Northern Michigan / UP: April 2008 Archives

FM 94.5 Mackinaw City flips format

Earlier this week, WLJZ FM 94.5 changed its format from Hot Adult Contemporary "Star 94.5" to Classic Country as "Big Country Gold". The station, owned by Northern Star Broadcasting, had been Hot AC since June 2006 when it dropped what had been a simulcast of Modern Rock WJZJ FM 95.5 Glen Arbor/Traverse City.


Tucker Broadcasting of Traverse City, Inc. in Michigan announced Tuesday that it has completed a transaction to acquire WGTU/WGTQ TV 29&8, the ABC and CW affiliates serving the Traverse City-Cadillac, Michigan market. Tucker Broadcasting has entered into a series of agreements with Barrington Broadcasting Group LLC, based out of Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Barrington’s subsidiary, which owns the TV 7&4, will provide support services to the operations of WGTU/WGTQ. K. James Yager, Chief Executive Officer of Barrington, stated, “Our management team, under the guidance of Chris Cornelius, Chief Operating Officer, and Jill Saarela, Vice President and General Manager of WPBN/WTOM, will provide new opportunities for local news, local partnerships and growth at WGTU/WGTQ. We look forward to working with the WGTU/WGTQ team in the Traverse City-Cadillac market”... TV 7&4 to take over operation of TV 29&8, WGTU/WGTQ (Tue, 4/2)

Michigan Simulcast Adds Fox Sports Radio:
NORTHERN STAR BROADCASTING Talk simulcast WDMJ-A/MARQUETTE, MI and WIAN-A/ISHPEMING, MI add FOX SPORTS RADIO for weekends beginning MAY 3rd. The stations will air FSR SATURDAYS 5-6a, noon-7p, and 9p-midnight ET, and SUNDAYS 5-8a and 11a-midnight ET. (Tue, 4/8)


WNBY broadcast to benefit Youth Center

WNBY Radio of Newberry will hold a fundraiser on Wednesday, April 23 from 10:00 a.m. until noon to benefit the Luce County Community Resource and Recreation Center (LCCR&R).

The funds raised will be used to keep the Youth Center open. Call (906) 293-3221 to make a pledge. LCCR&R also will sponsor a sub/bake sale Saturday, May 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This project also supports the operation of the Youth Center.


Big Country hires a Cook

Glenn 'Casey' Cook, formerly of WNBY and Eagle 96.7 in Newberry, is taking his 'Casey & the Coffee Crew' Morning Show to Big Country WJPD FM 92.3 in Marquette and will also be the new station manager, program director and oversee the creative services department.

Northern Star Broadcasting Marquette General Manager Tammy Johnson expressed, "Casey is going to be a great addition to the Big Country team and will lead them with his experience and attention to detail. We are excited about everything he brings to the table and fits in nicely with the new direction we want to take with the radio station. Big Country just got bigger!"

Cook commented, "The whole staff is young and enthusiastic and are ready for the challenge to reach the next level. Tammy Johnson is a wonderful woman who has a deep passion for radio and wants to take Big Country to new heights, along with the other stations in the cluster. We immediately hit it off and everyone is ready to get to work so that we can attain and surpass the new goals set in place. It will be exciting times for the central and western U.P. and for Big Country!"

'Casey' begins his new role this week and will be broadcasting the new morning show on Big Country in mid-May, while serving Marquette and surrounding communities with live and local content, replacing the syndicated Young & Verna Show. Outgoing as program director was Ariane who left for personal reasons.

Johnson also noted that the station's new midday host is Stephanie Langlois who moves from crosstown soft rock WQKS-FM 101.9 and also becomes WJPD's production director.


CMU, 9&10 News expand partnership

A relationship between Central Michigan University and a local television station has expanded to give CMU's aspiring broadcasters professional positions and valuable experience working on newscasts - all while they are still in school.

CMU's School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts and WWTV/WWUP-TV in Cadillac have broadened a five-year partnership to now train student interns as producers for the station's newscasts, pay them for their work and, potentially, hire them on as employees.

"The idea is that they'll become staff members if they are successful and if positions open," said CMU BCA faculty member Rick Sykes, adviser to the university's "News Central 34" nightly news program. "It's a great opportunity and an enhancement of our existing partnership."

Kevin Dunaway, the station's news director, said CMU's BCA students "always work hard" and "are usually ahead of the game, and those are the types of candidates we are looking for.

"CMU has a great broadcasting program," he said, noting that the station has CMU interns most every semester. "CMU's BCA students typically have a better hands-on experience than most other places we draw our interns from. We have a great amount of respect for how they train their students at CMU."

The original partnership between the university and the station provided production internship opportunities to CMU BCA students who had completed related course work. In 2005, the relationship expanded to include a general-assignment reporting position for an experienced "News Central 34" reporter or anchor who, upon selection by Dunaway, would endure a reporter "boot camp" and eventually become a weekend reporter for the station.

CMU alumnus Ryan Raiche, who completed the boot camp, became a general assignment reporter for the station while still a student and is now a Traverse City Bureau reporter for TV 9&10 and its sister station, WFQX-TV in Cadillac, typically appearing on WFQX's 10 p.m. newscast.

"The partnership between CMU and TV 9&10 got my foot in the door," said Raiche. "It provided me the perfect opportunity to prove myself - not by being the perfect reporter, but by showing potential. Any internship is helpful, but the partnership with TV 9&10 is more than any internship."

To learn more about CMU's School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts - including Moore Hall Television, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters' College Station of the Year for the past seven years, visit

For more information about 9 & 10 News, visit







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Northern Michigan / UP category from April 2008.

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