|Broadcast area||Crawford County |
|Branding||Baraga Radio (originating station WTCY )|
|Slogan||"The Catholic Light for Northern Michigan."|
|First air date||August 1970 (as WGRY)|
|Callsign meaning||With Mary, Queen (of the) Universe|
|Former callsigns||WGRY (1970-2016)|
|Affiliations||EWTN Global Catholic Radio
(former affiliate of CBS Sports Radio)
|Owner||Sheryl and Gerald Coyne
(Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WGRY-FM, WQON|
|Website||The Catholic Light dot com|
WMQU (1230 AM) is a radio station which previously broadcast a sports format until March 2016 when it became an affiliate of Baraga Radio, a regional Catholic radio network based in Traverse City, Michigan. Licensed to Grayling, Michigan, the station is owned and operated by Sheryl & Gerald Coyne, through licensee Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Inc. Blarney Stone also owns WGRY-FM and WQON, co-located at WMQU's broadcast facilities in Grayling.
When the then-WGRY went on the air at 1590 AM in August 1970, the staff included Co-owners, James Sylvester as Station Manager and Jim Marr as Engineer. The first employee hired was Wayne Andrew Hindmarsh, better known as "Wayne Andrews" on the air, fresh from Wayne State University. The station was licensed to operate from Sunrise to Sunset and operated at 1000 watts. Later they received pre-sun-rise authorization for 500 watts. Even so, the hours of operation depended on the hours of sunlight. All three men had air shifts as well as their other duties. Within 30 days Wayne Hindmarsh was on the street selling air time. The station was "MOR" better known then as "Middle of the Road". Other programs stressed local News and Sports. From the beginning, WGRY was committed to being involved in community events.
One of the most popular programs was an On-Air Swap Shop where people called in with items to sell or were looking to buy. Representatives from area clubs and organizations were interviewed concerning fund raising activities and other events. Grayling Mercy Hospital held a radio auction that successfully raised thousands of dollars over the air. Little League Baseball games were broadcast tape-delayed as were the Grayling Viking Football and Basketball games. On Saturday there was a live broadcast from the Wag-On-Inn with local celebrity Ed Harris singing and playing country music. Beginning with their first year on the air WGRY covered the Canoe Marathon. Later on there was another very popular local radio personality added to the staff, Viv Nichols. Viv's interview and discussion shows became a "Don't Miss" daily event. Viv proved to be a consummate interviewer with one of her highlights an interview with Gov. William Grawn Milliken.
In October 1977, WGRY was sold to John DeGroot, who also owned WWRM-FM (now WSRT and under different ownership) in Gaylord. Shortly thereafter, Wayne Hindmarsh left WGRY to put his own station WQON on the air. The station management was turned over to William F. Jones. Jones left after a year to teach broadcasting at Specs Howard School of Media Arts in Southfield. Peter Allen was hired as station and sales manager. Rob Weaver replaced Pete two years later and at that time the format for WGRY changed to all country. DJ Brown started in June 1984. By January 1985 she was station manager and vice-president of sales. She was the final manager under John DeGroot and Alpine Broadcasting's ownership.
On September 26, 1988, WGRY was purchased by Gannon Broadcasting Systems, Inc., owned and operated by William S. Gannon. In 1990, Gannon Broadcasting was granted FCC approval to construct a new station licensed to Roscommon broadcasting at 101.1 on the FM dial. WGRY-FM made its debut on March 12 of that year at 6000 watts. At that time, WGRY's frequency changed from 1590 to 1230 kHz on the AM dial. Both stations simulcast one another and continued to do so for many years.
In January 2001, Gannon Broadcasting by this time had acquired its crosstown competitor, WQON-FM. In 1994, WQON and WGRY-FM switched call letters, and the former WQON's frequency moved from 100.1 to 100.3, which also allowed a power increase from 3,000 to 60,000 watts. The new station at 100.3 was then marketed as Y-100, and continued the contemporary country format from the old WGRY-FM. The new WQON, now at 101.1, adopted Jones Radio Network's "Soft Hits" adult contemporary format and the moniker "Decades 101", but continued its AM simulcast with WGRY until this time, when a new format for AM 1230 WGRY was launched - the Music of Your Life.
Until January 2008, WGRY broadcast the Music of Your Life, syndicated via satellite by Jones. In January 2008, Jones stopped syndicating the Music of Your Life format in favor of its own satellite service called "Jones Standards," which featured a similar playlist to Music of Your Life.
WGRY continued on broadcasting Jones Standards until the format was discontinued on September 30, 2008, due to Jones Radio Network having come under the ownership of Triton Media Group, owners of Dial Global. Most of the Jones Standards stations, including WGRY, were switched over to Dial Global's America's Best Music format, which focuses chiefly on MOR hits and soft oldies from the 1960s through the 1980s.
On February 18, 2013, WGRY changed their format from adult standards to sports, with programming from CBS Sports Radio.
In July 2012, it was announced that WGRY and sister stations WGRY-FM and WQON were being sold by William Gannon to Sheryl and Jerry Coyne (d/b/a Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Inc.). Gannon expressed a desire to get out of the broadcasting business after suffering a stroke in the summer of 2011. No change to any of the stations' formats was planned. The sale was consummated on October 2, 2012 for consideration of $425,000.
On January 14, 2013 WGRY-FM and adult contemporary-formatted sister station WQON 101.1 FM swapped call letters, and the new 100.3 WQON changed its format from country to Rock & Roll, branded as "Q100.3, The Only Place for Rock & Roll". Home of Detroit Lions Football, University of Michigan Football/Basketball and Voice of Grayling Viking High School Sports.
On January 15, 2016, WGRY changed its call sign to WMQU.
On March 1, 2016 WMQU became an affiliate of Baraga Radio based in Traverse City airing Catholic programming. The station is still owned by Blarney Stone Broadcasting but is being leased to Baraga for 7 years, and is planned to be donated outright to Baraga at the conclusion of the lease.
CBS Sports Radio programming continues to be aired on WGRY-FM which is branded as "Y-101.1."
- "Gannon Broadcasting in Process of Selling Stations," CrawfordCountyAvalanche.com. http://www.crawfordcountyavalanche.com/articles/2012/07/12/news/doc4ffd93bad5217472072989.txt. 11 July 2012, Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Official website (with streaming audio)
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WMQU
- Radio-Locator Information on WMQU
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WMQU