Stephen A. Marks Elected MAB Chairman

Stephen A. Marks, President/CEO of The Marks Group (Alpena), was elected Chairman of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Board of Directors during the organization’s  Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday (8/11).

Marks is the 76th chairman of the MAB, one of the largest and most successful state broadcast associations in the nation. The MAB represents nearly 300 radio and television stations and about 4,000 individual broadcasting industry employees across the state of Michigan.

he started his broadcasting career at the age of 17 as a copy writer at WINX in Rockville, Md. While there, he was able to learn enough to pass the FCC third class number nine endorsement license test. His early career was spent in radio holding positions from marketing to management. That included working with Mutual Broadcasting Systems (MBS) in affiliate programming and syndication after graduating from American University in Washington D.C. in 1973

In 1983, he acquired 51 percent of Thunder Bay Broadcasting Corporation in Alpena. Today, as a 100-percent shareholder, he still serves as President/CEO of WBKB-TV. His other Michigan stations include Lake Superior Community Broadcasting, WBUP-TV/WBKP-TV and Houghton Community Broadcasting, WOLV-FM, WHKB-FM and WCCY-AM. Under the DBA of The Marks Group, he holds a total of five television stations and 14 radio stations. His Michigan stations fund two student scholarships with MAB Foundation.

Also elected to the MAB Board of Directors executive committee were:

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect Kevin Dunaway
Vice President/General Manager,
Heritage Broadcasting (Cadillac/Traverse City)

Secretary/Treasurer Scott Shigley,
General Manager,
Liggett Communications (Port Huron);

At-Large Director Mike Murri,
Vice President/General Manager,
WXYZ-TV/WMYD-TV (Detroit).

See the complete MAB Board of Directors list here.


MAB Annual Business Meeting and Election of Directors Will Be Held Virtually on August 11

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters will hold its Annual Business Meeting and Election of Directors via Zoom this year.

Save the Date: 

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters
Annual Business Meeting
Tuesday August 11, 2020 at 10:00 am.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, All members wishing to be heard concerning the business of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters need to send their request listing item you wish to be placed on the agenda to the MAB, 820 N. Capitol, Lansing, MI 48906 no later than July 13 or email [email protected].

The Annual Business Meeting and election of officers was to have been held at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Detroit. Due to the coronavirus pandemic which shut down Michigan casinos, we will now be holding the Annual Business Meeting online via Zoom.

Look for your complimentary registration information and details about our Special Guest coming soon.

MAB Has a New Headquarters Building

222 N. Chestnut St. in downtown Lansing.

By Karole L. White, MAB President/CEO

At their last meeting the MAB Board voted to purchase an existing building at 222 N. Chestnut St. in downtown Lansing, rather than build a new building from the ground up.

You may recall that MAB owned 5.5  acres of land on Ottawa Street that was purchased from the bank  at foreclosure.  We sold five acres to a developer at almost 7 times what we paid for the land and kept .5 acres to build a new MAB headquarters building.

Karole White

As we developed our plans we hit some unexpected road blocks with MEDC Tax Credits and the EPA.  These issues would not prohibit us from building, but they made the build project simply too costly.  The board wisely stepped back from the build project to consider other options.  The Building Committee analyzed the potential of renting vs owning existing office stock.

Prior to the committee recommendation to the MAB board the above building at 222 N. Chestnut St., just two short blocks from the Capitol, came onto the market.  The Chestnut Street Property, built in 1992 was very close to the size of the building MAB would have built. It has three floors with access to all by an elevator and the lower level has a kitchen, a 35-person training room, and storage.  This building was priced at half of the cost of the original new build project on Ottawa Street. The funds from the sale of the 5 acres to a developer paid for the N. Chestnut Street property.

Although it has a totally different feel to the building, one that is more traditional, it is in excellent shape and stately looking.  The property committee met and recommended to the board that the MAB purchase the existing building on N. Chestnut Street and liquidate the rest of the MAB real estate holdings.  The board approved the purchase and the MAB now owns a new building.  We will move in after renovations are complete, hopefully by the end of March.

There is something else unique about this new MAB building.  The building was originally the offices of the Michigan Legislative Consultants, owned by Thomas Cleary and his partner Mike Busch.  Tom Cleary was the CEO of the MAB for more than 30 years and was the person responsible for introducing me to the MAB Board of Directors in 1985, which lead to my position with the MAB.  Tom stayed on as the MAB lobbyist until he and Mike Busch retired.  I attended the dedication open house of the Chestnut Street building in 1992 and now MAB owns it.

