Category Archives: Connecting to Local Communities

WLEN Celebrity Pie Auction Benefits Cancer Society

On June 7, Lenawee Broadcasing’s WLEN-FM (Adrian) held its 18th Annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life Celebrity Pie Auction. 106 pies donated by station personnel, area businesses and local celebrities were auctioned off. The event began at 6:00 a.m. and ran through 5:00 p.m., with pies auctioned on the air each hour.

The grand total raised for the day was $3741.10. All the proceeds were donated to the Lenawee County ACS Relay for Life. Over $45,000.00 has been raised by WLEN to date for the Relay through the Celebrity Pie Auction.

Michigan Nexstar Employees Give Back with “Day of Giving”

On June 16, The Nexstar-owned television stations in Michigan, WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids), WLNS-TV (Lansing) and WJMN-TV (Marquette) joined 168 other Nexstar stations nationwide for the company’s annual “Founder’s Day of Caring,” where company employees donate a half-day to a local non-profit or community agency.

This year’s event corresponded with Nexstar’s 21st anniversary.
In Grand Rapids, employees of WOOD-TV volunteered at three food pantries in Grand Rapids, Holland and Kalamazoo, doing everything from building produce stands to decorating lunch bags for Kids’ Food Basket in order to help fight hunger in the community.

Employees of WLNS-TV in Lansing were at two food banks and one nature center to help out.

Staff at WJMN-TV in Marquette traveled to nearby Ishpeming with a team of volunteers to help build a new community garden.

Nexstar Chairman, President and CEO Perry Sook says he’s always believed serving the local community is at the very heart of Nexstar’s mission.

A Day in May

Tim Moore

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By:  Tim Moore,
Managing Partner,
Audience Development Group

This month marks the sixth anniversary of the largest natural disaster visited on the American landscape in the new Century. At 5:34 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2011, an EF5 tornado’s 200 mile per hour winds cut a mile-wide swath through Joplin (Missouri’s fourth largest metro) killing 158 and injuring more than a thousand.

In its aftermath only Zimmer Radio’s in-house radar and engineering foresight linked the market with the outside world. Three TV stations and other radio companies were decommissioned by the tornado. The following is a verbatim e-mail between two members of Zimmer’s highly respected engineering team 48 hours after the storm:

From: David Obergoenner to Morgan Grammar Date: 24 May 2011 Subject: Joplin 11:39 PM

Thanks, Morgan. As of this afternoon we still had two staff members missing. Many of our people including the air staff lost their homes, cars, everything. But there they were, all day today, on the air, helping other hurting folks via radio. We have such a great staff!!! Much of our broadcast day was taking calls from people trying to find friends and family…and helping folks find food and shelter. Some of the calls tore my heart out. So many good people in that town…

We’ve brought in a couple of RV’s for staff members to use who don’t have homes anymore…or theirs’ are too badly damaged to safely return to. All of our stations were on simulcast wall to wall; with weather coverage from an hour before the storm hit Joplin. We knew it was going to be a bad one. 6 of our 7 signals stayed on the air without missing a beat through the storm. Zimmer stations are about the only thing left on radio or TV.

Our 5 kw AM took a direct lightening hit as the storm blew through and was off the air until about 4am when Mel got it fixed. The BE AM-6a was still fine. The generators at all the sites saved our butts again. The tornado just missed our 1,000 foot Joplin Super Tower (with 3 of our FM’s on it) and just missed our studio complex by a couple of blocks. The winds at our studios were so strong it tore out several trees near our parking lot. Several of our staff’s cars were parked there and it really tore them up too.

I have no idea how our STL tower survived that…I guess that ERI tower I insisted on is pretty tough. We still haven’t been able to get to our old location which also has a 400 foot tower. Mel says he saw the tower but not sure if the building is still standing. Our TV tenant has been off the air since the storm hit, as has most of the TV here. That’s about where we are this evening. Joplin will not be back to normal for a VERY long time.

Zimmer had previously installed actual radar when they launched their News -Talk KZRG. Operations Manager Chad Elliot had fortuitously worked out a text warning system with some Kansas Sheriff’s departments to the west. Elliot came immediately to his facility on learning a massive multiple-vortex storm was making up over Kansas and headed for Joplin. He alerted local emergency departments and a large local high school with commencement ceremonies that afternoon! The damage was beyond description, including the 10-story St. Johns Medical Complex, actually deformed over a foot on its foundation; only part of the $2.8 billion in damages.

