Entries in West Michigan Category

Kalamazoo Gazette:

Longtime local radio personality Lori Moore announced Monday that she is fighting breast cancer and will not be on-air while she heals. Moore, who has hosted the morning show on WKZO-AM (590) since 1995, had surgery Dec. 29. Her pathology report was good with no signs the cancer had spread, Moore said during a telephone interview Monday afternoon. Moore said she has an appointment at the West Michigan Cancer Center Wednesday to determine what comes next. Moore, whose program runs from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays, said Monday she was sore and didn't have the energy to "get up at 3:45 in the morning at the moment," but she wants "to get back as soon as possible"... Local radio host on WKZO-AM Lori Moore diagnosed with breast cancer (Tue, 1/5)




CITADEL Country WTNR (94.5 THUNDER COUNTRY)/GRAND RAPIDS, MI APD/afternoon host NICK ALAN will be starting a new gig soon as PD/on-air personality for CITADEL Country KATC/COLORADO SPRINGS. ALAN's first day is MONDAY (1/11). CITADEL Regional Manager of Country Programming and WTNR/PD STEVE STEWART is seeking his replacement... WTNR APD Nick Alan Headed To KATC (Tue, 1/5)


Grand Rapids Press:

David Solano is not the type of person who likes to sit around and wait for things to happen. That's why the former weekend sports anchor at WZZM-TV recently made the bold move to Houston -- even though he doesn't have a job lined up. Solano arrived in Houston on Dec. 29. He first visited the Lone Star State a few years back while visiting his girlfriend, a native Texan, and fell in love with the area. He had hoped to find a role in a larger market, but those opportunities did not materialize in Michigan, so he's taking a chance on Houston. Solano has had a few interviews already, both in and out of the TV business, and is confident he will land a gig relatively soon... David Solano looking for work in Houston after leaving WZZM-TV sports job (Fri, 1/8)


St. Joseph Herald Palladium:

Jason Lee knew his morning radio show on WIRX-FM (107.1) was doomed eight weeks before he got the official word. "When we received the shipment of 2010 station calendars, the Jason Lee Show logo was no where on there," Lee says from his home in St. Joseph. "When our logo didn't make the calendar we knew we were going to get booted. We just sat around for eight Fridays waiting to get called into the office." The call came on Nov. 20. That's when Lee was told that his show was the latest victim of budget cuts at Benton Harbor's WSJM, Inc., which operates the five Southwest Michigan radio stations owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting. Since Lee's last broadcast nearly two months ago, a growing number of local supporters has been pressuring the company to put the deejay back on the air. The group, which has nearly 1,300 members, started a letter-writing campaign and a Facebook petition, organized a picket line in front of at least one WIRX advertiser, and are planning a benefit concert featuring Morgan Ingle, The Last Mangos, The Michigan City Vandals and Mike Struwin on Feb. 6 at Czar's 505 in St. Joseph. Proceeds from the concert will be used for signs, bumper stickers and T-shirts to continue a campaign to get Lee back on the air... Radio listeners rally for displaced deejay (Thu, 1/14)



Grand Rapids Press:

Do you follow the syndicated (and very popular) "Free Beer and Hot Wings" show on WGRD-FM (97.9)? Or do you listen to the sports talk show giant in town, better known as "Huge" -- who can be heard across the state (including WBBL-FM 107.3) and found online through his Huge Blog on Mlive.com? It may or may not be a case of old-school radio wars, but today Free Beer and Hot Wings, along with the show's Eric Zane, finished a segment with Grand Rapids Griffins captain Jamie Tardif with a little playful banter about Huge... Radio wars? WGRD's Free Beer and Hot Wings take on WBBL's Huge (Thu, 1/14)


Grand Rapids Press:

The Salvation Army will focus its 2010 edition of its annual Radiothon fundraising event Tuesday on raising money for its relief work in Haiti. The radio station 95.7 WLHT will host the 12-hour Radiothon that will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Woodland Mall, located at 28th Street and the East Beltline west of I-96. The Salvation Army has pledged that 100 percent of donations received for disaster relief will be used for that purpose. The radiothon will include up-to-the-minute information on the Salvation Army's relief efforts from "on the ground" in Haiti... Salvation Army's Radiothon on 95.7 WLHT to give all proceeds to Haiti (Mon, 1/18)


William "Broadway" Bertshinger left WBCT-FM (93.7 B-93) last week Wednesday to start his new morning show, "The Morning After," on sister station WSNX-FM (104.5). The new show debuted this morning. "To be honest with you, he's always been one of my favorite people to work with," WSNX program director Eric O'Brien said. "The stars aligned, and we lucked out to have him back." Broadway replaces Justin "Puddin" Barclay and his "Puddin's Playhouse" morning radio show, which has landed at Detroit Top 40 radio station WVMV-FM (98.7), AMP Radio... William "Broadway" Bertshinger leaves B-93 to launch new morning show on 104.5 WSNX-FM (Mon, 1/18)


Grand Rapids Press:

NBC paid a record $2.2 billion for the television rights to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and next month's Winter Games in Vancouver. That means all eyes locally will be on NBC affiliate WOOD-TV during the 835 hours of the network's planned television and Web coverage. But the veteran sports eyes of WOOD-TV sports director Jack Doles will not be in Vancouver Feb. 12-28. Lin Television, WOOD's the parent company, is not sending a crew to file localized reports for their stations around the country, and that is keeping Doles home in Grand Rapids. "It's a business decision, the economy," Doles said. "I will miss not being there, but I feel really fortunate that I've been to the Olympics seven times. It's the most incredible thing to cover. Nothing else really compares." Jack DolesDoles, 45, first covered the Olympics in 1988 for Conus Communications, fresh out of Drake University... After seven Olympics, WOOD-TV's Jack Doles will sit out Vancouver Games (Fri, 1/22)


Radio personality William "Broadway" Bertshinger says his new morning show on WSNX-FM (104.5) will boast more music. "It's going to be very listener driven," said Broadway, whose "The Morning After" last week replaced Justin "Puddin" Barclay and his "Puddin's Playhouse" morning show. Broadway left sister-station WBCT-FM (93.7) for the new gig. Puddin' left hip-hop station WSNX for Detroit Top 40 station WVMV-FM (98.7). Broadway began his radio career at WSNX as a junior in high school, working nights at the station for several years... B-93's 'Electric Barnyard' host replaces Justin Puddin' Barclay on WSNX morning show (Fri, 1/22)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 24, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Mike Avery is the new morning news co-anchor at WXMI-TV (Channel 17) weekdays, with Sarah Brodhead, meteorologist Jon Shaner and traffic anchor Robb Westaby. Avery has co-anchored the Fox 17 Morning News on an interim basis since November. He joined WXMI in June 2005 as co-anchor for the weekend edition of Fox 17 News at 10. Avery came to Grand Rapids from Savannah, Ga., where he worked as a reporter... Mike Avery named new morning co-anchor on WXMI Fox 17 (Sat, 1/23)


Michigan Almanac: Jan. 25, 2010



MAB Says Goodbye to Former FCC Chairman and Michigan Broadcast Pioneer James H. Quello

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters sent out this release today on the death of James Quello:

It is with a heavy heart that the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) announces the death of our friend, Michigan native, broadcast pioneer, MAB Past President and former FCC Chairman, James H. Quello. Quello died Sunday, January 24 surrounded by friends and family at his Alexandria, VA home after heart and kidney failure. He was 95.

James QuelloQuello, a World War II Lieutenant and Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and a war hero, started his career in radio broadcasting immediately after returning from Europe in 1945. He worked in the promotions department at WXYZ-AM (Detroit) and two years later moved to rival station WJR-AM (Detroit). He later became Vice President and General Manager of WJR-AM in 1960.

Quello was one of the original MAB members. He supported and helped to build the association from a small group of radio managers looking for representation on legal issues to what it currently is today - a nationally-recognized association representing more than 300 Michigan radio and television stations. Jim served as president of the MAB in 1959 and credited the MAB, his colleagues and friends from Michigan for mounting a campaign to get him appointed to the FCC in 1974. He served there until 1997 when he retired. For eleven months in 1993, Quello was the Acting Chairman of the FCC. He was honored with the prestigious MAB Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 and many other awards too numerous to mention is this brief article. You could always find our friend Jim attending MAB conferences - catching up with old Michigan broadcast friends during a reception or participating in a tennis match - Jim was one of us and we will miss him.

This past Friday, January 22, MAB President/CEO Karole White spoke briefly with Jim:

"Weak and frail he used his limited breath to be uplifting to me," said White. "He thanks his friends in the MAB, 'The Greatest Broadcasting Association in the States,' he said. I'm to tell everyone he loves them and good bye (from Jim)."

Funeral arrangements are pending.



WZZM-TV Grand Rapids:

James Henry Quello, a one-time broadcaster who served as an FCC commissioner for 24 years, and as acting FCC chairman in 1993, died today at age 95. Appointed to the FCC in 1974 by then President Richard Nixon, Quello, a Democrat, kept winning reappointments to the commission until 1998, when he retired. He was named acting chairman of the FCC in 1993, bridging the gap between the tenure of Republican Albert Sikes and Democratic appointee, Reed Hundt. Quello's initial appointment to the FCC sparked protests from consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who called the new commissioner "a pawn for broadcasters." Although his tenure as acting chairman of the FCC was brief, the New York Times described his tenure with the headline, "Temporary Chief Proves More Than a Fill-In." As an FCC commissioner, Quelo became known for his independent thinking. He championed the preservation of free universal television and he sat on the commission as it and the media transitioned into the Information Age, during a period of revolutionary technological change and the birth of the Internet... Michigan native and former Detroit Radio manager James Quello dies (Sun, 1/24)


Grand Rapids Press:

A "Help for Haiti" radiothon sponsored by WLHT-FM (95.7) and the Salvation Army raised more than $24,000 for Haitian recovery efforts through online donations and phones set up Jan. 19 at Woodland Mall, said Jerry Terrants, Regent Broadcasting's operations manager. Their goal was $15,000. "We were elated," said Terrants, who helped the station plan for the event in only four days... Grand Rapids area radio stations help Haiti after earthquake (Fri, 1/29)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 2, 2010




WZZM 13 will be increasing our transmission power this week. Some West Michigan residents have reported that since the transition to digital television (DTV) in June 2009, they have not been able to receive WZZM 13 over the air. This 50% boost in power may help in receiving our signal. The power increase will take place on Wednesday, February 3rd from 1:00am to 3:00am. During this time, WZZM 13 will not be broadcasting over the air or on DIRECTV or on some cable systems. Everyone else should still receive WZZM 13. Anyone who was not able to receive WZZM 13 on their televisions, should rescan your channels on the DTV converter box or digital television anytime after 3:00am on Wednesday morning... (Tue, 2/2)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 3, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

I woke up this morning, rubbing my eyes and asking myself, is that Lauren Stanton of WZZM (Channel 13)? I thought she was off recovering from back surgery? "I feel like a million bucks," she told morning show co-host Derek Francis, returning to work Wednesday after being off for nearly four weeks... Hey, Lauren Stanton of WZZM-TV 13, welcome back (Wed, 2/3)


WYGR AM 1530 has changed its primary format from Spanish-based programming to urban with Robert S. (Womack) moving his brokered operations from WJNZ AM 1140. WYGR's "La Furia" moves to weekends from 3 p.m. until signoff.

WYGRDaytimer WYGR, which now identifies itself as "1530 Jamz, The Pulse of The City" features the Tom Joyner Morning Show from sign-on until 10am, and then programming from Citadel Media's syndicated 'The Touch' format until signoff.

Last fall Womack and his backers disputed the sale of WJNZ to Christian broadcaster Holy Family Radio after that group was the high bidder in a bankruptcy-forced sale by Huntington Bank, claiming the area would be losing its African American voice on the airwaves. A settlement was reached weeks later giving Womack up to six months to find a new home for his programming. A move to Catholic based programming is expected soon on AM 1140.

According to WYGR General Manager Roland Rusticus, the deal to change his station's format and clear the new programs came together pretty quickly. "Technically it's a 3-month renewable Time Brokerage agreement at this point, but our intention is for the format change to be permanent. We were only introduced to Robert a few weeks ago, so we're all still getting to know each other. As a result, we all agreed it would make sense to sort out the long-term business details a little later, once we've all had time to breathe."

Part of the agreement with the new owners of AM 1140 is that Robert S. is allowed to retain the WJNZ call sign if he so chooses. Rusticus commented, "We're not opposed to making the change at some point, but to this point '1530 Jamz' seems to be working and Robert hasn't expressed a strong opinion either way regarding the call letters."

