All posts by MAB Staff

Michael Walenta Celebrates 30 Years at WGVU Public Media

(center) Michael Walenta, WGVU General Manager, surrounded by staff.

On January 11, Michael Walenta, WGVU (Grand Rapids) General Manager, celebrated 30 years of leading the station.  Under Michael’s leadership, WGVU has grown from from one FM station and one TV station (that was on four hours a night) to a multi-platform Public Media station with two FM NPR stations, two AM Real Oldies & NPR stations, two TV stations with five channels each, WGVU Digital Studios, and WGVU Engage. Under his leadership WGVU has become a vital piece of the fabric in the West and Southwest Michigan community.

Michael, a Petoskey native, is married to Nancy.  Along the way, they’ve welcomed two children: Kevin, who is currently a Producer/Director at Fox 13 News in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Kristen, who is attending Law School in Grand Rapids.

Congratulations to Michael for 30 years at WGVU Public Media!

Martyn Horspool Will Break Down ATSC 3.0 at the #MABshow

Martyn Horspool

Drawing on four decades of international broadcast engineering experience, Martyn Horspool will break down ATSC 3.0 at the 2018 Great Lakes Media Show.

The Great Lakes Media Show, formerly known as the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC), will take place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.

Horspool currently serves as the product manager for television transmission at GatesAir in Mason, Ohio. He will present the following two ATSC 3.0-themed sessions:

Overview of the ATSC 3.0 Standard (March 6 | 2:00 p.m.)
The existing ATSC 8-VSB standard has been around for more than 20 years. A new standard for digital over-the-air transmission, ATSC 3.0, has been developed which brings with it some major improvements, together with a host of advanced features. The ATSC 3.0 standard has been designed to merge IP with broadcasting together with unprecedented robustness, performance and flexibility. This session will cover the details of the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer and explain some of the improvements and what they may mean for the broadcaster.

ATSC 3.0 – Characteristics and Transmission Requirements (March 7 | 11:30 a.m.)
ATSC 3.0 promises to bring with it many advanced features and capabilities which will enhance the future of over-the-air television. Since the ATSC Physical Layer uses an OFDM-based modulation scheme, several important differences between it and the current ATSC 8-VSB modulation are apparent. Some of these differences will impact the ability of existing transmission equipment (transmitter, RF system, RF line and antenna) to successfully and reliably perform their intended tasks. This presentation will cover some of the key areas that need to be investigated and provide some insight as to how to prepare for the transition to ATSC 3.0 transmission.

Horspool has been employed in the broadcast industry for 43 years, starting as a transmitter maintenance engineer with the Independent Broadcasting Authority in the United Kingdom in 1974. His move to Harris Broadcast Division in 1980 was the start of a long career that has paved the way to his current role, including numerous positions in service, engineering, sales support and product management. He has participated and presented at major broadcast conferences worldwide and has authored numerous publications and technical papers.

Discover the full line up of dynamic speakers and register to attend this year’s conference at 



Interlochen Sells East Jordan Station

On January 8, Interlochen Center for the Arts filed an application to sell WICV-FM (East Jordan) to Northern Christian Radio for $150,000.

WICV is a class A FM, operating on 100.9 mHz with an ERP of 2.8kw at 488 feet HAAT.  The station is presently an affiliate of the Interlochen Public Radio’s “Classical IPR” network.  Interlochen has owned the station since 1990.

Interlochen’s other stations include WIAA-FM (Interlochen), WICA-FM (Traverse City), WIAB-FM (Mackinaw City), WLMN-FM (Manistee) and WHBP-FM (Harbor Springs).

Northern Christian Radio owns WPHN-FM (Gaylord), WOLW-FM (Cadillac) and WTHN-FM (Sault Ste. Marie).

Michigan Radio Brings “Snap Judgement” to Kalamazoo

Glynn Washington

Michigan Radio (WUOM/WFUM/WVGR-FM) will welcome the hit public radio storytelling show Snap Judgment to Kalamazoo for a live show on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:00 PM.

