Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

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.

WLNS’ South Heads West

southSteve South, General Sales Manager of Media General’s WLNS-TV (Lansing), has been promoted to President and General Manager of the company’s NBC affiliate in Wichita, Kansas.

The move is a return home for South as he was previously Vice-President/Station Manager of ABC affiliate KAKE-TV in Wichita from 1991 to 2000.

Prior to joining WLNS in 2013, South was Chief Operating Officer & Director of Business Development for the 90-station Bott Radio Network.

MAB Past President Peter Kizer Dies

KizerIt is with a sad heart that MAB announces that  MAB Past President (1974) Peter Kizer passed away August 24, 2016 at the age of 86.

Kizer was one of the founders of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NAPTE), former owner of Federal Broadcasting, which owned WWJ-AM along with eight other TV and radio stations, and was former General Manager of Channel 4 Detroit (then WWJ-TV).

He is the beloved husband of 59 years to Kay Kizer. Loving father of James (Rebecca) Kizer, Robert (Joel Cheng) Kizer and Jennifer (Don) Fuller. Grandfather of David, Kathryn, Nathaniel, Patrick, Abigail (Jon), Eleanor (Mike), Christopher, Blair (Tim), Matthew and Nicholas.

Kizer was born in Princeton, Illinois on November 19, 1929. He was a former resident of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and most recently was living in Naples, Florida.

A Memorial service was held August 31.


WWTV/WWUP-TV Welcomes New News Director

Heritage Broadcasting’s WWTV/WWUP-TV (Cadillac) is pleased to announce that Sean Mahon has accepted the role of 9&10 News/Fox 32 News Director.

Mahon returns to 9&10 News from WDIV-TV (Detroit).

His career started at 9&10 news in the late 1990’s as Chief Photojournalist.  Mahon has been nominated twice for Emmy Awards.

“Sean is highly regarded with colleagues throughout the state. His exceptional ability to inspire and communicate with others along with excellent leadership skills and modernistic views will be a welcomed addition to our 9&10 News Team,” says Kevin Dunaway, Vice President/General Manager.

Mahon will begin his new position September 12.

In April 2016, Kevin Dunaway was promoted to Vice President/General Manager of 9&10 News leaving a News Director Position opened. During the transition, Nick Lilly presumed the role of Interim News Director while a search was conducted. Nick’s time and dedication to 9&10 News is paramount and greatly appreciated.

Nexstar-Media General Merger Approved by DOJ

Nexstar_300TV Newscheck reports that the Department of Justice has said it will approve Nexstar Broadcasting’s $4.6 billion purchase of Media General with the requirement that Nexstar sell seven television stations in six markets, all outside Michigan.

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).

No closing date on the transaction has been announced yet.

iHeartMedia Detroit and Grand Rapids Debut New Show

Gregg, Big Drew and Jim
Gregg, Big Drew and Jim

Two iHeartMedia sports/talk stations in Michigan, WDFN-AM (Detroit) and WMAX-FM (Grand Rapids) have debuted a new afternoon show with veteran Detroit broadcaster Gregg Henson joining WMAX afternoon hosts “Big Drew” McCarthy and Jim Costa.

The new show, “Gregg, Big Drew and Jim” is heard on both stations weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m.