Rusticus continues, "The local African-American community certainly deserves a radio voice, and given the impending format change at 1140, we're excited to meet that need. In a way, this is history repeating itself. In the late 1990s it was WYGR that pioneered Spanish-language radio in Grand Rapids. Given the changes in that market over the last 10 years, however, it's tough to make a case that the Hispanic community is underserved anymore. In fact, 4 Spanish-language stations in Grand Rapids was probably double what the market will really support, so a format change of some sort was inevitable. In a nutshell, we think this format change is going to be a win-win. It's the right thing to do -- we're meeting a definite need in the community -- and we believe it will prove to be a good business decision too."

WYGR offers life streaming and updated program schedule on its web site at wygr.net.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 5, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

The B-93 Birthday Bash will be back this summer only in a new home. Sponsored by radio station WBCT-FM (93.7), the country music festival will move to the U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin for the two-day event June 19 and 20. The lineup for the 18th festival is in the process of being finalized. Popular demand spurred the station owned by Clear Channel to go ahead with the event, one year after heavy rains canceled the 2009 Birthday Bash when the adjacent Grand River flooded the Ionia Fairgrounds, stranding several hundred cars at the site of last year's event. Dave Taft, B-93 program director, said popular demand has led the station to bring back the Birthday Bash, which typically draws 50,000 to 60,000 to the free concert... B-93 Birthday Bash returns, but moves out of Grand River floodplain (Thu, 2/4)


Ben Chiswick's first job was working as a vendor at Wrigley Field. His latest job will be calling the play-by-play action in the radio booth for the West Michigan Whitecaps this season. Chiswick, 26, was selected from about 80 applicants. He rose to the top because of his overall experience, Whitecaps vice president Jim Jarecki said. "He called the games for the Quad Cities River Bandits (Davenport, Iowa) for five seasons, has writing experience and works and understand the needs of the media, is enthusiastic and knows how to paint a picture with the way he calls a game," Jarecki said. "Overall, he's just well-rounded and will be a great fit here." Chiswick, who will be joined in the booth by color analyst Dan Elve, replaces Steve Lloyd-Jones, who decided not to return after one season... Whitecaps hire Ben Chiswick as new radio announcer (Thu, 2/4)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 21, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

WBBL-FM (107.3) will take listeners out to the ballgame this summer. Citadel Broadcasting and the 50,000-watt all-sports station have signed an agreement to broadcast live games for the Detroit Tigers and West Michigan Whitecaps for the 2010 season. "We now feel that we are the premier station for baseball," WBBL program director Bret Bakita said. "It's pretty neat combination to be able to carry both." Tigers games previously aired on WBBL's sister station, WLAV-FM (96.9), the past three years. Now, the Tigers will join WBBL's broadcast lineup, which already includes the Detroit Lions, Red Wings, Pistons and Michigan State football and basketball games. Bakita said it will be nice for listeners to have a consistent destination to find baseball. He said the contrast is NASCAR's current TV deal, which calls for races to be aired on Fox, ABC/ESPN and TNT. "Baseball is important in our area, and to have that connection with listeners is so important," Bakita said. "Now, they won't have to go anywhere else to find their baseball." WBBL's coverage will begin at 1 p.m. March 3, when the Tigers face the Toronto Blue Jays in a spring training game. In the event of scheduling conflicts between the Tigers and Whitecaps, one broadcast will move to WJRW-AM (1340) so listeners still can hear each game... Whitecaps, Tigers broadcasts move to WBBL-FM (Sat, 2/20)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 23, 2010




WGRDREGENT Alternative WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS will be shifting to the Active Rock MEDIABASE panel beginning next week. WGRD, the flagship station of THE FREE BEER & HOT WINGS SHOW, has evolved more Active Rock since former crosstown CITADEL Active WKLQ switched to Sports last SUMMER... WGRD Shifts To Active Rock (Tue, 2/23)


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is sad to report the passing of MAB Past President, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, MAB Foundation Honorary Board Member and former WOOD Grand Rapids executive Willard "Bill" Schroeder. Schroeder passed away Tuesday, February 23 at his home in East Grand Rapids. He was 96.

Schroeder's Michigan connection began in 1950, when the new WOOD Radio/Grand Rapids owner Harry Bitner hired him as general manager of the station. At that point, WOOD Radio was making plans to add a television station and on October 15, 1951, WOOD-TV went on the air with the first "live" programming in West Michigan. In 1962, WOOD-FM signed on. Under Bill's guidance, WOOD Broadcasting introduced area residents to everything from color television to personalities such as Bruce Grant, Frank Slaymaker and Buck Matthews. Upon retirement as general manager of the TV station, Schroeder remained active as president of WOOD Broadcasting until 1984 when the stations were sold.

Through his broadcasting work in West Michigan, Schroeder was elected president of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in 1963 and in June of 1964, he was elected chairman of the board of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). He assumed the job would be traditionally honorary; but after NAB president LeRoy Collins resigned to join the Johnson administration, the NAB decided to create a two-man team to head the association. Schroeder became a working chairman, assigned to Washington in partnership with NAB president Vince Wasilewski. For the balance of his term, he juggled two hats and occupied two desks, one in Washington and the other in Grand Rapids.

During his life, Bill was named "Man of the Year" by both the United Fund and the Advertising Club of Grand Rapids. He served on the boards of the YMCA, Salvation Army, Red Cross, United Way, St. Mary's Hospital, Aquinas College, West Michigan Public Broadcasting and Kendall School of Design.

Bill Schroeder was honored by his fellow broadcasters with the MAB's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also a member of the MAB Foundation Founders Club which provides scholarships to deserving broadcast media students in Michigan. Those desiring to make contributions to a scholarship fund in Bill's honor may do so by clicking this link to donate online or contacting Julie Sochay at mabf@michmab.com.

Schroeder was born June 6, 1913 in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in journalism school at the University of Missouri. Upon graduation in 1934, Bill was recruited by Hearst Corporation, and at age 23, became a radio advertising sales person at the Hearst station in Pittsburgh, WCAE. He later rose to the position of sales manager of the station and then was transferred and promoted to the general manager position at the company's New York City station. While in New York, Bill met his future wife Barbara, who was teaching radio at Briarcliff College. He and Barbara eventually would have three daughters, Gail, Sally and Christine, and one son, David.

A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. March 6 at the Kent Country Club in Grand Rapids.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 26, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

When meteorologist Ginger Zee graduated from Rockford High School in 1999, one of her goals was to be on NBC's "Today" show by age 30. That dream is about to become a reality for the 29-year-old former WOOD-TV (Channel 8) meteorologist. Zee will make her debut on the "Today" show, which airs from 7-9 a.m. Saturday. "I cannot believe it. I made a goal and it is happening," said Zee, who worked as a meteorologist on WOOD-TV and WLAV-FM (96.9) before moving to Chicago's NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV (Channel 5) in September 2006... Former WOOD-TV meteorologist Ginger Zee to appear on NBC 'Today' show (Fri, 2/26)


Astute observers of the local newscasts might have noticed that WZZM-TV 13's sports segments look a little different these days. OK, a lot different. According to sports director Tom Clyde, WZZM has been making a distinct effort to beef up its local coverage for the 6 p.m. broadcasts. But since the WZZM sports department currently has only two on-air personalities -- Clyde and Dan Harland -- that meant adjustments had to be made. As a result, longtime news anchors Lee VanAmeyde and Juliet Dragos have handled shorter sports reports for the 11 p.m. broadcasts, mostly on Mondays and Tuesdays. But Clyde was adamant when he said WZZM is not looking to de-emphasize its sports presence... WZZM changes include anchors pitching in on sports (Fri, 2/26)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 28, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Former WOOD-TV (Channel 8) meteorologist Ginger Zee realized her longtime dream of being on NBC's "Today" show. Her Saturday debut as a fill in was a whirlwind. "The morning went so fast! It was a little hectic as the page had been instructed to walk me from my hotel to Studio 1A, but she went to the wrong hotel! So, I found my way, and from an earthquake to tsunamis and the storms across the nation, I had plenty to talk about in a very short amount of time," Zee said. Zee was kept in continual motion by the floor/production crew who helped her get from place to place, up and downstairs, inside and outside... Meteorologist Ginger Zee calls her 'Today' show debut a whirlind (Sun, 2/28)



Psychology Today:

I recently wrote about the myth of overnight success, and that switching careers often requires years of work to catch up on skill and salary level. This idea rings true for Shelley Irwin, a former physical therapist who went back to school at age 38 to pursue a career in radio. More than a decade later, she's an award-wining radio host at WGVU in Grand Rapids. She loves her job, but says the climb wasn't without sacrifice, from early morning wakeup calls to a steep pay cut to little room for relationships. We spoke over the phone a few weeks ago... Finding Her Voice, in Radio (Fri, 2/26)


Grand Rapids Press:

Radio broadcasting company, Regent Communications, Inc. (RGCI), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday and reached a restructuring agreement with its senior lenders. The restructuring will eliminate approximately $87 million of Regent's debt, said a press release from Brainerd Communicators, the public relations firm representing the company. Day-to-day operations will continue without interruption and no changes will be made to senior leadership, it further stated. Phil Catlett, president and general manager of Regent in Grand Rapids, was not at liberty to comment, but confirmed a meeting this morning to discuss the changes. Catlett said the mood was far from somber. "I would say not at all somber, no. It's quite positive step I think for Regent and for our people here," he said. Based in Cincinnati, Regent owns and operates 62 stations located in 13 markets. They locally operate WLHT-FM (95.7), WGRD-FM (97.9), WTRV-FM (100.5), WFGR-FM (98.7) and WNWZ 1410 AM... Regent Communications files Chapter 11 bankruptcy (Mon, 3/1)



CITADEL Country WTNR (94.5 THUNDER COUNTRY)/GRAND RAPIDS, MI has announced that ROB BRANDT has been hired as afternoon host from 3-7p (ET). ROB has been in the GRAND RAPIDS market for 16 years and comes from Sister Classic Rock WLAV. ROB will continue to handle middays/PD duties for WLAV and is also the voice of the syndicated Sports "HUGE Show." WTNR PD STEVE STEWART said: "It is a really big deal to have a talent with his market equity and voice on THUNDER COUNTRY." Part-timer PARTY PAUL, who was handling the afternoon slot, moves to the night show... WTNR Hires Rob Brandt As Afternoon Host (Wed, 3/3)


Grand Rapids Press:

Emily Pearce, former morning-show co-host on WHTS-FM (105.3), is the new director of marketing for Clear Channel Radio in Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Pearce, who also worked with Regent Broadcasting, took over for Christy Mack on Jan. 14. Pearce earned a communications degree at Central Michigan University and has worked in local radio for several years... Broadcast notes: Job changes for Emily Pearce, Rob Brandt (Fri, 3/5)


Winds of change blowing in South Bend market?

Are format changes on the radar in the South Bend / Benton Harbor area with rumors that Premiere Radio Networks' programs from names like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck might be moving from their area AM homes to an FM rocker which would then flip to talk?

Talk about these rumors by visiting the Michiguide.net Discussion Group forums.


WFGR adds Russell for afternoons

WFGRNew to the lineup at classic hits WFGR FM 98.7 Grand Rapids is Craig Russell who signs on for afternoons.



