Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, February 16, 2014, pg. 12
We continue this week with another "contemporary history" article. The switch to digital television a couple of years ago has sure affected our television habits here in Albion. Our local cable provider has added some stations and dropped others. Satellite dish television, likewise has its own menu which it offers the citizens of our community.
It is hard to determine which station(s) "cover Albion," if at all. We have lost our closest geographic (30-40 miles) Lansing-Jackson network stations, WILX Channel 10 (NBC), WSYM Channel 47 (Fox), and WLAJ Channel 53 (ABC) in our lineups. For some reason Channel 6 (CBS) in Lansing was kept on our menu.
We now find ourselves being placed in the "Grand Rapids" (100 miles away) assignment area for network coverage and have to listen to Grand Rapids stations, their weather forecasts, and their news as well. If Albion is ever covered at all by them it is usually because something bad has happened such as a murder or the closing of Albion High School.
Well, I have some good news, sort of. I have found a television station that features Albion every day, and yes, especially on their newscast hours in the morning and evening. Itís WBND ABC-TV Channel 57. "Channel 57, whereís that?" you may ask. Itís in South Bend, Indiana. You know, they have a football team there.
The region is called Michiana because part of it is in Michigan around the communities of Niles, Sturgis, and Benton Harbor/St. Joseph. In their weather forecast segments on their newscasts, they use two maps. One is an area map showing the northern Indiana and border Michigan counties in their immediate service area. The other map they pair with it is the regional radar map which goes west to Chicago, and east to around Jackson.
Guess what cities are clearly labeled on this latter map? Battle Creek? No. Jackson? No. Coldwater? No. Marshall? No again, not even Marshall with all of its clout and the I-69/I-94 intersection! On the eastern side of this map are labeled: Kalamazoo, Hillsdale, and Albion! Yes, Albion! Yea! We finally got some respect on television. Thousands of viewers across the Michiana area are reminded about our community on a daily basis as the result of this fine choice by this television station.
From our Historical Notebook this week we picture that map from an actual recent weather broadcast. Albion is labeled in the upper right. If you want to see a clearer version, visit their website at www.abc57.com. Click on "weather," then look for the regional radar screen which should be on your right. Thatís the one Albion is in. Next time youíre in their area (the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph hotels carry them), listen to their chief meteorologist Jamie Martin during the 6 am. news hour and watch him show the map that includes Albion. We ought to give him an award, or at least an invitation to town thanking him for choosing our city over others.
Whenís the last time you saw Albion featured on a TV station near you? We shouldnít have to go all the way to South Bend to see that.
www.abc57.com. Click on "weather," regional radar screen is on right.
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic