Mid-Michigan: March 2008 Archives

Saginaw News:

Look for the "real thing" -- Joe Nichols -- when the KCQ Country Music Fest returns Saturday, June 21, to Saginaw's Ojibway Island. Familiar face Tracy Lawrence shares the bill. He performed at the free music fest in 1998 and 2000. As many as 100,000 music fans have converged on the island park each year since 1992. WKCQ tried to bring Nichols to Saginaw in 2006, but "we missed out," said Barbara Sheltraw, who hosts a morning show with Jim Kramer at radio station WKCQ-FM, 98.1. This year, he's touring in support of his "Real Things" album, and he worked the festival into the mix. Nichols' hits include "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" and the No. 1 single "Brokenheartsville." "He has a really strong base, especially from his last two albums," Sheltraw said. "We're ecstatic to get Joe Nichols"... Tracy Lawrence, Joe Nichols to headline free WKCQ concert in Saginaw (Thu, 3/6)


Flint Journal:

For Bill Harris, the diagnosis came like a thunderbolt: Prostate cancer. "It's like wearing a scarlet letter," said the longtime anchorman at WJRT (Channel 12). "I felt like as soon as the doctor said I had it, bang. A big 'C' emblazoned on my forehead. It takes awhile to digest and comprehend. Almost as soon as I hung up the phone, I went on the Internet and became an immediate expert in prostate cancer in about 15 minutes." Harris, 58, made the on-air announcement last week, explaining to viewers that he would be gone for "an extended period of time" to be with his family and undergo treatment. He is scheduled for prostate removal surgery Wednesday at McLaren Regional Medical Center. He hopes to use his experience to help educate the public, with cameras and news crews tracking his treatment and recovery... Anchorman uses his cancer to educate others (Fri, 3/7)


MSU's WDBM gets nod as College Station of the Year

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Broadcast Music Inc. have named Michigan State University’s WDBM – or IMPACT 89FM as it is commonly known – the college radio station of the year.

The Gold Record Award was presented at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference in Grand Rapids on March 11, marking the eighth time in the past nine years that WDBM-FM has won the award.

“This competition is so important because of everything going on in the broadcast industry,” said Gary Reid, professional general manager of the station. “Being judged by commercial broadcasters as the state’s best for eight of the past nine years is a true honor from a profession that many of our students hope to get jobs in.”

Ed Glazer, the station’s Web director, won three individual awards and Jeremy Whiting, the station manager, received two. Impact staffers took first place in four categories: Wes Holing for the daily newscast/news feature category; Noah Ullmann for talk show; Kevin Dye for the promotional announcement; and Jeremy Whiting for the station activities report. Brock Elsesser and Doug Neal also scored wins. The competition consists of seven different categories.

All entries were judged by professional radio and television broadcasters in Michigan.

“With this win, the legacy of an excellent program is firmly established,” Reid said. “We are seeing high school students choosing Michigan State due in part to the quality and success of the station.”

Approximately 120 students, ranging from freshmen to doctoral candidates, are working at the station. WDBM-FM may be found at 88.9 on the FM dial and may be heard via streaming media on the Web at www.impact89fm.org. The Gold Record Award, along with the previous seven, may be seen at the station located in G-4 Holden Hall on MSU’s campus.

“The thing that’s important about an awards program like this is the rallying cry that happens within our staff,” said Reid. “We’ve created such a winning heritage over the past seven years that it gives our students something to aspire to. It helps motivate our staff as they would never dream of letting their predecessors down.”

Out of more than 13,000 radio stations in the country, WDBM was the 132nd overall and the first college station to begin broadcasting the new HD digital signal in October of 2004. WDBM also produces Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm’s weekly radio address and podcast, which is distributed to stations throughout Michigan via a partnership with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. For a podcast on Impact Radio, visit spartanpodcast.com/?p=405.


Lansing State Journal:

Brant Johnson - a key part of local WQHH (96.5-FM) for most of its existence - is off the station and out of work. "I don't have any ill feelings. ... It was more of a personality thing," said Johnson, who was dropped earlier this month. He started as a WQHH intern in November of 1991, during the station's first year. He soon became a disc jockey and - for the past 13 years - program director. "I've given my blood, sweat and tears for that station," Johnson said. A station officials didn't return a call to say why Johnson was dropped or who will eventually take his spots as DJ (2-6 p.m. weekdays) and as program director. The arrival of WQHH, Lansing's first black-owned local FM station, was a key step... Brant Johnson is off the air at WQHH


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Mar 21, 2008




WIOG Welcomes Morning Co-host: CITADEL Top 40 WIOG/SAGINAW welcomes MANDI MARTIN from the REGENT/FLINT cluster for wake-up duties along side morning host DEMAS, on the "102.5 WIOG Early Shift," effective this week. (Fri, 3/21)


Great Lakes Loons Purchase WYLZ and will change format to All-Sports

ESPN 100.9The Great Lakes Loons have announced the purchase of WYLZ FM 100.9 from the Last Bastion Trust, with financial assistance from the Michigan Baseball Foundation, for $325,000. Effective Tuesday, March 25th, the station's country format will be dropped and be replaced with sports as ESPN 100.9-FM. The station has applied to change its call sign to WLUN.

The station was previously owned by Citadel Broadcasting and was put into trust to be sold last year as part of a deal that added a number of stations formerly owned by ABC/Disney into the Citadel portfolio.

