Tuesday, July 11, 2017

7.11.17 Bee-otch of the Day: WKLT

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


Name: WKLT
Age: 38
Occupation: shitty rock station
Last Seen: Traverse City
Bee-otched For: playing dirty 

It's been two weeks since Nate "Smitty" Smith cracked a radio mic in northern Michigan.

His abrupt firing from Rock 105/95-5 and classic rock station The Bear (98.1/97.7) shocked many in northern Michigan. To some, he was one of the very few down-to-earth radio personalities up north in a world filled with voicetrackers and out-of-towners who say "trah-verse" instead of "tra-verse". When he made the announcement on Facebook last week about his firing, some speculated that it had to do with his feud with WKLT's lame afternoon host, Tom Devitt.

Well, it did, and things got VERY nasty.

Before his dismissal, Smitty talked on the air about how Dipshit-er, Devitt was ripping off segments of his show, such as "The Box" where he played seldom-heard tunes on rock radio. He posted the rant on Soundcloud, which in a bit of irony was posted next to an online exclusive where he played a song with the word "cunt" in the lyrics.

Well, *allegedly*, the folks at KLT decided to pull a purely evil stunt on Smitty by *supposedly* editing his rant on Devitt and pairing it together with the "cunt" song that was only an online exclusive. What they did with that was send it to Rock 105/95-5 and The Bear's sponsors via email with the words "this is who you're supporting". As a result, two advertisers threatened to pull their ads from the stations and Smitty got the axe.

So, why would KLT pull such a disgusting and idiotic stunt? IMHO, it's all about ratings. KLT's ratings have apparently fallen since firing longtime morning man Steve "Omelette" Normandin late last year. Once upon a time, KLT was pretty much the de facto rock 'n roll station up north other than what is now The Bear (formerly WGFM), which meant that they could play as much shitty rock as possible. Up until 2000, no station in town played bands such as KoRn, Rage Against the Machine and Tool while KLT was playing the shit out of faded 1970s butt rock. Then, WGFM became The Bear and added Bob and Tom in the morning and The Zone went from playing female-friendly wuss music to a harder alternative format. KLT's ratings started to slip, but thanks to O-Man, they were back at #2 again.

Of course, The Bear and Rock 105/95-5 was sold to Rochester Hills-based Black Diamond Broadcasting several months ago for a hair under $2 million. KLT on the other hand was supposed to be sold to Grayling-based Blarney Stone Broadcasting and the sale was supposed to be finalized early this year. However, the sale hasn't been finalized yet although Blarney Stone operates KLT along with sister stations 94.3/92.5 The Fox and 106.7/105.5 ESPN Up North through a Local Marketing Agreement. When the sale was announced late last year, Blarney Stone announced that KLT would merge with their rock station in Grayling, Q100, The Fox would switch from 80s/90s classic hits to a classic rock/country hybrid called The Trail and 106.7 would be spun off to Catholic-based Baraga Broadcasting to meet FCC ownership caps.

However, apparently, the sale of KLT/Fox/ESPN has hit a snag. According to some sources, Blarney Stone simply doesn't have the money to buy the stations. Current owners Northern Broadcast, owned by the Gokey family in North Dakota want $9 million for their stations. That includes the transmitter sites for the stations. Black Diamond, on the other hand got all their stations for only under $2 million but the transmitter sites are still owned by Del Reynolds, the man they bought the stations from. According to sources, transmitter sites are the real money grabber for radio stations since they can lease them to cell phone operators and others.

From the sounds of things, there's some bad blood between Blarney Stone and Black Diamond, so somebody from KLT had the audacity (no pun intended) to edit Smitty's two bits together to make it sound like he made very vulgar comments about a douchebag who somehow came crawling back to northern Michigan radio after he fucked himself over in shitty little Caro. I hope people will read this and will stop listening to KLT at all costs. What they did to Smitty was stupid and pathetic.

Thankfully, Smitty is back at work, now working at Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City. He's a homebrewer and is willing to learn more about the craft. Maybe somebody, he'll be the next Joe Short or Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens. Who knows? Hopefully, he'll make more money than Dipshit and his Chamber of Commerce skank ho wife.

As for Rock 105/95-5, I hope their next afternoon guy/programming director won't fuck that station up. Hell, I hope they hire an up-and-comer and not a big city has-been who was fired because he couldn't pull a two share. If so, I will be listening to internet radio when I'm up north.

With the way radio is run these days, we all lose.


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