Tag Archives: Issue 56

WDIV-TV Receives NABEF Service to America Award

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) has announced that Graham Media Group’s WDIV-TV (Detroit) is the recipient of its 2017 Service to America Television Award.  This award recognizes a television station for the totality of its efforts and its commitment to excellence in serving its community.

In a press release, the NABEF writes “Through news coverage, philanthropy and community service, WDIV puts the needs of viewers first. When the city of Flint found itself in crisis, WDIV hosted a telethon, raising more than $1.13 million. WDIV also provided extensive coverage of the Flint water crisis, airing a primetime special and traveling to Washington, D.C., to cover developments on Capitol Hill. To address the opioid epidemic, WDIV ran numerous PSAs and provided significant news coverage to keep the conversation on drug addiction front and center. With Detroit having the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the U.S., WDIV created the “Arab in America” news series, which showed viewers personal stories of Arab Americans in their local community. In partnership with Bookstock, WDIV raised over $1.4 million for literacy and education programs in its community. The station’s commitment to education continued with its renovations of a school in the Detroit Public School Community District. This is just a small sampling of the work WDIV does to serve the local community.”

There were a total of six winners, in various categories, announced for the 2017 Service to America Awards.  Winners will be honored at the Celebration of Service to America dinner, June 20 in Washington.  For a complete list of winners and finalists, click here.

Michigan Spectrum Auction Summary

Last week, the FCC announced the results of its broadcast incentive auction and it appears that three Michigan television stations were successful bidders in the reverse auction.

As previously announced, both WCMZ-TV (Flint) and WHTV-TV (Jackson-Lansing) accepted bids to relinquish their spectrum.

WCMZ-TV, owned by Central Michigan University, has not yet announced a date in which they will discontinue operations.  The university received $14 million from the auction for the WCMZ spectrum.

WHTV-TV, owned by Spartan-TV, LLC announced via their website that they will be signing-off at midnight on April 30, 2017.  Spartan-TV sold their spectrum for just under $14 million.

The third Michigan station accepting an auction bid was WLNS-TV (Lansing), owned by Nexstar Media Group.  While the existing WLNS spectrum was sold for $13.6 million, the company has told the MAB that it will be entering a channel-sharing arrangement with WLAJ-TV (Lansing).  WLNS will retain its license, call letters, virtual channel assignment (6.1) and present programming.

On the mind of many Michigan television broadcasters is channel reassignments under the television band repack.  Out of 60 affected full-power and class A television stations in the state, 32 will be changing channels.  A complete list of stations and their new channel assignments, sorted by state and city is available here.

According to the CommLawBlog, LPTV stations also will be impacted by the channel reassignment and will need to prepare for displacements starting this fall.   Eric Wolita, who operates LPTV station WMNN-LD (Cadillac) told the MAB that he is “cautiously optimistic” that his station will be able to avoid displacement or otherwise suffer any significant impact as a result of the repack.

Wolita recently wrote an article on the spectrum auction and its impact on LPTV stations in TV Technology.  Read here.

FCC Releases Post-Auction Relocation List

According to a report from TVNewsCheck, the FCC has released details on the incentive auction results. Over $10 billion will be awarded to 175 winning broadcasters that elected to participate in the incentive auction. According to the FCC, 957 stations that did not participate in the auction will have to change channels.

The first set of stations to repack is scheduled for November 30, 2018. Stations are required to provide 30 days’ notice. The agency is offering information for over-the-air viewers on how to “rescan” their receivers to find new channels on their website here.

The auction raised $19.8 billion. Of that, over $10 billion will go to 175 winning broadcasters that elected to participate in the incentive auction. Of the winners, 30 stations will receive money for agreeing to move to a lower channel, 133 will relinquish their licenses and indicate their intent to remain on air through channel-sharing agreements with non-winning stations.

A full list of channel reassignments is available here. (Excel file download)

Full list of the winning stations is available here.

See the MAB NewsBriefs story on affected Michigan stations here.

State Senator Working on Bills to Block ISPs, Search Engines from Selling Info

Rick Jones
Sen. Rick Jones (R-24)

Senator Rick Jones (R-24) announced that he is working on legislation to protect the privacy of Michigan residents using the internet in light of the federal government’s recent actions to repeal internet privacy rules.  The rules would have required internet service providers to get consent before using or selling certain data for targeted advertising.

Jones requested two bills to be drafted that would: (1) block internet service providers from selling personal information without residents’ permission, and (2) stop search engines from doing the same. Data protected by the bills includes web browsing history, app usage history, geo location and financial and medical information. “In today’s digital economy, consumer information can be valuable and – if in the wrong hands – can be dangerous,” Jones said in a press release. “In the marketplace of information, each Michigan resident deserves the ability to have a say about what kind of data about them is being collected and sold. That is what my bills will do.”

Nominations Due April 28 for Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards!

Friday, April 28 is the deadline for nominations for the annual Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards.  The awards will be presented during the Awards Banquet at the MAB Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting, Tuesday, August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville.

Click here for more information on the qualifications and to fill out the form to nominate someone.

Check out the previous award recipients here.