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WQKL
WQKL-FM.jpg
City of license Ann Arbor, Michigan
Broadcast area [1]
Branding ann arbor's 107one
Slogan Quality Music From Then & Now
Frequency 107.1 (MHz)
First air date February 14, 1967
Format Adult Album Alternative
Power 3,000 watts
HAAT 88 meters
Class A
Facility ID 47117
Transmitter coordinates 42°16′41″N 83°44′32″W / 42.27806°N 83.74222°W / 42.27806; -83.74222
Callsign meaning KooL 107 (previous slogan)
Former callsigns WAMX (4/3/89-12/24/92)
WPAG-FM (2/14/67-4/3/89)
Owner Cumulus Broadcasting
Sister stations WLBY, WTKA, WWWW-FM
Website 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 Cumulus radio station, co-owned with country WWWW-FM 102.9, Sports Talk WTKA-AM 1050, and 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.

Contents

History

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WPAG-FM

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 road format 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 music on 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 Pizza mogul Tom Monaghan. The station changed its calls to WAMX and became Mix 107 FM, Ann Arbor's Best Mix, playing a locally programmed mixture of smooth jazz, new age music, 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 Lance hosted 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 to go to Pittsburgh as Program Director of Froggy network.

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, Sade, 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 Media owned 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 Communications acquired 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 WAAM and remained there until she was laid off at the end of 2007 due to budget cuts.

ann arbor's 107one

On 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 Bandyke is 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 Quality Music From Then & 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 WRQK in 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 CIDR 93.9 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. CIDR, however, has performed poorly in both the Windsor and Detroit ratings and has had no impact on the Ann Arbor ratings.

WQKL is known for their Sunday Buffet programming. From 7-10a they begin with the nationally syndicated E-Town program followed by the Nationally Syndicated (but locally produced) Acoustic Cafe from 8-10a. From 10a-Noon, a locally produced and hosted show by John Bommarito called Acoustic Brunch, focusing on some regional artists and on established artists that will have shows coming up in SE Michigan. From 4-6pm, Martin Bandyke hosts Fine Tuning, a completely free-form show, similar to his work at WDET. From 6-7p, it Homegrown with Adam Rey. Means what it says, basically. Mark Copeland hosts Under The Radar Radio from 7-9pm. A show that features indie artists and artists that aren't getting the airplay they deserve. Every week one album is chosen as Pick Of The Week with 4 to 5 shows from that album spread through the two hours. The Sunday Buffet closes with a three hour chill show called Sonic Bliss, hosted by Mark Copeland. The show features trip-hop, dream pop, acoustic, ambient and world grooves like Bjork, Massive Attack, Radiohead, Esthero, Bebel Gilberto, Portishead and Moby. They also break format for New Music Monday, play a larger pool of new music, some that is never intended to become regularly on the playlist. They also have Feature Artist Friday, where they will play a certain artist once an hour through the whole day to celebrate a new album, an artists' birthday, an event in music hisotry or an artist coming to the area. Feature Artist Friday tends to avoid playing the same everyday songs from the artist and focus on new tracks, album tracks, covers they've done, demos and live music.

WQKL and Borders (headquartered in Ann Arbor) host free live music performances/CD signings and broadcast these performances live on the air. Artists like Barenaked Ladies, Indigo Girls, Suzanne Vega, Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Nathanson, James Taylor, Gomez and Brendan Benson. These events mainly take place at Borders 01, which is located on Liberty Street in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor


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.

Martin Bandyke was let go from WQKL in February 2009 due to budget cuts but, in a surprising move given the current radio climate, was rehired a few weeks later due to immense negative outcry from listeners (who even started a protest group on the social networking website Facebook) and advertisers. Bandyke's first day back on the WQKL airwaves was scheduled for March 2, 2009. (1)

In the Spring 2009 Ratings WQKL finished #1 with their 25-54 target audience with the two major ratings survey companies.

Sources

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