Denis Prior Joins WUPS-FM

Radio veteran Denis Prior, most recently with Grand Valley State University’s Real Oldies WGVU-AM (Grand Rapids), has joined WUPS-FM (Houghton Lake) as Morning Host and Programming Coordinator.  He debuted on the station May 2.

Prior also has worked in the past with the MacDonald-Garber stations in Cadillac and has hosted shows in San Diego, Nashville, South Bend, and Grand Rapids, plus many other stops around the country during his long radio career.  In addition to radio, Prior has also been a contributing writer for late night TV shows hosted by David Letterman and Jay Leno.

Prior told All Access, “I’m excited to join a heritage blowtorch station like 98.5 UPS. Norm (McKee) and MIKE (Chires) are great owners that I look forward to working with”.

Editorial: Is Radio Milking The Wrong Callers?

Sean Ross webBy: Sean Ross
Sean@RossOnRadio.com
Twitter: @RossOnRadio

It is a seemingly inevitable moment in any call-to-win contest, especially for a prize of any significance.

You will hear the caller before the correct number caller. Sometimes it will be a quick groan of frustration when they’re informed. Sometimes the on-air personality feels the need to play with them, dragging out the suspense, even when the caller doesn’t think they’re the right number. If they can’t be sure of getting the winning caller to scream appropriately at the office, they can at least milk some extra agony from the loser before hand.

There are multiple variants on the “call before the winner” call.

  • There’s the “I’m sorry, we already got a winner, but don’t worry, because there’s more cash in four hours” call.
  • There’s the “I’m not giving away anything right now, but don’t worry, because there’s more cash in four hours” call.
  • There’s the “I’m sorry, you’re listening for a different Taylor Swift song, but don’t worry because something by Taylor is coming up again in 20 minutes” call.

Airing these calls comes out of an absolutely correct programmers’ instinct, or several. Generate the most possible excitement about your cash contest. Tell people what you’re going to do, then do it, then tell them that you did it. Set appointments. Don’t let a hundred dollars’ worth of excitement be over in just a few seconds, much less a larger amount.

Hearing a contest milked, well or badly, is also a function of jock nature: “We’re giving away money on my shift.” You can generally count on that kind of excitement for any prize greater than the $50-gift-certificate-from-a-jeweler-that-doesn’t-actually-buy-anything.

Jocks also seem to think it’s okay in particular to make fun of any listener stupid or greedy enough to call when nothing’s actually being given away. For the most part, however, the bulk of the losing callers are doing the thing a station told them to do—listen longer and call to win.

I always feel bad for the caller-before-the-correct caller. I particularly feel bad when there’s any level of sadism on the jock’s part. That might just be me. Listeners love prank phone calls. I don’t want to hear the person on the other end squirm, even when they’re an actor and it’s a set-up.

Beyond that, after enough “you didn’t win” phone calls, I also find myself wondering about the message being sent.  Do enough of those unintentionally brand a station as the place where people don’t win money? Isn’t radio station money supposed to be easier to win than, say, Powerball money? I hear an increasing number of stations during a big Powerball jackpot making fun of the unlikelihood of winning.

So, what’s the right balance between milking excitement and sending the wrong message?

For starters, I’ve come to believe that if you’re taking caller number 109, there should always be a little something for caller 108. And, maybe for caller 110. Station swag would do it, but imagine what message a modest, unexpected cash prize (before the big one) would send about your station. You’re not just giving away money, you’re giving away extra, unsolicited money. Think of Oprah Winfrey and the power of unexpected winning.

I’ve also come to think stations aren’t getting enough from the actual winner. In many cases, the jock briefly tries to negotiate a scream from the winner-who-can’t-scream-because-they’re-on-the-job. Maybe there’s a quick “so what are you going to do with the money?” or “who are you going to take with you to the concert?”  Then they’re gone until the winner promo, and you’re back to hearing the other callers.

One station that got me thinking about the power of having the winners hang around is CFXL (XL103) Calgary. Like a lot of other “Greatest Hits” (or Classic Rock) stations, their signature promotion has become the daily payroll game in which a winner continues to rack up cash until somebody else hears their name called and displaces them. The contest isn’t new, but XL gets more out of it than many stations I’ve heard.

