Infobox Radio station
name = WQKL
Ann Arbor, Michigan
area = [http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WQKL&service=FM&status=L&hours=U]
branding = Ann Arbor's 107 One
slogan = Quality Music From Then and Now
February 14, 1967
frequency = 107.1 (
Adult Album Alternative
power = 3,000
haat = 88
class = A
facility_id = 47117
coordinates = coord|42|16|41|N|83|44|32|W|type:landmark
callsign_meaning = KooL 107 (previous slogan)
former_callsigns = WAMX (4/3/89-12/24/92)
WLBY, WTKA, WWWW-FM
website = [http://www.annarbors107one.com http://www.annarbors107one.com]
WQKL, known on the air as Ann Arbor's 107one, is a radio station broadcasting from
Ann Arbor, Michigan. WQKL is a Cumulusradio station, co-owned with country WWWW-FM102.9, sports WTKA-AM 1050, and liberal talker WLBY-AM 1290. Although the station broadcasts with only 3,000 watts of power, it can be heard quite easily in many of the western Detroit suburbs.
What is now WQKL can be traced back to WPAG-FM, the FM arm of AM 1050, which is now sports-talk
WTKA. WPAG-FM originally operated at 98.7 FM during the 1950s but was off the air by the end of the decade. WPAG was granted a license to resurrect its FM station at the current 107.1 frequency in 1967, but it was not until 1969 that the station finally went on the air. Through the end of the 1970s, WPAG-FM 107.1 simulcast the middle of the roadformat of WPAG-AM during the day but separated programming during the evening hours. Originally WPAG-FM aired folk and rock music from 7 p.m. to midnight; this was changed in 1972 to an eclectic country format including bluegrass, folk, and old Western music. By the mid-1970s, WPAG-FM was also playing beautiful musicon weekends.
By 1980, the population of Ann Arbor had topped 100,000, and due to FCC rules, 107.1 FM would have to come up with a new format to truly distinguish itself from its AM sister. The first decision was to convert the eclectic country shows on WPAG-FM into a full-time format, but after a few months the country format was ditched in favor of automated
Top 40. This format was also a failure, and by the summer of 1982, WPAG-FM had reverted to a full-time easy listening/beautiful music format. Through all these changes, the station remained a virtually invisible presence on the Ann Arbor dial.
Mix 107 and Kool 107
In 1989, WPAG-FM was acquired by
Domino's Pizzamogul Tom Monaghan. The station changed its calls to WAMX and became Mix 107 FM, Ann Arbor's Adult Choice, playing a mixture of smooth jazz, new agemusic, and soft pop and soul vocals. Interestingly, WPAG-AM's calls were changed to "WPZA" (meaning "pizza," as in "Domino's"). Three years later, the station was acquired by MW Blue Partnership, and the calls and format changed once again, to WQKL as Kool 107, Ann Arbor's Official Oldies Station. One of Kool 107's most memorable on-air liners declared, "Kool 107 plays great oldies because today's music... "sucks"!" Local radio icon Lucy Ann Lancehosted Kool 107's morning show. Former KOOL 107 PD Dave Anthony and MD Greg Stucki resurfaced in York, PA at 96.1 WSOX in 1998. Anthony has since left the station in 2007.
In the fall of 1998, Kool 107 dropped virtually all of the pre-1965 music on its playlist and began to supplement the oldies format with 1970s and 1980s hits, from artists like
Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Huey Lewis and the News, Toto and The Pointer Sisters. The new Classic Hits-oriented music mix was tagged "Adult Contemporary Gold," although the station retained the "Kool 107" moniker. By 1999 Cumulus Mediaowned the station, and took a further step toward evolving the format to AC by adding Delilah's syndicated love-songs show for the evening hours. In 2000, Clear Channel Communicationsacquired the station from Cumulus Media. Clear Channel slowly evolved WQKL's format closer and closer to AC over the next several years, and by 2003 the station was playing some current AC chart hits despite remaining primarily oldies-based. Yet the station continued to flounder in the local ratings, with its Arbitron showings ranging from mediocre to awful, and Kool 107 was regularly defeated in the Ann Arbor market by its own Detroit-based Clear Channel AC sister station, WNIC. Kool 107 also lost Lucy Ann Lance around this time; she eventually surfaced doing the morning show at talk-formatted competitor WAAMand remained there until she was laid off at the end of 2007 due to budget cuts.
Ann Arbor's 107One
June 26, 2004, "Kool 107" signed off for good and Ann Arbor's 107one was born. WQKL's ratings have since improved noticeably. Current 107one morning show host Martin Bandykeis a longtime veteran of Detroit's WDET, who was let go from the Wayne State University-owned station as part of programming changes that resulted in the station dropping all of its daytime music shows in favor of NPR news and talk.
WQKL tags its format as A Quality Mix of Music from Then and Now. The format is a Triple A/Modern Adult Contemporary mix including artists such as
U2, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morissette, Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow, Sting, David Gray, K.T. Tunstall, Bonnie Raitt, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, The Pretenders, Tom Petty, Natalie Merchant, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Tracy Chapman, and John Mellencamp.
In August 2006, it was announced that Clear Channel's radio stations in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek would be traded to Cumulus in exchange for rocker
WRQKin Canton, Ohio, meaning that WQKL and its sister stations would once again be under the Cumulus umbrella. The deal was announced as official in late December 2006. WQKL also now has a competitor in the Triple A format in CIDR93.9 FM "The River" in Windsor, Ontario, which in September 2006 reverted to the format and on-air positioner it had used previously from 1994 to 2000.
In the spring 2007 ratings WQKL finished first with its target demographic of Adults 25-54 - ranking first in every daypart. Overall (12+), the station ranked third, behind only WJR and sister station WWWW. Given this ratings success, it seems unlikely that WQKL's format will be altered in the future despite the recent ownership change.
The current lineup is as follows:
* Morning Show: Martin Bandyke & Brian Larsen (news & traffic)
* Mid-Days: Chris Ammel
* Afternoon Drive: Mark Copeland
* Nighttime: John Bommarito
* Overnights: Adam Rey
* Weekenders: Nick Foster, Helen Foster, Rob Reinart & Nina Blackwood
* [http://www.michiguide.com/dials/rad-p/wqkl.html Michiguide.com - WQKL History]
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