Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

WKAR Announces Endowment for Student Experiential Learning

WKAR Public Media (East Lansing), mid-Michigan’s source for PBS, NPR and award-winning original television and radio programming, has announced a $4,000 goal for “Give Green Day” on November 27.

Each year at WKAR, MSU student interns experience hands-on training, live production and the dynamic environment WKAR offers for nurturing tomorrow’s storytellers in an ever-changing media landscape. WKAR alums have gone on to work with some of the top media outlets in the country, such as the NFL, ESPN, NPR and in Hollywood.

The WKAR Endowment for Student Experiential Learning will open up more opportunities for Communication Arts and Sciences students to gain knowledge, skills and insights in preparation for their future. Funds will support expanded opportunities for paid employment and internships in television, radio and online media production; non-profit fundraising; media administration; and marketing and promotion.

For more information, click here.

Nielsen Audio Announces Annual Market Rank Revision including Michigan Tweaks

Nielsen Audio has just released its Fall 2018 population rankings, resulting in some minor tweaks around the country.  Among the bigger moves seen in the new rankings is that of the Tampa-St. Petersburg radio market. It jumps to #18 from #19.  Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., market up from #91 to #88.

In Michigan, markets unchanged include Detroit (#13), Grand Rapids (#68), Lansing-East Lansing (#128) and Kalamazoo (#185).

Michigan markets that have shifted ranks are Flint, which moves #138 to #139; Ann Arbor, moving #150 to #149, Saginaw-Bay City-Midland moving #149 to #150; Traverse City-Petoskey-Cadillac moving #159 to #158; Muskegon #232 to #230 and Battle Creek moves from #254 to #252.

A complete list of new Nielsen Audio market rankings is here.

WMGC Announces New On-Air Lineup

The Gello Show (L-R) Gello and Joanna

This week, Beasley Media Group’s WMGC-FM (Detroit/105.1 The Bounce) announced a new on-air lineup.  Sliding into the morning show position from afternoons is “The Gello Show,” featuring Gello and Joanna.

Shay-Shay

Former morning co-host Shay-Shay has now moved to the midday slot.

A new afternoon host has not yet been announced, but should be announced shortly.

WSYM To Air Lansing Silver Bells Parade

Again this year, E.W. Scripps’ WSYM-TV (Lansing) will air the city’s annual Silver Bells Electric Light Parade this Friday Night beginning at 6 p.m.  It’s the 5th year the station has broadcast the parade live.

The parade will have 76 illuminated floats and marching bands with an expected crowd of 60,000 people along the parade route.

The broadcast will be anchored by WSYM Morning Blend Host Bob Hoffman, News Anchor Sarah Swistak and Mark Buzzitta of Capitol Area District Library and WLNZ-FM.

The station will replay the parade broadcast on Thanksgiving morning as it has done in the past.

WXYZ To Air Detroit Tree Lighting


WXYZ-TV (Detroit) will make the holiday season a little brighter for Detroit residents as the station will air the lighting of the city’s official Christmas tree at Campus Martius Park in the heart of downtown Detroit. WXYZ will broadcast complete coverage of the event during a live special, “Light Up the Season,” from 7- 8 p.m. on November 16.

7 Action News anchors Dave LewAllen and Carolyn Clifford will host the program, along with 7 Action News anchors Glenda Lewis and Alan Campbell. The show will include musical performances from Detroit’s own gospel legend Ce Ce Winans along with the jazz sounds of Ben Sharkey and the Woodward Horns. U.S. Olympic figure skating duo Alex and Maia Shibutani will perform on the rink at Campus Martius during the show.

The celebration will also include live shots of the activities at Detroit’s Beacon Park. “We are pleased to share this great holiday celebration with people across Metro Detroit,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD vice president and general manager. “The Christmas tree at Campus Martius Park has become the centerpiece for holiday celebrations in Detroit. We’re proud to share the beauty of our great city and partner with the Downtown Detroit Partnership and the DTE Energy Foundation for this wonderful holiday tradition.”

