Infobox Radio station
name = WCCW
WCCW-FM and WCZW
city = WCCW-FM:
Traverse City, Michigan
area = WCCW-FM: [http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WCCW&service=FM&status=L&hours=U]
branding = WCCW-FM: Oldies 107.5
WCZW: Oldies 107.9
airdate = WCCW-FM:
November 1, 1967
WCZW: January 2003
frequency = WCCW-FM: 107.5
power = WCCW-FM: 50,000
WCZW: 5,000 watts
class = WCCW-FM: C2
callsign_meaning = Cherry Capital of the World
former_callsigns = WCCW-FM:
Midwestern Broadcasting Company
WATZ, WATZ-FM, WBCM, WCCW, WCCW-FM, WCZW, WJZQ, WRGZ, WTCM, WTCM-FM
website = [http://www.wccwi.com/ http://www.wccwi.com/]
WCCW-FM is an FM combination in
Traverse City, Michigan, United States, consisting of WCCW-FM in Traverse City and relaying station WCZW in Charlevoix. The station is owned by the Midwestern Broadcastinggroup, which to this day includes the family members of its original partners from the early 1940s, the Biedermans, Kikers and McClays.
Midwestern, parent company of WTCM and
WTCM-FM, acquired its long-time "local competitor" WCCW in 1996. "Oldies 107.5" is the highly-rated FM station in the area, while the AM station, "ESPN Radio 1310" is one of the lowest, according to Arbitron.
WCCW-AM, whose call letters stand for "
CherryCapitol of the World", signed on in 1960under the ownership of John Anderson, a former Midwestern employee who ventured out on his own with contemporary ideas and skills learned working for Midwestern as a salesperson in the 1950s.
November 1, 1967, WCCW added an FM sister at 92.1, which broadcast with 6,000 watts. It was Traverse City's first late night broadcast signal, as both WTCM and WLDR signed off at 11 p.m. This FM originally had an automated beautiful musicformat.
In the beginning, WCCW-AM was an MOR-formatted station, but added Top 40 afternoon programming in the late 1960s to appeal to the younger crowd. It was Northwest Michigan's first truly contemporary format, even though in later-dayparts, and was soon followed by WVOY-AM in Charlevoix about 1974.
For most of the 1970s, the WCCW air staff was:
* Les Foerster - morning
* Michael Bradford - Mid-days
* Michael O'Shea - Afternoons
* Phill Orth - Evenings
* Carolyn Beaudette - Overnights
Jerry Meyer and Bob Burian were both involved in management along with owner John Anderson. Meyer later became operations manager at WTCM in 1976 and went on to co-own Murrays Boats & Motors, was the long time news anchor for TV 9 & 10, and made a run for state representative.
LD Greilick and Michael Bradford were the stations engineers. Bradford went on to establish
WBNZ-FM in Frankfort.
"Radio Double C" also had Northern Michigan's earliest avante-garde modern rock programming late at night with the "Pen Ultimate" radio show hosted by Al Vasquez ("Alan White") and Carolyn Beaudette, and was the home of Traverse City's first "real" production agency for radio commercials.
Change to Oldies
In the 1980s WCCW felt pressure from regional broadcasters WJML and later WKHQ, and became an Adult Contemporary station (as WMZK-Fm) rather that competing for the Contemporary Hit radio audience. It later changed to "oldies" and returned to the WCCW moniker.
Other broadcasters associated with WCCW in and after its hey-day were Lucien Jaye ("The Boogie Man"), Dave Elliot (later with WTCM 14-T) Dave Walker (now the longtime news anchor at TV 7&4), Steve Cook (Production Director for WTCM), and Ron Jolly (mornings on WTCM-AM)and Jim Moriarty.
Anderson, who still lives to this day, sold WCCW Radio to the
Fabiano Brothersof Mt. Pleasant, a well-known beer distributor. In the early 1990s, WCCW-FM moved to 107.5, increasing their power to 50,000 watts. They had to convince Cherry Capitol Airportto move their frequencies off that area of the band so they could move there.
In 1996, the Fabianos sold WCCW Radio to Ross Biederman for $3 million, who made drastic improvements to the stations. He moved the stations out of the old
Michigan Theatrebuilding on Front St. to a "Today Show"-esque window studio next in the former Midwestern Cablevision building next door to WTCM. He also bought the FM station a new TM Centurymusic collection disc set, ending the station's relationship with vinyl and tape carts.
One criticism Biederman received since buying WCCW was the fact that the station, once live and local 24/7, started using ABC's "OldiesRadio" (formerly "Pure Gold") feed for overnights and weekends. The station's overnight DJ, Shawn Michaels, died of a drunk driving accident shortly before the conversion to overnight satellite, though it is unknown if his firing from the station had anything to do with it.
WCCW-FM now once again has live and local personalities during much of the day on Saturday and Sunday, although it continues to air "Classic Hits Radio" (recently renamed from "OldiesRadio") from ABC overnights and during some non-critical weekend dayparts. In 2004, WCCW-FM added a new sister station, 6 kW WCZW 107.9 in
Charlevoix, which brings WCCW's programming also to the Petoskey area.
WCCW-FM in recent years has added more 1980s and early 1990s music to their playlist from artists such as
A Flock of Seagulls, Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Duran Duran, angering traditional oldies fans. Nonetheless, the ratings are still excellent, led by a popular airstaff, which includes morning man Charlie DiStefano, aka " Charlie D.", middayer Dave Gauthier, afternoon man Lin " Michael O'Shea" McNitt and nighttimer Ron Pritchard.
Pritchard replaced David Fortney on nights in March 2006 with Fortney taking the role of
Production Director. O'Shea has been with WCCW off-and-on since the 1960s while Fortney's been a fixture in northern Michigan radio since the 1980s as one of the first rock jocks on WKLT. Pritchard spent 10 years the Program Directorand Afternoon Driver at WKHQ, and once hosted weekend talk shows on the Michigan Talk Network.
* [http://www.michiguide.com/dials/rad-a/wccw.html Michiguide.com - WCCW-FM History]
* [http://www.michiguide.com/dials/rad-a/wczw.html Michiguide.com - WCZW History]
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