WRSR Celebrates 20 Years of Rockin’ Flint!

Special Thanks to Jeremy Fenech for sharing!

Krol Communication’s 103.9 The Fox, WRSR-FM (Owosso/Flint, is celebrating 20 years of playing classic rock in the Flint market.  As current Program Director Jeremy Fenech tells it, then-Cumulus-owned station, under the local direction and leadership of Flint radio legend Jeff Wade, made the switch at noon on September 14, 2000. That was when the thunderous, bold and booming voice of Paul Turner began speaking to Mid-Michigan. And as “It’s Only Rock And Roll (But I Like It)” by the Rolling Stones began to play as the very first song under the new format, Flint’s Classic Rock Authority, 103.9 The Fox was born!

Jeff Wade

In addition to Jeff Wade, other amazing voices like Stan Parman and Mike Sinclair were there at the very beginning. Shortly after the launch other local rockers like Dennis Mitchell, Roy Moore and Andre Peters joined the team.  Jeff Wade nominated legendary Flint broadcaster and newsman, the late Les Root for the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

During life as a corporate-owned radio station, 103.9 The Fox aired several syndicated shows. At one point Alice Cooper was on six nights a week, but he was pre-recorded days or weeks in advance to accommodate touring. And although Alice visited Flint, he never broadcast his show from the city.

Bill Bailey

March of 2011 brought the announcement that Cumulus Media and Citadel Broadcasting were merging. In the process, the new company would own too many FM radio stations in the Flint market and had to get rid of one. Because of it’s relatively weak signal in the Flint Metro, the thought was that compared to all of their other properties, 103.9 FM had the least potential to be lucrative. So the decision was made to put The Fox in a trust until it could be sold. It operated in that trust for over a year under the local direction of General Manager, Bill Bailey.

Rod Krol

Rod Krol, the local owner and president of Krol Communications Inc., took over ownership of WRSR-FM in December 2012. He also purchased the naming and branding rights allowing the station to continue as Flint’s Classic Rock Authority, 103.9 The Fox. Bill Bailey was asked to stay on as General Manager, and continues to serve in that capacity. Today, WRSR-FM is consistently ranked #1 in local sales revenue, dominating the Flint Radio Market. Ironically, that includes all of The Fox’s former sister stations and all competitors!

Jeremy Fenech

Jeremy Fenech, a Flint native and mega-radio geek, took over as Program Director in March of 2016, bringing with him 21 years of radio broadcasting experience, 18 in programming. During his first month, Jeremy permanently unplugged the station’s satellite dishes, putting an end to all nationally syndicated programming. Everything going forward around the clock, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, would originate exclusively from 103.9 The Fox‘s Flint studios on Miller Road.

In addition to being 100% locally programmed since 2016, 103.9 The Fox can also boast that it features live and local in-studio disc jockeys seven days a week! No other radio station in town can say all of that without blatantly lying. A slight and subtle change was also made to the logo, changing ‘The Classic Rock Authority’ to read ‘Flint’s Classic Rock Authority.‘ Jeremy also decided to once again utilize the call letters WRSR-FM in the station’s branding: ‘We R Solid Rock in Flint, Michigan!’

103.9 before WRSR: The frequency 103.9 was actually launched as an FM counterpart to WOAP-AM, owned at the time by the Owosso Argus Press. It first signed on in April of 1948 before FM really took off, and despite heavy promotion failed in 1953. After being dark for more than 12 years, 103.9 FM relaunched once again on December 2, 1965, and has been on the air since.

In 1987, new FCC rules prevented the cross-ownership of newspapers and radio stations within the same market. So the station went through a few owners, formats and call letters including WMZX-FM, and WAHV-FM ‘Wave 104’. Though it still wasn’t the Classic Rock station we all know and love today, in 1998 the station became the Adult Contemporary ‘Soft Rock 103.9’. That was when 103.9 FM got those now-famous call letters, WRSR-FM. However, they were originally meant to represent ‘We R Soft Rock.’

Fenech is continually updating the station’s 20th Anniversary webpage – check it out for more photos and stories here.

WLUC-TV’s Rick Rhodes Stays ‘Yooper Strong’

Rick Rhodes

On March 30, WLUC-TV (Marquette) General Manager Rick Rhodes took to the air to deliver a message to his station’s audience in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula:  “Keep being Yooper Strong.”

