Category Archives: April 2018

Two Televised GOP Gubernatorial Debates Announced

Republicans running for Michigan governor will participate in two televised debates before the August primary election.

The debates were confirmed April 20 by the state Republican Party.

WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) will host the first debate with political reporter Rick Albin as moderator on May 9 in Grand Rapids. WDIV-TV (Detroit) will host the second debate on June 28.

All four viable candidates will participate: Attorney General Bill Schuette, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, state Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines.

WOOD-TV has announced also that it is currently in negotiations to host a Democratic gubernatorial debate.

The Detroit Regional Chamber is planning a joint debate for candidates from both parties to be held at the group’s annual policy conference on Mackinac Island in late May.

Radio One Detroit Announces Changes

Radio One has announced programming changes for its Detroit properties.  The syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show is being moved from translator W260CB (Soul 99.9) to its WDMK-FM.

Current WDMK morning co-host John Mason will shift to middays on the station.  Morning show cast member Angie Star will serve as local anchor for Joyner.

Sister station WGPR-FM has  dismantled The Morning Heat team.  Big Greg will continue in mornings as a solo.

WXMI-TV’s Garry Frank Goes Viral in Weather Rant

As many of us know in Michigan, spring hasn’t been the greatest so far in Michigan and one on-air meteorologist has been hearing about it.  Gary Frank, Meteorologist with WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids) had enough.

In a video clip posted online by WXMI, Anchor Mike Avery, Anchor Deanna Falzone, and Traffic Reporter Robb Westaby look to Frank, who seemed filled with dread about the complaints he forecast to rain upon him.  Watch Frank’s rant from April 10 here:

Frank’s rant has gone viral with over 2. 3 million views (so far) on YouTube!

Brooke Allen Joins Greg Bowman for Afternoons on WWJ-AM

(L-R) WWJ-AM afternoon hosts Greg Bowman and Brooke Allen.

As reported here on March 16, former WKAR-FM (East Lansing) Morning Edition host Brooke Allen has returned to WWJ-AM (Detroit).  It has now been announced that Allen has been named co-host of the station’s afternoon drive, beginning this past Monday (4/23). Allen joins current host Greg Bowman on-air weekdays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“We are excited to welcome Brooke back to WWJ,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Detroit. “In addition to being an award-winning journalist, Brooke is devoted to our local community. Her passion for the news and connection to the people of the metro Detroit area will be evident each and every day.”

“Coming back to WWJ feels like coming home,” said Allen. “I am so honored to be working alongside Greg Bowman and the entire WWJ Newsroom. I look forward to keeping the people of metro Detroit informed with all of the top local and national news.”

FCC Extends LPTV/TV Translator Displacement Filing Deadline

According to David Oxenford’s Broadcast Law Blog, the FCC has released a Public Notice announcing an extension in the application filing deadline in the window for LPTV stations and TV translators that are displaced by the TV repacking following the incentive auction.

In this window, displaced stations can file applications for new channels or new facilities that remove their conflicts with repacked stations or which move the LPTV or TV translator into the spectrum that will continue to be devoted to TV broadcasting after TV channels above 37 are repurposed for wireless uses. The new deadline for displacement applications for these LPTV and TV translator stations is now June 1.

The FCC Publishes Compliance Guide for BLUE Alerts

The FCC published a Small Entity Compliance Guide for BLUE alerts available here. “The use of the BLU event code is voluntary and EAS and EAS Participants may update their software to add the BLU event code on a voluntary basis. Such software updates may be bundled with other routine software updates to minimize burden and expense,” according to the guide.

Statewide Tornado Drill Successful

The MAB would like to thank broadcasters for participating in this year’s statewide tornado drill on April 11.  This was performed as part of Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week and coordinated by the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, the MAB, the National Weather Service and local emergency managers throughout the state.

While participation by government agencies, municipalities, schools and workplaces is still being gathered, broadcaster participation was nearly 100%, simply because the on-air “drill” was a RMT (Required Monthly Test), a routine event for most broadcasters.  Additional language was put in the test to acknowledge Severe Weather Awareness Week.

The only problems reported thus far to the MAB were some issues at individual stations, either with audio level issues or configuration issues of local EAS boxes.  The attention with this test was an excellent opportunity for stations to check their equipment for proper operation.

