Big Changes at Citadel-Lansing

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Citadel Broadcasting has announced changes affecting formats and lineups at three of their Lansing radio stations. The announcements were made at 9:00 this morning on Oldies WJIM-FM (97.5) and Classic Rock WMMQ-FM (94.9) by Citadel-Lansing GM Rob Stryker and VP of Operations Matt Hanlon. Here's a rundown of the announced changes:

  • WJIM-FM is dropping its Oldies format in favor of CHR, the format dropped by MacDonald Broadcasting's WHZZ-FM just two days ago.
  • WJIM-FM morning show host Rich Michaels moves to mornings at WMMQ, where he will co-anchor the morning show with Deb Hart. WMMQ's Classic Rock format will remain the same.
  • Michaels' co-host Monica Harris moves to WFMK, where she will co-anchor mornings with Danny Stewart.
  • Hart's current WMMQ morning co-host, Dave Beagle, moves to mornings at the "New 97.5", with its relaunched CHR format. Beagle joined WMMQ following the departure of Tim Barron last month.
  • Broadcasts of Michigan State University football and basketball games will move from WJIM-FM to WMMQ.

These moves answer the question of who will pick up the CHR torch which was dropped when WHZZ switched to a "Jack" style format as "Mike FM" on Tuesday (9/13). Of course, now this leaves a void for the Oldies format in Lansing, so we'll see if anyone picks that torch up and runs with it.

 

21 Comments

From my location more tha 75 miles away, with an outside antenna and good radio, i can easily get WJIM-FM 97.5. Along with WHNN, which as of this week remains oldies, I enjoyed WJIM-FM as an alternative with slight playlist differences from WOMC, which as of this week remains oldies. But seeing what is happening, and having tried XM satellite radio for two months and not finding justification to continue spending $12.95 a month for a handful of channels I might listen to that I can't get on regular radio, I will most likely listen to the iPOD now, which I have loaded up with over 800 songs from the 1960s and 1970s, for most music I think that is what most people will eventually do if radio continues on this path. It is not new technology, but radio itself that is disenfranchising many listeners by dropping this type of format.

What were you people thinking? Why would you cancel the most popular morning show in the area, split up the dynamic duo of Michaels and Harris and dissolve the Oldies format? Michaels/Harris are household names--we listened to 97.5 because we loved them and what they did, not because they worked for Citidel Broadcasting. Listeners considered them family. They made the radio station, the station did not make them!
Be real and consider the fact that if Michaels and Harris went to a station in another market area, that station would be credited with the number one morning show. Shame on Citidel for breaking up the most popular and enjoyable DJ's in the area. This was an assine change. Hopefully your ratings will fall and your balance sheet becomes a sea of red.
Your concern over the void of music for women 18-35 certainly isn't going to gain you any popularity with men and women 40 and older. Where are we supposed to go for our Oldies listening pleasure? How is this change better for the Lansing listening community?
There are more baby boomers than any other age group. It is proven that baby boomers have more money than any other generation and Sorry Citidel but hopefully you just bit the hand that feeds you. How many of the 20-35 year old women are going to support, sponsor and pay your way?
I only hope your advertisors, sponsors and other market vendors take a long hard look at your insane business decisions. Lets hope someone with more sense starts another Oldies Station and perhaps once again our favorite team of Michaels and Harris can be reunited.

Rich and Monica indeed were a great duo. I can pick up the station as far as western Southfield, even though it's scratchy. They were by far the best morning show, and splitting them up and moving to weaker signaled stations really will hurt. Is there a way to contact ownership with our comments?

WHT WERE YOU THINKING??????? I looked forward to my drive to work every day, wondering what would be happening on 97.5 with Rich and Monica. They are such a great team. I feel that my age group has been abandoned. I really don't care if I listen to the radio anymore because my favotite station is gone.

The "NEW" 97.5 *SUCKS*!!!! Rich, Monica and John made my mornings. I love the oldies music, it's what keeps me young. We had every radio in the house, in the shop and in every auto we own tuned to the Oldies station. You have just lost a huge listening audience! All of my family and friends listened. I dare say you have lost at least 100 plus listeners, just in my immediate area alone. Even my DOGS don't like the music you are playing now, if you can call it music, I call it "crap"! Even my two teenage grandkids liked listening to the oldies music. When Rich, Monica and John closed the door yesterday, so did we! We hope you choke on your stupidity! Why is it when people have a good thing going, they have to go and change it? You have made a huge,Huge,HUGE mistake!!!