In the weeks that followed, Zimmer radio was appropriately hailed as a savior for so many who, thanks to the advanced warning, were able to take shelter. The company was visited by countless agencies including the NAB and many broadcasters who simply wanted to know “how they accomplished it.”

The answer was of course foresight and an investment in “overbuilt” facilities including their in-house radar. As for Zimmer’s human assets, it’s fair to say they were priceless.

 

 

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.

WZZM 13 Wins Second TEGNA Community Empowerment Award

WZZM_700WZZM-TV, the TEGNA owned ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, won the parent company’s Community Empowerment Award for the second year in a row. The award showcases the initiatives and work that stations do to help their respective communities.

“It has been the highlight of my career to be able to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives and work hand-in-hand with my colleagues to improve our community,” said Program and Community Director Catherine Behrendt. “This award is recognition of that work and I’m proud of our team for having received it.”

WZZM 13’s sustained commitment and willingness to go one step further was evident in the examples they submitted.

New Heights: Restoring a City was an hour-long documentary that examined the history, the challenges, and the work being done to restore a more hopeful future for the city of Muskegon Heights. It also inspired others to do more, and with the help of TEGNA grants, launched an effort to bring back the much-loved Muskegon Heights High Step Marching Band.  See the full special here.

Water for Flint was an effort that collected tens of thousands of gallons of donated bottled drinking water for the people of Flint, whose own water was tainted with lead.

LOVE>hate (Love Is Greater Than Hate) was launched after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. At a time of great tragedy, how might people be reminded that the world is filled with many, many good people? A series of stories and on-air messages reminded people that love has a much greater impact on the world. WZZM 13 also hosted a Dance for Unity in downtown Grand Rapids to give people a chance to come together.

13 Friends for Life turned twenty this year. The breast cancer awareness campaign is credited by a number of women for having saved their lives. They saw the message, got a mammogram, discovered cancer, and were successfully treated – all because of 13 Friends for Life.

And, finally, Toys for Tots served thousands of children and their families during the holiday season—making sure all those kids had presents under the tree at Christmas.

TEGNA honored the winners and finalists during its annual Employee Awards ceremony at corporate headquarters in McLean, VA.

“Our employees are living our purpose by empowering those they serve. It is always an honor to come together and celebrate their many achievements,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO, TEGNA. “Today’s award winners helped TEGNA reach new heights over the past year and their continued dedication and hard work is vital to our success. I congratulate all of our winners and finalists on their outstanding performance.”

WZZM 13 was also a finalist in the Diversity & Inclusion Category.

Liggett Communications Launches #SharePortHuron Campaign

PortHuron_700
Liggett Communications dedicates over $250,000 in advertising to Tourism in Michigan’s Thumb Area with Radio Station Social Media Campaign called #SharePortHuron

Local Port Huron area radio stations WSAQ-FM (Q Country 107.1), 96.9 WBTI-FM, News/Talk 1380 WPHM-AM, Rock 105.5 WHLS-AM/FM in partnership with the Bluewater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (bluewater.org) are announcing the most aggressive tourism campaign ever launched in the greater Port Huron area.

A truly unique program called #shareporthuron began April 3, featuring no less than $250,000 in advertising time dedicated to generating interest, excitement and tourist traffic to the Port Huron and greater Thumb area.

“We decided to make our citizens and visitors to our area our primary marketing team by asking them to share their favorite pictures and videos with three specially designed social media pages and a custom website developed by us at www.shareporthuron.com,” explains Radiofirst, Liggett Communications, General Manager Scott Shigley. “Then each Friday throughout the months of June, July, and August we will be giving away $1,000 in cash every week to the person who provides the picture or video that has the most combined “likes” across our #shareporthuron social media platforms.”

“With hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in our community we felt like it was our obligation to create a fun and exciting way to showcase all the incredible things to see and do in our communities. And, with the promotional partnership of the Bluewater Convention and Visitors Bureau and other community partners we were able to put #shareporthuron together and we couldn’t be more excited. The citizens of Port Huron and surrounding area are rightfully proud of our growth and this gives them a perfect outlet to share that enthusiasm…and having a chance to win $1,000 serves as a huge incentive to push our message out as far as possible.”

