2004: March 2004 Archives

March 2004 News and Notes



March 31:

* Clear Channel Adult Urban WMXD-FM 92.3 Detroit will be one of six stations picking up a new one-hour talk show hosted by Rev. Jesse Jackson. 'Keep Hope Alive' will debut this Sunday at 8am and run for one hour. The broadcast will focus on issues of cultural, political, and religious significance with guest appearances by community and world leaders and a live call-in segment. The show marks the first time the Rev. Jackson will host a radio program. "We will discuss the central issues -- local, national, and international -- of our time," said the Rev. Jackson. "We will offer information, inspiration, direction and many points of view. We will talk with and hear from you. We intend to connect the nation through shared conversation; your voice matters. Remember, in the beginning was the Word. The Word and you have the power. Keep Hope Alive."

March 30:

* Salem Communications will be entering Michigan with the purchase of Full Service Urban WQBH-AM 1400 Detroit from Queen's Broadcasting Corp. for $4.75 million. The station has been run by Trienere Steinberg, daughter of the late Martha Jean 'The Queen' Steinberg, since 2000 when her mother died. The late Ms. Steinberg had been involved with AM 1400 for a big portion of her radio career- first as a jock with WJLB-AM in 1963 and then later as part of a group she led that purchased the frequency from longtime owner Booth in 1982. She took full control of the station in 1997 for $3.9 million.

Salem owns and operates several stations around the country, many of which feature the company's lineup of talk programs from hosts Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher, Janet Parshall, and Dennis Prager. The company also programs a Contemporary Christian format titled 'The Fish' that is heard on FM stations and traditional Christian-based talk. Salem's purchase of WQBH will complete its entry into all of the top 10 radio markets in the US.

March 29:

* News-Talk WJR-AM was the top station in Detroit among listeners age 12 and above in the winter phase 2 ratings released today. WJR remains ahead of Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM, Oldies WOMC-FM, News WWJ-AM, and Urban WJLB-FM.

March 26:

* Educational Media Foundation will be expanding the reach of its Christian 'K-Love' network in Michigan with the purchase of Beyond the Bay Media Group's Christian Rock WTRK-FM 89.1 Bay City. Sale price on the deal was $800,000 and is subject to FCC approval. EMF currently owns/operates 'K-Love' WAKL-FM 88.9 Flint.

* FCC Action: Granted WBLW-FM 88.1 Gaylord a construction permit to change from Class A (3,000 watts @ 128 feet) to Class C3 (3,000 watts @ 741 feet) and move its broadcast location from near Gaylord in Otsego County to the same tower used by WFUP-TV 45 in Charlevoix County

March 24:

* Radio and Records reports that the sale price of WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City from J & K Media to Meredith Corp. is $1.1 million.

March 23:

* Sold: Oldies WIKB-FM 99.1 and WIKB AM 1230 Iron River for $1.25 million by Northland Advertising to Heartland Communications. Gene Halker, the owner of Northland, will end 50 years of radio ownership once the deal is approved by the FCC and then closed.

* FCC Action: Granted WLQV AM 1500 Detroit its license to cover for changes (daytime power is now licensed at 50,000 watts, nighttime power licensed at 10,000 watts- both using 9-tower directional array).

March 22:

* Clear Channel shuffles its programmers in West Michigan: Classic Rock WBFX-FM 101.3 Grand Rapids PD Mark Feurie is now also the program director for Hot AC WVTI-FM 96.1. 'VTI's former PD, John Patrick, is now programming Adult Contemporary WBXX-FM 95.3 Battle Creek in addition to his PD responsibilities at AC WOOD-FM 105.3 Grand Rapids. Bill Anthony exits as PD at WBXX- Radio and Records

* Along with the 12 AM applications for major changes and 22 applications for new AM stations in Michigan, Illinois station WCGO AM 1600 Chicago Heights has proposed a move to AM 1020 Jenison (Kent County). This application will be mutually exclusive with the proposed move of KTGG AM 1540 Spring Arbor to Grandville (also in Kent County) on AM 1020.

