All posts by MAB Staff

Connect the Dots with Seth Resler at the #MABshow

Seth Resler

Jacob’s Media’s Seth Resler is coming to the 2018 Great Lakes Media Show to show you how to connect all of your station’s digital tools.

The Great Lakes Media Show, formerly the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC) will take place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Register to attend by February 23 to take advantage of discounted rates.

Resler is the Digital Dot Connector at Jacobs Media . His expertise connects the dots among blogs and podcasts to websites and social media, into one overarching strategy that connects to the bottom line.

He will present Comprehensive Digital Strategy: How to Connect Everything from Google Analytics to Social Media.

Learn more about him and other dynamic speakers lined up for the event at 

Matt Burgoyne Will Bring ‘Magical’ Perspective to #MABshow

Matt Burgoyne

Rumple Co-founder and “Defender of Simplicity” Matt Burgoyne will bring his “magical” touch to the  2018 Great Lakes Media Show.

The Great Lakes Media Show, formerly the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC) will take place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Register to attend by February 23 to take advantage of discounted rates.

Burgoyne has a passion for training sales managers to know and understand how to get more out of their team and individuals, how to inspire, lead and coach.  He understands that media sales attracts a unique group of people. Managing and succeeding in this industry takes a relentless, mind-numbing commitment to fundamentals and a few magical activities that create success.

He will present 2 Weekly Meetings & 3 Magical Questions and proclaims, “There is a magical formula to helping your team and salespeople achieve more. It can help you consistently hit goals and revenue budgets.”

This breakout session will offer specific and real instruction on how to move from attempting to manage the past and focus on coaching for the future,  giving the blue print for successful weekly meetings that create consistent and proven success.

Learn more about him and other dynamic speakers lined up for the event at 

WZZM-TV Women Share the Criticism They Get About Their Looks

This week, Tegna’s WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) is focusing on a key issue affecting women and young girls in America — body image. This series is called “Seeing You.”

Women are often judged for their looks, and for those in the public eye, this scrutiny can be even harsher. Some of the women from WZZM talked about the criticism they face on a daily basis from viewers.

“They wrote in to tell me that I should smile less,” said Meredith Terhaar (Weekend News Anchor and Multimedia Journalist). “That was hurtful to me because my smile is one of my favorite things about myself. It’s something that we present to each other, and I see a smile as something warm and welcoming and kind.”

Kamady Rudd (Journalist/Reporter) described one comment she got from a viewer. “I dressed inappropriate, he said he knows how I got that job and just insinuated all these really terrible things,” she said. “It had nothing to do with my work. My dress was not too tight, it was not too short, it was not inappropriate at all. But I immediately was ashamed.”

“She went on for a while paragraph saying that she hated my eyelashes,” said Val Lego (Health Reporter/Weekend Anchor). “And that I didn’t learn how to put mascara on, and she was going to stop watching.”

Val, Kamady and Meredith also shared their hopes for how these kind of criticisms should stop.

“I was raised with the rule: if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all,” said Meredith. “I think our world would be a better place if people took that to heart.”

“What I do wish is that it was more important what I said than what I looked like,” said Val.

“Don’t be like ‘I’m sorry you feel that way,'” said Kamady. “Because I’m not sorry you feel that way. That’s one of the biggest things I think goes right along with that whole body image thing where it’s like trying to please someone else, instead of making sure you’re taken care of first.”

WZZM has partnered with Grand Rapids Christian Radio station WCSG as part of the Seeing You project.

Sinclair to Move WWMT-TV and WXMI-TV to Trust

The proposed combination of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media has taken another step.  On February 21, applications were filed with the FCC indicating the divestiture of up to 23 broadcast television properties by Sinclair.

In Michigan, applications for the divestiture were filed for both WWMT-TV (Kalamazoo) and WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids).  WWMT has been owned by Sinclair since 2012.  WXMI-TV is currently owned by Tribune.

According to an article in Broadcasting & Cable,  Sinclair also plans to divest of Tribune’s WGN-TV, Chicago, WPIX-TV New York and KSWB-TV San Diego to come under the FCC’s 39% ownership cap.

However, Variety reports that  Sinclair intends to remain close to the stations through a shared services agreement.

The stations have been designated for placement in what will be called the Sinclair Divestiture Trust, and the trustee is RAFAMEDIA LLC, led by veteran media broker Richard A. Foreman.

St. Clair Community College Files to Transfer WSGR-FM

As reported by the MAB last December, WSGR-FM, St. Clair County Community College’s student radio station for 43 years, will become a part of the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA). The college took the station off the air in December, citing rising costs and declining student interest.

An assignment application for the process was filed on February 20 with the FCC.  According to an exhibit in the application, there is no purchase agreement nor will there be an exchange of funds.

In a December Facebook post, Kevin Miller, RESA superintendent and a former radio broadcaster, is excited about the possibilities. “We wanted to keep the license active, because once it goes back to the FCC, it isn’t coming back,” he said.

Dr. Deborah Snyder, president of the community college, said the college is happy the radio station is getting a chance at a new life. “WSGR has been a part of SC4 and the community for a long time,” she said. “We are pleased RESA is able to continue that history to the benefit of a new generation of students.”

Miller said RESA will assess the future of the station over the next few months. He said everything is on the table, including its programming, staffing and equipment needs. “At this point we want to do our due diligence about how to put together a station that adds value to our students’ digital media experience and also fills a public need,” Miller said.

WSGR’s call letters stood for “Student Government Radio” when it debuted on campus in the 1970s. It most recently broadcast music of many styles.

