Category Archives: MAPB

Actor Timothy Busfield Joins MSU

Busfield
Photo courtesy of WKAR

Emmy award-winning actor Timothy Busfield will join the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU) as an artist in residence, effective June 15.

In this new role, Busfield will co-teach courses that emphasize acting and fiction film production, provide insights based on his experience as a professional in theatre and film, and bring noted industry professionals to campus for workshops. He will also be the director of national content for WKAR-TV, where he will develop original content for major networks, cable networks, movie studios, and new media.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my experience with the students,” said Busfield. “I’ve learned much in my career and I love helping those that are also eager to learn. My goal is to help their transitions into the major (and not so major) film and theatre communities when they graduate.”

Prabu David, dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, shared his enthusiasm on having Busfield join the college, stating, “Tim brings a wealth of experience in acting, directing, and moviemaking, which will add new energy to the Media Arts Collaborative, a new collaboration for creative work between the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and the College of Arts and Letters,” said David. “We are also excited about collaborating with Tim to create compelling content for WKAR.”

A native of East Lansing, Michigan, Busfield was eager to rejoin the mid-Michigan community, specifically MSU, stating “I grew up in East Lansing. My dad taught speech and theater at MSU and my mom and stepfather retired after many decades with the MSU Press… so in short, I’m all Green and White. Then, in January my heart jumped when President Simon announced that she was interested in WKAR producing more original content. I felt I was a perfect fit to help execute her vision of seeing WKAR and MSU move into the market of major television and film.”

Susi Elkins, Interim Director of Broadcasting and General Manager of WKAR, is looking forward to having Busfield join her team. “It’s so exciting for us that Tim is returning home to East Lansing, eager to give back to the community and to join our team at WKAR. His creativity, experience, and enthusiasm for engaging audiences is unmatched and we’re thrilled to be working with him,” said Elkins.

Another aspect of Busfield’s new role for MSU will incorporate promoting experiential learning opportunities for students interested in acting in fiction and nonfiction productions. This work will include the Theater2 Film Project, dedicated to transforming student theatre productions into film, and Busfield’s Performing Arts Warm Up, a weekend performing arts camp for kids.

Busfield has been working in the theatre and film industry for 37 years. He is most recognized for his work in “thirtysomething”, “Field of Dreams,” and “The West Wing.” Most recently, Busfield has sold seven pilots to major networks and has directed four others, including “The Fosters” which is currently still on the air.

WGVU Announces Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser

WGVU_Golf
WGVU Public Media (Grand Rapids) will hold their annual Golf Outing Fundraiser on Wednesday, June 8 at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University.  The event involves dozens of Grand Valley State University and public media friends and supporters enjoying an annual day on the links. The event is an 18-hole best-ball scramble format, with practice green and driving range hours 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.  The event will offer prizes for contest holes and winning teams, and a silent auction.  Proceeds support WGVU Public Broadcasting!

For more information, click here.

WMUK Hires New General Manager

StevenWilliams
Steven Williams

Western Michigan University’s public radio station, WMUK-FM, is getting a new general manager.

Stephen Anthony Williams will take the post beginning July 1. He has been general manager for WESM-FM at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore since 2011. He was interim general manager of the station for 18 months before that and had previously been the news and public affairs director and morning news host for the award-winning station.

Williams’ background also includes positions with an XM Satellite station and two AM stations in Arlington, Va. Before beginning his broadcast career, Williams taught English as a Peace Corps worker in Africa’s Republic of Cameroon. He is a 1999 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Durham, where he majored in communications and minored in music.

Williams will replace Gordon Bolar, who is retiring June 30 after five years as WMUK general manager and more than 20 years in public radio and public television management.

The station Williams currently works at is similar to WMUK in format, offering a mix of music, news, and public service programming. He says he’s excited about the fundamental strengths he found at the station in Kalamazoo.

“The thing that stands out to me most is that WMUK has a truly dedicated staff, and that the administration of Western Michigan University is fully committed and supportive of the station’s success,” he says. “Importantly, there is also a community of listeners and supporters that stand behind the station, and it’s clear to me that both the station and the University are deeply engaged in serving both Kalamazoo and greater Southwest Michigan. In my experience, these are critical ingredients for success.”

