Entries in Northern Michigan / UP Category

Traverse City Record-Eagle:

What's an author and cult hero doing spinning CDs of beyond-Hitsville soul tunes on a 600-watt northern Michigan radio station for no pay? Ben Hamper -- author of the irreverent 1991 classic "Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line," his account of life at GM Truck & Bus in Flint -- is simply following his longtime passion for non-commercial music. "With a face for radio and a waist for sumo," Hamper introduces himself on-air as host of "Soul Possession" which runs from 9 to 11 p.m. every Friday on Northwestern Michigan College's WNMC. He also hosts a jazz program titled "Further Along" from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Calling out from the basement of West Hall, this is a guy who's been on Letterman, the "Today" show and other national programs. He's perfectly happy with his relatively limited but loyal audience. And with WNMC broadcasting on the Internet, it's not as limited as it once was... Radio host keeps them riveted (Fri, 1/2)


The Alpena News:

Viewers of local station WBKB will continue to be able to enjoy the CBS affiliate through their cable package, for at least the near future. The station had requested that Charter Communications remove its signal from its cable service effective Dec 31, but the cable giant plans to continue to broadcast it after the previous deadline passes. "We won't be dropping WBKB from our line-up on the Dec. 31 date set by them," Charter Vice President Tim Ransberger said. "We reviewed our contract with them and there is nothing in it that enables them to demand it." The station is asking for a fee from the carrier for use of its signal and negotiations have been ongoing since summer, but little or no progress has been made. "We sent them a letter from our attorney and we have yet to receive a response from them," Ransberger said. "We talked to their general manager, but we are not close to a long-term deal at this point." Both Charter and WBKB have received e-mails and calls from customers with questions and concern regarding the impasse... Charter: No plans to drop signal (Mon, 12/29)


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

A bomb threat received through an e-mail prompted the evacuation of employees of TV 7&4 this morning. A few station employees received an e-mail from an unknown sender between 7 and 7:30 a.m. today, said Jill Saarela, the station's vice president and chief executive officer. She wouldn't say whether the e-mail specified why 7&4 was targeted. The threat forced 20 people to evacuate the building off M-72 in Elmwood Township... Bomb threat evacuates 7&4 (Thu, 1/15)

Updated, 1/16: Maybe someone wasn't happy with a weather forecast. The Elmwood Township offices of local NBC affiliate TV 7&4 were evacuated Thursday morning after a bomb threat. Emergency crews didn't turn up any explosives, but the threat brought the station to a halt for a few hours as authorities looked for signs of trouble. Someone e-mailed the threat to a few station employees at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, station president and chief executive officer Jill Saarela said... Bomb threat e-mailed to TV station


Recent format changes in Tawas and Menominee

Northern Christian Radio has introduced separate programming on its newest radio station, WRQC FM 91.3 East Tawas. Now known as 91-3 The Rock, the new format is Christian rock. When Northern Christian Radio first signed on the station last summer it was simulcasting the mainstream Christian music and talk programming heard on the group's other radio stations that are based out of WPHN FM 90.5 Gaylord and include WHST FM 106.1 Tawas City.

In the Upper Peninsula, WSFQ-FM 96.3 Marinette, WI / Menominee, MI recently shifted from Classic Rock to Classic Hits as "Hits 96.3". The station is owned by Bay Cities Radio/Armada Media.


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

Ten staff members were let go at TV 7&4 as its parent company reported an "extremely challenging" business climate due to the economic downturn. Nine full-time staffers, including some on-air positions, and one part-time job were eliminated by the local NBC affiliate this week, station president and CEO Jill Saarela said Friday. The station is owned by Barrington Broadcasting Group LLC based in Hoffman Estates, Ill. "7&4 has been reporting on layoffs in every sector of the economy and we are not immune," Saarela said in a statement. "Just like in other businesses, these are good people with families and homes in northern Michigan. They are our friends and valued co-workers and we were devastated to have made these painful decisions." Saarela said TV 7&4 is among several stations owned by Barrington that made staff cuts this week, although she didn't know how many positions were eliminated throughout the company... TV 7&4 staff cuts target 10 (Sat, 1/31)


WMTE-FM Manistee adjusts

Lake Michigan Broadcasting WMTE-FM 101.5 FM Manistee last month changed its format from oldies to classic hits as Kool 101.5. The station has been on the air since June 1994 and this is the first format change in its history.



