Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

FCC Watch: More Translator Modifications

Here’s the latest Michigan-related FCC broadcast filings:

July 11:  Michigan Community Radio filed an application to make changes for FM translator W247CU (Fort Gratiot Township).  The application seeks to increase the translator’s effective-radiated power to 150 watts.  The translator rebroadcasts the signal of WGRT-FM (Port Huron).

July 6:  The Preservation Association of Beaver Island has applied to modify the facilities of low-power FM station WVBI-LP (Beaver Island).  The licensee is requesting a new transmitter site, ERP and HAAT.

July 6:  The Educational Media Foundation was granted a construction permit for FM translator W240CG (Webberville). The permit is to change the transmitter location to the WITL-FM tower (Lansing) and increase ERP and HAAT. The translator rebroadcasts WITL-FM (presumably one of WITL’s HD channels).

July 5:  Resort Radio has filed an application to assign the license of FM translator W299CB (Manistee) to Smile FM for $18,000.  Smile FM intends to rebroadcast its WSMZ-FM (Crystal Valley).

July 5:  Zamora Broadcasting Systems, Inc. has filed a license to cover application for FM translator W300DI (Dearborn).  This translator was formerly W240DL, operating on 95.9 Mhz.  The new callsign reflects its new frequency of 107.9 Mhz.  The translator is a fill-in translator for WDTW-AM, also licensed to Dearborn.

July 3:  AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC filed a license to cover application for WCMM (Gulliver).  The station recently applied to reduce its effective radiated power to 60kw.

June 30:  Good News Media, Inc. has applied for a transfer-of-control from its non-commercial stations to a new board of directors.  The stations affected are WLJD-FM (Charlevoix), WLJN-AM (Elmwood Township), WLJN-FM (Traverse City), WLJW-AM (Cadillac) and WLJW-FM (Fife Lake).

In addition to these applications, television stations in Michigan have begun the repack process with applications for modified facilities.  Look for a summary of those applications in the weeks to come. 

Blarney Stone Names New Voice of Grayling Vikings Football and Basketball

Chad Patterson signs his agreement with Blarney Stone Broadcasting to become the new voice of Grayling Vikings Sports.

Blarney Stone Broadcasting (Grayling) has named Chad Patterson the new voice of Grayling Vikings football and basketball.

From the station’s press release:

When Chad Patterson steps into the broadcast booth this season as the new voice of Grayling Vikings football and basketball, he’ll be fulfilling a lifelong dream – and battling no small amount of apprehension.

“I’m sure I’ll be sweating bullets,” he said. “It’s a dream-come-true for me as someone who has followed sports my entire life. And coming from a theater background, a storytelling background, any time you can paint the picture of what you’re watching – that’s basically what directing is, what playwriting is.

“I feel like I’ve narrated a lot of games in my head already. . . I’m not going to say it’ll be an easy transition – and I’m not taking lightly the shoes that I’m filling.”

Patterson, who recently agreed to a deal with Blarney Stone Broadcasting to call Vikings games, succeeds the award-winning team of Tom McCord and Rich Calkins, both of whom have retired.

“I know I’m a novice compared to them,” Patterson said. “The fact that I’m even getting an opportunity to do this considering I’ve never done it, it’s a miracle. Following in Tom and Richard’s shoes, there’s a little bit of trepidation. I listened to those guys. They were top-notch.”

A para-pro who works with autistic students at Grayling High School, Patterson was a theater major in college and owns Acting Up Company, a children’s theater group that holds performances at schools through the state. He has been a producer of the Q100 Christmas plays as well.

But he’s no stranger to football. He was a lineman on both sides of the ball at Leslie High School in the 1980s. He knows the game and he hopes to bring more to his play-by-play than basic down-and-distance and mentioning the score often enough, which is what most listeners are interested in.

“I also know there are educated listeners who want to know if a team is in a spread offense, where the tight end is playing – weak side or strong side,” Patterson said. “I hope to get into the geeky, nerdiness of the sport that some others get into as well.”

To do that well, Patterson – who has emceed the AuSable River Canoe Marathon for years – plans to do plenty of homework.

Along with reading books on broadcasting and listening to some of his favorite play-by-play sportscasters like Grayling’s George Blaha, who calls Detroit Pistons and Michigan State football games, and others, Patterson hopes to spend some time with McCord and Calkins and the Vikings’ football staff as well.

