Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

WWTV/WWUP-TV Holds 2nd Annual Family Field Day

On August 2, Heritage Broadcasting’s WWTV/WWUP (Cadillac) held its second annual Family Fun Day outside its studios.

The event featured sword swallowing, balloon animals, potato sack races, hopscotch and more!  Anchors Michelle Dunaway and Charlie Tinker took part in the activities too, throwing Frisbees and racing in potato sacks.

The event was presented as part of Cadillac Mayor Carla Filkins’ Fit City Challenge, which runs through September 18.

WJMN-TV Hosts Golf Scramble Event for Client Appreciation

On August 2, Nexstar Broadcasting’s WJMN-TV (Marquette) held the first ever Local 3 Golf Scramble event at the Marquette Golf Club.

It was an event to showcase appreciation for many of those who advertise with us. Members of the Local 3 sales staff partnered up with some clients for a day on the green.

“We’ve got people from every sector,” said Beckie Turner, Sales Manager at WJMN-TV. “We’ve got folks from Northern Michigan University out here today, Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, Peninsula Federal Credit Union. So we’ve got people from a lot of different sectors in the business community.”

WXYZ-TV to Present Exclusive Dream Cruise Coverage

E. W. Scripps Company’s WXYZ-TV (Detroit) will broadcast exclusive coverage of the Woodward Dream Cruise (presented by Ford), on Saturday, August 18, from 7 – 9 p.m. Aside from over-the-air coverage, the program will also stream live on the station’s website, mobile app and Facebook page.

In addition, a one-hour version of the program will be syndicated to television stations across the country.  That will air nationwide in late August and early September and will reach approximately 80 percent of U.S. households.

WXYZ 7 Action News anchors Carolyn Clifford and Dave LewAllen will host the program from a street-side stage in Birmingham. Anchors Alicia Smith, Keenan Smith, Glenda Lewis and Brad Galli will provide coverage from cruising hot spots along Woodward Avenue, including legendary Mustang Alley in Ferndale. Station  Meteorologists Dave Rexroth and Kevin Jeanes will join the fun; Dave will cruise Woodward in a classic Ford and Kevin will introduce viewers to car collectors all along the route. The show will capture the country’s passion for cars as more than 30,000 vehicles and more than one million visitors pack a 9-mile stretch of historic Woodward Avenue to join in the celebration.

An encore broadcast of WXYZ’s Woodward Dream Cruise special will air on WXYZ Sunday, August 19, from 10 a.m. to noon.

WDET-FM Joins Partnership to turn Detroiters Into ‘Documenters’

Next week, public radio station WDET-FM (Detroit) launches a partnership with City Bureau and Citizen Detroit that will help turn residents into reporters.

On August 13, City Bureau, WDET, and Citizen Detroit will host a public newsroom workshop open to all Detroit residents.

This will be a free public event that will introduce a program called “Documenters” which will partner with Detroiters in documenting public meetings.

Candice Fortman,  WDET’s Marketing and Engagement Manager, explained how the program will provide citizens with the opportunity to contribute to local news coverage in areas where most newsrooms lack resources.

Fortman says, “It’s not citizen journalism but it is a chance to teach citizens some of the skills of journalism and then also send them out to public meetings to take notes from those meetings because you know as much as I do that newsrooms do not have the same resources that they once had.”

“Often times, public meetings that are happening are not being covered because they don’t have enough people to send out to those meetings,” explains Fortman.

“So for the next few months, we will be training folks to go to those meetings, and all of the meetings we’ll be sending people to will be education meetings so public school meetings, charter meetings and even some surrounding Detroit suburban community meetings to make sure that we understand what’s happening.”

Hear Fortman discuss the project with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson here.

David Bailey to Leave WZZM-TV for Real Estate

David Bailey

WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) Investigative Reporter, David Bailey, has announced that he is leaving the station to start his own real estate business. He’s joining Clarity Realty, based on the west side of Grand Rapids. He is also opening his own company called “Depth of Truth” to help home buyers and sellers understand and negotiate real estate deals. David currently has his real estate license, will soon have his private investigation license and also plans to use his FAA drone pilot license, which he earned at WZZM, to do video work for his company.

“I am very proud of the work we’ve done on the Watchdog unit over the last three years to change laws and hold our government accountable to protect taxpayers,” said Bailey. “We’ve won several great awards! I have enjoyed working with the folks here at WZZM. I wish everybody at the station nothing but the best.”

“David has been able to shine the spotlight on issues facing taxpayers and protect the vulnerable in his role as our Watchdog investigative reporter,” said Janet Mason,13 On Your Side President & General Manager. “David will bring the same investigative skills and passion to his next career. We wish him much success in the next chapter of his life.”

“It’s all about trust, honesty, transparency, and authenticity,” Bailey said. “I’ve seen the dark side of the local real estate market firsthand from my vantage point as an investigative reporter and as a home buyer. I am not going to allow my clients to be cheated and manipulated.”

David’s last day at the station is August 26.

Barrett Tryon Joins WILX-TV

Barrett Tryon

WILX-TV (Lansing) announced that Barrett Tryon has joined the station’s news team as an anchor and reporter in July 2018.

Tryon was most recently the morning anchor for a group of four NBC affiliates in western Montana. Barrett attended college at Drake University in Des Moines, while also working for KCCI-TV there. He would later work at CBS News and Fox News Channel, both in New York City, a brief stint in Los Angeles, followed by a few years in the Rockies at KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs.

He also worked at WDAF-TV in Kansas City as a technology reporter, KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, and a second stint in Colorado Springs for KKTV-TV.

While in Colorado Springs, Tryon won an Emmy for “Best Newscast” and was voted “Best Twitterer” for 3 years in a row by readers of two separate newspapers.

WHTC Celebrates 70 Years!

Midwest Communication’s WHTC-AM (Holland) celebrated its 70th year on the air July 31,
with a morning full of special programming filled with memories.  The event attracted listeners and staff past and present, including Michigan Representative Fred Upton  (R-MI 6th District).

General Manager Kevin Oswald presided over a ribbon cutting and building dedication honoring long-time host, Juke Van Oss, who died on March 7, 2016. Oswald, noting that the sign marking Mr. Van Oss’ parking spot had been kept in place until this week. Few, if any visitors parked there, and station employees refused to use the space out of respect for Mr. Van Oss’ memory.

“Yesterday that sign was removed and relaced with a vistor parking sign but it’s also been replaced with a much nicer, permanent sign,” Oswald said, having station employees Patty Vandenberg and Margie Boerman unveil a sign near the front door, welcoming visitors to the Juke Van Oss Building, surprising Van Oss’ family members.

WHTC Talk of the Town host Ed Ver Schure recalled his first appearace on the station, on Miss Jean’s Story Hour, when he was just 5 years old.

“I cried the whole time,” he said, smiling at the recollection. “I got kicked out of the studio.”

(L-R) WHTC General Manager Kevin Oswald and Rep. Fred Upton.



WWTV/WWUP-TV Chief Engineer Lowell Shore Retires After 58 Years

Lowell Shore

After nearly six decades, WWTV/WWUP-TV (Cadillac) Chief Engineer Lowell Shore has retired.

Shore, known to broadcasters all over the state and especially in Northern Michigan has been at it since August of 1960.  Lowell started at the station as a junior engineer six years after the WWTV tower was built in 1954.

“Engineers did a lot more than they do now. Lots of tubes, we were always checking tubes in our spare time to keep things up and it was a long time before we had anything in here that had transistors, years. I went from that to chips and servers,” explained Shore to 9and10 News..

Just over a year into his job, there was a fire. “The original building caught fire and burned more than you think a cement building would burn, and we were left here with a TV station with not a lot to work with. RCA sent a moving van with everything we needed and we were back on the air in two weeks. That was quite a feat,” Shore said.

He became chief engineer in 1976.

“I enjoyed working here and there was never any reason to leave. I was doing work that I enjoyed,” explained Lowell.

“Fifty eight years all together, which is a long career, and the company has always been good to work for. I woke up in the morning and I was eager to get to work, but it’s time for retirement now, other plans,” said Shore.

Kevin Dunaway, Vice President/General Manager of the stations told the MAB that a search is underway for Shore’s replacement, but “It’s not an easy job to fill.”

See a video tribute to Lowell Shore on the station’s website here.

Beasley Media Group Detroit’s Mac Edwards Radio Ink Finalist

Mac Edwards

Beasley Media Group has announced that eight of its managers and sales executives have been named among the finalists for the 2018 Radio Wayne Awards, presented by Radio Ink magazine.  Included in this list of eight is Mac Edwards, Beasley Detroit VP/Market Manager.

Edwards is a finalist in the Market or General Manager of the Year Category.  Edwards is the only finalist from Michigan.

The awards will be presented at this year’s Radio Show Advertiser Breakfast in Orlando on September 27. Named for Wayne Cornils, who championed excellence and integrity in the radio industry, the awards recognize the best in radio sales and management.

“The talent and dedication represented by these Radio Wayne finalists are qualities in which the radio industry can take great pride. Every one of them demonstrates professional excellence and deserves our admiration and respect for making radio an important product mover that touches the lives and livelihoods of communities and businesses across the country,” said Deborah Parenti, Publisher of Radio Ink in making the announcement.

Read the Beasley press release here.  For a full list of Radio Wayne finalists, click here.

WKAR’s Susi Elkins, Gary Blievernicht Talk ATSC 3.0

By: Russ White, MSU Today

Michigan State University and WKAR-TV (East Lansing) have received a license from the Federal Communications Commission to launch an experimental next generation TV broadcasting station to focus on digital advancement and internet based connectivity.