Often, middayer Buzz Bishop and afternoon host Bob Steele effectively make the current winner into the hour’s co-host. You get to know them. They are often coached into doing talk-ups over intros that are sometimes better than our own first airchecks. They do shtick with the next winner after being “fired.” By the end of the hour, they are “people just like you” who won money.

The payroll game structure lends itself to a winner sticking around, of course. But who’s to say that anybody who just won cash wouldn’t be happy to visit with the host for a few more breaks? The callers aren’t necessarily people with inherently mesmerizing on-air personalities, but the same work that goes into extending a contest payoff with losing callers goes into making the winners sound great.

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.

Editorial: Please Recycle. It Increases Your Radio Station’s Web Traffic

Seth ReslerBy: Seth Resler, Jacobs Media Strategies

As broadcasters, we tend to view our content as fleeting. We do one on-air break and move on to the next, never looking back. But the internet allows us to get more life out of our content long after it’s published – or aired. Shinedown may be performing in your town tonight, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t still want to hear your morning show’s interview with the band six months from now. By making this content available on the web, you can get even more value out of it after it first airs.

synchronize-150123_640-200x193But, your efforts shouldn’t end when you air the content and/or publish it on your station’s site; continue to promote it as well. By resharing your older content on social media, you can increase the number of people who come to your website.

We recently relaunched the Jacobs Media Strategies website. On the new site, which was built in WordPress, we included a plugin that recycles older content. This plugin randomly selects blogposts from the last six months and automatically reshares them on social media. As a result, we’ve seen a lift in our website traffic.

Generally, these older posts will see a small number of clicks every time they are reshared. But, over the course of a week, these add up to a significant amount of traffic. Over a month, and you can definitely see solid increases.

And, every once and a while, an older post will go viral. Last week, we reshared our Radio’s Most Innovative profile of KZEW’s “Zoo World.” When it was first published, the post attracted a healthy amount of interest, but it garnered even more traffic the second time around. Many people who missed the post when it was first published now shared it over social media, and as a result, this was one of our top blogposts of the week – despite the fact it’s several months old.


Jacobs Media Strategies

Webinar: Understanding the Connected Car

Serious changes are coming to the dashboards of American cars. Here’s what your radio station needs to know


It’s helpful to divide your blogposts into two categories: evergreen content and topical content. People will still be interested in hearing your Little Steven interview years from now, while the preview of the 2016 Arts and Wine Festival will not be valuable once the event is over. While most of the posts in our blog have a long shelf life, we are careful not to reshare posts that wouldn’t make sense at a later date. (We don’t want our “Happy Thanksgiving!” blogpost to reappear on Facebook in July.)

To get more life out of your station’s online content, use a service like Buffer, or a WordPress plugin like Revive Old Posts or Evergreen Post Tweeter.

And, remember, it pays to recycle!

Questions? Contact 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.

Editorial: The Perfect Break

JohnLund_200By: John C. Lund
The Lund Consultants, Inc.
www.lundradio.com

Programmers and talents often discuss what makes a perfect break. We think it’s the proper mix of branding, engagement, and commitment – measured on the audience’s terms.

Branding is essential to get ratings credit, even with PPM. Learn from the masters like Coke and Starbucks, where being top-of-mind is everything. Sell your brand and tattoo your station on the listener’s mind. Be consistent with how your brand is sold.

Engagement covers many areas. It’s content that listeners want, and it’s the companionship that makes a station essential to each user. For content, begin with the essentials (morning time checks, song information, weather, and listener’s plans) and add the other items that register with your audience. This is where content gets tricky. Aim for your target and not what your talent thinks is interesting. Get to the point and pay off quickly. Your time to engage or lose interest is measured in scant seconds. Don’t waste it with silly filler or meaningless inside talk. Engage quickly (3-seconds!) with a “hook” that builds continued listening.

Commitment includes teases of more reasons to listen, returning for another tune-in, and building partisanship. This is where you “buy” your next tune-in for improved ratings. Is your station a utility for that listener or a daily “requirement?” Building commitment is the key to growing your audience from within. Think about listener benefits here.

The Lund Marketing and Promotion Guide offers over 100 no-cost promotions and gives details on executing promotions and strengthening your branding. Sharpen your marketing focus with our marketing checklists and worksheets.

