West Michigan: October 2007 Archives

West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 2, 2007



The Van takes an alternate route

WYVN-FM 92.7 Holland has adjusted its format from classic hits to oldies, repositioning from "Holland's Classic Hits" to "Holland's Greatest Hits". The station is owned by Midwest Communications.

Grand Rapids Press:

Mario Impemba and Rod Allen bristle at the notion that the Detroit Tigers' season was a disappointment. The FSN Detroit broadcast partners say the Tigers might have been victims of high expectations established after their memorable run to the World Series in 2006. While the Tigers may have finished eight games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central Division this season, there is no reason to deem Detroit a failure... Tigers broadcast tandem call it a season (Mon, 10/1)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 3, 2007



Muskegon Fury and Synergy Broadcast Group complete three-year radio deal

Set to embark on a new frontier with the second coming of the International Hockey League for the rapidly-approaching 2007-08 season, the Muskegon Fury will set sail on their IHL maiden voyage with a new partner alongside them with the forging of a brand new, all-new radio agreement. Through this new arrangement, the Fury will have a new radio place to call home for all of their game broadcasts as well as a daily update report. The Muskegon Fury and Synergy Broadcast Group have announced the completion of a three-year contract deal that will make West Michigan’s WWKR-FM 94.1 the new radio flagship home for all of the Fury’s live play-by-play broadcasts. Moreover, also included in the new contractual agreement, the daily “Fury Daily Update” will be heard on WWKR-FM 94.1 Monday through Friday at 5:20 pm while the “Fury Hotline Radio Show” will remain on 94 K-Rock as that program commences for an unprecedented 13th consecutive year and second straight year on WWKR-FM 94.1... Furyhockey.com Press Release


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 7, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

What are local television stations doing to take advantage of high-definition TV? It depends who you ask. Janet Mason, president and general manager of WZZM-TV (Channel 13), said the station bought eight HD cameras this year, and eight more will arrive in early 2008. "We are letting viewers vote for the 13th game we shoot for '13 On Your Sidelines,' our Friday night high school football show," she said. "This game is shot in high definition. To vote, viewers need to go to wzzm13.com. We had about 12,000 votes for last Friday's game." TV-13 also will use HD for a couple of news stories in the November ratings period, and is planning a second HD prime-time special in 2008... How goes move to HDTV? (Sun, 10/7)

On Monday, listeners in St. Cloud, Minn., were treated to their first serving of "Free Beer and Hot Wings." The popular morning show was added when KKSR- FM flipped the station to Active Rock. The show is based in Grand Rapids at WGRD-FM (97.9)... Show spreads its 'Wings' (Sun, 10/7)

Bill Press, nationally syndicated talk radio and television personality, visits Grand Rapids on Thursday and Friday as a guest of Grand Rapids station WTKG-AM (1230.) Many may recognize Press from his work as co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" and MSNBC's "Buchanan and Press." Press will visit West Michigan as part of a national radio tour. He will broadcast his show in front of an audience. On Thursday, there will be a VIP meet-and-greet at McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon, 58 Ionia Ave. SW, in downtown Grand Rapids... Bill Press to visit Grand Rapids (Sun, 10/7)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 9, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

WXSP likes to bill itself as, "The TV station with game." Thanks to the Detroit Pistons, the sister station of local NBC affiliate WOOD-TV still has a little game left. WXSP will broadcast two preseason and 38 regular-season games this season, the eighth consecutive year the Pistons will appear on "The X." Its first telecast is Thursday night, when the Pistons face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pistons also will have three preseason and 37 regular-season games broadcast on FSN Detroit, three on ABC and four on TNT. In the past, WXSP was the home to a bevy of other sports, including the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings and Big Ten Conference football and men's basketball. But as professional sports continue to air exclusively on cable, and the Big Ten Network snatches up any leftover college games, local outlets are increasingly left out in the cold. This past season, for example, WWMT-TV outbid WXSP for the right to air 17 Tigers games. WXSP had served as the secondary source for Tigers broadcasts the previous three seasons... WXSP to remain in Pistons' plans (Mon, 10/8)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 12, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Bob Kaser claims he's still nothing more than a fan with a microphone in front of his mouth. The handful of broadcasting awards he's received over the years suggest otherwise. Kaser, 47, is beginning his eighth year as the play-by-play radio voice for the Grand Rapids Griffins on WOOD-AM (1300). While Kaser calls road games alone, during most home games this season he again will be joined by color commentator Larry Figurski. Kaser has come a long way from his days sneaking a tape recorder into Flint Generals games in the old International Hockey League. Growing up in Flint, Kaser loved hockey but knew he was going nowhere as a player. So he and a friend would record their own commentary in the stands for the Generals. One of those rough tapes eventually found its way into the hands of the team's public relations department. Kaser said he isn't sure what the team heard in that early tape that qualified him for a job, but it led to a play-by-play position with the Generals... Call of the Griffins still a thrill (Fri, 10/12)