Miller said the radio station will be set up in a studio used by Digital Media students at the Technical Education Center on the RESA campus.

Miller couldn’t put a timeline on when the station will resume broadcasting. “The school year is already half over,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’d certainly like to have the station on the air for our students in the fall.”


Longtime Detroit media personality Cliff Russell dies at 61

Detroit radio host and community activist Cliff Russell has died at the age of 61.

Russell had worked in the Detroit media for more than 35 years in several roles including news reporter, anchor, talk-show host, columnist, political analyst and more. Russell worked at WWJ in the mid-1980s until 1994 when he was appointed press secretary by former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer.  For several years, Cliff Russell hosted “American Black Journal” on Detroit Public Television.

He has won several state, local and national awards during his time on Detroit radio and TV.

Since 2016, Russell had been the voice of the Detroit Mercy men’s basketball team and hosted his self-titled show on WFDF-AM Radio.

A graduate of Wayne State University, he also was a lecturer there, had worked as a columnist for the Detroit Free Press and was the first African-American Senior Director of Communications in Major League Baseball when he started in the role in 2002.

Russell is survived by his wife Charisa, six children, two stepsons, seven grandchildren and three brothers.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

WKAR Takes Home National Awards

Via Imani Farmer, WKAR.ORG:

(l-r) Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education; Susi Elkins, WKAR director of broadcasting and general manager; and Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager all honored to accept two awards at the 2017 NETA conference on January 23.  Photo credit: WKAR.

WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University received  two awards at the 2018 National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) Conference on January 23 in Washington, DC.

The honors included a promotion award for the special event WKAR Family Launch Open House and a production award for the performance of BackStage Pass: Toronzo Cannon.

The 2017 NETA awards were presented to 30 projects from 20 public television stations at the annual NETA Conference in Washington, DC. The competition honors member stations’ finest work in community engagement, promotion, instructional media, and content production.

“It was an honor representing our amazing WKAR team at the NETA awards ceremony,” said Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager. “The opportunity for the station to be highlighted in this way, and in front of so many stations and organizations from around the country, is important as we continue to grow our reach.”

The promotion award for WKAR Family Launch Open House is a testament to all the hard work and effort of WKAR Family. An initiative which brings together the resources of PBS KIDS and Michigan State University to provide free programming, technology and learning tools to kids, as well as dedicate resources to researching early childhood development.

“Receiving an award for our PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel and WKAR Family launch event is especially important as it brings awareness to the growing educational needs within our local community and beyond,” said Sochay.

The production award won for BackStage Pass: Toronzo Cannon performance helps bridge WKAR’s own original showcase with bluesman Cannon to provide outstanding and award winning entertainment.

“We filmed it at Blues Fest in Old Town, Lansing,” said Nicole Zaremba, BackStage Pass producer. “Cannon was amazing, a Chicago staple as Blues goes. It was an honor to host him on the show and highlight his musicianship and learn about his inspiration towards and behind his music.”

In this award winning BackStage Pass video, contemporary bluesman Toronzo Cannon from Chicago performs the title track from his album, “John the Conquer Root,” “Ti Ni Nee Ni Nu,” and more.

You can watch Toronzo Cannon’s performance and other BackStage Pass episodes at In addition, families and parents can enjoy more WKAR Family segments at

WKAR was very pleased to receive both awards at the 2017 NETA Conference and looks forward to continue providing award winning content.

WYTZ Raises Big Money for St. Jude

(l-r) WYTZ’s Lindsay Kay Zvonar and Paul Layendecker, on-air during the Radiothon.

On February 15 and 16, Midwest Family Broadcasting’s WYTZ-FM (Benton Harbor) held its 12th annual 97.5 Y Country “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Country Cares Radiothon,” and so far, with additional post-event donations, it’s raised at least $38,000.

For 12 years, Y Country staff have held the fundraiser, asking people to donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Morning host Matt Malone told sister-station WSJM that this was an excellent year.

“The outpouring of support was absolutely incredible,” Malone said. “The fact that we had all of our Y Country family show up was amazing.”

Malone says hearing the stories of cancer survivors is always emotional for each host on the radio-thon. He proved his dedication to the charity on Monday by getting a St. Jude tattoo. That was in response to a bet he made with listeners this year, saying he’d get inked for St. Jude if the Radiothon raised at least $10,000 on its first day.



Radio Industry Pushes for FM Chips Activation

NAB’s SmartBrief is reporting radio industry leaders and government agencies are putting the pressure on Apple to activate FM chips in its IPhones to provide critical information to the consumers during emergencies.  “Apple portrays itself as cutting edge and consumer friendly, we think it just makes good business sense to have a public service ethic that allows people to access local radio stations,” says National Association of Broadcasters Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton.

The latest push on Apple follows a decision in January by Samsung to unlock the FM chip on their devices. Samsung joined LG, Motorola and Alcatel, companies that have already allowed their users access to FM radio through the NextRadio app. The app uses a phone’s FM chip to access local radio stations.

University Free Speech Amendment Clears House Committee

Last week, Michigan House Oversight Committee voted out a constitutional amendment that would give the Legislature the power to overrule university and community college regulations on “protection of free speech, expression and assembly rights.”

House Joint Resolution P was sent to the full House on a 4-2 vote, with two Democrats opposing the resolution. State Representative Jim Runestad (R-44), who sponsored the resolution, proposed a substitute that would have also allowed the Legislature to step in if there is public health and safety issues on campus, but withdrew it soon afterwards. The joint resolution needs two-thirds of the House vote, or 73 representatives, to pass the chamber. HJR P would also need a two-thirds vote in the Senate to get on the November 2018 ballot.