Smile FM
Smilefmlogo.jpg
Programming
FormatReligious; Contemporary Christian
Ownership
OwnerSuperior Communications
History
Founded1996[1]
Links
Webcasthttp://www.smile.fm/streaming/
Websitehttp://www.smile.fm

Smile FM is a network of non-commercial, contemporary Christian radio stations owned by Superior Communications, a nonprofit organization. Most programming originates from studios in Williamston, Michigan (just east of Lansing) and is relayed (with local inserts) by an expanding number of stations throughout the state. The network also has studios in Imlay City, Michigan.

Smile FM was originally two separate networks. The first, The Light, was founded in December 1996, when WLGH Lansing, Michigan began broadcasting.[2] The second, Joy FM, began on December 12, 2000, with WHYT (renamed as WWKM and again as WDTR) in Imlay City. While both played contemporary Christian music, The Light aimed for a younger audience. In June 2004 the two networks were combined to form Smile FM in a "wedding ceremony" conducted at Oldsmobile Park in Lansing.[3][4] The new name eliminated confusion since many other unrelated stations used The Light and Joy FM names.

The network is notable for putting stations on the air at a low cost. They lease existing towers and manufacture some of their own equipment. Unlike many Christian stations, they play music with only a few short breaks for weather, news, announcements, and features. Smile FM has also pioneered the use of new technology to help distribute and customize its programming, including developing an emergency weather notification system that is faster and more reliable than the required EAS system (which they also operate).

The licenses for the four stations are split between four subsidiaries: Superior Communications, Michigan Community Radio, Northland Community Broadcasters and Smile FM.

In January 2008, Smile FM established WWKM (now WDTR) Imlay City as the flagship of an experimental Smile FM Praise network playing Christian contemporary worship music. Previously, the station had broadcast traditional Christian music and hymns. The Smile FM Praise experiment was ended in 2009 and plans made to move that station to the northern suburbs of Detroit.

The owners have often recycled the call letters of famous Michigan stations of the past for their stations. WDTR (now WRCJ), WHYT (now WDVD), and WVMV (now WDZH) were once used by Detroit stations. WTAC (now WSNL) was the leading top 40 station in Flint during the 1960s (and, ironically, a pioneering contemporary Christian station during the 1980s). WKPK was used by a popular top 40 station of the 1980s and 1990s in northern Michigan (now WSRT). WAIR was an oldies station in northern Michigan (now WFDX) and the calls were also used for a construction permit for a station in Honor (now WSRJ). WWKM was a now-defunct station in Harrison (and Smile FM's 88.5 FM station in the Alpena area, WSFP, once bore the calls of WWKM's sister station WKKM, which is now WTWS in Houghton Lake).

Others were named for the original formats of the stations. WLGH and WTLI were The Light. All of the stations beginning with WJ were in or scheduled to be in the Joy FM network. All call letters beginning with WDT (WDTE, WDTP, and WDTR) serve portions of the Detroit metropolitan area.

Smile FM Network Stations

The combined footprint of Smile FM's stations covers most of Michigan's densely populated area (though much of West Michigan relies on translators).

Map of stations and translators
Map of stations and translators

Stations owned and operated by Smile FM include:

Call sign Frequency
(MHz)
City of license ERP
(W)
Height
(m (ft))
Class FCC info Notes
WLGH 88.1 Leroy Township, Ingham County, Michigan 6,700 174 m (571 ft) B1 FCC FM Query Serves the Lansing area
WSMF 88.1 Monroe, Michigan 1,200 41 m (135 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves Monroe
WHYT 88.1 Goodland Township, Michigan 400 177 m (581 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves Lapeer
WEJC 88.3 White Star, Michigan 55,000 114 m (374 ft) C1 FCC FM Query Serves the Tri-Cities area
WKPK 88.3 Michigamme, Michigan 15,000 252 m (827 ft) C2 FCC FM Query Serves Marquette
WSMZ 88.3 Crystal Valley, Michigan 1,500 200 m (660 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves Hart
WDTE 88.3 Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan 5,500 50 m (160 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves Metro Detroit
WJOM 88.5 Eagle, Michigan 4,300 40 m (130 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves Portland
WSIS 88.7 Riverside, Michigan 6,000 117 m (384 ft) B1 FCC FM Query Serves Benton Harbor
WDTR 88.9 Imlay City, Michigan 3,200 61 m (200 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves the far northern Detroit suburbs
WTLI 89.3 Bear Creek Township, Michigan 50,000 312 m (1,024 ft) C1 FCC FM Query Serves Gaylord
WSMB 89.3 Harbor Beach, Michigan 12,000 145 m (476 ft) C3 FCC FM Query Serves Bad Axe
WDTP 89.5 Huron Charter Township, Michigan 700 95 m (312 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves the Downriver communities
WJOJ 89.7 Rust Township, Michigan 31,000 143 m (469 ft) C2 FCC FM Query Serves Alpena
WTAC 89.7 Burton, Michigan 15,000 110 m (360 ft) B1 FCC FM Query Serves Flint and Fenton
WSLI 90.9 Belding, Michigan 11,500 73 m (240 ft) B1 FCC FM Query Serves the Belding and Portland areas
WJOG 91.3 Good Hart, Michigan 6,000 209.2 m (686 ft) C2 FCC FM Query Serves Petoskey
WVMV 91.5 China Township, Michigan 1,050 75 m (246 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves New Baltimore, Algonac and Marine City
WAIR 104.9 Lake City, Michigan 2,800 149 m (489 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves Cadillac, Michigan
WJOH 91.5 Raco, Michigan 5,500 100 m (330 ft) A FCC FM Query Serves Sault Sainte Marie
WYOR 88.5 Republic, Ohio 100 32 m (105 ft) A FCC FM Query Smile FM's only Ohio station to date

Translators

Translators rebroadcasting Smile FM include:

Call sign Frequency
(MHz)
City of license ERP
(W)
Height
(m (ft))
Class FCC info Notes
W242BH 96.3 Marshall, Michigan 170 32.1 m (105 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WLGH; serves Battle Creek
W246CW 97.1 Long Lake Township, Michigan 10 260.8 m (856 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WTLI; serves Traverse City
W247CU 97.3 Fort Gratiot, Michigan 25 83 m (272 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WVMV; serves Port Huron
W262AF 100.3 Parchment, Michigan 38 52.5 m (172 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WSIS; serves Kalamazoo
W273CI 102.5 Grand Haven, Michigan 250 191 m (627 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WSMZ; serves Muskegon
W280EL 103.9 Yates, Michigan 10 119.3 m (391 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WVMV; serves northern Metro Detroit suburbs
W299CB 107.7 Manistee, Michigan 19 98 m (322 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WSMZ
W272DG 102.3 Pittsfield Township, Michigan 19 98 m (322 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WTAC; serves Ann Arbor
W247CG 97.3 Russellville, Michigan 19 98 m (322 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WTAC; serves Flint
W260CQ 99.9 Plainfield Township, Kent County, Michigan 10 126 m (413 ft) D FCC FM Query repeats WSLI; serves Grand Rapids
WLHT 95.7 Grand Rapids, Michigan 40,000 147 m (482 ft) B FCC FM Query uses HD2 subchannel, repeats WSLI

Future Stations/Upgrades Approved by the FCC

References

  1. ^ Demske, Kristyne E. "Smile! It's a new radio station", St. Clair Shores Sentinel. May 16, 2012. p. 3A.
  2. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2000. Broadcasting & Cable. 2000. p. D-227. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  3. ^ Austerman, Mike. "June 2004 News and Notes", Michiguide.com. June 30, 2004. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  4. ^ Josh Strickland Exits Townsquare/Lansing To Join Smile FM Radio Network", All Access Music Group. June 19, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2021.