All posts by MAB Staff

Court Denies Use of ‘Stale’ Signatures on Petition Drive

Supporters of the petition to ban hydraulic fracturing in the state, known as fracking, lost a court battle to allow the use of “stale” signatures on their petition drive. “Stale” signatures are those older than 180 days. Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello ruled that the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan had no actual controversy before the court to allow it to issue a declaratory ruling on whether signatures, older than 180 days, can be counted.

The committee had not collected enough signatures on its petitions for an initiated act to ban fracking, nor had it filed the signatures it had collected, Borrello ruled in Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan v. Director of Elections (COC docket No. 16-000122-MM).

The committee sought a ruling from the court that petition signatures collected more than 180 days before the signatures were filed, or would be filed, could still be counted. A top official for the committee said the group will appeal the decision.

Lawmaker Calls on Senate to Include Electronic Data in Constitution

capitol3State Representative Jim Runestad (R-44) called for the Michigan Senate to take action on a joint resolution extending Michigan’s constitutional prohibition against unreasonable government search and seizures to include electronic data and communications. So far, there has not been a commitment from the Senate to do so.

House Joint Resolution N passed the House in June by a vote of 107-1 but has sat on the Senate floor since the Legislature adjourned for its summer recess. The joint resolution requires warrants be used to access an individual’s electronic data and communication.

“The right of individuals to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures is fundamental, which is why it is enshrined in the U.S. and Michigan constitutions. There ought to be no difference when it comes to government searches of electronic property and physical property,” Runestad said in a statement.

WSDP “The Park” Finalist in Marconi Awards

WDSP_300For the third consecutive year, the students and staff of WSDP-FM (88.1 The Park) (Plymouth-Canton) are being recognized alongside America’s elite broadcasters after the station was named a finalist for the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Award for Non-Commercial Station of the Year.

The Marconi Radio Awards were created in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi.  The awards recognize stations and individuals for excellence and performance in 21 different categories.  They are among the most prestigious awards in the broadcast industry.

WSDP is the only high school radio station to receive a nomination in the history of the Marconi Awards.  Three college-level student stations and one professional station round out the 2016 class of Non-Commercial finalists.  The awards will be presented on September 22 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards 27th Anniversary Dinner and Show in Nashville, TN.

“We’re excited to be a finalist for the third year in-a-row.  This is an incredibly prestigious honor for our hard working and dedicated staff,” said Amanda Barberena, WSDP Program Director.

“We couldn’t achieve this without the support of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, the board of education, administrators and staff.  We’re lucky to have been part of such a great community,” said Bill Keith, Station Manager.

WSDP is owned and operated by the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.  Students at Canton, Plymouth and Salem High Schools serve as staff members.  The station is celebrating over 44 years of serving the Plymouth and Canton Communities.

Traffic Director Spotlight: Mary Garrow

Nominate a Traffic Director you know!  Email Dan Kelley at

MaryGarrow_275Mary Garrow is Traffic Director at True North Radio Network in Alpena and stations WHSB-FM, WHAK-FM and WWTH-FM.

Mary has been in traffic for 20 years and with her present company for 21 years.

Q1: What is your favorite comfort food?
Mary:  Pasta.

Q2: Which Superhero would you be, and why?
Mary:  Wonder Woman – Because most days, with how busy I alway am, I already feel like her!!!

Q3: When I’m not working, I’d rather be …
Mary:  Spending time with my grandchildren and children.

Q4: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Mary:  Garth Brooks.

Q5: What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Q6: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know.
There is nothing really to tell, my life is pretty much an open book.

Poynter Institute Announces Free Workshop For Journalists

SensemakingMAB & Poynter’s Sensemaking Summit for Journalists

Saturday, September 10 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Crown Plaza, Lansing

The workshop will help journalists ask key questions that will make your reporting more reliable and make your journalism stand out from others who just report what they read or hear.

