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MSU’s Bob Gould Wins 39th AEJMC Edward L. Bliss Award for Distinguished Broadcast Journalism Education

Bob Gould

The winner of this year’s Edward L. Bliss Award for Distinguished Broadcast Journalism Education is Bob Gould, a Professor of Practice in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University. Gould began his career as a television news photographer in 1990 at WILX-TV in Lansing, spending the rest of his professional career at WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids. His 30 years in the field include 15 years instructing journalism majors at Michigan State University. Bob’s garnered over 40 awards from various organizations including the National Press Photographers Association, Associated Press, Michigan Association of Broadcasters and three regional Emmy awards before taking his experience to the classroom.

Gould was modest in accepting the news of this award, noting “there are many other deserving candidates.” And he was quick to credit others for his success, “I spent the early years of my career in T.V. news finding mentors and learning from others. Becoming a broadcast journalism instructor at Michigan State University allowed me to give back and train future industry leaders, but that didn’t stop in the classroom. I have found it extra rewarding to work with many professional organizations like the National Press Photographers Association, The Michigan Emmy Chapter, the Broadcast Education Association, and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.”

Gould’s commitment to teaching and building a broadcast journalism program was noted by Dr. Tim Vos, director of the School of Journalism at Michigan State, “Bob joined the Michigan State faculty and laid a foundation for today’s program. He helped build a strong team, and soon his students were winning state and then national awards. He also helped students get internships and jobs. So many alums of the program talk about his role in their education and careers.”

His letters of support show how much students appreciate Gould’s award-winning storytelling techniques and how much they learned from his instruction in videography. One student, Chloe Kiple, a former anchor with WWTV in Cadillac, noted her teacher’s special touch in the classroom. “Bob has a certain magic about him that was apparent to me from my first semester in his class. His genuine enthusiasm for visual storytelling, a geekiness for the mechanics of shooting, editing, and producing T.V. news, blended with a life-calling to create principled journalists when the world needs it most.”

Another one of the Michigan State journalists Gould prepared was Daniel Hamburg, now a multimedia journalist at WHTM-27 in Harrisburg, Pa. “Bob was in early and out late when we taped our newscasts, and he was available virtually any time of day when we needed help in the field or had problems editing. He has the unique ability to take reporters and turn them into storytellers. His classes don’t focus on reporting the news but on telling stories.” That difference “separates him from many other professors. His passion is unmatched, and his willingness to help is incredible.”

Another Spartan alum, Ian Gilmour, who just graduated, said one of Gould’s best qualities was how he built a rapport with students, “He places trust in his students so they may learn real-life skills and make mistakes that will make them better. And Bob has been by my side the whole way, as he has with all his students, guiding us with a helping hand and great advice.”

Regan Holgate, an outstanding senior at Michigan State’s School of Journalism (2021-22), noted Gould’s resourcefulness, “Even in the most trying times of a global pandemic, Bob continued to teach and innovate, allowing his students to grow to navigate the changing climate of journalism. It’s a testament to his hard work that his students have won hundreds of awards during his 15 years at this university.”

A panel of four judges – all former Bliss winners reviewed source materials for competitive portfolios, including letters from former students and current colleagues. Their comments reveal the merit of Gould’s portfolio of achievements.

Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism Associate Professor Mary Rogus (Bliss Award 2014) observed how often his teaching was cited by students. “In letter after letter, students described Bob’s attention and mentorship from their first days on campus, through graduation and well into their professional careers. Each student talked about how his individualized attention helped them discover their talents and passion and nurture it.”

Dr. Lee Hood of Loyola-Chicago (Bliss Award 2018) summed up his record as a mentor to many students, “It’s clear that Bob has had a significant impact as a tireless champion for his students over many years.”