Josh Debuts Real Name As KHQ MD: JOSH GARBER, who used to entertain the citizenry in past on-air gigs as LUCAS, has found a new job. Starting MONDAY (3/9), he'll be MD/mornings at MACDONALD GARBER BROADCASTING Top 40/Mainstream WKHQ (106 KHQ)/TRAVERSE CITY-PETOSKEY, MI. This will be the first time he'll use his real name. (Fri, 3/6)


WJML Radio launches new weekly publication

Stone Communications, owner of WJML News/Talk 1110 and 1210 Petoskey, has announced the launch of "Talk of the North", a new free weekly shopping guide for northwest Michigan. 20,000 copies of the publication will be distributed in Grand Traverse, Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim and Cheboygan counties each week. The first issue of "Talk of the North" will be March 11 and will be available free at groceries, convenience stores, restaurants, and tourist areas.

Over $2,500 in savings in discount gift certificates and coupons are available in the first issue. The listing of all coupons and discount offers will also be available on the website NorthernMichiganMall.com with secure online ordering 24 hours a day. A special weekly feature is a column by the nationally acclaimed "Coupon Queen" Jill Cataldo on maximizing savings using coupons and promotional offers. Also included are features by WJML's morning host Michael Patrick Shiels and other radio talk show hosts, plus a listing of entertainment in the area, and free classifieds.

In announcing the new publication owner/manager Rick Stone said, "We are really excited about adding this publication to tie in with our radio stations and websites. The print-radio-internet media mix is perfect for reaching and serving a large segment of northern Michigan residents, plus tourists and seasonal residents, and consequently maximizing the value of effective advertising for local businesses."

"Talk of the North" has its offices co-located with WJML Radio on Click Road in Petoskey and on West Front Street in Traverse City. Information can be submitted for publication by email: talk@talkofthenorth.com.




Buttload Of Changes In Traverse City Brent Carey, last seen programming Peak Broadcasting's AC/Hot AC combo KXLT (Lite 107.9) and KCIX (Mix 106)/Boise, ID, recently returned to Michigan to run his own company, 818 Media, and has now signed on to consult MacDonald-Garber Top 40 WKHQ and AC WLXT (Lite 96)/Traverse City as WKHQ PD/morning guy Greg "Lunchbox" Grose leaves the building. But don't weep for Mr. Box -- he already has another off-air gig lined up with Northern Star Broadcasting, which has stations spread across Northern Michigan. Grose can be reached at 231-445-0793 or grosegreg@yahoo.com. But wait! There's more! Josh "Lucas" Garber (no relation to owner/GM Trish MacDonald-Garber), who used to work for Carey in Boise as APD/nights at KCIX, joins WKHQ as MD/morning co-host, teaming up with OM Heather Leigh, who shifts back from afternoons. At the same time, Fish moves up from nights to afternoons, creating a night opening. Do you have all this, because our heads hurt. Bad. (Tue, 3/10)



Well-known personality Lou Turco, a longtime fixture on local radio for over 40 years, will be heard on Oldies 93 (93.9 FM) starting Saturday, April 4, when he'll begin hosting his Weekend Club show from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Turco's live radio show will focus on community information, along with the greatest hits from the 60s and 70s. Plus, Lou brings with him all of the time-tested features that he's so well known for. The "World-Famous Birthday Train," "Turco Trivia" and "What's New in Pink & Blue" are all part of the Saturday fun. Lou's strong local knowledge and dynamic personality will fill the Saturday 9 a.m.-12 noon time slot every weekend on Oldies 93... Look who's returning to local radio (Thu, 3/12)



