West Michigan: October 2009 Archives

West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 1, 2009



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)



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




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)




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)




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)







Home Page | Contact | Station Listings | History | Links

Search | About | Shop | Sitemap | Weather



Twitter Facebook E-mail Feed


About this Archive

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

West Michigan: September 2009 is the previous archive.

West Michigan: November 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.