Assistant Professor of Media Production at the University of Nebraska, Ken Fischer (Bliss Award 2017), believes the award’s namesake would find Gould worthy of this honor. “Bob Gould does yeoman’s work at Michigan State University as he prepares the next generation of storytellers. After Bob graduated and left the campus in 1990, he went on a journey in the trenches, first as an award-winning photojournalist and then as a manager (Chief Photographer). Finally, in 2007 he returned to East Lansing as an ideal person to get young journalists ready for their journeys.”

Dr. Bill Davie of the University of Louisiana (Bliss Award 2013) found Gould’s portfolio presented the correct elements for this honor. “Here was a broadcast journalism educator who enjoyed support from his students and colleagues at Michigan State University. In addition, he showed his support for the academic profession through his service to organizations like the National Press Photographers Association and the Broadcast Education Association.”

B.E.A. Executive Director Heather Birks has seen multiple sides of Bob Gould in broadcast education, offering service to others when needed. “He helped as an advisor and calming force when our B.E.A. Festival submission site crashed almost ten years ago. He served as a festival chair, managing hundreds of creative submissions more times than I can count. Finally, he is the true “proud professor” to countless top award-winning students he introduced me to while raving about their achievements.”

Gould will receive the award on Thursday, August 4, 2022, during a special ceremony produced by the Broadcast and Mobile Journalism division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Division Chair Harrison Hove, a lecturer at the University of Florida, added his perspective, “Professor Bob Gould has touched the lives of thousands of aspiring broadcast journalists. His students achieve at the highest levels of collegiate journalism. This award honors the best of the best, and Professor Bob Gould has a long track record of teaching achievements and student success stories, making him most deserving of such an honor.”

The distinguished broadcast journalism educator award is named for Edward L. Bliss, Jr., an author of six books, news producer, and editor for C.B.S. News. Bliss was known for his work with Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite and ended his career as an educator at American University. In the Ed Bliss memorial newsroom, colleagues will add Bob Gould’s name to a special plaque listing all past winners.

Past winners of the Bliss Award (formerly Distinguished Broadcast Educator Award) are Jack Shelly, Iowa State (1983); Ed Bliss, American (1984); Dick Yoakam, Indiana (1985); Henry Lippold, Wisconsin-Eau Claire (1986); Rod Gelatt, Missouri (1987); Mitchell Charnley, Minnesota (1988); Don Brown, Arizona State (1989); Irving Fang, Minnesota (1990): Ernest F. Andrews, Syracuse (1991); Al Anderson, Texas (1992); Michael Murray, Missouri-St Louis (1993); Joseph R. Dominick, Georgia (1994); Gordon Greb, San Jose State (1996); Travis Linn, Nevada-Reno (1997); Vernon Stone, Missouri (1998); Elmer Lower, A.B.C., N.B.C. (1999); Ken Keller, SIU-Carbondale (2000); Lincoln Furber, American (2001); James Hoyt, Wisconsin (2002); Phillip O. Keirstead, Florida A&M (2003); Thomas Griffiths, Brigham Young (2004): Peter Mayeux, Nebraska (2005); Bill Knowles, Montana (2006); Jim Upshaw, Oregon (2007); Glenn Johnson, Washington State (2008); Sam Swan, Tennessee (2009); Phillip Jeter, Winston Salem State (C.A.); C.A. “Charlie” Tuggle, North Carolina (2011); Robert Papper, Hofstra (2012); William R. Davie, Louisiana at Lafayette (2013); Mary Rogus, Ohio (2014); Mark Harmon, Tennessee (2015); Gary Hanson, Kent State (2016); Ken Fischer, Oklahoma (2017); Lee Hood, Loyola-Chicago (2018); Kent Collins, Missouri (2019); Max Utsler, Kansas (2020), Nancy DuPont, Mississippi (2021), and Bob Gould, Michigan State (2022.)




7 Michigan Broadcasters Recipients of 2022 Regional Murrow Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the recipients of the 2022 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.  The 7 Michigan broadcasters won a total of 13 awards in Region 7, which is shared with Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.  Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.

The Michigan stations and their winning entries are as follows:

Small Market Radio
Excellence in Sound
The Woodcock’s Sky Dance is One of Northern Michigan’s Spring Thrills
Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen, MI
Investigative Reporting
Group is Backing a String of Marijuana Proposals in Michigan, But Its Donors Are a Mystery
WKAR-FM
East Lansing, MI
Excellence In Writing
Rural Drag
WCMU-FM
Mount Pleasant, MI
Newscast
Newscast – Amy Robinson – July 14, 2021
WCMU-FM
Mount Pleasant, MI
Feature Reporting
83 Year Old Tractor Finds New Home
WCMU-FM
Mount Pleasant, MI
Podcast
Points North: Acme Creek Culvert Highlights Need for Resilient Infrastructure
Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen, MI
Large Market Radio
Digital
Michigan Radio Digital
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI
Overall Excellence
Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI
News Documentary
Stateside – Oxford High School
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI
Investigative Reporting
“It’s still not right.” An investigation into Lakeside Academy
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI
Small Market Television
Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Brenda’s Story: From Undocumented to Documented
Michigan State University School of Journalism
East Lansing, MI
Feature Reporting
A Reason to Fight
WLNS-TV
Lansing, MI
Large Market Television
Newscast
Local 4 News at 11
WDIV-TV
Detroit, MI

 




Ruppel Named Director of Content for Townsquare Lansing

Jonathan “JR” Ruppel

Jonathan “JR” Ruppel is named Director of Content for Townsquare Media’s cluster in Lansing, effective June 1. He’ll also become Program Director for Country WITL-FM and Classic Rock WMMQ-FM, with oversight of News/Talk WJIM-AM and Sports WVFN-AM.

Rupple joins the company from Country WPOR and Classic Country WZAN & W268CS (970 AM & 101.5 The Outlaw) in Portland, ME where served as PD. Ruppel joined WPOR in 2019 from Saga’s Harrisonburg, VA cluster, where he was OM and PD of Country WSIG.

Ruppel said, “Although it’s been a long time since I called the area home, I’m actually a native Michigander. Serving as PD of WITL puts me at the helm of a station I used to listen to on the radio under my pillow when I was a kid. Kind of awesome.”

He added, “I’ve enjoyed my time with Saga, and I’m proud of the things we’ve accomplished in the past three years in Portland. I’m excited about the new opportunity that lies ahead with Townsquare.”




WCSX Announces the Stone Soup Freedom Wrap to Honor Veterans Across America

Beasley Media Group’s WCSX-FM (Detroit) has announced that Big Jim’s House Stone Soup Project has taken the fundraiser for Vets Returning Home to a National Level with “The Freedom Wrap.”

Big Jim’s House will take the 1974 Ford Bronco Stone Soup truck and will wrap it in pictures of Veterans from all over the country to say thank you for their service.

The Stone Soup Project has once again teamed up with various sponsors and encourages listeners to share their ideas on how to rebuild the Bronco, ranging on everything from deciding on the best paint to determining how big the tires should be. Once the Stone Soup Bronco is complete, it will be raffled off and one lucky person will win the Bronco. Proceeds from the raffle tickets will benefit Vets Returning Home (a Roseville, Michigan based charity that assists ALL Veterans).

The Freedom Wrap will be unveiled the week leading up to the annual Woodward Cruise in August with the Bronco totally covered with images of veterans. Raffle tickets for the Stone Soup Bronco are ONLY $10 each. To upload a picture and purchase tickets, please click the link below:

https://wcsx.com/contests/honor-a-vet-on-the-stone-soup-freedom-wrap/#/rounds/1/gallery




Industry Veteran Dick Rakovan Dies

Dick Rakovan

One-time WJR-AM (Detroit) General Sales Manager Dick Rakovan has passed away.  For 20 years, Rakovan, known to many as “Rackets,” served 20 years with the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) where he was Senior VP of Membership.

