Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1.30.13 Bee-otch of the Day: northern Michigan rock stations

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Name: various
Age: various
Occupation: rock stations
Last Seen: northern Michigan
Bee-otched For: still sucking
As some of you know, was created to protest the suckiness of northern Michigan's radio stations.

When I started this site in 1999, I was stuck with three rock stations: 97.5/98.9 WKLT, which played classic rock and a weak selection of new rock; 98.1/105.1 The Bear, which is classic rock; and 95.5 The Zone, which was modern rock, albeit of the Lillith Fair type.

Since that grateful day when this site was founded as an el cheapo WebTV page, KLT has transitioned to about 99% classics, The Bear is still classic rock but has seen better days ratings-wise, and The Zone finally started kicking ass in late 2000, but management problems caused the station to transition to a satellite-fed format in the late 2000's and then a flip to a more mainstream format as Real Rock 105/95-5.

Oh, and two more rock stations signed on: 99.3 The Wolf, which is another mainstream rock format that covers Traverse City's west side and just this past month in a very shocking move, long-time Grayling country stalwart WGRY 100.3 "Y100" flipped to a rock format as WQON "Q100.3". Longtime station owner Bill Gannon suffered a stroke in 2011 and decided to sell his stations to a Detroit couple, Sherri and Jerry Coyne. Sherri worked at CBS Radio in Detroit while Jerry played in several Detroit bands. The flip to rock does leave the hick-heavy Grayling area without a strong country signal, but with WKLT in the rock ratings lead and Q100.3 having an option to expand to 100,000 watts, question is, will it be a player in the market?

My answer: I haven't listened to the station yet (I moved to Grand Rapids in 2002 and they don't have a webstream yet), but judging by what I've read, not really.

Some of the artists Q100.3 plays include .38 Special, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Phil Collins, Duran Duran and Coldplay. Yes, it's a trainwreck so far.

It's official: northern Michigan has five. five, FIVE rock stations, AND THEY ALL SUCK DICK!

What I'm really mad it is the fact that Real Rock 105/95-5 has started to sell out on their listeners. In recent weeks, they've added a BUTTLOAD of crappy 1970's butt rock from Styx, Boston and Lynyrd Skynyrd to their playlist. Even worse, they've cut back on the new rock (I only saw two currents in a two-hour period: "Heaven Nor Hell" by Volbeat and Soundgarden's "Been Away Too Long") and they even shitcanned their Sunday night metal show, The Asylum.

So, why in the FUCKING HELL does every FUCKING rock station up north think that they have a license to suck? I think there's a good reason why: KLT's the top-rated rocker, and they air every shitty 70's band known to man. I know, I know; northern Michigan's loaded with the two types of people that like butt rock: old people and white trash. I shake my head knowing that these stations are also competing against Sirius/XM, Pandora, Slacker and every other service known to man, but they still don't get it.

And speaking of Sirius/XM, DAMN IS OZZY'S BONEYARD A GREAT STATION! I find it laughable that a station that calls themselves "Real Rock" now plays the snot out of a band whose lead singer's only decent talent was dragging two Char Broils into his house, yet I've yet to hear them on Ozzy's Boneyard. Just a lot of Ozzy (of course), Led Zeppelin, Rush, Pantera and Iron Maiden mixed in with kickass old school metal. When Sirius has a better classic rock station even than what they have on terrestrial radio up north, it's a total embarrassment.

Look at WGRD here in Grand Rapids. Kickass morning show and a kickass playlist. Look at their ratings: they're the top rocker in town! They're always on top with new music, and their personalities are great (Jackie's a little hottie :)-). KLT has decent personalities but a shitty playlist. Real Rock HAD a decent playlist but Cartman's a fat prick. The Bear, well, Bob and Tom should retire soon. As for 99.3 The Wolf, well, let's say that the last I heard the station, it wasn't real bad, but since it's nothing more than a jukebox that hasn't streamed online in over a year, it's hard to comment. Same goes with Q100.3.

Look, northern Michigan station owners/managers/etc., NOT EVERY ROCK FAN IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN LIKES LYNYRD SKYNYRD. Look at Sirius/Pandora/Slacker and so on: lots of variety in the rock arena. I know, there's not many 20- and 30-somethings up north, but many of them are tuning you out because digital media does a better job of variety and even introducing them to new music and artists. I checked Real Rock's ratings; a 3.8 isn't real impressive, but The Bear's 2.3 is pitiful.

Point is, northern Michigan can support a radio station that's heavy on new rock and even tosses in a classic or two. I don't mind Aerosmith, Van Halen, Ozzy, Judas Priest or even Pink Floyd. But throwing in a shitload of white trash crap and it's Sirius for me.

Congrats, northern Michigan rock radio. You sure know how to alienate people whose homes weren't manufactured. 

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