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Former WRIF morning man had lung issues

Longtime fans of WRIF 101.1 Detroit's Drew and Mike morning show heard the heartbreaking news this afternoon that Mike Clark, Drew Lane's other half of the once-popular morning show died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 63. 

Clark and Lane were the hosts of WRIF's wildly-popular morning show, which went off the air several years ago with both sides amicably deciding to break up. Lane, however, did host a short-lived afternoon sports show on now-defunct sister station Detroit Sports 105.1 after the show ended. 

According to Lane, Clark had multiple health issues over the years, including issues with his lungs. Clark worked several odd jobs before joining Lane at 37. Beforehand, he was a regular caller to the show - formerly "Drew and Zip" before "Zip" moved to Phoenix - doing his vast array of voices.

I do have to give WRIF some credit. On their website, they have a nice tribute to Mike, including some old clips of D&M. Most radio stations seem to piss on their own heritage and sweep their past under the rug. 

Regrettably, my association with Drew and Mike is slim to none, given that I'm a Howard Stern guy. Hell, I remembered when Howard debuted on 97.1 K-Rock (now 97.1 The Ticket), they ran a SHITLOAD of promos bashing WRIF, Drew and Mike and elderly afternoon guy Arthur Penhallow. Even Howard himself bashed Drew and Mike for ripping his show off.

Nonetheless, D&M still had a sizable following in Detroit and are still loved and remembered today. Our thoughts are with Mr. Clark's family.



New format focuses on 50s and 60s classics

It used to be that if a radio station's music was aimed towards those over 60, it was a sore spot for advertisers.

Take my now-deceased grandparents, for an example. They lived in a nice, three-story home overlooking Elk Lake near Williamsburg. When they moved there in 1986 from Troy near Detroit, their favorite radio station was WMBN 96.3, which played super-soft easy listening music. 

However, in 1990, 96.3 flipped from beautiful music to adult contemporary as "Lite 96", which it remains to this day. I heard that the reason for the flip was due to the death of owner Ken McDonald and his daughter Trish was instructed by her mother to flip the station since it was part of her father's wishes. My grandparents were only slightly younger than Ken was (he was 67, Grandpa was 63 and Grandma was 60, mind you), and they were pissed that their favorite station had been modernized. Songs with vocals, oh no! 

Eventually, Gramps and Gram found a new radio home with WCCW 1310, which aired an adult standards format carrying ABC's "Unforgettable" network. However, over time, Unforgettable transitioned from standards to more of a soft oldies format. I even remembered in the late 90s, they were playing Lorne Greene's "Ringo" and Grandma had asked, "WHAT HAPPENED TO MY STATION?!?" 

Well, my grandparents moved to Florida not long afterward, and in 2000, 1310 - which had been one of the lowest-rated radio stations in northern Michigan - flipped to ESPN sports. My grandpa died in 2001 and I remembered putting on 1310 on for Grandma as we were driving around in northern Michigan. Oddly enough, she wasn't shocked that they flipped. Why? She uttered three words: "we're dying off".

Of course, a radio station aiming for seniors had been a problem for advertisers. Common knowledge has it that they try to preserve every dime and penny from their pension. True, but in the case of my grandparents - my grandmother was a special ed teacher and my gramps was a mailman - they had a few bucks here and there. They had nice furniture and always drove nice cars. Grandma owned a 1993 Buick Skylark that she got from Bill Marsh while Grandpa leased a new Cadillac from Chet Swanson (what a great, great guuuuyyyyy....) every two years. Oddly enough, Grandma claimed that she bought the Skylark from long-time WCCW jock Michael O'Shea, whom, I think was off the air at the time and was selling cars.

Well, it was recently announced that after 18 years of airing jock talk that didn't appeal to many in Traverse City, WCCW 1310 was flipping back to an all-music format: oldies. Of course, the format is somewhat similar to what their FM counterpart at 107.5 had for years. But in more recent times, WCCW-FM had been airing a 70s-centered format with some 60s and 80s sprinkled in. Anything pre-1964 was verboten. 

The format change was announced in an ad published in the Traverse City Business News earlier this month. Last night, the station stunted with three different versions of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye and Creedence Clearwater Revival. This morning, the station launched officially. Longtime station manager Brian Hale hosts the station's morning show while the rest of the day is automated save for pre-recorded episodes of shows hosted by the long-deceased Wolfman Jack and Dick Clark. 

(I kinda think that Wolfman Jack, however is not a perfect fit for AM13 since Monday's show had not-so-oldies like The Vapors' "Turning Japanese", Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Maker" and Devo's "Whip It".)

The station streams online at It appears that the other Midwestern Broadcasting stations are slowly reintroducing streaming on their websites as well; they abandoned streaming years ago due to royalty issues. They will continue to carry Detroit Lions football and daytime Detroit Tiger games.

Now, I think the station will do eons better than the .6 it got in the ratings last Spring. It's definitely better than most of the right-wing hate talk carried on sister WTCM 580 and others. But how will advertisers react? Granted, they broadcast from the "Goodyear Auto Service Studio", so there's at least one advertiser there. Personally, I think that Midwestern should have gotten an FM translator for AM13 so at least the people of Traverse City could hear them without static. But then again, the majority of their tunes were first heard on AM radio back in the day. And yes, WCCW did play many of those tunes in the 60s and 70s as "Radio Double C". With TC being a haven for fogies, this station does have the power of doing much better than trying to compete with a product that's already on a better signal on FM. 


WTCM Still king, WCCW drops

In the latest Fall 2018 ratings, WTCM-FM once again dominated with a combined 13.2 between them and simulcaster 93.5 out of Boyne City. In all my years looking at ratings, WTCM has remained on top.

Other highlights:

*Stations owned by Northern Broadcast (geezer rock 97.5/98.9 WKLT, 80s/90s 94.3/92.5 The Fox and ESPN 106.7/105.5) and he-who-won't-be-mentioned here were not listed since they don't subscribe to Nielsen. 

*However, Rock 105/95-5 did go up nearly a full point to a 4.8. Just imagine if Smitty was still fired from the station. As a matter of fact, he led his demo in the afternoons. Of course, the man who helped get Smitty in the first place, Tom Devitt at WKLT is not the King of Afternoon Radio like his profile on the station's website says.

*While Rock 105 gained almost a point, WCCW-FM 107.5 almost lost a full point, probably due to an aging audience, plus the fact that there's a flux of stations focused on the 70s. 

*CHR Z93 did improve to a 3.2, though KHQ is still the top CHR of the north.

*104.5 Bob FM might be ripe for a format change. Then again, their signal sucks.

The next book will be out next August or so.



9&10 zaps infomercials for a 4 pm newscast, a probable name change for 32,
The CW returns over the air and channel 12 reformats

*WWTV 9&10 ADDS NEW 4PM NEWSCAST/YENTA GABBER: The northern Michigan CBS affiliate owned by Heritage Broadcasting is adding a new 4pm newscast/lifestyle talk show called The Four, effective January 8th. The show will be hosted by Michelle Pocock-Dunaway and Charlie Tinker and will feature news and weather mixed in with lifestyle stories. In other words, it will be a lighter newscast than their normal other news programming. As a result of the new show, Ellen will move to 3 p.m. while Let's Make a Deal moves to 10 a.m. back-to-back with The Price is Right. 9&10 had been one of the few CBS affiliates to air LMAD at 3 p.m. The move will replace the one hour of infomercials the station had been airing at 10 a.m. for years. Some had been criticizing 9&10 and sister Fox 32 for their obscene amount of paid programming for years.

*IS FOX 32 GETTING DE-FOXED? If you go to 9&10's website, you'll might notice that WFQX Fox 32 is "Local 32" (we have the logo posted above), which is leading to speculation that the station might be ready to dump Fox. On-air, the station is still known as Fox 32. One piece of speculation is that the Fox affiliation might go to Sinclair, which owns NBC affiliate WPBN/7&4 and ABC WGTU/29&8. WFQX has been a Fox affiliate since the day they signed on, October 6th, 1989.

*THE CW RETURNS OVER THE AIR UP NORTH: In other WFQX news, apparently beginning in the new year, the station will add The CW to a digital subchannel of theirs. Currently, the station's subchannels include MeTV and ION. The CW was last seen up north over the air some ten years ago on WGTU 29&8's subchannels. However, it was then demoted to cable only due to 29&8 being sold to Barrington Broadcasting, which also owned 7&4 at the time. The new CW subchannel also carries syndicated fare such as Maury, Jerry Springer and Family Guy.

*MY TV 12 NOW MI TV 12: Several months ago, northern Michigan MyNetworkTV affiliate WLLZ-LP 12 Cedar/Traverse City was sold from long-time owner Bob Naismith to Eric Wotila's Freelancer Broadcasting for $100,000. Now, the station has changed its call sign to WXII-LP (XII is the Roman numeral for 12) and is now using the name "mi TV 12" as its moniker. The station has also added news updates from sister station WMNN-LD "minews 26". WXII also carries Cozi TV in non-prime time hours. It is one of the very few network TV stations in America that still broadcasts in analog.



Owner of 16 radio stations with former Howard Stern programmer in jail for drunk driving

The man who co-owns many radio stations in Michigan's upper peninsula is in a Charlevoix County jail for 270 days for drunk driving.

William Curtis Gleich, who owns Sovereign Communications with a name familiar with us Howard Stern fans, Tim Sabean, was arrested in November for his third offense of drunk driving. He will also serve 36 months probation and pay $2858 in court fees.

Sovereign's properties include stations in Sault Ste. Marie such as CHR Yes 99.5, Rock 101 and full-serve 1230 WSOO and Marquette's 93/94 Rock, Big Country 92.3 and full-serve 680 WDBC, a station whose 10,000 watt signal gets out a ways.

I've had the privilege of meeting Mr. Gleich a few times several years ago at the St. Ignace Auto Show, along with the staff of his stations. He was a stand-up guy and very fun to talk to. It's heartbreaking that when he was busted for drunk driving his first two times, he didn't learn his lesson. Now that he's going to be in jail well into the new year, I hope that he will sober up and get his life back in order. Drinking and driving do not mix.


iHeartMedia kills The D for Alt 106.7

Yet another Howard Stern stomping ground has flipped format this week.

Detroit's WDTW-FM 106.7 - the former WWWW/W4 - has flipped from variety hits as The D to alternative as Alt 106.7, Detroit's New Alternative. iHeart also owns Alt-branded stations in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Birmingham, St. Louis, Dayton, Des Moines, Wichita and a few other markets.

106.7 had been somewhat of a cursed frequency since flipping from its longtime country format in 1999, first to rock AC as Alice 106.7. Over the years, the formats included classic rock, adult hits, rhythmic AC and even a return to country as 106.7 The Fox, which didn't last all that long. The station notoriously aired a Saturday night show called "Hick-Hop", which featured country tunes segued into hip-hop songs and vice versa.

Currently, Alt 106.7 is doing the usual new station launch gimmick with 10,000 songs in a row commercial free. Artists on the new station include Portugal, The Man, No Doubt, Beck, Twenty One Pilots, Vance Joy and The Killers.

Alt 106.7 is Detroit's first AMERICAN alternative station since the ill-fated 94.3 The Bone a few years ago, which was really a translator of the HD signal of hip-hop WGPR 107.5. When WGPR discontinued their HD stream, the station was shuttered. Detroit had many alt-rockers in the 1990s, including Planet 96.3 and The Edge at 105.1.

And yes, 89X, which is technically a Canadian station by law.

With 89X firing all of its American staff and closing their Detroit facilities earlier this year, one would wonder if 1) some of their canned jocks would end up on Alt 106.7 (especially Christina and her awesome Timewarp show) and 2) iHeart will make this station a cheap voicetrack hellhole like they do with most other stations of theirs. I have heard a jock on 106.7 earlier today, and chances are that they can't pronounce the word "Hamtramck".

So, why the flip to alternative? Simple: Entercom took over CBS Radio last week and they've been on a roll with alternative. They turned CHR Amp 92.3 in New York into Alt 92.3 and it was speculated that iHeart wanted the Alt name for that city. With Detroit's Amp 98.7 not flipping last week, iHeart played "you snooze, you lose" and turned 106.7 to alternative, only a few months after flipping to variety hits. 

All I can say is only time will tell. As much as I hate iHeartMedia, I might hate Bell Media even more.



89X fires former PD while CBS's new owner might flip one to alternative

Is the (ahem) Bell tolling at longtime Canadian alternative radio station 89X out of Windsor/Detroit?

Last week, the station fired long-time programming director Phat Matt, leaving the once-prominent station with just one local jock, morning man Mark MacKenzie, who now has a grueling shift from 6 a.m. to 12 noon. The rest of the day is filled with voicetracked jocks from their sister station in London, ON, Virgin Radio.

As we reported in April, 89X's Detroit office was closed, leaving 20 staffers including some long-time jocks out of work. 89X's ratings on this side of the border have been weak as of late, in part due to Dave and Chuck the Freak's move to 101 WRIF a few years ago.

But, will 89X's last nail be tapped shut?

With Entercom's purchase of CBS Radio being finalized last week, they've already flipped Howard Stern's old New York stomping grounds  - which had been CHR as Amp 92.3 - to alternative as "Alt 92.3". The Big Apple hadn't been with any new rock station since CBS flipped 101.9 to sports WFAN five years ago.

Now, the question is, will Entercom flip one of their Detroit properties? They now own CHR Amp 98.7, country WYCD 99.5, oldies WOMC 104.3, sports 97.1 The Ticket and CBS Sports Radio 1270 and all-news WWJ 950.

Of all the stations they own in Motown, Amp *should* be the one that's toast. They're getting killed by iHeartMedia's Channel 955 in the ratings. Bear in mind that 98.7 was the old home of the legendary WLLZ 98.7, which flipped to smooth jazz in the 90s and then to Amp a few years ago.

In the most-recent Nielsen book, Amp was 15th place with a 2.7 share. Channel was at a 5.0 in 7th place. It's Entercom's lowest-rated FM station.

Currently, Detroit only has three new rock stations: WRIF plus 89X and 93.9 The River out of Windsor. With 89X trimming its staff and shoving CanCon down Detroit's throat, is it time for Entercom to unplug Amp and go American alternative on 98.7? I think so.

IMO, alternative can do well if it's done right. 89X's problem is that Bell Media doesn't seem to give two shits about that station or even its American listeners. When Dave and Chuck the Freak were there, they had a 3 share. When Bell was still subscribing to the Nielsens, 89X had sunk down to a 1 share, making them Motown's least-listened-to radio station. I think what's killing 89X includes their crappy dial position next to public radio stations and the aforementioned CanCon that's required by the Canadian government.

Only time will tell. Detroit deserves better than having to hear stiffs only Canadians like.



Depature may have been linked to station sale

After spending many-a-decade in Detroit radio, Doug Podell is out as PD for both classic rock WCSX 94.7 and active rock WRIF 101.1.

The Detroit News has reported that it's unclear whether or not if Podell, 64, was let go or quit. His daughter, Lauren was a former reporter for Graham Media NBC affiliate WDIV-TV 4; she resigned last year when it was allegedly said that she was caught saying "I'm tired of reporting on those niggers killing each other".

It's also worth knowing that Podell's stations were recently sold last year to Beasley Media.


Big changes at Townsquare GR

It has been made official that Johnnie Walker, who had been the afternoon jock and Programming Director at Townsquare active rocker WGRD 97.9 has been let go from the station. No word as to why he was fired, but allegedly, part of it might be due to GRD's slump in the ratings as of late. In recent months, fans of the station have noticed more classic rock creeping into the playlist, angering them.

It's not known if the classic rock bent was Walker's decision.

Meanwhile, sister hot AC WLHT has flipped its moniker from "Channel 95-7" to "Mix 95.7". No changes to music or airstaff have been made. It's not known if rival iHeartMedia played a role, since they own CHR WKQI "Channel 9-5-5" in Detroit.




Last station carrying crappy easy listening station in northern Michigan flips to classic hits as Mac-FM, brings back Bob and Tom

Early today, Black Diamond soft AC WQEZ 106.3 Onaway/Cheboygan flipped to a 70s/80s classic hits format known as 106.3 Mac-FM WWMK, named - of course - after the Mackinac Bridge.

