Jim Rademaker Named Interim GM at WCMU Public Media

Jim Rademaker

Central Michigan University has named Jim Rademaker Interim General Manager of WCMU Public Media. The appointment comes following former WCMU general manager Ken Kolbe’s announcement that he was joining WGVU in Grand Rapids as their general manager.

Rademaker joined WCMU in December 2015 as director of development and community engagement. He was promoted to assistant general manager of WCMU Public Media in November, 2017. Prior to joining WCMU, Rademaker served in several capacities at WGVU from 2002 until joining WCMU.

“WCMU Public Media has several exciting initiatives underway that will advance the educational, entertainment and public services we provide,” Rademaker said. “Public broadcasting is much more than the programming you enjoy. Our success is measured on being a part of the communities we serve and addressing issues in our neighborhoods.”

Kolbe leaves WCMU after nearly five years as general manager.

MediaBrew Acquires Great Lakes Radio Marquette Stations

MediaBrew Communications Marquette, LLC has agreed to purchase radio properties and new media businesses serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from Great Lakes Radio, Inc. The group includes stations WFXD (FM & HD) (Marquette), WKQS-FM (Negaunee), WRUP (FM) (Palmer); and translators W291CJ (Marquette), W260AG (lshpeming), W248BU (lshpeming) and W286BC (Marquette).  The application for the transfer was filed with the FCC May 13.

Indianapolis based MediaBrew Communications is headed by Charles Williams. Williams served as Market Manager of Emmis Indianapolis from August 2016 to November 2017 after eleven years running Radio One Indianapolis.

Great Lakes Radio Owner and President Todd Noordyk is a long time Michigan broadcaster who has owned 26 stations over 36 years, and is retaining six other Michigan broadcast properties.

Initially, a broker release stated Noordyk’s WQXO-AM and FM translator W249DR at 97.7 MHz (both Munising) were included in the deal, but Noordyk told the MAB that those stations were not sold.

New Self-Regs For Sports Gambling Ads Similar to Alcohol’s

According to a report in InsideRadio, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has issued a new set of self-regulations for sports betting advertising and marketing. Its  new “Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering”  has parallels to restrictions placed on alcohol advertising.

The new code comes on the first anniversary of the Supreme Court striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which paved the way for the new industry to flourish. It applies to both traditional and digital media marketing and includes self-imposed restrictions on target audiences, outlets and branding materials.

The AGA has traditionally represented the $261 billion U.S. casino industry. But with legalized wagering on sporting events a relatively new activity in a growing number of states, the trade association says it’s extending its compliance commitments to address new concerns that have sprung up, according to the report.

Using gambling and casino advertising as a forerunner of what’s to come, Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell last year forecast about $300 million in new ad revenue for radio from sports betting.


WXYZ Celebrates ‘The Brightest and Best’


E.W. Scripps’ WXYZ-TV (Detroit) held its 40th annual Brightest and Best celebration at its studios on May 11.  The celebration recognizes the academic achievements of local graduating high school seniors.

Each year, the station invites more than 200 honorees and their families to attend.  This year’s celebration included a Twitter scavenger hunt.  Students also had the opportunity to mingle with WXYZ reporters and anchors and snap photos.

Jacobs Media and jācapps Announce Free Webinar: Radios Mobile Strategy

via Jacobs Media Strategies:

“What we learned at Techsurvey 2019”

Without question, mobile devices and smart speakers have changed the way people consume media. While new audio competitors to radio have emerged, the industry has responded. Today, most radio stations have mobile apps, and there are a growing number of stations providing their stream and other content on the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

But what does the radio audience think, and how are they using these new ways of accessing radio? On May 23, Jacobs Media President, Fred Jacobs and jācapps COO, Bob Kernen, will be hosting a webinar on results from Techsurvey 2019 that focus specifically on smartphones and smart speakers.

In our webinar you will learn five key points about mobile and smart speakers:

• How are the mobile phone usage habits of radio listeners changing?
• What features are most used in radio station mobile apps?
• Which is more desirable – individual radio station apps or aggregated platforms?
• What is the role of mobile apps in in-car radio listening?
• How are smart speakers disrupting the way people are listening at home?

“Since its inception, Techsurvey has consistently helped radio stations understand the present and identify areas of opportunity for the future,” Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs observes. “Mobile apps and smart speakers touch all aspects of a station’s business – listening, podcasting, video, revenue and more – we’ll drill down in this webinar with new information designed to help broadcasters.”

Join us next Thursday, May 23rd at 2 p.m. Eastern to find out what we learned from Techsurvey 2019 that can help your radio station build a better digital strategy.

Every year Jacobs Media conducts the radio industry’s largest online survey, Techsurvey. Techsurvey is the radio broadcasting industry’s largest study, with over 500 participating radio stations and over 50,000 respondents. This study examines the online habits of radio audiences and has enabled us to identify key digital trends for 2019.

Lansing Radio Legend Earle Robinson Passes

Earle Robinson. Photo credit: MSU/WKAR

Longtime WKAR Radio on-air personality Earle Robinson has died.   His death was reported by the station on May 13.  His work at WKAR began with a music program in 1974, but he’s best remembered for bringing sports news to  listeners, first on a call-in show co-hosted with Jim Adams, then later hosting Sportstalk by himself.  He retired from the program in 2013.

NBA and Michigan State University great Earvin “Magic” Johnson remembered his Robinson on Twitter:

“I’m saddened to hear about the passing of my friend, radio personality and sports broadcaster Earle Robinson. Earle was a pioneer in Lansing, MI as the first radio personality to play R&B music on his show from 2-5 pm.”

Robinson also appeared on WILX-TV’s Staudt on Sports show each Sunday morning for six years:


WOOD-TV Unveils Next-Generation Studio

On May 13, Nexstar Broadcasting’s WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) unveiled its new state-of-the-art studio.  The studio improvements enhance the viewing experience and give journalists advanced storytelling tools.

The set, designed by a Nexstar internal team including WOOD team members, features more than 200 LED video panels that provide seamless canvases to create and innovate. Newscast producers have the flexibility to work with the design team to develop graphics that fit the specific need of each story in the newscast. Thousands of LED color-changing lights are built into the background to bring a crisp and vibrant display.

See a complete photo gallery here.

The center focus of the set is an 18-foot video wall — featuring 176 video panels — that is used to highlight the vast communities of viewers from the lakeshore to Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo.

One area of the set gives the team the ability to display content on three vertical monitors in a way that’s easy to understand.

The new sets are in addition to the station’s signature 24-foot wide by 9-foot high video wall that has given great versatility to produce multiple programs in addition to newscasts including eightWest, Maranda Where You Live, Sports Overtime, To The Point and Community partner segments.

A significant part of the project involved removing the old studio lights and wiring. The new wiring and LED lighting gives the team the flexibility to control every light in the grid and provide balanced lighting for the anchors, reporters, meteorologists and guests in the studio. The LED lighting will save a significant amount of energy.

The key to the visual display and lighting is a system called jControl, which was designed and built in-house by the team at the station.  JControl allows directors to send animations and graphics to any or all of the studio displays with endless transition and layer capabilities.

The station also included a nod to its history with a large mural that proudly displays its various logos from the past 70 years.

MAB Hosts State Capitol Advocacy Day

State Senator Jim Runestad, R-15 (left),and MAB Board of Directors Member Rob David (right).

On May 14, the MAB hosted its annual State Capitol Advocacy Day,  an event that brought many broadcasters to Lansing to meet with the state lawmakers on the issues affecting our industry.

Overall, MAB members met with 54 legislative offices during the Advocacy Day.

We discussed the need to reform public notice, our support for legislation to create open records for the State Legislature and the Governor’s office, updated the state legislature on the spectrum repacking efforts. The MAB also hosted a legislative lunch for the lawmakers and staff.

We thank our members for their participation!





What Do New Drug Ad Price Disclosures Mean for TV?

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted a new rule requiring that prescription drug advertising on TV contain certain price information.

Specifically, the HHS will require TV ads for prescription drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid to include the list price for a month’s supply or for the usual course of therapy, if that price is $35 or more. What will be the effect of this rule on TV?

Read David Oxenford’s blog post on the issue here

WMYD and WDIV Team Up for Detroit’s First ATSC 3.0 Signal

On the heels of last month’s announcement that TV broadcasters in the Top 40 TV markets will be launching Next-Gen TV services by the end of 2020, Detroit’s WMYD, owned by The E.W. Scripps Company announced May 15 plans to launch the new broadcast TV technology in a collaborative effort that will also involve Graham Media Group and other local broadcasters.

A Next-Gen TV broadcaster in Detroit provides a unique opportunity for the automotive industry to have an in-market test bed for the new Internet Protocol-based broadcast platform that can easily deliver data to millions of receivers at once, without worrying about bottlenecks from online traffic.

“Scripps is a strong supporter of the development of ATSC 3.0 technology as a way to continue to improve the broadcast industry’s offerings for both consumers and advertisers,” said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media for Scripps.

Also participating in the Detroit Next-Gen TV launch will be NBC affiliate WDIV-TV, owned by Graham Media Group.

“The collaborative effort needed to launch this new technology requires that broadcasters work together for the benefit of our viewers. Graham and WDIV look forward to launching the new Next-Gen TV station and the eventual launch of our own advanced signals on this platform. The future of television insures a more expansive experience, with high dynamic range video and advanced audio features that will immerse viewers as never before,” said Emily L. Barr, President and Chief Executive Officer of Graham Media Group.