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WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Discussion pertaining to Lansing, Jackson, Owosso, and all areas from Alma to Hillsdale
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conelrad
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WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by conelrad » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:28 pm

Way back in 1974, while at MSU, I worked at WFYC AM/FM in Alma. Our PD was Jon Heinlen. I lost touch with him. Does anyone know if he’s still around or where he is? Thanks.



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MisterGoodrich2U
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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by MisterGoodrich2U » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:23 pm

I worked there 1980-81. The name does not ring a bell. The PD at the time was Phil....um, can't remember his last name. Thomas?

Sorry. That doesn't help much.



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Calvert DeForest
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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by Calvert DeForest » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:45 am

Jon interviewed and hired me for a weekend gig at WQTK/WCXK in St. Johns back in the summer of 1983. He was the assistant PD at the time. Helluva nice guy! I remember he was very easygoing and soft-spoken. He had worked for WILS previously, and was brought over by Rick D'Amico when he assumed the GM/PD post at K92. Jon left K92 to for the OM position at WOES-FM, the Ovid-Elsie High School station. His name came up in conversation with an old colleague recently, but for the life of me I can't remember if she mentioned what he's up to now.

Dave Sommerville was (and I believe still is) the owner of WFYC/WQBX. Gil Thomas was their GM in the 80's, and Phil Mikus was the PD.


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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by Trophyhead » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:19 am

I remember that WOES job posting, and put in for it though I had little more than a Telecommunications degree at State and on-air work in Lansing to offer as an applicant.

WFYC is where I tune when the Mighty 790 fails me in mid-Michigan and my nature is so abusive that I am trying to find a Tigers affiliate.



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MisterGoodrich2U
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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by MisterGoodrich2U » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:58 pm

Mikus! That is/was his name. Thanks.

Dave Somerville is still the owner? He must be at least 90. Then again, I thought he was old when I was there, but I was just 21 or 22, so anyone over 30 was old, so what did I know?

But he must have been about 50 when I was there, and that was almost 40 years ago.



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Calvert DeForest
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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by Calvert DeForest » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:00 am

I may stand corrected. I thought at one point the station was still in the Sommerville family, but a quick check of the FCC records for WFYC and WQBX indicates the stations are currently owned by a company called Jacom. Not sure whether there is any affiliation with the Sommerville's at this point. Another branch of the Sommerville family owned WCEN-AM/FM when it was still in Mount Pleasant, but sold that property about 20 years ago.


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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by CK-722 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:31 am

Obituaries are sadly some of the best sources of History that there are.

Here is David Sommerville's Obituary. He was born in Flushing and graduated from Flushing High School. Wonder if he knew Ed McKenzie.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/ ... 428&page=3

Here is Richard Sommerville's Obituary.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theti ... =120067038


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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by MisterGoodrich2U » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:47 pm

Thanks, CK. That clears up a lot.

I remember working the night shift, and Sommerville hotlines me from the golf club: "Read the damn golf scores!" Apparently a little inebriated, he wanted each and every score read on air as they came in from the Masters for his golf buddies. Other than that, he was a good guy.

Now I wonder what happened to Gil Thomas and Phil Mikus?



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Calvert DeForest
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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by Calvert DeForest » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:08 am

A friend of mine tells a funny story of his tenure at WFYC in the early 80's. The young lady who was training him for the night shift stepped outside for a smoke while he ran the board. He pulled a Beatles LP and cued up I Am the Walrus. She heard it on the speaker outside the building and rushed back in a panic, urging him to cue another record and dump to it ASAP. Afterward she explained that the track was "too psychedelic" for the station's older listeners, and it could lead to a lot of complaints. Basically, stick with Christopher Cross, Neil Diamond, Dionne Warwick....the safe stuff. Need a Beatles track? Play When I'm 64.

Of course that was 35+ years ago. Older folks now would dig it. :razz


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MisterGoodrich2U
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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by MisterGoodrich2U » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:26 pm

Sounds about right. I remember Mikus marking up records (yes, the station spun mostly vinyl with a few carts) that were R (restricted) for night only and some that would never be played. It was MOR crawling into the '80s AC.



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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by Ben Zonia » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:15 pm

"I Am The Walrus" is offensive and just plain weird in places.

You don't play "Dirty White Boy" by Foreigner on your AC station either, just because "I Want To Know What Love Is" fits in.


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conelrad
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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by conelrad » Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:54 pm

Thanks to all for the great replies re Jon and WFYC. Appreciate it



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Calvert DeForest
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Re: WFYC/Alma - Jon Heinlen

Post by Calvert DeForest » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:23 am

It's fun to remember the old days of small-market MOR radio. Every station had a unique flavor suited to the local audience it served. I loved tooling around the dial and checking out stations like WCER, WBCH, WRBJ, WFYC, etc. The banter and the features were as interesting as the music mix. It was like taking a road trip without leaving the house. When we did go on trips, checking out stations from different areas was just as much fun if not more. Always brought my boom box and plenty of cassettes to record "aircheck souvenirs". :D

There are still some small-market stations that take the local full-service approach, albeit with the assistance of automation. WION in Ionia and WCSR in Hillsdale are a couple of examples.


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