WKAR-TV Casting Call for Kids Science Show Draws Hundreds

via WKAR.org

WKAR_051616
More than 500 community members turned out for a casting call at TV studios on the campus of Michigan State University on Saturday, May 7, for the WKAR original series, Curious Crew.

“It was so exciting to see all the [kids] faces!” said Susi Elkins, WKAR-TV Station Manager.

Ranging in age from 9 to 14, 232 children came from across mid-Michigan and as far as Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit. If chosen, they will join the cast of Curious Crew, the show that invites viewers to explore science through hands-on investigation.

“It’s a fun TV show, but it’s also about engaging young children around science concepts,” said Elkins.

Holt resident Melissa said the event was “well organized” and that the staff was great. She also admired the kids’ performances.

Parents and guardians watched from afar as each child conducted a mini screen test for Tim Zeko, TV executive producer and Matt Ottinger, producer and host of QuizBusters. Another key part of the audition brought the young scientists together to take on the Team Challenge.

Out of the large number of attendees, 45 will be chosen to participate in the TV show.

“We’re reviewing all of the auditions now and I’m confident we’ll have a great cast to help host Rob Stephenson explore scientific investigations in the coming season,” said Zeko.

Selected cast members will be notified in late May 2016.

New episodes will be recorded on location at Impression 5 Science Center in June and August 2016. Upon the completion of production, the new season will debut on WKAR-TV in late 2016 or early 2017.

 

WGVU Presents Oldies Concert at Ballpark

WGVUOn June 4, Grand Valley State University’s WGVU-AM (Grand Rapids) presents their annual free “Real Oldies at the Ballpark” concert, co-sponsored by the West Michigan Whitecaps and Pine Rest Christian Health Services.

This year’s concert will feature The Buckinghams and the West Side Soul Surfers.  In addition, the event will include a classic car show at Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids.

Click here for more details.

Elkins Named Interim Director of Broadcasting at WKAR

susi-elkins_300Susi Elkins has named Interim Director of Broadcasting and General Manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University.

As WKAR-TV Station Manager, Elkins has overseen all programming, including original content production and partnerships for the station’s three broadcast channels and digital platforms.

“This is a critical time for WKAR,” said David. “With her leadership experience at the station and community engagement expertise, Susi Elkins is the right person to keep the momentum going as we move forward into what really is a new era of broadcasting for MSU and the state of Michigan.”

Prior to her appointment as TV station manager, Elkins served as Content and Community Engagement manager for WKAR, where she oversaw the convergence of media and programming in TV and Radio and the ongoing growth of original content across platforms. Under her direction, WKAR increased capacity for providing experiential learning opportunities for MSU students, offering one of the highest number of student paid positions available on campus. Elkins also increased WKAR’s commitment to early childhood education and solidified its reputation as a community institution through strategic partnerships and collaborations.

Elkins holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication and a master’s degree in educational technology, both from MSU.

Elkins succeeds Gary Reid, who is stepping down from his position as Director of Broadcasting and General Manager.  Reid has headed the stations since July, 2011.  A hall-of-fame broadcaster and University Distinguished Senior Specialist, Reid will pursue new opportunities in the college, and will continue to consult with WKAR leadership through the transition ahead.

Gary Reid was named director of Broadcasting in July of 2011, as the WKAR stations were brought into the College of Communication Arts & Sciences.

In the nearly five years since, Reid’s accomplishments include:

The launch of award-winning radio and television programs such as Current State, Current Sports, Curious Crew, Forte, Beneath The Pines and a variety of specials, even as the operating budget was trimmed by a third.

A record number of awards for the stations, including two national television awards for Curious Crew and the coveted Marconi Award for Noncommercial Radio Station of the Year from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Five consecutive Public TV Station of the Year Awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the most recent announced this past May at the Great Lakes Broadcast Conference.

Reid’s initiative also led to recent FCC approval for the acquisition of a new FM Translator license, which will expand the WKAR-AM programming to the FM band with a 24-hour programming schedule.

Reid began teaching in the Department of Telecommunication in 1976 and joined the faculty full-time in 1977. Teaching all the audio and video courses at the time, he also designed and built the departments two television and six audio studios. In addition, he served for 25 years as the internship director and 8 years as the director of Undergraduate Studies.

