Mid-Michigan: January 2010 Archives

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 4, 2010




A local television legend and dear friend of employees at NBC25 passed away Saturday morning. Jon Bengtson, who worked at WEYI for 35-years, knew just about every job at the station. He served as programming and operations manager. He also managed the traffic department, production, master control, and engineering. His knowledge of television broadcasting business was second to none. JB, as employees knew him, was 58 years old... WEYI staple Jon Bengtson passes away (Sun, 1/3)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 5, 2010



Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun:

Central Michigan University Public Radio has joined a handful of Michigan stations in offering a digital service that its backers boast provides CD-quality sound from FM radio. Without much fanfare, WCMU-FM 89.5 in Mt. Pleasant turned on its HD service last week, said John Sheffler, CMU Public Broadcasting's director of radio. "The quality is going to be significantly better," Sheffler said. But that's for people who have receivers capable of getting the digital signal. In radio, HD stands for "hybrid digital," but its boosters don't mind at all if its meaning is confused with the television term that means "high definition." With an HD signal, a high-quality digital stream is folded into, or multiplexed, into the station's regular, analog signal. A digital receiver can pick up that signal and reproduce the higher-quality sound. HD radio receivers, however, are still fairly rare. About 1.3 million receivers were in service in late 2009, according to the HD Radio Alliance... WCMU offers digital radio signal for those with the right receiver (Tue, 1/5)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 16, 2010



Midland Daily News:

Delta College's Public Television Station, Q-TV, will launch the new year with a community forum that brings together local leaders to discuss the future trends and directions for the region. The discussion will pursue what is needed for the region to successfully provide for its citizens and effectively compete in the global marketplace. "Hard Times. Hard Choices. How Will Mid-Michigan Recover?" airs Monday, starting at 9 p.m. The evening looks at the Michigan and mid-Michigan region's economy and features expert panelists and community members. This broadcast town meeting is a partnership between MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and Delta College's WDCQ-TV. Starting a 8 p.m., the channel will air "By The People: Michigan Hard Times, Hard Choices." Kwame Holman, correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," moderates this statewide documentary that looks at the crucial issues related to Michigan's economy, education and housing as the 2010 general election approaches. At 9 p.m., the Mid-Michigan program begins. Andy Rapp, a 40-year broadcast journalist and host of Q-TV's "Currently Speaking," moderates the live discussion... Delta College's Q-TV program examines the future of our region (Sat, 1/16)


As of Friday January 15th, The University of Michigan has turned over the programming of its WFUM-TV Channel 28 to Central Michigan University's WCMU operation. The handoff occured just past 11am.

CMU is in the process of acquiring WFUM from U-M and the paperwork has now been filed with the FCC and the official ownership transfer will happen once the sale has been approved.

WCMU plans to put together a community advisory board in the Flint area to help make decisions about what local programming initiatives are appropriate for the market. Already there are plans to incorporate the Flint area in many of the local programs WCMU already produces, such as:

• ASK THE SPECIALISTS- a live call in show every Thursday evening at 8 pm. Viewers are invited to call in their questions to a panel of experts ranging weekly from Doctors, Lawyers, Builders, Veterinarians, etc.

• DESTINATION MICHIGAN- this is a new local series that started this year featuring stories about the people and places that make up our great state of Michigan.

• CAPITOL REPORT- a weekly public affairs program featuring one on one interviews with elected officials. This series is expanded into MEET THE CANDIDATES during election years in order to interview candidates for State and National office seats.

• QUIZ CENTRAL- this series is very close to the High School quiz bowl program formerly produced by WFUM. WCMU has been producing its version for the past 4 years and currently have 32 teams competing.


Central Michigan's press release:

Central Michigan University has entered into an agreement with the University of Michigan to acquire WFUM TV which serves the greater Flint area. We are excited to be in the Flint area and to offer the same great PBS programs you love along with our own brand of local shows which highlight the best that Michigan has to offer, including Quiz Central, Destination Michigan, Ask The Specialists, and Capitol Report--just to name a few.

