West Michigan: April 2006 Archives

Grand Rapids Press:

I've put together my second-annual list of the most powerful professionals in the Grand Rapids sports broadcasting community, and checked it twice. So what's the definition of powerful? It's open to interpretation, of course, but I considered on-air personalities, programmers and front-office executives. The rankings reflect significant developments in the past year, accounting for some people debuting, others moving up or down, and some dropping off... Checking who's who in GR sports broadcasting (Fri 3/31)

Carrie Manders will leave WZZM-TV (Channel 13) at the end of May and apply her knowledge of the health field as media relations manager for Spectrum Health. She has been the station's health reporter for 2 1/2 years ... Former WOOD-TV newswoman Lynn Carthane makes her home in East Setauket, N. Y., 60 miles east of New York City, with her husband and two children. Lynn left in the summer of 1993 for KXTV, the ABC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., as morning anchor, then weekend anchor... TV reporter switches to hospital PR (Sun 4/2)


Grand Rapids Press:

The latest TV spot by GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos comes with a bold claim: "Dick DeVos turned Grand Rapids around," it states on an introduction to the ad on the candidate's Web site. The 30-second ad, which first aired around the state last week, contrasts a bleak black-and-white city -- empty, crumbling buildings -- that morphs into a colorful metropolis, with shots of the Amway Grand Plaza, the downtown campus of Grand Valley State University, Van Andel Arena and DeVos Children's Hospital... Visionary or revisionist? Dick DeVos is a major player, but some say ad goes too far (Fri 4/7)

Mr. Big Shot. Is there a cooler nickname in professional sports? His real name, of course, is Chauncey Billups, but he has become better known as one of the NBA's best clutch performers in the final minutes of regulation due to his penchant for hitting buzzer beaters and game-winning shots... FSN shines spotlight on Pistons guard (Fri 4/7)


Grand Rapids Press:

Does an ex-morning guy get sleep? Tony Gates, ex-morning man at WLAV-FM (96.9), can now do what most of us always dream of-- get a good night's sleep. Or does he? Now that his on-air work schedule has shifted to weekdays 2-7 p.m. can he throw the alarm clock across the room in the early morning hours? "Hey, I was a 'morning person' long before I became a morning guy-- more than half of the battle of being a good morning personality is waking up in a good mood and I always have," he said ... Creative talents are needed for a chance to be a big time Hollywood producer or designer. If you have a creative idea for a: 30 second television commercial promoting B-93 radio put it together and send it in. The commercial needs to be: 30 seconds maximum and would be preferred on a non-returnable DVD... Former a.m. radio host is still an early bird (Tue 4/11)

West Michigan will soon be waking up without Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis. The popular husband-and-wife team, which has been on the air for nearly 20 years, announced on the air this morning its last day will be April 21. The announcement ends speculation their contracts at WLHT-FM (95.7) would not be renewed. On the air, Dave and Geri thanked listeners for their loyalty and support, and said, "This is not a stunt." The market's longest consecutive running morning program, "The Dave and Geri Morning Show"has done well in ratings, especially in its target demographic of women ages 25-54... Radio station tunes out long-running a.m. duo (Thu 4/13)

A former Fifth Third Bank employee is expected to be arraigned in Grand Rapids District Court today on allegations he stole information from bank account records and stalked two local television reporters. The court appearance will be the second in two days for Marco Munoz, 39, of Evansville, Ind., after he was arraigned Wednesday in Wexford County District Court on identity theft and malicious phone use charges for allegedly harassing a Cadillac news anchor. Munoz faces four felony charges here and could be sentenced to five years in prison if convicted. Police say he stalked WXMI-TV's (Channel 17) Rachel Calderon and WOOD-TV's (Channel 8) Kristi Andersen during work-related visits to the area... Alleged stalker arraigned (Thu 4/13)


A man accused of taking advantage of his job to find personal information about female TV personalities and using it to stalk them appeared Thursday in a Grand Rapids courtroom. Marco Munoz, 39, was working as an executive at Fifth Third Bank in Indiana. Investigators say while on business trips he would access the personal information of his alleged victims, who banked with Fifth Third, and then stalk them and make obscene phone calls... Fifth Third employee arraigned on stalking charges (Thu 4/13)