Jackson Radio Works Receives Chamber Award

Jamie McKibben
Jamie McKibbin

On March 23, Jackson Radio Works (WKHM-AM/FM, WIBM-AM) was the recipient of an appreciation award from the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce, honoring the company for 20 years of service (“hyper local content that matters”) to the community.

WKHM-FM is licensed to Brooklyn.  Accepting the award was  General ManagerJamie McKibbin, who tells the MAB that the staff at Jackson Radio Works is pretty excited about the honor.

March 29 Vietnam Veterans Day

On Tuesday, March 28, Senator Mike Kowall (R-White Lake) and Senator Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage) introduced a resolution that the members of the Michigan Senate proclaim March 29, 2017, as “Vietnam Veterans Day.”

The resolution encourages all citizens of the state of Michigan to honor our Vietnam Veterans. Read the complete resolution below.

In conjunction with the proclamation, Sen. Kowall’s office released this video, highlight the 50th Anniversary Pin Ceremonies that have been held around the state to formally welcome Veterans home.


Resolution:

Senator O’Brien and Senator Kowall offered the following resolution:

A resolution commemorating March 29, 2017, as “Vietnam Veterans Day”.  Whereas “Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam Veterans and their families; and

Whereas, The Vietnam War was fought in Vietnam from 1961 to 1975, and involved North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in conflict with the United States Armed Forces and South Vietnam; and

Whereas, The United States became involved by serving in an advisory role to the South Vietnamese in 1961; and

Whereas, In 1965, United States Armed Forces ground combat units arrived in Vietnam and by the end of that year there were 80,000 United States troops in Vietnam with a peak of approximately 500,000 troops in 1969. Michigan residents joined with the rest of the nation, serving our country and our state with honor in Vietnam; and

Whereas, On January 27, 1973, the Treaty of Paris was signed, which required the release of all United States prisoners-of-war held in North Vietnam and the withdrawal of all United States Armed Forces from South Vietnam; by March 29, 1973, the United States Armed Forces completed the withdrawal of combat troops from Vietnam; and

Whereas, More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives in Vietnam and more than 300,000 members of the Armed Forces were wounded. More than 2,650 Michigan residents lost their lives in the Vietnam War; and

Whereas, It was not until 1982, that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. to commemorate those members of the United States Armed Forces who died or were declared missing-in-action in Vietnam; and

Whereas, Members of the United States Armed Forces who served bravely and faithfully for the United States during the Vietnam War were caught upon their return home in the crossfire of public debate about the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War; and
Whereas, March 29th marks the anniversary of the day that combat and combat support units withdrew completely from South Vietnam; and

Whereas, The members of the Michigan Senate support the establishment of a “Vietnam Veterans Day” as an appropriate way to honor those members of the United States Armed Forces who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and the 242,562 Vietnam veterans living in Michigan; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That the members of the Michigan Senate proclaim March 29, 2017, as “Vietnam Veterans Day”; and be it further  Resolved, That all citizens of the state of Michigan are encouraged to honor our Vietnam Veterans.

I Vaccinate Campaign Underway!

logoOn March 20, a press conference was held in downtown Lansing to announce the kickoff of the I Vaccinate Campaign, a project adopted by the MAB Board of Directors.  The campaign is designed to increase immunizations in the state as Michigan has the 4th highest rate of vaccination waivers in the nation.

In a letter to broadcasters, MAB President/CEO Karole White wrote: “Our members have joined together on other issues in the past to eradicate unnecessary risks to our children’s health. We need your help to educate parents, caregivers and grandparents about the risks of not vaccinating children.  We ask all stations in Michigan to help reach the goal of immunizing all Michigan children by covering this issue in your news products, placing the interview clips on your website, sharing or tweeting on Twitter and creating Facebook posts.”

Public Service announcements for both radio and TV, as well as talking points and other materials are available for download on the MAB website here.

White spoke at the press conference about the broadcaster’s role in both the campaign and overall service to their communities:

MAB Board Adopts I-Vaccinate as Statewide Community Service Campaign

logoMichigan has one of the highest vaccine-waiver rates in kindergartners in the country, three times the national average, according to the CDC. The number of kindergartners getting vaccine waivers is growing. In five years it’s increased 23%

There is a great deal of false information out there about immunizations and the MDHHS has turned to the MAB, as they have with other tragic health issues and is asking members to help by shedding light on the subject.

Next week, broadcasters will receive a participation packet on how your station may get involved. Join in the fight to prevent childhood diseases. Answer the call of your state and your community.