GR radio takes on WJR flair

August 5, 2009
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Citadel Communications Corp. will debut a new radio format for its 1340 AM station in Grand Rapids on Monday. WJRW — “We’re Talking West Michigan” is a news and talk format that will feature “live local regional issue based programming” station that “highlights issues and events that are important to Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan.”

The new format replaces the WBBL Sports programming that was recently moved to Citadel’s high-power FM frequency at 107.3.

Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Market Manager Matt Hanlon told the Business Journal the 24-hour news talk station is aimed at a primary target of men aged 25 to 64.

The station’s tentative weekday morning lineup will include the syndicated program of Michael Patrick Shiels, a former J.P. McCarthy radio program producer who has been airing in the Lansing market; the Tony Gates Show by veteran the WLAV personality who will still do his drive-time show on that station; and Frank Beckmann’s Citadel-owned WJR morning Detroit program, which will be re-aired locally from noon-2 p.m.

The tentative afternoon segments will include “Vision Grand Rapids,” local talk and West Michigan news blocks. Evening programming will include the syndicated Mark Levin show and the overnight will air live Midnight Trucking Radio. Talk variety programming is planned for weekends.

The station was still negotiating last week with several other prominent media personalities, including the formation of a local news staff.

Citadel operates several other radio outlets in Grand Rapids, including, 97 LAV-FM, 105.3 Hot FM and 94.5 FM Thunder.

WBBL’s programming of ESPN sports content has been picked up by 96.1 in Grand Rapids.

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