Entries in Michigan Almanac Category

Michigan Almanac: January 30, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

While the daily news of bailouts, stimulus packages and CEO bonus checks has taken its toll on many Americans, for Nashville singer/songwriter John Rich of the country duo Big and Rich, it inspired "Shuttin' Detroit Down," a song sympathetic to autoworkers and farmers. Now, the song has become a working-class anthem, and it's quickly becoming one of the hottest songs on country radio. Rich dropped off the song at B-93's Grand Rapids studio Tuesday. "As soon as John played it for us, the phones started ringing and the e-mails started flying in. People are in tears," said morning on-air personality Neal Dionne, of WBCT-FM (B-93.7) in Grand Rapids, a region also struggling with a GM plant closing in Wyoming. "You don't see that everyday. (And) when you do, you know it's something special." The same strong reactions are happening in Detroit, where country station WDTW-FM (106.7), The Fox, is playing it hourly... Michigan's reality? John Rich's 'Shuttin' Detroit Down' hits home (Thu, 1/29)



Detroit Free Press:

A country protest song titled "Shuttin' Detroit Down" is spreading across the nation's C&W stations - and surging in popularity in the beleaguered Motor City itself. The song, by John Rich of the country duo Big and Rich, is a populist anthem that combines elements of working-class pride, economic frustration and class warfare. He's traveling the country, performing it on country stations, and it's spreading in viral fashion via radio and the Internet. The refrain: "In the real world, they're shuttin' Detroit down/While the boss man takes his bonus and jets on out of town." Rich sang it in person on the Dr. Don Morning Show Tuesday on Detroit's WYCD-FM (99.5), and the phones immediately lit up. "It has spread like wild fire," said WYCD program director Tim Roberts. "It's unbelievable. It's one of the biggest records we've had in years"... John Rich's 'Shuttin' Detroit Down' sizzling on country radio, Web (Thu, 1/29)


You can support broadcast education, scholarships and internships in Michigan by placing your bid on a number of entertainment packages up for grabs in the latest Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation online auction. Items include:

    - Passes to Mojo in the Morning - live: For this package, the highest bidder and seven guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch a live radio broadcast of the 95.5 WKQI-FM Detroit "Mojo in the Morning" show. This experience includes a one-hour, in-studio visit with Mojo on a Friday determined by the winner and the show;

    - Impression 5 Science Center Private Event: Let your imagination soar at Impression 5 Science Center! The recipient of this package will receive 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! Don't forget to visit the On The Air Broadcast exhibit. This event must be planned after normal business hours;

    - Detroit Pistons Overnight "Staycation": The lucky high bidder of this package will receive two (2) tickets to the Sunday, April 5, 2009 Pistons vs. Charlotte Bobcats at 6:00pm, a VIP parking pass and an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Express on Woodward Avenue in Birmingham;

    - Red Wings Tickets: The highest bidder of this package will receive two (2) tickets to a Detroit Red Wings hockey game of your choice. Tickets are based on availability at time of purchase and specific games/times are not guaranteed.

    - Two Grand Hotel Golf For Two packages: The highest bidders will enjoy golf for two at the Grand Hotel's beautiful Jewel Golf Course located on Mackinac Island. The items include 18 holes of golf including cart and horse-drawn carriage transportation between the Grand nine and Woods nine. Packages are good from May 2, 2009 through October 24, 2009. Reservations are encouraged and may be made directly to the course.

To bid, or for more information, visit www.michmab.com/MABF/auction_March_2009.htm.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) has announced the recipients of its 2008 Broadcast Excellence Station of the Year Awards. The awards are based on the cumulative number of points scored from the Broadcast Excellence competition's selected categories and is given to the station with the most points in each radio and television market. The awards were presented during a special Mardi Gras themed dinner on Wednesday, March 11 in Grand Rapids. Check out the complete list of winner from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters web site here: www.michmab.com/awards/awards_be2008.htm. Congratulations to all the winners!