Grand Rapids Press:

WBCTJust six weeks after suffering serious injuries in a motorcycle crash while en route to a B-93 charity event, radio personality Dave Conrad was back on the air at WBCT-FM (93.7). That 2006 turnaround was a surprisingly quick recovery for the now 51-year-old Spring Lake resident, who suffered six broken ribs, a punctured lung and a shattered ankle joint when the driver of the motorcycle he was riding with missed a red light on 28th Street. Conrad was sitting in the cycle's sidecar to help deliver a check to the radio station's Roofsit for Kids event when it collided with an SUV, sending him 10 feet in the air. Unbeknownst to many in B-93's "Listener Family" and the station, health complications from that crash continue to haunt Conrad... B-93 radio personality Dave Conrad highlights need for kidney donation, Saint Mary's Heath Care's adult-match kidney transplant program (Thu, 3/11)



Today marks the end of an era for Ludington radio. Longtime WKLA morning show host George Wilson begins his retirement today, following a broadcasting career that started in 1959. Over the years, thousands of guests appeared on the George Wilson Show to promote community events and keep residents informed of what's happening in their town. One of George's regular guests was Ludington Mayor John Henderson who said, "He's been an icon in the Ludington and Mason County area for decades. I'm going to miss George and doing the Friday morning show together." Congressman Pete Hoekstra also spoke with George every Thursday morning for the past 18 years. Hoekstra said, "It's going to be a huge loss for the community. George has been a beacon of good news in the morning. It was always good to talk with George in the morning and I'm sure all of Mason County will feel a huge loss." Congressman Hoekstra said he has especially enjoyed the off-air friendship he has created with Big George... George Wilson's Final Show On WKLA Radio (Fri, 3/12)



New York Times:

You don't need pockets as deep as Comcast's to get into the TV business. Or even be a millionaire, apparently. A UHF station in western Michigan - WMKG-LP, Channel 38 - that airs a mix of live talk shows and outdoor sports programming, is "priced to sell" at $700,000, according to its listing on eBay. And the owner, Bud Kelley, says he'll go even lower. Mr. Kelley had originally listed the station - including property, license and equipment - on the online auction site for $1 million before dropping the price to $700,000, and said on Thursday that he'd be happy with a $500,000 cash sale. Most of the people who have inquired so far were "tire-kickers," he said, though serious offers have come his way. "It's a real station, not a toy," said Mr. Kelley, 67, who has run the 24-hour station since it went live in April 1990. "It's just retirement time for me." Among the thorns in his side: the weekly bingo show, which airs on Thursdays at 7 p.m., later than he wants to work... Small Michigan Television Station Is 'Priced to Sell' on eBay (Thu, 3/11)


Grand Rapids Press:

WBCTCraving a little of Keith Anderson's "XXL" or "Pickin' Wildflowers"? Wondering if Justin Moore will ever play Michigan again after a drunken fan stole one of his guitars at a recent concert in Royal Oak? Both country singers have been added to B-93's Birthday Bash lineup June 19-20 at the U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin. The free country-music concert is sponsored by WBCT-FM (93.7). Anderson will perform Saturday along with previously announced country superstar Blake Shelton. Moore will hit the stage Sunday, along with Darius Rucker, Jake Owen, Love & Theft and The Band Perry. Other acts are expected to be announced soon... Keith Anderson, Justin Moore part of B-93 Birthday Bash 2010 lineup (Thu, 3/18)


Grand Rapids Press:

The D-O-double G is headed to G-Rap. WGRD-FM (97.9), with the help of Blue Cap Entertainment, will present the inaugural Free Beer and Hot Wings Morning Show "Wingfest" Festival on June 12 at Fifth Third Ballpark, 4500 West River Drive NE. Veteran hip-hop recording artist, producer and actor Snoop Dogg will headline the show that also will include Southern rock/heavy metal group Jackyl, hip-hop/alt-rock artist Richy Nix and local modern rock quintet Pop Evil. "We wanted an event our listeners and all of Grand Rapids would remember -- the diversity and caliber of talent on this bill will give us just that," said Jerry Tarrants, operations manager for Regent Broadcasting... Snoop Dogg will headline first Free Beer and Hot Wings 'Wingfest' in Grand Rapids (Mon, 3/22)




Listeners of the nationally syndicated radio program "The Bob & Tom Show" know that when you get a group of comedians together, wackiness is bound to occur. Comedians Bob Zany, Greg Morton & Greg Hahn and news reader Kristi Lee spoke to 24 Hour News 8 about being on the road, working with the other comics and being on a successful radio show. These interviews can be watched in the three videos... Bob & Tom All Stars goof off in GR (Sun, 3/21)



CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WOOD-A and WTKG-A/GRAND RAPIDS Programming Asst. JOHN ILLK is exiting the stations to join TALK RADIO NETWORK as Production Technician at the syndicator's operations center in CENTRAL POINT, OR. ILLK, who had been at the GRAND RAPIDS staions since 2004, will wrap things up at WOOD and WTKG on APRIL 9th and will start at TRN on APRIL 19th... Illk Exiting WOOD-WTKG/Grand Rapids, Joining TRN (Fri, 3/26)


All week long, CITADEL Top 40 WHTS (105.3 HOT FM)/GRAND RAPIDS MD GRAVY filled in for vacationing morning guy TODD CHANCE. On MONDAY, an item from (local website) GR NOW about FACEBOOK POWERBROKERS in GRAND RAPIDS sparked a friendly competition between GRAVY and co-host ELLEN to see who could make the list's Top 25, by scoring the most FACEBOOK FRIENDS in one week. GRAVY bragged that he would win, only to end up with egg on his face, or more accurately, gravy on his face... WHTS' Gravy Loses Bet, Lives Up To Name (Fri, 3/26)


WAYOCornerstone University of Grand Rapids has added to the footprint of its Christian Top-40 WayFM franchise with last week's sign on of WAYO FM 89.9 in Benton Harbor. The station is duplicating WAYK 88.3 Kalamazoo and operates with 250 watts. It's 60 dbu covers the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph area.

The sign on of WAYO has forced the shutdown of Pensacola Christian College's translator on 89.9 in Berrien Springs - that station is searching for any possible frequency to resume operations.


Grand Rapids Press:

Fox 17's Michele DeSelms is leaving the 10 p.m. newscast on WXMI-TV (Channel 17) effective June 1, citing "family reasons." But she plans on working part time and co-anchoring the station's 6 p.m. newscast, which it debuted last fall. Michele was part of the original team to launch West Michigan's first 10 p.m. newscast, which debuted on Fox 17 in January of 1999. She and Monty Knight were the original team. He was replaced by current co-anchor Christian Frank in November of 2000. Michele said she has been hoping to cut back her hours because of her young family. "I have been struggling with the hours since my youngest went to Kindergarten last fall, and decided I simply couldn't do it anymore," she said. "I was sad at the thought of leaving, but knew something had to change. When the station suggested just doing the 6, I jumped at the chance. (I get the) best of both worlds! I get to be home with the family at night and still continue to do what I love!" Michele and her husband Bret Emerson have two daughters... WXMI's Michele DeSelms steps down from Fox 17's 10 p.m. newscast (Tue, 3/30)



Changes coming to Midwest Communications' Kalamazoo stations?

WYZOCall sign changes don't necessarily mean programming changes are imminent, but it's interesting to note that yesterday country WYZO FM 96.5 applied to change its call sign to WKZO-FM -- leading radio watchers to wonder if the news-talk format of WKZO AM 590 might be headed to the FM dial sometime soon and if one change might lead to others in the market. In Kalamazoo area, Midwest owns WYZO and WKZO along with variety hits WVFM FM 106.5, country WNWN-FM 98.5, adult urban WNWN AM 1560, and sports WQLR AM 1660. Midwest is also in the process of acquiring four FM stations in the Lansing market.


updated 4/1, 11:30 p.m.

WKZOA format change this evening as Midwest Communications has dropped country from 96.5 FM Kalamazoo and replaced it with the news-talk format of sister station WKZO AM 590. A request to change the call sign of FM 96.5 from WYZO to WKZO-FM was filed on Monday with the FCC.

WKZO was launched in 1931 by broadcasting pioneer John Fetzer and for the first time now has a FM companion.

WKZO's full lineup of programming will now air full time on both frequencies. Weekdays this includes:

  • 5AM-6AM: The Farm Report with Rick Shields
  • 6AM-10AM: The Lori Moore Show
  • 10AM-11:45AM: The Richard Piet Show
  • 11:45AM-12:00PM: Mid-Day Agri-Business News Update
  • 12-3PM: The Dave Ramsey Show
  • 3-5PM: The Jay Morris Show
  • 5-8PM: The Glenn Beck Program
  • 8-10PM: The Joe Scarborough Show
  • 10-1AM: The Mark Levin Show
  • 1-5AM: Coast to Coast AM with George Noory

The switch leaves listeners of the long-running Bob and Tom show without an affiliate in Kalamazoo.



Kalamazoo Gazette:

Once a week, aspiring country singers like Shelagh Brown performed at a Kalamazoo radio station to get the word out about the local music scene. For country music fans, it was a chance to hear fresh talent on WYZO-FM 96.5. For bands, it was an opportunity to get exposure in the hopes of one day landing a coveted record deal. But this week, Brown and other artists learned that the radio station will stop airing country music starting early next week. "It's kind of a shock," said Brown, 26, who performed her own songs on the Wednesday evening radio program "Homegrown Music." "It's unfortunate there's not going to be something like that in Kalamazoo anymore." Instead, WYZO will become WKZO-FM and will air news, talk and sports with the identical programming as its sister WKZO-AM 590 AM... Country musicians lament loss of Kalamazoo radio station: WYZO's signal to air news, talk programming of sister station (Thu, 4/1)




MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS/KALMAZOO-BATTLE CREEK, MI Market Manager PETER TANZ tells ALL ACCESS that Country WYZO has flipped formats, and is now simulcasting sister station News/Talk WKZO-AM. The other Country station in the cluster, WNWN/BATTLE CREEK, will stay in the format. WYZO APD DAN DIGGLER has exited following the format change. All other WYZO staff will remain with the cluster and continue handling duties at sister stations, including PJ LACEY, who continues with the cluster as PD for WNWN... WYZO/Kalamazoo Simulcasting WKZO-A (Thu, 4/1)



A pair of Michiana radio legends with a combined 85 years on the airwaves were honored Wednesday. Most of us know the names Bill Darwin and Allan Strike. Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore renamed the corner outside Froggy 102.7, the Darwin Stryke Corner. The two broadcasters have retired after long and very successful careers informing and entertaining Michiana. Darwin was actually here long before Ed and I were on WSJV-TV. He hosted Good Morning Michiana. He also worked for WTRC for decades and was well known as the host of the MDA telethon. Allan Stryke also broadcast on WTRC hosting "Sound off," "Swap Shop" and the news. Both said the renaming was an unexpected honor and that they loved helping serve in the community... Elkhart radio legends are honored (Wed, 3/31)



FEDERATED MEDIA Classic Rock WAOR/SOUTH BEND is slated to move from its present 95.3 FM facility to the 95.7 FM slot presently occupied by Urban WYPW (POWER 95.7) on MAY 10th, according to on-air and online announcements from the station. The station's website carries a message saying, "95.3 WAOR moves to 95.7 WAOR on May 10th! WAOR is and will be SOUTH BEND's #1 Classic Rock Station, we're just moving up your radio dial!"... WAOR/South Bend Sets Move To 95.7 FM (Mon, 4/5)

Note: it's expected the new format on FM 95.3 will be news/talk once the move of WAOR's programming is completed.


WZUUA week after being dropped as a result of a format change from country to news-talk on FM 96.5 in Kalamazoo, Forum Communications' rocker WZUU FM 92.5 clears the syndicated Bob & Tom Show starting tomorrow morning, April 8th. The station tweets that current morning host Scotty Bud is moving to afternoons to make room for Bob & Tom.


South Bend Tribune:

Big changes are coming to local radio. Conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck will move from WSBT-AM (960) to what was WAOR-FM (95.3) in the first two weeks of May. At that time, 95.3 FM will become FM News Talk 95.3. The station, which also will be affiliated with Fox News, will bill itself as Michiana's News Channel. WSBT, in turn, will counter with its own locally originated talk show from 3 to 5 p.m., expand the airing of the Dave Ramsey show from noon to 3 p.m. and continue its affiliation with the Mike Gallagher show, running it from 9 a.m. to noon ... WAOR's classic rock format will move up the dial from 95.3 to 95.7, replacing the hip-hop format previously on WLRX-FM (95.7). Eventually, "The Bob & Tom Show" will move over from WRBR-FM (103.9, The Bear) and take over the morning slot there... Michiana radio stations to see talk shows, program formats shifting (Wed, 4/14)



New WKZO-FM unable to air Tigers baseball

As the dust settles after the format change at 96.5 FM Kalamazoo from country to news/talk, one big element that's not simulcast from WKZO AM 590 is Detroit Tigers play-by-play due to contractual issues with airing the games on FM. WBCK-FM 95.3 Battle Creek apparently has in its contract with the Tigers Radio Network the rights to FM broadcasts in at least of some of the same area covered by the new WKZO-FM and thus WBCK-FM has decided to exercise those rights, keeping the games off 96.5, at least for now.

WKZO is making the best of the situation however by clearing programming that would normally have been preempted by Tigers' baseball in the past on FM 96.5 while AM 590 airs the games. WKZO-FM also plans on airing some selected weekend games from the Chicago Cubs to appeal to West Michigan baseball fans.

Tigers baseball has been a mainstay on WKZO for decades - the station was once owned by John Fetzer who also owned the ballclub.


