Entries in West Michigan Category

West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 1, 2009

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The Van shifts gears

Holland's WYVN-FM 92.7 has adjusted its format and moved from oldies as 'Holland's Greatest Hits' back to classic hits 'Holland's Classic Hits'. The station had been classic hits for a number of years before shifting to oldies in September, 2007. WYVN is owned by Midwest Communications.

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 3, 2009

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Ionia Sentinel-Standard:

The radio airwaves above Greenville come alive again Monday. On Jan 5, Jim Aaron of WGLM will make his first 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. morning show broadcast live from Greenville's new hometown local radio station. You can listen in at 106.3 FM or 1380 AM, and if you do, you're sure to notice an increase in local content. After one year of negotiations with Stafford Broadcasting, who previously owned the station, co-owners Aaron and Jim Carlyle purchased the station officially on Dec. 19 under Packer Radio. While Carlyle will continue to broadcast at WION, Aaron will make the move from Indiana to Greenville with his wife, Karen. He'll bring his 30 years of experience with him. "Radio is in our blood, it's been in our blood for 30 years - 25 in Jim (Carlyle's) case," said Aaron. "I'm very excited to get up into Montcalm and Meekest counties and bring local radio back. People up here have already been very welcoming and I think they're excited to see a local radio station back." Negotiating for the station took a full year, but Aaron said it's been worth the wait. Aaron will host the morning show and each day will have a mix of local, regional and national news as well as local and Michigan State University sports. And don't forget about the music; WGLM (which stands for Greenville, Lakeview and Montcalm/Meekest) will send down signals from the best of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and yes, plenty of "the new stuff," too... Local radio making a comeback in Greenville (Fri, 1/2)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 9, 2009

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Battle Creek Enquirer:

Jerry Lewis will not be there. Nor will acrobats or ventriloquists. Instead, hosts of the "Caring for Kids" phone-a-thon Tuesday on WWMT NewsChannel 3 will ask parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends of children without health insurance to call in from 5 a.m. to midnight. Local health officials will volunteer to answer the phones in an attempt to find families who qualify for MIChild, a government-sponsored health plan for low-income families in Michigan. "We're not asking for money. We're not asking for donations," said Mark Bishop, WWMT marketing director. "We're asking people to get their kids signed up for the health care they need"... WWMT phone-a-thon to help families, kids (Fri, 1/9)

 

Muskegon Chronicle:

President-elect Barack Obama is urging Congress to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels will not be ready. In a letter to key lawmakers this week, Obama transition team co-chair John Podesta said the digital transition needs to be delayed largely because the U.S. Commerce Department has run out of money for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers. People who do not have cable, satellite service or a new TV with a digital tuner will need the converter boxes to keep their analog sets working. Since December, local stations have been airing tests to help viewers determine the readiness of their televisions. A green icon displays for sets that are ready, a red one for those that are not. An employee at Circuit City said sales of converter boxes, priced there at $59.99, had exceeded expectations but have slowed recently because of the unavailability of coupons... Delay digital TV conversion? Leaders disagree (Sun, 1/11)

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

Dave Ramsey, Press columnist and radio talk show host, will present his debt-reduction and wealth-building strategies at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at Van Andel Arena downtown. Tickets are $38 and may be ordered by calling (888) 227-3223 or at daveramsey.com... Dave Ramsey to speak at Van Andel Arena on Feb. 19 (Fri, 1/9)

 

Mid-West Family making changes to start 2009

Mid-West Family Broadcasting in southwest Michigan has added web casting for its rock WIRX-FM 107.1 and news-talk WSJM-FM/AM in St. Joseph. WIRX has also started broadcasting in HD and plans on adding an HD2 channel sometime before summer. At WCXT-FM 98.3 Hartford, the dayparted smooth jazz programming has been dropped and the station now is formatted as hot adult contemporary around the clock. Finally, AM 940 South Haven has switched call sign from WHIT to WCSY to match simulcast partner oldies WCSY-FM 103.7.

 


 

Langford Broadcasting looking for sales person

WGTO and WDOW Cassopolis and Dowagiac are looking for a sales person. It's a commission-only position, but the list is unrestricted and there is no competition.

This is not a position for just anyone. Langford Broadcasting is looking for a person with natural sales ability that needs to have experience in media sales to be successful. An outstanding performance in this commission-only position will lead to a salaried sales position and long term management opportunity for the right person.

WGTO AM and WDOW AM make up Langford Broadcasting and are headquartered out of Dowagiac Michigan.

This sales position would cover all of the Michiana area. You select your hours and area. WGTO and WDOW are the only local stations in Cass County Michigan and you can seek any business without restriction. WGTO is a classic rock station WDOW is all sports.

For more information, contact Larry Langford at langfordbusiness@aol.com or (269) 782-5106.

 

WZZM-TV:

In December WLAV's morning radio host Kevin Matthews announced he had multiple sclerosis, he says MS is definitely changing the way he thinks about even the simplest things like walking through the snow. Matthews says he also notices that some days are better than others, "You can just run out of gas real easy and sometimes it will last a couple hours sometimes a day." It's a classic symptom of multiple sclerosis, overwhelming fatigue. Other symptoms of MS include loss of balance and muscle control. Now Kevin is thinking about what else might change in his life, "I love the outdoors, I love bow hunting. How do you get up into a tree stand? Little things like that you start to think about." He's also not very fond of giving himself the steroid injections that keep his MS from progressing, "I hate the fact that I have to give myself a shot. There's really nothing to it but psychologically it's giving yourself a shot, it's either this leg, this leg, your stomach your arm." But don't think for a second he's throwing himself a pity party... Kevin Matthews - battling MS with humor (Wed, 1/28)

 

Michigan Almanac: January 30, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

While the daily news of bailouts, stimulus packages and CEO bonus checks has taken its toll on many Americans, for Nashville singer/songwriter John Rich of the country duo Big and Rich, it inspired "Shuttin' Detroit Down," a song sympathetic to autoworkers and farmers. Now, the song has become a working-class anthem, and it's quickly becoming one of the hottest songs on country radio. Rich dropped off the song at B-93's Grand Rapids studio Tuesday. "As soon as John played it for us, the phones started ringing and the e-mails started flying in. People are in tears," said morning on-air personality Neal Dionne, of WBCT-FM (B-93.7) in Grand Rapids, a region also struggling with a GM plant closing in Wyoming. "You don't see that everyday. (And) when you do, you know it's something special." The same strong reactions are happening in Detroit, where country station WDTW-FM (106.7), The Fox, is playing it hourly... Michigan's reality? John Rich's 'Shuttin' Detroit Down' hits home (Thu, 1/29)

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

A country protest song titled "Shuttin' Detroit Down" is spreading across the nation's C&W stations - and surging in popularity in the beleaguered Motor City itself. The song, by John Rich of the country duo Big and Rich, is a populist anthem that combines elements of working-class pride, economic frustration and class warfare. He's traveling the country, performing it on country stations, and it's spreading in viral fashion via radio and the Internet. The refrain: "In the real world, they're shuttin' Detroit down/While the boss man takes his bonus and jets on out of town." Rich sang it in person on the Dr. Don Morning Show Tuesday on Detroit's WYCD-FM (99.5), and the phones immediately lit up. "It has spread like wild fire," said WYCD program director Tim Roberts. "It's unbelievable. It's one of the biggest records we've had in years"... John Rich's 'Shuttin' Detroit Down' sizzling on country radio, Web (Thu, 1/29)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 2, 2009

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Dowagiac Daily News:

On Jan. 29 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a construction permit (CP) that will allow WGTO AM (910Khz Cassopolis-Dowagiac) to increase its transmitter power from 1,000 watts to 6,000 watts. WGTO originally went on the air as WLLJ in 1988 and has always operated with 1,000 watts daytime. The relocation of WFDF radio, which also operates on 910 from Flint to Detroit, along with improved techniques for measuring actual coverage, allowed WGTO chief engineer and owner Larry Langford to show that a power increase to 6,000 watts could be accomplished within the current regulations of the FCC. The engineering and application process was done over a period of years.

Langford recalls; "A major part of the process is driving to remote areas and taking very technical readings using very precise equipment to verify the current coverage of the station to be able to better predict the new coverage with higher power. This requires going to some very remote locations in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. In the process you meet very interesting people who wonder who this is walking around with headphones and meters"... WGTO to become most powerful AM station in southwestern Mich. (Mon, 2/2)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 6, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Congress has authorized a delay in the shutdown of analog TV broadcasts, but that doesn't mean local TV stations have to wait. The drop-dead date for the much-publicized switch from analog to digital broadcasting has been moved from Feb. 17 to June 12. However, stations are allowed to turn off their analog signals before June if they notify the Federal Communications Commission. Stations planning to execute the full digital switch by Feb. 17 have until Monday to file notice. Fox affiliate WXMI (Channel 17) intends to proceed as planned with the switch this month. Patty Kolb, the station's general manager, said Thursday the station "most likely" would file notice and turn off its analog signal Feb. 17. Kolb said general managers of area stations planned this morning to discuss how the local market should respond to the directives of Congress and the FCC... Delay digital conversion? Grand Rapids TV stations consider choices (Fri, 2/6)

Public service announcements airing Friday morning on WXMI-TV (Channel 17) said the Fox affiliate was going ahead with a change to digital broadcast on Feb. 17, despite Congress's approval Wednesday of a bill to delay the much-publicized switch from analog to digital until June 12. But before noon, the announcements had been pulled. "There's been a lot of confusion," said General Manager Patty Kolb, who added the station is now leaning toward the June 12 date because of the number of people in the market who do not have the necessary converter boxes to receive digital broadcasts. "We have a lot of very popular shows, and we don't want any viewers to miss their favorite show," Kolb said. Kolb and spokespersons from several area stations said a final decision on whether to proceed with the Feb. 17 switch or wait won't be made until Monday, a deadline set by the Federal Communications Commission... WXMI switches directions, now considers not making Feb. 17 digital switch (Fri, 2/6)

 


 

St. Joseph Herald Palladium:

Analog broadcasting will die as scheduled for at least three stations that broadcast in Southwest Michigan, despite Congress approving a four-month reprieve Wednesday. WSJV, Channel 28 of Elkhart and WNDU, Channel 16, and WSBT, Channel 22, both of South Bend, reported Wednesday they will use only digital signals starting at 12 a.m. Feb. 17. Information on how other area stations will respond was not available Wednesday. The House voted 264-158 Wednesday to extend the digital conversion deadline to June 12 deadline, but it gave local stations the option to go ahead with the Feb. 17 conversion if they felt their markets were ready. The Senate already approved the bill, which President Barack Obama promised to sign. House and Senate leaders wanted the delay because they said the transition has not been as smooth as desired or expected for viewers. For viewers, analog's demise will mean no broadcast television unless they have digital-ready television sets or equipment for converting digital signals into analog ones. Viewers using cable and satellite services are not affected. U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, voted against the bill to extend the deadline. He said the transition appears to be going well in his Southwest Michigan district... Area stations reject digital delay (Thu, 2/5)

 


 

WKZO AM:

With the digital TV transition likely delayed until June 12, broadcasters still have a chance to transition early, if they choose. WZZM channel 13 and WXMI channel 17 report they will continue to broadcast in both analog and digital until the June 12th deadline. WOOD-TV is still waiting for the president to sign the bill and for lawyers to go over it before making a decision. "The law, while it pushed the date back to June 12th, it also includes a provision that stations may go early," Mike Leamers, WOOD-TV engineer, said this week. "We're still trying to figure out what the law says, whether there'll be FCC rules that we'll have to give notice to the public before we go, so there are a few things still up in the air," Leamers said. WWMT channel 3 in Kalamazoo has yet to announce any decision, and WGVU reports it will probably wait until the others decide before they make that decision... Some Local TV Stations Plan A "Wait-and-See" on DTV Switch (Fri, 2/6)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 9, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Local TV viewers unprepared for the upcoming switch to a digital signal will get a reprieve. Most area stations -- including Fox affiliate WXMI-TV (Channel 17), ABC affiliate WZZM-TV (Channel 13), PBS affiliate WGVU-TV (Channel 35) and WOOD-TV (Channel 8) -- confirmed late Monday they will delay turning off their analog signals until June 12. Congress voted recently to approve the delay, but allowed stations to decide individually when they would make the conversion. Stations wanting to make a complete switch as originally planned on Feb. 17 were required to notify the Federal Communications Commission by midnight Monday. Among the reasons for the delay are viewer confusion about the switch and a funding shortage for coupons toward the purchase of signal converter boxes for older TV sets... West Michigan TV stations decide to make digital switch on June 12 (Mon, 2/9)

 


 

Broadcasting & Cable:

Michigan's unemployment rate climbed to 10.6% in December, tops in the country. But while the automotive facilities on the east side of the state continue to sputter, general managers in the western Michigan DMA of Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek say the market is doing a commendable job of reinventing itself. The region pushed to diversify its economic base a few decades ago, and while times are certainly tough--home foreclosures dot the No. 39 DMA--the health-care and biotech industries are vibrant these days, evident in a giant Michigan State University medical school facility that opens in the fall. "It's a challenging marketplace, but it's better to be in this part of the state than the eastern part," says WWMT VP/General Manager Jim Lutton. LIN's NBC affiliate WOOD dominated the November book, taking total day household ratings along with morning, evening and late news. Freedom's CBS outlet WWMT easily won primetime, with eight of the top 13 prime shows in November. Evenings are a lively race: WOOD was tops, but Gannett's ABC affiliate WZZM and WWMT both put up healthy numbers... Rapid Development (Mon, 2/9)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 11, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

WOOD-TV (Channel 8) is canceling its offer to air a controversial one-hour paid program on the "radical homosexual agenda," after moving its time slot three times. In a statement, station General Manager Diane Kniowski said it was pulling the offer to air "Speechless: Silencing Christians" after its sponsor, the American Family Association, failed to respond to its proposal to air it at 2 p.m. Saturday. The station previously moved its air time from Monday to Wednesday as gay rights advocates pelted the station with complaints... WOOD TV cancels offer to air controversial one-hour ad on 'radical homosexual agenda' (Tue, 2/10)