Many of the winning stations have issued individual press releases:

* WXYZ-TV Named Station of the Year

* WLNS TV 6 Wins Station of the Year Award, Among Others

* Michigan Radio named Public Broadcasting Station of the Year (Ann Arbor News)

* MSU student radio station is college station of the year

* From WJR Detroit: The MAB (Michigan Association of Broadcasters) has named News/Talk 760 WJR as Market 1 Radio (Detroit) 2008 Station of the Year. Presented at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters "Broadcast Excellence Awards Ceremony", this award was designed to recognize outstanding achievement in the Michigan broadcast world. WJR took home more awards than any other station in the state, receiving both first place and merit awards in some categories.

* From WSDP Plymouth/Canton: The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation named WSDP the High School Station of the Year. The MABF presented the award during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo on Wednesday March 11, in Grand Rapids. Broadcasters from throughout the state were in attendance.



Two Michigan broadcasters honored with Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented its most prestigious engineering award to a pair of Michigan broadcasters, who combined have served the industry for 93 years. The Carl E Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award winners for this year are:

Gregory Urbiel, Director of Engineering, Saga Communications, Detroit. Mr. Urbiel began his career as a radio engineer in 1969 at WCAR-AM/FM in Detroit, Michigan. His many accomplishments through the years include assisting to design and move WWJ-AM/FM/WYST (WJOI) to their current studio in Southfield. Since then Greg has worked for CBS Radio in New York, New York and ABC Radio in Detroit, Michigan before finding his current home at Saga Communications. He has also served as a member on the Engineering Committee for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Southeast Michigan Operations Area Emergency Broadcast Coordinating Committee.

Dale Scholten, Chief Engineer, WXMI-TV, Grand Rapids. Mr. Scholten has been in the broadcasting industry for 53 years and has contributed in to the television industry in many ways. He began his career repairing TV's in Cadillac, Michigan where he soon was hired on at WWTV-TV, the local television station. Dale grew his experience and earned his FCC first class license. In 1968, while working as an engineer for WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Dale began his own contract maintenance company, General Communications Company. Dale helped to build what is now WXMI-TV and has been their Chief Engineer for 28 years. He still owns and operates his own business and now works with his son.

The Carl Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards were presented during the Engineering Luncheon at the MAB's annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo which was held in Grand Rapids.



Michigan Broadcasters present Don Backus MAB Associate of the Year Award

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented Don Backus of ENCO Systems with the organization's Associate of the Year Award. The presentation was made Wednesday, March 11 during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Grand Rapids. The award recognizes the significant contributions made by associate members, and to acknowledge their efforts in enhancing the quality and integrity of broadcasting while supporting their community.

"Don is a long time supporter and member of the MAB," said Karole White, MAB President and CEO. "Through his dedication and volunteer efforts, Don has not only been an asset to other broadcasters, but has been integral in MAB community outreach efforts."

Don Backus is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ENCO Systems, a manufacturer and distributer of digital audio storage and reproduction systems. He has been an associate member of the MAB and has served on its Board of Directors for over eight years. Don was one of the founders of the MAB Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) and has served on the GLBC Committee since its inception in 1987. In addition, Don has served on the engineering committee, the annual convention committee and the MAB board of directors as its first associate representative.


Michigan broadcasters will participate in a cooperative nationwide effort by conducting local "soft tests" to check to see if television viewers are prepared for the impending digital television transition. The tests will take place on Thursday, May 21, 2009 and are part of a concerted effort to make sure all citizens are prepared to make the transition on June 12, 2009.

Each television market in the state has worked together to coordinate a uniform time when the majority of stations will simulate (soft test) turning off their analog signal so citizens can check to see if they are ready to make the transition to digital TV. Additionally, many stations who have already transitioned or those who are technically unable to perform the simulation will run messages along the bottom of their screens to inform viewers of the test being conducted.

"Michigan television stations are to be congratulated for their continued efforts to best serve their communities," said Karole White, President and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. "Our television broadcasters give a prime example of the cooperative efforts going on all over the nation in an effort to see that no viewer is left behind in the digital transition of television."