Grand Rapids Press:

Ben Chiswick already was familiar with the West Michigan Whitecaps when he moved to Grand Rapids. He had spent the previous five years working for the Quad Cities River Bandits and made frequent visits to the area for games. That familiarity certainly has helped Chiswick get accustomed to his new job as play-by-play voice for the Whitecaps. "I've been here before so I knew a lot of people and the park well," Chiswick said while making the drive to Bowling Green, Ky., for a three-game series with the new Hot Rods franchise. "But the way this franchise is run from top to bottom is not typical of Class A. It's typical of a higher minor-league franchise." Chiswick was hired in early February from a field of about 80 applicants... New Whitecaps play-by-play announcer Ben Chiswick adapts quickly to his new home (Fri, 4/16)



South Bend Tribune:

A WNDU-TV anchor was arrested early Thursday morning after police were called to a domestic dispute at a Mishawaka home. Erin Logan, who has worked for WNDU since 2007, was arrested in the 5500 block of Zappia Drive after police were called to the home just before 2:30 a.m. She has been accused of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. In a statement issued Thursday, WNDU management said Logan was fired from the station because of the incident. According to police reports, police were called to the home after a heated argument between Logan and Christopher Zorich, the former Notre Dame and National Football League football player who now works as the manager of student welfare and development for Notre Dame... WNDU anchor arrested in domestic dispute (Thu, 4/15)


RadioInfo.com reporter extraordinaire Tom Taylor reports that Michigan attorney General Mike Cox has filed information with federal bankruptcy court that Citadel (which owns several radio stations in Detroit, Grand Rapids and mid-Michigan) has "failed to file its 2008 Michigan Business tax return and to remit the taxes, penalties and interest," and that Michigan doubts "as to whether the debtor's proposed plan [to re-organize and flush away two-thirds of its debt] is offered in good faith." The AG's office also claims that under Michigan law, "Certain 'responsible persons' and officers [are] personally liable for certain unpaid corporate obligations."

Michigan is an an unsecured creditor as Citadel proceeds through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the state has obviously decided to make an attempt to collect on those taxes.


The Western Michigan University Athletic Department has announced a new five year agreement with Midwest Communications station WKZO FM 96.5 to become the flagship station of the Bronco Radio Network for football, hockey, and men's basketball. WKZO 96.5 FM previously served as the Bronco Radio Network flagship from 1996/97 to 2006/07 when the broadcasts moved to WZUU-FM 92.3.

"WKZO FM 96.5 is a great fit for our games, our fans, and our sponsors," said WMU Assistant Athletic Director and Voice of the Broncos Robin Hook. "The news talk format is a natural for live sports play-by-play and the long standing tradition of the WKZO call letters is a huge bonus. While they have not been our flagship the past three years, Midwest Communications has continued to carry our Bronco Review Coaches Show on WQLR AM 1660 The Fan and daily Bronco updates on both 1660 AM and WKZO AM 590."

"We are extremely happy to have the Broncos back on 96.5 FM returning to WKZO where they started so many years ago," said Midwest Communications Market Manager Peter Tanz. "We are excited moving forward with the Western Michigan Athletic Department, Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard, and the Voice of the Broncos Robin Hook, providing live coverage of Bronco events in our community on the new WKZO FM 96.5."

In addition to airing the Bronco football, hockey, and men's basketball games on WKZO FM 96.5, Midwest Communications will carry the Bronco women's basketball games on their sports talk station WQLR AM 1660 The Fan. Midwest Communications will continue to carry the Bronco Review Thursday night coaches show on 1660 The Fan and daily Bronco updates on 1660 The Fan, WKZO AM 590 and FM 96.5 and on Midwest Communications stations, WTVB AM 1590 in Coldwater, and WHTC AM 1450 in Holland.


Grand Rapids Press:

Gregg "Free Beer" Daniels remembers suggesting to a radio syndication representative that the "Free Beer and Hot Wings" radio crew would love the opportunity to be guest hosts for the popular "Dan Patrick Show." "But I didn't think it was possible," Daniels said. "Then after they told me this, I was like, 'Seriously, have you heard us?' " Daniels co-hosts the "Free Beer and Hot Wings" show locally 5 to 10 a.m. weekdays on WGRD-FM (97.9) with Chris "Hot Wings" Michaels and Eric Zane. The trio will fill in for the vacationing Patrick, a former ESPN personality, on his national show 9 a.m. to noon Friday. They first will do their show 5 to 8:30 a.m. live on WGRD and the 20 other stations around the country in their syndication group, and then go live from Grand Rapids at 9 a.m. with the Patrick show to all of its syndicated stations. Among those stations locally is WBBL-FM (107.3). WGRD will air a best-of segment 8:30 to 10 a.m. Daniels said their local show is syndicated through Compass Media Networks, which has a relationship with the people who produce and syndicate Patrick's show... WGRD's 'Free Beer and Hot Wings' crew will fill in as host of Dan Patrick's sports show (Thu, 4/29)


Grand Rapids Press:

Radio broadcasting and digital media company Regent Communications, Inc., which owns five stations in Grand Rapids, is changing its name and replacing its top executives. The company emerged from its bankruptcy reorganization plan April 27. The company originally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 1. In an announcement today, Regent is now titled Townsquare Media Inc., and has replaced C.E.O. Bill Stakelin and E.V.P. Anthony Vasconcellos, both of whom resigned, with Steven Price and Stuart Rosenstein, respectively. Price and Rosenstein are co-founders of FiveWire. Townsquare Media operates 62 radio stations in 13 mid-sized markets. In the Grand Rapids market, the company operates WLHT-FM (95.7), WGRD-FM (97.9), WTRV-FM (100.5), WFGR- FM (98.7) and WNWZ-AM (1410). "No local changes are contemplated," said Phil Catlett, president and general manager of the company in Grand Rapids... Regent Communications changes name to Townsquare Media (Mon, 5/3)




Congratulations to the crew at CITADEL Top 40 WIOG/SAGINAW on the completion of their annual CARES FOR KIDS RADIOTHON. Done in conjunction with the CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK and led by EARLY SHIFT hosts DEMAS & MANDI, the station raised over $75,000 for the HURLEY MEDICAL CENTER, broadcasting live from the facility for three days straight (4/29 - 5/1)... WIOG Cares For Kids (Mon, 5/3)


Ernie Harwell, Michigan's most beloved broadcaster ever, has died this evening at the age of 92 in his home in the Detroit suburb of Novi after an inspiring fight with bile duct cancer.

There will be countless accolades and articles written about the life of a man that cared for his family, friends, and fans in a way that no one ever has before or will again. Whatever it is that is written, it won't be enough to capture just how much Mr. Harwell meant to our state.

Godspeed Ernie and thank you.




Detroit Free Press:

In Ernie Harwell's voice, the South rose again and conquered Michigan in a way no one else ever has. When Harwell arrived in Detroit to join the Tigers radio broadcast team in 1960, he was an unknown to Tigers fans. When he died Tuesday night at his home in Novi, at 92, after nearly a year-long bout with cancer, he had a strong case as the most beloved figure ever in Michigan. He rose to that cherished place through the combined power of radio and baseball and just as importantly his own charm and warmth, which were as steady through the decades as his unchanging Georgia accent. Harwell did Tigers radio from 1960 through 1991, then -- after an ill-conceived dismissal by the Tigers that lasted only one season -- he did a combination of Tigers radio and TV from 1993 through 2002. He ended his 55-year big-league career at the end of 2002 season... Ernie Harwell dies at 92 (Tue, 5/4)


In a telephone interview tonight, Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline was asked why Harwell was so overwhelmingly popular in Michigan. "There wasn't a nicer person," Kaline said. "He had time for everybody. He lived here and stayed here. He didn't just work here and then go away in the off-season. He would have young announcers up to his booth all the time and give them advice. He had time for everybody." Kaline worked as Harwell's broadcast partner on television in the 1990s... Dignitaries share warm memories of Ernie Harwell (Tue, 5/4)



Detroit News:

Ernie has died. After a battle against bile duct cancer, one he knew he would lose, Ernie Harwell died Tuesday. He was 92. With his death, Michigan -- and baseball -- loses one of its most beloved figures. For 55 years, Harwell was a major league broadcaster, 42 with the Tigers. He broadcast his last game Sept. 22, 2002. Instead of moving away from the Detroit area, he spent his final years in Novi, still being part of our lives as an author and corporate spokesman. William Earnest Harwell was born Jan. 25, 1918 in Washington, Ga. As a boy, his family moved to Atlanta, where he grew up loving newspapers and baseball, which is how and why he became a paperboy and a batboy for his hometown minor league club, the Atlanta Crackers... Legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell dies at 92 (Tue, 5/4)




The voice that we fell asleep to while listening to baseball games on transistor radios, the one that called Detroit Tigers games for four decades and became part of our lives, has gone silent. Ernie Harwell died Tuesday of cancer. He was 92. Harwell was the 1981 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, placing him in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown as a broadcaster. He said that his induction speech and the Christian testimony he gave at a Billy Graham Crusade in Tampa were the two most memorable speaking engagements of his life. He loved God, baseball, his family and countless friends. "When you met Ernie Harwell, you walked away feeling you were his best friend," said Tigers radio broadcaster Jim Price, who first met Harwell as a rookie catcher with Detroit in 1967. "People who never met him before would say, 'It's like I've known him forever.' "He was very unique that way." Harwell was a one-of-a-kind person and broadcaster, who had first-hand experiences with nearly every big name in the history of the game... Hall of Fame Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell dies at 92 after battle with cancer (Tue, 5/4)


Grand Rapids Press:

Ray Bentley is hitting the airwaves -- again. WBBL-FM (107.3) has announced the addition of the Hudsonville native and veteran broadcaster to its staff. Bentley, 49, will start as a frequent guest of the "Bakita & Grey" morning show and "The Huge Show" in the afternoon. He'll also will appear on "The Kevin Matthews Morning Show" on WLAV-FM (96.9). Bentley's role from there is expected to expand in the future, especially when the football season starts. "It will define itself as it goes," Bentley said. "Initially, I'll be a third wheel. I'll be spread around, and then we'll figure out what works best." Bentley is no stranger to the West Michigan airwaves. Following a seven-year NFL career, he began his broadcasting career with WOOD radio in 1994. He also has worked as an analyst for ESPN's college football broadcasts, the Arena Football League on NBC, NFL on Fox and Buffalo Bills preseason games for the Bills Television Network... Broadcasting veteran and former NFL player Ray Bentley joins WBBL-FM (Wed, 5/19)


Battle Creek Enquirer:

Lorraine Caron, producer and announcer for radio station WMUK, isn't used to being interviewed. She's usually the one asking questions, whether it's in the field on her arts and culture beat or in the studio on the campus of Western Michigan University. On Wednesday, Caron became the subject of an interview and talked about being on the air, where radio was and where it's going... Radio personality enjoys arts, culture beat (Mon, 5/31)


Grand Rapids Press:

WXMI-TV (Channel 17) has named a new co-anchor for its News at Ten. Hailey Frances joins co-anchor Christian Frank for the nightly news for the FOX-TV affiliate in Grand Rapids. The announcement was made today. Frances also will serve as a reporter for the early evening News at Six broadcast. Frances comes from Houston, where she spent one year at KIAH-TV as an entertainment/feature reporter, a general assignment reporter and as a fill-in anchor. Prior to that post, she served as a reporter and morning news anchor at WCAV-TV in Charlottesville, Va. Her career has ranged from interviewing P. Diddy to reporting live from New Orleans during the Saints Super Bowl win to covering the shootings at the Fort Hood massacre in Killeen, TX... FOX-17 announces replacement for Michelle DeSelms on evening news (Mon, 6/14)



Washington (D.C.) Business Journal:

McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc will start hyperlocal online news coverage in 10 of its TV markets, including Washington, and solicit coverage of neighborhood news from readers. Gannett owns WUSA-TV, Channel 9, the local CBS affiliate. The company will also launch the new local sites as part of its television station websites in Atlanta; Tampa, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Buffalo, N.Y.: Little Rock, Ark.; Portland, Maine; and Macon, Ga. Gannett calls them "community websites," and says they will include user-generated content about neighborhood happenings and events. Gannett believes the sites will appeal to advertisers, who will be able to more precisely target potential customers... Gannett stations go hyperlocal (Tue, 6/16)


Grand Rapids Press:

Citadel Broadcasting has hired radio veteran Phil Tower as content manager of news talk operations for WJRW-AM (1340). Tower will work with Program Director Dave Jaconette directing station programming. Currently, Tower is the general manager for nationally syndicated Allen Hunt Show, airing on 130 stations nationwide. He will remain general manager of the show, which will air on 1340 AM from 9 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. For 10 years, Tower formerly held positions as program director and operations manager for several news talk stations at Clear Channel Radio including WOOD-AM (1300). Tower is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a master's degree in Interpersonal and Public Communications. WJRW was launched in August last year... Citadel hires radio veteran Phil Tower (Wed, 6/16)


Grand Rapids Press:

Whether or not country music is your thing, it's pretty easy to appreciate the two-fold nature of a B-93 Birthday Bash lineup. On one hand, each day of the free two-day music showcase features big-name headlining acts where what these musicians/entertainers confide to their adoring radio audience is sometimes more interesting than the performances themselves. Such was the case Saturday with the vocal and comedic Blake Shelton, who is ready to pick an honest, logical verbal fight with anything (i.e. PETA) or anybody (guys who wear their pants below their (butts)) that defies good ol' country logic... B-93 Birthday Bash Day 1 recap: New talent impresses, Blake Shelton provides laughs (Sat, 6/19)

No rain. No shirts. No problems at Day 2 of WBCT-FM's B-93 Birthday Bash. Bright sunny skies opened the 18th-annual event at US 131 Motorsports Park, and Antonia Fruytier and Mike Chapman came prepared this time. "We learned valuable lessons yesterday," said Chapman, 21, of Plainwell. Chapman and 20-year-old Fruytier of Harbor Beach came with a makeshift fort -- a white sheet clamped at all four corners to their lawn chairs. "SPF 15 is not enough, and a tent is a must," Chapman added, grinning. An smaller early morning crowd arrived for Sunday's lineup, which included local Kalamazoo act Dew South, siblings The Band Perry, three-part harmonizers Love & Left, funky crooner Justin Moore, sassy and laid-back singer Jake Owen and former Hootie & the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker... B-93 Birthday Bash Day 2 recap: 'People watching to live music ...' (Sun, 6/20)


Coldwater Daily Reporter:

Freedom Broadcasting of Michigan, WWMT Newschannel 3 was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB): Service to Children Television Award. This is one of three national television awards that the NAB presents each year to a television station for an outstanding community outreach program. Vice President and General Manager Jim Lutton received the "Service to Children Award" in a Washington D.C. ceremony on Monday, June 14 from Michigan Sen. Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek) and Vice President and Group Publisher for Broadcasting and Cable Larry Dunn. WWMT Newschannel 3 won this award for "Caring for Kids," an all-day phone-a-thon that encouraged parents to call in and sign up their children into low-cost state health insurance programs that are under utilized. Programs like MI-Child and Healthy Kids provide medical, dental and vision coverage to eligible children... WWMT helps kids, wins national award (Mon, 6/28)


Grand Rapids Press:

Former "American Idol" star Matt Giraud was in Grand Rapids today to perform a couple songs on WLHT-FM (95.7) as a guest of the "Barnaby and Friends" radio show. I was in the studio -- as I am every weekday from 7-9 a.m. -- and captured some video and audio. We also aired the performances live on my UStream site... Matt Giraud performs live on WLHT's 'Barnaby and Friends' (Tue, 6/29)


Grand Rapids Press:

Over the years, Bob Kaser has grown accustomed to seeing people associated with the Grand Rapids Griffins be honored by the American Hockey League. Now, it's his turn. Kaser, the Griffins' vice president of community relations and broadcasting, was named this year's recipient of the AHL's James H. Ellery Memorial Award on Wednesday afternoon in the radio category. The award, which honors the AHL's late publicity director, recognizes individuals for their coverage of the league in newspaper, radio and television categories... Griffins' Bob Kaser receives AHL's James H. Ellery Memorial Award for radio work (Thu, 7/1)


White Lake Beacon:

Anyone who has listened to the Blue Lake Public Radio (BLPR) classical music morning broadcasts at any time during the past 20 years, will immediately recognize that soothing voice and articulate diction of Bonnie Bierma. Bierma's successful broadcasting professional career was not foreseen by this Grand Rapids native as she completed her U of M Bachelor of Music Education degree. Nor was it part of her thinking during three years of teaching beginning band to intermediate school students in Alpena. "When I was laid off during a down economic time, I knew I had to find another path," she says. A critical factor in that other path will be Bierma's professional performances of classical music on the oboe starting in public school, through U of M, and after... 20th anniversary on public airwaves (Fri, 7/2)



On THIS SUNDAY (7/11) from noon to 8p, GRAND RAPIDS CABLE ACCESS CENTER Triple A WYCE/GRAND RAPIDS, MI, will be hosting a live show in support of the AUDUBON NATURE INSTITUTE. The proceeds will go to help the animal victims of the GULF COAST due to the DEEP HORIZON OIL DISASTER via the LOUISIANA MARINE MAMMAL AND SEA TURTLE RESCUE PROGRAM. Ten local GRAND RAPIDS acts will be donating their time and talent at BILLY'S LOUNGE for the event... WYCE To Host 'Plug It Up! A Gulf Life Rescue Benefit' (Thu, 7/8)


Grand Rapids Press:

Red Green is full of well-learned advice from his handyman's school of hard knocks. "Driving really fast on a flat tire does not create enough centrifugal force to make it round again." That's one of several tips the host of "The Red Green Show" shared with a full-house of around 750 at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Sunday. An enthusiastic audience eagerly scooped up the morsels offered by Green -- actually actor-writer Steve Smith -- host of the sketch comedy series that pokes fun at handymen, DIY and outdoors shows. The program (produced from 1991-2006) still airs on public television stations across the country. West Michigan's WGVU-TV hosted Smith's visit... Host of 'The Red Green Show' humors full-house at WGVU fundraiser (Mon, 7/12)


Grand Rapids Press:

WGVU-TV along with the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies will be airing Michigan's 3rd Congressional District Debate - The Republicans on Wednesday, July 28 at 9:30pm. Candidates that will be present for the Republican Primary Debate will be Bill Hardiman, Steve Heacock, Louise "Ellie" Johnson and Bob Overbeek. Candidates will be discussing issues to the voters in the Michigan's 3rd Congressional District which consists of the counties of Barry, Ionia, and all except the northwest portion of Kent. The debates will also be available to watch online at www.wgvu.org/2010GreatDebates... WGVU snags opportunity to air 3rd Congressional District Debate (Mon, 7/26)


Grand Rapids Press:

After 24 years overseeing some of Grand Rapids' most popular radio stations, Phil Catlett isn't sure if he'll stay in broadcasting. Catlett, 56, was removed Thursday evening from his job as general manager of Townsquare Media's West Michigan operation that owns WLHT-FM (95.7), WGRD-FM (97.9), WTRV-FM (100.5), WFGR- FM (98.7) and WNWZ-AM (1410). Catlett is the latest top executive to be replaced in a leadership shake-up following the company's renaming from Regent Communications Inc. in May after it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. On Friday, Catlett said he was treated fairly by Townsquare Media, although he couldn't discuss his severance agreement... General manager of group overseeing stations such as WGRD, WLHT removed as new owners continue shakeup of local radio market (Sat, 7/31)



Grand Haven Tribune

A noncommercial Grand Rapids radio station recently boosted its signal strength, which station officials say will help it reach the Grand Haven area. WYCE (88.1 FM), the radio station of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, has increased its output power from 7,000 watts to 10,000 watts. The move completes a decade-long campaign to obtain signal increase approval from the Federal Communications Commission and raise the necessary funds to make the upgrade. "For years, our listeners have been asking, 'When will I be able to listen to you in Holland, in Grand Haven,'" WYCE Station Manager Kevin Murphy said. "After nearly a decade of fundraising, bureaucratic red tape and a whole lot of crossed fingers, we're so happy to be able to tell those listeners: 'Tune in now.'" The new transmitter and antenna needed for the signal expansion project were funded through a capital campaign completed in 2007. An additional $15,000 was raised this past spring to complete the installation. The new transmitter was installed in January and the antenna was put in place in June. On July 19, WYCE received its final go-ahead from the FCC and is now operating at full strength... WYCE increases power to 10,000 watts (Sat, 7/31)


Muskegon Chronicle:

For more than 20 years, it sat dormant -- an empty storefront whose significance as a community voice was barely a whispered memory. But 1877 Peck is back, this time with a name. And the whisper is now a roar. Friends, neighbors, dignitaries, well wishers and listeners, more than 100 strong, crowded around the building's front door Monday to witness and applaud the building's reopening as the Mayes and Wright Media Center, the new home and source of WUVS, 103.7 The Beat, an urban contemporary format radio station that sends out more than just music across Muskegon County. For the first time in its eight-year history, the station owns its own home. The building has historical significance. Nearly three decades ago, it housed the now-defunct WQWQ... Mayes and Wright Media Center opens in Muskegon Heights (Mon, 8/2)


Grand Rapids Press:

It may seem like Sunday's inaugural Thunder Country Jam at Rosa Parks Circle is trying to draw parallels to a similar West Michigan event. Like WBCT-FM (93.7)'s annual two-day B-93 Birthday Bash, the WTNR-FM (94.5) event is free and features back-to-back country music acts straight from Nashville, including Chuck Wicks and headliner Little Big Town. But organizers contend they aren't all that similar, nor are they trying to be. "We don't want this to be really compared to that, because it's going to be very different," said Steve "Scrubs" Stewart, Thunder morning personality and program director, as well as Citadel Grand Rapids' director of operations. "The day itself is more than just a concert." "They do a great job," Stewart said of the June event that draws upwards of 60,000. "If ours grows to that (size), then great. But we're not looking for that"... Thunder Country Jam brings free, family friendly country music festival to downtown Grand Rapids (Thu, 8/19)


Grand Rapids Press:

Singer Tommy Steele's new album, "The Long Haul," describes Dorothy Adkins' passion for country music to a tee. The 41-year-old fan made "the long haul" all the way from North Carolina to attend downtown Grand Rapids' inaugural 94.5 Thunder Country Jam on Sunday. And not only did Adkins arrive early to catch Steele's opening set in the radiant sunshine, she planned to dance and sing until one of her favorite bands, national headliner Little Big Town, closed things out as night settled in eight hours later... Fans arrive from near and far for Thunder Country Jam in downtown Grand Rapids (Sun, 8/22)


Grand Rapids Press:

Hockey fans weren't the only ones interested in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 2010-11 schedule, which was released Wednesday afternoon. So was the local sports station widely known as ESPN 96.1. On Wednesday, the Griffins also announced a new three-year partnership with WMAX-FM to carry the team's radio broadcasts this season. The Griffins spent the past 14 years on sister station WOOD-AM (1300), but eight games last season were moved to WMAX. Both stations are owned by Clear Channel Communications. "It's somewhat of a bittersweet day for us, as Newsradio WOOD 1300 has been a tremendous flagship for the Griffins since our inaugural season," said Tim Gortsema, the Griffins' senior vice president of business operations. "But the opportunities to be on an all-sports FM station, increase our overall signal strength and access to ESPN's audience of local sports fans -- all while staying with Clear Channel -- made it an easy decision." Bob Kaser will return for his 11th season as the Griffins' play-by-play announcer. All 80 regular-season games will feature a 15-minute pregame show and at least a 10-minute postgame show. If a scheduling conflict arises, Griffins broadcasts will be able to move to WOOD or another Clear Channel station that can air the game live... Griffins games move to ESPN 96.1 (Wed, 8/25)


Grand Rapids Press:

Kerri Cavanaugh, formerly news director for South Florida television station WSFL, has been named news director at Grand Rapids' Fox 17. Cavanaugh replaces Tim Dye, who left the station in July to join WXYZ in Detroit. She officially assumes her new duties in Grand Rapids on Sept. 8, according to general manager Patty Kolb. Cavanaugh also spent 11 years at WFTS in Tampa, Fla., and won the Edward R. Murrow Award for breaking news in 2008... FOX 17 names news director from Florida to replace Tim Dye (Thu, 8/26)

The lights of Friday night come a little early this week, but that doesn't mean tonight's games will fly under the radar. High school football remains as popular in the West Michigan area as it does in the rest of the country, and the local TV and radio coverage certainly reflects that... West Michigan's TV and radio stations have high school football fans covered (Thu, 8/26)


Mark Thomas has been named the new market manager for Townsquare Media's West Michigan operation that owns radio stations WLHT-FM (95.7), WGRD-FM (97.9), WTRV-FM (100.5), WFGR- FM (98.7) and WNWZ-AM (1410).

Thomas replaces former general manager Phil Catlett, whose position was vacated at the end of July.

"It's great to be home in Michigan," said Thomas, who worked as a sales manager from 1981-1985 at WGRD.

Thomas moved here a month ago after serving as regional vice president and market manager for seven different radio stations in Kentucky and Indiana.

He plans to get acquainted with the market and decide if there are moves to make.

"Right now I will evaluate where we are and our positions in the marketplace," said Thomas, who has two children and is a graduate of Central Michigan University. (I have) no definitive plans yet. I will be growing our business."

He made one of his first moves this week, making WLHT-FM afternoon on-air personality and programmer Jerry Noble the station's new program director. He takes over for Jerry "JT" Tarrants, who will remain with Townsquare as program director for rock station WGRD classic hits station WFGR, and Spanish station WNWZ.

