Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Garry Frank Leaving WXMI for Tribune Sister Station

WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids)(FOX 17) has announced that after 4 years, FOX 17 Meteorologist Garry Frank is moving on to Tribune sister station WDAF-TV (Kansas City, Missouri).

Frank is originally from the Kansas City area.  His last day on FOX 17 Morning News will be on Wednesday, March 13.

He achieved national fame last April when he launched an on-air rant about his fellow hosts for predicting less-than-welcome weather.  The clip was later seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

WWJ-AM Hosts 16th Annual THAW Radiothon

On February 8, Entercom’s WWJ-AM (Detroit) held its 16th Annual Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW, The Heat and Warmth Fund.  This year’s goal was to raise $1.5 million in emergency energy assistance funding.  And, that goal was achieved!

Aside from one-time contributions, the station also encouraged listeners to become a Winter Survival Radiothon Hero for Heat by making a pledge of $20 per month.

THAW assists families in need by preventing utility shut-off, providing fuel or restoring services. Over 92 cents of every single dollar raised by THAW goes directly to those in need, and THAW’s utility partners match every dollar that THAW raises so that $1 becomes $2 in energy assistance.

In addition to the Radiothon, an online auction was held for THAW through February 8.  Last year, THAW assisted nearly 18,000 Michigan families thanks in part to the WWJ Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW.

Conway & Hoffman To Be Inducted into Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame

Mary Conway

Former WXYZ-TV (Detroit) Reporter Mary Conway has received the honor of induction into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.  

Conway, who set the standard for automotive and business coverage throughout Michigan, spent nearly 30 years at WXYZ-TV following stops at WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) and WIFR-TV (Rockford, Illinois).

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be included in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame,” Conway said. “I am fortunate to be honored for doing a job that I loved. I can’t thank Channel 7 and its viewers enough! It was such a privilege to be part of the WXYZ team.”

Kathy Barks Hoffman

Also being inducted is Kathy Barks Hoffman, Vice President with PR firm Martin Waymire and the  former head of AP’s Lansing Bureau.  Hoffman also was a reporter for The Detroit News and Lansing State Journal.  She has also spent many years as a panelist on public television’s “Off the Record” public affairs program. Before joining Martin Waymire, Kathy was a director in the Public Affairs Practice of Lambert, Edwards and Associates in Lansing.

In a Twitter post, Hoffman said, “I’m so honored to have been accepted this year, and to be among so many other great journalists who will be inducted this year.”

West Michigan Whitecaps Announce New Flagship

Following a format change at its former flagship, Grand Rapids minor league baseball team The West Michigan Whitecaps has announced that the team is moving to a new radio home for its 2019 season:  the simulcast of WJRW-AM/Translator W291DJ (Grand Rapids) and WBBL-AM/Translator W256DM (Muskegon) (collectively “The Ticket”). Additional stations on the Whitecaps Baseball Network will be announced in this spring.  Dan Hasty and MIke Coleman will continue to call the games.

“It’s great to join The Ticket on their new stations, and it’s tremendous to be back with our friends at Cumulus,” said Hasty.  “We have a great partnership that’s been built on the many years we’ve worked together. We’re excited to welcome several new radio affiliates to the Whitecaps Baseball Network.”

WWCK Raises $45k for Children’s Miracle Network

WWCK’s Mike & Stephanie

Cumulus Media’s WWCK-FM (Flint) (CK 105.5) raised $45,322 for Hurley Children’s Hospital in the 1st CK Cares for Kids Radiothon, held February 7-8, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day.

The radiothon is staffed by more than 115 community volunteers who donate their time to answer calls and and work a phone bank taking and soliciting donations. All gifts will stay local and go to Hurley Children’s Hospital.

While WWCK’s “Cares for Kids” Radiothon benefited pediatric services and the Child Life program at Hurley Children’s Hospital, sister station WFBE-FM (NASH FM 95.1) held the “Cure Kids Cancer” Radiothon to benefit the Pediatric Chemo Clinic’s Child Life program at Hurley Children’s Hospital.