Snap Judgment is a popular public radio storytelling show that airs on Michigan Radio and over 365 public radio stations nationwide. Created by Detroit-native and University of Michigan graduate Glynn Washington, Snap delivers a raw, intimate, musical brand of narrative — daring audiences to see the world through the eyes of another. Snap Judgment Live features the world’s finest storytellers, on stage, backed by the Snap Judgment band, Bells Atlas. The show crafts powerful multi-platform experiences (radio, stage, screen) that deliver raw, intimate narratives – giving audiences a glimpse into the lives of a stranger.

Tickets for Snap Judgment Live in Kalamazoo will go on sale to the public on Friday, January 12, 2018.

Snap Judgment Live is co-presented by the Kalamazoo State Theatre and will be coming to West Michigan for the very first time. The show last appeared in Michigan at a sold out performance in Royal Oak in December 2015.

Snap Judgment can be heard on Michigan Radio every Saturday at 1 and 9 p.m. 

WDIV Partners with Nextdoor in Southeastern Michigan

On January 10, WDIV-TV (Detroit) announced a partnership with Nextdoor, a free and private social network for neighborhoods. WDIV will be using Nextdoor to enhance conversations around local news in communities across the area.

WDIV will not only post relevant and interesting news stories to Nextdoor neighborhoods in Metro Detroit, but engage residents in the stories it works on. Through open-ended questions and Nextdoor polls, WDIV will have the opportunity to hear directly from residents about the various issues affecting them.

“Discussing local news with neighbors is an essential way to build a strong community and an informed civic dialogue,” said Dustin Block, WDIV’s digital executive producer. “We hope that the stories we share lead to further community discussions about the topics that matter most to you.”

This partnership gives WDIV the opportunity to interact with local people about the stories and conversations that matter most to them. However, WDIV will not have access to private neighborhood conversations or member data and can only see neighbor replies to the posts it shares.

If there is an article/story that WDIV does not share that residents would like to discuss with neighbors, participants can use the ‘Share on Nextdoor’ icon that will be accessible on all of WDIV’s news stories.

Viewers can visit WDIV-Local 4’s Nextdoor profile page to find locally relevant stories from the station’s staff. To join the neighborhood news conversation, residents can sign up for Nextdoor by going to and entering an email address and home address.

Broadcast Museum Celebrates First Anniversary

A Detroit museum dedicated to the achievements of the nation’s first black-owned television station will hold its anniversary on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The WGPR-TV62 Historical Society says the January 15 event at the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum & Media Center will include a black media history quiz and video clips of speeches by King, a civil rights icon.

The museum is named after WGPR’s founder and is located at 3146 East Jefferson Ave., in the same building where the station’s original television and radio studios operated.

Banks launched Michigan’s first black-owned FM station, 107.5, in 1964. Also a minister, he switched the call letters from Grosse Pointe Radio to Where God’s Presence Radiates.

The goal was to provide training so African-Americans could become a greater part of the broadcast industry, and dictate their own story.

With no TV stations operated by blacks, he applied for a TV license.

WGPR-TV started broadcasting on Sept. 29, 1975 and remained on-air until it was sold in 1995 to CBS.

DOJ’s Memo Turns up Heat on Marijuana Prosecutions – How are Advertisers Affected?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a memo directing federal prosecutors to enforce all the laws related to marijuana activities, in states where marijuana is legal for either medical or recreational use. Even though some states have removed state law restrictions on the sale or use of marijuana. Marijuana remains illegal under Federal law and is classified as a “Schedule 1” drug.

How are the advertisers affected? According to David Oxenford’s Broadcast Law Blog, because marijuana is illegal under Federal law and broadcasters are Federal licensees, running advertising for a substance that is generally illegal to use or possess under Federal law poses real risks for broadcast licensees.  Last week’s action by the DOJ means that it’s unlikely the Department of Justice or the Federal Communications Commission will give explicit clearance to radio and TV stations to air marijuana commercials in 2018.