A controversial one-hour paid program on the "radical homosexual agenda" scheduled for WOOD-TV is delayed for the second time as partisans on both sides debate its merit. Opponents decry it as verging on hate speech, as they press WOOD-TV officials to cancel a special funded by the American Family Association. But backers are just as passionate in their belief it should air, adding heat to an issue that has long divided West Michigan. The program was originally slated to air Monday in the time slot before President Barack Obama's 8 p.m. news conference. WOOD-TV program director Craig Cole said Tuesday that station officials decided to move it to Wednesday, before it was moved again. "We didn't feel that it was the appropriate place, leading into the presidential event," Cole said. Cole said he had received about a hundred emails on the subject, about evenly split on the issue... WOOD-TV considers airing paid program decrying 'radical homosexual agenda' (Tue, 2/10)

Thirty-five people inquired about the vacant West Michigan Whitecaps play-by-play radio position for the 2009 Midwest League season. Although four of the resumes stood out, only one person was interviewed. That person was Steve Lloyd-Jones, 35, who today was named play-by-play radio announcer for the Whitecaps. Lloyd-Jones is no stranger to the Whitecaps' radio booth. He was the color commentator from 2002-04 and worked with Rick Berkey, who was the play-by-play voice in West Michigan's first 11 seasons. Berkey currently is the radio voice for Michigan State women's basketball. Lloyd-Jones will replace Dave Skoczen, who was West Michigan's radio voice the past four seasons. He resigned after the 2008 season. Lloyd-Jones will be joined in the booth by Dan Elve, who has been the color commentator since 2005... Lloyd-Jones added to Whitecaps' radio booth (Tue, 2/10)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 23, 2009

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AllAccess.com:

Michigan Station Loses Battle To Restore License: CHRISTIAN FAMILY NETWORK, INC.'s attempt to get the license for its WOLY-A/BATTLE CREEK, MI reinstated has been rejected by the FCC. The station failed to file for its license renewal by JUNE 1, 2004, and was notified of the cancellation of its license in 2006, but did not file an application and request for special temporary authority to continue broadcasting until JANUARY 15, 2009. The licensee was previously fined by the FCC for unauthorized operation after its license had expired. (Mon, 2/23)

Note: As recently as last week, a e-mailer to Michiguide.com noted the station has continued to operate.

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 27, 2009

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WOOD AM 1300:

NewsRadio WOOD 1300 lost a valued member of its family Thursday night. Rick Beckett, the co-host of "The Rick and Scott Show," passed away. He suffered a heart attack. NewsRadio WOOD 1300 is planning a special tribute program to celebrate his life and his career, Monday March 2 from 9am to 12 noon. Rick, a long-time member of the West Michigan broadcast community, worked for WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM before joining the NewsRadio WOOD 1300 staff more than five years ago. He would have celebrated his sixth anniversary with NewsRadio WOOD 1300 in April. Rick and Scott Winters worked together for nearly 15 years. They were together at WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM before both joined NewsRadio WOOD 1300. Rick was born and raised in Grand Rapids. He lived on the west side of the city and graduated from Union High School... NewsRadio WOOD 1300 Plans Tribute For Rick Beckett (Fri, 2/27)

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

Rick Beckett, a fixture on West Michigan radio and the co-host of WOOD 1300 AM's "The Rick and Scott Show," died Thursday night after suffering a heart attack, the station management reported. Beckett worked for WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM before joining NewsRadio WOOD 1300more than five years ago. He would have celebrated his sixth anniversary at the station in April. His ongoing health issues were often a topic of conversation on the air, but WOOD program director Angie Vuyst, who said Beckett was in his early 50s, was "doing better." "It was no surprise his health had been ailing for a while and he had ongoing health issues, but as of recently he was doing real well....This took a lot of us by surprise," Vuyst said. Beckett and Scott Winters worked together for nearly 15 years. They were together at WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM and joined WOOD at the same time... Radio veteran Rick Beckett, co-host of WOOD 1300's 'Rick and Scott Show,' dies after heart attack (Fri, 2/27)

 


 

WZZM-TV 13:

A long-time member of the West Michigan radio community has passed away. Rick Beckett, co-host of wood radio's Rick and Scott Show, died of an apparent heart attack Thursday night. Rick worked for WGRD-FM and WKLQ-FM before joining WOOD radio more than 5 years ago. Rick and Scott Winters worked together for nearly 15 years. WOOD radio released a statement regarding Rick's death, "We, at NewsRadio WOOD 1300, will miss Rick and will never forget him. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his family, friends and of course, those who have listened to him and shared his life for nearly two decades." WOOD radio is planning a special tribute program to celebrate his life and his career on Monday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to noon... WOOD Radio's Rick Beckett suffers fatal heart attack (Fri, 2/27)

 


 

WOOD-TV 8:

One of the most popular morning radio show hosts in West Michigan has died. Rick Beckett had been one half of the "Rick and Scott Show " on NewsRadio WOOD 1300 weekday mornings from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. for the past five years ... Statement from Scott Winters: I'm at a loss for the appropriate words... This is a blog entry I never, ever, wanted to have to make. I'm not even sure it's possible to put complete sentences together at this point, but here goes... On Thursday night, I received that dreaded call of the passing of a friend and co-worker, Rick Beckett. As most of you know, Rick and I started working together when I was just a part-timer at WKLQ back in 1989. I was honored to take the job of becoming a permanent member of the "Q-Morning Zoo" in September of 1993. Throughout those 15+ years we had a lot of fun working together on the airwaves in West Michigan. Oh sure, there were a few bumps in the road along the way, but those minor setbacks always made the team of "Rick and Scott" that much stronger. I'm always asked, "What is Rick Beckett like off the air?" Well, he was pretty much the same person when the mic was on, as he was when the mic was off (aside from his "list of words and phrases you can't say on WOOD Radio!). One thing I don't think people realized was how big of a heart Rick had... WOOD Radio's Rick Beckett dies (Fri, 2/27)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

The box of tissues next to Scott Winters' microphone got a lot of traffic Monday morning as friends, fans and colleagues of late radio personality Rick Beckett lit up the phone lines at WOOD-AM (1300) during a three-hour tribute. Beckett, 54, died Thursday night after suffering a heart attack. "When they first told me about (Beckett's death), my emotions were stagnant. This was great therapy for me," said Winters, who was Beckett's on-air partner for 15 years. During the final installment of "The Rick and Scott Show," Winters, along with WOOD programming director Angie Vuyst and programming consultant Phil Tower reminisced about Beckett, played clips from his broadcasting career and shared memories with listeners. Beckett was well-known in the Grand Rapids radio market from his years with Winters on WGRD-FM (97.9) and WKLQ-FM (then 94.5). The duo joined WOOD together more than five years ago. "He was so proud to work at WOOD Radio and have this show," said Tower, a former programming director for the station. Throughout the morning, emotional calls flooded the studio lines, and in-studio personnel often fought back tears... Co-host, fans pay on-air tribute to radio personality Rick Beckett (Mon, 3/2)

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

Local radio personality Buddy Hannah will read from and sign copies of his newest book of poetry, "Love Poems for Women or Men Sensitive Enough to Read Them," this Friday at Fire, 1249 Portage Road in Kalamazoo. Doors will open at 8:30 p.m. An open-mic time will start at 9 p.m. and Hannah's presentation at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5, or $3 for students with identification. Hannah, a playwright and former columnist for the Kalamazoo Gazette's CityLife section, hosts the current-affairs talk show "Talk It Up" on WNWN-FM 95.5 and WNWN-AM 1560... Kalamazoo radio personality Buddy Hannah to read from latest book of poetry (Tue, 3/3)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

At 1 p.m. Thursday, WXMI-TV sports director Brent Ashcroft went into a meeting with news director Tim Dye about his future at the station. Five minutes later, he was the station's former sports director. Ashcroft was told the station would not renew his contract, which expires next month. It was a decision that left the veteran anchor surprised. "I never saw it coming," Ashcroft said. "I never had any indication this was in their plans. They told me nothing about their future plans or what is next, and I have no idea who they are going with or what they are going to do." General manager/station president Patty Kolb was out of the office and could not be reached for comment. When reached for comment at his Grand Rapids home, Dye said the decision was business-related. He said the Fox affiliate's sports department is working on the details of its future leadership... Brent Ashcroft out as sports director at WXMI-TV (Sat, 3/7)

 

Grand Haven Tribune:

In his first year as a radio show host, Sports Radio 1370 ESPN's Ryan Terpstra didn't have winning an award on his mind. "I just wanted to be able to do a show that people would actually want to listen to," said Terpstra, who at age 25 is now in his second year as the host of "Sports Talk with Ryan Terpstra," which airs from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sports Radio 1370 ESPN, WGHN-AM. "My goal initially was to work hard at doing my best, and hopefully the audience would respond." That hard work paid off on March 11, as the Michigan Association of Broadcasters awarded Terpstra the first-place award in the "Afternoon Show Host" category at their annual Broadcast Excellence Awards... WGHN's Terpstra wins award for 'Sports Talk' (Wed, 3/18)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

Regent Orders More Free Beer & Hot Wings: REGENT COMMUNICATIONS announces that THE FREE BEER & HOT WINGS SHOW has renewed their contract for flagship Alternative WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS, as well as REGENT Rock WQBK/ALBANY, NY, Active Rock WWBN/FLINT, MI and Active Rock KZRV/ST. CLOUD, MN. Commenting on the continuing relationship, REGENT SVP JOHN KING said, "FREE BEER AND HOT WINGS is the real deal. This program has continually been the number one ranked morning show in all key demos in GRAND RAPIDS radio. I'm thrilled to have their tremendous talent at work for our stations. We also want to congratulate them on their recent national syndication agreement with COMPASS MEDIA NETWORKS. We are big FREE BEER and HOT WINGS fans!" FB&HW show member ERIC ZANE added, "We would like to express our sincere appreciation to REGENT COMMUNICATIONS. They have been wonderful partners and we look forward to working with our flagship -- WGRD in GRAND RAPIDS -- as well as our REGENT affiliates in ALBANY, ST. CLOUD, and FLINT for many years to come." THE FREE BEER & HOT WINGS SHOW is currently heard weekday mornings on 17 affiliates. (Wed, 3/18)

 

Radio Business Report:

Gen2Media signed a Joint Venture agreement with Regent Communications to create, develop and manage an ad-supported online television channel for each of Regent's 60 station websites. Leveraging Gen2Media's patented video publishing and content management program, each of Regent's radio station websites will feature its own individually-branded Internet television channel with access to originally produced or syndicated video content and programming. The rollout schedule, beginning this month, starts with the Regent radio properties in Grand Rapids, Michigan: WLHT-FM 95.7 (Adult Contemporary); WGRD-FM 97.9 (Modern Rock); and WTRV-FM 100.5 (Soft Adult Contemporary)... Gen2Media and Regent partner to for radio websites (Fri, 3/20)

 

For the first time, FOX Sports Detroit's collection of channels will present simultaneous telecasts of the same game, but from two different perspectives, when the Pistons take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the Palace on Thursday, March 26. The traditional game coverage will appear on FOX Sports Detroit and in high-definition on FOX Sports Detroit HD. Meanwhile, FOX Sports Detroit PLUS presents a "Match-up Cam" telecast, with devoted cameras isolating on key battles throughout the game among the many stars on each team.

"We are looking forward to this unique, creative and compelling use of our PLUS service," said Greg Hammaren, Senior Vice President/General Manager, FOX Sports Detroit. "We hope fans that are enjoying the traditional high-quality telecast on our main service will be intrigued to sample PLUS to see an isolated view of just how hard these great athletes work during the course of a game."

Coverage on all channels begins at 6:30 PM with Pistons Insider, followed by Pistons Live at 7:00 and the game at 7:30. Game audio will be the same on all channels with play-by-play announcer George Blaha, analyst Greg Kelser, along with sideline reporters Ryan Field and Eli Zaret. Field hosts Pistons Live pregame, while Mickey York hosts the postgame edition.

For FOX Sports PLUS channel numbers, visit www.foxsports.com/detroit.

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

If you want to watch unbeaten Catholic Central and Lakeview compete in a Class B semifinal at 6 p.m. Friday for a spot in Saturday's girls basketball state championship - and you cannot make it to Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center - you can follow it live on the Internet. The Michigan High School Athletic Association Network will stream video of all four Class A and Class B semifinals at MHSAA.TV. Semifinal games also will be available finals for cable viewing on Comcast Channel 900, pending availability of the station's time... (Fri, 3/20)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Jim Lutton, general manager of WWMT-TV (Channel 3), knows how seriously fans take the NCAA tournament. He is confident that West Michigan's local CBS affiliate has taken the appropriate steps to prevent the technical glitches that occurred Friday and Saturday. In both instances, Lutton said CBS Sports switched its broadcast feed from the primary signal to a backup, which caused problems for WWMT. WWMT worked quickly with CBS Sports to restore the primary signal, but by then, viewers were left with audio and HD issues. The station thought it had the problems fixed after Friday night's Michigan-Clemson game, but issues arose again Saturday during Michigan State-Robert Morris. He said the station received a number of phone calls and e-mails from viewers. "We're awfully sorry for the inconvenience," Lutton said. "These games are very important to people, and we understand that." Lutton said the complications were limited solely to the HD feed. He is hopeful the issue has been solved, but said viewers still can use the basic analog signal as a backup if glitches persist... CBS station WWMT apologizes, says it has resolved NCAA tournament technical glitches (Sun, 3/22)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Beloved Grand Rapids radio icon Rick Beckett, co-host of "The Rick and Scott Show" on WOOD-AM, is missed greatly in West Michigan. His untimely death from a heart attack last month has left many listeners grief-stricken. As for the future of the popular midday radio program, "anything could happen," said Tim Feagan, general manager at the station (AM 1300). "We will know it when we see it," Feagan said. "We have ads out in the trades. We are looking in and out of the market. There is no age range, no sex range, no conservative or middle-of-the-road preference. We are looking for someone who is relevant and compelling." The 9 a.m.-noon show has been renamed "Middays on WOOD" and pairs Beckett's longtime radio partner, Scott Winters, with fill-ins such as Neal Dionne, from WBCT-FM (93.7), and well-known radio personality Michelle McKormick. In his blog, Winters writes: "There is no way to replace the likes of Rick Beckett, nor do we even plan to attempt that. But hopefully we can find someone I have a good chemistry with, and we can make the new show as entertaining as 'The Rick and Scott Show' used to be." Winters and Beckett were best friends... Grand Rapids-area listeners still mourning 'Rick and Scott Show' co-host Rick Beckett, as WOOD-AM considers next move (Tue, 3/24)

 


 

WMUK 'Short Drive' fundraiser seeking $175,000

Western Michigan University's public radio station, WMUK 102.1 FM, is once again shortening its spring pledge drive, which begins Saturday, March 28, and will end when $175,000 is raised.

