Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Northern Star Broadcasting Stations Sold

NSlogoBlack Diamond Broadcast Holdings, LLC has entered into an agreement to acquire eight radio stations from Northern Michigan based Northern Star Broadcasting.

The eight station transaction includes multiple signals in the Traverse City-Petoskey Nielsen rated radio market. The stations include 1240 WCBY-AM Cheboygan, 105.1 WGFM-FM Cheboygan, 97.7 WCHY-FM Cheboygan, 98.1 WGFN-FM Glen Arbor, 102.9 WMKC-FM Indian River, 106.3 WOEZ-FM Onaway, 95.5 WQEZ-FM Glen Arbor, and 100.7 FM (translator) W264CF St. Ignace.

Black Diamond, owned by long-time broadcast executives and life-long Michigan residents, Mike Chires and Norm McKee, currently own WUPS-FM Harrison and WTWS-FM Houghton Lake, both purchased in 2015.

Northern Star Broadcasting’s President Del Reynolds says of the deal, “These radio stations are huge technical facilities reaching from Cadillac to Canada and Traverse City to Alpena. I believe that Black Diamond is the radio group to continue the tradition of being committed local broadcasters and will be honorable trustees of these FCC licenses. Our staff and our clients are the best in the country and we know that they are in good hands with Black Diamond. They have shown with their previous acquisition of WUPS and WTWS that they know how to serve the local community and we are at ease knowing these groups will continue to grow and thrive with them as we transition into what is next for us.”

Black Diamond Partner and CEO Mike Chires stated, “Del and Mary have done a tremendous job of building powerhouse stations that serve their communities extremely well. They have strong relationships with their clients, and the respect of broadcasters throughout the industry, especially in Michigan, which is the ultimate compliment. We look forward to continuing the legacy and the relationships they’ve built with their clients and communities these great stations serve.”

Norm McKee, Black Diamond Partner and COO/CFO added, “The Northern Star properties permit us to establish a group of ten radio stations serving all of central and northern Michigan with quality broadcasting, sports, and community coverage. We can now serve listeners and clients from the Zilwaukee bridge to north of the Mackinac bridge, and from Ludington to Oscoda (Bridge to Bridge, Coast to Coast).”

In addition to the stations acquired by Black Diamond, Northern Star has sold WCKC-FM in Cadillac to Up North Radio, LLC, owned by Jennifer Theodore, who also owns WCDY-FM in Cadillac.

Transfer of the licenses for the radio stations is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, which is anticipated to occur early this fall.

FCC To Demo New Online Public File June 13

On June 13, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission will conduct a public/online demonstration of the expanded Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), which will replace the current Broadcast Public Inspection File (BPIF) process. The FCC will exhibit the interface that will be used by broadcast television and radio stations, cable systems, satellite television, and radio systems to file documents in the online public file database. The demonstration will inform users of the design, layout, and content of the OPIF site, discuss how to upload information and files, and present the new Application Program Interface (API) functionalities.

For more information, click here.

 

National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Nominees

NRHOFVoting for the 2016 National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF) Inductees has begun.  The 24 nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s nominating committee. Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of 400 industry professionals, while the other two will be voted on by the public. Public voting commences June 20 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.

NRHOF Committee Chairman Kraig Kitchin comments, “The sheer depth of talent in our industry never seizes to amaze me. After much discussion and deliberation, our nominating committee is very proud of this year’s class of nominees. We’re all looking forward to seeing the voter outcome from our industry peers and listeners nationwide.”

Inductees will be announced July 11. The induction ceremony will be held Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

NOMINEES TO BE VOTED ON BY VOTING PARTICIPANT PANEL 

Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)
Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow & Jerry Cesak), San Diego
Charles Laquidara, Boston
Bobby O’Jay, Memphis
Garland Robinette, New Orleans

Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)
Tom Barnard, Minneapolis
BJ & Migs (BJ Shea & Steve Migs), Seattle
Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart), Chicago
Preston and Steve (Preston Elliot & Steve Morrison), Philadelphia

Networks/Syndication (10 years or more)
American Top 40 & On-Air With Ryan Seacrest, Ryan Seacrest
The Fabulous Sports Babe, Nanci Donnellan
The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Steve Harvey
Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Peter Sagal

Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)
Delilah, Delilah
Gospel Traxx with Walt “Baby” Love, Walt “Baby” Love
The Jim Rome Show, Jim Rome
The Kim Komando Show, Kim Komando

NOMINEES TO BE VOTED ON BY LISTENERS NATIONWIDE 

Music Format On-Air Personality
Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton
Tom Kent
The Kevin & Bean Show (Kevin Ryder & Gene Baxter)
Bob Kingsley

Spoken Word On-Air Personality
Diane Rehm
Mike Francesa and Chris Russo
Michael Savage
Sean Hannity

About the National Radio Hall of Fame and Museum of Broadcast Communications:  The institution collects, preserves, and presents historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educates, informs, and entertains the public through its archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to its resources. The museum is located at 360 North State Street in downtown Chicago and was founded in 1983 by veteran broadcaster Bruce DuMont.

NATAS Announces 2016 Emmy Nominations

On May 18, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) has announced the list of nominations for the 2016 regional EMMY® Awards in Michigan. The Michigan EMMY® represents the most experienced and talented television professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from all of Michigan’s 11 television markets.

The list of nominees can be found here.

The award winners will be announced during black-tie ceremonies on Saturday, June 18, at the the MotorCity Casino Sound Board Theater in Detroit.  Click here to learn more.

AP Media Editors Broadcast Competition Winners Announced

On May 22, radio and television stations in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Detroit were named the best in the state in the annual Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Broadcast Competition.

WLNS-TV in Lansing, WWJ-AM in Detroit, and WGVU-FM in Grand Rapids won first place for Outstanding News Operation for 2015.

Sixteen broadcast stations submitted 218 entries in the contest, which featured news, sports and weather reporting, as well as features, documentaries, and photography from 2015.

Entries were judged by broadcasters from KNUS-AM, Denver; Radio I; WJER-AM, Dover, Ohio; Radio II; WHBQ-TV, Memphis, Tennessee, and Ohio Public Broadcasting, Columbus, Ohio, Television II.

Michigan APME winners list in Television II:

Outstanding News Operation: 1, WLNS-TV, Lansing; 2, WWTV/WWUP-TV, Traverse City/Cadillac.

Best Feature Story: 1, David Parks and Chivon Kloepfer, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “9-Year Nightmare”; 2, Jane Aldrich and David Parks, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Perfect Match.”

Best Reporter/Anchor: 1, Mariah Harrison, WLNS-TV, Lansing; 2, Bill Harris, WEYI-TV, Flint.

Best Sports Coverage: 1, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Spartans Will: Football’s Final Four”; 2, Fred Heumann and Kevin Gehl, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Miracle at the Big House.”

Best Sportscast: 1, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “The 5th Quarter (September 9th)”; 2, Thomas Eschen and Cory Coppock, WEYI-TV, Flint, “Michigan Bowl Games.”

Best Use of Videography (TV Only): 1, Blair Nelson, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “4th of July Concert”; 2, Ian Kast and Alexandra Ilitch, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Meijer Gift Drive.”

Best Use of Photography (TV Only): 1, Corey Adkins, WWTV/WWUP-TV, Traverse City/Cadillac; 2, Jeff Blakeman, WWTV/WWUP-TV, Traverse City/Cadillac.

Best Documentary: 1, Corey Adkins and Kevin Essebaggers, WWTV/WWUP-TV, Traverse City/Cadillac, “The Making of Miss Margy”; 2, Corey Adkins and Kevin Essebaggers, WWTV/WWUP-TV, Traverse City/Cadillac, “Edmund Fitzgerald: A 40-Year Legend.”

Best Public Service: 1, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Friends for Life – Men’s Health”; 2, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Friends for Life – Women’s Build.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Medical Facility Car Crash”; 2, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Portland Tornado.”

Best Continuing Coverage: 1, WNEM-TV, Saginaw, “Flint Water Crisis Continuing Coverage”; 2, Nick Lulli, WNEM-TV, Saginaw, “Omarion Humphrey Drowning.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Angie Hendershot and Eric Fletcher, WJRT-TV, Flint/Bay City/Saginaw, “Living Without Water”; 2, Corey Adkins and Kevin Essebaggers, WWTV/WWUP-TV, Traverse City/Cadillac, “Edmund Fitzgerald: A 40 Year Legend.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Mariah Harrison, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Hampton Park Housing Horror”; 2, Jessica Dupnack and Mark McGlashen, WJRT-TV, Flint/Bay City/Saginaw, “Flint Water.”

Best Weathercast: 1, Derek Kevra, WJBK-TV, Detroit, “Station Scientist”; 2, Ahmad Bajjey, WEYI-TV, Flint, “Dense Fog Brings Overnight and Morning Hazards.”

