January 2003 News and Notes

January 2:

* On-air: New sign on WKAD-FM 93.7 Harrietta/Cadillac with an Oldies format. The station is owned by MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting (dba Cadillac Broadcasting) which also owns 6 other Northern Michigan stations

* Theresa Lucas takes over as program director for Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM 100.3 Detroit, replacing Lori Bennett.

* Assigned: Call sign WWKM to construction permit for 88.1 FM Goodland Twp/Imlay City

January 3:

* Grand Rapids Talk outlet WNWZ-AM 1410 flipped to Spanish CHR on New Year's Day. The station, which had already been programming in Spanish on weekends, became the region's 2nd full-time station devoted to Spanish programming- daytimer WYGR-AM 1530 shifted from Adult Standards in 1999. WNWZ operates 24/7 and is owned by Regent Broadcasting.

* Local management for all Clear Channel-owned stations across the country were given the discretion to pull the plug on their stations' web simulcasts, based on the revenues for the service. Here in Michigan, the group's Detroit cluster (WMXD-FM, WKQI-FM, WJLB-FM, WNIC-FM, WDTW-FM, WDFN-AM, and WXDX-AM) has stopped all webcasts.

* Contemporary Christian WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing welcomed Andrew Delancey to its morning program "The Morning Light", taking the role of Nikki Lane who recently left the station. Andrew joins WLGH from WPBN-TV/WTOM-TV 7&4 News, Traverse City's NBC affiliate. Previously Andrew was a talent at Hot AC 106 dot 7 The Peak in Northern Michigan.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses from Wilks Broadcasting to NextMedia for WSGW-AM 790, WGER-FM 106.3, and WTLZ-FM 107.1 Saginaw, WTCF-FM 100.5 Carrollton, and WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock. NextMedia is aquiring the 5 station group from Wilks for $55.5 million in a deal announced in November.

January 6:

* Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids officially dropped the Howard Stern morning show, moving it to sister-station Sports WBBL-AM

* Chip Miller exited as program director of Country WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint to take another PD job in Memphis, TN. B95 afternoon jock Big Steve Duncan was named as interim PD- All Access

January 7:

* NextMedia closed on its $55.5 million acquistion of Wilks' former 5 station cluster in the Tri-Cities (WCEN-FM, WTCF-FM, WGER-FM, WTLZ-FM, and WSGW-AM)- InsideRadio

* Religious-Talk WWJQ-AM 1260 Zeeland changed its focus to a more traditional religious format, adding more music-based and preaching type shows. The station also changed its call sign to WPNW as 'West Michigan's Only Praise and Worship Station'.

January 8:

* Jerry Colvin, general manager of WOTV-TV 41 Battle Creek, passed away. He was a TV pioneer who started in television in 1956 and had been at WOTV (formerly WUHQ-TV) since 1976 along with being a past president of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He also served several terms on the NAB Television Board.

* Public Radio WDET-FM (101.9) Detroit welcomed back Gene Elzy for weekend work- his show features jazz and blues.

* Brandon Tierney exited as late morning host at Sports WDFN-AM 1130 Detroit. Sean Baligian moved to the 9am-noon slot from evenings, where he had been since replacing Greg Brady in that slot. Brady co-hosts mornings (6-9am) with Jamie Samuelson.

* FCC Action: Granted W208AL 89.5 a construction permit to move to 89.3 as W207BR (translator of KDNW-FM 97.3, Duluth MN)

January 9:

