Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

WOMC Raises $114K for Beaumont Hospital

(L-R) WOMC’s JoAnne Purtan and Stephen Clark

On September 27, Entercom’s WOMC-FM aired a 13-hour radiothon to benefit  Beaumont Children’s Hospital.   The broadcast took place from the South Tower Concourse of the hospital and was anchored by WOMC personalities Stephen Clark, JoAnne Purtan, Jim Johnson and Beau Daniels.  They were joined by special guests and other station airstaff.

More than 500 donors contributed to the radiothon, which raised money for children’s programs.  44 listeners became Miracle Makers by pledging a $20 on-going monthly donation.

Some of the initiatives that will benefit from the funding include a student robot that will allow a patient to virtually attend school classes while in the hospital, the NoBLE anti-bullying campaign, Beau plush bears given to children in Beaumont hospitals and music and pet therapies.

WCSX to Officially Unveil Bob Seger Boulevard

Beasley Media Group’s WCSX-FM (Detroit) and the City of Allen Park will officially unveil Bob Seger Boulevard at 6:00 p.m. on Friday October 19, 2018.

A stage will be set up at Allen Park City Hall (located at 15915 Southfield Road in Allen Park, Michigan) from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Festivities will include a special performance by a Bob Seger tribute band as well as a video screen featuring fans & celebrities congratulating the rock legend!

The Big Jim’s House Morning Show has been on a six-month mission to honor the Detroit Rock legend and native with a street named after him.

 

Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2019 Launches in January

Stations can sign up now for what may be the largest survey about technology ever conducted for radio.

Jacobs Media has announced that registration is open for radio stations to participate in Techsurvey 2019. Last year’s survey broke ground once again in the annual series that began in 2005. Overall, more than 560 radio stations across North America, representing a diverse group of broadcasting companies, contributed more than 64,000 respondents to radio’s largest web survey devoted to media and technology.

Fourteen different formats were represented, helping programmers and managers focus their efforts and resources on what is truly important for their listeners. Techsurvey 2019 will provide even more insights as Jacobs Media tracks media usage and tech trends.
According to Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs, “The data from early this year in Techsurvey 2018 was revealing, providing broadcasters with a unique look at their audiences. The continued growth of digital platforms, the emotional triggers that make broadcast radio unique across different generations, podcasting and smart speakers were all areas that provided great guidance to help the industry better understand the shifting media landscape. Techsurvey 2019 will be even bigger and better.”

This year’s study will launch in early January. Stations have until December 21st to sign up: jacobsmedia.com/techsurvey

Techsurvey 2019 will again feature trending so broadcasters can track the changes that occur with audience usage and habits from year-to-year, as well as deeper dives into the following areas:

  • Further examination of how generations impact behaviors and media choices
  • Smart speakers, the voice revolution, and how radio broadcasters can take advantage of this opportunity
  • An even more detailed look at the state of podcasting – who’s participating, how they’re used, and what types of podcasts they prefer
  • Social media growth – specifically, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat – and how stations can best participate in this space
  • Use of Internet radio, from station streams to Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple Music and others
  • The explosive impact of video games – who’s playing them and how radio broadcasters can take advantage of this trend
  • How listeners connect with stations utilizing streams, websites, social media, podcasts, etc.
  • Connected cars (and future autonomous cars), and their impact on media consumption and driving
  • How smart mobility will change the way consumers go from Point A to Point B – and why it matters to radio
  • The continued growth of mobile phones, tablets, and apps
  • Trending on smartwatches, a platform showing signs of growth
  • The cord-cutting mindset and customization of entertainment
  • The changing world of new music discovery

The public release of Techsurvey 2019 will premiere at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Burbank, CA, on March 28th, 2019.

Stations can participate in two different ways:

  1. No fee – This allows participation in the results webinar, along with receiving national data
  2. A small fee based on market size – Stakeholder stations receive all the national data, participation in the webinar, as well as an in-depth look at their unique audience, their format’s audience, including their station’s “Media Usage Pyramid” and “Brand Platform Pyramid.

Broadcasters can sign up online at jacobsmedia.com/techsurvey and/or contact Lisa Riker at Jacobs Media for more information: 248-353-9030 or lisariker@jacobsmedia.com.

WJRT-TV Celebrates 60 Years

On October 12, WJRT-TV (Flint) celebrated 60 years of service to the Flint/Saginaw/Bay City market.  The station signed on in 1958, after a prolonged fight between four applicants for the channel.  The Goodwill Stations, then owners of WJR-AM (Detroit) was the winning applicant.

The station has been an ABC affiliate since day one, and was owned by the network at one point in its history.  The station is currently owned by Gray Television.

See a video retrospect on the station’s history here.

Detroit Morning Icon Mike Clark Passes at 63

The MAB is sad to report the passing of longtime WRIF-FM (Detroit) morning co-host Mike Clark.  

He died at his home in Bloomfield Township. The cause of death was not noted in a post published this past Tuesday, October 16, on Clark’s official Facebook page.

“Drew and Mike” ran from 1991 to 2013 on WRIF-FM and was one of the market’s top morning radio program thanks to the duo’s edgy, locally flavored humor. Clark reunited with Drew Lane in 2016 for a daily podcast,

In a story published in the Detroit Free Press, it was noted that Clark was a former emergency medical technician working for Michigan Consolidated Gas “when he made his first inroads on Detroit radio, enlisted by a friend at WRIF for spots with then-morning jock Ken Calvert.”  Clark started full-time in radio at age 37.

WRIF has set up a Mike Clark tribute page on their website with some audio and video clips of the “Drew and Mike” show here.

MAB Partners with MSU for the Future of Media Sales

MAB members had the great opportunity to mentor student members of MSU’s Global Sales Leadership Society (GSLS) on Wednesday evening as part of the organization’s partnership with the university.

Gary Baxter, WSYM-TV Fox 47 (Lansing), Jeff Hutchings, WNEM-TV (Saginaw), Jamie McKibbin, Jackson Radio Works (Jackson), and Steve Schram, Michigan Radio (Detroit) led a discussion on the basics of selling media in the broadcast industry.  Many students came to the meeting without much exposure to media sales and left with the knowledge that sales positions within the broadcast industry are a great career choice.

The MAB Foundation’s partnership with MSU’s Sales Leadership Program is one way the organization is addressing the industry’s need to build fantastic teams of sellers. Our participating members have already made valuable connections with energetic students that WANT to sell.

If you’re interested in participating in this program for the 2019-2020, contact Rachel Krause at krause@michmab.com to learn more.

Candidates Debate on Local Radio

At least two local Michigan radio stations have had candidates in the upcoming November election in their studio for debates.

On October 15, WKZO-AM (Kalamazoo) hosted a one-hour debate for the major Congressional candidates for the 6th District seat.  Incumbent Republican Fred Upton and Democrat Matt Longjohn answered questions ranging from Longjohn’s M.D. title to fixing the roads, improving Michigan’s schools, the PFAS issue, and more.

A livestream video and recap of the debate can be found on WKZO’s Facebook page here.  The debate was simulcast on co-owned WSJM-FM in St. Joseph.

On October 16, WILS-AM (Lansing) hosted a debate between the candidates for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.  Democratic candidate Elissa Slotkin and incumbent Republican Mike Bishop answered questions posed by station morning host /Dave Akerly.

The topics included  topics such as spending, health care, the opioid crisis and more.  A podcast of the debate is available on the station’s website here.

WEMU to Hold New Donor Welcome Reception

On November 14, Eastern Michigan University’s WEMU-FM (Ypsilanti) will  hold a reception for new donors to the station.  Those who make a first-time donation of $200 or more can join the station at a New Donor Welcome Reception from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Zingerman’s Greyline in downtown Ann Arbor.

New donors can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, live jazz from the Doug Horn Trio, and the opportunity to meet WEMU’s air personalities, staff and local content partners.

For more information, check out the station’s event page on Facebook here.

Sports Reporter/Anchor James Starks Joins WZZM Mornings

James Starks

WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has announced that James Starks will join the ensemble cast of 13 On Your Side Mornings beginning Monday, November 5.

Starks has covered the World Series, NBA Playoffs, NFL Draft and many other major sporting events as a sports anchor and reporter for KPRC in the Houston, Texas area. Prior to moving to Houston, James covered the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference extensively at WZZM sister station WLTX-TV in Columbia, S.C.

“I’m thrilled to be joining such an amazing team at WZZM, and am even more excited to explore everything Grand Rapids and West Michigan has to offer,” Starks said.

“James will bring a new perspective to this market,” said WZZM President and General Manager, Janet Mason. “The natural rapport between our ensemble cast will bring an exciting and fresh energy to morning television.”

Starks was a former two-sport athlete at Capital University in Columbus, OH and two-time All-American and captain of the football team. He then signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals before going overseas to continue his career with the Ancona (Italy) Dolphins.

“James is the perfect fit for our team,” said Julie Flynn, WZZM News Director. “His energy and enthusiasm will help brighten West Michigan mornings.”

24/7 NewsNet Sets Launch Date, Seeks Affiliates

New network based in Cadillac

Left: NewsNet’s Remington Hernandez and Photojournalist Wyatt VanDuinen film a report outside a Michigan courthouse. Right: NewsNet Midday Anchor Jessica Mojonnier practices a broadcast in preparation for the network’s launch.

NewsNet, a new 24/7 news channel focused on headlines rather than talk and opinion, has set its launch date for January 1, 2019.

Developed by the award-winning team responsible for building 24/7 local news channels across the country, NewsNet aims to bring the success of these local channels to the national level.

“In recent years, we’ve heard more and more complaints about existing 24/7 national news channels, particularly the increase in opinion-based programming on these channels,” explained Eric Wotila, President of NewsNet. “Meanwhile, we’ve received nothing but compliments about the no-nonsense and commentary-free local news coverage we provide on the 24/7 local news channel we operate in northern Michigan. Earlier this year, we decided it was time to make the same style of news available nationally – and we’re going to do that with the launch of NewsNet.”

NewsNet will follow a traditional news wheel format, with updates added to the wheel throughout each day when breaking news develops. A typical half-hour will start with about 2 minutes of coverage of the top story of the moment, followed by several minutes of headlines, an overview of the weather across the nation, various franchise segments such as health, technology or entertainment, a sports report, and finally, feature stories highlighting unique people, places and organizations across the country – which, in some markets, may be preempted by a local news cut-in.

At its launch, NewsNet will be available primarily as a diginet carried on the subchannels of TV stations across the country. The network is working with both low-power and full-power stations to distribute its signal. So far, they’ve secured several million households worth of distribution – but they’re working to increase that number significantly by the time they launch in January.

“We received strong interest in NewsNet from stations across the country when we first announced the network in March,” explained Wotila, “but many of them wanted to wait until we were closer to launch to commit to carrying our programming. Now that our launch is less than 3 months away, we’re seeing more stations actually signing affiliation agreements, rather than just expressing an interest in the network. That said, we’re still actively seeking affiliates – we’d love to be in at least 10 million households when we launch.”

Stations interested in becoming NewsNet affiliates can email affiliates@yournewsnet.com to learn more. The network will also be available to meet with stations interested in affiliation during NAB New York later this month.