March 20:

* Information on 12 applications for existing AM stations in Michigan filed with the FCC during the recent window for major changes / new applications is now available. The twelve stations requesting major changes are: WFDF-AM 910 Flint, WMII-AM 650 Manistique, WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor, WSDS-AM 1480 Ypsilanti, WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City, WGMY-AM 940 South Haven, WLDR-AM 1210 Kingsley, WSNL-AM 600 Flint, WLCM-AM 1390 Charlotte, KTGG-AM 1540 Spring Harbor, WGTO-AM 910 Cassopolis, and WCXI-AM 1160 Fenton. Click here for details on these proposed changes.

* In addition to the 12 applications for major changes, 22 applications were filed for new AM stations in Michigan. The majority of the applications are in the northern Lower and Upper Peninsulas. Click here for details on these applications.

* Current WDIV-TV 4 Detroit weekday morning co-anchor Steve Garagiola will move to weekend anchor work and special projects when Guy Gordon takes over for him later this spring- Detroit Free Press

* WXYZ-TV Detroit's 'Action News' has received the highest honors for General Excellence in the annual Associated Press awards competition. Channel 7 was also honored with first place for Best Newscast. The station also placed first for Best Spot News for “Power Outage,” Best Hard News for “Detroit Police Indictments,” and Best Sportscast for Don Shane.

* Public WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit has won seven Associated Press awards in five categories. WDET won the Best and Honorable Mention awards for "Newscast"; the Best and Honorable Mention awards for "Spot News"; the Best award for "News Documentary"; and the Honorable Mention award for "Sports Feature." WDET News was also awarded the General Excellence award for the third year in a row.

March 19:

* J&K Media Co has agreed to sell Talk/Oldies WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City to Meredith Corporation, the owner of Tri-Cities CBS affiliate WNEM-TV 5. John W. and Kathy (Libbey) Blehm (pronounced Blame), of Birch Run, are the "J" and "K" of J&K Media Co., and they have operated WKNX since January, 1994. WKNX is one of the few remaining locally owned & operated "mom & pop" radio stations in mid-Michigan. Closing of the purchase is expected by the end of May and is subject to FCC approval and customary closing conditions. Programming changes will not take place until sometime in late spring or summer.

* The FCC has released its latest batch of indecency violations- among the latest releases is a new finding against Infinity FM Talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit, this time for an episode of the Howard Stern Show "for apparently willfully broadcasting indecent material." The Commission has proposed the statutory maximum forfeiture of $27,500 for the July 26, 2001 broadcast. This is the second high-profile violation against WKRK in recent months. Infinity has been actively attempting to appeal a similar finding over an episode of the station's Deminski and Doyle show from 2002 that was deemed indecent by the FCC.

* Jyl Forsyth is set to return to her evening shift at Infinity Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit next Monday, March 29th after being off the air for nearly 3 months while receiving treatment for Hepatitis C. After nearly a year of treatment for the potentially deadly disease, Forsyth is excited to report that she has been diagnosed as free of the disease. Jyl comments that the treatment was brutal, but worth it, and she's looking forward to reconnecting with the listeners to her 7-midnight show.

March 18:

* The construction permit for FM 90.9 Charlevoix has changed its call sign from WWCZ to WTCK

March 17:

* Brad B. exits MacDonald Broadcasting Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing where he was the station's evening (6-11pm) host. He's headed to WJFX-FM Fort Wayne- All Access

March 16:

* Bill Walters signs on for afternoon drive at Citadel Active Rock WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland/Saginaw. Walters had been doing weekend and fill-in work for Greater Media Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit and was previously at WKQZ sister station WKLQ-FM 94.5 Holland/Grand Rapids- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary assignment of license for WEYI-TV 25 Saginaw from WEYI Broadcasting (LIN TV) to Barrington Broadcasting

March 15:

* Forty finalists for the NAB Crystal Radio Awards competition were announced today by the National Association of Broadcasters. Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round community service efforts. Two Michigan stations were on the list: Regent Communications Modern Rock WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids and Xavier University's Public WVXA-FM 96.7 Rogers City.

* All Access reports on big shifts in the lineup at Cumulus Top 40 WTWR-FM 98.3 Luna Pier/Toledo: Morning host Ben Coburn has left the station; His co-host, Terri McCormack has moved middays and given up the role of program director. In addition, night jock J-Kruz is no longer with the station. New to the linuep will be 'Train' (Jeff Wicker) who will take over mornings and becomes the new PD. Wicker moves to WTWR from sister station Hot AC WWWM-FM 105.5 where he was that station's assitant PD, music director, and afternoon host. Also joining WTWR is Stoney, who moves from sister station WRWK-FM 106.5, to join Train as morning co-host. Finally, former WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw night jock JoJo will take over nights.

