West Michigan: Newsmakers Sep 25, 2007




Broadcasting Notes

By: Colleen Pierson

Neither rain, nor wind, nor dark of night could stop WBCT-FM (B’93’s) morning man Neal Dionne from sitting on top of a roof to raise more than $250,000 to end the cycle of child abuse in West Michigan. Over the course of 15 years doing Roofsit, B-93 has raised in excess of $6 million for organizations that help prevent child abuse and neglect.

“The event went off without a hitch,” said Kristen Everhart, director of promotions for Clear Channel Radio. “Except we could have done without the rain and wind during Neal's first night and second day on the roof. The wind was gusting so fast that we had to reinforce the wood house that Neal's broadcast equipment is set up in! It worked though, and Neal was a trooper and stayed up in the house the entire time like he normally does.”

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Brian Sims is the new midday hire (10a.m.-3p.m.) and assistant program manager at WTNR-FM (Thunder 94.5).

“I will be here until the end of time,” he said jokingly. I love helping people get through the work day stress-free and have a lot of fun.”

Sims left KYGO-FM, a country radio station in Denver, Colorado, to pursue his new job at Thunder.

“I’ve never been to Michigan before. The people are great here—very friendly.”

Sims has been in the radio broadcast industry for over 16 years and graduated from Washington State University with a degree in broadcast management. He replaces Dawn Michaels who left the area to be with her family.

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Ken Burns is a well-known, gifted, documentary producer and director. His work is a must-see. I recommend you won’t want to miss his newest project. It is a World War II film series that explores the history and horror of the war from an American perspective.

Beginning on Sunday, September 23 at 8 p.m., WGVU-TV (Channel 35) presents The War, the new seven-part epic miniseries. Parts 1 – 4 of the film will air Sunday, September 23 – Wednesday, September 26 and parts 5 – 7 will air Sunday, September 30 – Tuesday, October 2, all at 8 p.m. Each night’s episode will encore immediately following the initial airing. For more info, visit wgvu.org.

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Bill Steffen, Meteorologist at WOOD-TV (Channel 8) and WOTV (Channel 4), is now on 24-Hour News 8 at Noon.

“With the extra hour of the ‘Today Show’, Terri DeBoer was pretty much on the air continuously from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. She was going to be doing a minimum of 9 hours a day, plus all the appearances she does,” he said.

So, according to Steffen, News Director Patti McGettigan shifted his schedule and “now Terri will do a 3:30a.m.-10:00a.m. staying a little later when we have the ‘Weather experience’ show at the station, and if we need to do team coverage at noon.”

“Most days I’ll do noon and the 5-6 p.m. hour. We may have Matt do the noon show on Fridays so I can have a morning to do school visits. Laura Velasquez (our summer intern and senior meteorology major at C.M.U.) is doing a little on air work on weekend mornings,” Steffen concluded.

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Remember Glenn Eckelkamp? He was WOOD-TV 8’s sportscaster from 1980-1989. Now, he is selling fun, as he develops advertising partnerships, not only at the ballpark for the Whitecaps, but Berlin Raceway as well.

“Having been a Whitecaps season ticket holder from the day they opened the gates in 1994, this is a dream job. It's a great organization with a terrific reputation in the community. I'm happy to be a part of that,” he said.

Joining him in selling fun in family entertainment is another former broadcaster, Steve Dirksen.

“I am probably better known as the program director/afternoon guy on W-Light (WLHT) from 1984-1997-when our lineup was Dave, Geri, Chuck Latour, Michael Sirianni, Me, Gene Parker, and Frank Smith. We had several #1 books through the late 80's and into the 90's. I probably miss those days in radio as much as anything.”

“The Whitecaps remind me of what radio was like back in the days of single owners. It's a true team of people all pulling in the same direction, having fun at the same time,” Dirksen said.

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There may be several ways to ensure failure in a child’s life, but one way is certain. Remove all hope. WOOD TV8 and WOTV 4 will take a look at how we can help our children believe in themselves and their future in “Connect: Children of Hope.”

Hosted by WOTV 4’s and G. R. Press Columnist Maranda and 24 Hour News 8’s Eva Aguirre Cooper, the special will air Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 7:00p.m. on WOTV 4 and again on Saturday, September 29 at 6:30pm on WOOD TV8.

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Contact Colleen Pierson at radio-tv@gr-press.com or visit her new Broadcast Notes blog at colleensbroadcastnotes.blogspot.com.







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on September 25, 2007 9:06 AM.

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