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City of license WKLT: Kalkaska, Michigan
WKLZ: Petoskey, Michigan
Broadcast area WKLT: Traverse City, Michigan
WKLZ: Petoskey, Michigan
Branding 97.5 & 98.9 KLT
Slogan The Rock Station
Frequency WKLT: 97.5 MHz
WKLZ: 98.9 MHz
First air date WKLT: April 8, 1979 (at 97.7)
WKLZ: December 7, 1965 (as WJML-FM)
Format Mainstream Rock
ERP WKLT: 32,000 watts
WKLZ: 100,000 watts
HAAT WKLT: 188 meters
WKLZ: 244 meters
Class WKLT: C2
Facility ID WKLT: 49591
WKLZ: 45950
Callsign meaning Kalkaska & Traverse City
Former callsigns WKLT:
WKLT-FM (6/14/89-7/22/91)
WKLT (4/8/79-6/14/89)
WKLZ (9/1/91-10/1/98)
WJML-FM (12/7/65-9/1/91)
Former frequencies WKLT: 97.7 MHz (1979-1991)
Owner Northern Radio of Michigan
Webcast Listen Live

WKLT 97.5 Kalkaska and WKLZ-FM 98.9 Petoskey are Classic rock-leaning mainstream rock stations simulcasting as "KLT The Rock Station". The station serves the Traverse City & Petoskey radio markets. It can be heard as far north as Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada, as far west as Manistique, and as far south as Lake City.

The station was started by Roy Henderson in April 1979 at 97.7, playing a CHR/Top 40 format as "Kilt 98". Due to its limited signal, the station found it difficult to compete with the high-powered WJML-FM and WKHQ, and so in 1981 the station changed format to automated country as "Country 98".

The station added an AM simulcaster at 1420 in 1982, which simulcasted the FM's format. The AM station, WKLT-AM, was a 500-watt daytimer.

In 1982, WKLT became the Grand Traverse region's first AOR station, when Roy Henderson moved to Texas full-time, selling WKLT to a Pepsi-Cola distribution company based in North Dakota. (Northern Broadcast, a division of Northern Bottling, also owns Classic Hits WFCX 92.5/94.3 The Fox and News/Talk WSRT 106.7/105.5, formerly WKPK - 106.7 The Peak.) The new AOR format was the first of its kind in northern Michigan and gave listeners an alternative to the Top 40 fare played on WJML and WKHQ. It was during this period that WKLT would be known to its listeners as "98 Rock".

In 1991, WKLT moved to 97.5, boosting power to 32,000 watts and the company purchased WJML in Petoskey (which by that time had shifted to an Adult Contemporary format in response to competition from WKHQ and WKPK). The company spun off WJML-AM 1110 to local broadcaster Rick Stone (who still owns the station with a news/talk format) and WKLT-AM to the Kalkaska School system, who has since shut the station down for good. WJML 98.9 became WKLZ and Double Rock KLT was born.

Throughout the 1990s, the station, and Northern Broadcast, were managed by Richard Dills of Grand Rapids. Dills, former General Manager of WKLQ-FM modeled WKLT after WKLQ even going so far as to copy the KLQ logo for KLT. In 2005, Charlie Ferguson took over the GM position at Northern Broadcast after a long stint in Minot, ND, Northern Radio's home city. The Double Rock slogan was changed to "The Rock Station" reflecting the long history of the station. With the change, listeners have noted that the station has become more heavily gold-based than before but that they still plays some currents as well. It has also moved away from harder rock artists during the day.They also have "MyTunes" weekends, where listeners program an hour's worth of music, it is a chance for listeners to play their favorite songs, and seems to be extremely popular.

One thing about KLT that hasn't changed is station mid-day personality and Program Director Terri Ray. She came to KLT in January 1984. Since that time she has become a Northern Michigan icon, marking her 25 year anniversary with the station in 2009. She has played host to the highly rated noon time request show "Lunch at the Leetsville Cafe" for 22 of her years with KLT. Terri Ray is also the host of a local music feature called "KLT's Garage" that airs on Sunday night's at 9.

WKLT has aired the House Of Blues Radio Hour since the program went into sydication in the early 1990s, along with the daily Blues Breaks which are hosted by Elwood Blues AKA Dan Akroyd. WKLT is also affiliated with the 1980s based show "The Tour Bus" which can be heard on Sunday nights.

In October 2006, the morning show Omelette and Charly took over the airwaves, with station veteran Jack Jensen as producer. Omelette moved from markets in FL, CT and MA, while Charly Kayle joined him from markets such as Memphis, Little Rock and Kansas City. After a short stint, Ms. Kayle left Northern Michigan for another show in Las Vegas. Omelette is now joined by Finster, a former coworker from a station that they had both worked at in Connecticut. Although they had never actually worked on the same show, their chemistry together, along with the addition of newswoman, Union Kate (Katheryn VanOcker), has given the station some of the highest morning show ratings since the early years. Omelette and Finster are huge animal advocates, and have raised thousands of dollars for A.C. PAW, a local no kill animal shelter.

In August 2008 a construction permit was granted for FM translator W281AY 104.1 Alpena.

In January 2012 the Omelette and Finster show became the Omelette and Friends show with the removal of Finster due to "management cuts" as reported by Omelette.

External links

  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WKLT
  • Radio-Locator information on WKLT
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WKLT
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WKLZ
  • Radio-Locator information on WKLZ
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WKLZ

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