* FCC Action: Granted Midwest Communications a construction permit for an FM translator at 95.5 (W238AL) to be licensed to Portage (Kalamazoo County). According to the application for the translator, it is intended to rebroadcast the company's Country WNWN-FM 98.5 Coldwater.

March 13:

* Ken Daniels, play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports Net's coverage of the Detroit Red Wings, has been recognized as Michigan Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). Daniels was selected by a vote of his contemporaries and is in his seventh season of calling Red Wings games on Fox Sports Net. He also does play-by-play on FSN's coverage of the CCHA and hosts the magazine show CCHA Weekly.

March 12:

* Kevin O'Neill exits ABC/Disney Hot AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit to take the morning role at Clear Channel Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor. Kevin's first day at Kool 107 will be March 29th.

* Carroll Enterprises Country WKJC-FM 104.7 Tawas City/East Tawas drops its coverage of Detroit Tigers Baseball this year after having carried the broadcasts since 1968. The station has picked up NASCAR races for 2004.

* The Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters have launched a public awareness campaign highlighting the ongoing conversion to Digital TV. A web site has been set up at www.michigandtv.com to help explain the coversion to TV viewers across the state.

March 11:

* Fred Heumann joins Rubber City Radio Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Charlotte/Lansing for the 10am-noon shift. Heumann is also a sports anchor at WLNS-TV 6 Lansing as well as a contributor to WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit- All Access

* The Detroit Tigers have landed a West Michigan radio affiliate in Birach Talk WMFN-AM 640. The 3-year deal will give listeners on the west side of the state a place to turn for the Tigers' broadcasts after they were dropped by WBBL-AM 1340 Grand Rapids and WHTC-AM 1450 Holland for the upcoming season.

* Fox Sports Net Detroit’s seventh year of carrying Detroit Tigers baseball will include 100 regular-season games in 2004, starting with the April 5 season opener in Toronto. Mario Impemba returns for his third season as FSN’s play-by-play announcer, joined for the second consecutive year by analyst Rod Allen.

* Cornerstone College Christian Contemporary WAYK-FM 88.3 Kalamazoo and WAYG-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids recently put the wraps on the their first separate Sharatons. The stations raised $40,000 more than last year- over 2900 poeple pledged their support to the two stations. Each pledge of $10 or more resulted in the stations sending a CD to military members overseas.

* Sold: WWZP-FM 90.9 Freeland/Midland from the American Family Association to Great Lakes Community Broadcasting for $40,000, pending FCC approval.

March 10:

* The first winter ratings trends for radio in Grand Rapids and Lansing are now out. In Grand Rapids, Country WBCT-FM is still the top station among listeners age 12 and above. The rest of the top 5 are News-Talk WOOD-AM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM, and Classic Rock WLAV-FM. In Lansing, Country WITL-FM was once again on top, followed by Oldies WJIM-FM, Classic Rock WMMQ-FM, Rock WJXQ-FM, and Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM.

* The folks at Kettering University in Flint have received the blessing of university president Dr. James John to proceed with preliminary work on creating an LPFM station on campus. The group already has a construction permit from the FCC in hand for the station, which would be located at FM 94.3; that construction permit is set to expire in November. Currently, the effort is centered on fundraising- if you're interested in helping, visit the WKUS web site at www.wkus.org.

* FCC Action: Granted WYSS-FM 99.5 Sault Ste. Marie a construction permit to change its ERP from 26,500 watts @ 276 feet to 100,000 watts @ 253 feet. The station will change from Class C2 to Class C1.

