Editorial: Ready for the Big One?

JohnLund_200By: John C. Lund
The Lund Consultants, Inc.

Spring has arrived (in some places with a last cold blast), and that means spring storms are not far away. This is the season for tornadoes, flooding, and (well, maybe not in Michigan), preparation for hurricane season.

Natural disasters and major storms are a platform for all broadcasters to provide outstanding coverage to their local communities. But while TV, cable, and online services require power, radio remains a medium where batteries allow continued service to update their listeners and community at any time. Your disaster plan should be in place, outlining how you cover the events that are most likely for your market.

  • Speaking of batteries, always have a healthy supply. Power goes quickly, as snowstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes have proven time and time again.
  • Your contact list is vital, and having preset staff assignments will lessen confusion.
  • Know how to reach all community leaders, including where they live.
  • Be ready to mobilize vehicles, as well as people. Provide necessary food, water, and sleeping space for your staff.
  • If your studio is compromised, have a backup location (maybe at your tower site).
  • Text often continues to work when cell voice service doesn’t. Having a text service for your audience is a strong feature during bad weather events.
  • Old two way radios can be a godsend when cell towers are down or overloaded.
  • Generators are good, but so is gas to operate them.
  • Most of all, involve your audience as eyes and ears. They can be your strongest reporters.

The Lund Consultants have decades of experience in helping stations assemble disaster plans and providing solid community service that translates to great ratings. A station is only as good as its coverage of the last disaster. Are you ready?

Create Your Disaster Plan

Tornado, oil slick, earthquake, hurricane…whatever the disaster, have a plan to cover the event better than any competitor. Don’t cede this service element to smart phones! See the Lund Disaster Stylebook – a how-to guide that details every step of advance planning, execution, and follow-up.

Reprinted from The Lund Letter.  Subscribe for free here.

Longtime Detroit Broadcaster Paul Carey Dies at 88

PaulCareyLongtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster Paul Carey passed away April 12 at the age of 88.

Carey spent 19 years broadcasting Tigers games with Ernie Harwell, joining him in the booth in 1973. He retired in 1991.  Carey also worked at WJR from 1956 until 1992 and served as a play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Pistons.

Carey was born in Mount Pleasant in 1928 and graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1946. He attended Central Michigan University from 1946 through 1948 before transferring to Michigan State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Speech, Radio, and Dramatics in 1950.

His professional broadcasting career started in 1949 when he was part of the original announcing staff of Mount Pleasant’s WCEN -AM.  In the fall of 1949, Carey was also part of the first-ever broadcast of Central Michigan University football.

In October 1950, he was drafted into the Army and served with the Fourth Infantry Division during the Korean War.

He returned to WCEN in the fall of 1952 before moving to Saginaw’s WKNX from 1953-56.  Carey then moved to Detroit’s WJR in the summer of 1956.

Carey was a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.  He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Nancy, and his nieces and nephews.

As of this writing, funeral arrangements were pending.

Mitch Albom wrote a great tribute to Carey here.  The staff of WJR-AM shares their memories of Carey on their website here.  And WXYZ-TV posted this video tribute to him:

WKQI-FM’s “Mojo In The Morning” Wins Award at WWRS

(L-R) Spike, Mojo and
(L-R) Spike, Mojo and Shannon

WKQI-FM’s (Detroit) “Mojo In The Morning” received national honors this past week, winning the Station Air Talent of the Year Award at the Worldwide Radio Summit (WWRS) held in Los Angeles.  The award was announced during the 2016 Industry Awards Luncheon held at Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

“Mojo in the Morning,” with hosts Mojo, Shannon, and Spike, has been airing on WKQI since 2000.

WKAR Radio Host Mark Bashore Spotlighted in Business Magazine

MarkBashore_300The Longtime Lansing market radio personality and present Managing Editor and Host of WKAR-FM’s (East Lansing) “Current State” program was the spotlight of a recent article in Greater Lansing Business Monthly.  In the article, Bashore discusses his career, the changes he has observed in the radio industry over the years, and his current program at WKAR.