* News-Talk WJR-AM Detroit returned to the top spot among listeners age 12 and above during the fall 2002 ratings period in the Arbitron book released today. The summer's top station, Oldies WOMC-FM, finished tied for 2nd place with Urban WJLB-FM and News WWJ-AM. The remainder of the top 10 were Urban AC WMXD-FM, Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM, Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM, Rock WRIF-FM, Urban WDTJ-FM, and Country WYCD-FM. Winners of the in-format battles were WNIC, which featured Christmas tunes for the last part of the book, over WMGC-FM, Top 40 WDRQ-FM over WKQI-FM, Classic Rock WCSX-FM over WDTW-FM, and Sports WDFN-AM over WXYT-AM. The stations with the biggest increases since summer were WMXD (3.5 - 5.1), WMGC (3.2 - 3.7), WCSX (3.0 - 3.5), and Adult Standards CKWW-AM (2.0 - 2.5). Adult Contemporary CIDR seems to have fallen off the radar in Detroit listenership. Its 27th place finish was behind the niche formats of WMUZ-FM, WQBH-AM, and WCHB-AM.

* Country WNWN-FM 98.5 Coldwater/Battle Creek lost its morning show of Chris St. John and Kelley Parish when both walked off the show after saying goodbye to the listeners. The exits were prompted over a disagreement with station management.

January 10:

* FCC Action: Granted WOBE-FM 100.7 Crystal Falls its license to cover for changes (ERP from 350 watts @ 121 feet to 100,000 watts @ 653 feet and Class A to C1)

January 13:

* News-Talk WJR-AM finished atop the fall rating for Ann Arbor among listeners age 12 and above. Country WWWW-FM was the second rated station, and the highest of those based in Washtenaw County. The remainder of the top 5 stations were Top 40 WKQI-FM, Classic Rock WCSX-FM, and also Modern Rock CIMX-FM and Top 40 WDRQ-FM which tied for 5th place. Gold Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM finished tied for 9th; the remainder of the Ann Arbor stations found Sports WTKA-AM in 17th place, Full service WAAM-AM in 18th, and Oldies WHNE-AM in 26th place. WHNE carded a 0.9, which marked its first appearance in the 12+ ratings in a number of years.

* Former Clear Channel Detroit executive Steve Schram landed his next job as senior vice president of AOL's Web Properties Group, based in Columbus, OH.

January 14:

* Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit program director Gregg Henson partnered with Art Regner for middays 1-4pm. Doug Karsch was promoted to sports director and moved from midday cohost to weekday evenings whenever the Red Wings and Tigers don't have a game, as was tapped as the station's primary fill-in host and on-scene reporter. WXYT also repositioned itself on-air as "AM 1270 the Sports Station", dropping most mentions of "Team 1270".

* The Michigan Association of Educational Broadcasters (MAEB) announced its officers: president- Bill Keith, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools; vice president- Susan McGraw, Henry Ford Community College; treasurer- Pete Bowers, Bloomfield Hills School District; secretary- Randy Carr, Bloomfield Hills School District; member at large- Carl Jacobson, Spring Arbor College; member at large- Dave Downing, Lansing Community College; member at large- Melissa Emily, Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts; immediate past president- David Legg, Novi Public Schools; web master- Ron Wittebols, Bloomfield Hills School District

* FCC Actions: License to cover granted to WZZM-TV 13 Grand Rapids to change ERP from 316,000 watts @ 1001 feet to 257,000 watts @ 1064 feet; Construction permit granted to WXMI-TV 17 Grand Rapids to change ERP from 1,290,000 watts @ 1096 feet to 1,700,000 watts @ 1096 feet

January 15:

* Sports WBBL-AM 1340 Grand Rapids dropped the Howard Stern program but hoped to get it back on the air if contractural differences with the show's syndicator could be worked out.

* Fall 12+ ratings were released for Flint and the Tri-Cities today. Adult Contemporary WCRZ-FM had a strong showing in Flint, moving up to the top spot, displacing Urban WDZZ-FM which finished second overall. Country WFBE-FM finished third, followed by Top 40 WWCK-FM and then Classic Rock WRSR-FM rounding out the top 5 stations. The stations enjoying the biggest share gains since the spring book were WCRZ (12.2 - 9.9), WFBE (7.8 - 6.5), WRSR (5.6 - 4.4), and Gospel WWCK-AM (0.9 - 0.0).