Core artists on the station include typical 70s and 80s top 40 fare such as Hall and Oates, Prince, The Bee Gees, Michael Jackson and so on. The station has also brought back The Bob and Tom Show, which was canceled on sister classic rock station WGFN 98.1/97.7 The Bear last month to make way for the return of Omelette and Coates.

The Easy format - created by former owner Del Reynolds - was a total flop. It debuted Christmas Day 2011 on what is now the 97.7 frequency for The Bear in Cheboygan. In 2013, the Easy format moved to 106.3 Onaway and also aired on 95.5 Traverse City, replacing the Real Rock format that was popular with listeners. Needless to say, hard rock fans in the Cherry Capitol were pissed.

However, with Black Diamond buying out Reynolds, the decision was made to kill the Easy format on 95.5 and bring back the rock format early this year. Now, it's safe to say that slow, sappy geezer music up north is dead and gone, and deservingly so.

On the station's website, station management did release a message that Easy's format was simply too niche and too older-skewing. In their last Nielsen ratings book, the station only registered a .5 rating.

Formatically, the station competes with Northern Broadcast's 94.3/92.5 The Fox FM, a station focused on hits from the 80s through the early 00s. The Straits area hasn't been without a station playing much hits from the 70s since WCZW 107.9 Charlevoix - which once simulcasted WCCW-FM 107.5 Traverse City - was sold to religious broadcaster Good News Media and became WLJD, simulcasting Christian WLJN 89.9 Traverse City.

The northern Michigan region has been an unlucky place for soft and AC stations over the years. In the past 15 years alone, duds have included Midwestern Broadcasting's 92.9 The Breeze (now CHR Z93), Northern Broadcast's WSRT 106.7/105.5 (now ESPN) and now, Easy 97.7/106.3/95.5. Today, the north has two full ACs: MacDonald-Garber's WLXT Lite 96.3 and Fort Bend's WLDR 101.9 The Bay. However, the two aforementioned ACs have a younger audience than the three bombed stations, and maybe, it's for the best.




Popular northern Michigan jock returns to old afternoon slot after three month absence

Today, listeners of northern Michigan active rocker WGFM Rock 105/95-5 were shocked when estranged afternoon jock Smitty made his triumphant and unexpected return to the station.

Smitty's return comes three months after he was fired from the station after advertisers threatened to bail over an alleged audio clip where Smitty played an obscene song on his show, which he claimed was doctored and created by competing station WKLT. He claimed that Rock 105/95-5's parent company, Black Diamond Broadcasting, worked feverishly to convince those advertisers that the clip was false and was an online feature only.

As reported yesterday, Jerry Coyne, who runs WKLT said that he, nor his wife had anything to do with the audio file.

During his time off the air, Smitty worked as a bartender at Right Brain Brewery, a job which he will still do on occasion, he says. Tonight, he was with the station's new midday jock, Trudi Daniels as part of a listener appreciation party at Right Brain.

Smitty replaces Jay Roberts, who voicetracked his show from Minnesota. He moves over to sister station The Bear in a shift yet to be announced.




"We didn't get Smitty fired", claims Jerry Coyne

Earlier today, I had a phone conversation with Jerry Coyne, the owner of Grayling rock station Q100 and sports Y101. He and his wife, Sheryl are in the process of buying Northern Broadcast's rock WKLT (97.5/98.9), 80s/90s hits The Fox (94.3/92.5) and ESPN Up North (106.7/105.5). Currently, Coyne's company, Blarney Stone Broadcasting operates the stations via a Local Marketing Agreement. However, he's been hearing about the controversy surrounding the ongoing sale of the NBI stations, the firing of Omelette and the firing of Black Diamond Broadcasting Rock 105/95-5's Smitty and quite frankly, he wanted to set the record straight.

In regards as to why the sale of KLT/The Fox/ESPN is taking so long, it's only because they're working on changing the perimeters of the sale. Originally, the sale involved the stations themselves AND the transmitter sites for all six stations plus the real estate, and the deal was too much. So, the Coynes and NBI are simply trying to configure a deal that doesn't involve selling the transmitter sites and BSB would own the stations only. People have speculated that since no papers had been filed by the FCC and the deal was announced a year ago that the deal fell though. That is not the case.

Then, there's the rumor that it was Coyne who fired Omelette. That was false, according to Coyne. NBI fired him because he and co-host Richard Coates were getting overpaid and the show wasn't making enough money to pay the two. Of course, O-Man and Coates are now at classic rocker The Bear (98.1/97.7).

And then, there's Smitty. A few of my sources claimed that former Rock 105/95-5 afternoon host/programming director was let go because Sheryl sent a nasty email to the station's advertisers about something he never did on the air: play a song with the word "cunt" uncensored. According to Jerry, Smitty was canned because he trashed KLT afternooner Tom Devitt on the air and since she's on the board of the Michigan Lottery, she told the organization about his actions and they threatened to pull their ads from Black Diamond's stations. A few other advertisers were notified to the point that Black Diamond had no choice but to fire the popular radio host, who was #1 males 18-34 in the last Nielsen ratings book.

Speaking of Smitty, he's now in an awkward situation. Currently, he's a bartender at the popular Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City. Tomorrow on Friday the 13th, his old station, Rock 105/95-5 is planning an event, welcoming new midday jock (and former WRIF/Detroit Drew and Mike show sidekick) Trudi Daniels to the station. However, on his Facebook page, Smitty released a video stating that the station is also welcoming a new afternoon jock as well and he'll be working that night as his old station taunts him. Apparently, there will be a ton of people there supporting him as well. All the event needs is Jerry Springer and all will be well.



106.3 The Mitten debuted last week  

*TRAVERSE CITY: Last week, northern Michigan gained a brand-new radio station. 

Adult Album Alternative WWMN - 106.3 The Mitten made its debut last week from a new transmitter site in Interlochen. The station was previously Hot AC WKLA 106.3 in Ludington, but that station moved to 96.3 in anticipation of the move.

The Mitten's format is supposedly similar to other AAA stations such as Chicago's WXRT and Windsor/Detroit's CIDR - 93.9 The River. According to their website, The Mitten mixes in 60s and 70s classic rock with modern alternative faves such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Keys, Sheryl Crow, Mumford and Sons and Hozier. The site also calls their listeners "active, green, progressive, the arts, intellectual, NPR, affluent community, earthy, independent, freethinkers, music-lovers." 

Our correspondent up north has been listening to The Mitten off and on for the past several days and tells me that the station is pretty automated and does play a few songs here and there that stations up north already play (i.e. "Down Under" by Men at Work, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers and The Cars' "Just What I Needed") mixed in with a few unfamiliar tunes (at least to him). 

The Mitten is owned by Mitten Media, headed by Todd Mohr, who used to own WKLA and several other stations in the Manistee/Ludington area. He also once owned WAVC - 93.9 The River in the Gaylord/Grayling area, which was pretty much northern Michigan's first-ever alternative station in the late 90s. It's also worth noting that the Manistee area (and to some extent, Traverse City) had a AAA station in the late 90s also, WZTU - 100.1 The Storm out of Bear Lake. Today, the station is now at 100.7 but is now silent.



105.1 now stunting in Detroit; new micro-urban AC stations for Grand Rapids 

*DETROIT: After just three years on the air, Greater Media's WMGC Detroit Sports 105.1 is no longer on the air.

The station went dark Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m., replaced with a temporary oldies format provided by sister station WCSX-HD2 94.7. In the last Nielsen book, the station only registered a .9, making them Detroit's lowest-rated commercial FM station. Meanwhile, the station they thought they could topple, CBS' WXYT 97.1 The Ticket, is sitting pretty at #1 thanks to Tigers and Red Wings play-by-play.

Since purchasing 105.1 20 years ago, Greater Media has flipped the station four times (alternative The Edge > urban oldies The Groove > AC Magic 105.1 > Detroit Sports). The station became Detroit Sports 105.1 when sister station WRIF 101.1 amicably dropped Drew and Mike and replaced them with 89X expatriates Dave and Chuck the Freak. The plan was for Drew and Mike to host a new afternoon show on 105.1, but only Drew came on board. Since the station affiliated with ESPN, they were forced to air their required programming, ie Mike and Mike. Since Detroiters could care less about some dude in Connecticut blabbing about LeBron James while 97.1 has a guy who knows Detroit from the back of his hand, well, there's the reason why Detroit Sports 105.1 bombed.

GRAND RAPIDS: In the past few weeks, not one, but two new micro-urban stations have appeared on the FM band here in Grand Rapids.

Last week, Townsquare launched a new urban AC station, Magic 94.1, which simulcasts WNWZ 1410. The 250-watt translator replaces 1410's old urban AC format "The Touch", which was satellite-fed from Cumulus. The new station is locally programmed and staffed with the exception with the syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show.

The other station is WJWC-LP 97.3 The Beat, which is run by the Empowerment Radio Project. The 49-watt station covers downtown and most of GR metro. The station airs a mixture of R&B, hip-hop and urban oldies.

Grand Rapids has one other micro-urban FM, GR94.9, which simulcasts WYGR 1530. The closest thing to a full-powered urban FM GR has is iHeartMedia's WSNX 104.5, which plays a decent amount of urban titles, but is also a full-blown CHR.



Northern Star is sold while we could be seeing Nielsen ratings again

*NSB SOLD: Last week, it was announced that Del Reynolds' Northern Star Broadcasting was being sold to Detroit-area-based Black Diamond Broadcast Group for $1.95 million. NSB owns several radio stations up in the Traverse City-Petoskey market, including classic rock The Bear, Rock 105, Easy 95-5/106-3 and the Big Country Hits and Gold stations.

The price covers for the stations themselves; not included in the sale are the stations' transmitter sites (Del, a legendary engineer in the market will retain them) and The Bear simulcaster WCKC 107.1 Cadillac is being sold to radio legend (and Glenn Beck buddy) Dom Theodore, who owns CHR WCDY 107.9.

Black Diamond is headed by former Greater Media exec Mike Chires and partner Norm McKee, who runs several radio stations in San Diego and Tijuana including CHR Z90.3 and heritage alt-rocker 91X. The company also owns several stations in mid-Michigan including classic hits WUPS 98.5 and country 92.1 The Twister.

In a post on the Michigan Radio and TV Buzzboard, Del claims the sale is due to his wife, Mary's ailing health. He said that his 57-year-old wife had several strokes in the past year and even had neck surgery. As a result, she can no longer handle her job as co-owner and sales guru and Del felt that he couldn't handle her job, either.

Del and NSB go back to 1989 when Del and Mary bought WCBY-AM 1240 and WQLZ 105.1. WQLZ became classic rock WGFM "W-Gold-FM" and soon, Reynolds' media empire grew to stations from the Sault down to Cadillac. Previously, Reynolds owned heritage CHR WYSS "99.5 Yes FM" in Sault Ste. Marie. In 1998, Reynolds sold his company to the newly-formed Calibre Communications which re-branded WGFM as The Bear, re-branded KC Country to Big Country and killed smooth jazz Coast FM and replaced it with alt-rock as The Zone. Eventually, Calibre reorganized as Northern Star Broadcasting. The sale price was $7 million.

In the 2000's, NSB also purchased several stations in the UP, which they eventually sold to Sovereign Communications. In the mid-2000's, Del and Mary were brought back to manage the company and in 2011 re-bought the stations they sold for $1.6 million, a massive loss for the previous owners of the company.

Since re-purchasing NSB, there was some controversy when on April Fools' Day 2014, the popular Real Rock 105 and 95-5 simulcast was split and 95.5 Glen Arbor flipped to a simulcast of 106.3 Onaway as Easy 95-5/106-3. 105.1 was rechristened Rock 105 and dropped the popular Free Beer and Hot Wings morning show claiming that the ratings were no longer there. However, a peek at the Nielsen ratings showed that Real Rock was NSB's strongest station with twice the ratings of sister station The Bear, a station that had been the bitch of WKLT 97.5/98.9 for quite a while. The fact that Bob and Tom had seen better days didn't help matters, either. Of course, I even wrote a nasty letter to Del on Easy 95-5/106-3's Facebook page expressing my anger for his moronic decisions that was happily deleted from their page.

Look, I never wished ill-will on Del or any of his employees. True, I'm still very angry that the fat tub of goo known as Cartman Photoshopped a picture of himself urinating on 106 KHQ's van some 10 years ago and posted it on his MySpace page. But then, I posted it on the Buzzboard because hey, it's his MySpace page, right? Well, some rumor was passed that he told people that I made the image which was completely false. Of course, he's also doing afternoons at WIXX/Green Bay now. So, if Rock 105 dropped him, it wouldn't be a huge loss to him.

All I can say is that at church on Sunday, I asked the congregation to pray for Del and Mary. It's sad when anybody can have a stroke at an early age, but it happens. But I also hope that Mike and Norm can do something positive with the NSB stations and make them bigger players in the market. At least keep an active rocker on the air up north.

*COULD WE BE SEEING RATINGS? A friend of mine from Traverse City wrote to me that Midwestern Broadcasting, the owner of WTCM-AM/FM, WCCW-AM/FM and Z93 could be subscribing to the Spring 2016 Nielsen ratings for the first time in years. Traditionally, Midwestern's stations had been at or near the top of the ratings, but rumor has it that it's no longer the case.

The Traverse City/Petoskey market hasn't had access to the full Nielsen numbers for around ten years, and that was when Todd Martin, former PD of the now-defunct AC 106.7 You FM (now ESPN 106.7) and his family sent in fake diaries to the ratings service, tampering with the numbers. In recent years, Nielsen had been publicly releasing numbers from subscribing stations - namely MacDonald-Garber and Northern Star - but they haven't released a book to the public since Fall 2012. Traverse City/Petoskey is next to Altoona, PA as being the most-delayed Nielsen book.

One rumored reason for stations not subscribing to Nielsen is money. According to my source, it's $27,000 for a book. But without knowing how well a station is doing in the ratings, it's tough to determine what audience a station has, if any. With the sale of NSB to Black Diamond, station owners should worry.

IF the northern Michigan Nielsens are released, we should be seeing them this Summer.


CHR tops in northern Michigan, GR and Detroit

With Nielsen once again thumbing their noses to northern Michigan, we've decided to create a list of northern Michigan radio stations and how popular they are on Facebook.

Since this is the second year of making this dandy little list, we made another list of how many more likes each station achieved in 2014.

So, here we go....

this year's rank/last year's rank/number of Facebook likes/call letters/(station name, dial position, format, etc)


1-1) 37,670 WKHQ (106 KHQ - CHR)
2-2) 12180 WJZQ (Z93 - CHR)
3-3) 8180 WLXT (Lite 96.3 - AC)
4-5) 6939 WTCM-FM (103.5/93.5 - Country)
5-4) 6680 WMKC (102.9 Big Country Hits)
6-6) 5615 WZTC (104.5 Bob FM - Variety Hits)
7-8) 3914 WKLT (97.5/98.9 The Rock Station)
8-9) 3654 WCDY (107.9 CDY - Adult CHR)
9-17) 3212 WLXV (Mix 96 - Hot AC)
10-10) 2530 WGFM (Rock 105)
11-11) 1634 WTCM-AM (NewsTalk 580) (Ron Jolly's Facebook page)
12-13) 1282 WUPS (98.5 - Classic Hits)
13-19) 897 WQON (Q100 - AOR)
14-14) 823 WDEE (Sunny 97.3 - Classic Hits)
15-16) 801 WSRT (ESPN 106.7/105.5)
16-15) 724 WCCW-FM (Classic Hits 107.5)
17-18) 707 WGFN (Classic Rock The Bear 98.1/107.1/97.7)
18-20) 576 WTWS (92.1 The Twister - Country)
19-21) 530 WMJZ (Eagle 101.5 - Classic Hits)
20-22) 431 WYPV (94.5 Patriot Voice - Tea Bagger Talk)
21-7) 211 WLDR (101.9 The Bay - AC) (station flipped from Country this year and this Facebook page is new)
22-23) 188 WMKT (1270 - Talk)
23-24) 188 WMBN (1340 - CBS Sports)
24-26) 163 WQEZ (EZ 95-5 - Soft AC)
25-25) 150 WJML (1110/1210 - Talk)
26-12) 97 WFCX (94.3/92.5 The Fox - Classic Hits) (this page was recently relaunched with a new website)
27-27) 87 WCCW-AM (1310 The Score - CBS/Fox Sports)


7903 WKHQ
2743 WLXV
1849 WLXT
1614 WJZQ
1590 WCDY
1462 WTCM-FM
951 WKLT
785 WGFM
594 WMKC
594 WZTC
483 WQON
308 WUPS
302 WSRT
247 WGFN
211 WLDR
182 WMJZ
171 WTWS
132 WDEE
116 WYPV

My Thoughts....

*Sometimes, I have to wonder if radio stations will rig Facebook likes to make themselves look good for potential advertisers. Case in point: Mix 96. The station gained 2743 likes to go from #17 to #9 in the year-end list.
*Once again, CHR/Top 40 is the hottest format in northern Michigan. KHQ and Z93 ruled the north overall, and all stations in the top five in increased likes are either CHR or AC-based formats.
*Despite being the home of all the major Detroit sports teams in northern Michigan, WCCW-AM is a joke. They only gained 3 likes in 2014 and I wouldn't be too surprised if ESPN is kicking their ass in the ratings. If I were the Lions, Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers, I'd move them over to ESPN. Already, sister WKLT does carry a few select Lion games.
*DOES ANYBODY LISTEN TO WJML? As of this writing, their website is blocked off due to malware problems. The only reason why WYPV is kicking their ass is due to the fact that they're on FM.
*As for WYPV, they've grown fast enough that they're no longer one of the top five lowest-rated stations up north, but for an FM station, their ratings are pitiful.
*The fact that WLDR's new Facebook page gained over 200 likes in only a few months while EZ 95-5's Facebook page is at 163 after two years is laughable. Del Reynolds is a jerk for killing off Real Rock 105/95-5 for this horrid excuse of an AC station. But then again, it's also laughable that WLDR kept the Sunny Country format for years while WTCM made them their bitch. It's proof that locally-owned, locally-programmed and locally-jocked will always win in the long run.
*I think changes are needed for WCCW-FM. For starters, I can't believe that they haven't replaced Michael O'Shea, who was reportedly canned from the station last year for sexually harassing an underage intern. The station lacks energy and their jocks sounds like they belong on an easy listening station. It's sad, because previously, the station was satellite-fed using the ABC "OldiesRadio" format overnights and weekends (remember that?).
*If WMBN (and WKAD 93.7 Cadillac) promoted the fact that they're now the northern Michigan home for Free Beer and Hot Wings, their ratings could soar.
*Last, but not least, the fact that Q100 (and Sports sister Y101 since the two stations share a Facebook page) zoomed up so quickly in the past year shows that people do like their "anything goes" approach to rock. Not too shabby for a station that's long-rumored to upgrade to 100,000 watts. The Bear, on the other hand....

My Predictions for 2015:

*Del Reynolds will take over the new CP for 106.3 WKLA Thompsonville and flip it to a simulcast of Rock 105
*With Kristen Flateau now the GM of Northern Broadcast (WKLT/WFCX/WSRT), no big changes will be made...
*.....But NBI, on the other hand will be sold and Flateau could be replaced and at least one of the stations, probably WFCX will be flipped
*101.9 The Bay will introduce an official website, logo and stream online
*Despite poor ratings and hardly any Facebook likes, WQEZ, WJML, WCCW-AM, WMKT and WYPV will not change
*With alternative being popular, one of the area FM signals will give alt-rock or AAA a try

Last Year's Predictions:

-105.1, 98.1 and 107.1 will return to simulcasting each other as The Bear, but their format will be adjusted to a mainstream rock format. Bob and Tom will be gone and since The Bear and Rock 105 already share most of their jocks as-is, Cartman will remain in mornings, Tim Logan will be on middays, Smitty will be in afternoons and NASCAR Steve will remain in nights with the voicetracked Jay Roberts sent packing. As for 97.7, Reynolds will sell it to a non-profit.
-The currently-silent 99.3 and 92.3 in Benzie County will be sold to non-profits or the Patriot Voice folks.
-Everybody at WKLT, save for Terri Ray and Omelette will be canned. (Current lineup: Omelette - mornings, Terri Ray - middays, The Afternoon Trainwreck with Racin' Jacin and Tom Dipshit afternoons and California Girl - nights)
-Somebody up north will give an all-90's format a try
-1310 will become an 'up north' WTKG, carrying liberal and conservative talk
-WTCM will can Sean Hannity


1-4) 224883 WHTS (105.3 Hot FM - CHR)
2-1) 197636 WBCT (B93 - Country)
3-11) 101237 WBFX (101.3 The Brew - Classic Rock)
4-3) 63142 WSNX (104.5 - CHR)
5-2) 45126 WGRD (97.9 - Active Rock)
6-5) 28156 WLHT (Channel 95-7 - Hot AC)
7-8) 13725 WSRW (Star 105.7 - AC)
8-7) 9853 WJQK (JQ99 - Christian CHR)
9-9) 7327 WLAV (97 LAV - Classic Rock)
10-12) 6878 WOOD (NewsRadio 1300/106.9)
11-10) 6810 WMAX (ESPN 96.1)
12-14) 4461 WBBL (107.3 - Sports)
13-13) 3771 WFGR (98.7 - Classic Hits)
14-N) 3595 WMFN (La Poderosa 640/810 - Spanish) (810 was previously Super Hits 8-1-0)
15-15) 2495 WTRV (100.5 The River - Soft AC)
16-18) 971 WGLM (106.3 - Classic Hits)
17-17) 868 WJRW (1340 - Talk)
18-19) 726 WHTC (1450 Holland - Talk)
19-21) 600 WYGR (GR94.9/1530 - Urban)
20-24) 533 WION (I1430 - Full Serve)
21-22) 513 WLAW (92.5 Nash Icon - Classic Country) (flipped from Country/Rock hybrid "The Outlaw" this year)
22-20) 482 WPNW (1360 The Pledge - Conservative Talk)
23-6) 430 WTNR (94.5 Nash FM - Country) (flipped from Thunder 94.5 this year)
24-23) 382 WFUR (102.9/1570 - Christian)
25-26) 314 WTKG (1230 - Talk)
26-25) 305 WMPA (Country 93.1)
27-27) 232 WGHN (93.1 - AC)
28-28) 125 WNWZ (1410 The Touch - Urban AC)


195173 WHTS
124778 WBCT
96497 WBFX
29328 WSNX
13314 WLHT
9365 WGRD
6696 WSRW
3595 WMFN
2878 WOOD
1966 WJQK
1322 WBBL
1153 WLAV
937 WMAX
513 WLAW
430 WTNR
383 WGLM
295 WTRV
286 WION
243 WFGR
230 WYGR
180 WHTC
145 WTKG
140 WGHN

My Thoughts....

*Something tells me that some stations here in Grand Rapids are whoring for likes. Almost 200,000 more likes for Hot FM in one year? Something tells me that Cumulus and Clear Channel iHeartMedia will do anything to prove that their Facebook pages are the most trendy.
*Like northern Michigan, pop and AC seemed to get more likes this year, with Country B93 being in the mix.
*Poor WNWZ. Personally, if they were on FM, they'd be a little higher. But, GR94.9 is on the FM (despite it being a translator to WYGR 1530) and is locally-run, so there's the difference.
*Ha-ha, ESPN 96.1 has more likes than WBBL. No surprise.
*WGRD kinda crashed and burned. I think the addition of more classic rock and some of their jocks leaving didn't help matters.
*The two stations with the least amount of new likes this year, WFUR and WPNW are both crappy religious stations. Somewhere, Jesus is weeping.

My Predictions:
*Huge will stay on 107.3
*1230 will remain a throwaway talker
*WFUR will remain a geezer station
*98.7 will flip format
*WGRD will add more alternative crossover
*John Balyo will be prison meat for another 69 years

Last Year's Predictions:

-WGRD will get a new PD in 2014, NOPE
-Huge will stay on 107.3, YES
-WTRV will flip to alternative or AAA, NOPE
-WTKG will remain a throwaway talker YES
-WFUR will still attract old people YES
-WFGR will add more jocks but will play less of the 60's and more 90's THE STATION HARDLY PLAYS ANY 60's OR 90's FOR THAT MATTER. AS FOR JOCKS, THEY'RE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS LAST YEAR.


1-1) 142,405 WKQI (Channel 955 - CHR)
2-2) 99,260 CIMX (89X - Alternative)
3-5) 95,091 WRIF (101.1 - Active Rock)
4-3) 94,842 WDZH (98.7 AMP-FM - CHR)
5-4) 88,361 WJLB (97.9 - Urban)
6-7) 56,573 WXYT-FM (97.1 The Ticket - Sports)
7-6) 43,383 WYCD (99.5 - Country)
8-8) 40,353 WCSX (94.7 - Classic Rock)
9-9) 33,609 WDTW (106.7 The D - Classic Rock)
10-11) 30,067 WNIC (100.3 - AC)
11-10) 27,374 WMXD (Mix 92.3 - Urban AC)
12-15) 25,344 WPZR (Praise 102.7 - Gospel)
13-19) 24,868 WGPR (Hot 107.5 - Urban)
14-12) 20,982 WDVD (96.3 - Hot AC)
15-13) 16,545 WJR (760 - News/Talk)
16-14) 14,854 WMUZ (103.5 - Christian)
17-18) 13,345 CKLW (AM800 - Canadian News/Talk)
18-16) 12,343 CHYR (Mix 96.7 - Hot AC)
19-17) 11,035 CIDR (93.9 The River)
20-23) 8,960 WDMK (105.9 Kiss FM - Urban AC)
21-20) 7,728 WOMC (104.3 - Classic Hits)
22-21) 7,185 WWJ (950 - All News)
23-22) 7,000 WMGC (Detroit Sports Talk 105.1)
24-27) 5,322 WDRQ (NASH-FM 93.1 - Country)
25-25) 1,073 CKWW (580 - Classic Hits)
26-24) 1,003 WLQV (FaithTalk 1500)
27-26) 903 WDTK (1400 The Patriot - Conservative Talk)
28-28) 98 WRDT (560 The Word - Christian Talk)


24512 WXYT-FM
21283 WRIF
18268 WGPR
14513 WDTW
14268 WCSX
13752 WJLB
13170 WPZR
12934 WNIC
10876 CIMX
9127 WMXD
8998 WDZH
7981 WYCD
7227 WKQI
5560 WDMK
5044 CKLW
5016 WDRQ
4435 WDVD
3004 CIDR
2710 CHYR
2461 WMGC
2163 WMUZ
1376 WWJ
1137 WOMC
986 WJR
250 CKWW
163 WDTK
141 WLQV

My Thoughts:

*A GREAT SHOWING FROM THE RIFF: The fact that WRIF's Facebook likes dramatically increased from last year shows that people in Detroit still love the Active Rock format. The Riff has done well by adding Dave and Chuck the Freak and keeping a nice balance of new rock and classics that remain true to the station's past.
*Like their Nielsen ratings, WMGC - Detroit Sports 105.1 is in the tank. Not even becoming the flagship to the lowly Pistons helps. Drew Lane should have flat out retired when he and Mike were let go from The Riff.
*Despite having good Nielsen ratings, WOMC's Facebook status is low. Methinks that they might have one of the oldest listening audiences in Detroit.
*The fact that both WDRQ and WTNR Grand Rapids have crappy Facebook and Nielsen numbers prove that the Nash format is a bad idea. WHAT THE HELL ARE THE DICKEYS THINKING?!?! What's even more laughable is that their relaunched WKQX in Chicago is pulling great numbers and their idea is that "rock is dead". This country needs more new rock stations, not fad formats like Nash!
*WRDT only gained 7 likes in one year. They might as well shut off the transmitter.
*Lions, Tigers and Red Wings kicking ass = lots of likes for The Ticket.

My Predictions:

*Nash FM will survive one more year,
*96.3 will flip to a Hip-Hop Gold format, maybe even resurrecting the WHYT call letters
*93.9 The River will flip formats
*Drew Lane will resign from 105.1
*Arthur P. will return to the Detroit airwaves via voicetracking

My Predictions From Last Year:

-WDTK's Facebook likes will explode now that they have Sean Hannity NOPE
-WMGC won't make it into the top 10 by year's end YES
-AMP might overtake 89X's likes by year's end NOPE
-WNIC will re-enter the top 10 YES
-WOMC might add more 90's to increase their likes NOPE


Free Beer and Hot Wings are back on the northern Michigan airwaves

After an absence of a year and a half, the Grand Rapids-based Free Beer and Hot Wings morning show are back on the air on not one, but two northern Michigan radio stations.

Cadillac's WKAD 93.7 and Petoskey's WMBN 1340 - both airing a sports format called "The Ticket" and owned by Trish MacDonald Garber - added FB&HW recently to their schedules. The show only airs from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. so they could air Dan Patrick.

Previously, FB&HW aired on Real Rock 105 and 95-5. However, the show was dropped from the simulcasting sisters in late March 2013 and 95.5 flipped to a low-rated easy listening format, "Easy 95-5". 105.1 still airs a rock format as "Rock 105" with morbidly obese Brian "Cartman" Pfiffer handling mornings. The main reason for FB&HW's departure from 105.1/95.5 was due to the effect on the ratings of sister classic rocker The Bear and their milquetoast morning show, Bob and Tom.

For a while, it looked like FB&HW would reappear up north on WOUF 99.3 out of Beulah, a station that was silent for nearly two years but was previously rock as "99.3 The Wolf". 99.3 is back on the air, but as a conservative talk format.

However, WMBN and WKAD's signals are class C and A respectively, and only eyelash kiss the Grand Traverse Region. FB&HW are also carried on classic rock WWTH Thunder 100.7 Oscoda, which has a marginal signal to Mio, West Branch and Alpena.



Top 40 hot in northern Michigan and Detroit; Country's cool in Grand Rapids

With Nielsen not releasing radio ratings for northern Michigan, I decided, why not create a Facebook like system for northern Michigan, Grand Rapids and Detroit?

And since I don't have a girlfriend, so here it is.

First, northern Michigan:

rank/number of Facebook likes/call letters/(station name, dial position, format, etc)/age group of the majority of Facebook likes

1) 29767 WKHQ (106 KHQ - CHR) 18-24
2) 10566 WJZQ (Z93 - CHR) 18-34
3)  6331 WLXT (Lite 96.3 - AC) 35-44
4)  6086 WMKC (Big Country 102.9) 18-34
5)  5477 WTCM-FM (103.5/93.5 - Country) 25-44
6)  5021 WZTC (104.5 Bob FM - Adult Hits) 45-54
7)  3062 WLDR (Sunny Country 102.9) 25-34
8)  2963 WKLT (97.5/98.9 The Rock Station) 35-54
9)  2064 WCDY (107.9 - Adult CHR) 25-34
10)  1745 WGFM (Rock 105) 25-34
11)  1465 WTCM-AM (NewsTalk 580) 45-54
12)  1031 WFCX (94.3/92.5 The Fox FM - Classic Hits) 45-54
13)    974 WUPS (Classic Hits)45-54
14)    691 WDEE (Sunny 97.3 - Classic Hits) 45-54
15)    611 WCCW-FM (Classic Hits 107.5) 45-64
16)    499 WSRT (106.7/105.5 ESPN) 35-44
17)    469 WLXV (Mix 96 - Hot AC) 35-44
18)    460 WGFN (98.1/107.1/97.7 The Bear - Classic Rock) 35-54
19)    414 WQON (Q100 - Rock) 45-54
20)    405 WTWS  (92.1 The Twister - Country) 45-54
21)    348 WMJZ (101.5 The Eagle - Classic Hits) 45-54
22)    315  WYPV  (94.5 Patriot Voice - Conservative Talk) 35-44/55-64
23)    256 WMKT (1270 - Talk) 45-54
24)    152 WMBN (1340 - CBS Sports) 35-44
25)    143 WJML (1110/1210 - Talk) 45-54
26)    105 WQEZ (EZ 95-5/106-3) 25-34
27)      84 WCCW-AM (1310 The Score - Sports) 35-44

My thoughts....

