Another broadcast memory; some years later after meeting with the WZND folks, I had been in radio for a few years, and was looking into getting my own station. About 1981, I don't recall how we met, I was introduced to the owner of 1490 AM Montague, north of Muskegon. We were discussing a possible partnership to buy a station downstate (another story, another time). Anyway, he invites my wife and myself to come see his station in Montague. I had never been there before and never heard of the place, but we drove over there from Detroit on a Sunday.
When we arrived the owner wasn't there. I didn't know it at the time, but his son was on the air. He said his father was on his way, and suggested we come back in a couple of hours. So, we toured the area. Now as I said, I had never been there before or since, but in 1981, it looked to me that the area could not support a radio station. So, then we decided to see what Muskegon had to offer. In 1981, it wasn't much, either. We turned around and went back to the station. When we returned, still no owner, so I started to vent my frustrations and opinions with the kid. I told him this guy must be some piece of crap, and that I thought the station had negligible value, to put it politely. That's when I found out that the kid was the owner's son. About that time, the owner arrived.
We talked about our venture, and maybe he had lost interest. I know I had lost interest in him. His plan, unknown to me, was to hire me for a sales position. He wanted me to open up Muskegon for his station. I don't think he had one advertiser from Muskegon on the air. As many of you know, 1490 AM was a Class IV frequency, 1000 watts day, 250 watts night. I had worked at a Class IV in Ohio. The man's problem was that you could hardly hear the station in Muskegon during the day, and at night you couldn't hear it at all. I told him, "No thanks, you can't hear the station in Muskegon, and in Whitehall/Montague there's not enough business. Of course, he disagreed, and I don't remember hearing from him, again.
The station was located just off of the expressway on the west side. It was reminiscent of WZND, well worn used equipment, and not much else. I don't remember the transmitter or tower, or if it was located right there. I don't remember the call letters, either. In my opinion, it was a station that should have never been built.
I think the man was from Chicago, and that's why he was late. I'm not sure. I'd like to hear what happened to those folks. I don't remember the man's name, or how things turned out. Anyone who knows I'd like to hear about it. I know 1490 AM is still on the air, elsewhere. is it a viable station or what? I don't know. Please write back.
Registrations in the queue through May 27 at 7:30p ET have now been activated. Enjoy! -M.W.
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