(L-R) 2019 MAPB Public Media Impact Award Recipient Linda Yohn and WEMU-FM Director/General Manager Molly Motherwell.

The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) presented its 2019 Public Media Impact Awards on Tuesday, August 6 at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids.

The MAPB presents Public Media Impact Awards to professionals and donors for their contribution to public broadcasting in Michigan. The awards are given to recognize outstanding individuals involved in public broadcasting for their innovation and creativity, inspire others involved in public broadcasting to greater achievement in the field of public radio and television and to increase awareness of public broadcasting and the contributions talented individuals make to the industry statewide.

2019 Public Media Award Impact Award Recipients

Linda Yohn, WEMU-FM (Professional Award)
Linda Yohn retired as music director for 89.1 WEMU-FM, Eastern Michigan University’s Community NPR station in December 2017, after a spectacular 30 year career at the station. The congenial morning host of 89-1 Jazz weekdays Yohn took her listeners on a daily jazz journey covering many jazz styles from traditional to today’s contemporary jazz, from bebop to the blues, from swing to sultry singers and from introspective solo piano to bouncing big bands. Yohn joined the WEMU staff in 1987. She was recruited because of her love of and expertise in jazz music and also brought her connections as a jazz publicist in New York and valuable public radio experience at WKSU-FM for Kent State University. Yohn is well-respected in both the public radio and music communities. She’s a past winner of the prestigious Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and has received the JazzWeek Magazine Major Market Jazz Programmer Of The Year Award six times, out of the eight she was nominated and also won Jazz Presenter of the Year in 2017. In 2015, then-Michigan State Representative David Rutledge honored Yohn with a special award: “The Ambassador For Jazz Music From The Ypsilanti Area,” only the second ambassador award for the area. EMU’s jazz broadcast library is one of the largest, if not the largest, in the country primarily due to Yohn’s efforts, working with labels and artists from around the country and the globe. The library currently boasts more than 100,000 jazz tracks and includes everything from 78 RPM records from the 1920s to the digital downloads of the 21st century. During her 30 years at WEMU, Yohn made many appearances on behalf of WEMU including serving on panels at national conventions, hosting meet-the-artist sessions at The Detroit Jazz Festival and acting as Master of Ceremonies for community and music events.

(L-R) Steve Schram, Director of Broadcasting at Michigan Radio, and 2019 MAPB Public Media Impact Award Recipient Thomas C. Jones.

Thomas C. Jones, Michigan Radio (Donor Recognition)
Thomas Jones has been an exceptional supporter of Michigan Radio for nearly two decades and is one of the station’s most sought after individuals for counsel on fundraising matters. He participated in the drafting of the station’s most recent campaign case statement and assisted senior management with the introduction of endowment giving to our donor community. In 2014, he made what was then the largest gift to the station in support of a program editor for the daily show Stateside and two years later helped establish the Robben Fleming Public Media Internship Fund for students and others. Recently he extended his generosity and is challenging others to help endow that internship. His dedication to Michigan Radio recognizes not only current public broadcasting needs but the need to prepare the next generation of journalism professionals. Jones is a fellow of Northwestern Michigan College. He earned BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan and participated in the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School.