After 19 years at the Sault Evening News, well known advertising professional Penny Joss joins Sovereign Communications starting April 15, when she'll begin selling advertising in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for the local radio company. Joss is the sales manager and top seller at the Sault Michigan newspaper. Penny's primary role at Sovereign will be to represent all three of the company's radio stations and build new advertising relationships that will help local businesses grow in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario... Evening News ad manager crosses river, switches to radio (Mon, 3/23)


Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun

At noon Tuesday, Mt. Pleasant's Channel 14 will go off the air forever. Sort of. Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting will cease analog telecasts today, more than a month behind the original digital deadline, but more than two months ahead of the final June date for all analog telecasting to end. Besides ending analog telecasts on Channel 14, CMU Public Television also will shut down its satellite stations across northern Michigan on channels 6, 21, 27, 46 and 69. Digital broadcasts, which began in the early part of the decade, will continue, said Rick Schudiske, WCMU's assistant general manager. People with cable or satellite shouldn't see any change, not will people who have hooked up their digital converter boxes. "We've decided to go ahead and shut down our analog signal because we hadn't budgeted for the approximately extra $10,000 a month it would cost to continue simulcasting until the new federally-mandated June deadline-especially given Michigan's economy right now," Schudiske said. "The original analog shut-off was February 17th and we are hopeful by keeping the analog stations on through March that all of our viewers will be ready"... CMU TV to complete digital transition (Mon, 3/30)


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

A former disc jockey who contends he was harassed, abused and underpaid by a local radio station owner filed a lawsuit. Daniel S. Harrell, also known as Dan Stevens, worked as a disc jockey, production manager and sales person for WLDR-FM 101.9 "Sunny Country" from October 2007 until December, according to his suit. The suit names station owner Roy Henderson and several radio companies that "share authority" over the station, said Harrell's attorney, Jeff Jocks. The suit alleges Henderson "on a regular and systematic basis, and without provocation, harassed, insulted, assaulted, battered, demeaned, enslaved and violated" Harrell throughout his course of employment. Threats and assaults made on Harrell by Henderson "created in him a well-founded and continuing fear of imminent peril," according to the suit... Ex-DJ suing station owner, radio companies (Sat, 4/11)


As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Equity Media Holdings has auctioned off a number of its television stations, including the Marquette FOX affiliate and low power outlets in Detroit and Grand Rapids.

FOX affiliate WMQF TV 19 Marquette is Equity's only full-power station in Michigan and will be dealt to an organization identified only as MMMC for $100,000.

Religious operator Daystar Television Network will be acquiring low-power stations WUDT-CA Ch. 23 Detroit, currently an affiliate of the Spanish-language Univision network, and WUHQ-LP Ch. 29 Grand Rapids, current an affiliate of Spanish-language LAT TV as part of a 15-station agreement valued at $7.4 million.

The sales will need to clear hurdles through both bankruptcy court and with federal regulators.


WTCM's Jack O'Malley set to celebrate 25 years on the air

In the pre-dawn hours of May 3, 1984, a young man sat in a radio studio on Front Street in Traverse City. He nervously switched on the microphone, introduced himself, and began building a legacy. On May 3, 2009, Jack O'Malley will mark 25 years as morning host of WTCM radio, thereby writing a new chapter as the longest running and highest rated morning show in Northwest Michigan history.

Jack's bright and cheerful voice, rich sense of humor, and absolute devotion to his family, his country, and his beloved Detroit Tigers, has won the hearts of thousands of WTCM listeners across two generations.

With the love and support of his wife Joann, Jack shared with us the birth of his two daughters Beth and Grace, the agony of sending them off to kindergarten, the trials of teenage years, and the pride in their remarkable achievements as they grew into young women. He has taken us along on expeditions to Hawaii, New York City, Nashville, and the Caribbean. He's flown in stunt planes, delivered letters, care packages, and cigars to soldiers in the war zone, danced for snowflakes, and comforted us on 9/11.

