West Michigan: June 2009 Archives


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)



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)



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)




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




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)




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)



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)







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This page is a archive of entries in the West Michigan category from June 2009.

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