"He is a super skilled programmer," said Tarrants, who is operations manager for all Townsquare stations in the market, and a consultant to others around the country. "With projects outside of GR requiring my time and the weight of WGRD, it makes sense that Jerry put his expertise and skills to work at WLHT-FM as the new program director."

Noble was hired last year to program WRTV for the departing Bill Bailey, who is now on the air at "real oldies" station WGVU-AM (1480) with former WFGR programmer Len O'Kelly. (Bailey is on the air weekdays from 6-9 a.m. and O'Kelly from 2-6 p.m.)... Changes continue for radio station owner Townsquare Media, formerly Regent Broadcasting (Fri, 9/3)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 9, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

If you're part of the WBCT-FM (93.7) "listener family," then you're well aware of the B-93 "Roofsit for Kids," a charity event that raises money annually to help abused and neglected children in West Michigan. This year's Roofsit, which once again is being led by B-93 morning air personality Neal Dionne, began on Tuesday. As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, the station posted on its website that $21,000 had been raised. You can still donate online or by calling 1-800-B93 KIDS. On Thursday, the B-93 radio-thon will feature a free "thank you" concert at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids as part of Celebration on the Grand... B-93's 17th annual 'Roofsit for Kids' concludes Thursday at Rosa Parks Circle (Thu, 9/9)

WGVU's Real Oldies (1480-AM), the country's first National Public Radio-affiliated radio stations to play rock music, is celebrating its first birthday. WGVU's Real Oldies, which also is on 850-AM in Muskegon, marks its one-year anniversary on the air. The station is commercial-free and a service of Grand Valley State University. It's made up of experienced radio veterans Bill Bailey, Len O'Kelley, and Bob Mason as on -air personalities. "We are so very excited to make it a year and have covered all expenses. That's rare," said O'Kelley, who also serves as the program manager in addition to his 2-6 p.m. on-air shift. The station's oldies format appeals to baby boomers or anyone who enjoys listening to doowop, soul, Motown, early rock and roll, the surfer sound, or British invasion... WGVU Oldies, NPR's 1st rock station, celebrates 1-year anniversary (Thu, 9/9)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 12, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Applause greeted Matt Hanlon as the 47-year-old regional president of Citadel Broadcasting took the stage at Rosa Parks Circle recently in the middle of the 94.5 Thunder Country Jam. Several thousand people had shown up at the radio station's first all-day country music celebration, and everything seemed to be running smoothly. "We're pretty good at this," Hanlon told the crowd, citing many summers of WLAV's weekly Blues on the Mall and the annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop, which received another round of applause... Profile: Citadel Broadcasting's Matt Hanlon never regrets leaving AOL in New York for Grand Rapids radio scene (Sun, 9/12)

Radio in Black and White, which airs on WARP-AM (1680) and is simulcast on 95.3 FM from 10 a.m.-noon on Mondays, has been on the air for four years. To celebrate, the public is invited to join hosts Rick Wilson and Sot Welch as they broadcast their 200th show live at Celebration Cinema South from 10 a.m.-noon on Monday. The program will welcome to the anniversary show special guest, Michael Fosberg, who has written an autobiographical play called "Incognito." His powerful story of racial identity is being shared as he tours the country with his one-man play. Radio in Black and White discusses issues of race and racism by providing positive conversation about diversity and relationships. Guests and live callers discuss new models emerging in business and community life to develop new language and perspective... Radio in Black and White, about race and racism, celebrates fourth year (Thu, 9/9)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 18, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

An attorney for dozens of people with flood-damaged cars in the aftermath of the 2009 B-93 Birthday bash will press on with a legal case, despite a recent setback at the state Court of Appeals. Appeals court justices decided not to hear attorney John Tallman's argument to give class-action status to the car owners. An Ionia County judge earlier denied the status. Now, Tallman said he plans to seek a reversal from the state Supreme Court. "The political balance is different there," he said. "Maybe they will see things differently." Tallman is representing 61 clients in connection with vehicles flooded when the Grand River rose rapidly June 20, 2009, leaving up to 1,400 vehicles in varying levels of water... Car owners flooded by B-93 Birthday Bash in 2009 can't seek class-action suit, appeals court says (Fri, 9/17)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 22, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

This week I started a new morning routine, just in time for the fall TV season and this thing called ArtPrize. Each weekday I get a chance to hang out with Citadel Broadcasting radio stations WHTS-FM (105.3), WTNR-FM (94.5), WLAV-FM (96.9) and WJRW-AM (1340). Each station plays a different format, and each one has its own style. So far it's been a little unpredictable, but fun. I start the day about 6:45 a.m. recording a few segments for news/talk stations WJRW-AM where I give a few tips of what to do in Grand Rapids, ala my Top 5. Those air at 7:57 a.m. and 1:57 p.m. weekdays. Also during ArtPrize, I'm offering a daily "ArtPrize Update" segment at 8:57 a.m. Many of them are the same tidbits you find in The Press, on our website or on my "Going Gonzo" blog... Making the rounds at WHTS, WTNR, WLAV and WJRW (Wed, 9/22)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Sept. 28, 2010




LIN Media has picked up the CoolTV multicast network in 11 of its 17 markets encompassing six million TV homes, 5.2% of all TV homes, according to Cool Music Network, the startup behind the network. Combined with Sinclair (33 markets) and Journal Broadcast Group (nine markets), the LIN deal puts the eclectic 24/7 music network in a total of 53 markets and extends its reach to approximately 30% of all U.S. TV homes, according to Cool Music COO David Hampe. The LIN markets: Indianapolis; Hartford, Conn.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Providence, R.I.; Toledo, Ohio; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Springfield, Mass.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Lafayette, Ind. CoolTV is customized for each market to reflect the local demographics and music scenes. "It's our ability to deliver a unique viewer experience to each market that creates the local radio-on-TV style," said Joe Comparato, Cool Music CEO, in a prepared statement... LIN Media To Air CoolTV In 11 Markets (Tue, 9/28)


Grand Rapids Press:

Eating is a luxury WOOD-TV sports director Jack Doles doesn't always get to enjoy. Especially on Friday nights during the high school football season. There simply isn't enough time as Doles and his staff race around West Michigan collecting highlights for their weekly football show, just like the sports staffs at WWMT, WXMI and WZZM. For one night, Doles allowed The Press to shadow him in WOOD's weekly race against the clock, a journey that took him from Grand Rapids to Zeeland to Holland and back to Grand Rapids -- with no wasted motion in between. Doles' dinner consisted of a single chocolate chip cookie and a Coke, but at no point did his energy abate. In fact, it sometimes can be a chore just to keep up... For WOOD-TV's Jack Doles, a lot of frenzy during high school football season is behind the scenes (Fri, 10/1)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 7, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Local morning radio personality Gerry Barnaby is no longer on the air. WLHT-FM (95.7) today informed Barnaby -- host of the "Barnaby and Friends" show on W-Lite the past two years -- that the program wouldn't continue. "I just know that as of today 'Barnaby and Friends' is off the air, but I can't tell you what any future plans are," Barnaby said. "It's not like I haven't been through this before. Everybody in Michigan seems to have this possibility happen, so I don't feel like I've been singled out." Still, Barnaby said he was surprised he was let go, even if "in media, can you ever be surprised? It took me by surprise, but I don't take it personally." Executives with Townsquare Media (formerly Regent Communications) wouldn't comment on the move or what would replace Barnaby's show. Operations manager Jerry "JT" Tarrants said only that listeners should tune in to WLHT-FM at 6 a.m. Monday... WLHT-FM dumps Gerry Barnaby, host of the 'Barnaby and Friends' morning show (Thu, 10/7)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct. 8, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

What's going to happen Monday morning when WLHT debuts its new morning show and possible new format? One thing is for certain, it won't have popular midday personality Kim Carson, who took to Facebook to react to an announcement on sister station WTRV-FM (100.5) "The River." On her Facebook page, Carson made this statement: Chuck Latour and Andy Rent, who do mornings, on 100.5 The River, made the BIG announcement this morning and I started fielding calls and emails right after it:-) Yes, it is true, I will be leaving 95.7LHT radio station but I am not leaving Grand Rapids or Townsquare Media. I will be moving over to 100.5 The River to do the midday show there from 10am-3pm. I hope you will join me during the day wherever you work. Listen online at www.wtrv.com, on your phone and on the radio at 100.5 The River. THANKS to everyone who has stuck with me for the 7 years I have worked in GR! It means everything and I love ya'll 4 that!... Another shakeup at WLHT: Kim Carson moving to sister station 'The River' (Fri, 10/8)


Grand Rapids Press:

Several new faces are gracing local television news broadcasts. Jason Volentine is the new weekend co-anchor of Fox 17 News at 10, with co-anchor Lindsay Kus. He also is reporting on weeknights for both the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts ... Joining the news staff at WZZM is reporter Sarah Barwacz, who comes to Grand Rapids from a three-year reporting stint at WMBD-TV in Peoria, Ill. The station also has moved multi-media journalist/reporter Steve Patterson to Holland. His role will be to focus exclusively on the Holland/Zeeland area of Ottawa County. In another move, Tara Kuhnlein has moved from "Take 5 and Company" to a reporting position in the Information Center ... Crystal Hilliard is one of the newest reporters to join WOOD-TV ... Ryan Takeo is the new face in the mornings as a reporter for Daybreak... Local TV stations WOOD, WZZM, WXMI make new hires (Sun, 10/10)


WLHT-FM Grand Rapids repositions



Townsquare Media's WLHT-FM 95.7 Grand Rapids has shed its Lite Rock moniker this morning and repositioned itself as Channel 95.7, The Best Mix along with adding the syndicated Kidd Kraddick Show for morning drive. The station's musical direction appears to be in a modern/hot adult contemporary format with artists such as Nickelback, Sara Bareilles, Creed, The Wallflowers, Green Day, Neon Trees, Poison, Bon Jovi, Uncle Kracker, and Maroon 5 being played this morning.



Grand Rapids Press:

"W-Lite" is no longer. Instead, WLHT-FM (95.7) is now called "Channel 957" to help signal its gradual transition to more contemporary music of the '90s, 2000s and today. "We ain't yo mamma's W-Lite anymore" appears on the station's website. "We've been moving the music more contemporary for a few years now. (But) because the history of W-Lite is so strong, we couldn't convince people we had made the sound of the station more contemporary," said Townsquare Media, Inc., Operations Manager Jerry Tarrants. "We figured the best way (to signal the music shift) was to repackage it. If you miss the old WLHT, you can still get that at WTRV-FM (100.5 "The River")," added Tarrants, who noted that John Tesh and W-Lite's former midday personality Kim Carson are at The River... Former 'W-Lite' goes heavy on contemporary music; new name is 'Channel 957' (Mon, 10/11)


South Bend Tribune:

The orange and red leaves are still on the trees, the college football season isn't halfway over, but according to one local radio station, the time is right for eggnog and caroling. "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas," Johnny Mathis is crooning on WSMM, 102.3-FM "The Stream," on Wednesday afternoon. The temperature is in the 60s. Halloween is more than a week away. There are more than 30 days until Thanksgiving; more than nine weeks until Christmas Day. But since 2 p.m. Tuesday, 102.3 has been broadcasting nonstop Christmas and holiday music, and program director Karen Rite says the station will continue to do so until the end of the holiday season. "We beat everybody else to the punch," Rite said. "At first I was kind of dreading this, but now that it's here, I actually like it." Typically, 102.3 plays soft adult contemporary hits targeted toward young adults. Rite said the station has never tried the "all-Christmas" format before. "Usually people wait until after Thanksgiving (to go to all-Christmas)," Rite said. "And traditionally, when they go to 'all-Christmas,' they get really high ratings." And in small media market like South Bend, the fight for ratings can be tough... Yuletide selections playing at 102.3-FM (Wed, 10/20)


Grand Rapids Press:

I wasn't able to attend Sunday night's KO Cancer 2010, an event featuring local celebrity boxers, all competing in the name of cancer research for the Van Andel Research Institute. What I missed: Christian "Bad News" Frank of WXMI-TV (Fox 17) landing a mean right hook and knocking down Joe "Flounder" Piesz of Thunder 94.5 WTNR-FM. The boxing match was organized by Frank's Knockout Fitness and took place at the Intersection. The celebrity match-ups and results: Ellen "The Kardashian" Tailor, co-host of the "Todd Chance Radio Show" on of Hot FM (105.3), fought to a draw against Hailey "The Comet" Frances of Fox 17... Christian Frank of Fox 17 knocks down Flounder of Thunder 94.5 at KO Cancer 2010 (Mon, 10/25)


The race to see what radio station would be the first to flip to all-Christmas music in Michigan is over, the winner apparently being Townsquare Media's soft rock WTRV-FM 100.5, which made the annual move yesterday.

There will be many others that follow suit across the state in the coming weeks, with the majority of Michigan's radio markets seeing at least one station taking advantage of the short-term ratings boost that a flip to Christmas music provides.

Country WGDN-FM 103.1 Gladwin is generally considered to be the first station in the state to abandon its regular format in advance of Christmas Eve on regular basis when it began to do so over ten years ago. Since then the trend has spread nearly nationwide - at first starting after Thanksgiving but now happening as early as late October.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 5, 2010




ALL ACCESS hears that 9a-noon "MOUTH 2 MOUTH" hosts SCOTT WINTERS and MICHELLE MCKORMICK have exited CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WOOD-A/GRAND RAPIDS. WINTERS' FACEBOOK status after TODAY's show read "Anyone hiring?" and responded to a friend's asking if he had been fired with "I prefer to say 'let go.'" ... the station's website is now sporting a banner touting the addition of PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS' GLENN BECK for 9a-noon... Scott Winters, Michelle McKormick Exit WOOD-A/Grand Rapids, Glenn Beck In (Fri, 11/5)


This SUNDAY (11/07), CITADEL Top 40 WHTS (105.3 HOT-FM)/GRAND RAPIDS presents its second annual PASS THE GRAVY food drive at the RAY & JOAN KROC CORPS COMMUNITY CENTER. The drive will be highlighted by a mini-concert featuring CARTEL, HEY MONDAY and PAPER TOUNGES. A donation of four canned goods gets you in the door... WHTS Grand Rapids Helps Feed The Community (Fri, 11/5)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 8, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Fans of the radio show "Mouth 2 Mouth," which was canceled Friday by WOOD-AM 1300, continue to express outrage over the loss of the locally produced show. WOOD-AM 1300 this morning began airing the syndicated Glenn Beck Program during the 9 a.m. to noon slot formerly occupied by Scott Winters and Michelle McKormick. Listeners questioned the wisdom of the decision.

"We have no call-in program now in Grand Rapids for the citizens to voice and discuss the matters that affect Grand Rapids and its outlying metro areas," said Susan Draaisma, of Ada, in an email to The Grand Rapids Press. "I think WOOD is going to regret this decision."

Lucy Martin emailed to say she only listened to WOOD-AM 1300 for "Mouth 2 Mouth."

"Sometimes, they were a bit much, but I did enjoy listening to them," Martin said. "Big mistake on WOOD's part."

On Monday, WOOD-AM general manager Tim Feagan said the station made a business decision. "Scott and Michelle did a great job for us, but as Beck continues to grow, and grow nationally, we had to make the move to bring him to our premiere outlet of WOOD AM-1300." Winters this morning said he couldn't comment other than to confirm he and McKormick had been let go... Fans of local radio show 'Mouth 2 Mouth', canceled by WOOD radio for Glenn Beck, express outrage (Mon, 11/8)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 11, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Join us live at noon Friday for an interview with Scott Winters and Michelle McKormick, former hosts of "Mouth 2 Mouth," which aired from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays on WOOD-AM (1300). The locally produced show was replaced this week by Glenn Beck's nationally syndicated talk show. Scott and Michelle have agreed to join us from noon to 1 p.m. Friday on MLive.com to address their fans and share what's next in their careers. Video of the interview will be streamed live here. Fans also will have an opportunity to ask questions and address the former radio talk show hosts in an online chat. .. Live interview: 'Mouth 2 Mouth' hosts Scott Winters and Michelle McKormick, formerly of WOOD radio, to address fans (Thu, 11/11)

Three years ago, longtime radio personality Sabrina Fairchild heard a clear message over divine airwaves. "I was in prayer, and I felt like God was preparing my heart for something different," said Fairchild, the former morning co-host with Steve Kelly on WOOD-FM (105.7) from 2005 to 2007 and on WSNX-FM (104.5) from 1993 to 2005. "Three weeks later, I lost my job. It was another phase of Clear Channel going private and downsizing." The broadcasting industry, turbulent at best, had cut loose one of the area's most beloved radio personalities, but Fairchild was not in turmoil over it... Former radio personality Sabrina Fairchild has new book (Thu, 11/11)


And the sleigh goes to....



It's Christmastime in the city, or at least on the radio at 100.3 in Detroit as WNIC made its annual flip to holiday music this morning at about 9:30. As of just after 10 a.m., the format is theirs alone as format competitor WMGC-FM 105.1 has stuck with their regular contemporary format.

WNIC's Facebook page lit up immediately with listeners expressing their pleasure with the move.

In West Michigan, WOOD-FM 105.7 also made the move to Christmas this morning, giving Grand Rapids two full-time holiday outlets as cross-town WTRV-FM 100.5 switched earlier in the month.

The Bay City area also has a full-time Christmas station; WSAG-FM 104.1 made its annual switchover earlier this week.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 16, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Two men and four women will compete to take Jordan Carson's spot as WOTV-TV (Channel 4)'s "The Next Face of 4." The winner will receive $20,000 and a one-year contract with the station. The Top 6 were announced Monday morning on sister station WOOD-TV (Channel 8)'s "eightWest." Five of the contestants were chosen by WOTV staff. The sixth, the People's Choice winner, was selected via online voting, which closed at midnight Sunday. About 20,000 votes compared to 10,000 last year. The semi-finalists include Bristol native Mekayla Diehl, 21; Grand Rapids native Steven Duchon, 27; Battle Creek native Morgan Lind, 22; Walker native Darryl Thompson, 27; Allendale resident Jacqueline Torrey, 26; and People's Choice winner Shanda DeWitt, 21, of Allendale. All six will face off in a final round at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at the downtown Peppino's, 130 Ionia Ave. SW. The event is free and open to the public. Seating will begin at 5 p.m... 2 men, 4 women named finalists in WOTV's 'Next Face of 4' contest (Mon, 11/15)


Clear Channel's operations in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon markets are perhaps preparing for a format switch to one or more of their radio stations. The rumors of news-talk WOOD AM 1300 adding an FM simulcast were first mentioned on the Michigan Radio & TV Buzzboard here on November 11th and yesterday the company's 105.7 officially changed call sign from WOOD-FM to WSRW-FM, adding a bit of evidence that a shakeup indeed might be on the horizon. FM 105.7 had been known as WOOD-FM since it first signed on in 1962 but since 2001 has de-emphasized the calls in favor of its Star FM moniker.

Possibilities for a FM simulcast of WOOD AM would be on one of Clear Channel's other FM's in either Grand Rapids or Muskegon. Those stations include country WBCT 93.7, sports WMAX 96.1, rock WBFX 101.3, rock WMRR 101.7, contemporary hits WSNX 104.5, country WMUS 106.9 or soft rock WSHZ 107.9. While WBCT and WSNX should essentially be viewed as 'untouchable' at this point due to their ratings success, a popular theory amongst the Buzzboarders is that the country format of WMUS could move to 107.9 with the news-talk format of WOOD landing on 106.9. The adult format of what's now WSRW-FM covers much of the same listening area of the similarly-formatted WSHZ on 107.9.

According to FCC files as of earlier today, none of the other Clear Channel stations above have applied to take on the WOOD-FM call sign.


West Michigan lakeshore gets a Smile



The newest signal for the ever-expanding network of Contemporary Christian "Smile FM" stations is on the air from near Hart with this week's sign on of WSMZ FM 88.3. The station roughly covers an area along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Ludington to Whitehall with 1,100 watts at 656 feet.

WSMZ is Smile FM's 16th's station that's on the air - the network is based out of Lansing at WLGH FM 88.1. Smile FM continues to further expand its coverage area in southeast Michigan by signing on as many as 4 more stations in Oakland, Wayne, and St. Clair counties in the future.

Smile FM has provided its Michigan coverage map with frequency information on its web site at www.smile.fm/pages/Stations.html.


Santa checks in with updates



Christmas music continues to expand across Michigan, with at least three more stations flipping to all-holiday tunes this past week.

In Lansing WLMI FM 92.9 has switched off the smooth jazz, perhaps permanently. The station swapped its call sign to WLMI after ID'ing for a number of years as WJZL. On the Lake Michigan shoreline, soft rock WSHZ FM 107.9 is also jingling all the way. And in the Tri-Cities, classic hits WHNN FM 96.1 is playing 'all Christmas classics' again this year.

Look for Detroit soft rocker WMGC FM 105.1 to switch to the seasonal format on November 26th, the day after Thanksgiving.

Update: Oldies WNBY FM 93.9 Newberry / Sault Ste. Marie also has switched to all-Christmas as of this morning.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 19, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Producer Joe strikes again! A radio station stunt drew laughter and begrudging praise from a crowd of dignitaries gathered Friday for a ribbon cutting of the freshly finished "Fix on I-196" freeway widening project in downtown Grand Rapids. The group had intended to snip a ceremonial ribbon, but Joe Gassman - the infamous "Producer Joe" stunt man from WGRD-FM's "Free Beer and Hot Wings" - beat them to it. "In the name of progress, I declare that 196 is now open!" Gassman reportedly yelled before cutting the ribbon, hoisting the scissors in triumph and running south down the Coit Avenue bridge over I-196. "I thought I was back at MSU in the '70s and this was a streaker coming by," said Grand Valley Metro Council Executive Director Don Stypula, a guest speaker. "It was the most interesting ribbon cutting ceremony I've been to in some time"... 'Fix on I-196' ribbon cutting livened up by WGRD 'Free Beer and Hot Wings' radio station stunt (Fri, 11/19)

Clear Channel Grand Rapids has changed the call letters of its FM station Star 105.7, signaling programming changes are ahead for the company's stations in West Michigan. The station that's been WOOD-FM since it first went on the air in 1962 now is WSRW-FM a change made Thursday and confirmed today by general manager Tim Feagan. No other change was made in format or staffing at the station, which has made its annual seasonal switch from soft adult contemporary to an all-Christmas format for the holidays. Feagan speculated not many people would even notice. Since 2001, the station has used the name Star 105.7. Before that, it was known as EZ 105.7 for many years. "We never used the call letters before other than the top of the hours," Feagan said. The website radio-info.com suggests the change in call letters opens the door for Clear Channel to use WOOD-FM to simulcast the news/talk format of its No. 4-ranked WOOD-AM, which airs syndicated shows as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Feagan, however, would not comment on that possibility... Big changes coming to Clear Channel stations in West Michigan? (Fri, 11/19)

Clear Channel West Michigan has named Chris Potter as general sales manager for four of its Grand Rapids radio stations. Potter was named Thursday as sales manger for B-93 WBCT-FM (93.7), The Fox WBFX-FM (101.3) and WSNX-FM 104.5 as well as for Star 105.7... Clear Channel West Michigan names general sales manager (Fri, 11/19)



Kalamazoo Gazette:

The California company that owns Kalamazoo television station WWMT is considering selling its newspapers and TV stations. Irvine, Calif.-based Freedom Communications Inc. said Thursday that it has received offers to sell the stations and papers during a review of strategic options for the company, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, according to an Associated Press report. The company would not name the potential buyers or give details about which properties have drawn interest. WWMT General Manager Jim Lutton declined to comment. Freedom owns eight TV stations around the country, including WWMT in Kalamazoo and WLAJ in Lansing, and 100 daily and weekly newspapers... Parent company of WWMT eyes offers to sell television stations, newspapers (Fri, 11/19)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 23, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

In what quickly has become a downtown tradition, Citadel Broadcasting once again will host a New Year's Eve concert and celebration outdoors on Rosa Parks Circle. This year's free Hot 105.3 New Year's Eve Party stars Maryland pop-punk band Good Charlotte, a multimillion-selling act perhaps best known for its 2002 album, "The Young and the Hopeless," which spawned a Top 20 hit, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Earlier this month, the rock band, led by brothers Joel and Benji Madden, released its fifth studio album, "Cardiology." It plans to tour Europe starting Jan. 21, followed by dates in Japan and Australia. On New Year's Eve in Grand Rapids, Good Charlotte will headline an evening of live music that also includes pop/rock bands We the Kings from Florida and Runner Runner from California, plus R&B/pop singer Kaci Battaglia, who is based in New York. DJ Curtis Avison will entertain the crowd between acts... New Year's Eve in Grand Rapids gets 'Hot' again with Good Charlotte headlining free, outdoor concert (Tue, 11/23)




