Beasley Broadcast Group Interim CEO and Chief Financial Officer Caroline Beasley has told Inside Radio (10/19) that the company is targeting a November 1 closing date on its acquisition of the Greater Media radio stations.
The deal, first announced July 19, will double the size of Beasley in terms of revenue, cash flow and cume, and put it back into several top 10 markets. The addition will grow Beasley by 21 stations in seven markets with billings that will make it the ninth-largest radio group in the U.S.
The acquisition brings Beasley to Michigan for the first time, as it acquires Detroit stations WCSX-FM, WRIF-FM and WMGC-FM as part of the deal.
After more than 30 years at WLNS-TV (Lansing), anchor Jane Aldrich will hang up her microphone and retire from the station.
“I just feel that it’s time,” explained Aldrich. “I have been honored to be invited into your home to share the day’s news with you for over three decades, and the staff and management at TV-6 have been wonderful to me and my family through the years.”
Jane started as an anchor and reporter at 6 News back on October 14, 1985. She spent decades at the desk anchoring various shows, including 6 News at Noon, 5, 6, and 11 p.m.
Over the years, Jane has become one of the most recognizable and most beloved figures in the greater Lansing area.
“Jane is the real deal. She’s full of caring and compassion,” said General Manager Bob Simone. “She genuinely cares about people and the community, and the reason viewers love her is because they see that, too.”
Among her other accomplishments, Jane:
Founded the franchise called “Tell Me Something Good” – reporting good news, as well as interesting and inspirational stories, and won numerous awards for her work.
Hosted a health care forum in Lansing alongside then-President Bill Clinton.
Has also hosted or led hundreds, if not thousands, of events over the years for a variety of causes. For many years, she co-hosted the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day Telethon. Among the other causes and organizations she has supported are the Alzheimer’s Association, the Hospice of Lansing, Special Olympics, the Greater Lansing Food Bank, and Lansing Community College.
Jane’s last day on the anchor desk will be some time in mid-January.
The Detroit Free Press has reported that columnist and former radio sports talk host Drew Sharp passed away October 21 at age 56.
Sharp was a graduate of the University of Michigan in 1982 and joined the Free Press the following year.
He Initially covered high school, college and professional beats. Sharp was promoted to a full-time columnist in January 1999.
Sharp was a host at WDFN-AM (The Fan) in Detroit in 2009 and 2010, and later was a sports host at (then) all-sports WMGC-FM in Detroit.
He is survived by his wife. A public memorial service begins at 11 a.m. Thursday (10/27) in Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 5631 N. Adams Rd. in Bloomfield Hills. A half-hour visitation precedes the service.
Memorial tributes can be made to Almost Home Animal Rescue League and Haven, a Southfield nonprofit, via credit card here or by mail to Post Office. Box 250602, West Bloomfield, MI 48325.
AllAccess reports that longtime Midwest Communications Kalamazoo Brand Manager Jay Morris has left the company for a marketing manager position outside of radio. Morris’ last day with the company was October 21.
Morris programmed WKZO-AM, WZOX-FM and WQLR-AM for the company and served as co-host of WKZO’s morning show.
Morning show co-host Jim McKinney will continue hosting solo and will take over as Brand Manager of WQLR and Assistant Program Director for WKZO. Anthony Pollreisz will begin anchoring the news on WKZO’s morning show.
Steve Mills, the Kalamazoo cluster’s Director of Operations and Programming will add Brand Manager duties for WZOX and WKZO. Mills joined the company in early August of this year.
In a somewhat unusual move, the FCC’s Media Bureau and Incentive Auction Task Force have issued a joint public notice encouraging “all television licensees” to “ensure that their contact information on file with the Commission is accurate and current.” As the notice reminds everybody, licensees are generally required to do so anyway, but it’s especially important now in light of the impending spectrum repack process. The Commission will be reaching out directly to stations concerning channel reassignments and it wants to be sure that it will be able to reach each affected station. Note that this includes not only stations whose reassignment is made as a result of participation in the reverse auction but also non-participating stations subject to repack.
For stations participating in the reverse auction, the Commission will be using the contact information set out in the Form 177 filed last January in the run-up to the auction. For other stations, it will be using contact information currently showing up in the FCC’s Licensing and Management System (LMS). The public notice provides detailed step-by-step instructions for checking (and, if necessary changing) contact info in both places.
In view of the importance of repack-related notifications, it would be a good idea for all TV licensees to take a couple of minutes to double- and triple-check the contact information currently on file, just to be sure.
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WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) has announced a number of changes to its newscast and anchor lineup, effective October 17.
The station’s morning “24 Hour News 8 Daybreak” newscast welcomes Teresa Weakley to the station. Weakley joins Casey Jones on the anchor desk along with meteorologists Terri DeBoer and Matt Kirkwood. The newscast will include more news focused on preparing viewers for the day ahead.
Weakley is a Kalamazoo-area native returning to her West Michigan roots from WIVB-TV, the CBS affiliate in Buffalo, NY, where she anchored the morning news. She’s an experienced, Emmy-nominated journalist with more than 10 years of experience reporting big stories — like the 2016 presidential race and historic lake-effect snow in Buffalo.
“It is already so nice to be back where I grew up and see my children make memories with our family here,” said Weakley. “I’m excited to be a part of our viewers’ mornings and help keep them informed about what’s happening in West Michigan.”
WOOD TV8 News Director Dan Boers said he’s thrilled to welcome Teresa to the morning team.
“I’m sure viewers will immediately connect with Teresa and recognize her passion for journalism and love for West Michigan,” he said.
In addition to the changes on “Daybreak,” “24 Hour News 8 at Noon” will now have a dual anchor team; Emily Linnert will join Susan Shaw and meteorologist Matt Kirkwood on the newscast. In addition to her anchor role, Linnert will take on an exciting new project for the station where she will report on important health and education issues that are important to families in West Michigan. Her first reports will be seen starting Wednesday, October 19 at 5 p.m.
The station has also added new graphics on their newscasts as well as technology updates to their weather tracking system.
Inside Radioreports (10/7) that National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President/CEO Gordon Smith has extended his current employment contract through the end of 2019.
In an exclusive interview with the publication, Smith stated “We’re going to do this until the end of 2019 and then I’m done. At that point I will have been here for ten years and I think that’s enough. I think it’s smart for any organization to reshuffle its deck of cards every decade.”
Smith, 64, a lawyer by trade, is a former two-term United States Senator from the state of Oregon. He has led the NAB since November 2009.
Broadcasting and Cable reports (10/5/16) that the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has asked the FCC to act on the pending Nexstar/Media General merger, rather than wait until the current spectrum auction is finished.
On September 19, the MAB reported that the FCC has declined to approve any TV station transactions during the spectrum incentive auction involving stations potentially implicated in that auction. Media General had indicated it would be participating in the auction and FCC action on the transfer could provide more specific information about the auction, which is potentially in violation of the FCC’s rule against public disclosures.
The FCC deadline for filing transactions involving auction-eligible stations was back in January and the auction could conceivably extend into January of 2017, though it could also wrap up by next month if the FCC does not have to go to a third stage.
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).