Bashore started his career in 1971 doing campus radio at Michigan State University, later went to WWCK-FM in Flint, WILS-AM in Lansing, WEEI-FM in Boston, and back to Lansing at WFMK-FM for 19 years.  He joined WKAR in 2007.

Read the Greater Lansing Business Monthly article here.

Committee Considers Public Threat Alert Legislation

capitol3Last week, the Michigan House Committee on Communications and Technology, heard testimony on House Bill 5442 – the Public Threat Alert. The bill requires that Michigan State Police (MSP) establish and maintain a public threat alert plan to rapidly disseminate useful information to radio, television, and through wireless emergency alerts (WEA). The bill states that the public threat alert plan shall be activated only in accordance with the policies created by the MSP. HB 5442 contains no mandates for broadcasters, and voting on the bill is is expected next week.

RTNDA Announces 2016 Murrow Award Winners

MurrowThe RADIO TELEVISION DIGITAL NEWS ASSOCIATION (RTNDA) has announced its Regional EDWARD R. MURROW Award winners for 2016. There were 654 winners in 14 categories and 14 regions throughout the country.

Congratulations to our Region 7 Murrow Award winners here in Michigan:

Large Market Radio

Continuing Coverage
Lead in Flint Water
Michigan Radio Ann Arbor, MI

Investigative Reporting
Sexual Assault Investigations at MSU: A Broken System, and the Efforts to Fix It
Michigan Radio Ann Arbor, MI

News Documentary
Not Safe to Drink
Michigan Radio Ann Arbor, MI

Reporting: Sports
This Community Finally Got What People Have Been Asking For All Season: A Home Football Game
Michigan Radio
Ann Arbor, MI

Small Market Television

Funeral For A Fallen Firefighter
Lansing, MI

Continuing Coverage
Flint Water Emergency
Flint, MI

News Series
Friends for Life: Men’s Health
Lansing, MI

Lansing, MI

Large Market Television

Breaking News
Portland Tornado
Grand Rapids, MI

Continuing Coverage
It’s A Hard Thing To Watch A Man Die
Detroit, MI

Investigative Reporting
Delayed Firefighter Death Benefit
Grand Rapids, MI

Reporting: Sports
Big Ann
WZZM-TV Grand Rapids, MI

Brent Ashcroft
WZZM-TV Grand Rapids, MI

Snyder Announces Staff Changes

Rick-Snyder_300Governor Rick Snyder (R) recently announced several changes in his Executive Office. This includes:

Mike Zimmer, now the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, into the post of cabinet director; and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Chief Deputy Director Shelly
Edgerton to LARA director.

Elizabeth Clement, currently Snyder’s deputy chief of staff and cabinet secretary, will become chief legal counsel, succeeding Jim Redford, who will serve as the interim director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. Beth Emmitt, who has been Snyder’s director of scheduling since he took office, was promoted to deputy chief of staff.

“Improving the culture of state government to ensure we are continuing to put people first is as important in my office as it is across all departments,” Snyder said in a statement. “The people I’m appointing to these new roles understand that our state faces many challenges right now but that in Michigan we don’t shy away from problems – we tackle them head on to make things better for everyone.”

MAB PEP Campaign Wins Pinnacle Award for Public Service

MVAA was honored with the 2016 PACE Pinnacle Award for its statewide advertising campaign, “One call. One stop. One agency. 24/7 veteran resources.” Media partners Edge Partnerships and Such Video worked with MVAA to research, plan and execute the concept, which included billboards, television, radio and digital ads. From left: Angela Witwer, Edge Partnerships president; Suzanne Thelen, MVAA director of communications and veteran engagement; Lynn Sutfin, MVAA web portal and veteran engagement strategist; Danielle Lenz, Edge Partnerships director of public relations and social media; and Lorri Rishar, Edge Partnerships CEO.
From left: Angela Witwer, Edge Partnerships president; Suzanne Thelen, MVAA director of communications and veteran engagement; Lynn Sutfin, MVAA web portal and veteran engagement strategist; Danielle Lenz, Edge Partnerships director of public relations and social media; and Lorri Rishar, Edge Partnerships CEO.

