Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

WMGC-FM Gets Foolish in the Mornings

Foolish

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 InsideRadio.com.

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 WOODTV.com.

“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 AllAccess.com.

“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).

Beloved Detroit journalist Bob Pisor Dies After Battle With Cancer

Bob Pisor

Long-time Detroit journalist Bob Pisor passed away July 7 on his 80-acre farm in Leland Township after a months-long fight with kidney cancer. He was 77.

Pisor began his distinguished career in the Motor City as a reporter with The Detroit News from 1963-74. From 1967-68 the newspaper sent him overseas to cover the Vietnam War.

In 1974, he took leave of political reporting to serve as press secretary for Coleman Young, Detroit’s first African-American mayor.

In the early ’80s, Pisor returned to the newsroom at WDIV-TV, where became a familiar face to Local 4 news viewers for more than a decade.

In 1995, he left the broadcasting industry for new pursuits and opened Stone House Bread Co. in Leland. In his later years, he hiked, hunted, traveled the world, and enjoyed life with his wife of 55 years.

Ellen Pisor will host a celebration of Bob’s life with a party at the Pisor farm in Leland on Aug. 13 at 4 p.m. Read his obituary, published in the Traverse City Record-Eagle. 

FCC Watch: Translator Upgrades and Ownership Changes

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

June 28:  The application by Mentor Partners, Inc. to modify the facilities of FM translator W299BE (Big Rapids) was granted.   The application is to change the transmitter site and height above average terrain (HAAT). The translator rebroadcasts the company’s WBRN-AM (Big Rapids).

June 28:  An application to assign the license of WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids) from WXMI, LLC (Tribune Media) to Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. was filed.   The assignment application also includes the licenses for W42CB-D (Hesperia) and W17DF-D (Muskegon).

June 27: Midwest Communications, Inc. was granted an application for direct measurement for WKZO-AM (Kalamazoo).

June 26: Both the license renewal application and the assignment of license application for WMXG-FM (Stephenson) from Escanaba License Corp. to AMC Partners Escanaba, Inc. was granted.

June 26: The application by AMC Partners Escanaba, Inc. for a construction permit to reduce the power of WCMM-FM (Gulliver) was granted.  The power reduction was to eliminate market coverage overlap.

June 23:  An application for license to cover a construction permit for low-power FM station WFAH-LP (Flint) was granted.  The station is licensed to Greater Flint Arts Council.

June 23: An application for license to cover a construction permit for low-power FM station WFOV-LP (Flint) was granted.  The station is licensed to Flint Odyssey House, Inc.

June 19:  An application was filed by Educational Media Foundation for FM translator W240CG (Webberville).  The application seeks 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).

June 14: the application for assignment of license for WCHB-AM (Taylor) from Radio One of Detroit, LLC to WMUZ Radio, Inc. was approved.

June 14: the application of Family Life Broadcasting System to modify the construction permit of FM translator W231CV (Holly) was approved.  The application sought to change the transmitter site, ERP and HAAT.  The translator rebroadcasts the company’s WUFL-AM (Sterling Heights).

June 5, Up North Radio, LLC filed a license application to modify the license of WBZX-FM (Big Rapids) to cover replacement of its antenna.

June 2,  Educational Media Foundation was granted an application for minor changes to FM translator W262BD (Dimondale). The application is to increase the effective radiated power of the translator from 22 watts to 99 watts.  The translator rebroadcasts the signal of WWSJ-AM, St. Johns.

May 31, Caron Broadcasting, Inc. filed an license application to cover a construction permit for FM translator W224CC (Detroit).  The construction permit was for a power increase from 70 to 90 watts effective-radiated power. The translator rebroadcasts the signal of WLVQ-AM, Detroit.

May 25, WRVM, Inc. received approval for a minor-change application for FM translator W237AW, licensed to Iron River, MI. The application was for a power change from 50 to 55 watts effective radiated power. The translator rebroadcasts the signal of WMVM-FM (Goodman, Wisc.).

NAB Releases Video Explaining TV Repack

The National Association of Broadcasters has created a YouTube video warning the public and the Federal Communications Commission about the challenges that lie ahead for the broadcast TV repack. The video highlights the possibility of radio stations going off the air, budget challenges, time constraints and the amount of work needed to safely update towers.

To sum it up, the 39-month broadcast TV repack process will be really hard:

Michigan Radio Wins Two PRNDI Awards

Michigan Radio was honored on June 24 with two awards from the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI).

The station received a First Place award in the Large Newsroom-Nationally Edited Continuing Coverage category for its on-going reporting about the Flint water crisis.

“The reporters at Michigan Radio took our commitment to keep the story of the Flint water crisis in front of a national audience very seriously,” said Vincent Duffy, Michigan Radio News Director. “This award is really a credit to the whole Flint team and our entire newsroom for their work that aired on NPR. I’m really pleased that the fantastic work done by Michigan Radio reporters has been recognized in this way.”