Attn.: Citadel-Lansing Market Director:
Since you have chosen the "low road" of putting profits ahead of your listeners' best interests, I will make you this one-time offer: To keep "oldies" from the 60's and 70's alive in the Lansing/Mid-Michigan market, I will come to ANY one of your stations in the Lansing area to do a weekly (4-5 hour shift on a Saturday or Sunday evening) oldies/request show (featuring 60's & 70's oldies) FOR MINIMUM WAGE. This would be a "cost-effective" way you could make-up for alienating thousands of your FORMER listeners (mainly baby-boomers like me), who used to be faithful 97.5 WJIM-FM listeners. In addition, you gave the Lansing area a "double-whammy" by converting one of your other stations to MIKE-FM. It's pitiful that you've sunk to the greedy depths of your idiot brethren at Infinity Broadcasting, displacing broadcasting professionals in favor of padding your own wallets, and turning your million-dollar facilities into oversized iPods. You are a POOR EXCUSE for a broadcasting company...you DESERVE to Fail!!!

i see all of you guys are pissed. Well I'm glad its the new 97.5. i think most oldies music sucks and we needed another top-40 station here in Lansing. When Z101.7 when to mostly crap like elton john, rod stweart, aretha and wen they played Whip it good, it cut the line right there. Listen to MIkeFM, they do also play a few oldies songs. If this station went from top-40 to oldies, im sure all of you would be happy. all of you need to get a grip, the change will be for good. The top-40 hits are mostly my fav songs and they help me get the day going. All of you go cry to someone who cares. SCREW OLDIES!!

Mike,
You're obviously "under 50", but you don't need to make comments suggesting that your IQ is also "under 50". Most of us boomers don't appreciate "rap" or "hip-hop" music, as a large percentage of it reeks of anger and negativity. You are probably a "Gen X-er" or "tweener" who thinks us boomers are the root of all evil in the world. Our music, which you find "boring", at least was uplifting and made us feel better about ourselves and the rest of the world. Your music, for the most part, is filled with self-pity and insulting language (i.e. "8 Mile Rd." and "She F---ing Hates Me"). I grew up in Detroit, less than 2 blocks from 8 Mile Rd., but I didn't spend my twenties and thirties telling everybody how much "it sucked". Maybe you'd be better off not supporting artists who have "Anger Management" tours, and, while claiming to be "family" people, can't resist any chance they get to spout an F-word to show how "hip" they are! Gee...that takes a LOT of talent...(?)
Give us a break, Mike!!!

It's unfortunate that Mike took the tone he did, but he did hit on a point that has irritated most people under 35 in Lansing: NO RADIO STATIONS have wanted to serve us for almost 10 years.

Every single station except Q106 catered exclusively to the over 30 advertiser-friendly crowd (technically that sellable 25-54 demo). Even Z101.7 was extremely watered down so that they could compete with the rest of the market. The Edge's owners stopped caring about the station long ago, which led to their flip. (And we don't count 96.5 or the MSU student run station as options...since both are not done with enough quality to make most of us WANT to listen).

Finally, people under 30 have something to listen to besides Q106 or out of market stations. I personally hope 97.5 doesn't feel the need to chase the "money demo" like the rest of the market.

I agree it sucks to not have an Oldies station in the capitol city, but at least people over 30 are left with most of the rest of the dial as tolerable options.

i didnt mean to use the tone i did, i was just mad that all ppl are doing is complaining. I dont always like rap and bad language songs. We just needed a better variety again. Oh and by the way I'm 22, and i bet my IQ is a lot higher than yours, because depending how much over 50 u are, u are plrolly experiencing memory loss. And i agree with you other mike. Bob, if you want ur elton john, rod stwart and whip it good, i suggest u tune in to 1017mikefm.

Different Mike,
You've made several very good points in your reply, without resorting to the "oldies suck" mentality that the other Mike did. I didn't realize that the "under 30" age group in the Lansing market felt so disenfranchised with their local stations. I thought that most of the 12-34 crowd listened to Q106 or Z101.7. As I only have access to the overall 12+ cume ratings, I'm a bit "in the dark" about what the under-30 group IS listening to. As I'm located in the Brighton-South Lyon area, all I know is that my 17-year-old daughter, and most of her friends, listen to 95.5 (Detroit), 102.5 (Tri-Cities), and the former Z101.7. My concern here is the abundance of Eminem, 50-Cent, ICP, and similar material that is full of nasty words, anger, and hostility towards women. I would prefer that this stuff wasn't on the airwaves at all, even in the "edited" versions. I noticed by the URL you provided, that you are in some way connected with a Christian broadcasting company. Perhaps more "Christian rock" will make its way into mainstream broadcast radio, as I've heard all the F-words, B-words, and bleeps that I care to hear from some of today's "best-selling artists"! Whether my peers realize it or not, the message that these "popular artists" are sending to our kids is that it's okay to constantly engage in "trash talk", to have no respect for other people, and to hate authority. It's high time us parents stood up and said "enough"! We should first make sure that OUR words and actions are worthy of respect, then teach our kids "Respect US, not those foul-mouthed 'musicians' you've been listening to"!
Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that all contemporary Top-40 artists are "evil", but there's more than a handful out there that are greedy hypocrites disguised as musicians.

