WNMU-TV News Archive
Stupak Announces TV13 Awarded Digital Studio Grant
August 20, 2008
“WNMU-TV provides excellent educational, PBS programming,” Stupak said. “This grant will allow the station to complete its transition to a digital format and roll out innovative new services.”
WNMU is one of 19 stations nationwide to receive funding through USDA’s competitive grant program to assist rural communities with the transition to digital television. In 2006, Stupak announced a $1 million USDA grant coupled with a $318,790 Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) grant to assist WNMU-TV with the first phase of its conversion to a digital television. In 2007, Stupak announced an additional $1,004,083 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the transition. In total, Stupak has assisted WNMU in securing more than $2.9 million in federal grants for the transition.
“Local productions are an essential component of the station’s daily broadcasts and provide area residents with educational and cultural programs that enhance life in Upper Michigan,” said Eric Smith, Director of Broadcasting for WNMU-TV. “This is a major upgrade for our station and will provide viewers with greater clarity in pictures and sound.”
By law, all full-power television stations in the country will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to digital broadcasting at midnight on Feb. 17, 2009. This latest grant will allow WNMU to convert studio production control facilities from analog to digital and purchase high-definition (HD) digital remote production equipment. This will help the station meet digital standards and maintain its ability to produce local content once the transition to digital takes effect.
“It’s one thing to have the technical capability to broadcast a national signal in digital,” Stupak said. “But the ability to create local content in HD digital is another thing altogether. This grant will preserve WNMU’s ability to bring local content – including news and emergency broadcasts – to viewers in the Upper Peninsula.”
“Congressman Stupak has a solid understanding of the special needs rural communities face and his support throughout this mandated and costly digital TV transition has been unwavering,” Smith said. “His strong support, along with help of many others, will make the partnership between WNMU-TV and its viewers sustainable well into the future.”
Stupak serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, which has jurisdiction over telecommunications and broadcasting policy.
March 25, 2008
Public TV 13 Producer Sonya Chrisman, Chief Videographer Mike Lakenen, and Gómez travelled across the U.P. interviewing veterans, historians, and others who lived through the war. They talked about the soldiers on skis of the 10th Mountain Division, the Battle of the Bulge, and the success of the submarine wolf pack the Darter and the Dace in the Philippines. Residents shared their memories as well as their personal photographs, which weaved with vintage newsreels and film footage, painted a vivid image of victory and of loss.
The documentary was inspired by the books, "The U.P. Goes to War" by Larry Chabot and “World War II Comes to the U.P.: 1939-1945” by Northern Michigan University Professor Russell Magnaghi. Featured in the program, narrated by Northern Michigan University Professor Dwight Brady, are NMU Professor and Historian Russell Magnaghi and NMU Archivist Marcus Robyns.
This is the sixth documentary for Emmy-Award winning producer and writer Sonya Chrisman. In previous years, Chrisman received two other First Place Broadcast Excellence Awards for "Barnes-Hecker: Memories of a Misfortune," and "One Room, Many Stories: Schoolhouse Memories." Public TV 13 Graphic Artist Melinda Stamp created the graphics, website, and DVD cover art for each video.
Major funding for “The U.P. Recalls the War” was provided by a grant from the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters; Henry Ebeling of Norway, Michigan; and the Cleveland Cliffs Foundation. Produced as a fundraising special, currently DVDs of the program are available for a donation to Public TV 13 of $100.
March 25, 2008
Katie Cox received Honorable Mention for "Public Eye News" in the Daily Newscast division. Second Place for a Talk Show went to Dan Vandermeuse, Ian Mcleod, and James Opiekun for "Standing O," for which NMU Professor Chuck Ganzert serves as faculty advisor. NMU Professor Louise Bourgault (not photographed) was instrumental in bringing African pop diva Nainy Diabate to NMU’s campus where she performed on the program “Standing O.” Elizabeth Gasperich (not photographed) took the second place Public Service Announcements. Another second place honor was garnered by Cody Smith (not pictured), Dan Vadermeuse, Tyler Czarnopis, and Luis Gómez for their sports play-by-play of China vs. USOEC Wrestling, Boxing, Weightlifting event in NMU's Berry Events Center on October 23, 2007.
July 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Alumni Visit Public TV 13
Dr. George Lott was a professor in the Speech Department in the 1970s and a former General Manager of Public TV 13 and Public Radio 90.
The USDA presented a ceremonial check, representing a grant won by Public TV 13, to the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees at their October 6 meeting. The $1 million U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development grant will help WNMU-TV upgrade from analog to digital. Pictured are (from left) Congressman Bart Stupak, NMU President Les Wong, Gene DeRossett of USDA Rural Development in Michigan, NMU Board Chair Karl Weber, and WNMU General Manager Eric Smith.
Northern Michigan University Public Broadcasting has received a grant from the USDA that will help us complete the FCC mandated upgrade from analog to digital television broadcasting. The $1 million grant is part of $4.97 million made available to public television stations nationally to enable them to provide digital broadcasting services to rural residents. The funds are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Public Television Digital Transition Grant program.
This is great news for Public TV 13 and our Partners and viewers.
“It’s going to provide us with the next level of service here in the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin,” WNMU-TV/DT General Manager Eric Smith said. “This is what we’ve been hoping for. We’ve been looking for a way to transition to digital and this grant has opened the door for us.”
The grant will allow us to continue our existing services after the digital transition and enhance our broadcasts to take full advantage of what digital television has to offer for both entertainment and education.
As a Partner in Programming, your support and confidence in our station was critical to Public TV 13’s success in obtaining this grant. Granting agencies like the Dept. of Agriculture use community support as one criterion in evaluating projects requesting federal funds. We scored well in this area thanks to local Partners like you.
FCC regulations mandating the switch to digital means completely rebuilding WNMU-TV’s control room, as well as installing a new transmitter at our tower in Ely Township. Our USDA $1 million award will be added to funds provided by Northern Michigan University to cover the master control project at a total cost of nearly $1.3 million. This grant will pay for the new master control switching, recording and monitoring equipment which will allow us to broadcast local programs and the best of PBS high-definition programs. In the future, WNMU-TV will offer an increased amount of educational and cultural programming over several digital streams. Cable viewers will be able to take advantage of this new content even before the digital transition is complete. But while this grant now brings our equipment costs within reach, it’s essential that our Partners continue their financial support to pay the annual costs associated with buying programs aired by this station.
Public TV 13 wants you to share in our pride about these recent, exciting developments. Your continued Partnership is the key to a bright future for your public television station. Stay tuned as Public TV 13 continues to bring you the best that public broadcasting can offer.