Category Archives: Connecting to Local Communities

WWCK Gives Back to Flint with Music Video

WWCK_300Cumulus Media’s WWCK-FM (Flint) is giving back to its community with a feel-good positive music video to help the city get through its water crisis.  WWCK-FM morning show hosts Mike McDonald and Stephanie K put the idea for a music video into play after realizing that Flint needed “something uplifting for the city.”

See the video here.

Mike and Stephanie told the MAB:  “The inspiration for our version of the ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ music video certainly came from Justin Timberlake, who talks about his city and his home in the lyrics. Seeing other people throughout the country respond with images of their hometowns was pretty awesome! The motivation, however, behind doing our particular video was to offset all the negative press that Flint has received lately over the Water Crisis. The entire music video had God’s divine anointing upon it!”

“Olympic boxer Claressa Shields flew from Los Angeles to Lexington for the Muhammad Ali funeral and than drove all night to Flint to be a part of it before she flew to Rio for the Summer Olympics.  Congressman Dan Kildee flew in from Washington to take part.  Other characters included Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Mari Copeny (aka ‘Little Miss Flint’), and Riley McLincha, who is in the Guinness World Book of Records for what is termed as the ‘dribbling joggler.’ Riley holds the world record for running the fastest one mile during The Crim while dribbling three basketballs.”

“Also in the video is MaryAnn Tremaine, who, at 86-years of age, heads up the longest established Realty Company in Flint and Genesee County. Tom Z’s Original Flint’s Coney Island, and David Custer, news anchor at WNEM-TV (who just happens to look like Justin Timberlake).  We also included Flint’s local community and social events ‘On the Town’ magazine, which has served mid-Michigan for 42 years. Besides, they had the best cover to date which just happened to feature Mike and Stephanie in the Morning!”

“Most importantly, making this video was a labor of love and a gift for the people of Flint. We were blessed to have the skill set of our filmmakers, Stephen ‘Max;’ Vincent along with his son Alex (Mr. Red Productions) who worked tirelessly to film and produce this video gratus….we thought that type of selfless commitment deserved a little recognition. “

WQON-FM Hosts Radio Forum on Energy

WQONOn June 17, Blarney Stone Broadcasting’s WQON-FM (Grayling) hosted an on-air forum on energy moderated by station co-owner Jerry Coyne, featuring local leaders from the energy community.

Sheryl Coyne, President of Blarney Stone Broadcasting, said her radio network is proud to serve as host of such an important event designed to educate listeners on the energy issues facing Northern Michigan. “We believe in providing as much information as possible on issues that affect our listening audience,” Coyne said. “We’re in the communications business, and we take that seriously. We believe passionately that to bring this important issue into focus is the best use of our airwaves.”

The program has been archived and available as a podcast on the station’s website.

“Denise Bohn Strong” Benefit Golf Outing Announced

golf outing_400She unabashedly called her annual golf outing “Tee-Off for TaTas” for half a dozen years.  But with the tragic death in April, of cancer survivor, breast cancer advocate and WCXT-FM (Benton Harbor-St. Joseph) on-air personality Denise Bohn, her annual golf outing has been re-branded as the “#DeniseBohnStrong” Golf Outing.

Her friends and family have elected to rename her classic event and become a benefit for the Bohn-Stewart Children Education Fund, to assure that Denise’s three amazing children have the resources to continue their life’s education without fear of being financially strapped going forward. Friends and family have pledged to carry on the “full-court press” that Denise was so well known for in every endeavor she signed on to and are hoping that many will support those efforts by participating with a team of your own, or donations of items for a silent auction, or even just cash towards the cause.

The event is scheduled August 6, 2016 at Indian Lake Hills Golf Club in Eau Claire, beginning at 9 a.m. Online registration is open here until July 29th (or until the event is sold out, if sooner) or in-person at the studios of WCXT/98.3 The Coast, 580 E. Napier Avenue in Benton Harbor, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For $300 you can register a foursome to play in the tourney or individual players can register for $75.  The registration fee includes greens fees and a cart along with a lunch buffet, awards, and prize drawings, and a silent auction following the golf outing at the Farmers Country Club at 5265 Napier Circle in Benton Harbor.  Checks should be made out to Bohn-Stewart Education Fund.

On-site registration will begin at 8am at golf course.

If you would like to donate items to the silent auction, or volunteer to help out in any way, please contact Kim Thumm at or by phone at 269-932-2868.

The outing is sponsored by 98.3 The Coast, WSJM Sports Radio, Town Crier Wire, JohnsonRauhoff, Walsworth Printing Services, KitchenAid, and LeValley Chevrolet Buick GMC.