Cadillac News:

A local television anchor and others throughout the Midwest were targets of a bank employee who used their personal information to make obscene phone calls. Marco Antonio Munoz, 39, was arrested earlier this week in Evansville, Ind. He was arraigned on charges of identity theft and malicious use of telecommunications. The former Fifth Third Bank employee accessed hundreds of bank accounts, mostly targeting women and news anchors... Identity theft case spans Midwest (Thu 4/13)

Muskegon Chronicle:

WOOD-TV plans to buy 17 acres of county-owned land adjacent to the Muskegon County Wastewater Management System in Egelston Township for installation of a 449-foot-tall communications tower. The tower would allow the station to upgrade its equipment and expand live coverage of events. Mike Laemers, WOOD-TV's director of engineering, said the station has agreed to pay $83,000 for the land. The tower and a building to house equipment are expected to cost close to $400,000, Laemers said... WOOD-TV plans to erect 449-foot tower (Mon 4/10)


Grand Rapids Press:

The NFL has been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters following a recent league ruling prohibiting local television cameras from returning to the sidelines in the fall. It's no laughing matter. "I don't think you're going to find anybody in TV who's a fan of this," WOOD-TV 8 sports director Jack Doles said... NFL boots local TV cameras from sidelines (Fri 4/14)

If you were tuned to WOOD-AM (1300) from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, you might have thought you were caught in a time warp, because local-radio legend Bruce Grant was behind the microphone. Grant, 84, who was a fixture on WOOD for 32 years, primarily in the 5-9 a.m. slot, was back to do a guest spot on "The Rick and Scott Show" with Rick Beckett and Scott Winters ... Viewership lead continues: February 2006 Nielsen ratings show 24 Hour News 8 was watched by more West Michigan television viewers for local news and weather than any other local station. Results show 24 Hour News 8 ranked No. 1 in all newscasts ... Broadway Billy's back: What's the buzz at B-93? Some personnel changes. Dave Taft, who was doing middays while music director and assistant program director, has transferred to Muskegon to oversee programming for Clear Channel stations WMUS-FM (106.9), WMRR (101.7) and WSHZ (107.9). Tony Brooks, who has been with B-93 on and off since 1993, has moved from the night show to middays. Broadway Billy Macc, who, until last year, when he left to do nights at Top 40 KSLZ in St. Louis, was previously a highly rated night host on WSNX, will come back to Grand Rapids to do nights for B-93... Broadcast Notes (Sun 4/16)

Michael Walenta waved toward the corridor lined with auction merchandise: skylights, end tables, DVDs, garage door openers, a Radio Flyer, bird feeders and, yes, even the kitchen sink. "It's quite a pile of stuff," the general manager for WGVU-TV (Channels 35 and 52) conceded as employees of the public television station scrambled to prepare for Monday's annual fund-raising auction. Welcome to the season of fund drives for public TV and radio. In addition to WGVU's upcoming auction, sister radio station WGVU-FM (88.5) recently wrapped up a spring membership drive and community radio station WYCE-FM (88.1) kicks off its 10-day, on-air fundraiser later this month... Public broadcasters scramble (Sun 4/16)

Bidders can snag anything from a $50 surfing lesson to a "silver membership" at a golf and ski resort valued at $9,000, with hundreds of alluring and unusual things in between... Station's auction items range from offbeat to opulent (Sun 4/16)

Dennis Sutton has had a long-running relationship with all kinds of marathon events. During 25 years as a local radio personality, Sutton once lived on a billboard platform for 10 consecutive days at the start of the 1984 Major League Baseball season until the Detroit Tigers lost a game... Former radio personality Dennis Sutton takes on Boston Marathon (Sun 4/16)

Muskegon Chronicle

Grand Haven radio station WGHN recently received three awards from the Michigan Associated Press. For the fifth year in a row, the station was named in the "Top 10" for the amount of news it contributed to the Michigan Associated Press... WGHN's news, sports honored (Fri 4/14)



