West Michigan: September 2009 Archives

West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 9, 2009



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



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



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




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



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




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




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)







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

West Michigan: August 2009 is the previous archive.

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