Monday, October 7, 2013

10.7.13 Bee-otch of the Day: WFUR

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Name: WFUR
Age: 66
Occupation: Christian radio station
Last Seen: Grand Rapids, MI
Bee-otched For: wasting electricity

A few years ago, the FCC passed a ruling that was good news to many AM stations: they were allowed to have FM translators rebroadcasting their signals.

Several AMs in west Michigan, such as WPNW in Zeeland and WION Ionia now have FM translators. In WION's case, their FM translator at 92.7 only broadcasts with 212 watts, but it's enough to cover all of Ionia County, albeit with some static towards the edges of the county line.

Here in Grand Rapids, several AMs now have FM repeaters: WPRR 1680 is heard on 95.3 and 500-watt daytimer WYGR is heard on 94.9 24/7. The FM translator for WYGR has helped the independently-run urban station, since it gets decent ratings regardless of limited signal.

But fans of WION should be fuming somewhat over the decision regarding a station here in Grand Rapids that recently flipped on their translator at 92.9. And that station is the AM counterpart of WFUR.

Yep! Whiffer is now heard on not one, but two FM signals in the Grand Rapids market. Alongside 50,000-watt 102.9, WFUR-AM 1570 can now be heard on 92.9. WFUR-FM boasts a contemporary Christian format while the AM is mostly talk and older CCM.

WFUR is also one of Grand Rapids' least-popular stations.

When they subscribed to Arbitron/Neilson, WFUR's ratings - regardless of frequency - were horrible. I think as long as I've followed Arbitron ratings, the highest I've seen WFUR was at a 2.0. However, they no longer subscribe to the service, but one thing's for certain: they don't have many Facebook friends, either. The station only has 299 friends.

Not to mention, WFUR's owners, the Kuipers, won't sell. I've heard years ago that one of the big companies offered them $20 million and they said "not a chance". Their goal is to keep the station in the family and to honor Christ.

Too bad other stations do a much, much better job of praising the man upstairs, at least from a ratings standpoint.

Look, Family Stations sold a ton of stations to other companies not too long ago. Bear in mind that it had a lot to do with their leader, Harold Camping's misleading his listeners that the world was going to end in 2011 and his stroke a few months later. But in all honesty, I wish that would happen to WFUR. I wish the Kuipers would realize that their listenership sucks and it's been that ways for years. Most of their listeners are old Hollanders and they're too blind to see it.

I'm not against Christianity, it's just that I hate people who profit off of God. I heard it through the grapevine that Kuiper pays their jocks near minimum wage and even forces them to park in the back of the building to make their business desirable to their clients. Even more, the Kuipers drive Cadillacs. Gee, ever hear of Matthew 19:16-30?

What's amazing is that Grand Rapids doesn't have a real urban/hip-hop station like Lansing and Flint do, but we're stuck with good 'ol Whiffer. Not that I'm a rap fan (which I'm not), but still, I think it's a huge slap in the face to the black community. I wish the Kuipers would sell and maybe give the money to real Christian things, like feeding the hungry and helping people with their medical bills.

THAT'S what would Jesus do.

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