West Michigan: July 2009 Archives

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)



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)




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)







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About this Archive

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

West Michigan: June 2009 is the previous archive.

West Michigan: August 2009 is the next archive.

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