Category Archives: March 2016

Former Michigan Speaker of the House Curtis Hertel Sr. Dies

CurtisHertelSR_300Former Michigan Democratic Speaker of the House Curtis Hertel Sr. passed away Sunday, March 27 at age 63.

Hertel Sr. was first elected to the Michigan House in 1980 and served his Detroit district until 1998.  In 1993 and 1994, he was co-speaker with Republican Paul Hillegonds and sole speaker in 1997 and 1998.

Hertel comes from a family of lawmakers.  Two brothers also served in the State House, Senate or U.S. House.  His son is current state Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-23rd).

Funeral arrangements are pending.  Hertel is survived by his wife, Vicki, four children and five grandchildren.

Associate Member Highlight: Radio Music License Committee (RMLC)

RMLC-Logo-RThe Radio Music License Committee (“RMLC”) represents the interests of the commercial radio industry (some 10,000 commercial radio stations) on music licensing matters. It is structured as a 501(c)(6) non-profit Tennessee corporation based in Nashville. Its Directors, who volunteer to serve without compensation, reflect a diverse group of station owners and management. The RMLC’s staff consists of Executive Director William Velez, and  Staff Accountant/Data Manager, Rebekah Smith.

The objective of the RMLC is to achieve fair and reasonable license fees with the music licensing organizations (such as ASCAP and BMI) on behalf of radio stations. The RMLC is dedicated to negotiating licenses that reflect the realities of the current and changing state of the radio business.

In 2016, the RMLC heads into a year that will feature a binding rate arbitration with SESAC and license fee renewal negotiations with ASCAP and BMI on behalf of the radio industry.

Bill_Velez_350A fun fact about RMLC’s Bill Velez (pictured left):

“I owe my job at the RMLC to Michigan’s own – Ed Christian (Saga Communications). My first job out of college (1972) entailed licensing radio stations at ASCAP. Ed was one of my radio accounts and I did a favor for him at the time.  I had no idea when I approached the RMLC for a job in 2007 that Ed was now the Chairman of the RMLC. Like they say, what goes around, comes around!”

Some of the RMLC’s license negotiation goals include:

  • Implementation of licenses that fairly and accurately reflect station/industry economic performance, with the least amount of administrative intrusion;
  • Program period and/or blanket license “carve-out” alternatives that offer the potential for further fee discounting based upon a station’s ability to make strategic music programming choices and/or license music directly from copyright owners;
  • Negotiation of licenses that provide the broadest scope of rights possible with respect to new media applications (e.g., streaming, HD multicasting, mobile, and other “through-to-the-listener” applications); and continuation of the existing, court-mandated RMLC funding mechanism.

In terms of overall industry outreach, the RMLC:

  • Provides information concerning industry license negotiations via staff participation at industry conferences such as the MFM/BCCA, NAB venues, and various state association events;
  • Solicits appropriate feedback from all interested parties within the industry relative to music licensing issues;
  • Raises funds from the industry in the amounts required to conduct effective negotiations and/or court litigations;
  • Conducts research concerning the use and value of music to the radio industry;
  • Evaluates legislative action required to remedy music licensing inequities;
  • Identifies appropriate strategies to minimize the impact of other music licensing cartels; and
  • Responds to the needs of members who seek advice and counsel on various music licensing matters.

For more information on RLMC, visit their website here.

Sign Up Today! GLBC Career Fair

View More: http://benjamindavidphotography.pass.us/mab2015Register today to showcase your station or school program at the MABF’s premiere, most-attended annual Career Fair. The Career Fair will be held on Tuesday, May 3 in conjunction with the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Lansing. Stations may receive EEO credits for participating and promoting the event. Attendees will be recent graduates and ready to start their careers.  Booths are filling up quickly! Click here for more info and to register online.

Students! Want to attend this career fair? Register for GLBC as either a student, or for a free exhibit hall pass.  Both will get you into the fair. Find out more here.

PBS’ Alice Ferris Joins WGVU’s Membership Drive

WGVU-032816
(L-R) Jim Vander Maas, WGVU Producer/Director; Jim Anderson, Goal Busters, LLC; Alice Ferris, PBS and Goal Busters, LLC; and Michael T. Walenta, WGVU General Manager.

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.

Jake Neher Joins WDET-FM (Detroit)

JakeNeher_400Michigan 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.

 

Former Piston Joins WMGC-FM/Sports 105.1 (Detroit)

WMGClogoFormer Detroit Piston Lindsey Hunter has teamed up with WMGC-FM Program Director Dave Shore to launch a new afternoon drive show on the Greater Media sports station.

As a player from 1993-2010, Hunter appeared in 937 regular-season games, playing for the Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors,  and the Chicago Bulls.  Following his retirement in 2010, Hunter worked with the Bulls as a Player Development Assistant and later became interim Head Coach for the Phoenix Suns and Assistant Coach for the Golden State Warriors.

Dave Shore joined WMGC in March, 2015 as Program Director. Prior to that, he was on-air and Operations Manager of ESPN Radio’s KSPN-AM in Los Angeles.  Dave has also been heard nationally on ESPN Radio, called play-by-play for Texas Tech, was a pregame and sideline reporter for seven seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and lead reporter covering the Dallas Cowboys.  He earlier worked in radio and TV news.

Detroit Personality Jay Towers Has Cameo In New ‘Batman v. Superman’ Film

JayTowers2All Access reports that Jay Towers, co-anchor of  WJBK-TV’s “Fox 2 Morning News,” and morning show host at WNIC-FM “had a childhood wish come true” with a cameo in the brand-new “Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice” movie.  In the film, Jay plays a TV reporter for the fictional “News 8.”

The publication notes that Jay is a lifelong Superman fan with an office filled with “Man of Steel” memorabilia and Jay notes that his appearance was the payoff “for all the teasing I’ve received over the years from family and friends” for his obsession.

The Detroit News reports that Jay was even asked for his input from the film’s director: “He asked, ‘If you were covering this story, is this the way you’d do it on TV?’ “

Free Workshop for Journalists: “Beyond Flint – Reporting the Unreported Water Stories in Your Communities”

On Saturday, April 16, the MSU Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and Water Science Network will present a free workshop for journalists, both staff and freelance, to assist them in reporting water-related stories.

Presenters include Curt Guyette, ACLU journalist who broke the Flint story; Rebecca Fedewa, Flint River Watershed Coalition; Joan Rose, MSU Center for Water Sciences; Janice Beecher, MSU Public Utilities Insitute; and James Clift, Michigan Environmental Council.

The workshop will be held at the Lansing Board of Water & Light’s John F. Dye Water Plant, 148 S. Cedar in Lansing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Enrollment is limited and lunch is free.  Registration deadline is April 11.  Register by email to mille384@msu.edu.

For questions, contact Barb Miller at (517) 432-1415 or at the email address above.

Dick Fabian, Longtime Flint-Saginaw Radio/TV Personality, Passes at 81

DICK_FABIAN_300Former WNEM-TV (Saginaw) news broadcaster and WKNX-AM (Saginaw) disc jockey Dick Fabian passed away Saturday, March 26.  He was 81 years old.

In a website news post, WNEM-TV notes that Fabian’s Mid-Michigan career began back in 1962 as a disc-jockey for WKNX Radio.  He came there looking for a station that was completely committed to a rock and roll format.  While working at WKNX, Fabian brought new ideas to the station including a weekly battle of the bands segment.  This, combined with the decision to focus on the British invasion music that was sweeping the country, lead to WKNX being the number one station in Mid-Michigan in the 1960s.

Fabian joined WEYI-TV in 1974 as News Director and Anchor.  In 1980, Fabian moved to WNEM-TV and spent 20 years at the station.  He originally started out on a program called PM Magazine, which ran for seven years and later became the host of Take Five, a very successful program that combined local news with a talk show format.

He is survived by his wife Gail, a brother and sister, and his children and grandchildren.

Visitation is scheduled for March 29 from 1 to 8 p.m. and March 30 from 10 to 11 a.m. at SS Francis and Clare Parish in Birch Run.  A private burial is set for a later date.

Senators Criticize Wheeler Over Unwinding Joint Sales Agreements

According to a report by Broadcasting & Cable, senators from both parties sent a letter to the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler expressing their concern with the FCC’s unwinding of grandfathered Joint Sales Agreements (JSAs) as part of license transfers.

The senators, including Democrats Chuck Schumer (NY) and Barbara Mikulski (MD) and Republican Cory Gardner (CO), said they want the FCC to reverse that policy and want an answer by April 1. According to a copy of a letter to Wheeler, dated March 11, and sent by a dozen senators, they want the FCC to “(1) eliminate any conditions imposed on previously approved license transfers that require the termination of JSAs in existence before March 31, 2014; and (2) respect the statutory grandfather of JSAs when evaluating any assignments and license transfers in the future.”

The FCC said that while the agency was grandfathering JSAs, they would not allow any grandfather status to continue in the event of license transfers.  The senators argue that requiring such JSAs to be unwound violates the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, the bill that included a 10-year extension of the FCC’s grandfathering of stations the FCC concluded, as of March 31, 2014, would otherwise be attributable as ownership interests. They said the FCC was undermining Congress’ clear intent in grandfathering the JSAs.