This is the 15th year for the Downtown Detroit Partnership’s annual tree lighting ceremony. The centerpiece of this year’s event is a 60-foot Norway spruce tree that was donated by a family in Plymouth, Michigan. The tree will be decked out with more than 19,000 colored lights and ornaments.

WXYZ will begin live coverage on Friday in “The NOW” at 4 p.m. 7 Action News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. will capture all the excitement leading up to the big moment, including a special interview with Santa.

“Light Up the Season” will also be streamed live on wxyz.com and on the WXYZ Facebook page.

Diane Kniowski Joins Univision

Diane Kniowski

Former MAB Board Chair (2009) Diane Kniowski has joined radio and television group owner Univision Communications as President and Regional GM of Local Media.  Kniowski will be based in Univision’s Doral, Florida headquarters and will report directly to Univision CEO Vincent Sadusky.

Sadusky is the former President/CEO of Media General, which owned WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) where Kniowski served as General Manager.  Upon the sale of Media General to Nexstar Broadcasting, Kniowski advanced to the role of Senior Vice-President and Regional Manager.

“Diane’s experience operating a group of top-rated local TV and digital properties is a perfect fit for Univision’s local media group,” Sadusky said. “Diane understands how to build communities and her creative solutions will serve our audiences and advertisers well. The foundation of Univision for more than 50 years has been built on the strength of its local television and radio stations, many of which are among the highest consumed, English or Spanish.”

Entercom Launches 98.7 The Breeze; Announces New Midday Host on WYCD

Entercom has announced the launch of 987 The Breeze (WDZH-FM) in Detroit. The company’s press release says the station will provide the Detroit region with relaxing favorites at work with hits from artists like Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Boyz II Men to Adele, Alicia Keys and Sara Bareilles.

“We are excited to launch 987 The Breeze and to fill this void in the Motor City’s music scene,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Detroit. “We know the station will become a must-listen to make your work day breeze by.”

987 The Breeze is celebrating its launch by playing 10,000 songs commercial-free. The format debuted at 5:00 p.m. on November 12.  987 The Breeze replaces 98.7 AMP Radio.

Cadillac Jack

In other news from Entercom/Detroit, WYCD-FM has announced that Tom “Cadillac Jack” Kapsalis will be joining the station November 19 as Midday Host and Assistant Program Director.  He most recently worked for WQYK-FM (Tampa, FL).  Cadillac Jack previously worked at WWWW-FM (Detroit), KCYE-FM (Las Vegas), WXTU-FM (Philadelphia) and WMZQ-FM (Washington, D.C.)

“Cadillac Jack is a Country radio legend with a long history in Detroit,  and we are excited that he is back,” said Debbie Kenyon.  “His love of Country music makes him a great fit on WYCD, and we look forward to the new energy he will bring to middays.”

WZZM Anchor Starts a New Career

Jennifer Pascua

My West Michigan host/WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) 13 on your Side Anchor Jennifer Pascua has announced that she is leaving the station to write a new chapter in her life story.

“At the age of 42, I’m going to be graduating with a Master’s degree in Communication from GVSU in December,” said Pascua. “I knew that I wanted to take the skills I learned both in the classroom and in my 25 years of TV/Radio Broadcasting and parlay it into a new beginning.” She will be joining the Serendipity Media team based out of Grand Rapids. The publisher-marketing agency created a leadership role for Pascua as its new Digital Content Strategy Manager in early 2019.

During her 13 years at WZZM, Pascua has reported, anchored and fill-in anchored on every single newscast. She was a major player in launching the Weekend Morning News and My West Michigan. She has been an active community member in West Michigan and has been involved in a variety of boards and non-profit committees.