Additional Hole Sponsorships are available. To become a hole sponsor or sponsor the event in any other way, please contact Midwest Family Broadcasting Michigan President/General Manager Dave Doetsch by e-mail at or by phone: 269-925-1111.

Legislature Recognizes Michigan AMBER Alert Awareness Week May 15-21

(L-R): Trooper Matthew Williams (MSP); Sergeant Timothy Fitzgerald (MSP); Karole L. White (MAB); State Senator Wayne Schmidt (R-37); Elena Palombo (MAB)

Michigan celebrated AMBER Alert Awareness Week Sunday, May 15 through Saturday, May 21 to help bring more awareness to the Michigan AMBER Alert Program and to promote the importance of AMBER Alerts in recovering abducted or endangered children. The statewide AMBER Alert week was designated by the Michigan Senate in Senate Resolution 178, introduced by Senator Wayne Schmidt (R-37) of Traverse City. The resolution outlines the importance of AMBER Alerts, provides information about the program, and explains how funds are raised through the Michigan AMBER Alert Foundation (MAAF). MAAF helps support the program and technology to meet the ongoing mission to recover abducted or endangered children. Senator Schmidt said “Michigan AMBER Alert is just one of the many community services offered by our local broadcasters. The combination of AMBER Alerts and the excellent work of law enforcement have helped to return hundreds of children to their families.”

“The AMBER Alert system extends the eyes and ears of law enforcement to residents throughout the state who may be able to help in finding these children. More than 351 children have been returned to their families over the past 15 years,” according to Karole L. White, Chair of MAAF.

“The public’s help is essential to the success of an AMBER Alert, it takes our communities working together with law enforcement, broadcasters, and other government agencies to save the lives of our abducted and endangered children. Michigan’s AMBER Alert program would not work without the thousands of extra sets of eyes aiding in the search,” said D/Sgt. Sarah Krebs, of the Missing Persons Coordination Unit of the Michigan State Police. “We have many tools to help find missing children. AMBER Alert is just one and it is set aside for the special instances where details indicate that a child has been abducted.”

Michigan residents lead active lives that sometime take them away from their televisions and radios. The FCC approved the use of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), to inform the public about AMBER Alerts on their cell phones. This text alert provides brief basic details of the AMBER Alert within a specified area surrounding the suspected abduction or the whole state in certain instances. In Michigan, a WEA is only activated when there are details on the vehicle involved in the suspected abduction.

To help continue the Michigan AMBER Alert Program you may donate to MAAF HERE.  MAAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization and donations may be tax deductible to the extent of the tax code.

WXYZ-TV Celebrates Top Graduating High School Seniors

WXYZ_052316_300WXYZ-TV (Detroit) celebrated the region’s top high school graduating seniors at the 37th annual Brightest & Best event on May 14, at the station’s broadcast center in Southfield, Michigan.

Nearly 200 students from schools across Southeast Michigan attended the event. They were joined by their parents and guardians.

The event was broadcast live on the station’s Saturday morning newscasts.  Students participated in a Twitter scavenger hunt and had the opportunity to meet WXYZ/WMYD on-air personalities. The program ended with the traditional group hat toss that will be featured in on-air spots.

“We are honored to recognize the academic achievement of these extraordinary students,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ/WMYD vice president and general manager. “This is one of our favorite days at Channel 7. These young people represent the future of our region and our country, and we are pleased to be able to applaud their hard work and dedication.”

Promotional spots featuring the graduates will air on WXYZ beginning in June. Profiles and photos of all the honorees are available here and in a special section on WXYZ’s mobile apps. You can also learn more about the students and experience the event by searching the #BrightestAndBest hashtag.

WLNS News Crew Helps Clean Up Lansing

(L-R) WLNS' Emily Wahls, Sheri Jones and Chivon Kloepfer
(L-R) WLNS’ Emily Wahls, Sheri Jones and Chivon Kloepfer

On May 6, members of the WLNS-TV (Lansing) news staff helped Habitat for Humanity’s “Rock The Block” day in Lansing.

WLNS anchors Sheri Jones and Chivon Kloepfer, along with meteorologist Emily Wahls, joined other companies and organizations and offered a days worth of sweat to help clean up, paint, and repair homes and yards in Lansing’s Old Town area.

The project helps residents get their home redone, but in return those residents are encouraged to help others in their neighborhood.

Blarney Stone Broadcasting Holds Town Hall On Underage Drinking/RX Drug Abuse

WQONBlarney Stone Broadcasting (Grayling) joined forces with local leaders and law enforcement officials in hosting a town hall meeting to address the perils of underage drinking and substance abuse.

