IPR News launches new series “Our Global Neighborhood”

IPR’s All Things Considered Host Kendra Carr, left, will host IPR’s new series called Our Global Neighborhood. Karen Segal, right, is the show’s executive producer. Photo credit: Noelle Riley, Interlochen Public Radio

Interlochen Public Radio has announced a new eight-week series where the station sits down with residents who moved to northern Michigan from across the globe. Our Global Neighborhood takes news consumers into the lives of their neighbors who decided to reside in our part of the world after experiencing a much different life in another country.

IPR’s All Things Considered Host Kendra Carr will conduct a question and answer format interview with guests from Peru, Syria, Pakistan and more. “I’m excited to bring these important and fascinating conversations to the airwaves,” says Carr, in a story on the IPR website. “This show is a great opportunity for neighbors to discover who is a part of their community, sometimes even next door.”

Karen Segal is the show’s executive producer. In the course of running the International Affairs Forum in Traverse City for seven years, she developed a unique view of our region’s global connections.

“People are always surprised to learn how many of our neighbors have these amazing international backgrounds. We’re a stronger community because of it,” Segal says.

Our Global Neighborhood’s first segment aired this past Wednesday (2/12). Each on-air segment is accompanied by web stories on the station’s website.

Northern Radio Provides Interlochen Public Radio with Temporary Signal

Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) announced February 1 that listeners can now tune in to its “Classical IPR” on Northern Radio’s WSRJ-FM (Honor/Traverse City). WSRJ had been silent.

IPR’s Classical music service in the Traverse City area has been hampered since mid-December, when its WIAA-FM experienced an antenna issue. Complicating repairs were harsh winter conditions which made climbing the station’s 1125-foot tower hazardous.

On February 5, WIAA returned to the air with a low-power signal, but IPR will continue to use the 105.5 signal until WIAA can return to full-power.

Interlochen is grateful to Northern Radio of Michigan for making this temporary broadcast possible.

WMU Trustees’ Vote Brings WMUK Closer To Buying A Second Signal

Western Michigan University’s WMUK-FM (Kalamazoo) has won approval by the University’s Board of Trustees to acquire WKDS-FM from the Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS). The Trustees approved a $191,000 plan, which includes a cash payment to the KPS as well as leasing fees, a studio refit at the school district and underwriting trade for KPS.

WMUK is currently programming WKDS through a 12-month agreement that began January 20.  WMUK moved its classical music programming to the WKDS signal and increased WMUK’s emphasis on news and information programming.

The deal still needs approval by the KPS Board of Education, which is expected to vote next week.

WGVU Public Media Schedules Annual Wine and Food Fundraiser

WGVU Public Media (Grand Rapids) will hold its annual “Great Wine and Food Symposium” on Friday, February 28 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Billed as “your all-inclusive winter escape,” the fundraiser is a guide to understanding and appreciating the rich variety and many pleasures of wine. Whether a seasoned aficionado, or just a beginner, The Great Wine & Food Symposium is a fun filled event that will answer questions about this sometimes intimidating subject, from ordering the right wine in a restaurant to selecting a wine for a recipe. Attendees can talk to experts at every table, attend a wine tasting seminar and sample gourmet foods along with 400 international wine and beer selections and live music from local musicians and entertainers.

For more information, visit the event website here.

WNMU-TV Unveils New Sports Broadcasting Equipment

Left: New WNMU-TV cameras at the Barry Events Center; Right: New WNMU-TV switch board at the Barry Events Center.

WNMU-TV (Marquette), in partnership with Northern Michigan University Athletics,
is setting up new production equipment for producing NMU sports telecasts.  Equipment highlights include Sony broadcast cameras with 72-power Canon zoom optics and Ross video switching with multi-view monitoring along with a host of other production enhancements.

Not only will this new equipment enhance viewers’ experience with NMU games, but it will also give NMU broadcasting students valuable hands-on experiential learning with an ESPN-3 level facility that better prepares them for a career in multi-media production.

WKAR to Host PBS Kids Day

WKAR Public Media (East Lansing) will host another “PBS Kids Day” at their MSU Campus studios on Saturday, January 25.  The day gives viewers a chance to look behind the scenes at the station and will feature fun activities and games for kids.

The free event will feature lots of fun, hands-on activities from community partners like Abrams planetarium, The FRIB, Potter Park Zoo, and more! Everyone’s favorite pet Clifford The Big Red Dog will be visiting and taking pictures with all his fans.

Visitors can take a try at being a meteorologist with the green screen experience, visit with favorite Curious Crew cast members and learn about STEM careers.  Curious Crew, a show seen nationwide on public television stations is produced at WKAR.

The event will also have a sensory friendly quiet room with low lighting and comfy furniture, so all kids are invited!

WKAR Announces Launch of Apollo Public TV Platform in Partnership with Gaian Solutions

NextGen TV Accelerator Platform, Apollo PublicTV Platform Enables Public Broadcasters to Conceive, Design and Launch NextGen TV Services for Local Communities

WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University and Gaian Solutions, Inc., announce the launch of Apollo PublicTV Platform, a NextGen TV accelerator platform for public broadcasters.

Apollo PublicTV Platform offers broadcasters a suite of services including NextGen TV master classes, ATSC 3.0 receiver and transmitter starter kits, access to NextGen TV broadcast chains and the capability to conduct lab and field trials. Apollo PublicTV Platform also offers a certification program for technology providers, plus business consulting services for organizations interested in identifying and launching specific market-by-market NextGen TV opportunities.

This new platform offers NextGen TV services through tools that apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in a fully cloud-based, virtualized environment to enable the convergence of broadcast and digital workflows.

Through Apollo PublicTV Platform, public broadcasters can now offer rich content experiences in education, alerting, health information, community fundraising and other domains.

“Putting the tools of the Apollo PublicTV Platform in the hands of public broadcasters means that local communities can begin to benefit right now from the promise of NextGen TV,” said Susi Elkins, general manager at WKAR Public Media. “Barriers to moving forward immediately include a lack of significant investment and the absence of a clear migration path to NextGen TV. The Apollo PublicTV Platform partnership we’re announcing today is a marketplace collaboration designed to address those barriers. Apollo PublicTV Platform will help stations manage the convergence of operations now, to be well positioned for the future.”

Apollo PublicTV Platform tools include data analytics, app designer tools, AI agents, Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for rapid service curation, an ATSC 3.0 receiver application stack and the necessary business applications to manage carrier-grade content services.

“The coming NextGen TV economy will ensure overall growth of the broadcast industry and its long overdue integration with the digital transformation ecosystem,” said Chandra Kotaru, CEO and founder of Gaian Solutions. “Public broadcasters are in a unique position to leverage NextGen TV opportunities. Apollo PublicTV Platform was designed to accelerate this phenomenon.”

“The Apollo PublicTV Platform instantly opens up new opportunities and better experiences through cutting edge technology, open APIs and toolkits,” said Prabu David, dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU. “Gaian Solutions has been instrumental in conceptualizing, designing, developing and operating the Apollo PublicTV Platform with WKAR at MSU. We are very hopeful this will put public broadcasters at the forefront of leading innovation in the NextGen TV space.”

“America’s Public Television Stations see great potential in the Apollo PublicTV Platform developed by Gaian in cooperation with Susi Elkins and her team at WKAR-TV,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO. “We look forward to working with them and with the public station community to make Apollo PublicTV Platform an accelerator of ATSC 3.0 adoption and of all the new service and revenue opportunities the NextGen broadcast standard holds in store for public television.”

Butler continued, “APTS intends to play an active role in familiarizing stations with the Apollo PublicTV Platform and ensuring that every station understands the transformative promise of ATSC 3.0 and the ability of Apollo PublicTV Platform to help make that promise come true for stations of every size.”

WKAR at Michigan State University, Gaian Solutions, and APTS invite all content and spectrum based entrepreneurs, digital transformation agencies, broadcasters, and technology vendors to collaborate on Apollo PublicTV Platform, the new open platform for NextGen TV.

Apollo PublicTV Platform currently provides broadcasters with:

  • Migration toolkits to easily transition from 1.0 to 3.0 with minimal investment.
  • Open APIs and SDKs to build on top of existing services.
  • Master Control and Broadcast Operations reimagined with NextGen TV Services.
  • A Digital Transformation Marketplace to bring together the broadcast assets and digital services to effectively utilize & monetize the spectrum.
  • An AppStore equivalent for the TV world with broadcaster apps and receiver apps supported across various device form factors.

To learn more, visit wkar.org/apollopublictvplatform or write to [email protected].

WMUK Adds Second Frequency for Classical Programming

Western Michigan University’s WMUK-FM (Kalamazoo) has announced that it is expanding both its news and information programming as well as classical music and fine arts programming with the addition of a second frequency.  On January 20, the station will split its programming with WMUK 102.1 increasing the amount of news and information programming hours with the addition of programs including 1A, Fresh Air, On Point, Radiolab, The Daily, The Takeaway and This American Life.  The station will be known as “WMUK News.”

The station’s current classical music and fine arts programming will be expanded on its HD2 subchannel and also be heard on WKDS-FM 89.9, a station licensed to Kalamazoo Public Schools.  This HD2/FM combination will be known as “WMUK Classical.”  WMUK Classical will still offer 5-minute top of the hour newscasts.

The station says that the changes came after listener research indicated that a clear majority of our listeners say they want more news and information, particularly at middays and they want to give more people reason to stay with their local public radio station, based and originating in Western Michigan. In sharing the news with WMUK listeners, the stations says that with the balance of local reporting and cultural coverage, in addition to new network programming and the creation of Classical WMUK, the station will provide a compelling new reason for listeners to stay throughout the day for their news, information and music needs.

WDET Names Mary Zatina as New General Manager

Mary Zatina

Public radio station WDET-FM (Detroit) has named a new General Manager. Mary Zatina, a former assistant general manager of WDET and an alumna of Wayne State University, will now lead operations for the 48,000-watt station. Her appointment is effective January 2, 2020.

Zatina has spent the last dozen years as senior vice president of government relations and community affairs at Oakwood Healthcare and Beaumont Health, where she was also responsible for marketing, public relations, internal communications and community health. Prior to that, she held numerous leadership positions in communications, public affairs, fundraising and community engagement.

“We are delighted that Mary is joining us at WDET. Her wealth of leadership experience and her deep connections in the greater Detroit community are a perfect fit for the station,” said Michael Wright, WSU vice president of Marketing and Communications and Chief of Staff. “I have no doubt WDET will thrive under her leadership.”

Zatina will work to provide the highest possible quality programming to the Detroit metropolitan area with a strategic focus on audience and revenue growth, community engagement, as well as fundraising and stewardship for the station.

“It’s been a while since I worked at WDET, but I have maintained my strong belief in the station’s mission and the critical role it plays to serve metro Detroiters,” said Zatina. “I’ve never stopped listening to and supporting WDET. I am excited to be coming home, and looking forward to working with this dedicated and dynamic team of professionals.”

Previously, Zatina served as chief of staff for the Office of First Gentlemen Daniel Granholm Mulhern and an advisor to Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Cheyna Roth Leaves MPRN

Cheyna Roth

The Michigan Public Radio Network is sad to announce that Capitol Bureau reporter Cheyna Roth has left the network to join MLive in Grand Rapids as an investigative reporter.

MPRN State Capitol Bureau Chief/Managing Editor Rick Pluta said, “Cheyna’s been a great partner to work with. I know that respect for her is shared by the members of the state Capitol press corps, the people she covered and our MPRN stations. Please join me in extending our thanks, best wishes and (as we used to say in the wire services) happy landings.”

In a note to MPRN member stations, Roth wrote,  “Working with you all has been a wonderful adventure. While I’ve gotten to know some of you more than others, I can truly say that it has been an honor to work with each of you. Thank you for your patience, your kindness, and your sense of humor. While my focus shifts to Grand Rapids (and to print), please know that I am always available to you and can think of nothing I’d love more than to make a guest appearance on your air again, or even better, collaborate on a story.”

Roth started her new position in MLive on December 16.

Prior to joining MPRN in 2016, Roth was an assistant prosecutor in Ionia County handling a lot of prisoner misconduct cases when she decided, after about a year and a half, that her passion was story-telling.

“NPR got me through an almost hour long commute every day,” she said. “Listening to the stories and amazing quality of radio production was a real catalyst for my leaving the legal field to pursue journalism.”

Roth returned to school and graduated in 2016 with a master’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University. During grad school, she interned with Michigan Radio, and post-graduation, her freelance career included multi-media reporting for WKAR and researching and producing a documentary on an ex-con’s experiences teaching life lessons to kids in Flint.