The message came toward the end of a message that emphasized safety and the need to take seriously the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order by the Governor.  The full text of Rhodes’ message to viewers is below:

“As we continue to deal with COVID-19 and the most recent “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order by the Governor we need to remember a few things and take this order very seriously. Don’t go out unless you need too. Be smart about this. Stay home and hunker down until the all clear is given. Far too many people are not following the social distancing recommendations and this puts everyone in danger. So be smart and stay at home!

“Don’t panic, we will all get through this. Local, state and federal governments are working tirelessly to protect us all. When this passes, and it will, we will all be better and stronger for it. Lastly, keep being Yooper Strong.

“Every day, I’m amazed how our region is responding to this crisis. People supporting local restaurants by ordering take out, health care professionals stepping up to serve their communities, business owners still paying their employees even though their business is closed, Facebook groups forming to make masks for local hospitals, IT professionals working long hours getting employees set up to work remotely.

“Amazing work and support is being done to help those in need. This is why we are Yooper Strong and why the U.P. is Someplace Special. This crisis is bringing us together. We are more united as local communities, as a state and as a country because of it. There is a lot of optimism in and around us, tap into it. This isn’t the new normal, this is temporary. Today, we are one day closer to this crisis being over.”


Don’t Forget to Make room for Important MAB Opportunities in Your 2020 Budget

Hey! It’s that time of the year again … Budget time! Don’t miss out on the many wonderful recognition, networking, educational and career-building opportunities the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and MAB Foundation offer each year. Below is a brief glimpse of some of the amazing events and programs in store for 2020. Be on the look out for these great opportunities and more:

Great Lakes Media Show Registration | $165/member
Listed pricing includes a full conference. Individual day rates and other options are available. Radisson Room Rates start at $133 plus tax per night. The 2020 Great Lakes Media Show will take place on March 3 and 4 at the Lansing Center. Learn more at GreatLakesMediaShow.com

Summer Advocacy Conference | $180*
Listed pricing is an estimate* for full conference attendance. Other options will be available, including Awards Banquet tickets only or the Annual Business Meeting only (FREE to members). MGM Grand Detroit Room Rates start at $189 plus tax per night, single occupancy. The 2020 Summer Conference will take place on August 3 and 4 at the MGM Grand in Detroit.

Broadcast Excellence Awards Entry Fee | $50/entry
Submission deadline is 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Job/Career Fair Booths (Up to 4 opportunities) | $290/each
Secure your booth at MichiganBroadcastCareers.com

Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program
Contact Ann Walters at 1-800-YOUR-MAB or [email protected] for a pricing estimate for your station.

Webinars on Topics Important to You | FREE for members
Learn more at MABwebinars.com

EEO Service through BCS | FREE for members

Job Bank | FREE for members

Legal Helpline | FREE for members

MAB News Updates | FREE for members

There are a variety of Sponsorship Opportunities available for all MAB and MABF programs and events. Contact Jacquelen Timm at 1-800-YOUR-MAB or [email protected] to design a sponsorship package that fits your business or organization.

What Do New Drug Ad Price Disclosures Mean for TV?

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted a new rule requiring that prescription drug advertising on TV contain certain price information.

Specifically, the HHS will require TV ads for prescription drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid to include the list price for a month’s supply or for the usual course of therapy, if that price is $35 or more. What will be the effect of this rule on TV?

Read David Oxenford’s blog post on the issue here

MAB Partners with MSU for the Future of Media Sales

MAB members had the great opportunity to mentor student members of MSU’s Global Sales Leadership Society (GSLS) on Wednesday evening as part of the organization’s partnership with the university.

Gary Baxter, WSYM-TV Fox 47 (Lansing), Jeff Hutchings, WNEM-TV (Saginaw), Jamie McKibbin, Jackson Radio Works (Jackson), and Steve Schram, Michigan Radio (Detroit) led a discussion on the basics of selling media in the broadcast industry.  Many students came to the meeting without much exposure to media sales and left with the knowledge that sales positions within the broadcast industry are a great career choice.

The MAB Foundation’s partnership with MSU’s Sales Leadership Program is one way the organization is addressing the industry’s need to build fantastic teams of sellers. Our participating members have already made valuable connections with energetic students that WANT to sell.

If you’re interested in participating in this program for the 2019-2020, contact Rachel Krause at [email protected] to learn more.

Meet your MAB Board Member of the week: Stephen A. Marks

Stephen A. Marks, Secretary/Treasurer, The Marks Group

Stephen Marks started his broadcasting career at the age of 17 as a copy writer at WINX in Rockville, Md. While there, he was able to learn enough to pass the FCC 3rd class with number 9 endorsement license test. His early career was spent in radio holding positions from marketing to management.

