2015 BEA Winners Announced!

Robert Kolt

On May 2, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and the MAB Foundation (MABF)  presented the annual Broadcast Excellence Awards during ceremonies held at the Lansing Center.  Hosted by Kolt Communications President/CEO Robert Kolt, both commercial and public radio and television stations throughout the State of Michigan were honored for their accomplishments in 2015.  Every win demonstrated the professionalism of broadcast media and journalism.

This year’s Broadcast Excellence Awards Program set another record for entries with 867 entries submitted by 87 different broadcast stations from across the state.

Robert Kolt was assisted on the Lansing Center stage by MAB President/CEO Karole White and MAB Chairman (and Divisional General Manager for E.W. Scripps Company) Ed Fernandez, who handed out awards to each recipient.

A list of all awards and winning stations can be found here.

Included in the ceremonies were the recipients of the 2015 Station of the Year awards:

BEA2015
Broadcast Excellence Award Station of the Year Winners
Station of the Year Commercial Divisions
Commercial Radio Market 1
WJR-AM, Detroit
Commercial Television Market 1
WDIV-TV, Detroit
Commercial Radio Market 2
WOOD-AM/WOOD-FM, Grand Rapids
Commercial Television Market 2
WZZM-TV, Grand Rapids
Commercial Radio Market 3
WLEN-FM, Adrian
Commercial Television Market 3
WLNS-TV, Lansing
Commercial Radio Market 4 
WGHN-FM, Grand Haven
Commercial Television Market 4
WLUC-TV, Marquette
Station of the Year Public Divisions
Public Radio Group 1
WEMU-FM, Ypsilanti
Public Radio Group 2
Michigan Radio
(WUOM-FM/WFUM-FM/WVGR-FM), Ann Arbor
Public Television
WKAR-TV, East Lansing

The MAB and the MAB Foundation wish to congratulate all of the winners of the Broadcast Excellence Awards competition. The Broadcast Excellence Awards Program is one of the largest state broadcast awards programs in the nation and continues to set broadcast excellence standards.

Appeals Court Rejects Open Meetings Claims Against U of M

According to the Michigan Court of Appeals, informal meetings of the University of Michigan Board of Regents do not violate the state’s Open Meetings Act. The unanimous decision, in Detroit Free Press v. University of Michigan Regents (COA docket No. 328182), upheld a finding by the Court of Claims that the constitutional provision giving the universities autonomy, and requiring open meetings, does not create a requirement that the informal meetings be conducted openly.

Judge Amy Ronayne Krause, joined by Judge David Sawyer and Judge William Murphy, held that the Constitution stipulates that “formal sessions” of the governing boards of Michigan’s universities must be open to the public. The court also pointed out that the Supreme Court has held that formal sessions of a governing board do not include all sessions of the board, and informal, informational sessions – the meetings held before the formal meetings of the board – are not included in the Constitution’s definition.

FCC Looking to Change Public File Obligations

fcc-logo_dark-blueThe FCC released the tentative agenda for its May 25 Open Meeting. Topping the agenda is an item that could lift a burden from commercial broadcasters.  The FCC will vote on adopting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to eliminate the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public in their public inspection files. These letters are the last vestige of the physical public file for TV broadcasters who several years ago migrated the rest of their public file to an online system maintained by the FCC.

Commissioners will also consider potential updates to 911 network outage reporting requirements and rules for the bidding process to hand out more than $2 billion over the next decade in Connect America broadband funding. Here’s a Wheeler blog post explaining the agenda.

MAB is planning a web meeting on this topic, as soon as details are confirmed.

Legislation Speeds Up Public Notice For Contaminated Water

capitol3Under the new legislation proposed by State Representative Sheldon Neeley (D-34), state regulators will have two business days to notify residents of water contaminants such as arsenic or lead, instead of the 30 days in current law. House Bill 5120, taken up by House Government Operations Committee, shortens the window in which the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is required to warn a community of health risks associated with prolonged exposure to contaminants in their drinking water.

The substitute version considered by the committee narrowed it down to two business days. House fiscal analysis of the legislation is available here.

MABF 2016 Student Broadcast Awards – Station/Program of the Year Awards

On Tuesday, May 3, the MABF honored the winners of the Michigan Student Broadcast Awards. The program received over 637 entries from 40 different high school and college institutions in Michigan. The awards were presented at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference with several hundred media professionals in the audience. The MAB and MABF congratulates all the student winners!   For a complete list of all winners, click HERE.

Also announced were the recipients of its 2016 Student Station/Program of the Year Awards. The following schools were honored:

High School Television Station/Program of the Year: Rockford High School
High School Television Station/Program of the Year: Rockford High School
High School Radio Station/Program of the Year: Bloomfield Hills High School, WBFH-FM
High School Radio Station/Program of the Year: Bloomfield Hills High School, WBFH-FM
College Television Station/Program of the Year: Central Michigan University, MHTV
College Television Station/Program of the Year: Central Michigan University, MHTV
College Radio Station/Program of the Year: Michigan State University, WDBM-FM
College Radio Station/Program of the Year: Michigan State University, WDBM-FM

Radio Reader Dick Estell Passes

Dick Estell in 1964. Photo couresty of WKAR.
Dick Estell in 1964. Photo couresty of WKAR.