The federal government has mandated that all full-power analog TV stations shutdown their analog signals and broadcast only in a digital format after June 12, 2009. Viewers who watch TV on an analog set and that use an outdoor antenna or rabbit ears must act if they want to continue to receive free television after the transition date. One option is to install a converter box on your analog TV, which will convert the digital signal to analog. Viewers who have a paid TV service, such as cable or satellite, do not need to take any action because their provider will make the change for them.

Soft Test Times:

Detroit Metro Market: 12:25 p.m. (individual stations may run additional soft tests at 7:25 a.m. and 6:25 p.m.)

West Michigan Market: 12:25 & 6:25 p.m.

Lansing/Jackson Market: 12:25 p.m. (individual stations may run additional soft tests at 7:25 a.m. and 6:25 p.m.)

Flint/Tri-Cities Market: 7:25 a.m. & 6:25 p.m. (individual stations may run an additional soft test at 12:25 p.m.

Note: WSMH-TV will make the digital transition on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 12:00 p.m.

Northern Michigan & UP Markets: 6:28 p.m.


Grand Rapids Press:

The transition to digital television is a mere two-and-a-half weeks away. Unlike the previous Feb. 17 target for the shift from analog TV, this deadline offers no excuses to the unprepared. The four-month delay from Congress bought procrastinators more time and offered everyone a second chance to receive a coupon for a converter box. Though a number of people will be left watching snow instead of their favorite show, the switch should proceed. On June 12, television stations across the country will begin broadcasting through a digital rather than an analog signal. For people who have cable or satellite television, the switch won't be a problem. Viewers who rely on rabbit ears or roof-top antennas and who do not have internal digital tuners in their current sets, will need converter boxes to continue to watch TV ... As part of the stimulus package, Congress authorized another $650 million for coupons and extended the deadline. The additional help has reduced the unprepared to 3.5 million -- a big number, yes, but significantly fewer than before. Those who remain digital-unready have been inundated with information and assistance. Coupons remain available, and the Federal Communications Commission will help install converter boxes on a case-by-case basis... Editorial: Digital TV switch should occur on schedule (Wed, 5/27)


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) will present the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Lifetime Achievement Award to Specs Howard, Founder of Specs Howard School of Broadcasting Arts in Southfield, Michigan. The MAB will present the award at their Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat as well as the MAB's 60th anniversary celebration to be held Tuesday, July 14 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Specs Howard, whose real name is Jerry Liebman, began his broadcasting career in 1948 after graduating from Allegeny College and starting his own radio station. After selling his radio station and working for another small Pennsylvania station, Jerry was offered a position with Westinghouse Broadcasting in Cleveland, Ohio where he was first known as Specs Howard.

Specs Howard became half of the well known top-forty comedy team "Martin and Howard" before moving to Detroit's WXYZ-TV. In 1970, Specs invested in a small Redford-based broadcasting school which has evolved into one of the most prominent broadcasting schools in the nation; Specs Howard School of Broadcasting Arts, located in Southfield, Michigan

At age 83 Specs Howard still spends every working day supervising the activities at the school and has seen over 10,000 students graduate. Specs Howard Alumni can be found throughout the country in an array of broadcasting positions. It is estimated that nearly 2,000 Specs graduates are employed in Southeast Michigan alone.

The MAB Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented during the Chairman's Banquet at the MAB Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat. Congratulatory ads are available for purchase, for more information about placing an ad or for conference information, please contact the Michigan Association of Broadcasters or visit the MAB website at www.michmab.com.


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) will induct three new members into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame at their Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference as well as the MAB 60th anniversary celebration held Tuesday, July 14 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The inductees were selected based upon their service to the broadcasting industry and their communities. The 2009 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees are:

Thomas J. Cleary, Past MAB Executive Director and Retired Lobbyist, East Lansing, Michigan. Cleary, through his leadership as MAB Executive Director, helped to establish the MAB as a robust and influential organization. More over, Mr. Cleary served the MAB for nearly 20 years as their legislative and congressional champion. As a respected and registered professional lobbyist, he smoothed the path for the MAB in Lansing and Washington, assisting Michigan broadcasters with getting their voices heard on critical regulatory matters by those who made the laws that regulated the broadcasting industry.