That included working with Mutual Broadcasting Systems (MBS) in Affiliate Programming and Syndication, after graduating in 1973 from American University in Washington D.C.

In 1983, he acquired 51 percent of Thunder Bay Broadcasting Corporation in Alpena, Mich. Today, as a 100-percent shareholder, he still serves as President/CEO of WBKB-TV.

His other Michigan stations include Lake Superior Community Broadcasting, WBUP-TV/WBKP-TV and Houghton Community Broadcasting, WOLV-FM, WHKB-FM, and WCCY-AM. Under the DBA of The Marks Group, he holds a total of 5 television stations and 14 radio stations.

His Michigan stations fund two student scholarships with MAB Foundation.

Meet the MAB Board of Directors.

Congressman Fred Upton Turns 65

Congressman Fred Upton and MAB President/CEO Karole L. White

MAB President Karole White and Government Relations Director Elena Palombo attended the 65th birthday celebration for U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-6) in St. Joseph on April 20.  Around 100 people gathered for the celebration.

The congressman reported that he would be filing to run for office again in the next few days. Upton has been a strong supporter of over-the-air broadcasting and is the former Chairman of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Others in attendance included several Michigan House members and former MAB board member and Gayle Olson, owner of Mid-West Family Broadcasting.

Matt Burgoyne Will Bring ‘Magical’ Perspective to #MABshow

Matt Burgoyne

Rumple Co-founder and “Defender of Simplicity” Matt Burgoyne will bring his “magical” touch to the  2018 Great Lakes Media Show.

The Great Lakes Media Show, formerly the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC) will take place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Register to attend by February 23 to take advantage of discounted rates.

Burgoyne has a passion for training sales managers to know and understand how to get more out of their team and individuals, how to inspire, lead and coach.  He understands that media sales attracts a unique group of people. Managing and succeeding in this industry takes a relentless, mind-numbing commitment to fundamentals and a few magical activities that create success.

He will present 2 Weekly Meetings & 3 Magical Questions and proclaims, “There is a magical formula to helping your team and salespeople achieve more. It can help you consistently hit goals and revenue budgets.”

This breakout session will offer specific and real instruction on how to move from attempting to manage the past and focus on coaching for the future,  giving the blue print for successful weekly meetings that create consistent and proven success.

Learn more about him and other dynamic speakers lined up for the event at GreatLakesMediaShow.com 

Neilsen’s Abcarian will Help You ‘Elevate the POWER’ of Your Station at the #MABshow

Kelly Abcarian

Nielsen’s Vice President for Product Leadership Kelly Abcarian  joins the line up of presenters at the 2018 Great Lakes Media Show to help stations across Michigan “Elevate the POWER of Broadcast AND Digital and reach the largest most effective audience leveraging real truthful measurement.”

The Great Lakes Media Show, formerly the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC) will take place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Register to attend by February 16 to take advantage of discounted rates.

Abcarian is a media research executive with more than 17 years of industry and technical leadership in aligning cross-product solutions for television, digital and cross-platform content and advertising.  She is responsible for the strategic vision and roadmap for Nielsen’s National TV Ratings and Total Audience products, focused on the convergence of devices and cross-platform audience measurement.  Since joining Nielsen in 2005, she has held numerous senior roles managing the company’s largest technology platforms and servicing clients in the Watch & Buy segments of Nielsen’s business.

Abcarian will present the #MABshow breakout session “Elevate the POWER of Broadcast AND Digital,” on March 7. Learn more about him and other dynamic speakers lined up for the event at GreatLakesMediaShow.com 

Broadcasters Helping Texas


WXYZ and WMYD Take Action for Texas
In the midst of the unprecedented destruction from Hurricane Harvey, WXYZ-TV and WMYD-TV in Detroit have taken action for Texas with a multi-platform relief effort that includes a special volunteer phone bank to assist in this time of great need. Read more Here … 

TEGNA Launches ‘Texas Cares’ Initiative to Raise Money for Hurricane Harvey Victims
On August 28, TEGNA Inc. launched Texas Cares, an initiative to support those in need following Hurricane Harvey. TEGNA-owned WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) is participating in the effort. Read more here…

Broadcasters Foundation Expediting Emergency Grants for Texas Broadcasters 
As local Radio and TV stations across Texas mobilize their communities to help their fellow Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is expediting $1,000 grants for individual broadcasters personally harmed by the record devastation wreaked by the storm. Read more here…



Is your station or company doing something to help the hurricane victims in Texas?  

Let us know about it!

Email [email protected][/one-third]