West Michigan: March 2011 Archives

The Ionia Sentinel-Standard:

According to Ionia City Manager Jason Eppler, the trial concerning the B93 Birthday Bash scheduled for Monday was adjourned and will be settled out of court. He said the city of Ionia is represented by its insurance company, which has hired an attorney. A facilitator, or mediator, has looked at the case to find common elements and see if a settlement can be made.

A total of 13 case numbers were up against the city and county of Ionia, the Free Fair Association, Consumers Energy and Clear Channel. Insurance companies involved include State Farm Mutual Automobile, Progressive of Michigan, Pioneer State Mutual, Frankenmuth Mutual, Auto and Home Owners Insurance, Michigan Insurance, Auto Club Group, Farm Bureau, Michigan Millers, AllState, Citizens, Nationwide and NEEMIC.

Eppler said he has been informed a settlement was reached, however, the information of the settlement is confidential and tentative... B93 Birthday Bash hearing settles out of court (Thu, 3/3)


LIN Media and DISH Network fail to reach retransmission agreement; WOOD-TV and WOTV dropped

As of 2 a.m. today, DISH Network subscribers in West Michigan will have to turn to antennas to receive NBC affiliate WOOD-TV (Channel 8) and ABC affiliate WOTV-TV (Channel 41) as the retransmission agreement between LIN Media and DISH expired without a new agreement being reached.

"We only want what is fair for our local stations, so that we can continue providing the premium news, sports, entertainment, and other local programming that is most important to viewers," said LIN Media's President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent L. Sadusky. "We will continue negotiating with DISH so we may reach an agreement."

LIN also owns and operates Fox affiliates WUPW-TV Ch. 36 in Toledo and WLUK-TV Ch. 11 in Green Bay along with 22 stations in markets across the country, all of which were taken off of DISH Network today.



Grand Rapids Press:

DISH Network subscribers in West Michigan lost their access to WOOD-TV (Channel 8) this morning as negotiations between DISH and LIN Media, the parent company of WOOD-TV, were unresolved. Local viewers who subscribe to DISH's satellite TV woke this morning to find the NBC-TV affiliate in West Michigan had been removed. But in its place on that channel, viewers found a message from DISH informing them that LIN had now increased its demands for a 175 percent fee hike, up from 140 percent, and LIN negotiators had stopped taking calls from DISH... DISH Network subscribers wake up to find WOOD-TV gone from their local satellite TV (Sat, 3/5)


WZZM-TVI recently ran into WZZM-TV (Channel 13) multi-media journalist and anchor Jennifer Pascua, who was making the rounds at Citadel radio stations promoting the return of the ABC affiliate's weekend morning news. Pascua said viewers has been asking for a return to the weekend morning show since it went off the air a couple of years ago. The weekend morning news program returns this weekend and will air from 6-8 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Joining Pascua is new meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer... WZZM (Channel 13) brings back its weekend morning news show (Sat, 3/5)



WBBLGrand Rapids radio station WBBL 107.3fm will broadcast tonight's basketball game live between Fennville vs. Lawrence in Holland. The game is the first game for Fennville since Wes Leonard, 16, collapsed and died after making the game-winning shot in the last game of the season on Thursday night and the opening game of the MHSAA playoffs. The game has been moved to Hope College in Holland to accomodate the larger crowd that is expected tonight. The broadcast will begin at 6:45pm.

"All proceeds from tonight's game will benefit Wes Leonard's family which is unprecedented. We're thankful to have the opportunity to share the Fennville-Lawrence match-up with those unable to attend on 107.3 WBBL FM," says color commentator Brett Mueller in a press release... Fennville game to be broadcast on live radio (Mon, 3/7)


Cumulus to acquire Citadel



Radio across lower Michigan is about to become super-consolidated with this morning's announcement that Cumulus has officially "entered into a definitive merger agreement to purchase Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, under which Cumulus would acquire all of the outstanding common stock and warrants of Citadel at a price of $37.00 per share. This consideration is payable in cash and shares of Cumulus stock, and values Citadel as an enterprise at approximately $2.4 billion. Citadel owns and operates 225 radio stations in over 50 markets and also operates the Citadel Media business, which is among the largest radio networks in the U.S." The combined operations of Cumulus and Citadel would be about 572 radio stations across 120 markets should the deal get the green light from the government.

In Michigan, the combined Cumulus and Citadel properties would result in a 38 station grouping of stations that would include properties in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Flint, Saginaw/Bay City, and Toledo, OH -- pending FCC review and approval.

The biggest local downside of this deal will undoubtedly be the likely consolidation of positions in Michigan as Cumulus attempts to leverage the sheer number of stations it will own and markets it will cover in the I-75, I-94, and I-96 corridors.


Grand Rapids Press:

WLAVLocal radio pioneer Ed "Uncle Buck" Buchanan is signing off WLAV-FM (96.9)'s "The Kevin Matthews Morning Show," but the veteran announcer and producer of 44 years isn't retiring completely just yet. The lifelong Grand Rapids resident, 62, was to announce his departure from the station on air at 7:30 a.m. today(Thursday). His last day is Friday.

"I'm tired of getting up at three in the morning every day. I've been doing that a long time," said Buchanan, sitting in the breakroom at LAV's studios on Wednesday. "I've been doing radio in this market since 1967. So, you know, it's time to start slowin' down a little bit. It's a bittersweet thing."

