Category Archives: July 2017

Join Us for the MABPAC Fundraiser!

The MAB Political Action Committee (MABPAC) would like to invite you to our annual Summer Fundraiser at the beautiful Crystal Mountain Resort. The event will feature a reception at the Mountain Top along with private Clipper Chairlift Rides with the breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

We will also be joined by the expert specializing in ballot proposal to discuss predictions for the upcoming 2018 elections and political climate in Michigan and across the country.

Don’t miss this opportunity to ask your campaign related questions and listen to the insiders’ forecast for the 2018 election cycle.

WHAT:  MABPAC Summer Fundraiser at  Crystal Mountain

WHEN: Monday, August 21 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, MI

Transportation will be provided by the MABPAC

Tickets: $200 per person

Reserve your spot by clicking HERE.
Questions? Contact Elena Palombo at [email protected] or 517-484-7444.

Thank you and we hope to see you the Crystal Mountain Resort!

NOTE: In accordance with the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, only personal payments/checks are accepted. NO Corporate checks, please.

NAB: Microsoft White Space Proposal Harms LPTVs, Translators

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed comments with the FCC stating that a Microsoft proposal, that the company be granted access to 18 MHz of TV spectrum for unlicensed use, should be denied as it will cause “direct and immediate harm to translators and low power television stations displaced by the spectrum repack following the incentive auction.”

The NAB stated that “Microsoft is asking the commission to grant it spectrum for free, with no buildout requirements or service requirements of any kind — substantially better terms than winning auction bidders received.”

The association added that it does not object to unlicensed operations in the TV band as long as those operations do not cause harmful interference to licensed television services, deprive viewers of television service, or stifle innovation in the broadcast band.

Pai: $1.75 Billion is Not Enough for Spectrum Repack

According to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai testified in front of the Senate Commerce Committee that the agency does not think that the $1.75 billion Congress set-aside for the post-incentive auction repack will be sufficient. The agency’s current estimate is that it will take $2.1 billion to cover broadcasters’ moving expenses.

Pai stated that while the estimates may change, in order to hold broadcasters harmless in the move as provided by the auction enacting legislation, Congress would need to appropriate more funds.

FCC Releases New EAS Handbook

The FCC has released a revised EAS Operating Handbook.

A copy of the Handbook must be located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations when an operator is required to be on duty and be immediately available to staff responsible for administering EAS tests.

The Handbook supersedes all other EAS Handbooks and must be in place in time for the 2017 nationwide EAS test (scheduled for September 27, 2017).

The Handbook’s format allows each EAS Participant to enter data specific to their own configuration, tailoring the operational steps outlined in the manual for local relevance.

The Handbook may be downloaded here.

A writable PDF version of the Handbook can be found on the Bureau’s website at

Crystal Mountain Extends Room Discounts

Uh oh! You didn’t book your room before last Friday’s discount deadline? Don’t worry … we’ve got you covered. 

Crystal Mountain Resort has generously extended its discount window for MAB members and friends who book overnight accommodations for the August 22 and 23 Advocacy Conference, Awards Banquet and MAB Foundation Golf Fundraiser at the Thompsonville resort.

Click here to register for the event and book your stay today!

Congresswoman Dingell will be Special Guest at Awards Banquet

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12)

Each summer, the MAB’s Advocacy Conference allows its members an important opportunity to hear from and network with broadcast industry peers as well as legislative experts and leaders.

That is why the MAB is excited to announce that Congresswoman Debbie Dingell will be a special guest at this year’s MAB Awards Banquet on August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort.

The U.S. Representative from Michigan’s 12th District serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and is a member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, and the Subcommittee on the Environment.

She will be on hand to present the MAB Lifetime Achievement Award to 2017 honoree Marla Durtz, vice president and general manager at WDIV-TV (Detroit).

The daytime Advocacy Conference event is free to MAB members, however, evening Awards Banquet tickets are $140 per person and include a fabulous reception, host bar, dinner and afterglow. Sixty dollars of each ticket price may be deducted as a charitable donation to benefit the MAB Foundation.

Click here to make sure you are are part of the celebration on August 22.

Sen. Stabenow to Receive MAB Lifetime of Distinguished Public Service Award

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow will be honored with the MAB’s “Lifetime of Distinguished Public Service Award” during the August 22  MAB Awards Banquet at Crystal Mountain Resort.

Senator Stabenow grew up in Clare, where her family owned the local Oldsmobile dealership, and her mother was Director of Nursing at the local hospital. She graduated at the top of her class from Clare High School and went on to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. She worked with youth in the public schools before running for public office.

Leading a successful effort to stop the closure of a local nursing home first inspired her to run for office. She was elected to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners when she was 24 years old and, in just two years, was elected Chair of the Board. She was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives where she served for twelve years (1979-90) and to the State Senate where she served for four years (1991-94). Her influence as a State Legislator is evident throughout Michigan law – from Michigan’s historic property tax cut and small business reforms, to nationally acclaimed legislation to protect children and families.

Elected to the U.S. Congress in 1996 representing Michigan’s Eighth District, Senator Stabenow made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from the State of Michigan elected to the United States Senate.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and as a member of the Senate Energy, Finance, and Budget Committees, she has a powerful and unique role to play in shaping our nation’s manufacturing, health care and agriculture policies. In addition to serving as Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator, Stabenow is a member of the Senate Leadership and Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Center.

Awards Banquet tickets are $140 per person and include a fabulous reception, host bar, dinner and afterglow. Sixty dollars of each ticket price may be deducted as a charitable donation to benefit the MAB Foundation. Click here to reserve your tickets and be a part of the celebration.

FCC Watch: More Translator Modifications

Here’s the latest Michigan-related FCC broadcast filings:

July 11:  Michigan Community Radio filed an application to make changes for FM translator W247CU (Fort Gratiot Township).  The application seeks to increase the translator’s effective-radiated power to 150 watts.  The translator rebroadcasts the signal of WGRT-FM (Port Huron).

July 6:  The Preservation Association of Beaver Island has applied to modify the facilities of low-power FM station WVBI-LP (Beaver Island).  The licensee is requesting a new transmitter site, ERP and HAAT.

July 6:  The Educational Media Foundation was granted a construction permit for FM translator W240CG (Webberville). The permit is to change the transmitter location to the WITL-FM tower (Lansing) and increase ERP and HAAT. The translator rebroadcasts WITL-FM (presumably one of WITL’s HD channels).

July 5:  Resort Radio has filed an application to assign the license of FM translator W299CB (Manistee) to Smile FM for $18,000.  Smile FM intends to rebroadcast its WSMZ-FM (Crystal Valley).

July 5:  Zamora Broadcasting Systems, Inc. has filed a license to cover application for FM translator W300DI (Dearborn).  This translator was formerly W240DL, operating on 95.9 Mhz.  The new callsign reflects its new frequency of 107.9 Mhz.  The translator is a fill-in translator for WDTW-AM, also licensed to Dearborn.

July 3:  AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC filed a license to cover application for WCMM (Gulliver).  The station recently applied to reduce its effective radiated power to 60kw.

June 30:  Good News Media, Inc. has applied for a transfer-of-control from its non-commercial stations to a new board of directors.  The stations affected are WLJD-FM (Charlevoix), WLJN-AM (Elmwood Township), WLJN-FM (Traverse City), WLJW-AM (Cadillac) and WLJW-FM (Fife Lake).

In addition to these applications, television stations in Michigan have begun the repack process with applications for modified facilities.  Look for a summary of those applications in the weeks to come. 

Blarney Stone Names New Voice of Grayling Vikings Football and Basketball

Chad Patterson signs his agreement with Blarney Stone Broadcasting to become the new voice of Grayling Vikings Sports.

Blarney Stone Broadcasting (Grayling) has named Chad Patterson the new voice of Grayling Vikings football and basketball.

From the station’s press release:

When Chad Patterson steps into the broadcast booth this season as the new voice of Grayling Vikings football and basketball, he’ll be fulfilling a lifelong dream – and battling no small amount of apprehension.

“I’m sure I’ll be sweating bullets,” he said. “It’s a dream-come-true for me as someone who has followed sports my entire life. And coming from a theater background, a storytelling background, any time you can paint the picture of what you’re watching – that’s basically what directing is, what playwriting is.

“I feel like I’ve narrated a lot of games in my head already. . . I’m not going to say it’ll be an easy transition – and I’m not taking lightly the shoes that I’m filling.”

