Northern Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 22, 2007





Deputies are looking for witnesses of a deadly crash in Ogemaw County that killed a television news anchor. Ogemaw County deputies say the accident happened on M-33, south of Engel Road in Churchill Township shortly after 9:15 Friday night. They say it appears a southbound car crossed the center line and hit a car heading north. Kristen Rath of Holly died in the crash. She was an anchor for WBKB-TV, a CBS affiliate in Alpena... News anchor killed in Ogemaw county crash (Mon, 10/22)

- More information on Ms. Rath here: WBKB TV news team

WSRT admits wrongdoing in Spring ratings book

In the wake of Arbitron signaling it would be issuing a corrected spring ratings book that would likely have a negative effect on the ratings of WSRT-FM 106.7 Gaylord last week, there were numerous Internet rumors that someone within the station was responsible for the three diaries that are being excluded from the corrected numbers. Northern Broadcasting general manager Charlie Ferguson has now issued a statement on the issue:

"On Friday, October 12th, 2007, Arbitron alleged that one or more of our employees had filled out listener diaries in the Spring 2007 Audience Survey and will be releasing revised rating information for the Traverse City/Petoskey market on Monday, October 22nd, 2007. The revisions will primarily affect reported listening levels on 106.7 WSRT. It is important to note that this had no affect on the gains made by WKLT/WKLZ or The FOX FM. After performing our own due diligence, we concluded that the household of two of our employees had indeed filled out diaries which were subsequently used in the tabulation of the Spring ratings. On Thursday, October 18th, 2007, I asked for and received both of their resignations effective immediately.

"Whether one or both were involved, we cannot tolerate any cloud of suspicion over the integrity of our company, ownership or management. I offer my humble and sincere apologies to both our competitors and Arbitron for the actions of one or two of our employees and this unnecessary, as well as embarrassing turn of events. It is also our hope that our advertisers and agency partners will understand that Northern Broadcasting believes in a fair and unbiased ratings system and that we will be doing everything in our power to re-earn your trust." reports that it has received a letter from Glenda Lee, who claims she is responsible for the three diaries in question:

"I am the wife (although maybe not for long) of the programmer involved with the station," she wrote. "He knew absolutely nothing about diaries until we were approached by our GM last week.

"I did know. I thought that I had declined the offered diaries. They came anyway. Just for fun, just for the opportunity to do something I had never been able to do, and never intending for the diaries to be mailed or seen by anyone other than me, or perhaps my husband AFTER the ratings came back, I filled out three of the diaries. One was filled out based on my own listening, one as I thought he would fill one out, and one, as a much younger woman (wishful thinking maybe) just for kicks.

"Again, these diaries were NEVER intended to be submitted or seen by anyone outside of myself. While I did not mail these diaries myself, it is my fault for leaving them laying around on my desk where my son saw them and put them out for the carrier, thinking that I DID want them mailed. However, when the ratings came back, and up until the day my GM brought this to my attention, I too had no knowledge or expectation that the diaries -- my play diaries -- had actually gone into the mail.

"When confronted, I compounded the issue by lying, both to my GM and to my husband. This is all on me. No one else. I accept full responsibility for the rather wide path of destruction created by my stupidity and have offered to sign an affidavit accepting full responsibility to clear the names of both NORTHERN BROADCASTING, and the most honest and upstanding human being I have ever known.

"Without ever meaning to cheat, I cheated. He did not, nor did NORTHERN BROADCASTING have any knowledge of my actions. My profound apologies to everyone that I have hurt by my actions." has learned that Todd Martin, who had been program director for WSRT as well as WFCX/WFDX (The Fox FM), has exited from Northern Broadcasting.







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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on October 22, 2007 8:28 AM.

West Michigan: Newsmakers Oct 21, 2007 was the previous entry in this blog.

Home improvement radio show may be unplugged is the next entry in this blog.

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