3 Current and Former Michigan Broadcasters Nominated for 2022 Radio Hall of Fame

(L-R) Mojo, Kevin Matthews, Laurie DeYoung

The Museum of Broadcast Communications has announced the Radio Hall of Fame 2022 nominees. Among the 24 were three past and current Michigan-based personalities:  Mojo in the Morning at WKQI-FM (Detroit); former Grand Rapids personality Kevin Matthews and former Grand Rapids personality Laurie DeYoung.

Mojo in the Morning is currently heard on WKQI-FM as well as WSNX-FM (Grand Rapids) and WVKS (Toledo).  The show is hosted by Mojo, Spike and Shannon and earned the distinction of being the longest-running FM morning program in Michigan history. The show actively supports various charities and has launched two local charities: the “Breaking & Entering Christmas Wish” (where they show up on the recipient’s doorstep with clothing, food, toys and Christmas trees) and “Time Team” (where they encourage listeners to donate their time for various community service projects).[The show also donated proceeds from sales made for CDs of their “Phone Scam” segments.

Kevin Matthews, who started his career at WGRD-FM (Grand Rapids) is best known for his long tenure at WLAV-FM, first in the 1980s and later from 2005-2007.  He also spent many years on-air in Chicago, most notably at WLUP-AM/FM. He’s known for doing voices, including that of his irascible sidekick, sportscaster Jim Shorts.  Matthews is currently programming an Internet radio station in Western Michigan.

Laurie DeYoung, who has been with WPOC-FM (Baltimore) for 35-years, started her career at WMUZ-FM (Detroit) in 1975, with stints at WSHN (Fremont)  WYGR, WCUZ, WLAV, WTWN and WKLQ (Grand Rapids) and KBST (San Diego, Calif.) before arriving at WPOC in 1985. During her career in Baltimore, DeYoung has been nominated for multiple Billboard, R&R and CMA awards.

See the complete list of nominees here.

Judson Beck Appointed WJMN-TV VP/GM as Mike Smith Retires

Judson Beck

Judson Beck is the new Vice President/General Manager of Nexstar’s WJMN-TV (Marquette) and sister station WFRV-TV (Green Bay).  Judson, a 37-year broadcasting veteran, replaces Mike Smith.  Smith has retired after 7 years at the helm of the two stations and after 35 years in the business, working as a National Sales Manager, General Sales Manager and eventually Vice President/General Manager.

“You stick around long enough and they have to do something with you so I went from a local account exec. to a national sales manager to general sales manager and then I’ve been general manager here for 7 years. It’s been a great time,” explained Smith.

Mike Smith

Beck is a veteran of the United States Navy and has served in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield aboard the USS Durham.  He has a Bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He has previously served as Vice President and General Manager of WLAX-TV/WEUX-DT (FOX), the company’s television station serving La Crosse and Eau Claire, Wisconsin, from 2015 to 2022. Before he joined Nexstar, Beck spent a large part of his career working with CBS and News Corp in Chicago.

Beck serves on the executive board of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, The Boy Scouts of America (La Crosse), and The Parenting Place, and is a member of the Viterbo University Advisory Board.

“I am deeply grateful to Nexstar for this promotion and for giving me the opportunity to lead the company’s broadcast and digital operations in these two important markets,” explained Beck. “I am excited by what lies ahead, and I am looking forward to deepening the presence of WFRV-TV and WJMN-TV in their respective communities of Green Bay and Marquette,” he said.

Beck began his new position on May 31.

WZZM Hires Brooks Blanton as News Director

Brooks Blanton

Tegna’s WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has announced the hiring of market veteran Brooks Blanton as its new News Director.  Blanton previously served as News Director of crosstown WXMI-TV from 2013-2021.  “Brooks knows West Michigan so well which is such a benefit. He knows what’s important and relevant to our audience,” said WZZM-TV President and General Manager, Dan Baylog.

His news experience over the last 28 years has taken him across the country, from Lansing to Phoenix, including network experience as a National Producer with Fox News Channel. Most recently, Brooks held the position of News Director at WCCB in Charlotte, NC.

“I am thrilled to be back in my favorite market serving the people and families of West Michigan. This is my home, and our most important job is to advocate for our community,” said Brooks.

An MSU alum and proven ‘people developer,’ Brooks shares a strong vision for the future of the station.  He will be intimately involved in executing content strategies, branding, recruiting, and serving as an amplifier for that station’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

The station has also announced that Mark Skol, Jr. is the new Weekend Sports Anchor/MSJ at the station.  Skol comes to WZZM from South Bend, Indiana where he spent 3.5 years at NBC affiliate WNDU-TV.

He started at WNDU as editor/photographer, working his way up to the Weekend Sports Anchor and then to Sports Director.  He has hosted a pregame show before every home Notre Dame football game. In 2019, Mark and the WNDU sports team were given the Indiana Broadcasters Association’s “Best Sports Coverage” award for their coverage of Fighting Irish football.

WNEM-TV Revisits 1993 Local Radio in Flint/Saginaw/Bay City

On June 9, WNEM-TV (Flint/Saginaw/Bay City) opened its vault and took viewers back in time to 1993 local radio with a look at WMAX-AM’s “Max Air-One.” piloted by “Captain” Kevin Hawley.  Hawley was the market’s “eye in the sky” with daily morning and afternoon traffic reports on the station… not with a helicopter, but with a single-engine plane. Hawley pulled double-duty at the station, also serving as the station’s Chief Engineer when he wasn’t on-the-air-in-the-air.

