Michigan Almanac: July 2008 Archives

Bidding Concludes Friday, July 18 at 11:59 p.m.

Bidding has begun in the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation's (MABF) summer online auction. Interested bidders have until Friday, July 18 at 11:59 p.m. to attempt to win packages being offered in the charitable online auction. Bidding in the MABF online auction is open to the general public.


Items include:

The Spartan Club at Spartan Stadium Package: Two exclusive passes to the September 13th Michigan State University v. Florida Atlantic University game as a guest in the exclusive Spartan Club (formerly the LaSalle Bank Club) at Spartan Stadium. Buffet style meals are set up throughout the game. Also included in this package are: access to Spartan Radio Network Tailgate Party, parking pass and a visit to the broadcast booth.

UofM Football Tickets: Four tickets to the September 6, 2008 University of Michigan home football game against Miami University (Ohio). Tickets are located in Row 68, Section 7 on the aisle.

MSU Football Tickets: Four tickets to the September 13, 2008 Michigan State University home football game against Florida Atlantic University.

Impression 5 Science Center Private Event: A two-hour, after hours event for up to 500 people at Impression 5 Science Center located in downtown Lansing. Plan a private party, business meeting or just have some fun with your family and friends! Dates are available on a first come, first served basis.

Mojo in the Morning LIVE: Highest bidder and seven (7) guests will watch a live radio broadcast of the 95.5 WKQI-FM Detroit "Mojo in the Morning" show. Includes a one-hour, in-studio visit with Mojo.


Complete information on the MABF online auction, including detailed information on registration, auction items and contest rules may be found at www.michmab.com. Click on the Online Auction button.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and the National Black Church Initiative will host an educational discussion about the upcoming switch to digital television (DTV) open to all Detroit residents on July 22. Detroit DTV Day is part of MAB's statewide campaign to educate Michigan viewers about the DTV transition and supports the national consumer outreach efforts led by the National Association of Broadcasters.

The activities will start with a 10 a.m. news conference followed by a noon presentation at the Detroit Public Library's Main Branch at 5201 Woodward Ave in Detroit.

By law, all full-power television stations in the country must turn off their analog signals and begin broadcasting exclusively in a digital format on February 17, 2009. Minority communities, including the elderly and African-Americans, are among the most disproportionately affected populations by the DTV transition.


Six prominent figures in Michigan broadcasting history were inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The board of directors of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) endorsed the nominees May 21 at its board meeting in Lansing. Inductees were formally recognized at ceremonies held July 15th at the MAB Annual Meeting & Leadership Retreat at Crystal Mountain Resort. Honorees included:

2008 Lifetime Achievement Award

• Richard Sommerville retired in 2000 after a half-century of distinguished broadcasting excellence including his ownership of several radio stations. Dick started his career as a morning man at WTTH (now WPHM) in Port Huron. He purchased WSMA in Marine City in 1962 and subsequently purchased WCEN AM/FM in Mt. Pleasant in 1986. Many broadcasters got their start under Dick's tutelage at WCEN, including several who now own their own stations, or have gone on to distinguished on-air careers.

2008 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees

• James Bleicher has served as news director at WJRT-TV in Flint for 22 years. Jim is widely recognized for his steady, creative and sensitive presence that has built and maintained the highest journalistic standards and audience levels at the station. Jim has a long established track record of mentoring dozens of news employees who've gone on to other stations and networks. Jim's entire professional career has been spent in Michigan, starting in radio news in Jackson prior to television news assignments in Detroit, Lansing and Flint. Jim has won numerous state and national journalism awards, including a regional RTNDA award and five Emmys.

• Larry Estlack has been selected as a member of the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Larry is director of technology for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Larry began working in Michigan broadcasting operations in 1970, and has been involved in just about every area of broadcasting from engineering to programming. Larry has been the chief engineer at several radio and television stations in Michigan and is widely respected as an engineering consultant. He was named MAB Engineer of the Year in 1997. Larry has been the Michigan chairperson of the Emergency Alert System since 1985, and has been a teacher at Michigan State University.

• Gordon A. Lawrence was hired by Grand Valley State University in October of 1971 to be its first station general manager. He created and launched a PBS station, WGVC Channel 35, bringing service to the West Michigan market to what had previously been the largest region in the nation without public television. In March 1979, Gordon was hired as director of broadcasting and media resources at the University of Michigan-Flint. For the second time, he developed another PBS station, WFUM-TV, channel 28, again in a market that was the largest unserved region in the nation without public television.

• Diana Lewis has been an integral part of the WXYZ-TV family since 1977 and has become one of the most recognized and respected faces in Michigan television. In addition to her role as news anchor on the WXYZ-TV 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, Diana can also be seen anchoring two of the biggest Detroit area events, the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview Special and The Woodward Dream Cruise. Diana's commitment to the community, her enduring strength and spirit make her one Detroit's leading women. Diana's Tuesday's Child segments have been credited with inspiring people to adopt children with special needs. Diana is also involved with the American Lung Association of Southeast Michigan and the Boys & Girls Club, Haven and many more organizations.