The morning show chairs at WLHT (95.7) won't even get a chance to cool down after Dave Jagger & Geri Jarvis sign off for the last time Friday. Denis Prior and Nanette have been named as their replacements beginning Monday. That's also the day the station drops its W-Lite moniker in favor of New Lite Rock 95.7, a move program director Bill Bailey said was made to try “to keep up with our demographic”... WLHT names new Morning Team (Tue 4/18)

Grand Rapids Press:

Geri Jarvis couldn't stop grinning when she returned to the studio. Jarvis, half of the Dave and Geri morning team, took a short break from their WLHT-FM (95.7) show Monday to satisfy a craving for a Greek salad. At 7 in the morning, the closest thing she could find at a nearby store was an unsavory-looking popsicle. But she was in a good mood, since a police officer had approached her in the store to embrace and encourage her... Dave and Geri plan big farewell (Tue 4/18)

Airing 11 a.m. Saturdays in place of personal-finances show "The Motley Fool" comes a fun, hourlong talk show called "Travel with Rick Steves." WGVU-TV (Channel 35) offers this program, a lively conversation between travelers and the experts, to help viewers pick up valuable travel strategies ... Fox 17 Student News, a half-hour public-affairs program written, edited and produced by area students, has returned for its second season and runs through December. The show airs at 6 a.m. Sundays ... A record was set in March during the annual Sportsmen Against Hunger food drive at the 61st annual Sport and RV Show in DeVos Place. Tony Gates, of WLAV-FM (96.9) hosted the food drive and broadcast from an RV the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. event in front of DeVos Place... Steves treks into WGVU Saturday lineup (Tue 4/18)

All Access:

Simonson Moves Up At WLHT; Nixon Moves To Sales Upstate: Regent AC WLHT (95.7 W-LITE)/GRAND RAPIDS weekender BOB SIMONSON takes overnights as TIM NIXON heads to a sales post at MIDWESTERN Oldies WCCW, Country WTCM, & Smooth Jazz WJZQ (THE BREEZE)/TRAVERSE CITY. SIMONSON retains his tech post at GRAND RAPIDS-based AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT GROUP, and is still owner of ALL DIGITAL DJ ENTERTAINMENT. (Mon 4/17)

Shelly Kay Now APD At WKFR: CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR/KALAMAZOO PD KRUZE (aka KEN EVANS) has tapped morning co-host SHELLY KAY as his new APD. Meanwhile, KAY's weekend lifestyle and talk program "Just Friendly Advice", shifts from BIG D N/T/S WAAM-A (1600)/ANN ARBOR to sister CUMULUS N/T/S WKMI-A (1360). (Mon 4/17)

Kevin Curnow Exits WGRD: REGENT Alternative WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS Promotion Director KEVIN CURNOW has exited after nearly five years with the station. CURNOW also served as MD/specialty show host during his tenure at 'GRD. (Mon 4/17)


Grand Rapids Press:

Once again, X marks the spot for Detroit Tigers telecasts. WXSP-TV in Grand Rapids has acquired the over-the-air broadcast rights to 15 Tigers telecasts in the West Michigan market, beginning June 1, programming and operations director Craig Cole confirmed earlier this week. "I'm really happy to have the Tigers back. I wanted them back," Cole said. "We've had a lot of calls from the public looking for the Tigers to return"... WXSP bringing back Tigers to local airwaves (Fri 4/21)

Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis signed off Friday morning at WLHT-FM (95.7) surrounded by their daughters, Kristen and Casey, friends and well-wishers. The husband-and-wife radio team made way for a new show to take the WLHT airwaves on Monday after contracts for the pair were not renewed by Regent Communications. Along with regular guests Ron VanTimmeren, of Jack Loeks Theatres; John Zimmerman, of Mercantile Bank (and formerly of Meijer Inc.); and Scott Lane, of the West Michigan Whitecaps; a number of others stopped by or called in... Many a fond farewell offered on Dave and Geri's last broadcast (Sat 4/22)

