Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Bill Lake Joins Wiley Rein

William Lake

On April 19, Washington law firm Wiley Rein announced that former FCC Media Bureau Chief William Lake, a veteran communications lawyer, has joined the firm’s Telecom, Media & Technology practice as consulting counsel.  In his new postion, Lake advises clients on media and telecommunications issues, with special attention to navigating the federal regulatory regimes.

Mr. Lake served as head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Media Bureau from 2009 to 2017, advising companies in the U.S. and international communications industries on regulatory, competition, intellectual property and trade issues. Mr. Lake was named to that leadership role following his service as FCC coordinator for the digital television transition in 2009.

“Bill’s intellectual rigor, unique insight and deep experience make him a valuable addition to our TMT Practice and we’re delighted that he is joining the team,” said Kathleen A. Kirby, co-chair of the Practice. “He is an exceptional lawyer, widely regarded for his work at the FCC and his government perspective and private sector experience on critical issues impacting companies in the telecommunications and media industries will be of immense value to our clients.”

Prior to joining the FCC, Mr. Lake was a partner at a large Washington, D.C. law firm, where he led the communications and electronic commerce practice. He also has served as Principal Deputy Legal Advisor to the U.S. Department of State, Counsel to the Council on Environmental Quality and Counselor to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Wiley Rein has an unparalleled regulatory team with outstanding expertise in transactional and policy issues in the media and telecom sector,” said Mr. Lake. “Their preeminent TMT Group is one that combines regulatory prowess with public policy, international advocacy, trade, intellectual property, government contracts and litigation experience. I am proud to join this team of consummate professionals.”

Mr. Lake served as a law clerk to the Honorable John M. Harlan of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Honorable Henry J. Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. He received his LL.B. degree from Stanford Law School and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University.

 

Michigan FCC Watch

The MAB keeps watch on FCC filings in our state.   Here’s the latest filings we’ve seen.

May 2, 2017

An application for license for cover construction permit of WNUC-LP (Detroit) was filed by North End Woodward Community Coaliation.

May 1, 2017

The FCC approved the previously-filed application of Impact Radio, LLC to increase the power of FM translator W246BW (Three Rivers). The translator rebroadcasts the company’s WRCI-AM, also licensed to Three Rivers.

Smile FM has filed an application for license to cover construction permit for noncommercial WAIR-FM (Lake City).

April 21, 2017

The FCC approved the previously-filed sale of WMKG-CD (Muskegon) from Kelley Enterprises of Muskegon, Inc. has sold low-power/class A television station WMKG-CD (Muskegon) to WMKG-TV, LLC.

The previously-filed assignment of license of WDWO-CD (Detroit) from Locuspoint WDWO Licensee, Inc. to TCT of Michigan, Inc. was approved by the FCC.

April 19, 2017

The FCC accepted for filing the application by Radio One to sell its Detroit AM station, WCHB-AM, to Crawford Broadcasting.

Family Life Broadcasting System has made application to modify the construction permit of FM translator W231CV (Holly).  Family Life intends to use the translator to rebroadcast WUFL-AM (Sterling Heights).  Also filed was an application by Family Life to make changes to FM translator W232CA (Detroit).  This translator also rebroadcasts WUFL-AM.

WOOD-TV Opens Kalamazoo Studio

New WOOD-TV Kalamazoo Studio

WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids), which recently announced a new streetside studio in downtown Grand Rapids, has opened a second streetside studio, this time in Kalamazoo, to be home base for a dedicated crew that will live and work in the community.

Brad Gillum

The new Kalamazoo studio is in the Comerica Building at 151 S. Rose Streeet and features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Bronson Park. It’s equipped with cameras inside and on the roof, giving a bird’s-eye perspective of downtown.

As part of the expansion, the station has announced that Bradly Gillum has joined the station to work out of the Kalamazoo facility.

Gillum was most recently an anchor and reporter at KCWY-TV in Casper, Wyoming.  Before that, Gillum spent nearly a decade as a prosecutor and defense attorney near Denver, Colorado. Gillum will work with photojournalist Nick Ponton, a 15-year veteran of the industry who has been with WOOD-TV for seven years.

