West Michigan: January 2008 Archives

West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 3, 2008



The sounds of silence on Muskegon's AM 1600

WMHG AM 1600 Muskegon has signed off for good as of January 1. In 1998 the station, then owned by Goodrich Radio, was granted an expanded band AM construction permit for 1680- what is now Radio Disney WDSS. Goodrich sold AM 1600 to Connoisseur Communications in 1999 and when that group was purchased by Cumulus later in 1999, WMHG was part of that deal.

In recent years WMHG had been operated with an Adult Standards format by Clear Channel as part of its Muskegon cluster but had remained under the ownership of Cumulus.

While attempts have been made across the country to maintain the licenses for both the 'new' expanded band and the original stations, the FCC has apparently not allowed this to occur. WKLZ AM 1470, the original station for sports WQLR AM 1660 Kalamazoo, Michigan's other expanded band station, signed off in February 2006.

Grand Rapids Press:

Longtime radio programmer Phil Tower of WOOD-AM (1300) is leaving Grand Rapids for a new job in radio, but outside the market. He is leaving WOOD to program the Allen Hunt Show in Atlanta, said Doug Montgomery of Clear Channel West Michigan. Tower was not available Thursday afternoon for comment. His last day is Jan. 18. Montgomery said he is pulling together a list of potential replacements, and also is accepting internal applications. He does not have a timetable for announcing a new program director... Phil Tower leaving WOOD radio (Thu, 1/3)


WJQK Ups Thompson: LANSER Christian AC WJQK/GRAND RAPIDS announced the promotion of GARY THOMPSON to PD. THOMPSON will continue music duties as well. (Thu, 1/3)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 4, 2008



Grand Haven gets all-sports outlet

WGHN AM 1370 Grand Haven has dropped its longtime simulcast of soft rock sister station WGHN-FM 92.1 and is now all-sports with ESPN Radio programming. The combo was purchased by Will Tieman from William Struyk and Ronald Mass in 2007.

From AllAccess.com:

RYAN TERPSTRA joins from Sports WBBL-A/GRAND RAPIDS to handle afternoons 3-5p, and ESPN RADIO will be used the rest of the day. GM ERIC KAELIN said, "The heart and soul of any station is their local programming. Especially in a town the size of GRAND HAVEN, we have to provide programming geared to what sports fans in the TRI-CITIES area care about in regards to their local high school sports along with the colleges and pro teams. Becoming an affiliate of ESPN was big and having RYAN covering the local end makes it even better."


Cumulus/Kalamazoo Gives Benson More Work
CUMULUS Top 40/Mainstream WKFR/KALAMAZOO, MI afternoon-driver DAVE BENSON is given Program Coordinator stripes for News/Talk sister WKMI-A. He will maintain his long-running #1-rated afternoon gig. (Fri, 1/4)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 6, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

The November 2007 Nielsen ratings rank WOOD-TV (Channel 8) No. 1 for most newscasts -- except in the 10 p.m. slot. That time has been owned by WXMI-TV (Channel 17), which launched this market's first 10 p.m. newcast in January 1999. In the most recent Nielsen ratings, Fox received a 6 rating and 14 share. WOOD-TV's 10 p.m. newcast -- which airs on WXSP (Channel 18) -- registered a 1 rating and 1 share. However, the Neilsens only account for about one week of the ratings period. WOOD-TV launched the early newscast in late October... WOOD-TV tops Nov. news ratings (Sun, 1/6)

Press Entertainment Editor John Gonzalez reported last week in his "Going Gonzo" Web log that longtime radio programmer Phil Tower of WOOD-AM (1300) is leaving Grand Rapids to program "The Allen Hunt Show" on WSB-AM in Atlanta. His last day here will be Jan. 18. "The Allen Hunt Show" is about "faith and life" and airs weekends, according to its Web site. Tower has worked at WOOD since 1999, after serving as station manager at WYCE-FM (88.1) for several years... Phil Tower leaving WOOD radio (Sun, 1/6)

A couple of weeks ago, a Grand Rapids Press reader heard syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh mention WOOD-TV meteorologist Craig James. Limbaugh briefly referred to an article James had written on global warming on his blog. Limbaugh said, "Craig James from WOOD-TV writes ... ," and he went on to make his point... Craig, Rush, global warming (Sun, 1/6)


Southwest Michigan radio dial changes



Mid-West Family Broadcasting is changing the lineup of some of its Southwest Michigan radio stations starting today. The adjustments affect three of the group's FM stations in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area:

The 'Cosy FM' name and WCSY-FM call sign will be moving from 98.3 to FM 103.7 which will retain its current oldies format but drop the WHIT-FM call sign. That station will continue to be simulcast on AM 940 and is now known as 103.7 Cosy-FM, 60's and 70's SuperHits.

Paul Layendecker, who had been program director for both WCSY-FM and sister station country WYTZ-FM 97.5, exits mornings and the PD role for Cosy-FM but will continue to be heard during afternoon drive on WYTZ and remains as that station's programmer. Joe Jason will be the morning host on the relaunched Cosy FM at 103.7.

Back at 98.3, that frequency will become the new home of hot adult contemporary WCNF 'The Coast' which changes frequency from its previous home at 94.9 FM by the end of this week. That station will feature Mark Durocher in the morning, and other familiar names like Robin Van Dyke and Phil McDonald. The smooth jazz programming that has been part of FM 98.3 for years will remain in place on 'The Coast at 98.3'.