*Since a chunk of Facebook's users are teens and young adults, it doesn't surprise me that KHQ and Z93 are on top. Lite 96 brightened their sound some time ago, which has made them easily compatible with KHQ and it's working in terms of Facebook likes.
*A lousy 105 likes for EZ 95-5/106-3 is proof that bringing another soft AC to the region was a bad idea, and an even worse idea that Del Reynolds killed rock on 95.5 to bring it to the Grand Traverse area. Real Rock 105/95-5 was Reynolds' best-performing station but he gut it out to please the wealthy but seasonal audience that only lives up north part time. The Bear, on the other hand has been damaged goods for a long, long time since the Ted Cramer era and it's time to put it out of its misery.
*The fact that WCCW 1310 The Score is TC's home for all of the major Detroit teams ain't helping them. With 84 likes, they're the lowest-rated station up north in terms of Facebook likes. Since 106.7/105.5 does a better job on the FM, they should do something else.
*Northern Michigan is too middle of the road for FOUR conservative talkers. WJML is dead last because they don't have any local talk shows, IMO. The fact that they've picked up some of WYPV's shows won't help them.
*All three major northern Michigan country stations are in the top ten. WLDR's in last place because of their lack of localism.
*The fact that tiny WDEE 97.3 in Reed City has more Facebook fans that WCCW 107.5 is somewhat laughable.
*Rock 105's Facebook likes could have outdone WKLT's if 95.5 was still simulcasting.

My predictions for 2014:

-105.1, 98.1 and 107.1 will return to simulcasting each other as The Bear, but their format will be adjusted to a mainstream rock format. Bob and Tom will be gone and since The Bear and Rock 105 already share most of their jocks as-is, Cartman will remain in mornings, Tim Logan will be on middays, Smitty will be in afternoons and NASCAR Steve will remain in nights with the voicetracked Jay Roberts sent packing. As for 97.7, Reynolds will sell it to a non-profit.
-The currently-silent 99.3 and 92.3 in Benzie County will be sold to non-profits or the Patriot Voice folks.
-Everybody at WKLT, save for Terri Ray and Omelette will be canned. (Current lineup: Omelette - mornings, Terri Ray - middays, The Afternoon Trainwreck with Racin' Jacin and Tom Dipshit afternoons and California Girl - nights)
-Somebody up north will give an all-90's format a try
-1310 will become an 'up north' WTKG, carrying liberal and conservative talk
-WTCM will can Sean Hannity


Grand Rapids:

1) 72858 WBCT (B93 - Country) 18-24
2) 35761 WGRD (97.9 - Active Rock) 18-24
3) 33814 WSNX (104.5 - CHR) 18-24
4) 29710 WHTS (105.3 Hot FM - CHR) 18-24
5) 14842 WLHT (Channel 95-7 - Hot AC) 18-24
6) 14748 WTNR (Thunder 94.5 - Country) 18-34
7) 7887 WJQK (JQ99 - Christian Contemporary) 35-44
8) 7029 WSRW (Star 105.7 - AC) 35-44
9)  6174 WLAV (96.9 - Classic Rock) 45-54
10)  5873 WMAX (96.1 ESPN) 25-34
11)  4740 WBFX (101.3 The Brew - Classic Rock) 25-44
12)  4007  WOOD (1300/106.9 - Talk) 35-54
13)  3528 WFGR (98.7 - Classic Hits) 45-54
14)  3139 WBBL (107.3 - Sports) 35-44
15)  2200 WTRV (100.5 The River - Soft AC) 25-34/45-54
16)   976 WMJH (Super Hits 8-1-0 - Classic Hits) 25-34/45-54
17)    795 WJRW (1340 - Talk) 45-54
18)    588 WGLM (M106.3 - Classic Hits) 35-44
19)    546 WHTC (1450 - Talk) 45-54
20)    446 WPNW (1260 The Pledge - Conservative Talk) 35-54
21)    370 WYGR (GR1530/94.9 - Urban) 25-34
22)    335  WLAW (92.5 The Outlaw - Country/Rock) 35-44
23)    324 WFUR (102.9 - Christian) 45-54
24)    247 WION (I1430 - Adult Hits) 35-44
25)    236 WMPA (Country 93.1) 25-34
26)    169 WTKG (1230 - Talk) 25-34
27)      92 WGHN (92.1 - AC) 25-34
28)      55 WNWZ (1410 The Touch - Urban AC) 25-34/45-54

My thoughts:

*B93 is the top country station in Michigan pretty much by default. Doesn't surprise me.
*The top five stations in town all have a strong 18-24 showing. That's Facebook for ya.
*JQ99 just might be the most-popular commercial Christian station in Michigan. It's also got one of the oldest audiences in the top 10 chart.
*WFUR only has 324 followers. Pitiful for a 50,000-watt station in Grand Rapids.
*WNWZ will never be good for anything unless they have a format that has a strong following. Shockingly enough, GR is down to just one Spanish station, and it's 640 AM (which doesn't have a Facebook page).

My predictions:

-WGRD will get a new PD in 2014,
-Huge will stay on 107.3,
-WTRV will flip to alternative or AAA,
-WTKG will remain a throwaway talker
-WFUR will still attract old people
-WFGR will add more jocks but will play less of the 60's and more 90's



1) 135178 WKQI (Channel 9-5-5 - CHR) 18-24
2)   88384 CIMX (89X - Alternative) 18-24
3)  85844 WDZH (Amp 98.7 - CHR) 18-24
4)  74609 WJLB (FM 98 - Urban) 25-34
5)  73808 WRIF (101.1 - Rock) 35-44
6)  35402 WYCD (99.5 - Country) 25-34
7)  32061 WXYT (97.1 The Ticket - Sports) 25-34
8)  26085 WCSX (94.7- Classic Rock) 45-54
9)  19096 WDTW (106.7 The D - Classic Rock) 35-44
10) 18247 WMXD (Mix 92.3 - Urban) 35-44
11) 17133 WNIC (100.3 - AC) 35-44
12) 16547 WDVD (96.3 - Hot AC) 35-44
13)  15559 WJR (760 - Talk) 18-24
14)  12691 WMUZ (103.5 - Christian) 35-54
15)  12174 WPZR (Praise 102.7 - Gospel) 35-44
16)    9633 CHYR (Mix 96.7 - Hot AC) 25-44
17)    8301 CIDR (93.9 The River - AAA) 35-44
18)   7862 CKLW (800 - Talk) 35-44
19)    6600 WGPR (Hot 107.5 - Urban)
20)    6591 WOMC (104.3 - Classic Hits) 45-54
21)   5809 WWJ/WXYT (950/1270 - News/Sports) 35-54 *both stations share their Facebook page
22)    4539 WMGC (Detroit Sports 105.1) 35-44
23)    3400 WDMK (Kiss 105.9 - Urban AC)
24)       862 WLQV (FaithTalk 1500) 35-54
25)       823 CKWW (580 - Oldies) 45-54
26)      739 WDTK (1400 The Patriot - Conservative Talk) 45-54
27)       306 WDRQ (93.1 NASH FM - Country) 25-34
28)         91 WRDT (560 The Word - Religious) 35-44

My thoughts:

*It almost doesn't surprise me that Channel 9-5-5 has a humongous lead, especially with their Facebook crowd.
*The gap between 89X and Riff's age brackets speaks some volumes.
*Detroit seems to have a TON of urban stations, but only two made the top 10.
*It's too early to tell how Nash will do in the Motor City, but if they make it into the top 10, I'll be shocked.
*WJR's audience is 18-24? You learn something every day.

My predictions:

-WDTK's Facebook likes will explode now that they have Sean Hannity
-WMGC won't make it into the top 10 by year's end
-AMP might overtake 89X's likes by year's end
-WNIC will re-enter the top 10
-WOMC might add more 90's to increase their likes


KHQ tops the list, but something's missing...

With no ratings coming out anytime soon, I made up a list of how northern Michigan radio stations are doing in terms of ye olde Facebook.

And without further adieu...

1) 28,128 WKHQ 106 KHQ
2) 10,313 WJZQ Z93
3) 5,769 WMKC 102.9 Big Country
4) 5,617 WLXT Lite 96.3
5) 4,545 WZTC 104.5 Bob FM
6) 4,952 WTCM-FM 103.5/93.5
7) 2,542 WKLT 97.5/98.9
8) 1,943 WCDY 107.9
9) 1,410 WTCM 580 (Ron Jolly's page)
10) 1,381 WGFM Rock 105
11) 951 WFCX 94.3/92.5 The Fox FM (Grumpy Old Men's page)
12) 895 WUPS 98.5
13) 650 WDEE Sunny 97.3
14) 578 WCCW-FM Classic Hits 107.5/107.9
15) 538 WYPV 94.5/93.9 Patriot Voice (midday show's page)
16) 433 WSRT ESPN 106.7/105.5
17) 412 WLXV Mix 96
18) 377 WTWS 92.1 The Twister
19) 374 WGFN 98.1/107.1/97.7 The Bear
20) 302 WMJZ Eagle 101.5
21) 247 WMKT 1270
22) 142 WMBN 1340 The Ticket
23) 133 WJML 1110/1210
24) 83 WQEZ 95.5/106.3
25) 80 WCCW 1310
26) 37 WQON Q100 (although in all fairness, their website links to their parent company, Blarney Stone Broadcasting's page (336 likes) and not theirs)

A few notes:

*It's not surprising that KHQ's on top of the Facebook race, and so is Z93. Both stations are very well-programmed for being CHRs.

*However, this list is proof that the rock stations up north are a joke. The fact that KLT is only in 7th place and The Bear is in 19th place is proof that people are getting sick of hear the same 200 songs over and over. It doesn't surprise me that Bob FM is 5th place; it's evidence that KLT firing Finster from their morning show was a bad move and that Omelette can't do the damn thing himself and his lesser sidekicks.

*It's official: Easy 95-5/106-3 is the biggest abortion in northern Michigan radio right now. I think a TON of rock fans in northern Michigan are still PISSED over Del Reynolds killing off Real Rock 105/95-5 and turning 95-5 into a sleepy AC in the same vein as the ill-fated WSRT. Thankfully, the rock format was saved on 105.1... Sorta. Now, they play too much shit that isn't real rock at all (ie Fall Out Boy, Counting Crows, Dave Matthews, etc.) and metal has taken a back seat. Personally, I think Cartman and Terri Ray are two of the most-clueless PDs in the history of rock radio. As for Q100, I think they're decent for being an "all over the road" station, going from The Zombies one minute to The B-52's the next. True, they play out-of-place crap here and there (Maroon 5 into Foreigner, for an example), but that's what the seek button's for. Jerry Coyne just might be the best rock programmer up north as a result.

*I think it's laughable that tiny WDEE in Reed City has more followers than WCCW in Traverse City, lol.

*Lastly, there's ONE major station that's missing. It's a 100,000-watt heritage signal that once upon a time had live, local jocks and was community-focused, but has long been demoted to a crappy, satellite-fed jukebox that not only no longer has a website, but also has a silent Facebook page as well. Sad. I wish that owner would flat-out retire and sell the farm to somebody who cares about pleasing the listeners and not himself. Everything he's ever done to that station has been a disaster, and it hasn't just affected his staff, but listeners and advertisers as well. Sad.


A personal, yet public letter to Howard Stern

Dear Howard,

Unlike many of your long-time fans, I've only been a fan of yours since just before the Private Parts movie came out. I even remember the first E! show episode of yours when you gave a partially-paralyzed woman shot by her boyfriend breast implants.

I grew up in northern Michigan, where the media was - and still does - only care about the dumbass yokels that live there. Radio stations passed on your show and aired crap like Bob and Tom instead. Our local CBS affiliate did air the Saturday night show for a few months, but canceled it. It led me to create this site 14 years ago, which was originally called Bring Howard Stern to Northern Michigan Radio and TV.

In 2002, I moved to Grand Rapids, where your show aired on WKLQ. They canned the show and moved it to their crappy AM sister station, WBBL 1340 for no reason. It angered a lot of your fans here in west Michigan, and thankfully, the man who ran KLQ eventually was fired and is out of a job after a drunk driving incident last year.

Thankfully, we fought hard. You moved to Sirius in 2006 and I followed. When the announcement was made in 2004, I ordered my subscription. I even took the screen off my living room window so I could drag the antenna in and out of my apartment nightly so I could listen to your show. KLQ's parent, Citadel went belly-up and is now owned by Cumulus.

But sadly, so much has changed in the past few years, and a lot of it's not 100% good. In 2010, I got into a car accident and it was my fault. I only had PLPD coverage, and was only able to sell my old car to a junkyard for $300. Even worse, the car I purchased had multiple issues and the dealership I took it to to get them fixed ripped me off horrendously.

I was hoping that I would have enough overtime at my work pay off my bills for a long, long time. However, in 2011, work slowed down to a mere trickle and our boss eliminated any incentives to keep us moving. I tried to find other jobs to no avail. I was so broke that I had to cut my cable and even started to donate plasma. However, I had to stop doing that because after a few months of donating, they no longer deemed me healthy enough to donate because of stress issues.

The good news was that last year, they moved us to first shift and our hours increased. The bad news was that I was on second shift and since I was now on days, my shift premium disappeared. Because my boss was an asshole who capitalized on Bush's bullshit, he never gave us raises and even forced us into a Health Savings Account where he expected us to use our own money to pay off a high deductible. I was now making less money than when I started in 2002.

When I moved to days, I started drinking coffee in the morning. With the stress of moving to days, plus having my asshole boss looking over my shoulder all the time, I developed panic attacks. Not to mention, there was now a huge turnover of people in my department, which made the drama even worse. However, there was some good news: my boss retired at the end of last year. But, the damage was done. I had a major panic attack at work, and it was so bad, I had to go home.

I did see a doctor twice and she found nothing. Blood and urine work was done and I'm OK. I also canned caffeine for good. But, I still had some anxiety issues. A family member recommended seeing a chiropractor, and that's what I did. They told me that part of my problem is that I'm looking down all the time at work, and it's affecting muscles in the head which end up making me tired. So, I ended up seeing them a few times a week. But since I'm still paying off the car I purchased in 2010 that had a myriad of problems, I also have a six-month car insurance bill that's a bitch to pay off, especially in the Summertime.

A few weeks ago, SiriusXM sent me a bill for $300 to renew my subscription for another two years. I asked myself, "is it worth it?" Let's face it: SXM has major competition these days. There's Slacker, Pandora and so many others that provide the same types of music channels, but for free. Yeah, there's a few commercials here and there, but then again, they air fewer commercials than on your show. Yeah, there's your show, but there's an issue I have with that.

When you joined SXM in 2006, you did five shows a week, then you moved to four. Now, on your current contract, you're down to three, and now that you're doing AGT, it's down to two. I know, when that show's on, it comes first, so your listeners are being forced to more repeats. It's nice that people in places where your show never aired before are now being treated to classics from the K-Rock days, but this is troubling:

Yup, apparently, you can no longer use gay slurs on your show. I loved hearing the Iron Sheik on your program a lot. Artie was also the man back in the day, but apparently, you've done a good job sweeping him under the rug as well. He has a new radio show, but you don't promote it. Hell, there's The Abe Kanan Show on your Howard 101, but you never plug that, too.

I understand. You're 59 years old, happily married to the beautiful Beth and you live in a nice, $50 million mansion in Florida. You're *reportedly* the highest-paid man on TV. Me? I'm broke and trying to find a way to pay off my car insurance bill come next month. I did get a raise recently, but it's more of a "partial shift premium recovery". I bust my ass off day in and day out, sometimes working six days per week. And you expect us to pay $15 per month to hear censored content?

It's come to this: when my subscription renews later this month, I'll call Sirius to cancel it. It's not worth it to me to listen to a show that's on just three times per week, and when it is, you get crappy guests (ie the New Jersey tanning mom and Robin Thicke) and the show is just not what it was when you moved to Sirius in 2006. Yeah, I love Sal and Richard's Tradio calls, but the fact that I'm broke and a lot of my hard-earned money is going to your wealthy lifestyle is really starting to piss me off. Yes, you deserve it, but I'm tired of bowing to people who say that they're against censorship one day, and the next day, you're telling the people who edit your past shows to censor the crap out of them. I'm happy that there's a ton of sites that air your show for free, and I'll try them out.
I'd like to help with the Revolution, but not when you're trying to juice a stick of beef jerky.


The #1 internet radio station up north is a big surprise

A few weeks ago, I decided to tabulate how popular northern Michigan radio station websites are thanks to

Yes,, that website owned by that looks at how popular websites are. Of course, the top five are Facebook, Google, YouTube, Yahoo! and Amazon.

And apparently, people still go to Yahoo.

For an example, this site, is #13,361,364. Considering that Alexa only ranks the top 25 million sites, I think we're doing OK.

Since the regular radio ratings service Arbitron has partially embargoed the ratings books for northern Michigan, I think that in a way, this kinda helps determine how popular radio stations are, not necessarily in a local sense, but how people worldwide react to local radio.

