Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Lisa Knutson Named Scripps CFO

Lisa Knutson

E.W. Scripps has named Lisa Knutson as its new executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“Lisa has been an instrumental player on our management team for more than a decade,” said Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson. “She served in key roles during the spinoff of Scripps Networks Interactive and the double-spin, double-merge transaction with the former Journal Communications that divested Scripps of newspapers and doubled our broadcast holdings.”

The company also has promoted its controller and treasurer, Doug Lyons, to senior vice president, controller and treasurer.

Knutson will step into the role after filling the position since the former CFO, Tim Wesolowski ,left in early October.

Knutson was appointed chief strategy officer in August. She has since added corporate development to her prior responsibilities as chief administrative officer where she led enterprise-wide strategic planning, consumer insights, human resources, information technology and corporate communications-investor relations.

Scripps owns and operates WXYZ-TV/WMYD-TV in Detroit as well as WSYM-TV in Lansing.

Julie Flynn named WZZM 13 News Director

Julie Flynn

Julie Flynn has been named News Director at WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids), the TEGNA owned ABC affiliate in the Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Michigan market. Flynn has been the night-side Executive Producer at WKYC, the TEGNA owned NBC affiliate in Cleveland since 2013. She begins her new role on January 2, 2018.

In making the announcement, WZZM 13 President and General Manager, Janet Mason said, “Julie brings a wealth of experience from her many years in Cleveland. She has been one of the key leaders at WKYC in moving the news department forward in the digital age of journalism.” As Executive Producer of the 11pm newscast, she guided the show into first place. She also spearheaded the development of WKYC’s Donavan Live at 7pm.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to lead WZZM 13 and its extremely talented team of journalists,” said Julie Flynn. “Grand Rapids is a city on the rise and I look forward to helping tell its success stories.”

Before joining WKYC, Flynn spent 11 years at WEWS, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland, in a variety of positions, including Newscast Producer and Weekend Assignment Editor.

She has won a number of awards for outstanding newscast producing, including multiple EMMYs and most recently her 11pm team won the 2016 and 2015 Cleveland Press Club Award for Best Newscast in Ohio.

Flynn received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/English from Fordham University – Bronx, New York.  Flynn begins her new position with WZZM on January 2, 2018.

Juline Jordan Promoted to Middays at WCSX

Juline Jordan

Beasley Media Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. has announced that Juline Jordan has been promoted to Midday Personality at Classic Rock WCSX-FM (Detroit).

Jordan has spent over 20 years working in Detroit, most recently working as a weekend and fill-in on-air personality at WCSX-FM. Prior to that, she was heard on WRIF-FM.

“Juline is an outgoing personality who thrives on listener engagement on-air and in live settings, said Beasley Media Group Detroit Vice President and Market Manager Mac Edwards. “She impressed us with an eagerness to share and assist in generating ideas for promotions and features that will continue to strengthen the WCSX Classic Rock brand! Additionally, her creative digital and writing chops will help grow our social platforms in midday & beyond.”z

“I’m very humbled and grateful to be part of the full-time WCSX lineup,” said Jordan. “It’s my extreme pleasure to be given this opportunity, and I’m more inspired than ever to give Detroit my very best. I would like to thank my program director, Jerry “JT” Tarrants and our market manager, Mac Edwards for believing in me and giving me this opportunity rock Detroit every day!”

TEGNA, Cooper Media to Launch Quest

TEGNA Inc. has announced it has partnered with Cooper Media to launch Quest, a new ad-supported adventure and exploration multicast network free to consumers. Quest will initially debut early next year across TEGNA’s station portfolio as a new multicast channel. TEGNA will receive an ownership stake in Quest and will share in the network’s revenues.

Quest will capture the wonder, imagination and excitement of the natural and man-made world and features shows about natural history, engineering and science, as well as military history and man’s greatest achievements. The only broadly-distributed factual-entertainment multicast network, Quest will show how the world really works and will not only entertain but will inform and educate viewers as well.

“As part of TEGNA’s ongoing content transformation initiative, we are always examining ways to reach new and underserved audiences through entertaining, informative and relevant content across platforms,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, TEGNA. “Quest will do just that. It will offer engaging programming that will appeal to a national audience currently under-represented by multicast networks. Launching Quest across our portfolio is also a cost-effective and advantageous use of our valuable distribution capabilities.”

TEGNA owns and operates WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids.

Cooper Media is the newly-formed parent company of both Quest and the Justice Network, a 24/7 multicast network delivering mystery and investigations entertainment programming with a commitment to safety. The Justice Network debuted across TEGNA’s multicast portfolio in early 2015. Both networks are founded by Cooper Holdings Chairman Lonnie Cooper.

“Quest is a fresh take on a nature and science factual entertainment network designed specifically for the growing over-the-air multicast audience,” said Steve Schiffman, CEO of Cooper Media. “We are thrilled to build on our thriving partnership with TEGNA to fill a programming gap in the multicast space and to double down on the growing over-the-air segment.”

Quest is expected to launch in January 2018.

jācapps Continues A Significant Growth Phase

Mobile App Developer Doubles Staff In Past Year
Bingham Farms, MI.

The mobile application space is growing, and jācapps, a leading provider of mobile solutions, has recently made several important personnel moves to accommodate its continuing expansion. The company has more than doubled its staff in the past year as it enjoys significant growth in all business categories, including radio, logistics, health care, travel and tourism and others.

