Mid-Michigan: January 2009 Archives

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 2, 2009



Saginaw News:

A voice familiar to Saginawians makes its debut Monday on WUCX-FM, 90.1. Poet/novelist/actor/playwright Marc Beaudin, who this summer moved to Montana, is the host of "Report From the Mountains." The 10-minute show airs Mondays -- at 8:50 a.m. during "Morning Edition" with a repeat at 12:30 p.m. during "The Session." "I'll read a couple of my poems and talk about Montana and what's it's like," says Beaudin. Station manager Howard Sharper came up with the idea for the show, says Beaudin, after he asked Beaudin what is was like out west. "I was telling him about sitting on the front porch and seeing coyotes, the mountains, birds. So he suggested a show telling what was going on (in a given day). "He told me he thought people would like to hear about this." The first two installments, says Beaudin, are "pilot" episodes that were taped in the Delta College broadcast studios... Poet Marc Beaudin begins a "Report From the Mountains" radio series (Fri, 1/2)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 3, 2009



Saginaw News:

Charlie Rood, who works the morning broadcast with Art Lewis and Dave Maurer at WSGW-AM, 790, says it's always fun to see loyal listeners show up at the Winter Broadcast Blood Boost with shirt sleeves rolled up, ready to help. "Then you have someone stop by to say thanks and he's telling you how it saved his life, and you realize this simple thing we're doing means so much," said Rood, who Monday kicks off the 20th annual event at Fashion Square Mall, at Tittabawassee and Bay in Saginaw Township. Through Saturday, Jan. 10, some 14 radio stations will broadcast live from the mall and encourage listeners to donate through the week. It's free, and those who donate will receive buy one-get-one-free coupons for the upcoming Shrine Circus at TheDow Event Center, refreshments from The Coffee Beanery, 2009 pocket calendars from the blood center and entry in a drawing for gifts from Communications Family Credit Union, Consumers Energy and Boehler's Greenhouse. Blood banks regularly start running dry during the holidays, said Mary Ebelt, special events coordinator at the Michigan Community Blood Center-Saginaw Valley, and this year is no exception... Annual Broadcast Blood Boost set to kick off at Fashion Square Mall (Sat, 1/3)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 4, 2009



Lansing State Journal:

For the 15th year in a row, WKAR will sponsor the Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest for children from kindergarten through third grade. Entries for original stories that are illustrated by the author must be postmarked by Feb. 28 or dropped off at WKAR main office, room 283 of the Communication Arts & Sciences Building, located on the Michigan State University campus ... The entry form must be filled out and signed by parents. The contest entry form and official contest rules are available online at WKAR.org beginning Jan. 5. Those unable to access to WKAR's Web site may call (517) 432-9527 for printed information to be sent via U.S. mail... WKAR sponsors young writers, illustrators contest (Sun, 1/4)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 6, 2009



Saginaw News:

D-Day has an extension -- sort of. The nation's switch to digital from analog signals will occur as planned on Tuesday, Feb. 17. However, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, is behind legislation President Bush signed into law that will keep emergency analog air waves in place 30 days after the deadline. The purpose of "Short-Term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness Act" is to give Americans, particularly the elderly and disabled, more time to ready for the conversion. Lawmakers and critics of the transition have called into question how smooth it will prove with as many as 8 million households unprepared. To make matters worse, a government effort that subsidizes crucial TV converter boxes is nearly out of money. Saginaw County Commission on Aging Director Karen Courneya said an additional 30 days for over-the-air emergency signals isn't likely to garner any public relations awards among seniors, though well-intentioned... Some seniors stymied as TV switch to digital modified (Tue, 1/6)


WLCMWhen was then WCER AM 1390 began operations in August 1956, it was licensed and programmed to Charlotte. I-69 was still in its planning stages and the distance between the larger community of Lansing seemed much further away than it does today. The station, now known as WLCM Victory 1390 and licensed to Holt, has been broadcasting a Christian-based format for nearly 30 years, targeted mostly at Lansing listeners. Until recently the station had been limited to essentially what was daytime-only signal in Lansing proper as after sunset WLCM was required to reduce power, substantially reducing its coverage outside of its Eaton county tower location near Charlotte.