On, there's 18 northern Michigan stations that made the cut. Here we go:

18) WTWS 92.1 The Twister - Country 23,114,444
This station normally never makes the Arbs, but I guess people in mid-Michigan love it even better now that they're one of a small number of country stations that cover mid-Michigan, especially that Y100 is gone.

17) WJML 1110/1210 - News/Talk
This station was #1 a few years ago. Maybe people up north are sick of this station's libertarian lean.

16) WSRT 106.7/105.5 - ESPN Sports 20,030,814
Well, I will admit that this station's better than the last four names/formats it had. Too bad there's very little localism involved. Northern Michigan is now loaded with sports stations, and this isn't one of the highest-rated on an internet standpoint.

15) WUPS 98.5 - Classic Hits 16,436,923
This station ranked higher years ago. It seems that they've always changed formats like underwear.

14) WTCM NewsTalk 580 16,349,891
Sadly, it appears that whoever runs this station's site needs to do a better job. Case in point: their "programs" page was a mess until recently. Problem is, what's on between the hours of midnight and 7 a.m. daily? Dead air? (It should be Coast to Coast AM)

13) WGRY "Y101" - Sports 15,482,797
A 6,000-watt sports station beating out a 100,000-watt ESPN station. Nice.

12) WFCX 94.3/92.5 The Fox FM - Classic Hits 11,046,868
Is it me, or has 94.3/92.5 have always been a throwaway frequency for Northern Broadcast? Ten years ago when they were doing the Jack FM thing, they were awesome. Now, they're just another cookie cutter oldies outlet.

11) WTCM-FM 103.5/93.5 - Country 10,143,320
#1 in the ratings, but kinda low on the internet side of things.

10) WZTC 104.5 Bob FM - Adult Hits 9,237,720
Despite a weak signal that only reaches most of Traverse City, it's doing quite well, especially with Finster in the morning.

9) WDEE Sunny 97.3 - Oldies 8,827,176
OK, so this station only reaches the southern portion of northern Michigan, i.e. Cadillac. I guess they ain't doing too badly.

8) WMKC Big Country 102.9 6,348,872
The highest-rated of all the country stations up north internet-wise.

7) WGFN 98.1/107.1/97.7 The Bear - Classic Rock  6,184,817
Despite all the changes made by parent Northern Star, The Bear is still doing OK on the web. Now, it's up to the Arbitron diary holders to make their decisions.

6) WLXT Lite 96.3 - AC 5,792,421
Despite new competition, they're still the top AC in town, 20 years strong.

5) WJZQ 92.9 "Z93" - CHR 5,541,464
Top 40 is a hot format right now. Problem is, Z93 is still getting creamed by KHQ.

4) WKLT 97.5/98.9 - Rock 4,288,045
KLT was #1 not long ago. With Finster's departure and new competitors, they should be shaking in their boots.

3) WMKT 1270 - News/Talk 3,155,312
I always wondered how WMKT gets good internet numbers. Their Arbitron ratings suck, but could it be their local hosts? Strange.

2) WKHQ 105.9 "106 KHQ" - CHR 2,295,981
Like I said, Top 40 is big right now. Heritage station and heritage format. Don't expect them to leave soon.


1) WQON 100.3 "Q100" - Rock 1,765,260
I'm quite shocked that this station, which only has had their current format since February, is the top internet station up north. I think their "anything goes" approach to rock is helping. People up north like variety, and since they're locally programmed, new owner Jerry Coyne has made this once-satellite-fed country station a more-listener-friendly format.


WGFM "Rock 105" and WQEZ "Easy 95-5/106-3"
I think a lot of hard rock/metal fans are REALLY hating this new station. Lots of 1990's grunge rock and a lack of new rock from bands like Stone Sour and Five Finger Death Punch. I laugh at the fact that TV 9&10 gave programmer and morning man Cartman their "best radio personality" award. Since becoming the PD for that station and its two predecessors The Zone and Real Rock 105/95-5, ratings have sucked big time. Plus, I loved reading all the negative comments this station has gotten on Facebook since losing 95.5 to sleepy AC, leaving Traverse City with a scratchy signal from 105.1 out of Cheboygan. One of the comments I liked came from a listener that said that she was going to renew her Sirius subscription because of his sloppy programming decisions. As for Easy 95-5/106-3. they only have 70 Facebook likes, proving that nobody cares about this station.

WCCW Classic Hits 107-5
Does anybody still care about this station? They haven't made the list in quite some time.

WLXV "Mix 96" - Hot AC
I remembered when they signed on 12 years ago, they were supposed to be "Cadillac's Hometown Station". Now, they're off the bird most of the time.

WCCW 1310 "The Score", WMBN "1340 The Ticket" and WKAD "93.7 The Ticket" - Sports
Three stations with sports formats and no internet ratings. The latter two carry The Huge Show. 'Nuff said.  

WLDR 101.9 "Sunny Country"
Not only does this station not make the list, but their website has disappeared as well. Not only that, but their Facebook page has done the same. I smell something fishy.

We should have the results for Grand Rapids and Detroit in the coming weeks.


D&M's last day is Friday

When I was a young teen, I remember going to visit family in Detroit and one of the stations I listened to was 97.1 WKRK - K-Rock.

K-Rock was a CBS-owned station that had a modern rock format with Howard Stern in the morning. One of the station's most-remembered features were their promos blasting rival WRIF. Some ads blasted their editing of music, others blasted their jocks like the aging Arthur Penhallow. But other promos dealt with their morning show, Drew and Mike. They proclaimed that the duo did nothing but rip-off Howard Stern and his ideas. One promo even had Howard talk about Drew and Mike and how they were just Stern clones.

Of course, K-Rock didn't last long, and the rock format was replaced with Extreme Radio, which had Stern along with Chicago's Steve Dahl and Mancow along with other various shows. Now, 97.1 is WXYT - The Ticket, a successful sports-talk format.

For years, WRIF had nothing to worry about. They had heritage jocks and music. However, they report to the trades as an active rock format, which traditionally means that they're supposed to play a lot of new rock and little classic rock. Instead, they're a mix of rock from the past 50 years to keep both young rock fans and the listeners they've had since they began in 1971 happy. It's quite common to hear bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Ted Nugent and Bob Segar on The Riff and not many other active rockers.

But, The Riff is showing its age, and last week, they finally made the big announcement: Drew and Mike are leaving the station after 22 years in front of the mike.

The last episode of their long-running program will air this Friday. The rest of the show's regulars will also be out as well.

As expected, D&M's replacement's none other than Dave and Chuck the Freak, the former morning show at 89X out of Windsor. The two left the station several months ago due to a contract dispute and have been on the beach due to the contract's non-compete clause. They told their listeners via Facebook that they were going to "work for another station in town", leading to speculation that they were headed to classic rocker 106.7 The D, which does not have a morning show. Others even speculated that they would do an afternoon show at WRIF.

To many, Dave and Chuck replacing a top-rated show like Drew and Mike was something that came out of left field. D&M still have great ratings, and WRIF is Detroit's top rocker. Problem is, Drew and Mike's audience is mostly in their 40's and older and The Riff wanted something younger.

Over the years, WRIF has changed in the jock department. Doug Podell moved to classic rock sister WCSX while Arthur P. retired and moved to Hawaii. However, the music hasn't changed much to preserve their 42-year heritage.

Thing is, nothing lasts forever, especially in rock. A 20-year-old hippie in 1971 is now 62. He's probably retired - or getting close to retirement - and will live on a fixed income for the rest of his life. Sadly, in the advertising world, that's not what most rock stations want. Most radio stations want 25-54, which is the spending demo for most stations. I feel that when Dave and Chuck the Freak start, WRIF will push most of their geezer rockers over to WCSX (several other ex-Riffers such as Karen Savelly also work there) while they focus more on the rock of the past 20 years or so.

But here's the million-dollar question: will Dave and Chuck the Freak be a success on The Riff? That's a good question. Drew and Mike are to Bob and Tom while Dave and Chuck are more akin to Howard Stern. Drew and Mike's fans are older and blue collar while Dave and Chuck's fans are younger and more internet-saavy (D&M have 10,000 Facebook followers while D&CTF have 90,000). Also, 89X is the top station streaming on the web out of the Detroit area. WRIF's up there, too, per Alexa.

Drew and Mike have even mentioned that they're open to work somewhere else, possibly even The D. After all, they need the ratings.

In the end, radio is just like all other businesses. There's a door, and it revolves. You come in it one day and are forced out of it down the road. Some shops treat their workers like family, others tend to change them like underwear. In the case of The Riff, it's similar to what NBC's doing to Jay Leno: his ratings are good, but he and his viewers are old. So, they're replacing him with a guy - Jimmy Fallon - who has a following and younger fans. Leno's #1, but has older fans.

In radio, it's not just about how many people listen to you, but it's also how old they are. In the case of rock 'n roll radio, it's better to air ads from the strip club over the old folks' home.


2013: BRING IT!
If 2012 had its ups and downs, so will 2013

2013 will be a kick-ass year.

In 2013, there will be no gun-related murders in America. Also, all of this country's one percenters will have to pay their entire income in taxes while those making less than $75,000 per year will all become millionaires. Everything will be free, everybody will get a new car in their garage and Justin Bieber will be given the death penalty.

But in a normal world, that will never, ever happen, I'm afraid.

Last year at this time, people were wondering what would happen in 2012. Would it be a good year or a bad year? It's safe to say that just about every other year, it's had its ups and downs.

2012's biggest disappointment was undoubtedly the tragic amount of shootings that took place in this great country, and the fact that they were the brainchildren of those with mental problems. To too many, some wonder why we're the most-violent nation on Earth. Why is it easier for somebody to get a Bushmaster than to get help for their problems? Then again, it's proof that some people are stupid, like Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association who would rather start wars between good and evil than to just get semi-automatic guns off the streets altogether. Bear in mind that back in 1776, our Founding Fathers only had muskets that took forever to re-load.

But that wasn't the only disappointment 2012 had. We had to deal with elected officials who would rather push Americans over the Fiscal Cliff over making the playing field fair for everybody. We had to deal with heads of big companies like Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-A who used the company's image to bash gays and "Papa John" Schnatter who tried to screw over his employees and customers and blamed everything on Obamacare. We also had the threat of SOPA/PIPA that would have made the internet a worse place and Rush Limbaugh making AM talk radio an even worse hellhole by calling an intelligent college student a slut over her beliefs.

And yes, there's that war in Afghanistan that's now the longest war in history. Yeah, we're out in a few more years, but at what cost? Gas prices are still sky-high, and I doubt we'll ever see prices under $2 per gallon ever again. We can conserve, but that's it.

In 2012, we lost a lot of influential folks. Love music? Well, if you love rock, you lost MC5 bassist Michael Davis, The Monkees' Davy Jones, Ronnie Montrose, Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack, amplifier wiz Jim Marshall, Men at Work's Greg Ham, The Band's Levon Helm, Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Fleetwood Mac's Bob Welch, Deep Purple's Jon Lord, No Use For A Name's Tony Sly, "San Francisco" singer Scott McKenzie, songwriter Hal David, Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence, *catches breath because yes, this is quite the run-on sentence* and Lee Dorman of Iron Butterfly. The world of Saturday morning dance shows lost both Dick Clark and Don Cornelius, and Etta James, Whitney Houston, Johnny Otis, Jimmy Castor, Chuck Brown, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb, Joe South, R.B. Greaves, Major Harris, Mickey Baker and Fontella Bass came with him to create the ultimate Soul Train line.

Country fans were lucky; they only lost Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Kitty Wells and not much else. Jazz lost Dave Brubeck and the sitar lost its superstar, Ravi Shankar.

But 2012 also took away two Sweathogs: Robert Hedgyes and Ron Parillo. The world of sports said goodbye to Sarah Burke, Gary Carter, Art Modell, Junior Seau, Alex Karras, Steve Sabol, and Hector Camacho. The man who gave us The Price is Right and Password, Bob Stewart, also died. The world of acting also lost Ian Abercrombie, writer Zalman King, Jonathan Frid, Dick Beals, Richard Dawson, Eduard Khil, Ann Rutherford, Ernest Borgnine, producer Richard Zanuck, Celeste Holm, comic (and former sidekick to future senator Al Franken) Tom Davis, Sherman Helmsley, Gore Vidal, director Tony Scott, Phyllis Diller, William Windom, Muppeteer Jerry Nelson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Gary Collins, Lucille Bliss, Larry Hagman, Jack Klugman, Andy Griffith, Sylvia Kristal and Charles Durning.

And last but not least, we lost a ton more: Berenstain Bears creator Jan Berenstain, songwriter Robert B. Sherman, comic book legend John Severin, boxing writer Bert Sugar, wrestlers Chief Jay Strongbow and Brag Armstrong, car moguls Ferdinland Porsche and Carroll Shelby, artists Leroy Neiman and Thomas Kinkade, journalist Mike Wallace, author Maurice Sendak, Vidal Sassoon, mobster Henry Hill, writer Nora Ephron, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride, composer Marvin Hamlisch, Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown, singer Andy Williams, Detroit Red Wings announcer Budd Lynch and senators Arlen Spector, George McGovern and Daniel Inouye. I think I missed a few, but oh, well.

But cheer up! 2012 had its pluses!

True, NBC might have made Olympic fans angry over their terrible coverage, at least we got to watch the Furious Five become the queens of gymnastics. We also saw a jerk, Jerry Sandusky begin to rot in jail for what he did over the years to all those children while his boss, Joe Paterno died a coward over dying a hero.

But probably the best news of 2012 was the fact that for the second time, we all said "YES WE CAN!" to Barack Obama as he was re-elected for a second term in the White House. We proved that we're learning from our mistakes in 2010 and that whatever the Tea Party created just doesn't work for the average American.

Oh, and December 21st came and went. Thanks, Mayans!

Even personally, I had a few bad and good things happen to me; my apartment got flooded thanks to a neglectful neighbor and my pay went down while my hours went up thanks to restructuring at my job, plus the fact that I didn't even receive a holiday bonus from my boss. However, the good news is that he's retiring and on a personal note, I've actually been on a few dates and job interviews this past year.

Oh, sadly, I lost a great aunt - who was the last relative from my maternal Grandparents' generation and a family friend who worked with my father for many years. Where I lived in northern Michigan, we lost beloved TV newsman Scott Michael Trager, whose death shocked and stunned many.

I could go on and on, but like the old Chappelle's Show sketch, I better "Wrap It Up!"

My prediction on 2013 looks like this: it'll be just like 2012, plain and simple. There will be improvement on a few things and sadly, bad things will happen. Tragedies will occur, people will die and prices will go up. But if we can work together, 2013 won't end up like the 2000's.

That's why I say to 2013 to BRING IT. Bring your challenges because we're more-prepared now. We worked through the mistakes of the 2000s and what happened after the 2010 elections to know much better now. We won't back down, and if something happens, we'll soldier forward to prevent it from happening again. Like all other years before this one, we have just two choices: swim or sink. If we swim together, the world will be a better place. If not, we'll sink like a mob hit tied to a sack of bricks in the Hudson River.

So, who's with me?


New Arbitron policy stops embargoes, but filters out non-subscribers

Arbitron, we missed you.

After a long three years, Arbitron is back to dishing out radio ratings publicly, but with a catch:

Non-subscribers to the service are now omitted from their surveys.

Sadly, Ross Biederman's Midwestern Broadcasting, Northern Broadcast and Roy Henderson's Fort Bend Broadcasting are off the list, but at least we have the numbers for MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting and Northern Star Broadcasting, headed by Del Reynolds.

So here's what we can publish:

106 KHQ - 7.8
Lite 96, WMKC Big Country 102.9 and Real Rock 105/95-5 - 3.5
98.1/94.5 The Bear - 2.0
Mix 96/WMBN 1340/WMKT 1270 - .4

*It doesn't surprise me that KHQ's ratings are pretty good right now, considering that Top 40 is as popular than ever thanks to rap/hip-hop dying in popularity and the format itself becoming more soccer mom-friendly. Then again, Arbitron did publish KHQ's numbers from the past few books, and they were better.

*Lite 96 with a 3.5 proves that northern Michigan - despite being an older-skewing market - can only support one AC station.

*Big Country has always done well with the Straits area folks. 3.5 is pretty good for a station with only an OK signal in Traverse City, a town with two strong 100KW Country signals.