The station also received a Second Place award in the Long Documentary category for “Out From The Shadows: Living Undocumented.” The hour-long documentary by reporter Dustin Dwyer of Michigan Radio’s State of Opportunity team looked at what life is like for illegal immigrant families in the Grand Rapids area facing the prospect of deportation.

Michigan Radio has the state’s largest and most recognized radio news service, with more than thirty-five awards received in 2017 for news excellence. Michigan Radio broadcasts at 91.7 FM in southeastern Michigan, 91.1 FM in Flint, and 104.1 FM in western Michigan.

WXYZ’s Galli to Host ‘Inside Michigan Football Radio Show

Brad Galli

The University of Michigan Athletic Department and The Michigan IMG Sports Network has announced that WXYZ-TV (Detroit) sports anchor Brad Galli will host the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show, held Mondays throughout the football season.

“Bringing fans closer to the Michigan football program and providing unique access every week will be a lot of fun,” said Galli. “I have a lot of enthusiasm about hosting the show — and I think I’m smart enough to know I don’t have to do much talking with Coach Harbaugh on the microphone next to me.”

The past two seasons, Galli has interviewed J. Ira, the Nicki Harris Family and Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh on Mondays as part of WXYZ-TV’s Sunday broadcast of the Inside Michigan Football TV show.

A Detroit native who grew up in Troy, Galli anchors sports on WXYZ’s 7 Action News. He earned an Emmy in 2016 for Excellence in Sports Anchoring in the state of Michigan after winning his first Emmy in 2014 for Excellence in Sports Reporting. Galli also received a Merit Award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for Best Sportscast in 2014. He began working at WXYZ-TV in 2011 after graduating from Marquette University.

Jim Brandstatter, the host since the inception of the weekly radio show, has decided to step away from the Monday night show. Brandstatter will continue to handle play-by-play duties for the IMG/Michigan Sports Network and host the Inside Michigan Football TV show as well as provide color commentary on the Detroit Lions radio broadcast.

“The decision to step away from the Monday night Inside Michigan Football radio show with Jim Harbaugh was mine,” said Brandstatter. “I made the decision based on the increased responsibility of the Michigan football play-by-play position and the travel involved in my fall weekends broadcasting both the Wolverines and Detroit Lions NFL games.

“I had a blast doing the show and thank IMG for the opportunity, and especially Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan media staff over the past couple of years,” added Brandstatter. “I have loved working with producer Kathleen Stevens and engineer Tony Butler and the wonderful staff and Michigan fans at the Pizza House. Going forward, I wish for continued and increased success (with new host Brad Galli) of this popular radio program.”

IMG is the multimedia rights partner of University of Michigan Athletics.

National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Class of Inductees

The 25-person National Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee presented 24 individuals and shows worthy of consideration to listeners and industry peers and the voting results are in. In just three years since public voting was reinstituted, the National Radio Hall of Fame reports an unprecedented level of audience participation with nearly 300,000 votes cast for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality. The increase is attributed to the ever-more creative campaigning waged by nominees as well as the newly offered online voting mechanism in addition to texting. The inductees by public vote are:

Bobby Bones, The Bobby Bones Show; syndicated by Premiere Networks
Music Format On-Air Personality

Bill Handel, The Bill Handel Show; KFI AM 640 Los Angeles; Handel on the Law; syndicated by Premiere Networks
Spoken Word On-Air Personality

Four of the categories were decided by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. The inductees by this panel are:

John Landecker

Tom Barnard, The Tom Barnard Show, KQRS-FM Minneapolis
Active Local/Regional, 10+ years

John Records Landecker, renowned DJ, most notably on WLS-AM and WJMK-FM, Chicago
Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years

Landecker began his radio career while in high school at WOIA-FM/WOIB-AM in Ann Arbor.  He attended Michigan State University, working at station WILS-AM/FM in Lansing.

Sean Hannity, The Sean Hannity Show; syndicated by Premiere Networks
Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years

Robin Quivers, The Howard Stern Show; SiriusXM
Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years

Additionally, the National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee voted to induct two individuals for their contribution to the industry. Those inductees are:

Joseph M. Field, Chairman/Founder Entercom Communications Corporation and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers, the late legendary Fort Wayne, Indiana on-air personality who was on WOWO Radio for 51 years.

National Radio Hall of Fame Chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “Each year the enthusiasm and participation from those in our industry, and the voting public, grows by leaps and bounds. We’re so happy to induct this truly deserving, talented group of broadcasters this year into the National Radio Hall of Fame.”

The black-tie optional induction ceremony takes place at the home of the National Radio Hall of Fame – the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago on November 2. Tickets are now available at www.radiohof.org. A portion of ticket purchases is a tax deductible charitable donation to the Museum.

Leading radio imaging and production company The Mix Group is the presenting sponsor of the National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.

About the National Radio Hall of Fame and Museum of Broadcast Communications: The institution collects, preserves and presents historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educates, informs and entertains the public through its archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to its resources. The museum is located at 360 North State Street in downtown Chicago and was founded in 1983 by veteran broadcaster Bruce DuMont.