West Michigan: September 2007 Archives

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 2, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Station employees from WXSP-TV, WOOD-TV and WOTV-TV partnered with nonprofit Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids as part of the "LIN TV's Day of Caring," a companywide day of volunteerism and community service. "It is always necessary to give back to the community, and, today, our employees are doing just that," said Diane Kniowski, president and general manager of the stations... TV stations join in day of caring (Sun, 9/2)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 3, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

He works six days a week at the crack of dawn and isn't paid a nickel for his trouble. The next time you grumble when the alarm clock buzzes, think of Oscar Zuniga. This volunteer extraordinaire just turned 80 and still wakes up at 4 each morning to get to work on time. And what is the work he does for love, not money? He's on the air 5:30 to 7 a.m. weekdays and 6 to 8 a.m. Sundays hosting the music show "El Mundo Musical" on community radio station WYCE-FM (88.1). "I wake up, admire myself in the mirror and think, 'Here I am -- I'm still alive and looking for trouble,' " he said. For 20 years, "El Mundo Musical" has brought regional Mexican hits to the Hispanic community in West Michigan. Since the beginning, Zuniga has been the program's musical maestro and guide... 20 years on the air for free (Mon, 9/3)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 4, 2007




WJQK Hosts Over 50K At Unity Festival

“We had a record attendance of over 50,000 people in the four days (including day zero). We all experienced the presence of God, great weather, great ministry and some awesome performances,” said APD/MD GARY THOMPSON. (Tue, 9/4)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 6, 2007



Griffins renew partnership with WOOD 1300

The partnership between the Grand Rapids Griffins and their flagship station, Newsradio WOOD 1300, will extend to 14 consecutive seasons, thanks to a new three-year agreement between the American Hockey League club and Clear Channel Radio. “Labatt Griffins Hockey,” a centerpiece of Newsradio WOOD 1300’s programming lineup since the team’s inaugural campaign in 1996-97, will maintain its current home through at least the 2009-10 season. Next month, Bob Kaser will begin his eighth season as the Voice of the Griffins...

Press release, GriffinsHockey.com


Bob Simonson Exits WLHT/Grand Rapids
BOB "THE JANITOR" SIMONSON parts company with REGENT AC WLHT/GRAND RAPIDS to focus on his publication business, SIMONSON MARKETING & ENTERTAINMENT which publishes custom radio station tabloids to be used as station NTR projects. (Thu, 9/6)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 9, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

You may have seen the promotional television spot stating the 6 p.m. newscast of WZZM-TV (Channel 13) is No. 1. This is an accurate statement when it comes to certain demographics. The station's newscast finished in first place with adults 25-54, women 25-54 and men 25-54, according to Nielsen's July 2007 ratings book. Advertisers favor the "demo" because the numbers are broken down by age and gender, and they can see what matches their target audiences. Janet Mason, president and general manager of WZZM, agrees: "Clients pay more attention to demos. Households don't buy products -- people buy products." At WXMI-TV (Channel 17), whose news ratings at 10 p.m. remain consistent, general manager Patty Kolb said, "As far as rating success is concerned, most every advertiser in the country looks at demo ratings. "To be honest, I never really even look at households to measure anything. Most national advertisers use adults 18-49, with some going younger to adults 18-34 (soft drinks, movies, etc.). Some use adults 25-54 (older auto manufacturers). The success that is used by the network advertisers to determine the number one network for the season is always adults 18-49"... Ratings 101: Making sense of 'the book' (Sun 9/9)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 12, 2007



Two West Michigan radio DJ's to be held hostage

Contemporary Christian WaYfm (WAYK-FM 88.3 Kalamazoo/WAYG-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids) is banishing morning personality Rich Anderson and afternoon personality Mike Couchman to live in confined spaces, on display for all to see, while WaYfm listeners pledge to get Rich and Mike down.

WaYfm listeners from the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek areas will pledge on behalf of Rich; WaYfm listeners from the Grand Rapids area will pledge on behalf of Mike. Neither Rich or Mike can come down from raised Genie Scissor Lifts until 250 pledges have been made from their city to keep WaYfm commercial free and music-intensive.

Each lift, provided by Titan Equipment, will be raised to maximum height, showcasing the small dwellings that will become each DJ’s temporary home to all who drive along US-131, I-94, and M-6.

The hostage situation begins tomorrow morning (9/13) at 6 a.m. with live coverage on 88.3 & 89.9 WaYfm, and regular updates at www.WaY.fm. Aside from pledges, only inclement weather and brief personal needs breaks can get the WaYfm DJs down.

88.3 & 89.9 WaYfm are commercial free non-profit radio stations with studios in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. WaYfm plays Top 40 music with a Christian world-view aimed at teens, young adults, and young families. WaYfm is part of Cornerstone University’s group of radio stations.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 13, 2007



Cumulus announces format changes in Battle Creek

Radio listeners in Calhoun County will notice some big changes on both the FM and AM dials starting today when classic rock WRCC-FM 104.9 is replaced with a simulcast of soft rock WBXX-FM 95.3. The two frequencies will simulcast for about one week in advance of the news-talk format of WBCK AM 930 moving to FM 95.3 where it will simulcast for a period of time.

