Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Ribbon Cutting for New Station in Mt. Pleasant

With scissors in hand, Laurie Peters gets ready to cut the ribbon while Bob Peters (in blue) looks on!

On June 7, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Mt. Pleasant to officially mark the launch of a new WMMI-AM and its new companion FM translator.

The ceremony was held at Mountain Town Station and included an appearance by Michael Patrick Shiels, host of Michigan’s Big Show, which is heard on the station.  The event was hosted by the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce.

Owned by Bob and Laurie Peters’ Latitude Media, the all-talk format was launched along with the companion FM translator in late February.

Blarney Stone Broadcasting To Bring Lick The Plate To Northern Michigan Radio

Northern Michigan’s Blarney Stone Broadcasting has announced a joint marketing and distribution agreement with MyNorth.com and Traverse Magazine that brings Lick the Plate to Blarney Stone stations WKLZ-FM, WQON-FM, WFCX-FM and WFDX-FM.  The program will air weekdays during afternoon drive and be repeated in evenings along with its current distribution on MyNorth.com.

Hosted by David Boylan, Lick the Plate is an original culinary food and music show, telling the stories of culinary personalities since 2015.

In addition to airing on the Blarney Stone stations, the show will be distributed in podcast format via digital and social media channels on all 3-station brands. The 5 episodes that air Monday – Friday will be complemented by longer format bonus content in podcast format on MyNorth.com. The expanded distribution will give Lick the Plate coverage throughout Northern Michigan in addition to it’s Southeast Michigan and Ontario footprint on 93.9 The River (CIDR-FM).

Blarney Stone Broadcasting President/CEO Sheryl Coyne had been looking to source new content that features the exploding Northern Michigan culinary scene when Christopher Hunt, Director of Sales at MyNorth & Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine approached her about a joint marketing and distribution agreement to spread Lick the Plate across multiple platforms.

She had this to say about the collaboration: “We were big fans of Lick the Plate and when Chris approached us with this we jumped at the opportunity. With our multi-platform distribution and our combined audiences, the show is going to be a dominant force and go-to resource for Northern Michigan foodies and the advertisers that want to reach them.” Christopher Hunt added, “This is definitely one of those win-win scenarios for all of our brands. Combined, we will have a fully integrated distribution strategy for Lick the Plate that covers digital, print and broadcast and our advertisers are going to eat up that mix, so to speak. It will enable them to reach the highly desirable audience that Lick the Plate attracts through multiple channels and that is the value I sought to provide when I approached Sheryl with this idea.”

Lick the Plate host David Boylan was equally enthusiastic: “This is an incredible opportunity for me to expand the reach of the show in Northern Michigan. The culinary scene extends throughout the Northern half of the state and the talent driving it is incredible. This is also going to be a huge bonus for my guests who will now have a much larger audience listening in on their story.”

CMU’s Dr. Jerry Henderson: November 19, 1938 – June 16, 2018

Dr. Jerry Henderson

The MAB is sad to report that Dr. Jerry Henderson, 79, of Bay City, Mich., passed away on the afternoon of Saturday, June 16, 2018, at Brian’s House Hospice.

Dr. Henderson was a Professor of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University and a member of the faculty since 1975. As station operations manager since the mid-1970’s, he shepherded station WMHW-FM from 10-watt to 13,000-watt HD status, training hundreds of students in station operations and paving the way for many of them to win a wide-range of awards, as well as pursue highly successful radio industry careers.  His beloved students often referred to him as “Dr. Jerry.”

Born in Malone, N.Y., on November 19, 1938, Jerry was the son of the late Robert A. and Charlotte (Disque) Henderson. He graduated from Franklin Academy High School in June of 1956, then went on to study at the University of Rochester, N.Y., Paul Smiths College in Paul Smiths NY, and Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY… Jerry completed his undergraduate career at Hartwick College where he earned a B.A. in Psychology in 1962.

