WDIV-TV Receives NABEF Service to America Award

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) has announced that Graham Media Group’s WDIV-TV (Detroit) is the recipient of its 2017 Service to America Television Award.  This award recognizes a television station for the totality of its efforts and its commitment to excellence in serving its community.

In a press release, the NABEF writes “Through news coverage, philanthropy and community service, WDIV puts the needs of viewers first. When the city of Flint found itself in crisis, WDIV hosted a telethon, raising more than $1.13 million. WDIV also provided extensive coverage of the Flint water crisis, airing a primetime special and traveling to Washington, D.C., to cover developments on Capitol Hill. To address the opioid epidemic, WDIV ran numerous PSAs and provided significant news coverage to keep the conversation on drug addiction front and center. With Detroit having the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the U.S., WDIV created the “Arab in America” news series, which showed viewers personal stories of Arab Americans in their local community. In partnership with Bookstock, WDIV raised over $1.4 million for literacy and education programs in its community. The station’s commitment to education continued with its renovations of a school in the Detroit Public School Community District. This is just a small sampling of the work WDIV does to serve the local community.”

There were a total of six winners, in various categories, announced for the 2017 Service to America Awards.  Winners will be honored at the Celebration of Service to America dinner, June 20 in Washington.  For a complete list of winners and finalists, click here.

Michigan Spectrum Auction Summary

Last week, the FCC announced the results of its broadcast incentive auction and it appears that three Michigan television stations were successful bidders in the reverse auction.

As previously announced, both WCMZ-TV (Flint) and WHTV-TV (Jackson-Lansing) accepted bids to relinquish their spectrum.

WCMZ-TV, owned by Central Michigan University, has not yet announced a date in which they will discontinue operations.  The university received $14 million from the auction for the WCMZ spectrum.

WHTV-TV, owned by Spartan-TV, LLC announced via their website that they will be signing-off at midnight on April 30, 2017.  Spartan-TV sold their spectrum for just under $14 million.

The third Michigan station accepting an auction bid was WLNS-TV (Lansing), owned by Nexstar Media Group.  While the existing WLNS spectrum was sold for $13.6 million, the company has told the MAB that it will be entering a channel-sharing arrangement with WLAJ-TV (Lansing).  WLNS will retain its license, call letters, virtual channel assignment (6.1) and present programming.

On the mind of many Michigan television broadcasters is channel reassignments under the television band repack.  Out of 60 affected full-power and class A television stations in the state, 32 will be changing channels.  A complete list of stations and their new channel assignments, sorted by state and city is available here.

According to the CommLawBlog, LPTV stations also will be impacted by the channel reassignment and will need to prepare for displacements starting this fall.   Eric Wolita, who operates LPTV station WMNN-LD (Cadillac) told the MAB that he is “cautiously optimistic” that his station will be able to avoid displacement or otherwise suffer any significant impact as a result of the repack.

Wolita recently wrote an article on the spectrum auction and its impact on LPTV stations in TV Technology.  Read here.

FCC Releases Post-Auction Relocation List

According to a report from TVNewsCheck, the FCC has released details on the incentive auction results. Over $10 billion will be awarded to 175 winning broadcasters that elected to participate in the incentive auction. According to the FCC, 957 stations that did not participate in the auction will have to change channels.

The first set of stations to repack is scheduled for November 30, 2018. Stations are required to provide 30 days’ notice. The agency is offering information for over-the-air viewers on how to “rescan” their receivers to find new channels on their website here.

The auction raised $19.8 billion. Of that, over $10 billion will go to 175 winning broadcasters that elected to participate in the incentive auction. Of the winners, 30 stations will receive money for agreeing to move to a lower channel, 133 will relinquish their licenses and indicate their intent to remain on air through channel-sharing agreements with non-winning stations.

A full list of channel reassignments is available here. (Excel file download)

Full list of the winning stations is available here.

See the MAB NewsBriefs story on affected Michigan stations here.

State Senator Working on Bills to Block ISPs, Search Engines from Selling Info

Rick Jones
Sen. Rick Jones (R-24)

Senator Rick Jones (R-24) announced that he is working on legislation to protect the privacy of Michigan residents using the internet in light of the federal government’s recent actions to repeal internet privacy rules.  The rules would have required internet service providers to get consent before using or selling certain data for targeted advertising.

Jones requested two bills to be drafted that would: (1) block internet service providers from selling personal information without residents’ permission, and (2) stop search engines from doing the same. Data protected by the bills includes web browsing history, app usage history, geo location and financial and medical information. “In today’s digital economy, consumer information can be valuable and – if in the wrong hands – can be dangerous,” Jones said in a press release. “In the marketplace of information, each Michigan resident deserves the ability to have a say about what kind of data about them is being collected and sold. That is what my bills will do.”