Rakovan began his broadcast career at the former WKBW-AM (Buffalo, NY) working as a salesman. His first role in radio management was at Capitol Cities’ WPAT-AM/FM (New York) as National Sales Manager, where he eventually rose to GSM. He then moved to the company’s WJR-AM and then later to Providence for his first GM role at WPRO-AM/FM, where he spent 20 years.

He was also President of Outlet Broadcasting and GM of WWRC/WGAY (Washington, DC) before moving to Chicago for his final radio job as GM of WFYR-FM.

He joined the RAB in 1995.

“For over 20 years he tirelessly served broadcasters and advertisers,” George Hyde said in a video piece honoring Rakovan when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Broadcasters Association in 2016. “His trademark good cheer, kindness and enthusiasm are legendary.”

At the ceremony, former Entercom COO Weezie Kramer called Rakovan “a great friend, a mentor, and most importantly a connector of so many people. You’ve made a huge difference to broadcasting and we love you for it.”

Veteran broadcast executive John Gehron, who now serves as Chairman of AccuRadio, said Rakovan was “a great broadcaster” and “a wonderful person that we could call on whenever we needed help… I think you found more jobs for people in the business than anyone else I know.”




Why You Should Fill Your Website With Text, Not Your Emails

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Email marketing is a crucial component of your digital strategy. When used effectively, an email newsletter can get people to return to your website, tune in to your radio station or show up to station events. You should use email to engage with your audience on a regular basis.

But these emails should be short.

I sometimes see radio stations send out emails that contain large amounts of text — paragraph after paragraph detailing every event, every promotion, every contest, every upcoming morning show guest, etc.

If you’re going to take the time to write text, write text that lives on your website, not in your emails. Instead, your emails should contain little text and then encourage people to click a link to read more on your website.

Here are five reasons why:

1. People Don’t Like to Read Long Emails.

Do you?

2. You Can’t Measure the Effectiveness of Text-Heavy Emails.

With email, the two most important metrics to track are the percentage of people on the mailing list who open the email, and the percentage of people who click on a link in the email. Unfortunately, using only the first metric, you won’t be able to tell the difference between somebody who opens up the email and reads every word carefully, and somebody who opens up the email and gives up after the first sentence. They’ll both register as ‘Opens.’

To complicate this matter, in the last year, Apple has introduced changes in its operating systems to protect users’ privacy.  These changes have impacted email marketers’ ability to track open rates.

To get a better idea of whether people are reading — and what they’re reading — you want to require them to click a link in order to read more. This way, you’re interpreting ‘Clicks’ as ‘Reads’ instead of interpreting ‘Opens’ as ‘Reads.’ This is much more accurate.

Accurate email statistics are important because they help you refine your digital strategy. If you can’t tell which content people are interested in, you’re losing out on valuable insight.


3. Emails are Less Likely to Be Shared on Social Media.

People are much more inclined to click a button to share your webpage on social media than your email. People are simply more accustomed to sharing webpages than emails. They tend to share emails by forwarding them, not posting them on Facebook or Twitter. Email forwarding is personal, as opposed to sharing, which can be seen by other people. So email doesn’t present the opportunity for a piece of content go viral the way a page on your website might.

4. Email Text Doesn’t Boost Your Search Engine Rankings.

When you send out an email through your email service provider (ESP), there will be an archived version kept as a webpage that could be crawled by search engines like Google, but that webpage will live on the ESP’s website, not your own. As a result, it won’t help increase your website’s ranking in Google’s search results. By keeping as much text on your website as possible, you’ll improve your website’s search engine rankings and attract more visitors.

