Television: April 2012 Archives

WXMI It's no April Fool's joke: A dispute over the price of retransmitting television signals over pay TV services has hit DirecTV subscribers as Tribune has pulled all of its local broadcast stations across the country off the service, including Grand Rapids' FOX affiliate WXMI-TV Ch. 17. The dispute includes a total 23 broadcast stations as well as Tribune's WGN America.

West Michigan DirecTV subscribers lost FOX 17 as of midnight when the previous agreement expired. The station is available over-the-air via an outdoor antenna to viewers with the proper equipment within the station's service area.

The outage will likely receive a lot of attention later this afternoon when NASCAR fans attempt to watch FOX's coverage of a Sprint Cup race, but will instead discover that once again a fight between large conglomerates claims viewers as victims in the fight. American Idol, Glee, and viewers of other FOX programming will be next to discover the issue.

 

Tribune has established a web site for viewers with ways to communicate their dismay over the situation; FOX 17 viewers should visit www.telldirectv.com/fox17/

DirecTV counters with its own site: www.DirectvPromise.com

 

• Coverage from the Chicago Tribune: Tribune Co. pulls its programming from DirecTV after midnight deadline (Sun, 4/1)

• Coverage from the MLive.com: Michigan DirecTV customers lose Fox 17 after Tribune Broadcasting talks break down (Sun, 4/1)

 


 

Comment on the dispute using Facebook or leave a message on the Michiguide.net Message Board here (no registration required).

 

Newsmakers and links: Apr. 2, 2012

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TVNewsCheck.com:

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Monday that it has closed on its acquisition of the Freedom Communications broadcast assets for $385 million. The deal was announced last November. (In Michigan, Sinclair adds CBS affiliate WWMT-TV Ch.3 Grand Rapids and ABC affiliate WLAJ-TV Ch. 53 Lansing)

Full story: Sinclair closes Freedom stations purchase (Mon, 4/2)

 


 

Fine Tuning

  • Radio-Canada has signed on French Language CBEF-FM 105.5 Windsor. The heavily directional station, which simulcasts CBEF AM 540, doesn't reach far into the Detroit area.
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  • Cumulus Country Thunder 94.5 (WTNR-FM) Grand Rapids adds CMT Radio Live with Cody Allen to evenings (7 p.m. - midnight); former evening host Chris Tyler shifts to afternoon drive (3 - 7 p.m.), replacing Shane Goad in that time slot. Goad, formerly the station's Program Director, has exited.

 

Newsmakers and links: Apr. 3, 2012

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MLive.com:

WWMT-Channel 3 has a new owner. The CBS affiliate, whose newscasts and programming serve most of West Michigan, including Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Battle Creek, is one of eight television stations sold by Freedom Communications to Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. as part of a $385 million deal.

Full story: WWMT-Channel 3 acquired by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group (Tue, 4/3)

 


 

Bloomberg Businessweek:

DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite- company, filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission accusing Tribune Co. of negotiating a new programming contract in "bad faith" and questioning who is making decisions at the company. Tribune's management agreed to a new contract allowing the satellite-TV provider to carry its 23 local broadcast channels on March 29, according to DirecTV's filing, a claim Tribune denies.

Full story: DirecTV Files FCC Complaint Questioning Tribune's Control (Tue, 4/3)

 

Newsmakers and links: Apr. 4, 2012

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MLive.com:

The general manager of WWMT-News Channel 3 says the station's acquisition by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. will mean positive change.

Full story: New ownership for WWMT-Channel 3 means positive change, its local leader says (Wed, 4/4)

 


 

Fine Tuning

  • Independent WADL-TV Ch. 38 Detroit has switched its 38.1 feed to 16:9 at 1080i, giving the station the ability to broadcast programming in high definition. It was noted this afternoon stretching 4:3 programming to fill a 16:9 screen. The station is also offering a non-stretched 4:3 480i feed of the station's main programming on a new subchannel, 38.4. WADL is owned by Adell broadcasting.

 

Newsmakers and links: Apr. 5, 2012

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WJBK-TV, Fox 2 Detroit:

Working for one of Detroit's top radio stations is a prestigious job, and meeting someone who works for a big station like "The Riff" is exciting. However, that excitement wanes when you realize you've been duped by a fast-talking wannabe. Problem Solver Rob Wolchek says he comes up to you while you're waiting for a concert or game wearing press passes and WRIF badges. By the time you find out the gift card you paid him for is no good, he is long gone. (Video)

Full story: Don't Get Played by WRIF Radio Phoney (Wed, 4/4)

 


 

FOX 17/Grand Rapids restored for DirecTV subscribers

DirecTV and Tribune reached a retransmission consent deal yesterday for the subscription TV service to carry all of Tribune's 23 local TV stations in 19 markets, including WXMI-TV Ch. 17 (FOX 17) Grand Rapids, as well as WGN America for the next five years. Financial terms weren't released.

