* LPFM station WBHC-LP 95.9 Benton Harbor has signed on the air with Urban and Gospel programming- however the construction permit holder, the City of Benton Harbor, is not certain it wants to be in the radio business. The city is investigating exactly how the station obtained the CP and how the current operation of the station came under control of the African Arts and Culture Council of Benton Harbor- The Herald-Palladium
* An agreement between Fife Lake Broadcasting (Fort Bend Broadcasting) and the FCC has been reached regarding the construction permit for WTCU-FM 95.9 Fife Lake. The Consent Decree resolves issues concerning whether Fife Lake misrepresented facts to, or candor with the FCC regarding WTCU. The end result is that Fife Lake Broadcasting will surrender the construction permit for WTCU and make a $20,000 voluntary contribution to the U.S. Treasury. In exchange, the FCC concludes that no substantial or material questions of fact exist as to whether Fort Bend possesses the basic qualifications, including those related to character, to hold any FCC license or authorization. This issue likely is rooted in a report that the station had signed on briefly from a temporary facility solely to prevent its construction permit from expiring.
* Lisa (D'Angelo) and Dylan (Forbes) exit as the morning team at NextMedia Top 40 WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw. The station's program director, 'Big' Steve Duncan has taken over mornings. D'Angelo had also been assitant program director at WTCF- All Access
* FCC Action: Granted W271AG 102.1 Mackinaw City its license to cover (moved from 101.5)
* Joe Thomas has been hired to take over afternoons at Clear Channel Rock WDTW-FM 106.7 Detroit, his 2-7pm shift will be live/local and replace the voicetracked Randi West who shifts to 10am-2pm. Jay Gilbert - another voicetracker - is dropped from the lineup. Thomas arrives from Chicago where he was in business for himself doing voice work- his radio resume includes time at stations in Chicago and Toledo.
* Clear Channel Talk WXDX-AM 1310 Detroit has changed its evening lineup slightly; Gone from the schedule is Larry Elder, making room for full shows from Michael Savage (7-10pm) and Phil Hendrie (10pm-1am).
* FCC Action: Granted KQDS Acquisition Corp. a construction permit for a TV translator on Ch. 32 (W32CV) to be licensed to Ironwood. The station, which rebroadcasts FOX KQDS-TV, is already on the air under special temporary authority.
* ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760 will be shuffling its lineup effective Monday, February 2nd. Frank Beckmann once again will be hosting a program in a weekday timeslot- the former 'Sportswrap' host will take over weekdays 9-11:30am, bumping the syndicated Dr. Laura Show to late nights 10pm-1am. Beckmann's show will feature current local and national news topics. The move of Dr. Laura prompts these changes: Sean Hannity moves back one hour and will run from 7-10pm; Dropped from the weekday lineup will be Sportswrap and Sam Donaldson's show will shift to 1-2am. Steve Courtney, who had been the primary Sportswrap host, stays with the station and will be handling the sports during Paul W. Smith's morning show. Two hours of the Midnight Trucking Show will also be dropped, that program will now only air between 2-4am.
* Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 will drop its afternoon 'LockerRoom' show tomorrow- co-host Eli Zaret will exit the station, with Gary Danielson, the program's other co-host, remaining with the station as a football analyst. Current early afternoon hosts Doug Karsch and Art Regner will shift to 3-7pm from 1-4pm to fill the void in afternoon drive. The station will add Dan Patrick's syndicated show from ESPN Radio from 1-3pm.
* Rob Walker has been named operations manager for all of Clear Channel's Ann Arbor stations and program director for three of them: Walker is now PD and OM of Country WWWW-FM 102.9, Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM 107.1, and Oldies WHNE-AM 1290. He also is now the OM for Sports WTKA-AM 1050. Jeff Defran remains as PD for WTKA. Walker replaces Barry Mardit who held the roles of PD and OM at WWWW and WHNE and Greg Carson who was PD and OM at WQKL. Mardit had been with the company since July of 2001 and formerly was PD at W4 Country in Detroit. Carson has worked in Ann Arbor for the past 15 years.
