Category Archives: February 2019

WLUC-TV Announces Winner of First Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award

WLUC-TV (Negaunee-Marquette) has announced the first recipient of the Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award.   The station established the award in honor of the late Carl Pellonpaa.  Pellonpaa was an iconic television personality in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and for 53 years the host of WLUC’s “Finland Calling” (or “Suomi Kutsuu”). The show was a Sunday morning staple from 1962 to 2015.  Pellonpaa began his career as an announcer for WJPD-AM (Ishpeming) and later signed a minor league contract with the Boston Braves. However, he was injured in a hunting accident, ending his baseball aspirations.

Carl V. Pellonpaa

The award will be given annually to one individual in recognition of their service to the Upper Peninsula over the course of a lifetime. It will honor their distinction in various business, volunteer, government, academic, artistic and social fields. The award will acknowledge significant contributions to the advancement and development of Upper Michigan.

This year’s recipient was Don Ryan, selected due to his dedication to area businesses and the community. Ryan’s experience includes working in radio and television, including WJPD-AM, WDJM-AM (Marquette) as well as WLUC-TV, where he served a variety of positions, rising to Operations Manager and Station Manager.

In 1975, Ryan was appointed District Representative for Congressman Phil Ruppe, which involved representing the Congressman at various activities, events and constituent meetings throughout the Upper Peninsula. His other government experience included serving for 12 years on the Ishpeming Board of Education and on the Marquette City Commission, from 2008 to 2014.

“We are paying tribute to a broadcast legend, Carl Pellonpaa, with this award,” said Rhoades. “Carl was all about serving the Upper Peninsula, and everything he did throughout his career was to achieve that goal. Our intention is to remember him every year by recognizing an individual who has similarly dedicated a lifetime of service to Upper Michigan.”

Reserve Your 2019 ABIP Inspection Now

Scheduling has begun for the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP).  The MAB conducts these alternative inspections regionally from April to October.

Every broadcaster wants to be in full compliance with FCC rules, but finding out that you are not in compliance by receiving an FCC fine, can be a costly learning experience. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP) is a unique partnership between the MAB and FCC under which stations that pass their inspection will receive a three-year exemption from routine FCC inspections.

SAVE Money!
Stations that have successfully completed the program are exempt from routine FCC inspections and possible fines for a three-year period.

SAVE Staff Time
Now that the public inspection file is online, it is easier than ever for the FCC to inspect it without prior notice. It is not uncommon for the FCC to spend a day or more at a station. That would involve significant time from several key staff members. MAB’s inspections are set ahead of time and by appointment. They are learning experiences, without the risk of a fine.

SAVE Worry
A station’s successful participation in the ABIP is evidence of the licensee’s positive attitude toward regulatory compliance. The inspector also provides feedback to management that station personnel are performing important duties in an adequate manner.

The inspector uses inspection criteria that have been set by the FCC and are uniformly used in the many ABIP programs administered by State Broadcast Associations throughout the U.S.

If you have questions or would like to schedule your 2019 Alternative Inspection, contact Ann Walters at 517-484-7444 or [email protected].

Free Webinar for MAB Members: Building Your Digital Rate Card

MAB Media Show Sponsor So-Cast is offering a free webinar to MAB members next week, Thursday, February 28 at 2 p.m. Eastern:

Building your Digital Rate Card – Everything you need for your sales team to drive digital revenue.

Heard about this huge revenue opportunity and wondering how your station can successfully drive more digital dollars in 2019?

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Your digital revenue toolkit: everything you can sell to generate digital revenue and deliver results for your ad partners.
  • Suggested rates and pricing.
  • Suggestions for integrating digital offering with your traditional offerings.
  • What should be included in your Digital Media Kit to share with prospective and active ad partners.

This session is ideal for Sales Leaders, Sales Reps, GMs, station owners and market managers.

To register, click here.

Use Exclusive Bonus Content to Promote Your Radio Station’s App

Seth Resler

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: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Today’s tip is incredibly simple but it’s also very effective: To encourage the people who listen to your radio station to download your station’s mobile app, make content available exclusively in the app. Then use your airwaves to promote that content.

Interviews offer a great opportunity to do this. In a PPM world, radio stations have shortened or eliminated the interviews they conduct with artists and celebrities. But now we’ve got a great use for them! Let’s say your night jock conducts an interview with Ariana Grande, then edits it down to just the juiciest eight minutes to broadcast on the station’s airwaves. Don’t throw away the rest of the interview; make it available in your radio station’s mobile app for hardcore fans. Then, create a production element to play into or out of Arianna Grande songs that promotes the interview in your mobile app.

You could use this with other station content as well, from recordings of past morning show bits to photos from concerts. You could also include exclusive hints to help people win contests in the mobile app. For example, let’s say your radio station is running a listen-for-two-U2-songs-in-a-row-to-win-concert-tickets contest. In the app, tell people exactly when you’ll be playing back-to-back U2 songs.

Sit down with your staff and decide which content you want to put on the station’s website and which you want to reserve exclusively for the mobile app. You’ll also want to create a promotional gameplan that involves a mix of produced elements and live reads. Try it for a month and see if it increases your station’s mobile app downloads!

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

WIOG Raises $42,700 with Covenant Kids Radiothon

WIOG’s Nate and April kick off the radiothon on February 14.

