Category Archives: July 2016

Craig Russell Joins WUPS/WTWS

CRusselVeteran programmer and on-air personality Craig Russell has joined Black Diamond Broadcast Group’s WUPS-FM/WTWS-FM (Houghton Lake) as Program Director for the stations.  In addition, Russell will host the morning show on WUPS.

Russell was most recently morning personality at WKHM-FM (Jackson) and also has worked in Grand Rapids and Traverse City.  He told All Access: “I can’t wait to get back to Northern Michigan and make some great radio.  Legendary calls, great local ownership and Houghton Lake; win, win and win!”

National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Class of Inductees

NRHOFVoting results for the 2016 National Radio Hall of Fame’s 24 nominations in six categories are in.  Four of those categories were decided by a voting participant panel comprised of 400 industry professionals. The other two categories, Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality, were voted on by the public.

The 2016 inductees are:

Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart), WTMX-FM. Chicago
Active Local/Regional, 10+ years

Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow & Jerry Cesak), KYXY, San Diego
Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years

Steve Harvey, The Steve Harvey Morning Show; syndicated by Premiere Networks
Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years

Delilah, syndicated by Premiere Networks
Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years

Bob Kingsley, Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40; syndicated by Westwood One
Music Format On-Air Personality

Michael Savage, The Savage Nation; syndicated by Westwood One
Spoken Word On-Air Personality

Additionally, the National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee voted to induct four individuals for their contribution to the industry.  Those inductees are:

George G. Beasley, Chairman/CEO/Founder of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc.

Kidd Kraddick, the late beloved national air personality and founder of Kidd’s Kids Charity

Tony Roberts, former sportscaster and play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame Football

Neil Rogers, the late legendary southern Florida air personality.

National Radio Hall of Fame Chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “This year’s class of inductees represents the diversity that makes radio so personal, entertaining and impactful.  We all very much appreciate everyone who participated in this process as we welcome the very best in our business into the National Radio Hall of Fame.”

The black-tie optional induction ceremony takes place at the home of the National Radio Hall of Fame – the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago from 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 17.

Tickets are now available here.  A portion of ticket purchases is a tax deductible charitable donation to the Museum.

Kunnath Now Sales Manager at WMGC-FM

Kunnath_300Greater Media has announced that Scott Kunnath has been named sales manager at the company’s new throwback hip hop and R&B station, “105.1 The Bounce,” WMGC-FM (Detroit).

Kunnath was most recently Director of Sales for Radio One in Detroit and has also worked for ABC/Disney in Detroit, Citadel Broadcasting and CBS Radio.

Greater Media VP/Market Manager Steve Chessare said, “His vast experience and leadership will help guide the station to success in the Motor City.”

Editorial: Lessons from The Great One – What Can You Learn from Jackie Gleason?

Jim MathisBy: Jim Mathis, IPCS, CSP, MDiv
J&L Mathis Group, Inc.

“How sweet it is!” -Jackie Gleason

If you saw Smokey and the Bandit, you are familiar with the work of Jackie Gleason playing the iconic Sheriff Buford T. Justice. He was an entertainer with a string of creativity years before the hit movie came out in 1977.

“The Great One” will forever be known for his successful business decisions. He starred in the hit series, The Honeymooners, in the early days of television and revived the show several decades later through smart foresight.

What you can learn from his creativity will inspire you to go where nobody else has gone in your field and industry. Here are 4.5 lessons he taught us about business:

1. Remember the past and give the people what they like most.

Jackie was one of the earliest television stars. He was in a show for the CBS network (the same network who hosts The Big Bang Theory). Knowing television was a successful medium, he signed a 20-year agreement with the network. He got paid whether or not he was on a show. Gleason was such a hot talent that the network executives readily signed the agreement. When he starred in The Honeymooners 1950s situation comedy, he knew he was on to something special. He had it filmed in a new style of video for the day (Kinescope). The show wasn’t that big of a hit its only season on television, but he was able to parlay his success into “reruns” – something few had even conceived of at the time. Jackie also used The Honeymooners for future roles on television and even revived many of the shows plots and characters on his variety shows in the late 1950s and 60s.

In 1985, Gleason revealed that he had saved 39 episodes of the classic show, just when classic television (TV Land) was coming into style. “The Lost Episodes,” were opened up to a new generation of viewers and he became a star once again.

Gleason knew he was on to a product that would transcend the moment – a blue-collar situation comedy… decades before Roseanne, Archie Bunker, Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy. He had the forethought to keep the Kinescope tapes hidden in a personal vault, for a day they would be revealed to the world. Reruns and classic television cable networks hadn’t even been dreamed of yet, but Jackie saved the tapes for the right time when they would.

Remember Classic Coca Cola? What is your organization doing that is a “classic” transcending time? We live with a generation who loves “retro” ideas but has no concept of luggage without wheels, variety shows, family meals together, any non-internet communication, Western movie genres, sitcoms that are funny and earned rewards. What worked years ago that customers would like a taste of again?

2. Admit your mistakes.

In the 1960s, Gleason hosted a television program that he designed around a celebrity game show format. The opening night was so terrible that the network was planning to cancel the entire series. The next week Jackie came out in front of the live audience and apologized for the previous week’s program. He immediately turned it into a variety show format.

In early 1961, the United States launched a failed attempt to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba. It was known as “The Bay of Pigs” because that was the location of the ground assault in Cuba. The invasion was a disastrous defeat within hours. Soon afterwards, President John F. Kennedy told a stunned country about the CIA operation.

Although the failed attack had been planned prior to his inauguration, Kennedy approved it. He admitted his failure and mistake on national television. It earned him respect that he would need months later during the Cuban Missile Crisis where the U.S. and Soviet Union came close to nuclear war. If more leaders (politicians, are you listening?) would admit mistakes and ask forgiveness, people would trust them more.

3. Go where no one else dares to go.

In the early days of television, you either originated shows from New York or California. The stars were there and it cost too much to produce a program from another location. The Ed Sullivan Show was based in New York. CBS hosted most programs from “Television City” in Hollywood. But Gleason loved Miami (because of year-round golf and the community). He called Miami “The Sun and Fun Capital of the World,” and produced the show there every week.

Viewers loved the opening camera shots of the warm Florida beaches and began vacationing in South Florida more often. It was a bonanza for the local economy. Filming the show before a live audience in a different territory paid off for Jackie then… and still does for Miami today. The auditorium there is named for Jackie Gleason because of his impact on the city.

Where can you go that nobody else would ever think of going? Steve Jobs led Apple into the world of music (iPods and iTunes), cellular phones combined with music (iPhones), tablet computers (iPads) and cloud networking (iCloud). Truett Cathey led the way in developing the chicken sandwich for Chick-fil-A. Nikola Tesla led the way inventing alternating currents and hydroelectric plants.

I met a man who developed an app that any person can use to video their own house/belongings and send to a moving company to develop a moving estimate without sending an estimator to the house or making an appointment. The app does in minutes what takes most companies several hours. His company can now do 10-15 estimates for customers in a day as opposed to a prior maximum of five due to time and distance.

How can you make the trip easier for someone else (or yourself as Gleason did) and defy the industry traditions? Where is your “sweet spot” for business?

4. Brag on your audience.

Gleason always said in the closing monologue: “The Miami Beach audience is the greatest audience in the world!” The crowd would erupt with cheers and applause. The locals loved this and responded favorably to his show. Once again it drew attention to Miami Beach, but more importantly, it also put the attention on his audience instead of himself. Gleason gave the audience credit each week for the show’s success and returned thanks to them on a regular basis. No wonder they cheered!

It always helps to brag more on your customers than yourself. Just ask big companies like Southwest Airlines, or small businesses like Columbus Bowl (a family bowling center in Ohio). They brag on their customers instead of themselves and reap the benefits. Rock and country musicians often shout out the local city names in concerts to get the audience energized. Gleason did it before it became a trend and set the standard.

How can you turn the attention to your customers and have it reflect back on your brand?

4.5 Don’t choose to be the villain.

An interesting footnote: The idea of the 1960s cartoon show, The Flintstones, was almost completely lifted from The Honeymooners, right down to some of the plot lines. Jackie was mad enough to sue the production company, but was advised that he would be a villain if he sued a popular children’s cartoon show.

Maybe that is a fifth lesson every leader can learn from today:

“You can’t sue Fred Flintstone!”

Brad Darrach wrote in People magazine on Jackie Gleason at his death, “Orson Welles dubbed him ‘The Great One,’ and he wore the epithet as proudly as an emperor wears ermine, charming and tickling and bullying us until we took him at his own measure.” (July 13, 1987).

I’ve always admired his work. Gleason could be funny one moment, then show pathos and sadness the next, and still stay true to himself.

