All posts by MAB Staff

MPRN Seeks State Capitol Correspondent

With the departure of Jake Neher for WDET-FM (Detroit), Michigan Public Radio Network (MPRN) has an opening for a State Capitol Correspondent.  The person in this position is responsible for reporting news stories for use by stations within the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB). The MAPB is seeking an experienced multi-platform journalist to cover the state legislature, state government and politics.

Major duties and responsibilities:

  • News reporting, including coverage of the Michigan state house, major state departments, the courts, politics and elections and other timely issues of statewide interest.
  • Production of content for broadcast and web, including spots, features, and interviews.
  • Production of digital content including: web stories that may include images and video; possible podcasts, social media posts and other content as directed by the Bureau Chief/Managing Editor.
  • Live event coverage which may include hosting Public appearances as approved by Bureau Chief/Managing Editor.

Experience required:

  • Excellent reporting, writing and editing skills, with an ability to convey the human story behind public policy issues.
  • A passion for breaking news.
  • The ability to work on tight deadlines and meet them.
  • A degree in journalism or related field, or equivalent experience.

For consideration: Please send cover letter, resume, writing and audio samples to:

MPRN Managing Editor Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio Network
819 N. Washington Ave
Lansing, MI 48906

Or email to:

MPRN is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Michigan Radio Reporter Named Finalist for Journalist of the Year

Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio’s Lindsey Smith

Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM/WFUM-FM/WVGR-FM) has announced that The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has named Michigan Radio reporter Lindsey Smith as a finalist for Journalist of the Year. Based in Grand Rapids, Smith is Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter. Over the past year, however, she has reported extensively on the Flint water crisis, including producing a special documentary about the crisis, “Not Safe to Drink.”

The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recognizes the Detroit area’s top print, online, radio and television journalists. Finalists are selected by a jury of veteran journalists and educators from several news media outlets outside of Metro Detroit. Other finalists for SPJ Detroit’s Journalist of the Year include Ron Fonger, The Flint Journal; Nancy Kaffer, Detroit Free Press and Keith Naughton, Bloomberg News. The winner will announced at the Detroit SPJ’s annual banquet on April 12.

Original story by Steve Chrypinski, Marketing Director, Michigan Radio

FCC Issues Order on Multilingual EAS Alerting

fcc-logo_dark-blueOn March 30, the FCC released an order on EAS multilingual alerting. In essence, the order does two things:

1. Within one year after publication in the Federal Register of a notice announcing OMB approval, EAS Participants (broadcast stations, cable systems etc.) need to inform their SECC what steps, if any, “have been or will be taken by EAS Participants, whether individually or in conjunction with state and local emergency authorities, to disseminate, broadcast, or otherwise make available, EAS alert content to non-English speaking audiences in such audiences’ primary language.” Such descriptions shall include relevant factors that explain the degree to which alerts have been disseminated or broadcast in multiple languages. As a corollary to this reporting requirement, the FCC will require EAS Participants to cooperate with state and local emergency authorities, and SECCs, to identify such information. The mandate has no specific compliance method, but rather provides the broadest flexibility to state and local governments and EAS Participants to describe any steps that have been taken to provide multilingual EAS Alerts for their respective communities.

2. SECCs need to incorporate this information in their State EAS Plan. However, the EAS NPRM the FCC released at the end of January includes a LOT of proposals that, if adopted, will change the way Michigan and other states compile and file their state plans.  There is more forthcoming on this.

The FCC order also denies the MMTC’s long-standing petition calling for rule changes that would have, in essence, forced multilingual alerting.

The MAB will continue to keep you informed on EAS changes.

MSU Student Radio WDBM-FM (The Impact) Gets New Antenna

Photo courtesy of WDBM General Manager Ed Glazer

Michigan State University’s student-run radio station WDBM-FM (88.9 The Impact) replaced their 30-year-old broadcast antenna last week at the tower site in East Lansing.

Ed Glazer, General Manager of the station, said the old antenna outlasted its 15-year lifespan, but in recent years had been suffering from “diminished efficiency.”

The new antenna, which cost between $10,000 and $15,000 was paid for by the station’s general fund.  Workers from JT Tower Service, Clarksville, Michigan spend several hours in mid-Michigan’s chilly spring air working high on the station’s 300-foot tower removing and replacing the old antenna.  WDBM’s antenna is mounted on one tower of the WKAR-AM directional array.

More than 100 student volunteers work at the station, which has a music format consisting of alternative, rock and independent music as well as specialty music programs.  The station has been broadcasting since 1989.


WBBL-FM (Grand Rapids) Hires Eric Zane for Mornings

EricZane_258Eric Zane, most recently with the Free Beer & Hot Wings Show based at WGRD-FM (Grand Rapids), has joined crosstown WBBL-FM as Morning Show host.  Zane and co-host Kyle Paffhausen can be heard from 6-10am.

Zane started in radio while in ninth grade at Paul K. Cousino High School radio station WPHS-FM in Warren, Michigan.   He states on the WBBL website, after starting on WPHS, “he was hooked.  Now that I think of it, in 30-plus years, not a ton has changed!”

The Eric Zane Show began on April 7.