Best Newscast: 1, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “The Inauguration/Cotton Bowl Show”; 2, WLNS-TV, Lansing, “Crash at Mid-Michigan Physicians.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, WNEM-TV, Saginaw; 2, WLNS-TV, Lansing.

Michigan APME winners list in Radio II:

Outstanding News Operation: 1, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids; 2, WSGW-AM, Saginaw.

Best Feature Story: 1, Patrick Center, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids, “Milk Donation”; 2, Kevin Lavery, WKAR-FM, East Lansing, “Lansing 2015 Homeless Count.”

Best Reporter/Anchor: 1, Mariano Avila, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids; 2, Patrick Center, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids.

Best Sportscast: 1, Pat Johnston, WSGW-AM, Saginaw.

Best Use of Sound (Radio Only): 1, Patrick Center, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids, “On the Good List”; 2, Peter Whorf, WKAR-FM, East Lansing, “MSU China Halftime Show.”

Best Documentary: 1, Ann Williams, WSGW-AM, Saginaw, “Back From the Battlefield”; 2, Patrick Center and Zach Liniewski, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids, “Mission Accomplished.”

Best Public Service: 1, Patrick Center, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids, “Live Arts!”; 2, Patrick Center, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids, “Mary Free Bed.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Patrick Center, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids, “God & Country Protest”; 2, Patrick Center, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids, “Trump Campaign Rally.”

Best Continuing Coverage: 1, Jessica Mathews and Danica Katnik, WHMI-FM, Howell, “Road Rage Shooting Trial”; 2, WSGW-AM, Saginaw, “Saginaw Schools Crisis.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Jon King and Jessica Mathews, WHMI-FM, Howell, “Charter School Arrest”; 2, Michael Percha, WSGW-AM, Saginaw, “Reinventing Saginaw.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Patrick Center, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids, “Gasoline Price Spike?”; 2, Walt Zerlaut, WGHN-FM, Grand Haven, “Harbor Transit Expands.”

Best Newscast: 1, Scott VanderWerf, WGVU-FM, Grand Rapids; 2, Jon King, WHMI-FM, Howell.

Best Digital Presence: 1, WSGW-AM, Saginaw; 2, WHMI-FM, Howell.

Michigan APME winners list in Radio I:

Outstanding News Operation: 1, WWJ-AM, Detroit; 2, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor.

Best Feature Story: 1, Laura Herberg, WDET-FM, Detroit, “Sundays at the Carpet House”; 2, Laura Herberg, WDET-FM, Detroit, “Why You Might Have A Hard Time Pronouncing Lahser.”

Best Reporter/Anchor: 1, Lindsey Smith, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor; 2, Quinn Klinefelter, WDET-FM, Detroit.

Best Sportscast: 1, Ryan Wooley, WWJ- AM, Detroit; 2, Tony Ortiz, WWJ- AM, Detroit.

Best Use of Sound (Radio Only): 1, Kyle Norris, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, “Instruments”; 2, Pat Batcheller, WDET-FM, Detroit, “Palmer Park Tennis.”

Best Documentary: 1, WWJ- AM, Detroit, “Same Sex Marriage Special”; 2, Lindsey Smith, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, “Not Safe to Drink.”

Best Public Service: 1, Mark Brush, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, “Testing for Lead”; 2, Deanna Lites, WWJ- AM, Detroit, “Your Eye on Health.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, WWJ- AM, Detroit, “Courthouse Shooting.”

Best Continuing Coverage: 1, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, “Continuing Coverage of the Flint Water Crisis”; 2, Vickie Thomas, WWJ- AM, Detroit, “Pot Shops in Detroit.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Roberta Jasina, WWJ- AM, Detroit, “Wife Remembers State Trooper”; 2, Kate Wells, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, “Detroit Retired Firefighters Battle Cancer, Medical Bills.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Mark Brush and Rebecca Williams, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, “Michigan Officials Changed a Flint Lead Report to Avoid Federal Action”; 2, Joe Linstroth and Kate Wells, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, “Sexual Assault Investigations at MSU.”

Best Newscast: 1, Brian Larsen, WWJ- AM, Detroit; 2, Brian Larsen, WWJ- AM, Detroit.

Best Digital Presence: 1, Christy Strawser, WWJ- AM, Detroit; 2, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor.

