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WBBL gone

Discussion pertaining to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, and Michiana
ftballfan
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Re: WBBL gone

Post by ftballfan » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:21 pm

94.5 hasn't been Thunder Country in several years!

One prediction: LAV ends up on 107.3 and keeps MSU sports (as sports and classic rock go well together)



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MWmetalhead
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Re: WBBL gone

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:29 pm

Wow - looks like Bruce is laying down the "law."

Obviously, 1340 WJRW is a goner. 1340 + the new 106.1 (which, btw, will have *terrible* reception across GR's eastern suburbs) will be picking up BBL's Sports format. The only difference is you'll now hear Matt Shepard in the morning as opposed to Eric Zane and the station will be called "The Ticket" instead of the "The Ball."

In Muskegon, the programming will air on AM 1490 plus a future translator signal. Cumulus has an application to sign on a translator in the Muskegon area at 99.1 MHz. The proposed TX site is located near Airline Hwy and Seaway Dr.

I like these changes for three reasons:
-One, it's obvious 107.3's monster 50 kW signal is being wasted by airing a very low rated Sports radio format in a market that has zero power conference Division I programs and zero major league teams. The ratings today are no better (and in fact, are considerably worse) than when AM 1340 was carrying WBBL programming.
-Two, WJRW bills squat and has an audience of mostly geriatrics. It's demise will be no big loss.
-Three, the Eric Zane show just didn't mesh with WBBL's other programming. Station ratings began suffering about six months after he came on board. Matt Shepard's show will be a much better fit.

Obviously, the 106.1/1340 combo will leave a significant cover hole along the lakeshore in Ottawa County and also won't do a good job of reaching places such as Lowell. Bear in mind Simonson is already carried on 99.7 / 1450 in the Holland area, so the loss of the 107.3 signal won't mean much for listeners in that region.

I'd say there's a good bet the "Nash" brand is toast. I would expect a return of the Thunder Country branding.

Wouldn't surprise me if 94.5 & 107.3 simulcast for a couple weeks, with Country ultimately finding a home at 107.3.


Then, the question becomes...what happens to 94.5 after the brief 94.5/107.3 simulcast period? I think there are three possible outcomes:
1. WLAV stays put at the WBBL tower site, does NOT make the move to GVSU, and 94.5 & 96.9 simulcast indefinitely.
2. Hot-FM moves from 105.3 to 94.5 (for much improved downtown GR reception), with 105.3 instead being used to simulcast 96.9. Following a brief 107.3/94.5 simulcast period, we may very well see a brief 105.3/94.5 simulcast period.
3. There is no WLAV simulcast, and either 94.5 or 107.3 will ultimately flip to a brand new format. My top guesses under this scenario are Alternative, Variety Hits and Soft Adult Contemporary.

Wouldn't it be wild if KLQ or some other form of Active Rock were to make a return to either 94.5 or 107.3?!?! I don't see that happening. Cumulus hasn't launched any new Active Rock stations in many, many years. They had a golden opportunity to launch one at 93.9 MHz in Indy (to serve disgruntled former X103 listeners) and chose not to do so.

My best guess is one of the lakeshore signals - either 105.3 or 94.5 - will be used to simulcast WLAV indefinitely, Thunder/Nash will make a new home at 107.3 FM, 96.9 FM will stay the same, and Hot will either stay at 105.3 or relocate to 94.5. In the process, Cumulus will only lose the negligible billing produced by WJRW, and they probably won't take much of a hit on the Sports format, either. In the process, WLAV's big revenue will be protected.

If indeed we see a WLAV simulcast come next week, it will be interesting to see what the Fall 2018 Nielsen numbers reveal, i.e. did LAV's numbers take a big hit due to shitty signal?

Oh, regarding MSU sports - wouldn't surprise me if we still hear their contests on 107.3 FM. Country folk generally support the Spartans.


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TheGadgetGuy
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Re: WBBL gone

Post by TheGadgetGuy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:50 pm

107.3's RDS Program Type is now set to Country.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: WBBL gone

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:52 pm

I want to know where I will find Michigan State broadcasts out in the sticks if 107.3 becomes a music station. I believe I already know the answer.
Define what you mean by "sticks."

South of town, you should have no issue picking up 590 WKZO. East of town (from Lowell eastward), you should have no issue picking up 94.9 WMMQ. Along the lakeshore, there are affiliates in the Muskegon and Grand Haven area. I think one or more stations in the Holland area carry MSU sports as well.

