Michigan Radio Welcomes NPR’s 1A to Ann Arbor

Joshua Johnson

Michigan Radio and the Wallace House will welcome NPR’s daily talk show, 1A, to Ann Arbor for a live broadcast and a special event featuring host Joshua Johnson this February.

The special event, which is free and open to the public, is entitled “Speak Freely: Debating the First Amendment in a Changing America.” Host Joshua Johnson and a panel of guests will examine the first amendment, free speech and what it means in a divided America. The topic is particularly timely as the University of Michigan and other universities debate allowing white supremacist Richard Spencer to speak on their campuses. The “Speak Freely” discussion will be held on Thursday, February 15 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Rackham Auditorium on the University of Michigan campus.

In addition to this event, 1A will originate the national broadcast of their show from Michigan Radio’s Ann Arbor studios on Thursday and Friday, Feb 15 and 16. 1A is a production of WAMU and normally broadcasts from studios in Washington, DC. As part of their efforts to reflect conversations taking place across America, 1A travels to member stations across the country several times per year. Along with other yet to be determined topics, the live broadcast from Ann Arbor will include the shows regular Friday national and international news round up.

With a name inspired by the First Amendment, 1A explores important issues such as policy, politics, technology, and what connects us across the fissures that divide the country. The program airs on more than 200 NPR stations across the country and can be heard on Michigan Radio every Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Joshua Johnson has hosted 1A since the show premiered in January 2017. Every day, Johnson convenes a conversation about the most important issues of our time. Before joining WAMU, he co-created and hosted the provocative nationwide public radio series, Truth Be Told, which explored race in America. Johnson began his public radio career helping launch a unique regional news partnership between Miami’s NPR station, WLRN, and The Miami Herald. Then he served for over five years as morning news host for KQED in San Francisco.

Michael Walenta Celebrates 30 Years at WGVU Public Media

(center) Michael Walenta, WGVU General Manager, surrounded by staff.

On January 11, Michael Walenta, WGVU (Grand Rapids) General Manager, celebrated 30 years of leading the station.  Under Michael’s leadership, WGVU has grown from from one FM station and one TV station (that was on four hours a night) to a multi-platform Public Media station with two FM NPR stations, two AM Real Oldies & NPR stations, two TV stations with five channels each, WGVU Digital Studios, and WGVU Engage. Under his leadership WGVU has become a vital piece of the fabric in the West and Southwest Michigan community.

Michael, a Petoskey native, is married to Nancy.  Along the way, they’ve welcomed two children: Kevin, who is currently a Producer/Director at Fox 13 News in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Kristen, who is attending Law School in Grand Rapids.

Congratulations to Michael for 30 years at WGVU Public Media!

The Robinson Report – Perception

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.

Kevin Robinson

By: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“Your perception will determine your reception” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive

Elwood, Indiana.

A small town filled with solid Americana Values tucked in the belly of The Hoosier State.

Also, home to the headquarters of The Red Gold brand.

Their executive facilities are housed in a former elementary school – with few waypoint markers to their gates.

When entering the building, there’s no buzzer – or passcode – for entry.

Inside this family-owned generational business, you’ll find a welcoming reception.

Offering warm coffee.

And a stroll through their museum.

Yes – museum.

After your tour and out of Elwood you’ll find another national – family owned brand.

Just make the short 22 minute trip west on IN 28 then south on IN 213.

You’ll run right into Beck’s Hybrids.

Enter Beck’s reception and you’re suddenly in a faith based bookstore.

With several choices in your flavor of coffee.

A short stroll across their Atlanta, Indiana campus – take their self-guided museum tour.

But not before you graze their swag-filled  Country Store.

In stark contrast, 8 minutes north of Atlanta is another national Ag brand.

Publicity traded and corporately owned with non-descript, almost barracks like, buildings.

Outfitted with cold, gray wired phones.

You’ll need to ID your party in a laminated book before being – ‘buzzed – in’.

Red Gold and Beck’s Hybrids offer this sort of hospitality because – it’s in their DNA.

This week, when you’re entering your reception arena, take stock of what is offered.

You’ve walked through it a hundred or perhaps a thousand times.

Does your reception resemble a Hard Rock Café or a bank lobby?

It’s the first portal to your clients.

Is YOUR DNA on display in your reception?

That determines – your perception.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top Three 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 he has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin was a featured speaker at the 2017 Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) in Lansing.  He lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Martyn Horspool Will Break Down ATSC 3.0 at the #MABshow

Martyn Horspool

Drawing on four decades of international broadcast engineering experience, Martyn Horspool will break down ATSC 3.0 at the 2018 Great Lakes Media Show.

The Great Lakes Media Show, formerly known as the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC), will take place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.

Horspool currently serves as the product manager for television transmission at GatesAir in Mason, Ohio. He will present the following two ATSC 3.0-themed sessions:

Overview of the ATSC 3.0 Standard (March 6 | 2:00 p.m.)
The existing ATSC 8-VSB standard has been around for more than 20 years. A new standard for digital over-the-air transmission, ATSC 3.0, has been developed which brings with it some major improvements, together with a host of advanced features. The ATSC 3.0 standard has been designed to merge IP with broadcasting together with unprecedented robustness, performance and flexibility. This session will cover the details of the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer and explain some of the improvements and what they may mean for the broadcaster.

ATSC 3.0 – Characteristics and Transmission Requirements (March 7 | 11:30 a.m.)
ATSC 3.0 promises to bring with it many advanced features and capabilities which will enhance the future of over-the-air television. Since the ATSC Physical Layer uses an OFDM-based modulation scheme, several important differences between it and the current ATSC 8-VSB modulation are apparent. Some of these differences will impact the ability of existing transmission equipment (transmitter, RF system, RF line and antenna) to successfully and reliably perform their intended tasks. This presentation will cover some of the key areas that need to be investigated and provide some insight as to how to prepare for the transition to ATSC 3.0 transmission.

Horspool has been employed in the broadcast industry for 43 years, starting as a transmitter maintenance engineer with the Independent Broadcasting Authority in the United Kingdom in 1974. His move to Harris Broadcast Division in 1980 was the start of a long career that has paved the way to his current role, including numerous positions in service, engineering, sales support and product management. He has participated and presented at major broadcast conferences worldwide and has authored numerous publications and technical papers.

Discover the full line up of dynamic speakers and register to attend this year’s conference at GreatLakesMediaShow.com 



5 Browser Extensions to Boost Your Productivity

Seth Resler

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.

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

I spend hours on my web browser each day. In fact, without a browser, I would be unable to do my job. Over the years, I’ve incorporated a number of browser extensions (Mozilla calls them “Add-Ons”) into my daily routine. Extensions are third party plugins that add extra functionality to a web browser. When you install a browser extension, they usually add an extra button to the toolbar.

Here are some of my favorites that you may want to use:

1. Hootsuite’s Hootlet
I work with a ton of social media accounts. In addition to running my personal Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts, I handle accounts for Jacobs Media, my podcast The D Brief, and various other side projects. I find that the easiest way to manage all of these accounts is to use a social media management tool. While I know a lot of people who are fans of TweetDeck, I have always been partial to Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to manage all of your social media accounts from a single place.

One of my favorite features of Hootsuite is a browser extension called the Hootlet. The Hootlet allows you to quickly and easily share the webpage you are on to your social media accounts. Whenever I come across an article that I think will interest Jacobs Media followers, I press the Hootlet button and a pop-up window appears. I write a quick post and share the webpage on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in one fell swoop.

Get the Hootsuite Hootlet for Chrome or Firefox. TweetDeck has a similar browser extension called Tweetdeck Launcher for Chrome.

2. Pushbullet
I use many different devices, and they don’t always use the same operating system. For example, I have an Android phone, but an iPad and an iMac. Sometimes I want to share something between these different devices. For example, I often begin writing my blogposts in an app called Drafts on my iPad before moving it to my desktop so I can import the text into WordPress and format it. Other times, I’ll take photos on my phone at an event like CES and then want to share them with my iMac to use them in a blogpost.

I have found the Pushbullet app to be incredibly useful for pushing content from one device to another. It’s often faster and easier than using a thumb drive or even a filesharing service like Dropbox. And, of course, Pushbullet offers a browser extension. This allows me to push content to or from a browser to one of my other devices. You can get it for Chrome or Firefox.

3. Priceblink
Priceblink is one of several browser extensions that comes in handy when looking to buy something online. When you go to a product page on a website like Amazon, Priceblink will check other sites to see if any of them are selling the same product for less. It will also let you know if there are any coupon codes for that product floating around the web. I frequently find myself saving money with the Proceblink extension, which you can get for Chrome or Firefox.

4. Bulk URL Opener
I am known for having an absurd number of browser tabs open at all times. For example, I will open dozens of URLs at once when doing show prep for my weekly podcast, The D Brief. To do this, I use an extension called the Bulk URL Opener. It allows me to paste a list of URLs into a pop-up window and open them all at once. If you have a list of websites that you want to check quickly, such as a list of concert venues in your market, this extension comes in quite handy. You can get it for Chrome, or a similar extension for Firefox.

5. MightyText
Like many people, I find text messaging to be an incredibly convenient form of communication. But when I’m working on the computer, I find it annoying to constantly have to pick up my phone to respond to people. That’s why I use MightyText, an app that allows me to send and receive text messages on my computer. Like these other apps, MightyText has a browser extension that allows you to easily correspond with people from within Chrome.

Do you have a web browser extension that you recommend? Tell us about it in the comments.

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

Interlochen Sells East Jordan Station

On January 8, Interlochen Center for the Arts filed an application to sell WICV-FM (East Jordan) to Northern Christian Radio for $150,000.

WICV is a class A FM, operating on 100.9 mHz with an ERP of 2.8kw at 488 feet HAAT.  The station is presently an affiliate of the Interlochen Public Radio’s “Classical IPR” network.  Interlochen has owned the station since 1990.

Interlochen’s other stations include WIAA-FM (Interlochen), WICA-FM (Traverse City), WIAB-FM (Mackinaw City), WLMN-FM (Manistee) and WHBP-FM (Harbor Springs).

Northern Christian Radio owns WPHN-FM (Gaylord), WOLW-FM (Cadillac) and WTHN-FM (Sault Ste. Marie).

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Dick Taylor

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.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC

For 13 years I was the general manager of WFPG AM/FM in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The stations were successful. I was active in Rotary, the local chambers of commerce and community social programs in addition to running the radio stations.

We did the state’s first LMA (Local Marketing Agreement) adding a third radio station to our operation.

We had a print division that did zoned coupon mailers and produced an annual calendar for local advertisers.

I was in the zone, my comfort zone.

Success Is a Poor Teacher

When new ownership took over the radio stations in my 13th year of managing them, one of the owners was to be the “managing partner.” He didn’t have the equity stake to invest, so his contribution was to move to Atlantic City and manage the stations for the group. That meant that everyone in the radio stations were needed but me.

As I set out to find a new radio general manager position, I would be faced with something new that the broadcasting industry had never had to deal with before: consolidation. Consolidation was like a game of musical chairs, only in this game when the music stopped, you were out of a job.

I thought that my long period of success would be a plus in finding my next position but kept hearing “you’ve been at the same place for over a decade?” I would soon learn that this wasn’t perceived as a positive.

My Road Trip

Eventually, I would land my next GM position and move to a new state. That would lead to a series of moves every two to three years as consolidation kept changing the landscape of the radio industry as we knew it.

Delaware, Maryland, Iowa, Pennsylvania and back to New Jersey a couple of more times would be my life over the next decade.

While I never would have chosen this path, what I would realize was that I learned more over this period of time than being in the same place for the previous decade. That being successful and in your comfort zone is a poor teacher.

College Professor

Seven years ago, I made a career change. I went from market manager of a cluster of radio stations for Clear Channel to broadcast professor at Western Kentucky University. I was moving out of my comfort zone BIG TIME.

That first year was a lot of heavy lifting as I created every course, every lesson, every test for each of my classes.

Eventually, I grew to a new comfort zone at the university. I was on university senate and several committees. I graduated from the university’s master advising certification program and advised around 100 students each semester. I graduated from the university’s police academy and my office was a campus “safe space” for students, faculty and staff. And I was active in state broadcast associations along with founding and directing a radio talent institute on campus.

Why Comfort Zones Are Bad for You

Staying in a comfort zone feels peaceful and relaxing. Comfort zones are not challenging. They become limiting and confining. They can produce a sense of boredom.

I know I certainly had that feeling of “Is That All There Is?” during my long tenure in Atlantic City.

Change is the only constant you can depend on in the world. Nothing stays the same. If you’re not growing then you’ve “gone to seed.”


What Would Jobs Do?

My fiancé shared with me the last words of Steve Jobs and it’s illuminating.

Jobs said that in the eyes of others his life had been the symbol of success. However, Jobs found that apart from his work, his life held little joy.

Steve had stayed in his comfort zone.

Once you’ve accumulated enough money for the rest of your life, you need to change your focus to pursuing objectives that are not related to wealth.

It is why I started this media mentorship blog in January 2015.

Happy New Year 2018

The new year is traditionally a time when we all look in the mirror of our lives and contemplate where we want to go next.

If you want to grow in 2018, decide to get out of your comfort zone.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”  – Steve Jobs

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

20 Digital New Year’s Resolutions for Your Radio Station

Seth Resler

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.

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

It’s that time of year when we set goals for ourselves and our radio stations. What will your 2018 digital strategy resolutions be? If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas:



Email Marketing


Other Departments


This is the year to take your radio station’s digital strategy to the next level. Let me know if I can help.

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

Michigan Radio Brings “Snap Judgement” to Kalamazoo

Glynn Washington

Michigan Radio (WUOM/WFUM/WVGR-FM) will welcome the hit public radio storytelling show Snap Judgment to Kalamazoo for a live show on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:00 PM.

Snap Judgment is a popular public radio storytelling show that airs on Michigan Radio and over 365 public radio stations nationwide. Created by Detroit-native and University of Michigan graduate Glynn Washington, Snap delivers a raw, intimate, musical brand of narrative — daring audiences to see the world through the eyes of another. Snap Judgment Live features the world’s finest storytellers, on stage, backed by the Snap Judgment band, Bells Atlas. The show crafts powerful multi-platform experiences (radio, stage, screen) that deliver raw, intimate narratives – giving audiences a glimpse into the lives of a stranger.

Tickets for Snap Judgment Live in Kalamazoo will go on sale to the public on Friday, January 12, 2018.

Snap Judgment Live is co-presented by the Kalamazoo State Theatre and will be coming to West Michigan for the very first time. The show last appeared in Michigan at a sold out performance in Royal Oak in December 2015.

Snap Judgment can be heard on Michigan Radio every Saturday at 1 and 9 p.m. 

WDIV Partners with Nextdoor in Southeastern Michigan

On January 10, WDIV-TV (Detroit) announced a partnership with Nextdoor, a free and private social network for neighborhoods. WDIV will be using Nextdoor to enhance conversations around local news in communities across the area.

WDIV will not only post relevant and interesting news stories to Nextdoor neighborhoods in Metro Detroit, but engage residents in the stories it works on. Through open-ended questions and Nextdoor polls, WDIV will have the opportunity to hear directly from residents about the various issues affecting them.

“Discussing local news with neighbors is an essential way to build a strong community and an informed civic dialogue,” said Dustin Block, WDIV’s digital executive producer. “We hope that the stories we share lead to further community discussions about the topics that matter most to you.”

This partnership gives WDIV the opportunity to interact with local people about the stories and conversations that matter most to them. However, WDIV will not have access to private neighborhood conversations or member data and can only see neighbor replies to the posts it shares.

If there is an article/story that WDIV does not share that residents would like to discuss with neighbors, participants can use the ‘Share on Nextdoor’ icon that will be accessible on all of WDIV’s news stories.

Viewers can visit WDIV-Local 4’s Nextdoor profile page to find locally relevant stories from the station’s staff. To join the neighborhood news conversation, residents can sign up for Nextdoor by going to www.nextdoor.com/wdiv and entering an email address and home address.