All posts by MAB Staff

AG Schuette Joins Lawsuit Against Department of Labor Overtime Rules

Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined a lawsuit challenging new federal regulations on overtime for workers. The regulations, which go into effect on December 1, would raise the annual salary threshold at which professional employees are eligible for overtime, from $23,660 to $47,476 a year. Nineteen other states joined the lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Texas.

The U.S. Department of Labor has said increasing the threshold would make another 4.2 million workers eligible for overtime. In Michigan, this means 101,000 employees, or 2.5 percent, of all workers, would be eligible for overtime under the new rule.

The AG’s office released a statement saying that “the attorney general is suing on behalf of the people of the state of Michigan because this rule could have a significant impact on taxpayers and job creation.”

Black Diamond Closes on Northern Star Stations

blackdiamond_300Black Diamond Broadcast Group has closed on its previously announced acquisition of seven stations and a FM translator from Northern Michigan-based Northern Star Broadcasting for $1.95 million. The transaction encompasses multiple signals in Traverse City/Petoskey, and includes WCBY-AM (1240), WGFM-FM (105.1) and WCHY-FM (97.7)/Cheboygan, along with WGFN-FM (98.1) and WQEZ-FM (95.5)/Glen Arbor, WMKC-FM (102.9)/Indian River, WOEZ-FM (106.3)/Onaway and W264CF (100.7)/St. Ignace.

Black Diamond, owned by long-time broadcast executives and life-long Michigan residents, Mike Chires and Norm McKee, currently own WUPS-FM/Harrison and WTWS-FM/Houghton Lake, both purchased in 2015.

Northern Star Broadcasting’s President Del Reynolds said, “These radio stations are huge technical facilities reaching from Cadillac to Canada and Traverse City to Alpena. I believe that Black Diamond is the radio group to continue the tradition of being committed local broadcasters and will be honorable trustees of these FCC licenses. Our staff and our clients are the best in the country and we know that they are in good hands with Black Diamond.”

Black Diamond Partner/CEO Mike Chires stated, “Del and Mary have done a tremendous job of building powerhouse stations that serve their communities extremely well. They have strong relationships with their clients and the respect of broadcasters throughout the industry, especially in Michigan, which is the ultimate compliment. We look forward to continuing the legacy and the relationships they’ve built with their clients and communities these great stations serve.”

Jason James of Patrick Communications was the broker on the transaction.

Related:  Up North Radio, LLC has closed on its purchase of former Northern Star station WCKC-FM (Cadillac) and began programming it on September 29.  See that story here.

Baraga Radio Network acquires WSRT-FM

baragaBaraga Broadcasting, Inc. and Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Inc. have entered into a purchase agreement that will enable Baraga Radio to significantly increase reach and coverage in northern Michigan.

Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Inc. has agreed to sell WSRT (106.7 FM) licensed to Gaylord, to Baraga Broadcasting, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) listener-funded Catholic ministry dedicated to serving the people of the Diocese of Gaylord and the Diocese of Marquette.

Tom Hornacek, president of Baraga Broadcasting said, “On behalf of our Board of Directors, we are extremely thankful and excited for the opportunity to expand our coverage throughout northern lower Michigan with this acquisition.”

The addition of 106.7 FM to the Baraga Radio Network, makes it only the seventh 100,000-watt station providing Catholic radio programming in existence. Traverse City-Petoskey-Cadillac is the 160th largest radio market in the country with a Metro 12+ population of 297,300, according to Nielsen Media Research. The region is a destination to more than one million visitors each year.

Founded in 2006, Baraga Radio has grown into a network of six stations, WTCK (90.9 FM) Charlevoix, WTCY (88.3 FM) Traverse City, WGJU (91.3 FM) East Tawas, WGZR (88.9 FM) Alpena, WIDG (940 AM) St. Ignace and WMQU (1230 AM) Grayling.

On November 1, Baraga Radio will begin broadcasting on 106.7 FM through an LMA agreement, pending the approval by the FCC of the sale and transfer of the license. Programming features shows from EWTN and Ave Maria Radio, and recently Baraga began producing two of their own local programs, “The Cross Walk” and “Called to Freedom” with plans for more local shows to come.

“Baraga Broadcasting will celebrate our 10th anniversary this November,“ Hornacek added. “As The Catholic Light of Northern Michigan, we strive to bring hope, peace and joy to a troubled world through the light of Christ. The purchase of this station is going to help us reach areas that have never had access to Catholic radio before. To have it take place at this special time in our history – well, it’s quite a blessing,” he concluded.

Baraga Broadcasting proclaims the truth and beauty of the Roman Catholic faith by offering educational and inspirational programming that aims to engage its listeners and encourage them to live out their faith in Jesus Christ.

Up North Adds WCKC-FM

wckc_300Up North Radio, LLC has closed on their purchase of WCKC-FM (Cadillac) and has relaunched the classic rock station as “107.1 The Drive.“

Under the previous ownership of Northern Star Broadcasting, the station had been part of a regional trimulcast with WGFN-FM (Glen Arbor) and WCHY-FM (Cheboygan) as “The Bear.”  Those stations were sold to Black Diamond Broadcasting, which closed on those and the other Northern Star stations on September 29.

