Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

“Big Boy” Returns to Detroit Radio

(L-R) Big Boy and Shay Shay
(L-R) Big Boy and Shay Shay

Beasley’s WMGC-FM (105.1 The Bounce) has announced that “Big Boy” has returned to Detroit radio, joining “Shay Shay” to anchor the station’s morning show.

In a press release, the station notes that “Big Boy has been blessed to be able to talk on the radio for a living since he was 17 years old.  It’s not only what he loves doing, it’s what’s in his blood. He’s had the privilege to travel to many cities to host radio shows, but whenever people ask what his favorite city was, he always says ‘Detroit!’ His previous three years in Detroit from 2006-2009 were some of the best years of his life. He met so many people who listened to his show. When he got the opportunity to come back and host the morning show on The Bounce, he jumped at this opportunity, saying “not only are the city and the people here amazing, but The Bounce literally plays my favorite songs!”

“This is a big throwback ‘good times’ for our city!” added 105.1 The Bounce Program Director Al Payne. “I have been a huge fan of Big Boy for a long time, yet being able to add him to this station and
our cast of Bounce Ambassadors is epic!”

Rich Fisher Passes

Rich Fisher
Rich Fisher

Longtime Michigan newsman and Detroit TV anchor Rich Fisher has passed away.

Fisher died March 24 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was 67.

Fisher spent 7 years at WJBK-TV (Detroit) before resigning in 1997.  He later anchored a late-news broadcast at WWJ-TV (Detroit) up until 2002.

Prior to WJBK, Fisher spent 12 years as an anchor and reporter for WXYZ-TV (Detroit).  His resume also included 5 years at WJRT-TV (Flint).  He began is career in 1968 at WATZ-AM/FM in Alpena.

Among Fisher’s awards was the 1993 Michigan Associated Press Award for individual reporting for Toxic Threat, an investigative report on chemical pollution and a 1986 national award from the American Bar Association for his series on Michigan’s jury system.

Visitation is set for 3-8 p.m. Wednesday (3/29) at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks in Clawson. A memorial service is 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

FCC Chairman Appears on WJR

WJR
(L-R) FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and WJR-AM’s Paui W. Smith

Last Friday (3/17), FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made a guest appearance on Paul W. Smith’s WJR-AM (Detroit) morning show.  The Chairman had been an occasional guest while serving as a Commissioner.

Pai called the station in advance to let them know he would be in town. He dropped by Smith’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration show, which was broadcast live from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.  See highlights of the show below:

FCC Filings: WMXG-FM Acquired by Radio Results Network

RRN_300On March 21, 2017, an application was filed with the FCC to transfer the license of WMXG-FM (Stephenson) from Escanaba License Corporation to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC (Armada Media/Radio Results Network).

The asset purchase agreement sets a price of $325,000, including a building in downtown Escanaba.

AMC Partners already has an LMA in place for WMXG and its currently simulcasting its news/talk AM station, WCHT.

In a separate release posted on the Radio Results Network website, the company announced the purchase:

Armada Media Purchases WMXG Radio Frequency and Building

Armada Media, based in Fond du Lac, WI is pleased to announce the purchase of WMXG-FM, 106.3 and the building at 1101 Ludington Street in downtown Escanaba.

WMXG will join Bay Cities Radio – a 5 station group based in the Marinette & Menominee market and Radio Results Network – a 9 station group based in Escanaba, Marquette & Manistique.

“We are excited to be able to expand our coverage even further into the Central U.P. market as the premier media company in Upper Michigan. We have exciting plans for the building and frequency which we plan to unveil in the coming months,” says General Manager Jesse Huff. “This now gives us 15 radio stations in the Central U.P. that are each committed to great local radio and serving as a resource for the communities in which we serve. We now have even more resources and opportunities to offer our listeners and advertisers.”

Chris Bernier, President and CEO of Armada Media Partners says, “We plan to make this the crown jewel of broadcast studios for small market radio in the Midwest. We have some great ideas and this 12,000 square foot building gives us the structure to turn our vision into a reality.”

“We truly enjoy doing business in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” says Bernier. “We serve some amazing communities with one of the most experienced and talented staffs that you’ll find anywhere. This is a great opportunity for us further establish our roots in these communities.”

In addition to the stations in Upper Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin, Armada Media also owns radio stations in Watertown, South Dakota; North Platte, McCook and Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Ortonville, Minnesota.

Johnny Burke Joins WRSR-FM (Flint)

Johnny Burke
Johnny Burke

MLive reports that longtime Mid-Michigan air personality Johnny Burke will be returning to the air, beginning this coming Monday, March 27 on WRSR-FM (103.9 The Fox).

Burke will be heard weekday mornings 5:00 – 9;00 a.m.  on the station.

Burke left WHNN-FM in Saginaw 14 months ago.  Joining Burke on the new show will be longtime Mid-Michigan newscaster Hal Maas, MLive Chief Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa and Art Neil will be featured as the “Monday Morning Quarterback,” recapping the weekend’s sporting events.