The station will reduce on-air pledge hours by more than 55 percent during pledge week and feature two "skinny days" Tuesday and Wednesday, during which there will be only one hour of on-air pledging.

Prior to the on-air portion of drive, listeners are encouraged to make donations online at wmuk.org or by mail. The station's Web ticker features up-to-date results of the ongoing fund-raising effort.

Funds raised through WMUK's pledge drives help to pay the cost of acquiring quality programs from National Public Radio, Public Radio International, the British Broadcasting Corp. and American Public Media.

To promote its broadcasts in high definition, the station's spring drive will feature drawings for 10 free HD radios. All those who pledge or donate will be entered in drawings, along with those who call in and request entry. Complete details and rules for the drawings are available at WMUK online.

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

Local television newsrooms across the country have slashed staff positions, offered buyouts and even shuttered operations in the past year. It's evidence of an evolution in American journalism that has intensified with the economic downturn and mirrors what's happening to many newspapers across the country and in Michigan. West Michigan is not unaffected, but has been spared the worst. The four national media groups that own television stations in the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek market are struggling, yet say they are maintaining heavy local news schedules and expanding their online presence. Gannett Co. Inc., which owns WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, is the nation's largest publisher of newspapers. It announced last Monday a second round of mandatory, one-week furloughs for most of its employees across the country. California-based Freedom Communications, which owns WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo along with newspapers and TV stations across the United States, announced this month mandatory one-week furloughs for its employees. And in December, WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids offered buyouts to as many as 30 employees with at least 20 years of service... Broadcast media trimming staff, reshaping operations (Sun, 3/29)

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

It's appropriate that WLAV-FM (96.9) opens its first live Blues on the Mall CD with a gritty, impressive performance of the song "Slow It Down" by Texas-based singer-guitarist Mike Zito. After all, not only did Zito kick off last year's popular Wednesday night series, but he'll do the same thing again this summer based on the 2009 lineup announced by the radio station a few days ago... CD featuring Grand Rapids' Blues on the Mall performances is packed with solid gems (Sun, 3/29)

It doesn't have the century-old tradition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," but a peppy theme song for Michigan's spring sports season on Fox Sports Detroit has been unleashed by East Grand Rapids' most promising young rock band -- the Good Luck Joes -- just in time for the Detroit Tigers' baseball home opener. The pop-rock quintet of East Grand Rapids High School graduates recently won Fox Sports Detroit's "April in the D" song contest, which could give the 6-year-old band its biggest publicity boost ever with daily TV exposure across the state... East Grand Rapids' Good Luck Joes' song for Michigan teams to debut with Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit (Sun, 3/29)

Now that he's community programming director for WPRR-AM, former City Commissioner Rick Tormala said he and "Friends of Labor" Director Buck Geno will debut a two-hour call-in show at 10 a.m. every Thursday. Later this spring, Tormala said he will begin airing a second politically-oriented talk show on the local non-profit station... Former Grand Rapids City Commissioner Rick Tormala will launch AM radio show (Wed, 3/25)

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

If you see a man resembling Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell in the "American Idol" audience on April 7 in Los Angeles and you're wondering whether you saw right, there's nothing wrong with your vision. Hopewell is scheduled to be in the personal cheering section of Matt Giraud, the "Idol" finalist from Kalamazoo, the politician told the Kalamazoo Gazette today. Often, the Fox TV cameras pan to family members and friends of contestants. And if, this morning, you thought you heard Gov. Jennifer Granholm on WKZO-AM (590) urging "Idol" show watchers to keep voting for Giraud, there's nothing wrong with your hearing. Hopewell had asked Granholm earlier this month to join him in a campaign to ensure that yet another Michigan native is a top-finishing "Idol" finalist. The governor last threw her support around LaKisha Jones, of Flint, who made it to fourth place in Season Six in 2007. Hopewell's and Granholm's well wishes today came just hours before the nine remaining contestants, which include Giraud, were to perform live on "American Idol"... 'American Idol' finalist Matt Giraud gets radio plug from Michigan's governor, Kalamazoo's mayor to be in 'Idol' audience (Tue, 3/31)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

If you're a country music fan, you'll be watching! With entertainers such as Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Toby Keith scheduled to perform, tonight's Academy of Country Music awards show (8 p.m., CBS) offers another chance to see all of your favorite stars. And there's another reason to tune in, especially if you're a fan of "The Electric Barnyard." Local radio personality Broadway, of WBCT-FM's popular nighttime radio show on B-93, was nominated for an industry award as on-air personality of the year for medium markets. "To be considered one of the top five (people) in the medium markets in the country, that's quite an honor -- to be recognized at that level," said Broadway, whose show airs weekdays on B-93 from 7 p.m. to midnight with his intern sidekick, Crawl. A native of Marne, Broadway (whose real name is Bill Bertshinger) is starting his fourth year with B-93 and has been working in radio full time since he graduated from high school. Now 27, Broadway says being nominated for the ACMs is a validation of his career... B-93 radio DJ Broadway gets Academy of Country Music nomination for on-air personality of the year (Sun. 4/5)

 

Muskegon Chronicle:

John VanWyck has been the constant. Even before the "Talkin' Muskegon" radio show on WKBZ (1090 AM) was the "Talkin' Muskegon' radio show on WKBZ, VanWyck held forth on another Muskegon station. "Talk 'n' Tunes" was a Saturday morning staple on station WEFG (97.5 FM). Originally hosted by VanWyck and Oscar Osbo, that program's cast of characters included Greg Roberts, Anette Buchholz, Bob Eacker, Brian Werschem and yours truly. VanWyck, Roberts and Werschem eventually landed in the Clear Channel Communications studios on Green Street, a venue best known as the home of popular West Michigan country music station WMUS (106.9 FM). There, "Talkin' Muskegon" on WKBZ -- Muskegon's first and most historic radio station -- has become a Friday afternoon tradition: Real, legitimate local radio taking up the afternoon drive shift from 3-6 p.m. On April 3, the show celebrated its eighth anniversary, with VanWyck and Dean Smith at the controls, and Werschem when he finally arrived leading into the second hour. Roberts departed the airwaves years before... 'Talkin' Muskegon' (Mon, 4/6)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

I'd like to invite everyone to join me 10 p.m. Sunday, when I return to WYCE-FM (88.1) for a guest DJ slot on the "Guest List With Michael Cunningham" show. Last time, my set coincided with the perverse commercial exercise known as Valentine's Day, and I was more than happy to spin my favorite break-up and down-with-love songs... Medium Fidelity returns to the WYCE airwaves Sunday night (Thu, 4/9)

 

WZUU Kalamazoo drops Mancow, Scotty Bud moves to mornings on Monday

Changes are coming to the on-air lineup on Kalamazoo's rocker 92.5 WZUU-FM starting Monday April 13th. Kalamazoo radio veteran Scotty 'Bud' Melvin will be taking over the morning show (6 - 10 a.m.) and waking up Southwest Michigan again, something he did for fifteen years prior to arriving at WZUU. "Mancow's Morning Madhouse" has been dropped from the station's lineup.

Melvin was most recently host of 'The Afternooner' from 2 - 6 p.m. on WZUU. Kevin Nash will continue in the midday shift (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.) and Taz and 'The Big Dumb Radio Show' will move to 3 - 8 p.m. Scotty Bud has been on the air in the Kalamazoo area since 1987. He is also the Program Director for WZUU.

"It's going to be great to wake up with everyone again. We'll have a local flavor, talk plenty of sports, and of course play Kalamazoo's Real Rock."

Scotty Bud will be joined by Traver McLaughlin, who previously worked in sports-talk radio in Phoenix.

 

Grand Rapids Press:

A series of cost-cutting measures by Regent Broadcasting has left longtime radio personality Bruce Parrott without an on-air home. Parrott has worked at Regent stations for about 14 years, most recently as morning show co-host on WFGR-FM (98.7), the oldies station. The company also has cut WLHT-FM (95.7) personality Denis Prior from its roster. Phil Catlett, president and general manager of Regent in Grand Rapids, said the cuts were made for "totally economic" reasons. The downturn, he said, has cut into advertising revenue. Parrott and Prior are "great people, very talented," Catlett said. "Some of the advertising realities we're dealing with right now are forcing us to do as much as we can to control our expenses"... Regent Broadcasting cuts Bruce Parrott at WFGR, Denis Prior at WLHT (Tue, 4/14)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

WLHT Announces New Line-Up: REGENT AC WLHT/GRAND RAPIDS afternoon host DENIS PRIOR exits due to budget cuts. Midday talent KIM CARSON moves to afternoons and JOHN TESH moves from nights to middays. OM JERRY "JT" TARRANTS replaces JOHN TESH at night. The new WLHT line-up is as follows:
6-10a - BARNABY & FRIENDS
10a-3pm - JOHN TESH
3-7p - KIM CARSON
7p-12a - JT

In other station news, MARK SUMMERS (a.k.a. MUTT) of MUTT PRODUCTIONS has been named as the new voice of WLHT replacing the late great BRIAN JAMES. (Tue, 4/14)

 


 

TVnewsday:

The Gannett ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich., WZZM, has expanded its cable coverage on Comcast in southwest Michigan. Comcast systems in Battle Creek, Lawton, Oshtemo and Three Rivers are now carrying WZZM's standard-definition and high-definition signals. These systems are also carrying WZZM's 13 On Target Weather Network, a 24/7 local weather channel for West Michigan. WZZM's SD channel is part of Comcast's basic package... WZZM Expands Cable Coverage in SW Michigan (Tue, 4/14)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Popular longtime WOOD-AM (1300) radio morning show host Gary Allen is "doing great" at Spectrum Health's Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center after undergoing successful double-bypass heart surgery Monday morning. "He's a trooper," said Allen's wife, Laurie, noting the radio host was sitting up in bed by late afternoon. "I think that's pretty good that he's talking to me at 4 o'clock after four hours." Allen, 62, has been off the air since Wednesday after experiencing shortness of breath and "chest discomfort" caused by blockage in two arteries, Laurie Allen said. After three hours of surgery, the prognosis for Allen is excellent, she said. Doctors expect four to six weeks of recovery time, though Allen is "planning on three weeks," she said. "He'd love to go back (to WOOD-AM) in three weeks, but we'll see." It's the second time in three years the veteran Grand Rapids radio voice has been off the air after undergoing surgery... WOOD-AM radio host Gary Allen 'doing great' after double-bypass heart surgery, wife says (Mon, 4/20)

 

A DJ so nice, you can hear him twice

If you're lucky enough to live in the middle of the state and are able to pick up Citadel active rock outlets WKLQ-FM 107.3 Greenville/Grand Rapids and WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland/Bay City, you can hear two different afternoon drive programs from the same jock. Jay Deacon hosts 2 - 7 p.m. on WKLQ and nearly simultaneously (3 - 7 p.m.) airs on WKQZ. But the trick is that the shows are not simulcast, leaving listeners on their own to figure out on which station and for what segments is Deacon live or voicetracked.

While the overlap area between WKLQ is WKQZ is mostly rural in nature, it's still an interesting study in how radio companies are doing all they can to cut costs yet maintain as much of a local feel as possible.

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

Ever wondered what a radio show looks like as it's being recorded? Ira Glass is giving you a chance to find out. The host of Chicago Public Radio's popular "This American Life" program plans to take his cast in front of the cameras for a live simulcast on Thursday. The show will be broadcast in high definition via satellite to more than 400 movie theaters across the country, including Celebration Cinema North and Holland 7 in West Michigan. Tickets for the evening event already have been selling well at Celebration North, said Steve VanWagoner, Celebration Cinema's vice president of marketing... Radio's quirky 'This American Life' hits Grand Rapids-area theaters (Tue, 4/21)

 

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.

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Student Advancement Foundation leaders credit the community's generosity and a radio personality's auction for raising $120,000 at Tuesday's fund-raiser -- double what the group raised last year. Executive Director Susan Heartwell said Tony Gates of WLAV-FM radio suggested trying to get attendees to top each other's pledges for the foundation's focus areas, with additional donors offering to match pledges up to $5,000. That activity raised $40,000... Radio personality helps foundation double fundraising efforts for Grand Rapids schools (Thu, 4/30)

 


 

South Bend Tribune:

Because of the University of Notre Dame's planned new hockey arena, radio station WDND-1490 AM is now broadcasting most of its programming on WPNT-1620 AM. The signal on 1490 AM will cease sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. today, because the station's former tower on the Notre Dame campus is coming down to make way for the university's new hockey arena, the radio station announced. Most of the station's ESPN radio programming has shifted to 1620 AM ... The programming switch to 1620 AM is long term -- for at least three months and perhaps up to a year -- until the company finds a location for a new signal tower, said Arthur Angotti III, a spokesman for Artistic Media Partners... Hockey arena construction forces 1490 AM switch (Wed, 4/29)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

The morning show on Regent Broadcasting's WNWZ-AM (1410) sounds a lot different these days. Rosie del Valle, the new morning co-host, along with Juan Fresco, recently took the airwaves with a change in name and format. The morning show, "De Manana y Something Else" airs weekdays from 7 a.m. to noon. "The show covers news, entertainment, interviews and information that appeal to Hispanic people," del Valle said. "I am the only bilingual DJ on staff, so we switch back and forth from English to Spanish" ... AP names winners- The Michigan Associated Press Broadcasters Association, which held its annual awards April 25 in Southfield, named WOOD-TV (Channel 8) "Station of the Year 2008" by the Associated Press. Numerous awards for excellence were given for best newscast, best continuing coverage, best spot news, best hard news, best individual reporting, best sportscast and best photojournalism... Broadcast notes: WNWZ-AM in Grand Rapids adds morning co-host Rosie del Valle (Mon, 5/4)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Bob Kaser is the first to acknowledge he probably takes losses harder than players do. One thing is for sure: After finishing his ninth season as the radio voice for the Grand Rapids Griffins on WOOD-AM (1300), he remains invested in the team. That's why he grows visibly frustrated from time to time. "I've toned it down a bit. I used to show my emotions probably more than I should have," Kaser said. "Every now and then, the emotions get the best of me. I care." Kaser said he lives and dies with his team, and that's never going to go away. Not as long as he's still enjoying his time with the Griffins. In addition to serving as the Griffins' vice president of community relations, Kaser travels with the team during the season and helps organize its charity work... Bob Kaser, voice for Griffins, is team's No. 1 fan (Fri, 5/8)

 


 

WZZM TV news director moving on

Tim Geraghty, vice president-news director of Gannett's WZZM in Grand Rapids is transferring to Gannett's KXTV in Sacramento, CA where he'll take over as vice president-information director. Prior to joining WZZM, Geraghty was news director at WTV Miami and also worked at several other stations including WAND and WWMT in Decatur, IL, and WDAF Kansas City.

