Nominations for 2019 MAPB Public Media Impact Awards Due June 5

There will be up to two awards given — one Professional (all professionals including volunteers working in public broadcasting) and one Donor (individuals or foundations). The recipients will be recognized at the 2019 MAB Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting, August 6 at the J.W. Marriott in Grand Rapids.

MAPB Public Media Impact Online Nomination Form

The purpose of the awards are to:

  • To recognize outstanding individuals involved in public broadcasting for their innovation and creativity.
  • To inspire others involved in public broadcasting to greater achievement in the field of public radio and television.
  • To increase awareness of public broadcasting and the contributions talented individuals make to the industry statewide.

For more information on the awards (criteria, etc), click here.

Deadline for nominations and supporting material (i.e. letters of support, photos and videos) is Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

All supporting materials must be submitted at the same time the nomination form is submitted. If you have any questions concerning the Public Media Impact Award program please contact Ann Walters via email at [email protected] or by phone at the MAB at (517) 484-7444.

Step into the World of Virtual Reality … Career Fair Edition

The MAB Foundation is excited to host an upcoming media career fair event that is completely online!  You can sort through candidates and set up meetings without having to leave your comfortable office.

It’s simple:

  • Assign a hiring agent to participate
  • Promote your participation through a series of PSAs
  • Send the MABF at least one open job description and info about your company
  • Collect applications and answer candidate questions via email

You’ll get:

  • Credit for your EEO file without having to leave the office
  • Information on all registered career fair candidates
  • To make connections with potential new hires for your station!

MAB Foundation Virtual Career Fair
Week of May 06-10, 2019
$100/company listing
Vendor Registration:

Contact Rachel Krause with any questions, [email protected] or 517-484-7444

WCEN’s Moose New Country Ale Hits Retailers This Year

Moose New Country Ale CansLast summer, your MAB newsletter reported that Alpha Media’s WCEN-FM (Saginaw) teamed up with Mountain Town Brewing in Mt. Pleasant to offer its own brand of beer, Moose New Country Ale, which was available at restaurants and bars in the station’s service area.  After much success last year, the station and brewer have expanded distribution, making it available for purchase in 16-ounce cans for listeners to enjoy at home.

“We have the best fans in radio,” said WCEN Program Director Joby Phillips. “In addition to making our own beer popular at establishments throughout the region and at our local concerts and festivals, our listeners wanted more. So, beginning this month, convenience, grocery and party stores throughout the vast Mid-Michigan region are now offering our listeners the opportunity to take Moose New Country Ale home to enjoy whenever they want it. It’s been a great way to expand our brand beyond the radio. I never thought when I began my career in this exciting industry that it would lead me to have a foot in the adult beverage industry too!”

FCC approves $150M in Repack Funds for LPTVs, Radio

FCC Commissioners unanimously voted to approve $150 million in funding for low-power TV and FM radio stations that are disrupted by the post-spectrum auction repack. Congress directed the agency to add LPTVs and FMs to the funding list and set a deadline of March 23 to do it. The funding was included in the Ray Baum Act FCC Reauthorization legislation that passed last year, which set aside additional repack funding for full power TV as well as the LPTVs, translators and FMs.

FCC chair Ajit Pai said the ongoing repack “has imposed and will continue to impose” a “financial hardship” on many FM stations. But he credited Congress giving the FCC the expanded authority to reimburse radio stations, FM translators and low-power TV stations for their expenses.

“This made it much less likely that these classes of broadcasters will have to pay out of their own pockets after being forced through no fault of their own to relocate or modify their facilities,” Pai said.

State Supreme Court Orders Arguments in FOIA Case Involving Schuette

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether state government can claim immunity as a defense for disclosing public records. The case involves former Attorney General Bill Schuette’s refusal to conduct a search to see if his office sent emails involving public business using private email accounts.

The court ordered the arguments in Progress Michigan v. Attorney General (SC docket No.158150-1) in the case that has been ongoing for several years.The court directed the two sides to address whether the state can argue it has either a sovereign or governmental immunity defense that would cover not releasing public records, and whether the FOIA waives such an immunity.

The Court of Claims had rejected Schuette’s argument that he had immunity, but the Court of Appeals held the filing was invalid from the beginning and found for Schuette. No date was set for the arguments before the Supreme Court.

Meet your MAB Foundation Board Member of the Week: Steve Schram

Steve Schram is Executive Director and General Manager of Michigan Public Media, overseeing Michigan Radio-WUOM, the NPR news and information public radio station at the University of Michigan. Michigan Radio is the state’s most listened to public radio station, and serves over 510,000 listeners weekly from its statewide broadcast signals and online audio streaming. Under Schram’s leadership, the station’s local journalism news team has won multiple Edward R. Murrow journalism honors, a National Scripps Award and the prestigious DuPont-Columbia national journalism award during his 12 year tenure.

Prior to joining Michigan Radio, Schram served as Senior Vice President/General Manager for CBS Radio’s Detroit stations, WOMC 104.3 and WYCD 99.5. His previous career experience includes senior vice president roles at AOL in Columbus, Ohio and Market Executive Vice President for Clear Channel Radio Detroit, where he provided senior management for its top rated seven-radio station cluster, including WNIC and Channel 955.

Steve Schram currently serves as a Director on several boards for national and regional organizations in the public media industry, including the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters, Public Radio in Mid America and Greater Public. He is a graduate of Leadership Detroit and a current member and past Director of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club.

Schram earned his B.A. degree in Television and Radio from Michigan State University. He was honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2014 from the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences. In 2016, Steve Schram was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Steve and his wife, Laurie, live in Green Oak Township, Michigan and have two adult sons.

