Longtime U.P. Broadcaster Norman Koski Dies

Norman Koski

The MAB has learned that Norman Koski, longtime Upper Peninsula broadcaster, passed away January 9 at the age of 80.  Koski, along with three partners, purchased WHDF-AM in Houghton in 1979, changing the call letters to WCCY-AM.  He sold the station in 1983.

Koski was known to the community simply as “Mr. Norm.”

After selling the station, he continued to broadcast high school sports and also was part of a three-man broadcast team at WOLV-FM, working with Dick Storm and Kevin Ericson.

Koski got his start in local radio in 1956 at WMPL in Hancock and worked there until 1964 before going to work at WLUC-TV to do sports.  He later worked in sales and sports broadcasting for WMPL.

He was a very proud member of the Baraga National Guard.

Arrangements for a memorial service will be held at a future date.

Dave Hildenbrand Joins Kelley Cawthorne

MAB’s lobbying firm Kelley Cawthorne announced this past Monday that Lansing veteran Dave Hildenbrand will join its team of government relations professionals.

Hildenbrand was a member of the Michigan Senate from 2011 through 2018. He served as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee for four years beginning in 2015. As Chair, he oversaw the state’s $56 billion annual budget. Dave was widely recognized for his ability to navigate the legislative process to produce a balanced state budget months ahead of schedule. Under his leadership, Michigan saw record funding in education, health care, roads and public health and safety. Prior to serving as Senate Appropriations Chair, Dave was the Assistant Senate Majority Leader and a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2005 through 2010 where he also served in several key leadership positions.

“No one knows the state budget process better than Dave Hildenbrand,” said Rob Elhenicky, a principal of the firm. “He worked across the aisle to fund important projects, move legislation and serve the people of Michigan. Having his insight and work ethic on our team will be a tremendous asset for our clients.”

Hildenbrand still lives in his hometown of Lowell, Michigan, with his wife Sarah and their two young children. He began his career in public service under his mentor, Dick Posthumus, during his tenure as Senate Majority Leader and Lieutenant Governor. Before running for office, Hildenbrand served as an agriculture policy advisor to former Michigan Governor John Engler. In addition to his state budget work, Hildenbrand served on the following policy committees: Economic Development, Commerce, Insurance, Outdoor Recreation and Tourism and Government Operations.

“Kelley Cawthorne has an outstanding reputation of working tirelessly to get results for its clients,” said Hildenbrand. “My goal is to help the firm’s clients better understand how to succeed in a term-limited legislative environment. I also hope to use my relationships to help the firm grow in new markets and practice areas.”

Hildenbrand officially will join the firm on January 14.

Kelly Cawthorne is the only lobbying firm in Michigan with permanent offices in Lansing and Detroit. The firm’s growing client list includes: ATT, Deloitte, DTE Energy, Ford Motor Company, the McLaren-Karmanos Cancer Center, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union, Wal-Mart, and Wayne State University.

House Energy & Commerce GOP Committee Lineup Announced, Includes Michigan’s Fred Upton

U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) issued the following statement after announcing the subcommittee Ranking Members for the 116th Congress:

“The American people expect results, and I am confident that the leadership team Republicans are putting forward is ready to deliver. As we address some of the biggest challenges facing our nation, from health care, to the environment, to modernizing our energy infrastructure, to protecting consumers in the digital age and more, this committee is poised to truly make a positive impact in the lives of the American people.”

Subcommittee on Communications and Technology:

  • Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) – Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce:

  • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) – Ranking Member
Congressman Fred Upton, R-MI

Subcommittee on Energy:

  • Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) – Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change:

  • Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) – Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Health:

  • Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) – Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations:

  • Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) – Ranking Member

Energy & Commerce Committee Democratic Roster Released

U.S. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced the full Democratic rosters for the six subcommittees in the 116th Congress, including the six subcommittee chairs and the full Committee Vice Chair, who were elected by the Democrats on the Committee. The six subcommittees and their chairs are:

  • Subcommittee on Communications and Technology – Rep. Mike Doyle (PA)
  • Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL)
  • Subcommittee on Energy – Rep. Bobby Rush (IL)
  • Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change – Rep. Paul Tonko (NY)
  • Subcommittee on Health –  Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA)
  • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations – Rep. Diana DeGette (CO)

The appointments will now need to be approved by the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the Democratic Caucus.  Committee Democrats also elected Yvette Clarke (NY) as Vice Chair of the full Committee.

