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What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Discussion pertaining to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, and Michiana
JGP1954
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Detroit Area

What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by JGP1954 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:11 pm

Another broadcast memory; some years later after meeting with the WZND folks, I had been in radio for a few years, and was looking into getting my own station. About 1981, I don't recall how we met, I was introduced to the owner of 1490 AM Montague, north of Muskegon. We were discussing a possible partnership to buy a station downstate (another story, another time). Anyway, he invites my wife and myself to come see his station in Montague. I had never been there before and never heard of the place, but we drove over there from Detroit on a Sunday.

When we arrived the owner wasn't there. I didn't know it at the time, but his son was on the air. He said his father was on his way, and suggested we come back in a couple of hours. So, we toured the area. Now as I said, I had never been there before or since, but in 1981, it looked to me that the area could not support a radio station. So, then we decided to see what Muskegon had to offer. In 1981, it wasn't much, either. We turned around and went back to the station. When we returned, still no owner, so I started to vent my frustrations and opinions with the kid. I told him this guy must be some piece of crap, and that I thought the station had negligible value, to put it politely. That's when I found out that the kid was the owner's son. About that time, the owner arrived.

We talked about our venture, and maybe he had lost interest. I know I had lost interest in him. His plan, unknown to me, was to hire me for a sales position. He wanted me to open up Muskegon for his station. I don't think he had one advertiser from Muskegon on the air. As many of you know, 1490 AM was a Class IV frequency, 1000 watts day, 250 watts night. I had worked at a Class IV in Ohio. The man's problem was that you could hardly hear the station in Muskegon during the day, and at night you couldn't hear it at all. I told him, "No thanks, you can't hear the station in Muskegon, and in Whitehall/Montague there's not enough business. Of course, he disagreed, and I don't remember hearing from him, again.

The station was located just off of the expressway on the west side. It was reminiscent of WZND, well worn used equipment, and not much else. I don't remember the transmitter or tower, or if it was located right there. I don't remember the call letters, either. In my opinion, it was a station that should have never been built.

I think the man was from Chicago, and that's why he was late. I'm not sure. I'd like to hear what happened to those folks. I don't remember the man's name, or how things turned out. Anyone who knows I'd like to hear about it. I know 1490 AM is still on the air, elsewhere. is it a viable station or what? I don't know. Please write back.



Deleted User 12201

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by Deleted User 12201 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:02 am

It still exists and it's still broadcasting out of Whitehall (although managed by Cumulus/Muskegon these days), but with 1,000 watts unlimited (and it still is a tough listen into Muskegon, although this will change with a translator at 99.1 MHz based near the US-31/I-96 interchange set to go on the air sometime this year). It was recently a boring talker that no one really cared about, and now airs sports programming as "the Ticket" featuring "The H*** Show". The callsign is currently WKLQ (parking the legacy call used on 94.5 and 107.3 in Grand Rapids), but had changed several times before that (from WPBK to WEFG to WUBR to WODJ (another legacy call in the Grand Rapids area)).



originalzzmfmjock
Posts: 127
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Location: west michigan

Post by originalzzmfmjock » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:02 pm

I had the pleasure? of working at 1490 in Whitehall in the mid 70's. It was teamed up with 95.3FM as a simulcast and was called Super Q after Super CFL in Chicago. The owner of the station at the time was Ralph Trieger who was sales manager at WCFL in Chicago. I was the program director of this Rockin' (then) little combo and had a pretty impressive staff for a small town station. Working there at the time were radio veterans like the late John Alan who was chief engineer and worked the evening shift. John was later Chief engineer for several stations in the Houston, Texas area and before he retired was chief engineer for cumulus in Grand Rapids. Dan Mason, a native of Montague, who now is operations manager of a 50,000 watt AM talk station in Reno, Nevada. Rick Lambert who went on to be the program director at KLOL in Houston, and a guy by the name of John Beyerle, who, while working at Super Q was a student at Grand Valley State University studying Russian history and language. John went on to become the United States Ambassador to Russia under Presidents Bush (the 2nd) and President Obama. Super Q actually was quite sucessful for a couple of years. Placing #3 in the Muskegon ratings books in 1976 and 1977 behind WMUS and WTRU. By 1977 Mr. Trieger figured he might as well get out of Whitehall, while the ratings were good and sold both stations. The AM was purchased by an individual from Detroit, while the FM was sold to our competitor, WTRU (regional broadcasting). By the spring of 1978 the Super Q era was over in Whitehall. If anybody ever wants to take a look at their music lists from that era, a few of them are on the Arsa music survey site.



JGP1954
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Detroit Area

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by JGP1954 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:03 am

I'm a bit confused. There was no FM attached to the station in the 1981-82 time period that I recall. The man I was dealing with seemed to have limited experience with broadcasting, or at least that was my impression. I don't think it was that impressive of a station, judging it as basically a Whitehall/Montague station at the time. The day I was listening to the station, I was listening with a critical ear, and there was wasn't hardly any advertising on it. Realize this, I was trying to determine if this guy was going to be a worthwhile partner in another radio venture. I wasn't interested in working at that station. This was supposed to be a business meeting, and not a job interview. And, after talking to him, listening to his station, his tardiness, and his hidden agenda in wanting me to work there, I didn't believe he would be a good partner.

