Remembering the 1980s
by Ross Biederman, Midwest Broadcasting and MAB Past President, 1983
|(l-r) Congressman John Dingell, Ross Biederman (MAB President 1983); Governor James J. Blanchard; Peter A. Kizer (MAB President 1984); Martha Dale Fritts; Eddie Fritts, NAB; and FCC Commissioner James H. Quello in Washington, DC.
It wasn't a different world in 1983. Imagine not using the internet or a cell phone. We held our annual Summer meeting...a three-day affair...at Hidden Valley in Gaylord, a resort that didn't have phones in the rooms! The most reliable phone service was the pay phone in the lobby. And, believe it or not, there usually wasn't a line of people waiting for it. To add insult to injury, some rooms came equipped WITHOUT radios or TV sets.
This, as many of you will recall, was before consolidation. Everyone pretty much knew everyone else. Most attendees were owner-operators. And the "corporate types" were mainly from the Detroit market.
We had a membership problem in the early and mid 80s. During my tenure, the MAB added over 30 member stations as a result of a membership drive that was the main focus of my year as President.
The association had a part-time director, Tom Cleary. Tom also ran the Michigan Milk Producers lobbying office part-time.
These were the not the "good old days." It was just much different.
Ross Biederman's comments originally appeared in the April, 2009 issue of the MAB E-Newsletter.
More 80s Memories
by Tom Bryson, WJRT-TV (Flint) and MAB Past President, 1990.
The best thing I did after arriving at WJRT-TV in Flint in 1985 was to become active with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.
It was in the tiny two-room rented offices of the MAB when Tom Cleary, our then part-time MAB manager, suggested we recruit a full-time Executive Director. We found Karole White, who has led us to incredible accomplishments, including the establishment of a reputation as among the most effective broadcast associations in the US.
On my office wall is a picture of MAB's new, and now permanent headquarters. I recall standing in the conference room in 1988 when Governor Blanchard, then State Senator John Engler and our beloved former FCC Commissioner and distinguished Michigan broadcaster James Quello as we dedicated this new milestone headquarters.
We owe some much to those who came before us, including Ken MacDonald, Les Biederman and others who left us in the decade of the eighties. If you had the chance to visit the MAB Broadcast History Exhibit, you would have seen whose shoulders we stand on.
But the future is in good hands and there is no better band of men and women than those who comprise the MAB to lead us confidently into the future, whatever it may bring.
Tom Bryson's comments originally appeared in the April, 2009 issue of the MAB E-Newsletter.
Remembering the MAB in 1984
by Jean Findlater, retired VP/GM WXYZ-TV (Detroit) and MAB Past President, 1984
Download PDF (originally appeared in the April, 2009 issue of the MAB E-Newsletter).
Memories from Tom Cleary (MAB Executive Director, 1968-1985)
From a 2009 MAB Interview
- Tom Cleary discusses the MAB transition from part-time to full-time association.
(both originally appeared in the April, 2009 issue of the MAB E-Newsletter).
Return to the 1980s homepage here.