*I am disappointed with Real Rock 105/95-5. I did check their numbers from the past few books and they're at their lowest ratings point since they debuted. Personally, I think if the station had more live and local personalities instead of using a voice-tracked has-been from Minneapolis for nights, the station could have more energy. IMO, Cartman's gotta go. His style is more-suited for CHR, plus the fact that he damn near screwed me over to save his failing career doesn't surprise me that they're probably the lowest-rated Active Rock station in the state.

*If Real Rock's that bad, look at The Bear! 2.0! Sad. Even worse, owner Del Reynolds even admitted that he's paying over $100,000 to air Bob and Tom on that station. Personally, both Bob and Tom and The Bear have seen better days.

*Doesn't surprise me that Mix/MBN/MKT are at a .4. Of course, WMBN just flipped to Sports, so we'll see what their next book is like. A .4 is embarrassing to WMKT, especially with all of the live talent it has. Then again, their syndicated fare's horrid, and it's a big ratings killer.

So, since we don't have ALL of the Arbitron ratings, plus the fact that we did a similar ratings book using, here's what we've concluded with:


*106 KHQ
*97.5/98.9 KLT
*WTCM-FM 103.5/93.5
*Big Country 102.9 (does well especially in Straits area)
*WTCM-AM NewsTalk 580


*94.3/92.5 The Fox
*WLDR Sunny Country 101.9
*Real Rock 105/95-5
*Classic Hits 107.5 WCCW
*Lite 96.3


*98.1/94.5/93.9/107.1 The Bear
*WMKT 1270
*WJML 1110
*Z93 (too fuddy-duddy for a CHR)
*Mix 96
*99.3 The Wolf (have I EVER heard one local commercial for that station? Also, what happened to their webstream?)


*WZTC 104.5 Bob FM
*WCDY 107.9
*WBNZ 92.3


*106.7/105.5 You FM (becoming ESPN 8.30)
*1310 WCCW (flipping to Fox Sports also on 8.30)
*WKAD 93.7/WMBN 1340 (already flipped to Fox Sports)



CHR rules the north while rock rules the south

With people crying about the occasional inaccuracies of the Arbitron system, sometimes, looking at another's opine just might be the answer.

Since we're now in an international system of doing things, it's safe to say that if a radio station has a good website and as an added bonus, streaming, it'll do well. We've been using the services of for some time now, so let's see how the radio stations of northern Michigan, Grand Rapids and Detroit are doing on the web.

First off, since Arbitron has been embargoing their books for some time now, let's look at northern Michigan:

(Current ranking/Christmas 2011 ranking/station name, format, format, etc/Alexa rating (green is an increase, red is a decrease within three months)


WKHQ "106 KHQ" CHR 2,643,452
WKLT 97.5/98.9 "The Rock Station" 2,942,205
WFCX "94.3/93.5 "The Fox FM" Classic Hits 4,569,907
WTCM-FM 103.5/93.5 Country 5,488,878
WMKC 102.9 "Big Country" 5,574,166
WTCM "NewsTalk 580" 5,638,917
WUPS 98.5 Classic Hits 6,672,433
WLDR "Sunny Country 101.9" 7,675,356
WGFN/WCKC 98.1/107.1 and WLJZ/WAVC 94.5/93.9 "The Bear" Classic Rock 9,018,260
WGFM/WJZJ "Real Rock 105 and 95-5" 11,515,117
WMKT 1270 "The Talk Station" 13,469,694
WJML 1110/1210 Talk 13,910,605
WJZQ "Z93" CHR 14,165,041
WLXV "Mix 96" Hot AC 16,449,264
WCCW-FM "Classic Hits 107.5"
WLXT "Lite 96.3" AC 24,653,042

*WKAD 93.7 Sports
*WOUF "99.3 The Wolf" Rock
*WBNZ 92.3 AC
*WZTC 104.5 "Bob FM" Adult Hits (still no website)
*WSRT 106.7 "You FM" Talk
*WMBN 1340 Sports
*WCDY 107.9 Hot AC

*KHQ sure did increase its lead since the Holidays. As for KLT, even though they started streaming again, I think one reason for their downfall's due to Finster getting canned and moving to Bob FM (a station that STILL doesn't have a website, mind you).
*WTCM-AM took a nosedive; I think the controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh didn't help matters.
*The Bear and Real Rock tumbled; don't ask why.
*Will somebody please, please, PLEASE take Z93 out of its misery?
*Something tells me that even though they're back on the chart this time, people are getting sick of WCCW. Maybe it wasn't wise for them to transition from Oldies to Classic Hits.

WGRD 97.9 Active Rock 178,575
WHTC 1450 Talk 456,960
WOOD "NewsRadio 1300/106.9" 560,963
WBCT "B93" Country 725,916
WMAX "ESPN 96-1" Sports 1,207,672
WJQK "JQ 99" Christian Contemporary 1,383,317
WLHT "Channel 95-7" Hot AC 1,398,144
WBFX "101.3 The Fox" Rock 1,752,589
WTNR "Thunder 94.5" Country 1,922,337
WFGR 98.7 Classic Hits 2,127,788
WBBL "107-3 The Ball" Sports 3,095,795
12- 14
WLAV 96.9 Classic Rock 3,441,700
WSRW "Star 105.7" AC 3,677,666
WJRW 1340 Talk 5,179,945
WLAW "92.5 The Outlaw" Country/Rock 5,456,936
WYVN "92.7 The Van" Classic Hits 6,041,672
WTKG 1230 Talk 7,574,444
WNWZ "Funny 1410" Comedy 12,762,698
WPNW "1260 The Pledge" Conservative Talk 14,554,338
WYGR "GR 1530" Urban 15,995,466
WVFM 106.5 Variety Hits 19,410,071

*WTRV "100.5 The River" Soft AC
WFUR 102.9/1570 Christian
WSNX 104.5 CHR
WHTS "105.3 Hot FM" CHR

*Wow, do people in GR like CHR? Lol....
*WGRD still has a considerable lead over all other radio stations in GR, even in Detroit.
*WOOD-AM/FM crumbled a bit, thank you Rush,
*Even without much local programming, ESPN 96-1 has more web visits than WBBL
*Where's WFUR? I wish Kuiper would finally sell out....


CIMX "89X" Alternative 222,319
WRIF 101.1 Rock 384,019
WJR 760 News-Talk 450,039
WGPR "Hot 107.5" Urban (the new WGPR is the old WHTD 102.7) 500,682
WKQI "Channel 9-5-5" CHR 502,058
CKLW 800 Talk 760,772
WCSX 94.7 Classic Rock 793,051
WJLB 97.9 Urban 870,539
WCHB 1200 Urban Talk 1,008,262
WDFN 1130 Sports 1,187,556
WDMK "Kiss 105.9" Urban AC 1,207,906
CHYR 96.7 Hot AC 1,384,889
WDVD 96.3 Hot AC 1,614,041
WNIC "Fresh 100" Hot AC 1,653,628
WMXD "Mix 92.3" Urban AC 1,721,040
WMGC "Soft Rock 105.1" AC 1,822,374
CIDR "93.9 The River" AAA 2,441,155
WPZR "Praise 102.7" Gospel 2,858,197
WMUZ "103.5 The Light" Christian 4,036,653
WDTW 1310 Liberal Talk 5,247,660
WDTK "NewsTalk 1400" 5,596,954
WDTW-FM "106.7 The D" Classic Rock 5,774,539
WLQV 1500 Christian Talk 6,007,617
WCAR "ESPN 1090" Sports
WPON 1460 (actually on WCXI 1160) Brokered Oldies 7,658,450
CKWW 580 Oldies 7,759,942
WDRQ "Doug 93.1" Variety Hits 12,045,350
WXYT "97.1 The Ticket" Sports 27,390,104

*WDZH "AMP 98.7" CHR
WYCD 99.5 Country
WOMC 104.3 Classic Hits
*WXYT-AM 1270 Talk
*WWJ 950 News
*CKUE 95.1 "The Rock"

*Now that 94.3 The Bone is dead and gone, 89X is definitely breathing a sigh of relief at #1.
*WJR lost some web ranking, but they gained a notch on the chart.
*I guess CBS integrating their websites to ain't helping their stations one bit.
*WCHB made it on the list, for the first time in, well...
*So far Detroit's showing no real love for The D...


So who will take his spot?

It's official: the afternoon jock at what might be the top rock station in the state is headed to The D.

And I mean both the city and the shitty Classic Rock station Clear Channel recently launched at 106.7.

Dahmer, who started in nights but got promoted to days (and let's not forget that he himself was one of the replacements for Dave Fox who was at GRD for years until he was fired for making an off-color comment regarding the Prodigy classic "Smack My Bitch Up") at 97.9 GRD is leaving for Detroit. Although I rarely ever listened to him, I do wish him the best of luck, even if Clear Channel shitcanned a ton of folks in Detroit yesterday.

Now, the question is... Who will replace him?

True, I give GRD major props for having a cute chick do nights (and mind you, Jackie is a professional model to boot) to follow in the footsteps of long-departed GR chick jocks like Cristi Cantle, Suzy Cole and Katie Rademacher, but maybe it's another former KLQ jock that might be rocking afternoons on a station he - and virtually every true blue rock fan in Grand Rapids - once despised.

Bill Walters.

Yep! Walt hinted on his Facebook page that he's interested in taking over afternoons at GRD when Dahmer leaves. He asked his followers and most of the replies simply say "do it".

Walters is best known in west Michigan for his two stints at KLQ, alongside the old Radio X 92.3 in Kalamazoo (now Classic Rocker WZUU 92.5 The Zoo). He's also worked at Z93 in Saginaw (where he got fired for trashing former KLQ jocks Ron and Don at a station event at The Intersection in Grand Rapids) and WRIF Detroit. In recent years, Walters got married and now has a daughter. He reportedly has been working with his wife's business.

Will Walters get hired at GRD? I hope so! A little old school KLQ pumped into GRD would kick major ass!

Of course, bear in mind that the man who fired Walters at both KLQ and Z93, Matt Hanlon, is now a sales weasel at GRD parent Townsquare.


Former KLT morning man to be new morning man for 104.5 Bob FM

Only a few months after getting fired as 1/2 of WKLT 97.5/98.9's morning show in Traverse City, Finster is getting back on his feet.

It's been reported that Omelette's ex-partner is going to be the new morning man at Variety Hits WZTC 104.5 Bob FM in March. The 1,250-watt station doesn't have the signal other northern Michigan stations have, and it doesn't stream online (and its "website" is their Facebook page), but it sounds like owners MacDonald-Garber - who also owns 106 KHQ, Lite 96 and a few others - have picked up an opportunity to capitalize on KLT's loss.

KLT reportedly canned Omelette just days after Christmas 2011 for unknown reasons. However, given KLT's history of firing morning jocks, budgetary reasons were probable. Many critics of KLT and Omelette's show claim that without Finster, Omelette is just flat-out boring. Without a doubt, the war between Omelette and Finster will only be interesting.


IN OTHER NORTHERN MICHIGAN RADIO NEWS: WTCM-AM GETS WALL STREET NIGHTS: WTCM 580 is now airing The Daily Wrap from The Wall Street Journal 9p-12m on a three-hour delay. The show replaces Lou Dobbs' radio program, which he personally canceled. Also, the station has cut ties with ABC News Radio and is now airing news updates from Fox News Radio. WTCM also airs WSJ's morning report 5-7 a.m., giving the Rupert Murdoch-owned news rag five hours of air time daily.


Detroit's Bone de-boned, TC gets more Rush

DETROIT: Looks like fans of new rock in Detroit are back down to only two choices - WRIF and 89X - today as translator station 94.3 The Bone has been forced off the air. The 99-watt Alternative station, owned by Martz Communications is still streaming on their website, but they released a statement on their Facebook page:

"All good things must come to an end. We're sorry to say that The Bone has ceased operations today. Thanks for your support Detroit. You're the best."

The same situation goes for their Smooth Jazz sister The Oasis, which used to broadcast on 104.7 until Clear Channel complained to the FCC that it was interfering with their geriatric rocker WIOT in Toledo.

Both The Oasis and The Bone broadcasted on the HD subchannels of WGPR 107.5, which had been owned by the Freemasons, but recently entered a Local Marketing Agreement with Radio One to operate the station. Yesterday, WGPR abandoned their HD broadcasts, and per FCC rules, if a translator station doesn't have a full-power originating station, it cannot broadcast.

It was announced just a few weeks ago that The Bone would carry the syndicated Bubba the Love Sponge and Loveline shows. As of late last night, the station is still broadcasting online.

TRAVERSE CITY: Looks like fans of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, George Noory and Mark Levin now have an FM home for those shows... Sorta. The HD-4 subchannel of Roy Henderson's WLDR-FM 101.9 is now simulcasting his recently-launched Manistee News/Talk station WCUZ 100.1 in Bear Lake. The station is supposed to simulcast with another Henderson acquisition, WMTE 1340 in Manistee, but that station remains silent as Henderson looks for a new transmitter site for the silenced station.

This is the first regular format for WCUZ in so many years.The station has a long history of not staying on the air partly due to the Manistee area's lack of ad dollars and Bear Lake seeing better days in the past. According to an old newspaper article, 100.1 - then AC WRQT - first fell silent in 1990 due to tax troubles. 

It was AAA WZTU "The Storm" in the 1990s and along with 92.1 Beulah (now WBNZ), 80s-centered Classic Hits "Star FM" in 1999 to 2000. Henderson bought the station in 2000, but it had been silent for most of the decade as Henderson figured what to do with it.

Like I said, there's no real ad dollars in Manistee, a town that can't even support a movie theatre. So, what does Henderson do? Simple: play hardball once again with arch enemy Ross Biederman and put all of his talkers on his HD subchannel in hopes of siphoning listeners away from WTCM.

Oh! WCUZ is also the only station in Michigan that airs Imus. Oh, brother...

It's sad that talkers with high IQs like Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes are all homeless up north, but Traverse City now has two stations carrying Rush? Somebody's gotta bring a stop to this.


Flea-powered Alt-Rocker becomes Stern pal's first Michigan station

Fans of former Sirius/XM talker Todd "Bubba the Love Sponge" Clem are happy to hear that he's coming to Detroit. But, you better live close to the transmitter to hear him.

This Wednesday, his show will be syndicated to 99-watt Modern Rocker W232CA, aka "94.3 The Bone". The station, whose signal is a puny, miniscule fraction of the wattage of heavyweights such as fellow Alt-Rocker 89X and heritage WRIF 101.1, is also heard on WGPR 107.5 HD-3. Legally, a translator station must rebroadcast another station's signal, so technically, W232CA rebroadcasts WGPR-HD-3's signal.

Confusion aside, it appears that The Bone's owners, Martz Communications, is trying to prove that the fledgling station does have staying power; they also added on another syndicated show not heard in Detroit for years: Loveline. That show airs Sunday through Thursday 10p-Midnight.

Only time will tell if the long-awaited new morning show and other changes will make a positive impact on the station. I do like the addition of Bubba, but I do wonder if he'll be a decent fit, especially with Detroit not being the most-Stern-friendly market out there. However, it'll be a great alternative to Drew and Mike and whatever 89X has these days.


93.7 The Ticket displaces Oldies and Standards

It's not even far into 2012 and the radio dial in northern Michigan is buzzing.

Earlier this week, Trish MacDonald Garber flipped two of her stations - Oldies 93.7 WKAD Cadillac and Standards WMBN 1340 Petoskey - to a simulcasted Sports format, 93.7 The Fan. The station uses Fox Sports Radio as their main network and also carries Dan Patrick and Jim Rome's shows.

The station also has a local morning show, hosted by Tom Devitt, formerly of Big Country 102.9. ASSHOLE

The new station displaces the Oldies format WKAD had since its 2003 sign-on, but it also replaces the Standards format WMBN had for around 50 years since it was owned by the Biederman family. When WMBN moved solely to the FM - then at 96.3 - in the early 80's, it had been a ratings success, but found itself back on the AM dial in 1990 when 96.3 flipped to AC as Lite 96. Throughout the 80's, 1340 was WWPZ, which played a hybrid of Top 40 and Oldies.

