MACKINAC ISLAND – The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award and welcomed three other outstanding individuals into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame on Tuesday, August 14 at the Grand Hotel.
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 and voted on by their peers. Award recipients were honored during the MAB’s annual Awards Banquet surrounded by broadcasters and friends. To see a complete list of the MAB’s Hall of Fame award winners, click here.
2018 Lifetime Achievement Award
Michael T. Walenta, WGVU Public Media
Michael T. Walenta served as General Manager of WGVU Public Media for 30 years. Under his leadership, WGVU has grown into a multi-platform public media organization, a far cry from the four-hour broadcasts that were the humble beginnings of WGVU on December 17, 1972. WGVU Public Media currently serves 2.4 million people across our community with 10 Television Broadcast Channels featuring PBS, PBS Kids, WGVU Life, Worldview and the WGVU Guide; two FM Channels featuring NPR and Local News, Blues and Jazz; two AM Channels that are the only NPR Stations in the country to feature Real Oldies Music from 1954 – 1972.
2018 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees
Bob Allison, WNZK-AM (Detroit)
Bob Allison, congenial host of “Ask Your Neighbor” on WNZK-AM, has to be Metropolitan Detroit’s longest-reigning, best-known neighbor. He has been on-air for over 50 years as the host of his popular show – an impressive feat in an industry that measures success by weeks and months. Each weekday from 9 – 11 a.m., Bob and his son, Rob, chat with listeners on a wide range of topics. Bob started broadcasting over 60 years ago in La Porte, Ind. As popular as the radio show has been, many Baby Boomers remember him more for his TV work as host of “Bowling For Dollars” or as the milkman on the children’s show “Milky’s Party Time.”
Sheri Jones, WLNS-TV (Lansing)
Sheri Jones has devoted her life to broadcasting by being a top anchor at WLNS-TV for 30 years. She was an early innovator and has continued to innovate and address critical community concerns throughout her career. For example, she led her station’s coverage of the heroin and opioid epidemic in May of 2017. In 2017, Sheri was also responsible for launching and co-anchoring a new show at 5:30 p.m. on WLNS-TV. For Sheri, her career is not just a job, it’s a life of service. She uses her status in our community to help the community not just herself. In addition to winning over 50 awards including Emmys, MAB Awards, and a NATAS Silver Circle Award, Sheri has served on 16 Community Boards, chaired numerous service committees and fundraisers, and has volunteered over 500 hours each year for over 100 community organizations.
Pete Bowers, WBFH-FM (Bloomfield Hills)
Pete Bowers has influenced the lives of hundreds of students as a high school broadcasting educator at WBFH-FM which is owned and operated by the Bloomfield Hills School District. But his 41 years of service and dedication extends well beyond the boundaries of Bloomfield Hills. His students have dominated state and national high school broadcasting award competitions winning MABF Station of the Year 10 times. WBFH students won Best High School Station in the Nation six times, tied with the most of any station in the U.S. Bowers has been honored as Best High School Advisor in the Nation twice.
MACKINAC ISLAND –The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) presented its 2018 Public Media Impact Awards on Tuesday, August 14 at the Grand Hotel.
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.
2018 Public Media Award Impact Award Recipients
Paul J. Ryan, WGVU Public Media (Donor Recognition)
Paul J. Ryan has been an integral part of the expansion of community engagement and impact for WGVU Public Media. He began supporting the station in 2010, both philanthropically and through providing his expert knowledge and leadership to the station’s desire to be a deep convener throughout its community. In 2010, Paul began a multi-year personal commitment to help fund a scholarship endowment for veterans and their dependents to attend Grand Valley State University directly through WGVU. Additionally, he contributed to building community outreach for veterans and made a substantial gift to allow WGVU Public Media to create a visual display of all Medal of Honor Recipients from the State of Michigan with images and biographical information. WGVU has leveraged this tool in schools and throughout its expanded community engagement efforts and it is only possible thanks to Paul. In September of 2017, Paul spearheaded the community effort to support WGVU Public Media’s LZ Michigan, a “Landing Zone” to Remember, Honor and Celebrate the community’s veterans and their families. He took the lead role in helping to raise the needed revenue to help support the statewide community engagement effort. His personal support is multiplied by his work to share his passion for WGVU and being able to help bring over $100,000 of additional philanthropic support for the station in recent years.
Mark T. Brush (1968-2018), Michigan Radio (Professional Broadcaster)
Mark T. Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He worked to develop and maintain the station’s overall digital strategy. As a senior producer/reporter and the station’s first online news content specialist from 2010 to 2016, he helped move the station toward publishing more online-first stories. From 2006 to 2010, as the unit’s comanager and senior producer, Mark helped transition the station’s regional environmental news unit into an award-winning national news service known as The Environment Report. He reported on many vitally important issues for Michiganders, including cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Erie, pollution from industrial animal production and arsenic in groundwater… and he covered all sorts of fun stories too, such as a profile of Christmas tree farmer Duke Wagatha and the history of the giant Uniroyal tire along I-94. Mark was a crucial member of the team at Michigan Radio that covered the Flint water crisis. He won the station’s first regional Edward R. Murrow award for his investigation into the status of Enbridge’s Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac and spearheaded the “M I Curious” project that seeks to answer the questions our listeners are wondering about. Mark was a graduate of the University of Michigan (’00 MS in Environmental Policy and Planning & ’91 BA in Political Science) and has been a “public radio junkie” since 1992. Much of Mark’s storytelling philosophy was influenced through his close work with veteran CBC réalisateur David Candow.
Gary Baxter, Vice President and General Manager for E.W. Scripps Company’s Fox 47 WSYM-TV in Lansing, was elected Chairman of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Board of Directors during the organization’s Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, August 14 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Baxter is the 73rd 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.
Also elected to the MAB Board of Directors executive committee were:
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect Zoe Burdine-Fly, Market President, Townsquare Media (Lansing/Flint);
Secretary/Treasurer Stephen A. Marks, President/CEO, The Marks Group (Alpena);
and Michael Renda, Vice President/General Manager, Fox 2 WJBK-TV (Detroit).
See the complete MAB Board of Directors list here.
On August 2, Heritage Broadcasting’s WWTV/WWUP (Cadillac) held its second annual Family Fun Day outside its studios.
The event featured sword swallowing, balloon animals, potato sack races, hopscotch and more! Anchors Michelle Dunaway and Charlie Tinker took part in the activities too, throwing Frisbees and racing in potato sacks.
The event was presented as part of Cadillac Mayor Carla Filkins’ Fit City Challenge, which runs through September 18.
On August 2, Nexstar Broadcasting’s WJMN-TV (Marquette) held the first ever Local 3 Golf Scramble event at the Marquette Golf Club.
It was an event to showcase appreciation for many of those who advertise with us. Members of the Local 3 sales staff partnered up with some clients for a day on the green.
“We’ve got people from every sector,” said Beckie Turner, Sales Manager at WJMN-TV. “We’ve got folks from Northern Michigan University out here today, Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, Peninsula Federal Credit Union. So we’ve got people from a lot of different sectors in the business community.”
E. W. Scripps Company’s WXYZ-TV (Detroit) will broadcast exclusive coverage of the Woodward Dream Cruise (presented by Ford), on Saturday, August 18, from 7 – 9 p.m. Aside from over-the-air coverage, the program will also stream live on the station’s website, mobile app and Facebook page.
In addition, a one-hour version of the program will be syndicated to television stations across the country. That will air nationwide in late August and early September and will reach approximately 80 percent of U.S. households.
WXYZ 7 Action News anchors Carolyn Clifford and Dave LewAllen will host the program from a street-side stage in Birmingham. Anchors Alicia Smith, Keenan Smith, Glenda Lewis and Brad Galli will provide coverage from cruising hot spots along Woodward Avenue, including legendary Mustang Alley in Ferndale. Station Meteorologists Dave Rexroth and Kevin Jeanes will join the fun; Dave will cruise Woodward in a classic Ford and Kevin will introduce viewers to car collectors all along the route. The show will capture the country’s passion for cars as more than 30,000 vehicles and more than one million visitors pack a 9-mile stretch of historic Woodward Avenue to join in the celebration.
An encore broadcast of WXYZ’s Woodward Dream Cruise special will air on WXYZ Sunday, August 19, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Next week, public radio station WDET-FM (Detroit) launches a partnership with City Bureau and Citizen Detroit that will help turn residents into reporters.
On August 13, City Bureau, WDET, and Citizen Detroit will host a public newsroom workshop open to all Detroit residents.
This will be a free public event that will introduce a program called “Documenters” which will partner with Detroiters in documenting public meetings.
Candice Fortman, WDET’s Marketing and Engagement Manager, explained how the program will provide citizens with the opportunity to contribute to local news coverage in areas where most newsrooms lack resources.
Fortman says, “It’s not citizen journalism but it is a chance to teach citizens some of the skills of journalism and then also send them out to public meetings to take notes from those meetings because you know as much as I do that newsrooms do not have the same resources that they once had.”
“Often times, public meetings that are happening are not being covered because they don’t have enough people to send out to those meetings,” explains Fortman.
“So for the next few months, we will be training folks to go to those meetings, and all of the meetings we’ll be sending people to will be education meetings so public school meetings, charter meetings and even some surrounding Detroit suburban community meetings to make sure that we understand what’s happening.”
Hear Fortman discuss the project with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson here.
WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) Investigative Reporter, David Bailey, has announced that he is leaving the station to start his own real estate business. He’s joining Clarity Realty, based on the west side of Grand Rapids. He is also opening his own company called “Depth of Truth” to help home buyers and sellers understand and negotiate real estate deals. David currently has his real estate license, will soon have his private investigation license and also plans to use his FAA drone pilot license, which he earned at WZZM, to do video work for his company.
“I am very proud of the work we’ve done on the Watchdog unit over the last three years to change laws and hold our government accountable to protect taxpayers,” said Bailey. “We’ve won several great awards! I have enjoyed working with the folks here at WZZM. I wish everybody at the station nothing but the best.”
“David has been able to shine the spotlight on issues facing taxpayers and protect the vulnerable in his role as our Watchdog investigative reporter,” said Janet Mason,13 On Your Side President & General Manager. “David will bring the same investigative skills and passion to his next career. We wish him much success in the next chapter of his life.”
“It’s all about trust, honesty, transparency, and authenticity,” Bailey said. “I’ve seen the dark side of the local real estate market firsthand from my vantage point as an investigative reporter and as a home buyer. I am not going to allow my clients to be cheated and manipulated.”
WILX-TV (Lansing) announced that Barrett Tryon has joined the station’s news team as an anchor and reporter in July 2018.
Tryon was most recently the morning anchor for a group of four NBC affiliates in western Montana. Barrett attended college at Drake University in Des Moines, while also working for KCCI-TV there. He would later work at CBS News and Fox News Channel, both in New York City, a brief stint in Los Angeles, followed by a few years in the Rockies at KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs.
He also worked at WDAF-TV in Kansas City as a technology reporter, KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, and a second stint in Colorado Springs for KKTV-TV.
While in Colorado Springs, Tryon won an Emmy for “Best Newscast” and was voted “Best Twitterer” for 3 years in a row by readers of two separate newspapers.
According to a report in Inside Radio, the upcoming spectrum repack could cost the radio industry millions of dollars in expenses. To address the issue, the FCC proposed a set of rules that would determine how the repack funds set aside by Congress to offset the costs will be spent.
It is estimated that approximately 500 full-power FMs will be disrupted by the repack, either by being forced to power down in order to accommodate engineers working on a television station’s antenna, or by moving to a backup facility, if available. In some cases, an FM could be permanently displaced from a TV tower according to engineers, although the FCC says the number is likely to be very small.
The proposed rules would provide up to 100% of funding for stations that must relocate because of a repack. The same offer would go to FMs that are permanently or temporarily required to modify their facilities because of the process. The Commission proposes to use what is described as a “graduated, prioritized system” to cover the costs that stations would face when purchasing or modifying auxiliary sites as radio confronts disruption from the upcoming TV repack.
The proposal suggests how much money an FM or FM translator gets would depend on how much disruption the station faces. The FCC has proposed stations off the air for between 24 hours and 10 days would receive up to 50% reimbursement of their eligible costs to construct new backup facilities or upgrade an existing one so at least 80% of the service area is covered. For stations that would be off the air for more than 30 days, the FCC proposed 100% of their costs be covered.