Category Archives: 2017

MAB Meets with Lawmakers During Congressional Recess

L-R: Chris Warren (Midwestern Broadcasting Co.) Elena Palombo (MAB), Trish MacDonald-Garber (MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting), Stephen Marks (Stephen A. Marks Group), Congressman Jack Bergman (R-1), Pete Iacobelli (Heritage Broadcasting), Kevin Dunaway (Heritage Broadcasting), Sheryl Coyne (Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Inc.)

Last week, the MAB held a series of congressional meetings across the state. We want to thank all of our members who joined us for these important meetings – we appreciate your time and your grassroots advocacy on behalf of the MAB and our industry!

The focus of these meetings was to advocate on behalf of Michigan broadcasters regarding:

  • the post-spectrum auction repack and the need for additional funding and deadline extension beyond the 39 months to ensure that all the stations moving to a new channel are made whole in the repack;
  • the MAB’s opposition to the performance tax and our support for the Local Radio Freedom Act; and
  • the need to preserve deductibility of advertising as ordinary and necessary business expenses in any future tax reform proposals.
L-R: Brad Lanser (Lanser Broadcasting Corp) Dan Boers (WOOD-TV), Julie Brinks (WOOD-TV), Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-2), Janet Mason (WZZM-TV), Kim Krause (WXMI-TV), Jeff Scarpelli (Big Rapids Radio Network)
L-R: Julie Brinks (WOOD-TV), Dan Boers (WOOD-TV), Rhonda Reeser (WXMI-TV), Congressman Justin Amash (R-3), Elena Palombo (MAB) and Tim Feagan (iHeartRadio Grand Rapids)
L-R: Elena Palombo (MAB), Gary Baxter (WSYM-TV), Karole White (MAB), Congressman John Moolenaar (R-4), Al Blinke (WNEM-TV) and Jacquelen Timm (MAB)
L-R: Bruce Goldsen (Jackson Radio Works), Congressman Tim Walberg (R-7), Karole White (MAB) and Mike King (WILX-TV)
L-R: Mike Renda (WJBK-TV), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12), Karole White (MAB), Elena Palombo (MAB), Marla Drutz (WDIV-TV), Mike Murri (WXYZ-TV) and Rob Davidek (CBS Radio Detroit)

Snyder Signs Super PAC Legislation

Gov. Snyder

According to a report in Gongwer, legislation authorizing a candidate for state office to raise funds for Super PACs that can then spend those funds to help elect that candidate was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Snyder said in a statement that SB 335 and SB 336 provide clear guidance on how the Department of State is to regulate independent expenditure committees.

“The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on this issue more than seven years ago, and still there has been confusion about how this decision affects Michigan law,” Snyder said in a statement referencing the Citizens United decision that legalized Super PACs at the federal level.

“Under the bills signed into law today, the Department of State finally has clear statutory authority to regulate independent expenditure committees, to mandate registration and reporting of contributions and expenditures, and to investigate and punish entities violating those regulations.”

Opponents of the new law say that it makes meaningless the limits on how much PACs and individuals can contribute to candidates’ committees.

Friends Remember Glenn Haege

Glenn Haege at his 2011 induction into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. 

Many visitors turned out from 12 to 8 p.m. on Sunday at E. J. Mandziuk & Son Funeral Home in Sterling Heights to pay their repects to  Glenn Haege, America’s Master Handyman® and host of “The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege” on Detroit radio for 34 years.

Haege passed away September 11, 2017 after a short battle with cancer. He was 70.

“Glenn was like everybody’s favorite uncle, brother or father,” Mike Kearns of Kearns Brothers in Dearborn and Plymouth told The Detroit News in a story published Sunday. “He was a warm and caring, intelligent man who had a certain connectivity with his listeners.”

Haege, a Detroit radio icon, started his broadcast career on WXYT-AM 1270 in 1983 and for the past 11 years he was heard weekends on NewsTalk 760 WJR-AM. His radio show was also nationally syndicated in 135 radio markets. It is estimated that he had answered more than 85,000 home improvement questions during his time on the air.

For 22 years he was also a Detroit News columnist writing a weekly feature on home improvement. He authored 11 books on the subject. Haege was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2011.

Glenn Haege

“Whether through his Detroit News columns, many books, home show appearances or his long running ‘Handyman Show’ on WJR, chances are, you too were helped out of a household bind through his incredible knowledge and limitless contacts who could help you fix the seemingly unfixable,” wrote Paul W. Smith, host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM, in a Sunday column in The Detroit News. “Glenn’s long time producer, Rob David, the man behind the ‘clear and concise, how to advice’ reminded me of many ‘Glenn-isms.’

“My two favorites, ‘The most important tool in your toolbox is your checkbook,’ and, when it comes to water in the basement, ‘Water always wins.’”

A Warren, Michigan native, Haege attended Northern Michigan University and then worked for the Sherwin Williams Paint Company and for ACO Hardware prior to launching his award-winning radio career. He is survived by his mother, Marion; sister, Sharon; brother, Robert; wife, Barbara; their children Eric and Heather; and six grandchildren.

A private memorial service is planned for family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity.


WZZM-TV, Kendall College of Art and Design collaborate for ArtPrize Entry

TEGNA’s WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has teamed up with the talented students at the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) to create a news set to be entered into the annual ArtPrize compeition that takes place in the city every year.

“Working with the students has been an exciting experience,” said Jon Flis, director of marketing at WZZM 13. “It was so rewarding to collaborate with Taylor and Skylar and watch them take these concepts and use their skills to make this set a reality.”

Months ago, teams from both organizations began work on their common vision. Students presented design proposals and one was selected by WZZM 13.

Students Taylor Axdorff and Skylar Sparks not only designed the set, but built it on their own. They used their design and machining skills to create the set while working full time jobs.

“We saw the opportunity and jumped on it right away,” Sparks said.

According to the artists’ statement, the piece, Shift, is:

“A functional art piece representing a breaking free of confines into new realms. Shifting the status quo and moving into a new space much like artists courageously do when they create.

“Also, the break in the desk shows a shift from transitioning old, restrictive ways of the media into a more creative and free manner. Breaking from tradition to be more expressive and part of the audience. The anchors are able to sit at the desk and deliver the news in the traditional way, but that tradition has been broken through the fractured desk, freeing the anchors to move and engage with the audience seating.

“Looking at Deconstructionalism for inspiration, we dissected tradition and the restrictive nature of the media on artists and journalists and broke it apart to show a need for change.”

The desk is installed on the second floor of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and will serve as the ArtPrize studio for WZZM 13’s newscasts throughout the event. Visitors are encouraged to come out and visit with talent and staff and watch the news in action.

This year, the set is an official entry in the ArtPrize competition:

Senate Passes Super PAC Legislation

The Michigan Senate passed campaign finance legislation allowing candidates to raise money for Super PACs, unrestricted by donor limits that apply to candidate fundraising, that can then support them and oppose their opponents. SB 335 passed 23-12, with two Republicans siding with Democrats in opposition the legislation.

Democrats criticized the bill as a major step back for transparency in politics beyond the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, while Republican supporters said it codifies the high court’s ruling and enhances free speech. SB 335 would prohibit coordination between an independent committee and a candidate on how the independent committee would spend money raised in support of a candidate. However, it would also allow a candidate or those working on behalf of a candidate to solicit money for the independent committee.

The House is expected to vote on the bill next week.

U.S. District Court Strikes Down 2016 Federal Overtime Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas overturned the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2016 overtime rule, which altered the salary level needed for executive, administrative and professional employees to be deemed exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. While this court ruling is likely to end the principal litigation over the rule, the DOL is still examining whether to adjust the salary level.

For the time being, executive, administrative and professional employees will generally continue to qualify for an exemption from the federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements if they are compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 per week ($23,660 annually) and perform certain job duties outlined by the DOL. However, on July 26, 2017, the DOL published a request for information (RFI) seeking new public input on whether to revise the salary level for the executive, administrative and professional employee exemptions, a move which may be a precursor to a new rule altering those exemptions.

The MAB will keep you updated of any further changes to this regulation.

Trott Not Seeking Re-election In 2018

Congressman Dave Trott (R-11) has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018.

Trott said he had not planned to serve long in Congress when first elected and had decided two terms was enough.

“When I initially ran for Congress, I expressed my desire to serve as a citizen legislator in Washington,” he said in a statement. “Representing the Eleventh District has been an honor, but I have decided not to seek reelection in 2018. This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector.”

Trott is not resigning the seat and said he plans to continue working through the end of his term.

NAB Creates #WeAreBroadcasters Web Ads

The National Association of Broadcasters has created a series of website banner ads to promote its #WeAreBroadcasters effort to educate and remind policymakers, listeners and viewers of the important and unique role broadcasters play in every local community and how they are innovating to better serve listeners and viewers.

The ads are available for stations to download at along with print ads, videos, social media infographics and more. For each website advertisement used, click throughs should be sent to



FCC: Regulatory Fees Due by September 26

The FCC released its annual Report and Order listing the regulatory fees due for the 2017 fiscal year. The fees are due by September 26 and can be paid through the FCC’s Fee Filer.  The FCC will not be mailing out due notices. It is up to each licensee to insure that these fees are paid in a timely manner.

Fees paid even one day late will be subject to a 25 percent penalty plus administrative processing charges. Licensees that fail to pay their regulatory fees in full will not be able to get FCC action applications filed at a later date or receive any disbursements from the federal universal service programs until all fees and penalties are paid.

Health Care Ballot Proposal Forming

According to a report in Gongwer, a ballot question committee called “Keep Michigan Covered” was officially formed.

“An effort is coming together to protect access to quality health for the people of Michigan,” said John Freeman, the committee treasurer and former state lawmaker. “We have made a lot of gains in health care coverage in Michigan and the goal is to protect these gains.”

If the group does file a petition with the state and begins seeking signatures, it will be the eighth group to do so this election cycle.