Bruce I. Goldsen, President and Owner of Jackson Radio Works, Jackson, Michigan. Goldsen has been an active MAB member since the Mid 90's when he moved from Connecticut to Adrian, Michigan to oversee a radio station. After successfully managing local radio stations in the area, Bruce and his wife and partner Sue, ventured out on their own purchasing Jackson Radio Works. Since then Bruce has contributed a great deal to the Michigan Broadcasting industry serving the Michigan Broadcasters at both the state and national levels. Additionally, Bruce has been an advocate and active board member for the NAB, MAB and MAB Foundation.

Juke Van Oss, On-Air Personality at WHTC-AM, Holland, Michigan. Van Oss, for nearly 58 years, has dedicated his life to the greater Holland area as a local broadcaster for WHTC-AM, carrying out various responsibilities that have arisen throughout the decades. He has served as first class engineer, announcer, program director, assistant station manager and for 47 years, has hosted "Talk of the Town", a local radio talk show he helped to create in 1959. His ability to evolve and maintain a diverse audience is a testament to his outstanding contribution to his community and the broadcasting industry.

The Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees will be presented during the Chairman's Banquet during the MAB Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat. Congratulatory ads are available for purchase, for more information about placing an ad or for conference information, please contact the Michigan Association of Broadcasters or visit the MAB website at www.michmab.com.


Did you hear? Friday is DTV day!



There will be no shortage of stories on the upcoming transition to digital television over the next week as the clock ticks closer to Friday, June 12th. Here's a sample of some recent coverage from across the state:

Kalamazoo Gazette:

The boxes are still stacked high at the Best Buy store in Portage. And if those who need one don't know about the switch to digital television broadcasts yet, chances are good they won't know until their TVs go fuzzy on Friday. That's the day on which all full-power television stations nationwide are required to have made the switch from analog to digital broadcasts. It is nearly four months after an original February deadline. "I think people that were hot under the collar to get one have picked them up by now," Mark Cassar, a customer solutions manager at the Best Buy store, said of digital converter boxes... Television broadcasts go fully digital on Friday (Sun, 6/7)



After talking about it for more than a year, the switch to Digital Television is upon us all. At 10 a.m. this Friday, June 12, television stations around the country -- including WOOD TV8 -- will switch off their analog transmitters for good. The era of digital transmission begins at that moment. Mike Laemers, the Chief Engineer for WOOD TV8, said viewers will see the 10 a.m. program "and they'll never know anything happened." That is, if you have Digital TV, or an older TV with cable or satellite, or you have a converter box. But if you have an old analog TV and haven't done any of that, the only thing you'll see on your screen is snow. Your TV watching days will be over until you take action... The DTV era is upon us (Fri, 6/5)



WZZM 13 and the other analog television stations in West Michigan will make the digital transition on June 12, 2009 at 10:00am. If you watch local television on an analog TV set with an external antenna, you will need to install a converter box. These converter boxes will convert the digital signals back into analog signals. If you have cable, satellite or telco video service, these providers will do this conversion for you. WZZM 13 Phone Bank: WZZM 13 will have a phone bank staffed... Are you ready for digital television? (Fri, 6/5)


Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

.. Worth Noting: Friday is TV transition day (Sun, 6/7)


Media outlets across the state continue to cover the digital transition for television scheduled for this Friday:

Macomb Daily:

Time is winding down to the June 12 deadline for the national switch to digital television, but officials say some metro Detroiters are still unprepared. The Federal Communications Commission has determined that 3 percent of people in and around Detroit and up to 3.3 million people nationwide -- are not set up for the switch. The 3 percent figure is down from a much higher number when the transition was first planned for Feb. 17, following the passing of the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. But President Barack Obama on Feb. 11 signed the Digital Television Delay Act, citing that too many people were unprepared... Deadline nears for digital TV switch (Mon, 6/8)


Detroit News:

John and Phyllis Peterson thought they were ready for television's digital transition but found out quite inconveniently they are not. While attempting to watch a program on the local PBS affiliate, WTVS-TV (Channel 56), the Livonia couple recently discovered their digital TV set was no longer picking up this digitally updated station. This wasn't supposed to happen. The clerk at the big-box store where they bought their TV a few years ago said the Petersons "shouldn't need anything." What he didn't tell them is that some "digital ready" televisions don't come with tuners and still need converter boxes and powerful antennas at the very least, and cable at the most, just like their analog cousins... Digital TV: It's time to convert (Mon, 6/8)


WWJ AM 950 Detroit:

There's less than a week left before the switch to digital TV. The switch is taking place on June 12 and after that, all analog TV sets won't get a signal. But many Detroit families still haven't applied for their $40 coupons. They can still apply up until July 31. But they won't get their coupons in time to make the transition... Are You Ready for DTV Transition? (Sun, 6/7)


Lansing State Journal:

By Friday, the last of the full-power television stations must dump their analog signals for digital. Stations such as WLAJ-TV Channel 53, WSYM-TV Fox 47 and WLNS-TV Channel 6 have yet to convert. WKAR-TV Channel 23 and WILX-TV Channel 10 switched months ago. Together they received fewer than 1,500 complaints, representing less than 1 percent of their total viewership and suggesting that the mandated conversion may go smoothly. Concerns about whether poor and rural Americans will be left behind have largely evaporated, according to local officials. As a precaution emergency officials throughout mid-Michigan are finding new ways to get emergency messages - such as tornado warnings - to the public through means other than TV... Mid-Mich. ready for digital TV, officials say (Mon, 6/8)


WKZO AM 590 Kalamazoo:

Television stations that haven't already switched off their analog transmitters will turn them off for good Friday at 10AM. U.S. statistics suggest 3.5% of all local viewers are not ready for digital TV. WOOD-TV Chief Engineer Mike Leamers reminds viewers who don't want to buy a digital TV they will need a converter box, and that may not be the end of it. "There's a lot of people that have digital TV's and converter boxes who are still having technical problems getting us, and that's going to be the biggest problem to overcome," Laemers said. A set of rabbit ears probably won't be enough in this area... DTV deadline is approaching (Mon, 6/8)


The digital TV transition is finally here. While television stations work diligently to make the last adjustments before throwing the switch to turn off their analog television signals, citizens across the state are prepared for the transition; nearly all have connected their converter boxes, adjusted their antennas or switched to a paid service. Some viewers purchased a new digital television with a built in tuner and now report to be ready with remote in hand to rescan for all of their favorite channels.

An Michigan Association of Broadcasters survey showed that nearly 100% of those viewers contacted are aware of the digital transition and the latest Nielson survey indicates that only a little over 2% of households in the Detroit market are totally unprepared. Detroit was the only Michigan market surveyed by Nielson. Metro Detroit is the largest over-the-air viewing market in Michigan, so the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is confident that most people throughout the rest of the state are ready for the revolutionary change in the way viewers receive their TV signals.

"Michigan Broadcasters did a wonderful job informing Michigan citizens about the digital transition," said Karole White, President and CEO of the MAB. "There has been a tremendous amount of planning and implementation put forth by everyone involved, and a successful transition will be the pay-off."

Michigan television stations lead the nation in educating the public. Detroit stations set an example for other states with the implementation of the first "Test Your TV Tuesdays" and other markets followed holding simultaneous DTV soft tests to let viewers know if their TV's were ready for the digital transition.

The MAB and member television stations have spent the past year holding DTV workshops, speaking to community groups and at public gatherings serving as a resource for all information pertaining to the TV transition. The MAB established a Michigan specific DTV website www.michigandtv.com and with the help of our DTV partners, Don-Lors Electronics, we established the premier DTV information source, the Michigan DTV Helpline, 888-MI-DTV-09. Don-Lors Electronics used their 40 phone lines and their own company operators and technicians to answer local questions, as well as providing walk-in help and in-home assistance to needy seniors.