When the changes are complete, WBXX will be located on FM 104.9 and WBCK will be heard on FM 95.3. A yet-to-be announced format will be launched on AM 930 by a still to be identified new owner.

The changes come about as part of a sale agreement between Clear Channel and Cumulus Media. Four Battle Creek stations, AM930 WBCK, FM95.3 WBXX, AM1400 WBFN, and FM104.9 WRCC are part of a 9-station deal made last year between the two companies.

Current Cumulus stations WKFR and WRKR have a strong presence in the Calhoun County area and because of FCC ownership caps, Cumulus will need to ‘spin off’ two of the four Battle Creek stations, namely WBCK and sports WBFN AM 1400.

Cumulus Media has hired a Battle Creek native to manage the operation. A 1976 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School, “Bearcat” Steve Stoimenoff is a veteran area radio broadcaster. His first Radio job, starting in 1979, was at Battle Creek’s “Keener 14.” He later worked at for Cumulus at the Kalamazoo operation, and from there gained major-market experience in Detroit. “I’ve got Corn Flakes running in my veins… it’s GRRRREAT! to be coming home! I’ve still got family here, and I’m thrilled to be working with Cumulus again.” Stoimenoff says that Cumulus is committed to keeping the Battle Creek operation local, and a powerful tool for local businesses that want to grow.

Tim Collins, operations manager for Clear Channel's Battle Creek stations commented on today's move of WBXX, “This more than doubles the wattage, (which) should help more people outside of town hear the station, and it should also improve reception in many workplaces.”

Collins says the station has no plans to change the lineup, which includes the popular “Cassidy & Kelley” morning show and Delilah in the evening.

“We’ll be simulcasting WBCK on both AM930 and 95.3FM for a while, and telling WBCK fans to tune their radios to 95.3FM, “said Collins. “Eventually, AM930 will be turned off and sold.” Collins says the line-up on the News-Talk station will stay the same. “The only differences you’ll notice will be a clearer sound on FM, no static during thunderstorms, and much better coverage of Calhoun County. Because AM930 is a ‘directional’ AM station, the signal does not go to the southeast. Now, on FM 95.3, WBCK will be heard clearly in Marshall, and even Dave Eddy’s home town of Albion.”

Another change on the radio will effect AM 1400. The station is being donated by Cumulus to Family Life Radio, which operates WUFN in Albion.

“It’s really unfortunate that FCC rules which, are designed to serve the public interest could end up doing the opposite,” said Collins. “I’m sure Cumulus would like to continue to operate all four of these Battle Creek stations, as Clear Channel has done so well. But the FCC limits won’t allow that. Hopefully someone will be able to afford to buy and operate AM930 as a stand-alone station, but it will certainly be a costly proposition. Neighborhood developments, outside signal interference, and aging infrastructures are literally choking the life out of AM signals everywhere, and they are more costly to operate and maintain.”

“We’re committed to making sure that WBCK and WBXX continue to super-serve the local community, and with these changes both stations will be able to do that even more effectively than they have in the past.”, said Stoimenoff. “That’s good news for listeners, advertisers, and civic organizations.”


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 16, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Brad Edwards' career started with the morning-announcement gig at Forest Hills Northern High School. Staffers never knew what to expect from this funny and fiercely talented teen. He's come a long way. After four years as an Emmy-award-winning reporter/anchor for WOOD-TV (Channel 8), Edwards is heading for Detroit. He will become the lead news correspondent and back-up anchor for WJBK-TV's new 11 p.m. newscast. "It's a rare opportunity," Edwards said. "Newscasts just aren't launched every day." Edwards, 28, said his move to WBJK (Fox News 2) "will allow me to do something new. We can recreate the wheel, do it different and big, on a newscast that has not been definitively defined"... Broadcast: WOOD-TV's Edwards heads for Detroit (Sun, 9/16)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 18, 2007



Battle Creek Enquirer:

Local radio listeners might need to reset their dials. New ownership at Battle Creek Radio has caused the group's stations to do some frequency hopping. The changes, already in effect, came after Battle Creek Radio's corporate owner, Clear Channel Communications, finalized its sale of its four Battle Creek radio stations to Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Inc. The four Battle Creek stations — WBCK 930 AM, WBXX 95.3 FM, WBFN 1400 AM and WRCC 104.9 FM — are part of a nine-station deal made last year between the two companies, said Tim Collins, WBCK's program director and Battle Creek Radio interim operations manager... B.C. radio stations change frequencies (Tue, 9/18)


Brian Sims Rolls With Thunder 94.5
CITADEL Country WTNR (THUNDER 94.5)/GRAND RAPIDS welcomes BRIAN SIMS to the station as APD/MD/middayer. He replaces DAWN MICHAELS who left the station in AUGUST to move to CINCINNATI. SIMS most recently worked for LINCOLN FINANCIAL Country KYGO/DENVER and has also spent time in NASHVILLE, LEXINGTON and MOBILE. (Tue, 9/18)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 19, 2007