The impasse resulted in a blackout of all of Tribune's stations that started at midnight on April 1st. Service was restored during prime time programming yesterday.

 


 

Macomb Daily:

WADL-TV Channel 38 will start airing the classic television show, "WKRP in Cincinnati" starting April 8. Longtime fans of the hapless radio crew will rejoice at the chance to get "More news and Les Nessman." (Video)

Full story: WCSX jocks ready for return of 'WKRP' (Thu, 4/5)

 


 

Fine Tuning

  • Detroit Tigers' Opening Day television coverage starts at 9 a.m. today on WJBK-TV FOX 2 Detroit. FOX Sports Detroit's pregame and play-by-play of the game will be simulcast once again this year for over-the-air viewers in the Detroit area on WJBK-TV Ch. 2. First pitch of the game will be shortly after 1 p.m., FSD's pregame starts at noon.
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  • The Kalamazoo Community Foundation will make a gift to the nonprofit group Open Doors equal to 10% of dollars pledged or donated to Western Michigan University Public Radio station WMUK-FM 102.1 during the station's Spring fundraising campaign. More details are available at wmuk.org.
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  • Stan Stachak has announced his retirement as Chief Meteorologist at 13 ABC WTVG-TV Toledo, OH. Jay Berschback will move from mornings into the role.

 

WXYZ-TV and the Detroit Lions extend partnership

E.W. Scripps ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV today announced a new agreement with the NFL's Detroit Lions that will extend the station's partnership with the team through the 2015 NFL season. The agreement includes on-air, on-line and mobile elements.

PR Newswire: WXYZ-TV and the Detroit Lions Announce New Partnership (Mon, 4/9)

 


 

WDIV-TV, ClickonDetroit.com:

Mike Wallace, of CBS's "60 Minutes" died at the age of 93 the network said on Sunday. The longtime newsman has many ties to Michigan and came from Brookline, Mass. to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. During his time at U of M, Wallace was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. He also reported for the student-run newspaper The Michigan Daily and did radio work as well, graduating in 1939.

Full story: Mike Wallace's Michigan legacy (Sun, 4/8)

 


 

Grand Rapids Press:

Mike Wallace, the longtime CBS newsman who died Saturday at age 93, kick-started his lengthy broadcast career at WOOD Radio in Grand Rapids, according to the station and multiple media reports.

Full story: Mike Wallace, longtime CBS newsman, started broadcast career in Grand Rapids (Sun, 4/8)

 


 

Wings' NHL playoff TV schedule set for Round 1

When the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators drop the puck on their NHL Playoff series on Wednesday, there will be an unprecedented number of options for television viewers to catch the action throughout the series.

In the Detroit area, several games will be carried on the Wings regular TV home, FOX Sports Detroit (or FS Detroit+) with game 3 being carried over the air by NBC (WDIV-TV Ch. 4 in Detroit). Over the air and many cable viewers will also have the option of watching the Canadian broadcasts from CBC's Hockey Night in Canada on CBET-TV Ch. 9 from Windsor as that network has the rights to the entire series.

Part of NBC Sports new agreement with the NHL will bring access for the first time ever to viewers in the US to every NHL Playoff game on either NBC, the NBC Sports Network, CNBC, or the NHL Network, excluding games carried by the teams' local broadcast partners in their home regions.

For viewers outside of FOX Sports Detroit's region, that means every game of the Detroit/Nashville series will be available on either NBC, CNBC or the NBC Sports Network.

Here is the schedule (times are EDT):

  • Wed April 11, 8 p.m.: Detroit at Nashville - FS Detroit, CNBC, CBC
  • Fri April 13, 7:30 p.m.: Detroit at Nashville - FS Detroit, CNBC, CBC
  • Sun April 15, Noon: Nashville at Detroit - NBC, CBC
  • Tue April 17, 7:30 p.m.: Nashville at Detroit - FS Detroit, NBC Sports Network, CBC
  • *Fri April 20, 8 p.m.: Detroit at Nashville - FS Detroit (or +), CNBC, CBC
  • *Sun April 22, TBD: Nashville at Detroit - TBD, CBC
  • *Tue April 24 TBD: Detroit at Nashville - FS Detroit (or +), TBD, CBC

  • * - if necessary

 

Barrington Broadcasting to add Bounce TV as digital subchannel in Flint/Tri-Cities

Bounce TV, the nation's first and only over-the-air broadcast television network for African Americans, will launch in the Flint and Tri-Cities market on Monday, April 16th.

