In the last several weeks, we’ve noticed a couple of instances that are reminiscent of the days when radio stations featured live musicians in their studio. Both WKAR-FM (East Lansing) and Interlochen Public Radio (Interlochen) shared some examples recently through social media and regular websites.
On March 24, WKAR-FM presented a performance of Brahms Scherzo in c-minor as part of the station’s “Live From Studio S” series. The performance featured Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s assistant concertmaster Hai Xin Wu & Michigan State University College of Music collaborative piano professor Zhihua Tang (who is hidden from view in this video):
Also on March 24, Interlochen Public Radio hosted siblings Penny and Radel Rosin of Grayling, who perform under the name “Oh Brother, Big Sister.” While the duo has already released two albums, they treated Interlochen listeners to a new song titled “Michigan Daydream.”
On March 23, WGVU Public Media hosted national PBS talent Alice Ferris during their recent TV Membership Drive. Alice joined the station team for its presentation of Michigan Hometown Stories: Saugatuck/Douglas, a local WGVU production highlighting the history and story of the local west Michigan community.
During the night, the station announced that the series will be available via PBS LearningMedia, so everyone could learn about this great Michigan community. The program can also be viewed online here.
The night was a great success with phones being answered by the Grand Valley State University Football Alumni Association.
Michigan Public Radio Network (MPRN) State Capitol Reporter Jake Neher has joined public radio station WDET-FM (Detroit).
In his new postion, Neher will serve as producer for WDET’s daily talk show Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson. In addition, he will be doing feature reporting and working on special projects.
Neher told MAB/MAPB “It has been a privilege to cover the state Capitol for public radio stations across Michigan for the past four years. I’ve had the opportunity to witness the passage of several pieces of historic legislation and other momentous events up close and alongside great journalists who make up the Capitol press corps. I look forward to continue to contribute to the Michigan Public Radio Network from my new job at WDET, albeit in a different role.”
Neher joined MPRN in September of 2012. Before that, he served as a reporter and anchor for WFUV Public Radio in the Bronx, New York, and as News Director for KBRW Public Radio in Barrow, Alaska. He has been working in radio in some capacity since he was 15-years-old.
A native of Southeast Michigan, Neher graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010. He has a Master’s degree in Public Communications from Fordham University.
Jake began his new position with WDET on March 28.
This summer, PBS KIDS and the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative will bring the “Odd Squad: Be the Agent” camp program to select sites and is inviting all interested PBS member stations to apply to participate. 50 stations will be selected from the pool of applicants to host these summer camps in their communities. These stations will receive Odd Squad camp curriculum materials and activities, as well as PBS KIDS Media Lab that will include:
2 PBS KIDS branded Odd Squad bannerstands
USB with Odd Squad curriculum materials
Odd Squad badges that can be given to the children participating in the camp.
More information on the “Be the Agent Camp” and the grant requirements can found on the Odd Squad Camp Station RFP here.
DEADLINE TO APPLY: Wednesday, MARCH 23, 2016
If you have any questions about this application process, please contact Celeste Ho: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Public Television (WTVS) is honoring the memory of Michigan radio legend J.P. McCarthy with J.P. – The Voice of Detroit, an hour-long documentary that tells J.P.’s story, the ultimate local-kid-done-good tale.
Working extensively with the McCarthy family and conducting over 20 interviews with J.P.’s friends, family, co-workers, and contemporaries, J.P. – The Voice of Detroit is a fitting memorial to someone who was considered more of a family member than a voice on the radio to anyone who tuned in to hear him.
The program has aired twice on WTVS and can be seen on demand here.
Michigan State University and WKAR-TV have put the power of information in the hands of Flint residents through a new tool that navigates community resources in the wake of the ongoing water crisis.
The mobile app “Empower Flint” provides a checklist of important actions people can take to protect themselves, their families and pets as they battle elevated lead levels in the water supply. Released March 1, the app was developed by a team of researchers and specialists from MSU, the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and WKAR-TV in collaboration with the people of Flint.