No stranger to broadcasting, Reid was the general manager for WDBM-FM, MSU’s student radio station, better known as The Impact. He put that station on the air in 1989 and led it for 25 years. During his tenure the station was named College State of the Year for eleven consecutive years. He was one of the founding members of the MAB Foundation, and is currently the Vice President of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters.

In 1999 Reid received the Distinguished Senior Specialist award from MSU and in 2007 he was honored with the inaugural Faculty Impact Award from the college. That same year he was inducted into the Michigan Broadcast Hall of Fame and in 2011 was the youngest person to receive the MAB’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Reid will pursue new opportunities in the college, and will continue to consult with WKAR leadership through the transition ahead.

It was reported that a nationwide search for a permanent director is expected to take up to a year.  Elkins has been Station Manager of the TV station since 2012.

On January 11, the university announced that it will not participate in an FCC auction of television broadcast spectrum.  MSU also has formed a new partnership with Detroit Public Television to coordinate community outreach between WKAR and Detroit’s WTVS.

Elkins began her new position on May 15.

MAPB Elects New Officers

The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) elected the 2016 Officers of the Board of Directors during a board meeting held on March 7.

The newly elected officers include:

President: Eric Smith, Director of Broadcasting, Northern Michigan University Public Broadcasting

Vice-President: Gary Reid, Michigan State University Public Broadcasting

Treasurer: Steve Schram, Michigan Public Media

Secretary: Michelle Srbinovich, WDET Public Radio

For more information about MAPB and the board members please visit our website at www.michmab.com/MAPB.

Michigan Radio Names New Morning Edition Host

DougTribou_250After an extensive national search, Michigan Radio has announced that Doug Tribou has been named as the station’s new Morning Edition host.

From 2008 until August 2015, Tribou worked at NPR member station WBUR-FM in Boston. During that time, he served as a reporter and producer for “Only A Game,” NPR’s weekly sports show. From 2006-2008, he served as a news anchor and on-air host at WBUR. In September 2015, Tribou came to the University of Michigan after being awarded a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship.

In addition to his past decade in public radio, Tribou also has extensive experience in commercial radio. He served as Program Director at ESPN Radio Boston (WAMG/WLLH) from 2005-2006, and spent several years as Program and News Director for a group of Saga Communications radio stations in Portland, Maine. He has an undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University, and a master’s degree from Boston University.

“We’re tremendously excited to have Doug as our new morning host,” said Michigan Radio Director-General Manager Steve Schram. “He has a voice that listeners will enjoy waking up to; and a strong commitment to the role that public radio journalism plays in society.”

“When I came to Ann Arbor, I quickly became a fan of Michigan Radio,” said Tribou. “I feel fortunate to join such a talented team at a highly respected news organization.”

Tribou’s first day as Morning Edition host will be Monday, June 6.

Radio Reader Dick Estell Passes

Dick Estell in 1964. Photo couresty of WKAR.
Dick Estell in 1964. Photo couresty of WKAR.

The MAB learned this past weekend that Dick Estell, legendary voice of the Radio Reader, had passed away. According to family, via WKAR (East Lansing), Estell died peacefully Friday, May 6, 2016.

Dick Estell continued broadcasting into his 90th year, retiring from the airwaves in March of 2016.

WKAR has made available some stories celebrating Dick’s career:

Radio Reader Estell to Leave Airwaves After Storied Career
After 52 years, Radio Reader Dick Estell signs off

Memorial information will be shared at the Radio Reader website.

For those desiring, contributions may be made in Dick’s memory to the WKAR Radio Reading Service for sight-impaired, which he founded in 1973. You can contribute your Memorial Gift to Radio Reading Service here.

WGVU Presents Kids Day at the Air Zoo

On April 24, WGVU-AM-FM-TV (Grand Rapids) invited viewers and listeners to visit the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo for just $5 per person with tickets available through sponsor Flagstar Bank.

The Air Zoo is a favorite Kalamazoo area destination attraction…it has been voted the “Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners” and “Best Place to Spend a Day with Your Family” three years in a row. The Air Zoo features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, amusement park-style rides, Full-Motion Flight Simulators, RealD 3D/4D Missions Theater, as well as historical exhibits and educational activities.

See more about the Air Zoo here: