Ralph Haines III began in radio in 1968, during high school. Today he is co-owner of the contract engineering firm Broadcast Engineer Services and of stations WGDN(AM/FM).
Mike Laemers, too, is a long-time broadcaster, with more than 35 years in engineering.
The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has honored them both with its Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award.
Haines has worked for a variety of stations in Michigan and Illinois, the association stated. “In 1972, Ralph briefly left the broadcast industry when he married his wife Annette and took a job at IBM as a customer engineer. While with IBM, Ralph was transferred back to Lansing, where he returned to the broadcasting industry.” He retired from IBM in 2003 and started the contract firm BES the next year. “Today Ralph is still a staple in Michigan broadcasting and has no current plans to retire from the broadcasting industry.”
Mike Laemers is director of engineering at TV stations WOOD/WOTV/WXSP in Grand Rapids.
Laemers “has been a vital component in developing the television market in the Grand Rapids DMA,” the association wrote. “His many accomplishments in the field of television engineering include building one of the first television LMA and hub operations in the country as well as building a virtual television station, which later became WXSP. Mike also headed WOOD(TV)’s transition to digital, where he made WOOD the technical leader in the market with the first all-digital plant. His many years in the business also include other areas of television station management.”
Haines and Laemers (shown, from left) were saluted at a conference in Lansing this week.