West Michigan: August 2009 Archives

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)




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 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)







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

West Michigan: July 2009 is the previous archive.

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