He let us witness the earliest sparks of skyrocketing superstars like Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, Leanne Rimes, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift. On April Fools Days past, he has sold the Detroit Tigers to Toyota, convinced listeners to cover their telephone handsets with plastic bags while the fiber optic lines were blown out, and introduced us to the fabled Michigan Dogman. Traveling thousands of miles through all kinds of weather, Jack crisscrossed the state for seven years to broadcast play-by-play of Traverse City High School football and basketball. Along the way, he sent home many memorable milestones, including two thrilling State Championships in Class A football for the Traverse City Trojans.

Jack's influence has extended far beyond the microphone. His tireless efforts have transformed Traverse City's Memorial Day ceremony into a fitting patriotic tribute to our fallen soldiers. His long-running television feature, "Jack's Journal" introduced us to scores of interesting stories, products, and people. He has also merged his lifelong love of baseball into coaching, instilling character and teamwork to a new generation of young women on Traverse City West High School's girls softball team.

To his legion of loyal fans, he is the familiar voice of the morning - every bit as vital as their first cup of coffee. To his colleagues and co-workers, he is universally trusted, respected, and admired. To his players, he is Coach O'Malley. To his family, he is a dedicated dad and loving husband. To everyone he touches, he is above all else, our friend Jack.

Jack will share memories and stories from the past 25 years, Friday, May 1, 2009 from 5:30 - 10:00 a.m. on WTCM-FM 103.5 and 93.5FM.


Marquette gets another FM station

Radioactive, LLC has recently signed on WUPZ FM 94.9 Chocolay Twp/Marquette as contemporary hits '94-9 The Bay - Marquette's Hit Music Station'.

Radioactive owns three other stations in the U.P.; all of those are being operated by Darby Advertising/RadioEagle and feature classic or variety hits formats.


Bid D & Bubba wake up Northern Michigan

The Big D and Bubba Show now airs mornings on sister stations WMKC-FM 102.9 Indian River/WAVC-FM 92.9 Mio and WMKD-FM 105.5 Sault Ste. Marie. The Premiere Radio show now airs on over 50 radio stations across the country.


Traverse City's MyTV 12 expands programming

WLLZ Traverse City, MyTV12, added Retro TV to the station's main schedule late this week. Programming from Retro TV will replace most of the America One schedule that had been carried on the LPTV outlet.

The switch gives WLLZ a great line-up of older TV shows that people seem to love seeing again.

The station will also continue as the Northern Michigan My Network affiliate and has plans to add several new syndicated shows in the near future as well as at the start of the fall season.


It's been a long few days for fans of the ABC network in the Marquette market as WBUP TV 10 has been off the air since Monday while they complete a move of the station from the Marquette Mall to a new location in Ishpeming.

Engineers are hopeful the station will resume broadcasting in advance of tonight's game one of the NBA Finals.


WRUP 98.3 completes Marquette move-in

Classic rock 98.3 WRUP Palmer/Marquette is now broadcasting from the same location as Great Lakes Radio sister stations WKQS FM 101.9 and WFXD FM 103.3 FM. Contemporary Christian WKPK 88.3 FM and FOX 19 WMQF also broadcast from this same location. WRUP previously originated from Munising.

The addition of WRUP marks the fifth new FM signal in the Marquette market since July, 2008. WRUP now covers Marquette, Ishpeming, and Negaunee with a clear signal.