Presented by:  Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty, Broadcast and Online at Poynter Institute, and Elissa Yancey, Director of Special Projects, McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati

The workshop will help journalists:

  • Sort through claims about some of the hottest topics in this political year, including immigration, climate change and gun control.
  • Discover the money trail behind candidates to see who is supporting them, including front groups for major businesses and industries.
  • Show how political commercials manipulate the truth by using out-of-context facts, emotional music and patriotic images.
  • Show how to look critically at online and social media posts to determine if they are real.
  • Show how all sources are not created equal – and how your choices of the right ones can make your work better and more accurate.
  • Help find the hidden metadata on digital online images.
  • Teach how to verify and decode the science behind “scientific” studies.
  • Teach the key questions you should ask about every study before you report the study’s claims.
  • Help see the difference between correlation and causation.
  • Share the four key questions every journalist should ask on every assignment.

To be considered for this free workshop, complete this form. All professional journalists who apply will be accepted, if space allows. You will receive a follow-up email from Poynter with more logistical details.  This regional workshop is free for MAB and MAPB members!

Thanks to the support from the MAB, Participant Media and the Poynter Institute.  You are on your own for the hotel and travel, but we are open to hardship pleas. Please complete that part of the application if you need a travel stipend.

Brought to you by:Sponsor Logos

WCSX Extends Deal with Jim O’Brien

JimOBrien_275Greater Media has extended WCSX-FM Morning Personality Jim O’Brien’s contract with a multi-year deal.

O’Brien joined Trudi Daniels as co-host of the morning show in December of 2013. Prior to that, he served as a long-time producer and on-air contributor at the station.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Jim,” said Steve Chessare, VP/Market Manager of Greater Media Detroit.  He has played an important role in the success of the station and is a valuable part of our family.”

“It’s an honor being part of the WCSX family here in Detroit,” said O’Brien. “Thanks to everyone at Greater Media for making this possible for me and my family.”

Cumulus Ann Arbor and EMU Sign Partnership

WKTA-emu2The EMU Department of Athletics and Cumulus Media Ann Arbor have agreed to a partnership for the upcoming year that will include the broadcast of a weekly coaches show along with numerous cross-promotional activities across three of the Cumulus Ann Arbor stations. This agreement includes broadcast of a weekly coaches show and cross-promotion activities surrounding the “All E Show” for the 2016-17 athletic campaign which will have a familiar spot on the radio dial starting in August.

The agreement involves radio stations W4 County (102.9 WWWW-FM), Ann Arbor’s 107.1 (WQKL-FM) and Sports Talk 1050 (WTKA-AM).

The weekly coaches show, branded as the “All E Show,” is hosted by EMU Associate Athletic Director Greg Steiner and will air on WTKA-AM.  The first show is scheduled for August 29.

“Eastern Michigan University is an integral part of this community,” said Matt Spaulding, the Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus Media Ann Arbor. “We believe that through this partnership we will, together, provide a platform which celebrates the student-athlete, the vibrancy of EMU’s athletic program and provide the oxygen to the heart of Eastern Michigan University Athletics.”

“We are grateful and excited that WTKA has agreed to serve as the home of the ‘All E Show’ for EMU Athletics,” said EMU Vice President/Director of Athletics Heather Lyke.

Cumulus Media Ann Arbor will be cross-promoting the show throughout the year, which will include select giveaways for fans, such as free tickets to EMU home games. Also, as part of the agreement, EMU will receive on-site broadcasts and appearances throughout the year at select home events.

WEMU-FM will continue to be the flagship station for broadcasts of football and men’s and women’s basketball games.


Steve Mills Joins Midwest Communications/Kalamazoo

SteveMills_275Midwest Communications has announced that Steve Mills has joined the company as Director of Operations and Programming for its stations in Kalamazoo.