5. You Can’t Convert People Unless They Click Through to Your Website.

At the end of the day, the goal of your digital strategy is to get people to do something: stream the station, enter a contest, buy tickets to a station event, etc. It is much easier to get them to do that from your website than your email. While you can include links to all of those actions in your emails, people are less likely to take those actions from an email. You have to coax them towards your digital goals with multiple steps. Your website gives you the opportunity to provide multiple steps (“See the full list of bands on our website, then buy tickets…”), while an email only allows you to provide one step (“Hey buddy, d’ya wanna listen to the station or not?”).

If you’re going to invest time in writing content, make sure that content lives on your website, not in your emails. Instead, create short emails that encourage people to click back to your website. It will benefit your station in the long run.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.




Does the FCC Regulate Internet Content and Companies?

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford,
Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

In our summary of last week’s regulatory actions, I was struck by a common thread in comments made by several FCC Commissioners in different contexts – the thread being the FCC’s role in regulating Internet content companies.  As we noted in our summary, both Republican commissioners issued statements last week in response to a request by a public interest group that the FCC block Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.  The Commissioners stated that the FCC had no role to play in reviewing that acquisition.  Twitter does not appear to own regulated communications assets and thus the FCC would not be called upon to review any application for the acquisition of that company.  The Commissioners also noted concerns with the First Amendment implications of trying to block the acquisition because of Musk’s hands-off position on the regulation of content on the platform, but the Commissioners’ principal concern was with FCC jurisdiction (Carr StatementSimington Comments).  In the same week, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, in remarks to a disability rights organization, talked about plans for more FCC forums on the accessibility of Internet content to follow up on the sessions that we wrote about here.

The ability of the FCC to regulate internet content and platforms depends on statutory authority.  In holding the forums on captioning of online video content, the FCC could look to the language of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which included language that asked the FCC to look at the accessibility of video content used on internet platforms.  In other areas, the FCC’s jurisdiction is not as clear, but calls arise regularly for the FCC to act to regulate content that, as we have written in other contexts, looks more and more like broadcast content and competes directly with that content.

Calls for the FCC to regulate internet content and the companies that provide that content are certain to multiply.  In another of our weekly summaries of regulatory actions of interest to broadcasters, we noted recent meetings with FCC Commissioners’ offices by representatives of the TV affiliates organizations, in which they asked that the FCC consider regulation of linear programming services delivered through internet platforms in the same way that they regulate cable and satellite multichannel video providers, including the possibility of adopting a system of must-carry and retransmission consent.  This is not at all a new idea, having been raised in 2014 in an FCC proceeding that asked for public comment on the question of whether to subject online video providers to MVPD regulation – a proceeding that never resulted in any action (see our articles here and here).

The FCC, of course, already is involved to some degree in internet content regulation.  It deals with transmission paths, both wired and unwired, and has wrestled with the questions of “net neutrality” over the last decade.  Even in content areas, it imposes some obligations.  But these are in areas ancillary to its broadcast regulation.  For instance, it has rules dealing with broadcast content exported to internet platforms – including obligations to export captions to those platforms when video programming is repurposed by a broadcaster to the internet.  See our article on captioning such programming here and here, and we noted in one of our weekly summaries of the FCC actions, here, there was recently a multi-million-dollar consent decree between the FCC and a media conglomerate which exported broadcast network programming without captions to an online platform owned by an affiliated company.  In the area of children’s television, there are limits on commercial content on landing pages of URLs displayed on television programming directed to children.  We also wrote about an apparent allusion of the FCC to penalties for the online use of fake EAS tones – or real tones where there was no emergency.

But these are the exception, not the rule.  For the most part, the FCC has been careful to stay out of internet content regulation where it does not have a clear statutory mandate to intervene.  In some areas, that can result in frustration over the lack of clear online standards.  For instance, in the political broadcasting arena, a broadcaster knows the rules for candidate rates, sponsorship identification and public disclosure of broadcast political content, because those issues are all governed by FCC rules.  But comparable rules for those issues for online political advertising are, for the most part, set by a patchwork of state laws that are obscure and sometimes impose different and even contradictory obligations (see our articles here and here).