Upton to Co-Chair Public Broadcasting Caucus

Congressman Fred Upton and MAB President/CEO Karole L. White (File photo)

Four seasoned federal legislators – two Democrats and two Republicans – will co-chair the Public Broadcasting Caucus in the 116th Congress.

Taking seats as co-chairs are Republicans Fred Upton (6th-MI) and John Yarmuth (3rd-KY) and Democrats Earl Blumenauer (3rd-OR) and Mark Amodei (2nd-NV).

Rep. Upton chaired the House Energy & Commerce Committee for six years, while Rep. Yarmuth chairs the House Budget Committee. Rep. Amodei is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Blumenauer is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee and chairs its subcommittee on trade.

Blumenauer founded the Congressional Public Broadcasting Caucus more than 20 years ago to bring his colleagues together in support of public media and the important services they provide.

On March 18, President Trump on March 18 released his fiscal 2020 budget proposal, rescinding a large portion of funding for public broadcasting.

Upton noted that he majored in journalism and understands the importance of supporting public broadcasting for communities around the country. “It is simply good public policy,” said Upton. “I’m proud to offer my steadfast support so public broadcasting can continue to provide valuable services in education and public safety to families in Michigan and across the nation.”

“I am eager to work together with the new co-chairs of the Congressional Public Broadcasting Caucus to expand understanding in Congress of the vital role of public broadcasting in communities large and small,” Blumenauer said.

Rep. Yarmuth added,. “Public Broadcasting plays a vital role in communities across America and provides an irreplaceable service to all citizens. From children’s educational content, to promotion of the arts and humanities, to providing job training and public safety information — Congress should be working to increase federal investment and expand the important services public broadcasting provides. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help lead that charge in the 116th Congress.”

Rep. Amodei said, “Without federal support for public broadcasting, many localities would struggle to survive – particularly those in rural communities like mine,” he said. “I’m pleased to be a co-chair of the Public Broadcasting Caucus for the 116th Congress, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure Americans continue to have access to important public broadcasting programs and services.”

In response to the caucus’ leadership choices, APTS President/CEO Patrick Butler said, “The bipartisan nature of this leadership team reflects the bipartisan nature of public support for federal funding of public broadcasting. We look forward to working with these distinguished Members to increase this funding for the first time in 10 years and enable us to teach more children, protect more lives and property, and create more well-informed citizens to guide the world’s most important democracy.”

‘Free Beer & Hot Wings’ adds Cheese

Kelly Cheesborough

The syndicated “Free Beer & Hot Wings” show, based at WGRD-FM (Grand Rapids)  has announced the addition of Kelly Cheesborough (aka Kelly-Cheese) to the program, beginning April 1.

Cheesborough joins the program from WSTR-FM (Atlanta, GA), where she held the role of Executive Producer of the “Jeff and Jenn Show.”

“After an exhaustive national search, we are thrilled have Kelly join Free Beer & Hot Wings,” said co-host Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels. “Maybe it’s good karma that Kelly’s on-air name is ‘Kelly-Cheese’ — but the real reason we picked Kelly is that she is a total professional and our audience will appreciate the opportunity to have a women’s perspective on the topics Free Beer & Hot Wings covers every day.”

Cheesborough said, “I can’t believe I get to join the guys on the Free Beer and Hot Wings Show next week. I’ve done morning radio before but nothing like this. It’s exciting and also really nerve-racking, too. The show has a huge following and I’ve never experienced fans like the ones this show has. I’m looking forward to working with this group of talented guys and getting to know the fans that love them so much.”

Free Beer & Hot Wings is syndicated nationally by Compass Radio Networks.

MAB Teams Up With MSU to Promote Media Sales Careers to Generation Z

MAB members Marcia Mackey, WDIV-TV (Detroit), Mac Edwards, Beasley Media Group (Detroit), Jonathan Ghazal, Beasley Media Group (Detroit),  Paul Crockett, WILX-TV (Detroit), and Patti Taylor, Beasley Media Group (Detroit)

The 2018-2019 MSU school year has been a learning experience for MSU sales students and MAB members alike. It’s also been a very rewarding experience! Since September, MAB member stations have participated in the Sales Leadership Program at Michigan State University.  This program allows members to meet and network with students from MSU that are studying sales, and who WANT to pursue selling as their professional career.

As a part of this program sponsorship, MAB member stations Beasley Media Group (Detroit), WDIV-TV (Detroit) and WILX-TV (Lansing) got to lead a student meeting all about media sales and how to tackle common customer objections.

MAB members used their time with students to also discuss the future of media sales.  The students seemed to collectively be interested in the digital side of sales because that is how the majority of them consume their media.

Thanks to the new partnership between MSU Sales Leadership and MAB, we’re happy to report that Beasley Media Group has hired Johnathan Baldwin from the MSU Sales Program to join their sales team after graduation.  We can’t wait to see his career in sales take off.

If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved with this sponsored program through the MAB Foundation, please contact Rachel Krause, [email protected] or 517-484-7444.

Newago/Whitehall: WLAW, WWSN to Swap Frequencies

Radio Insight reported on Thursday that Cumulus Media will be swapping the dial positions of its country-formatted WLAW-FM (Newago), currently 92.5, and adult contemporary-formatted WWSN-FM (Whitehall), currently 97.5.

The flip is expected to fill the loss of a Cumulus Country signal along the Lake Michigan coast created by WTNR-FM’s recent move to the more inland 107.3 signal from 94.5.

The flip is scheduled for this Monday, April 1.