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What ever happened to WZND Zeeland?

Discussion pertaining to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, and Michiana
JGP1954
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Detroit Area

What ever happened to WZND Zeeland?

Post by JGP1954 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:06 pm

Back in the 70s, there was a father/son team operating WZND in Zeeland. They tried to hire me a couple of times, but I was never that desperate. I think they paid under minimum wage. I'm curious whatever happened to them. I recall it was an FM country station with ABC News. I don't recall the frequency. Any help?



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MWmetalhead
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Re: What ever happened to WZND Zeeland?

Post by MWmetalhead » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:15 pm

It's the present day 99.3 WJQK. Was reportedly sold to Lanser Broadcasting in either 1986 or '87, which is the company that's owned the station ever since.

I'd be curious to know how the technical facilities during its WZND era compare to the modern day facilities - i.e. did the station have a decent signal into GR's western & southern suburbs?


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phillyb
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:36 pm
Location: Spring Lake, Michigan

Re: What ever happened to WZND Zeeland?

Post by phillyb » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:05 am

My grandfather was friends with Chuck Rich,who owned WZND. Chuck's son, Craig, was the station PD. WZND played country.

I visited the place in about 1978. It was operating out of an old chicken barn in downtown Zeeland. For the first 10 years or so of its life, WZND was mono, using an old, 1950s-vintage FM transmitter which originally was used at WKLW-95.7 Grand Rapids back in the early 1960s. Chuck Rich, who was a ham, had renovated the transmitter. The station's tower was on the roof of the building, with a HAAT of no more than 100 feet or so (3000 watts). The signal was confined mainly to the Holland-Zeeland area, but because it was mono it could be listened to as far north as Grand Haven and as far east as Jenison.

The Richs moved to the current 99.3 location and tower in the early to mid 1980s, at which time WZND went stereo. Lanser purchased the station in 1987, and moved the 99.3 studios to the WJQ location, changed the calls to WJQK and format to what initially was a simulcast of WWJQ 1260.

edited by phillyb to add more information 1/8/19



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dwp49423
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: West Michigan

Re: What ever happened to WZND Zeeland?

Post by dwp49423 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:19 pm

Actually the WZND tower on 96th Ave (literally right next to I-196) has not been used for FM broadcasting in at least 25 years. By spring 1993, the transmitter had been moved three miles east to 72nd Ave and I-196. The old WZND tower blew over in the May 1998 windstorm but was rebuilt for cellular and business radio use.


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JGP1954
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Detroit Area

Re: What ever happened to WZND Zeeland?

Post by JGP1954 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:26 pm

As I recall, the facilities weren't that bad studio-wise for a small market station. I don't recall too much about their signal. I was driving over from Grand Rapids, and I think I was listening to them. They just a bit under realistic as far as the pay scale they were offering. Because, I was looking for my first radio job, they thought they were going to hire me for nothing. I think I'm being kind to say they were a couple of yokels, who didn't understand basic economics or business principles. I visited them a couple of times, and we joked around a bit. We went back and forth over the next couple of years, then I moved on. It seemed to me they wanted something for nothing. I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did.



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