Nominations Due April 28 for Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards!

Friday, April 28 is the deadline for nominations for the annual Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards.  The awards will be presented during the Awards Banquet at the MAB Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting, Tuesday, August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville.

Click here for more information on the qualifications and to fill out the form to nominate someone.

Check out the previous award recipients here.

Who Do You Know That Has Impacted Public Media?

View More: http://benjamindavidphotography.pass.us/mabsummer2016Nominations are now open for the MAPB Public Media Impact Award.  This year marks the 32nd year of honoring Michigan’s public broadcasters.

Two awards will be presented – one award for Donors and one award for Professionals – for their contribution to public broadcasting in Michigan. The awards will be presented at the Annual Awards Banquet as part of the August 2017 Advocacy Conference & Annual Meeting at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, MI, which is attended by owners and operators of broadcast stations, lawmakers and other dignitaries.


  • To recognize outstanding individuals involved in public broadcasting for their innovation and creativity.
  • To inspire others involved in public broadcasting to greater achievement in the field of public radio and television.
  • To increase awareness of public broadcasting and the contributions talented individuals make to the industry statewide.

Donors and Professionals involved in Michigan public radio or television are eligible for nomination. Nominations can be made by colleagues, supervisors and/or station managers. Activities for which the person is nominated may be long-term, to recognize lifetime contributions to public broadcasting, or more recent, to reflect a concentrated period of achievement.

Nomination Process
The Deadline for nominations and supporting material (i.e. letters of support, photos and videos) is Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

Visit the MAPB Award Page here for more information and to access the online nomination form.

Increasing Public Awareness Through Op-Ed Columns

In light of President Trump’s proposed budget, which would eliminate funding for public media and the arts, there has been a number of Op-Ed columns appearing in major newspapers around the country in support of public television and radio. Your MAB/MAPB News Briefs spotted a few and thought we’d share:

In the April 5, 2017 issue of the New York Times, Op-Ed Contributor Stanley McChrystal is author of Save PBS. It Makes Us Safer.   McChrystal writes: “Public broadcasting makes our nation smarter, stronger and, yes, safer. It’s a small public investment that pays huge dividends for Americans. And it shouldn’t be pitted against spending more on improving our military. That’s a false choice. This might seem like an unlikely position for me, a 34-year combat veteran. But it’s a view that has been shaped by my career leading brave men and women who thrive and win when they are both strong and smart. My experience has taught me that education, trusted institutions and civil discourse are the lifeblood of a great nation.”  Read the entire column here.

In the April 5, 2017 issue of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Louisville Public Media President Michael Skoler writes:
“Federal money provides just a bit of seed support for stations and the transmitters and equipment that allow programs to be shared across the nation. Those dollars are just six percent of the Louisville Public Media budget.  Federal money provides less than seven percent of PBS’s budget and less than one percent of NPR’s budget. The free market does many things well. Building community and a shared American experience is not one of them. Shared experience, by definition, is not elitist, it’s owned by everyone.”  Read Who needs PBS, NPR? Everyone here.

In the March 29, 2017 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Op-Ed Contributor Jennifer Ferro (General Manager of Public Radio Station KCRW) notes: “Public radio in particular is a critical part of the nation’s communications infrastructure. While commercial radio has cut costs by consolidating its operations into one or two main hubs, public radio stations are staffed and operated live. In rural areas, public radio stations often are the only live broadcast outlet. As in Marfa (Texas) during the wildfires, those stations provide vital information to their broadcast areas, and without federal funding, this crucial community function would surely disappear.”  Read Trump’s public broadcasting cuts will zero out live, local, real news here.

In the March 17, 2017 issue of the San Bernardino Sun, Bruce Baron, Chancellor of the San Bernardino Community College District, which operates public stations KVCR-FM-TV, authored a Op-Ed titled Federal defunding of PBS, NPR and KVCR could hurt our kids.  Baron: “Public television also provides 120,000 trusted and reliable learning tools for teachers, parents and home-schoolers nationwide. From Wild Kratts to Nature to NOVA, students and learners of all ages are exposed to the wonders of our world and the thrills of discovery and invention that can open doors to careers in high-demand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.”  Read more here.

Have an Op-Ed piece to share with MAB/MAPB News Brief readers?  Send a link to dkelley@michmab.com.

10 Places to Ask for Email Addresses on Your Radio Station’s Website

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

One of the most important questions you can ask as part of your radio station’s digital strategy is this: “When listeners come to our website, what do we want them to do?” We call these actions, that we want our website visitors to take, “goals.” Your website may have multiple goals, but one of them should definitely be to drive listeners to sign up for your email database.