WEYI-TV/WSMH-TV Names Jamie Kagol Chief Meteorologist

Jamie-Kagol_300WEYI-TV and WSMH-TV (Bay City/Flint/Saginaw) has announced that Jamie Kagol is joining the station as Chief Meteorologist.  He comes to the station from WFTX-TV (Fort Myers, FL), where he was Morning Meteorologist for six years.  Prior to  Fort Myers, he was as the Chief Meteorologist at KIFI-TV, the ABC station in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Welcome to Michigan Jamie!  With the weather in our state, we’re sure you’re in for a wild time!

WZZM-TV Wins TEGNA Community Empowerment Award

WZZM_400WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has been awarded the Community Empowerment Award from its parent company, TEGNA Inc., during the annual TEGNA Employee Awards ceremony at TEGNA corporate headquarters in McLean, VA.

“We had a tremendous year with excellent work being done every day across our company,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO, TEGNA. “It is always an honor to celebrate the creative, innovative and inspiring work that better serves our customers, clients and communities. Today’s award winners set the bar very high and I congratulate them for their outstanding performance and dedication to our company.”

“The team at WZZM really focuses on community empowerment and 2015 provided some wonderful opportunities to demonstrate that commitment,” said Catherine Behrendt, Programming and Community Director. “We have a couple of long-term projects we do every year, but we also make it a point to listen to our community and respond when the situation warrants. Ours is a strong example of collaboration, advocacy, passion and pride in a community we love.”

Some examples of WZZM’s Community Empowerment:

Warm a Heart, Heat a Home
Just Drive
Make a Difference Day-Bone Marrow Registration Drive
13 Food for Families
13 Friends for Life
Toys for Tots

Traffic Director Spotlight: Ashley Tallmadge

Ashley-TallmadgeAshley Tallmadge
MacDonald Broadcasting, Saginaw

Ashley Tallmadge is the Traffic Director for WMJO-FM, WSAM-AM, WKCQ-FM, and WSAG-FM in Saginaw.

Q1: How long have you been in traffic?
Ashley:  1-1/2 years.

Q2: Favorite comfort food?
Ashley:  Homeade coney sauce.

Q3: Which Superhero would you be and why?
Ashely:  Well I don’t know about superheros, but around here I have dubbed myself “The Traffic Ninja.”

Q4: When I’m not working, I’d rather be…
Ashley:  Baking, cooking, riding bikes, enjoying time with my friends and family, swimming, camping, sledding. You name it. I love being active and trying out new things.

Q5: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Ashley:  So hard to choose just one person. Well I have always wanted to pick the brains of my favorite authors, so I would say J.K. Rowling.

Q6: What’s the best advice you have ever gotten?
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Q7:  Tell us something about yourself that very few people know:
I almost died when I was 15 of complete respiratory failure and pulmonary embolism!

GLBC Session Preview: Become a Better News Organization

TeensTabletWhether you, or your news staff are new to the business or seasoned journalists, you have to admit, things have changed!

News is now a 24 hour, 365 instant in my hand business, engaging all of your audiences’ senses. Print, Television, Radio, Magazines, Social, Digital, and Bloggers all have one thing in common…CONTENT!

Join your friends and colleagues for the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC), now with a new focus on multi-media and journalism in the mobile age.

The GLBC main day is Tuesday, May 3 in Lansing and includes these session and MORE!

Valerie-Geller_200Valerie Geller Presents: Get, Keep and BUILD Your Audience!
Content is king and those who create your content are what set you apart from every other “screen” or speaker you compete with. Everyone can improve and move to the next level of performance to create powerful content for news & personality TV & Radio, and work more effectively across ALL platforms!

Becoming a Powerful Storyteller
Presented by Valerie Geller

Whether you’re writing news, producing, an on air personality, or writing copy for promotion, sales or public service it all starts with good writing and powerful storytelling – in this session you’ll learn proven techniques in use by top broadcasters throughout the world.

AlTompkins_200Turn the Story Fast: How to Find Focus, Gather Quickly, Make Deadline
Presented by Al Tompkins, Poynter Institute

The key to great deadline storytelling is finding laser sharp focus. Al Tomkins show you show you how to:
-decide what goes where in your story
-find the soundbites that make your story memorable
-make any story more interesting by attaching your story to one of eight motivators
-change the shape of the story to turn multiple versions of the piece for different shows

The Art of Interviewing for Video
Presented by Steve Julin
Interviewing is the foundation of great storytelling, and the stories you tell are only as good as the information you get. In this workshop you’ll learn the top tips to use when conducting an on-camera interview but most importantly how to get the sound bites and quotes you need in the edit suite.

Find out more and register at:

FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake Updates AM Revitalization Progress

According to a posted dated March 30 on FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake’s blog, AM Revitalization proceeding has resulted in over 600 applications to move translators for AM rebroadcasts to date. The blog further states that 80% of the applications have already been granted by the Audio Division. The process will continue through the end of this window in July, as well as the three-month window to follow, which will be open to all AM broadcasters.

Lake adds that there has been a 25% increase in the number of AM stations using energy-saving MDCL technologies since the procedures for doing so were streamlined to require only notification rather than obtaining Commission permission. “This is just one example of the ways in which we at the Commission hope to reduce the burdens on AM broadcasters who want to move their service into the 21st Century, and to remain a vibrant and essential part of America’s communication infrastructure,” Lake wrote.