“Our goal was to build something that adapts to the needs identified by Flint residents, and that stands the test of time as community needs evolve,” said Kami Silk, MSU associate dean for research and professor of communication and agbio research. “Our hopes are that the app will fill an information gap and be embraced as coming from a trusted and familiar voice in Flint: MSU.”
The app’s “find” operation enables users to search for the closest water stations, free water filters, lead testing sites, community events, and sources of nutritious food. Users will also find directional maps, news feeds, and volunteer and community activities at their fingertips. Most important, “Empower Flint” pushes out critical alerts about water safety, lead levels, and immediate steps that residents can take for personal and public health.
“We saw a lot of experts and community partners providing a lot of important information,” said WKAR-TV Station Manager Susi Elkins. “Since we’re communicators, we saw it as a chance to put our expertise to use for the greater good and devise a way to make communicating that information as easy as possible.”
Associate Professor of Media and Information Brian Winn led the development of the app starting in mid-January with members of the College of ComArtSci’s GEL Lab. Silk and Elkins assembled ongoing focus groups of residents to test and provide feedback the app.
The app may be downloaded to both iOS and Android devices here.
On February 26, WGVU (Grand Rapids) held its 27th annual Wine and Food Symposium, presented by D&W Fresh Market. Station supporters were able to sample from over 300 wine and beer selections as well as gourmet food from around the world and were able to converse with experts on the menu.
Those attending were also treated to live music by Dutcher Snedeker on the piano.
The event was held at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. More photos here.
Citing recent health isues, WKAR Radio (East Lansing) reports that long-time Radio Reader Dick Estell has made the difficult and heart-breaking decision to hang up his microphone after more than half a century as the voice of the “Radio Reader.”
A passionate and avid lifelong lover of reading, Estell took over as the “Radio Reader” in 1964 for WKAR at Michigan State University. In the following years he read close to 1,000 books.
While WKAR had offered a radio reading series since 1936, it was after Estell took over the program that it was made available to public radio stations across the country. At its peak, the series had an audience of over one million. The final “Radio Reader” episode will air on March 10, 2016. Read more at wkar.org.
Dr. Marc Edwards leads the Virginia Tech research team credited with revealing deadly lead contamination in the public water supply in Flint. Edwards spoke February 25 at the WKAR-TV (East Lansing) studios in the Communication Arts and Sciences building on the Michigan State University campus.
The presentation was streamed as a live webcast at wkar.org. The talk was free and open to the public.
Edwards presented his talk, “How Jonathan Baldwin Turner Saved Flint, Mich.: Public-Inspired Science and the Modern Land-Grant University.” Jonathan Turner, referenced in the title of Edwards’ talk, is credited by many as the originator of the concept of the land grant university and its mission of public service.
As an expert in the chemistry and toxicity of urban water supplies in the United States, Edwards has made significant advances in many areas, including arsenic removal, coagulation of natural organic material, and the causes and control of copper and lead corrosion in new and aging distribution systems. He is expanding his research focus to cities in crisis such as Flint, Mich.
Edwards is The Charles P. Lunsford Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007.
The program is now available for on demand viewing in the PBS App on Roku, XBox 360, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, on iPad/iPhone, and at video.wkar.org.
The talk was sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State University.
For those efforts, Michigan Radio has won applause from listeners and industry peers. Steve Carmody is proud of what the service has done—but he also thinks about what might have been different.
“It just gnaws on me that when people were saying they can’t drink this water in May or June of 2014, I was taking, ‘Don’t worry, it’s safe’ as an answer” from state officials,” he said in recent interview. “It just sticks in my craw. I should’ve seen this earlier. That will bother me for the rest of my career.”
According to CJR, despite the fact that early pushes for more information did not happen, Michigan Radio took up the Flint water crisis as a priority once the public health concern became evident.