Michigan Almanac: November 2011 Archives

Newsmakers and links: Nov. 9, 2011

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FM 93.5 in metro Detroit becoming a battleground for FM translators looking to relocate

Just recently, Tim Martz's Radio Power applied to move is currently silent FM translator from 93.9 (which had previously been heard on FM 104.7) to 93.5. Today comes another application to the FCC, this one from the Educational Media Foundation (operators of the Christian "K-Love" and "Air-1" networks) for a silent translator to move to 93.5. EMF's W256AY had previously operated on FM 99.1 prior to Windsor's CJAM taking over that frequency as it moved from FM 91.5- that translator has been silent ever since.

So now there are two operators fighting for a frequency for translators that will likely cause concern for yet another broadcaster - Howell's WHMI-FM 93.5 based in Livingston county, but also serving a decent portion of western Oakland County west of the I-275 corridor and northward up to Genesee County.

It appears that the Detroit/Windsor market has now essentially reached the breaking point in terms of available frequencies on FM and what's left will now be fought over through the FCC.

 


 

Results cloudy with EAS test

The follow up of the nationwide Emergency Alert System test seems to be that it was anything but smooth sailing with many cable and satellite systems failing to issue the alert and that there were even scattered failures with over-the-air broadcasters across the country.

A quick sampling in metro Detroit showed that most radio stations did air the test -- but at varying times near 2 p.m. -- it was not close to being in sync. The audio of the test was wrought with interference and cross-talk and the test itself didn't seem to end cleanly with regular programming resuming before the end alert tones aired. My cable television system also appeared to fail to broadcast the test on cable-only stations (using a TV with a Cable Card, not a converter box).

It looks like there is much work to be done with a national system, and there will be more of these tests in our near future.

 


 

Northern Star Broadcasting selling off remaining stations in northern Lower Peninsula

A huge transaction is under way up north as Northern Star Broadcasting exits radio in Michigan by selling its nine station group to longtime broadcasters Del and Mary Reynolds for about $1.8 million. Northern Star's radio stations include the classic rock 'The Bear' combo of 98.1 WGFN Glen Arbor / 93.9 WAVC Mio / 94.5 WLJZ Mackinaw City / 107.1 WCKC Cadillac, country 'Big Country' WMKC 102.9 Indian River, rock combo 'Real Rock' 95.5 WJZJ Glen Arbor / 105.1 WGFM 105.1 Cheboygan, and classic country WCBY AM 1240 Cheboygan along with the silent (and being sold off) WIHC FM 97.9 Newberry.

Northern Star previously sold off 11 of its 12 Upper Peninsula stations to Sovereign Communications in 2010. Del Reynolds has a long history of owning and operating radio stations in northern Michigan, but had stepped down his involvement in recent years. This transaction, in which Reynolds is repurchasing a number of the stations he used to own in Northern Michigan, changes that dramatically.

 


 

AllAccess.com:

CBS RADIO Country WYCD/DETROIT is honoring U.S. troops on active duty and those who have served with rare, live calls from the front lines in AFGHANISTAN and interviews with local active duty members from SELFRIDGE AIR FORCE BASE in HARRISON TOWNSHIP, MI. The VETERANS DAY celebration takes place this FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11th and begins with WYCD's DR. DON MORNING SHOW at 6a (CT).

Full story: WYCD To Honors Troops On November 11th With All-Day Broadcast (Wed, 11/9)

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

If you love Christmas music, the most wonderful time of the year has arrived. Radio station Star 105.7 switched today its all-Christmas, all the time format today with more than six weeks to go before Dec. 25.

Full story: If you like Christmas melodies on your radio, the most wonderful time of the year has arrived (Tue, 11/8)

 


 

Central Michigan Life:

University President George Ross will be co-hosting a radio show from 3 to 4:30 p.m. today on Modern Rock 91.5. Ross will be joining Black Circle Radio's hosts to talk about music while playing songs he personally selected.

Full story: Ross to co-host 91.5 radio show Wednesday, play his vinyl favorites (Wed, 11/9)

 

The National EAS Test, held on Wednesday, November 9 at 2:00 p.m., was generally a successful test for Michigan radio, TV, cable and satellite providers.

"The largest problem was on the audio signal sent by FEMA on the Primary Station network which affected all of the U.S.," says Karole White, President and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB). "Aside from that national problem, the remainder of the concerns are currently being identified. Since there has never been an opportunity to actually test the national code, there were, understandably, some problems that were not possible to find until now. We are working with those few stations to make sure we're ready for the next test, or an actual warning event, should that ever be needed."

The MAB was pleased to work with the Michigan Cable Telecommunications Association (MCTA) on this project, and for the wonderful cooperation between all of the engineers, both broadcast and cable. The National EAS Test did exactly what it was designed to do - it uncovered the problem areas that need more work.

According to White, some of the issues experienced across the nation will disappear once all stations, NOAA, FEMA and local emergency managers, begin utilizing the common alerting protocol (CAP) and digital EAS equipment. Full adoption of the new CAP system is required by June 2012.

"This test was done using the legacy analog distribution system from FEMA to a set of specially equipped AM stations and relies on an over-the-air path, which the federal government must maintain for the most serious of national emergencies," said Larry Estlack, MAB Director of Technology and Michigan EAS Chairman. "The State of Michigan, as well as many counties, also use a digital delivery system which uses satellite and Internet. When remaining stations and cable systems complete installations using new CAP compliant equipment connected to the Internet portion, we then will have multiple paths for emergency communications to assure that Michigan residents are informed, no matter what kind of media devices they are using."

The EMnet system offers a back-bone which can activate may other warning and communications systems with one entry. It allows emergency managers to place important emergency messages on radio and TV, based on certain criteria, even when the station is automated with no one on duty.

"Michigan emergency managers have tested and have been using the new EMnet system for well over two years," said Estlack. "We are working with the state police to put the final touches on a new statewide emergency communications plan required by the FCC. It will be an evolving document as things change. Right now we are working on local emergency communications plans and once that is complete we will file the plan with the FCC and FEMA."

"Emergency managers around the state are to be congratulated for their foresight in purchasing a communications system that will do so many things," said White. "The EMnet emergency communications system has the capability to grow with advancements in technology. Many earlier systems did just one thing and when people moved away from that technology, the system became outdated. EMnet now is in every LP 1 and 2 station in the state, Michigan State Police MIOC and Emergency Operations and in the hands of the majority of emergency managers in the state."

To the residents of Michigan this should be a comfort. You will receive emergency communications in a number of different formats to assure that everyone is informed in times of emergency.

 

FOX Sports Detroit for the 14th consecutive year is producing exclusive television coverage of the Michigan High School Athletic Association Football Finals. The 2011 edition is Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26 at Ford Field.

Again this year, FOX Sports Detroit PLUS (FS PLUS) is the primary television outlet, carrying all eight games live. Friday night's Division 4 telecast will be simulcast on FOX Sports Detroit (FSD).

All 8 games will be archived for online viewing later at the MHSAA.TV website.

All games are also delivered in high definition on FOX Sports Detroit PLUS HD, available on select video providers including Comcast, Charter (lower peninsula), WOW!, AT&T U-Verse, DIRECTV, DISH Network and select others. FS PLUS channel listings by provider are available by clicking the "Channel Finder" tab at www.foxsportsdetroit.com.

Here is the telecast schedule, along with announcers assigned to each game:

 

Friday, November 25

- 10:00 AM, FS PLUS / HD: Division 8 - Mendon vs. Fowler (Play-by-Play: John Keating Analyst: Rob Rubick)

- 1:00 PM, FS PLUS / HD: Division 2 - Birmingham Brother Rice vs. Lowell (Play-by-Play: John Keating Analyst: Rob Rubick

- 4:30 PM, FS PLUS / HD: Division 6 - Constantine vs. Ithaca (Play-by-Play: Dan Dickerson Analyst: John Wangler)

- 7:30 PM, FS PLUS & FSD / HD: Division 4 - Marine City vs. Zeeland West (Play-by-Play: Dan Dickerson Analyst: John Wangler)

 

Saturday, November 26

- 10:00 AM, FS PLUS / HD: Division 7 - Pewamo-Westphalia vs. Saginaw Nouvel (Play-by-Play: Matt Shepard Analyst: Rob Rubick)

- 1:00 PM, FS PLUS / HD: Division 1 - Detroit Cass Tech vs. Detroit Catholic Central (Play-by-Play: Matt Shepard Analyst: Rob Rubick)

- 4:30 PM, FS PLUS / HD: Division 5 - Flint Powers Catholic vs. Lansing Catholic (Play-by-Play: John Keating Analyst: John Wangler)

- 7:30 PM, FS PLUS / HD: Division 3 - Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. Mount Pleasant (Play-by-Play: Dan Dickerson Analyst: John Wangler)

 

Halftime Features:

Lansing Catholic QB Cooper Rush: Justin White reports on Cooper Rush, a soft-spoken but respected leader who leads the pass-happy, high-scoring attack at Lansing Catholic. Rush, who plans to play football at Central Michigan, broke or tied four state records in his team's regional final victory.

Walled Lake Central: Quarterback Zach Leimbach and his Walled Lake Central teammates advanced to the regional final while playing with heavy hearts. As reporter Shannon Hogan learned, the team learned along the way that football is more than just a game -- it's about enjoying life along the way.

Top Moments: From the archives of our MHSAA Football Friday Overtime show, a look back at some of the top moments throughout the state during the 2011 season.

 

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Michigan Almanac category from November 2011.

Michigan Almanac: September 2011 is the previous archive.

Michigan Almanac: December 2011 is the next archive.

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