* Fall radio ratings for Kalamazoo and Battle Creek are now available. Top 5 stations: In Kalamazoo, Top 40 WKFR-FM, Rock WRKR-FM, Country WBCT-FM, Classic Hits WFAT-FM, and Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM. Battle Creek's top stations were Country WNWN-FM (with a rating of over 24!), Top 40 WKFR-FM, News-Talk WBCK-AM, Rock WJXQ-FM, and Rock WRKR-FM. The top cluster in Kalamazoo was Cumulus, in Battle Creek it was Midwest Communications on the strength of WNWN-FM's strong book.
* Fall Arbitron ratings have been released for the Grand Rapids and Lansing radio markets. Grand Rapids' top station was once again Country WBCT-FM, followed by Classic Rock WLAV-FM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, and News-Talk WOOD-AM. Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM improved to fifth place on the strength of its All-Christmas programming during the period. Clear Channel continues to control Grand Rapids with a rating of nearly 40 among listeners age 12 and above.
* In Lansing, Country WITL-FM was tops, leading Oldies WJIM-FM, Classic Rock WMMQ-FM, Rock WJXQ-FM, and Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM. Citadel is Lansing's top rated owner, with rating of just over 41.
* Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit Morning Show hosts Jim Johnson (JJ) & Lynne Woodison launched their 2nd Annual Stone Soup Project with the announcement that this year's Classic Car will be a 1970 Roadrunner. JJ & Lynne's Stone Soup Project was inspired by the old stone soup fable wherein everyone throws something in the pot to make a great meal. The JJ & Lynne Stone Soup Project will harnessthe generosity and ingenuity of WCSX listeners from around the Detroit area to rebuild a 1970 Roadrunner from the ground up in order to raise money for a local charity. When finished, the custom built '70 Roadrunner will be raffled off to benefit The Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.
* Full Service WION-AM 1430 Ionia is off the air, and has been since September 2003, while the FCC reviews the sale of the station to Stafford Communications by Agricultural Resource Group. The sales agreement was reached in August but has not yet been approved by the FCC due to the fact Stafford requires a waiver of the radio-newspaper cross-ownership rule in order to take over control of the station. Stafford owns The Daily News newspaper, which serves part of the coverage area of WION- Ionia Sentinel-Standard
* Joining Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit will be Mike Valenti, who is exiting Mid-Michigan Radio's Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Lansing where he hosted the 10am-noon weekday slot.
* The Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball team will have a new broadcast home this summer- the teams games will move to WQTX-FM 92.7 from Citadel Sports WVFN-AM 730 in a five year deal. Seth VanHoven will take over play-by-play duties from Jim Tocco- Lansing State Journal
* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses for WBUP-TV 10 Ishpeming and WBKP-TV 5 Calumet from Scanlan Television to Lake Superior Community Broadcasting
* Damon 'The Dog' Perry has exited as midday host (10am-1pm) at Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit. Until a permanent host is named for that time period, it will be hosted by a combination of fill-in hosts including Pat Caputo, Marc Spindler, and/or Scott Anderson.
* Dave Geronimo is elevated from part time status at Citadel Country WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint to full time afternoon drive. In addition, Geronimo has added the roles of music director and assistant program director to his responsibilities- All Access
* From AM Drive to Standup: Former ABC/Disney Top 40 morning show contributor Mr. Holesome is now the host and warm up guy for a Metro Detroit comedy series.
* Call sign action: Construction permit for FM 88.1 Rogers Heights has been assigned WAQQ
* Fall radio ratings for Flint and the Tri-Cities were released yesterday. The top 5 stations in Flint among listeners age 12 and older were Adult Contemporary WCRZ-FM, Adult Urban WDZZ-FM, Active Rock WWBN-FM, Rhythmic CHR WRCL-FM, and Classic Rock WRSR-FM. Regent was the top rated cluster, ahead of Cumulus and Citadel.
In the Tri-Cities, News-Talk WSGW was tops, followed by Country WKCQ-FM, Oldies WHNN-FM, Top 40 WIOG-FM, and Active Rock WKQZ-FM. NextMedia continued to be the top cluster in the Tri-Cities, followed by Citadel and then MacDonald Broadcasting.