Listen to Russ White’s interview with WKAR Public Media’s Susi Elkins and Gary Blievernicht:

Based on a new set of digital TV standards called ATSC 3.0, Next Gen TV adds internet-style information and interactivity, plus advanced technologies, such as 4K ultra high-definition video and multichannel, immersive audio, to over-the-air television broadcasts.

“Well, ATSC 3.0 is an exciting new way to broadcast that allows for a much more connected, interactive experience for the user,” says Susi Elkins, director of broadcasting for MSU and general manager of WKAR Public Media. “And there are other benefits that relate to revenue generation, a prettier picture, and more audio options. We’re interested in the education component and the public service component. So I think there will be a lot of broadcasters who are interested in how to generate revenue and how to serve the general public. And public broadcasters like WKAR are interested in how to utilize it for education and public service purposes.”

“ATSC 3.0 enhances the ability to transmit multiple things at the same time,” adds Gary Blievernicht, WKAR’s manager of technical services. “You can do data, you can do video, and you can do additional audio channels all at once. So it’s much more robust. The signal will be much stronger and much easier to decode once we’ve made this transition.”

So what’s ATSC 3.0 for viewers?

“I think what’s exciting for viewers is the ability for increased mobility,” says Elkins. “People will be able to watch live television on their phones, or pads, wherever they are. We’ll see how that really plays out, but we know that there will be increased mobility, for sure. And also, it’s just a much better viewing experience, and the audio experience is robust, too, with so many more channels and options. The most unique part about the standard may be its hybrid nature. So it’s a hybrid of broadcasting and IP delivery. And so when you think about integrating what you use the internet for and your broadcast experience and put that together, you can imagine what the possibilities are. And well, we’re trying to imagine that right now.

“So there are a lot of ways that I think this will benefit viewers and users. But it’s really up to us to try to figure out what those are, and offer opportunities, and then the consumers will decide what they like and what they really want to use.”

MSU will open the Next Gen Media Innovation Lab, a new research facility within WKAR, and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences on the MSU campus. The lab will have an emphasis on outcomes related to education, and public media content.

“One of the things we need to do as broadcasters is to figure out how to utilize this new standard and all the benefits that it could potentially bring,” Elkins says. “In the lab we’ll study what the standard can offer so we can create applications. Our interest in particular is in early childhood education. There are some stations interested in warning systems and alert systems. We’ve talked about automated vehicles and agricultural applications. We’re here at Michigan State University where there are all kinds of researchers who are interested in how they could use this hybrid application, or this ability, to benefit their life’s work. So we’re creating a space where researchers and broadcasters from around the country who have ideas on how they would like to serve their local communities have a place where they can come and research and test ideas.”

WKAR is the first public broadcasting station in the United States to receive FCC authorization to begin experimental ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.

“Well, when we first started hearing about the possibilities of ATSC 3, MSU was really interested because they saw benefits for research, business and public service. And thinking about our land grant mission, it just made a lot of sense for us to learn a little bit more about it,” says Elkins. “And MSU has been interested from the start in terms of building research relationships around ATSC 3.0. And so we’ll see potentially how to use the data, how to use the applications. And it is quite an honor to have been granted the experimental license, we’re the first public broadcaster to get it. A lot of people across the country are intrigued by what we will study in the lab, and that’s why we want to have it open. We want people to be able to apply to come and do testing on ideas that they have. And I think that’s really what MSU does best, and WKAR is perfectly positioned through the work that Gary and his engineers have done to build out the transmitter site. All of the stars aligned to allow us to be ready to build it at our site and apply for the license. Now that it’s been granted we have a lot of work to do in the next few months.”

WKAR expects to begin ATSC 3.0 experimental broadcasting in September. WKAR’s experimental ATSC 3.0 station will broadcast in mid-Michigan on digital frequency 35, with a broadcast reach of approximately 40 miles. Consumer products that can receive ATSC 3.0 signals are not expected to be widely available in the U.S. before 2020.

“I believe this new technology could really have a very strong impact, particularly in the world of education,” adds Elkins. “Right now you can use a second screen and you can somewhat interact with what you see on your television, or certainly you can interact if you’re streaming. But imagine putting that all together in a really robust way that doesn’t go down when a cell tower goes down. There’s just so much possibility with the robustness of the actual transmitter site and using the broadcast piece of it. So as technology changes and people increasingly expect mobility, I think that it will be really exciting for all of us. Those who are creating content and trying to meet the needs of the users, and then also just the people who are looking for a new, unique, very tailored experience can benefit from this. I think that’s what this can bring is even more localization, more experiences. I think stations will be able to super serve their communities because we can localize even more than we ever have. And public broadcasters have been great at localization since day one. But this really potentially could increase that tenfold.”

Reprinted by permission.