Michigan Almanac: July 2006 Archives

Noted industry expert Kurt Hanson to discuss broadcasters' changing role in the New Media Mix

NAB President David Rehr Also Joins a Prominent Line-up at MAB Annual Meeting & Leadership Retreat July 24-26 at Boyne Mountain Resort

MABRadio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN) Publisher Kurt Hanson will focus on how technology is changing consumers' use of broadcast media, and what opportunities may appear for broadcasters when he delivers the keynote address at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Annual Meeting & Leadership Retreat to be held Monday, July 24 through Wednesday, July 26 at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan.

The theme of the MAB Annual Meeting is The New Media Mix, and will include a panel discussion, moderated by Kurt Hanson on how new technologies such as the Internet, iPods, and TV On Demand can be incorporated into the existing broadcast world. Other conference highlights include:
• A speech by David Rehr, President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters;
• A presentation by leading advertising executives on how broadcasting fits into The New Media Mix; and
• The Chairman's Banquet on Tuesday evening, at which six distinguished Michigan broadcasters will be inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. MAB will also posthumously honor John Wismer of Wismer Broadcasting in Port Huron with the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters represents more than 300 radio and television stations, serving nearly 4,000 individual employees in the broadcasting industry. MAB is one of the largest broadcast associations in the nation and offers educational, informational, and cost-saving services to its members. The MAB is dedicated to helping its members serve their communities, advertisers and staff by providing solutions to industry problems and satisfying members' needs.


Industry legends recognized in ceremonies at Michigan Association of Broadcasters annual meeting & leadership retreat at Boyne Mountain Resort

MABSix prominent figures in Michigan broadcasting history were honored with induction into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame, during ceremonies held Tuesday, July 25 at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Annual Meeting & Leadership Retreat at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan. Honorees include:

John F.X. Browne, who established the communications engineering consulting firm of John F.X. Browne & Associates in 1966. Browne is recognized as one of the leading broadcast engineering consultants in the country.

Toby Cunningham, Executive Producer of Sports & Special Projects at WKBD/WWJ-TV in Detroit. Over the past three decades, millions of metro-Detroiters have seen his work. He has produced and directed thousands of Detroit Pistons, Red Wings, Lions and Tigers games, including landmark productions Red Wings Stanley Cup celebrations.

Chuck Furman, Assistant General Manager of WGVU-TV in Grand Rapids, and one of the three original employees who helped launch the station in 1972. Through his stints as on-air talent during annual membership drives and the yearly live auction, as well as his work with planned giving, Furman has become WGVU's most recognizable voice and face in the community.

Fred Jacobs who founded Jacobs Media in Detroit in 1983, had the notion that Album Rock could be fragmented with the Classic Rock format. Jacobs has emerged over the past two decades as one of radio's leading visionaries, and consults the leading broadcasting companies in America.

Luster “Les” Root, News Director at WDZZ/WRSR/WWCK-AM & FM, Cumulus Media, Inc in Flint. In a broadcast career that has spanned 50 years, Root has risen through the ranks as a street reporter, anchor and news director. His dedication to the community and high level of integrity has earned him the respect of his listeners and colleagues in the industry.

John Wismer (posthumously) was Owner and President of Wismer Broadcasting, Inc, WHLS-AM, WSAQ-FM in Port Huron. Wismer began his career in 1946 as Sports Director at WHLS, became General Manager in 1950, and purchased the station in 1954. He was a past president of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. MAB also honored Wisner with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

The MAB Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame was established in 2001. It serves to recognize broadcasters for their leadership, achievement and contributions to the industry.


The late owner of WHLS-AM and WSAQ-FM recognized posthumously for his contributions to broadcasting and the community

The late John Wismer, owner and president of Port Huron based Wismer Broadcasting, has been recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) with the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award. The tribute to Wismer was part of ceremonies held Tuesday, July 25 at the MAB Annual Meeting & Leadership Retreat at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan.

“John Wismer was one of the real pioneers and leaders in Michigan broadcasting history,” said Karole White, MAB President & CEO. “His contributions to the communities he served and to our industry were enormous.”

Wismer began his broadcasting career in 1946 as Sports Director at WHLS-AM in Port Huron. He became General Manager in 1950 and purchased the station in 1954. Wismer bought and sold stations WLAV-FM in Grand Rapids, WCSR-AM in Hillsdale, WLEW-AM/FM in Bad Axe and WAOP-AM/FM in Otsego. Wismer served as President of the MAB in 1954. He also served as President of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce from 1976-78, and was Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Radio & Television Stations. Wismer passed away in October 1999.

Wismer was also one of six Michigan broadcasters inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame, during the MAB meeting. The other Hall of fame honorees were:
• John F.X Browne, John F.X Browne & Associates
• Toby Cunningham, WKBD/WWJ-TV, Detroit
• Chuck Furman, WGVU-AM/FM/TV, Grand Rapids
• Fred Jacobs, Jacobs Media, Southfield
• Luster “Les” Root, Cumulus Media-Flint


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) elected officers for 2006-2007 at its Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat held July 24-26 at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan. The newly elected officers are:

• Chairman - Mario Iacobelli, President and CEO of WWTV/WWUP-TV in Cadillac-Traverse City;
• Vice Chairman-Chairman Elect – Bart Brandmiller, Vice President and Market Manager of Clear Channel Lakeshore in Muskegon;
• Treasurer – Diane Kniowski, President and General Manager of WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids;
• At Large – Tom Mogush, General Manager of WMQT-FM/WZAM-AM in Marquette; and
• Immediate Past Chairman – Julie Koehn, President and General Manager of WLEN-FM in Adrian

Mario Iacobelli is President and CEO of WWTV/WWUP-TV in Cadillac-Traverse City. He was born and raised in Detroit, where he graduated in 1960 from the University of Detroit. After college Mr. Iacobelli entered the construction industry where he owned and operated many worldwide offices. In 1982, Mr. Iacobelli formed Heritage Broadcast Company. In 1983, he bought WWTV/WWUP-TV, and has been personally overseeing the station's daily business since 1990.

Bart Brandmiller is Vice President and Market Manager of Clear Channel Radio's five-station cluster (WMUS AM/FM, WMHG AM, WMRR FM, WSHZ FM) in Muskegon, Michigan. Prior to joining Clear Channel, from February 1984 to December 2002, Bart was President and General Manager of Michigan Media. Inc. (WBBL AM, WKLQ FM, WLAV FM, WODJ FM) and Vice President and General Manager of Citadel Radio Corp., both of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He served in sales and sales management in Lima, Ohio, Indianapolis and South Bend, Indiana. He has served as President of the Grand Rapids Area Broadcasters Association, and is a board member of YMCA Camp Manitou-lin.

Diane Kniowski is the President/General Manager of WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, MI. Diane joined WOOD TV8 in 1993 as the National Sales Manager, and was promoted to the General Sales Manager position in 1996. She reconstructed the sales and traffic departments to maximize inventory and client relations. She launched the installation of a new traffic system within all the LIN Television stations and established the market's leading sales team. She established a Special Projects Director to effectively plan WOOD TV8's involvement in events such as Angel Tree, the West Michigan Grand Prix and the Foremost Championship to build and strengthen WOOD TV8's commitment of community service. In June of 1999, Diane was named President and General Manager. Since that time, Diane has overseen the development and launch of WXSP, the West Michigan UPN affiliate. She has developed strategic partnerships with the local newspapers, and overseen the successful operation of three local television stations; WOOD TV8, WOTV and WXSP. Diane is also an active member in the industry and community as a member of TARPAC (Television and Radio Political Action Committee), the regional chapter of American Women in Radio and Television, TVB (Television Bureau) and Junior Achievement.

