All posts by MAB Staff

WRIF-FM’s Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show Named Best Radio Program by Hour Detroit

Dave-Chuck-Group-Shot
Top L-R: WRIF- FM Morning Personalities Dave Hunter, Chuck “the Freak,” Lisa Way, and Andy Green. Bottom L-R: Jason Watson (phone screener and video editor) and James Campbell (show producer)

Greater Media has announced that WRIF Morning Personalities Dave and Chuck the Freak have been named “Detroit’s Best Radio Program” for the third consecutive year by Hour Detroit Magazine.
The morning show will be featured in the publication’s June issue, which features the results of its annual readers’ survey.

“We’re blown away that people would take some time out of their day to cast a vote for us,” said WRIF Morning Personality Dave Hunter. “It’s an honor to be named Detroit’s Best Radio Program by Hour Detroit for the 3rd year in a row and it’s even better that our incredible listeners helped make it happen.”

Hour Detroit is the monthly city magazine metro Detroiters rely on for dynamic, award-winning coverage of issues and people affecting their lives, (as well as their source for enjoying the finer things in the region). Renowned for its glossy, oversized format and the premium it places on outstanding journalism and photography, the publicationis recognized as the metro area’s leading authority on restaurants, arts and entertainment, and trends in fashion and décor.

Townsquare Launches Urban AC in Grand Rapids

magic941logov1Townsquare Media has launched a new AM/FM Translator simulcast in Grand Rapids.  WNWZ-AM is now heard on FM translator W231DD 94.1 and is operating as “Magic 94.1.”

Radio Insight reports that former WGPR-FM (Detroit) Production Director Ed Spillers (aka: “Lee Stevens”) is serving as Brand Manager/Afternoon Host.

The new station website is here.  The station is also heard on the HD-2 signal of WLHT-FM.

Tom Bender To Retire From Greater Media

Tom_Bender_300Classic rock radio pioneer and current Greater Media Interactive Senior Vice President/General Manager Tom Bender will be retiring from the company at the end of June after nearly three decades of service.

Bender told All Access: “I am grateful to Peter Smyth for allowing me to lead our digital initiative for the past six years as we worked to conquer the digital challenges to radio,” said Bender.  “He has been a friend as well as a great boss. I was privileged to work in my hometown with a wonderful group of people who created WCSX and built upon the 45-year heritage of WRIF, where I began my career. Greater Media is an extraordinary company and I thank them for a creative and innovative culture in which to work. Now it’s time for a new chapter in my life!”

Bender was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2007.

He has been in his current role since November 2007.  Prior to that, Bender was Regional GM of Greater Media’s Detroit operations since November, 1986, where he was responsible for creating one of American’s first Classic Rock-formatted stations, WCSX-FM in Detroit.

George Blaha Shares Memories in New Podcast

blaha_300The legendary sportscaster George Blaha, who’s been the voice of the Pistons, Spartan football, and  countless commercials in his 40-year career, was recently interviewed on Deadline Detroit‘s “One Seat Over” podcast.

Blaha was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2014.

In the interview, Blaha shared hightlights of his 40-year career, such as meeting Vin Scully, a man he calls “The greatest broadcaster of our lifetime.”

Listen to the podcast here.

Hall of Fame & Lifetime Achievement Award Announcement!

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ Board of Directors is proud to announce the 2016 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees and the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

The 2016 award recipients have 150 plus years of combined experience serving the broadcasting industry. Each of the award recipients have influenced and supported their communities as broadcasters, humanitarians and philanthropists over the time they have been involved in broadcasting.

These outstanding honorees will be presented with their awards on Tuesday, August 30 at the MABF Awards Banquet at the Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth, Michigan. Please join the MAB and MAB Foundation in celebrating these outstanding people in our industry!

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree

Koehn_200Julie Koehn
Lenawee Broadcasting Company
Adrian, MI

Julie Koehn is the president of Lenawee Broadcasting Company, Adrian, Michigan. She began her broadcasting career in 1985 as an account executive after graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in both industrial and labor relations and political science. Julie is a veteran of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Board of Directors, having served as chairman in 2005-2006. She sits on the board of directors of the MAB Foundation and chaired the foundation in 2012-2013. She was also a trustee for the MAB Political Action Committee. Julie was the District 13 representative (MI) to the National Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015 and is a faculty member of the NAB Education Foundation Broadcast Leadership Training Academy. Julie is also on the Board of Directors of the NAB Education Foundation.

