Other Stories: June 2005 Archives

Late last year during the FCC's FM Auction 37 Radioactive LLC, led by former Clear Channel boss Randy Michaels, was the high bidder on 5 of the 7 FM allotments that were up for grabs. 4 of Radioactive's winning bids have now been issued construction permits, all of them located in the west-central Upper Peninsula (the 5th bid is located in the northern lower peninsula).

The construction permit with the largest potential impact on the UP is the one for 100.3 Gwinn, located in the Marquette market. With 100,000 watts at 892 feet, the station will easily cover Marquette and much of the central UP if built to the specs on the construction permit. It's possible that the other 3 construction permits might be used to extend the coverage of 100.3 even further across the UP and in to northern Wisconsin.

One has to wonder though if Radioactive will actually build and operate these stations or if they will be sold off to another operator already in the area that might be looking to expand its portfolio. Already securing the winning bids for these stations has cost Radioactive $1,174,000 in payments to the FCC plus whatever engineering costs that have been incurred for preparing the applications. Getting a decent return on this investment might be a tall order- especially in a short time frame.

It'll be interesting to see what becomes of this newly created 4 station "cluster" - if they get to the air as one group or if they are sold off one by one. You have to believe that 100.3 Marquette has the most potential and will likely get the most attention from either potential buyers and/or getting built and on the air.

 

Practical Sportsman Calls it Quits

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Fred Trost, the host and producer of public TV's "Practical Sportsman" program, has announced that the show will end production with a final episode on September 8th. Trost made the announcement on last Thursday's (6/16) program, and on his website. He cited lack of funding as the primary reason behind his decision to end production.

"The Practical Sportsman" has been a Thursday night fixture on Michigan public television stations since 1981. It began as a revival of Mort Neff's "Michigan Outdoors" program, which aired on commercial TV from 1951 to 1974. In 1982, the title of the show was changed, but the focus remained on outdoor issues and features, particularly pertaining to Michigan sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts.

Trost, in his remaining 13 programs, will feature highlights from the show's 24-year run.

 

Starting late last month, Smile FM introduced internet audio streaming for the first time since the merger of Joy FM and The Light last year. They now have a 64K stream as where pre-Smile FM, the stream was merely 32K. However, if you happen to live outside the listening area or are a casual listener of Smile FM, it may not be so easy to find the link as it is not found on the main page. You can click here to access Smile FM internet streaming. You will need to setup a free account if you do not already have an E-Wards account and/or contribute to the Music Task Force. (Personal note: The audio feed actually comes from the WHYT/WTAC cluster instead of the flagship station WLGH.)

Earlier this month, Smile FM held a FunDrive to raise money for completing upgrades to WLGH 88.1 Lansing and to purchase a remote studio for the broadcaster. They needed to gather the remaining $45,000 of the $150,000 for the signal increase for WLGH. The construction permit for WLGH is to increase the signal from 2.5 kW to 10 kW and nearly double the transmission height. Unfortunately, they fell about $20,000 short of the goal and this permit expires in September 2005. They are hoping for last minute contributions, good ol' ingeniuty and divine intervention.

Speaking of signal expansion, with recent upgrades to the Smile FM network, I've noticed a few interesting CP's concerning Smile FM. Recently, the signal of WTLI was increased to 17kW - providing better coverage to areas in Northern Michigan, including Gaylord. Interestingly enough, Radio Assist Ministries currently holds a CP (W221CA 92.1) to provide Gaylord with a feed from WTLI as well. I asked about this and was told that permission was given to Radio Assist Ministries/Edgewater Broadcasting to rebroadcast the Smile FM signal. But in the end, with Smile FM is doing a good job on their own expanding their signal and the R.A.M./Edgewater translator trafficking issue under scrutiny, this may be fun to watch it play out.

And to wrap up this update, I've noticed that the top-of-the-hour ID's for WTAC/WHYT now include WCZE 103.7 Harbor Beach. I've been told that WCZE is still waiting final electrical work to be wrapped up and the station is still in the testing phase. As of yet, WCZE is still not 'officially' on the air.

 

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Other Stories category from June 2005.

Other Stories: May 2005 is the previous archive.

Other Stories: July 2005 is the next archive.

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