At 9 a.m. this morning, September 15th 2005, Citadel Broadcasting in Lansing, Michigan is really shaking things up and we all know how much the listening audience loves change.
Much of this was generated by cross-town WHZZ-FM (Z-101.7) which MacDonald Broadcasting just switched, on the 12th, from CHR to the "Jack-FM" format calling itself "Mike-FM." This left Michigan's capital city with no hit music.
So, upper management decided to do what is happening all over America. They blew up WJIM-FM (97.5) which was best known as Oldies 97.5 at 10 a..m. Thursday. This change moves long-time morning icon Rich Michaels over to classic rocker WMMQ-FM (94.9) to be teamed with Deb Hart. Hart was partnered for many years with long-time market morning guy Tim Barron. Barron's future is unclear. Rich Michaels' long-time news partner Monica Harris is being relinquished to the morning show on soft-rock WFMK-FM (99.1).
Obviously, all of these stations are part of the Citadel cluster, which also owns news-talk WJIM-AM (1240), sports WVFN-AM (730) and country WITL-FM (100.7).
The announcement was made by Michaels and Harris on the air along with General Manager Rob Stryker and Corporate VP Matt Hanlon. Interestingly this move places Rich Michaels on the same exact frequency where he started in the early 80's at Lansing's (then CHR) WVIC The New 95 (94.9). The WVIC calls are now on Rubber City's classic hits FM at 94.1. That station was once WIBM-FM from nearby Jackson, MI. Confused? So is the audience.
The last song on WJIM-FM was "American Pie." The music IS dying...all over the country as terrestrial radio continues to chase the audience who are over 50 years old to satellite companies like XM and Sirius. And the beat goes on.....for a small monthly fee!