Some exciting changes coming to Upper Michigan television. WLUC-TV announced we have an agreement with the FOX TV network to broadcast all their programming on WLUC 6.2. That's the digital subcarrier we're broadcasting. TV6 programming with NBC programming will not change. The deal calls for the new station, called FOX UP, to also carry news. The FOX UP News at 10 will provide you with the day's news from Upper Michigan. The new FOX TV network station should begin broadcasting August 1 with all of your favorite shows like American Idol, FOX NFL, NASCAR and the World Series... WLUC carries FOX programming (Thu, 7/16)


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters elected Tom Mogush, General Manager of WMQT-FM/WZAM-AM in Marquette, Chairman of their Board of Directors at the MAB Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat held July 14 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Mogush became the 61st chairman of the MAB after serving for three years on the Board of Directors, rising through the positions of Secretary Treasurer and ViceChairman/Chairman Elect.Mogush is the third broadcaster from the Upper Peninsula to lead the MAB organization, which is responsible for over 325 radio and television stations, serving nearly 4,000 individual employees in the broadcasting industry... Local broadcaster will chair MAB (Fri, 7/17)



Michigan Combo Sold: MAGELLAN BROADCASTING, LLC is selling Hot AC WIMI (99.7 THE STORM) and Country WJMS-A (REAL COUNTRY US 59)/IRONWOOD, MI to J&J BROADCASTING, INC. for $950,000. (Mon, 7/20)


Sault Ste. Marie Evening News:

Northern Star Broadcasting and the Lake Superior State Department of Athletics announced that play-by-play coverage will by provided by Paul "Junior" VanWagoner for Laker hockey and Scott Nason for Laker basketball during the 2009-10 season. VanWagoner is a 1993 graduate of Alpena High School and has worked at Northern Star Broadcasting since 1998. He can be heard every morning on Talk Radio 1400 and in the evenings on Yes-FM 99.5. His sportscasting background includes the "E.U.P. Game of the Week" and play-by-play for Soo Eagles Junior A hockey. VanWagoner remembers attending Laker Hockey School as a pee wee player, and his camp counselors were former Lakers Terry Hossack and Mark Vermette... Lakers announce new radio team for hockey, basketball (Tue, 8/4)


Upper Peninsula: Newsmakers Sept. 14, 2009



Marquette's Channel 19 returns

Now known as WZMQ, channel 19 is back on the air in the central Upper Peninsula, featuring programming from My Network TV and also This TV. WZMQ was formerly known as WMQF and was an affiliate of FOX under previous owner Equity Broadcasting. New owner MMMRC, LLC had the station off the air since about June- with it's return it has reportedly also returned to the lineup on Charter Cable in the U.P.

Marquette's FOX affiliate is now WLUC TV which carries that programming on digital subchannel 6.2.


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

Jeff Haas' radio show will be broadcast live Sunday from Chateau Chantal. It's the first time Haas' show, "Jazz Connections," will be live. It airs on Interlochen Public Radio, 88.7 FM, beginning at 6 p.m. Chanteau Chantal will host a wine-tasting reception beginning at 5 p.m. Haas also said IPR is offering the show for syndication this year, meaning it may be broadcast around the country and the world. "I have had seven NPR stations -- five in Michigan, one in South Carolina and one in Chicago -- already request to carry the show," Haas said. Proceeds from the Sunday show will benefit Haas' new nonprofit organization, Building Bridges with Music. Haas has been conducting workshops for K-12 schools for past 15 years, using his music "as a springboard for discussing diversity, the importance of open-mindedness and acceptance of people from different cultures, races and backgrounds," he said... Haas broadcasts live, syndicates show (Fri, 9/18)


Cadiilac News:

After spending nearly 30 years reporting the news of Cadillac and Wexford County, veteran radio newsman Mike Paulin is out at WTCM after the economy forced the station to reorganize its news department. Paulin has worked two stints for WTCM owner Midwestern Broadcasting, first in the 1960s and again starting 15 years ago. His last day was Friday. "It was a surprise and shock to me when they made the announcement (on Oct. 2)," Paulin said. Although the station is closing the Cadillac news bureau, Paulin will stay on as building manager and cover some news stories as needed, said Jack O'Malley, WTCM's program and operations manager. "Just with the economy we're in, we're reorganizing the newsroom a little bit," O'Malley said on Oct. 8. The office at 1111 S. Mitchell St. is for sale, but O'Malley said the station's sales office will remain open and the news staff will continue to cover Cadillac and Wexford County news. O'Malley praised Paulin's professionalism... Veteran radio newscaster out (Sat, 10/17)


