All posts by MAB Staff

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters

According to the Broadcast Law Blog, several dates in September are of particular importance to broadcasters. The lowest unit rate window started on September 9. This means that commercial broadcasters should be offering the lowest unit charges to political candidates because of the 60-day window before the November election. Annual regulatory fees for all commercial broadcasters are due by September 27. Any commercial broadcaster that cumulatively owes more than $500 must file its fees by that date. On September 28, the FCC will conduct its second nationwide test of the EAS system. This is the first test that will use, not only the over-the-air “daisy chain” system of transmitting alerts by passing them through over-the-air station-to-station transmissions, but also will test the Internet-based CAPS system. The FCC open meeting is scheduled for September 29, and the agenda includes set-top boxes, ways to promote independent video programming and relaxing foreign ownership rules.

FCC Reverse Auction – Stage 2

fcc-logo_dark-blueSeptember 13 marked the beginning of the second stage of the television incentive auction. The FCC is now trying to clear 114 MHz of TV spectrum to repurpose for wireless uses. If the auction is successful in clearing this target, channels 31 and below will remain in the TV band. Adding more channels to the TV band allows more stations to be repacked in their pre-auction band, the FCC explained in the public notice. This means that stations that were provisionally winning after Stage 1 will become “unfrozen” in Stage 2, and will be presented decreasing price offers during the bidding rounds. This process will result in lowering the overall costs of clearing spectrum for wireless use. The Public Notice also includes a warning that any broadcaster who filed an application to potentially participate in the auction is still bound by the rules against prohibited communications.

Committee Votes to Amend FOIA

capitol3The Michigan House Oversight and Ethics Committee unanimously voted in support of HB 5826. This legislation amends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to prohibit a public body, that receives a request for information, from commencing a civic action under the act, against the requesting person or entity.

The intent of the bill is to address the chilling affect that may occur if public bodies are allowed to sue citizens, or news organizations, for exercising the right to seek information about the actions of publicly elected officials. The bill now moves to the House Floor for a vote.

EAS National Test Next Week!

eas-logo_300The next national test of the Emergency Alert System is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 28, 2016.  (A secondary test date is October 5, 2016, “if necessary”). EAS participants must be prepared to take part in a test on both the primary and alternate test dates. All EAS participants are required to participate in this nationwide test.  This test will use the National Periodic Test (NPT) code, the location code for “All of United States.” FIPS number: 000000; and will be issued via FEMA Open IPAWS.

The results of the nationwide EAS test will be captured and analyzed using the new EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).  The FCC encourages EAS Participants to take steps to prepare for the test.   The public notice is available here.

Important National Test Reporting Deadlines

1) EAS participants shall file the “day of test” information sought by ETRS Form Two before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 28, 2016.  This is the same day as the national test.

2) EAS participants shall file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three on or before November 14, 2016.

The FCC’s ETRS page is here.  The Broadcasters Desktop Reference website has a resource for broadcasters “Meet the ETRS.”  (Visit that site here.)

All EAS participants were required to register with ETRS and complete the filing on ETRS Form One on or before August 26, 2016.

In addition, the FCC has released an updated EAS Handbook available for download to print locally here.  A copy of the Handbook must be located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations when an operator is required to be on duty and be immediately available to staff responsible for administering EAS tests.  Please note that the new EAS Handbook requires licensees to “fill-in” information on various pages throughout the handbook and that stations should review the Handbook before placing it in a normal duty position.

There is also a Microsoft Word version of the EAS Handbook available here that may aid some stations in customizing the handbook for their operations.

Detroit Television Personality John Kelly Passes

(L-$) John Kelly and Marilyn Turner.
(L-R) John Kelly and Marilyn Turner.

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) reports that Detroit television TV news and entertainment icon John Kelly passed away this past Sunday afternoon (9/18) at age 88.

Kelly was an anchor for WJBK-TV  (Detroit) beginning in 1965. In the early 1970s, he moved to WXYZ-TV and worked alongside Bill Bonds, Marilyn Turner and Al Ackerman.  He married Turner in 1975.  Both Kelly and Turner hosted the long-running morning show “Kelly & Company.”  The show was described by the Detroit Historical Society as a “personable, guest-oriented talk show taped in front of a live studio audience.  As Detroit’s premiere local talk show, it became a key component of Channel 7’s image in the community.”

