New kids on the block: Radio stations move downtown

Bob Hughes and Tori Kanaby, co-hosts of the Northstar Bank “More Music in the Morning” Show on Mix 92.1 FM, broadcast from their new studio on the top level of the two-story Advertiser building at 344 N. State St. in downtown Caro. The Advertiser newspaper, along with WIDL-FM (92.1) and WKYO-AM (1360), are owned by Edwards Group Inc. (Photo by John Cook)
Bob Hughes and Tori Kanaby, co-hosts of the Northstar Bank “More Music in the Morning” Show on Mix 92.1 FM, broadcast from their new studio on the top level of the two-story Advertiser building at 344 N. State St. in downtown Caro. The Advertiser newspaper, along with WIDL-FM (92.1) and WKYO-AM (1360), are owned by Edwards Group Inc. (Photo by John Cook)

Several media businesses serving Michigan’s Thumb united in one building Monday when radio stations WIDL-FM (92.1) and WKYO-AM (1360) began broadcasting from new studios on the second floor of The Advertiser building in downtown Caro.
The newspaper and radio stations, owned by Edwards Group Inc., are housed in the same building at 344 N. State St. (M-81).
“We’ve always had two separate operations, but it’s good to get the family together,” said Bob Hughes, 47, of Tuscola County’s Juniata Township, chief operator at the radio stations.
“This is a great location downtown in the middle of everything,” Hughes said. “There are always things you’ll miss no matter what you do, but it’s a good thing and it’s a higher visibility area for us.”
The studios and office for both stations had been located since the late 1990s at 1521 W. Caro Road (M-81) on the outskirts of Caro. Hughes worked on Monday, however, behind one of the 42-inch-high desks – in the shape of a half circle – in one of the two new studios. Each room features a color scheme of red and gray.
“It’s just one of our changes and there’s another big change coming at 5 p.m. on Feb. 3,” Hughes said in reference to a change that will be announced then at the radio station.
Three employees with the radio stations made the move Monday: Hughes, Program Director/Sports Director Scott Bolsby and Tori Kanaby, who joins with Hughes to host the Northstar Bank “More Music in the Morning” Show from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on Mix 92.1 FM.
“I was definitely blown away the first time I saw the new studios,” said Bolsby, 29, of Tuscola County’s Indianfields Township, a 2005 Sandusky High School graduate.
“The higher studio tables give it a better feel, and you can stand and do the stuff,” Bolsby said. “Down there (at the former studios), you had to sit when you’re doing the main stuff on the board. Here, you can actually stand. I think it helps out quite a bit.”
Hughes likes the proximity to several downtown Caro eateries.
“The Oasis has a great burger, so it will be nice to be closer to them,” Hughes said. “The (Caro State Street Diner) has a great breakfast across the street (at 373 N. State St.).”
Bolsby said the radio station workers remain fans of pot pies from VG’s Food Center at 1520 W. Caro Road – essentially across the road from the former location of the radio stations.
The Harvest Coffeehouse and Deli, 157 N. State St. in downtown Caro “is one of my favorite places to go to, so I’ll be frequenting that place more now that we’re closer to it,” Bolsby said.
Kanaby, 22, of Owendale in Huron County, a 2012 Bad Axe High School graduate, has worked for 92.1 FM since October. In addition to co-hosting the morning show, she also works on-air for the FM station from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays.
“It’s good to see the company reinvesting and doing some smart things to right-size our whole operations from the paper to the radio,” Hughes said. “It’s good to see them make an investment in us to build new studios. The sound quality inside the studios is much better.”
Hughes said listeners will notice a slight improvement in sound quality over the radio.
“You won’t hear background noises as much,” Hughes said. “There was a lot of white noise in the old studios, between computer motors and stuff like that. Those are all outside the rooms now.”
WIDL-FM features adult contemporary hit music, and a live sports talk show, “Let’s Talk Sports” from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, focusing on local high school sports. Bolsby hosts that show and is play-by-play announcer for high school basketball games on 92.1 FM on Friday nights.
WKYO-AM is known for live broadcasts of Detroit Tigers baseball games and University of Michigan football, basketball and hockey games. The station also is home to the venerable weekday morning show, “The Trading Post,” from 11 a.m. to noon, allowing listeners to call in to buy, sell or trade items.
WKYO’s music format features oldies.
“It’s any kind of oldies you can think of – the pure oldies and we’ll throw classic country in there as well,” Bolsby said. “It’s pretty much anything that hit the charts from the 1950s to the early 1970s.”
Tom Gilchrist is a reporter for The Advertiser and can be reached at gilchrist@tcadvertiser.com

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