/Houghton has signed on with a Rock format as "The Rockin' Eagle". The station just recently received the green light from the FCC to begin operations and started up before making any promotional announcements to the community. WGLI is the second station owned/operated by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, joining Country WCUP-FM 105.7.

* Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM 98.7 Detroit program director Tom Sleeker adds the role of PD at Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 on an interim basis as the station looks to replace Bill Stedman.

* FCC Actions: WFAT-FM 96.5 Portage/Kalamazoo, WQHH-FM 96.5 DeWitt/Lansing, and WUFN-FM 96.7 Albion have all agreed to a plan that will allow each station to increase its effective radiated power. WFAT will go from 3,600 watts @ 259 feet to 6,000 watts @ 249 feet, WQHH from 3,000 watts @ 328 feet to 6,000 watts @ 322 feet, and WUFN from 1,500 watts @ 472 feet directional to 3,200 watts @ 456 feet directional. The changes will result in more interference in areas where each station's reception is already poor due to the proximity of these stations to each other both on the dial and on the map. Coverage in areas nearby the stations' transmitters should improve. The FCC has granted construction permits to each of the three stations.

* Call sign change: CP for 91.7 FM now WMCQ (was WZMU) as of Feb 6

February 13:

* Noted: WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian morning drive host Bob Butler celebrates his 35th anniversary with the station this week. Bob has handled the 6-9am slot for that entire time. His career started in Arizona and he then worked for several years at WABJ-AM 1490 Adrian before making the jump to WLEN. When co-host Steve Barkway quizzed him as to why he got into radio Bob answered, "I needed a job and radio seemed easier than work and better than stealing!"

February 14:

* Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit program director and operations manager Ralph Cipolla exits the station after 10 years to head for Southfield-based Jacobs Media as a consultant for its Classic and Active Rock clients. His new role at Jacobs begins March 17th.

* Alfreda joins the Russ Parr morning show as co-host; the program is heard in Detroit on Urban WDTJ-FM 105.9 weekday mornings.

February 19:

* FCC Actions: Granted Jeffrey N. Eustis a construction permit for a new AM station to be licensed to Manistique. The CP is for AM 650, with 30,000 watts daytime, 20,000 critical hours power (4 towers), and 212 watts nighttime (3 towers). The array would be located southwest of Manistique in Schoolcraft County; Granted Breckenridge Community Services a construction permit for a new LPFM station to be licensed to St. Louis. The CP is for 100 watts and would be located in St. Louis (Gratiot County)

* WLEG-FM 102.7 Ligonier/Elkart, IN (South Bend area) has switched format from Country to Adult Contemporary as "The New Froggy 102.7". The station has moved its studio from the Warsaw, IN area to Elkhart along with sister station WTRC-AM 1340.

February 20:

* Lake Michigan Radio wrapped up its annual Great Radio Auction. The event aired on Lake Michigan's 5 Ludington and Manistee-area radio stations, WKLA-FM/AM 106.3/1450, WKZC-FM 94.9, and WMTE-FM/AM 101.5/1340. This year the event auctioned off just over $250,000 worth of products and services.

* Public WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit hosts Martin Bandyke and Ralph Valdez each marked 20 years with the station.

February 21:

* Former WOMC program director Bill Stedman is the new program director and operations manager at Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit. Stedman replaces Ralph Cipolla, who last Friday announced plans to move to Jacobs Media as a consultant.

* Congratuations to all the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year winners. On the radio side, WJR-AM 760 Detroit, WOOD-AM 1300 Grand Rapids, WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian, and WKQS-FM 101.9 Marquette were named as the top stations in their respective markets. WJBK-TV 2 Detroit, WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids, WWTV/WWUP-TV 9/10 Cadillac-Traverse City/Sault Ste Marie, and WLUC-TV 6 Marquette claimed the TV awards. CMU Pubic Radio was awarded the top prize as Public Broadcasting Station of the Year. A complete run down of all this year's MAB award winners can be found at http://www.michmab.com/beawards03.html.

* Robert Jones, long-time host of Public WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit's Blues from the Lowlands, exits the station. Replacing Blues from the Lowlands on Saturdays from 10am-noon will be the Willy Wilson Program, with Wilson delivering a rootsy blend of blues, rock, R&B, soul and jazz music. Wilson shifts from Friday nights, where he will be replaced by the Rob Broyle program, which will air beginning March 15th from midnight-5am.

February 22:

* The 16th Annual Dick Purtan Radiothon was held on February 21st, benefiting the Salvation Army's Bed & Bread Club. For the first time ever in a one-day radiothon, an amazing donation total of $1,003,796 was pledged. No other radio station in any other city has ever helped raise so much money during a one day radiothon. Of course this year's tally easily topped last year's amount of over $870,000.

February 24:

* Country simulcasters WBYB-FM 94.3 Leland/Traverse City and WBYC-FM 92.5 Atlanta have changed format to Classic Hits as "The Fox". With today's move, the stations have reverted back to a rock-based format- not to far on the spectrum from the Oldies format they had carried before switching to Country in 1997 (WBYB) and 1999 (WBYC).

* News-Talk WJR-AM was the top station among listeners age 12 and over in Detroit for the first winter Arbitrend report that was released today. News WWJ-AM finished second, followed by Urban WJLB-FM, Oldies WOMC-FM, and then Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM. WWJ enjoyed the biggest share increase, moving to a 5.9 from its fall 5.3. Top 40 WKQI-FM moved ahead of direct competitor WDRQ-FM and Sports WDFN-AM stayed ahead of its rival WXYT-AM.

* Noted: Public WDET-FM 101.9 dropped its web stream for its music programming because of rules created by the recording industry limiting what music can be streamed. The station plans on continuing its stream during news/talk programming.

* FCC Action: Granted WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit a modification to its nighttime construction permit changing ERP to 50,000 watts from 48,000

February 25:

* FCC Actions: Granted Trinity Broadcasting a construction permit for a new LPTV station for Marquette on channel 17; Granted Dean M. Mosely a construction permit for a new LPTV station for Munising on channel 33

February 26:

* Adult Urban/Jazz WGPR-FM 107.5 Detroit afternoon host Tony Rankin is leaving to take the role of program director at KVGS-FM Las Vegas

February 28:

* FCC Actions: Granted WYVN-FM 92.7 Saugatuck its license to cover for changes (ERP from 2,150 watts @ 387 feet to 3,300 watts @ 374 feet); Granted the petition filed by Dominion Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of television station WLMB-TV 40 Toledo, OH, seeking special relief to modify the Toledo, Ohio DMA to add twenty-one communities in Monroe County, MI; Granted WJOF-FM 88.1 Monroe its license to cover (new station)


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