By the way, I'm not at all happy about the fact Q106 is going to become difficult if not impossible to pick up clearly in Gaines Twp, Caledonia Twp, Cascade Twp, etc!


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Mr.Transistor
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Re: WBBL gone

Post by Mr.Transistor » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:01 pm

So will (name removed by request) be on 1130 in the afternoon or no Detroit coverage still??



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Re: WBBL gone

Post by Mr.Transistor » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:03 pm

Thanks MW
Last edited by Mr.Transistor on Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: WBBL gone

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:03 pm

Does anyone know if 94.5 still suffers from massive intermod issues in the Alpine & I-96 area?

I was about to say it would be a shame if Hot-FM weren't moved from 105.3 to 94.5 eventually as part of this whole process, but crappy reception on that side of town might be a deal breaker? (Seems to me, though, that this would be more than mitigated by a massive improvement in reception capability in & around downtown Grand Rapids, the I-196 corridor in Ottawa County, the M-6 corridor in Kent County, etc.)

Sure would be nice to see the useless "Nash Icon" @ 92.5 MHz got dumped as part of this whole process.


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Re: WBBL gone

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:09 pm

AM 1130 is basically a pay-for-play station these days. Its sole purpose is to clear programming no station of even semi-significant stature wants. If Michigan Media Networks pays 1130 for the clear, it would not surprise me to see them dump Big Jim and Droo in favor of the Large One.

Big Jim and Droo are basically filler. No one listens to them here. Then again, hardly anyone listens to Matt Shepard or any other program on that station these days!

As a side note, 97.1 The Ticket here in Detroit frequently airs portions of Simonson's national show during Saturday late nights. They air him and other CBS Sports Radio national programming whenever there's no reason to pay someone to host a live & local show in late night during the weekend. (I've also heard CBS Sports Radio programming on 97.1 during holiday mornings.)


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TheGadgetGuy
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Re: WBBL gone

Post by TheGadgetGuy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:15 pm

107.3 has flipped, it is now " Thunder 94.5 and 107.3". If the end goal here is to move Country off of 94.5, not sure why 94.5 is in the branding. Makes me wonder if this is more than just a temporary thing.



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Re: WBBL gone

Post by Qs23 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:48 pm

Wait, they are calling the new sports stations "The Ticket"? I wonder if they talked to Entercom before hand. Because didn't Midwest get into trouble with when they tried to take WQTX back to "The Ticket" and instead called it "The Team"?



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MWmetalhead
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Re: WBBL gone

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:34 pm

Sure looks like Thunder will soon be on 107.3 only.

Take a gander at the new logo on the WBBL Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/WBBLFM

(The 94.5 Thunder logo is the old one used until 2014.)

Surprisingly, judging from visitor comments, there are still a decent number of people bummed about KLQ's demise, which occurred nearly a decade ago!

I don't think Cumulus will have any issue with Entercom. In fact, Cumulus already uses the "Ticket" branding on stations in Toledo and Ann Arbor.

The WBBL Facebook page sure isn't doing a good job of redirecting listeners to AM 1340; that's for sure. Thunder posts & logos are plastered everywhere, but the info about The Ticket is difficult if not impossible to find!


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Re: WBBL gone

Post by Arthur Mometer » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:13 pm

Not sure if they could swap out the WNWZ 1410 translator on 104.9 with the WJRW/WBBL 1340 AM translator, or would want to. Another topic for a former Univision VP to comment on. There's just no way to go E and SE on 106.1 well. They could park the WJRW callsign somewhere I guess if they think they are good call letters.


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MWmetalhead
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Re: WBBL gone

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:32 am

Townsquare owns 104.9/1410, not Cumulus.

There's no way Townsquare would ever do a deal of that nature with Cumulus.


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Re: WBBL gone

Post by Arthur Mometer » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:43 am

MWmetalhead wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:32 am
Townsquare owns 104.9/1410, not Cumulus.

There's no way Townsquare would ever do a deal of that nature with Cumulus.
They did a back scratch deal like that in Lansing as I recall. Do you remember why? Townsquare used the WTRX call letters on 93.7 in Pontiac, IL for a while. So an important ingredient called MONEY talks.


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Re: WBBL gone

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:52 am

WBBL/Sports hardly had any listeners on a 50 kW FM station. Cumulus certainly isn't going to fret over the difference between 106.1 versus 104.9.


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