* Hunter Scott has exited from Citadel Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids where he was part of the 'Man Made Radio' afternoon show in addition to being the station's assistant program director. 'Man Made Radio' was also heard on Citadel sister station Active Rock WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland/Bay City.
* Infinity Broadcasting, parent company of FM Talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit, will fight the $27,000 indecency fine levied by the FCC against 'KRK for a program that aired back in 2002. Inside Radio reports that Infinity has filed a petition of reconsideration respectfully declining to pay the fine, and further states that some lawyers have commented that the FCC's indecency policy might not hold up in court if an issue such as this one ever gets pushed that far.
* Detroit-based "The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege" gets a spot in a revamped talk lineup on XM satellite radio beginning this Saturday at 10am. Haege's show will air every Saturday on Buzz, channel 166. The changes on XM's talk channels, which happened today, includes the shifting of some programs between channels along with the addition and removal of several shows.
* WXLA-AM 1180 Dimondale has applied to the FCC for an increase in its daytime power to 10,000 watts from its currently licensed 1,000. The station has also applied to add critical hours coverage at 2,000 watts.
* FCC Action: Granted WRDS-LP 104.3 Roscommon its license to cover (new station)
* A couple more applications for changes to AM stations in Michigan: WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland has applied to increase its daytime power from 1,200 watts omnidirectional to 2,500 watts directional using a 2-tower array; WUFL-AM 1030 Sterling Heights has applied to modify its directional daytime signal using a 3-tower array instead of its current 2-tower one. WUFL is licensed for 5,000 watts- it only operates during daylight hours.
* NBC affiliate WEYI-TV 25 Flint/Saginaw/Bay City has been sold by LIN TV to Barrington Broadcasting for an undisclosed amount. According to the press release, Barrington Broadcasting was formed in 2003 to acquire and operate television stations in mid-sized markets across the country. Since March of last year, Barrington has operated eight network-affiliated stations under a management contract with Chelsey and recently announced the purchase of two television stations from Chelsey. Barrington's Chief Executive Officer is K. James Yager, former President of Benedek Broadcasting, which owned and operated 28 network-affiliated stations in medium-sized markets until its merger with Gray Television in late 2002. The deal is subject to FCC approval.
* New owner Big D Broadcasting has taken over operations of WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor from Whitehall Enterprises and made several changes, including dropping Adult Standards weekday programming in favor of additional talk shows. The station has repositioned itself as 'TalkRadio 1600 WAAM'. Some of the other changes include the addition of shows from Bill O'Reilly, Joey Reynolds, Dave Ramsey, Lionel, Rusty Humphries, and Michael Savage. Steve Ames, formerly at Clear Channel Ann Arbor, takes over as station manager with Jake Reading now in the role of news director. Ken Kelly, who had been the station's program director and afternoon host, is no longer with the station.
* The results for the fall Arbitron ratings for Ann Arbor have News-Talk WJR-AM as the top station among listeners age 12 and over, followed by Country WWWW-FM, Rock WRIF-FM, Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM, and All-news WWJ-AM. Among stations based in Ann Arbor, W4 was trailed by Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM (tied for 8th overall), Sports WTKA-AM and Talk WAAM-AM (both tied for 20th), and Oldies WHNE-AM (tied for 25th). Clear Channel was the top cluster among the 12+ listeners, outpacing Infinity, ABC/Disney, and Greater Media.
* Richard Appleton, general manager of CBS affiliate WMMT-TV 3 Kalamazoo, passed away after a long illness on January 12th at the age of 69.
* Midwestern Broadcasting News-Talk WTCM-AM 580 has applied to the FCC to change its construction permit to specify 50,000 watts daytime. The current CP is for an increase to 35,000 watts- the station's current licensed daytime power is 15,000 watts.