The Detroit Public Libraries utilized all 24 of its branches to help Detroit citizens with hands-on demonstrations, walk-in assistance and information resources on how to connect and operate a digital converter box and how to find the best antenna for specific locations.

"The DTV transition is the largest simultaneous change in technology in our history," said White. "We ask everyone for their patience during this change. It has been a long and at times very challenging journey to reach this point, we are confident that the transition will go as planned and encourage those seeking help or information to call the Michigan DTV Helpline at 1-888-643-8809."

For information or assistance call the Michigan DTV Helpline at 1-888-643-8809. The Michigan DTV Helpline will be open 24 hours through Sunday, June 14, 2009.


Michigan Almanac: June 20, 2009




FCC Deletes Several Michigan Noncomm CPs: The FCC has cancelled the construction permits and deleted the call signs of several noncommercial stations and FM translators in MICHIGAN granted to GREAT LAKES COMMUNITY BROADCASTING, INC. and GREAT LAKES BROADCAST ACADEMY, INC., bith controlled by JAMES J. MCCLUSKEY, Ph.D. The Commission determined that the stations had not been built, or had not been constructed in accordance with their authorizations, before their permits expired. The expired permits held by GREAT LAKES COMMUNITY BROADCASTING included WQLO/LAKE ODESSA, WAAQ/ROGERS HEIGHTS, WJCQ/JACKSON, W207BL/PINNEBOG, W206AZ/FREMONT, and W205BQ/BREVORT. GREAT LAKES BROADCAST ACADEMY held expired permits for WPQZ/MUSKEGON and W211BI/ANN ARBOR. Three other authorizations, for WJKQ/JACKSON, W220CW/ROGERS HEIGHTS, and W206BF/ROGERS HEIGHTS, will be dealt with in a separate proceeding to determine whether their licenses should be revoked due to questions about the companies' character qualifications. (Fri, 6/19)


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF), founded in 1993 to offer educational opportunities and scholarships, in addition to preserving the rich Michigan broadcasting heritage, elected Charles F. Ganzert, Ph.D. of Northern Michigan University as their 2009-2010 Chairman of the Board. The election took place during the MAB Foundation board meeting July 13 at the Grand Hotel located on Mackinac Island.

Dr. Charles Ganzert is a Professor at Northern Michigan University teaching in the Communication and Performance Studies Department. In addition, he is the Faculty Advisor for the student station WUPX-FM. Dr. Ganzert received both his masters and doctoral degrees from Ohio University.

His experience in media began when he worked with the student radio station at Virginia Tech. In 1980, Dr. Ganzert took a job with WYSO, a public radio station in Dayton, Ohio, where he worked in programming, public affairs and production. While at WYSO, he produced a series titled: "Tis Sweet To Be Remembered" and was awarded the Ohio Educational Broadcasters Program of the Year Award in 1986.

In addition to his work at Northern Michigan University, Dr. Ganzert works with WNMU-FM Public Radio 90.1 in Marquette, Michigan where two of his productions have won MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards.

The MAB Foundation has provided more than $60,000 dollars in scholarships to worthy students pursuing a career in broadcasting since its inception. The MABF also sponsors major educational opportunities like the Broadcasting Career Builders Conference (BCBC) which will be held Friday, October 30, 2009 at Lansing Community College's West Campus. BCBC helps young people, and those new to the business, learn more about the inner workings of the broadcasting industry and serves as a great networking opportunity with seasoned professionals. Additionally, the MABF sponsors the following programs: the Michigan High School and College Broadcast Awards program, broadcasting career fairs and the Broadcast Excellence Awards for Michigan Broadcasting professionals. For more information on the MAB Foundation and its programs, visit www.michmab.com.