ESPN 100.9-FM will carry ESPN Radio’s flagship weekday programs Mike and Mike in the Morning (6am-10am), featuring former NFL lineman Mike Golic and Sportscenter anchor Mike Greenberg; The Herd (10am-1pm), with Colin Cowherd; and the Mike Tirico Show (1pm-3pm), featuring versatile play-by-play broadcaster and Michigan native Mike Tirico, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt, ESPN reporter Michelle Tafoya, and College Gameday co-host Kirk Herbstreit.

In addition, Bill Simonson's "The HUGE Show" will be heard weekdays from 3pm-6pm on ESPN 100.9-FM. The station will also carry various other ESPN Radio programs during night and weekend hours.

The station will continue to be the flagship radio home for Great Lakes Loons baseball, carrying all regular season and post-season games, plus the 2008 Midwest League All-Star Game and Homerun Derby, powered by Dow Corning.

Loons President and General Manager Paul Barbeau noted that the opportunity to purchase the station was “too good to pass up” for several reasons. By owning a radio station, the Loons are able to secure a flagship station for the team’s radio broadcasts for as long as the team owns the station. The radio station also provides an opportunity to further promote the team, upcoming games and the charitable initiatives of the Michigan Baseball Foundation.

Like the Loons, the new ESPN 100.9-FM will operate as a non-profit organization. The radio station will provide an additional revenue stream for the Michigan Baseball Foundation, which along with the Loons has helped generate over $350,000 in charitable donations during the Loons’ first season. The station’s purchase also corresponds with the Foundation’s mission of promoting local economic development.

ESPN 100.9-FM will operate from the Citadel Broadcasting studios in Saginaw. After the conclusion of the baseball season, construction will begin on a state-of-the-art broadcast studio in the Dow Diamond press box, overlooking the baseball field.

Brad Golder, currently the Loons’ director of broadcasting and media relations and the team’s play-by-play broadcaster, will serve as the program director of ESPN 100.9-FM. Golder previously served as the operations manager and executive producer for the Atlanta Braves Radio Network (Clear Channel, Atlanta) and as a producer for WWTN and WNFN (Cumulus, Nashville).

ESPN 100.9-FM has an immediate opening for a sales manager. Interested applicants can send their resumes to ESPN 100.9-FM, c/o Job Opportunities; PO Box 365; Midland, MI 48640. The station will also be hiring a production manager, a traffic manager and several other positions soon.

ESPN 100.9-FM provides terrific marketing opportunities for businesses looking to reach the station’s growing sports talk audience. Companies interested in marketing and sponsorship opportunities with the Tri Cities’ new ESPN 100.9-FM should contact Karrie Sells at 989-837-6137 or ksells@loons.com.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Mar 25, 2008



Saginaw News:

As the sports market continues to grow, so too do sports radio formats in mid-Michigan. The Midland-based Great Lakes Loons Class A minor league baseball team announced this morning their purchase of radio station WYLZ, 100.9-FM. Starting at midnight today, the Loons changed the brand name to ESPN 100.9-FM, and changed the station format from country music to a 24-hour sports format carrying ESPN's national syndicated shows. At about the same time NextMedia, owners of WTKQ, 100.5-FM, was converting its format from all talk radio to include an overnight sports radio format from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., and a 24-hour sports radio format on weekends through the Fox Sports syndication. WTKQ will continue to air several of its current weekday talk shows... Sports talk radio returns to area (Tue, 3/25)

Flint Journal:

Pat Clawson of Swartz Creek watched the televised press conference of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Monday, during which she announced her decision to charge Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick with perjury and other felonies. Clawson waited to watch Kilpatrick's response. Instead, she got only a blue screen. "Just as Kwame was taking the microphone, the TV blacked out!" said Clawson. "I had to listen to it on the radio." Other Genesee County Comcast customers had the same experience. Comcast went to the blue screen on the Detroit channels under an agreement designed to reduce competition for local stations from those outside the immediate area, said Olivia Visperas, the cable company's regional public affairs manager. The agreement calls for the out-of-area station to be blocked when it is airing the same program as the local channel. Since the blackouts are automatically scheduled, the Detroit stations went dark even though they pre-empted regular programming to air special coverage of the Detroit mayoral charges... Screens go blue, viewers see red (Tue, 3/25)


Lansing State Journal:

Tim Barron, one of the best-known people in local radio, has left WHZZ (101.7-FM). "They wanted to micro-manage me," Barron said today. "They wouldn't let me be me." The station - known as "MIKE-FM" - did confirm that Barron had resigned over the weekend. Cindy Tuck of MacDonald Broadcasting wasn't available for comment. From the beginning, two years ago, Barron and WHZZ had an uneasy compromise. The station's format has lots of music - with a huge playlist from the 1980s to the present - and little talk. Barron, by comparison, is talk-oriented. "I'm a local guy," he said. "I do a lot of interviews." There were times at WJXQ (106.1-FM) and WMMQ (94.9-FM) when he played only one song an hour... Tim Barron is off the air at WHZZ (Mon, 3/31)

Flint Journal:

Dan Richards is a little lost these days. The well-known local country disc jockey lost his job at WFBE (95.1 FM) when the station did not renew his contract, which ends in March. Dan Richards, his off-air name is Dan Ricketts, started at WFBE in 1998 when the station, a public radio station formerly owned by the Flint School District, became "Flint's Continuous Country." A Flint native who now lives in Flushing, j Richards graduated from Northwestern High School in 1971 and attended the Columbia School of Broadcasting in Flint... WFBE jockey Dan Richards yanked from the Flint country radio airwaves, ready for a new gig serving music (Mon, 3/31)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Mid-Michigan category from March 2008.

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