One could say the MAB has come full circle.  Our real estate investments and your continued membership and participation in the NCSA program has brought us to this point.  Having a substantial building so close to the Capitol tells lawmakers that the broadcasting industry is strong and an ever present force for good in our state.

Lawmakers will use our training center for receptions and will look up to our industry as media technology leaders. We will be within eyesight of the State Capitol.  Lawmakers will pass our building several times a day.  We will be part of the downtown Capitol landscape. That Capitol location is very important in Lansing. The board wisely chose to protect members investment in the MAB while still improving our presence before the Michigan legislature.

As we complete the renovations we will keep you informed of our ongoing progress.

Meet Your New MAB Board Member of the Week: Wendy Hart

Wendy Hart

Wendy Hart has spent the last 10 years as co-owner of WGHN, Inc which consists of radio stations WGHN-AM/FM and WMPA-FM in Grand Haven, Michigan. She also serves as Vice President/Director of Operations for the Spartan Sports Network in East Lansing, Michigan, a post she has held since the 1990s.

It all started for her in 1985, when she joined TBC in Chicago after the corporate media promotions company expanded into sports broadcast operations.  Within three years of joining TBC, the company merged with Rasmussen Communications Management led by Bill Rasmussen, the founder of ESPN.  During her stint with RCM, Wendy worked in radio network operations, affiliation, and as a radio producer and writer for the University of Illinois, Purdue University, the Big Ten Conference, and the Chicago White Sox.

Following RCM, she helped co-found the Spartan Sports Network, Michigan State University’s statewide sports radio network. Wendy currently oversees broadcast operations and digital media. On weekends in the Fall, she also moonlights as a producer.  She has led the Michigan State football broadcast team for over 25 years.  Aside from SSN, management and marketing duties keep her on her toes at WGHN.

A proud member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Wendy is a graduate of Illinois State University.

Meet Your New MAB Board Member of the Week: Debbie Petersmark

Debbie Petersmark serves as Vice President/General Manager of WILX Media, a Gray Television station which operates WILX-TV 10 (NBC),, and WILX Digital. Debbie joined the station in 2000 as an Account Executive and served as General Sales Manager from 2014-2018.

Prior to joining WILX, she spent 10 years with Sparrow Foundation as the manager of the Children’s Miracle Network, where she led the fundraising efforts for the Regional Children’s Center and produced an annual telethon. She serves as a board member for the American Red Cross, Mid-Michigan Chapter and on the Sparrow Foundation Board of Directors.

Debbie grew up in an entrepreneurial family, working from a young age at Holden Reid Clothiers, a long-standing Lansing business founded by her grandfather.  A lifelong resident of East Lansing, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University. She and her husband Mike live in East Lansing with their three children, Andrew, Megan and Owen.

Meet Your New MAB Board Member of the Week: Shannone Dunlap

As a career media marketing professional, I have become a student of consumer behaviors with a thirst for understanding the moment to moment movements of our listeners and populations to maximize the audiences of our radio stations and digital assets to bring the greatest return on investment for our advertising partners.

Now, working with Mike Chires and Norm McKee in Northern Michigan for Black Diamond Broadcasting, I am the New Business Development Director. Every day I work directly with our sales team to create marketing opportunities for local and regional businesses.

I don’t just work in the communities I serve; I roll my sleeves up and work hand in hand with organizations through volunteerism and facilitating creative brainstorming sessions to help create opportunities that overcome challenges in retail, service and recruitment business environments. I pride myself on helping main street businesses understand the ever-changing landscape of marketing with today’s technology. Expressing the importance to businesses, that being known before the consumer needs their products or services are needed is vital to any business’s growth. Advertising through traditional media such as radio keeps them top of mind and in play to earn their customer’s business whether through foot traffic in their store on through their websites and digital marketplaces.

I am a strong leader. Dedicated to my craft who tirelessly works with conviction, ethics and a hunger to win. I am a mom of an awesome 12-year-old who is fully invested in my family, my work and my community.

Meet Your MAB Board Member of the Week: Kim Krause

Kim Krause

Kim Krause is currently the VP/General Manager of WXMI, a FOX affiliate and Tribune Media property in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Kim was named VP/General Manager of WXMI, in January 2017.