• Mike Whorf is best known as the producer and host of WJR radio's award winning program "Kaleidoscope," a music, docu-drama featuring stories of people and events which influenced our thoughts, words, deeds and actions. The program received many of broadcasting's most prestigious awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award. Mike created many special projects during his stellar career, at WJR, which began in 1964, including holiday specials, The Quest for Excellence series: a 13-part series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ending of WWII, a 36-week series I Remember Radio, as well as programs on sports and music.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) elected officers for 2008-2009 at its Annual Meeting & Leadership retreat held July 14-16 at the Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville. The newly elected officers are:

  • Chairman - Diane Kniowski, President and General Manager of WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids

  • Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect - Tom Mogush, Owner/General Manager, WMQT-FM/WZAM-AM in Marquette

  • Secretary-Treasurer - Michael King, Vice President & General Manager, WILX-TV in Lansing

  • Immediate Past Chairman - Bart Brandmiller, Director of Sales for Clear Channel-West Michigan in Grand Rapids

  • At-Large Director - Duane Alverson, President, MacDonald Broadcasting Company in Saginaw


Diane Kniowski is the President/General Manager of WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, MI. Kniowski joined WOOD- TV 8 in 1993 as the National Sales Manager, and was promoted to the General Sales Manager position in 1996. She was appointed to her current position in June 1999. 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 owner and 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, as well as the Lake Superior Community Partnership Board of Directors. He was a contributing author of the Roy Williams book Accidental Magic. Mogush is a 1981 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree is Speech Communications/Broadcasting.

Mike King is the Vice President and General Manager of WILX-TV, Lansing, a Gray Television property. In January 1999 he was named Vice President/General Manager of WLAJ-TV in Lansing, Michigan. In 2000, he assumed his current position at WILX-TV. King is a 1985 graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in Telecommunications.

Bart Brandmiller is Director of Sales for all of Clear Channel Radio's stations on the west side of 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 has served as President of the Grand Rapids Area Broadcasters Association, and is a board member of YMCA Camp Manitou-lin.

Duane Alverson is President of MacDonald Broadcasting. Alverson has spent his entire broadcast career working in various leadership capacities at MacDonald Broadcasting Company. Duane's broadcast career began in 1985 as Local Sales Manager for country powerhouse WKCQ-FM. A few years later he became General Sales Manager for the Saginaw property and then served for five years as VP Sales prior to being named President in 2004.


Elected to serve their first term on the MAB Board are:
• Debbie Kenyon - Vice President/Market Manager, CBS Radio - Detroit
• Bill Kring - General Manager, WWTV-TV - Cadillac/Traverse City
• Jill Saarela - Vice President/General Manager, WPBN-TV - Cadillac/Traverse City
• Lyle Schulze - Vice President/General Manager, WSYM-TV - Lansing
• Chris Warren - Corporate Controller, Midwestern Broadcasting Company - Cadillac/Traverse City

Returning to the MAB Board for 2008-2009 are: Al Blinke, Vice President and General Manager of WNEM-TV, Saginaw; Trey Fabacher, Vice President and General Manager of WWJ-TV/WKBD-TV, Detroit; Paul Grzebik, Regional Sales Manager of Axcera, Detroit; James Lutton, Vice President and General Manager of WWMT-TV, Lansing; Gayle Olson, President and General Manager of Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Benton Harbor; Bob Peters, General Sales Manager of WCZY-FM/WMMI-AM, Mt. Pleasant; Ken Radant, Barry Broadcasting, WBCH-AM/FM, Grand rapids; Bob Sliva, Vice President and General Manager of WXYZ-TV, Detroit; and Robert Striker, General Manager of WTWR-FM, Monroe.


Take a look at the age 12+ rankings, look courtesy of Stationratings.com:

For the first time in its existence Detroit contemporary hits outlet Channel 9-5-5 (WQKI FM 95.5) is the top station among radio listeners age 12 and over, followed closely by news NewsRadio 950 (WWJ AM), NewsTalk 760 (WJR AM) and FM 98 (urban WJLB FM 97.9). Oldies 104.3 (WOMC FM) rounded out the top 5 stations.

The Ticket (sports WXYT-FM 97.1) enjoyed huge gains over the winter ratings period and the 'Rif (rock WRIF FM 101.1) also saw a nice numbers rebound.

Country stations had the best individual ratings in Lansing, Toledo, and South Bend with heritage stations WITL FM 100.7, WKKO FM 99.9, and WBYT FM 100.7 each leading the way among all listeners.


Another batch of Spring radio ratings was released late last week; they are available courtesy of Stationratings.com:

Top stations among listeners age 12+ in each market were soft rock WCRZ in Flint, contemporary hits WIOG in the Tri-Cities, news/talk WJR in Ann Arbor and country WNWN-FM in Battle Creek.







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Michigan Almanac category from July 2008.

Michigan Almanac: June 2008 is the previous archive.

Michigan Almanac: November 2008 is the next archive.

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