Category Archives: MAPB

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.

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.

WDET To Offer Free Airtime to Non-Profits Through Kyle’s Challenge

WDET-FM (Detroit) and The Kyle John Foundation are awarding $25,000 in promotional support to five, youth-focused nonprofits.

Five organizations will receive $5,000 of free airtime on WDET.  One non-profit (Soar Detroit) was already chosen by the Kyle John Foundation, but listeners of the station have been invited to vote to choose the remaining organizations.

Soar Detroit will kick off the Kyle’s Challenge on-air awareness campaign on the station on June 25.

Gary Cone and Aimée Cowher, founders of The Kyle John Foundation believe in the impact of WDET and the collective ability to make a real difference. They have made a very generous gift to WDET as a challenge to get listeners involved in a Community Impact Campaign that can improve the lives of thousands of young people in Southeast Michigan.

For more information on the project, click here.

WKAR Completes Channel Repack

On June 1, WKAR-TV (East Lansing) announced that it has completed its channel repack move from channel 40 to channel 33 and is now operating at full power.

The station made the FCC-required frequency change on Tuesday, May 29, but in the days following the switch, broadcasting continued at low power to a reduced coverage area while additional work was required on the new main transmission line. Many viewers beyond 30 miles, and those with indoor antennas, had no reception during this period.

But, as of 12:50 p.m. on Friday, June 1, WKAR began broadcasting from the new main antenna at full tower height, at full power, and now reaches the full coverage area for all antenna TV viewers.

The station has been advising viewers through its website to rescan their digital television tuners.

The project also affected co-located WKAR-FM and WKAR-AM’s FM translator, both of which had to power down or go off the air for brief periods during the TV antenna project.

WKAR is the first station in Michigan, and the first public broadcasting station in the country, to begin broadcasting on their new assigned frequency.

Kehler Named Director of Corporate Partnerships at WKAR

Judy Kehler

Judy Kehler has been named Director of Corporate Partnerships for WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University. The announcement was made today by Susi Elkins, Director of Broadcasting and General Manager of WKAR. Kehler steps into the role beginning May 31.

As Director of Corporate Partnerships, Kehler will oversee development and cultivation of all corporate entities at the PBS- and NPR-affiliated public broadcasting station serving Michigan’s capital region.

Kehler comes to WKAR from the Michigan Public Health Institute within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services where she served as Financial Manager.

“Judy is a strategic and creative thinker, experienced in building collaborative relationships that have a positive impact in our community,” said Elkins in making the announcement. “WKAR will benefit greatly from her passion and commitment to leveraging our programming and engagement in service of others.”

Judy Kehler holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a concentration on Accounting/Liberal Arts from University of Michigan.

WKAR-TV Shares Repack Updates with Viewers

WKAR-TV (East Lansing), which is switching RF channels due to the FCC repack, is keeping its viewers updated with the latest information on the project that started on April 20.

The station is moving from RF channel 40 to RF channel 33.  The station is one of the first in the country to make the move as part of the multi-year repack process.

To make the move, WKAR is replacing the main broadcast antenna that sits atop the station’s 1000-foot tower, plus a twenty-year-old transmitter, the transmission line to the antenna, and an auxiliary antenna.

It’s a $2 million project for WKAR, paid for almost entirely by the proceeds of the recent FCC spectrum auction.

The work is also affecting WKAR-FM and WKAR-AM’s FM translator.

The station has been providing daily “Technote” updates on its website detailing each day’s progress.  You can see the advisories here.  WKAR hopes to begin broadcasting on the new channel by May 23.

Delta’s WDCQ-TV Premieres Vietnam War Documentary


On May 3, Delta College Public Broadcasting kicked off its May pledge drive with the premiere of its locally-produced documentary “VIETNAM VOICES: Mid-Michigan Remembers the Vietnam War.”

In the documentary, thirty-one local individuals tell their stories and reflect back on the volatile Vietnam War era. Among those interviewed for the documentary include: 21 Vietnam War Veterans, along with anti-war protesters, family members, high school and college students who were eligible for the military draft, and two Vietnamese immigrants who came to the United States following the conclusion of the war.

The documentary gives these local residents the opportunity to tell their personal stories and reflect on this controversial time in American history. In addition to hearing from the veterans about their war experiences, the documentary also covers the anti-war movement, the impact of television news coverage of the war, Agent Orange, PTSD, the Vietnam War Memorial and other topics discussed by those who were interviewed.

“I have always known that the Vietnam War is a controversial subject with many different facets and many different opinions,” said Bob Przybylski, Q-TV producer/director, told the Midland Daily News about this project. “The Vietnam War divided the country in ways that World War II never did. It was fascinating to hear how different people had some different viewpoints on the same topic.”

“I am very pleased with the spectrum of people, opinions expressed and stories told in the documentary,” he added. “I really wanted to tell the story using ‘their own words’ so there is little narration used to move the documentary along. I tried to let those who participated in the project tell the story.”

