Category Archives: MAPB

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:

Nominations Needed for 2016 Public Media Impact Awards

Last year's winners with (on far right) Eric Smith, MAPB Board President : (L-R) Robert Barclay Volunteer CMU Public Broadcasting Network (Mt Pleasant), Barry Baker Former General Manager, Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting (University Center)
Last year’s winners with Eric Smith (on right), MAPB Board President. Robert Barclay (on left), Volunteer, CMU Public Broadcasting Network, (Mt Pleasant), and Barry Baker (center), Former General Manager, Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting (University Center).

This year marks the 31st year of honoring Michigan’s public broadcasters. Two awards will be presented – one award for Donors and one award for Professionals – for their contribution to public broadcasting in Michigan. This award will be presented at the Annual Awards Banquet as part of the Advocacy Conference & Annual Meeting of MAB on August 31 at The Inn at St. John’s which is attended by owners and operators of broadcast stations, lawmakers and other dignitaries.

Purpose
• To recognize outstanding individuals or foundations involved in public broadcasting for their innovativeness and creativity.
• To inspire others involved in public broadcasting to greater achievement in the field of public radio and television.
• To increase awareness of public broadcasting and the contributions talented individuals make to the industry statewide.

Eligibility
Donors and Professionals involved in Michigan public radio or television are eligible for nomination. Nominations can be made by colleagues, supervisors, and/or station managers. Activities for which the person is nominated may be long-term, to recognize lifetime contributions to public broadcasting, or more recent, to reflect a concentrated period of achievement.

Nomination Process
Deadline for nominations and supporting material (i.e. letters of support, photos, and videos) is Wednesday, June 8, 2016.  Download the nomination form and complete information here or contact Ann Walters at the MAB: walters@michmab.com.

Awards
There will be up to two awards given — one Professional (including volunteers working in public broadcasting) and one Donor (individuals or foundations). The recipients will be recognized at the 2016 MAB Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

Gordon Bolar to Retire

Bolar_400It has been announced that Gordon Bolar, General Manager of WMUK-FM (Kalamazoo) (Western Michigan University), will retire on June 30, 2016.  A search is currently underway for a new General Manager for the station.

Bolar has served as WMUK’s General Manager for the past five and a half years. Prior to that he was the station’s Development Director for five years. He has more than 21 years of experience in public radio and public television, and served as Development Director for KAKM and KSKA in Anchorage, Alaska and for WGVU TV and Radio in Grand Rapids.