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Tim Geraghty, vice president/news director for WZZM-TV (Channel 13), is heading west. Geraghty has been named vice president and information director for KXTV-TV (Channel 10) in Sacramento, Calif. Both television stations are owned by media giant Gannett Co. Inc. "My family and I are excited to go to Sacramento," Geraghty stated in a news release. "I am looking forward to connecting with my new community and leading the News 10 Information Center. I will miss the talented people of WZZM-TV 13, and I know the many relationships I have formed here in Grand Rapids will last a lifetime"... Gannett sends WZZM-TV news director Tim Geraghty to California station (Mon, 5/11)

 

AllAccess.com:

McKormick Joins WOOD: former CBS RADIO Talk WKRK (LIVE 97.1 FREE FM)/DETROIT (now Sports WXYT-F (97.1 THE TICKET)) "MOTOR CITY MIDDAYS" co-host MICHELLE MCKORMICK joins CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WOOD-A/GRAND RAPIDS as SCOTT WINTERS' new co-host for "MOUTH TO MOUTH," 9a-noon. MCKORMICK worked at WVTI/GRAND RAPIDS before her DETROIT stint; WINTERS has been working with guest co-hosts since the passing of his former longtime partner RICK BECKETT in FEBRUARY. (Wed, 5/13)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Tune in weekdays to WOOD-AM (1300) middays (9 a.m.-noon) and you will hear a new show named "Mouth 2 Mouth," featuring Scott Winters with new partner Michelle McKormick. She takes the spot of longtime radio personality Rick Beckett, who died from a heart attack in February. McKormick has already been on the air with Winters for several weeks, and the chemistry has been good, according to WOOD general manager Tim Feagan, who launched a nationwide search. Both Winters and McKormick are West Michigan natives, and each have more than 20 years of broadcast experience... Michelle McKormick joins Scott Winters at Grand Rapids' WOOD-AM (1300), replaces the late Rick Beckett (Fri, 5/15)

 

AllAccess.com:

FCC Rejects WOLY's Attempt To Restore License CHRISTIAN FAMILY NETWORK, INC. gets shot down again in its attempt to resurrect its Religion WOLY-A/BATTLE CREEK, MI, as the FCC upholds its dismissal of the company's license renewal application, request for STA, motion for stay, and petition for reconsideration of the deletion of the station's license. The station failed to apply for renewal of its license until after the Commission terminated the license for failure to renew, which gave the Commission grounds to treat the eventually-filed renewal application as a petition for reconsideration. The Commission denied the application and rejected the station's arguments to restore the license. (Wed, 5/27)

CLEAR CHANNEL Country WBCT/GRAND RAPIDS PD DOUG MONTGOMERY has been officially named the Country PD for CC's PREMIUM CHOICE in addition to his current duties. In his new position, he will oversee music and talent for all Country PC offerings. (Wed, 5/27)

 

Rock WKLQ is no more on the FM dial as sports takes over the 107.3 frequency in the Grand Rapids area. After several hours of stunting, Citadel has announced that the active rock format of WKLQ is moving online-only at wklq.com and that the sports programming of WBBL has moved to 107.3 as 'West Michigan's Sports Leader'.

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

WBBL is taking its ball and leaving -- for the FM dial. Citadel Broadcasting announced Thursday afternoon that the sports radio station known as "The Ball" will move to 107.3 FM, the former home of rock station WKLQ. The switch officially took place at 3 p.m. Thursday. WBBL had been at the 1340 AM location since going to an all-sports format in 1994... Grand Rapids all-sports station WBBL moves to 107.3 FM; WKLQ shifts to Web (Thu, 5/28)

 


 

WOOD-TV

In a move embracing present-day realities and the future, WKLQ Radio will become an online-only station while WBBL will take over WKLQ's radio position at 107.3 FM, becoming the largest sports signal in the market. WBBL (AM 1340 The Ball) will simulcast its signal on 107.3. The Ball currently carries the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Red Wings, the West Michigan Whitecaps and MSU football and basketball. Sister station WLAV will continue to air most Tigers games this season. Putting sports on a 50,000 watt signal "is a large investment. It will give us more power to reach more people with a unique opportunity to bring great talk and great teams with an even more expanded spot for local sports," said Citadel regional president Matt Hanlon in a press release... WBBL adds FM, WKLQ goes only online (Thu, 5/28)

 


 

WZZM-TV:

Citadel Broadcasting Corporation made some changes this afternoon to their radio lineup that will change some listeners habits. WKLQ, an "active rock" station will broadcast exclusively online only at WKLQ.com. 107.3 FM, WKLQ's former frequency on the dial, will become WBBL-FM, which will become West Michigan's only all sports FM station. "More than 70 percent of the current WKLQ listeners use the Web site weekly," said Matt Hanlon, regional president, Citadel Broadcasting Company. "This new technology and direct connection all the time is designed to get closer to the needs of this audience; it is where they want us to be." WBBL-FM will broadcast the West Michigan Whitecaps, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Michigan State University football and the Detroit Red Wings... WKLQ goes online only; 107.3 becomes FM sports station (Thu, 5/28)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

The "sports crazy audience" will be switching to a stronger signal on the FM dial, and the "active, young rockers" are going to the Internet. WBBL, the only all-sports radio station in the Grand Rapids market, started today at its new home on the FM dial at 107.3 in place of WKLQ, which now will be available only online at WKLQ.com, Citadel Broadcasting Corp. announced Thursday. WBBL also will continue to simulcast its programming on the AM dial at 1340, with the option to use it for additional programming when game broadcasts conflict. WBBL is the local network partner for the Detroit Red Wings, Tigers, Lions, Michigan State University (football and basketball) and the West Michigan Whitecaps. It is seeking to renew its affiliation with the Detroit Pistons... Grand Rapids station WBBL increases sports reach with move to 107.3 FM (Fri, 5/29)

 

AllAccess.com:

WKFR Kalamazoo Morning Host Exits: The morning team of WALKER AND HATCHER at CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR/KALAMAZOO is no more as MATT WALKER exits the station - and format - heading for mornings at BEASLEY Country WKIS/MIAMI. MATT'S last day will be JUNE 5th and this leaves KFR PD KEN "KRUZE" EVANS with some important shoes to fill as he seeks a new on-air partner for KRISTA. (Mon, 6/1)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

West Michigan fans, no need to adjust your radio dial. You're not imagining things. Glenn Eckelkamp has returned to familiar roots in the Whitecaps radio booth, filling in for play-by-play announcer Steve Lloyd-Jones, who is with wife Penny after she went into labor Wednesday. The couple are expecting their third child. Eckelkamp, 54, a former WOOD-TV sportscaster (1980-1989), worked as a radio sales executive at Regent Broadcasting from 1990-2005. He joined the Whitecaps front office as an account executive in '05. He has prepared for Lloyd-Jones' absence for weeks, doing the play-by-play for an inning here and there for at least 12 games and doing a complete game... Glenn Eckelkamp joins Whitecaps radio team as fill-in for play-by-play man Steve Lloyd-Jones (Thu, 6/4)

 

WZZM-TV:

It comes with great sadness that after today, there will not be a Weekend Morning Newscast on WZZM 13. Tough economic times have also impacted the broadcasting business and in order for us to "survive the economy", we've decided to sign-off. I wanted our viewers to hear it from me first. On behalf of the Weekend Morning News team, thanks for watching for nearly three years. We have enjoyed providing you with the latest news, weather and segments like Weekend Adventure & Breakfast on the Go. It's been an amazing experience learning about the positive, heartwarming community events, all thanks to the guests to took time out of their weekend to share with us... WZZM-TV drops weekend morning newscasts (Sun, 6/7)

 

WZZM-TV 13 announced this morning it is cutting its weekend morning newscast because of the poor economy. The Gannett-owned, ABC affiliate announced at the end of its Sunday morning news show that today was its last day. In a recorded message, and online on its Web site, weekend morning anchor and reporter Jennifer Pascua said today's announcement comes with "great sadness"... Gannett-owned, ABC affiliate WZZM-TV 13 cuts weekend morning newscast, blames poor economy (Sun, 6/7)

 

AllAccess.com:

MICHAEL ST. CYR's WJNZ RADIO, LLC, licensee of Urban AC WJNZ-A (1140 JAMZ)/GRAND RAPIDS, has been placed into involuntary receivership, according to a filing with the FCC. AMICUS MANAGEMENT, INC., headed by DANIEL J. YEOMANS, has been appointed as receiver by Circuit Court for KENT COUNTY, MI. (Wed, 6/10)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Staffing changes continue in the newsroom at WWMT-TV (Channel 3). Anchorwoman Diane Daniels was let go and will no longer be anchoring the weekend newscasts, according to the station's news director Cathy Younkin. Holly Doyle will be handling weekend anchor duties for the 6 and 10 p.m. news on CW-7 and the 11 p.m. news on WWMT on Saturdays and Sundays. She also will report three days a week. "Holly's experience and ability to lead will be a huge asset on the weekends," Younkin said. WWMT added positions at the beginning of 2009 and their staffing levels have remained constant throughout the year, she added. Tom Van Howe (former WOOD-TV anchorman) must be enjoying his tenure at TV 3... Staff changes at WWMT-TV Channel 3: Holly Doyle replaces Diane Daniels as weekend anchor (Thu, 6/11)

We have lift off! Friday's national switch from analog to digital television was celebrated with all the pomp of a rocket launch at the Meijer Public Broadcast Center in downtown Grand Rapids. Dignitaries, photographers and reporters jammed into the WGVU-TV control room for a live broadcast counting down the final seven minutes of the station's analog signal. At 10 a.m., retail magnate Fred Meijer, a major supporter of public broadcasting, pushed the button to shut off power to analog Channel 52. Grand Valley State University President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers, who welcomed viewers when the station started broadcasting in 1972, turned off the power to Channel 35. "I thought it would hurt, but it didn't," Lubbers quipped. As the analog monitors in the room went gray, applause could be heard outside the door. The station's digital signal, which has been at full power for more than a year, will replace the analog stations, making it WGVU-TV 5 in Grand Rapids and WGVK-TV 11 in Kalamazoo... DTV conversion celebrated at WGVU; WOOD-TV fields nonstop calls (Fri, 6/12)

 


 

WZZM-TV:

Popular grand rapids radio personalities Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis are making a comeback next week. The husband and wife team signed off two years ago after being on air for 20 years at WLHT.They were the longest running morning show in the city. Next week listeners can catch the couple's banter in a new form similar to podcasting. Listeners can catch their daily shows on I-Tunes or the Dave and Geri Show website... Radio personalities Dave and Geri make comeback (Fri, 6/12)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Radio veterans Dave Jagger and Geri Jarvis have launched a new venture -- a free weekday podcast called "Dave and Geri On Demand." "We thought it was time to get back to doing what we love: talking with West Michigan," Jarvis said in a release. "The great thing about this type of media is that you can listen whenever and wherever you like." The podcasts, which started Monday, will be available on iTunes, as well as through the couple's Web site, DaveandGeri.com. The site also includes links to their e-mail, blog and social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more... Catch local radio personalities Dave and Geri again, now on podcast (Wed, 6/17)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Kim Carson, WLHT-FM (95.7) afternoon drivetime on-air personality, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. Carson made the announcement in a recorded message at 4 p.m. today. "It's terrifying. It's terrifying. I'm gonna have to record it, because I tried doing it last night, and I can't get through it without crying," Carson said in an interview before the public announcement... WLHT's Kim Carson has colon cancer; she says diagnosis comes at height of her career (Thu, 6/18)

 

Country music stars love a good Bash! That is, of course, the annual B-93 Birthday Bash. This weekend, fans will flock to Ionia for two days of free country music, thanks to sponsoring radio station WBCT-FM (93.7). This is the 17th year B-93 has celebrated its birthday by throwing a party for listeners attended by stars and newcomers in country music. With Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley returning to headline Saturday and Sunday, respectively, this year is no exception... B-93 Birthday Bash shines spotlights on Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, other country music stars (Thu, 6/18)

 

Kalamazoo Gazette:

Southwest Michigan appears to have weathered the switch to digital television. A week after most television stations in the nation dropped their analog signals to broadcast only in digital, complaints and concerns coming to help lines and local television repair shops have slowed. "Most people have been pretty happy," said Bob Strand, a television repairman with M & T Electronics, in Paw Paw. "I expected that we would be getting a rash of calls when they switched over." During the first five days of the switch, the Federal Communications Commission handled about 1,200 calls from the Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Battle Creek market, said FCC spokesman Rick Kaplan... 'Most people ... pretty happy' with digital TV signal switch in Southwest Michigan (Fri, 6/19)

 

Michigan Almanac: June 20, 2009

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AllAccess.com:

FCC Deletes Several Michigan Noncomm CPs: The FCC has cancelled the construction permits and deleted the call signs of several noncommercial stations and FM translators in MICHIGAN granted to GREAT LAKES COMMUNITY BROADCASTING, INC. and GREAT LAKES BROADCAST ACADEMY, INC., bith controlled by JAMES J. MCCLUSKEY, Ph.D. The Commission determined that the stations had not been built, or had not been constructed in accordance with their authorizations, before their permits expired. The expired permits held by GREAT LAKES COMMUNITY BROADCASTING included WQLO/LAKE ODESSA, WAAQ/ROGERS HEIGHTS, WJCQ/JACKSON, W207BL/PINNEBOG, W206AZ/FREMONT, and W205BQ/BREVORT. GREAT LAKES BROADCAST ACADEMY held expired permits for WPQZ/MUSKEGON and W211BI/ANN ARBOR. Three other authorizations, for WJKQ/JACKSON, W220CW/ROGERS HEIGHTS, and W206BF/ROGERS HEIGHTS, will be dealt with in a separate proceeding to determine whether their licenses should be revoked due to questions about the companies' character qualifications. (Fri, 6/19)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Frustration levels, as well as water levels, continued to rise today for B-93 concert-goers who had their cars stranded in a lot at the Ionia Fairgrounds due to flooding on the Grand River. Officials of WBCT-FM (93.7) as well as public safety officials told hundreds of fans they will have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest before they have access to their vehicles, many of them submerged in water up to windshields... Water levels, frustrations continue to rise in aftermath of B-93 Birthday Bash at Ionia Fairgrounds (Sun, 6/21)

 


 

WOOD-TV:

It could be mid-week before hundreds of cars trapped by water at the Ionia County Fairgrounds are able to be removed, according to officials from Ionia County and Clear Channel Radio. Thousands of people were trapped when water from the Webber Dam was diverted due to the torrential rains Friday night. The Ionia County Fairgrounds flooded early Saturday evening, forcing the evacuation of the concert and an emergency shelter set up. There are at least several hundred cars trapped south of the Grand River, and another 100 or more in other spots, said Tim Feagan, the vice president of Clear Channel Grand Rapids, and Jason Eppler, the Ionia city manager... B93 Birthday Bash cars stuck til Wed. (Sun, 6/21)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Like more than 1,000 others, Matt Hartwig spent this past week without his car, trapped last weekend in the flooded Ionia Fairgrounds parking lot after the B-93 Birthday Bash ... The first 100 car owners of the more than 1,000 stranded last week were allowed access to their vehicles for the first time on Saturday. Crews from Reed & Hoppes Towing and Equipment, of Portland, early in the morning began towing cars out of the parking lot that had been under water for most of the week when the Grand River flooded its banks. Representatives from several insurers, including AAA, Allstate and State Farm, were on hand to handle claims. "It's just a bad situation," said Sam Pace, of Burlington, summing up how many felt, as he waited Saturday morning at the Ionia Intermediate School District Building to be among the first to claim his 2005 Dodge Dakota... B-93 Birthday Bash concertgoers discover fate of their vehicles towed from formerly flooded Ionia Fairgrounds parking lot (Sun, 6/28)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Oldies station WFGR-FM (98.7) is now "Classic Hits" 98.7, playing more Fleetwood Mac than Buddy Holly. "It's an evolution, really, from oldies to classic hits," said Phil Catlett, president and general manager of Regent Broadcasting. The station made the switch at 9 a.m. today. In the first hour, the station played "Spirit of Radio" by Rush, "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne, "Strawberry Fields Forever" by the Beatles and "You Better You Bet" by The Who. "As people get older, we want to bring some younger listeners into the fold," WFGR-FM program director Len O'Kelly said. "What we're basically doing is finding a way to incorporate some newer music into things. It's hard to play a Fleetwood Mac record next to a Buddy Holly record." Listeners still will get an earful of the Beatles, but expect less '60s-era tunes and a lot more '70s and '80s Top 40/pop hits from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Chicago, Foreigner, Journey, The Eagles, Kansas, Tom Petty, and the Rolling Stones. Catlett said the station will be different from classic rock stations WLAV-FM (96.9) and WBFX-FM (101.3 The Fox), saying it won't be as heavy. Also, "Classic Hits" will be focusing on music, while the competitors feature talk-heavy morning shows... Oldies station WFGR-FM 98.7 shifts to 'classic hits' format, hosts party in downtown Grand Rapids to celebrate today (Mon, 6/29)

 

AllAccess.com:

Muskegon Lumberjacks Ink Deal With WLAW: The INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE's MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS will be heard on CITADEL Country WLAW (92.5 THE OUTLAW)/MUSKEGON, MI this season in the first year of a four-year deal. The game broadcasts will include a half-hour pre-game show and a "Star of the Game Show" and post-game show attached. The weekly "JACKS JAM" show will air on MONDAY nights, and a daily "LUMBERJACKS HOCKEY UPDATE" will air on sister Sports WEFG (97.5 THE CHAMP). The JACKS' predecessor in pro hockey, the MUSKEGON FURY, were heard on THE OUTLAW in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. (Tue, 6/30)

 

WJQK Signs Rachelle Renee: LANSER Christian AC WJQK (JQ99)/GRAND RAPIDS signs former KXOJ and KKCM/TULSA air talent RACHELLE RENEE to handle SATURDAY and SUNDAY voicetracking duties. (Tue, 6/30)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Patti McGettigan, longtime news director at WOOD-TV (Channel 8), is leaving the station next Friday to head to sister station WISH-TV in Indianapolis, which is also owned by LIN TV Corp.. She will start her new job at the end of July. "It's time to go," she said during a phone conversation with the Press. "It's a good time for my family to leave, time to grow my career, and I am looking forward to embracing a new phase in my career." McGettigan said she has no worries for the continued success of TV 8: "They will continue to lead and innovate." Meteorologist Terri DeBoer said she will miss McGettigan for a variety of reasons... WOOD TV 8's News Director Patti McGettigan leaves to go to WISH-TV in Indianapolis (Wed, 7/1)

Car removal from the Ionia Fair Grounds is in the home stretch today following flooding during the B-93 Birthday Bash that left nearly 1,400 cars stranded 11 days ago. Favorable weather this week, after the heavy rains caused the Grand River to flood the parking lot on June 20, has hastened the recovery effort that began Saturday. "We're down to our final 200 cars, and we're telling everyone to come out today," said Tim Feagan, vice president and market manager for Clear Channel West Michigan, which owns WBCT-FM (B-93). "We want everyone to get their car today," he said this morning... Car removal winds down at Ionia Fairgrounds after B-93 Birthday Bash flooding (Wed, 7/1)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Three of West Michigan's major TV network affiliates are launching a news sharing arrangement, it was announced today. The stations -- WOOD-TV8 (NBC), WWMT-TV3 (CBS) and WZZM-TV13 (ABC) -- cover the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek markets. The pooling does not include Grand Rapids-based WXMI-TV17 (Fox). In a joint release, station managers said the shared resources begin July 13. The release said "photographers will cover pre-planned stories, such as news conferences, court appearances, ground breakings, and other scheduled news events. News directors or assignment editors will agree on which events will be covered by the pool. The footage will be shared with all three stations. Each station will decide how to use the video." The agreement is meant to create "efficiencies," said Janet Mason, WZZM-TV13 president and general manager... WZZM-TV13 (ABC), WWMT-TV3 (CBS), WOOD-TV8 (NBC) will begin to pool news video (Mon, 7/6)

 

WOOD-TV:

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Clear Channel Communications over the flooding that enveloped more than 1,000 vehicles at the B93 Birthday Bash. Anthony Hansknecht filed the suit in Ionia County Circuit Court on Friday. Hansknecht alleges the radio station was negligent regarding parking for the outdoor concert, did not monitor weather forecasts properly and failed to warn concertgoers. He also claims B93 engaged in willful and wanton misconduct because the station officials had the ability to avoid the problem and didn't... Class action lawsuit filed against B93 (Fri, 7/17)

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

The sports radio scene in West Michigan is about to double in size. WMAX-FM (96.1) plans to switch from its current rock format to an all-sports lineup in mid-August after it purchased the exclusive rights to broadcast ESPN Radio programming in May. The station will be known as ESPN 961, and it will join WBBL-FM (107.3) as the only channels in the market to carry sports exclusively. But is the area big enough for both? Tim Feagan, vice president of Clear Channel West Michigan, welcomes the challenge of going head to head with WBBL. "Absolutely, there's no doubt about it," Feagan said. "Sports is competitive, and I'm sure it's going to be very, very competitive here. At the end of the day, the listeners have to decide." Matt Hanlon, regional president for Citadel Broadcasting, isn't worried about the new station eating into WBBL's audience. WBBL, which moved to the FM dial in late May, has created a strong presence in the West Michigan market over the past 15 years... FM rock station 96.1's switch to ESPN format offers friendly competition to WBBL (Fri, 7/17)

 

Battle Creek Enquirer:

For 25 years, Ken Ervin was the voice of high school sports in Battle Creek. A change in direction by radio station WBCK has meant that Ervin will no longer be broadcasting local football and basketball games for the station, ending his long tenure. Ervin said he was told that cutbacks at the station would amount to big changes for the high school football/basketball coverage -- mainly a cut in his pay and a move to a one-man booth. Ervin and his broadcast partner for the last several years Ike Ranger didn't see themselves as part of that future. "It was never my intention to retire like this. Not my intention to bow out of the local sports scene like this. But this is where we're at," Ervin said, speaking for himself and Ranger. "We have loved doing this all these years. It's a passion, something we did passionately and something we strived to do better each time out." WBCK operations manager Tim Collins says that the current economic climate created the changes in how that station will cover high schools sports... Ervin leaving WBCK after 25 years (Thu, 7/23)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Although flooding cut the B-93 Birthday Bash in half, the country music concert cost the city of Ionia nearly three times as much as past events, records show. City Manager Jason Eppler intends to seek $40,703 from Clear Channel Communications as reimbursement for public service bills than ran up in the aftermath of 1,400 cars being swamped by the Grand River's rising waters at the June 20 event at the Ionia County Fairgrounds. Clear Channel, the parent company of WBCT (93.7 FM), paid the city $22,506 in advance of the annual celebration, an agreed-upon amount in line with costs of earlier bashes. The payment was to cover police services and other costs of a regular two-day event, Eppler said. This year, the concert was canceled on Saturday in the aftermath of heavy rains and flooding... Ionia seeks $40,703 from B-93 owners for extra expenses related to flooding during music festival (Sat, 7/25)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Iconic newsman Walter Cronkite was laid to rest Thursday. As we've been informed in every obituary for the past week-and-a-half, Cronkite was the most trusted man in America. Assuming that dubious assertion is actually true, Cronkite's death leaves living newscasters a big trust vacuum to fill. So, now that Cronkite's gone, who is our most trusted reader of teleprompters? Katie Couric? Not even close. Charles Gibson? Nope. Brian Williams? Getting warmer... Who is the most trusted local news broadcaster? (Mon, 7/27)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Jeff Varner made a deal with himself. He was going to wake up today as he normally does -- at 11 a.m. -- instead of getting up early to watch "Live with Regis and Kelly" (9 a.m., Channel 3) for the show's announcement of the Top 10 finalists for its "From Local to Live Co-Host for a Day Search" contest. "If I don't get it, then I won't be heartbroken," he said. "If I made it, somebody would call me, and they did. So I had to go back and watch it." Varner, a WWMT (Channel 3) news anchor at 10 (on CW7) and 11 p.m. and reporter at 5 and 6 p.m. was selected by viewers to co-host the morning talk show next week. Also making the cut was Lansing broadcaster Jason Colthorp, of WILX-TV (Channel 10)... (Update: Jeff Varner will co-host with Kelly Ripa on Friday, Aug. 7, with guest stars Susan Lucci, of daytime soap opera fame, and "American Idol" winner David Cook. Lansing's Jason Colthorp will co-host Thursday, Aug. 6, with guest actor Jeremy Piven, who currently stars on "Entourage.")... Jeff Varner, of WWMT, will co-host 'Live with Regis and Kelly' for a day (Wed, 7/29)

 


 

Holland Sentinel:

Hope College sports are moving to FM. The school announced Tuesday its football and basketball games will be heard on WYVN-FM 92.7 beginning this fall. They had been on WHTC-AM 1450 since the 1950s. Both stations are owned by Midwest Communications, Inc. "After several decades of broadcasting Hope football and men's and women's basketball on WHTC, we feel the time is right to move the broadcasts to our FM station 92.7 The Van," said Kevin Oswald, general sales manager for WYVN and WHTC. "This move will give our broadcasts a larger coverage area which will be beneficial to Hope College and its fan base and to the advertisers who support Hope sports on the radio and on-line." Ron Wetherbee and Jerry Klomparens will announce football games this fall. Hope's season opener is Sept. 5 at Illinois Wesleyan University... Hope sports changing radio stations (Tue, 7/28)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

He's one of those radio veterans who has done it all. With more than 30 years experience, Bruce Parrott found himself without a job in April after working for Regent Broadcasting for more than 14 years. Now he begins a new chapter in his radio life as host of "Legacy," a show that airs from 6-8 p.m. Sundays on Community Media Center radio station WYCE-FM (88.1). "I have been able to find magic in radio for 30 years, making people laugh, informing people, making great lifelong friends, helping out individuals and community organizations, but WYCE and its philosophies take me back to why I walked into a radio station for the first time, when I was in college -- to play and share music that I love and am constantly discovering, for other people," said Parrott, who first got his start in radio while a student at Grand Valley State University in 1975... Radio veteran Bruce Parrott now hosting 'Legacy' on WYCE (Thu, 7/30)

 


 

About.com:

After a 20-year run on Radio in West Michigan, Dave (Jagger) and Geri (Jarvis) suddenly found themselves off-the-air. Blame the recession, blame budgets, blame Radio's short-sightedness. Well, there's an old saying: "Don't get mad. Get even" and that's just what they're doing with Podcasting... Dave and Geri: When Radio Turned its Back on Them - They Turned Up the Heat (Thu, 7/30)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

At 10:05 a.m. on a Monday morning, the Michael Jackson song "Black or White" pumps through a Kentwood radio studio. Time for Skot Welch and Rick Wilson to rock. "Welcome, folks!" Welch pipes into his microphone. "This is 'Radio in Black and White,' the most integrated hour of the week." At the top of their weekly radio show about race, the pair go at it like the old friends they are -- with a good dollop of morning DJ banter thrown in. "The mayor showed up on our fan page! I was amazed!" chimes in Wilson with the smooth charm of a 20-year broadcast pro. "What if the PC people show up?" quips Welch. "We drive them crazy," Wilson retorts. These two aren't worried about political correctness -- in fact they banish it from their studio. Their two-hour show on WPRR-AM (1680) is all about pushing people out of their comfort zones into a meaningful discussion about race relations... Kentwood talk show hosts address racial tensions on morning radio program (Sat, 8/1)

 

Grand Rapids Business Journal:

Citadel Communications Corp. will debut a new radio format for its 1340 AM station in Grand Rapids on Monday. WJRW -- "We're Talking West Michigan" is a news and talk format that will feature "live local regional issue based programming" station that "highlights issues and events that are important to Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan." The new format replaces the WBBL Sports programming that was recently moved to Citadel's high-power FM frequency at 107.3. Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Market Manager Matt Hanlon told the Business Journal the 24-hour news talk station is aimed at a primary target of men aged 25 to 64. The station's tentative weekday morning lineup will include the syndicated program of Michael Patrick Shiels, a former J.P. McCarthy radio program producer who has been airing in the Lansing market; the Tony Gates Show by veteran the WLAV personality who will still do his drive-time show on that station; and Frank Beckmann's Citadel-owned WJR morning Detroit program, which will be re-aired locally from noon-2 p.m... GR radio takes on WJR flair (Wed, 8/5)

 

Tang tapped as new WZZM TV 13 news director

WZZM TV 13 Grand Rapids has promoted Stanton Tang from executive producer to news and information director of wzzm13.com, according to trade publication TVNewsCheck. Tang has been WZZM's executive producer since late 2005 and had been serving as interim news director since the departure of Tim Geraghty earlier this summer.