 

Sinclair Names Jennifer Casey to Local/Digital Sales Manager

Casey_200Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. has announced that Jennifer Casey has been named Local/Digital Sales Manager of WPBN-TV and WTOM-TV (Traverse City). Casey will also oversee the local/digital sales of WGTU-TV and WGTQ-TV in the same market pursuant to joint sales and shared services agreements. The announcement was made by Todd Harrison, General Manager/General Sales Manager of WPBN/WTOM and WGTU/WGTQ.

In making the announcement, Harrison said, “We are excited to welcome Jennifer to Sinclair Broadcast Group. In Jennifer’s 16 years of sales and media buying experience, she has a proven track record in new business development while managing and mentoring a team of sales and marketing executives in local, regional, and digital business.”

Casey most recently served as the Vice-President of Sales at Heritage Broadcasting in Cadillac, MI. In 2013, she was the Digital & Mobile Sales Manager for ESPNLocal.com. From 2010-2012, she was the Digital Sales Manager at WLS-TV (Chicago). Casey received a 2015 National Association of Broadcasters Award for creating the Michigan BrewVine Passport. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Michigan State University.

WDIV-TV (Detroit) Hires First “Digital” Anchor

JasonCarrWDIV-TV, the Graham-owned NBC affiliate in Detroit, has hired former WJBK-TV (Detroit) reporter/anchor Jason Carr as its first digital anchor.

Marla Drutz, WDIV General Manager, said “To stay relevant and to be true innovators, we have to invest not just in the technology to do all these things, but also the people. It’s not just saying how important digital is, but acting like digital is important.”

Carr will do some on-air reporting, but the majority of his time will be producing web-exclusive content for the station’s website Clickondetroit.com.

The station recently hired Dustin Block as the station’s digital executive producer.

Read more in Broadcasting and Cable here.

Jacobs Media Announces Additional Free Webinars

Jacobs Media Strategies, based in Bingham Farms, MI, has announced additional FREE webinars in May for the radio industry.

Jacobs1On Thursday, May 19, at 2:00 p.m. eastern, the company will present “How to Launch a Podcast: An Introduction for Radio Stations.”  Is your radio station ready to start podcasting? Jacobs’ “Digital Dot Connector” Seth Resler, will show you how to plan and execute your first podcast in a few easy steps.  Register here.

Jacobs2On Thursday, May 26, 2:00 p.m. eastern,  the company will present “Understanding the Connected Car: An Introduction for Radio Broadcasters.”  The car is the number one listening location and revenue category for radio. Every month, the number of connected cars on the road grows. And today, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have gotten into the game. Fred Jacobs and Bob Kernen will help you better understand the rapidly changing technology of the connected car and offer steps your radio station can take now to ensure your presence in the automobile.  Register here.

WXYZ-TV Debuts Gun Violence Documentary Online

BeyondBullet_400WXYZ-TV (Detroit) journalists are exploring the staggering impact of gun violence in a digital short film documentary, Beyond the Bullet: The Cost of Gun Violence in Detroit. The special presentation on WXYZ.com goes beyond the headlines to explore the lasting impact of shootings on victims, taxpayers, and society.

“At WXYZ, we’re digging deeper to create unique digital content that provides background and context for the issues that impact our local community and communities across the country,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ/WMYD Vice-President and General Manager.

WXYZ-TV 7 Action News reporter Aaron Baskerville, producer Lisa Gass and photojournalist John Sartin created the documentary. It debuted on WXYZ.com and the station’s apps, on Wednesday, April 27. Some of the stories told in the program will later appear as part of WXYZ-TV newscasts in May.

“By tackling this project as a digital documentary, we’re able to take viewers far beyond what they see in a newscast,” said Dave Manney, WXYZ/WMYD news director. “It’s a powerful look at what happens after the cameras and police go away and the lasting impact of gun violence.”

The special includes interviews with gunshot victims, including a 9-year-old girl who was hit by a random bullet and may never walk again. Baskerville also speaks with a grieving mother whose son was shot and killed over a cell phone. Documentary viewers will hear from Detroit Police Chief James Craig and U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade about the cost of gun crimes.

The documentary goes inside for a rare look in the Detroit Police Department gun vault where police keep a collection of long guns and hand guns seized in homicide investigations.

“We have a team of journalists capable of turning stories very quickly,” said Seth Myers, WXYZ digital director. “Providing these long form opportunities gives them more time and space and lets them shine a brighter light on the issues our community faces every day.”