Station Grant Opportunity from PBS Kids

PBSkids_300This summer, PBS KIDS and the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative will bring the “Odd Squad: Be the Agent” camp program to select sites and is inviting all interested PBS member stations to apply to participate. 50 stations will be selected from the pool of applicants to host these summer camps in their communities. These stations will receive Odd Squad camp curriculum materials and activities, as well as PBS KIDS Media Lab that will include:

  • 1 iPad
  • 2 PBS KIDS branded Odd Squad bannerstands
  • USB with Odd Squad curriculum materials
  • Odd Squad badges that can be given to the children participating in the camp.

More information on the “Be the Agent Camp” and the grant requirements can found on the Odd Squad Camp Station RFP here.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Wednesday, MARCH 23, 2016

If you have any questions about this application process, please contact Celeste Ho: cho@pbs.org.

DPTV Remembers J.P. McCarthy

JP-Mccarthy
Photo courtesy of Detroit Public Television.

Detroit Public Television (WTVS) is honoring the memory of Michigan radio legend J.P. McCarthy with J.P. – The Voice of Detroit, an hour-long documentary that tells J.P.’s story, the ultimate local-kid-done-good tale.

Working extensively with the McCarthy family and conducting over 20 interviews with J.P.’s friends, family, co-workers, and contemporaries, J.P. – The Voice of Detroit is a fitting memorial to someone who was considered more of a family member than a voice on the radio to anyone who tuned in to hear him.

The program has aired twice on WTVS and can be seen on demand here.

NAB To Offer Cybersecurity Webinar

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is offering a webinar on cybersecurity for broadcast stations.  “Broadcast Cybersecurity: The Essentials” will stream live on Wednesday, March 23 from 2 p.m.- 3 p.m. (EST) and will be moderated by NAB Associate General Counsel, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Larry Walke.  FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Admiral David Simpson will give opening remarks.

Additional panel participants include:

  • Cynthia Brumfeld, President and independent analyst, DCT Associates
  • Steven Carpenter, Cybersecurity Engineer, Cybersecurity Communications Reliability Division, Public Safety, and Homeland Security Bureau, FCC
  • Howard Price, Director, business continuity, ABC Television Network
  • Kelly Williams, Senior Director, engineering and technology policy, NAB

For more information and to register, please click HERE.

HOMTV Summer 2016 Internship Program Application Deadline

HOMTV (Meridian Township) has been equipping interns with tools for success for 35 years.  Dozens go through their internship program every year and hundreds have found successful jobs in the television and communications industry as a result. If you know of anyone who you think would benefit from practical, hands-on experience in television reporting, production, or social media and promotion, HOMTV encourages you to direct them to www.homtv.net for more information and to submit the online application, available here: bit.ly/ApplicationHOMTVIntern.

The application deadline for the Summer 2016 Internship Program has been extended to April 1, 2016.  HOMTV notes that the Summer semester is an exciting time with a big election year ahead, both nationally and locally.  HOMTV provides intense award-winning election coverage and they would like new interns to be a part of it.

HOMTV will begin reviewing applications and sending out interview invitations on Tuesday, April 5.

Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference – Early Bird Deadline Approaching!

GLBC16-WebPostcard_500The GLBC schedule has been finalized, and features some national-caliber speakers and educational sessions. Check out the line-up here: bit.ly/GLBConference.

Presenters include Valerie Geller, Al Tompkins, Fred Jacobs, Seth Resler, Steve Julin, Jeremy Ruck, Speed Marriott, Don Backus, Jeff Welton, David Oxenford, Rich Chernock, and more!

The GLBC offers a discount on registration to members who sign up early. Members can attend the entire conference for only $159! This includes all the educational sessions on Monday, the legendary “Beer & Bull” welcome reception, all sessions and Keynote address on Tuesday, along with breakfast, lunch, and the Legislative Reception. After April 1, the rates to attend the GLBC go up. Save money by registering today!

Jackson’s K-105.3 Celebrates 18 Years!

WKHM-003_400K-105.3, WKHM-FM (Jackson) held their annual listener appreciation party March 4 at The Foundry night club/music venue in downtown Jackson with a couple hundred listeners and friends. The cause for celebration was the station’s 18th year of serving up hit music in Jackson county along with local news, contests and community engagement.