Mills was formerly with Cumulus Media and Westwood One, based in Atlanta. Over his 22-year career, Mills has been a PD, OM, VP/Programming, Consultant, GSM, Director of Sales and Opeations and Digital Manager in markets such as Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City, Tucson, Phoenix, Omaha and Atlanta.

Your Opinion is STILL Needed! Help MAB meet YOUR needs!

Fellow Broadcasters:

We are at an interesting time in our industry with a number of important developments on the horizon that will reshape the way we operate. Just as our businesses have evolved over time, the MAB must evolve to meet the demands of its members.

We’d like to personally invite you to participate in one of two focus groups to help gauge the current climate in the broadcast and media industry. Your participation in this process is critical; we want to hear from all of our members.

This is your chance to really make an impact, share your thoughts and concerns and help build an association that is there for you and that can help you do your job even better.

We, as an organization, are once again preparing for a new era by working with our state’s Broadcast and Media Leaders to set a course for the future of the MAB.
The options are:

  • Tuesday, August 16 from 2pm-3pm (via conference call).
  • Tuesday, August 30 from 4pm-5pm at the MAB Advocacy Conference, in-person at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

Click here to select which focus group you would like to participate in.


Ed Fernandez                                                                 Karole L. White
E.W. Scripps Co.                                                            MAB President/CEO
MAB Chairman of the Board

MAB Continues Lawmaker Meetings

The MAB, with help from its members, continues its summer series of in-district congressional meetings.  The focus of the meetings is to update lawmakers on the status of the incentive spectrum auction, discuss co-sponsorship of the Local Radio Freedom Act and advocate for preserving ad tax deductability in any future tax reform legislation.

On August 3, we met with Congressman Tim Walberg (R-7) at his Jackson office and on August 4th we met with Congressman Dan Kildee (D-5) at his office in Flint. The Congressmen both understand the value of local broadcasters to their communities.  Congressman Walberg is a co-signer of the Local Radio Freedom Act and Congressman Kildee is taking another look and we will hopefully have him as a co-signer soon.

(L-R) Congressman Tim Walberg (R-7), Karole L. White (MAB President), Julie Koehn (President/GM, Lenawee Broadcasting Co.), Bruce Goldsen (President, Jackson Radio Works).
(L-R) Congressman Tim Walberg (R-7), Karole L. White (MAB President), Julie Koehn (President/GM, Lenawee Broadcasting Co, Adrian.) and Bruce Goldsen (President, Jackson Radio Works, Jackson).
(L-R) Al Blinke (GM WNEM-TV), Karole L. White (MAB President), Congressman Dan Kildee (D-5), Jayne Hodak (News Director WJRT-TV), Chad Conklin (GM, Sinclair WEYI/WSMH-TV).
(L-R) Al Blinke (GM, WNEM-TV, Saginaw), Karole L. White (MAB President), Congressman Dan Kildee (D-5), Jayne Hodak (News Director WJRT-TV, Flint) and Chad Conklin (GM, Sinclair WEYI/WSMH-TV, Flint).

The regional in-district Congressional meetings are paramount for our industry advocacy. The NAB counts on the state broadcast associations to help with the grassroots lobbying in this way. This is why we need your support. When you are notified of a meeting with a Congressman, please make every effort to attend, and if you can’t attend in person, please appoint someone else from your staff to attend. The Congressmen want to meet with the broadcasters in their district, not the paid staff.  Both Radio and Television need to be represented at every meeting. Unfortunately, these meetings sometimes come up quickly. The MAB will try to give you as much advanced notice as possible.

These in-district meetings are longer and have more substance than those in Washington DC, where our lawmakers have to squeeze us in to a loaded schedule with barely enough time to say hello. These meetings should be a “must attend” by every broadcaster with a station in a particular Congressional district.

Thank you to everyone who has attended so far for making the Congressional in-district meetings a priority. If you have not had the opportunity to meet with your Congressman, we hope to see you at an in-district meeting in the future. You will be notified when meeting come up in the areas your signal covers.