The calls to action related to your website goals should be front and center on the website. Too often, I see radio station websites that bury their email signup forms among a lot of other clutter. When we conduct usability tests on radio station websites, we always ask our testers to try and sign up for the station’s email list. You’d be amazed how many of them have trouble doing so.

Set and Meet Expectations
Remember, when asking for people to give you their email address, always tell them what you’re going to send them (Blogposts? Concert listings? Contests?) and how often they can expect to receive emails from your station. Once you set those expectations, make sure you meet them.

To make it easy for listeners to sign up for your radio station’s email list, here are ten places on your website that you can place a box that asks listeners to register:

1. Pop-Up Windows
When used incorrectly, pop-up windows are incredibly annoying. Never let your station’s sales team use pop-up windows to advertise car dealerships or mattress stores.

However, pop-up windows can be extremely effective when asking visitors if they would like to sign up for your email list. Essentially, what you’re saying is, “You seem to like what you’re reading. Would you like us to deliver more of it to your inbox?”

This strategy can be extremely effective. I have seen websites increase their email registrations by 500% by deploying pop-up windows. In fact, these windows are the top source of email signups on our own website.

2. The Stream
Many listeners visit radio station websites specifically because they are interested in listening online. According to our 2016 Techsurvey, 71% of listeners are willing to register to stream the station, making this an ideal opportunity to collect email addresses.

3. The Sidebar
If your website has a static sidebar that appears on most of the site’s pages, use this prime real estate to collect email addresses. I like to see everything in the sidebar connect back to your website’s goals, so declutter the sidebar by removing unnecessary content, such as Facebook and Twitter widgets. (Note that everything in the sidebar on our website leads you to a form that captures email addresses.)

4. End of Posts
If a person gets all the way to the end of a blogpost or article on your site, that’s an indication that they liked it. Use this as an opportunity to ask them if they would like to receive more of your station’s content by email.

5. Contest Entry Forms
Of course, everybody who enters a contest should be added to your station’s email list. Make sure that your website’s contest entry forms are properly integrated with your email database.

6. Concerts Page
On radio station websites, the Concert Listing is usually one of the site’s most visited pages. Use this page as an opportunity to extend a specific invitation to listeners. Instead of vaguely asking them to join your station’s email list, ask them to register to receive emails with concert listings, announcements and discounts. Then set up an email campaign with concert information tailored to people who register on this page.

7. Morning Show Page
This is another page on your website that deserves an invitation to register for a specific email campaign. On this page, ask visitors if they would like to receive a daily or weekly recap of the morning show. Then set up the corresponding email campaign.

8. Freemium Content
Freemium Content” is content that is free but only accessible to people who register. For example, on our website, our guides and webinar recordings are “freemium.” If your station has online content that is compelling enough that people are willing to register to access it, this can be an effective way to drive email signups. For example, your radio station may want to make any artist interviews that are older than six months available online, but put them behind a form to capture email addresses.

9. The Comments Box
If you allow visitors to comment on your site’s posts, add a checkbox that enables them to quickly and easily register for your email list when they do.

10. The 404 Error Page
The 404 Error Page is the webpage that appears when a website can’t find the link that a visitor is looking for. It often includes a message like, “Oops! We can’t find the page that you’re looking for.”

Add an email registration box to this page on your site with a message like, “…but don’t leave empty-handed. Sign up for our email list and we’ll send you our best stuff every week!” The 404 page can drive a small but significant number of email registrations.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at mab@michmab.com or 1-800-968-7622.

The Robinson Report: Richard Pryor on the Video

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

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“We’ve got disco in eight tracks and cassettes in stereo – We’ve got rural scenes and magazines – We’ve got truckers on CB’s – We’ve got Richard Pryor on the video” The Load Out – Jackson Browne.

If you find LIVE people in broadcast studios today, take note of their performance.

There was a time, not so long ago, where talent had a tremendous amount of actual work.

Before air time, program hours needed assembling (by hand) – production on an analog machine.

Computers – nowhere to be seen.

Clearing AP wire (most times it was jammed)

Updating “The Weather Phone” with current temperatures, a requirement.

Transmitter readings – taken manually.

When Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty album debuted in the 1977, we dreamed of upgrading our CB radio from 19 to 40 channels.

Cassettes in Stereo’ were a BIG deal.

Broadcast studios were full of air talent – aching for their next show.

It also paid WAY less – as today.

For some of you this is a short trip down memory lane.

Others this may sound as distance as the horseless carriage.

May of 1961.

Newton Minow, in his speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, declared television as a vast wasteland.

Minow challenged the crowd by proclaiming, “Is there one person in this room who claims that broadcasting can’t do better?”

Phenomenal technology has created time efficiencies to create GREAT content.

Broadcasters – try creating just ONE brilliant content piece every hour.

Just one.

The end result for your audience will be – engaging.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.