Finally, FM 94.9 is set to become WSJM-FM and take on a news-talk format, simulcasting sister station WSJM AM 1400.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 8, 2008



Battle Creek Enquirer:

Longtime WBCK radio host Dave Eddy announced plans Monday to leave his popular daily morning show after 47 years on the air.

Eddy's decision, which he is calling a "semi-retirement," was a long time in the making, WBCK program director Tim Collins said. "It's something that we've known and talked about on and off for a few years," Collins said. "Dave came to us last summer and said he wanted more time to travel and to spend more time at his vacation home in Florida." Eddy, 69, also known as "Battle Creek's Morning Mayor" will continue to voice WBCK's "Be Kind to the Citizen of the Day" each morning from a location away from the radio station. Eddy will also begin hosting the WBCK Saturday Morning Show beginning sometime in May, after he returns from Florida. Eddy, a native of Albion, began his career at WBCK in 1960 and began working the morning show in 1961... Local radio host to sign off after nearly 50 years on air (Tue, 1/8)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 10, 2008



Battle Creek Enquirer:

As hundreds of well-wishers packed Burnham Brook to send off longtime WBCK radio host Dave Eddy, it seemed less like a retirement party and more like a family reunion. Between the hugs, the back slaps and laughter, Eddy, who will retire as daily morning show host Jan. 18, never had a chance to sit down at his send-off, held Wednesday at the Burnham Brook Community Center. After 47 years as the morning host on WBCK, Eddy, 69, also known as "Battle Creek's Morning Mayor", said saying goodbye to his daily listeners was like bidding farewell to a second family... Hundreds bid adieu to Dave Eddy (Thu, 1/10)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 13, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

Phil Tower, longtime radio programming and operations manager for WOOD-AM (1300) and WTKG-AM (1230), has a new job as general manager of The Allen Hunt radio show in Atlanta, but that doesn't mean he will have to leave Grand Rapids. "I will be 100 percent based in Grand Rapids, and I will have an office here in downtown GR. I am not moving my family to Atlanta and, much to Allen Hunt's credit, he realized how important my roots were here," Tower said... Radio mainstay works in Atlanta -- from here (Sun, 1/13)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 14, 2008



Muskegon Chronicle:

A Muskegon radio station has gone off the air. WMHG (1600 AM) went silent Dec. 31, according to a Grand Rapids official of Clear Channel Communications, the national radio conglomerate that operates 11 stations in West Michigan, including four in Muskegon. Bart Brandmiller, Clear Channel's regional director of sales for West Michigan, said WMHG went off the air because a Local Marketing Agreement, or LMA, had expired. WMHG is owned by Atlanta, Ga.-based Cumulus Media but was operated by Clear Channel through the LMA. WMHG was an automated, satellite-feed station. Its music format, from the ABC Radio Network, broadcast a middle-of-the-road oldies format that featured hits of such artists as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. The format began as "Stardust" in 1998 and in 2007 became known as "Timeless Favorites." Until the loss of WMHG, Clear Channel had been operating five local stations out of its studio on Green Street in Muskegon Heights... AM radio station WMHG, 'Timeless Favorites,' silenced


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 18, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

When "The Free Beer & Hot Wings Show" debuted in West Michigan in June 2004, its head already was in the game. On its first day, the morning show on WGRD-FM (97.9) placed a call to the hotel room of the Slava Medvedenko, whose Los Angeles Lakers were facing the Detroit Pistons the NBA Finals. They told him the morning shootout around was canceled and he could go back to bed. "Then he came out in Game 4 and had eight of the Lakers' first 10 points and I'm like, 'Oh, crap. We made him play better,' " said Gregg "Free Beer" Daniels. Those kind of regular shenanigans have made the show a hit both locally and in the 15 national affiliates that span from Maine to South Carolina to Arkansas to Wisconsin. The show -- featuring Central Michigan graduates Daniels, Chris "Hot Wings" Michels, Eric Zane and "Producer" Joe Gasman -- has never been sports-centric, but the hosts openly admit that it deals heavily in the athletic realm... Radio show mixes sports, morning entertainment (Fri, 1/18)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 25, 2008




WTNR Is Flipping: The crew at CITADEL Country WTNR (THUNDER 94.5)/GRAND RAPIDS check in to ALL ACCESS with an update. APD/MD BRIAN SIMS will move from middays to PM drive, while DITCH COOPER does the flip-flop from PM drive to middays. The new music call time for SIMS is THURSDAY from 2-3p. (Thu, 1/24)


What was hot adult contemporary 'Max FM', Clear Channel owned WMAX-FM 96.1 Holland/Grand Rapids, entered into stunt mode this afternoon by replacing its regular programming with the sound of a ticking clock. An occasional announcement is made in English that "Max is done, dead and gone" and inviting listeners to stay tuned to see what happens next, followed by another announcement made in Spanish.

The station's web site content has been removed, replaced by a short YouTube video showing "2.4.08 @ 10.01". Until then, the speculation will run rampant on what the new sound of 96.1 will be....

Grand Rapids Press:

I got tipped off at Wednesday night's Auto Show gala that something would be happening at 3 p.m. today on WMAX-FM (96.1). So, I tuned in to hear a Spanish announcer give the legal ID, saying he was broadcasting from a snow-covered cornfield in Hudsonville. That was followed by an annoying ticking sound. So, it seems Clear Channel is getting rid of the Max format of playing a little bit of everything and possibly going all-Spanish. But is it a ploy to make you think that?... What's going on at MAX-FM? (Thu, 1/31)







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This page is a archive of entries in the West Michigan category from January 2008.

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