March 9:

* Congratulations to the 2004 Michigan Association of Broadcasters' Stations of the Year, announced yesterday evening during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference dinner:

Market 1 TV: WJBK-TV 2 Detroit
Market 1 Radio: WJR-AM 760 Detroit

Market 2 TV: WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids
Market 2 Radio: WOOD-AM 1300 Grand Rapids

Market 3 TV: WWTV-TV 9 / WWUP-TV 10 Cadillac/Traverse City/SS Marie
Market 3 Radio: WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian

Market 4 TV: WLUC-TV 6 Marquette
Market 4 Radio: WSJM-AM 1400 Benton Harbor

Public Broadcasting: WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint /
WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids

* Talkers Magazine has released its 2004 list of the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America. On the list from Michigan once again are ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit morning show host Paul W. Smith and afternoon host Mitch Albom. Joining the duo from WJR is Clear Channel Sports WDFN-AM 1130 / Talk WXDX-AM 1310 Detroit handyman Glenn Haege. Haege and Albom both enjoy syndication deals that expand their respective audiences across the country.

* New general sales manager for Clear Channel/Ann Arbor (Country WWWW-FM, AC WQKL-FM, Sports WTKA-AM, Oldies WHNE-AM) is Shannon Brown- Radio and Records

March 8:

* Midwest Communications Full Service WHTC-AM 1450 Holland has announced the end of their affiliation with the Detroit Tigers. It'll be the first year since the station signed on in 1948 that WHTC will be without Tigers' broadcasts.

* New program director at just-launched NextMedia Jammin' Hits WXQL-FM 100.5 Saginaw is Rob Ryan. Former PD 'Big' Steve Duncan remains with the station and will handle the morning show- All Access

* In South Bend Indiana, Artistic Media Partners Adult Standards WHLY has moved from AM 1580 to AM 1620, swapping calls and format with Sports WDND.

March 6:

* The Clovelly Corporation has announced that it no longer intends to pursue construction of a new five-story building at its site located along Front Street in Traverse City. Roy Henderson, president of Clovelly and owner of Northwest Lower Michigan radio stations WLDR-FM/AM, WBNZ-FM, WOUF-FM, and WCUZ-FM, acknowledged the City Council’s efforts to accommodate final approval of the construction as was planned. Instead of locating his radio facilities at the Front Street site Henderson plans on operating from recently acquired property located on West Grand Traverse Bay at 13999 West Bay Shore Drive once renovations are complete.

March 5:

* Next Media WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw ended its stunting today at about 5pm and has relaunched as WXQL 'Kool 100.5'. Early in to the new presentation, the format appears to be an updated version of "Jammin' Oldies", featuring songs from the 70's - 90's with a Pop-dance/Motown/Old-school Urban flavor.

* The FCC has summarily rejected Infinity Broadcasting's petition for reconsideration of the $27,500 statutory maximum forfeiture against the company's WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit for a broadcast of the station's 'Deminski and Doyle' show from 2002 that was found to be in violation of the Commission's indecency rules. It is not clear if Infinity will continue its legal fight over the issue by taking the FCC to court.

* FCC Action: Granted Educational Media Foundation a construction permit for a new 120-watt FM translator at 92.9 to be licensed to Perry (Shiawassee County). Educational Media Foundation operates a network of Contemporary Christian stations and translators known as 'K-Love' around the country, including WAKL-FM 88.9 Flint.

March 4:

* The Detroit Demolition women's professional football team and Radio One have announced that 2004 season games will be broadcast live on WCHB-AM 1200 Detroit. Beginning with the season opener on April 3rd, Detroit Demolition will hit the airwaves with live play-by-play action and commentary by WDTJ-FM 105.9 personality, The Tune-Up Man Walter Neal. Live game broadcasts are part of a newly formed $250,000 partnership between Detroit’s Radio One network and the Redford-based Detroit Demolition, defending two-time champs of the National Women’s Football Association (NWFA).

* ABC/Disney Top 40 WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit and WXYZ-TV 7 helped raise $376,343 for the Michigan Humane Society during yesterday's Pet Radiothon and Telethon.

March 3:

* Michiguide.com has been able to confirm the operation of FM translator W206BI 89.1, licensed to Hamtramck. The station features international programming and broadcasts from near Livernois and Davison in Detroit. It is operated by International Television Broadcasting, a company that operates LPTV and cable channels in New York City. According to the company's web site describing its TV services, it provides 24 hour programming targeting viewers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the West Indies, Guyana, and Sri Lanka.