WKHM-004K-105.3 DJ’s Jamie “Big Dog” McKibbin, Scott Clow, J-Rod, and Craig & Mallory from the Morning Hustle emceed and entertained the crowd while giving out tons of prizes from local businesses in Jackson. WKHM would like to thank everyone for their continued support of Jackson’s HIT Music Station, K-105.3!

Michigan Media Professionals Honored with Silver Circle Induction

The Silver Circle Class of 2016. (L-R) Jim Lutton (WWMT-TV/Kalamzoo), Wayne Joseph (Fox Sports Detroit), Laurie Oberman (WDIV-TV/Detroit), Bob Gould (Michigan State University), and Dave Devereaux (WTVS-TV and WRCJ-FM (Detroit). Photo courtesy of Michigan NATAS.

The Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has announced their Silver Circle® class of 2016.  The Silver Circle honors media professionals who began their careers in television at least 25 years ago, either in a performing, creative, technical, or administrative role within the industry or in an area related to television such as TV journalism education, advertising, promotion, and public relations. They must also have made a significant contribution to the Michigan Chapter for at least part of their 25-year career.

The Silver Circle Class of 2016:

Dave Devereaux (Senior Vice President of Broadcasting and Station Manager of WRCJ 90.9 FM, DPTV)
Bob Gould (Professor, MSU School of Journalism)
Wayne Joseph (Senior Account Executive, FOX Sports Detroit)
Jim Lutton (General Manager, WWMT)
Laurie Oberman (Director of Local Programming, WDIV)

The Michigan Chapter of NATAS has been honoring and celebrating our Silver Circle members since 1987.

Telethon for Flint Raises Over $1.1 Million

KW-WDIV-PhoneBank
MAB President/CEO Karole White (back row, third from right) answers telephone calls during the Flint Telethon.

Last Tuesday (3/15), people from across Michigan opened up their hearts and wallets to help the children affected by the water crisis in Flint.

WDIV-TV (Detroit) and four other television stations across Michigan, WEYI-TV (Flint), WILX-TV (Lansing), WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) and WWTV/WWUP-TV (Northern Michigan), joined for the day-long telethon: Flint Water Crisis: For Our Families.

With a matching donation from Detroit Pistons’ owner Tom Gores, a grand total of $1,133,964 was raised during the telethon.

All proceeds will go to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund to help with things like education, nutrition and medical intervention.

MAB President and CEO Karole White pitched in to answer phones during the event.

Engineering Spotlight: Keith Bosworth, Cumulus Media (Detroit)

We continue our spotlight series featuring the hardworking engineers at our stations.
To nominate an engineer for a spotlight, please email Alisha Clack at clack@michmab.com.

Keith-Bosworth_800

Keith Bosworth
Chief Engineer for Cumulus Media (WJR-AM, WDRQ-FM, WDVD-FM) in Detroit.

Brief Engineering Resume:

2003 Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts
2004-2013 Cumulus Media, Toledo
2013-Present Cumulus Media, Detroit

Keith shares his broadcast history:

“I started working as a Board op for Cumulus Media Toledo at WTWR (Monroe, MI) in 2004. Every time the Engineer (Kevin Hawley) would come in, I would watch him and I was a little savvy.  A few months later I was asked by Kevin if I would like to lend a hand installing new transmitters that were coming in for Cumulus Toledo. Halfway through the installs, he asked if I would like to be an assistant engineer, because as he put it, I was a good learner. Although to this day I tell him he was a good teacher.

After being at the Job for a few years and soaking up all the knowledge I could Kevin left to go to WJR. At that point, I was on my own and became Chief Engineer and IT of the eight station cluster in Toledo, which I did for 7-8 years on my own. When the position at Cumulus Detroit opened up, I applied for it and got it, but not until they found a replacement for me in Toledo.

In my career, I have also rebuilt four of the studios in Toledo and had the pleasure of helping build some state of the art facilities like the new Westwood One TOC in NY, the Nash Nights Live Studio in Nashville, TN, and 16 new studios in San Francisco, CA.

Before I got into broadcasting, I was a Chef and still love to cook.