In 2005, owner Jon Yinger first received permission from the Federal Communications Commission to construct a new nighttime tower site for WLCM and increase power at night to give the station a full time, full market signal 24 hours each day.

"It took over a year to work through the zoning situation for the new nighttime broadcast site in Ingham county," explains Yinger. "We took the opportunity of being able to improve our nighttime signal to also rebuild the current daytime operation, which remains near Charlotte. We found many hidden skeletons and gremlins. The daytime work included new towers, base insulators, ground system, sampling system and a rebuild of the phasor and antenna tuning units, finally giving WLCM the coverage it is supposed to have."

"The night site consists of 4 towers south of Holt," continues Yinger. "While some have criticized putting this much work into a standalone AM, my opinion is how can you not build this. We took a station that couldn't really make its licensed 5,000 watts during the day, had 500 watts pre-sunrise and 70 watts at night and turned it into a true Lansing signal. We put a real 5000 watts out during the day and 4500 watts at night. The daytime city grade goes through downtown and the nighttime city grade is stellar. All things considered, WLCM is now one of the better AM's in the market."

WLCM is touted as Lansing's exclusive home for The Dave Ramsey Show, Dr. Laura, BibleLine, Thru the Bible and more. In addition to the improved over-the-air coverage, the station also offers a web stream from its web site at wlcmradio.com.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 8, 2008



ESPN 100.9-FM to Host Ribbon-Cutting

WLUNESPN 100.9-FM, WLUN Pinconning, will unveil its new state-of-the-art radio studios with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony January 28, 2009, held in conjunction with the Midland Chamber of Commerce. The studios for the Tri-Cities' only 24-hour all-sports station have been re-located to the press box at Dow Diamond, overlooking the baseball field. Since the station's purchase in March 2008, operation of the station has taken place in the Citadel Broadcasting studios in Saginaw.

The event will begin at 4pm on the third floor of Dow Diamond and is open to the public. Complementary soft drinks and snacks will be provided, and a cash bar will be available.

"We are looking forward to many great years of operation from here, providing exceptional sports talk and play-by-play to our listeners across the region," said Paul Barbeau, president and general manager of ESPN 100.9-FM. "We are extremely appreciative of Citadel Broadcasting's efforts to house our operation during the transition period. They continue to be a tremendous partner to us."



Flint Journal:

Not sure how the transition to digital television next month will affect you? Genesee County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Inc. is sponsoring free forums to help answer questions. "DTV Awareness Day" is set for 10 a.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Tuesday in the third-floor auditorium of the Genesee County Administration Building, 1101 Beach St. The sessions will include video and slide presentations and hands-on demonstrations of the installation of a DTV converter box... Digital television transition forums scheduled at Genesee County Administration Building (Thu, 1/8)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 12, 2009



Saginaw's WSGW and WTKQ prepare for schedule changes

A big overhaul is on the way to Saginaw news-talk stations WSGW AM 790 and WTKQ FM 100.5 starting next week. When the changes are complete the week of January 26th, fans of popular programs from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, Laura Ingraham and Dennis Miller will be either listening to a different station and/or tuning in at a different time.

The changes will start on Monday, January 19th when Rush Limbaugh (noon - 3pm) and Sean Hannity (3 - 6pm) move to WTKQ. Their shows will be simulcast on their former home of WSGW for a week to help the transition. Changing timeslots on WTKQ on the 19th will be Glen Beck who shifts to 9am - noon (live) along with Laura Ingraham (6 - 9 pm).

The new weekday WTKQ FM 100.5 lineup starting the 19th:
6 - 8 am: The Morning Ticket with Pat Johnston & Todd Guerne
8 - 9 am: The Pat Johnston Show
9 am - noon: Glen Beck
noon - 3 pm: Rush Limbaugh
3 - 6 pm: Sean Hannity
6 - 9 pm: Laura Ingraham
9 pm - 6 am: Fox Sports

After a week off the air, Dennis Miller moves from 10 am - 1pm on FM 100.5 to noon - 3pm on WSGW. Miller's program will be followed by a new program to WSGW, Tom Sullivan, which will air from 3 - 6pm.