Julie has also been a featured and panel speaker on small market radio at multiple National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Advertising Bureau annual conferences. Under her management, station accomplishments include five NAB Crystal Radio Awards, the NAB Crystal Heritage Award, three NAB Education Foundation Service to America Awards, Service to Children Awards, and three NAB Marconi Awards, one for AC Station of the Year and two for Small Market Station of the Year. WLEN has been MAB Station of the Year for nine of the last thirteen years in Market 3.

A very active member of her community, Julie is a past chair and chair-elect and sits on the board of directors of ATHENA Lenawee and is a board member of the Pleasant Grove Hotel Historical Society.

Julie is a past board member of the Devil’s Lake Yacht Club (serving as their first female Commodore in 2011). She has held positions on the HOPE Community Center Board of Directors, the Lenawee County Chamber of Commerce (serving as their first female chair), Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army. Julie has also initiated fund-raising events for multiple charities in her community. She resides with her husband, Tom Valentine, in Adrian.

2016 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees

Smith_200Paul W. Smith
WJR-AM
Detroit, MI

Paul W. Smith started in radio at WVMO-FM in his hometown of Monroe, Michigan in 1968. As a 15 year old kid in High School, he knew Radio was what he wanted to do the rest of his life. From Monroe, he moved on to Toledo, Ohio, where he sold radio time, did on-air stints at WCWA and WSPD, and a daily live television show called “AM Magazine,” then “Mornings with Paul W.” while still doing his Afternoon Drive Radio Show. From Toledo, he went to Windsor, Ontario for the morning drive show at CKLW. He moved back across the river to WJR Radio to do weekends and fill in for legendary broadcaster J.P. McCarthy, before heading to New York City to do a morning show at 77/WABC. In fact, for a year, Smith flew back and forth every week to be able to continue working weekends at WJR-AM while doing his Monday through Friday show on WABC.

While doing work on The ABC Radio Network and WMCA, Smith started doing Morning Drive on WWDB-FM in Philadelphia. Soon thereafter he added hosting the noon time “Focus” show on WJR via satellite to his busy broadcast day in Philadelphia. In 1996, Smith came back home to WJR to take over stewardship of the morning show on “The Great Voice of the Great Lakes,” still broadcasting to this day from “The Golden Tower of the Fisher Building.” Smith has won an Emmy for his hosting duties of the monthly television show “Minds of Medicine” and continues to co-host (with Stephen Luigi Piazza), the weekly radio show “Opportunity Detroit.”

Dubbed by the Wall Street Journal as “The King of Talk Radio in Detroit” and named a 2011 Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News, Smith was proudly inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2013.

This year, “The Paul W. Smith Golf Classic to benefit The Detroit Police Athletic League” will surpass Five Million Dollars (Net) given to help thousands of kids every year.

Paul JacobsPaul Jacobs
Jacobs Media, jacAPPS
Bingham Farms, MI

Paul Jacobs is the VP/GM of Jacobs Media and President of jacAPPS. Jacobs has served within the broadcasting industry for nearly 40 years, the majority of which have been spent in the state of Michigan. He has cultivated a new niche in the radio broadcasting with jacAPPS, a leading mobile application software company, based in Michigan. Jacobs was also the driving force behind the DASH conference, which brought the radio and automotive industries together to generate ideas to best serve the general public. In addition, he serves on the MAB Foundation’s Board of Directors, helping to drive innovative educational opportunities for current and future broadcasters.

Stephen Schram
Michigan Radio, WUOM
Ann Arbor, MI

Stephen Schram is Executive Director and General Manager for Michigan Radio – WUOM, the state’s most listened to NPR news and information service, originating from Ann Arbor and licensed to the University of Michigan. Michigan Radio broadcasts at 91.7 FM in Ann Arbor/Detroit, 91.1 FM in Flint, 104.1 FM in western Michigan, and online at michiganradio.org.

