Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Jacobs Media and jācapps Announce Free Webinar: Radios Mobile Strategy

via Jacobs Media Strategies:

“What we learned at Techsurvey 2019”

Without question, mobile devices and smart speakers have changed the way people consume media. While new audio competitors to radio have emerged, the industry has responded. Today, most radio stations have mobile apps, and there are a growing number of stations providing their stream and other content on the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

But what does the radio audience think, and how are they using these new ways of accessing radio? On May 23, Jacobs Media President, Fred Jacobs and jācapps COO, Bob Kernen, will be hosting a webinar on results from Techsurvey 2019 that focus specifically on smartphones and smart speakers.

In our webinar you will learn five key points about mobile and smart speakers:

• How are the mobile phone usage habits of radio listeners changing?
• What features are most used in radio station mobile apps?
• Which is more desirable – individual radio station apps or aggregated platforms?
• What is the role of mobile apps in in-car radio listening?
• How are smart speakers disrupting the way people are listening at home?

“Since its inception, Techsurvey has consistently helped radio stations understand the present and identify areas of opportunity for the future,” Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs observes. “Mobile apps and smart speakers touch all aspects of a station’s business – listening, podcasting, video, revenue and more – we’ll drill down in this webinar with new information designed to help broadcasters.”

Join us next Thursday, May 23rd at 2 p.m. Eastern to find out what we learned from Techsurvey 2019 that can help your radio station build a better digital strategy.

Every year Jacobs Media conducts the radio industry’s largest online survey, Techsurvey. Techsurvey is the radio broadcasting industry’s largest study, with over 500 participating radio stations and over 50,000 respondents. This study examines the online habits of radio audiences and has enabled us to identify key digital trends for 2019.

NATAS Michigan Announces 41st Annual Regional EMMY® Nominations

Television stations, cable networks, ad agencies and production houses throughout Michigan have received nominations for this year’s National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences/Michigan 40th Annual Regional EMMY® Awards.

Tickets are now on sale for the EMMY® Awards ceremonies, to be held at the MotorCity Sound Board Theater on Saturday, June 15.

Ticket purchase information is here.

For a complete list of this year’s nominees, click here.


WXYZ Celebrates ‘The Brightest and Best’


E.W. Scripps’ WXYZ-TV (Detroit) held its 40th annual Brightest and Best celebration at its studios on May 11.  The celebration recognizes the academic achievements of local graduating high school seniors.

Each year, the station invites more than 200 honorees and their families to attend.  This year’s celebration included a Twitter scavenger hunt.  Students also had the opportunity to mingle with WXYZ reporters and anchors and snap photos.

MediaBrew Acquires Great Lakes Radio Marquette Stations

MediaBrew Communications Marquette, LLC has agreed to purchase radio properties and new media businesses serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from Great Lakes Radio, Inc. The group includes stations WFXD (FM & HD) (Marquette), WKQS-FM (Negaunee), WRUP (FM) (Palmer); and translators W291CJ (Marquette), W260AG (lshpeming), W248BU (lshpeming) and W286BC (Marquette).  The application for the transfer was filed with the FCC May 13.

Indianapolis based MediaBrew Communications is headed by Charles Williams. Williams served as Market Manager of Emmis Indianapolis from August 2016 to November 2017 after eleven years running Radio One Indianapolis.

Great Lakes Radio Owner and President Todd Noordyk is a long time Michigan broadcaster who has owned 26 stations over 36 years, and is retaining six other Michigan broadcast properties.

Initially, a broker release stated Noordyk’s WQXO-AM and FM translator W249DR at 97.7 MHz (both Munising) were included in the deal, but Noordyk told the MAB that those stations were not sold.

WOOD-TV Unveils Next-Generation Studio

On May 13, Nexstar Broadcasting’s WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) unveiled its new state-of-the-art studio.  The studio improvements enhance the viewing experience and give journalists advanced storytelling tools.

The set, designed by a Nexstar internal team including WOOD team members, features more than 200 LED video panels that provide seamless canvases to create and innovate. Newscast producers have the flexibility to work with the design team to develop graphics that fit the specific need of each story in the newscast. Thousands of LED color-changing lights are built into the background to bring a crisp and vibrant display.

See a complete photo gallery here.

The center focus of the set is an 18-foot video wall — featuring 176 video panels — that is used to highlight the vast communities of viewers from the lakeshore to Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo.

One area of the set gives the team the ability to display content on three vertical monitors in a way that’s easy to understand.

The new sets are in addition to the station’s signature 24-foot wide by 9-foot high video wall that has given great versatility to produce multiple programs in addition to newscasts including eightWest, Maranda Where You Live, Sports Overtime, To The Point and Community partner segments.

A significant part of the project involved removing the old studio lights and wiring. The new wiring and LED lighting gives the team the flexibility to control every light in the grid and provide balanced lighting for the anchors, reporters, meteorologists and guests in the studio. The LED lighting will save a significant amount of energy.

The key to the visual display and lighting is a system called jControl, which was designed and built in-house by the team at the station.  JControl allows directors to send animations and graphics to any or all of the studio displays with endless transition and layer capabilities.

The station also included a nod to its history with a large mural that proudly displays its various logos from the past 70 years.

WMYD and WDIV Team Up for Detroit’s First ATSC 3.0 Signal

On the heels of last month’s announcement that TV broadcasters in the Top 40 TV markets will be launching Next-Gen TV services by the end of 2020, Detroit’s WMYD, owned by The E.W. Scripps Company announced May 15 plans to launch the new broadcast TV technology in a collaborative effort that will also involve Graham Media Group and other local broadcasters.

