Another change has come to morning radio in Grand Rapids. The morning team of Slim Jim and Justice came to WKLQ-FM (107.3) from separate markets. Slim Jim from KDGE-FM in Forth Worth-Dallas, Texas, and Justice from WKLS-FM in Atlanta. They're on the air from 6 to 10 a.m., replacing the Ron and Don show, which was pulled recently by Citadel-owned station KKND-FM in New Orleans. The show aired there and was simulcast on WKLQ. "The snow is a novelty to me," Slim Jim said. "They would shut down Texas if the weather was similar. I looked at the Web site before I came, and it said the temperature was a high of 12." Justice is the ringleader on the new show. Longtime radio guy Wiz is the show's producer. Grand Rapids Press
Entries in West Michigan Category
Lauren Stanton, WZZM-TV morning and noon anchor, picks up the popular "Try It Before You Buy It" segment. The feature was made a fixture on local television by the recently departed Kim Covington. "I wanted to find someone who could best copy Kim's energy level and personality, Lauren was my first choice. She has exceeded my expectations, and I expect that to continue," said Tim Geragty, the station's news director. Grand Rapids Press
Yet another talented on-air personality on Channel 17 leaves for another market. Grand Rapids weekend anchor/reporter Pat McGonigle has left Tribune's Fox affiliate, WXMI Channel 17, and will soon become the new morning co-anchor at WHEC Channel 10, Hubbard Broadcasting's NBC affiliate in Rochester, NY. Pat originally joined Fox 17 in December of 2002. Before coming to Fox 17, Pat was the weekend anchor/reporter at KPTM-TV in Omaha, Nebraska from November 2000–2002. He also worked as weekend anchor/reporter for WPXT-TV in Portland, Maine from 1998-2000, as weekend anchor/reporter for WVII in Bangor, Maine from 1997-1998 and as a news writer/producer at WHDH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts from 1996-1997. Spencer's Web
Longtime News 3 anchor/reporter Jamie Boll said goodbye to his co-workers and West Michigan viewers on Friday evening. He leaves WWMT-TV (Channel 3 Kalamazoo) and moves to WBTV-TV, Jefferson-Pilot Communications' CBS affiliate in Charlotte, NC. He will anchor the station's 5 and 5:30pm newscasts and do some reporting. In a recent Kalamazoo Gazette article, Jamie says, "The big selling point is that it will be a day shift. I'll be working something like 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. I've been working nights for 10 years and I have four young children at home. I want to be there for them and go to school events, have dinner together and read a story to them before they go to bed." Boll starts his new job in Charlotte on March 21.
Phase 2 winter trends for the Grand Rapids radio market were released today. Clear Channel took the top four spots with WBCT, WSNX, WOOD-FM and WOOD-AM. Citadel's Classic Rocker WLAV remains steady in fifth place. In an interesting move, Regent AC WTRV (The River) moved ahead of its higher rated sister station (WLHT W-Lite). Citadel's WTNR (Thunder Country 94.5) remains steady with a 3.4 rating and ninth place.
Bo Richi is out as the midday on-air personality and Program Director of WKFR/Battle Creek. Bo was with the Cumulus owned Top 40 station from December 14, 2004 to last week, which was less than four months! He replaced Woody Houston, who left WKFR late last year.
All Access today: CUMULUS/KALAMAZOO OM MIKE McKELLY tells ALL ACCESS there is a PD opening for Top 40 WKFR following the departure of PD BO RICHI.
While searching the FCC website last night, I stumbled across a pretty interesting application made by Forum Communications to potentially move WZUU 92.3 up a spot on the dial to 92.5 and change their COL from Allegan to Mattawan. They will also get a new tower in extreme southwestern Kalamazoo County, which will certainly improve their signal into Kalamazoo and especially Portage. In turn, sister station WQXC 100.9 will change their COL from Otsego to Allegan.
The possible move to 92.5 is one of those things that after I read it, I thought "Why didn't I think of this?" In Western Michigan, the 92.5 frequency is the definitive of a wide-open dial space. Currently, 92.5 is occupied by a translator in Battle Creek. This translator will likely have to move when and if 92.5 signs on. There are also a few translator construction permits for that frequency, including one in Bronson nearby my home base which was briefly heard testing back in October of 2004. The closest full-power station at 92.5 is almost 100 miles away from Mattawan.
Now the question is, what will happen to Power Praise's 92.5 translator in Battle Creek? They will probably have to move to a new frequency. Here are a few possible solutions.
93.3-- Fort Wayne's WBTU recently made a rare move to actually DECREASE their wattage. Furthermore, they moved their tower closer to Fort Wayne, having been just south of Kendallville. These moves have made 93.3 wide open in Battle Creek. Nearby LPFM 93.1 WMLY is licensed to Marshall, but their tower is about 15 miles away.
97.1-- Their was a construction permit for a new LPFM in Battle Creek on this frequency. However, the CP was cancelled, leaving this station once again wide open. Ironically, Power Praise has a CP for a translator on 97.1 in my home town of Coldwater. The two signals would likely interfere out in the middle of a cornfield and somewhere far away from a very populated area.
In another blow to fans of play-by-play coverage of the Detroit Tigers, the team's Grand Rapids affiliate has pulled the plug on the broadcasts, leaving the state's second largest city without a local radio outlet for Michigan's only Major League Baseball team. WMFN-AM 640 changed its format to Adult Urban Contemporary this week, and along with blowing out the old lineup of talk, sports, and comedy shows, Tyrone Bynum, WMFN's new general manager, has decided that the Tigers don't generate enough ratings or ad revenue to keep on the schedule of the revamped station.
Since the Tigers and Red Wings move off of WJR to WXYT several years ago, it has become increasingly difficult for fans to pick up the games -- both in the metro Detroit area because of reception problems on WXYT and outstate because a good number of former affiliates no longer carry the games. The Tigers also lost their over-the-air TV deal this season when WKBD-TV 50 Detroit couldn't reach an agreement with the club.
For those that *really* want to listen and watch, there are still options-- but you'll have to pay. Fox Sports Net Detroit will air nearly 120 Tigers' games on cable/satellite TV and XM radio provides radio coverage of every game (though you won't be able to hear the Tigers' announcers all the time).
The Tigers poor performance on the field in recent years has no doubt has helped stations make the decision to drop the games -- lack of fan interest leads to poor ratings and that usually means less money. In the broadcasting biz these days, keeping a non-performer on the schedule is increasingly difficult as the bottom line becomes more and more important. So it's understandable what is happening -- but still kind of sad for someone like me that grew up being able to hear the Tigers on free radio no matter where you were in Michigan.
Today's Grand Rapids Press reports that Detroit Tigers broadcasts have returned to WMFN-AM 640 as of yesterday's game. The station dropped the team's radio play-by-play 10 days ago when it changed its format from talk to adult urban. Commenting at the time of the format change and decision to drop the Tigers, the station's new general manager, Tyrone Bynum, told the Press that he wouldn't air the games if the station had to pay for them and that there wasn't much advertiser or listener support for the broadcasts. In today's story, Bynum now claims "the Tigers' return to the station is based upon a groundswell of support from local baseball fans and advertisers in the West Michigan community." "I'm not paying," Bynum said. "I wanted to put them on in the first place, but I'm trying not to go broke. This is a business. We've got sponsors who are deferring that cost, and we've got more sponsors coming on board."
One thing seems certain... the Tigers flagship station, Infinity-owned WYXT-AM 1270 Detroit, plans on holding its affiliates to its contracts.
Curry Exits WKFR PD Post
CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR/KALAMAZOO and PD KEITH CURRY have parted company- All Access