* The Tri-Cities' top station was actually three: Oldies WHNN-FM, Top 40 WIOG-FM, and News/Talk WSGW-AM all finished tied for first overall. Country WKCQ-FM and Active Rock WKQZ-FM finshed out the top 5. Big gainers were Rhythmic Top 40 WRCL-FM (4.3 - 2.0), WSGW (9.1 - 7.2), Country WCEN-FM (7.2 - 5.6), WIOG (9.1 - 7.6), and Urban WTLZ-FM (5.6 - 4.6).

* Heather McGregor exited as morning co-host at Top 40 WKFR-FM 103.3 Battle Creek/Kalamazoo

* FCC Action: Granted WILX-TV 10 Onondaga/Lansing network exclusivity over WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids on cable systems in Lansing and East Lansing.

January 17:

* Detroit area former radio and TV broadcaster Robert Stone passed away on January 15th following a long, courageous battle with cancer. He and his wife, Mary, lived in Romeo and were married for 17 years. Mr. Stone, 59, began his broadcasting career at WCSB in Boston while still in college during the 1960s and he also worked as an intern for Boston's WBZ Radio. In the 1970s, he worked for WABJ in Adrian, WHLS in Port Huron, WPSB Cable Channel 8 in Port Huron, and WPON in Pontiac where he did a daily remote broadcast from the Pontiac Mall (now called Summit Place Mall) and hosted the Big Band Ballroom at night. Mr. Stone also worked for the Easy Zone 103 FM in Mt. Clemens. In the early 1980s, Mr. Stone was an air personality on WBRB Radio in Mt. Clemens and worked as a traffic reporter/anchor for Metro Traffic Control in Southfield.

January 20:

* Michael Savage moved to News-Talk WOOD-AM 1300 Grand Rapids after being last heard on what is now Spanish WNWZ-AM 1410. Tom Martino moved from WOOD to sister station WTKG-AM 1230 to make room. The Dave Barber Show received one hour of clearance in the Grand Rapids market from 2-3pm on WMFN-AM 640. Barber's show was also displaced by WNWZ's format swap from Talk- Grand Rapids Press

January 21:

* Sports WQSN-AM 1660 Kalamazoo landed Kalamazoo Kings minor league baseball play-by-play for 2003. Ryan Maguire, the station's program and sports director, was named as play-by-play host for home games- All Access

* Call sign change: FM 103.1 Lapeer (formerly WRXF) assigned WQUS to match its "US 103" positioner

January 22:

* FCC Action: Granted LPFM WFPM-LP 99.5 Battle Creek its license to cover. The new station is on the air with religious programming.

* Call sign change: WDWO-LP 18 Detroit assigned WDWO-CA to go with the station's Class A status

January 23:

* Sports WDFN-AM 1130 Detroit announced the syndication of their morning "The Jamie and Brady Show" to Grand Rapids on WTKG-AM 1230.

* Top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit jock Mojo of "Mojo in the Morning" extended his with the station for 5 more years through 2008; Top 40 WIOG-FM 105.5 Bay City morning co-host Lacey McCloud left the station- All Access

* The FCC amended the digital TV table of allotments for Cheboygan, changing WTOM-DT's allotment from channel 14 to 35

* Call Sign Action: WZMU assigned to construction permit for 91.7 FM Muskegon

* FCC Actions: Granted WOKZ-CA 38 Kalamazoo its license to cover for move to ch. 50; Granted WLCS-FM 98.3 N. Muskegon a construction permit to change ERP from 2,600 watts @ 322 feet to 1,600 watts @ 456 feet with a location change to the northeast (will share tower with WSHN-FM 100.1, which currently also a CP for this location)

January 24:

* Fall radio ratings for Grand Rapids were released today by Arbitron. Country WBCT-FM continued as the market's top station among listeners age 12 and above, followed by Top 40 WSNX-FM, Classic Rock WLAV-FM, Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM, and News/Talk WOOD-AM. WOOD-FM was the period's biggest gainer, up to a 5.7 share from summer's 4.9. The rock format overall was down in the fall book- Modern Rock WGRD-FM, Active Rock WKLQ-FM, and Classic Rock WLAV all suffered from audience erosion. Only Classic Rock WBFX-FM noted an increase in listener share among the market's rockers. AC stations seemed to have been the beneficiary of the audience shift- WOOD-FM, WLHT-FM, and WTRV-FM all noted increases since the summer.