The MAB learned this past weekend that Dick Estell, legendary voice of the Radio Reader, had passed away. According to family, via WKAR (East Lansing), Estell died peacefully Friday, May 6, 2016.

Dick Estell continued broadcasting into his 90th year, retiring from the airwaves in March of 2016.

WKAR has made available some stories celebrating Dick’s career:

Radio Reader Estell to Leave Airwaves After Storied Career
After 52 years, Radio Reader Dick Estell signs off

Memorial information will be shared at the Radio Reader website.

For those desiring, contributions may be made in Dick’s memory to the WKAR Radio Reading Service for sight-impaired, which he founded in 1973. You can contribute your Memorial Gift to Radio Reading Service here.

WXYZ/WMYD-TV Welcome New Meteorologist

WXYZ_DENISE_ISAAC_300Meteorologist Denise Isaac has joined WXYZ/WMYD-TV (Detroit).  She will handle weather for “The Now” at 4 p.m. and 7 Action News at 7 p.m. on WXYZ. She will also contribute to 7 Action News at 10 p.m. on WMYD.

“Weather is a critical part of the service we provide to our viewers, and we’re delighted that Denise will be joining the most experienced weather team in the market,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ/WMYD vice president and general manager.

Isaac comes to WXYZ/WMYD from Telemundo Miami where she was the morning meteorologist. She was also the weather reporter for the national show Un Nuevo Dia and covered weather at WTVJ, the NBC affiliate in Miami. Earlier in her career, she was a producer and reporter for WeatherNation in Minnesota.

“I’m thrilled to work with the accomplished meteorologists of the 7 First Alert Weather Team,” said Isaac. “I’m looking forward to being part the team.”

Isaac graduated from Florida State University with a degree in meteorology and she is certified by the American Meteorological Society.  She began her new position on May 6.

Mojo Invites Listeners to “Make Out with the Mustang”

MOJO-1_700Last week, WKQI-FM’s (Detroit) “Mojo In The Morning” gave 20 listeners a chance to win a customized 2015 Mustang from Szott Ford in Holly.  How?  By “Making Out with the Mustang.”

MOJO-2_300
Makeout with the Mustang winner Eve Kelley of Davisburg, MI.

Contestants had to hold their lips to the Mustang and the one who did it the longest, won the vehicle.

According to WKQI Program Director Tony Travatto, the contest started Monday morning (4/18) at 8:30am.  Contestants immediately began dropping within the first couple of hours.  By Wednesday night it was down to the final three.  Early Thursday morning it was down to 2, and finally after nearly 69 hours, they had a winner.

The runner-up won an all-expense paid weekend in Las Vegas to the iHeartRadio Music Festival.  This is the second year in a row “Mojo In The Morning” has held the contest.  Last year’s contest went 71 hours.

WGVU Presents Kids Day at the Air Zoo

On April 24, WGVU-AM-FM-TV (Grand Rapids) invited viewers and listeners to visit the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo for just $5 per person with tickets available through sponsor Flagstar Bank.

The Air Zoo is a favorite Kalamazoo area destination attraction…it has been voted the “Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners” and “Best Place to Spend a Day with Your Family” three years in a row. The Air Zoo features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, amusement park-style rides, Full-Motion Flight Simulators, RealD 3D/4D Missions Theater, as well as historical exhibits and educational activities.

See more about the Air Zoo here:

Nominations Needed for 2016 Public Media Impact Awards

Last year's winners with (on far right) Eric Smith, MAPB Board President : (L-R) Robert Barclay Volunteer CMU Public Broadcasting Network (Mt Pleasant), Barry Baker Former General Manager, Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting (University Center)
Last year’s winners with Eric Smith (on right), MAPB Board President. Robert Barclay (on left), Volunteer, CMU Public Broadcasting Network, (Mt Pleasant), and Barry Baker (center), Former General Manager, Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting (University Center).

This year marks the 31st year of honoring Michigan’s public broadcasters. Two awards will be presented – one award for Donors and one award for Professionals – for their contribution to public broadcasting in Michigan. This award will be presented at the Annual Awards Banquet as part of the Advocacy Conference & Annual Meeting of MAB on August 31 at The Inn at St. John’s which is attended by owners and operators of broadcast stations, lawmakers and other dignitaries.

Purpose
• To recognize outstanding individuals or foundations involved in public broadcasting for their innovativeness and creativity.
• To inspire others involved in public broadcasting to greater achievement in the field of public radio and television.
• To increase awareness of public broadcasting and the contributions talented individuals make to the industry statewide.

Eligibility
Donors and Professionals involved in Michigan public radio or television are eligible for nomination. Nominations can be made by colleagues, supervisors, and/or station managers. Activities for which the person is nominated may be long-term, to recognize lifetime contributions to public broadcasting, or more recent, to reflect a concentrated period of achievement.

Nomination Process
Deadline for nominations and supporting material (i.e. letters of support, photos, and videos) is Wednesday, June 8, 2016.  Download the nomination form and complete information here or contact Ann Walters at the MAB: walters@michmab.com.

Awards
There will be up to two awards given — one Professional (including volunteers working in public broadcasting) and one Donor (individuals or foundations). The recipients will be recognized at the 2016 MAB Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.