Category Archives: Local News

Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Famer Juke Van Oss Passes at 92

Juke Van OssMidwest Communications’ WHTC (Holland) reports that talk icon and beloved West Michigan resident Juke Van Oss died early Monday morning (3/7).

“Juke was a friend to all of us,” said WHTC/VAN General Manager Kevin Oswald on WHTC Monday, his voice filled with emotion. “He will be missed greatly.”

He’d worked as recently as Friday (3/4), interviewing historian and former Holland Sentinel editor Randy VandeWater. On Sunday (3/6), Mr. VanOss taught a Sunday school class, according to his family.

Mr. Van Oss was born in 1923 at a farm near Graafschap, a second-generation Dutch-American who grew up in Holland and Dowagiac before serving in World War II in the Army. His military service included tours of duty in the Philippines and Korea.

After the war, Mr. Van Oss worked at various places in the Holland area before getting hired at WHTC as an engineer on August 12, 1951. His on-air career started shortly afterward.

He was married to the former Janet Camp for 49 years. She preceded him in death in 1997.

Juke Van Oss was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009.

Reporter Syma Chowdhry Joins WXYZ-TV

Syma ChowdhrySyma Chowdhry, Emmy award-winning reporter, is joining WXYZ-TV’s 7 Action News team as a reporter for “The Now” daily news and information program airing weekdays at 4 p.m. on WXYZ-TV (Detroit).

“Syma’s experience makes her an ideal fit for “The Now,”” said Dave Manney, news director for WXYZ and WMYD in Detroit. “She’s adept at the breaking news and talk-about stories that make the “The Now” so appealing to our audiences.”

Says Chowdhry, “I’m excited to take the journalistic skills I honed in Philadelphia, and bring them to a city I love and to a station that enables me to take on a variety of stories, both hard news and features. At 7 Action News I’ll be able to incorporate my personality in my story-telling.”

WBFH’s Bowers Featured on WXYZ-TV

WBFH-FM’s (Bloomfield Hills High School) General Manager, Pete Bowers, was recently featured on WXYZ-TV in Detroit for a piece called “Ann Marie’s All-Stars.”

Bowers is serving his second term on the MAB Foundation Board of Directors and was the Chair for the 2014 Broadcasting Career Builder Conference (BCBC) Committee. Watch the video at WXYZ-TV here.

WBFH has won the MABF High School Station of the Year nine times.

WMHW Undergoes Format Changes

101.1 FM The BeatOn February 15, WMHW (Mount Pleasant), CMU’s School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts’ two HD student run radio stations, underwent an exciting format change.

91.5 FM The Mountain switched from a Modern Rock to an Adult Album Alternative (AAA) format, and 101.1 The Beat converted from (AAA) to a Hip Hop format.

Mountain 91.5WMHW (Wilbur Moore Hall Wireless) started in the Fall of 1972 as a BCA co-curricular radio station. 91.5 FM began as a 10-watt college station and has grown to its current 13,000-watt level with  broadcast signal that ranges from Bay City to Cadillac and Houghton Lake to St. Johns. This extensive coverage area lends itself well to the new (AAA) format which focuses on current music and appeals more to adults than teenagers.

For more than 40 years, WMHW has been providing students professional, hands-on training, which makes them highly marketable in the radio industry after graduation. Transitioning from a modern rock format, which has virtually no presence in today’s industry and is solely a “campus” format, to a popular AAA format will certainly benefit CMU’s future radio broadcasters from both a programming and administrative standpoint.

91.5 FM will continue to provide its live seasonal coverage of CMU Women’s Basketball, Softball, Men’s Baseball, and Mount Pleasant High School Football.

Both 91.5 and 101.1 can be heard over the air and streamed worldwide at www.wmhw.org.

WXYZ-TV Names Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan its 2015 Newsmaker of the Year

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
L to R: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Chuck Stokes

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) has named Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan its 2015 Newsmaker of the Year. Duggan was featured in a special edition of “Spotlight on the News,” on Sunday, February 14, at 10 a.m. Each year, WXYZ selects one newsmaker it deems to have had the greatest positive impact on the state of Michigan and the Detroit region during the year.

Mike Duggan was elected in 2013 as Detroit’s 75th mayor. Last year was the first full year Duggan ran the city without the assistance of a state-appointed emergency financial city manager. Under Duggan’s watch, the city bus schedules and police emergency response times were improved, transit workers and police union contracts were negotiated successfully, abandoned structures were removed, and neighborhood revitalization was increased. His administration has been instrumental in attracting economic development to Detroit.