In Grand Rapids, WOOD-TV also partnered with the Grand Rapids Art Museum to create the GRAM WOOD TV8 Media Arts Center, which includes a studio overlooking Rosa Parks Circle.

“This new partnership allows 24 Hour News 8, eightWest and Maranda Where You Live to be in the heart of the city throughout the year for big events in Rosa Parks Circle,” said WOOD-TV Director of Operations Kevin Ferrara. “We’ll continue to use our market-leading, technology-driven studio in Heritage Hill as our primary home, but will broadcast the noon newscast daily from downtown.”

The GRAM WOOD TV8 Media Arts Center at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

“24 Hour News 8 is committed to providing breaking news, weather and investigative coverage to all of West Michigan” said Dan Boers, News Director for WOOD-TV. “Our news team is expanding and we’re excited that it’ll give us a greater ability to be connected to issues that are important to the community.”

Last week the station did live broadcasts from both its new Grand Rapids downtown studio (located at the  Grand Rapids Art Museum) and the new Kalamazoo studio.

As part of the opening of its new downtown studio, the station recently looked back on 7 decades of service to Grand Rapids.  See video report here.

Michigan Recipients of 2017 Regional Murrow Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced its 2017 Edward R. Murrow Regional Award Winners, honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.

Among the winners in Region 7 are numerous Michigan broadcasters, both radio and television, commercial and noncommercial:

Small Market Radio

Hard News
Slashed Budgets Mean Less Independence for the Developmentally Disabled
Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen, MI

News Documentary
Grandmother’s Letter from the Holocaust
Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen, MI

News Series
Faces of Flint
WKAR-AM/FM
East Lansing, MI

Sports Reporting
Polo is Bliss in Northern Michigan
Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen, MI

Large Market Radio

Continuing Coverage
The Flint Water Crisis
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI

Excellence in Social Media
7th District Road Trip
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI

Excellence in Sound
Students Recreate the “Golden Age” of Radio – Live on Stage
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI

Feature Reporting
New Life for Neglected Jewish cemetery in Detroit
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI

News Documentary
Out from the Shadows: Living Undocumented
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI

Small Market Television

Continuing Coverage
Flint Water Crisis
WEYI/WSMH-TV
Flint, MI

Excellence in Sound
Drumline: Heartbeat of the Band
WLNS-TV
Lansing, MI

Feature Reporting
The Fan
WLNS-TV
Lansing, MI

Newscast
Flint Water Crisis Criminal Charges
WJRT-TV
Flint, MI

Large Market Television

Continuing Coverage
Flint Water Crisis
WDIV-TV
Detroit, MI

Excellence in Social Media
The Doppelganger Killings
WWMT-TV
Kalamazoo, MI

Excellence in Sound
Moving the Chapel
WDIV-TV
Detroit, MI

Newscast
WDIV 5pm News – Bashara Bombshell & Flint Emails
WDIV-TV
Detroit, MI

Michigan AP Media Editors Awards Announced

Winners of the 2016 Michigan Associated Press Media Editors annual contest were announced  at ceremonies this past Sunday, April 30 in East Lansing.

Among the individual winners in various categories were public radio stations Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor), WDET-FM (Detroit), WGVU-FM (Grand Rapids) and WKAR-FM (East Lansing).

Commercial radio winners were WGHN-FM (Grand Haven), WHMI-FM (Howell) and WSGW-AM (Saginaw).

Commercial television winners included WLNS-TV (Lansing), WWTV/WWUP-TV (Cadillac), WJRT-TV(Flint), WEYI-TV (Flint), WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids), WWMT-TV (Kalamazoo), WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) and WNEM-TV (Saginaw).

In addition, three stations were honored with the award for 2016 Outstanding News Operation:

Television II category – WLNS-TV (Lansing)
Radio I category – WDET-FM (Detroit)
Radio II category – WGVU-FM (Grand Rapids)

A complete list of individual awards is available here.

 

 

Filmmaker Seeks Motown Radio Interviews

A filmmaker, working on a feature-length documentary on the formation and early years of Motown Records is looking for archival radio interviews from the 1960s and early 1970s with Motown stars and staffers: Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

The production’s archive researcher, Hannah Green, is hoping that any broadcasters with such recordings might get in touch with her.

