Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Nominations for NRHoF include Jim Harper and The Breakfast Club

The nominations for the 2018 class of inductees at the National Radio Hall of Fame and voting has started for four of the categories.  Detroit’s very own Jim Harper and The Breakfast Club has been nominated.

Of the six categories, four of them will be voted on a select group of nearly 1,000 industry professionals, while two of the categories are open to the public (starting June 4). Inductees will be announced June 25. The induction ceremony will be held Nov. 15, at Guastavino’s in New York City.

To be voted on by industry professionals:

Jim Harper

Active Local/Regional (10 Years or More)

  • Jonathon Brandmeier, Chicago
  • Jim Harper and The Breakfast Club, Detroit
  • Preston and Steve (Preston Elliot, Steve Morrison), Philadelphia
  • Bob Rivers, Seattle

Longstanding Local/Regional (20 Years or More)

  • Mike Francesa, New York
  • Johnny Holliday, Washington
  • Jim Kerr, New York
  • Charles Laquidara, Boston

Active Network/Syndication (10 Years or More)

  • Nanci Donnellan, “The Fabulous Sports Babe”
  • Kim Komando, “The Kim Komando Show”
  • “Marketplace”
  • Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, “Mike & Mike”

Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 Years or More)

  • John Garabedian, “Open House Party”
  • Walt “Baby” Love, “Gospel Traxx”
  • Dr. Laura Schlessinger, “The Dr. Laura Program”
  • Robert Siegel, “All Things Considered”

To be voted on by radio listeners:

Music Format On-Air Personality

  • Ellen K
  • Kid Kelly
  • Angie Martinez
  • John Tesh

Spoken Word On-Air Personality

  • Mark Levin
  • Joe Madison
  • George Noory
  • Jim Rome

National Radio Hall of Fame Chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “I personally appreciate the challenging task that our Nominating Committee accepts each year to officially nominate talent from an infinite list of deserving individuals.  Congratulations to this year’s nominees, an excellent selection of our industry’s finest.”

The National Radio Hall of Fame is located in Chicago.

NATAS Michigan Announces 40th 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 16.

Ticket purchase information is here.

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


WDIV-TV, WXMI-TV Honored with Digital Innovation Awards

Two Michigan television stations, WDIV-TV (Detroit) and WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids), took home awards at the Local Media Association’s recent Digital Innovation Awards ceremony.

Seventy different companies from newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and digital news sites competed for the awards celebrating creative and business advancements in the digital realm.

“Our main goal is to create a website users want to engage with. From news to entertainment and everything in between, we’re constantly trying to provide what our ClickOnDetroit community is looking for,” said Local 4 Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz.

WDIV-TV received six awards:

  • Best Local Website (1st place):
  • Best Contest and/or Promotion (1st place): 4Frenzy
  • Best Use of Data (2nd place):
  • Best Redesign/Relaunch (2nd & 3rd place respectively): 4Frenzy relaunch
  • Best New Digital Initiative (3rd place): GroundSource text message campaign during America’s Thanksgiving Parade

WXMI-TV received a first-place award for Best Social Media Strategy.

Congratulations to both stations!  For a complete list of winners, click here.

Jacobs Media to Present Techsurvey 2018 Webinar

On Thursday, May 24, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Jacobs Media Strategies will present a free webinar focused on their just-completed Techsurvey 2018.

The annual Techsurvey is the radio broadcasting industry’s largest online survey. This year over 560 radio stations and 64,000 radio listeners participated.

Over the course of an hour, Jacobs will share key takeaways from the study, including:

  • How smart speakers are changing listening behavior
  • How listeners are using streaming audio and video services
  • The growth of podcasting
  • The credibility of radio contests
  • And the politics of radio – party preferences across all 14 formats

Register here.

Longtime Michigan DJ Bob Steel Passes

Bob Steel

The MAB has learned that longtime Michigan DJ/Air Personality Robert Arthur “Bob Steel” Leets passed away April 25 at age 76.

Under the stage name of “Bob Steel”, Leets became a well-known radio and car show DJ. He was a long time member of the Buick Club of America. He was actively involved in the Back to the Bricks event serving for fourteen years. He was also involved as the official DJ for the Sloan Museum for 25 years, and the Christian Cruisers for 10 years.

Steel’s radio career began when, as a kid, he pushed his nose against the glass to watch the DJ spin music at WNIL-AM In Niles, where he grew up.  Steel worked in radio from 1968 to 1977 before joining Motorola.  After retiring in 1989, he continued to spin music at car shows and later joined WFNT-AM in Flint, where he hosted a weekend radio program “Cruisin’ with Bob Steel” up to the time of his death.

Steel is survived by his wife, Judy, two children, two step-children and their families. Services were held April 30.

Former WJBK TV 2 reporter, anchor Joe Weaver Passes


Former WJBK-TV (Detroit) Reporter and Anchor Joe Weaver has died.

Joe worked at the station even before it was FOX 2, covering some of the most iconic stories in metro Detroit – including the aftermath of the 1967 riots.

His career at WJBK stretched from the 1960s all the way to the 1990s.

Joe came here in 1963 from Toledo and immediately became one of Detroit’s top street reporters.

But he also became an expert in covering the auto industry. Weaver used his knowledge and contacts to give viewers an inside look at the negotiations between management and labor, and what went on behind closed doors.

Joe also had big heart. He hosted events for dozens of charities, always willing to give his time and talents for a good cause.

He was a role model for everyone who knew him.

Joe passed away from congestive heart failure and kidney failure according to his family.

Cumulus Detroit Adds One, Promotes Another

Marty Wall

Cumulus Media/Detroit has announced that it has appointed veteran radio and television marketing executive Marty Wall as Director of Marketing, Cumulus Media-Detroit. Wall, a three time Billboard Magazine Radio Promotion Director of the Year recipient, brings more than 20 years experience to the cluster and will oversee all marketing initiatives for Country radio stations WDRQ-FM, WDRQ-HD2 as well as WDVD-FM.

Robby Bridges, Director of FM Programming, Cumulus Media-Detroit, said: “Marty’s work at Z100 in New York is legendary. That, paired with his experience across the media landscape during his years in L.A., gives him the unique ability to connect audiences to station brands and brands to clients. He’s a relentless competitor whom I believe will be a game changer for our Detroit cluster. I’m looking forward to his working with me, Promotion Manager Rochelle Burk and Promo Director/Street Team Captain Adam Ficorelli.”

Wall said: “I am thrilled to join Cumulus and Robby’s team in one of the most competitive radio markets in America. I want to thank him and Mike Wheeler for the opportunity. Both NASH FM and WDVD are poised to move to the next level. I look forward to powering up the marketing and super focusing on upping our brand position in Detroit.”

After 20 years in Los Angeles working for top creative agencies and both domestic and international television networks, Wall recently returned to his hometown of Detroit to be closer to family. He credits much of his career success to mentors including Scott Shannon, Steve Kingston, Pat Martin and Alan Burns. Wall’s radio experience includes five years at WHTZ-FM (Z100) in New York, the launch of WQHT-FM (New York) and WRQX-FM (Washington, D.C.)

In addition, Josh ‘Bru’ Brubaker has been promoted to Local Anchor for the “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” morning show on WDRQ-FM. Brubaker had been serving as a production assistant and weekend host for the station since last year.

WJMK Radio Launches in Saginaw-Bay City

WJMK Radio has debuted in the Saginaw-Bay City market, offering listeners the Me-TV Music oldies music format.  Created and on-the-air in Chicago, WJMK is the first station in the country to adopt the syndicated format.

The station has most recently had the WHHQ call letters, but was purchased by Northern States Broadcasting Corporation for $175,000.  The FCC approved the sale on March 15, 2018.  Northern States is headed by Susan and Philip Bernstein of Chicago.

The station holds a construction permit for an FM translator.

WMIC AM 660 Celebrates 50 years On The Air June 27

Radio station WMIC-AM (Sandusky) will observe its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

On Saturday, June 23, Sanilac Broadcasting is having an open house at their studios and offices at 19 South Elk Street in downtown Sandusky. The public is invited to stop by between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for food, refreshments, and door prizes. Listeners who have their Special “Charter Listener” cards will receive free $50  gift certificates. Also free $50  gift certificates will be given to all listeners with identification who were born on June 27, 1968.

Owners George E. Benko, President, and Robert P. Benko, Vice-President, along with Robert Cudney, founded Sanilac Broadcasting in 1968. WMIC Radio went on the air on June 27, 1968 at 1560 on the AM dial. Bob Armstrong has been with the station since 1971. He became General Manager in 1975 and part owner in 1981. John E. Benko and Barbara Murphy are also on the Board of Directors. Nick Lien is Assistant Manager.

In December 1987, full-service station WMIC moved down to the left side of the dial to 660. With this clear-channel daytime frequency, the local information and entertainment that WMIC provides is now heard across most of Lower Michigan.

On August 17, 1971, WTGV-FM signed on at 97.7, as a simulcast partner of WMIC-AM. In 1977, WTGV separated programming and continues to air a light and easy-listening format, and recently switched to the “Greatest Hits of the 60’s 70”s and 80’s” along with local news and sports broadcasts. WTGV is also the Thumb area’s “Voice of the Detroit Tigers and Lions.

In 1981, the stations became affiliates of the ABC Information Network, and since 1983 Michigan’s most respected meteorologists John McMurray and Judy Coy have been providing daily weather information.

On September 2, 1999, WBGV-FM, Country 92.5 signed on, broadcasting “Today’s Best Country” 24 hours a day.  WBGV is owned by G.B. Broadcasting. Its President is George Benko V.

Up-to-date news, sports, and community information can be found 24 hours a day on the company’s website

The stations’ mission has always been to serve the residents of the Thumb and Blue Water area by providing maximum local information as well as top entertainment.

The directors and employees of Sanilac Broadcasting extend a special note of gratitude to all of our listeners and advertisers who have been responsible for the success and growth of the stations.

Urban One To Sell The Assets Of WPZR-FM

Urban One, Inc. announced May 1 that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell the assets of one of its Detroit radio stations, WPZR-FM (Detroit), to Educational Media Foundation, of California. As part of the deal, Urban One will receive 3 FM translators that service the Detroit metropolitan area, and these signals will be combined with its existing FM translator to multicast the Detroit Praise Network.

Published reports indicate that Urban One will pair the three translators it is acquiring with their 99.9 W260CB Detroit to create “The Detroit Praise Network” and continue the Gospel programming via 105.9 WDMK-HD2. W260CB recently dropped its Urban Oldies “Soul 99” format to simulcast WPZR.

The closing on the sale of WPZR-FM is subject to customary conditions, prorations and adjustments, including approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Urban One expects the transaction to close shortly after final consent from the FCC.

Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins stated: “This is a good deal for Urban One, as it enables us to monetize an asset at a very attractive multiple, while at the same time allowing us to continue to serve our community of listeners who value our new Detroit Praise Network of stations.”