Prior to his tenure at CMU, Jerry was an Assistant Professor at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., an instructor for speech at the University of Maine,  and a speech and drama instructor at Lamar State College of Technology in Beaumont, Texas. In between semesters in 1980, Jerry served as a production assistant and driver for NBC. He worked as a radio programmer at various stations in New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Maine and was a recording and editing engineer at Magnetic Recorder and Reproducer Corporation. Early in his career, Jerry was a staff writer for the Malone Evening Telegram.

A celebration of Dr. Henderson’s life will be held this Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m. at Captains Quarters, 6011 E. Atherton Road in Burton.  M ore: https://www.facebook.com/events/2000140009997330/

Read Dr. Henderson’s complete obituary here.

Buchanan to lead HOME.fm as General Manager

Rachel Buchanan

Rachel Buchanan has been named General Manager of HOME.fm, (WSAE-FM/WJKN-FM) Spring Arbor University’s proprietary radio station.

Buchanan began her radio career in 1998 as a student broadcaster at WEJY-FM, Monroe High School, a student station in Monroe, Mich. Arriving at Spring Arbor University (then College) in 1999, she pursued a bachelor of arts in communication degree with an emphasis on broadcasting. Upon her graduation from Spring Arbor University in 2003, she was hired as the secretary for (then) Power Praise FM. Over time, Buchanan took on roles of promotions coordinator and program director, all while maintaining an on-air show in various dayparts as Rachel Ryder.

“I cannot believe I am here,” said Buchanan, who initially thought she would become an art teacher or pursue a career related to music performance. “It has been an amazing ride, and I look forward to continuing my love for radio and leading our team of professionals and students in my goal to offer a positive perspective to the Jackson area.”

Buchanan’s time with the station has included various format changes (89.3 the Vibe, 89.3 the Message) and being on the ground level with a team that created and developed the HOME.fm format, blending mainstream and Christian formats, resulting in the current “Music that makes you feel good®” format. HOME.fm simulcasts on both WSAE-fm (commercial) and WJKN-fm (non-commercial) out of Spring Arbor University, with seven translators across south-central Michigan. SAU Radio also includes The Message, an online radio station airing adult contemporary Christian music, which is also used as a student training ground.

Buchanan leads a team of students and professionals at Spring Arbor University radio, in her management role and in the classroom, where she has taught communications courses as an adjunct professor since 2007. She also earned her Master of Arts in Communication at Spring Arbor University. She and her husband, David, make it a personal goal to help others love the Jackson community as much as they do, where they enjoy spending time with their two young sons.

“Spring Arbor University is fortunate to have someone as experienced to provide leadership for our radio station,” said Doug Wilcoxson, Executive Vice President, Spring Arbor University. “She is deeply invested in the Jackson community and looks forward to partnering in this great community”.

Goldsen Elected NAB Radio Board Second Vice Chairman

Bruce Goldsen

At the National Association of Broadcasters’ Board of Directors meeting, held June 12-13, the NAB Executive Committee elections took place and Michigan’s own Bruce Goldsen, President of Jackson Radio Works, was elected Radio Board Second vice chairman.

Goldsen, who is a Past MAB Chairman and Board member (and still on the board as a honorary member) has been an elected NAB Board Representative as well as a longtime trustee with the MAB PAC.

Other appointments at the meeting included:

Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group, was unanimously re-elected as NAB Joint Board chair by the NAB Joint Board of Directors.

Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television, was re-elected as NAB Television Board chairman. Emily Barr, president and CEO, Graham Media Group, was re-elected first vice chair of the Television Board, and Ralph M. Oakley, president and CEO, Quincy Media, Inc., was re-elected as second vice chair.

It was announced that John Orlando, CBS executive vice president, Government Affairs, will assume the designated TV network seat on the executive committee.

Randy D. Gravley, president and CEO, Tri State Communications Inc., was re-elected Radio Board chair by the NAB Radio Board. David Santrella, president, Broadcast Media, Salem Media Group, was elected Radio Board first vice chair.

Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media Group, was re-elected to the Radio Board’s major group representative seat.

FCC Announces Experimental NextGen TV License for WKAR at MSU

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly speaks at June 20 press conference. Photos courtesy of WKAR Public Media.

On June 20, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly announced the granting of a special license allowing MSU and WKAR Public Media (East Lansing) to launch an experimental Next Generation TV broadcasting station. Based on the ATSC 3.0 digital TV standards, NextGen 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.

The announcement was held at a press conference at the WKAR studios in East Lansing.

(L-R) WKAR Director of Broadcasting Susi Elkins, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and Dean of MSU College of Communication Arts & Sciences, Dr. Prabu David.

WKAR will be the first public broadcasting station in the U.S. to receive FCC authorization to begin experimental ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.

With the experimental ATSC 3.0 station as a testbed, MSU will open the NextGen Media Innovation Lab, a new research facility alongside WKAR studios in the Communication Arts and Sciences building on the MSU campus.

The lab will serve as a collaborative research hub exploring the potential of ATSC 3.0, with an emphasis on outcomes related to traditional public media content, such as education, health, local news and emergency alerting, plus new areas such as connected vehicles.

iHeart’s WMAX-FM to Broadcast CMU Football

Central Michigan University Athletics has announced that iHeartMedia’s WMAX-FM (ESPN 96.1) will be airing CMU Football in the Grand Rapids market.  The station will air the games through the IMG/Chippewa Sports Network.

The all-sports station will begin carrying CMU football broadcasts starting with the Sept. 1 opener at Kentucky. If a scheduled CMU football game conflicts with ESPN 96.1-FM’s programming, iHeart West Michigan members WTKG 1230-AM or WKBZ 1090-AM will carry the game.

“Grand Rapids is home to a significant number of CMU graduates, and I know they want to keep up with the Chippewas,” CMU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford said. “ESPN 96.1-FM and iHeart West Michigan are known by sports fans in that area, and this is a natural fit.”

CMU graduate Jim Costa is part of the regular lineup on ESPN 96.1-FM as part of the “Big Drew and Jim” show, which airs from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. weekdays.

Longtime play-by-play Don Chiodo and analyst Brock Gutierrez will call CMU football games for the network again this season.

WDZH to Launch New Morning Show

Chris Cruise and Julia Lepidi

On Monday, June 18, Entercom’s WDZH-FM (Detroit) will launch a new morning program to be hosted by Chris Cruise and Julia Lepidi. The Morning Show with Cruise and Julia will air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m.

Chris Cruise is a Detroit native and comes to WDZH having previously worked at WOW 104.3 in Boise, ID. Lepidi has been a night show host at WDZH since 2015.

“As the leaders in live, local, original audio content, we are excited to bring our community a new show to tune in to while getting their day started,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Detroit. “I’m looking forward to hearing Chris and Julia on air together. They have a chemistry that will have listeners laughing out loud and are sure to make for a great morning tandem. I look forward to their success in Detroit.”

“Ever since I started in radio, my endgame has always been to land in my hometown of Detroit,” said Cruise. “It means the world to me that I get to come back to the “Comeback City” and do what I love. Can’t wait for coney dogs.”

“Hearing mornings in Detroit as a kid is what sparked my fire for radio,” Lepidi said. “WDZH has been my home since the beginning of my career, and I’m thrilled to be working with Chris to create something unique and special in Detroit.”

WLNS-TV/WLAJ-TV Begin Channel Sharing

At 12:01 a.m. on June 11, Lansing television stations WLNS-TV and WLAJ-TV began channel sharing on channel 25.  Nexstar Broadcasting, owners of WLNS, sold its spectrum during the auction.  WLAJ, which has a shared services agreement with WLNS, agreed to share its channel.

Both stations retain their virtual channel designation.

On its website, WLNS is advising viewers to repoint their antennas and rescan.

As part of the repack, WLAJ will move from channel 25 to channel 14.  This will occur in phase 7 of the repack with a deadline of January 17, 2020.