West Michigan: February 2008 Archives

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 1, 2008



Grand Haven Tribune:

Clear Channel Radio of West Michigan and Grand Valley State University have agreed to a new broadcasting rights agreement, a deal that will move Laker football and men's basketball game broadcasts from WMAX 96.1 FM to WMUS 106.9 FM effective earlier this week. "It is not a typical procedure to move programming from station-to-staion in the middle of the season, but with the great success of the Laker basketball team, we wanted to take advantage of the public's interest," said Tim Feagan, Clear Channel' Vice President of West Michigan... GVSU football, men's hoops moving to 106.9 FM (Thu, 1/31)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 3, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

A new format at WMAX-FM (96.1) will be revealed Monday. Go to 961maxfm.com or listen to the ticking clock on the airwaves and you may be perplexed. A teaser campaign using the numbers 2.4.08 @ 10:01 leads me to deduce a new format will be announced at 10:01 a.m. Monday. Clear Channel's Doug Montgomery said "MAX will not be returning... WMAX-FM teaser campaign Sun, 2/3)

Angie Vuyst started as a phone screener in radio when she was 17. She started working her way up at Clear Channel radio as a morning-show producer, on-air talent and assistant program director. Now, at 25, she has been promoted to imaging and program director for news radio WOOD-AM (1300) and WTKG-AM (1230). "I threw my hat in the ring. I know my stuff. I was jumping for joy and doing high-fives when I got the good news about my position," she said... New program director at WOOD-AM (Sun, 2/3)


Radio XThe stunting ended just past 10:00 a.m. on WMAX-FM 96.1 Holland/Grand Rapids with the launch of Alternative Rock 'Radio X 96.1'. The Clear Channel-owned station launched with a brief announcement followed by Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah", and "Just a Girl" by No Doubt.

It appears the station is running jockless for now, but featured its first commercial break just 20 minutes into its new sound.

A splash web site page at www.radiox961.com shows core artists for the new station being The Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, The Ramones, U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, Sublime, the Beastie Boys, Incubus, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. The station is streaming live via the Internet and is inviting listener feedback via the web site.

Prior to this morning's new format launch, the station carried a broad hot adult contemporary format as 'Max FM' until it began stunting on Thursday afternoon, January 31st.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 8, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

When the courts ruled that Michigan would have to move high school girls basketball, it forced a number of juggling acts. Athletes had to pick a sport. Referees had to be found. Gym time had to be ferreted out. Schedules had to be massaged. Television and radio stations, however, didn't factor into the equation. As the state adjusts to its first season with a new winter sports landscape, the local media has been forced to tweak its own coverage. In the past, basketball essentially was held on only two nights -- Tuesday and Friday. With a healthy slate of games now being played Monday through Saturday, coverage has become a bit chaotic for local stations... TV, radio adjust to new high school season (Fri, 2/8)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 12, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

Two longtime West Michigan news organizations are reuniting after 36 years in an effort to provide news, weather and other coverage. WOOD-TV (Channel 8) and Clear Channel's Newsradio WOOD-AM (1300) are sharing resources, effective immediately, in a full-content partnership involving news, weather, sports and traffic. Representatives of both stations said viewers and listeners will notice: - WOOD-TV reporters giving daily news updates on WOOD-AM. - WOOD-TV being incorporated onto woodradio.com, providing daily news feeds of top headlines as well as Storm Team 8 Doppler radar. - TV8 meteorologists providing expanded weather forecasts for WOOD-AM and all seven local Clear Channel stations. - Kevin Richards reporting real-time traffic conditions on both stations... Radio and TV WOODs are together again (Tue, 2/12)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 15, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

Steve Stewart knows all too well how loyal NASCAR fans can be. Stewart, the program director at WTNR-FM (94.5), said listeners are so dedicated to the sport that they will search the radio dial to find broadcasts of races, which often were split among multiple stations. They won't have to hunt that hard this year. The country music station commonly known as "The Thunder" will have exclusive broadcasts of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. Thunder's coverage started with last weekend's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway and will continue with Sunday's Daytona 500. Stewart said he already has received comments from grateful listeners. "They'll e-mail things like, 'Is that for real?' " Stewart said. "And I'll e-mail back, 'Yep, it's for real.' This is going to be a banner year for us taking the station to the next level." "The Thunder" will carry broadcast feeds from the Motor Racing Network and Performance Racing Network. Stewart hopes that in the future that can include localized reports... Country station revved up for NASCAR (Fri, 2/15)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 16, 2008



Kalamazoo Gazette:

David Steere, a former local radio executive and on-air personality, was proud to have been one of the founders of what has become a local favorite -- the annual Kalamazoo Do-Dah Parade. ``It became an institution in Kalamazoo, and that pleased him to no end,'' said his wife, Judith. In an interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette in 1986, Steere said he and his broadcast partner, Bob Salmon, came up with the idea for the local parade in 1984, then had second thoughts as the day of the first event approached. ``We were scared to death no one would come to the first one,'' he said. ``We almost hoped it would be rained out. The weather was lousy, but thousands showed up.'' Steere, 71, died Monday at Bronson Methodist Hospital. He was being treated for pancreatic cancer, but pneumonia was ultimately the cause of death, his wife said... Radio station owner, broadcaster helped create Do-Dah Parade (Sat, 2/16)


The 'Fat gets cut in Kalamazoo

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WYZOThe radio dial in Kalamazoo went on a crash diet yesterday afternoon when MidWest Communications' FM 96.5 abruptly changed format from classic rock as WFAT to country with as 'Kalamazoo Country, Y96.5' with new calls WYZO pending.

No official word yet on the fate of the airstaff of the former WFAT, which included the syndicated Bob and Tom Show in morning drive.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 17, 2008



Grand Rapids Press:

Tim Feagan, Clear Channel's president and general manager, is happy about the recent Arbitron ratings in which the group's stations ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3. In the commercial radio stations 12-plus category, WOOD-AM (1300) took first place with an 8.5 share. WBCT-FM (93.7) is in second with 7.5, and WOOD-FM (105.7) is third with 6.3. Notably, noncommercial radio WCSG-FM (91.3) ended with a 5.7 share, which would put it in fourth place against the commercial radio stations... Clear Channel scores ratings trifecta (Sun, 2/17)

The switch of WMAX-FM (96.1) to an alternative format has gone better than expected, Clear Channel management says. "The biggest surprise has been from the amount of e-mails we have already received from the public with positive feedback for the change," operations manager Doug Montgomery said. "We have a piece of software that allows us to track our Web site traffic and the number of people listening to our Internet stream, and both of those metrics have more than tripled since the launch." Competitor WGRD-FM (97.9), owned by Regent Communications, is unimpressed... WMAX-FM is now Radio X (Sun, 2/17)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 19, 2008



Kalamazoo Gazette:

Country music radio has a new home in Kalamazoo. WFAT-FM (96.5) switched to a country music format at 5 p.m. Friday. The final song for WFAT was Van Halen's ``Happy Trails.'' It was followed by Alan Jackson's country anthem ``It's Five O'clock Somewhere,'' ushering in the start of WYZO-FM (96.5), Kalamazoo's new country station. Peter Tanz, market manager for Wisconsin-based Midwest Communication, which owns nine stations in Southwest Michigan, including WYZO and the Battle Creek country music station WNWN-FM (98.5), said there was a ``three-way rock battle'' between WFAT-FM, WZUU-FM (92.5) and WRKR-FM (107.7), but there wasn't a local country station. Tanz said the station, which has been classic rock since 2001, had talked about moving to country music for 10 years... Classic-rock radio station goes country (Tue, 2/19)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb 27, 2008




Citadel Promotes Steve Stewart: CITADEL Country WTNR (94-5 THE NEW THUNDER COUNTRY)/GRAND RAPIDS PD/morning man STEVE STEWART has been upped to Regional Mgr./Country Programming/Midwest. In addition to his duties at THUNDER COUNTRY, STEWART will now oversee the programming for WLAW, WITL, WFBE, WWKI, KATC, KJJY, KHKI and WMDH. (Wed, 2/27)

Muskegon Chronicle:

.A few years ago, Muskegon was essentially out of the sports talk radio scene. I remember letting a few bad words slip out, frantically tweaking the car radio to try and pull in a fuzzy Grand Rapids-based station. The situation is much improved today, with more and more local sports chat, programming and event coverage on "The Champ," 97.5 FM and its sister stations, WVIB (100.1 FM) and WLCS (98.3 FM). The Champ will add more local programming starting on March 3 with the "On The Bench" show daily from 10 a.m. to noon, which is hosted by WBBL program director Bret Bakita. Bakita, who also does work for Fox 17 out of Grand Rapids, got his start in sports radio in Muskegon back in 1994 on the now-defunct Sports Fan 1600 AM. Another addition to the local sports radio market is the recent change of WGHN's AM station, 1370 AM, to an all-sports format featuring the ESPN Radio feed. Sports Radio 1370 will also have a daily show focusing on local sports from 3 to 5 p.m., hosted by Western Michigan Christian graduate Ryan Terpstra. Bakita and Terpstra are good guys and welcome additions to the local airwaves, which also includes personalities like John Russell, Frank St. James, Kevin Tatum and others... Local airwaves getting dialed in on sports chat (Tue, 2/26)







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

West Michigan: January 2008 is the previous archive.

West Michigan: March 2008 is the next archive.

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