Elkins Elected to America’s Public Television Stations Board

Susi Elkins

By: Julie Sochay, WKAR Public Media

Susi Elkins, director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, has been elected to the board of directors of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS). The announcement was made on February 7. Her three-year term begins Monday, February 25, 2019.

APTS is a nonprofit membership organization that works to ensure a strong and financially sound public television system and help member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people.

“It is an honor to be elected by my public television peers as a new trustee of the APTS board,” said Elkins. “I’m thrilled to serve an organization dedicated to helping member stations provide essential public services in communities across the country.”

Under Elkins’ leadership, WKAR has solidified its reputation as a community institution through strategic partnerships and collaborations, and significantly increased its commitment to early childhood education. University partnerships at Michigan State have increased the station’s capacity for providing award-winning research-based content, as well as experiential learning opportunities for students.

In collaboration with MSU, Elkins led the effort to launch the first ATSC 3.0 experimental station licensed to a public media organization. Granted the FCC experimental license in June 2018, the test station is designed to explore the potential of NextGen TV to build stronger communities through education, news and information, arts, science and culture. Prior to her appointment in March 2017, Elkins served in a variety of roles at the station, including Interim Director, Television Station Manager, Content and Community Engagement Manager, public television Producer and instructional television multi-media Producer.

Elkins holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication and a master’s degree in educational technology, both from MSU.

Elkins joins other newly-elected trustees: Carolyn Edwards, Lay Trustee, Vegas PBS in Las Vegas, Nevada; Franz Joachim, General Manager & CEO of New Mexico PBS; Garrett T. King, III, Board Chair of Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA); Vickie Lawson, President & CEO of East Tennessee PBS in Knoxville, Tennessee; and David Steward II, Board Chair of Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis, Missouri. Newly elected as an at-large trustee to the APTS board is Larry D. Unger, President & Chief Executive Officer of Maryland Public Television.

Visit apts.org for a full list of new board members and leaders.

WYCD Receives Three ACM Nominations

Entercom’s WYCD-FM (Detroit) has received three nominations from the Academy of Country Music for radio awards presented during the “54th Annual ACM Awards.”  The awards are set for Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas.

WYCD is up for Major Market Station of the Year as well as two nominations in the Major Market Personality of the Year category.  Morning drive hosts “Chuck, Rachael & Grunwald” as well as afternoon drive hosts Rob Stone and Holly Hutton were nominated.

Detroit’s WDZH Adds Kim Adams to Airstaff

Kim Adams

WDZH-FM (Detroit) has named Kim Adams as new midday host effective immediately.  Adams has over 20 years of on-air TV experience as a meteorologist for WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV (Detroit) as well as WBNS-TV (Columbus, Ohio).

“Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces,” Entercom/Detroit SVP/Market Manager Debbie Kenyon said.  “We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to host the midday show on 987 The Breeze and excited to transition from television to radio,” said Adams. “Radio enables live dialogue between hosts and listeners and I’m looking forward to connecting with the Motor City every weekday.”

Free Jacobs Media Webinar: What Happened at CES 2019?

Jacobs Media Strategies and INSIDERADIO are offering a free webinar for all broadcasters on Thursday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

Every year the company travels to Las Vegas for CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show, to see what new technological trends will impact the radio industry.

The free webinar will share the new trends on display at CES 2019, including:

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Voice command devices
  • Smart cities
  • Robots and AI
  • 5G
  • and more

Register here.

FCC Sets Up Re-Scan Help Desk for Consumers Dealing With TV Repacking

This past Monday (2/4), the FCC announced that it is setting up a consumer help desk, where operators will be standing by to answer questions about rescanning the TV spectrum to find TV stations that have changed channels due to the repacking of the TV band. Many TV stations will be changing channels due to the repacking of the TV band following the broadcast incentive auction which shrunk the number of channels dedicated to TV broadcasting as part of the TV band was repurposed for wireless communications uses.  As the TV stations that were forced to change channels by the repacking make those changes, consumers receiving their TV signals over the air will need to “rescan” the TV band to make sure that their sets find all the local stations on their new channels.

Viewers may reach the call center toll-free by dialing 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and pressing “6” to speak to a help desk representative. The call center is staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern time, seven days a week, to enable consumers throughout the country to obtain assistance during evening and weekend hours.