Movie’s New England Premiere Takes Place June 19 in Haverhill
HAVERHILL, Five experts will discuss the state of the media following nonprofit WHAV’s New England premiere screening of “Corporate FM: The Killing of Local Commercial Radio,” Wed., June 19.
The panel includes Corporate FM Director Kevin McKinney; Dan Kennedy, assistant professor, Northeastern University School of Journalism; Donna L. Halper, associate professor of communications, Lesley University; William J. Macek, owner of WPKZ, Fitchburg, and New England radio owner/operated for 22 years; and Marc Lemay, communications manager, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, and former WHAV news director.
The documentary screening begins at 6 p.m., Wed., June 19, at Chunky’s Cinema Pub, 371 Lowell Ave., Haverhill. Tickets are $60 for WHAV members and $85 for nonmembers and may be purchased at www.WHAV.net or by calling (978) 374-1900. Proceeds from the movie will benefit nonprofit radio station WHAV.
McKinney’s feature documentary work includes camera and sound on “Body of War,” directed by veteran talk-show host Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro. He is a winner or the Aspiring Filmmakers Award for his previous film Planet Trash. McKinney graduated from the University of Kansas with a double major in Sociology and Theatre/Film. He believes the sociological impact of radio for local community support is more powerful than the Internet or any other technology.
Kennedy is a regular panelist on “Beat the Press,” WGBH-TV’s weekly roundtable program on media issues; maintains a weblog, “Media Nation;” and contributes articles to the Huffington Post and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab. From 2007 to 2011, he wrote a weekly online column for The Guardian’s “Comment is Free America” section. Previously, he served as the Boston Phoenix’s media columnist from 1994 through 2005 and remained a contributor until the newspaper’s closing earlier this year. While at the Phoenix, he was the recipient of the 2001 Rowse Award and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ 1999 award for media reporting. Kennedy was also as a reporter for The Daily Times Chronicle, Woburn, Mass., for 10 years. He has published two books, “Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter’s Eyes” and “The Wired City.”
Dr. Halper has spent more than 40 years in broadcasting and print journalism, and has often been called upon to comment on trends in media. She has made guest appearances on PBS, NPR, the History Channel and local radio and television stations. While she was in radio, she discovered the rock group RUSH, who dedicated two albums to her, and she appears in a 2010 documentary about them. She is a director of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame and recently published the book “Boston Radio 1920-2011.”
Macek, a nine-term Haverhill city councilor, has been on the board of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association since 2007 and currently serves as radio chair. Since 2006 Macek has been owner of WPKZ, Fitchburg, 1280 AM and 105.3 FM. Previously he owned WMOO FM, Derby, Vt. and WIKE, Newport, Vt., and WINQ-FM, Winchendon, Mass. Previously, he was a professional radio announcer from 1973 to 2005 and founded Macek and Co. real estate in 1976. He has been an attorney in the general practice of business and family law since 1996 and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Lemay is heard weekdays on WHAV as host of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s “Health Minute.” He entered radio as a 13-year-old intern at WALE AM 1400, Fall River. When the station was sold in 1989, he was there to sign off WALE one night and sign on again as WHTB the next morning. In 1990, Lemay moved to WHAV as news director. After three years at WHAV, Lemay went to work in other areas of communications including Yellow Pages, newspaper publishing, graphic design, television (public access) and Internet. In 2004, Lemay returned to radio when he joined WCCM. There, he served as afternoon drive host, production director, IT manager, morning show news anchor/co-host and finally morning show host.
“Corporate FM: The Killing of Local Commercial Radio” features interviews with Jewel, The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, former Butt Hole Surfers manager Tom Bunch and a wide array of DJs and experts who have witnessed radio’s destruction from the inside. McKinney warns “the death of privately operated local radio stations is not just destroying the stations that are bought up, but damning the future of all stations on the dial—the public and college stations as well. The entire medium of radio becomes threatened when there are only two stations worth listening to.”
The WHAV call letters have been associated with local broadcasting since 1947. WHAV is today operated by Public Media of New England Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. Since 2004, the call has served the Merrimack Valley’s pioneer Internet radio station at WHAV.net and a number of public access cable television stations in Andover, Haverhill and Methuen, and Plaistow and Sandown, N.H. The station is also heard over AM 1640 in northern Haverhill and Plaistow, N.H.