Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Nexstar-Media General Merger Delayed by FCC

Nexstar_300Broadcasting and Cable has reported (9/15) that Nexstar Broadcasting’s $4.6 billion purchase of Media General is on hold pending the conclusion of the current spectrum auction.  The MAB previously reported that the Department of Justice approved the merger with the requirement that Nexstar sell seven television stations in six markets, all outside Michigan.

However, the FCC has said that it would not approve any TV station transactions during the spectrum incentive auction involving stations potentially implicated in that auction.

Nexstar currently owns one television station in Michigan,  WJMN-TV (Marquette).  Media General owns WOOD-TV/WOTV-TV/WXSP-CD (Grand Rapids) and WLNS-TV (Lansing).  In addition, it has a joint sales and shared services agreement with WLAJ-TV (Lansing).

WXMI-TV Names Hutton New Lead Sports Anchor

jasonhutton_275WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids) has named Jason Hutton the new lead sports anchor for the station.  Hutton has been with the station for ten years and takes over the position from Mitch Fick, who left the station in early September.

Hutton will serve as the main sports personality on the station’s weekday evening and night newscasts.  He is a native of western Michigan and attended Central Michigan University.

Al Payne Joins WMGC-FM as Program Director

al-payne_275Greater Media has announced that Al Payne has been named as the new program director at WMGC-FM (105.1 The Bounce/Detroit’s Throwback Hip Hop and R&B station). He began his new position on Monday.

Payne most recently served as the Director of Urban Programming at Alpha Media’s WGHL, WGZB and WMJM in Louisville, KY. Previous to that, he worked as the Operations Manager of Radio One’s WERQ, WWIN, WOLB and WLIF-HD2 in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, the radio veteran was the Program Director/Operations VP of the Russ Parr Morning Show and worked in a programming capacity for stations in Detroit, Richmond, Dallas, Greensboro and Raleigh/Durham.

“We are thrilled to welcome Al as the new program director at 105.1 The Bounce in the Motor City,” said Steve Chessare, Vice President and Market Manager of Greater Media Detroit.” His experience and vision is exactly what we need to take the station to the next level and beyond.”

Print“We are excited to have Al Payne join our new Detroit brand 105.1 The Bounce,” said Greater Media Senior Vice President of Program Development Buzz Knight. “Having someone of his caliber join our already strong team sends a signal to the market of our commitment to excellence.”

“I am so blessed and happy to be returning to the D for another run,” said Payne. “This city has so much pride, heritage and passion! I’m humbled to be chosen to program their dynamic new brand, 105.1 The Bounce, which is, and will remain, all about everything Detroit. You can feel the energy when you walk into their beautiful facility. There’s something special happening between those walls. I can’t wait! Thanks to Buzz Knight, Steve Chessare and ALL of the Greater Media family for this incredible opportunity.”

WOOD-TV Adds 7:00 P.M. Newscast

wood-tv_300WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) has announced that it is expanding their news coverage, adding a 30-minute edition of “24 Hour News 8” at 7:00 p.m. beginning September 20.

Marlee Ginter will anchor the newscast with Meteorologist Kyle Underwood.

WOOD-TV News Director Dan Boers said “On top of the big stories of the day, the newscast will give us an opportunity to take a deeper look into issues impacting our communities.  It will be at a time of day that is more convenient for some viewers who are just getting home from work or after-school activities.”

Diane Kniowski, WOOD-TV General Manager added “24 Hour News 8 is dedicated to bringing viewers more news at a time of day that is convenient for viewers to access breaking news, weather and investigative reports throughout the day.  It is just another way we serve our community.”

Detroit Television Personality John Kelly Passes

(L-$) John Kelly and Marilyn Turner.
(L-R) John Kelly and Marilyn Turner.

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) reports that Detroit television TV news and entertainment icon John Kelly passed away this past Sunday afternoon (9/18) at age 88.

Kelly was an anchor for WJBK-TV  (Detroit) beginning in 1965. In the early 1970s, he moved to WXYZ-TV and worked alongside Bill Bonds, Marilyn Turner and Al Ackerman.  He married Turner in 1975.  Both Kelly and Turner hosted the long-running morning show “Kelly & Company.”  The show was described by the Detroit Historical Society as a “personable, guest-oriented talk show taped in front of a live studio audience.  As Detroit’s premiere local talk show, it became a key component of Channel 7’s image in the community.”

