Category Archives: 2017

NAB Continues Push Back Against White Spaces Proposal

According to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) continues its opposition to Microsoft’s white spaces proposal. The NAB fired back at a recent letter sent to the FCC by a group of tech company executives called “Voices for Innovation.” In the letter, the group expressed its support for the proposal stating that “this emerging technology has the capability to bring affordable, reliable, high-speed internet to 34 million Americans who currently lack access.”

NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton responded by stating that the proposal “would jeopardize local broadcast news, programming and lifeline emergency information for millions of Americans. The FCC and Members of Congress should not be fooled by Microsoft’s empty promises.” NAB also stated that if Microsoft wanted access to broadcast spectrum, it could have participated in the incentive spectrum auction.

A Big Thank You to our PAC Supporters

The MAB Political Action Committee (MAB PAC) Board of Directors would like to thank all the members who attended our annual PAC fundraiser on August 21 at Crystal Mountain Resort. The event featured a reception, private Clipper Chairlift Rides. We also were joined by Rob Elhenicky of Kelley-Cawthorne and John D. Pirich of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, who discussed ballot proposals and predictions for the upcoming 2018 elections as well as the political climate in Michigan and across the country.

The MAB PAC is a statewide bipartisan broadcaster-driven political action committee organized with a purpose of supporting state lawmakers who support our industry. With term limits in effect, the time is short to forge long-term, productive relationships with lawmakers in Lansing. A strong political action committee remains one of the most important tools in building that relationship. That is why your support is so important. We appreciate it.

Broadcasters Foundation Expediting Emergency Grants for Texas Broadcasters

As local Radio and TV stations across Texas mobilize their communities to help their fellow Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is expediting $1,000 grants for individual broadcasters personally harmed by the record devastation wreaked by the storm.

The Broadcasters Foundation’s emergency relief program distributes one-time grants of $1,000 each after a disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or other serious misfortune. The expedited emergency grant application process is streamlined to provide assistance as quickly as possible.

“The Broadcasters Foundation is a safety net in an emergency,” said Dan Mason, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation. “When a colleague’s roof is suddenly blown away, their belongings destroyed, or their families displaced, the Broadcasters Foundation can step in quickly. We need everyone in our business to help us ensure that all broadcasters in need are aware of the Broadcasters Foundation,”

Learn more at

Peter Tanz Elected Chair of the MAB

Peter Tanz

Peter Tanz, Senior Vice President for Midwest Communications, was elected Chair of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Board of Directors during the organization’s annual business meeting on Tuesday, August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville. 

Tanz becomes the 72nd chairman of the MAB, one of the largest and most successful state broadcast associations in the nation. The MAB represents nearly 300 radio and television stations and about 4,000 individual broadcasting industry employees across the state of Michigan.
Tanz joined Duke Wright’s Midwest Communications in Green Bay, Wisc, as an advertising sales representative in 1985 and was promoted to General Manager in 1987. He managed the company’s stations in Wausau, Wisc., Lincoln and Omaha, Neb., before moving to Michigan in 1995 when Midwest purchased 4 stations from Tri-State Broadcasting. Today, Midwest Communications operates 14 stations in southwest Michigan and Lansing.
As Senior Vice President, Peter works with market management at more than 70 radio stations owned by Midwest.
Peter is a member of the MAB Foundation Board and has chaired several MAB committees. He is involved with many community organizations and is past chair of the Coldwater and Kalamazoo Chambers of Commerce and the Kalamazoo Visitor and Convention Bureau.
Also elected to the MAB Board of Directors executive committee are: Vice Chair/Chair-Elect Gary Baxter, WSYM-TV, Lansing; Secretary/Treasurer Zoe Burdine-Fly, Townsquare Media, Lansing/Flint; At-Large Director Stephen Marks, Thunder Bay Broadcasting Corp., Alpena, and Immediate Past Chair Debbie Kenyon, CBS Radio, Detroit.

See the complete MAB Board of Directors list here.

MAB celebrates Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees

L-R: Retired WXYZ-TV news anchor Erik Smith; MAB Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Marla Drutz, Vice President and General Manager for WDIV-TV in Detroit; Rob David, President and General Manger of Handyman Productions; Sheryll Estell, who accepted on behalf of her late husband and WKAR “Radio Reader,” Dick Estell, who passed away in 2016; and Gina Mills, who accepted the MAB 2017 Legacy Award on behalf of her late mother, WYCD-FM host Linda Lee, who passed away on March 31.
The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award and welcomed four other outstanding individuals into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame on Tuesday, August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort.

The highest award given by the MAB, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors Michigan broadcast pioneers who have dedicated the majority of their professional careers to broadcasting in the state of Michigan and have distinguished themselves through a lifetime of service as a top manager or owner through excellence in broadcasting.

