Monday, July 15, 2013

7.15.13 Hero of the Day: Jerry "JT" Tarrants

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on



Name: Jerry Tarrants
Age: 51
Occupation: soon-to-be former PD/OM Townsquare Media Grand Rapids, soon-to-be PD WCSX Detroit
Last Seen: Grand Rapids
Awarded For: transforming WGRD from a wuss station to a dominance in the rock world

Ten years ago, Grand Rapids rock radio was turning into a joke.

WKLQ had dropped Howard Stern and added on unfunny Stern clones Ron and Don and the disastrous Man Made Radio. Jocks such as Bill Walters and Mark "The Head" Feurie were canned while others like Cristi Cantle wanted out. Most of all, their fans wanted another rock station in town, but there was one problem:


'GRD had transitioned from "New Rock 97-9" to "Grand Rapids' Rock Alternative", and they were playing a lot of lame emo music and pop crap that turned off those needing their dose of Pantera and Metallica. Even more, their morning show sucked. Thankfully, their PD, Michael Grey was canned, but guess where he ended up? KLQ.

Enter Jerry Tarrants.

GRD knew that their ratings sucked, and something had to be done about it. Since Jerry worked all over the rock dials in the Flint area, such as Banana 101.5, Z93 and Wheelz 104.5, he found himself trying to save a Grand Rapids radio institution that needed help, now.

And he did.

Under Tarrants' leadership, GRD got themselves a popular morning show, Free Beer and Hot Wings that quickly grew amongst Grand Rapids radio fans. When WBBL and Citadel Broadcasting dropped Howard Stern once and for all, fans flocked to FB&HW. With the new male-friendly morning show, WGRD found themselves shelving the Dave Matthews and Paramore and added on Metallica, Guns 'N Roses, Godsmack and Aerosmith. They even started reporting to the trades as an active rock station (although to this day, they're still "Grand Rapids' Rock Alternative").

True, the Bill Walters, Suzy Coles, Mark Fueries and the Cristi Cantles have long moved on, but Tarrants gave us Dahmer, Shaffee and my girlfriend, Jackie. They even added a Sunday night metal show (albeit syndied): Full Metal Jackie.

Late last week, Jerry announced that he's leaving GRD and going to run WCSX in Detroit, that city's heritage classic rocker. His loss will definitely be CSX's gain. With the recent changes at sister WRIF, it'll be exciting to know what JT will bring to the table there. As for GRD, I heard that Michael Grey's back on the market (now, I'm probably going to have to slam my head against the wall for saying that).

Nonetheless, JT, you'll be missed here in Grand Rapids.

Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!
Bee-otch of the Day Archives can be seen on!

Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!

No comments:

Post a Comment