He writes and submits 50 jokes a week for the opening monologues of "The David Letterman Show," has been in radio broadcasting since the age of 13 and does impersonations of well-known personalities. She is a single mom to her 9-year-old son, believes in family-friendly radio and went back to school at 32, where she was the oldest person in her class at the Specs Howard School of Broadcasting. Together, Denis Prior, 46, and co-host Nanette, 41, will launch their new morning show at the New Lite Rock -- WLHT-FM (95.7) on Monday, taking the reins as Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis depart after almost 20 years at the station... New WLHT team is Denis and Nanette (Sun 4/23)

WGVU-TV (Channel 35) productions traveled to Poland in 2004 to produce and document the stories of three incredible individuals. The results were "Surviving Auschwitz: Children of the Shoah" and "Defying Hitler," documentaries that celebrate the human spirit and put a face on one of the worst atrocities ever committed by mankind ... Tower boosts TV8 in Muskegon: WOOD-TV (Channel 8) is getting a new tower to better serve viewers in the Muskegon area ... Mullen joins Fox in Chicago: Former Tribune Broadcasting President Patrick Mullen has been named vice president and general manager of Fox's Chicago duopoly, WFLD-TV and WPWR-TV... Broadcast Notes: War documentaries air Tuesday (Sun 4/23)


The mood was light-hearted this morning as long-time WLHT morning hosts Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis said goodbye. Last week, they confirmed they could not come to terms on a new contract with the Regent Broadcasting station. So after 20 years of early mornings, the pair signed off. “If you know somebody, tell them we're out of work,” Jarvis said. Jagger added, “Yeah, please put in a good word for us.” They have not announced their future plans... Dave & Geri sign off (Fri 4/21)

All Access:

Doug Stephan Gets New Affiliates: DOUG STEPHAN'S GOOD DAY program welcomes Talk WAMT-A/ORLANDO and KIST-A/SANTA BARBARA, CA as its newest affiliates. Additionally, DOUG STEPHAN'S TALKRADIO COUNT DOWN program welcomes WTWP-A/F/WASHINGTON DC, WTKG-A/GRAND RAPIDS, MI, and KIST-A/SANTA BARBARA, CA. (Wed 4/19)

Radio and Records:

Potter rises after six months as an AE for WKLQ and clustermate WBBL-AM. He reports to Citadel Midwest President Matthew Hanlon... Christopher Potter Now WKLQ & WLAV/Grand Rapids GSM (Fri 4/21)


New FM 105.3 looks ready to roll



On it's 11:00pm newscast yesterday, WZZM-TV 13 Grand Rapids reported that FM 105.3 owner Citadel will launch its new station starting Monday May 1st with a "reality radio" format that will run for two days before giving way to musical programming on Wednesday May 3rd as '105.3 Hot FM' featuring artists such as Green Day, Gwen Stefani, and Sheryl Crow. WZZM reported that the Monday and Tuesday stunt will feature current Citadel-Grand Rapids personalities Kevin Matthews (from Classic Rock WLAV-FM 96.9) and 'Huge' Bill Simonson (from Sports WBBL-AM 1340). Then when the music kicks off on Wednesday, it'll be with 10,000 songs in a row, commercial free.

The station's new call sign will be WHTS and a web address, www.1053hotfm.com, was registered by Citadel-Grand Rapids manager Brent Alberts on April 16th, but as of this writing had not become active.

FM 105.3 currently carries a commercial-free Classic Country format using the call sign WCXT licensed to Hart. The station has a construction permit to change its Community of License to Coopersville and transmit from the same tower that WZZM broadcasts from- which is probably how WZZM was able to break this news before the official launch. The new facilities will greatly improve the station's coverage of the Grand Rapids market.

