Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

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.

WCHY-FM and WWSS-FM to Exchange Facilities

Black Diamond Broadcast Holdings
has announced that it has agreed to enter into an agreement with David L. Smith to swap the facilities of its WCHY-FM (Cheboygan) and Smith’s WWSS-FM (Tuscarora Township).  As part of the agreement, Black Diamond will move its programming and call letters to the WWSS facility and Smith will move WWSS programming and call letters to the WCHY facility.

Both parties entered into respective Local Marketing Agreements to enable the frequency swap to go into effect this past Monday, March 12.

Black Diamond’s WCHY-FM is a class C3 facility on 97.7 with an ERP of 3.4kw at 152 meters.  Smith’s WWSS-FM is a class C2 facility on 95.3 with an effective radiated power of 17kw at 299 meters.

Applications for the exchange of facilities were filed with the FCC on March 7.

Nate Bell Joins iHeartMedia Detroit

Nate Bell

iHeartMedia has named Nate Bell Program Director for its two Urban-formatted radio stations in Detroit: WJLB-FM and WMXD-FM.  Bell most recently was OM/PD for Radio One’s WGPR, WDMK and WPZR, all in Detroit.  He left that position in September of 2017.

“We are so excited to have Nate back in our Urban programming brain trust,” iHeartMedia National Programming Group EVP Urban/Hip-Hop Programming Strategy Doc Wynter said. “He was missed, but it was destiny for him to come back to iHeartMedia.

“Nate is awesome,” iHeartMedia/Detroit Regional SVP/Programming Tony Travatto said. “He is one of the top Urban programming minds in the business and has unique knowledge of the Detroit market. Adding him to our team will undoubtedly help our listenership and advertisers.”

“I’m really excited to return to iHeartMedia,” said Bell. “Being able to work with these two iconic Detroit brands is something I look forward to.”

NAB To Present TV Repack Webcast March 8

NABVia NAB Pulse:

Is your station moving frequencies due to the recent spectrum incentive auction? If so, make plans to watch an important NAB webcast on Thursday, March 8 at 12:00 p.m. EST where new station tools will be unveiled. During the webcast, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith and members of NAB’s advocacy team will discuss the importance of using consistent tools and resources available to stations at and coordinating with other stations in your market to send a clear message to minimize viewer confusion. They will also showcase new customizable spots in English and Spanish that instruct viewers how to rescan their TVs and converter boxes.

Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 8 and stay tuned for more details.

As a reminder, the tools currently available to stations include a checklist of activities to keep you on track, talking points, sample scripts and crawls and even automated phone messaging. Click here for station tools and here for station tools in Spanish.

Keep in mind that while FCC consumer education requirements start 30 days before your scheduled move date, the FCC requires that your satellite and cable partners be notified no less than 90 days prior to your move. You can find this information and more in the checklist of activities.

In order for NAB to help your station educate viewers, we need to know exactly when you are making the transition, whether that is due to a channel sharing agreement or the repack. As your plans become firm, please fill out this form with your exact date of transition if it has been determined and the name and contact information of the person at your station who will handle consumer education.

If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected]