All posts by MAB Staff

Reverse Auction File Formats Available

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has posted the reverse auction file format specs that will be available and for those broadcasters who take part in the auction. As the auction bidding proceeds, the commission will post each licensee’s data — to be reviewed by that owner only, according to the Commission, which could help participant’s shape their bidding strategies.

Schuette: Local Audit Not Subject to OMA

capitol3According to the Attorney General Bill Schuette’s opinion 7288, issued March 4, audits done of local governments to check for minimum assessing requirements are not subject to the state’s Open Meetings Act (OMA). The audits are held under the supervision of the State Tax Commission, and state law requires that all local assessing officials comply with and assist the commission in reviewing efforts to assess and levy property taxes.

The Attorney General, in his decision, stated that the auditor does not fall under the definition of a public body under the OMA, and the information gathered by the auditor does not constitute either a recommendation or a final decision on the local government’s assessing practices. In addition, the Court of Appeals has held that financial review teams, which the auditors could be considered, did not fall under the definition of a public body.

Attention Stations: EEO Credit Opportunity!

EEO pictureThe MAB Foundation will hold their annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) Career Fair on Tuesday, May 3 in Lansing. Participating in this fair gives you and your station(s)/media company the unique and valuable opportunity to reach out and educate the future of our industry, network with other media professionals, support the programs of the MAB Foundation and receive possible EEO credits.

GLBC sees hundreds of excited students and young professionals eager to meet with you! All station participants will receive official acknowledgement letters to be placed in their station’s EEO files. Take care of your EEO file and be prepared for possible EEO audits by registering to participate in this fair today!

Click here for more information: http://michmab.com/Careers/CareerFairs/GLBCCareerFair

Register here: http://bit.ly/16GLBCcareers

Blarney Stone Brings Five More Years of Tigers Baseball to Northern Michigan

According to a recent press release, Blarney Stone Broadcasting has extended their Detroit Tigers affiliate agreement through the 2020 season.

WUPY-FM (Ontonagon) will be celebrating the start of the Tigers’ new season this spring with two “Opening Day” parties.

The first will be on Tuesday, April 5, when the Tigers begin their season on the road against the Florida Marlins. [WUPY on-air personality] JC will be broadcasting live from The Firehouse in St. Helen [Michigan], and listeners can win a pair of tickets to an upcoming Tigers game, plus Q100 T-shirts in our Tiger Trivia contest.

The game will air on Y101.1, starting with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.

The Q100.3 party is on again when the Tigers head north for their home opener on April 8 against the New York Yankees. This time, JC will be broadcasting life from Fred’s of Roscommon from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Listeners can register to win more great prizes and Q100.1 T-shirts.

Pregame starts at 12:40 p.m., with the first pitch at 1:08 p.m. Hear all the action on Y101.

Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Famer Juke Van Oss Passes at 92

Juke Van OssMidwest Communications’ WHTC (Holland) reports that talk icon and beloved West Michigan resident Juke Van Oss died early Monday morning (3/7).

“Juke was a friend to all of us,” said WHTC/VAN General Manager Kevin Oswald on WHTC Monday, his voice filled with emotion. “He will be missed greatly.”

He’d worked as recently as Friday (3/4), interviewing historian and former Holland Sentinel editor Randy VandeWater. On Sunday (3/6), Mr. VanOss taught a Sunday school class, according to his family.

Mr. Van Oss was born in 1923 at a farm near Graafschap, a second-generation Dutch-American who grew up in Holland and Dowagiac before serving in World War II in the Army. His military service included tours of duty in the Philippines and Korea.

After the war, Mr. Van Oss worked at various places in the Holland area before getting hired at WHTC as an engineer on August 12, 1951. His on-air career started shortly afterward.

He was married to the former Janet Camp for 49 years. She preceded him in death in 1997.

Juke Van Oss was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009.

Statewide Tornado Warning EAS Test April 13, 2016

Michigan Statewide Tornado DrillAt the request of and in cooperation with Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, the National Weather Service will conduct a test with the Tornado Warning EAS Code at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 as part of Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code (“TOR”) for this statewide test.

The MAB Board of Directors endorsed the test and encourage all member stations to participate. Other states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois have conducted similar tests in the past few years. However, participation in this test by broadcast stations and cable systems is voluntary.

If there is a threat of actual severe weather on April 13, the test will be postponed until April 14, 2016. If there is a threat of severe weather on April 14, the test will be cancelled. The go/no-go decision will be made by 4pm the day prior by the National Weather Service as well as the Statewide Tornado Drill Working group. MAB will post a go or no-go status on its homepage.