With the flip to Sports, this means that for the first time ever, there are no radio stations in northern Michigan carrying any type of Standards format. Then again, some radio experts are saying that even AC stations - like Lite 96 - might be the next format to die, especially since many AC mainstays like James Taylor, Elton John and Michael Bolton attract an older audience that advertisers are now avoiding, and that many AC stations are now playing CHR-friendly acts like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. Heck, some even play rap when they do a flashback weekend.

It's also worth noting that the last Standards station prior to WMBN's flip happened to be WCCW 1310 out of Traverse City, which flipped to ESPN in 2000.

But, for Sports talk fans, the flip to 93.7 and 1340 is welcome. In Cadillac, 1370 WLJW - formerly WKJF - flipped from Sports to Religious Talk when the Biedermans sold that station in 2004. As for the Straits area, WIDG 940 - which carried Sporting News Radio - they were also sold to a religious group in 2008.

There's no word if 93.7 The Ticket carries "Huge" Bill Simonson, but rest assured, he's still losing affiliates. Just this past week, WCSY 940 South Haven signed off the air for good, and the station's towers will be torn down. Apparently, the station wasn't making money and the tower site was worth more than the station itself.


In no particular order...


*Osama killed
*Kadaffi killed
*Kim Jong-il dead
*the Occupy movement
*the end of the Iraq war
*Keith Olbermann
*Oprah Winfrey ends her show
*Stern signed to America's Got Talent
*Beavis and Butt-head return
*"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"


*Nudity banned at Deja Vu Kalamazoo
*Ted Williams
*Fox News Channel
*Justin Bieber
*Glenn Beck
*Casey Anthony
*Grand Rapids LipDub
*Artie Lange no longer on the Stern show
*the City of Grand Rapids
-actress Anne Francis
-actor Pete Postlethwaite
-"Baker Street" singer Gerry Rafferty
-actor/singer David Nelson
-Rock Concert host Don Kirshner
-fitness guru Jack Lalanne
-WCCW/Traverse City founder John Anderson
-Country singer Charlie Louvin
-comedian/actor Charlie Callas
-movie composer John Barry
-"Last Tango in Paris" actress Maria Schnieder
-"I Am Curious" actress Lena Nyman
-"Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" star Tura Satana
-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore
-Seinfeld's Uncle Leo, Len Lesser
-NFL player Dave Duerson
-MLB star Duke Snider
-1940's sexpot Jane Russell
-the last surviving World War I vet, Frank Buckles
-Rocky and Bullwinkle animator Chris Jenkyns
-high school basketball star Wes Leonard
-Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr
-rapper Nate Dogg
-Country music legend Ferlin Husky
-Batman's Alfred, Michael Gough
-1970's disco diva Loleletta Holloway, also known for being sampled on Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations"
-actress Elizabeth Taylor
-former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro
-actor Farley Granger
-"Running Bear" singer Johnny Preston
-"Dog Day Afternoon" director Sidney Lumet
-audio guru Sidney Harmon
-1970's punk rocker Poly Styrene
-"Poetry Man" crooner and Howard Stern pal Phoebe Snow
-former Playboy model and 1950's actress Yvette Vickers
-1930's child actor Jackie Cooper
-baseball legend Harmon Killebrew
-wrestling legend "Macho Man" Randy Savage
-Gil-Scott Heron, who was called by some as the father of rap music
-"Grease" actor Jeff Conaway
-"Dr. Death" Jack Kervorkian
-Gunsmoke star James Arness
-"Lonely Boy" and "Thank You For Being a Friend" singer Andrew Gold
-Sirius/XM's Liquid Metal jock Mario Comesanas
-Anal Cunt lead singer Seth Putnam
-The Coasters lead singer Carl Gardner
-TV producer Bob Banner
-Bruce Springsteen sidekick Clarence Clemons
-Jackass member Ryan Dunn
-former First Lady Betty Ford
-Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz
-Grass Roots lead singer and guitarist Rob Grill
-Grammy award-winning singer Amy Winehouse
-America lead singer Dan Peek, who eventually became a Christian pop star
-sports radio talker Papa Joe Chevalier
-football and movie star Bubba Smith
-another "Grease" star, Annette Charles
-Warrant lead singer Jany Lane
-songwriter Jerry Lieber, who wrote a ton of tunes with Mike Stoller
-songwriter Nick Ashford, who also wrote a ton of hits with wife Valarie Simpson
-Jimmy Kimmel's uncle, Frank Potenza
-Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson, aka "Uncle Ben" from the recent Spider-Man movies
-Walter Mondale's daughter and radio talker Eleanor Mondale
-Bob Hope's wife, Delores Hope
-Ziggy creator Tom Wilson
-Ted Kennedy's daughter, Kara Kennedy
-legendary R&B singer and producer Sylvia Robinson, who was also called the "Grandmother of Rap Music" as the owner of Sugar Hill Records
-Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs
-actor Charles Napier
-Indy 500 winner Don Wheldon
-British TV legend Jimmy Savile
-GWAR's "Flattus Maximus", Cory Smoot
-60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney
-another former Playboy model and "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" star Cynthia Myers
-boxer Smokin' Joe Frazier
-rapper Heavy D.
-The Family Circus creator Bil Keane
-"Pac-Man Fever" singer Gary Garcia of Bruckner and Garcia
-retail pioneer Fred Meijer
-1970's porn legend Andrea True, also known for the 1976 disco smash "More, More More"
-comic Patrice O'Neal
-Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In regular Alan Sues
-MASH star Harry Morgan
-"Drift Away" singer Dobie Gray
-writer Christopher Hitchens
-radio talker Lynn Samuels
-Saturday Night Live and The Kids in the Hall writer Joe Bodolai
-and rock bands White Stripes, LCD Soundsystem and REM


*the horrific shooting in Tucson that involved Gabby Giffords
*Arnold Schwarzenegger
*the shooting rampage in Grand Rapids that left seven dead
*Penn State scandal
*The Kardashians
*Jersey Shore
*Rick Snyder
*Lindsay Lohan
*the 1%


Popular WKLT morning man let go; no reason given

On Wednesday afternoon, "Finster", the other half of WKLT 97.5/98.9 Traverse City's morning show, was fired. No reason was given for his dismissal, but understanding KLT's long and storied history, budgetary concerns might have played a role.

Finster's partner, "Omelette", is still on board; the show is now called "Omelette and Friends".

What might be tragic in all this is the fact that Omelette and Finster's ratings have been pretty good; I heard that they're in first place in the morning ratings, even beating out The Bear's syndied stalwarts Bob and Tom. But then again, this is KLT we're talking about. Tim Murphy had ratings and was shown the door. Same situation with the late Jim Ellis. They've forever treated their jocks - with the possible exception of Terri Ray - like underwear. Yet, they're always near the top of the ratings, no matter what they do.

True, I wasn't much of an O&F fan. They were Stern clones by having their own Wack Pack called "The Misfits" and even donating to a no-kill animal shelter ala North Shore Animal League. But still, Finster's a human and has a family to feed.

All I can say is that I hope Finster can land on his feet. Once again, Northern Broadcast, a company known for one abortion after the other, has its head up its ass.

89X still tops, but there's a Grand Rapids surprise

Now, it's time to rank Detroit's radio stations by their websites' ratings.

(Current ranking/July 2011 ranking/station name, format, format, etc/Alexa rating (green is an increase, red is a decrease within three months)

CIMX "89X" Alternative
WRIF 101.1 Rock
WKQI "Channel 9-5-5" CHR
WJR 760 News-Talk
WJLB 97.9 Urban
WGPR "Hot 107.5" Urban (the new WGPR is the old WHTD 102.7)
CKLW 800 Talk
WCSX 94.7 Classic Rock
WMGC "Soft Rock 105.1" AC
WDVD 96.3 Hot AC
CHYR 96.7 Hot AC
WDFN 1130 Sports
WDTW 1310 Liberal Talk
WDMK "Kiss 105.9" Urban AC
WMXD "Mix 92.3" Urban AC
WWJ 950 News
WMUZ "103.5 The Light" Christian
WDTK "NewsTalk 1400"
WDTW-FM "106.7 The D" Classic Rock (formerly Rhythmic AC "106.7 The Beat", which was #20 in July)
CIDR "93.9 The River" AAA
WDRQ "Doug 93.1" Variety Hits
CKWW 580 Oldies
WPZR "Praise 102.7" Gospel
WPON 1460 (actually on WCXI 1160) Brokered Oldies
WCAR 1090 Talk
WGPR-HD2 107.5 "104.7 The Oasis" Smooth Jazz
WXYT "97.1 The Ticket" Sports
WLQV 1500 Christian Talk
WYCD 99.5 Country
W232CA 94.3/WGPR-HD3 107.5 "94.3 The Bone" Alternative

WNIC "Fresh 100" Hot AC
WOMC 104.3 Classic Hits
WCHB 1200 Urban Talk
CKUE "95.1 The Rock"

*Once again 89X is #1 for all internet radio fans in Detroit. However, there's one slight embarrassment regarding 89X being on top, and it's the the fact that their ranking, 169,806 is actually lower than that of WGRD Grand Rapids' 136,126. A station in The D at #1 getting beaten out by a smaller market station. In the words of Nelson Muntz: "HA! HA!"

*Well, it looks like the novelty of The Bone is drying up. With its weak signal and lack of promotion, will it last another year?

*Meanwhile, its sister station, The Oasis did see a slight rise in the ratings, possibly due to the fact that their translator at 104.7 is gone.

*New and better signal or not, the new Hot 107.5 - formerly at 102.7 - went down a touch.

*Three of Detroit's FM heavyweights - AMP 98.7, Fresh 100 WNIC and WOMC didn't make the list. Will there be changes soon?

*The new WXYT 1270 didn't make the list, only because I couldn't find a URL of their own. Nonetheless, it'll be a ratings abortion, one way or another.

*Arthur P. WON'T reappear on 106.7 The D,
*WNIC will remain Hot AC, but with tweaks,
*Billy Bush will appear on WDVD,
*Clear Channel will kill off WDTW 1310's Liberal Talk format
*The Bone will cease operations
*AMP 98.7 will be dead by Christmas 2012

*89X and The Riff didn't change much (although Riff is reacting somewhat to The D by adding in more classic rock)
*WNIC's popularity is down thanks to their Hot AC tweak
*The Beat is gone
*Channel 9-5-5 is kicking AMP to the curb


GRD still leads; WSNX shares same rating with WFUR

Like we did yesterday with Traverse City, we ranked Grand Rapids' radio stations by their websites' ratings.

(Current ranking/July 2011 ranking/station name, format, format, etc/Alexa rating (green is an increase, red is a decrease within three months)

WGRD 97.9 Active Rock
WOOD "NewsRadio 1300/106.9"
WHTC 1450 Talk
WBCT "B93" Country
WSRW "Star 105.7" AC
WJQK "JQ 99" Christian Contemporary
WTNR "Thunder 94.5" Country
WLHT "Channel 95-7" Hot AC
WBBL "107-3 The Ball" Sports
WFGR 98.7 Classic Hits
WPNW "1260 The Pledge" Conservative Talk
WHTS "105.3 Hot FM" CHR
WMAX "ESPN 96-1" Sports
WLAV 96.9 Classic Rock
WYVN "92.7 The Van" Classic Hits
WJRW 1340 Talk
WVFM 106.5 Variety Hits
WTRV "100.5 The River" Soft AC
WTKG 1230 Talk
WYGR "GR 1530" Urban
WBFX "101.3 The Fox" Rock

WLAW "92.5 The Outlaw" Country/Rock
WFUR 102.9/1570 Christian
WSNX 104.5 CHR
WNWZ "Funny 1410" Comedy - just flipped from Spanish a few weeks ago

*OK, so it appears that Alexa apparently hates WSNX or nobody cares about going to that station's website anymore. Who knows?

*WGRD is #1 by a huge longshot (duh)

*Although it's now one of the most-critiqued stations in town, Channel 95-7 has its internet fans

*The Fox is a big pile of shit nobody listens to, or even go to their website

*Even though WFUR (finally) re-designed their website and even introduced a new logo and now even has webstreaming, it's practically polishing a big, fat, ugly turd

*WGRD will still be #1 in the ratings
*Channel 95-7 will still be around with Kidd Kraddick in the morning
*Cumulus will replace Thunder 94.5 with a re-launch of KLQ; they might even convince Bill Walters to return, but they'll make a mistake by getting Lex and Terry to do mornings
*WFUR will still be a non-factor
*Hot FM will get Billy Bush for nights
*"Huge" Bill Simonson will still be around at the end of the year
*Matt Hanlon will weasel his way back up to top management at Townsquare
*Sean Terpstra will be back to being Sean Baligan's sidekick full-time
*WTKG will still be an abortion
*Funny 1410 will get no ratings

*GRD's still #1
*and sadly, that's it...


KLT still boss, WCCW, WSRT MIA

For those who don't know what is, it's that website owned by that measures the popularity of websites.With Arbitron still embargoing the ratings for northern Michigan radio after all these years, at least we can still know how popular their websites are.

So, here goes:
(Current ranking/July 2011 ranking/station name, format, format, etc/Alexa rating (green is an increase, red is a decrease within three months)

WKLT 97.5/98.9 "The Rock Station"
WTCM "NewsTalk 580"
WGFN/WCKC 98.1/107.1 and WLJZ/WAVC 94.5/93.9 "The Bear" Classic Rock 4,843,302
WGFM/WJZJ "Real Rock 105 and 95-5"
WLXT "Lite 96.3" AC
WMKT 1270 "The Talk Station"
WJML 1110/1210 Talk 8,971,574
WUPS 98.5 Classic Hits
WTCM-FM 103.5/93.5 Country
WLDR "Sunny Country 101.9"
WFCX "94.3/93.5 The Fox FM" Classic Hits
WCDY 107.9 Hot AC
WLXV "Mix 96" Hot AC
WMKC 102.9 "Big Country"
WOUF "99.3 The Wolf" Rock

WBNZ "EZ Rock 92.3" - website no longer exists
WMJZ "Eagle 101.5" Variety Hits
WZTC "104.5 Bob FM" Variety Hits - no website yet
WSRT "106.7/105.5 You FM" Talk
WCCW-FM "Classic Hits 107.5"
WCCW "ESPN 1310"
WMBN "Unforgettable 1340" Standards

*Even though they don't stream, WKLT rules the radio roost up north. Even The Bear and Real Rock - both sisters - saw huge gains. Even 99.3 The Wolf, a station that hasn't updated their website in months, plus their web stream has also been down for months as well, showed up on the list. A wonderful book for Rock indeed.

*Wow! Z93, once left for dead is on the list this time. I think part of it's due to the fact that their webstream actually works on cell phones.

*Talk tumbled this time around, but it won't this time next year with the elections. You FM fell off the list altogether.

*Even though they've updated their website and even the station itself, WCCW-FM was AWOL from the list. IMHO, WCCW was the most-improved station of 2011. I'm very happy that they canned their outdated "OldiesRadio" image and even the fact that they eliminated all satellite-fed programming from the station. The station can run live and local on its own without some fake jock from Colorado pretending to sound local.

*You FM will become more liberal
*The Fox FM, now with Rich Nadeau at the helm will add more 90's to the playlist and will try to recapture the sound it once had when Mark Elliott was running it
*Northern Broadcast will return streaming to at least KLT
*KHQ will add Billy Bush nights and Ryan Seacrest middays
*No changes at any of the country stations or even KLT
*Real Rock 105/95-5 will ditch Jay Roberts and go local nights
*The Bear will hire Finster for middays

*Neither the Country stations or KLT changed much
*Ed Schultz was canned on WJML, but hasn't surfaced anywhere else, at least yet


Plus, WNWZ flips to Comedy

Wow. Within the past few weeks, radio's become fun again.

Sadly, not in a positive way.

On Thursday, Kevin Matthews announced on his Facebook page that he had been let go from 97 LAV-FM. He had been holding down mornings on the Classic Rock station for six years. Effective immediately, mornings are now handled by LAV vet Tony Gates and Michelle McKormick.

The Warwick Davis lookalike originally worked at LAV in the 1980's, but was lured away by a station in St. Louis. Then, it was off to Chicago, where he worked at WLUP, WXCD (now WLS-FM) and Howard Stern affiliate WCKG 105.9. Due to getting fired from poor ratings in later years, he ended up doing internet radio broadcasts declaring Chicago radio "dead".