Petoskey News-Review:

We are all for a good prank and think we have a good sense of humor, but one Northern Michigan radio station has sunk too low. On Tuesday, listeners to WKLT's morning radio show were told trick or treating was canceled across the area because of the recent sicknesses breaking out. Parents and children were upset and called the offices of area chambers of commerce and even the News-Review to find out more. In light of all the school closings and various nursing homes asking children not to trick or treat at their facilities, to some people the canceling of trick or treating in a community was a feasible scenario. It turns out this was a "prank" perpetrated by this radio show. It was a prank that played off the fears of area families already worried about a serious flu spreading through the schools. It was bad timing, not funny and in poor taste (especially since it, in a big way, played off the emotions of children looking forward to a fun evening out)... Shameful radio 'trick' is no treat (Thu, 10/29)


Merlin (Zeke) Dumbrille retires after 58 years with WTCM

Long time Northern Michigan broadcaster Merlin (Zeke) Dumbrille has retired after 58 years on the air with WTCM after his program on Friday, October 30th.

Dumbrille was the host of WTCM's Farm & Orchard Time, heard weekdays at 11:45 am since 1963. On his show, Merlin talked with MSU Extension Directors from the five county Traverse City area about current problems growers face, and offers solutions to keep them operating at a good profit margin. He also talked with Soil Conservation Officers from the area county conservation districts, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council members in Petoskey and area Foresters, all on a regular weekly basis.

Overall, Merlin had been with WTCM for 58 years, and retired as the Farm Director and Public Affairs Director for the station. He has won numerous local and State honors for his coverage of farm related news and information. He also regularly covered activities for the National Cherry Festival and produced the broadcast of the entire National Cherry Festival Grand Cherry Royale Parade until this past summer when he stepped down from those duties.

Dumbrille is a Life Member of the Kiwanis Club of Grand Traverse Bay, and was previously a President. He is currently the President of the Traverse City Masonic Building Association, and a Corporate Member of Munson Medical Center. He is a relief motion picture projectionist at the State Theatre in downtown Traverse City. For the past thirty-three years, Merlin has been the audio technician for the broadcast of the Central United Methodist Church Sunday Services in downtown Traverse City.

Merlin and his wife of 55 years, June, have lived in Traverse City their entire lives. They've raised three children and have three grandchildren.

Congratulations to Dumbrille on his outstanding career of serving Traverse City area radio listeners!



Traverse City Record-Eagle:

The Michigan airwaves will soon be without the voice and host of one of its longest-running talk shows. Merlin Dumbrille, host of "Farm and Orchard Time," and farm director and public affairs director for WTCM Radio, retires as of today. In 1964, Merlin began hosting the popular "Farm and Orchard Time" program on WTCM radio in Traverse City. For more than 45 years, Merlin kept Michigan farmers and the public up to date on important agricultural issues of the day, featuring farm news and information to keep his listeners better informed. He talked with Michigan State University Extension directors from northwest Michigan's 5-county area about current problems growers face and offered solutions to keep them operating at a good profit margin. Soil conservation officers from the area county conservation districts, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council members in Petoskey and area foresters were also regular guests on his show. This silver-tongued legend provided up-to-date information on farm and food-related programs to members of the agriculture community with insightful questions and commentary... Hats off to Dumbrille (Sat, 10/31)


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

David Poinsett produces local television programming and doesn't want area residents to miss shows he or anyone else creates here. But he's concerned that could happen if Charter Communications follows through on plans to rearrange where certain public, educational and government access channels -- or PEG channels -- are located. "I think it weakens our access to this great community resource," Poinsett said. Traverse City officials also oppose Charter's plans to shake up the access channels and expect to file suit against the cable provider within the next week. They've hired two law firms experienced in such cases to take on the chore... City plans to sue Charter over channels (Wed, 11/18)


Michiguide.com 2009 News Archive




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