Cumulus Media’s WIOG-FM (Saginaw) teamed up with Covenant Kids for the WIOG Covenant Kids Radiothon February 14-15, raising over $42,000 for the cause.  The special two day Radiothon was held 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

During the broadcast, the station shared stories of some amazing Covenant Kids and their Families.  Covenant Healthcare serves babies and children from more than 20 countries across Michigan.

The station is also offered incentives for various levels of donations.

IPR News to Launch Weekly Show: ‘Points North’

Interlochen Public Radio’s IPR News has announced that it is launching a new weekly show called Points North.  The program is a 10-minute segment where listeners explore northern Michigan through the news, the people and places.

The show will blend traditional hard news stories about the issues that are important to you with segments about the region and its people.  News Director Morgan Springer said, “You’ll hear things that are important to you like the opioid epidemic and you’ll also meet interesting characters like someone who makes clothes out of fur, maybe you’ll hear a recipe or commentary on Northern Michigan.”

Points North will air twice on Friday Mornings beginning February 22 and will also be available on the web and as a podcast.

WDZH Adds Chadd and Kristi Thomas

Chadd and Kristi Thomas

Entercom’s WDZH-FM (Detroit)(98.7 The Breeze) has announced the addition of husband-and-wife duo Chadd and Kristi Thomas as morning show co-hosts.  The two debuted this past Monday (2/18).

“As a husband-and-wife team, Chadd and Kristi will bring a unique perspective to our airwaves and we are excited to welcome them to The Breeze,” Entercom/Detroit SVP/Market Manager Debbie Kenton said.  “They are both full of energy and our listeners can look forward to hearing all of their entertaining relationship and family life stories every workday.”

“We are ecstatic to bring our brand of an upbeat husband-and-wife morning show to The Motor City,” said Chadd and Kristi. “The show will give Detroiters the information they need to get their workday started, filled with laughs and great music.”

The couple most recently were heard on WPBB-FM, Tampa Bay, Florida.

Former WOOD TV News Director Passes

Patti McGettigan

This past weekend, WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) reported that former news director Patti McGettigan died Saturday (2/16) after a long battle with cancer.  McGettigan was 53.

She became WOOD TV’s news director in 2000 and served in that role until leaving the station in 2009 to serve as news director at stations in Indianapolis and Memphis.

“Patti was a driving and trans-formative force — leading us with her strong convictions, solid decision making, and great compassion for her team and the community we serve,” WOOD-TV Director of Operations Kevin Ferrara wrote in a staff memo sent out Saturday evening. “She had the incredible vision to see the endgame to each decision with great foresight and clarity.”

One of McGettigan’s proudest accomplishments was her work on an award-winning special called “Race in Reality”. It aired in 2005. The program examined the role race plays in the community and the consequences of racism and discrimination. The initiative ultimately garnered the station a national RTNDA Unity Award.

“She didn’t just tell us what to do, she shared her reasoning and inspired us to push ourselves to be better,” Ferrara wrote in the staff memo.

The station noted that many who respected McGettigan often talk about her eye for talent. She recognized and invested in the talent of some who remain a part of WOOD TV’s news product today and others who’ve moved to large markets and the national stage — like ABC Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee and CBS Chicago news reporter Brad Edwards. She didn’t hire him, but also worked closely with ABC News correspondent Steve Osunsami during his time at WOOD-TV.

“For the ‘very Irish’ little girl who was destined to be in journalism, growing up on Dale Street in Dearborn, watching Walter Cronkite and Bill Bonds every night in her living room with her dad, you too are now a legend to many of us,” Ferrara wrote. “You’ve made an indelible impact on WOOD TV and TV journalism.”

70k for St. Jude from WNWN Listeners

Left: WIN 98.5 staff and phone bank volunteers reveal the grand total. Right: “Wild” Bill Lewis and Brent Alan in the studio unveiling the brand new St. Jude t-shirt for this year.

Midwest Communication’s WNWN-FM (Battle Creek/Kalamazoo)(WIN 98.5) held their 2019 St. Jude “Country Cares For Kids” Radiothon February 14-15, raising a total of $70,140.00, contributed by station listeners.  This exceeds last year’s total of $67,010.00.

Afternoon personality “Wild” Bill Lewis said, “Our listeners are simply the best. We ask, and they always deliver, especially when it comes to a child battling cancer. They know their monthly donation is going to an amazing place, and they know their donation is helping to save a child’s life and help put an end to childhood cancer.”

WWJ’s Vicki Thomas to Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame

Vicki Thomas

Ceremonies will be held April 14, 2019 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.  More information is available here.

Last week, the MAB reported that Former WXYZ-TV (Detroit) Reporter Mary Conway and Kathy Barks Hoffman, Vice President with PR firm Martin Waymire have received the honor of induction into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.  The MAB has since learned that WWJ-AM’s Vicki Thomas is also being inducted in 2019.

Thomas is the City Beat Reporter for the station and has been with WWJ since 1991. She attended Michigan State University and graduated from Wayne State University, cum laude with an honors degree in broadcast journalism. Throughout her radio career she has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists. Thomas was honored with a first place in Individual Reporting during the 1998 Associated Press Michigan Broadcast Awards Contest. She also has received the national “Gabriel Award” from UNDA-USA for the WWJ Black History Month Series “The African-American Church: The Heart and Soul of Metro Detroit’s Black Community.”

Thomas is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and started a scholarship and internship program for college students interested in the field of broadcast news, while serving as Vice President of the local chapter.

In a Twitter post, Thomas said, “I’m thrilled, blessed and honored to be joining some outstanding journalists in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame!”