Let's not forget that the 18-34 demo lost another station in the market about 2 years ago (Alternative Rock 92.1 The Edge). That might also contribute to some of the frustration we're reading here. However, I can certainly understand the frustration on both sides of this argument. Change is never an easy thing. If fact, this takes me back to when WILS-FM dumped its Rock format "101-ILS" for Love Songs "LS-102" in 1984 (along with its popular morning team of Burton & Ballard). We were told not to answer the studio phones for at least a week after that one!

I am glad the the oldies station is gone..

I am from the
Detroit area.

Sometimes when it is clear at night, I can get 97.5. I also feall sorry for all of you guys. But now all of Lansing can get this station! Z 101.7 only worked in some parts of Lansing.

I also like this station because after each song, it tells you the tidle and the artist.

Great move!

I think that the switch is great. I was a Z101.7 listener and was very upset that tuesday afternoon when I heard Mike FM. Honestly, I think Z101.7 made the biggest mistake by switching to "Jack" radio. They are going to lose all of their listeners to you. You may have made the smartest decision ever to pick this up. Not only have you pick up what Z101.7 left behind, but you've enhanced it to make it better. I love that I now don't have to wait a month to hear a new song on the radio. Also, I love that you have broadend the type of music played. You are not only playing popular music approved by parents, but you are playing all popular music including the areas of rap/hip hop and rock. I am very excited to see what's in store for the future!

Please bring back "oldies with Rich and Monica," followed by John at noon. My family listened stickly to "oldies 97.5". Now we listen to the oldies station from bay city WHNN. Bring back "oldies 97.5" like it was in the past. Lansing is lost without "oldies 97.5 with Rich and Monica" , and John .

Mike, I can't believe you dropped the regular format of Oldies 97.5 with Rich and Monica for what you call the "young women population". Do not us "baby boomers" encompass a greater population than they are? Who has the greater income potential to support your sponsors? I don't know where you have been getting your ratings stats but they are completely wrong! That is probably because as a manager you are inept and incompetent. Bring back Rich and Monica, Now!

yay still for the new 97.5. i was wonderin if anyone can answer, is there going to be DJs at all besides for the morning show? and i was wondering how 97.5 got the songs so quickly. i use to listen to Z101.7 and they played the songs only by the chart and would wait and play a lot of songs. i like this variety better.

I would guess that, in this age of technology and resources such as the internet, music files can be delivered very easily via FTP. I know that, in my line of work, we use FTP to transfer video files on a regular basis, so transporting music files across the net with a high-speed connection probably doesn't take much time. My guess is that the songs may have come from another Citadel station - possibly WIOG (in that case, they may have even been burned to CD's and driven down to Lansing).

most of all...i feel bad for Jo anne paul....the poor lady has been playing musical chairs in the studio for many many months....Mark leaves, then she was with Tim (she didn't sound too comfortable there) then some Dave Scott guy (MTRN) and now?? She is nowhere to be found! i remember when I first became a viewer/listener of Jo Anne's many years ago when she started at WAAM in Ann Arbor...I am from the Wayne County area...she was unbelieveable...the show that Jo anne and mark had was "hot". They covered every aspect of everystory...WJIM seemed to be a pretty conservative station (playing Rush Limbaugh) but everything that Jo anne did was objective and to the point. Now she is stuck doing a afternoon drive for WJIM-Am? The poor lady has all the talent in the world...but she is never given the proper opportunities that she deserves...I applause your efforts in bringing objective news to a moderatley conservative market...

most of all...i feel bad for Jo anne paul....the poor lady has been playing musical chairs in the studio for many many months....Mark leaves, then she was with Tim (she didn't sound too comfortable there) then some Dave Scott guy (MTRN) and now?? She is nowhere to be found! i remember when I first became a viewer/listener of Jo Anne's many years ago when she started at WAAM in Ann Arbor...I am from the Wayne County area...she was unbelieveable...the show that Jo anne and mark had was "hot". They covered every aspect of everystory...WJIM seemed to be a pretty conservative station (playing Rush Limbaugh) but everything that Jo anne did was objective and to the point. Now she is stuck doing a afternoon drive for WJIM-Am? The poor lady has all the talent in the world...but she is never given the proper opportunities that she deserves...I applause your efforts in bringing objective news to a moderatley conservative market... No one says it better
Molly Jaskowski

someone should suggest that the night dj do a countdown of 10 songs or so. this could showcase some songs yet that they havent played yet.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dan Drolett published on September 15, 2005 10:02 AM.

Lansing radio shake-up! was the previous entry in this blog.

Metro Detroit: In The News Sep 11-17 is the next entry in this blog.

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