WJQK Holds Marriage Commitment Rally
LANSER Christian AC WJQK/GRAND RAPIDS held a one-time “MARRIED FOR LIFE COMMITMENT RALLY” during the “JQ MORNING BLAST” yesterday morning (10/11). Hundreds of couples called in or logged in to the website to pledge or re-commit to stay married for life. The rally was the idea of nationally syndicated “FAMILY MOMENTS” host DAN SEABORN. SEABORN was in the studio and on air with special guests DOUG SWINK, MARK HARRIS, GEOFF MOORE, Congressman PETE HOEKSTRA and other local celebrities. (Fri, 10/12)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 14, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

As many of you already know, I co-host a Saturday morning radio show every week with former TV personality Gerry Barnaby on WLHT-FM (95.7). Every week, we let West Michigan know about area happenings. Basically, it's an extension of what we do in The Grand Rapids Press in print and online. If you know Barnaby, then you know he's a bit of a nut. I always say, "You never know what he's going to say or do." And sometimes he forgets that we're on the radio, and not on television or in print. This weekend was a perfect example... Duct tape at WLHT (Sat, 10/13)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 15, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Tim Feagan, who helped launch the powerful country station B-93 in the early 1990s, will return to head Clear Channel's local operation after being out of the business for 12 years. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I couldn't pass up," said Feagan, 49, whose new role as general manager was announced to employees Monday. He replaces Skip Essick, who left the market in late July for another radio job in California. Feagan was last in the business as general manager at the country music station WBCT-FM (93.7), known as B-93. He will oversee seven Grand Rapids stations, WBCT, WOOD-AM (1300), WSNX-FM (104.5), WOOD-FM (105.7), WMAX-FM (96.1), WTKG-AM (1230) and WBFX-FM (101.3). Together, they are the largest player in the local radio market. Feagan said he is not planning changes for the stations. "We have a great franchise, great properties and a base of employees with a wealth of experience," he said... Clear Channel selects Tim Feagan as manager (Tue, 10/16)

It won't be long before West Michigan radio stations will switch to holiday programming. The all-Christmas-music-all-the-time theme has been a ratings booster. Already, the push is on. WOOD-FM (Star 105.7) is offering a contest for listeners to win a $10,000 Christmas bonus. And last week, programmers at WLHT-FM (95.7) announced it was taking the all-Christmas format from sister station WTRV-FM (100.5, The River) and putting it on their frequency. WLHT's move is driven by good ratings for the programming over the past five years... Radio stations ready Christmas formats (Mon, 10/15)

Longtime radio co-hosts Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis left their WHTS-FM (105.3) gig earlier this summer. "A lot of you are asking if we will be on the air again here in West Michigan. We'd love nothing more. We just don't know if an opportunity will present itself," Dave writes on daveandgeri.com... Dave and Geri are at home (Mon, 10/15)

Former TV personality Gerry Barnaby has moved to radio. He recently filled in for vacationing Bill Bailey on the afternoon shift on WLHT-FM (95.7), and during my insomniac state, I also heard him on the late night shift... Barnaby getting more air time (Mon, 10/15)

How did B-93 get tickets for the Dec. 6 Hannah Montana concert in Van Andel Arena? The show sold out in eight minutes, but last week, WBCT-FM (93.7) was giving away family four-packs hourly from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Station officials declined to comment for competitive reasons... Hot tickets to Hannah (Mon, 10/15)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 19, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Rick Berkey concedes that he's a little bit of a control freak. But he's also a control freak who loves the radio and high school sports. Those two passions initially made it difficult for Berkey to partner his local broadcast company, Sportsplay Inc. with Michigansportsradio.com, an Internet high school broadcast company. Despite a 25-year career in radio, Berkey said the difficult decision to switch came down to three factors... Familiar radio voice calls prep games on Web (Fri, 10/19)

This week, we talked about pop culture with Kevin Murphy, station manager for WYCE-FM (88.1). The community-owned radio station's fall fund drive runs through 6 p.m. today. Donations are accepted at 616-742-9923... Your take: Kevin Murphy (Fri, 10/19)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 21, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Local viewers will have another option for television news starting tonight, as a WOOD-TV sister station unveils "24 Hour News 8 at 10 on WXSP." Station management hopes to compete directly with WXMI, a Fox affiliate that has run a 10 p.m. news broadcast since 1999. "We're coming out of the box as a surprise," said Diane Kniowski, president and general manager for WOOD-TV (Channel 8), WOTV (Channel 41) and WXSP (Channel 15 in most areas). "We've been thinking about a 10 o'clock news for a long time. Ten is the only unchallenged time period when it comes to news." The wide availability of news on TV and elsewhere is leading to many network affiliates exploring options for newscasts, said Kurt Bartolich, a marketing and brand consultant for Iowa-based Frank N. Magid Associates Inc., a firm that has helped stations around the nation launch 10 p.m. broadcasts... WOOD sister station adds 10 p.m. newscast (Sun, 10/21)