* Cristi Cantle has exited the evening slot and the role of music director at Citadel Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids in order to take over middays at WBYR-FM 98.9 Ft. Wayne- All Access
* WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City has applied to the FCC for an increase in its daytime power from 1,000 watts using 3 towers to 5,000 watts using 4 towers
* FCC Action: Granted WBUP-TV 10 Ishpeming its license to cover for changes (ERP to 133,000 watts directional)
* Lucy Noland will exit as morning co-anchor at Fox WJBK-TV 2 Detroit to take over a similar role at the Fox-owned WNYW-TV New York City. She'll be off to the Big Apple following February sweeps- Detroit Free Press
* Midwestern Broadcasting has sold Sports WKJF-AM 1370 Cadillac to Traverse City-based Good News Media, owner of Religious WLJN-FM/AM 89.9/1400 for $85,001. WKJF currently simulcasts Midwestern sister station WCCW-AM 1310- that station has a construction permit to upgrade its daytime facilities to 15,000 watts from its crrent 5,000. WCCW will also add 130 watt nighttime service. WKJF is licensed for 5,000 watts daytime and 1,000 watts nighttime.
* Citadel Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids adds an affiliate for it's Ron and Don morning show. Sister station Rock KSYY Oklahoma City will now also air the duo- All Access
* DCRTV.com reports that Andrea Parquet-Taylor will join Scripps-Howard ABC affliliate WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit to take the role of news director, replacing Bill Carey. It's all part of a shuffle within Scripps'- Carey is the new general manager at WFTS-TV Tampa and Parquet-Taylor arrives from Scripps' WMAR-TV Baltimore.
* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary transfer of control for WQBH-AM 1400 Detroit from Trienere Steinberg to the Order of Fisherman Ministry
* Christmas bells are probably ringing in the halls of Clear Channel Detroit with the release of today's Arbiton ratings book. Some of the CC success stories were Urban WJLB-FM returning to the top spot in the overall 12+ ratings, Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM jumping to 4th place overall on the strength of increased listenership to its All-Christmas programming in November and December, WQKI-FM's morning show finishing first place amomg female listeners age 18-34 and 25-34, WDFN-AM's increasing lead over sports rival WXYT-AM, and the fact that Clear Channel moved ahead of Infinity in overall cluster listenership for all listeners. The top 5 stations this fall: WJLB, News-Talk WJR-AM, News WWJ-AM, WNIC, and Oldies WOMC-FM. Another interesting battle is shaping up between Rock WDTW-FM and Classic Rock WCSX-FM- WDTW scored its highest book in recent memory and closed the gap dramatically between itself and WCSX- yet another reason for celebration at Clear Channel.
* Greg Kelser will miss Sunday's Fox Sports Net Detroit Pistons-Dallas Mavericks telecast for a very good reason- He'll be in Nashville as one of six recipients of the 2004 Silver Anniversary Award by the NCAA Honors Committee. The award recognizes former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves since completing their college careers 25 years ago. The award ceremony takes place Sunday at the annual NCAA convention in Nashville. Bill Laimbeer will substitute for Kelser on Sunday, working alongside play-by-play man Fred McLeod.
* FCC Action: Granted WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit its license to cover for changes (50,000 watt operations from facilities in Northern Monroe County)
* The first format flip of the year is in Lapeer where Regent Communications WLSP-AM 1530 has changed from Talk to Adult Standards using ABC Radio's 'Stardust' format. The station is identifying itself as 'Unforgettable'- the same as sister station WFNT-AM 1470 Flint.
* Regent's Flint cluster has also announced that Zoe Burdine-Fly has been hired as director of sales. Zoe most recently worked as general manager for Citadel Communication’s Syracuse, New York cluster. This is an opportunity for Zoe to return home to Flint where she had previously worked as GM of WFBE-FM 95.1 and WTRX-AM 1330. According to Mark Thomas, Regent Flint VP/GM, “We are very excited about Zoe joining our team and what her experience adds to our operation”.
* Matt Gilcheck exits as creative services director for Clear Channel's Grand Rapids radio cluster- All Access
* WDIV-TV 4 Detroit has announced the hiring of Mark Nicholson to the position of director of business development. Nicholson has over 15 years of radio advertising sales and management experience. He spent the past eight years with Infinity Broadcasting as general sales manager of Sports WXYT-AM 1270.
* Ann Delisi will host a new one-hour music and interview show on ABC-Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit beginning Sunday January 18th at 6pm. The addition of 'Inside the Music with Ann Delisi' keeps one music-based program on the station- it appeared that all of WJR's music programming had come to an end with the recent retirement of Mike Whorf and his 'Patterns in Music' show.