West Michigan: November 2010 Archives

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)







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

West Michigan: October 2010 is the previous archive.

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