Former Grand Rapids Stern affiliate WKLQ flips to Sports

kingchuck69

Joker! Joker! Joker!
Oct 11, 2008
5,086
3,176
168
Grand Rapids, MI
chuck69.com
My personal commentary from my website: THE BACK PAGE powered by Chuck69.com

IT'S OFFICIAL: KLQ IS DEAD!
107.3 is now simulcasting WBBL, station still exists on web only

The final coffin nail has been nailed shut.

It also makes for a late birthday gift (I turned 28 on Monday).

Thursday morning just before 6 a.m., Citadel Active Rocker WKLQ 107.3 played "Walk" by Pantera. Little to the three listeners they had left, it would be the final song played on KLQ as a terrestrial rock station.

(Personally, they should have played the more-suitable "Cemetery Gates".)

After several hours of stunting, at 2:30 in the afternoon, the WKLQ call letters were retired after 25 years of usage in west Michigan and 107.3 Greenville became WBBL-FM, simulcasting their AM Sports sister at 1340. WBBL will continue to air Jim Rome's daily talk show, along with the Huge jackass known as Bill Simonson.

As for KLQ, the station still lives, um, kinda. The station is now web-only at wklq.com.

Michael Grey, the co-host of KLQ's old morning show is so far the only survivor in the melee; he's now Bret Bakita's morning co-host. Jay Deacon's still got a job as the afternoon host at KLQ's Saginaw sister Z93 while it appears, AFAWK, that morning co-host Warren Kluck, middayer/MD Darcy, nighttimer/Clambake host Steve "The Rat" Aldrich and all other jocks have been handed their walking papers.

I, for one, have mixed emotions about the death of KLQ. It was seven years ago this week that I moved to Grand Rapids full-time after I started my first real job. It was scary, not knowing too many people and learning a whole new city to live in. Thankfully, there was KLQ, with Howard Stern, Mark "The Head" Feurie, Cristi Cantle, Bill Walters and Nick Dorsey to keep me company.

I think one of the best moments regarding KLQ was meeting their staff, especially Walters. He invited me over to one of their "Friday Night Live" events at Stooge's (now Rumors) and he let me squirt one of the girls during their wet t-shirt contests. It was one of the FNL events where he also announced that Hanlon fired Feurie, who was also the PD at the time.

Sadly, GM Matt Hanlon was the cancer that killed KLQ. He was a man who put profits in front of people and egomaniacal dipshits like Grey in front of actual talent. In six years, KLQ has suffered through four failed morning shows, countless clueless PDs and watching crosstown Modern Rocker WGRD laughing all the way to the bank and high atop the Arbitron ratings. Hell, not even a frequency flip from 94.5 to 107.3 (which was STUPID, since it cut off listeners in Kalamazoo, the Lakeshore and Battle Creek, plus the fact that they're in the boonies doesn't help) could keep up listenership.

And oh, yes, let's not forget that little thing called SIRIUS, which now has Stern, plus several kick-ass rock stations that put KLQ to shame. Plus, I'd rather invest in Sirius stock (32 cents) over Citadel's pink sheet abortion (8 cents).

Will KLQ be missed? Let's put it to you this way: therock@ninetyfourdotfive - yes. Pure Rock 107-3 - a resounding hell no. Then again, all good radio stations must come to an end. The days of CKLW, WLS, Super CFL and more recently, pre-Rush WJR and (since I'm from northern Michigan) WKPK-106.7 The Peak are long gone and may never come back. Same with KLQ. Stern's on Sirius, Cristi Cantle's in Sacramento, Nick Dorsey's in Omaha and Bill Walters, Mark Feurie and Tom "The Wiz" Stavrou are no longer in radio. They're in a happier place now and darn proud of it.

But, one thing's fo' shizzle: Thank God KLQ's dead.
 

jef

Power Pig, Hello!
Oct 12, 2008
3,849
185
63
Then again, all good radio stations must come to an end. The days of CKLW, WLS, Super CFL and more recently, pre-Rush WJR and (since I'm from northern Michigan) WKPK-106.7

Radio sure ain't what it used to be. :(
 

kryptonite

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
9,413
1,197
113
And oh, yes, let's not forget that little thing called SIRIUS, which now has Stern, plus several kick-ass rock stations that put KLQ to shame. Plus, I'd rather invest in Sirius stock (32 cents) over Citadel's pink sheet abortion (8 cents).

Hasn't he heard that Sirius is going under by summer/fall/year end/2010/whatever the newest date is?

You have to give credit to Mel. How many different dates have there been for the death of Sirius? Sirius will be fine.


Back to the original subject, this happened in Columbus not too long ago. One of the major sports radio stations in town has a really weak AM signal. They're now on the FM signal as well as the AM one, and the general public doesn't seem to be complaining.
 

kingchuck69

Joker! Joker! Joker!
Oct 11, 2008
5,086
3,176
168
Grand Rapids, MI
chuck69.com
Now comes word that one of the reasons for the flip is because ESPN recently signed a deal with Clear Channel to bring their network to FM signals in both Detroit and Grand Rapids. CC has underperforming FM stations in both towns (96.1 Grand Rapids and 106.7 Detroit) and they might be candidates for the newly-proposed ESPN stations.

Previously, ESPN programming was heard on WBBL, but thanks to the deal, they're with Fox Sports Radio in all dayparts when either local programming or Jim Rome are not aired.

No pun intended, WBBL jumped The Ball and started simulcasting WBBL on what was KLQ, which has had miserable ratings for half a decade.

If it's true that CC's putting ESPN on one of their FM stations, it could be challenging here in Grand Rapids since Citadel/WBBL already has all the major sports teams in Detroit, plus U-M, Grand Rapids Griffins and local high school sports.

But since I have Sirius, these two companies are pulling a Ben Folds Five by creating the Battle of Who Could Care Less.
 

jef

Power Pig, Hello!
Oct 12, 2008
3,849
185
63
CC has underperforming FM stations in both towns (96.1 Grand Rapids and 106.7 Detroit

Heh - the old W4. 106.7 hasn't performed well, ever, in my lifetime. It's flipped formats so many times in the past decade, I've lost count. I think that being that far up the dial hurts them in that you don't usually get that high up the dial while doing a scan or seek.

Stations like this are doomed to massive failure when trying to pull the cookie cutter programming crap. If they can't make a run of it with better properties, how the hell does a station like that have a chance. They've tried a few stupid stunts, like "Choose the DJ" stuff, but really, that's not gonna make it in the long run.

Another board I read semi-regularly has a thread going to take bets on the day CC files for bankruptcy. Sucks for their employees, but it couldn't happen to a nicer company.