Sponsorship identification for broadcasters is also governed by the FCC. In an online world, the FTC enforces guidelines similar (and in some cases more stringent) than those imposed by the FCC (see our posts here and here).  But there have been questions of whether all payments for sponsored content are apparent to online consumers – and even what practices should be disclosed or permitted (see, for instance, the recent letter from some congressional representatives to Spotify complaining about a program to offer artists more exposure for their music in return for lower royalties).

And bigger issues of moderation of online content have been at the forefront of recent political debate. There were questions raised prior to the last election as to whether the FCC had jurisdiction to review the application of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that gives online platforms immunity for content that is posted by third parties – and the degree to which that content can be moderated by these platforms (see our articles here and here).  These issues are sure to become even more common as Congress and others in the political realm consider the power of online platforms and whether there should be governmental limitations on that power (see, for instance, our articles here,  here and here).  Will the FCC have a role in enforcing any laws that are ultimately adopted?  We can only wait and see.

Each of these areas demands much greater consideration, and we will, of course, from time to time be looking at them all.  But it is an area of much controversy, and that controversy is sure to grow as online content plays an ever-larger role in society.

David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline. Access information here. (Members only access). There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your MAB membership. 




Stephen A. Marks: 1950-2022

Stephen A. Marks

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters are mourning the loss of Stephen Marks, President and CEO of The Marks Media Group and former MAB Board and Foundation Chairman.

Marks passed away on Wednesday, May 11 at the age of 72.

“Stephen was an icon in the broadcasting industry and his passion was only outweighed by his kindness and generosity,” said MAB President and CEO Sam Klemet. “His contributions to broadcasting in Michigan and throughout the country will be felt for generations. The MAB and broadcasting in the state are better because of Stephen’s work and service.”

(L-R) Former WBKB-TV (Alpena) GM Cher Allen, former MAB Director of Programs Jacquelin Timm, Steve Marks, former MAB President/CEO Karole White

Stephen Marks started his broadcasting career at the age of 17 as a copywriter at WINX in Rockville, Maryland. While there, he was able to learn enough to pass the FCC 3rd class with number 9 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 in 1973 from American University in Washington D.C. In 1983 he acquired 51-percent of Thunder Bay Broadcasting Corporation in Alpena, Michigan where he served 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 5 television stations and 14 radio stations.

(L-R) Steve Marks and former MAB Chair Bruce Goldsen

Marks’ Michigan stations fund four student scholarships with the MAB Foundation.

“Steve generously supported the MAB Foundation and was among its top donors,” said former MAB President Karole White. “Steve had a lengthy career in broadcasting and had interesting stories to tell about it all. Steve was very proud of the MAB and the work of the foundation. He was a loyal friend. He will be missed.”




WLUC’s Scott Zerbel Announces Retirement!

Scott Zerbel

Veteran WLUC-TV (Marquette) (TV6) broadcaster Scott Zerbel has announced his pending retirement after 38 years at the station. TV6 Vice President and General Manager Rick Rhoades says Zerbel will be hard to replace. “Scott brings a wealth knowledge and experience with him to work every day. His career in unique in broadcasting. Typically, broadcasters work at several stations during their careers. Scott started at TV6 in 1984 and never left. That’s special.”

Scott Zerbel has been with WLUC for 38 years. He has served the station in several different roles over his career and has been a key player in our growing station. Over his tenure Zerbel has been a Studio Camera Operator, Production Assistant, Associate Producer/Co-Host, Program Producer/Director, Local Program Manager, Newsroom Manager, Executive Producer/Marketing, and Promotions, Creative Services Director and currently he is the Marketing and Creative Services Manager for the station. Zerbel has just about done it all at the station.