Leaders who want to reinvent can gain inspiration and learn from someone who didn’t mind showing both a fun side and deep side within the same hour. He created characters to show every side of his humanity and stay alive in the short history of television. Gleason said, “I knew that nobody could be on television week after week as themselves and exist for any length of time, because no one has that rich a personality…. So I knew that I had to create some characters.”

Permission is granted to reprint this article provided the following paragraph is included in full:

Jim Mathis, IPCS, CSP, MDiv. is The Reinvention PRO™, an International Platform Certified Speaker, Certified Speaking Professional and best-selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results. To subscribe to his free professional development newsletter, please send an email to: [email protected] with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject. An electronic copy will be sent out to you every month. For more information on how Jim and his programs can benefit your organization or group, please call 888-688-0220, or visit his web site: © 2016 J&L Mathis Group, Inc.

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

Traffic Director Spotlight: Jamie White, MAB

Jamie White_300Jamie White, Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Lansing

Jamie White joined the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) in June as NCSA/Membership Assistant.  Among her duties is handling NCSA/PEP (Public Education Program) traffic.

Jamie replaces Pam Cutler who recently went to work for MAB member stations WLNS and WLAJ-TV in Lansing.

Q1: What is your favorite comfort food?
Jamie:  Cheesecake.

Q2: Which Superhero would you be, and why?
Jamie:  I’ve already been one of the greatest Superhero’s ever: a single mom. So if I had to pick another, I would say one that cures cancer.

Q3: When I’m not working, I’d rather be …
Jamie: Racing or playing in the mud. Dirt track racing and mud bogs are where I go to have fun. Getting to share that enjoyment with my kids, makes it even better.

Q4: What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Jamie:  My Papa always gave the best advice. One time on the front porch, he shared this little chat with me:  “Always shake someone’s hand like it might be the last time and you mean business. Say what you mean and mean what you say. When you make a deal, look them in the eye. No one owes you anything, if you want it, get up and go earn it. Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal, it only burns you. When you find someone to love, love them with all you have. Don’t hold someone’s past over their head when they are trying to improve their future. “

Q5: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
My sister who passed away in 2009. To many missed opportunities to spend time with her. You have no idea what your siblings mean in your life until they are gone.

Q6: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know.
I am going to be a Grandma for the first time in February of 2017.  Beyond blessed and excited.

jācapps Cracks The Connected Car Code For Radio

JacappsMichigan-based mobile developer jācapps announced a major breakthrough for radio stations, podcasters and Internet radio stations – the ability to appear in even more automobile audio entertainment systems via Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and the SmartDeviceLink system for Ford and Toyota vehicles.

jācapps President Paul Jacobs noted, “For us, it’s always been about how radio could have a presence on the beachfront property known as smartphones. Today, that valuable real estate includes the car dashboard.”

“Over the past six years, we have focused on the changing in-car entertainment environment, and its impact on the radio industry,” remarked Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs. “Today’s entertainment systems provide drivers with myriad options, many of which are accessed from their smartphone. And now, we can get radio broadcasters on the valuable screens of these vehicles to ensure that millions of consumers can enjoy hearing their favorite stations while driving.”

jācapps has created App EverywhereSM, where mobile apps for radio stations can now be coded to appear in automobiles that have Android Auto, SmartDeviceLink and pending approval from Apple, their CarPlay system.

“It’s exciting to be first. Our mobile app team has been dedicated to developing solutions that will ensure that broadcasters have presence in these entertainment systems,” commented jācapps COO Bob Kernen. “It’s a major priority for us. Jacobs Media has invested a lot of time in this space, including the DASH Conference. This is an incredibly important opportunity for broadcasters and we’re extremely pleased that we were able to crack the code.”

jācapps is in the process of releasing a beta app for Apple CarPlay for WMMR, the Greater Media-owned radio station in Philadelphia. The app is awaiting final approval and will be released in the iTunes app store soon as an update to their existing app. Videos showing how radio station apps appear in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available by emailing jācapps at [email protected]

For more information about App EverywhereSM and how broadcasters can ensure their mobile applications are available in cars, contact Bob Kernen at [email protected] or Alex Burnstein at [email protected].

Associate Member Highlight: Speedy Spots

The staff of Speedy Spots, Inc. and Audio Acres

audio_acres_300After graduating from Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts (now known as “Specs Howard School of Media Arts”) in Southfield and Siena Heights University in Adrian, Chelsea native Jeff Van Riper spent several years at television and radio stations in Escanaba, Suburban Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Jackson and Alpena. In 1998, Jeff discovered a service niche of providing high-quality voice overs to these stations with quick turnaround, at a very affordable cost, and with outstanding customer service.