“Each of these moves enables jācapps to invest time and resources to develop new products as well as providing our clients with outstanding service,” comments jācapps President Paul Jacobs. “Our rapidly expanding list of clients is expecting more from us, from websites to new platforms, and of course, great mobile applications, and this expanded team is up to the challenge.”

jācapps is pleased to announce:

Jody Messinger has been promoted to VP, Operations. “Jody joined us almost two years ago as Director of Production and her impact on how we operate was instantaneous and has allowed us to scale the way we have,” said company COO, Bob Kernen. “This promotion will allow Jody to further expand her impact on the growth of jācapps by taking on an expanded range of responsibilities. She’s proven herself again and again, and we’re delighted to recognize that.”

Ben Levy has been promoted to Director of Software Architecture. “Our growing technical platform and expansion into new devices and technologies requires putting more emphasis on advanced development capabilities,” said Kernen. “Ben has always been one of our go-to guys when it comes to new technical challenges and opportunities and it’s time that becomes his primary focus instead of a side gig.”

Nathan Turner has joined jācapps as Director of Product Development. Nathan joins jācapps from his previous position as head of UI/UX design at web development firm, Entrega. “It was time for us to have some senior leadership over our design group and Nathan brings tremendous expertise and creativity,” said Kernen. “We’re excited for him to make an impact on our overall product strategy.”

These moves cap a year where jācapps has expanded all areas of the business, including design, UX, development, customer service and business development. “jācapps is a Detroit success story,” remarks Jacobs. Our area is full of talented, hard-working, creative people, and everything about our company reflects that ethic.”

Michigan Muslim Community Council honors WXYZ-TV’s Simon Shaykhet

Simon Shaykhet

The Michigan Muslim Community Council honored WXYZ-TV (Detroit) and Investigative Reporter Simon Shaykhet with its “Fairness In Media Award” Sunday night. The award is given to an individual and news outlet exhibiting a willingness to use honest and fair reporting to tell the story of the community.

The station and Simon Shaykhet were also recognized for their recent work on a series of special reports titled Muslim American: Inside a growing Michigan community.

The series was a team effort: Digital Reporter Alexandra Bahou and Photographer Editor Johnny Sartin were also part of the collaboration.

During the exclusive report, several aspects of the community were covered, including the history of Dearborn, education about Islam, holy month of Ramadan and fear and discrimination. Above all, the series gave a unique perspective into what it means to be Muslim American.

“It’s a great honor for WXYZ-TV and we are so proud of Simon Shaykhet and the rest of the team who worked so hard on this project,” said General Manager Mike Murri. He added, “This award is truly special, and shows the commitment we have to being fair and truthful, especially at a time when news outlets are being questioned for their fairness.”

Entercom Unveils New Management Structure With CBS Merger

Merger Expected to Close as Early as November 17.

Entercom has unveiled the management structure the company will follow after its merger with CBS Radio.

“From day one of the merger announcement, we have said that we wanted to assemble the best team in the business,” Kramer said in the memo to company employees. “Regardless of whether you wear an Entercom jersey, a CBS jersey or one from the opposing team – we want to make sure that we have the best starting line up on opening day.”

Among the many appointments, it was announced that Michael Doyle, currently Entercom president of sales operations/regional president, will have regional responsibility for Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Rochester and Seattle.

Following the merger, Entercom will assume control of the CBS stations in Detroit:  WWJ-AM, WXYT-AM, WDZH-FM, WOMC-FM, WYCD-FM and WXYT-FM.

On November 9, 2017, the FCC approved the Entercom/CBS merger.


Shannone Dunlap Joins Black Diamond

Shannone Dunlap

Former Alpha Media (Saginaw) General Manager Shannone Dunlap has joined Black Diamond Broadcasting as Director of Business Development.

Dunlap told All Access, “I’m excited to join the Black Diamond Broadcasting team.  As a young, independent media company that’s growing extremely fast, this position carries a great responsibility, as well as being a tremendous opportunity for me and my family. I’d like to thank Mike Chires and Norm McKee for their trust in me.”

Dunlap spent the last decade as the GM of Alpha Media in Saginaw, Michigan. Prior to that she held Manager, GSM and NSM positions for Digity, NextMedia, as well as Cumulus, Emmis and CBS-Buffalo.
Dunlap has also served on the board of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.  She began her newly created position in Traverse City, November 1.

Townsquare Declares Lansing ‘A Monster Sports Market’

Townsquare Media has upped the game on their Lansing sports outlet, WVFN-AM.  Known as “The Game,” the station recently increased its amount of locally-based programming from 8 to 11 hours each weekday.

Chris Tyler, Townsquare Media’s operations manager, told the Lansing State Journal that “WVFN’s changes are based on what Lansing’s “monster sports market” demands. Townsquare Media owns the station. We’re trying to super-serve the sports fan, and this is the best way to do it.”

The station’s lineup includes mornings with Will Tieman of the Spartan Sports Network; longtime WILX-TV sports anchor Tim Staudt holding down 9 a.m. to noon; Beanie Howell and Brock Palmbos from noon to 3 p.m. and David “Mad Dog” DeMarco  afternoons.

Holland’s WHTC-AM to Host On-Air Mayoral Forum

Gary Stevens

Midwest Communication’s WHTC-AM (Holland) has announced that it will host a pre-Mayoral election forum on the air, giving listeners a chance to talk to incumbent Holland Mayor Nancy DeBoer and her opponent in the race, Councilman Jay Peters.

The program will air live on the station November 2 from 5 to 6 p.m. and will be hosted by News Director Gary Stevens.

The station is also inviting listeners to ask questions via Facebook and Twitter.