Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Al Sharpton Joins WFDF

Rev. Al Sharpton

WFDF-AM (Detroit), the market’s only black talk radio station, welcomes Rev. Al Sharpton with his show “Keeping it Real.”

“Rev. Al Sharpton is the most iconic civil rights leaders of our time! I have known Rev. Al Sharpton for 30 years and I look forward to him joining our 910AM Superstation family,” says Kevin Adell, CEO.

“I’m excited about a big return to the Greater Detroit market. It is especially important at this point in our nation’s history to reach everyone with correct information and a megaphone. Kevin Adell and his team have done that at 910AM superstation and I’m glad to partner with them starting Monday,” Sharpton said.

Sharpton will be heard weekdays from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. beginning March 26.

Lyle Cifuentes Appointed WXYZ/WMYD-TV Digital Director

Lyle Cifuentes

WXYZ and WMYD-TV (Detroit) has appointed Lyle Cifuentes Digital Director of the two stations. Cifuentes was the stations’ executive producer of digital content before being promoted to her new position.

Cifuentes began her career at WXYZ in 2000 as a production assistant. She was a broadcast news producer before being promoted to executive producer of digital content in 2009. She has led the digital and social strategy for many of the station’s key initiatives including the North American International Auto Show, the Detroit Grand Prix and the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Cifuentes earned a bachelor’s degree in radio, TV and film from Wayne State University in Detroit.

WMMI-AM Adds FM Translator

Lattitude Media has announced that it has added an FM translator for daytimer WMMI-AM (Shepherd-Mt, Pleasant), providing 24/7 service.

“We decided to do this in August and we were approved in January to begin the construction,” Latitude Media owner Bob Peters told the Morning Sun News.

The station’s lineup includes  “Michael Patrik Shiels”, “Brian Kilmeade Show,” “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and “Dave Ramsey’s” financial program.  Late night the station airs “Coast 2 Coast.”

Local programming includes  “The Topic” w/ Tina Sawyer, from sister station, MY1043’s “Tina & Shawn in the Morning!” This show features non-profit organizations and talks about local issues.

The company will also move all of it’s coverage of local high school sports to the new station. They will continue covering games as well as their “High School Sports Spotlight,” which features a single high school team.

“We are always looking to add to the central Michigan community and I feel the launch of this station will help in that aspect,” Peters said.

WLUC Announces New Newscast

WLUC-TV (Negaunee-Marquette) has announced that it is launching a new half hour live news program, “TV6 First Look”, beginning April 23.  The program will be a production of TV6 News, and will be seen weekdays at 5 p.m. Eastern.

WLUC-TV Vice President and General Manager, Rick Rhoades said, “We know that our viewers here in Upper Michigan have an almost insatiable appetite for news about the U.P. ‘TV6 First Look’ will expand our local news footprint. TV6 has been Upper Michigan’s source for local news and local programming for 62 years. And, April 23 is significant because on that day in 1956, TV6 began broadcasting in the U.P. Looking forward, we feel that the future of local TV depends on expanding that localism. ‘TV6 First Look’ is part of a continuing effort to provide more local news to the viewers of Upper Michigan.”

“The expansion of the TV6 News with this new newscast is exciting. The program is called ‘TV6 First Look’. That’s exactly what it is—your first look at the news of the day from around Upper Michigan and what’s happening tonight and tomorrow,” said TV6 & FOX UP News Director Steve Asplund.

John Cook named Local Sales Manager at WDIV-TV

John Cook

WDIV-TV (Detroit) has named John Cook Local Sales Manager.

Cook most recently was the station’s National Sales Manager, a role he took over in 2016. He began his tenure at the station in 2012 when he joined as an Account Executive before becoming Digital Sales/New Business Manager two years later.

As LSM, Cook will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the local sales team and strategy.

“John is both a relationship builder and dynamic leader with a keen understanding of this market,” said General Sales Manager Gary Macko. “He has a great awareness of the evolving media landscape and with his diverse experience in digital, national and print sales, he’s the right person to lead our local sales team.”

Prior to joining WDIV, he spent the previous 17 years in the highly competitive print industry. As vice president for a regional direct mail magazine, he was responsible for market development, client acquisition and team building.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau (BBB), serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. He also sits on the Marketing Committee for the BBB.

Cook grew up in Tallmadge, Ohio, and is a graduate from the University of Akron. He moved to Detroit in 2004, and resides in Novi, Michigan with his wife Barbara and their three daughters.