Before taking over the GM position, Kim worked as VP of Sales and Marketing for WZZM, the ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids. Prior to her position as VP Sales/Marketing, Kim was their Local Sales Manager starting June of 1998.

Before joining WZZM 13, Kim worked for one year as Local Sales Manager at WLAJ ABC 53 in Lansing.

Kim graduated from Hope College in 1986 with a double major in Political Science and Psychology.  Upon graduation, Kim spent six years as an Account Executive at WWMT Ch 3 in the West Michigan market and then was promoted to Special Projects Manager.

Kim currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan. She has also served on numerous other community boards including The Humane Society of Western Michigan and Camp Newaygo for Girls.

Kim and her husband, Gary, reside in East Grand Rapids along with their 14 year old daughter Elle.

Meet Your MAB Board Member of the Week: Rob David

Rob David, Handyman Productions

Robert David’s career in the radio broadcasting industry spans four decades, all of them in Michigan. He is currently the President / General Manager of Handyman Productions, a radio program syndication and marketing firm working with various radio talk programs around the country. The company had previously produced and distributed the award-winning ‘Handyman Show with Glenn Haege’ in Michigan and across the country. This followed an extensive radio broadcasting sales and management career as a Radio Account Executive in Flint; followed by positions in broadcast sales, management and station ownership in the Detroit market. His involvement with MAB includes serving as a current MAB board member, former chairperson of the MAB Foundation Board, as well as, former chair of the annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) [now Great Lakes Media Show]. He has traveled to Washington, DC, on several occasions as part of the MAB “Call on Congress,” and is presently a member of the MAB-Political Action Committee board.

Rob was the inaugural recipient of the “MAB Associate of the Year” award in 2006 and inducted into the Michigan Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame in 2017. Rob is a proud graduate of Michigan State University and was named an ‘Outstanding Alumnus’ by the Eli Broad College of Business and was presented with the prestigious ‘MSU Alumni Service Award’ for his service and support of the University. Outside of broadcasting, he is a recent graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy, and the Novi Ambassador Academy. Lastly, Mr. David is a member of the Consular Corps of Michigan having been appointed as the Honorary Consul for Grenada. The Honorable Robert David and his wife, Marcia, reside in Novi.

Meet Your MAB Board Member of the Week: Chris Monk

Chris Monk

Chris Monk began his career in January 1979 after graduating from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Broadcast Management.  On January 1, 1979, he headed west for his first job in radio.

He began his career in Reno, Nevada (Lotus Communications).  For the better part of twenty years he worked various West Coast markets.  Las Vegas, Nev. (Western Cities Broadcasting), Sacramento, Calif. (Nationwide Communications), and Tucson, Ariz.(Journal Broadcast Group) before he returning to Traverse City/Petoskey to work with Palmer Pyle to manage Northern Star Broadcasting.

For ten years Northern Star Broadcasting grew from nine stations “below to bridge” to a total of twenty-one stations serving the additional markets of Iron Mountain, Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie.

In 2007, he joined Citadel Broadcasting to manage their stations in Saginaw and Flint.  He left for five years to do consulting work and manage stations in Fort Wayne, Ind., for Adams Radio Group.  In January 2017, he returned to Saginaw to re-join Cumulus as a Regional Vice President overseeing their stations in Saginaw, Flint and Ann Arbor.

In addition to radio, his other passion is teaching.  He has been an adjunct professor at Northwood University in Midland since 2010.

When not in one of his markets or the classroom, you’ll find him at home in Horton Bay (Boyne City) with his wife, Georganna. They live on 12 acres overlooking beautiful Lake Charlevoix


Meet Your MAB Board Member of the Week: Peter Tanz

Peter Tanz is Senior Vice President for Midwest Communications, a family broadcasting company with radio stations in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. He currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the MAB Board of Directors.

Peter joined Midwest Communications in Green Bay, Wisc., as an advertising sales representative in 1985 and was promoted to General Manager in 1987. He managed stations in Wausau, Wisc., Lincoln and Omaha, Neb., before coming to Michigan in 1995. In Michigan, he works with Midwest’s stations in Battle Creek, Coldwater, Holland, Kalamazoo and Lansing.

Peter is involved with many community organizations and is past chair of the Coldwater and Kalamazoo Chambers of Commerce and the Kalamazoo Visitor and Convention Bureau.