Burke told MLive: “(103.9 FM) is a locally owned station by a smaller group of people from Michigan. We’re going to keep that local feel in mind.”

 

Midwest Communications Launch FM Translator Simulcast in Holland

WHTClogoMidwest Communication’s WHTC-AM (Holland) has announced that the station is now heard on both the AM and FM bands!

Midwest announced that they have placed an FM station at 99.7 FM, that will simulcast all of WHTC-AM programming on FM. The addition of the FM station will enable listeners to clearly hear 1450 WHTC programming with a better range and with no interference from electrical noise or thunderstorms in the area. The new station, on the FM dial at 99.7, has official call letters of W259CO but will be known as The New 99.7 FM. All current programs on WHTC will be simulcast at 99.7 FM, 24 hours a day.

In a press release to listeners, Market Manager Kevin Oswald said, “Midwest Communications has made a significant investment in radio for our area and we’re proud to announce the New 99.7 FM. For years we’ve been the station you turned to for real news now, weather, sports, traffic, talk and more on 1450 WHTC. Now, all we do for you can be found on the New 99.7 FM. The advantages to our listeners and advertisers are exciting as we again increase the ways we reach our audiences. You can now hear WHTC at 1450 AM, 99.7 FM, streaming online at whtc.com, on our smartphone app, and with the NextRadio app. Our FM coverage and quality of signal will enhance our already strong AM station. This adds another way that WHTC serves the greater Holland/Zeeland area with total media coverage, including on-air, online, texting, mobile, live on-site broadcasting, email, video, streaming audio and podcasts. Midwest Communication’s existing local FM radio station, 92.7 The Van will continue to bring Classic Hits to the greater Holland area, with a strong on-air and on-line presence and local event-centered live broadcasts. “

WXYZ Reporter and Photographer “Shot At” While On the Job

KimRussell_300
Kim Russell

TVSpy.com reports that WXYZ-TV (Detroit) reporter Kim Russell and station photographer Jeremy Johnson were shot at while covering a story last week in the Motor City.

Russell says that she and Johnson were shot at while “doing our jobs” following up on a local man accused of shooting two police officers. She and Johnson went looking for relatives of the suspect, but came under fire.

“We could not see the shooter, but a neighbor down the street said, ‘Yeah, that person at that house you were going to has a reputation and has shot at people before,’” said Russell. “So clearly that was their way of saying they did not want us there.”

Russell said she and Johnson were unhurt. She then tweeted out a warning to other journalists and also lashed out at detractors who said her story was fake news.

Read more and see Russell’s Facebook video account on the incident here.

FCC Post-Incentive Auction Transition Workshop Video Available on Demand

FCCvideo_300On March 13, the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau held a public workshop on post-auction transition procedures and the following agenda topics:

  • Overview and incentive auction status update;
  • Step-by-step review of the procedures for broadcast stations filing applications for construction permits during the 39-month transition period;
  • Review of procedures for submitting bank account information to ensure payment of reverse auction winnings and reimbursement of eligible expenses; and
  • Question & Answer session with panel of FCC staff.

A recording of this event is now available on-demand for viewing here.

This is Sunshine Week

swlogo2-300x176Tell us what your station is doing to promote Sunshine Week. We
would like to feature you in our Newsletter!

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Many citizens take our freedoms for granted. It is the job of a “free press” to be the eyes and ears of the citizens and to question government, to hold government accountable. We are not the villains, we are the good guys. If we did not question government who would diligently seek the truth? At a time in history when the integrity of “the media” is being questioned by powerful people in high offices for their own gain, we need to remind our audience and ourselves what it is like in other countries where freedom of the press does not exist. Look at those governments and ask ourselves, is this the type of government we want in America?

Help your viewers and listeners understand the value of the First Amendment to their lives, Sunshine Week March 12-18.

Join in the celebration of Sunshine week. To access the Sunshine Week Toolkit, click here.

 

DeSelms Leaving WXMI-TV

deselms_michele_275
Michele DeSelms

Michele DeSelms is leaving Tribune Media’s WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids) after more than 18 years.

DeSelms anchored the station’s first newscast in 1999 after joining the station from WSYX-WTTE in Columbus, Ohio in 1998. She started her career at WLWT in Cincinnati working alongside Jerry Springer.

“For nearly two decades she has delivered important news and information to our viewers from across West Michigan and around the world,” said news director Brooks Blanton. “Michele is a fixture in West Michigan and has worked hard each day to make our community better, and we will miss working with her.”

The station says she will stay in the area and spend more time with her family.

“Michele has been a mainstay in West Michigan, and we’ll certainly miss her at FOX 17, as will everyone who welcomed her into their living rooms over the years,” said GM Kim Krause. “We wish Michele nothing but the best and congratulate her on a remarkable career.”