On May 13, the company’s WQON-FM committed its entire Northern Focus show to the Underage Drinking/RX Drug Abuse Town Hall Meeting at its Grayling studios. In partnership with Up North Prevention and Crawford County Partnership for Substance Abuse Awareness (CPSAA), WQON’s Dave Sherbert moderated the panel during his Friday morning talk show. The panel included Crawford County Prosecutor Everette (Trey) Ayers, Assistant Prosecutor Brendan Curran, Michigan State Police Trooper Grant Guzikowski, insurance representative Paul Hartman, substance abuse counselor Doug Pryor and guests who shared their personal testimonials.

With the program airing during the school day, the target audience was the parents of teens.  The program will be made available to students via a podcast at a later date.

Lynda Rutkowski, Designated Youth Tobacco Use Representative/Prevention Specialist for Up North Prevention said that their goal was to “heighten awareness of the underage drinking and prescription drug problems in the community, what’s currently happening, systems in place to curtail the problem, and words of wisdom for our youth and their parents.”

Sheryl Coyne, President of Blarney Stone Broadcasting, said her radio network is proud to serve as host of such an important event designed to raise awareness of a growing problem in today’s society.

“We believe in the young people in our listening community, and if we can arm them with the right information about alcohol and various illegal and prescription drugs then we’re confident they can make smarter and better decisions,” Coyne said. “We’re in the communications business, and we take that seriously. We believe passionately that to bring this important issue into focus is the best use of our airwaves.”

Related:  Read the Radio Ink interview here with Sheryl Coyne regarding the Town Hall Meeting and the company’s community service efforts.

WPBN/WTOM-TV Hosts Town Hall Meeting

WPBN_400On May 4, WPBN/WTOM-TV (Traverse City), along with Northern Michigan Regional entity and, presented Finding a Solution, a Prescription Drug Abuse Town Hall Meeting at the Dennos Museum Center’s Milliken Auditorium in Traverse City.

The discussion focused on prevention and included use and misuse of prescription opiates, and the rising trend of illicit opiate use and overdoses.

WPBN/WTOM-TV News Anchors Marc Schollett and Kristen Lowe moderated the discussion and WGTU/WGTQ-TV (Traverse City) News Anchor Jamie Innis provided updates throughout the meeting on UpNorthLive’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

WLEN-FM Hosts Auction to Raise Money for Local Lions Club

WLENOn April 23, Lenawee Broadcasting’s WLEN-FM (Adrian) will host and air an all-day radio auction for the Adrian Breakfast Lions Club.  Lions Club members will be auctioning off merchandise and services donated by businesses, individuals, and organizations. The merchandise and services will be described on-the-air and listeners will bid by telephone. Every business that donates will have its name mentioned along with the item.

In the past 19 years, the auction has raised over $211,000 to help citizens needing assistance in our community. They have provided over $120,000 in vision care, $22,000 in scholarships and classroom supplies for the visually impaired, $20,000 for supporting youth projects, and $19,000 for the Leader Dog program of Michigan.

NABEF Announces 2016 Service to America Award Winners; Michigan Broadcaster to be Honored

On April 4, The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) announced the winners of the 2016 Celebration of Service to America Awards, recognizing outstanding community service by local broadcasters. Winners will be honored at the Celebration of Service to America dinner, held Tuesday, June 21 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

“Local broadcasters are an essential part of the fabric of their communities,” said NABEF President Marcellus Alexander. “The NAB Education Foundation proudly salutes the recipients of this years’ Service to America Awards for their unwavering commitment to making a positive local impact.”

Among the winners nationwide, CBS Radio’s WXYT-FM (Detroit) will receive the Service to Children Award (for radio).  These awards spotlight television and radio stations for outstanding programs, campaigns and public service announcements produced for the benefit of children.

Since 2012, WXYT’s Student Heart Check program has helped raise money and awareness for student athletes at risk of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – an acute life threatening heart condition. The vital program saves lives every year, conducting quarterly student heart screenings at local high schools where physicians participate for free and students from across the state are invited to attend. In 2015, more than 1,600 students received screenings, resulting in 234 students being advised to stop playing sports immediately. Two students were diagnosed with the condition. Produced in partnership with Beaumont Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network, WXYT led and supported the program with multiple public service announcements, valued at $1.1 million. The informative PSAs requested $10 donations from listeners to help the program reach its ultimate goal of purchasing a mobile cardiac unit. In 2015, the campaign raised a respectable $30,000 in donations and additional sponsor outreach.