If there were problems in your area that you’d like the MAB to know about, please email Dan Kelley: [email protected].

jācapps COO Bob Kernen Named “Most Valuable Professional” by Corp! Magazine

Bob Kernen

jācapps COO Bob Kernen has been named a  “Most Valuable Professional” by Corp! Magazine.

The Corp! MVP awards celebrates individuals that make business happen in Michigan and serve their community. These individuals also demonstrate strong leadership skills in growing and managing a successful business, becoming industry experts, and delivering lucrative business results.

Bob is a seasoned entrepreneur and startup specialist but has also worked closely with major brands including Ford, A&E Television, Microsoft, and Hearst. Throughout these experiences Bob’s focus has been on new product development around emerging platforms with an emphasis on user experience and monetization.

At jācapps Bob oversees strategy and operations for the company that has produced over 1100 apps, which have been downloaded over 22 million times. jācapps is a premier app developer in the radio space, the mobile solutions provider for hundreds of innovative organizations, and a house developer for Ford.

On April 19th in Detroit Corp! awarded XX professionals, entrepreneurs, and millennials for their pivoting work in our community. Bob was present along with some great industry leaders from many segments. Not only is Bob a Corp! MVP but he’s also an Emmy Award-winning writer and published author. “This is a really nice honor. jācapps has been recognized by Corp! magazine before, and the whole team really deserves this one as well. I’m just one ‘professional’ on an outstanding team who demonstrates every day that when it comes to innovation and technology, Detroit is truly world class.”

Are We Doing A Good Enough Job Promoting Our Apps?

Gary Berkowitz

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

I am having some work done on my house. The other day one of the carpenters walked into my office and said, “I hear you’re a big shot radio guy.” I replied that I was not a big shot, but I was in radio. He is 35 years old and is clearly a music fan. He also likes radio. Here’s how the conversation went. I will refer to him as “John.”

John: I love music, but these days, I get everything I need off my phone. Straight music and no commercials. But I do like listening to the radio too, but I don’t have a radio. I’ve got to think that between phones and the Internet, radio must be hurting.

Me: Well those things (Internet, satellite) have definitely created more choices, but…have you tried downloading radio station apps on your phone?

John: What? (key reaction)

Me: Yes, many of the radio stations have apps and you can download them for free. Then you can listen to any radio station on your phone.

John: Wow. I did not know that. Can you show me how to do that?

Me: Sure.

We then went to the App Store and put in one of his favorite stations here in Detroit. And like magic…it downloaded!

John: Wow, this is great. Can I do this for all the stations?

Me: Yes.

John: Wow. This is great, and it’s free too!

So what does this brief but telling conversation mean? Here’s what I get out of it. As an industry, we have not done a good job in letting our listeners know that these apps are available. We have not communicated that “if you’ve got a phone, you’ve got a radio.” Now John can easily listen to his favorite radio station. I never thought that as an industry we did a good job promoting what HD radio was. Apps are different as, unlike HD, everyone has a phone and we have a world of listeners out there…as long as they know how easy it is to listen to us.

As for John, when he came back the next day to finish his work, guess what? I heard THE RADIO in the background, loud and clear (on his phone)! If you have an app, let’s ramp up the promotion of it. I’m not sure listeners are hearing it or getting the message.

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations.

Steve Boyle Named New Morning Show Host on 95.9 The Power Cow

Steve Boyle

Jackson Radio Works has announced an update to the on-air lineup on Jackson’s country music station, 95.9 The Power Cow (WIBM).
Current morning show host and longtime pillar of Jackson Radio Works Jamie McKibbin will make way for Steve Boyle, nicknamed “Captain Steve” who will host Country & Coffee weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on 95.9 FM and streaming online at starting Monday, April 30th. Boyle will be moving up from his current midday shift on the Power Cow.

McKibbin remains General Manager of Jackson Radio Works and midday show host on K-105.3 FM, Jackson Radio Works’ Hot AC station. Boyle is a Specs Howard import and has been with the radio stations for many years. He is the Program Director for NewsTalk 970am/101.5fm (WKHM-AM), 95.9 The Power Cow (WIBM) and ESPN 101.9 FM (WKHM-HD2), and also hosts the popular local talk show Talkback Jackson on NewsTalk from 10am-Noon weekdays.