Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

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.

WKAR Will NOT Participate in Spectrum Auction

According to Prabu David
, Dean of MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences
, “MSU will NOT participate in the FCC Broadcast Incentive Auction.” David noted that WKAR had received hundreds of emails and social media postings regarding the upcoming spectrum auction, and that he and the WKAR staff were “truly touched” by all the support.

The FCC Spectrum Auction is happening in the Spring of 2016, and is meant to reallocate a portion of the spectrum from TV broadcasters to mobile providers.