Monday, May 9 will mark a new era in radio broadcasting for Northern Michigan. At 6:00 a.m., WWTH-FM 100.7 Oscoda will officially sign on the air with a Contemporary Country format. As part of the True North Radio Network based in Alpena, the station will operate under the name of ThunderCountry and be heard on three frequencies in Northeast Lower Michigan. In addition to flagship WWTH 100.7, AM 960 Rogers City will simulcast the new format as well as a translator at 94.1 FM in Alpena.
Rich Spicer has been announced as the station's new morning host and program director and will anchor the new station's lineup with a fun-filled morning broadcast featuring the hottest country music of today along with news, lots of interesting information, and games. A veteran of Country music radio, Spicer’s roots are in Northern Michigan and his program will be designed to relate to hometown interests. Prior to landing the gig at WWTH, Spicer worked for Midwestern Broadcasting Company's WATZ-FM 99.3 Alpena. Prior to that, he was at WCEN-FM 94.5 Mt. Pleasant. According to Spicer, “ThunderCountry will be like no other radio station in the market. The music and information are all blended to meet the interests of today’s radio listener. We’ll be contemporary all day – every day.”
The new station will launch with one of the largest consumer promotions ever initiated locally. Titled the "All-American New Wheels Give-Away", one lucky listener will have a choice of one of three brand-new vehicles, which will be on display at the respective dealerships in Alpena:
- 2005 R45R Ranger Edge Super Cab Pick-Up from Dixon’s Alpena Ford/Lincoln/Mercury
- 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix from McCoy Pontiac/Buick/GMC
– 2005 Colorado 4WD LS Crew Cab Pick-Up from Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet/Cadillac.
Listeners will be able to register at over fifty local businesses participating in the promotion- there is no limit on the number of business listeners can register at. Then every week for six weeks a lucky name will be drawn from each participating business. Over ten names will be drawn every weekday. The person whose name is drawn will have sixty minutes to call the station and verify their entry. Those who have verified entries will then be included in the car give-away drawing that will be held at the Alpena band shell on July 4th after the holiday parade. These qualifiers will also win a ThunderCountry T-shirt and State Street Auto Wash certificate.
WWTH – ThunderCountry joins True North Radio Network’s other stations: WHSB-FM 107.7, The Bay and WHAK-FM 99.9, The Wave. According to Don Barnard, True North’s General Manager, "ThunderCountry adds an important dimension to the Network’s offering. The Bay features Hot Adult Contemporary music, while The Wave offers Oldies. The addition of ThunderCountry’s New Country sound allows us to offer radio listeners their choice of America’s hottest radio formats.” While proud of all the Network’s stations, Barnard is especially excited about ThunderCountry. “There is very dedicated group of radio professionals that pooled their talent to develop this radio station. And, while Rich Spicer deserves great credit for his leadership, he was and will continue to be supported by a group of radio professionals who are committed to providing top-quality radio to their local communities. I am proud to work with them.”
The 100.7 frequency has been off the air in recent months- prior to going silent, the station featured the call sign WCLS and its last full-time format was Adult Contemporary as 'Sunny 100.7'. The True North Radio Network is owned by Edwards Communications, which purchased the 5-station group late last year for just over $1.3 million.