Hall of Fame inductees are nominated by their peers and voting takes place over a few weeks. Active members of the broadcast media cast their votes and the inductees are chosen. These awards are the highest recognition given by the MAB to members of Michigan’s broadcasting industry.


Award recipients were honored during the MAB’s annual Awards Banquet surrounded by broadcasters and friends. For more information about MAB’s Hall of Fame award winners, click here.


2017 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees
Handyman Productions (Novi)


Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
WDIV-TV (Deroit)
Legacy Award Recipient
WYCD-FM (Detroit)


WXYZ-TV (Detroit)


Radio Reader, WKAR (East Lansing)

MAB Honors Sen. Debbie Stabenow With Lifetime of Distinguished Public Service Award

L-R: Past MAB Board Chair Ed Fernandez, Vice-President and Divisional General Manager for E.W. Scripps in Detroit; 2017 MAB Lifetime of Distinguished Public Service Award Recipient Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); MAB Board Vice Chair/Chair-ElectGary Baxte, Vice-President and General Manager of WSYM-TV in Lansing; and MAB Chair Peter Tanz, Senior Vice President for Midwest Communications in Kalamazoo. (Not Pictured: Immediate Past MAB Board Chair Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President/Market Manager for CBS Radio Detroit.)

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) honored Sen. Debbie Stabenow with its 2017 Lifetime of Distinguished Public Service Award on Tuesday, August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort.

This prestigious award is given to a lawmaker or other public servant for their dedicated service to Michigan citizens and the Michigan broadcasting industry. This recipient is nominated by the MAB executive committee and approved by the MAB Board of Directors.
Sen. Stabenow (D-10) was honored during the MAB’s annual Awards Banquet surrounded by broadcasters and friends. For more information about Sen. Stabenow and the MAB’s Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Awards, click here.

MAPB Honors 2017 Public Media Impact Award Recipients

L-R: Retired CMU Public Radio executive and host John Sheffler, 2017 MAPB Public Media Impact Professional Award recipient, and Detroit Public Television Senior Vice President Dan Alpert, who accepted the 2017 MAPB Public Media Impact Donor Award on behalf of William H. Smith.


The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) presented its 2017 Public Media Impact Awards on Tuesday, August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort.

 The MAPB presents Public Media Impact Awards to professionals and donors for their contribution to public broadcasting in Michigan. The awards are given to recognize outstanding individuals involved in public broadcasting for their innovation and creativity, inspire others involved in public broadcasting to greater achievement in the field of public radio and television and to increase awareness of public broadcasting and the contributions talented individuals make to the industry statewide.


For more information about the awards, click here.


2017 MAPB Public Media Impact Award – Professional Recipient

CMU Public Radio

2017 MAPB Public Media Impact Award – Donor Recipient

Detroit PublicTelevision

FCC Releases a List of FM Channels Available in Future Auctions

According to the Broadcast Law Blog, the FCC released an order listing various vacant FM channels. Although the channels are not newly allotted, they had previously been awarded to applicants who either did not pay the amount they bid in the auction, or who received a CP and then did not construct the station.

It has been more than two years since the last window allowing applicants to file for new FM stations. There had been some speculation that the number of requests for new allotments was decreasing, leaving the FCC with few FM channels to auction off and thereby breaking what had been an almost yearly start of a new FCC auction for new FM channels.

When will the channels be available? Read more here.

Snyder Creates a New Opioid Council

Gov. Snyder

Gov. Rick Snyder signed an executive directive on August 15 forming a new Council on Opioid and Prescription Drug Enforcement and named Lt. Gov. Brian Calley as its chair.

In a statement, Snyder said the council will work to develop and maintain relationships between local, state and federal agencies that work in enforcing laws and rules relating to prescription drugs.

“The council will open up the lines of communication and allow for a better use of resources while working to reduce opioid abuse and prevent addiction from occurring in the first place,” Snyder said.

Calley will lead the council along with the directors of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Department of State Police. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will also coordinate with the council as well as other state and local agencies.

MAB Says Thanks and Good Luck to Jennifer Preslar

Jennifer Preslar

Longtime MAB Vice President of Programs Jennifer Preslar is leaving the MAB after 15 years of stellar service for a little “Green and White.”  Yup, we are losing another great staff member to Michigan State University.

Preslar said in her letter to the MAB Board that she has enjoyed her time at MAB and will greatly miss her members and MAB Staff but the offer was too good to pass up.

A passionate Spartan, Preslar will be working as an event coordinator in MSU’s  College of Communication Arts & Sciences as well as WKAR-AM/FM/TV.

The MAB education event services will be handled by Jacquelen Timm, MABF Manager/ Development Director in the interim while President/CEO  Karole L. White works with the Executive Committee to see what talents are needed on the MAB staff as it begins to undertake the new “MAB Future” strategic plan.