Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Linda Lee Marconi Award Winner

Linda Lee

The late Linda Lee, who was recipient of the MAB’s Legacy Award on August, was honored again at the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards, held last week during the NAB Radio Show in Austin, Texas.

Lee was honored  as a Large Market Personality of the Year for her work at WYCD-FM (Detroit). A complete list of 2017 Marconi winners is available here.

Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio.

NAB’s Gordon Smith Signs Contract Extension

Gordon Smith

The National Association of Broadcasters has announced that NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in the position until March 31, 2023. The announcement was made by NAB Joint Board Chair Caroline Beasley.

Smith joined NAB in November 2009 and oversees the advocacy efforts of thousands of local radio and television stations across America. He is a former two-term United States Senator from Oregon (1996-2008) and was a successful entrepreneur before launching his career in politics.

“Gordon Smith has shown a steady hand guiding America’s local radio and television stations through the public policy challenges of Washington,” said Beasley, CEO of Beasley Media Group. “He has enormous credibility on Capitol Hill and at the FCC, and is a determined advocate for local broadcasting. We are thrilled that we will benefit from Gordon’s leadership into 2023.”

“I am grateful for the trust placed in me by the NAB Board with this new contract,” said Smith. “Broadcasting plays an indispensable role in the world of communications, and I’m committed to an innovative agenda that allows local TV and radio to thrive on emerging media platforms. I’m honored to lead a talented NAB team fighting for viewers and listeners who rely on hometown TV and radio for the best in entertainment, quality local news and lifeline programming in a crisis.”

Pay TV Market Shrinking, But TV Homes Increasing

Nielsen is reporting that the number of TV homes has expanded to 119.6 million for the 2017-2018 season. For the 2016-2017 season, Nielsen said there were 118.4 million TV homes.  However, as TV households continue to expand, the number of homes with pay TV continues to decline. The number of pay TV subscriptions in the U.S. has fallen from 104.1 million in 2010 to 98.7 in 2016. Two-thirds of the decline came in the four years between 2013 and 2016.

The source of content for these new television homes is coming from two primary sources. The first, and perhaps biggest, group is streaming video to their TVs. Over the past three years, the penetration of enabled smart TVs has almost doubled, from 14% to 27%.~ At the same time, the number of homes using a streaming media player has increased from 18% to 29%.

The second source of content for these new television homes is good old antenna television. Between Q1 2015 and Q1 2017, the number of homes watching television with an antenna increased from 12.5 million to 15.2 million. However, almost all the increase in antenna homes came from homes that also have broadband. In those homes, it is likely people use both broadcast television and streaming services on the big screen.

WLUC-TV (Marquette) Upgrades Facility

Gray Television’s WLUC-TV (Marquette)
has announced that it has upgraded its present facilities, including a new set, monitors, rundown systems and a new control room.

“There has been a lot of change in the last 60 years here. This is the most significant. This is the biggest conversion,” said Rick Rhoades, WLUC-TV General Manager.  “As most people know, this is an upgrade that we needed for the last 5 to 7 years, but the push came from corporate,” said Rhoades.

The upgrades, once completed, required hours of staff training. “They started with training on the switcher board, training on the overdrive system and they have been learning and building how the show is to come together for a while,” said Chad Grueneberg, the on-air operations manager.  Staff would have to produce and run through not only a live newscast each day, but a rehearsal to practice using the new system.

“We’ve always done some moving around, we do a lot more moving around now so we have been really practicing the different angles the different possibilities or where we can go,” said Vicki Crystal, a morning anchor.

Black Diamond’s WGFN-FM Adds Omelette & Coates For Mornings

Black Diamond Broadcasting
has announced that Steve “Omelette” Normandin and Rick Coates have joined WGFM/WCHY-FM
“The Bear” (Traverse City)
as morning show hosts.

Normandin (Omelette) told All Access “We are excited about the vision of Black Diamond Broadcasting and feel that our Morning Show is a perfect fit.   Our show focus will be: timely, topical, local and mixed with humor, shenanigans and of course great classic rock and roll. I am grateful that Rick Coates has agreed to join me as the show’s producer and co-host. Rick has a long history of promoting Northern Michigan through his writing and other projects. We both plan to continue to be active in various facets of the community.”

Black Diamond co-owner Norm McKee said, “We’re excited to have Omelette & Coates join the team.  Their energy, passion and commitment to the people and communities of Northern Michigan set them apart from other shows. The fact that these two share the intimate details of their personal lives, combined with their comedic chemistry and their A-list celebrity contacts give them a unique connection with the listeners.”

Glenn Haege: 1947-2017

Glenn Haege

Glenn Haege, America’s Master Handyman® and host of The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege on Detroit radio for 34 years, passed away September 11, 2017 after a short battle with cancer. Haege was 70.

Haege, a Detroit radio icon, started his broadcast career on WXYT-AM 1270 in 1983 and for the past 11 years he was heard weekends on NewsTalk 760 WJR-AM. His radio show was also nationally syndicated in 135 radio markets. It is estimated that he had answered more than 85,000 home improvement questions during his time on the air.

For 22 years he was also a Detroit News columnist writing a weekly feature on home improvement. He authored 11 books on the subject.

Haege was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2011.