WSGW AM 790's lineup starting January 26th:
5 - 5:30 am: America in the Morning
5:30 - 9 am: WSGW Morning Team (local)
9 - 10 am: Art Lewis (local)
10 - 11:30 am: Listen to the Mrs. (local)
11:30 am - noon: Farm Service 790 with Terry Henne
noon - 3 pm: Dennis Miller
3 - 6 pm: Tom Sullivan
6 - 7 pm: WSGW Evening Round Up (local)
7 - 10 pm: Clark Howard
10 pm - 1 am: Jim Bohannon
1 - 5 am: Coast to Coast

In a release the stations' listener club, the stations explain, "Along with everything already written about changes, please understand we also undergo negotiations with network representatives who allow us to broadcast shows. We must finalize contracts and agreements, plus meet financial obligations."

The release also thanks listeners for their support and explains some of the reasons the changes above are being made.

Dropping off the schedule at WTKQ is the show from FOX TV host Bill O'Reilly who has decided to pull the plug on his daily radio program.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 13, 2009



East Lansing's WKAR ready to end analog broadcasts this evening

Tonight marks the end of analog broadcasts at WKAR-TV Channel 23 East Lansing. The Michigan State University owned Public Broadcasting outlet will sign off its analog transmitter for the final time tonight so that it can be reconfigured for use on the first currently planned day of nationwide all-digital TV broadcasting on February 18th.

WKAR will continue to operate its temporary digital transmitter in the interim (operates on Ch. 55 but maps to 23.1, 23.2, 23.3. and 23.4); current digital over the air viewers will not have to make any changes with the cutoff of analog service tomorrow, but will have to rescan their tuners/converters once the station's permanent digital facilities are signed on (using Ch. 40, but again will map to 23.1 - 4).

Viewers that watch WKAR via cable and satellite should not be affected by any of these changes.

Several other Michigan TV stations have already made an early jump to digital-only broadcasting, having shut down their analog transmitters permanently, including WLLA TV 64 Kalamazoo, WFUM TV 28 Flint, and WHTV TV 18 Jackson.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 18, 2009



Bay City Times:

Television repairman Robert "Alan" Anderson hears his telephone ringing a lot these days. Folks want to know if their TV sets will work when broadcasters switch to an all-digital format on Feb. 17, said Anderson, owner of Alan's Repair, 1304 Kosciuszko Ave. "People are asking the obvious question - 'Is my TV ready and how do I get one of those (converter) boxes?'" Anderson said. Here's the short answer: • People with cable television service are OK. • People with satellite television service are OK, if they get their local channels from the satellite service. • People who use an antenna or set-top "rabbit ears" to receive local TV stations must buy a digital converter box... Read on to make sure you're set for digital TV conversion (Sun, 1/18)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 23, 2009



Next Media drops morning show on FM 100.5 in Saginaw

With the revamp of its talk stations WSGW AM 790 and WSGW-FM 100.5 in Saginaw this month, FM 100.5 has dropped the morning programs hosted by Pat Johnston and Todd Guerne which had previously aired weekdays from 6 - 9 am. The station, which changed its call sign from WTKQ to WSGW-FM on January 15, now simulcasts the local morning program of WSGW AM.

The revamp also including the shifting of talk programs from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from the AM to the FM station.



Saginaw News:

Mary Ebelt knew that need was great this year as the Michigan Community Blood Centers launched its six-day Winter Broadcast Blood Boost in early January at Fashion Square Mall. Personalities from 14 radio stations urged listeners to come to the Saginaw Township mall, where several businesses offered incentives to donate. Although 507 people came around with shirt sleeves rolled up -- 60 of them first-time donors -- only 372 pints of blood were added to the bank that supplies local hospitals. Last year's event drew 423 pints... Saginaw's Winter Broadcast Blood Boost drops a couple of pints from last year's contest (Fri, 1/23)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 25, 2009



Flint Journal:

A local group is aiming to create a new public radio station in Flint, but many roadblocks remain for it to become a reality. Al Davis, a former Kettering University professor and an electrical engineer, dreams of a station that brings together numerous volunteers and feature a mix of music and host talk shows. "It's going to be all local people," Davis said. He said he envisions shows about what's going on at City Hall and candidate debates, as well as offbeat music that isn't played on commercial radio. Davis said they wouldn't use National Public Radio, which would distinguish the station from several others that carry NPR in the Flint area. He hopes to secure a Federal Communications Commission license -- but that won't be easy. The FCC tentatively awarded the license to Smile-FM in Harbor Beach. Smile-FM is a network of several Christian radio stations. Davis, working with Flint Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, appealed the FCC's decision on Jan. 16... Flint group makes long-shot bid for public radio station (Sun, 1/25)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 28, 2009



SportsNight Added to ESPN 100.9-FM Lineup

WLUN Pinconning, ESPN 100.9-FM, announced today the addition of SportsNight to the station's regular programming lineup. The news was delivered today at a Midland Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony for the station's new studios at Dow Diamond in Midland. SportsNight will focus on teams in the Great Lakes Bay Region - including local college, high school and minor league sports teams - but will also cover topics related to state-wide and national sports.

The show will air weeknights from 6pm-8pm, but will be preempted by select local or state-wide programming. Those programming commitments include Michigan State and Saginaw Valley League broadcasts, Northwood coaches' shows, and MidMichigan Health's The Training Room.

"The addition of SportsNight guarantees us Michigan-themed programming during five key hours per day," said Brad Golder, who will serve as the show's primary host. "The show is the perfect transition between the Huge Show and ESPN's evening lineup."

The show primarily will originate for Studio A of the station's new broadcast facility. Special broadcasts will originate from various community events throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, such as the Dow Corning Tennis Classic February 9-13.

Today's special ribbon cutting ceremony also coincided with the station's 300th live play-by-play sporting event, with the airing of the Midland versus Dow high school hockey game at 7pm. Of the station's 300 live sporting events, over half (170) have been locally produced and originated broadcasts.



Lansing State Journal:

The city of Lansing is suing telecommunication giant AT&T Inc. over its treatment of public access, education and government channels in its U-verse television service. City officials said they filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Ingham County Circuit Court. The city also said it filed a complaint with the Federal Communication Commission. Officials claim U-verse displays such community access channels in inferior quality elsewhere, even though AT&T launched its U-verse service in mid-Michigan this month without Lansing's seven community channels. AT&T needs the city's permission to add the channels - something the city hasn't agreed to. "Our channels are supposed to be provided the way they've always been provided to our customers - as separate, distinct, readily accessible television channels," said Randy Hannan, spokesman for Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero... Lansing files suit against AT&T (Wed, 1/28)



Battle Creek Enquirer:

When the writers' strike froze production of numerous television shows in late 2007, some chose to put down their pickets and pick up their pens anyway. From the imaginations of several work-thirsty scribes came online sites such as Strike.TV, a place where professional writers could bypass the rigamarole and high expenses of the studio system and produce their creations for less money and hassle. Battle Creek native David O'Malley joined writers and actors from hit shows such as "Friends," "The Office" and "Saturday Night Live," with his latest creation, "Dangerous Women," which debuted on Strike.TV last Thursday... B.C. native brings tale to online TV (Wed, 1/28)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 30, 2009



Flint Journal:

Doug Fisher expected to spend Friday morning breaking down Sunday's Super Bowl and Friday night's high school basketball matchups. Instead, he sat home Friday morning, hoping he still has a future in the radio business. Fisher is the latest radio personality to become a victim of the economy, as he was let go Thursday as the program director and host of the "Male Room" on WTRX (1330-AM). The decision was made by Citadel Broadcasting Company, the parent company of WTRX. Fisher said he was informed of the move after wrapping up Thursday's edition of his local sports talk show, which aired from 10 a.m. to noon on weekdays. "It's a tough, tough economy we're dealing with," Fisher said. "Nobody's immune. "I didn't have an inkling, but I'm not surprised. I'm still shocked." WTRX is replacing Fisher's show with Colin Cowheard's "The Herd" on ESPN Radio. WTRX will air primarily ESPN Radio programming, with the exceptions of the Jim Rome show from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays, "The Huge Show" from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays and team broadcasts that the station is still contractually obligated to carry... Doug Fisher let go at WTRX; local sports talk show replaced by ESPN program (Fri, 1/30)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Mid-Michigan category from January 2009.

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