State Senate Majority Leader Announces Senate Committee Membership

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-16) and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-27) jointly released the full list of members of each Senate committee and Appropriations subcommittee.

“We expect the committee process to be deliberative and thorough. We look forward to robust policy debates and bipartisan work product, wherever possible,” Shirkey said in a statement.

“The incoming class of senators has a wide range of professional experience that they bring to the table, experience that makes them real-life experts on their given committees. Our constituents expect us to work together on their behalf, and I anticipate many opportunities for bipartisanship and progress this term,” Senator Ananich said in a statement.

With the change in makeup to a 22-16 Republican majority from the 27-11 Republican majority during the previous four years, the new committee makeup allowed for some additional Democratic representation. Full committee roster is available here – follow ‘Committee’ tab.

Governor Whitmer to Deliver State of the State Address February 5

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced that her first State of the State Address will be Tuesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. from the House Chamber of the Michigan Capitol.

The MAB will offer a pool feed of the address, with feeds for both TV and radio.  This is Governor Whitmer’s first State of the State address. The MAB TV feed will be unhosted, allowing your anchors to introduce and conclude the broadcast.

We encourage all TV stations to take the raw feed and carry the address live over the air and on your website if you can. The feed from the Capitol will be closed-captioned. We are still planning for radio (which may be a hosted feed or, as with television, unhosted).

We want to start off the term of the new Governor on the right track showing our commitment. We also hope you will carry the pre-recorded Republican response which will be fed before and after the address so you may record it and play it following the Governor’s address or at a more convenient time. Your audience will be interested in the Governor’s first State of the State address.

The administration will be looking for ways to fund their aggressive agenda in the new budget. We do not want that to be with a tax on services that includes advertising. Showing the administration the strength of the Michigan Broadcasting industry and our reach is vital to our advocacy efforts.

If you are unable to carry the State of the State Address on one of your channels, you may record and tape delay it to be played at a more convenient time. We are trying to get at least one TV and one radio station in each market to carry it live.

We will distribute to Television via Galaxy 17. Radio will be provided an Internet stream.

Stations interested in the broadcast who have not yet responded to a survey invite can state their interest here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TS2GNRH


Innovation Stage Highlight: Learn to Turn Digital into Dollars with SoCast’s Eric Eisen

Eric Eisen

Eric Eisen will show you how to turn digital into dollars on the MABshow Innovation Stage.

Everyone is looking for real and proven ideas to drive digital revenue and grow their digital audience.  Learn how SoCast Broadcast partners are successfully using their digital tools to drive meaningful results.

He will share secrets and practical ideas to take back to your station to make an immediate impact on your bottom line and improve audience experience.  You’ll learn how to leverage digital to create excellent digital content, promotions and events to increase audience engagement and generate significant digital revenue.  All attendees will receive a complimentary Digital Success Cheat Sheet with tactics to help them grow digital engagement and revenue at their radio stations.

The Great Lakes Media show will take place March 5 and 6 at the Lansing Center. Click here to register today!

Big Names Will Offer Big Sales and Promotions Insights at the #MABshow

Get sold on this exciting line-up of sales and promotions all-stars who will be on hand at the 2019 Great Lakes Media Show on March 5 and 6 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Register now to attend Michigan’s premier broadcast industry event. 

WardsAuto Senior Editor Steve Finlay will offer participants an “Automotive Outlook.” He has worked at WardsAuto for 21 years, initially covering auto production and sales. Before that, he spent 25 years at the Royal Oak Daily Tribune

Chief Brandwidth Strategist Kipper McGee will help discuss how “Programmers are from Mars, Sales People are from Venus.”  The author of “Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Is Missing the Mediamorphosis” has led successful re-launches and/or turnarounds of media brands in highly competitive markets including Chicago, St. Louis, San Diego, Milwaukee and others.

Ray Tejeda serves as Vice President Sales, Market Events & Brand Partnerships at iHeart Media and works with 150 markets on brand partnerships at events and experiential market properties. He is responsible for collaborating with the national sales teams & individual markets to drive sponsorship revenue across thousands of local events.

