GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — As of 7:50 a.m. Monday, 92.1 WGHN is no longer on the airwaves following a tower dispute with the city of Grand Haven, according to a post on the station’s Facebook page.
“You can still hear us (on) 94.9 and streaming at WGHN.COM as well as on our app,” the post said in part.
WGHN General Manager Mike Toth said under the 1984 lease, the radio station does not pay for the space on the tower. Rather, the station gives the city free air time in exchange and also maintains 70% local content, according to the agreement. He said part of the dispute with the city of Grand Haven relates to a partner station that started in 2012, WMPA 93.1, which never provided 70% local content.
A few months ago the city started asking WGHN to pay rent for the tower space at a price that WGHN considered far too high. Toth said the station has not been able to schedule meetings with city leaders to work on the contract.
According to a statement made on air, the city told the station on Nov. 17 that it is terminating the agreement “due to a perceived violation.”
“The city of Grand Haven contends that WGHN has violated its agreement to provide local programming to the city. WGHN refutes that claim,” Will Tieman, owner of WGHN, said during the on-air statement, adding that the decision was made by the city manager.
The station said it is waiting for approval from the Federal Communications Commission for permission to move locations. Once approval is received, the station will work to get back on the air. Toth hopes that the move will take place by February and that the station can go back to full power on 92.1 WGHN.
News 8 has reached out to the Grand Haven City Manager but has not received a response as of Monday afternoon.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed the person quoted. We regret this error which has been fixed.