CITADEL Top 40 WHTS (105.3 HOT FM)/GRAND RAPIDS, MI today announced the lineup for its third annual HOT NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY. The event is done in conjunction with sister Classic Rock WLAV (97 LAV), Country WTNR (94.5 THUNDER COUNTRY), N/T WJRW-A and Sports WBBL (107.3 THE BALL). PD JACK SPADE told ALL ACCESS, "We're bringin' the musical heat this year with GOOD CHARLOTTE, WE THE KINGS, RUNNER RUNNER and KACI BATTAGLIA, while the BUD LIGHT HAPPY HOUR beforehand at ROSA PARKS CIRCLE will provide it's own 'special' type of heat. We've got the official ball drop at the stroke of midnight and DJ CURTIS AVISON will entertain the crowd in between live performances"... WHTS Heats Up Grand Rapids This New Year's Eve (Tue, 11/23)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 24, 2010



Muskegon Chronicle:

Andy O'Riley, a Total Rock 101.7 WMRR radio personality, spearheaded a weeklong Thanksgiving Day food drive earlier this month that just might help to raise some cash for No More Sidelines, a Muskegon-based nonprofit, volunteer-operated organization for persons with special needs. Folks will get a chance to learn more about the charitable project at 10 p.m. tonight when its televised during a segment of Fox 17's Pizza Hut "Pay It Forward Challenge." O'Riley recently stepped from behind the radio microphone to in front of a WXMI Fox 17 camera to talk about his efforts to feed the hungry during the Thanksgiving holiday for later broadcast on WXMI. And, he's hoping that the story doesn't stop there. Once the segment airs on WXMI, O'Riley is asking supporters to go the television station's website and cast an online vote to help the project be one of three top winners of prizes ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 in the Pay It Forward Challenge. Online voting was to begin today and run through Dec. 3. Whatever the project's winnings, O'Riley said it will be donated to No More Sidelines... Good News: Radio personality steps in front of camera to raise money for the needy (Wed, 11/24)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 27, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

"The Tony Gates Show" on WJRW-AM 1340 is being moved from its weekday afternoon slot to mornings to accommodate a listening audience searching for more live and local programming. "It's the same great 'Tony Gates Show,' just at a new time," new WJRW Program Director Josh Leng said. "There's been a demand and an expectation for the last eight years in Grand Rapids that listeners be able to listen and participate in live and local shows during the late morning hours." The switch by the Citadel-owned station follows the recent cancellation of local morning talk show "Mouth 2 Mouth," featuring Michelle McKormick and Scott Winters, on WOOD-AM 1300. That station, which replaced its local show with the nationally syndicated Glenn Beck, is owned by Citadel competitor ClearChannel Radio. Gates' show, which used to be on from noon to 2 p.m., will begin its new 9 to 11 a.m. time slot on Monday... WJRW-AM moves 'The Tony Gates Show' to mornings, will unveil new afternoon show Monday (Sat, 11/27)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 29, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Tim Doctor, with co-host and WJRW-AM 1340 Program Director Josh Leng, will host a new locally focused news talk show on the Citadel-owned station during the old "Tony Gates Show" time slot. An announcement was to be made on air at 11 a.m. today. Gates, whose afternoon show ran noon to 2 p.m., now airs from 9 to 11 a.m. beginning today. Co-host Dave Jaconette and producer Jeff Merrill will remain with the show. Leng said the move was prompted by listeners desiring more live and local programming during the late morning hours. Doctor's show will air from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature local, regional and national stories that both he and Leng feel are "relevant to our listeners," Leng said.

"We have a tagline for Tim called 'With liberty and sarcasm for all,'" Leng said. "While he does have political beliefs, his show is a mix of life, work, family, politics, sports and all the stuff we cram in between."

Doctor recently filled in occasionally for Gates' afternoon show on WJRW. Doctor, who grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Grand Valley State University, hosted a weekend show on WOOD-AM 1300 and was a former fill-in for the "Rick (Beckett) and Scott (Winters) Show" prior to Beckett's passing in February '09... WJRW-AM unveils new midday show to follow 'The Tony Gates Show' (Mon, 11/29)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Nov. 30, 2010




Former CLEAR CHANNEL Country WBCT/GRAND RAPIDS night personality JERRY BROADWAY has returned to nights on WBCT for the ELECTRIC BARNYARD show. BROADWAY had moved to sister Top 40 WSNX for mornings in JANUARY. BROADWAY replaces COLT McMANN, who exited YESTERDAY (11/29)... Broadway Returns To WBCT, Colt McMann Exits (Tue, 11/30)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 7, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Picture yourself at a lavish spectacle featuring a New York City-style runway, sipping a martini, bidding on a Porsche test drive and laughing the night away while helping out charity. The upcoming Design 1 Salon Spa Fashion Event at The B.O.B. gives you the chance to make this happen ... Like last year, Design 1's fashion event serves as the kickoff to Star 105.7's annual "Think Outside Yourself" Radiothon Dec. 15-17. It raised $274,000 last year alone for the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation. More than a $1 million has been raised for the hospital in the 10 years of its run.

"All local dollars. All of it stays here," said Star Program Director Kelly Iris, whose show airs weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The station will air inspirational stories based on experiences at the hospital throughout the radiothon's three days. Those wishing to donate online can do so Dec. 10-17 via westmichiganstar.com. A bank will be set up form 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Celebration Cinema South, 1506 Eastport Drive SE, Dec. 15-17 for drop-off donations... Fashion show, radiothon will benefit Helen DeVos Children's Hospital (Tue, 12/7)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 9, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Dates have been announced for WBCT-FM (93.7)'s B-93 Birthday Bash 19. The free two-day concert will run Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, 2011. The event will be held for a second year at the US 131 Motorsports Park, 1249 12th St., in Martin. B-93 Program Director Dave Taft said that despite large crowds once again last year - an estimated 40,000 on Saturday and 32,000 on Sunday - there was a surprising amount of room to move around.

"People could spread out a little bit more," he said. "I didn't realize that it was that much bigger than the previous places we had been."

Taft hopes to announce the finalized lineup in the near future. Thanks to country superstars like Brad Paisley, Taft was reticent to dish clues about potential performers next year... Dates, location of B-93 Birthday Bash 19 announced (Thu, 12/9)


Changes rumored to be happening to Clear Channel's group of West Michigan radio stations starting becoming reality today with the announcement that country WMUS FM Muskegon will be simulcasting for the next few weeks on both it's original frequency of 106.9 and its future home at 107.9. Gone from the airwaves will be the soft rock format of WSHZ on 107.9, which had been playing all-Christmas music of late. Star 108 listeners will be encouraged to tune into Clear Channel's WSRW-FM (Star 105.7) out of Grand Rapids.

That move is in advance of adding an FM simulcast of news/talk Grand Rapids' WOOD AM on the 106.9 frequency after WMUS listeners have a chance to become familiar with the station's new home on 107.9.

Clear Channel exec Doug Montgomery told WOOD-TV Ch. 8 that the change to a news-talk format on FM 106.9 would happen sometime in January.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 10, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

WBCT-FM (93.7) B-93 radio personality Dave Conrad is getting the ultimate gift this holiday season - a new kidney. The taped announcement was to be aired this morning at 7:15 as Conrad continues to undergo morning dialysis treatments as he has for two-and-a-half years. "My family's really excited. It's a lot of time I miss with my kids. To actually be able to go on vacations will be nice," Conrad said Thursday morning of his wife, Susan, and two boys: 15-year-old Harry and 13-year-old Ben. Conrad received an unexpected call Wednesday, while on air from 2 to 7 p.m., that he would be receiving a kidney from "a young woman from Grandville," he said. The transplant is scheduled to take place shortly after the New Year... B-93 radio personality Dave Conrad to receive a kidney this holiday season (Fri, 12/10)


Clear Channel West Michigan is rolling out major changes to some of its local stations, the most significant of which will be making WOOD-AM (1300) news/talk radio both an AM and FM frequency next year. The popular local news, traffic and weather station, providing the nation's top four syndicated talk shows, will be aired simultaneously with identical programming on FM 106.9 starting in early January. A specific date has yet to be announced. Tim Feagan, Clear Channel West Michigan's vice president and regional market manager, said the addition of its No. 4-ranked station to an FM frequency is giving its listeners greater access to the local news they covet, as many on the Lakeshore cannot access the frequency this time of year... Clear Channel West Michigan to make WOOD-AM 1300 both an AM and FM frequency (Fri, 12/10)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 14, 2010





CUMULUS Top 40 WKFR (103.3 KFR)/KALAMAZOO collected over 4,200 toys for needy children in its annual Stuff the Bus promotion for TOYS FOR TOTS THURSDAY through SATURDAY at the TOYS R US in PORTAGE, MI. KFR's WILL HARVEY, DAVE BENSON, and KRUZE broadcast live in the cold weather from the event, filling a KALAMAZOO METRO TRANSIT bus with toys for the MARINE CORPS' program. Donations will contuinue to be accepted through FRIDAY (12/17)... 103.3 KFR Stuffs A Bus To Aid Toys For Tots (Tue, 12/14)


With yesterday's format change at Clear Channel-owned 107.9 FM WSHZ (Star 108) from soft rock to country in preparation for WMUS to move from 106.9 to 107.9 on a permanent basis, Citadel Broadcasting has changed the format of FM 97.5 at 3 p.m. today from sports to soft rock as 'The New Sunny FM'. The station has applied to change the call sign of 97.5 from WEFG-FM to WWSN to better match the station's new direction.

WEFG's web site (975thechamp.com) is directing viewers to Citadel sister station WBBL-FM 107.3, which also features a sports format.

In addition to bringing back the soft rock format, Citadel is also bringing back the Sunny FM moniker to the Muskegon market. Beginning in 1984, WSNX FM 104.5 had a contemporary format and was known as Sunny FM under the ownership of Goodrich Radio. The name stuck with the station after it was acquired by Clear Channel in 1999 but was eventually phased out as WSNX shifted its focus towards the larger Grand Rapids market.



Grand Rapids Press:

Pink, James Taylor and Elton John are coming to Muskegon ... via the community's local airways. At 3 p.m. today, Citadel Broadcasting Company launched "The New Sunny FM" on WWSN-FM (97.5). The new adult contemporary format will feature today's hits - Daughtry, Colbie Caillat - as well as yesterday's favorites from artists like Cher and Elton John... Citadel launches 'The New Sunny FM' in Muskegon (Tue, 12/14)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 23, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

Former WOOD-AM 1300 "Mouth 2 Mouth" host Michelle McKormick may not yet have an announcement to make about moving forward with her former co-host Scott Winters, but she agreed to a different kind of deal over the weekend. Before updating fans about the radio hosts' next move, McKormick waved her hand and flashed some bling adorning a certain finger. The veteran radio personality announced that she re-married her ex-husband, Jeff Schaefer, the father of her 22-year-old son Mason, at a private party at her Grand Rapids over the weekend.

"None of our friends knew," she said. "They just came out, and we surprised them with a party."

McKormick was happy her son could be the witness of his biological parents' second wedding on Dec. 18... Michelle McKormick drops some big news... (Thu, 12/23)


WCDYRecent sign-on WCDY FM 107.9 Cadillac has ended its marathon of Christmas music as debuted its new format as 'The New 107.9 CDY, Cadillac's Hits Without the Rap'. The hot adult contemporary station will face off against market incumbent WLXV FM 96.7.

In the Grand Rapids market, AM 1140 returned to the air on Christmas day as WVHF. 'Holy Family Radio' features Catholic programming.

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline, WKLA AM 1450 Ludington has apparently dropped its news-talk format and switched to oldies.


West Michigan: Newsmakers Dec. 30, 2010



Grand Rapids Press:

WHTSWhere else but downtown Grand Rapids can you ring in the New Year to a rock 'n' roll version of "Auld Lang Syne" by punk-rock/powerpop outfit We The Kings, watch a lighted globe count down the last seconds of 2010 and share some camaraderie with 30,000 others? Citadel Broadcasting's 105.3 Hot-FM New Year's Eve Party downtown quickly has become West Michigan's signature ring-in-the-new year event. The free celebration featuring national entertainment acts kicked off in a recession-occupied 2008 with pop-rock band Plain White T's and country star Darryl Worley, and attracted some 20,000. Last year's event featured alt-country/rock singer Uncle Kracker and Boys Like Girls and about 30,000 attendees. Marcus Bradman, Citadel's director of promotions and events, expects a crowd of similar size for headliners Good Charlotte, as well as pop singer Kaci Battaglia, burgeoning country star Frankie Ballard, punk group Runner Runner and punk-rock/powerpop outfit We The Kings... Good Charlotte headlines Hot New Year's Eve Party in downtown Grand Rapids; 30,000 expected (Thu, 12/30)


Michiguide.com 2010 News Archive




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