Paul Weyland will share I Know Something You Don’t Know-About Selling Local Direct.” The  Weyland Communication Strategies President is an international speaker, humorist, marketing, branding and sales strategist, consultant, trainer, author and university lecturer.

And Jack Zavoral will have attendees “Leading the Conversation Framework for Local Digital Sales.” The Director of Member Development for Local Media Association has worked in dozens of markets with hundreds of merchants on their digital marketing strategies. He led the digital sales teams at the local broadcast and newspaper properties owned by Quincy Broadcasting and  at MyWeather, LLC.

Learn more about this great #MABshow presenters and others at GreatLakesMediaShow.com.

Meet Your MAB Board Member of the Week: Rob David

Rob David, Handyman Productions

Robert David’s career in the radio broadcasting industry spans four decades, all of them in Michigan. He is currently the President / General Manager of Handyman Productions, a radio program syndication and marketing firm working with various radio talk programs around the country. The company had previously produced and distributed the award-winning ‘Handyman Show with Glenn Haege’ in Michigan and across the country. This followed an extensive radio broadcasting sales and management career as a Radio Account Executive in Flint; followed by positions in broadcast sales, management and station ownership in the Detroit market. His involvement with MAB includes serving as a current MAB board member, former chairperson of the MAB Foundation Board, as well as, former chair of the annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) [now Great Lakes Media Show]. He has traveled to Washington, DC, on several occasions as part of the MAB “Call on Congress,” and is presently a member of the MAB-Political Action Committee board.

Rob was the inaugural recipient of the “MAB Associate of the Year” award in 2006 and inducted into the Michigan Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame in 2017. Rob is a proud graduate of Michigan State University and was named an ‘Outstanding Alumnus’ by the Eli Broad College of Business and was presented with the prestigious ‘MSU Alumni Service Award’ for his service and support of the University. Outside of broadcasting, he is a recent graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy, and the Novi Ambassador Academy. Lastly, Mr. David is a member of the Consular Corps of Michigan having been appointed as the Honorary Consul for Grenada. The Honorable Robert David and his wife, Marcia, reside in Novi.

America’s Newest 24/7 National News Network is Based in Northern Michigan

With the new year came a new source for news for cord-cutters in markets including Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Detroit. It’s a new, 24-hour news network known as NewsNet, and while it’s seen in cities across the country, it’s broadcasting to the entire nation from right here in Michigan.

“We’ve been broadcasting 24-hour local news to northern Michigan since 2011, so when we decided to launch a national news network, it only made sense to broadcast from our existing facilities,” explained Eric Wotila, President of NewsNet and General Manager of MI News 26 and MI TV 12, both based in Cadillac, “We’re very excited to be both keeping jobs local and creating new positions right here in northern Michigan through the launch of NewsNet.”

NewsNet aims to break away from the opinion-based programming that’s become prominent on 24-hour news channels in recent years. Instead, the network follows a traditional “news wheel” format, with headlines at the top of each half hour, followed by a national weather overview, sports, and feature stories from across America – which are preempted in some markets by a local news update.

“Over the past few years, we heard constant complaints about the state of existing 24-hour news channels – particularly their focus on opinion-based programming,” explained Wotila, “We’re thrilled to have brought back a news channel with a straight-to-the-facts, headline-driven format, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”

NewsNet is currently distributed over-the-air by a network of affiliates. It also streams to mobile apps available for iPhone and Android, and will be launching streaming apps for Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV later this month.

With affiliates in 18 markets across the country, NewsNet’s signal already reaches approximately 30 million potential viewers via antenna – just under 10% of the nation’s population, but Wotila says they’re just getting started.

“Throughout 2019, we want to work with additional stations to expand the reach of NewsNet,” he explained, “We’re actively talking to potential affiliates on a daily basis. Ultimately, we’d love to see NewsNet available over-the-air to the entire country.”

Much of NewsNet’s national news coverage can be seen in northern Michigan during the second half of each hour on MI News 26 – antenna channel 26.1 and Spectrum cable channel 13. The version of NewsNet’s programming seen across the country can be viewed locally using the network’s apps, which can be downloaded at yournewsnet.com.