As General Manager, Schram previously led WOMC and WYCD in Detroit, plus earlier provided executive leadership for the seven Detroit market Clear Channel radio stations (now iHeartMedia), including WNIC and WKQI. He also worked for WJBK-TV (Fox 2), Detroit in Marketing and Business Development. Schram is a Past President and current Treasurer of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters, a current Director of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation and served as a board member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters 1999-2002 and 2003-2005.

The awards program and banquet are an MAB Foundation fundraising event. Proceeds go to support student scholarships and broadcast education in Michigan. Click here for more information about the MAB Advocacy Conference and Awards Ceremony.

Wish to Congratulate this Year’s Honorees?

Make this event special for the Award recipients with a full-color congratulatory ad in the awards program! All attendees receive a copy of the program as a keepsake for the event. For more information on how you can purchase an ad click here.

FCC Proposes Earth Station Update Extension

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Public Notice regarding an extension of the deadline that TV stations using satellite newsgathering trucks will have to install a tracking beam so neighboring satellite TV operators can find them if they cause interference.

TV Technology reports that nearly three years ago, the Federal Communications Commission ordered the adoption of an identification scheme that would allow satellite operators to track down interference from temporary-fixed earth stations—a category that includes satellite newsgathering trucks. These stations were supposed to start embedding an Automatic Transmitter Identification System message into their subcarrier signal by September 3, 2016. This was to be achieved through an upgraded or new modulator, but those are few and far between as the deadline approaches, according to the FCC Public Notice seeking feedback on when to set the new deadline.

“Recent information from affected earth station operators and independent staff market surveillance, indicate that suitable external modulators have not become widely available,” the notice said. “Many earth station operators would therefore be unable to retro-fit their current transmitting equipment in order to comply… and instead would need to replace the equipment at a considerably greater expense than anticipated when the rule was adopted.”

Read more here.

MAB’s Pam Cutler Joins WLNS-TV

Pam_300MAB’s loss is WLNS-TV’s gain.  Pam Cutler, who has been working with stations all over the state with traffic and copy for the MAB NCSA and PEP programs, is leaving to join the staff of Media General’s WLNS-TV (Lansing) as Log Editor/Traffic Assistant.

Pam has been with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters since 2012 and begins her new position on June 20.  The MAB wishes Pam the best in her new position.

A replacement for Pam will be announced by the MAB soon.

U.S. House Recognizes Broadcasters’ Role in Emergencies

The House of Representatives passed the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters (SANDy) Act, H.R. 3998, sponsored by Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ). This bill makes several changes to wireless and emergency networks in order to improve disaster response. It officially recognizes the role radio and television broadcasters play in emergency situations.

This legislation:

  • Ensures that during an emergency, consumer cell phones work on other carriers’ networks if their own network goes down, giving priority to calls to 911 services and emergency alerts;
  • Begins a process to provide 911 services over Wi-Fi hotspots during emergencies;
  • Ensures that all communication providers, including radio, TV, and phone can fix outages faster, even across state lines; and
  • Launches an expansive study of the future of network resiliency.

H.R. 3998 is now being considered by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Snyder Signs Legislation Blocking Petition Signatures Older Than 180 Days

Rick-Snyder_300Governor Rick Snyder has signed a bill, Senate Bill 776, which prohibits the state from counting signatures older than 180 days that were collected for ballot proposals and constitutional amendments. This means that, beginning immediately, petition signatures for constitutional amendments or initiated legislation collected 180 days before the proposals are turned into the state will not count.

Backers of one of the marijuana legalization proposals have been pushing for the change to allow signatures older than 180 days. Anti-fracking and marijuana legalization petition drives indicated that they would fight the law in court.

Congress Passes Bill on FCC Rule Publication

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the FCC Reform bill. This week, the legislation was passed by the full U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, HR 2589, introduced by Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) requires the FCC to publish rule changes on the same day as they are adopted and publish the changes to its website no later than 24 hours after their adoption.

Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said, “Improving the process at the FCC so that it operates in an effective and transparent manner holds the FCC accountable and targets their struggle to make its newly adopted rules available to the public in a timely fashion.”