MACKINAC ISLAND – The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award and welcomed three other outstanding individuals into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame on Tuesday, August 14 at the Grand Hotel.

The highest award given by the MAB, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors Michigan broadcast pioneers who have dedicated the majority of their professional careers to broadcasting in the state of Michigan and have distinguished themselves through a lifetime of service as a top manager or owner through excellence in broadcasting.

Hall of Fame inductees are nominated and voted on by their peers. Award recipients were honored during the MAB’s annual Awards Banquet surrounded by broadcasters and friends. To see a complete list of the  MAB’s Hall of Fame award winners, click here.

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award

L-R: Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters President Gary Reid, 2018 MAB Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Michael Walenta, former General Manager for WGVU Public Media, and MAB President/CEO Karole L. White.

Michael T. Walenta, WGVU Public Media
Michael T. Walenta served as General Manager of WGVU Public Media for 30 years. Under his leadership, WGVU has grown into a multi-platform public media organization, a far cry from the four-hour broadcasts that were the humble beginnings of WGVU on December 17, 1972. WGVU Public Media currently serves 2.4 million people across our community with 10 Television Broadcast Channels featuring PBS, PBS Kids, WGVU Life, Worldview and the WGVU Guide; two FM Channels featuring NPR and Local News, Blues and Jazz; two AM Channels that are the only NPR Stations in the country to feature Real Oldies Music from 1954 – 1972.
2018 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees

L-R: 2018 Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees Pete Bowers, WBFH-FM (Bloomfield Hills), Bob Allison, WNZK-AM (Detroit) and Sheri Jones, WLNS-TV (Lansing) .

Bob Allison, WNZK-AM (Detroit)

Bob Allison, congenial host of “Ask Your Neighbor” on WNZK-AM, has to be Metropolitan Detroit’s longest-reigning, best-known neighbor. He has been on-air for over 50 years as the host of his popular show – an impressive feat in an industry that measures success by weeks and months. Each weekday from 9 – 11 a.m., Bob and his son, Rob, chat with listeners on a wide range of topics. Bob started broadcasting over 60 years ago in La Porte, Ind. As popular as the radio show has been, many Baby Boomers remember him more for his TV work as host of “Bowling For Dollars” or as the milkman on the children’s show “Milky’s Party Time.”

Sheri Jones, WLNS-TV (Lansing)

Sheri Jones has devoted her life to broadcasting by being a top anchor at WLNS-TV for 30 years. She was an early innovator and has continued to innovate and address critical community concerns throughout her career. For example, she led her station’s coverage of the heroin and opioid epidemic in May of 2017. In 2017, Sheri was also responsible for launching and co-anchoring a new show at 5:30 p.m. on WLNS-TV. For Sheri, her career is not just a job, it’s a life of service. She uses her status in our community to help the community not just herself. In addition to winning over 50 awards including Emmys, MAB Awards, and a NATAS Silver Circle Award, Sheri has served on 16 Community Boards, chaired numerous service committees and fundraisers, and has volunteered over 500 hours each year for over 100 community organizations.

Pete Bowers, WBFH-FM (Bloomfield Hills)
Pete Bowers has influenced the lives of hundreds of students as a high school broadcasting educator at WBFH-FM which is owned and operated by the Bloomfield Hills School District. But his 41 years of service and dedication extends well beyond the boundaries of Bloomfield Hills. His students have dominated state and national high school broadcasting award competitions winning MABF Station of the Year 10 times. WBFH students won Best High School Station in the Nation six times, tied with the most of any station in the U.S. Bowers has been honored as Best High School Advisor in the Nation twice.
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