Michigan Almanac: July 23, 2009



Grand Rapids Press:

In Michigan, few voices are as distinguishable as Ernie Harwell's. At 91, Harwell still has the silky smooth baritone and way with words that made him famous. He announced Detroit Tigers games on the radio for 42 years, handing over the microphone to Dan Dickerson in 2002. But the man who is synonymous with the 1968 and 1984 World Series champion teams still is going strong. Harwell, a spokesman for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, was scheduled to speak today at a special Holland Chamber of Commerce meeting about staying healthy and fit through simple exercises such as walking. Harwell took time off from a Tigers game this week to talk about coming to West Michigan, how the media has changed and the game he loves so much... Ex-Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell active at 91 (Thu, 7/23)


The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation's (MABF) annual Online Auction is in full swing. The annual event is a fundraiser hosted by the MABF to raise money for their education and scholarship program which aids students who are pursuing careers within the broadcasting industry.

The final day of bidding on fantastic items and packages is today, Wednesday, August 5th. Bidding will end at 11:00pm. Items available include: University of Michigan Football Package; Michigan State University Football Package; Detroit Tigers Tickets; and A Getaway for two at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

The MAB Foundation has provided more than $60,000 dollars in scholarships to worthy students pursuing a career in broadcasting since its inception. The MABF also sponsors major educational opportunities like the Broadcasting Career Builders Conference (BCBC) which will be held Friday, October 30, 2009 at Lansing Community College's West Campus. BCBC helps young people, and those new to the business, learn more about the inner workings of the broadcasting industry and serves as a great networking opportunity with seasoned professionals. Additionally, the MABF sponsors the following programs: the Michigan High School and College Broadcast Awards program, broadcasting career fairs and the Broadcast Excellence Awards for Michigan Broadcasting professionals.

For more information on the Online Auction or for a complete list of items being auctioned, please visit the MAB website at www.michmab.com and click on the Online Auction button.


Television: Newsmakers Aug. 7, 2009



Crain's Detroit Business:

Fans of the Detroit Tigers have reason to rejoice: cable provider Comcast Corp. has added an all-Tigers channel starting today. "FOX Sports Detroit: Tigers On Demand" is available at no additional cost to Comcast digital cable subscribers in Michigan. The channel will re-air the most recent game in its entirety, including all pregame and postgame coverage, starting two hours after the game ends. Other content will include: a selection of baseball memories featuring Ernie Harwell; the "Tigers Weekly" special on the late Mark Fidrych; and an installment of "FSN Basement: All-Star Edition" from 2005 featuring conversations with Al Kaline and George Kell... New all-Detroit Tigers TV channel debuts on Comcast cable (Fri, 8/7)


Michigan Almanac: Aug. 25, 2009




At age 13 Art Vuolo huddled under the blanket at night listening in the dark with an earpiece. His rocket-shaped plastic radio had an antenna sprouting from its nose. With an alligator clip to ground the radio to a wall plug, he could tune in "Night Beat" with Bernie Herman on WIRE(AM), a station a few miles away from his home in Indianapolis. This was 1958. Within 10 years Vuolo would be on his way to making his own radio history, not as a DJ but as an archivist of the radio industry. "The radio bug really bit me then," said Vuolo (pronounced VOE-low) from his home in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Mich. "Another radio personality who had a big influence on me was Jim Shelton, who hosted record hops in addition to 'Platter Party' on WIBC(AM). He let me help him out at remotes and dances, and I got to the point where I could sign his name on his 8-by-10 promo photos as well as he could." By DXing, Vuolo was able to extend his horizons and tune in stations all over the country at night. He kept a log of what he heard and came to appreciate the air talents in each market... Art Vuolo: Still Radio's Best Friend (Tue, 8/25)


The Michigan High School Athletic Association Network has a redesigned website ready for the start of the 2009-10 school year, which kicks off its schedule of MHSAA Game Night events on Friday (Aug. 28) when Watervliet and Coloma meet for the 100th time in football at Panther Stadium in Watervliet at 7 p.m.

Last year, the MHSAA Network televised over 400 events on the MHSAA.tv website and with its cable television partner, Comcast Cable. This year, the weekly featured Friday regular-season contests will generally be available online Saturday morning; and other coverage will generally debut online late each week.

The MHSAA.tv website will also be the home to video content being created by member schools. A pilot video streaming program is being undertaken involving schools from the Capital Area Activities Conference in mid-Michigan, plus Carsonville-Port Sanilac High School, which will chronicle its first season of eight-player football online.

