WGVU general manager receives lifetime achievement award

Michael Walenta
Image Credit: Bernadine Carey Tucker

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters honored Michael T. Walenta, general manager of WGVU Public Media, with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award given by MAB, honors Michigan broadcast pioneers, living or posthumously, who have dedicated the majority of their professional careers to broadcasting in the state of Michigan and have distinguished themselves as a top manager or owner.  

Walenta, who came to Grand Valley in 1988, celebrated 30 years at WGVU in January. Under his leadership, WGVU has grown from one FM station and two TV stations, to a multi-platform public media station with two FM NPR stations, two AM Real Oldies and NPR stations, two TV stations with five channels each, WGVU Digital Studios, and WGVU Engage. 

"It comes as no surprise that Michael is being honored and recognized for the vast contributions he has made to television and radio throughout his career," said Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas. "Michael has dedicated his life’s work to outstanding public broadcasting and community service. The entire Grand Valley community congratulates him on receiving the highest honor bestowed by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters."

Walenta received the National Association of Arts and Sciences Michigan Silver Circle Award in 2008; he has also won several Emmy Awards. He is the past president of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters Board as well as the Michigan Public Radio Network. Walenta has served on numerous boards and committees including the Ken Burns/WETA Vietnam War Station Advisory Committee, Public Media Joint Licensee Association Board, and NETA Member Service Committee. In 2016, he was appointed to a two-year term on the Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education.

In April, Walenta announced he will retire June 29, 2018.