Payment is promised for anything used within the final film.

Those with material they can offer are asked to contact Hannah at Fulwell73 Productions:  [email protected].

WXYZ-TV Announces 2020 Town Hall Meetings


As part of a project that began nearly seven years ago, WXYZ-TV (Detroit) kicked off a series of town hall meetings this past Monday Night (4/24) in Macomb County.

The project, Detroit 2020, was created by the station as a future vision for the cities they serve.  The station set out to unify, inspire and take action.  As part of that effort, the station is holding a series of town hall meetings to learn what matters to their audience and to the communities they serve.

The first town hall meeting was held this past Monday night at the Wyndham Garden Sterling Heights and was free and open to the public.

“We’re going into the communities we serve to simply listen and learn from our neighbors,” said Mike Murri, vice president and general manager for WXYZ and WMYD. “We want to hear their vision for the future and how our platforms at WXYZ and WMYD can help us get there together.”

Carolyn Clifford, 7 Action News anchor, hosted the event. Chuck Stokes, WXYZ editorial director, Ross Jones, 7 Action News investigator, and Ameera David, anchor, were also on hand to join the discussion.  The station featured part of the town hall meeting both on-air and on Facebook Live.

For more information about the Detroit 2020 town hall meetings, go to wxyz.com.

WXYT’s Terry Foster Retires

Terry Foster

Terry Foster, co-host of the “Valenti and Foster” show on WXYT-FM/97.1 The Ticket (Detroit), has retired from the station, effective April 20. Foster suffered a stroke and was on medical leave for much of the second half of 2016. He returned to the show in January but has now decided to refocus his time on his health and his family.

Stated Foster, “I am retiring from sports radio but I am not retiring from life. It is time for me to move on to a more low-key career. I want to thank Deb Kenyon and James Powers for helping me get through a difficult time of my life and for the support during my 13-year career with 97.1 The Ticket. I also want to thank the most talented man in radio, Mike Valenti, for showing me the ropes and thank the men behind the glass and my main crew David ‘The Hatchet Man’ Hull and Mike Sullivan. We were a great team. I just could no longer keep up the brisk pace of talk radio after my illness.”

“I appreciate the love and show of support from the fans during my most trying days and through my career in radio and newspaper. And I would love one last hug from my CBS Radio family in Southfield. I found out over the past few months that health and family are the most important things in life. I will see you at the next game.”

WXYT Program Director Jimmy Powers, added, “Terry has brought witty banter, laugh-out-loud humor and engaging personal stories to thousands of Detroit listeners every afternoon over the past 13 years. He was a vital part of making ‘Valenti and Foster’ the success it is and his contributions to local radio and to our station will be sorely missed. Everyone at 97.1 is sending good vibes and well wishes for health and happiness to Terry and his family.”

Mike Valenti will host afternoons (2:00-6:00 PM) solo until a new co-host is named.

“It’s been a great run for Terry Foster and me on 97.1 The Ticket for more than a decade,” said Valenti. “Working with Terry has provided some memorable on-air moments. I want to wish Terry the same success in retirement that we have enjoyed together as a team. All the best, Terry, to you and your wonderful family.”

Gen Z—A Group That Loves AM/FM—Is Next Great Radio Demo.

Reprinted by permission of insideradio.com.

While marketers and media expend massive energy and resources courting Millennials, their younger counterparts known as Generation Z shouldn’t be ignored. These young Americans (born after 1996) represent 23% of the U.S. population and are a diverse and influential demographic with rising spending power. And, in good news for broadcast radio, they also listen to significant amounts of AM/FM.

“It is critical that brands learn to understand and honor Gen Z’s defining attributes and values if they want to connect with and better activate against a demographic that is already changing the face of media and our culture,” says Radha Subramanyam, iHeartMedia’s president of Insights, Research and Analytics.

There are 74 million Generation Zers, about equal to the number of U.S. Millennials and Baby Boomers. According to a new report by iHeartRadio, radio is hugely popular with teens, with 81% saying it will always be part of their lives. And, in a key finding for brands, radio connects with 9 in 10 teens, the report said and is key for discovery. Three-quarters of Generation Zers said they use radio to find new music and two-thirds rely on radio to uncover new products, movies and events.

“Gen Z is an exclusive group that can be exceptionally hard to reach, but advertisers can connect to them in a big way with radio,” Subramanyam notes.

Generation Zers are also a diverse group, with 55% identifying as non-Caucasian and many were raised in non-traditional households, including one-third living with a single parent. They are active on social media and raised with digital technology as an integral part of their lives.

However, just because Gen Z is a diverse, socially conscious and tech-savvy group doesn’t mean they are replicas of the slightly older Millennials demo. In fact, “it would be a huge mistake to apply the same marketing strategies to both groups,” Subramanyam says.

For one, Generation Zers are more financially conservative, largely due to growing up during the most recent recession. They are also loyal customers, but thanks to their diversity and non-traditional upbringings, many reject labels, making it difficult for brands to win their business. That’s where radio can be a powerful tool, Subramanyam contends, as it fits with both Generation Z’s habits and sensibilities.

“It is interactive thanks to call-ins and social media; it is inherently mobile because it is available on everything from phones to cars; and radio DJs fill the desire of Gen Zers for authentic heroes by being funny, passionate, local and relatable,” Subramanyam says.

Amplifi Media and Jācapps Align To Form SonicAi


New company to develop “skills” for emerging Amazon Echo and Google Home Devices

Two of radio’s leading visionaries, Steve Goldstein and Fred Jacobs, and their companies, Amplifi Media and jācapps, have teamed together to form SonicAi, a joint venture dedicated to strategizing and creating voice command solutions for the radio and podcasting industries. Initial development will focus on the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices.

Joining the partnership, as co-founder, is industry executive Lee Davis. Goldstein’s Amplifi Media and Davis will focus on sales, marketing and “skills” architecture. The jācapps team will handle product development and customer service. Together, based on their decades of combined research, programming and marketing experience, they have created the smartest solution for content creators to expand in-home listening with creative strategies.

The introduction of these devices into homes creates a significant opportunity for the radio industry and podcasters. Research has shown that in-home radio listening has been declining, but now with the ability to access a radio station’s stream or programming (such as podcasts), using voice commands, these devices are a breakthrough for audio content creators.

According to Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey13 (to be released in May), 11% of homes already have one of these devices, with brisk sales underscoring the opportunity for the audio industry.

“This partnership is designed to maximize the in-home opportunity for radio stations and podcasters. We think this is a seismic change that needs to be seized upon and mastered,” says Steve Goldstein. “That’s why we have developed solutions to make it easy for consumers to find and access a brand’s audio content. We also think audio content creators will be more successful with enhanced choices beyond basic streams. We call these ‘smart skills,’ and we plan to have a full suite of offerings.”

“Teaming up with Steve and Lee, while turning the jācapps team loose, is where SAi is headed,” says Fred Jacobs. “We’ve been ahead of the curve with jācapps, radio’s leading developer of mobile solutions since our launch in 2008. Our team specializes in great customer service and outstanding development and we’ll work with stations and audio content creators to unleash the potential of these devices as they are rapidly showing up in kitchens, dens and on nightstands. They are the new radios for the home.”

For more information, contact Lee Davis at 888-776-6422.

Visit www.sonicai.com to learn more and to see a video of how it works.

About jācapps – jācapps is the leading developer of mobile applications for the radio industry. With over 1,000 apps developed, jācapps focuses on creating strategic mobile solutions. The product from SonicAi fits into the company’s App Everywhere™ strategy, providing mobile connectivity on smartphones, in cars via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Ford’s Smart Device Link, and now, in the home.

About Amplifi Media – Amplifi Media works with companies and podcasters in the strategy and development of innovative content, marketing, branding and monetization for the fast-growing on-demand audio/podcast sector.

About Lee Davis – Davis is a media executive who has held senior leadership positions with some of the top media companies in the United States, including CBS and Univision. During his career, Davis has run some of radio’s top brands including sports powerhouse WFAN, news leader 1010 WINS and Spanish Language giant, Univision Radio.