“Glenn was a consummate radio professional who really cared a great deal about his audience” said Rob David, the Executive Producer of the Handyman Show. “He had a special way of treating every caller with respect. Each caller was made to feel that their question was the most important one and that Glenn was answering it for the first time.”

A Warren, Michigan native, Haege attended Northern Michigan University and then worked for the Sherwin Williams Paint Company and for ACO Hardware prior to launching his award-winning radio career.

“He loved meeting his listeners and readers. He always had time to speak to them wherever he was … in a restaurant, a hardware store or at various broadcasts that he did in both Metro Detroit and around the country,” David added. “Weekends on the radio won’t be the same without him. He will be greatly missed.”

He is survived by his mother, Marion; sister, Sharon; brother, Robert; wife, Barbara; their children Eric and Heather; and six grandchildren.

Public Visitation
Sunday, September 17, from 12:00 PM – 08:00 PM
E. J. Mandziuk & Son Funeral Home
3801 18 Mile Road
Sterling Heights, MI, 48314
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation be made to:
Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity
Memorial service will be private.

FCC Watch: Two Michigan Stations Surrender Licenses

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

August 29:  Marion R. Williams was granted a license to cover changes for WSMK-FM (Buchanan).  The station relocated its transmitter site, changed HAAT and ERP.

August 28:  Educational Media Foundation filed an application to cover minor changes for FM Translator W296CG (Detroit).  The translator rebroadcasts the HD2 channel of WMXD-FM (Detroit).

August 24:  The application to assign the license of FM Translator W299CB (Manistee) from Resort Radio to Smile FM was approved.  The translator rebroadcasts Smile FM’s WSMZ (Crystal Valley).

August 24:  Baraga Broadcasting, Inc. filed an application to modify a construction permit for WGZR-FM (Alpena).  The station is moving to a new transmitter site and increasing ERP.

August 21:  Roy E. Henderson has surrendered the license (for cancellation) of WMTE-AM (Manistee).  See letter here.  The station has had a license renewal pending since 2012.

August 18:  West Central Michigan Media Ministries was granted a license to cover a minor change application for WGCP-FM (Cadillac).  The station changed transmitter site, ERP and HAAT.

August 17:  West Michigan Community Help Network was granted a license to cover for a new Low Power FM station, WMMT-LP (Muskegon).

August 15:  The Board of Trustees, Michigan State University were granted a construction permit for an auxiliary antenna for WKAR-FM (East Lansing).  The proposed auxiliary operation is to operate at 16.3kw at 140.9 meters HAAT on the existing WKAR-FM tower.

August 14:  Educational Media Foundation was granted a license to cover changes for FM Translator W262BD (Dimondale).  The translator increased its ERP.  The translator rebroadcasts WWSJ-AM (St. Johns).

August 9:   Underwood V Radio, Inc. was granted a license to cover for a new Low Power FM station, WFCB-LP (Ferndale).

August 7: Radioactive, LLC has surrendered the license (for cancellation) of WRAX-FM (Lake Isabella).  See letter here.  The station has had a license renewal pending since 2012.

Mark Thomas Appointed Alpha Media Market Manager

Mark Thomas

Alpha Media has announced that Mark Thomas will join the company as Market Manager in Saginaw.  The company owns WSGW-AM/FM, WTLZ-FM, WGER-FM, and WCEN-FM.

Thomas has over 30 years of industry experience, including working for iHeart Media in Riverside, CA., and serving as a Market Manager and Regional Vice President with Regent  Communications/Townsquare Media in Flint, MI., Evansville, IN., and Grand Rapids, MI.

Alpha Media EVP of the Midwest Region, George Pelletier commented on the announcement, “Mark has great experience as a local market manager. He brings an exceptional understanding of local programming, sales and community broadcasting to the Alpha team in Saginaw. We are happy to welcome Mark ‘home’ to Michigan.”

“I am thrilled to join Alpha Media and return home to Michigan. I look forward to helping the cluster grow with its great staff and stations,” remarked Thomas.

EMU’s ‘All E Show’ Returns to WTKA

WTKA-AM (Ann Arbor) will once again air Eastern Michigan University’s All E Show this season.  The program is a weekly 30-minute football coaches’ show hosted by EMU Associate Athletic Director Greg Steiner.

With the season underway, the program debuted August 23.

Cumulus Media, which owns WTKA, will also air air EMU cross-promotions and marketing on its other stations in the cluster, including WWWW-FM and WQKL-FM.   The company and university announced a partnership in 2016.

Game broadcasts for football and men’s and women’s basketball air on EMU’s own WEMU-FM (Ypsilanti).

Hilary Golston Joins WJBK-TV

Hilary Golston

Detroit native Hilary Golston will be joining WJBK-TV (Detroit) as  a reporter beginning September 5.

Most recently, Golston was a reporter, anchor and multimedia journalist for WKYC Cleveland. Previously, she was a weekend evening anchor at WVTM Birmingham, Ala.

Golston began her career at WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“I come from a family committed to Detroit and the magic that we know is here. I can’t say how awesome it is to be back where I grew up and to be a part of telling the stories that matter and going to bat for the community of my birth,” said Golston in a press release.

A graduate of George Washington University, Golston holds a degree in political science.