Michigan engineers honored with MAB's 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 in the industry for nearly eight decades. The Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards were presented during the Engineering Luncheon at the MAB's annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo (GLBC) held March 9 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.
Radio Winner: Ralph Haines III, Engineer & Co-Owner WGDN Radio and Broadcast Engineer Services, Gladwin, Michigan. Haines is Co-Owner and Chief Engineer for WGDN Radio in Gladwin in addition to owning and operating Broadcast Engineer Services. Ralph began his radio career in 1968, while he was still in high school. Since then he has worked for a variety of different stations throughout Michigan and Illinois.
In 1972, Ralph briefly left the broadcast industry when he married his wife, Annette and took a job at IBM as a Customer Engineer. While with IBM Ralph was transferred back to Lansing where he returned to the broadcasting industry.
In September 2003, Ralph retired from IBM and in 2004 started the contract engineering company Broadcast Engineer Services (BES). Today Ralph is still a staple in Michigan broadcasting and has no current plans to retire from the broadcasting industry.
Television Winner: Mike Laemers, Chief Engineer, WOOD/WOTV/WXSP - TV, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Laemers is the Director of Engineering at WOOD/WOTV/ WXSP, Grand Rapids. He has over 35 years experience in the field of Broadcast Engineering and has been a vital component in developing the television market in the Grand Rapids DMA. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Western Michigan University.
His many accomplishments in the field of television engineering include building one of the first television LMA and hub operations in the country as well as building a virtual television station which later became WXSP. Mike also headed WOOD-TV's transition to digital where he made WOOD-TV the technical leader in the market with the first all digital plant.
His many years in the business also include other areas of television station management. Mike's experience in program buying, traffic operations and labor relations have rounded his career in television management. He has served as a member of the board of directors of Channel 41, Inc. and has past memberships in the I.E.E.E. (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), S.M.P.T.E. (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), Broadcast Pioneers, and the Michigan Association of Broadcaster's Engineering Committee.
Dennis Mellott presented with the MAB Associate of the Year award
The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented Dennis Mellott of Saga Communications with the organization's Associate of the Year Award. The presentation was made Wednesday, March 9 during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Lansing. The award recognizes the significant contributions made by MAB associate members, and acknowledges their efforts in enhancing the quality and integrity of broadcasting while supporting their community.
Mellott has worked within the radio industry for over twenty-nine years, seventeen of which have been spent in the network business. He serves as president and general manager of Saga Communications' group of five regional networks: The Illinois Radio Network, The Minnesota News and Farm Networks, Michigan Radio Network, and Michigan Farm Radio Network.
Located in the upper Midwest, the networks provide radio stations across their respective states, programming and event broadcasts such as state news, farm news, professional and collegiate sports distribution, public service and weekend programming. In Michigan, the networks offer a variety of programming as well as specialty broadcasts.
"Dennis Mellott has been a great asset to the MAB," said Karole White, MAB President and CEO. "His forward thinking and great talent for organization made him an industry leader, however, Dennis has always made time to serve the MAB and its members, and that I why he is our Associate of the Year."
Mr. Mellott has served as President of the National Association of State Radio Networks; associate board member for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and is a current member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.