It was a busy week for broadcast radio promotions. Jeff Morton, director of sales for Grand Rapids Citadel Broadcasting for five years and general manager of its Muskegon stations since 2004, was named general manager of Citadel Broadcasting Company in West Michigan. That means he will be in charge of Grand Rapids stations WLAV-FM (96.9), WKLQ-FM (107.3), WTNR-FM (94.5 Thunder), WHTS-FM (105.3), WBBL-AM (1340) and five Muskegon stations. Morton is new boss at Citadel Broadcasting (Sun, 10/21)

Tim Feagan, newly announced head of Clear Channel's local radio operations, says he feels "like a kid in the candy store," getting back into radio again after being out of the business for 12 years. "Years ago, when I was in L.A., I always thought of what a dream job it would be to run WOOD-AM and FM. I have wanted this job for 17 to 20 years," he said. Now, he gets a chance to head seven Clear Channel Grand Rapids stations, WOOD-AM (1300), WOOD-FM (105.7), WTKG.AM (1230), WBCT-FM (B-93), WMAX-FM (96.1), WBFX-FM (101.3), and WSNX-FM (104.5). Feagan, who was general manager and helped launch B-93 in the early 1990s, has worked in Los Angeles and Chicago radio markets. He also was responsible for hiring Doug Montgomery, a B-93 institution... New Clear Channel boss glad to return to radio (Sun, 10/21)

Got game or news? Can viewers have access to World Series coverage and still view Fox 17's News at 10? Mark Krause, director of programming for WXMI-TV (Fox 17) explains: "On game nights, we schedule the game to run three-and-a-half hours. News is then scheduled for 30 minutes -- 11:30 p.m. to midnight. If the game ends prior to 11:30 -- news will expand as necessary... Fox works news around World Series (Sun, 10/21)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 22, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Top secret! That's the best way to describe the launch of Grand Rapids' newest 10 p.m. newscast, which aired Sunday night on WOOD-TV's sister station, WXSP. "24 Hour News 8 at 10 on WXSP," was a well-kept secret in the television broadcasting community. "Most of the station employees did not know. Terri DeBoer doesn't know. Anyone that worked on the new newscast had to sign a confidentiality agreement," said Diane Kniowski, president and general manager for WOOD (Channel 8), WOTV (Channel 41), and WXSP - (Channel 15 locally). Why the big secret? One reason: "In one of our sister markets in Buffalo, they started promoting that they would start a 10 o'clock news cast 10 days before it started on the air. Another station took advantage and beat them on the air by three days. They took advantage and scooped them on their scoop," Kniowski said Sunday... 10 p.m. news makes debut on WOOD sister station (Mon, 10/22)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 28, 2007



Grand Rapids Press:

Brian James, a new meteorologist at WWMT-TV (Channel 3), is no stranger to West Michigan. He is a graduate of Forest Hills Central High School and has always been interested in the weather. He attended University of Oklahoma, where he obtained a degree in meteorology. His career has taken him across the country at KPCP-TV in Oklahoma City, WGKI-TV in Cadillac, WEYI in Flint and, most recently, at KVII in Texas... 3 hires meteorologist (Sun, 10/28)

WGRD-FM (97.9) is releasing its seventh "Bootleg" CD for charity. The CD features unreleased tracks for local and national artists, as well as live studio performances recorded at WGRD. The 50-minute CD will be available at all West Michigan Meijer stores beginning Nov. 20. Cost is $9.79... Bash benefits nonprofit (Sun, 10/28)

Even though Jeff Morton replaced Matt Hanlon as the new general manager for Citadel Broadcasting Co.'s local properties -- WLAV-FM (96.7), WKLQ-FM (107.3), WHTS-FM (105.3), WTNR-FM (Thunder 94.5) and WBBL-AM (1340) in Grand Rapids -- Hanlon continues with his role as regional president of Citadel Broadcasting. Hanlon will oversee multiple markets in Michigan... Regional VP stays on at Citadel (Sun, 10/28)

Instant flash of stardom

by: Colleen Pierson

It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Emily Pearce is a 23-year-old Grand Rapids resident who worked as waitress/bartender at the Amway Grand Plaza , Not any more. She decides on a whim, to try out for a talent-search for the new morning personality at WHTS-FM. Now, her dream of being an on-air broadcast personality and co-host on 105.3 Hot FM Today’s Hottest Hits has been realized.

“I am so excited, Pearce said during a recent phone interview with the Press. I tried out on a whim, made it to the final 8 and this all came out of nowhere—it is awesome.”

She’s a graduate of Rockford High School and is no stranger to the study of Communications, graduating from Central Michigan University with a degree in the field.

“I have always been drawn to the entertainment field,” she said.

She started on the air-waves this week and joins morning men Todd Chance and Carter from 5:30-10:00a.m.

My role is still being defined, but it is a full-time position and I am so excited about it. Many of her responsibilities will be tied to providing entertainment reports for the station.

On-air personalities Todd Chance, Emily Pearce and Carter replace Dave and Geri who left the Citadel Broadcasting Company in the summer.







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

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