2018 Broadcasters Legal Calendar Now Available

David Oxenford - Color
David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

At the beginning of each year, we publish our broadcaster’s calendar of important dates – setting out the many dates for which broadcasters should be on alert as this year progresses. The Broadcasters Calendar for 2017 is available here. The dates set out on the calendar include FCC filing deadlines and dates by which the FCC requires that certain documents be added to a station’s public file. These dates just recently changed for noncommercial broadcasters as the FCC suspended its requirement that noncommercial stations file Biennial Ownership reports every other anniversary of their license renewal filing (see our post here). Instead, their reports will be due on the  December 1 deadline which is the deadline for all stations, both commercial and noncommercial, to file these Biennial reports. That deadline is included on this calendar. In some states there are political windows even in what seemingly is an off year for elections (two governors and several big-city mayoral races are particularly noteworthy). The date for the beginning of the lowest unit rate window for the November general election is on the calendar, but stations need to check locally for primary dates and for any special elections that may be held in their service areas. Also included are some copyright deadlines, including dates to make payments to SoundExchange for Internet streaming royalties.

While the dates on this calendar may change, and new ones may be added, this at least gives you a start in planning your regulatory obligations. And, remember, you should always talk to your own attorney to make sure what dates are important to you.

David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline. Access information here. (Members only access).

There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your MAB membership.

Michigan State of the State Broadcast Feed & On-Site Information

On January 23, 2018 at 7 p.m., Governor Rick Snyder will deliver his final State of the State address to Michigan citizens. In response to a survey of our TV members, the MAB will once again up-link the State of the State address live via satellite for all stations to use.

The feed will be a clean (unanchored) feed, in HD and closed-captioned.  Please be aware that the Governor may not begin speaking right at 7 p.m.  Stations should be prepared to fill (with a live anchor) until the Governor begins speaking.

Stations should also be prepared for the an uncertain end time.  We have booked satellite time until 8:30 p.m.  Should we get any further guidance as to the length of the Governor’s address, we will post at 

(MABP/ Public Television) stations will receive a seperate HD feed anchored by veteran State Capitol reporter Tim Skubick.   MPRN/Public Radio affiliates can receive a live anchored broadcast by Capitol Correspondent Rick Pluta and WDET’s Laura Weber Davis.)

We encourage all radio and television stations to carry this program live on their main broadcast channel and/or digital channels. Its important that we show State government the value of broadcasting.

Airing the State of the State also goes a long way toward helping to influence lawmakers on the value of supporting a strong  Michigan broadcast media. The State of Michigan is one of the largest sponsors of public education programming, a major funding source of your association. We hope you will make the address as well as the Democratic response available.

Central Michigan University Television (WCMU-TV) has generously offered to once again uplink the address for MAB with their mobile uplink/production truck. The address will be on Galaxy 17 at 91 degrees west. Detailed satellite information is available here.

We will pre-feed the Democratic Response in two test periods prior to the live address: 4 to 4:30 p.m. and again 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.; and again 90 seconds following the end of the Governor’s address.

And, after many requests last year, we are happy to provide code to embed the State of the State broadcast on your websites (radio and television), courtesy of WKAR-TV.  The embedded broadcast will  be closed-captioned and feature the Michigan public television broadcast hosted by Tim Skubick.  Embed code information for your website is available here.

RADIO:  Radio stations are also encouraged to air the address.  The MAB will provide an Internet feed with audio of the Tim Skubick-hosted broadcast.  The Internet feed will be available on the homepage of the MAB station.  Stations will find an embedded audio player on the MAB website, plus URL information for those who wish to use their own player.

Please complete this survey for us as soon as possible regarding your State of the State plans:


Michigan State Capitol Construction and “The Big Hole”

ON-SITE INFORMATION: It is important to note that due to State Capitol construction, parking on the streets surrounding the Capitol will not be available this year. Stations should be prepared to park vehicles, as available, on nearby streets.

Video/audio feeds from the House Floor will not be available as they’ve been in the past (again, due to Capitol construction). Stations should be prepared to use the MAB clean feed of the Governor’s address.

PRESS CREDENTIALS: Be aware the the Capitol Building will have increased security. Anyone entering the Capitol will be required to have special pre-apporved credentials, including news media. You may not get in if you just show up. Request credentials by contacting John Whetstone at (517) 373-5059 or cell: (517) 899-9671. Email: . THIS MUST BE DONE IN ADVANCE – DEADLINE IS JANUARY 16, 2018. You will need a photo ID to pick up credentials at the north entrance to the Capitol; a press pass will not do.

