What Durand Now Publisher’s New Role At Statewide Radio Network Means for and The Durand Now Network of Local News Websites
Posted by Uplift Shiawassee at 1:32pm 6/29/17
Josh Strickland is pictured with a Smile FM car in the parking lot of Trinity Church in Lansing/Brian Dumont

Lansing morning radio personality, Josh Strickland, will sign off from Townsquare Media’s 97.5 NOW FM (WJIM-FM) after more than ten years at the station. 

“My time at 97.5 NOW FM has defined my career and I love everyone at Townsquare-Lansing, but I have wanted to join the Smile FM team for a long time,” Strickland says, “and the time is right, now.”

Josh Strickland will join The Smile FM Radio Network, a nonprofit statewide network of positive hit radio stations, as Director of Localism; what he describes as a community engagement-focused role, on July 5th 2017.

Fans of WJIM-FM’s Josh Strickland in the Morning will still be able to hear him as he becomes a regular voice on Smile FM’s morning show, The Morning Espresso with Jenn & Brian, that airs weekdays on all the network’s stations from 5 to 10am. 

Smile FM co-founder and morning host, Jenn Czelada, says “We’re excited to have Josh Strickland join the Smile FM team.  His wealth of knowledge in mainstream radio combined with his heart for families makes him a great fit for Smile FM.”

Strickland says a variety of factors influenced his decision to leave the mainstream radio station for the positive hit network, including his desire to “be a representative of music whose message much more closely aligns with my personal values;” something he said is particularly important as it relates to his role as a father.

Correspondingly, he also cites more quality family time, time at home and in the Shiawassee County communities where he has owned and operated The Durand Now Network of local news websites since 2012.

Strickland’s new role as Smile FM’s Director of Localism will see him working to further connect the radio network’s individual stations with their respective communities, a task he says that will work “very much in tandem” with his efforts at The Durand Now Network of local news websites.  The network is made up of, (the network’s flagship),,,, and now,, which he says will feature content primarily from the Lansing area.

Strickland calls the move to Smile FM a growth move for Durand Now as well, as he’ll regularly work from a radio studio and office at his home in Durand, allowing him to spend more time in Shiawassee County and “on the streets” meeting business owners, attending meetings and being “even more connected” to our local communities.  As always, the sites will also seek content submitted by members of the community.

Strickland came to Lansing radio by way of Grand Rapids in February 2007, and except for what he describes as a 10-month “vacation in the mountains,” has served as the Brand Manager and Morning Host at 97.5 NOW FM since that time.  In 2010, he was handed the programming reigns for sister station, Lansing’s heritage Adult Contemporary 99.1 WFMK

Today, 97.5 NOW FM is the #1 rated radio station in Lansing and Josh Strickland in the Morning is the #1 rated morning show in Lansing.  Strickland’s last day on the air at 97.5 NOW FM will be Friday June 30th.

The Smile FM Radio Network, a network of more than twenty positive hit radio stations across the state of Michigan, began in 1996 as a single station serving Lansing, then known as 88.1 The Light (WLGH-FM).  The network grew as more stations signed on across the state.  In 2004, The Light network and a co-owned network of radio stations, known as Joy FM, were merged to form Smile FM.

Smile FM remains headquartered at the original WLGH location, not far from Lansing, in Williamston -- coincidentally, in offices once occupied by WFMK.  The network has satellite studios in Lansing and Imlay City and a new satellite studio will be added in Durand.

Smile FM can be heard across the dial throughout Michigan: in Lansing on 88.1; in Flint on 89.7; in Grand Rapids on 90.9 and 99.9; in Detroit on 88.3, 88.9, 89.5, 91.5 and 103.9; in the Tri-Cities on 88.3; in Benton Harbor on 88.7 and Traverse City on 89.3; and in more than a dozen other communities from Monroe to Marquette.

For a complete list of cities and stations where you can listen to Smile FM and to listen to high-quality streaming wherever you are, visit