Patterson, who recently agreed to a deal with Blarney Stone Broadcasting to call Vikings games, succeeds the award-winning team of Tom McCord and Rich Calkins, both of whom have retired.

“I know I’m a novice compared to them,” Patterson said. “The fact that I’m even getting an opportunity to do this considering I’ve never done it, it’s a miracle. Following in Tom and Richard’s shoes, there’s a little bit of trepidation. I listened to those guys. They were top-notch.”

A para-pro who works with autistic students at Grayling High School, Patterson was a theater major in college and owns Acting Up Company, a children’s theater group that holds performances at schools through the state. He has been a producer of the Q100 Christmas plays as well.

But he’s no stranger to football. He was a lineman on both sides of the ball at Leslie High School in the 1980s. He knows the game and he hopes to bring more to his play-by-play than basic down-and-distance and mentioning the score often enough, which is what most listeners are interested in.

“I also know there are educated listeners who want to know if a team is in a spread offense, where the tight end is playing – weak side or strong side,” Patterson said. “I hope to get into the geeky, nerdiness of the sport that some others get into as well.”

To do that well, Patterson – who has emceed the AuSable River Canoe Marathon for years – plans to do plenty of homework.

Along with reading books on broadcasting and listening to some of his favorite play-by-play sportscasters like Grayling’s George Blaha, who calls Detroit Pistons and Michigan State football games, and others, Patterson hopes to spend some time with McCord and Calkins and the Vikings’ football staff as well.

“I also want to call all the other conference coaches, go through their rosters with them, make sure I’m pronouncing all the names right,” he said, “and learn a little about what kind of offensive and defensive schemes those coaches are running.”

Sheryl Coyne, president of Blarney Stone Broadcasting, said she is beyond confident the station has found the right voice to succeed McCord and Calkins.

“We’re thrilled and proud that Chad has agreed to call Grayling Vikings football and basketball games and we know he’ll do a great job describing all the action for our Q100 listeners,” Coyne said. “This is football country here in Northern Michigan and we’re all looking forward to another great Vikings season.”

WXYZ to Air Film on Detroit Riot Anniversary

WXYZ-TV (Detroit)
will broadcast the television premiere of the film, “12th and Clairmount,” 7:00 p.m., Sunday, July 23, the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit riot/rebellion. The Detroit Free Press film was produced in collaboration with WXYZ and Bridge Magazine, and explores the racial and economic tensions that led to the most violent uprising in Detroit’s history. The documentary features WXYZ archival film along with home movies from Detroiters who witnessed the five-day rebellion and shared their stories.

“It’s so important that we reflect on the past and learn from those experiences if we’re going to move our community forward,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD Vice-President and General Manager. “Improving our community is core to our mission at WXYZ and the mission of our Detroit 2020 project…to unify our region and inspire people to act.”

“12th and Clairmount” will air commercial free  on the station.  A Detroit 2020 town hall discussion, Detroit 1967: Looking Back to Look Forward,” will air immediately following the film on air and live on the WXYZ Facebook page, where viewers can participate. The town hall program will be hosted by 7 Action News Anchor Carolyn Clifford who was born and raised in Detroit. She will be joined by 7 Action News Anchor Dave LewAllen and WXYZ Editorial and Community Affairs Director Chuck Stokes. The show will recognize the struggles that led to the violence in the summer of 1967 and focus on efforts to learn from those experiences.

WXYZ will also partner with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to present a special screening of the film, “12th and Clairmount,” at Campus Martius Park on Thursday, July 27, at 8 p.m.

Stokes will host a special “Spotlight on the News,” program from Campus Martius Park on Sunday, July 23, at 10 a.m. The show will feature interviews with newsmakers and Detroit residents who lived through the violence, and a roundtable discussion that includes 7 Action News anchors Clifford and LewAllen.

On July 23, 7 Action News at 11 p.m. will broadcast a 7 Action News special that examines the 50 years since the 1967 uprising; looks at how far the city has progressed; and addresses the work that still needs to be done to move our community forward.

From July 17 through July 22, 7 Action News at 5 p.m. will include a daily special report focusing on the uprising. Daily coverage will also be available online at WXYZ will feature a series of short videos at that examines the roots of the violence and the progress made over the past 50 years. Topics will include what happened at the Motown studios, the experiences of a solider and Detroit native dropped into the violence, and the “white flight” that followed the rebellion.