In the “Spotlight” interview, Duggan discussed a wide range of topics, including his vision for Detroit, city safety, Detroit Public Schools, his family, and his goals for the future.

WXYZ Collects 20+ Tons of School Supplies

WXYZ supplies driveWXYZ-TV’s (Detroit) week-long “Fix My School” supplies drive collected more than 20 tons of school supplies for students and teachers in Detroit Public Schools. The items donated filled three semi-trucks and included notebooks, pencils, crayons, markers, Kleenex, and toilet paper.

“At a time when Detroit schools are in crisis, these supplies will make a tremendous difference for thousands of kids and teachers,” said Dave Manney, WXYZ news director. “The staggering amount of donations also sends a powerful message of hope. People across southeastern Michigan will do whatever they can to help Detroit students and teachers succeed.”

“Fix My School” is a 7 Action News series that brings attention to issues and concerns in school districts throughout Metro Detroit. After a number of stories focused on the needs of the 47,000 students in Detroit Public Schools, WXYZ decided to take action to address the problem. Viewers were encouraged on-air, on-line, and on mobile, to drop off classroom supplies at one of 56 Leo’s Coney Island restaurants throughout Metro Detroit. Stevens Worldwide Van Line donated its trucks to transport the supplies to a central warehouse. The City of Detroit donated warehouse space to hold all of the supplies.

“I am completely overwhelmed! To Channel 7, to Leo’s Coney Island, to everyone who donated, I just want to say thank you,” said Ivy Bailey, interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

The supplies will be distributed by the Detroit Federation of Teachers beginning Monday, February 22.

WNEM TV5 Hosts Town Hall Discussion on Flint Water Crisis

WNEM Town hallOn February 5, 2016, WNEM-TV5 (Flint) took its coverage of the Flint Water Crisis to new heights.  The station devoted the 7pm to 8pm hour on this Friday night to a town hall discussion on the crisis affecting Mid-Michigan’s largest city for nearly two years.  WNEM is the only station to provide a special broadcast in prime access or prime time. TV5 anchors Sam Merrill and Collette Boyd hosted from the station’s downtown Flint studio.

Among those participating in the discussion were Hurley Hospital Pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha, the physician who discovered a connection between the drinking water and the high lead levels and Virginia Tech PhD, Dr. Mark Edwards, the first scientist to demonstrate that the highly corrosive water was causing lead to leach from water distribution lines and pipes.  Elected officials, including Congressman Dan Kildee (D-5), State Representative Sheldon Neeley (D-34), State Senator and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-27), also participated.

Families experiencing severe health effects from the water told the story of the impact on their children.  The top EPA official probing the problem visually displayed the difference between a corroded pipe and one with full lead protection.  Local activists challenged officials to solve the problem, even if it means removing all the lead service lines citywide.  Governor Rick Snyder (R) was an invited guest.  He chose to participate by conducting a one-on-one interview with TV5’s Sam Merrill a few hours prior to the event.

According to WNEM-TV5 General Manager Al Blinke, “this town hall meeting was a great opportunity for the community to get an in-depth look at the water situation in Flint and to have an uninterrupted discussion regarding the water crisis. TV5 felt there needed to be  a venue, other than the local news, that allowed more time to delve into the problem and the solutions.”

WNEM News Director Ian Rubin said, “The town hall meeting was an important avenue for TV5 to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the audience even as the national news media spends more time on the story. We were investigating this story for a year and a half before it received national attention, and we will likely be digging deep on it long after the national media departs.”

Michigan Radio’s Coverage of Flint Water Emergency

By: Kristen Loszewski, Michigan Radio Marketing

Over the past few weeks, Flint’s water crisis has exploded as a huge national news story. Michigan Radio (91.7 FM Ann Arbor/Detroit, 91.1 Flint, 104.1 West Michigan) has been covering the story from the very beginning, including the April 2014 water supply switch to the Flint River, the first citizen complaints about the smell and taste of the city’s tap water, and the first reports of lead in the drinking water last July.

Michigan Radio reporters have also been explaining the story to listeners nationwide on shows like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Rachel Maddow Show, Here & Now, The Diane Rehm ShowOn Point, and many local public radio station shows around the country. Lindsey Smith’s documentary about the crisis, “Not Safe to Drink”, was distributed nationally by The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal to public radio stations all over the country. And, last week, Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody and Tracy Samilton provided NPR’s newscasts and newsmagazines with reports on the investigation into who knew what and when they knew it.

Michigan Radio continues to report on the latest developments in this ongoing news story.

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