Infobox Radio station
name = Classic Rock - The Bear WGFN, WGFM, WIHC, & WCKC
city = WGFN:
Glen Arbor, MichiganWGFM: Cheboygan, MichiganWIHC: Newberry, MichiganWCKC: Cadillac, Michigan
area = WGFN: [http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WGFN&service=FM&status=L&hours=U] WGFM: [http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WGFM&service=FM&status=L&hours=U] WIHC: [http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WIHC&service=FM&status=L&hours=U] WCKC: [http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WCKC&service=FM&status=L&hours=U]
branding = Classic Rock - The Bear
airdate = WGFN: circa 1988 WGFM: 1968 WIHC: circa 1989 WCKC: unknown
frequency = WGFN: 98.1
MHzWGFM: 105.1 MHzWIHC: 97.9 MHzWCKC: 107.1 MHz
erp = WGFN: 21,000
watts WGFM: 100,000 watts WIHC: 50,000 watts WCKC: 2,750 watts
haat = WGFN: 225 meters WGFM: 186 meters WIHC: 150 meters WCKC: 147 meters
class = WGFN: C2 WGFM: C1 WIHC: C2 WCKC: A
facility_id = WGFN: 10750 WGFM: 56073 WIHC: 8125 WCKC: 22183
callsign_meaning = WGFN: unknown WGFM: Gold FM (former branding) WIHC: Hot Country 97.9 WCKC: KC Country
former_callsigns = WGFN: WMLB (10/12/88-5/22/92) WGFM: WQLZ (9/13/82-2/10/89) WCBY-FM (?-9/13/82) WIHC: WUPQ (12/8/88-10/1/95) WCKC: WYTW (2/1/85-9/24/91) WITW (8/24/84-2/1/85)
owner = Northern Star Broadcasting
WAVC, WCBY, WIDG, WJZJ, WLJZ, WMKC
website = [http://www.classicrockthebear.com/ www.classicrockthebear.com]
Bob & Tommorning show
WGFN is a group of several radio stations in northern
Michiganthat simulcast a classic rockformat, with Bob and Tomin the morning, called "The Bear". Those stations are:
WIHC (formerly "Hot Country 97.9 FM" and, prior to that,
easy listeningmusic station WUPQ) features the same songs played in the same order as on the other three stations, but is imaged separately, as "97.9 The Bear."
Beginnings: W-Gold FM
In 1989, longtime northern Michigan radio personality and engineer Del Reynolds and wife Mary purchased 100,000 watt CHR WQLZ (formerly WCBY-FM) in Cheboygan. Shortly afterward, he changed the station's format to classic rock with the WGFM call letters, meaning "W-Gold-FM". The station's main focus was classic rock, but also played new cuts from classic rock artists as well. The station was live/local 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. and aired
Westwood One's Adult Rock format overnights. Del was the station's morning man.
In the 1990s, Del's radio empire grew when he acquired many other local stations and built new ones as well. He purchased
WIDG940 in St. Ignace, MIand WCBY AM in Cheboygan the station that launched his career in the late 1960s. He purchased 98.1 WMLB Glen Arbor, and changed that to WGFN, giving WGFM a clearer signal in the Traverse City, MIarea. He also took over 107.1 WCKC "Cadillac KC Country" Cadillac which was simulcasting his 102.9 WMKC"KC Country" St. Ignace, MI, but eventually changing to a WGFM simulcast.
The Bear Debuts
In 1998, Reynolds sold his stations to Calibre Communications for $7 million. As a result, the station would remain classic rock, but under a new moniker, The Bear, and Reynolds would leave the morning show host position. When Calibre asked Reynolds who should replace him, he suggested
Bob and Tom. It was a wise decision on the station's part since they would pry album-oriented rock(AOR) stalwart WKLTfrom the Arbitron#2 spot all the way down to #5, while in many books, The Bear is in the top five. Bob and Tom - whose radio career started at WJMLin the late 1970s - are now one of the most-popular morning shows in northern Michigan.
Also, WGFN was made the flagship of The Bear stations, even though most of their operations are in Cheboygan, partially due to Traverse City being the biggest city in northern Michigan.
Unfortunately, the deal between Calibre and Reynolds failed, though a new company, Northern Star Broadcasting, was formed to take over Reynolds' stations. Although he no longer owns The Bear, Reynolds remains as the station's engineer.
The Bear Today
Recently, the popular internet message board Michigan Radio and TV Buzzboard [http://mibuzzboard.com] awarded The Bear its "Buzzy Award" for being the best overall rock station in Michigan. According to the board's
Detroit-based moderator, he claims that the station has a good balance of classic rock and has great consistency.
For a time, The Bear experimented with an updating of its classic-rock playlist to include more hit AOR and alternative rock tracks from the 1980s and 1990s, from artists such as White Zombie,
Alice in Chains, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Live, Stone Temple Pilotsand Depeche Mode. The Bear has since dropped most of those artists and returned to the straightforward classic rock format it aired previously.
* [http://www.michiguide.com/dials/rad-g/wgfn.html Michiguide.com - WGFN History]
* [http://www.michiguide.com/dials/rad-g/wgfm.html Michiguide.com - WGFM History]
* [http://www.michiguide.com/dials/rad-g/wihc.html Michiguide.com - WIHC History]
* [http://www.michiguide.com/dials/rad-a/wckc.html Michiguide.com - WCKC History]
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