Kelly is survived by Turner, his brothers Daniel and Kenneth, three children and six grandchildren.  No services have been announced as of this writing.

See WXYZ-TV’s story and tribute here.
See WJBK-TV’s story and tribute here.

Save the Date: BCBC 2016

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We’re busy planning the MABF’s largest student conference of the year, the Broadcasting Career Builder Conference!

DATE & LOCATION
Friday, November 18
Eagle Eye Golf Club & Conference Center, Bath MI
8:00am-4:00pm

This conference attracts hundreds of students eager to learn about the field of broadcasting. For many students this conference is the key factor in their decision to pursue broadcasting beyond high school. We need YOU to help educate them on this exciting and fast paced industry!

The MABF is looking for professional volunteers to participate as mentors in the BCBC Speed Networking sessions. As a mentor, you’ll meet with students face to face and share your experiences and “insider tips.”

If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact Alisha Clack at the MABF, clack@michmab.com or 517-484-7444.

MABF Fall 2016 Career Fairs

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It’s time for the MAB Foundation’s Fall Career and Networking Fairs and we want YOU to be a part of the action!

DATES & LOCATIONS

Tuesday, October 11
Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant
12:00pm-3:00pm

Thursday, October 20
Specs Howard School of Media Arts, Farmington Hills NEW LOCATION!
4:00pm-7:00pm

Thursday, October 27
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
12:00pm-4:00pm

In an effort to connect employers and schools with potential employees, students and interns; and to assist stations with the current EEO requirements, the MAB Foundation will once again be holding regional Broadcast Media Career & Networking Fairs throughout the month of October.

These events attract hundreds of students and young professionals eager to meet with you and continue their career journey in the broadcast and media industries.

Please join us! Click here for complete event details.

Reserve your booth here: ONLINE REGISTRATION.

Each booth is $275 and includes a co-sponsorship of the event and a boxed meal for vendor representatives (2 maximum).

Consider attending all 3 Career Fairs to gather a diverse group of resumes. Students from each region in the state will offer your company different views, ideas and opinions and may be beneficial to your station! By attending all 3 fairs, you’ll be able to prove that your station is seeking out a diverse group of new staff and interns throughout the state.

Questions?  Call Rachel or Alisha at the MAB: 1-800-968-7622.

MAB Foundation Elects 2016-2017 Board of Directors and Officers

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2016-2017 MAB Foundation Chair, Jennifer Williams, Greater Media Detroit.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation (MABF) elected their 2016-2017 Board of Directors and Officers during the Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ Annual Meeting on August 30 at the Inn at St. John’s.

The newly elected officers include:

  • Chair – Jennifer Williams, Greater Media, Inc.
  • Vice Chair/Chair-Elect – Paul Jacobs, Jacobs Media/jacAPPS
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Pam Manor, WNEM-TV (Saginaw)
  • Immediate Past Chair – Sue Goldsen, Jackson Radio Works

Directors elected to serve a second term include:

  • Wendy Hart, Spartan Sports Network
  • Paul Jacobs, Jacobs Media/jacAPPS
  • Jam Sardar, WLNS-TV (Lansing)
  • Stephen Schram, Michigan Public Media

Board members elected to serve a first term include:

  • Mary Helen Ciaravino, Washtenaw Community College
  • Marla Drutz, WDIV-TV (Detroit)
  • Eric Hammerstrom, Marquette Senior High School
  • Jim Lutton, WWMT-TV (Kalamazoo)
  • Jon Whiting, Michigan State University

The MABF congratulates the newly elected officials and looks forward to working with them in the year ahead. For more information about the MABF and its board members, please visit michmab.com/MABF or contact the MABF office at mabf@michmab.com.

Rethinking the Radio Station Promotions Kit for the Digital Age

Seth Resler
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

Many radio stations’ street teams have a standard kit that they take to promotional appearances which includes everything they might need on site. When I was a Program Director, we packed gray rubber tubs with everything from clipboards and entry forms to banners and prize wheels.

The purpose of these Promo Kits was simple: To provide the street team with ways to entertain listeners at events. But now that we’re in the digital age, the goals of our promotional appearances have changed, and our Promo Kits should evolve to reflect these new goals.

Here are the new goals of our street team appearances:

1. Create Compelling Content
In addition to entertaining people on-site, we now have the ability to use promotional appearances to create content that entertains people online. We can do this in a number of ways, but two of the most effective are by sharing photos or live-streaming video of the event. For this content to get a reaction online, it’s going to need to be visually compelling. We need toys and games that look good on camera.

When we reevaluate the promo kit through this lens, it becomes apparent that some of our old standbys are no longer up to the task (“Goodbye, prize wheel!”), while others still make the cut (“Great job, banner roll!”).

Moreover, we may need to add some new weapons to our arsenal. While the tiny thumb-wrestling ring may no longer meet our needs, large sumo wrestling suits, Chinese dragon costumes and oversized gongs may fit the bill. Additionally, you may need support equipment to create visual content, such as camera tripods or selfie sticks. At your next Promotions Department meeting, brainstorm a list of things you’ll need to produce compelling visual content at every on-site appearance.

2. Collecting Contact Info
On-site appearances are also a great place to collect contact info — either phone numbers or email addresses — from your listeners. Don’t use pen and paper to collect email address; somebody on your team will be stuck with the thankless job of entering all of that data into the computer, which is time-consuming and prone to errors. Collecting business cards has the same problem.

Instead, get a tablet with an iPad and install an app on it which allows people to type in their email addresses. The app should upload these email addresses directly to your database. Many email service providers offer an app for collecting data this way. You’ll also want a stand that allows you to lock the iPad to your table so nobody walks off with it. Some models cover the buttons on the tablet, preventing people from exiting the email collection app.

Text messages can be a great way to collect contact info because listeners usually have their phones on them. You can set up a service that allows them to sign up for your email newsletter by text message. When they send a keyword to a specific number (such as “WKRP” to 55555), they will receive a reply asking for their email address. When people respond to the opt-in message, they will be added to the database.

To enact a text messaging opt-in program like this, you’ll want to include a short explanatory phrase (e.g., “Get our email newsletter! Text WKRP to 55555.”) on your table skirt, your banners, your hand stamps, the back of your bumper stickers, etc. The more you promote it, the more you’ll grow your database.

Text messaging has presented issues for some broadcasting companies because trolls wait for broadcasters to run afoul of the law and then pounce. Always check with your legal team before adopting any course of action involving text messaging.

The Promo Kit has been a staple at radio stations for years, but it may be time to overhaul yours. For more digital strategies that you can incorporate into your radio station’s events, check out our recent webinar on the topic.  Watch the webinar here.

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

NAB to Focus on the Opioid Epidemic

NABBroadcasters: Making a Difference in the Opioid Epidemic

Nearly 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. That staggering statistic is but one reason key members of Congress reached out to NAB and asked for broadcasters’ help to stem the epidemic of prescription drug and heroin addiction that is ravaging our communities.

Congress recognizes the unique ability of local broadcasters to reach listeners and viewers with important social messages, driving them to take action.

To answer this call for help, the NAB Joint Board of Directors has approved a voluntary commitment of broadcasters to address the opioid/heroin addiction crisis over the coming year. Stations will be provided with a digital toolkit that includes resources such as public service announcements, online digital messaging and suggested town hall meetings.

On September 13,  the NAB is scheduled to announce this commitment jointly with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. At this event we will spotlight the numerous ways broadcasters are already answering this call, with remarks from Sen. Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO; Art Brooks, president of the Arizona Broadcasters Association; Rebecca Hanson, senior vice president of Strategy and Policy of Sinclair Broadcast Group; Ginny Morris, chair and chief executive officer of Hubbard Radio Group and Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television.

The press conference will also include remarks from the following members of Congress: Sens. Chuck Grassley (IA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Patrick Leahy (VT), John McCain (AZ) and Chris Murphy (CT), and Reps. John Conyers (MI-13), Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) and Frank Pallone (NJ-06).

We are excited about this event and appreciate your support of this important effort. Stay tuned for more information tomorrow about this event and a link to a digital toolkit where you can download spots, programming ideas, social media tools and additional resources.