A current MAB PEP Campaign airing for The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVVA) was recently honored with a Pinnacle Award for its “One call. One stop. One agency. 24/7 veteran resources” campaign.  The campaign invites those who have served to connect with MVAA and the benefits they’ve earned.

The agency was recognized in the public service campaign category, receiving the top honor from the Central Michigan chapter of the Public Relations Society of America during the 2016 PACE Awards celebration, held April 14.

The statewide advertising campaign featured four veterans’ transition from active duty, getting ready for a job interview, exercising with a service dog, and enjoying retirement. The campaign serves to notify Michigan’s 660,000 veterans that the agency is with them every step of the way.

Media partners Edge Partnerships and Such Video worked with MVAA to research, plan, and execute the concept, which included statewide television advertisements, billboards, radio, and digital ads.

The campaign was boosted via the Michigan Association of Broadcaster’s Public Education Partnership (PEP) program, as well as the Non-Commercial Sustaining Announcement (NCSA) program beginning in November 2015 and will continue through October of this year.   The program helps non-profit organizations and government agencies bring attention to their issues, services, and programs by utilizing the airtime from 386 member radio and television stations to connect services with communities.

Here is the award-winning spot that aired statewide:

The 2016 PACE Awards recognized mid-Michigan’s best public relations and communications tactics and campaigns during the 2015 calendar year. The annual ceremony honors public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed a contemporary issue with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

MVAA was honored with the Pinnacle Award for best public service campaign, recognizing programs that advance public understanding of a societal issue, problem or concern.

WLEN-FM Hosts Auction to Raise Money for Local Lions Club

WLENOn April 23, Lenawee Broadcasting’s WLEN-FM (Adrian) will host and air an all-day radio auction for the Adrian Breakfast Lions Club.  Lions Club members will be auctioning off merchandise and services donated by businesses, individuals, and organizations. The merchandise and services will be described on-the-air and listeners will bid by telephone. Every business that donates will have its name mentioned along with the item.

In the past 19 years, the auction has raised over $211,000 to help citizens needing assistance in our community. They have provided over $120,000 in vision care, $22,000 in scholarships and classroom supplies for the visually impaired, $20,000 for supporting youth projects, and $19,000 for the Leader Dog program of Michigan.

The Biff Celebrates 40 Years!

WBFH_250WBFH-FM, the longtime radio station run out of Bloomfield Hills High School, is celebrating 40 years on the air this year.  The station, better known to listeners as “The Biff,” celebrated its anniversary with a dedication ceremony for its new studio at the new Bloomfield Hills High School this past Saturday, April 16.

WBFH general manager and electronic media teacher Pete Bowers, who has been with the station since it started in 1976, told G&G Newspapers that he has seen it undergo many changes over the years, from playing records and cassettes to using hard drives and computers to play music.

Photo courtesy of Pete Bowers, WBFH-FM.
Photo courtesy of Pete Bowers, WBFH-FM.

Over the years, the station has been nationally recognized, most recently earning  21 awards from the 76th annual International Radio and Webcasting Conference, including four first-place awards, and was a finalist for Best High School Radio Station.

The Biff has been honored five times over the last eight years with the High School Radio Station of the Year Award from the MAB Foundation Student Broadcast Awards.  In addition, its student staff has won numerous awards over the years.

Among the alumni of the station are Detroit television personalities JoAnne Purtan and Heather Catallo, as well as Jake Neher, former Michigan Public Radio Network reporter who is now with WDET-FM (Detroit).