Tuesday, May 17, 2016

5.17.16 Bee-otches of the Day: northern Michigan rock radio

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.



Name: WKLT 97.5/98.9, WGFM Rock 105 and 98.1/105.1/97.7 The Bear
Ages: various
Occupations: rock stations
Last Seen: northern Michigan
Bee-otched For: shitty morning radio
When my parents moved to northern Michigan in 1977 from Detroit, I remembered my mother telling me that the local news on TV was totally dull.

"The top story tonight is that Little Linda Lou picked a flower," exclaimed my mother.

My 'rents grew up with CKLW, WKNR and WRIF playing their favorite tunes and watching seasoned newsmen like Bill Bonds and crazy weatherman Sonny Eliot. They traded all that for soulless, crappy radio and if you ask me who the lead newsman was at 7&4 in 1977, I would give you a dumb look.

Now, a former big city jock is now settling for the small town life herself and is now facing virtually the same shit my mom and dad faced nearly 40 years ago.

Recently, Cristi Johnson (nee Cantle) and her husband Scotty moved to the booming metropolis known as Alpena to help run Cristi's family's embroidery business. Fifteen years ago, Cristi was the night jock at WKLQ 94.5 (now Nash FM), which had Howard Stern in the morning. She also worked in other markets since, mainly Sacramento where she was the producer of the Rob, Arnie and Dawn show at 98 Rock.

Last week, she faced the sick, sad realization of local radio with this post from Facebook:

Wacky Morning Rock Radio DJ: Let's get the caller on the line, the topic today is 'What would your biker gang name be based on your appearance or personality."
Me: (puts head in hands)
Scotty: (Turns off radio) That's it. You're grounded from radio. 

Now, we're not sure who this "Wacky Morning Rock Radio DJ" is. I personally asked Mrs. Johnson who he is, but no answer. WKLT and Rock 105 have low-powered translators in Alpena, so it could either be Omelette or Cartman. Bear in mind that Cartman recently moved to Green Bay (as "Fife" on WIXX), so I wonder if it's possible for him to take calls on his show. I would imagine that it's good 'ol Steve Normandin asking that deep, thought-provokiing question.

As many of you know, I've always hated KLT. While my cousins downstate had WRIF, Z-Rock, K-Rock, KLQ and other kick-ass stations in Michigan's south, I was stuck having to switch the goddamned stations every two minutes so KLT could play the same 200 overplayed classic rock shit over and over mixed in with a Melissa Ethridge tune or two to please the drunks and methheads that helped made them #2 in the ratings all thoughout the 90s. It wasn't until 2000 when The Zone - now in a way, Rock 105 - started to kick ass and it was AFTER I graduated high school and moved to Grand Rapids.

In recent years, KLT has gone almost 100% butt rock (I just checked their playlist and they just played Journey's god-awful "Don't Stop Believin"... Why?!?) and their jocks are lame. There's Omelette, who is a Howard Stern wannabe with his own Wack Pack known as The Misfits, Terri Ray, who is the station's PD which explains their shitty playlist, The Afternoon Trainwreck which is a rip-off of Rock 105's old afternoon show and Ida, who happens to sound a lot like Terri Ray.

Even worse, KLT has the asshole of a troll known as Tom Devitt, who apparently is the station's afternoon newsman. In 1999, he was the morning host at The Zone and he was lame as hell. Station management wanted him to be shitty so everybody could listen to Bob and Tom on The Bear, their sister station. He knew the writing was on the wall, so with his tail between his legs, he ended up at tiny WIDL 92.1 in Caro, a low-budget, mostly-satellite-fed soccer mom hot AC station called The Coyote. Yes, they were a hot AC station with that name, not country or even classic rock (which was a previous format). Anyway, Dipshit was nice enough to bomb a popular broadcasting message board that I was a regular on with stupid messages like "I wonder if it's as good as Rabid Radio" and "I wonder how Rabid Radio is doing in the ratings". Turns out that it was him all along, posting as "radiostudtd". I outed him, and apparently, he got into Shit Creek with management. Hell, he apparently ended up working at another station in the Thumb, but ended up coming back to WIDL when management changed.

Somehow, this asshole and his wife Nikki - whom he met at WIDL - ended up back in northern Michigan at The Zone's sisters - The Bear and Big Country 102.9 - in 2007 and one of the first things that Tom did was email me that Ted Cramer had been let go at The Bear and wanted me to tell the board. My post turned into a giant shitstorm and I was bullied off the board. Turns out that Cramer posted on that board as "Zzand" and there were a few folks who knew him well. Cramer was responsible for "optimizing" The Bear's format in the mid-00s by adding a crap ton of 80's pop artists to give it a Jack FM feel that resulted in piss-poor ratings. He's now at a shitty little country station, WIFE in rural Indiana.

The point is that there's a reason why radio as a medium is dying: they hire shit talent and expect killer ratings. But since Nielsen hasn't released northern Michigan radio ratings in several years, it's sad to know that somehow, there's stations with only five listeners up north that's somehow making money... Or are they? Sorry, but the morons who own the three aforementioned stations - Del Reynolds of Rock 105 and The Bear and the North Dakota-based Gokeys of KLT - seem to not give two flying shits on the quality of their stations. If they're bankrupt in ten years, don't look at me.

But in the meantime, I hope Cristi and Scotty listen to internet or satellite radio a lot.

Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ chuck69dotcom@gmail.com. All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!

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