Maybe not so bittersweet for Kevin Matthews, who had a quick answer to the question of whether he will miss his former boss and current sidekick... Veteran radio personality 'Uncle Buck' signs off WLAV's morning show (Thu, 3/10)


With parent company TV Corp. reaching a retransmission agreement for its 27 television stations across 17 markets with DISH Network yesterday, the signals of West Michigan NBC affiliate WOOD-TV Ch. 8 and ABC affiliate WOTV Ch. 41 have been restored on the DISH system.

Terms of the new agreement were not released- the dispute over money between LIN and DISH affected viewers for 8 days with each party blaming the other for the disruption to viewers.

A statement on WOOD-TVs web site reads: "Attention DISH subscribers: We are pleased to inform you that we have reached a contract with DISH Network. We appreciate your tremendous support throughout these negotiations. This fair resolution ensures that we can continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment and other local programming that is most important to you. Thank you for supporting LOCAL television."


Grand Rapids Press:


Fox 17's Michelle DeSelms says co-hosting the station's new afternoon show "The One Seven" with Tim Doty already feels "like we've been doing it forever."

The comfortable camaraderie is evident on the nontraditional 5-6 p.m. weekday show, which debuted March 7 and features lifestyle elements, art, entertainment, cooking, fitness, fashion and some news elements.

"It's going great. I mean, we've been waiting for a show like this for a couple years now," DeSelms said. "We are just thrilled to finally be on the air with it. It's even better than we hoped."

DeSelms, a Rockford resident who has been with the station since its beginning 12 years ago, is happy that the show offers "a little something for everyone"... Fox-17's 'One Seven' co-hosts Michelle DeSelms and Tim Doty ease into new afternoon show (Fri, 3/18)


Grand Rapids Press:

The Morning After show on WSNX 104.5 criticized WOOD-TV8 for doing a special on Wes Leonard, the Fennville basketball player who died shortly after making the winning shot at a game to keep the team's winning record. Diane Kniowski, president and general manager of WOOD, called the radio station, which recorded the conversation and is playing it on their web site. She said the radio folks were wrong in accusing WOOD of exploiting the situation because the TV station isn't in a rating period. "I think you're making assumptions," she said, and complained that no one from WSNX called the station for comment... Audio of WOOD-TV GM's defense for running Wes Leonard special, says it's not a ratings ploy (Mon, 3/21)



WCSGCORNERSTONE MINISTRIES Contemporary Christian WCSG/GRAND RAPIDS recently partnered with FAITH COMES BY HEARING (FCBH) during the station's annual Sharathon. The partnership was to support American troops with the Bible in audio through MILITARY BIBLESTICKS. WCSG promoted the MILITARY BIBLESTICK on air during its fundraising campaign and via its website. As a result, listeners donated monies to make more than 300 BIBLESTICKS available to members of the armed forces.

"Partnering with FAITH COMES BY HEARING by providing MILITARY BIBLESTICKS is a natural extension of WCSG's heart; that is to encourage and engage listeners to a deeper relationship with Christ. What better gift could we give to our military service men and women who serve so sacrificially?" said WCSG Executive Director CHRIS LEMKE... WCSG, Faith Comes By Hearing Partner To Provide Military BibleSticks (Wed, 3/23)


Fred Douglas got his first taste of broadcasting by working at the student-run radio station at Olivet College. He got hooked shortly thereafter during a brief stint delivering the news at the former WOWE radio station in his hometown of Allegan, and his career took off when he was barely out of his teens and got a job as a reporter for WKZO radio and television in Kalamazoo. Although a departure from his music and political science studies at Olivet and Western Michigan University, the news business appealed to Douglas and he put his education on permanent hold.

"It's sort of like a dalmatian in a fire truck; it's hard to walk away from," Douglas, 70, said during a recent interview, 50 years after launching a 25-year career at WKZO, 20 years of which he was news director for both the radio and television stations.

When Douglas began, John Fetzer owned both the radio and television stations. Douglas signed off for the last time 25 years later in March 1986 after Fetzer sold them and the television call letters were changed to today's WWMT-TV. He went to work as community services director for Consumers Energy, which was then Consumers Power Co. After five years, he returned to WKZO radio, then owned by Fetzer associate Carl Lee, and helped in the conversion of the station to a 24-hour news format... Where is he now? Catching up with Kalamazoo radio and TV personality Fred Douglas (Mon, 3/28)



CITADEL Top 40 WHTS/GRAND RAPIDS MD GRAVY has only been hosting mornings (with the lovely ELLEN TAYLOR) for just over a month, and now spreads his empire to include mornings at sister Top 40 WJIM/LANSING. Current WJIM morning host/PD JOSH STRICKLAND moves to afternoons, replacing ALABAMA, who had been covering GRAVY's old night shift via voicetracking, but will now do nights for both stations live from the LANSING studios... Air Talent Doubles Up At Citadel Grand Rapids & Lansing (Thu, 3/31)







Home Page | Contact | Station Listings | History | Links

Search | About | Shop | Sitemap | Weather



Twitter Facebook E-mail Feed


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the West Michigan category from March 2011.

West Michigan: February 2011 is the previous archive.

West Michigan: April 2011 is the next archive.

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