He has helped pioneer local programming along with video production in our market receiving over 45 different awards for broadcasting on the local, state, regional and national level. He has been awarded twenty five Broadcast Excellence Awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, five Michigan Associated Press Awards, two Iris awards he received from the National Association of Television Programming Executives and seven Telly Awards. A few of the most rewarding achievements in Scott’s career was successfully getting former TV6 News Director Ed Kearney into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame and Carl Pellonpaa into the MAB Hall of Fame! He was also instrumental in the establishment of Six Productions in 1990, the station’s long-form video production department, which was a leader in producing long-from videos in the region.

In 1990 Zerbel became director of the annual TV6 Canathon. He grew the event to include 10 Upper Michigan counties. The TV6 Canathon celebrated its 40th year in 2021 and collected over $62,000 and 100,000 pounds of nonperishable food items for food pantries across Upper Michigan. Since the event began in 1982 the TV6 Canathon’ s grand total for has exceeded 4.68 million pounds of food donated. This achievement can be attributed to Scott’s exceptional commitment to the event. In the community, Scott served on several boards. He sat on the Friends of the DeVos Art Museum Board and USOEC Dream Club Board, MAB Awards Committee, the Marquette Golf Marketing Committee and was a Trustee for the Marquette Regional History Museum when the new facility was built.

Zerbel is a Northern Michigan University graduate earning a Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting in 1983 and a Master of Arts in Education in Filmmaking in 1985. He also was an Adjunct Associate Professor in the film department at Northern Michigan University for 20 years (1988-2008) passing on his knowledge and experience to future generations.

He plans to retire on June 3rd of this year. As for his plans? Zerbel says he wants to travel, golf, try to sleep in and most importantly, spend more time with his family and his first granddaughter, Penny Lyn.  A search for his replacement at the station is currently underway.




SPJ Detroit Announces Excellence in Journalism Awards

The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists handed out its Excellence in Journalism Awards at a banquet last Thursday (5/6) in Troy.

First place winners in broadcast included mix of commercial and non-commercial stations:

  • Breaking/Spot News Reporting: WWJ-AM (Detroit) – Dan Jenkins, Brian Larsen, Tony Ortiz, Jackie Paige, Jon Hewett for coverage of the Oxford School Shooting.
  • Community Reporting: Detroit Public Television – Rob Green, Greg King, Doug Clevenger, Laura Weber Davis, Jordan Wingrove for Birds vs Buildings.
  • Consumer/Watchdog/Investigative Reporting: WDET-FM (Detroit) – Eli Newman for Grieving Mother Seeks Answers After Detroit Police Investigation of Daughter’s Shooting Death.
  • Education Reporting: WDET-FM – Sascha Raiyn for Black Homeschoolers.
  • Environment Reporting: Detroit Public Television – Sandy McPhee, Nick Austin, Bill Allesee, Andrew Cutraro for Best Supporting Fish.
  • General News Reporting: WXYZ-TV – Brian Abel for MI National Guard Served Subpar Meals.
  • Health Reporting: WTVS-TV – Bill Kubota for The Covid Long Haulers.
  • News/Public Affairs (Regular Scheduled Programs): WTVS-TV – Daphne Hughes, Stephen Henderson, Bill Allesee, Chris Avery for American Black Journal.
  • Newscast: WDET-FM – Pat Batcheller for 6am News
  • Racial Justice Reporting: WDET-FM – Eli Newsman for How Detroit’s Case Against Black Lives Matter Protesters Fell Apart.
  • Sports Reporting: WTVS-TV – Bill Kubota for A City of Champions.
  • Videography: WKAR Public Media – Al Martin for Crown Boxing: A Fighting Chance.
  • Collaborative Coverage: Great Lakes News Collaborative (Michigan Radio, Detroit Public Television, Bridge Michigan, Circle of Blue) – Lester Graham, Kelly House, Brett Walton, Keith Schneider, Natasha Blakely for Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region.
  • Editorial Cartoon: Michigan Radio – John Autcher

A complete list of winners can be found here.