The best advice I was ever given: to be a good engineer, you don’t have to have all the answers, you just need to know where to find them.”

Editorial: Set Yourself Up to Measure Your Own Social Media Questions

Seth ReslerBy: Seth Resler, Jacobs Media

I often get asked very specific questions about social media, such as:

  • “How often should we post?”
  • “What topics should we post about?”
  • “Should we post videos directly to Facebook or use a YouTube link?”

Inevitably, I give the same answer: “Experiment and see.” I don’t say this as a cop-out, but because what works for other stations (or other companies) may not work for yours. Yes, there are suggested best practices out there, but you should never let those take the place of hard data.

As broadcasters, this is a relatively new idea for us. We often program by our “gut.” A record or a contest or a bit either sounds good on the air or it doesn’t; Nielsen doesn’t give us data that’s granular enough for us to pinpoint specific results, so we offer our best educated guess.

But online, we have much better analytics. We can run small experiments and see the results in real time. We don’t have to guess which is driving more traffic to our website, Facebook, or Twitter; we can actually see the answer.

A great example of how to gather this data comes from the folks at NPR. They had questions about the best time to publish Facebook posts. They had a theory — called the “Facebook Whale” — and they set out to test it. Bryan Wright and Lori Todd explain what they did and what they learned here.

How can your radio station perform similar experiments to answer your social media questions? Follow these steps:

1. Define and agree upon your metrics.

Start by asking, “What does success look like?” What is the goal of your social media efforts? To get lots of likes? To drive traffic to your station’s website? To add registrants to your email database? To increase ratings? To generate revenue? These things are all related to each other, but some are more important than the others. Make sure that everybody agrees ahead of time on what the appropriate unit of measurement is and how many constitute success.

For example, let’s say your station has its annual Spring Fling Concert coming up and you’re thinking of running Facebook ads to help sell the show. You need to fill 1,000 seats to break even and 2,000 seats to hit your revenue projections. If you sell more than 2,000 tickets, your boss will love you; if you sell less than 1,000, you’ll need to update your resumé.

At the end of your experiment, you don’t want different people to look at the same result and draw different conclusions. If you’re measuring website clicks but your General Manager only cares about ticket sales, you’re going to run into problems. By agreeing upon the proper metrics ahead of time, you can avoid this confusion. You and your GM agree that while you should monitor website clicks, success will ultimately be measured by the number of tickets sold.

2. Set yourself up to measure.

Now that you’ve decided what you’re going to measure, you need to make sure that you can measure it. Make sure that you have the appropriate tools in place, whether it’s Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Bit.ly reports, etc. Also, make sure that you understand how to use these tools. If you don’t have them or don’t understand them, you’ll need to address these issues before you run any experiments.

In the case of our Spring Fling Concert, we can set up different website landing pages, which are identical except for a hidden code passed to the ticketing service. This code allows you to pull a report to see how many of our ticket sales came through Landing Page A and how many came through Landing Page B.

3. Run experiments.

One of the simplest experiments to run is called an “A/B Test.” Control (to the best of your ability) all of the possible variables except one. Change that one variable for half of the test and measure the results.

For example, you could create two Facebook ads that are identical except for the headline: One reads, “Tickets to the WKRP Spring Fling Concert are on sale now” and links to Landing Page A while the other says, “See who’s playing the WKRP Spring Fling Concert” and drives people to Landing Page B. Set the Facebook ads to alternate so they are both shown an equal number of times. Watch to see which ad produces the most website clicks and, more importantly, results in the most ticket sales.

4. Review the results together.

Be sure to set aside time to review the results of your experiment with your team. Discuss the results and draw conclusions together. This ensures that everybody is on the same page.

After a week, let’s see which of the two Facebook ads has produced the most ticket sales. Interestingly, Headline B (“See who’s playing…”) resulted in more clicks, but fewer sales than Headline A (“Tickets…are on sale now”). While Headline B was attracting people who wanted to see the lineup, they apparently aren’t ready to make a purchase. As a group, you and your GM may decide that your budget is better spent on Headline A and shift your dollars accordingly.

The best way to figure out the proper digital strategy for your radio station is to set yourself to perform small experiments like this. If you would like help doing so, feel free to reach out to me.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.