“We are going to miss Jennifer’s creativity, storytelling and passion for life,” said Janet Mason, WZZM-TV President & General Manager. “She is a breath of fresh air as she approaches everything with enthusiasm. We wish her much success in the next chapter of her life.”

Pascua said, “It’s time for me to step aside and have someone else have the opportunity to experience what has been an exciting rollercoaster ride. What other job allows you to rappel off the second tallest building in Grand Rapids, learn how to swim late in life and interview a soon-to-be President? But, as life happens, one’s goals and dreams change, and I’m ecstatic to see where I can go in my new career. West Michigan has been home for me and my boys and you’ll still see me around at community events, at all the restaurant openings and of course, on social media.”

Pascua’s last day on the station will be on Friday, December 14. Until then, she’s looking forward to creating more memories and sharing her contagious laugh and smile with her loyal viewers.

Live From Here with Chris Thile is Coming to Detroit

Michigan Radio will welcome Live From Here with host Chris Thile to Detroit on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 5:45 p.m. (EST) for a special live broadcast performance. The show will take place at the historic Detroit Opera House in downtown Detroit, and marks the show’s first visit to Michigan.

Tickets are now on sale through the Detroit Opera House box office, through Ticketmaster (Phone: 800-745-3000) and online at livefromhere.org.

Tickets for the show are priced at $35 – $70. A limited number of special VIP tickets which include premium box seats and a private post-show meet and greet with Chris Thile and the Live From Here cast are also available. To purchase VIP tickets, click here.

Bringing audiences together on Saturday evenings with music and comedy has been a tradition in public radio since Garrison Keillor launched A Prairie Home Companion in 1974. Musician and songwriter Chris Thile continues that tradition with Live From Here, featuring a unique blend of musical performances, comedy and audience interaction.

Mandolinist Chris Thile is among the most highly acclaimed musicians of his generation. The Grammy winner started the band Nickel Creek and currently leads the acoustic quintet Punch Brothers. Each week on Live From Here, Thile welcomes a wide range of well-known and up-and-coming talent to share the stage and create a beautiful listening experience.

Live from Here is produced and distributed nationwide by American Public Media, and is heard by 2.6 million listeners each week on nearly 600 public radio stations. The radio variety show airs Saturdays at 6:00 PM on Michigan Radio (91.7 FM Ann Arbor/Detroit, 104.1 FM West Michigan, and 91.7 FM Flint), and is repeated at 9:00 PM on Sundays.

Chastain Appointed WLNS-TV VP/GM

Nexstar Broadcasting has announced that Scot Chastain has been named Vice President and General Manager of CBS affiliate WLNS-TV (Lansing) and associated mobile/digital services, including WLNS.com.

Chastain comes to Nexstar with over three decades of executive and professional experience across all facets of the network and local broadcast television business including marketing, promotions, production, new business development and a strategic planning across multiple media platforms.

Before Nexstar, Chastain served as Owner and Principal Marketing Consultant for 630 Marketing where he provided strategic marketing direction and event production consulting services for a variety of business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients in media, among other industries.

Prior to that, Chastain spent over 20 years working for the NBC Television Network where he held a number of senior level positions during his tenure. In his most recent role, he served as Executive Vice President, Affiliate Marketing and Development where he led a bi-coastal staff responsible for developing and distributing all network marketing and sales marketing content across more than 240 NBC owned and network-affiliated television stations.

Earlier in his career at NBC, he served as Senior Vice President of Affiliate and Marketing Development and before that, he held various positions of increasing responsibility in the Affiliate Advertising & Promotion Services department, including Manager, Director and Vice President.

Prior to joining NBC, Chastain served in various staff and management-level roles in marketing, promotions and production at local broadcast stations including WDSU-TV (NBC) in New Orleans, LA; WXII-TV (NBC) in Winston-Salem, NC and KBTX-TV (CBS) in Bryan, TX.

Mr. Chastain will assume his new responsibilities immediately and report to Theresa Underwood, Senior Vice President of Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.