While the audio of this test will repeat several times in the script “This is a Test,” because the EAS Tornado Code is being sent, the crawl on TV stations and cable stations will read “A Tornado Warning has been issued for…”. We ask that TV broadcasters and cable operators making the decision to air the test audio should display a “This is a Test” graphic behind the crawl.

The test will be originated on NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) and will be relayed via the State Relay (SR) and Local Primary (LP) stations.

Promotion and Publicity:  The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, along with other stakeholders including the MAB, the National Weather Service, American Red Cross, Local Area Emergency Managers, and others have prepared a Statewide Tornado Drill Media Toolkit, including talking points, produced radio PSAs, sample social media posts, and more.

This kit and PSAs will be made available online shortly. The MAB will be sending out an additional memo once these materials are available, as well as a suggested on-air promotion timetable (starting roughly the week of April 4, 2016.

Questions? Contact Dan Kelley at the MAB: (517) 484-7444 or dkelley@michmab.com.

Radio Reader Estell to Leave Airwaves After Storied Career

Dick-Estell_200Citing recent health isues, WKAR Radio (East Lansing) reports that long-time Radio Reader Dick Estell has made the difficult and heart-breaking decision to hang up his microphone after more than half a century as the voice of the “Radio Reader.”

A passionate and avid lifelong lover of reading, Estell took over as the “Radio Reader” in 1964 for WKAR at Michigan State University. In the following years he read close to 1,000 books.

While WKAR had offered a radio reading series since 1936, it was after Estell took over the program that it was made available to public radio stations across the country. At its peak, the series had an audience of over one million.  The final “Radio Reader” episode will air on March 10, 2016.  Read more at wkar.org.

Dems Want FOIA Expansion by ‘Sunshine Week’

Michigan Democratic Party leaders called on the GOP to join them in supporting an expansion to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the end of Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week promotes open government and freedom of information and lasts from March 13 to March 19.

As Governor Snyder released thousands of pages of emails from the Executive Office dealing with the Flint water crisis, Democrats are saying he should have been required to do so by law. House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-29) stated that because the governor is not required to release any of the emails, there is no way to know if he is actually releasing every email related to Flint water management.

Several bills were introduced in the State Legislature that would expand the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to include State Legislature and the Governor’s office – two entities currently exempt from FOIA. House Bill 5216, introduced by State Representative John Bizon (R-62), expands FOIA to the State Legislature.  Senate Bill 716, introduced by State Senator Coleman Young II (D-1), expands FOIA to the State Legislature and the Governor’s office.  Greimel noted that 48 other states subject their legislatures and executive offices to FOIA, and Michigan can do so without risking personal constituent information.

Ed Christian, MAB Hall of Famer, Re-Upped by Saga

According to All Access Music Group, Saga Communications has signed Chairman/Pres./CEO Ed Christian, MAB Hall of Famer, to a new five-year contract extension.

A Michigan native,  Ed Christian worked his way through college and earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 1973 at Wayne and his masters’ degree in Management in 1981 from CMU. Ed’s calling was to a career in radio, which began in 1958, at age 14, and hasn’t stopped since.

His first job as a young teen was running the control board at several FM radio stations here in Detroit. Then, while studying at Michigan State University, he worked as a radio reporter at several Lansing radio stations. In 1966, when he realized he’d reached the top of his game as on-air talent, he moved into radio sales at WCAR-AM/FM, in Detroit.

In 1971 Ed joined the ranks of station owner by partnering in the purchase of WCER-AM/FM, in Charlotte, Mich. In 1974 he was he was brought in as vice president and general manager to save the floundering WNIC AM/FM, which was in deep financial trouble. With $100,000 in cash to operate the station he cut staff, paid bills and changed the radio format to “Detroit’s Nicest Rock,” and within three months the station was profitable again. In 1986 then parent company of WNIC, Josephson Communications, decided to sell its radio division. Ed found a venture capital partner and bought eight radio stations in the group and Saga Communications was born. And the company has been steadily acquiring broadcast properties ever since.

In 2009, Ed was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters’ National Radio Award for his service as a national leader for radio and his passion for public service. In 2012, Ed was also honored with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ Lifetime Achievement Award. The broadcast publication Radio Ink has called Ed one of the most influential radio executives in the United States. Saga has been regularly elected to the highly selective Forbes’ list of the 200 Best Small Companies in America.

Ed’s heritage is Icelandic and he serves as Honorary Consul of Iceland for Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. In this position he promotes tourism, commerce and industry between Iceland and the U.S.