WLKM becomes K-Wings exclusive home

The Kalamazoo Wings, proud member of the International Hockey League, have announced WLKM (95.9 FM) will be the exclusive radio home for K-Wings hockey. Since the Kalamazoo Wings re-established their radio network back in 2002, fans have enjoyed listening to K-Wings’ games on WLKM. With their new agreement, the K-Wings and their exclusive radio home, based in Three Rivers, Michigan, can continue to have games reach a coverage area that spans over 11 Southwest Michigan counties. Also with the new agreement, WLKM gains the rights to be the on-air home for the Kalamazoo Wings Weekly Coaches Show, “K-Wings Live”. This season the show will originate Monday’s 7-8 p.m. from the newly renovated Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill, located inside the Holiday Inn West off of South 11th Street. The season debut of “K-Wings Live” will be Monday, October 8th... Read entire press release (wingsstadium.com)

Kalamazoo Gazette:

For more than nine years, an unmistakable voice -- gravelly, unstable and labored, yet warm and comforting -- has greeted thousands of National Public Radio listeners in Michigan for two hours each weekday morning. That voice belongs to award-winning radio personality Diane Rehm, host of the syndicated talk show bearing her name, which attracts a national audience of about 1.65 million and can be heard via satellite in Europe, in Japan and at U.S. military bases worldwide. Her show's guest list during its 27-year history reads like a Who's Who of the political, arts and literary scenes -- Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Julie Andrews, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Deepak Chopra and Toni Morrison. On Tuesday, Rehm will give a free public lecture at Western Michigan University, organized by the WMU Graduate Student Advisory Committee. The talk was originally set for March 13, then April 2, but was rescheduled again because Rehm had pneumonia... Diane Rehm overcomes doubts, health struggles to stay behind the mic (Wed, 9/19)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 24, 2007




John Tesh Spotted In Kalamazoo:
JOHN TESH RADIO SHOW adds MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS AC WVFM/KALAMAZOO, MI for nights, replacing BRIAN HAYES who had been voicetracking the show. HAYES also does middays at sister Classic Hits WFAT, and in his spare time handles Director of Programming duties for the cluster. (Mon, 9/24)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 25, 2007



Broadcasting Notes

By: Colleen Pierson

Neither rain, nor wind, nor dark of night could stop WBCT-FM (B’93’s) morning man Neal Dionne from sitting on top of a roof to raise more than $250,000 to end the cycle of child abuse in West Michigan. Over the course of 15 years doing Roofsit, B-93 has raised in excess of $6 million for organizations that help prevent child abuse and neglect.

“The event went off without a hitch,” said Kristen Everhart, director of promotions for Clear Channel Radio. “Except we could have done without the rain and wind during Neal's first night and second day on the roof. The wind was gusting so fast that we had to reinforce the wood house that Neal's broadcast equipment is set up in! It worked though, and Neal was a trooper and stayed up in the house the entire time like he normally does.”

 • • • • • • • • 

Brian Sims is the new midday hire (10a.m.-3p.m.) and assistant program manager at WTNR-FM (Thunder 94.5).

“I will be here until the end of time,” he said jokingly. I love helping people get through the work day stress-free and have a lot of fun.”

Sims left KYGO-FM, a country radio station in Denver, Colorado, to pursue his new job at Thunder.

“I’ve never been to Michigan before. The people are great here—very friendly.”

Sims has been in the radio broadcast industry for over 16 years and graduated from Washington State University with a degree in broadcast management. He replaces Dawn Michaels who left the area to be with her family.

 • • • • • • • • 

Ken Burns is a well-known, gifted, documentary producer and director. His work is a must-see. I recommend you won’t want to miss his newest project. It is a World War II film series that explores the history and horror of the war from an American perspective.

Beginning on Sunday, September 23 at 8 p.m., WGVU-TV (Channel 35) presents The War, the new seven-part epic miniseries. Parts 1 – 4 of the film will air Sunday, September 23 – Wednesday, September 26 and parts 5 – 7 will air Sunday, September 30 – Tuesday, October 2, all at 8 p.m. Each night’s episode will encore immediately following the initial airing. For more info, visit wgvu.org.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 30, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

What does last week's announcement of a $19.5 billion buyout by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners mean to programmers for local Clear Channel stations? The radio giant owns WBCT-FM, WMAX-FM, WOOD-AM, WTKG-AM, WSNX-FM, WBFX-FM and WOOD-FM in West Michigan. Bart Brandmiller, Clear Channel acting general manager and sales manager for Grand Rapids, responded to the news: "The sale ... is nothing more than a financial strategy to take the company private"... Buyout a 'financial strategy' (Sun, 9/30)

Local radio, TV and print journalists take students on job shadowing experiences all the time. Some are more accommodating than others. And news anchor Suzanne Geha of WOOD-TV (Channel 8) just might take the cake. Students consistently job-shadow her, and she takes a great deal of time explaining the broadcasting industry to them. Geha takes a personal interest in college interns and helps them with their careers... Geha goes extra mile (Sun, 9/30)







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the West Michigan category from September 2007.

West Michigan: August 2007 is the previous archive.

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