All posts by MAB Staff

Pai: Repack Moving Ahead of Schedule

Ajit Pai

According to a report in TV Technology, FCC Chairman Pai delivered a progress report about the post-spectrum auction channel repack at the annual meeting of the National Association of Tower Erectors. He stated that “great progress” was made since work began in April 2017 and added that the transition, which affects approximately 1,000 full-power and Class A television broadcasters and about 2,000 low-power and translator television stations, is “ahead of schedule.”

“The limited availability of tower crews capable of doing this work was a big factor in our transition planning from the start,” he said. “We designed a phased transition schedule that allows both tower companies and equipment manufacturers to prioritize stations in early phases and to strategically allocate resources. We built in flexibility to make adjustments so that safety is never compromised.” Pai said that a total of $2.75 billion (including an additional $1 billion authorized by Congress last year) is available to reimburse broadcasters for repack costs, with more than $350 million already approved for reimbursements.

Donate Now to the Congressman John D. Dingell Jr. Journalism Scholarship

The late John D. Dingell Jr.

As announced in last week’s newsletter, the MAB Foundation has launched the John D. Dingell Jr. Journalism Scholarship, as a perpetual reminder of the Great Statesman and friend.

Congressman Dingell was a key supporter of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 that allowed for creation of PBS and NPR. He fought to ensure broadcasters were treated fairly in the first DTV transition in 2009 and during the FCC’s TV spectrum incentive auction.

This Scholarship will serve as a perpetual reminder of the Great Statesman and friend.

Send your contributions to MAB Foundation 820 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing MI 48906. Our goal is $50,000.00.  You may also give securely online by major credit card.  CLICK HERE

Announcing the Congressman John D. Dingell Jr. Journalism Scholarship

John D. Dingell, Jr.

Commercial and Public broadcasters owe so much to Congressman John D. Dingell, Jr., former Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the longest serving member of Congress.

Congressman Dingell was very involved with the MAB and was as knowledgeable on broadcasting and telecommunications issues as anyone working in the business.  Congressman Dingell cared very deeply about the first amendment and valued the Fourth Estate. We are all so saddened at his passing.

Dingell with former FCC Commissioner James Quello

He was a key supporter of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 that allowed for creation of PBS and NPR. He fought to ensure broadcasters were treated fairly in the first DTV transition in 2009 and during the FCC’s TV spectrum incentive auction

The MAB office has been flooded with phone calls asking what members can do to honor his memory. Marla Drutz, a close personal friend of the Dingell Family and a member of the MAB Foundation Board of Directors suggested starting a John D. Dingell Jr. Journalism Scholarship within the MAB Foundation. This Scholarship will serve as a perpetual reminder of the Great Statesman and friend.

You and your company may honor Congressman John Dingell with a contribution to the John D. Dingell Scholarship Fund. Make your checks out to the MAB Foundation noting that your contribution is for the John Dingell Scholarship fund.

Send your contributions to MAB Foundation 820 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing MI 48906. Our goal is $50,000.00.  You may also give securely online by major credit card.  CLICK HERE

Our thoughts go out to the entire Dingell Family at their time of mourning.

Congressman John Dingell: 1926-2019

MAB Says Goodbye to a Dear Friend: Congressman John Dingell Passes at Age 92.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of John David Dingell, Jr., former Michigan Congressman and longest-serving member of the United States Congress,” the office of his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, said in a statement. “Congressman Dingell died peacefully today at his home in Dearborn, surrounded by his wife Deborah. He was a lion of the United States Congress and a loving son, father, husband, grandfather, and friend. He will be remembered for his decades of public service to the people of Southeast Michigan, his razor sharp wit, and a lifetime of dedication to improving the lives of all who walk this earth.”

The Congressman passed away the evening of February 7.

Dingell served in the House of Representatives for 59 years and 22 days, from 1955 to 2015. According to the House historian’s office, he served with 11 presidents and cast 28,551 votes. Of that time, he served on the Energy and Commerce Committee for nearly 58 years, making Dingell the longest serving member on any congressional committee. He served as chairman of the committee for more than 15 years.

“Congressman John Dingell was a one of a kind statesman. He served this nation well and was true to his convictions. He was a good friend to broadcasters and deeply believed in the first amendment and the value of the 4th Estate. We would meet with him often and he was always straight with us,” said MAB President Karole White. “He loved to discuss policy. He had a knowledge of telecommunication issues that was remarkable. Whether or not we agreed, we came away from our meetings with a more in depth perspective of all sides of an issues. Our most sincere condolences to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and the family. We are all sad today.”