* ABC Radio will drop Mitch Albom's syndicated Saturday program effective in April. Albom, who is based at News-Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit, will continue to have his afternoon program in syndication for ABC- All Access

January 27:

* Top 40 WKFR-FM was the top rated station in the Kalamazoo Arbitron ratings this past fall. Rock WRKR-FM, Country WBCT-FM, Classic Hits WFAT-FM, and News/Talk WKMI-FM rounded out the top 5 stations. Urban AC WZBL-FM, which had changed its format from Country, debuted in the book with a 1.9 share, good enough for a 13th place finish. WKMI joined WZBL with the biggest improvements over the spring book.

* News/Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit morning man Paul W. Smith extended his contract with the station with a new multi-year deal- Detroit Free Press

* FCC Action: Granted WOBC-CA 14 Battle Creek its license to cover for changes (move to ch. 14 from 20)

January 28:

* Fall ratings for the Battle Creek market for listeners age 12 and above reveal two stations tied for number one overall- Top 40 WKFR-FM moved up to a tie with Country WNWN-FM, followed by News/Talk WBCK-AM, Rock WJXQ-FM, and Rock WRKR-FM. WBCK enjoyed the biggest share gain over the spring, improving to 10.7 from 7.9.

* Sports WQSN AM 1660 Kalamazoo announced today that Robert Ford will be the second voice of Kalamazoo Kings baseball games on WQSN. Ford will join station program and sports director Ryan Maguire in the broadcast booth for all 45 Kings home games and will travel with the team, announcing all 45 road games.

* FCC Action: Granted WWBN-FM 101.5 Tuscola its license to cover for changes (Tower move from near Millington in Tuscola County to near Otisville in Genesee County. ERP change to 1,800 watts @ 489 feet non-directional from 6,000 watts @ 328 feet directional)

January 29:

* The Michigan Association of Broadcasters announced the winners of the 2003 Broadcast Excellence Awards. To view the entire list of winners from across the state, visit the MAB web site at www.michmab.com/beawards03.html.

January 30:

* On the air: WCZW-FM 107.9 Charlevoix simulcasting the Oldies format of WCCW-FM 107.5 Traverse City. Both stations are owned by Midwestern Broadcasting

* Pallas Hupe rejoined WJBK-TV 2 Detroit as midday co-anchor, weathercaster, and reporter. She'd been in a similar role at the station before being named as co-anchor for the now defunct 10pm news produced by WKBD-TV 50; Former Clear Channel Detroit general sales manager Peter Connolly lands as the new boss at the Infinity-owned Metro Traffic service for Detroit- Detroit Free Press

January 31:

* ABC affiliate WBUP-TV 10 Ishpeming/Marquette signed on at about 3pm January 30th. The station is simulcast on WBKP-TV 5 Calumet, which has been operating since 1996

* The Rocky Allen Show morning program was dropped by Hot Adult Contemporary WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit. Kevin O'Neill takes the role on an interim basis.

* Maureen Lesourd was promoted to the role of senior vice president and market manager for Infinity Radio's Detroit cluster, which includes FM Talk WKRK-FM 97.1, Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM 98.7, Country WYCD-FM 99.5, Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3, News WWJ-AM 950, and Sports WXYT-AM 1270. Lesourd's previous role was as general manager of WVMV, WYCD, and WOMC.


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