September 1995: Rick, Darla & Scott Move from KLQ to GRD

Where were you 28 years ago? I can tell you exactly where I was. We were in the process of moving our morning show from one radio station to another one just a few blocks away!  Oh what an exciting and yet nerve wrecking time. Making a move like that was risky, but it was something the three of us had sat down and discussed at great lengths. It was something we decided that we HAD to do for our careers.

resignationletterAfter several meetings with WGRD, we decided it was a move we had to make. We met at secret locations so nobody would notice us talking to people from another radio station. We didn’t need anyone knowing what was going on. We finally had the deal complete and all the paperwork was signed. Rick Beckett put together our resignation letter and we delivered it to the management at WKLQ after our show on Tuesday, September 12th, 1995 (A copy of the letter is on the right. The copy we gave to management had all of our signatures on it. Click on the image of the letter to see it full size).

The management at WKLQ wasn’t sure how to react. They told us they would call us and let us know if we would do any more shows for them. They called later that afternoon and told us our services were no longer needed and to come in on Friday and pick up our personal belongings.

Here is the article written by some guy named “John D. Gonzalez” (yes, that Johnny Gonzo who is still at!) that appeared on the front page of The Grand Rapids Press on Wednesday, September 13th, 1995…

Grand Rapids Press 9-13-95 - 01

Grand Rapids Press 9-13-95 - 02

(If you’d like to read the article, you can click on the images to open up a bigger, more readable sized version)

It was on Monday, September 25th, 1995 that “RDS” (Rick, Darla and Scott) made our debut as the new WGRD morning show!

Big Boy SignStereo Showcase SignLeading up to our first broadcast at WGRD several area businesses put our names up on their company signs, WGRD redesigned the graphics on the side of their station van (that’s a picture of a very young “Rovin’ Ralph” standing next to the van), and there were even billboards that stated “WGRD: We Got Rick & Darla…Scott too!”.

Ralph GRD Van

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  1. Steve O
    September 25, 2016 - 10:44 pm

    Hi, Scott, this is interesting, thanks for sharing. I’m really curious, what did KLQ eventually end up doing for their morning show after you had left? Do I remember correctly that Kevin Matthews’ show on GRD was being syndicated to other stations? I remember listening to him and thinking, man, this cannot last. When you were at GRD was your show syndicated as well? I’m also curious, was Rick and Kevin ever on friendly terms since they were both longtime radio guys? Thanks! Oh, two more questions, sorry. Whatever happened to Jay Allen? And do you still keep in touch with Darla? Thanks!

    • Scott Winters
      September 25, 2016 - 11:08 pm

      KLQ put together Michelle McKormick and comedian Mark McCollum for awhile, then they eventually added Howard Stern. We beat Stern in the ratings repeatedly. Kevin Matthews was actually being aired a day later on WGRD than it was in Chicago. We were NOT syndicated. I don’t know if Rick and Kevin ever really crossed paths. Kevin was in Chicago during that time and we were in Grand Rapids. Jay Allen is still in the Grand Rapids area…still selling cars I think. As for Darla, she is recently out of radio and living in Kansas City, MO.

  2. Hallie
    April 16, 2018 - 10:59 pm

    This was so interesting! I remember the switch! Loved you guys and followed you to GRD! Thank you for posting this! ♡Nostalgia♡and happy memories!

  3. Tommy
    September 26, 2018 - 2:26 pm

    Thank you for continuously sharing your past with King RB. Enjoyed your show on both stations and still like hearing you on FGR. God Bless

  4. Melissa
    October 15, 2018 - 8:36 pm

    Hi Scott. I listened to you and Rick on WGRD back in the day & loved the show. At that time there was a 3rd person, a female but not Darla. This would’ve been around 1999, 2000. I can’t remember her name & it’s driving me crazy.

    • Scott Winters
      October 16, 2018 - 11:25 am

      After Darla left we had a couple of different people. First there was Lesleigh, then Leanne Suter (from TV 8), and finally Stephanie Webb (from Fox 17 and then she went to TV 13 to do “Take Five” — she’s now in Florida). I hope that helps!

      • Melissa Hembrough
        October 17, 2018 - 2:29 pm

        Yes! Lesleigh is the one I was thinking of. The name actually came to me but I wasn’t sure I was correct. Any idea if she stayed in radio?

        • Scott Winters
          October 18, 2018 - 11:40 am

          I just saw her a few weeks ago! She did not stay in radio. She works in the healthcare industry.

  5. Patrick VanTol
    January 24, 2020 - 8:27 pm


  6. Bruce Doll
    September 15, 2021 - 9:40 am

    I remember all that !! I took the Rovin Ralph picture – I think …

  7. John
    September 18, 2021 - 7:02 pm

    Hey Scott. Great to read your recap of this bit of West Michigan radio history. I remember it well from when it happened. I grew up listening to Rick, Darla, and Jay (and then you) on WKLQ. Not long after you guys started at WGRD (August 1996 to be exact), I was preparing to leave the area to attend college out of state. I needed a microwave for my dorm room and found one listed in the classifieds for $20. When I arrived at the house to pick it up, I was surprised (and a little star struck) to see Darla Jaye standing in her garage. I thought it was funny that she still had KLQ signs propped up against the wall. I’m sure Tom Marshall wrote them off as severance pay, ha ha. Anyway, It was well worth the trip from Holland to Kentwood to meet one of my radio heroes and save $$ on a microwave at the same time. Hey, a Dutchman’s gonna be cheap, right? Hope you’re doing well. Thanks for the memories, man.

  8. Sara (Sikkema) Suidinski
    September 15, 2023 - 8:24 pm

    I remember where I was! Working with you at KLQ. Seeking air. It was a tough go for a bit after that at 94.5. Glad all worked out for you in the end.

  9. October 7, 2023 - 2:15 pm

    Hi Scott – this exact page came up in a google search I did for WKLQ 94.5 (trying to find one of the old vintage station logos/emblems from the 1980’s!) and I thought I’d share some station promos, spots, segments, commecials, etc. that I found on some old OLD cassette tapes that I’d recorded back in the late 80’s.

    Danny Douglas seems to be the main on-air talent, but I can’t seem to find much info about him online or if he’s still around. What a great radio voice though! — That “Dedication Lines” program they had every night on KLQ I used to listen to that all the time.

  10. Scott Rusticus
    February 27, 2024 - 12:10 pm


    Do you now anything about a bit Rick did with a guy who used to call into KLQ named Yanosh (or something like that)? The bit was about Yanosh’s bird and it was HYSTERICAL!

    Thanks for everything!


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