Still, I don't remember his name, or the station's call letters. I recall he was an older gentleman, and we met in Jackson, Michigan, previously. Any help regarding this is appreciated.



originalzzmfmjock
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:37 pm
Location: west michigan

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by originalzzmfmjock » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:18 am

By 1981-82 the stations were separate. Sold in 1978 to 2 different parties. At the time I was working there the stations also had 2 different but similar call signs. It was WLRC-AM and WLRQ-FM.



CK-722
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Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by CK-722 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:18 am

You left the part out about the station moving from Fremont. It began as WBFC, a 100 watt station on 1490 in Fremont, in the early 1950s. It was 100 watts to protect WMDN/WMPX Midland. I suspect that they could have been 250 watts, or maybe even 1000 watts, from Fremont, if they had measured the conductivities. But they moved, maybe to be more powerful, maybe to be in a better market. You would think that Fremont with Gerber and everything could support a radio station, but three stations have either shut down or moved to another COL, not local to Fremont. It's not like they were dominated by AM signals from Grand Rapids or Muskegon. WBFC was originally owned by Paul Brandt as I recall.

WKLQ History Card

https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/ ... r_id=66102

They did license it at 250 watts before they moved from Fremont to Whitehall. The Rule Making allowing 1000 watts Daytime came a little later. I have to go peruse my paper maps to see the locations in more detail, like the proximity to Midland and Whitehall to Fremont. Have to investigate to see if Burpee Road was too Gastro for the Real Estate people in Whitehall and they renamed it, or if the access road just changed. Both are common scenarios in redescriptions of TLs on the History Cards.

Looks like Burpee Rd. was renamed White Lake Dr.
Last edited by CK-722 on Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:03 pm, edited 6 times in total.


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ENG
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Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by ENG » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:13 pm

When I worked at that station in the early 80's, the GM was Ray Hozier, (sp?) During the WPBK days the GM/owner was Ron...., but his last name escapes me. They were able to get 97.5 allocated to Whitehall sometime in the early 90's I believe. This is the current AM/FM combo.

Regional moved the FM a mile South to a site on Michilinda Road where it still is today. Regional sold WTRU to Goodrich, and the FM (WCNF) went to whoever owned WKBZ at the time. They eventually gifted the combo to GVSU, the current owners.



JGP1954
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Detroit Area

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by JGP1954 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:00 pm

Are the AM studios still near the expressway exit at Whitehall/Montague, where they were in the early 80s?



weathernut
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Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:48 am

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by weathernut » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:05 am

The studio is located on the opposite side of business 31 than Mona Lake just west of the exit to Muskegon Heights.



doccob
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by doccob » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:30 am

I worked there in 1982..one year I believe the owners name was Jay. The Call Letters were WPBK (Pyramid Broadcasting) Send me a PM and Ill give you my email address. I dont get on here often,.



JGP1954
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Detroit Area

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by JGP1954 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:00 pm

Yes, Jay Ronn was his name. Pyramid Broadcasting sounds familiar to me. Thanks.



User avatar
STARKY
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:09 am

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by STARKY » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:37 am

lol...Those were fun days. I was at wmus doing mornings for many years so i saw it all at that little am station. I worked there for a while with Tom Ambrose as manager I BELIEVE IT WAS LIKE 1968 OR 69.
I have retired from radio three times now. Now i do voice work for 21 radio stations across the usa...its incredible. I have a state of the art studio in my basement Im now making more money than i have ever made with the help of
todays technology. Im always looking for more voices.



JGP1954
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Detroit Area

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by JGP1954 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:12 pm

Wikipedia says 1490AM signed on 4/25/79. Is this the same station I visited in 1981 or 82? And, are the studios/tower still in Whitehall/Montaque? Or, as someone has indicated, are they located way south of Muskegon? And, if they are located south of Muskegon, how can the city of license be in Whitehall? And, lastly, it's amazing to me that a big conglomerate like Cumulus would own a little, tiny station like 1490AM Whitehall.



CK-722
Posts: 421
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Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by CK-722 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:55 pm

Cumulus probably bought the FM along with it, and spun off the FM later. Don't believe Wikipedia without other sources. Use an FCC database source site intstead. Or.....

This is probably the station they meant. It used to be WKLQ.

https://fccdata.org/?lang=en&facid=41678

Wikipedia would not be my first or only choice for information.


Is THAT where they got the idea for the 486-SX?

Same (x, y, z), different (t)

Your bullet missed my trial balloon.

RTN Price. Not guaranteed. As of 12:30, 157.71 Down 0.22.

Artificial Intelligence is a Child that needs a Parent to guide it through.

JGP1954
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Detroit Area

Re: What ever happened to AM 1490 Montaque

Post by JGP1954 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:24 pm

I am aware of Wikipedia's shortcomings. But, I had a lot of mixed dates thrown at me.



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