 

Battle Creek Enquirer:

You had to be there. The weekend gatherings of classic-car buffs with radios playing the Beach Boys and Beatles look quaint and cute in 2009 -- an innocent time long ago. But not so. To teen-agers in the mid and late '60s, who had yet to be called Boomers, this music was cutting-edge and threatening to our parents' generation. WKFR-Keener 14, which was one of the most progressive radio stations in the Midwest if not the country, fought to wiggle out of its staid, easy-listening cocoon and give birth to Top 40 radio. And in a small town, too... WKFR Keener 14 was a cutting-edge station (Fri, 8/7)

The vibe was part fan club, part high school reunion in a board room at the Battle Creek Enquirer's Van Buren Street office last week. For the six former WKFR Keener 1400 employees gathered for an interview, it seemed that time had only added to the euphoric feelings associated with the once-revolutionary radio station. About 55 people are expected to travel from across the country for a reunion of the former Battle Creek station's employees. To them and the thousands of listeners who tuned in to hear the "Keener Keymen," it was more than just a radio station. "We went from having two hours of our music a day, to all day," said Sharon Batterson, a former Battle Creek resident, WKFR employee and Keener Correspondent, a title given to high school students that would keep WKFR up-to-date on what music was popular among youth. "We used to have to tune into stations like Detroit, Boston or New York to hear our music." And then, everything changed... When radio was king: Keymen reunite (Fri, 8/7)

 


 

Lineup begins to take shape for launch of sports on 96.1 Grand Rapids

Former WDFN midday host Sean Baligian will join forces with Ryan Terpstra for afternoon drive (3-6pm) once the station launches with its new all-sports format on August 17th. Much of the station's lineup will feature syndicated programming from ESPN Radio.

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Jim Riekse, a former broadcast journalist for WZZM-TV, will be remembered by family, friends and colleagues as a hard-working, hard-driving fighter for truth and a good laugh. Mr. Riekse, 63, died Wednesday at Saint Mary's Health Care in Grand Rapids. He spent more than 20 years with the ABC-TV affiliate in Muskegon as an investigative reporter beginning in 1971. WZZM-TV anchor Lee Van Ameyde said Mr. Riekse, as a reporter, was better known than the station's anchors in the early 1970s... Former WZZM-TV journalist Jim Riekse remembered as hard-working investigative reporter (Wed, 8/12)

Stanton Tang has been named news and information director for Grand Rapids' WZZM-TV (Channel 13). Tang served on the management team under former vice president/news director Tim Geraghty, who left WZZM in May after being named corporate vice president/information director for KXTV-TV (Channel 10) in Sacramento, Calif. Both television stations are owned and operated by Gannett Co. "There will be no major changes," said Tang, who has served as interim news director for the past two months... WZZM TV-13 names Stanton Tang as news director (Wed, 8/12)

 


 

Muskegon Chronicle:

West Michigan country music radio station WMUS -- which commonly refers to itself as "The Moose" -- is presenting a free concert at Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon Saturday. The event features some of today's hottest current performers including Darryl Worley, Jason Michael Carroll, Holly Williams and Justin Moore. The 5th Annual Moose Fest will also feature Canadian country music artist Dean Brody, the Trailer Choir and Grand Rapids-based Union Guns. The first concert will begin at noon. Parking begins at 8 a.m. and concert gates open at 10 a.m. The concert is free, but tickets must be picked up in advance. No tickets will be available at the gate... WMUS presents free country Moose Fest at Heritage Landing (Wed, 8/12)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

New Morning Show At WKFR: CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR (103.3 KFR)/KALAMAZOO has been looking for just the right partner for their current morning hostess KRISTA HATCHER, and PD KEN EVANS tells ALL ACCESS the search is over. "I am happy to announce WILL HARVEY is joining us in SEPTEMBER from STARADIO Country WXNU/KANKAKEE, IL where he serves as morning host and also afternoon host on their Adult Top 40 sister WYKT (MY 105.5). In 2008, WILL earned an IBA SILVERDOME AWARD for his program and he has a great passion for morning radio! He's also a MICHIGAN native, so it's a nice welcome home for him." (Wed, 8/12)

 

Battle Creek Enquirer:

A community-wide effort to return 'The Voice of High School Sports' in Battle Creek to the air has gained momentum in the last week and it's possible Ken Ervin and Ike Ranger will be broadcasting games on WBCK radio when the high school football season starts in two weeks. A group of advertisers have reportedly been in talks with the radio station and have agreed to put up enough money to finance the return of the longtime broadcast team of Ervin and Ranger. Official word from the radio station as to what direction it will take could come within the week... Ervin and Ranger could be back at WBCK (Thu, 8/13)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

A new 24-hour news-and-talk radio format hits the local airwaves today, with a West Michigan television news anchor hosting a weekday afternoon show. The former WBBL Radio signal at 1340 AM now has the call letters WJRW, with owner Citadel Broadcasting Corp. recasting the former sports station. The new format took effect at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, replacing WBBL's sports programming. That got moved in late May to the 50,000-watt signal at 107.3 FM, the former home of rock station WKLQ. Among WJRW's hosts is Lee VanAmeyde, an anchor for WZZM-TV, Channel 13. He is hosting a show 3-4 p.m. Monday through Friday focused on politics and local issues, said Matt Hanlon, regional president for Citadel Broadcasting. WJRW's format will feature local issues-based programming, he said... Citadel Broadcasting launches 24-hour news-and-talk format at 1340 AM on WJRW Radio (Tue, 8/18)

 

WZZM-TV 13:

WZZM 13 and Citadel Radio are expanding their relationship for Citadel's new News/Talk radio station WJRW 1340-AM. WZZM 13's Lee Van Ameyde will host a talk show from 3:00pm - 4:00pm and anchor news from 4:00pm - 6:00pm weekdays. The show will focus on current issues and politics and will originate from a studio at WZZM. "This opportunity to return to radio, while continuing at WZZM 13, is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Lee Van Amedye. "I think WJRW is going to make a tremendous impact on the community, and I am excited about being a part of it." Lee's career started in radio at WUOM, The University of Michigan radio station where he began doing news and sports. He also worked at radio stations WAAM in Ann Arbor, as well as WNIC and WOMC in Detroit. Lee has been at WZZM for 32 years. Citadel is positioning the station, with the motto "We're Talking West Michigan," as a West Michigan sister station to Detroit's WJR Radio, 760 AM, which also owned by Citadel... WZZM 13 and Citadel Radio expand for new Grand Rapids talk station (Wed, 8/19)

 

Muskegon Chronicle:

He was scheduled to perform for one hour. He wanted to play for two. And for a moment, it appeared Justin Moore, one of country music's fastest-rising stars, would do just that during "Moose Fest," an all-day country music event at Muskegon's Heritage Landing on Saturday. "He probably could have done a second set," said Dave Taft, program manager for radio station WMUS ("The Moose," ), with a laugh. "He was really having a good time." The thousands of country music fans who turned out for the free concert hosted by the radio station also seemed to have a good time. This year's lineup included Darryl Worley, Jason Michael Carroll, Holly Williams and Dean Brody. The Trailer Choir and Grand Rapids-based Union Guns also performed. "I think this was our best lineup yet," said Taft, who noted this was the 6th year... Country music's Justin Moore kicks it up at Moose Fest (Thu, 8/20)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

WGVU AM is answering more than a few West Michigan prayers with newly announced radio station, Real Oldies 1480/850. The all-oldies NPR radio station, playing local to national hits from the mid-'50s to early '70s, will be hosted by former WFGR-FM (98.7) personality Len O'Kelly and Bill Bailey, formerly of WLHT. The announcement comes on the heels of WFGR changing its format from Oldies to Classic Hits -- a maneuver that displeased many loyal oldies listeners in the area. "It's our hope that through public support that (oldies music) doesn't get taken away again," O'Kelly said. The format was abandoned in 2004 with WODJ and again recently with WFGR. "Our hope is third time's a charm," O'Kelly said. The station will play a library of over 5,000 oldies hits, with many focusing on local groups that charted in the '60s. WFGR had an oldies library of about 1,000 songs... Music from '50s through '70s returns to the airways with WGVU-AM move to oldies format (Thu, 8/27)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

WWMT-TV (Channel 3) announced today that syndicated talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw will replace daytime TV's longest running daytime drama "Guiding Light" when it goes off the air on Sept. 18. West Michigan viewers will see "Dr. Phil" at 3 p.m. weekdays beginning Sept. 21, according to WWMT marketing director Mark Bishop. "This is a great move for Dr. Phil and WWMT. Our goal was to give West Michigan viewers the strongest lineup of syndicated shows at convenient time periods that allow them the best access," said Jim Lutton, vice president and general manager for WWMT, in a news release... Dr. Phil, 'Let's Make a Deal with Wayne Brady' to replace 'Guiding Light' on WWMT Channel 3 (Mon, 8/31)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 9, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

As a novice triathlete, Eric Zane knows he'll have his work cut out for him when the 39-year-old radio personality competes in Saturday's Rhoades McKee Reeds Lake Triathlon. Zane also knows that pulling 11-year-old Kate Veldink of Jenison on a raft through the half-mile swim and in a stroller over the 17.2-mile bike course, then pushing her on the 4.9-mile road race in a running stroller will make things more difficult. And Zane will love every minute of it. Zane, along with veteran triathletes Pam Otto of Wyoming and Kevin Diekevers of Byron Center, will be accompanied by Veldink, her 7-year-old sister, Olivia, and 9-year-old Aaron Biros of Fruitport in the Reeds Lake Triathlon to raise funds and awareness for the disease ataxia-telangiectasia... Radio's Eric Zane enters Reeds Lake Triathlon to raise awareness for rare childhood disease (Wed, 9/9)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 11, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

WXMI-TV (Channel 17) is expanding its news lineup. On Sept. 21, the station is adding an early evening news broadcast, which will air from 6-7 p.m. "We are so thankful for viewer support," said Tim Dye, Fox 17's news director. "Lots of people have always asked us to add a 6 p.m. show. Now is the time." He also said the Tribune-owned station was encouraged by corporate to do more local programming. It was 10 years ago when news anchor Michelle DeSelms and meteorologist Peter Chan helped launch Fox 17's 10 p.m. newscast. Now they will anchor the 6 p.m. news with co-anchor Christian Frank and sports director Tim Doty... WXMI-TV Fox 17 adds 6 p.m. newscast starting Sept. 21 (Thu, 9/10)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 22, 2009

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Bob & Tom lose Grand Rapids affiliate

The long running Bob & Tom Show (Bob Kevoian, Tom Griswold) is without a broadcast home in the Grand Rapids market as rock WBFX-FM 101.3 has dropped the program in favor of an all-music direction.

The station has published a statement on it's website:

 

"We have had a number of questions regarding the Fox and Bob and Tom and after being on the station for a decade it was time for a change for a number of reasons. The first reason was that there is no home for music in the morning as every other radio station in town talks and plays spots in the morning. So, with KLQ going away, Radio X going away, and the rest of the changes in the market we felt it was a good time to change the direction of the station. This is not to say we think any less of Bob and Tom and in fact you can still hear them here and while we understand you may have frustrations with this decision we welcome any comments to our program director Eric O'Brien ericobrien@clearchannel.com. We thank you for listening and look forward to hearing from you. Have a great week."

 

It's refreshing to see a radio station acknowledge the reasons behind their decision and solicit listener feedback on the move.