In 2014, Congressman Dingle was honored by the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) during ceremonies at The Grand Hotel, Mackinaw Island for his contributions to public broadcasting.  Below is a tribute video played during ceremonies.

WYCD Receives Three ACM Nominations

Entercom’s WYCD-FM (Detroit) has received three nominations from the Academy of Country Music for radio awards presented during the “54th Annual ACM Awards.”  The awards are set for Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas.

WYCD is up for Major Market Station of the Year as well as two nominations in the Major Market Personality of the Year category.  Morning drive hosts “Chuck, Rachael & Grunwald” as well as afternoon drive hosts Rob Stone and Holly Hutton were nominated.

Detroit’s WDZH Adds Kim Adams to Airstaff

Kim Adams

WDZH-FM (Detroit) has named Kim Adams as new midday host effective immediately.  Adams has over 20 years of on-air TV experience as a meteorologist for WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV (Detroit) as well as WBNS-TV (Columbus, Ohio).

“Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces,” Entercom/Detroit SVP/Market Manager Debbie Kenyon said.  “We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to host the midday show on 987 The Breeze and excited to transition from television to radio,” said Adams. “Radio enables live dialogue between hosts and listeners and I’m looking forward to connecting with the Motor City every weekday.”

Free Jacobs Media Webinar: What Happened at CES 2019?

Jacobs Media Strategies and INSIDERADIO are offering a free webinar for all broadcasters on Thursday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

Every year the company travels to Las Vegas for CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show, to see what new technological trends will impact the radio industry.

The free webinar will share the new trends on display at CES 2019, including:

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Voice command devices
  • Smart cities
  • Robots and AI
  • 5G
  • and more

Register here.

FCC Sets Up Re-Scan Help Desk for Consumers Dealing With TV Repacking

This past Monday (2/4), the FCC announced that it is setting up a consumer help desk, where operators will be standing by to answer questions about rescanning the TV spectrum to find TV stations that have changed channels due to the repacking of the TV band. Many TV stations will be changing channels due to the repacking of the TV band following the broadcast incentive auction which shrunk the number of channels dedicated to TV broadcasting as part of the TV band was repurposed for wireless communications uses.  As the TV stations that were forced to change channels by the repacking make those changes, consumers receiving their TV signals over the air will need to “rescan” the TV band to make sure that their sets find all the local stations on their new channels.

Viewers may reach the call center toll-free by dialing 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and pressing “6” to speak to a help desk representative. The call center is staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern time, seven days a week, to enable consumers throughout the country to obtain assistance during evening and weekend hours.

WJR’s Ann Thomas Inducted to Michigan Business Hall of Fame

Ann Thomas

This past Monday (2/4), WJR-AM (Detroit) Executive Producer Ann Thomas was inducted into the 2019 Michigan Business Women Hall of Fame class.  The induction took place at the 23rd annual Women Thrive Conference at Detroit’s MGM Grand Casino.

Thomas is the executive producer of the Paul W. Smith Show heard weekday mornings on WJR.  She is also the executive producer of the radio station overseeing the work of all producers at WJR. Thomas began her career at WJR in 1982 as an intern after graduating from Michigan State University and has since remained a part of the WJR team. She started her broadcasting career in the WJR news department as a street reporter and an anchorwoman.

During her 37 years at WJR, Thomas has received numerous awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, United Press International, Associated Press and the Detroit Press Club for her work on and off the air.  She is the 2014 recipient of the Michigan Business and Professional Association’s Women and Leadership in the Workplace Award. She has also been given the prestigious “Diamond” award from the Women in Communications Organization.

Thomas is also the host of two shows, Women Who Lead and WJR’s Healthy Woman Show. She created and developed WJR’s successful Women Who Lead award program honoring women in the Great Lakes area. During football season, Thomas can be be found in East Lansing producing WJR’s Tailgate Shows.

WKAR’S Curious Crew Begins Season 5!

Photo credit: Amanda Pinckney / WKAR-MSU

WKAR Public Media (East Lansing) has announced that the 5th season of Curious Crew debuted this past Monday, February 4.  The Emmy Award-winning science show, produced by the station, is seen on public television stations nationwide.

Dr. Rob Stephenson and his crew of inquisitive kids continue to take a hands-on approach to scientific exploration. Join them as they investigate electromagnetism, bioplastics, soccer science and more!

The new season includes 10 new episodes, each featuring a Curious About Career with Curious Crew cast member Janellyn and Genesis. In these segments, fans can look forward to learning about careers with female professionals working in a wide variety of STEM-related fields.

Each Curious Crew episode in the series also includes a set of Curiosity Guides, a step-by-step guide that kids, parents and educators can use to do their own investigations at home or school.