But we're much more than a broadcaster. As Michigan's largest television service, CMU Public Television takes pride in working with local arts and service organizations throughout the state. We've successfully partnered with schools and local groups to provide early childhood literacy training through our Ready to Learn program, encouraged creativity among early elementary students with the annual PBS Kids Go! Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, ensured families have warm clothes through the annual Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive, and taught young mothers how best to prepare healthy meals for their children in our Healthy Weight for Preschoolers program. At the other end of the age spectrum, WCMU addresses issues facing our older viewers including programming and community projects that deal with caring for parents and Alzheimer's disease. We look forward to getting to know the Flint community better, and to tell the stories in the greater-Flint and southeast Michigan areas that need to be told and shared with the rest of the state.

We pride ourselves at being available and responsive to our viewers. If you should ever have any questions, comments, praise, complaints, advice or concerns regarding a program you saw or perhaps the station in general, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-727-9268 or contact us via e-mail at the following addresses:

• TV Programming Matters - Rick Schudiske @ schud1ra@cmich.edu
• Membership Matters - Kim Walters @ walte1kj@cmich.edu
• General Station Matters - Ed Grant @ grant1eb@cmich.edu


Television: Newsmakers Jan. 23, 2010



Lansing State Journal:

Comcast Corp. reached a lawsuit settlement that will allow customers with analog television service to continue viewing public access channels without change. The Philadelphia, Pa.-based telecommunications company's Michigan region settled a lawsuit with three communities regarding access to public, education and government (PEG) channels. The parties will ask the U.S. District Court to dismiss the pending suit. Meridian Township, Bloomfield Township and the city of Dearborn sued Comcast in January 2008 to prevent it from digitizing public access channels. They alleged the move was discriminatory against the public access channels and would have required analog customers to purchase a digital-ready television or a digital converter box to view the channels. Comcast wanted to move the public access channels from the basic tier to digital channels in order to free up bandwidth for more services and high definition channels, said spokeswoman Mary Beth Halprin. In the settlement, Comcast agreed to continue offering existing public access channels in analog format on the $15.99-per-month limited basic tier until the company digitizes the entire tier or until the communities agree to digitize the channels... Comcast settles suit on access to public channels (Sat, 1/23)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 28, 2010



Brian Figula gets added responsibility for NextMedia

NextMedia has promoted Brian Figula who will add program director responsibilities at hot AC WHBC FM 94.1 in Canton, OH to his duties at hot AC WGER FM 106.3 Saginaw and will be now be overseeing both stations.

"Fig has taken WGER - Magic from a background, wallpaper radio station to an active, entertaining Hot AC station with great audience participation. Brian's passion, vision and expertise in executing the Hot AC format has proven to be a winning combination in a year's time in Saginaw. Fig has been a great asset to our Saginaw team and while his physical presence will be missed in the halls of the Saginaw office, I am sure he will continue to be effective in moving WGER forward," commented VP/General Manager of NextMedia's Saginaw cluster Shannone Dunlap.


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 30, 2010



Lansing State Journal:

Two major changes are coming to local talk-radio:
• Tony Conley takes over Monday, as morning man at WILS (1320-AM). "It's going to be fast, it's going to be fun and it's going to be local," said Conley, who grew up in Okemos and lives in Williamston. An emphasis will be on interaction, he said, via phone, Twitter, Facebook and E-mail.
• An Internet-only station is being created. TalkLansing.net is scheduled to debut Feb. 15, with 12 hours of talk aired twice each weekday. Both changes revolve around Walt Sorg. He quit the WILS show - Friday was his day - and will own the Internet station with Chris Holman and Jim Fordyce. "I see this as the evolution of radio," Sorg said. "We call it 'Radio 3.0.'" The first phases were AM and FM., he said. Now Internet-radio offers a stronger sound... Web-only radio hits airwaves in Feb. (Sat, 1/30)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Mid-Michigan category from January 2010.

Mid-Michigan: February 2010 is the next archive.

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