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Robert Liggett passes...

Discussion pertaining to Lansing, Jackson, Owosso, and all areas from Alma to Hillsdale
Trophyhead
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Robert Liggett passes...

Post by Trophyhead » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:08 pm

Art Vuolo reports that Liggett died at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. Many others who frequent this board probably had more vivid recollections of Liggett as an owner/operator, but I found WFMK to be a first-class sounding operation from my time in the market, going from student to part-timer in East Lansing and Lansing about 38 to 35 years ago.

He sold his holdings in Lansing to Cumulus in 2000, Liggett had also operated WLHT and for less of a time, WGRD in Grand Rapids.

https://www.allaccess.com/net-news/arch ... SEJKTU2nWc



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FredLeonard
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by FredLeonard » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:10 pm

After his stint in radio, Liggett took over and ran Big Boy Restaurants International (previously Elias Brothers).



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TC Talks
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by TC Talks » Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:52 pm

I believe that the Liggett's are Jewish, so please use the El Maleh Rachamim.

He was a competitive operator for sure, and surrounded himself with goid talent. Like many, fair, if you pulled your weight. I always enjoyed the times I met with him.


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CK-722
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by CK-722 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:11 pm

Somewhere I thought I saw that that he was Methodist. Updated link.

https://www.allaccess.com/net-news/arch ... dead-at-76

He's from Utica, and lived in the subdivision behind the now demolished Big Boy at 21 Mile and VanDyke. He graduated from Utica High School in 1960 as I recall. It was in my SIL's UHS Alumni Directory. He worked at WBRB, possibly when the towers were still near Hayes and Hall Rd. Some accounts said that he began at WBRB at the age of 14.

Little known Memorial Facts:

One little known chapter is when he was Vice President of Programming at Metrocom, which owned WGMZ, now WCRZ Cars 108, and was a Disk Jockey there in 1968-1969. It had a live AC/MOR format at the time. Metrocom also owned stations on Long Island, including the Hamptons (WPAC, WPAC-FM (now WBLI), WHRF (was WAPC), and WHRF-FM (was WAPC-FM) at the time, where Rick Sklar began his DJ career). There's a story about Bob's WGMZ days in a Billboard article. WGMZ Studios were in the "FMBassy" at Court and Stevens at the time. He used the name Bob Layne on WGMZ, which is what he used at Radio 15 WJBK. In early 1964, he appeared in a Beatle Wig along with the other WJBK DJs on one Music Survey. It's all online if you look for it.

FM Can Be Successful!

https://books.google.com/books?id=qgoEA ... rd&f=false

Bob "Layne" Liggett, with the other WJBK DJs, wearing a Beatle wig.

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Last edited by CK-722 on Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:10 am, edited 4 times in total.


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Chris1980
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by Chris1980 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:24 pm

Didn't he also run 96.1 WHNN and the short-lived "Class FM" WCLS in Detroit? He had quite the Adult Contemporary fiefdom in Michigan in the mid-'80s.



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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by Realist » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:27 pm

Chris1980 wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:24 pm
Didn't he also run 96.1 WHNN and the short-lived "Class FM" WCLS in Detroit?
Yes he owned WHNN when they were the number 1 rated station in the Tri City market playing AOR in the late 70’s / early 80’s - and flipped it to AC, making a lot of folks there angry at the time...


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audiophile
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by audiophile » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:42 pm

I met with him a couple times about three years ago, I didn't think he was Jewish.


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MWmetalhead
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by MWmetalhead » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:13 pm

W-Light (later stylized as "W-Lite") was a highly successful station in Grand Rapids when he owned it.


Rock 95.5 in Chicago is the worst sounding major market rock station in the history of corporate radio.

EdWalker
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by EdWalker » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:31 pm

TC Talks wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:52 pm
I believe that the Liggett's are Jewish, so please use the El Maleh Rachamim.

He was a competitive operator for sure, and surrounded himself with goid talent. Like many, fair, if you pulled your weight. I always enjoyed the times I met with him.
'

Pay no mind that his services will be at the Grosse Point United Methodist Church, https://michmab.com



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Ben Zonia
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by Ben Zonia » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:20 pm

I always thought that people were free to mourn in their own traditions.

I don't have any idea about what "El Maleh Rachamim" is. I wish TC would explain it.

Otherwise, it just sounds like Madonna and Kabbalah.

It is a Stereotype that most radio people, particularly commercial station owners, are Jewish. And many air personalities that have ambiguous sounding surnames are assumed to be able to work Sundays. "You wouldn't mind working Sundays, right?" It doesn't hold true in most of Michigan. And I see no end to the complaints here about Christian radio stations and translators in Michigan.

Let's just celebrate Mr. Liggett's life and work.


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TC Talks
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by TC Talks » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:36 am

EdWalker wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:31 pm

Pay no mind that his services will be at the Grosse Point United Methodist Church, https://michmab.com
Thank you for clarifying.


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Steve Dirksen
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by Steve Dirksen » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:28 am

Bob and Jim Jensen took what was a fledgling Liggett Broadcasting in 1984 and built it into a formidable organization in multiple markets. Bob and Jim were true competitors, good broadcasters, and great people to work with and for. There are plenty of stories that go back to the 80's and 90's success of HNN, FMK, and LHT. But we shall leave it at this. It was a nice ride.



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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by tvbobn » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:42 pm

Sorry to hear this news. He was an owner in the early 70's. AM was King is those days and he saw "that other station" (FM) was the wave of the future before most other broadcasters figured it out.

He owned stations in California too. I didn't notice anyone posting that info. When he sold out of radio, he was paid an enormous amount of cash plus stock. That's what he used to purchase the Big Boy operation. Late he got back into broadcasting in Port Huron. He had to keep his fingers in broadcasting!

I lost touch with Bob over the years and hadn't talked with him in a long while, so I didn't know of his illness. He was a fun guy and a good business man.
RIP Bob Liggett!


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Chris1980
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by Chris1980 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:59 pm

MWmetalhead wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:13 pm
W-Light (later stylized as "W-Lite") was a highly successful station in Grand Rapids when he owned it.
Did 95.7 ever have the WLGH calls? I saw that mentioned in a 1984 Billboard issue and wondered if that was a typo.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Robert Liggett passes...

Post by MWmetalhead » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:01 pm

It's a typo.

They were WZZM-FM, then WZZR (not sure if there was an -FM suffix), then WLHT.


Rock 95.5 in Chicago is the worst sounding major market rock station in the history of corporate radio.

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