“I also want to call all the other conference coaches, go through their rosters with them, make sure I’m pronouncing all the names right,” he said, “and learn a little about what kind of offensive and defensive schemes those coaches are running.”

Sheryl Coyne, president of Blarney Stone Broadcasting, said she is beyond confident the station has found the right voice to succeed McCord and Calkins.

“We’re thrilled and proud that Chad has agreed to call Grayling Vikings football and basketball games and we know he’ll do a great job describing all the action for our Q100 listeners,” Coyne said. “This is football country here in Northern Michigan and we’re all looking forward to another great Vikings season.”

WXYZ to Air Film on Detroit Riot Anniversary

WXYZ-TV (Detroit)
will broadcast the television premiere of the film, “12th and Clairmount,” 7:00 p.m., Sunday, July 23, the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit riot/rebellion. The Detroit Free Press film was produced in collaboration with WXYZ and Bridge Magazine, and explores the racial and economic tensions that led to the most violent uprising in Detroit’s history. The documentary features WXYZ archival film along with home movies from Detroiters who witnessed the five-day rebellion and shared their stories.

“It’s so important that we reflect on the past and learn from those experiences if we’re going to move our community forward,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD Vice-President and General Manager. “Improving our community is core to our mission at WXYZ and the mission of our Detroit 2020 project…to unify our region and inspire people to act.”

“12th and Clairmount” will air commercial free  on the station.  A Detroit 2020 town hall discussion, Detroit 1967: Looking Back to Look Forward,” will air immediately following the film on air and live on the WXYZ Facebook page, where viewers can participate. The town hall program will be hosted by 7 Action News Anchor Carolyn Clifford who was born and raised in Detroit. She will be joined by 7 Action News Anchor Dave LewAllen and WXYZ Editorial and Community Affairs Director Chuck Stokes. The show will recognize the struggles that led to the violence in the summer of 1967 and focus on efforts to learn from those experiences.

WXYZ will also partner with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to present a special screening of the film, “12th and Clairmount,” at Campus Martius Park on Thursday, July 27, at 8 p.m.

Stokes will host a special “Spotlight on the News,” program from Campus Martius Park on Sunday, July 23, at 10 a.m. The show will feature interviews with newsmakers and Detroit residents who lived through the violence, and a roundtable discussion that includes 7 Action News anchors Clifford and LewAllen.

On July 23, 7 Action News at 11 p.m. will broadcast a 7 Action News special that examines the 50 years since the 1967 uprising; looks at how far the city has progressed; and addresses the work that still needs to be done to move our community forward.

From July 17 through July 22, 7 Action News at 5 p.m. will include a daily special report focusing on the uprising. Daily coverage will also be available online at WXYZ will feature a series of short videos at that examines the roots of the violence and the progress made over the past 50 years. Topics will include what happened at the Motown studios, the experiences of a solider and Detroit native dropped into the violence, and the “white flight” that followed the rebellion.

Three Michigan Broadcasters Finalists for 2017 Marconi Awards

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
 has announced the finalists for the 2017 NAB Marconi Radio Awards, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. The winners will be announced September 7 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show and held during the 2017 Radio Show in Austin.

Three Michigan broadcasters appear in the list of finalists.

In the Large Market Station of the Year category, Beasley Broadcast Group’s WRIF-FM (Detroit) is a finalist, along with stations from Milwaukee, Seattle, Cincinnati and Denver.

In the Noncommercial Station of the Year category, once again Plymouth-Canton Community School’s  WSDP-FM (Plymouth) is a finalist.  This is the fourth year in-a-row that the high school station has been a finalist.

And, in the Large Market Personality of the Year category, the late Linda Lee of WYCD-FM (Detroit) is a finalist.  Lee, who passed away March 31, 2017, will also be honored with the first MAB Legacy Award, at the Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting, August 22, during the Chairman’s Banquet at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville.

A complete list of 2017 Marconi Award finalists is available here.



Herman, Wertlieb Become Co-Vice Chairs of the Broadcasters Foundation of America

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has voted two of its Board members as Co-Vice Chairs, Scott Herman, Chief Operating Officer of CBS RADIO, and Jordan Wertlieb, President of Hearst Television. The elections took place during the Broadcasters Foundation’s Board of Directors June meeting in New York City.

“As members of our Board of Directors, Jordan and Scott have shared their ideas, energy, and time to advancing our ability to help broadcasters in acute need,” observed Dan Mason, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. “Their dedication to giving back to our industry is inspiring, and I look forward to their contributions as Vice Chairs.”

Herman oversees all of CBS RADIO’s 117 over-the-air radio stations operating in 26 major markets throughout the U.S. Herman is currently an active Board Member of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), having previously held the position of Chairman. He is also a board member of the International Radio and Television Society Foundation (IRTS), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Radio Ink magazine has named Herman one of the 40 Most Powerful People in Radio every year since 2008.

Wertlieb has management oversight responsibility for Hearst’s TV stations, digital properties, and two radio stations across 26 U.S. markets. He serves as the Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) Television Board, is a member of the A+E Television Networks Board and the Broadcasters Foundation of America Board, and is a past President-Chairman of the NBC Affiliate Board.

The Broadcasters Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of highly respected broadcast executives who are committed to “giving back” through the Broadcasters Foundation. The members of the Board represent a wide array of broadcast and broadcast-related companies.

For more than 70 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of needy broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund, corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society. To learn more or to donate, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or or visit

Marcie Brogan to retire, sell Brogan & Partners to agency’s president, Ellyn Davidson

Ellyn Davidson

Crain’s Detroit Business has reported that Marcie Brogan, the founder of Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing Agency, is retiring and selling the  company to its president,  Ellyn Davidson, who has been with the Birmingham-based advertising agency for 23 years.

Under a deal finalized in June, Davidson takes ownership of 25 percent of the company immediately, and full ownership will be transferred by January 2019.

The company’s name will not change, and it will be “business as usual,” said Davidson, adding that she aims to preserve the agency’s reputation and keep it independent and woman-owned. Brogan will remain on the company’s board of directors for 10 years.

Marcie Brogan

“The MAB has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Marcie and Ellyn through the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services,” said Karole White, MAB President & CEO. “Congratulations to them both!”

Founded in 1984, Brogan and Partners has 30 employees and serves around 15 clients, including Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Frankenmuth Insurance and Covenant HealthCare.

WMGC-FM Gets Foolish in the Mornings


Beasley Media Group classic hip hop “105.1 The Bounce” WMGC-FM (Detroit) has added comedian Foolish  to its morning show, alongside Bigg and Shay Shay.

“Bigg and Foolish in the Morning” kicked off July 5. Foolish has been heard on various Detroit radio stations for the past 17 years.

“It’s our honor to add one of Detroit’s brightest stars to the line-up of Bounce Ambassadors and welcome Foolish into the studio every morning, alongside Bigg, Shay Shay and the rest of the cast of the all new ‘Bigg and Foolish in the Morning,’” program director Al Payne told

WOOD Radio’s John Bry Retires

After 40 years John Bry signed off the WOOD Radio (Grand Rapids) airwaves and into retirement on July 7.

Bry began his career with WOOD Radio in 1977 after working at a radio station in Savannah, Ga. He said a 40-plus year career in the radio industry was never in his plans, as he holds a degree in English, but the intellectual satisfaction of doing the news made him feel connected, in a story posted on

“It’s such a trite phrase to say mixed emotions, but it really is,” Bry said. “I’m looking forward to a lifetime of not having to get up at midnight and not having to be awake at 5 a.m.”


WCSX Launches ‘Big Jim’s House’

Beasley Classic Rock WCSX-FM (Detroit) has announced the creation of “BIG JIM’S HOUSE” in mornings, featuring Erin Vermeulen, who recently joined Big Jim O’Brien as part of the station’s morning team, according to

“I am so excited to welcome all our listeners into ‘BIG JIM’S HOUSE’ with Erin V. and Producer Ryan,” said O’Brien. “This will be my 15th year at WCSX. Everyone on the show has a deep felt love for Detroit and believe in where we’re going. Our house is full of fun and great classic rock!”

Scripps Names Adam Symson CEO to Succeed Rich Boehne

Rich Boehne (left), Adam Symson (right).

Adam Symson will become president and CEO of E.W. Scripps on Aug. 8 the company has announced, taking over for longtime CEO Rich Boehne, who will continue as chairman.

Boehne’s nearly 30-year executive tenure saw the company expand into cable and its exit from newspapers, additions to its TV station portfolio and the acquisition of industry-leading podcast platform Midroll and the OTT news service Newsy.

Symson was promoted to chief operating officer in November overseeing day-to-day operations of the company’s 33 TV and 34 radio stations, and digital platforms. He’s been with Scripps since 2002. Scipps owns WXYZ-TV (Detroit) and WSYM-TV (Lansing).