Kelly is survived by Turner, his brothers Daniel and Kenneth, three children and six grandchildren.  No services have been announced as of this writing.

See WXYZ-TV’s story and tribute here.
See WJBK-TV’s story and tribute here.

NAB to Focus on the Opioid Epidemic

NABBroadcasters: Making a Difference in the Opioid Epidemic

Nearly 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. That staggering statistic is but one reason key members of Congress reached out to NAB and asked for broadcasters’ help to stem the epidemic of prescription drug and heroin addiction that is ravaging our communities.

Congress recognizes the unique ability of local broadcasters to reach listeners and viewers with important social messages, driving them to take action.

To answer this call for help, the NAB Joint Board of Directors has approved a voluntary commitment of broadcasters to address the opioid/heroin addiction crisis over the coming year. Stations will be provided with a digital toolkit that includes resources such as public service announcements, online digital messaging and suggested town hall meetings.

On September 13,  the NAB is scheduled to announce this commitment jointly with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. At this event we will spotlight the numerous ways broadcasters are already answering this call, with remarks from Sen. Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO; Art Brooks, president of the Arizona Broadcasters Association; Rebecca Hanson, senior vice president of Strategy and Policy of Sinclair Broadcast Group; Ginny Morris, chair and chief executive officer of Hubbard Radio Group and Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television.

The press conference will also include remarks from the following members of Congress: Sens. Chuck Grassley (IA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Patrick Leahy (VT), John McCain (AZ) and Chris Murphy (CT), and Reps. John Conyers (MI-13), Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) and Frank Pallone (NJ-06).

We are excited about this event and appreciate your support of this important effort. Stay tuned for more information tomorrow about this event and a link to a digital toolkit where you can download spots, programming ideas, social media tools and additional resources.

Shiels Inducted into Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame

MPSMichigan statewide syndicated radio personality Michael Patrick Shiels is among five honorees inducted into the 2016 class of the Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame.

Shiels is the arts and entertainment category inductee.  He hosts “Michigan’s Big Show,” which originates from Lansing and is heard on nine stations statewide.  He has won “Network Radio Personality of the Year” in the MAB’s Broadcast Excellence Awards on multiple occasions.

He hosts his show live from Ireland each St. Patrick’s Day.

Other inductees include former Governor James J. Blanchard, Detroit Public Schools Special Education Teacher Kathleen Dewan O’Neill (who also hosts a weekly Irish radio show on WNZK-AM in Detroit); writer and Schoolcraft College Adjunct Professor James J. O’Kelly; and Michael W. Kerwin, who serves on the Executive Board of the Gaelic League and is Chairman of its Culture Committee.

More information here.

WWTV/WWUP-TV Receive Drone Certification

Heritage Broadcasting’s WWTV-WWUP-TV (Cadillac) is soaring to new heights and taking the viewers along. Northern Michigan’s News Leader just announced the successful completion of the drone certification program through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This drone authorization will bring previously unattainable sights to viewers across Northern Michigan. The use of a drone in news coverage allows for a birds eye view coverage on everything from a natural disaster to showcasing all the beauty that Northern Michigan has to offer. The drone footage will be used to provide an unique and interesting element that will tell the story like no one else in the area can.

“Being able to provide our audience with such an extraordinary method of footage is just another testimony to why we are Northern Michigan’s News Leader. We take great pride in delivering the best coverage and telling the great stories of Northern Michigan. We are proud to be able to invest in technology to continue to provide cutting-edge and unsurpassed information to our viewers,” says Kevin Dunaway, Vice President/General Manager.

Samuelsen Joins WXYT-FM Morning Show

jjamies_275Jamie Samuelsen, co-host of the nighttime “Jamie and Wojo Show” on CBS Radio’s all-sports WXYT-FM (Detroit), has shifted to mornings.  He has joined  Mike Stone and Sara Fouracre, forming “The Jamie and Stoney Show.”

Samuelsen and Stone previously worked together at WDFN-AM (Detroit).  In addition to his radio work, Samuelsen also is a contributing writer/blogger for the Detroit Free Press.