The schools voluntarily participating in the pilot are being provided at no cost the equipment necessary to create video and stream it to the MHSAA.tv website. When We Were Young Productions, which powers the MHSAA Network, and its technical partner, PlayON! Sports, are providing the equipment and the robust streaming platform.

Schools participating in the pilot will be paid for their participation, and will be allowed to use the equipment and the streaming solution to distribute their regular-season events in any sport they choose, at any level they wish. CAAC schools will have portal pages on the MHSAA.tv website which fans can directly access to see the content created by and for their school. Their only participation requirement is to stream those indoor MHSAA tournament games they host.

Based on this fall's pilot, the MHSAA plans to expand the streaming program to include those schools hosting many of its winter sports tournaments.

"The proliferation of streaming video on the web has schools excited about the possibilities this has to bring recognition to their programs and stay in contact with their alumni, their communities and their fans," said John E. "Jack" Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. "It also has schools contacting our office to seek guidance about putting their games on the Internet, and that conversation usually ends with the callers asking 'why doesn't the MHSAA just do it?'

"With the vision of When We Were Young Productions and PlayON! Sports, we're pleased that we can provide schools with a safe place where they can stream their athletic events; give students some hands-on experience in a growing field; and provide our schools with revenue for their programs without them having to hold their hand out in the community."

Content created by schools for the MHSAA.tv website will generally become available for viewing online at 11:30 p.m. the day of the contest, or the following day. Most CAAC schools involved recently were trained on the use of the production kits and the streaming solution, and Roberts said those schools will begin to stream games as they become comfortable using the equipment.

Cable viewers on Comcast Channel 900 will be able to watch the weekly featured MHSAA Game Night football contest on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. One girls volleyball contest and one boys soccer match will also air weekly in prime time, with volleyball getting its first airing Thursdays at 8 p.m.; and soccer on Sundays at 6:30 p.m. Two additional football games will be shown on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sundays will also feature reairings of selected contests. In addition, Comcast will air MHSAA championship action of past years daily at 3 p.m. Visit the MHSAA.tv website and click on TV Schedule to see complete listings.

Comcast will also feature highlights packages of selected contests through its Video On Demand service. To watch, go to the Video On Demand channel, selected Get Local and then MHSAA. You can also visit MHSAA.tv to see a complete schedule of what's available on Comcast Video On Demand.

Roberts said the MHSAA Network is still seeking clearances for its programming with other video distributors in areas not served by Comcast.


Michigan Almanac: Aug. 31, 2009



The Michigan Farm Radio Network (MFRN), The Voice of Michigan's Farm Families has added Annette Weston, former news director of WSJM-AM Radio in St. Joseph / Benton Harbor, as an agri-news reporter. Weston is an award-winning broadcast journalist with vast radio news experience. Annette brings several years of news coverage and broadcast journalism in Michigan, continuing the MFRN tradition of gathering and delivering vital information from the Michigan ag industry leaders and policy makers affecting the producers in the state.

She will work with Rob Buttery, who moves into an editorial role as MFRN's agri-news editor. This team will offer its audience as well as the newsmakers a network with a great deal of radio experience.

Located in view of the Capitol in Lansing, the Michigan Farm Radio Network delivers programming to radio station affiliates targeted to a pure Michigan farm audience. Still committed to Michigan farming, it continues to serve as the only state-based radio network delivering 16 programs each day to over 20 affiliates.

The hiring of Weston was announced by Dennis Mellott, president and general manager of the Michigan Farm Radio Network.


There is only two days left to place your bid on the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation's FINAL Online Auction of 2009. Proceeds from this event go to support broadcast scholarships, internships and education...please helps the mission to secure a future broadcast workforce by bidding today!

Some of the items up for bids include MSU Men's Basketball tickets, MSU Men's Hockey tickets, registration to Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts Media Course, and a suite a the Palace of Auburn Hills for a Detroit Pistons game.

To view all the items, register, and bid, click here or go to michmab.com and click on the Online Auction button.


Michiguide.com 2009 News Archive




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