The documentary is narrated by Vietnam era veteran Jeff Johnson of Tawas and it has original music written by Pat Cronley of Flint.

WDCQ – Delta College Public Broadcasting has been producing local documentaries since 2005 that have included such veteran orientated programs as World War II and the Korean War, along with many historical programs that focused on the region’s lumbering history, railroads and early immigrants. Q-TV’s most recent documentary focused on the 2016 Tall Ship Festival in Bay City.

“VIETNAM VOICES: Mid-Michigan Remembers the Vietnam War” will also air on at 8 p.m. Friday, May 18, and at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 20.

McGuire Named Director of Development at WKAR

Melanie McGuire

Melanie McGuire has been named Director of Development and Major Gifts for WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University.

The announcement was made today by Susi Elkins, Director of Broadcasting and General Manager of WKAR. McGuire steps into the role beginning May 29.

As Director of Development and Major Gifts, McGuire will oversee all fundraising efforts at the PBS- and NPR-affiliated public broadcasting station serving Michigan’s capital region.

McGuire comes to WKAR from University Advancement at MSU, where she served as Director of the Development Associates Program and Mid-Michigan Major Gifts.

“Melanie has demonstrated that when fundraising is personal, it has incredible impact,” said Elkins in making the announcement. “Our campus and community have benefited greatly from her unwavering commitment to helping others put their passions to work for the greater good and we are thrilled that she has now chosen to share her own passion and expertise with WKAR.”

”Melanie has been an incredible leader for our Development Associates Program and she is an integral part of the local community,” said Sarah Blom, Executive Director of Individual Giving for University Advancement. “While she will be missed over in University Advancement, she will be a wonderful addition to the WKAR leadership team.”

Melanie McGuire holds a master’s degree in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education and a bachelor’s degree in Communication, both from MSU.

Rebecca Thiele Leaves WMUK

Rebecca Thiele

WMUK-FM (Kalamazoo) has announced that after six years, producer/host/reporter Rebecca Thiele is leaving the station to join Indiana Public Media’s WFUI-FM/WTIU-TV in Bloomington.

In her years at WMUK, Thiele grew to become the producer and host of Arts & More, the station’s weekly look at arts and culture in southwest Michigan, and WMUK’s “beat” reporter covering the environment, science and technology.

At Indiana Public Media, Thiele will cover statewide environmental issues for the station.

Thiele said “Though I’m sad to leave my WMUK family, I’m looking forward to covering these important issues in Indiana — a state that at one time had very little environmental coverage.”

Thiele came to WMUK from KBIA-FM at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she was a student reporter. She was also a news intern at KWMU/Saint Louis Public Radio and covered local events in Missouri for AOL’s Patch.com.

“WMUK is a newsroom that’s passionate about long-form, sound-rich stories and I’m glad I got to improve those skills here,” she says.

Michael Walenta Announces Retirement

Michael Walenta

Longtime general manager of WGVU Public Media, Michael Walenta, who led the station through tremendous growth, announced his retirement effective June 29, 2018.

Walenta, who came to Grand Valley in 1988, celebrated 30 years at WGVU in January. Under his leadership, WGVU has grown from one FM station and two TV stations to a multi-platform public media station with two FM NPR stations, two AM Real Oldies and NPR stations, two TV stations with five channels each, WGVU Digital Studios, and WGVU Engage.

Walenta received the National Association of Arts and Sciences Michigan Silver Circle Award in 2008; he has also won several Emmy Awards. He is the past president of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters Board as well as the Michigan Public Radio Network.

“I want to thank Michael for his unwavering dedication to WGVU and to the unique and essential mission of public broadcasting,” said Matt McLogan, vice president for University Relations at Grand Valley. “We thank him for all he has done to lead the exceptional WGVU team and wish him and his family — Nancy, Kevin and Kristen — all the best for a well-earned new chapter for the Walenta family.”

Walenta has served on numerous boards and committees including the Ken Burns/WETA Vietnam War Station Advisory Committee, Public Media Joint Licensee Association Board, and NETA Member Service Committee. In 2016, he was appointed to a two-year term on the Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education.

Mike Riksen, vice president of Policy and Representation at NPR, said, “Michael’s deep experience as a public broadcasting station leader helped to imbed the essential message that public broadcasting is a unique American collaboration with audiences and supporters of public radio and public television. Michael’s career as a station leader will be remembered by all who worked with and know him and modeled by those looking to improve their performance.”

In 2015, Walenta shared his story of battling cancer on “Family Health Matters,” on WGVU TV, which also featured his family members giving insight into their journey.

“Michael has been a great leader within our public television community, demonstrating a passionate commitment to education and innovation,” said Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS. “His willingness to share his battle with cancer with courage, honesty and humor has been an inspiration to all of us privileged to know him. His public television colleagues deeply appreciate his service and wish him all the best as he embarks on a new chapter.”