Bounce TV will be seen over the air on WEYI's 25.3 digital channel. Charter Cable has agreed to carry it on channel 445 and Comcast will begin airing Bounce TV on May 24, 2012 on channel 291.

"We are very excited to be launching another television station in the Genesee and Great Lakes Bay Region. Bounce TV gives our viewers another option for programming and entertainment, and we are very happy to be affiliated with Bounce TV", said Becky Butcher President and CEO of WEYI and WBSF television.

Bounce TV will air twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The new network will feature a programming mix of theatrical motion pictures, live sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, off-net series, original programming and more.

 


 

Birach Broadcasting files to sell to more of its Michigan radio stations

Following yesterday's filing of the sale of WSDS-AM Salem Township comes the filing that reveals that Birach is selling Mexican formatted WMJH AM 810 Rockford (Grand Rapids) along with Oldies WOAP AM 1080 Owosso for a total of $1.1 million to Cano's Broadcasting. Cano's has been programming WMJH via a local marketing agreement for a number of years. Both WMJH and WOAP are daytime-only stations.

 


 

96.3 launches 4th annual Project Prom Princess

Prom is one of the most memorable events in a young lady's life. Unfortunately, many high school students and their families are feeling the hurt of our tough economy. This should be no reason for girls to be denied the time-honored tradition of going to Prom. 96.3 WDVD and Lakeside Mall will make every effort to make sure less fortunate girls receive a FREE Prom Dress! 96.3 WDVD will be collecting gently worn formal dresses, shoes and accessories (less than 5 years old) at Lakeside Mall (upper level, next to Macy's Women's Store) Friday, April 13 - Sunday, April 15, 2012. 96.3 WDVD on-air personalities will broadcast from inside the Project Prom Princess Boutique all weekend long. Our mission is to fill the store with racks of dresses, shoes and accessories to make hundreds of girls feel like a true princess on prom night.

Less fortunate girls that may be in need of a dress for prom can log on to www.963WDVD.com to register for an appointment. Selected girls will be asked to join us inside the Project Prom Princess Boutique to pick out a free dress for prom.

Visitors to the Prom Princess Boutique will be able to register for the chance to win a Prom production package courtesy of AV7 Productions.

 

Crain's Detroit Business:

The financial ripple effects from the record $2.15 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to find their way 2,000 miles east to Detroit. The sale price, reportedly for $500 million more than the next highest bid, is largely predicated on an expected bidding war for the baseball team's local television broadcast rights in the nation's second-largest market.

Full story: A record L.A. TV deal could score for Tigers (Sun, 4/15)

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

Jim Price, the analyst on Tigers radio broadcasts, said today he'll be back in the booth Thursday when the Tigers open a home stand. Price is missing the three-game series in Kansas City that starts tonight because of what he describes as an infection.

Full story: Tigers broadcaster Jim Price to miss Kansas City series due to infection (Mon, 4/16)

 


 

Fine Tuning

 

WDIV-TV / Local 4 Detroit:

Today marks the kickoff of our third annual NOAA Weather Radio Campaign. Since the program began, well over 17,000 radios have been purchased. If you already have yours, then congratulations: you will be warned of an approaching tornado even if it happens in the middle of the night when you're sleeping.

Full story: Local 4 hosts 'Weather Radio' day: Why you need a weather radio (Tue, 4/17)

 

WDIV claims 2012 Murrow Award

Post-Newsweek NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Ch. 4 Detroit was honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for the fourth straight year with an Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism.

Local 4 News won the top award in Region 7 of the large market TV Writing category for it's public affairs program "Flashpoint" with Devin Scillian.

 


 

AllAccess.com:

MACDONALD/GARBER BROADCAST GROUP AC WLXT (LITE 96.3)/TRAVERSE CITY brings in market vet LISA KNIGHT as morning show co-host with TIM NIXON, beginning next MONDAY (4/23). KNIGHT will also take over mid-day duties on sister Top 40 WKHQ.