Since his Chief Engineer/Traffic Reporter days at WMAX, Hawley has worked as Chief Engineer/Director of Engineering etc. at Cumulus Media in Toledo and Citadel Broadcasting as well as CBS Radio and WFDF-AM in Detroit.  And, those are just a few of his stops in his broadcast career.

Hawley is currently Director of Engineering at MacDonald Broadcasting in Saginaw and Lansing.

Enjoy this visit back to 1993 with Captain Kevin Hawley and “Max Air-One”….

Vox Examines the TikTok-to-Spotify Pipeline

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

I spent Memorial Day Weekend at Podfest Expo in Orlando, and while it was a fantastic conference, it was also the moment when Covid finally caught up with me, so I’m out sick today. But I didn’t want to leave you empty-handed, so please watch this excellent new video from the folks at Vox that explores the TikTok-to-Spotify pipeline and how it is changing the music business:

If you like this video, I highly recommend that you check out the rest of Vox’s Earworm playlist — they’re really well done. As a transplant to Detroit, I found their examination of J. Dilla’s impact particularly insightful.

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.

WEMU Announces Two New Staffers in Newsroom

(L-R) Cathy Shafran and Josh Hakala

Eastern Michigan University’s WEMU-FM has announced the hiring of two new staff members.  Cathy Shafran has joined the station as News Anchor/Reporter.  Shafran brings nearly 40 years of broadcast experience to the station, having worked as an anchor/reporter at WMAX-AM (Grand Rapids) from 1978-1980 and at WJRT-TV (Flint) as a reporter from 1980-2011. Among her other experiences, Shafran has worked overseas in Jerusalem/Israel, has taught journalism at Oakland University and was a Business/Multimedia News Reporter at MLive.  Shafran will also serve as the new local host for All Things Considered.

Josh Hakala is WEMU’s new General Assignment Reporter, focusing on reporting on news and events in and around Washtenaw County. Hakala formerly worked at Michigan radio as a fill-in on-air host.  His expansive resume includes Creator/Senor Editor for TheCup.us; a freelance play-by-play broadcaster; Big Ten Network announcer; Producer/Update Anchor for WXYT-FM (Detroit).  Hakala holds a Bachelors in Broadcasting and Mass Media from Temple University.

FCC Proposes 13% Hike in 2022 Regulatory Fees

MAB Washington Counsel David Oxenford shares news that the FCC, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, has proposed a 13% increase in the annual fees paid by radio stations. NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt issued a statement saying, “The FCC’s regulatory fee proposal subjects local radio broadcasters to a staggering 13% fee increase from last fiscal year. Unfortunately, the Commission continues to unlawfully require broadcasters to subsidize the Commission’s broadband activities. For these local stations that are still recovering from the pandemic and face unique economic challenges in today’s media landscape, such an unjustified increase is devastating and risks undermining the unique locally focused service that our communities rely upon. NAB stands ready and willing to work with the Commission to ensure a fair and lawful payment regime.”

Public comments on the proposed fees are due July 5, 2022, reply comments by July 18.  The annual fees are due by September 30.

MSU Announces ComArtSci Leadership Transition

Prabu David

Prabu David, dean of Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences has announced that he has accepted the position of associate provost for faculty and academic staff development at MSU, effective July 1, 2022. He will stay on as ComArtSci dean until a new dean is appointed. A search will begin in the fall for a new dean.

In a message to the MSU community, David writes that he has “truly enjoyed getting to know our Spartan alumni community during my tenure as dean. Our college has made strides in student and faculty success, growing our reputation as one of the top-ranked colleges in the discipline. Our success in rankings was achieved through strategic recruitment of talented faculty and staff and investment in new teaching, research and creative activities. We have launched six new undergraduate majors, two online master’s programs and a new doctoral curriculum. In addition to curricular innovations, we also invested in experiential learning and built the Media Greenhouse, a state-of-the-art teaching lab for new media, and continued to grow our commitment to student advising. The college and WKAR together raised approximately $70 million through development during this time, resulting in five chaired professorships, scholarships, experiential opportunities for students and new labs for teaching and research. Further, I am pleased that as a community, we have prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion as key components of our strategic plan and taken concrete actions to improve inclusive excellence.”

WOOD-TV Highlights Mental Health Awareness Month

On May 30, Nexstar Media’s WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) wrapped up Mental Health Awareness month with a special broadcast focusing on programs in West Michigan working to support mental health.

The 30-minute special, hosted by anchors Teresa Weakley and Donovan Long, spoke with doctors, therapists and pastors about their mental health work, plus students who are benefiting from mental health programs.


Broadcasters Invited to Auto Tech Conference

AutoTech: Detroit and the WardsAuto Interiors & UX Conference bring together the full automotive tech industry to immerse attendees in the future of automotive, by showcasing the newest tech and the latest vehicles. We gather the automotive and technology communities like no other event.

The event will take place next week, June 8-9 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.  The show is a celebration of developments and achievements within the automotive tech industry. During the event we will be hosting the Informa Tech Automotive Awards, the Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX Awards, award-winning vehicle displays & tours and Automotive Inspire Interviews.

The Performance Pass is free to the press and includes access to:

  • All Conference Sessions
  • Roundtables & Working Groups
  • Sponsored Workshops / Roundtables
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Informa Tech Automotive Awards on June 7
  • Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX Awards on June 8
  • All Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX Winning Vehicles Displayed
  • Matchmaking Services
  • On Demand Slides / Videos
  • Pre and Post-Event Access to Virtual Environment
  • Access to the Exhibition Hall
  • Access to the Free Content Track
  • Exclusive Content from Informa Tech Automotive Group

Members of the press have full access to the event and can register at https://wardsauto.informa.com/autotech-detroit-media-registration/