 


 

Muskegon Chronicle:

Low-power television station WMKG-TV 38, known for broadcasting local sports, hunting shows and live bingo, is being sold to a company out of New York. Owner Fenton "Bud" Kelley, 67, launched the local station 20 years ago and remembers the first broadcast -- a live bingo game -- like it was yesterday. Back then, the station used the call letters W40AK. Kelley said it's time to retire, and he's pleased a buyer surfaced for the family-owned station. Kelley confirmed that BAG LLC of New York is purchasing the business and its building, 4237 Airline, for an undisclosed price. Kelley said he is not certain what type of programming the new owners will broadcast. Attempts to reach BAG LLC and its managers were unsuccessful. The sale is pending approval of the Federal Communications Commission, but Kelley said he does not foresee complications. He said the FCC is expected to make a ruling by year's end... Muskegon's WKMG-TV sold, pending federal approval (Tue, 9/22)

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

Three months after flooding at the B-93 Birthday Bash left hundreds of vehicles stranded in standing water, about 150 people have shown interest so far in joining a class-action lawsuit against the sponsoring Grand Rapids radio station's owner. Ionia County Circuit Judge Suzanne Kreeger will hear arguments Oct. 27 whether to certify the class-action, Grand Rapids attorney John Tallman said. About 1,400 vehicles were stranded in a grassy parking lot next to the Grand River at the Ionia County Fairgrounds when the Grand River flooded its banks June 20. Many sustained significant damage. Tallman, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Plainfield Township man in July, estimated about 1,000 vehicles were damaged... Arguments to be heard in class-action lawsuit against B-93 owner Clear Channel for Birthday Bash flood damage in Ionia (Tue, 9/22)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 23, 2009

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WOOD-TV:

A Grand Rapids broadcaster who claims the African American community will lose its voice on the airwaves is fighting to block the sale of radio station WJNZ. Radio personality Robert S. Womack tried to buy the station he works for, but was not the highest bidder. He said Huntington Bank was foreclosing on the station owner for a loan default. Huntington Bank first accepted Womack's bid, but then decided to reopen the bidding process, he told 24 Hour News 8. Womack's next bid fell short. Next, Christian radio programmer Holy Family Radio of Lowell outbid him, Womack said... Broadcaster fighting to block WJNZ sale (Tue, 9/22)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 25, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Gospel singer Marvin Sapp and his wife, MaLinda, are supporting Robert S. Womack's bid to gain ownership of WJNZ 1140 AM. "This is a bigger picture," said MaLinda Sapp, who sat in a Kent County Courthouse hearing Friday to block the station's sale. "It's not financially-driven, it's community-driven. (The radio station) serves a purpose and exposes issues that are important to our community. We are here because we want to maintain this as part of the African American community. We are not exclusive (but) if you eradicate this station, we won't have a voice." The couple bid on the radio station through the entity Praise Place, which also is challenging the station's sale to Holy Family Radio. During the hearing, attorney Christina Mims who represented Praise Place said the entity would be working with Womack on a bid for the radio station. In order for the Oct. 9 hearing to move forward, Womack's group needs to place $315,000 in escrow -- which is $5,000 higher than the winning bid of Holy Family Radio... Supporters of Robert S., WJNZ Radio march through downtown Grand Rapids (Fri, 9/25)

 

Barbecue and live country music are a natural combination, so WBCT-FM (93.7) is throwing a party and calling it The B-93 Country Rib Jam. Admission and parking are free to the three-day event on tap Friday through Sunday in the parking lot at the DeltaPlex Arena and Convention Center. The Rib Jam's outdoor stage will feature free performances by several area country acts, and while folks enjoy the music, they can purchase cold beer and tasty barbecue from several renowned West Michigan restaurants... B-93 hosts Country Rib Jam all weekend at DeltaPlex (Fri, 9/25)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 28, 2009

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WOOD-TV 8:

Judge Christopher Yates ruled WJNZ will stay on the air as usual until the parties involved in the contested sale of the station have time to gather their evidence on the process of the sale. The station, at 1140-AM, was in foreclosure. Holy Family Radio, a Lowell-based Catholic programmer, was awarded the station after their $310,000 bid was accepted. But Robert S. Womack, a station personality and competing bidder, said the foreclosure sale process was not fair. He challenged the process in court Friday. Judge Yates ruled that any party who wants to continue in the bidding process to buy the station must put up $315,000 in escrow. Beyond Womack and Holy Family Radio, a group headed by Marvin Sapp, Praise Place, is also interested. After the court proceeding, Sapp would not comment on Praise Place's bid, but said he was joining forces with Womack... Sale of WJNZ put on hold (Fri, 9/25)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 29, 2009

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AllAccess.com:

Noble Wins PD Prize In Grand Rapids: After spending the summer tackling the 'honey-do' list, cataloging his record/CD collection, and finally finishing that novel he'd been working on, JERRY NOBLE (former PD at CITADEL Top 40 WIOG/SAGINAW) heads back to the real world! He didn't have to go too far to do it, either, as he has been named PD for REGENT/GRAND RAPIDS' Classic Hits WFGR and Soft AC WTRV. NOBLE is also back behind the mic as afternoon host at the cluster's AC, WLHT, following KIM CARSON, who returns to her midday shift, which moves JOHN TESH to afternoons at WTRV. "JERRY's resume of success made him an easy choice to help assist getting our REGENT cluster of radio stations to the next level" REGENT/GRAND RAPIDS OM JERRY TARRANTS said. "JERRY brings a wealth of experience to our already stellar lineup of talented professionals here in GRAND RAPIDS." In addition, WFGR adds syndicated BOB & TOM for mornings. TARRANTS noted, "BOB & TOM give us a great foundation to build upon as we continue to evolve WFGR from the Oldies format to Classic Hits."

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

Radio personality Robert S. Womack has come up with $315,000 needed to get his second day in court in his fight to bid on the radio station he works for. Womack is trying to stop the sale of longtime black station WJNZ 1140 AM to Holy Family Radio, a Catholic group. On Oct. 9, a Kent County Circuit Court judge will consider whether there were irregularities in the bidding process... Robert S. Womack comes up with money to bid on black station WJNZ 1140AM (Tue, 9/29)

 

Anybody who misses the "Bob & Tom Show" can sit tight. They'll be back -- just on a different station. Starting 6 a.m. Monday, the popular syndicated show will air on Regent Broadcasting's WFGR-FM (98.7). As of two Mondays ago, Clear Channel dropped the program from WBFX-FM (101.3), where it had aired for years... 'Bob & Tom Show' moves to WFGR-FM 98.7 (Tue, 9/29)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 1, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp is one of the sources who contributed toward $315,000 placed in escrow that could be used to purchase the radio station WJNZ. Sapp is joining forces with radio personality Robert S. Womack to stop the sale of the fight longtime urban station WJNZ 1140 AM to Holy Family Radio, a Catholic group. On Oct. 9, a Kent County Circuit Court judge will consider whether there were irregularities in the bidding process... Gospel star Marvin Sapp among contributors to Robert S. Womack's attempt to purchase WJNZ radio (Wed, 9/30)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp and his wife, MaLinda, plan to remain as bidders for WJNZ Radio (1140 AM), despite a falling out with on-air personality Robert S. Womack, who also is seeking to buy it. The Sapps said they placed money into escrow late last month with the idea of partnering with Womack in an effort to save the city's only urban-oriented radio station. "As of today, the monies have not been returned to the Sapps as they have decided to remain an intervening party and potential bidder for the station," the Sapps said in a statement... Despite falling out with radio host, Marvin and MaLinda Sapp still bidding for WJNZ-AM (Thu, 10/8)

Radio personality Robert S. Womack has given back $150,000 to gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp, who committed the money last week to help save the city's only urban station WJNZ-AM (1140). Womack said he and three other investors dug deeper into their pockets to make up the difference. Last week, Marvin Sapp and his wife, MaLinda, announced their investment and outlined their vision to give the radio station a more family friendly format. Womack said Sapp also wanted to move the station to the grounds of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, where he is a pastor. "We don't believe that we should be talking about the format unless we win in court," said Womack, adding that other investors felt Sapp's comments could hurt their court case... Robert S. Womack rejects Marvin Sapp's investment in WJNZ-AM radio station (Wed, 10/7)

 

AllAccess.com:

Phil O'Reilly Joins WNWN: MIDWEST BROADCASTING Country WNWN/KALAMAZOO, MI hires PHIL O'REILLY for APD/mornings, replacing WOODY, who exits. O'REILLY was most recently PD at BREWER BROADCASTING Country WQLK/RICHMOND, IN. (Fri, 10/9)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

A battle for control of the city's only station geared toward the black community is getting uglier, with recording artists and local pastors Marvin and MaLinda Sapp launching what could end up being a third bid for WJNZ 1140 AM. The move came after they broke away from a proposed partnership with station manager Robert S. Womack and another group of investors over how much of the station the Sapps would own. Womack said the Sapps were offering only $150,000 in exchange for 75 percent ownership of the station, which is expected to sell for $350,000 to $400,000. "He thought he caught us between a rock and a hard place, and he was going to take advantage of it," Womack said Friday. "I'm not one to take advantage of." WJNZ went into receivership earlier this year when its current owner, Michael St. Cyr, defaulted on a loan with Huntington Bank... Marvin, MaLinda Sapp file competing bid for WJNZ AM radio station (Mon, 10/12)

 

Radio Business Report:

Pittsburgh has been in the national trade press because its only Urban radio stations were sold and headed for a Catholic format. Meanwhile, much the same story has been taking place in Grand Rapids MI, centered around WJNZ-AM. The station is in receivership with $360K in outstanding loans. The station's own Robert S. Womack, known professionally as Robert S., has been trying to put together an ownership group to acquire the station and keep it in its current format, and continue its roll as being the only station in the market serving the African American community, which makes up about 7% of Grand Rapids' total population... Battle in Grand Rapids to save Urban radio (Tue, 10/13)

 


 

Battle Creek Enquirer:

A local radio host pleaded no contest in Calhoun County Circuit Court Tuesday to charges of uttering and publishing for attempting to cash a bad $400 check on March 21. Although a jury was set to be assigned Tuesday, Jeremiah Bannister and his lawyer Roger Caswell appeared before Circuit Court Judge Stephen Miller, who set sentencing for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 23. Bannister maintains that he is innocent, but he said he pleaded no contest to the charges in order to speed the process along, fulfill his job duties at radio station WBCK and keep his family out of the spotlight... Local radio host pleads no contest in bad-check case (Wed, 10/14)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 15, 2009

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WOOD-TV:

An attorney for radio personality Robert S. Womack withdrew his objection to the sale of WJNZ 1140 and the station will be sold to Holy Family Radio, records show, but Womack says he never agreed to the deal. Womack called 24 Hour News 8 on Thursday to say he was not in court Wednesday afternoon when the hearing took place, and was told that the meeting was supposed to be a status conference. Womack said his attorney, Mark C. Carryl of Clark Hill PLC, agreed to the deal without his consent and says he learned of what unfolded in court through media reports. Court records obtained by 24 Hour News 8 show the parties agreed Womack would operate the station for six months or until he finds a new place on the radio dial -- whatever comes first... Womack doesn't agree to WJNZ settlement (Thu, 10/15)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Local R&B/Motown station WJNZ may live on, but it probably won't be at 1140-AM on the radio. A settlement approved this week provides station manager Robert S. Womack up to six months to operate Grand Rapids' only radio station geared toward the black community. After that, 1140-AM will be transferred to Holy Family Radio, a religious broadcaster. The settlement gave Womack's Robert S Radio LLC and Kentwood-based Goodrich Radio LLC the right to transfer the WJNZ call letters to another station if they can find one... Settlement allows Robert S. Womack, WJNZ to continue at 1140-AM for up to 6 months (Sat, 10/17)

 

During the hockey season, rarely a day goes by that someone doesn't talk to Bob Kaser about the Grand Rapids Griffins. Kaser, who is starting his 10th season as the radio voice for the Griffins, said he was chatting with someone at the grocery store who had noticed him wearing a team jacket. "After a while, I guess he recognized my voice and said, 'You're the guy that I listen to on the radio,' " Kaser said. "So I asked him how many games he had been to and he said, 'One.' "It amazes me the amount of people I run into on an almost daily basis that are listening to games, and you can tell they're following games because they talk about specific things. Our following is far greater than what the attendance numbers might indicate." And the Griffins' turnstile numbers aren't too shabby... Griffins get FM boost with eight games scheduled to air on ESPN 96.1 (Fri, 10/16)

 


 

WZZM-TV 13:

WJNZ radio talk show host Robert S. says he does not accept the out of court settlement that would end his bid to buy the station. "I've never signed any paperwork to a settlement," he says. "We do not have a settlement." During a settlement hearing this week a judge okayed the sale of the station to religious broadcaster Holy Family Radio. The Lowell based Catholic group made the high bid when the bank auctioned WJNZ last month to pay delinquent loans. But Robert S. says bidding irregularities prevented him from buying WJNZ and he won't give up until he can find another station to air his programming to the African American community. "I'm not considering a settlement unless we know we have a signal," says Robert S... Talk show host says the fight to buy WJNZ is not over (Fri, 10/16)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

A judge rejected class-action status today for a lawsuit against the owner of B-93 radio after a June flood damaged hundreds of cars at the B-93 Birthday Bash at the Ionia County Fairgrounds. Ionia County Circuit Judge Suzanne Kreeger agreed with B-93 lawyers, who argued that each case would be different because car owners had varying levels of liability. Kreeger said she would be willing to revisit the request for class-action status later. About 1,400 cars were stranded in a grassy parking lot along the Grand River after flood waters rose quickly June 20 during the concert. Many of the cars were totaled by insurance carriers, but some people carried only basic coverage and were ineligible for replacement reimbursement... B-93 Birthday Bash gets temporary reprieve in flood lawsuit (Tue, 10/27)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Returning to Grand Rapids to play music is something country star Dierks Bentley is looking forward to doing, especially when it helps benefit children. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter will headline Sunday night's B-93 Roofsit Concert for Kids in Van Andel Arena. Sponsored by WCBT-FM (93.7), the event is a part of the radio station's long-running annual drive to raise money for West Michigan agencies involved in treating and preventing child abuse and neglect. Taylor Swift performed last year in the Roofsit's inaugural concert... Dierks Bentley returns to Grand Rapids for B-93 Roofsit fundraiser (Thu, 10/29)

 


 

WZZM-TV 13:

The lawyer for Grand Rapids radio station B-93 says the Ionia Director Of Public Safety told station executives it was safe to hold their Birthday Bash at the Ionia Fairgrounds last summer. "The Director Of Public Safety made the determination it was safe to proceed," says B-93 attorney Jon March. Approximately 1,400 vehicles were stranded when the fairgrounds flooded during the concert June 20. Many were severely damaged or totaled. Radio station lawyer Jon March laid the blame on the Ionia Public Safety Department after a hearing on how to handle claims from owners of damaged vehicles... B-93 blames Ionia Public Safety Director for flooding mess (Wed, 10/28)

 

Grand Rapids Press:

As Ryan Terpstra busily prepares for another edition of the "Sean & Terp" show at Clear Channel's downtown studios, co-host Sean Baligian is nowhere to be seen. He certainly can be heard, though. Loud and clear. The "Sean & Terp" show airs on WMAX-FM (96.1) -- or, as it's more commonly known, ESPN 96.1 -- and Terpstra mans the booth in Grand Rapids. Baligian is an equal partner, albeit from almost 150 miles away, at the WDFN studio in Detroit. Naturally, it takes a little time to adjust to communicating with your broadcast partner when he isn't the same room as you are, but both said it hasn't been an issue since the show debuted Aug. 17... 'Sean & Terp' show on ESPN 96.1 features co-hosts 150 miles apart (Fri, 10/30)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 8, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Steve Lloyd-Jones, the radio voice of the West Michigan Whitecaps who worked his first season in 2009, decided not to renew a contract with the Detroit Tigers' Class A minor league affiliate after the two parties failed to reach an agreement on his on-air schedule for 2010. One of the radio voices for sports at Grand Valley State University, Lloyd-Jones, 36, has three children younger than 5 and cited family as his reason for leaving the job. The Whitecaps play a 140-game regular-season schedule, 70 games on the road. It's not uncommon in minor league baseball to be on the road for a week or more. "Based on my family needs, my career needs to take a back seat right now. I have very young kids and they need their dad," Lloyd-Jones said. "I underestimated the toll of being gone on my kids, and we couldn't reach a compromise on a more family friendly schedule and my needs and their needs as an organization"... Steve Lloyd-Jones will not return as radio voice of Whitecaps (Fri, 11/6)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 15, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Tracy Forner will leave his morning anchor duties at WXMI-TV (Channel 17) to head back to Indianapolis. His last day will be Nov. 25. Forner joined Fox 17 in August 2008 after a six-year stint at the Fox affiliate in Indianapolis. Before that, he worked at WZZM-TV (Channel 13), WLHT-FM (95.7) and WLAV-FM (96.9). "It's a simple matter of not wanting to be away from my family anymore," said Forner, whose wife, Elizabeth, and three young children still live in the Indianapolis area. "As hard as we tried to sell our home and find comparable work for my wife here, it wasn't happening. "We were fully committed to coming back and being a part of West Michigan again. Now my only focus is for my family to no longer be apart. There will always be opportunities for me to work, but my children only grow up once, and I refuse to miss any more of that." WXMI news director Tim Dye is looking for a replacement for Forner, he said... WXMI-TV morning anchor Tracy Forner returns home to Indianapolis (Sun, 11/15)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 18, 2009

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Cornerstone University expands West Michigan radio reach

WCFG FM 90.9 Springfield/Battle Creek signed on last week (Friday, Nov 6th) as a full-time rebroadcaster of WCSG FM 91.3 Grand Rapids. WSCG/WCFG features an adult-focused Contemporary Christian format that usually finds itself among the most popular stations in a very busy radio landscape across West Michigan.

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

Terri DeBoer and Rachael Ruiz soon will be adding a co-worker to their lifestyle show "Eight West" thanks to WOTV4's "The Face of 4" contest. The winner gets a one-year contract, the opportunity to represent the station on air and in the community and also act as a correspondent on "Eight West." Oh, and did I mention they also get $20,000? was announced this week on "Eight West." People can vote on wotv.com now through Nov. 29. The person with the most votes will be given an automatic pass to the finale. Five others will be chosen by WOTV 4 to move on to the final round of competition. The winner will be announced the week of Dec. 7... Top 20 chosen for WOTV's 'The Face of 4' contest (Tue, 11/17)

 


 

WZZM-TV:

At the beginning of October, Ellen Tailor of HOT-FM's "Todd Chance Radio Show" embarked on an ambitious fundraiser to help local survivors of breast cancer. Her mother was diagnosed with the disease just over a year ago. After undergoing treatment, she is now a survivor. Tailor decided to challenge listeners, if they could raise $10,000 to help other survivors, she would "bare it all" and pose in the buff for an art class at Kendall College. "She and other breast cancer patients are poked and prodded and feel so vulnerable when they are being put out there, that me doing this art class is nothing compared to what they go through," said Tailor. Just one month later, listeners had held up their end of the bargain, and $11,700 was donated to the Compassionate Cancer Care Center at Metro Health Village... HOT-FM's Ellen Tailor 'Bares It All' to help breast cancer survivors (Mon, 11/16)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 20, 2009

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AllAccess.com:

The state of MICHIGAN has one of the highest unemployment rates in the U.S. The staff at CITADEL Top 40 WHTS/GRAND RAPIDS knows how difficult it is for many area families to put food on the table. On NOVEMBER 22nd, the station will present PASS THE GRAVY, a canned food drive/concert to benefit local charitable organization GOD'S KITCHEN (which served over 195,000 meals to the hungry in 2008)... WHTS Grand Rapids Is Helping The Hungry (Thu, 11/19)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 30, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Take a peek at Shelley Irwin's weekly planner and you'll find she's carved out time to judge a contest, emcee a luncheon, run a half-marathon, attend a charity picnic, sit on a variety of boards of directors, participate in a bike ride and perform on a local stage. Oh, and she has a full-time job, too. The strawberry-blond dynamo is host of the morning show on WGVU-FM (88.5), the National Public Radio affiliate at Grand Valley State University. She jam-packs her mornings, afternoons and evenings with interviews, civic functions and nonprofit work, tackling everything she does with gusto. Irwin is involved with local libraries and civic groups, the Salvation Army, the Epilepsy Foundation and Girl Scouts. She has moderated events for the World Affairs Council, Leadership Grand Rapids, the Center for Women in Transition and many others... Profile: Morning radio show host Shelley Irwin (Sun, 11/29)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 2, 2009

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AllAccess.com:

There are staff changes at LANSER Christian AC WJQK (JQ99)/GRAND RAPIDS with GARY THOMPSON's exit to SOS RADIO NETWORK/LAS VEGAS. Assistant MD JEREMY HENRY will take over MD duties. Morning host TROY WEST will fill THOMPSON'S vacated afternoon-drive slot. The station will announce the new morning show on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24th... Staff Moves At WJQK (Wed, 12/2)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 4, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Community event organizer Rob Bliss can now post a new Facebook status: He has a 9-to-5 job. On his Facebook page, the 21-year-old Grand Rapids Community College student recently posted he was in desperate need of a job to help offset a $7,000-plus debt incurred from his latest mass event, the Grand Rapids Zombie Walk on Oct. 30 in Calder Plaza. The rain-soaked event, which included a walk drawing more than 10,000 people and an electronic music concert, cost about $15,000. WOOD-TV (Channel 8) saw Bliss' post, and found him a position as a multi-platform account executive. He started work this week with the NBC-TV affiliate... Grand Rapids community event organizer Rob Bliss lands social media job with WOOD-TV (Thu, 12/3)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 11, 2009

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Rebecca Sapakie is enjoying her new post as news director at WOOD-TV (Channel 8), a station with which she already is pretty familiar. "I am most excited to be back at WOOD, where I work with people who inspire and educate me daily," said Sapakie, who worked at the station from 1999 to 2006 in positions ranging from weekend morning-show producer to assistant news director. She moved to Kansas City, Mo., when her husband got a job offer there. Sapakie, 32, landed a position at Kansas City's WDAF-TV, implementing and directing that station's online department. "I have a strong connection to West Michigan and WOOD-TV. I sincerely have a passion for this station and the work it does in West Michigan," she said. "So, when our general manager (Diane Kniowski) asked me to come on board as news director, I couldn't imagine a better place to be"... Former WOOD-TV producer returns as news director (Fri, 12/11)

 

WOOD-TV 8 is making some on-air and online changes in January to accommodate today's growing multi-platform world, according to management. Weekend anchor Emily Linnert moves into co-anchoring roles on "Daybreak" and the noon news. New social media director Rob Bliss will play a big role in servicing and growing the audience, management said. The station also recently hired multi-platform reporter Dani Carlson, a teacher at Northwestern University and former employee of KMPH in Fresno, Calif... WOOD-TV 8 changes: Emily Linnert moves into 'Daybreak' role, Jennifer Moss out (Fri, 12/11)

 


 

WOOD-TV:

Citing a growth in morning viewers, online visitors and social networking connections, WOOD TV8 is addressing changes to its morning news by announcing a series of new initiatives focused on delivering the best information in a multi-platform world. Beginning in January, there will be some changes to the morning line-up. Daybreak co-anchor, Jennifer Moss, has recently chosen to pursue other interests after declining a contract offer from WOOD-TV. Moss will remain on the air through Thursday, December 17, 2009. Jennifer has served West Michigan viewers with professionalism and respect. She has also served the community by giving generously of her time and talent through her volunteer efforts. Her work - both on air and in the community - has been recognized by multiple media and service organizations. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors. Weekend anchor, Emily Linnert, will join Brett Thomas to co-anchor 24 Hour News 8 Daybreak and Noon starting in January... 24 Hour News 8 makes Daybreak changes (Thu, 12/10)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 14, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

WWMT (Channel 3) has hired Steve Koles from WPRI in Providence, Rhode Island as its news director. Koles is replacing Cathy Younkin, who left the station Sept. 25 to work as news director at fellow Freedom Broadcasting station WPEC in West Palm Beach. "We are excited that Steve will be joining us on Dec. 31st. He has a track record of fostering strong journalism and getting results for the communities where he has worked. His 14 years in television news has prepared him well for the challenges ahead," the station's vice president and general manager Jim Lutton said in a press release... WWMT Channel 3 hires Steve Koles as news director (Mon, 12/14)

 

Detroit Free Press:

The parent firm for three metro Detroit radio stations, WJR-AM (760), WDRQ-FM (93.1) and WDVD-FM (96.3), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday to restructure its debt load. In documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Citadel Broadcasting Corp., the nation's third-largest radio broadcasting company, listed total assets of $1.4 billion and total debt of $2.46 billion. The presidents of WJR, WDRQ and WDVD did not return calls Sunday to explain the impact in Detroit. Much of Citadel's debt burden stems from its $2.7 billion purchase of ABC Radio from Walt Disney Co. in 2007... WJR, WDRQ, WDVD parent files Chapter 11 (Mon, 12/21)

 


 

ABC12 (WJRT TV):

Citadel Broadcasting Corp., the third-largest radio group in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sunday. The company, which owns and operates 224 radio stations in 25 states, listed liabilities of $2.5 billion on assets of $1.4 billion, according to court papers filed with the Southern District of New York. Citadel owns six Mid-Michigan stations including 96 WHNN-FM, home of popular morning DJ Johnny Burke; Flint's country station, WFBE-FM (B95); and Saginaw's 102.5 WIOG-FM. The company has been saddled with debt for some time as the radio industry continues to be hard hit by depressed advertising revenue. It had been widely reported in recent months that the company could be headed toward bankruptcy. More than 60 percent of the company's secured lenders backed Citadel's pre-negotiated bankruptcy, which will allow it to extinguish $1.4 billion of debt and convert its $2.1 billion secured credit facility into a new term loan... Citadel Broadcasting files for bankruptcy protection (Sun, 12/20)

 


 

Lansing State Journal:

These days, local TV newscasts have to do it all themselves. There are no big lead-ins, no easy audiences. So two stations find some reasons to cheer the new Nielsen ratings books. "I consider it my first book as news director and I couldn't be happier," said Jam Sardar at WLNS (Channel 6). "We're up in five (of eight) shows. ... They drop in seven shows." Many of those drops were by tiny fractions, said Michael King, general manager of WILX (Channel 10). The key thing is what has been overcome... TV news stations see local loyalty in ratings (Mon, 12/21)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

Yet another radio group has filed for bankruptcy protection, as NEXTMEDIA GROUP has filed a pre-arranged plan that will hand over control to certain creditors, court papers showed. NEXTMEDIA lists between $100 and $500 Million in total debt. REUTERS reports NEXTMEDIA's first lien debt and general unsecured claims will be paid in full while second lien debt will be converted into 95% equity in the reorganized company, said CFO ERIC NEUMANN, in an affidavit. In a statement on its website, NEXTMEDIA said the reorganization process will have no impact on day-to-day operations and will not result in any changes to senior management or any reduction to employee headcount... NextMedia Also Files For Chapter 11 (Mon, 12/21)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 30, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

WWMT-TV (Channel 3) evening weekday anchor Tom Van Howe is leaving the Kalamazoo-based station after tonight's broadcast. Mark Bishop, WWMT marketing director, confirmed his last on-air broadcast will be tonight. WWMT anchor Jeff Varner will fill in Van Howe. News director Steve Koles was not available for comment. Van Howe joined in station in July of 2008 at the age of 63, anchoring the weekday newscasts at 5 and 6 p.m. with anchor Judy Markee... Anchor Tom Van Howe leaves WWMT-TV (Wed, 12/30)

 

West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 31, 2009

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Grand Rapids Press:

Radio station WSNX-FM (104.5) will be debuting a new morning show now that Justin "Puddin' " Barclay, host of "Puddin's Playhouse," is leaving. He gave notice just before Christmas that he "got another gig," said program director Eric "EOB" O'Brien. "I understand it's a much better job, but I don't know what is." There was a brief Facebook movement called "Save Puddin's Playhouse!!" but the most recent comment on it as of Thursday noon was from Dec. 19. Puddin' has been host of the morning show for four years and in that time has made a few headlines. During the whole "mystery project" hysteria in 2006, he aired a call from someone who claimed that Donald Trump was involved with the project and was going to build an underground casino. The rumors were not true, and the "msytery project" never materialized... Justin Puddin' Barclay of Puddin's Playhouse leaves WSNX for undisclosed opportunity (Thu, 12/31)

 

Angie Vuyst is leaving Grand Rapids for greener, but very familiar pastures. The former program director at news/talk station WOOD-AM (1300) is now the new PD at "Rush Radio," WGBT-FM (94.5), an FM talk format that goes on the air Monday in Greensboro, N.C. The station will air talk shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The station is owned by Clear Channel Communications. "It's a great career move for her," said Doug Montgomery of Clear Channel Communications in Grand Rapids, which owns WOOD-AM, as well as five other local stations. "It's a brand new lauch, and we're promoting someone who has a lot of talent." Vuyst was not available for comment... Angie Vyust leaves WOOD-AM for North Carolina (Thu, 12/31)

 

Michiguide.com 2009 News Archive

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