‘Next Generation Speaker’ Ryan Jenkins Will Bring the Future of Sales and Leadership Into Focus

Ryan Jenkins

Internationally recognized “Next Generation Speaker” and author of The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work Ryan Jenkins will help to bring the future into focus when he leads three breakout sessions during the 2018 Great Lakes Media Show.

The Great Lakes Media Show, formerly known as the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC) takes place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.

Jenkins helps organizations gain clarity around Millennials and Generation Z so that leaders can effectively lead, engage, and sell in today’s multi-generational marketplace.  He has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., and SUCCESS Magazine.

His blog and podcast, along with his column in inspire and equip thousands of people every week. Ryan’s passion, experience as a Millennial himself and his fresh and forward-thinking approach to generations have made him one of the most highly sought after generational and future of work keynote speakers.

Jenkins also is a partner at, a micro-learning training platform dedicated to helping Millennials perform better at work.

He will present the following next-generation focused management and sales sessions:

Next Generation Leadership: Proven Strategies to Engage Millennials and a Multi-Generational Workforce

A generationally diverse workforce is better equipped to respond to today’s high-flux and disruption-prone marketplace. Since Millennials became a majority of the labor force, generational differences have never been wider as each generation has a varying perspective of work, leadership, technology, and selling/buying. In fact, 52 percent of workers say they are least likely to get along with someone from another generation. Those that learn to lead and engage Millennials (and across generations), will gain the necessary competitive advantage in today’s exponential and fast changing times.

Audience Outcomes:

  • Gain extreme clarity around who are the generations.
  • Learn why generations matter.
  • Understand each generation’s perspective of leadership, communication, technology, and work.
  • Learn 2-4 keys to engaging a multigenerational workforce.
  • Discover the silver bullet sure to engage any multigenerational team.
  • Relevant examples of organizations successfully engaging a multigenerational workforce.
  • Inspiring story about how to manage change successfully.

Generation Z: Recruit, Lead and Sell to Today’s Youngest Generation

Meet the generation that’s never been offline. Seventy-seven percent of Generation Z believe they’ll need to work harder than other generations to have a fulfilling professional life. If the current struggle of understanding and engaging the Millennial generation wasn’t difficult enough, the most tech-savvy, connected, and entrepreneurial generation to date will add yet another level of complexity. As the remaining Millennials make their debut into the workforce, there will be even more tension integrating the up-and-coming, post-Millennial generation.

Generation Z is today’s youngest generation. They are the first generation who will spend their entire life in a world where earth’s accumulated knowledge can be accessed in an instant with a touch of a finger. Generation Z, equipped with their own strengths, weaknesses, perspectives, needs, and wants have begun making their presence known. Generation Z may be the most socially savvy group marketers ever meet, the most diverse employers ever hire, and the most self-educated educators ever teach. Much like the Millennials, whose sheer size and early tech adoption was a catalyst for many consumer and workplace shifts, Generation Z will have similar disruptive tendencies growing up enabled and empowered by a tech-heavy and digital world. Change is inevitable but the understanding and engaging of Generation Z must be intentional. Your organization’s future vitality depends on it. We’re just beginning to see what Generation Z is capable of. Ryan’s presentation will give you the advantage moving forward.

Next Generation Selling: Keys to Positioning a Brand or Service with the Millennial Buyer.

Seventy-three percent of Millennial workers are involved in decisions to purchase products or services for their companies. Because of Millennials hyper-connected and high-tech upbringing, Millennials approach the buying process differently than previous generations.  Mobile communications and the social web have forever changed the customer expectations of the Millennial generation. As more and more Millennials move into decision-making roles, it becomes critical that organizations learn how to effectively connect and sell to this emerging demographic.

Audience Outcomes:

  • Gain extreme clarity around who are the Millennials.
  • Learn the powerful why behind selling to Millennials.
  • How to effectively communicate with Millennials.
  • Key Millennial selling strategies any salesperson can leverage.
  • Practical to-dos to strategically position your brand or service with Millennials.
  • Relevant examples of organizations successfully engaging Millennials.

Click here to check out the 2018 Great Lakes Media Show’s exciting line up of speakers.