Tom Mogush is General Manager of WMQT-FM and WZAM-AM in Marquette. Mogush contributed 15 years to broadcasting Northern Michigan University Hockey on WMQT, including the 1991 NCAA National Championship team. Mogush also serves as President of the Upper Peninsula Radio Broadcast Alliance, serves on the Lake Superior Community Partnership Board of Directors, and was a contributing author of the Roy Williams book "Accidental Magic." Mogush is a 1981 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Speech Communications/Broadcasting.

Julie Koehn is the President of Lenawee Broadcasting Company, licensee of WLEN-FM in Adrian. She has worked at WLEN-FM since 1985. Throughout her career in broadcasting Ms. Koehn has served on many boards including the March of Dimes in Lenawee County, Lenawee County Communities in Schools, Lenawee County Chamber of Commerce, Adrian Downtown Business Associations as President in 1990-1991 and more. She has also founded the John W. Koehn Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1990 in honor of WLEN and WTWR founder John W. Koehn. She has been a speaker on small market radio during the 1993, 1996, and 1998 National Association of Broadcasters national conventions, the recipient “Best Small Market Idea” award from the NAB in 1996, and the recipient of the Lenawee County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year Award in 1993. Ms. Koehn received her bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University with a dual major in Industrial & Labor Relations and Political Science in 1985.

Elected to serve first terms on the board are Gayle Olson, President and General Manager of Midwest Family Broadcasting in Benton Harbor, and Steve Wasserman, President and General Manager of WDIV-TV in Detroit.

Returning to the MAB Board are: Duane Alverson, President of Macdonald Broadcasting in Saginaw; Don Backus, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ENCO Systems in Southfield; Al Blinke, Vice President and General Manager of WNEM-TV in Saginaw; Julie Brinks, Vice President and General Manager of WPBN/WTOM-TV in Traverse City; Sue Goldsen, Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for Jackson Radio Works in Jackson; Paul Grzebik, Regional Sales Manager for Axcera in Southfield; Michael King, Vice President and General Manager of WILX-TV in Lansing; Carol Lawrence-Dobrusin, Vice President and General Manager of Radio One in Detroit; Michael Murri, General Sales Manager for WXYZ-TV in Detroit; Judy Ouvry, Director of Manistee Operations for Lake Michigan Broadcasting, and Palmer Pyle, President of Northern Star Broadcasting in Traverse City.


Two longtime employees of Michigan public broadcast stations and a volunteer family have been honored by the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) with the 2006 Pioneer Awards, given for outstanding contributions or meritorious volunteer service to public broadcasting. The awards were presented this week at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat held at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan. 2006 Pioneer Award winners are:

Nancy Gilleo, Administrative Services Director/Business Manager at WKAR-TV/AM/FM.
Nancy started work at WKAR-AM/FM in 1978 as Business Manager. She expanded her oversight to include television in 1989. Nancy has performed virtually every job at WKAR in the past 28 years, including working in the news and traffic departments, running a control board and performing on-air announcing;

Ruby Iwamasa, Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting. Ruby officially joined the Delta College staff in 1983 and has been involved in most aspects of the station, including a stint as Interim General Manager. Through various initiatives, such as the PBS Ready To Learn Service, she championed the educational uses of public television programming, while nurturing the love of learning and literacy in all ages.

Winners of the 2006 Pioneer Award for Meritorious Service are:

The Ferguson Family, volunteers for WGVU-TV in Grand Rapids. Father Dave Ferguson, wife Barb, sons Tim and James, and daughter-in-law Amy have been the consummate super volunteers at the annual WGVU auction. The Fergusons have been active in every facet of the auctions, including writing and running bids, training and assisting other volunteers, training auctioneers and helping in the lunchroom. Staff at WGVU feel the auction doesn't begin until the Fergusons have arrived.







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Michigan Almanac category from July 2006.

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