West Michigan: March 2010 Archives

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)







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This page is a archive of entries in the West Michigan category from March 2010.

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