A Next-Gen TV broadcaster in Detroit provides a unique opportunity for the automotive industry to have an in-market test bed for the new Internet Protocol-based broadcast platform that can easily deliver data to millions of receivers at once, without worrying about bottlenecks from online traffic.

“Scripps is a strong supporter of the development of ATSC 3.0 technology as a way to continue to improve the broadcast industry’s offerings for both consumers and advertisers,” said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media for Scripps.

Also participating in the Detroit Next-Gen TV launch will be NBC affiliate WDIV-TV, owned by Graham Media Group.

“The collaborative effort needed to launch this new technology requires that broadcasters work together for the benefit of our viewers. Graham and WDIV look forward to launching the new Next-Gen TV station and the eventual launch of our own advanced signals on this platform. The future of television insures a more expansive experience, with high dynamic range video and advanced audio features that will immerse viewers as never before,” said Emily L. Barr, President and Chief Executive Officer of Graham Media Group.

Lansing Radio Legend Earle Robinson Passes

Earle Robinson. Photo credit: MSU/WKAR

Longtime WKAR Radio on-air personality Earle Robinson has died.   His death was reported by the station on May 13.  His work at WKAR began with a music program in 1974, but he’s best remembered for bringing sports news to  listeners, first on a call-in show co-hosted with Jim Adams, then later hosting Sportstalk by himself.  He retired from the program in 2013.

NBA and Michigan State University great Earvin “Magic” Johnson remembered his Robinson on Twitter:

“I’m saddened to hear about the passing of my friend, radio personality and sports broadcaster Earle Robinson. Earle was a pioneer in Lansing, MI as the first radio personality to play R&B music on his show from 2-5 pm.”

Robinson also appeared on WILX-TV’s Staudt on Sports show each Sunday morning for six years:


Jim Rademaker Named Interim GM at WCMU Public Media

Jim Rademaker

Central Michigan University has named Jim Rademaker Interim General Manager of WCMU Public Media. The appointment comes following former WCMU general manager Ken Kolbe’s announcement that he was joining WGVU in Grand Rapids as their general manager.

Rademaker joined WCMU in December 2015 as director of development and community engagement. He was promoted to assistant general manager of WCMU Public Media in November, 2017. Prior to joining WCMU, Rademaker served in several capacities at WGVU from 2002 until joining WCMU.

“WCMU Public Media has several exciting initiatives underway that will advance the educational, entertainment and public services we provide,” Rademaker said. “Public broadcasting is much more than the programming you enjoy. Our success is measured on being a part of the communities we serve and addressing issues in our neighborhoods.”

Kolbe leaves WCMU after nearly five years as general manager.

WSGW-AM ‘Listen To The Mrs.’ Becomes A Podcast

Alpha Media’s WSGW-AM (Saginaw) has announced that its long-running Listen to the Mrs. Show, on the air for 66 years, is becoming a podcast. Station News Director Ann Williams and Talk Host Art Lewis will continue to host the show, which focuses on food, including recipes and cooking tips and lifestyle topics.

Operations Manager Dave Maurer said, “While we still like to hear from people raving about a great dish they had and sharing the recipe, the days of listeners calling to ask if we have a meatloaf recipe have given way to the internet browser. Our new approach is sharing food trends, new cooking methods, and lifestyle information.”

Maurer said that Lewis has wanted to take the show national but, “The cost of satellite time and finding affiliates was a daunting task. Now, through podcasting, we can go beyond a local and national audience and reach all over the world through the Internet.”

Freelancer Television/NewsNet Breaks Ground on New Studios

(L-R) Dylan Rodenbaugh, Eric Wotila, Morris Langworthy and Wyatt VanDuinen break ground on NewsNet’s new facility.

On Wednesday, Cadillac-based Freelancer Television, licensee of two LPTV stations and NewsNet, broke ground  on an expansion to it studios in Michigan.

The 3,500 square foot addition will consist of three studios, each with their own control rooms, as well as a new, state-of-the-art master control room overseeing the operations of both NewsNet and Freelancer Television Broadcasting’s local stations, WMNN and WXII-LP. NewsNet promotes itself as the 24-hour news network focused on delivering headlines without talk and opinion-based programming.

Since launching on January 1, NewsNet has operated out of those stations’ existing studios. A combination of factors led to the decision to add additional studio space to the company’s 2,200 square foot building.

“When we launched NewsNet, we wanted to operate ‘lean and mean’ from the existing facilities of our local TV stations with the idea that we would add additional space once the network was on-air,” explained Eric Wotila, President of NewsNet. “Now that we’re up and running, we’re thrilled to be moving forward with this new addition, which will benefit NewsNet as well as our local stations.”

Staff at NewsNet are excited about the construction of the new studios.  “I think it will really benefit our ability to gather news and present it in an efficient manner,” said NewsNet Anchor/Producer Remington Hernandez. “Space has always been an issue but with more space we’ll be able to efficiently produce more content.”

“It’s amazing how much we’ve grown over this short time,” explained NewsNet Chief Meteorologist Morris Langworthy. “I’m very excited that we’re more than doubling the size of our workspace, and I’m eager to explore the potential the new space holds.”

NewsNet’s new studios are expected to be completed and on-air this fall.