Control Room

Nearly 20 years later, has produced nearly two million English and Spanish-language voice overs for customers worldwide. Repetition is reputation, and Speedy Spots’ staff, along with specially-selected voice talents from across North and South America, have fully realized the formula that has made Speedy Spots so successful: “Do it fast, do it well and do it for an affordable price.”


In 2015, Jeff expanded upon this effective concept with the introduction of Audio Acres (, a small-scale, state-of-the-art recording studio. Audio Acres provides the latest in digital audio and video technology, while still being an affordable option for solo singer-songwriters, small acoustic and electric combos, audiobooks and Student Audition videos. You can see more on their Facebook page (FaceBook/AudioAcres).

Speedy Spots-Audio Acres_300
Chelsea, Michigan headquarters

Together, Speedy Spots and Audio Acres can provide a wide range of high-quality audio-visual services, that won’t exceed your budget or your deadline. Their staff is the finest you will find anywhere and is the reason for their continued success. Find out what they can do for you at or

Geary Morrill Promoted at Alpha Media

Morrill_300Longtime WSGW-AM/FM, WGER-FM, WCEN-FM and WTLZ-FM (Saginaw) Technical Manager Geary Morrill has been promoted to Midwest Regional Director of Engineering for parent company Alpha Media.

Morrill was one of three engineers nationwide promoted to regional positions on July 1.  Each were cited for their passion for new challenges and demonstrated track record of completing major projects.

Morrill will work with Alpha’s corporate engineer, market chief engineers and regional EVPs to implement Alpha’s major capital projects and signal improvements, as well as dealing with regulatory compliance matters.

The MAB extends its congratulations to Geary!

MSC Rules Police Held Harmless For Lying In Certain Circumstances

MIsupremeIn a unanimous opinion issued by the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC), the panel of judges held that police officers, regardless of whether they lie, cannot be charged criminally from an involuntary statement. The court, acting in People v. Harris (SC docket No. 149872), overturned a decision by the Court of Appeals. The case examined whether three Detroit officers could be charged with obstruction of justice after lying in an internal investigation about whether one of them, Officer Nevin Hughes, assaulted a person while on duty. The issue was whether the Disclosures by Law Enforcement Officers Act (DLEOA) rendered the charge invalid. The DLEOA protects officers making “involuntary statements,” meaning information provided at the threat of any employment sanction, from use in a subsequent criminal proceeding.

In an opinion authored by Justice Brian Zahra, the Supreme Court held that the law’s intent was to allow officers to provide information during internal investigations, seemingly with immunity from prosecution to encourage truthfulness, although this seems to have caused the opposite to occur in this instance, noted Justice Zahra.

Engineering Spotlight: Allan Augustyn, WJMN-TV (Marquette)

Nominate an engineer you know!  Email Dan Kelley at [email protected].

Allan_Augustine_300Allan Augustyn (W8FYZ)  is Chief Engineer for Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s WJMN-TV, Marquette.

Q: Please share with us a brief engineering resume.
I have been the Chief for over 2 years, since WJMN’s full HD studios were built in the spring of 2014 in Marquette and local news was launched.

I was previously chief engineer for twelve and a half years (12.5) at the Radio Results Network in Escanaba, Michigan (then a five station group).

Previous to becoming a chief engineer, I did contract engineering work for a couple of years for various radio groups in Upper Michigan while being employed full-time in another industry.

Q: How did you get started in broadcast engineering?
Allan:  I was already doing some Contract work with a friend when I ran into a former College Classmate and Ham-Radio friend at the gas station who told me a radio group was looking for an Engineer…I asked him why he was not interested…he stated he was not interested in the long hours, being on call and dealing with GM’s….I should have taken better note of that.

I worked in Radio in the “on-Air” side (DJ and production) from 1978 to 1985, vowing to never work in radio again when I left…

My first job out of engineering school was blowing things up at Underwriters Laboratories as an engineering technician.

I also worked in high-Tech electronic security in the Defense Industry and later for a Controls company venturing into security, fire alarm and CCTV, and spent 8 years travelling the U.S. and Canada, consulting, designing, selling and marketing large building systems.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know…
Allan:  I used to be a “safe-cracker” and traveled around the U.S. busting into safes and bank vaults.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Allan:  “Be patient…what goes around, comes around;” and “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness then permission.”