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.

Editorial: There’s a Crisis Coming in Broadcasting, and It’s Not What You Think

Munday_300By: Sherrod Munday, VP Engineering, Sky Angel  

At the recent National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, again this year, it was really exciting to see the new technology that broadcasters can use to deliver their content to the public.  Likewise, there certainly was no shortage of keynote speakers like NAB’s President and CEO Gordon Smith who proudly proclaimed the ongoing importance of conventional broadcasting via the airwaves, and the benefits of “localism” that radio and television broadcasters bring to their communities.

The large number of conventional broadcasters – and the companies that service them – who were present and active at the NAB show spoke to the ongoing relevance of conventional broadcasting.  As Smith noted in his opening remarks at the beginning of the NAB show, broadcasting most certainly is and will continue to play an incredibly important societal role to educate, inform, report relevant news, and warn the public of urgent danger.  Ben Sherwood, president of Disney-ABC Television Group, also reminded NAB attendees that the $1.4 Trillion USD of economic benefit and 2.65 million U.S. jobs attributed in 2015 to broadcasting cannot be ignored.

In spite of the diverse benefits and strengths provided by broadcasting, however, many serious threats to the existence of broadcasting could significantly and adversely impact the wellbeing and sustainability of broadcasting as a public service and as a business in the not-so-distant future.

It’s not an unfamiliar list of threats – indeed, most of these threats have been well known and discussed for years now, even at the NAB show itself:

  • Online streaming services like Pandora and Spotify
  • On-demand content like podcasts and video-on-demand providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
  • Increased governmental oversight and regulations
  • Higher licensing fees
  • Ease of public access to illegally copied content like recent movies and music
  • The generational shifts to alternate sources of news and entertainment

…and the list goes on…

But, even while pundits, analysts, prognosticators, and business executives debate what to do about these types of problems, they’re missing one of the biggest threats to their existence.  It’s like the Biblical “log in your own eye” problem – they’re so focused on external threats to their existence and sustainability that they completely miss the primary weakness from within their organization.

The classic “SWOT” chart, commonly used in business management courses, reminds reminds astute business leaders to look at their business with an eye toward two opposed pairs of interrelated issues: things that can help their company versus things that can hurt their company, and things that are external versus internal.  Yes, broadcasters have plenty of Strengths and Opportunities that can help their business.  And, yes, there are some pretty well known Threats like the ones listed above that really could hurt their business.  But it seems like the broadcasting business isn’t really willing to talk about their own Weaknesses that could hurt them.

Or, maybe it’s even worse than that: maybe they don’t even recognize that they have weaknesses.

And to paraphrase the venerable Yoda from the movie Star Wars: “Hurt them badly, those Weaknesses could.

Anyone who has spent their career in broadcast engineering will readily recognize and has likely already witnessed the ongoing crisis getting worse and worse as time progresses.  The Titanic’s side has been ripped open under the waterline, and just like the captain of that doomed ship, the management in the broadcasting business just hasn’t recognized the severity of the problem or done anything intentional and methodical to mitigate and solve it.

You’re wondering: what could be more dangerous to broadcasting than threats like those listed above?  Those sure sound like the doomsday forecast for broadcasting, don’t they?

Consider instead the following single internal weakness for a moment, and ponder its significance compared and contrasted against external threats like those listed above:

  • No qualified engineering staff to keep the facility on-the-air

It’s a short list, indeed, but think about it again for a minute.

Without someone who knows the current broadcast technology and equipment and how to install, configure, maintain, and repair it, can your broadcast facility and operation stay on the air for very long?  Can it make any money if your transmitter is down?  Can your station warn the public of a public emergency when the new-fangled IP-based STL that some consultant said would save the company a bunch of money goes down or starts dropping IP packets and nobody knows how to fix it – or even where to start looking?

That may seem a bit overdramatic, but it’s really not.

You see, the coming crisis in broadcasting is the lack of qualified people interested in getting into broadcast engineering, coupled with the current generation of engineers coming ever-closer to retirement.  At this year’s NAB, many first-hand stories about this crisis were shared between friends and acquaintances, and surely many more such stories are regularly lamented at SBE meetings all across the nation – and probably all around the world, too.

