All posts by Russ White

Scott Moore: Living the Dream, Celebrating 1,000 play-by-play calls for the Spartan Sports Network

Scott Moore

By: Russ White, MSU Today

MSU alumnus Scott Moore is the voice of Michigan State University hockey and baseball for the Spartan Sports Network (SSN). This past hockey season, Moore called his 1,000th game for SSN.

“It’s been a dream come true, and it’s been a joy for me to be able to do this,” says Moore. “I tell people that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. And I have yet to work in the last 26 years.”  Listen below:

Moore reviews the team’s progress during the 2017/2018 Spartan Hockey season and looks ahead to next season. And he talks about the impact new coach Danton Cole has had on the program.

He talks about the success of Big Ten Hockey and discusses the challenges and opportunities facing the entire sport of college hockey.

Moore recalls some favorite moments from over 1,000 game broadcasts – like the Spartans’ 2007 hockey national championship. His favorite memory, though, involves having his daughter by his side in the press box for many of his broadcasts.

He talks about how both hockey and broadcasting have changed over the years, and he offers his advice for young people who want to get into the ever-changing communications industry.

(audio courtesy of the Spartan Sports Network)

WKAR’s Elkins Featured in Podcast

Susi Elkins

WKAR’s Russ White recently sat down with Susi Elkins, director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University to talk about evolving the station’s mission to “serve, educate, inspire and entertain” in the digital age.

She said it’s a great time to be in broadcasting, in part due to the many different ways the audience can consume WKAR content in 2018.

“That means to me that we follow our mission to ‘serve, educate, inspire and entertain’ even more ardently,” she said. “It’s less about figuring out the program schedule and determining when people will hear or watch something and more about thinking about each member of our audience as individuals and providing choices and options for them in content and information.”

The challenges ahead for media organizations mostly all involve serving audiences. Elkins said, “It’s understanding them and understanding what they’re interested in.”

Listen to the interview here.

 

WILX-TV’s Mike King Interviewed about Television’s Future on ‘MSU Today’

Mike King

By: Russ White, MSU Today

MSU alumnus Mike King is regional vice president for Gray Television and general manager of WILX-TV 10 in Lansing.

King recalls the limited options of the television world in the early ’80s when he entered the business and how the content options for consumers have exploded. “The content is still important,” says King. “The platform has really become more agnostic to us.”

Listen to the interview here:

King says Channel 10 now delivers its content through the web, mobile, Hulu, and Amazon. And local news is still important to people, and it’s something they find more difficult to find online.

“We are really focused on providing local content on multiple platforms. We’ve always been about content. Now instead of having one television signal we have multiple channels that we’re delivering to.”

King says WILX is now a multimedia marketing organization, not only one television signal. The goal is still to sell advertising, but “it’s not just about delivering TV commercials anymore. And consumers want to be reached via multiple platforms.”

King tells how ATSC 3.0 is a new delivery standard for television stations. “It will allow for more two-way interaction with consumers and slicing of the signal so we can deliver even more content over the same amount of bandwidth.

“To simply be in a one-channel advertising-supported business model isn’t sustainable any longer.”

So what and how will we be watching 5, 10 or 20 years from now?

“I wish I had a crystal ball. But as a company – Gray Television – we are going to be in the local news and content business. What I can’t answer is how you’re going to consume our content.”

For young people who want to get into broadcasting and communications, King says to be a good storyteller first and foremost.

“And you do need to understand how consumers are consuming the media. You can’t just go into broadcasting anymore. It’s really about figuring out the news and information people want in their lives and then understanding the multiple channels on which they want to receive that information.

“It’s about standing above the noise and staying on top of the rapid pace of technological change.”

Dick Purtan Highlighted in WKAR’s ‘MSU Today’

(L-R) Russ White, Dick Purtain. Photo credit: Russ White

By Russ White, MSU Today

My first hero in a lifelong love affair with the radio medium was the legendary Dick Purtan, who tells me how he first began visiting Detroit with his father when he was a child. And he recalls fondly his days at the famous Keener 13, his first stop in Detroit radio.

Listen to the interview here:

He says Keener was a fun place to work and a natural fit for his evolving talents.

Then as the Big 8 CKLW began to demolish the competition in Detroit radio, Purtan recalls a time when he had to stick up for himself and the kind of radio show he thought listeners wanted to hear. And he was becoming increasingly weary of the trend to program radio stations from New York rather than locally, like at WXYZ, a station where Dick would eventually work.

Purtan describes how he first started to hone his on air philosophy listening to morning radio in Buffalo where he grew up and then later to groundbreaking morning teams in New York. His goal was to entertain and be informative.

When Purtan retired from radio in 2010, he was already beginning to see what he sees as a decline in local morning radio. It was becoming more about music than locally-based talent, entertainment, and information. So he decided it was time to hang up the microphone and headphones.

While he’s dismayed about much of the current state of radio, he’s optimistic that things will get better someday, especially on local talk radio.

Purtan’s advice for young people who want to get into the constantly evolving broadcast and communications world is to understand and embrace what appear to be the industries of the future.

During our conversation, Purtan references a couple times his decision not to succeed J. P. McCarthy at WJR when that morning radio legend died suddenly in 1995. Here he provides the inside story on how close he came to moving to WJR. Mike Fezzey’s honesty and the fact that Purtan felt he’d already tried the ‘JR thing in Baltimore ultimately led him to decline the opportunity. “It just didn’t feel right.”

Purtan tells me about learning that two of the most famous and successful talents in radio today consider him their hero: Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern.

Keep in touch with Detroit radio legend Dick Purtan on Facebook.

MSU Today airs Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 94.5 FM and AM 870.