All posts by MAB Staff

Rich Fisher Passes

Rich Fisher
Rich Fisher

Longtime Michigan newsman and Detroit TV anchor Rich Fisher has passed away.

Fisher died March 24 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was 67.

Fisher spent 7 years at WJBK-TV (Detroit) before resigning in 1997.  He later anchored a late-news broadcast at WWJ-TV (Detroit) up until 2002.

Prior to WJBK, Fisher spent 12 years as an anchor and reporter for WXYZ-TV (Detroit).  His resume also included 5 years at WJRT-TV (Flint).  He began is career in 1968 at WATZ-AM/FM in Alpena.

Among Fisher’s awards was the 1993 Michigan Associated Press Award for individual reporting for Toxic Threat, an investigative report on chemical pollution and a 1986 national award from the American Bar Association for his series on Michigan’s jury system.

Visitation is set for 3-8 p.m. Wednesday (3/29) at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks in Clawson. A memorial service is 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Statewide Tornado Drill & Test – April 19, 2017

Graphic 005In cooperation with the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, and with the endorsement of the MAB Board of Directors, the National Weather Service will conduct a test with the Tornado Warning EAS Code at 1:00pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 as part of Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week. The MAB received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code (“TOR”) for this statewide test.

This test will be in conjunction with a statewide tornado drill. In addition to the EAS activation, your area may experience a test of tornado sirens which may alarm some members of the public. Your assistance in informing the public before the test is requested.

The MAB Board of Directors encourages all broadcasters and cable operators to participate. Other states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois have conducted similar successful tests in the past few years. Though encouraged, participation in this test by broadcast stations and cable systems is voluntary. This test was also endorsed by the State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC).

If there is a threat of actual severe weather on April 19, the test will be postponed until April 20, 2017. If there is a threat of severe weather on April 20 the test will be cancelled. The go/no-go decision will be made by 4pm the day prior by the National Weather Service, as well as the Statewide Tornado Drill Working group. MAB will post a go or no-go status on its homepage at http://www.michmab.com.

While the audio of this test will repeat several times in the script “This is a Test,” and with the EAS Tornado Code being used, the crawl on TV stations and cable stations will read “A Tornado Warning has been issued for…(and it will list your counties).” We ask that TV broadcasters and cable operators participating in the test to display a “This is a Test” graphic behind the crawl. 

The test will be originated on the NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) and these tests will will cover all counties in Michigan and will originate from the NWS offices at Grand Rapids, Gaylord, Marquette, Detroit/Pontiac, and Northern Indiana. They will be relayed via the State Relay (SR) and Local Primary (LP) stations.

What to Expect in Your Market on April 19, 2017

As noted above, its more than likely that your area may experience a test of tornado sirens in addition to the activation of the EAS tornado alert. All businesses, organizations, families, and individuals are welcome to participate in the voluntary statewide preparedness activity. Nearly all state of Michigan facilities will be involved.

How Broadcasters Can Help

This is an excellent opportunity for broadcasters to show the importance of radio and television in times of emergencies. We ask broadcasters to take an active role in their communities to alert listeners and viewers about not only the test alerts, but our role in providing vital information to the public in times of severe weather and other emergencies.

Local Emergency Management Coordinators have been encouraged to reach out to broadcasters in advance of the test.

***The MAB asks broadcasters to reach out to their local emergency management personnel regarding the activities in their own market. We ask you to cover it in your news, community affairs programs, popular personality shows and in your weather breaks.***

Please use Emergency Managers in newscast interviews and on your local morning shows and talk programming.

Not certain who to contact? The MAB has a list of statewide emergency management contacts available here.

A Statewide Tornado Drill Media Toolkit, including talking points, sample social media posts, and more. Download the kit here.

The MAB encourages you to begin on-air mentions and promotion of the tornado test no later than April 9 (ten days from the test).

There are recorded radio PSAs for severe weather week available:

PSA #1 :30 Download (Statewide Tornado Drill)

The State of Michigan has prepared graphics for use on your webpage and social media posts here.

Additional Information/Contacts

The official website for the Statewide Tornado Alert: http://michigan.gov/miready

Michigan State Police contact:

Dale R. George
Public Information Officer
Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Michigan State Police
7150 Harris Drive
Dimondale, Michigan 48821
Phone: 517-284-3962
Fax: 517-284-3857
[email protected]

Michigan Association of Broadcasters contact:

Dan Kelley
Technology Manager
Phone: (517) 484-7444
[email protected]

NAB Wants Changes to the FCC’s Repack Plan

NABAccording to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has petitioned the FCC to reconsider its “flawed” framework and timeline for repacking TV stations after the incentive auction, saying not to do so will hurt broadcasters and their viewers.

The auction’s official ending date is scheduled for the end of March and a final “Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice,” announcing who won what, is expected to be released mid-April. From that point, broadcasters remaining on the air have 39 months to move to new channels. The FCC has said a deadline is needed so that the spectrum forward auction bidders, paying almost $20 billion, can be freed up.

In a filing with the FCC March 17, NAB says the agency made mistakes in setting up the auction, including making it overly complicated and not letting stations that had dropped out back in, and created a framework for repacking that does not sufficiently take into account the “unprecedented logistical and operational challenges” both for the commission and industry.

Voters Could Ban Warrantless Searches Of Electronic Data

capitol3Under a House Joint Resolution C (HJR C), introduced by State Representative Jim Runestad (R-44), Michigan voters would get a chance to say whether the state’s Constitution should be amended to protect “electronic data and electronic communications” from warrantless searches. The constitution already states “the person, houses, papers, and possessions of every person shall be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures.” Cell phone call logs, text messages and computer files, along with other electronic data would be added to that list under the resolution.

According to a report in Gongwer, Runestad stated that “I think there is a crying need for this because some law enforcement agencies have interpreted the constitution to not include electronic communications. New technology exposes people’s private lives in unexpected ways and his amendment would give citizens the certainty of privacy protection.”

HJR C has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.

March 29 Vietnam Veterans Day

On Tuesday, March 28, Senator Mike Kowall (R-White Lake) and Senator Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage) introduced a resolution that the members of the Michigan Senate proclaim March 29, 2017, as “Vietnam Veterans Day.”

The resolution encourages all citizens of the state of Michigan to honor our Vietnam Veterans. Read the complete resolution below.

In conjunction with the proclamation, Sen. Kowall’s office released this video, highlight the 50th Anniversary Pin Ceremonies that have been held around the state to formally welcome Veterans home.


Resolution:

Senator O’Brien and Senator Kowall offered the following resolution:

A resolution commemorating March 29, 2017, as “Vietnam Veterans Day”.  Whereas “Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam Veterans and their families; and

Whereas, The Vietnam War was fought in Vietnam from 1961 to 1975, and involved North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in conflict with the United States Armed Forces and South Vietnam; and

Whereas, The United States became involved by serving in an advisory role to the South Vietnamese in 1961; and

Whereas, In 1965, United States Armed Forces ground combat units arrived in Vietnam and by the end of that year there were 80,000 United States troops in Vietnam with a peak of approximately 500,000 troops in 1969. Michigan residents joined with the rest of the nation, serving our country and our state with honor in Vietnam; and

Whereas, On January 27, 1973, the Treaty of Paris was signed, which required the release of all United States prisoners-of-war held in North Vietnam and the withdrawal of all United States Armed Forces from South Vietnam; by March 29, 1973, the United States Armed Forces completed the withdrawal of combat troops from Vietnam; and

Whereas, More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives in Vietnam and more than 300,000 members of the Armed Forces were wounded. More than 2,650 Michigan residents lost their lives in the Vietnam War; and

Whereas, It was not until 1982, that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. to commemorate those members of the United States Armed Forces who died or were declared missing-in-action in Vietnam; and

Whereas, Members of the United States Armed Forces who served bravely and faithfully for the United States during the Vietnam War were caught upon their return home in the crossfire of public debate about the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War; and
Whereas, March 29th marks the anniversary of the day that combat and combat support units withdrew completely from South Vietnam; and

Whereas, The members of the Michigan Senate support the establishment of a “Vietnam Veterans Day” as an appropriate way to honor those members of the United States Armed Forces who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and the 242,562 Vietnam veterans living in Michigan; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That the members of the Michigan Senate proclaim March 29, 2017, as “Vietnam Veterans Day”; and be it further  Resolved, That all citizens of the state of Michigan are encouraged to honor our Vietnam Veterans.

Statewide Tornado Test Scheduled April 19

Michigan Statewide Tornado DrillIn conjunction with Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, April 16-22, broadcasters and emergency management partners statewide are encouraged to participate in a statewide tornado drill at 1:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 19.

Test details and a severe weather prepardness handbook will be distributed to broadcasters this next week via email and on the MAB website.

With the endorsement of the MAB Board of Directors, the National Weather Service will conduct the test with the Tornado Warning EAS Code.  The MAB received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code (“TOR”) for this statewide test.

As with last year’s test, participation by broadcasters is voluntary.

In 2016, some areas in the state received multiple EAS alerts from the NWS weather radio.  After reviewing the results of last year’s test, the weather service has corrected the issues regarding those multiple alerts.

In addition to the EAS activation, areas of the state may also be testing outdoor tornado sirens,  which may alarm some members of the public. Your assistance in informing the public before the test is requested.

7 Features Radio Broadcasters Should Look for in a Smartphone App

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

 

According to eMarketer, people spend 86% of the time they spend on their smartphones using mobile apps, and only 14% of their time using a mobile web browser. If your radio station wants to reach its listeners through their phones, it’s not enough to have a mobile-responsive website; your station needs a mobile app as well.

What should your radio station look for when building a mobile app? Here are seven key features:

1. Streaming
The number one feature radio listeners look for in a smartphone app is the ability to stream the radio station. According to our 2016 Techsurvey, 84% of radio listeners own a smartphone. If they’ve downloaded your app, they can listen to your station wherever they are — at work, in the car, at the gym, at home, etc.
Seth-12. Registration/Data Collection
Once upon a time, advertisers were primarily interested in reaching the most consumers. Today, they are focused on reaching the right consumers. After all, a golf store doesn’t want to pay to reach a bunch of people who don’t play golf.

To connect your advertisers with the right people, your radio station will need to collect data about its listeners — above and beyond the data provided by Nielsen. Your radio station’s app can play a crucial role in that process. Make sure you are building an app that is capable of gathering data from listeners through registration forms, contest entries, social media integration, and more.

3. Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities
Digital revenue continues to be the best growth opportunity for radio broadcasters. According to a recent study by Borrell Associates and the Radio Advertising Bureau, digital revenue for radio stations is expected to grow by 22% in 2017. Make sure that your station’s app gives your sales team opportunities to generate revenue.

Seth-24. Push Notifications
A push notification is a message that pops up on a listeners mobile device, even when the app generating that notification isn’t currently being used. Push notifications are an effective way to alert your listeners to time-sensitive issues. For example, you may want to let listeners know when an on-air contest is happening, when tickets to a big concert go on sale, or when there’s an emergency in your community.

5. Social Sharing Buttons
As part of a Content Marketing strategy, social media is a very effective way to attract people to your radio station’s website. You want to make is easy for listeners to share your radio station’s online content, such as blogposts, on their social networks. When they do this, they bring their friends back to your website. If your mobile app is showcasing your station’s online content, make sure it also makes it easy for people to share that content.

6. Alarm Clock
In our 2016 Techsurvey, we saw the smartphone overtake the clock radio as the primary device used to wake people up for the first time. So if you want listeners to continue to wake up to your radio station, you’ll need an alarm clock feature in your app.
Seth-37. Podcasts
While podcast listening has seen steady growth over the years, it still hasn’t achieved mass adoption. In our 2016 Techsurvey, only 28% of radio listeners reported listening to a podcast in the last month. The reason for that is simple: Listening to a podcast requires several steps: You have to download a “podcatcher” app, find a podcast, subscribe to the podcast, and then download the latest episode.

Radio stations are very well-positioned to take advantage of the podcasting medium, in part because they can make it easier for their fans to listen to podcasts by including them in their mobile app. This cuts the number of steps down, making a station’s podcasts accessible to more people.

Mobile Strategy Webinar
Our sister company, jācapps, has built over one thousand radio station apps. Next month, join us as we co-host a free webinar with the jācapps team: “Mobile 101: What Every Radio Station Should Know About Mobile App Strategy.”  Register here.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

FCC Chairman Appears on WJR

WJR
(L-R) FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and WJR-AM’s Paui W. Smith

Last Friday (3/17), FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made a guest appearance on Paul W. Smith’s WJR-AM (Detroit) morning show.  The Chairman had been an occasional guest while serving as a Commissioner.

Pai called the station in advance to let them know he would be in town. He dropped by Smith’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration show, which was broadcast live from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.  See highlights of the show below:

The Robinson Report: Taste – Smell

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

OK – There’s personal bias here.

Michigan.

The return to The Great Lakes State two weeks ago to share ideas with The Michigan Association of Broadcasters was special.

Not only did we share ideas, but we reconnected with longtime friends.

Beyond the tremendous conference, Lansing’s Grand River and downtown area has been revitalized – and driving through the glorious state brought treasured memories.

The Pure Michigan radio creative also came to the top of mind – mesmerizing.

YOU can taste the spots at michigan.org or click here.

Do yourself a favor – don’t watch the Tim Allen voiced TV spots.

It might soil your theatre-of-the-mind.

Listen to just ONE of their radio spots – now.

See. Taste. Smell.

See the fog lifting from the first tee at Shamrock Hills.

Taste summer melting Sherman’s Ice Cream, dribbling off the chin.

Smell the late August water, while the sun sets on Grand Junction’s Saddle Lake.

Why can’t all radio creative be like this?

These are not ads – this audio subtly draws you to the flavor of our 26th state.

And – know that superior AUDIO bests VIDEO – every time.

It can be done.

The magic is in YOUR words – as they draw the senses into the reader’s mind.

Try this.

Write creative as though Tom Hanks is your new voice talent.

With copy no more than 12 words – the number before you need to breathe.

On every piece of imaging – or advertising.

Sure, you’ll need to engage the Right Brain.

But, the cold drink from the garden hose and the smell of Grandma’s Sunday chicken will be well worth it.

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 [email protected].

FCC Filings: WMXG-FM Acquired by Radio Results Network

RRN_300On March 21, 2017, an application was filed with the FCC to transfer the license of WMXG-FM (Stephenson) from Escanaba License Corporation to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC (Armada Media/Radio Results Network).

The asset purchase agreement sets a price of $325,000, including a building in downtown Escanaba.

AMC Partners already has an LMA in place for WMXG and its currently simulcasting its news/talk AM station, WCHT.

In a separate release posted on the Radio Results Network website, the company announced the purchase:

Armada Media Purchases WMXG Radio Frequency and Building

Armada Media, based in Fond du Lac, WI is pleased to announce the purchase of WMXG-FM, 106.3 and the building at 1101 Ludington Street in downtown Escanaba.

WMXG will join Bay Cities Radio – a 5 station group based in the Marinette & Menominee market and Radio Results Network – a 9 station group based in Escanaba, Marquette & Manistique.

“We are excited to be able to expand our coverage even further into the Central U.P. market as the premier media company in Upper Michigan. We have exciting plans for the building and frequency which we plan to unveil in the coming months,” says General Manager Jesse Huff. “This now gives us 15 radio stations in the Central U.P. that are each committed to great local radio and serving as a resource for the communities in which we serve. We now have even more resources and opportunities to offer our listeners and advertisers.”

Chris Bernier, President and CEO of Armada Media Partners says, “We plan to make this the crown jewel of broadcast studios for small market radio in the Midwest. We have some great ideas and this 12,000 square foot building gives us the structure to turn our vision into a reality.”

“We truly enjoy doing business in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” says Bernier. “We serve some amazing communities with one of the most experienced and talented staffs that you’ll find anywhere. This is a great opportunity for us further establish our roots in these communities.”

In addition to the stations in Upper Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin, Armada Media also owns radio stations in Watertown, South Dakota; North Platte, McCook and Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Ortonville, Minnesota.