WXMI-TV Meteorologist Joe Kopecek Leaving

Joe Kopecek

WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids) Chief Meteorologist Joe Kopecek is leaving West Michigan TV next month.

His decision to leave the station comes after the recent launch of Platinum Property Solutions, a new exterior cleaning business he co-owns with a neighbor. His final day will be March 23.

Kopecek joined WXMI in November 2014. He has been forecasting Michigan weather on TV for a total of 27 years.

Before WXMI,  he worked at WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) and WILX -TV (Lansing).  Prior to working in television, Joe worked for the National Weather Service in Ann Arbor, Mich., Fort Worth, Texas, and Anchorage, Alaska.

“Joe has been forecasting weather for more than three decades in Michigan, which I am pretty sure automatically qualifies him as an icon in television and meteorology,” said WXMI news director Brooks Blanton. “We are very proud that he is wrapping up his career at FOX 17. I want to thank Joe for his time at FOX 17 and all of those years keeping Michiganders informed about the weather and how it impacted their daily lives.”

Originally from Lake Orion, Mich., Joe attended Central Michigan University, where he earned a bachelors degree in meteorology.

WZZM’s Lauren Stanton Stepping Down to Focus on Family Business

Lauren Stanton

Long-time WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) anchor, Lauren Stanton has announced that she is leaving the station after 18 years as co-anchor of the morning news.

She is stepping away from the camera in May to join her husband John with their business Retro Boat Rentals in Saugatuck.  The couple started the business last summer.”

It’s been a wonderful 18 years at WZZM. I met my best friends here, and loved working with my friends and amazing coworkers, and I’m so thankful to the viewers for their friendship and support over the years,” Stanton said.

Stanton graduated from Central Michigan University and worked two stints in Lansing, where she was an award-winning reporter, before coming to Grand Rapids in 2000. “Viewers have come to love Lauren’s distinctive laugh, her genuine love for people, and her ability to ‘keep it real,’” said Janet Mason, WZZM 13 President & General Manager. “We will all miss Lauren, but understand her desire to not wake-up at 2:30 a.m. any longer, and the excitement of starting a new chapter in her life.”

Stanton’s last day at WZZM will be May 11.

WKAR-FM’s Brooke Allen to Rejoin WWJ-AM

Brooke Allen. photo: Stacy Hoxsey/WKAR-MSU. 6/7/2016

WKAR-FM local “Morning Edition” host Brooke Allen has announced that she is leaving the East Lansing NPR affiliate and rejoining WWJ-AM (Detroit).  Allen’s last appearance on WKAR was March 12.

Allen joined WKAR in July of 2016 after serving as an anchor and reporter at WWJ-AM.  At WWJ, her projects included “Second Chance,” a broadcast series that sought to provide those serving time an opportunity to turn their lives around; and stories revealing the tragic plight of victims of alcohol-related crashes, something that has also personally affected her family.

Before her first stint at WWJ, Allen served as a news and traffic reporter at a number of stations in Michigan and California, including KFI-AM, KOST-FM and JILL-FM.

Allen studied theatre and communications at Eastern Michigan University, and is a graduate of the Academy of Radio and Television Broadcasting in Huntington Beach, California.



WWJ-AM’s Dennis Neubacher Featured on Dearborn’s WDHT-TV

WWJ-AM (Detroit) traffic reporter Dennis Neubacher was recently featured in the debut broadcast of “So That’s What You Do,” a program broadcast on the City of Dearborn Heights’ public access channel.

In the interview, Neubacher talks about his years growing up in Dearborn, the dreams that led him to becoming a pilot, and the college detour that led to broadcasting.

Watch the program below:

WTCM’s Jack O’Malley Running for Office

Jack O’Malley

A longtime Northern Michigan radio personality has decided to hang up his headphones and run for the state House in northern Michigan. WTCM-FM morning host Jack O’Malley has announced that he’s running as a Republican for the 101st District.

The seat, which spans from Ludington to Northport, is open this fall. Current Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) announced last month he’s running for the state Senate instead of re-election.

O’Malley says he feels called to serve northern Michigan after being on the radio for more than 30 years.

“This might sound corny but I never served in the military,” O’Malley told Interlochen Public Radio. “And I am a loyal traditionalist, and I just feel that this is a way for me to serve.”

O’Malley is the only Republican in the race so far.

Democrat Kathy Wiejaczka, a registered nurse from Empire, is also a candidate for the 101st District.

O’Malley has announced that his last day at WTCM will be April 24.  O’Malley was also the station’s Operations Manager and Program Director.