It’s likely that most of the current engineers who attended this year’s NAB show probably know more than one engineer who soon plans to retire. One engineer’s story told of a recent SBE meeting in Michigan where a guest speaker was dumbfounded to realize that nearly every single SBE member present in the room was planning to retire within the next 5-8 years.  Another engineer from a major national radio network mentioned that their senior engineers have all announced or are all planning retirement within the next year or two. And the stories like this go on and on…

But the real problem is that nobody is coming up behind them to replace the retiring engineers.

You see, broadcast engineering just doesn’t hold the glamour it used to in the older days before the recent explosion of technology over the past two decades.  Computers, programming, IT jobs, etc. are now “all the rage” among college graduates.  Oh, sure, there are some young people interested in broadcasting – but when they find out how much it pays versus the starting salary for other technical jobs like computer programming, broadcasting doesn’t stand a chance.

We shouldn’t be hearing of stories of station groups wanting to hire an experienced engineer to maintain three full-time stations for a paltry $30,000 to $40,000 salary, yet most broadcast engineers probably have a first- or second-hand horror story just like that to share.  Aren’t the stations’ annual revenues worth more than that?  How much is your downtime worth per hour – or per minute?  Can you really afford to not have a highly trained engineering team on staff to keep your stations on the air?

But let’s go back to where this article started: the first sentence hinted at one of the key underlying problems.  It’s the new technology.  Yes, it’s that same new technology that lets us see amazing “4k” pictures on our televisions and be wowed by their clarity and crispness.  It’s the same technology that lets us set up an unattended radio automation system that runs 24x7x365 without a live person in front of it.  It’s the same technology that allows our websites to show “Now Playing” data for what’s airing real-time from our automation system.  It’s the same technology that allows us to reduce our operational costs by 50% and increase capacity by 100% every couple years.

You see, those same new technologies that provide so many benefits also create a need for entirely new skill sets among the engineering staff, and those new skills make the engineers more valuable than in days gone by – if the engineers possess and master those skills.   But the problems go deeper than that: some really great broadcast engineers with decades of experience just can’t grasp the new technologies or learn them fast enough (or find enough time) to keep up.  Worse yet, some engineers simply don’t want to learn anything new and would rather instead just rest on their laurels from their analog glory days (telling everyone how good analog is, and how easy it is to troubleshoot and maintain).

The problems spread to other departments, too: How many of you have heard an IT department employee or director emphatically state that they aren’t going to support anything (especially computers) that pertains to on-air broadcast equipment?  Or, how many of you have heard of the IT department trying to handle the always-on 24×7 broadcast department’s on-air IT needs as if they were no different or more important than a normal office worker’s complaint about a sticky key on their keyboard?

These fundamental problems have come to a crisis point.  Broadcasting companies both small and large need to understand that the entire engineering department needs new skills to stay competitive and keep the station on the air.  We need to realize that all broadcast engineering positions should – and already do – require hybridized skill sets encompassing both the conventional engineering practices and the IT practices.  It’s simply not possible or practical anymore to have completely distinct and separate IT and broadcast engineering departments and expect them to each stay out of the other’s “turf” or territory.  It’s impossible to treat either one as more important than the other; they are equals and inextricably linked and interdependent in the modern broadcast facility, and each department needs to have an excellent working knowledge of the other’s equipment, needs, and areas of responsibilities.  There’s simply no place for animosity or ignorance between the two departments anymore.

The Bottom Line

For those managers who skip the bulk of most reports and proposals and simply look down to the end to find out how much it’s going to cost and ask, “What does this mean for our bottom line, and what’s the benefit from this expense?” this part is for you.

As with any job in any business, hiring for increased skill sets, training, and retaining highly qualified employees will obviously cost the business more money.  But the coming crisis of the high numbers of retiring broadcast engineers and the low interest among qualified potential candidates to replace those engineers who are leaving leaves little alternative but to take a long, serious look at compensations that will be good enough to attract new talent into the business and retain key employees who may already possess the requisite skills.

Additionally, it’s critical that management recognize that it will also cost them some money to ensure their engineering staff continues to learn throughout their career.  Yes, engineers should personally be motivated to acquire new skills to stay relevant, but management shouldn’t be at all hesitant to pay for training that will directly benefit their operations and help keep the facility technically modern.

Training isn’t just an expense: it’s an investment – both into the employee (who will surely be grateful for the training) and for the company (which gets the tangible benefit of keeping the facility on the air).  If your station doesn’t have a regular recurring budget  line item for training (or “continuing education”), it should.  It will prove to be worth its weight many times over in the long run.

We all have to do something to ensure that broadcasting can overcome this personnel crisis, and the time for that action is now.  There isn’t a “quick fix” available, and this isn’t a one-time thing, either: it will require a change of mindset and paradigm all the way from the junior engineering staff up through the most senior management and the C-level.

It may sound like a cliché, but it can’t be denied: The future of broadcasting depends on you making these changes, whether you’re an engineer or in station management.  It’s time to make changes – together.

==============

Copyright 2016
Sherrod Munday
smunday@ieee.org

Sherrod Munday currently serves as VP Engineering for Sky Angel, a 3-channel TV network found on Dish Network.  His experience includes full-time and consulting engineering in both TV and Radio, delivering live and preproduced content over the air, via satellite syndication, and directly to consumers across the Internet.  You may reach him at smunday@ieee.org.

Reprinted with permission.

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.

Traffic Director Spotlight: Michelle Arvanitis

Michelle-Arvanitis_300Michelle Arvanitis
Jackson Radio Works,
Jackson

Michelle Arvanitis is the Traffic Director for WKHM-AM/FM, WIBM-AM/FM and Hot Country 101.5 (Jackson) 

Q1: How long have you been in traffic?
Michelle:  I’ve been the traffic director here for about a year and a half; but have been with Jackson Radio Works since 2007 with only two short stints where I left for a short period of time but came back!

Q2: Favorite comfort food?
Michelle:  I love pizza and Chinese!

Q3: Which Superhero would you be and why?
Michelle:   I’d be Wonder Woman. It would be nice to fly, and, I hear she doesn’t age!

Q4: When I’m not working, I’d rather be…
Michelle:  Spending time with my six-month-old old little boy, Colton!

Q5: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Michelle:  The Backstreet Boys!!!

Q6: What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Michelle:
Best advice that I’ve ever gotten is that “it’s all good!”! Even when things are going bad, it’s still good! Bad things only make us stronger.

Q7:  Tell us something about yourself that very few people know:
Michelle:
Mackinaw City is one of my favorite places.

Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards Announced

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) presented its most prestigious engineering award to a pair of Michigan broadcasters who, combined, have served in the industry for over six decades. The Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards were presented during the MAB’s annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo (GLBC) held on May 3 at The Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.

The Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award winners are:

Engineers
(L-R) Don Missad, Karole White, Wayne Henderson, Ed Fernandez

Radio Recipient: Don Missad, Chief Engineer, iHeartMedia of West Michigan
 
Don started his career at Channel 41 in Battle Creek in 1974.  In 1976, he moved to WOOD Radio in Grand Rapids and has remained there throughout many ownership changes. He is currently the Chief Engineer of iHeartMedia of West Michigan overseeing 12 transmitter sites.Throughout his career, Don has built and rebuilt many stations.  He is a creative problem solver and has saved radio stations thousands of dollars by rebuilding or repairing equipment.  By doing so, he has earned the nickname, ‘Shipshewana Don.’  He is a team player and has always done what’s best for the station. His passion, dedication and commitment to the field is evident in all that he does. Don is active in the community and has helped many small stations stay afloat.  In 2010, he was awarded “Volunteer of The Year” by the public radio station WYCE.  Don continues to strive to excellence in the field and currently is in the process of completely rebuilding all studios with the AOIP studio technology.

Television Recipient: Wayne Henderson, Director of Technical Services and Chief Engineer at CMU Public Broadcasting.

Wayne was raised in the thumb area of Michigan and graduated in 1975 from Carsonville – Pt. Sanilac High School in Carsonville, Michigan.  Wayne attended Ferris State College in Big Rapids, Michigan from 1975 to 1979 and obtained an Associate Degree in Radio Television Service Technology, an Associate Degree in Industrial Electronics Technology, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Electronics Technology.

Upon graduation in 1979, Wayne’s first job in television broadcasting was with Central Michigan University’s Public Broadcasting Department as a staff Maintenance Engineer; two years later he was hired as WFUM-TV’s Senior Media Engineer at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Wayne was promoted to Director of Engineering & Operations at UM Flint and served in that role from 1984 to 2009. In television engineering, Wayne managed an extensive student program developing engineering assistants for on-air switching, transmitter management, editing, and project work. Many of these students became full-time staff within the station and many more went on to work for area commercial TV Stations.

In late 2009, the University of Michigan sold the WFUM-TV transmission facilities to Central Michigan University. Wayne found himself back at Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting where his career started.

2015 BEA Winners Announced!

Robert Kolt

On May 2, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and the MAB Foundation (MABF)  presented the annual Broadcast Excellence Awards during ceremonies held at the Lansing Center.  Hosted by Kolt Communications President/CEO Robert Kolt, both commercial and public radio and television stations throughout the State of Michigan were honored for their accomplishments in 2015.  Every win demonstrated the professionalism of broadcast media and journalism.

This year’s Broadcast Excellence Awards Program set another record for entries with 867 entries submitted by 87 different broadcast stations from across the state.

Robert Kolt was assisted on the Lansing Center stage by MAB President/CEO Karole White and MAB Chairman (and Divisional General Manager for E.W. Scripps Company) Ed Fernandez, who handed out awards to each recipient.

A list of all awards and winning stations can be found here.

Included in the ceremonies were the recipients of the 2015 Station of the Year awards:

BEA2015
Broadcast Excellence Award Station of the Year Winners
Station of the Year Commercial Divisions
Commercial Radio Market 1
WJR-AM, Detroit
Commercial Television Market 1
WDIV-TV, Detroit
Commercial Radio Market 2
WOOD-AM/WOOD-FM, Grand Rapids
Commercial Television Market 2
WZZM-TV, Grand Rapids
Commercial Radio Market 3
WLEN-FM, Adrian
Commercial Television Market 3
WLNS-TV, Lansing
Commercial Radio Market 4 
WGHN-FM, Grand Haven
Commercial Television Market 4
WLUC-TV, Marquette
Station of the Year Public Divisions
Public Radio Group 1
WEMU-FM, Ypsilanti
Public Radio Group 2
Michigan Radio
(WUOM-FM/WFUM-FM/WVGR-FM), Ann Arbor
Public Television
WKAR-TV, East Lansing

The MAB and the MAB Foundation wish to congratulate all of the winners of the Broadcast Excellence Awards competition. The Broadcast Excellence Awards Program is one of the largest state broadcast awards programs in the nation and continues to set broadcast excellence standards.

Appeals Court Rejects Open Meetings Claims Against U of M

According to the Michigan Court of Appeals, informal meetings of the University of Michigan Board of Regents do not violate the state’s Open Meetings Act. The unanimous decision, in Detroit Free Press v. University of Michigan Regents (COA docket No. 328182), upheld a finding by the Court of Claims that the constitutional provision giving the universities autonomy, and requiring open meetings, does not create a requirement that the informal meetings be conducted openly.

Judge Amy Ronayne Krause, joined by Judge David Sawyer and Judge William Murphy, held that the Constitution stipulates that “formal sessions” of the governing boards of Michigan’s universities must be open to the public. The court also pointed out that the Supreme Court has held that formal sessions of a governing board do not include all sessions of the board, and informal, informational sessions – the meetings held before the formal meetings of the board – are not included in the Constitution’s definition.

FCC Looking to Change Public File Obligations

fcc-logo_dark-blueThe FCC released the tentative agenda for its May 25 Open Meeting. Topping the agenda is an item that could lift a burden from commercial broadcasters.  The FCC will vote on adopting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to eliminate the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public in their public inspection files. These letters are the last vestige of the physical public file for TV broadcasters who several years ago migrated the rest of their public file to an online system maintained by the FCC.

Commissioners will also consider potential updates to 911 network outage reporting requirements and rules for the bidding process to hand out more than $2 billion over the next decade in Connect America broadband funding. Here’s a Wheeler blog post explaining the agenda.

MAB is planning a web meeting on this topic, as soon as details are confirmed.