Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Jermont Terry Joins WDIV-TV

Jermont-Terry_244Jermont Terry has joined WDIV-TV (Detroit) as a news reporter,  bringing 15 years of reporting experience to the station.  He began working at WDIV on February 29.

Prior to moving to Detroit, Terry worked as an investigative reporter, where he led the I-Team unit at WTMJ, which is the Milwaukee NBC affiliate’s investigative team. He also spent time working at WXII, the NBC affiliate in Greensboro, North Carolina, and four years working as an investigative reporter at WKYT, the CBS affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky. Terry also worked as a producer and reporter at WLFI, the CBS affiliate in West Lafayette, Indiana. Terry started his journalism career on the AM/FM dials in his home state of Illinois, while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Chicago native graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in broadcast journalism from the College of Communications at the University of Illinois. In 2015, The Milwaukee Press Club honored Terry with a first place award for best investigative series. Throughout his career, he has been honored with numerous awards including an Associated Press award for Best Enterprise/Investigative Story. His work and contributions at WKYT and WXII led to the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award. Jermont is an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Investigative Reporters and Editors.

FCC’s Jim Bridgewater Retires

Jim_Bridgewater_200A name many Michigan broadcasters have come to know over the years, James A. Bridgewater, District Director of the Federal Communications Commission’s Detroit office, retired on February 29, following a 37-year career.

Karole White, MAB President/CEO writes about Jim:

“One of the first people I met when I came to work for the MAB in 1985 was Jim Bridgewater, of the FCC Detroit Office.  MAB EAS Chairman Larry Estlack wanted me to meet Jim. I was quite nervous; after all it was the FCC. We went to Detroit and I met a tall man with a kind, warm face and intense eyes. He spoke about helping broadcasters meet the rules of the FCC. He extolled the virtues of the broadcasting industry and what a great job our members did in serving their communities. Jim was a real cheerleader for our industry. He would point out when we were wrong and work with us to correct any errors that we may have inadvertently made. You could always call the Detroit District Office and ask Jim a question without fear. He always said he would rather answer a question than dole out a citation.

Over the next 31 years, Jim and I would speak many times and work together on several projects. He was always helpful, efficient, and a man of his word. He was kind but decisive, not just in Michigan but throughout his region, which included Michigan, Ohio, and Eastern Kentucky. Jim spoke at MAB conferences, helped us set up our Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP), went on tour with us when we did our DTV Transition meetings and seminars, and assisted us in shutting down some very notorious pirate broadcasters.

Jim was a graduate of Purdue University and began his career with the Detroit Special Enforcement Facility in 1977 and transferred to the FCC Detroit Field Office in 1979.”

In 1994, he was promoted to the District Director’s position, having served in that capacity until retirement. With retirement, Jim and his wife will travel, visiting their son in the Los Angeles area and their daughter in the Orlando area, while also keeping busy with various hobbies that includes Bikram yoga and amateur radio.

In leaving, Jim said, “It has been an honor and privilege to work with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and to serve the great state of Michigan”.

Karole White concludes:

“No Jim the honor was ours, to know such a kind honorable individual as you. You have helped to shape the Michigan broadcasting industry and the MAB into the strong organization it is today through the guidance you gave to our volunteer leaders and staff.

Thank you my friend and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.”
KW-signature

Ed Christian, MAB Hall of Famer, Re-Upped by Saga

According to All Access Music Group, Saga Communications has signed Chairman/Pres./CEO Ed Christian, MAB Hall of Famer, to a new five-year contract extension.

A Michigan native,  Ed Christian worked his way through college and earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 1973 at Wayne and his masters’ degree in Management in 1981 from CMU. Ed’s calling was to a career in radio, which began in 1958, at age 14, and hasn’t stopped since.

His first job as a young teen was running the control board at several FM radio stations here in Detroit. Then, while studying at Michigan State University, he worked as a radio reporter at several Lansing radio stations. In 1966, when he realized he’d reached the top of his game as on-air talent, he moved into radio sales at WCAR-AM/FM, in Detroit.

In 1971 Ed joined the ranks of station owner by partnering in the purchase of WCER-AM/FM, in Charlotte, Mich. In 1974 he was he was brought in as vice president and general manager to save the floundering WNIC AM/FM, which was in deep financial trouble. With $100,000 in cash to operate the station he cut staff, paid bills and changed the radio format to “Detroit’s Nicest Rock,” and within three months the station was profitable again. In 1986 then parent company of WNIC, Josephson Communications, decided to sell its radio division. Ed found a venture capital partner and bought eight radio stations in the group and Saga Communications was born. And the company has been steadily acquiring broadcast properties ever since.

In 2009, Ed was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters’ National Radio Award for his service as a national leader for radio and his passion for public service. In 2012, Ed was also honored with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ Lifetime Achievement Award. The broadcast publication Radio Ink has called Ed one of the most influential radio executives in the United States. Saga has been regularly elected to the highly selective Forbes’ list of the 200 Best Small Companies in America.

Ed’s heritage is Icelandic and he serves as Honorary Consul of Iceland for Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. In this position he promotes tourism, commerce and industry between Iceland and the U.S.

Michigan Radio Covered by Columbia Journalism Review

Michigan Radio’s coverage of the Flint water crisis was the recent subject of an article at the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR).

For those efforts, Michigan Radio has won applause from listeners and industry peers. Steve Carmody is proud of what the service has done—but he also thinks about what might have been different.

“It just gnaws on me that when people were saying they can’t drink this water in May or June of 2014, I was taking, ‘Don’t worry, it’s safe’ as an answer” from state officials,” he said in recent interview. “It just sticks in my craw. I should’ve seen this earlier. That will bother me for the rest of my career.”

According to CJR, despite the fact that early pushes for more information did not happen, Michigan Radio took up the Flint water crisis as a priority once the public health concern became evident.

Read the in-depth article here.

WLNS-TV to be Acquired By Nexstar

According to the Associated Press and Lansing State Journal, Nexstar has announced that it is buying rival TV station operator Media General after Meredith agreed to allow Media General to get out of a takeover bid for Meredith.

Media General is the parent company of WLNS-TV (Lansing), the Lansing-based television news station that covers eight counties in mid-Michigan. Media General has owned it for two years.

EMU Hires Dr. James Smith as School’s New President

Dr. James SmithEastern Michigan University (EMU) has hired Dr. James Smith as the school’s next president.

Smith has been President of Northern State University in South Dakota since 2009 and holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Miami University.

Dr. Smith stated, “Sometimes you do things, and they don’t work. And then you have to be bright enough to know when to exit. Eastern has a history of being a great teacher education counseling institution, and I will continue to give every ounce of my effort to make that happen.”

Smith will take office in July. Interim President Donald Loppnow will continue to lead EMU until then.

WXYZ-TV Names Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan its 2015 Newsmaker of the Year

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
L to R: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Chuck Stokes

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) has named Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan its 2015 Newsmaker of the Year. Duggan was featured in a special edition of “Spotlight on the News,” on Sunday, February 14, at 10 a.m. Each year, WXYZ selects one newsmaker it deems to have had the greatest positive impact on the state of Michigan and the Detroit region during the year.

Mike Duggan was elected in 2013 as Detroit’s 75th mayor. Last year was the first full year Duggan ran the city without the assistance of a state-appointed emergency financial city manager. Under Duggan’s watch, the city bus schedules and police emergency response times were improved, transit workers and police union contracts were negotiated successfully, abandoned structures were removed, and neighborhood revitalization was increased. His administration has been instrumental in attracting economic development to Detroit.

In the “Spotlight” interview, Duggan discussed a wide range of topics, including his vision for Detroit, city safety, Detroit Public Schools, his family, and his goals for the future.

WMYD-TV Names New Sports Personality

Rob Parker
Rob Parker, WMYD-TV

Sports personality Rob Parker (pictured right) is bringing his unique brand of sports reporting to WMYD-TV20 (Detroit).

Parker has been a trailblazer in sports media.  He was the first African-American sports columnist at both Newsday in New York and at the Detroit Free Press, where he started working in 1993.  He was also an award-winning sports columnist at the Detroit News for nine years.

“Rob brings vast experience—and deep sources—to our team,” said WXYZ/WMYD news director Dave Manney.  “He also brings a fearless style with opinions that will have people talking.”

“I am excited about this great opportunity at WXYZ and WMYD,” said Parker.  “I’m loud, passionate, informed, and I dig deep for scoops.  Best of all, I have the biggest opinion in Detroit sports.”

Parker is among a select group of sports journalists who vote each year to determine the Baseball Hall of Fame inductees.

Parker began on WMYD’s Action News at 10 p.m. the week of February 8.

Todd Harrison Named GM of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Traverse City NBC Affiliates

WPBN Todd HarrisonSinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. announced that Todd Harrison (pictured left) has been named General Manager of WPBN-TV and WTOM-TV in Traverse City, MI.  Mr. Harrison will also oversee the sales and other non-programming related services of WGTU-TV and WGTQ-TV  in the same market pursuant to joint sales and shared services agreements. The announcement was made by Steve Pruett, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Sinclair’s television group.

In making the announcement, Mr. Pruett said, “We are excited to welcome Todd to Traverse City and Sinclair.  In Todd’s over 13 years of sales and management experience, he has been successful in achieving his sales objectives while implementing various additional sources of revenue including internet campaigns, online video, mobile, and social media solutions for clients and agencies.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the talented team of professionals in Traverse City,” commented Mr. Harrison. “Combined with Sinclair Television Group’s reach, scale, and leadership, we plan to build enhanced value for our viewers, valued clients, and the communities that make up the Northern Lower and Eastern Upper Peninsulas of Michigan.  We can achieve this by utilizing not only over-the-air television, but our vast array of digital and mobile capabilities.”

MSU & DPTV Announce Partnership

WKAR-TV (East Lansing) has announced a new partnership with Detroit Public Television on January 11.

“This collaboration gives us the opportunity to become a national model in providing quality educational content in public television,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “It will provide opportunities consistent with our land-grant mission for unique partnerships that will lead to much broader outreach and engagement, both in Detroit and statewide, and a significant platform for faculty work and innovation across several colleges.”

According to DPTV’s press release:

One of the first initiatives will be a 24/7 children’s broadcast and online channel serving not only Detroit and Lansing but also the entire state. That initiative will build off DPTV’s Ready To Learn program, supported by a PBS grant. It focuses on engaging and strengthening early learning experiences for children ages 2-8 at home, in preschool and in other out-of-school settings.

Watch video of the press conference here.