The following was published to the Radio and Records website Monday (9/19), regarding the format switches of last week:
He Who Hesitates Gets Stuck With The Crappy Format.
On Tuesday, Lansing, MI lost its only Pop station when McDonald Broadcasting flipped WHZZ to the Jack-esque "Mike-FM." Within the space of two days, however, Citadel dove right into that gaping hole by flipping WJIM from Oldies to an adult-targeted CHR under the working slogan "The New 97.5." "This has been the fastest 48 hours of my life," says Dan Kelley, who remains in place as OM/PD of WJIM and Classic Rock sister WMMQ. Chris Reynolds, PD of AC clustermate WFMK, adds MD duties for The New 97.5. In other moves, longtime WJIM morning man Rich Michaels will swap shifts with WMMQ morning talent Dave Beagle. Joining Beagle will be Lisa G, a refugee from the late WHZZ, where she did afternoons.
Kelley lets ST Daily in on the company's decision to make this sudden move and describes the accelerated timeline and behind-the-scenes drama: "WHZZ abandoned the format and left the door wide open for someone to take the position; it was a no-brainer decision and a race to see who would do it first," he says. WHZZ flipped at 1pm on Wednesday. "By 3pm, we were already having meetings about it," says Kelley, who enlisted the help of Chris Abrams at sister KKOB-FM/Albuquerque to start pulling some music together. "We got the final approval from [Citadel COO] Judy Ellis at 6:20pm ET Wednesday. We started loading in the music, cut some liners, started generating music logs and launched at 10am Thursday," he says.
The only discrepancies in the R&R article were that WHZZ switched formats at 1 pm last Tuesday (9/13), and that Dave Beagle's morning host is Lisa D (R&R reported her name as Lisa G). In any event, the lightning speed with which the staff on Pine Tree reacted to the changes on Cavanaugh is staggering, and shows just how fast things can move in the radio business, especially in this technological age!