* Ron Stevens has left as morning show host at Great Lakes Radio Country WFXD-FM 103.3 Marquette; Adrian Lewis, aka Diesel, has left Regent Rhythmic Top 40 WRCL-FM 93.7 Frankenmuth for work in Fort Wayne- All Access

* Warren Kluck adds assistant program director responsibilites to his role as night jock at Cumulus Rock WRKR-FM 107.7 Kalamazoo- Radio and Records

March 2:

* Cumulus Gospel WWCK-FM 1570 Flint dropped that format yesterday in favor of Talk as 'SuperTalk 1570'. The station's lineup features syndicated fare from hosts Doug Stephen, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Slessinger, Mike Savage, and Phil Hendrie. Legendary Flint-area newsman Les Root will host hourly news updates on the station during morning drive.

* Michiguide.com has confirmed that the new translator for the Calvary Satellite Network in metro Detroit has indeed hit the air. W208BB 89.5 Royal Oak was granted its license to cover last week by the FCC. The station's reception is not very good in Royal Oak itself during the times when co-channel station WAHS-FM 89.5 Auburn Hills is operating. Reception on a car radio was found to be better once south of I-696 along Woodward Ave. The station's tower, which rebroadcasts the feed of Religious KAWZ-FM from Twin Falls Idaho, is located near Woodward in Highland Park.

* Big D Broadcasting WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor announced the return of Lucy Ann Lance to 1600 AM with the launch of "Lucy Ann Lance in the Morning" weekdays from 6-9am beginning Monday March 15th. Lance has exited Clear Channel Adult Contemporary WKQL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor to rejoin the station where her career began.

* With the FCC's recent approval of the transfer of license for WKJF-AM 1370 Cadillac from Midwestern Broadcasting to Good News Media, its expected that the frequency will go silent sometime this week to permit equipment repairs and maintenance. Good News plans to sign the station on once again during about the second week of March with new call letters: WLJW (We’re Lifting Jesus’ Word). The new station will simulcast the Christian news/talk programming currently featured on WLJN-AM 1400 Traverse City.

Midwestern Broadcasting’s gifts of the WKJF radio frequency, three 205-foot towers (necessary due to its directional signal), transmission equipment and transmitter building are valued at $225,000. Good News Media, Inc. will be purchasing the property on which the WKJF towers and transmitter building reside (located approximately two miles west of US-131 on M-55) for $80,000. WKJF had been simulcasting the sports format of Midwestern sister station WCCW-AM 1310 Traverse City over the past several years. WCCW has recieved permission from the FCC to increase its daytime signal from 5,000 to 15,000 watts- this change will provide some coverage of the areas currently served by WKJF after that station signs off to move to its new Religious format. WCCW will also add a nighttime service area that will likely only cover the Traverse City area.

* Edward Grant of Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting has been appointed as the new president of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters.

March 1:

* NextMedia Top 40 WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw has dropped its regular programming and is currently stunting with a variety of TV show themes. The format wheel is set to come to a halt on Friday, March 5th.

* The first trend for the winter ratings period for Detroit, which was released today, finds News-Talk WJR-AM back in the top spot, followed by a surging Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM. Urban WJLB-FM, which finished first in the fall book, slipped to third overall, followed by All-News WWJ-AM and Oldies WOMC-FM. WNIC's strong trend came right on the heels of its All-Christmas format last December- the holiday music obviously gave the station momentum into the early part of the winter. Ironically, fellow AC station WMGC-FM didn't suffer a ratings decline at the hands of WNIC's strong result- WMGC's share continued its recent climb. Clear Channel continues to have highest numbers among the clusters, finishing ahead of Infinity, Greater Media, ABC/Disney, and Radio One. All of the above information is based on listeners age 12 and over.

* Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit dropped the syndicated 'Imus in the Morning' show effective today, replacing it with a sports talk program titled 'S and L in the Morning' with Marc Spindler and John Lund. The show will air weekdays from 6:00–10:00am.

* FCC Actions: Granted W52DB LPTV 52 its license to cover for changes (City of License from Big Rapids to Muskegon, tower move from Newaygo County to Muskegon County). The station is a translator for FOX affiliate WXMI-TV 17 Grand Rapids; Granted WFYC-AM 1280 Alma its license to cover for changes (nighttime power from 45 to 56 watts)







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This page is a archive of entries in the 2004 category from March 2004.

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