|Branding||Eagle 101.5 FM|
|Slogan||"Classic Hits at Random"|
|First air date||April 30, 1982|
|Callsign meaning||MaJic 95 (previous format)|
|Former callsigns||WZXM-FM (1/11/84-7/13/87)
|Former frequencies||95.3 MHz (1984-1998)|
|Sister stations||WMJT, WUPN|
WMJZ-FM (101.5 FM) is a commercial radio station licensed to the city of Gaylord, Michigan. It broadcasts at the assigned frequency of 101.5 Megahertz with a power output of 50,000 watts. The station airs a classic hits format as Eagle 101.5, Classic Hits at Random, and is owned by Darby Advertising, a company headed by Kent Smith.
For many years, WMJZ operated at the class A frequency of 95.3 FM, and a power output of only 3,000 watts. The station first went on the air on February 20, 1984, as WZXM-FM with a CHR format, as the FM sister station of AM 900 WZXM, which had been on the air since 1950, first as WATC, which was originally part of Lester Biederman's Paul Bunyan Network. As WZXM was a daytime-only station at this time, the presence of WZXM allowed Otsego County to enjoy local radio service after FCC rules mandated shutdown of the AM station after sunset.
WZXM was sold in June 1986 to a Detroit broadcaster, then later a local group headed by Bill Rolinski. The call letters were changed to WMJZ as part of an AM and FM simulcast of adult contemporary and oldies music, provided by ABC Radio/SMN's Starstation satellite-delivered format along with a local community involvement.
Simulcast abandoned: WMJZ comes into its own
Classic Radio decided to end the simulcast between the two stations in 1990, as WMJZ-AM had been granted limited nighttime power by the FCC and had the ability to have its own identity. WMJZ then adopted a satellite-delivered adult contemporary format, while the AM adopted the call letters WSNQ and broadcast a syndicated news/talk format from the Sun Radio Network.
In June 1996, Classic Radio, Inc. decided to sell the station to Morning Dove, Inc., a company owned by David and Jo'Anne Essmaker.
Morning Dove made upgrades to the equipment and ended the satellite format relationship over the FM and began a new format of Hot Adult Contemporary music, all programmed locally on-site The station dropped its "Majic" branding and became known as "Z95." WSNQ retained its news/talk format but rebranded as "Q-900". In February 1998, David Essmaker received an offer to sell the stations to Sandusky, Ohio-based broadcaster Kent Smith that year.
Kent Smith/Darby Advertising Era
Kent Smith of Darby Advertising had operated oldies-formatted FM station WNCG (Northcoast Gold 101) FM 100.9, licensed to Clyde, Ohio. Darby Advertising applied for a construction permit to move WMJZ from 95.3 to 101.5 that summer. The FCC approved the application in October 1998.
Smith brought an oldies format and added emphasis to local programming and information to WMJZ in February of the following year. WMJZ moved to 101.5 and was rebilled as "Oldies 101.5", with programming from Jones Radio Networks' Good Time Oldies format and its power now doubled to 6,000 watts.
In 2002, Darby Advertising silenced WSNQ, known by this time with an adult standards format. This move was part of a larger-scale move by ABC Radio to move AM 910 WFDF from its city of license of Flint, Michigan to Farmington Hills, Michigan, with the goal of putting a high-powered AM property in the Detroit market. In order to enable WFDF to operate at 50,000 watts, WSNQ and another station operating at AM 900, WFRO in Fremont, Ohio; both had to be silenced.
The FCC granted a request in February 2004 for WMJZ to move its antenna to a taller tower and increase its power to 50,000 watts, covering much of Michigan's northern lower peninsula and Mackinac Straits area. While the power increase and tower relocation move was pending, WMJZ moved from its longtime home at 650 East Main Street to a new, state-of-the-art facility at 3687 Old 27 South in Gaylord.
In early 2006, WMJZ ended its oldies format in favor of a very broad-based variety hits format blending music from the rock, pop, oldies and country genres under the name "Eagle 101.5...We Play Everything". Since then, the station has begun leaning more toward classic rock and classic hits and has changed its slogan to "Classic Hits at Random."
The station is currently focused on local programming - the music is programmed locally and the station is hosted by local personalities. Kent Smith has also begun operating several other "Eagle"-formatted stations across the Upper Peninsula, serving the Newberry, Ishpeming, Marquette, Sault Ste Marie and Escanaba areas.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WMJZ
- Radio-Locator information on WMJZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WMJZ