Full story: Lisa Knight To Co-Host Wakeups On WLXT, Middays On WKHQ (Wed, 4/18)

 

Detroit News:

Dan Petry sure had fun. But he's made this perfectly clear, too: He's not out to take anybody's job. "I told Jim Price, 'I am keeping your seat warm. Hurry up and get back,'" Petry said this week from Kansas City, Mo., where he worked with Dan Dickerson on three Tigers radio broadcasts while Price was out with an illness. "I was in the pinch-hitter's role."

Full story: Ex-Tiger Dan Petry happy with radio relief role (Thu, 4/19)

 


 

MLive.com:

Detroit Tigers color commentator Jim Price was back in the radio booth Thursday after missing five broadcasts due to illness. It was the first assignment he's missed in 20 years, he said.

Full story: Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jim Price returns to radio booth after battling illness (Thu, 4/19)

 


 

Fine Tuning

  • Val Clark, veteran reporter and fill-in anchor at Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Ch. 7, announced she will retire from the station this summer.

 

Grand Rapids Press:

Matt Hanlon, a former top radio executive for Citadel Broadcasting and until recently Townsquare Media, is accused of drunken driving after a crash that injured a Grand Rapids couple, police and court records show.

Full story: Former radio executive Matt Hanlon charged with drunken driving after Grand Rapids couple injured in crash (Fri, 4/20)

 


 

Toledo Blade:

The sign is already there: "Toledo News Now." That's the slogan for the new combined newsroom product of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and WUPW-TV, Channel 36, as part of the FCC-approved shared services agreement.

Full story: TV news merger moving forward (Fri, 4/20)

 

Arbitron drops Ann Arbor and Tri-Cities markets from its ratings service

Radio ratings service Arbitron has backed out of two Michigan markets, dropping Ann Arbor (ranked as the 155th largest market in the country) and Saginaw/Bay City/Midland (139th largest) from the list of areas where it provides service.

Both Ann Arbor and the Tri-Cities were diary-based markets and had been receiving Fall and Spring reports from Arbitron. They were dropped due to lack of client support - meaning not enough radio stations in those markets were subscribing to Arbitron's services.

Arbitron also recently made another change to all of the markets it serves - ratings information for non-subscribing stations will no longer be part of any publicly released ratings reports, making it tough for the general public to know exactly where stations rank in markets where there are non-subscribing stations.

 


 

Traverse City's Good News Media wins FM Auction 93 bid

The recently concluded FCC Auction 93 offered up 93 new FM frequencies for bid across the country. In Michigan, Traverse City based Good News Media was the high bidder at $109,000 for a new Class C3 station at 95.9 to be licensed to Grand Traverse County's Fife Lake.

Good News Media is the owner of religious formatted stations WJLN-FM/AM 89.9 / 1400 Traverse City and WLJW AM 1370 Cadillac. WLJN-FM was also recently granted a construction permit to increase power from 39,000 to 100,000 watts.

 


 

TVNewsCheck:

Sinclair Communications-owned CBS affiliate WWMT Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich., (DMA 42), today launched a 4:30 a.m. newscast. The expanded early morning newscast will air every weekday.

Full story: WWMT launches 4:30 am newscast (Mon, 4/23)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

TOWNSQUARE Active Rocker WGRD/GRAND RAPIDS, MI and FREE BEER & HOT WINGS announce WINGSTOCK 2012. The show is JUNE 16th at FIFTH THIRD BALLPARK with headliners OUR LADY PEACE, also local boys POP EVIL with DOKKEN, WAYLAND and more acts to be announced.

Full story: WGRD Announces Wingstock 2012 (Mon, 4/23)

 


 

Macomb Daily:

Using 100 percent donated parts and the sweat of volunteers, Keith Strong and his crew at Ice Nine Group in Clinton Township can now get to the task at hand: building a reproduction of a 1969 Ford Mustang as part of WCSX radio's Stone Soup Project to raise funds for children's charities.

Full story: Ice Nine Group, WCSX to build new '69 Boss Mustang (Sat, 4/21)

 


 

Fine Tuning

  • Steve Stewart has exited as the longtime Operations Manager at Cumulus News/Talk WJR AM 760 Detroit. Ron Harrell takes over the role - he also oversees Cumulus' other two stations in Detroit, WDVD-FM 96.3 and WDRQ-FM 93.1. Stewart's career at WJR spanned 22 years.

 

Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

Original television programming based in the Jackson area is on the rise. Two new Jackson-produced programs - JTV's "SoundWave" and "Buzz TV Jackson" on WLAJ - will debut in the coming days, both of which will highlight the entertainment scene around south-central Michigan. This comes on the heels of another new JTV show "Jackson Pickers," based on "American Pickers," which debuted on April 13.

Full story: New Jackson-based TV shows "SoundWave" and "Buzz TV Jackson" to debut soon (Tue, 4/24)

 


 

Fine Tuning

  • Annie 'Spears' Nawrocki has exited Pop WBTI-FM 96.9 Lexington/Pt. Huron to take over middays at NextMedia Pop WGER-FM 106.3 Saginaw.

 


 

Information added/updated periodically throughout the day; Refresh the page for the latest version.

 

5th Annual 96.3 WDVD Cares For Kids Radiothon underway

Cumulus Pop WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit has partnered with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to help raise funds in support of children with special medical needs. All proceeds from the event go towards the purchase of life-saving equipment for children, as well as specialized pediatric programs and research at Beaumont Children's Hospital in Royal Oak.

96.3 WDVD's Blaine & Allison kicked off a live broadcast at 6 a.m. from Beaumont Royal Oak - the station will continue to broadcast live through 7 p.m.

Last year, 96.3 WDVD's "Cares for Kids" Radiothon helped raise over $100,000 for the cause and the station is inviting listeners to make a difference by spreading the word and helping raise money for children in need. 100% of the donations will stay in the community to help children in need.

To make a donation, call at (866) 963-GIVE (4483), stop by the radiothon to give in person, or visit the station's web site at 963wdvd.com.

 


 

Detroit's WDIV-TV Ch. 4 to presents Michigan School Expo April 28 - 29

From pre-school to post-grad, local education providers will join together at the 2012 Michigan School Expo on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday April 29 from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. throughout Oakland Mall in Troy. The event is presented by Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV-TV, Local 4.

The Michigan School Expo will include representatives from local, national and online universities, community colleges, technical/trade schools, and private and public pre-elementary and secondary schools. Last year, over 40 thousand people were in attendance at Oakland Mall during the first-ever Michigan School Expo.

Confirmed educational providers at the 2012 Michigan School Expo include Hazel Park Schools "Promise Zone" - offering college tuition to high school graduates, the Hinoki International School - a unique bi-lingual public charter school, the University of Toledo, Specs Howard School of Media Arts, Oakland Schools Technical Campuses and many more. Special exhibits include the AAA of Michigan Teen Driving Safety program featuring interactive driving simulators, "Financial Jeopardy" from the Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union where representatives from 3 local schools will vie for $500 in prize money for their institution, and an opportunity to show your forecasting skills at the WDIV Local4Casters Weather Wall.

The Michigan School Expo kicks off Saturday with a special performance by Oak Park High School Marching Band. Visit the Local 4 booth at the Michigan School Expo to meet several of WDIV news personalities including Rhonda Walker, Guy Gordon and Ashlee Baracy of Local 4 News Morning.

For more info on the Michigan School Expo, including a continually updated list of participating schools, visit www.ClickOnDetroit.com/School-Expo.

 


 

AllAccess.com:

CUMULUS Talk WJIM-A/LANSING, MI and the MICHIGAN TALK NETWORK have settled on the official replacement for MICHAEL PATRICK SHIELS on the statewide-syndicated "MICHIGAN'S MORNING SHOW," with former NBC affiliate WILX-TV news anchor STEVE GRUBER and CBS affiliate WLNS-TV host JO ANNE PAUL as hosts, according to the LANSING STATE JOURNAL.

Full story: 'Michigan's Morning Show' Has New Hosts (Thu, 4/26)

 


 

Information added/updated periodically throughout the day; Refresh the page for the latest version.

 

Newsmakers and links: April 29, 2012

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Grand Rapids Press:

Remember the '80s? Or the '90s? WZZM-TV 13 does. The ABC-TV affiliate is inviting former broadcasters Barry Shanley, Craig James and Sam Hooks back to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the station.

Full story: WZZM-TV celebrates 50th anniversary with on-air return of former broadcast personalities in May (Fri, 4/27)

 

WOOD-TV 24 Hour News 8 is getting a jump on the day by moving its morning news show "Daybreak" a half hour ahead to begin its broadcast day at 4:30 a.m. weekdays.

Full story: WOOD-TV next week will move morning news 'Daybreak' to begin airing at 4:30 a.m. weekdays (Fri, 4/27)

 

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Television category from April 2012.

Television: March 2012 is the previous archive.

Television: May 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

 

 

 

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