|City of license||West Branch, Michigan|
|Branding||Classic Hit Country 105-5|
|Callsign meaning||West Branch Michigan|
|Former callsigns||WBMI-FM (?-5/21/91)
WBMI is an American radio station, licensed to West Branch, Michigan, the seat of government for Ogemaw County. The station broadcasts at the assigned frequency of 105.5 MHz at an output power of 6,000 watts.
The call letters WBMI first were used by a station in Meriden, Connecticut. That station has been WKSS since 1977 and has had a Top-40 format since 1984.
First going on the air on November 7, 1977, WBMI of West Branch, Michigan was the FM sister station of WBMB-AM, which first signed on the air June 7, 1972 at 1060 kHz with 1,000 watts output power. As WBMB was a daytime-only AM station for its entire existence, both stations simulcast one another from WBMI's sign-on in 1977, providing local listeners with local radio service after WBMB was mandated to shut down for the night as per FCC regulations.
WBMB and WBMI were a typical small-market radio station of their time, with few employees working shared duties, world and national news provided by Westwood One, and a mass appeal format of adult contemporary and oldies music.
In the summer of 1992, WBMI returned to the air as "Oldies 105.5" with the format provided via satellite by Jones Radio Network. WBMI was acquired by Daraka Broadcasting of Alpena, which also owned adult contemporary-CHR formatted WHSB (Bay 108). Daraka's intent was to cross-market several stations calling them the "Northern Radio Network". WBMB did not return to the air with WBMI, and under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, still having not returned to the air, its license was permanently canceled.
The Northern Radio Network effort ended in 2002, with WBMI going silent once again. The following year, WBMI was sold to Independent TV Productions. Independent TV Productions resumed WBMI's operations with Jones Radio Network's Hot AC format. During this time, the station imaged itself with various monikers, such as "Kool Mix 105.5" and "Channel 105.5." A few years later WBMI returned to oldies and then changed to classic country, all also satellite-fed from Jones.
In August 2005, a filing was submitted to transfer the license to a minority shareholder (Peggy Warner) on the basis that she had loaned money to the company. The transfer application included an agreement written by Mrs Warner purporting to transfer the license and related assets to herself. The FCC dismissed the application.[dead link] Three days later, the application to transfer control of the license to the Beamishes was submitted and approved by the FCC, but the transfer was never consummated and the license stayed in the name of Independent TV Productions.[dead link]
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WBMI
- Radio-Locator information on WBMI
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WBMI