Watch WZZM video: New Citadel radio station: 105.3 FM

From AllAccess.com:

"Reality Radio" Debuts On Monday In Grand Rapids: CITADEL will launch a new station, WCXT (105.3)/GRAND RAPIDS, at 6a on MONDAY, MAY 1st, and it will temporarily be called "Reality Radio," with the format wheel coming to stop officially at noon (CT) on WEDNESDAY, (5/3). Sister Sports Talker morning man BILL "HUGE" SIMONSON and Classic Rocker WLAV morning man KEVIN MATHEWS will be mic'd 24/7 for listen behind the scences as they pee, poop, and shower. HUGE gets his run a reaity on MONDAY, and KEVIN takes over on TUESDAY. CITADEL MIDWEST Regional President MATT HANLON said, "We're thrilled to provide WEST MICHIGAN with another option for listening entertainment. The innovative programming concept is designed to bring listeners to the 105.3FM frequency. I don't believe this has ever been done before on radio." According MOSTLY MEDIA President ROBERT SCORPIO, who is consulting the station, "WKLQ PD DARRIN ARRIENS is overseeing the station until a permanent PD is named. I can't comment on where the format wheel will land on WEDNESDAY, but it will fill a big void in the market. We're all excited about it."


Citadel preserves Classic Country format

In the wake of the coming relaunch of FM 105.3 as WHTS 'Hot FM', the station's previous Classic Country format has shifted to FM 92.5 WKOQ, Newaygo. That station had previously been airing a simulcast of Active Rocker WKLQ-FM 107.3 Greenville. There will be some listeners disappointed with the frequency shift - 105.3's old facility was located north of where FM 92.5 broadcasts, leaving some without a reliable signal. And, fans of the Active Rock sounds of KLQ in places like Muskegon now will have to struggle to receive the station on it's 107.3 frequency.

Back at 105.3, the station is still using its WCXT call sign and has been stunting throughout the weekend with construction sounds and teaser announcements that a new radio station is under construction. A 'reality radio' stunt will launch on Monday in advance of a musical format targeted toward women that is scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Grand Rapids Press:

It seems like an odd couple for a baseball broadcast. Bill Simonson and local sports legend Jim Shorts teaming up in the radio booth for a special West Michigan Whitecaps' broadcast live from Fifth Third Ballpark at 3 p.m. this afternoon. The contest between the Whitecaps and Kane County Cougars features Simonson on play-by-play and Shorts providing color commentary on flagship station WBBL-AM (1340)... Caps hand mike to interesting pair (Fri 4/28)

A broadcasting company is enlisting a big man for a big change on West Michigan's radio dial. Citadel Broadcasting next week will use a reality-radio experiment to launch its new FM frequency, 105.3. Starting at 6 a.m. Monday, listeners can follow Bill "Huge" Simonson, a host at sister station WBBL-AM (1340), in real time for the entire day... FM station tries reality on for size (Sat 4/29)

Plenty is going on behind the scenes at WLHT-FM (95.7), and now, the launch of a new player in the Grand Rapids radio market. First, at WLHT: Gone is morning-show meteorologist Dennis Hodges, who worked for the station on and off for many years, most recently doing a stint that started in 2004 on the Dave and Geri morning show ... As for the future of Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis, the couple is expected to land in late July at Citadel station WCXT-FM (105.3) which is changing this week from classic country to a format targeted toward women ... Stations all over the country -- including WWMT-TV (Channel 3) -- are signing exclusive long-term affiliation agreements with CW, a new television network set to launch for the 2006-07 season. Programming on CW comes from both UPN and WB networks, which will cease to exist this fall, said Tom Long, vice president and general manager of WWMT-TV ... A new deal just inked by Lin TV gives My Network TV a local presence and increases its coverage to 68 percent of U.S. television audience. Effective Sept. 5, Channel 15, WXSP-TV will air My Network TV programming from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The selection of shows will include drama, variety, talk, magazine, sports and movies. WXSP will continue airing local and regional sports... Meteorologist leaves WLHT (Sun 4/30)


Comstock Park - A special event at Monday's Whitecaps game at Fifth Third Ballpark gave thanks to leaders in the community. Regent Broadcasting, which owns five local radio stations, hosted a community leader appreciation night.... Regent Broadcasting Thanks Community Leaders At Whitecaps Game (Mon 4/24)

Traverse City Record-Eagle

A former bank employee in Indiana, accused of using customers' personal information to make obscene phone calls to television news anchors, has pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted identity theft... Alleged prankster pleads (Wed 4/26)







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the West Michigan category from April 2006.

West Michigan: March 2006 is the previous archive.

West Michigan: May 2006 is the next archive.

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