In 2005, he came back to LAV, despite morning man Tony Gates getting good ratings. However, LAV's ratings have been sliding these past few years, especially due to WGRD's Free Beer and Hot Wings in the morning. Matthews also announced in 2008 that he's battling Multiple Sclerosis, limiting his schedule.

Matthews even created shockwaves in December when Citadel fired WMMQ 94.9 Lansing morning man Rich Michaels to syndicate his show to that station. However, the move didn't last long; just a few weeks ago, Cumulus lifted the show from 'MMQ and is back to doing a local show in the morning. Michaels is now hosting a talk show in Miami using his real name, Rich Minaya.

With WLAV parent Citadel Media being sold to Cumulus a few months ago, they've been doing some housecleaning. The biggie so far has been GM Matt Hanlon not being included in the merger deal; he's now VP of Advertising for WGRD parent Townsquare Media.Without a doubt, there could be more changes to come.

Oh, and it appears that the daily radio program hosted by Verve Pipe lead singer Brian Vander Ark is off LAV, too.

In a way Matthews' firing is no surprise to many. He was one of Hanlon's stable of has-beens and big-market rejects - ie Dave and Geri, Michael Grey, Ron and Don, and oh, yes, HUUUUUGE - that he felt could bring in the ratings for his stations. While many felt that Matthews' show was a welcome addition to LAV, many felt that he was nothing more than a tool for Hanlon, who made him Director of Program Development at Citadel and the PD of 92.5 The Outlaw.

But, in the end, it's up to Cumulus to fix many of Hanlon's mistakes, and Matthews was one of them. I don't know the guy personally and I feel bad that he's battling MS, but Kevin has seen better days. Will he work in radio again? Only time will tell. However, I don't think it'll be in Grand Rapids. Chicago? Maybe. Who knows? Mancow's daytimer might be looking for folks.

But of course, there's the trillion-dollar question: is Huge next on the chopping block? That's a good question. Bear in mind that Simonson's syndicated, albeit to a bunch of smaller stations that otherwise air programming from ESPN, Fox Sports or Yahoo! Sports Radio (the former Sporting News Radio/One On One Sports). If Huge gets the shaft, it's no big deal. It's the Red Wings and Lions that are keeping WBBL alive, not that fat ass. I'll betcha that even without Sean and Killer, Ryan Terpstra on 96.1 ESPN get maul the fat one back to Sparta.


Speaking of funny (but true), yes, WNWZ 1410 is now all Comedy as "Funny 1410". The station launched sometime after 11 a.m. Monday morning (it was off the air for some reason). The Townsquare Media station was previously Regional Mexican "La Maquina Musical" and was the first 24/7 Spanish station in town. However, with two other stations in town reaching the Spanish audience, 24-hour WMFN 640 and daytimer WMJH 810 and Grand Rapids only having a 7% Spanish audience, the flip was made. Oddly enough, WMFN aired some Comedy when it was talk several years ago. 1410's flip to Comedy was made weeks before this year's LaughFest, which is scheduled to feature Whoopi Goldberg and Sinbad. IMO, it might not be a huge ratings grabber, so who knows? 



NSB exits radio at a loss

Within the next few weeks, Traverse City-based Northern Star Broadcasting will be no more.

The company, which owns northern Michigan radio stations Real Rock 105/95-5, The Bear 98.1/107.1/94.5/93.9, Big Country 102.9 and tiny WCBY 1240 Cheboygan has agreed to pull out of the unprofitable world of radio altogether by selling those stations to the man they bought them from in 1998, Del Reynolds.

Yep! Del Reynolds is back to being a player in northern Michigan radio again after years of playing engineer and even starting up a Christian station in Mackinaw City that eventually ended up 1) kicking him out due to insider politics and 2) getting sold to Interlochen. Already, Del and his wife Mary are employed at NSB as VP of Operations/Programming and GM/VP of Sales/Marketing/Promotions, respectively.

Reynolds has been called one of northern Michigan's most-beloved broadcasters, starting at WIDG St. Ignace in the late 60's as a teenager to eventually owning that station, plus the stations he sold in 1998. However, he sold those stations to what was Calibre Communications, which was based in Chicago and run by a man named David Gariano. The deal fell through, but a new company was formed to take over the Reynolds stations: Northern Star Broadcasting.

When NSB finally purchased the stations in 1998, they paid $7 million.

However, it's been a rocky ride for NSB. They also purchased a boatload of stations in the UP, ran them into the ground, and sold them to Sovereign Communications for way less then what they paid for them. In the case for their northern Michigan sticks, it's been the same. For an example: in 2000, The Bear was beating the crap out of KLT in the mornings with Bob and Tom, The Zone (pretty much what's now Real Rock) was finally finding its voice by eliminating chick pop for real Modern Rock and Big Country was holding its own. A decade later, The Bear is now an average classic rocker with B&T getting pummeled by KLT's Omelette and Finster in the ratings, Real Rock has music stability issues and Big Country is, well, Big Country. Plus, they only recently finally got the embarrassment known as WIHC 97.9 Newberry off their hands, selling it to a ministry for $150,000.

In the end, NSB sold their stations back to Reynolds for a whopping $1.8 million.

But then again, I don't blame NSB for selling back to Reynolds. After all, the economy - especially in northern Michigan - sucks and if I owned a radio station up north, I'd have headaches, too.

God only knows what Del and Mary have in store, but for starters, he already owns a new station in Cheboygan, WQEZ 97.7, which is stunting with Christmas music. What will happen to the rest of his stations will be exciting to watch after the holidays, especially since when he sold out to Calibre/NSB, they made many changes here and there (ie their infamous "K-Garth" stunt when they flipped KC Country to Big Country, or when they flipped Smooth Jazz "Coast FM" to The Zone).

One thing I do remember is when Calibre flipped Coast FM to The Zone, Del was pissed since it was run off a satellite and it made money with upscale advertisers. Will this mean the end for Real Rock? Heck, The Bear's seen better days. Who knows?

But one thing's for certain: a radio station owner's like a magician: they never tell.


Despite new competition, 89X still rules

(current ranking/December 2010 ranking/station name/Alexa ranking)

1-1 CIMX 88.7 "89X" Alternative


2-2 WRIF 101.1 Rock


3-3 WKQI "Channel 9-5-5" CHR


4-7 WHTD "Hot 102.7" Urban


5-12 WJLB 97.9 Urban


6-5 WJR 760 News/Talk


7-10 CKLW 800 Canadian News/Talk


8-4 WDFN 1130 "The Fan" Sports


9-14 WDMK "Kiss 105.9" Urban AC


10-8 WDVD 96.3 Hot AC


11-11 WCSX 94.7 Classic Rock


12-16 WMUZ 103.5 Christian Contemporary


13-20 CHYR "Mix 96.7" Hot AC


14-13 WMXD "Mix 92.3" Urban AC


15-18 CKWW 580 Oldies


16-6 WNIC 100.3 "Fresh 100" Hot AC


17-9 WMGC "Magic 105.1" AC


18-24 WGPR 107.5 Urban AC


19-30 CKUE 95.1 "The Rock"


20-21 WDTW-FM 106.7 "The Beat of Detroit" Rhythmic AC


21-26 WDRQ 93.1 "Doug FM" Variety Hits


22-15 WDTK 1400 Conservative Talk


23-27 WLQV 1500 Christian Talk


24-19 CIDR "93.9 The River" AAA


25-31 WDTW 1310 Liberal Talk


26-17 WOMC 104.3 Classic Hits


27-U WGPR-HD3 107.5 "94.3 The Bone" Modern Rock


28-22 WRDT 560 "The Word" Christian Talk


29-29 WYCD 99.5 Country


30-23 WXYT-FM/AM 97.1/1270 "The Ticket" Sports


31-U WGPR-HD2 107.5 "104.7 The Oasis" Smooth Jazz


32-28 WDZH "Amp 98.7" CHR


red - decrease in rank (3 mos.)
green - increase in rank (3 mos.)

WWJ 950 News
WCHB 1200 Urban Talk
WPON 1460 Brokered (station is currently dark)

*Despite a new arrival in 94.3 The Bone, 89X is still the top internet radio site in Detroit. Riff and Channel 9-5-5 maintained, although there's some wild and wacky moves in the ratings.

*The Bone and The Oasis were the newcomers this time around, and both stations didn't do *too* bad considering their weak signals. Heck, both station have bigger Alexa rankings than most of the stations in northern Michigan. However, I do wonder what impact having new (and all female) jocks will have on The Bone. Only Christmas will tell...

*All talk stations lost ground, but the gap between ultra-conservative WDTK and ultra-liberal WDTW is narrowing.

*I guess no country fans in Detroit have computers, and neither does Amp's listeners.

*Looks like WNIC flipping to Hot AC wasn't a good idea, and neither is having a logo that looks like a woman's toilet during her period. 

Our next ratings will be out this Christmas.


GRD still rules, SNX crumbles

(current ranking/December 2010 ranking/station name/Alexa ranking)

1-1 WGRD 97.9 Active Rock


2-2 WOOD NewsRadio 1300/106.9


3-4 WBCT 93.7 "B93" Country


4-3 WHTC 1450 Talk


5-6 WHTS 105.3 "Hot FM" CHR


6-5 WTNR "Thunder 94.5" Country


7-12 WBBL 107.3 "The Ball" Sports


8-24 WTRV 100.5 "The River" AC


9-13 WLAV 96.9 Classic Rock


10-9 WFGR 98.7 Classic Hits


11-17 WPNW 1260 "The Pledge" Conservative Talk


12-10 WLHT "Channel 95-7" Hot AC


13-22 WBFX 101.3 "The Fox" Rock


14-16 WJQK 99.3 "JQ99" Christian Contemporary


15-8 WSRW "Star 105.7" AC


16-15 WVFM 106.5 Variety Hits


17-14 WTKG 1230 Talk


18-23 WYGR 1530 "The Force" Urban AC


19-11 WYVN 92.7 "The Van" Classic Hits


20-19 WJRW 1340 Talk


21-21 WNWZ 1410 "La Maquina Musical" Spanish


22-20 WLAW 92.5 "The Outlaw" Country/Rock


23-7 WSNX 104.5 CHR


red - decrease in rank (3 mos.)
green - increase in rank (3 mos.)

WMAX "ESPN 96.1" Sports
WFUR 102.9/1570 Christian Music/Talk

*Don't get me wrong, but I think is just like Arbitron in a sense, especially when it comes to rankings. Maybe sometimes, it forgets about a website and doesn't measure it properly. Who knows? Just ask WSNX.

*Once again, GRD and WOOD hog the top spots with B93 inching up to #2. I'll betcha that WHTC has quite a cult following, especially since that little 1KW peashooter has a bigger internet following than any station in northern Michgian. They do stream live, and they have a daily "Trading Post" show which airs daily 11:30 a.m. to noon (paging Richard and Sal).

*Bear in mind that this list was compiled long after the holidays. Faintly, Star 105.7 and The River traded places.

*It amazes me that Arbitron says that unranked WMAX ESPN 96.1 has better ratings than WBBL, but Alexa says otherwise regarding their websites. Maybe people would rather look at "Huge" Bill Simonson than to hear him.

*101.3 The Fox rebounded, but they're still GRD's bitch.

*WOOD is still doing well with its FM/AM simulcast, but sister WTKG tumbled a bit. Sadlym I doubt if Brian Kilmeade will be that station's savior.

*Speaking of saviors, where's WFUR? Then again, judging by their website, no wonder why nobody listens to that station. They're lucky that WCSG wasn't on the list since it's a non-comm (they would be 10th place if they were playing commercials).

Tomorrow, we'll look at Detroit.


With the Arbitrons still embargoed, somebody's gotta tell the truth about radio up north

Since it appears that somebody in northern Michigan's still not purchasing the Arbitron ratings, we gotta use the alternative, which is, which measures traffic on websites. With more and more cell phones with internet capabilities these days, local radio now competes even more with Sirius/XM, Pandora and Slacker and even stations from other localities.

So, here's how northern Michigan radio's doing this time around:
(current ranking/December 2010 ranking/station name/Alexa ranking)

1-3 WTCM "Newstalk 580"


2-11 WMKT 1270 "The Talk Station"


3-1 WKLT 97.5/98.9 "The Rock Station"


4-5 WKHQ 105.9 "106 KHQ" CHR


5-2 WJML 1110/1210 News/Talk


6-4 WTCM-FM 103.5/93.5 Country


7-10 WLXT "Lite 96" AC


8-12 WSRT 106.7/105.5 "You FM" Talk


9-U WGFM "Real Rock 105/95.5"


10-8 WCCW-FM "Classic Hits 107.5"


11-6 WFCX "94.3/92.5 The Fox FM" Classic Hits


12-U WGFN 98.1/107.1 (west northern Michigan) WLJZ 94.5/93.9 (east northern Michigan) "The Bear" Classic Rock


13-U WMBN 1340 Adult Standards


14-U WCDY 107.9 Hot AC


15-U WLDR "Sunny Country 101.9"


16-U WBNZ "EZ Rock 92.3" AC


17-7 WUPS 98.5 Classic Hits


18-9 WCCW "ESPN 1310" Sports 


red - decrease in rank (3 mos.)
green - increase in rank (3 mos.)

WTWS "92.1 The Twister" Country
WJZQ 92.9 "Z93" CHR
WLXV "Mix 96" Hot AC
WOUF "99.3 The Wolf" Rock
WMJZ "101.5 The Eagle" Variety Hits
WMKC "Big Country 102.9"

*This was another great book for news/talk with WTCM leading the pack. WMKT also did remarkably well despite what I feel is one of the weakest talk line-ups in the state. I think part of it's due to the presence of Vic McCarty, the former sports anchor at local NBC affiliate WPBN 7&4. Only WJML lost ranking, possibly because of Ed Schultz's demise and Glenn Beck's decline in popularity. WSRT also grew in ranking, but they're still dead last in the talk department despite being on two FM stations.

*Despite their web stream - along with sisters WFCX and WSRT's streams - disappearing, WKLT is the top rocker up north. Part of it's also because they do podcast their morning show, Omelette and Finster. They've even recently unveiled a mobile version of their website, one of the first in northern Michigan to do so. However, despite making the list this time, Real Rock 105/95.5 is still exactly mid-pack in the ratings. I would like to see KLT get toppled by Real Rock in the ratings, but as long as 1) they keep their listeners entertained one minute and disenfranchised the next by seguing Rage Against the Machine into Molly Hatchet, 2) they farm out their night and overnight jocks from Omaha, 3) they're ALWAYS late regarding adding new music and 4) they have a PD/midday jock who sounds like Ashton Kutcher and looks like Chaz Bono, ain't gonna happen.

*It's nice that The Bear rebounded. Thank God they got rid of Tom Devit - er, Tommy Mayhem, but I think their glory days are over. Bob and Tom are too old and their music mix is, well, old too. KLT does a much-better job since O&F are local and their Traverse City signal's better. As for The Wolf, I think they're toast. The station gets no promotion, their playlist is virtually the same as it was two years ago, their website's never updated and when I was up the weekend before July 4th, their music kept pausing. Oh, and their webstream hasn't worked in weeks. If I were that station, I'd flip it to a modern rock format ala The Zone prior to its flip to Real Rock. It's amazing how many albums groups like Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons have sold and yet, nobody up north is playing them.

*KHQ's still doing quite well, but Z93's a joke. From what I've heard, their morning show blows and their imaging isn't as good as KHQ's. They are pushing themselves more towards the gay crowd since I heard they did a Lady Gaga promotion at SideTraxx and they do air Perez Hilton's countdown on Sunday mornings (opposite Ryan Seacrest's American Top 40 on KHQ). Could they be drifting more towards a 106.7 The Beat of Detroit-like format in the future? Who knows.

*WTCM-FM naturally leads the Country pack and WLDR made the list this time. But where's Big Country? Maybe people could care less about that Big D and Bubba show...

*Lite 96 rebounded, and WBNZ was spotted on the list as well. The only true major change in the list from last time was WCCW-FM changing from "Oldies 107.5" to "Classic Hits 107.5". They even FINALLY replaced their aging "OldiesRadio" liners and jingles (part of it's due to a new GM). But new coat of paint or not, both WCCW and rival WFCX were both flat (and neither stream).

Tomorrow, we'll analyze Grand Rapids radio and on Wednesday, Detroit.


See/know of any news happening? E-mail me @ and tell us. If you represent a radio station, let us know. If we like your story, we'll publish it. Got it? Good.




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