Jason James of Patrick Communications was the broker on the transaction.

Up North Radio, owned and operated by Jennifer Theodore, already owns WCDY-FM in the Cadillac market. It also is in the process of purchasing WBZX-FM in Big Rapids, pending FCC approval.

FREE Career Education Training Solutions for MAB Members!

p1learningdark_400Do you have a new hire and your first thought is, “Training, again?!”

Does a glance at your calendar make you wish you could clone yourself? Well, we can’t do that…yet. But we CAN help to lighten your load.

Because you are a valued member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters you have FREE access to P1 Learning’s online video training courses which are easily accessible anywhere, anytime, on a phone, tablet, or computer.

P1 Learning offers fun and simplified online training. No more mind numbing content or heavy manuals. Course topics include:

• Entry Sales
• Pro Sales
• Management
• Leadership
• On-Air
• Customer Service
• Human Resources
• Administration
• Safety & more

Did you know that 41% of employees who receive poor training will leave their post within a year? That’s why it’s key to have training delivered in a fun, short and compelling manner that teaches repeatable skills and behaviors to generate maximum results!

“P1 Learning has really created an up-to-date training module that has helped our company immensely. Anytime we can use a proven program that provides clear direction for the user, and a time saver for the manager, it’s a win-win! And that’s exactly what P1 Learning delivers.” -Patricia, Sales Manager, Traverse City-Petoskey-Cadillac, MI.

For more information click HERE.

CLICK HERE TO START TRAINING TODAY!
To register your station for MAB’s free training, contact Katey McGukin-Woolam at 816.456.8603 or by email at [email protected].

Traffic Director Spotlight: Dustin Schwartz (WSAE-FM/Spring Harbor)

Nominate a Traffic Director you know!  Email Jamie White at [email protected].

dustin_homefm_275Dustin Schwartz is Coordinator of Sales & Promotions for WSAE-FM (106.9 HOME.fm)

Dustin has been in traffic for 1 year.

Q1: What is your favorite comfort food?
Dustin: Egg drop soup.

Q2: Which Superhero would you be, and why?
Dustin:  Judge Dredd, because he’s the epitome of “lawful good.”

Q3: When I’m not working, I’d rather be …
Dustin:  Playing board games.

Q4: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Dustin: Dick Van Dyke.

Q5: What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Dustin:
Be optimistic, because you can talk yourself out of a good life.

Q6: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know.
Dustin:
I run a heater in my office in the summer!

Exhibitors: Connect at GLBC 2017!

glbc17EXHIBITORS CAN CONNECT WITH MIDWEST BROADCASTING AND MEDIA EXECUTIVES AT GLBC 2017!

GLBC’s dates have returned to March! Exhibitors can reserve their space now to meet potential clients and showcase all of their new products and services!

Show Date
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
8:00 am-5:00 pm
The Lansing Center, Lansing, MI

Senior executives involved in key decision making and purchasing make up the majority of the GLBC attendees. This is your chance to showcase your new and exciting products to these vital potential customers in your target market! Whether you sell to broadcasters, audio or video producers, cable, churches, educators or corporate trainers, all are invited to the FREE exhibit hall at GLBC.

GLBC BENEFITS

  • Centrally located in Lansing, MI
    This popular conference and expo is only a few hours’ drive for most of your current and potential Great Lakes media customers; meaning more qualified leads and more potential customers.
  • You win by choosing GLBC!
    Attending an established conference like the GLBC will keep your company and products top of mind when buying decisions are made.
  • Not all the action is on the Exhibit floor
    This all-inclusive show offers many networking opportunities for one-to-one interaction with decision makers. Our famous “Beer and Bull” opening reception, breakfast and breaks in the exhibit hall are all included.

Find more information and register HERE.

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Krause at the MAB, [email protected] or 517-484-7444.

NAB Show New York Announced

nabsny_350The National Association of Broadcasters has announced NAB Show New York, scheduled for November 9-10 in New York City.
Formerly Content and Communications World, NAB Show New York delivers compelling content, exciting speakers, and all the latest in broadcast technology close to home.

NAB Show New York leverages the strength and reach of NAB Show (Las Vegas), while adding a content focus unique to the thriving Northeast media and entertainment market.

The exhibit floor will feature 300 exhibiting companies and 60+ sessions. NAB Show New York represents a chance to dive more deeply into the major issues shaping our industry, including:

– 4K: hands-on workshops
– ATSC 3.0: impact on your business
– Advertising: next-gen technologies
– Business and Investment: choosing what’s best for you
– Drones: exploring what’s next
– Live Productions: case study out of NYC
– News: live distribution
– Production and Post: building the bridge
– VR: understand the practical use

The MAB, in partnership with NAB, is pleased to extend to its members a Core Package Pass discounted to $25. The Core Package includes access to all NAB Show New York and InfoComm Connections Sessions within the Inspiration Stages, Exhibits and Exhibitor Info sessions. To register and auto-add the discount code, click here.

To learn more about NAB Show New York, including other available registration packages, visit NABShowNY.com.

September FCC Open Meeting Items

via Rick Kaplan, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, National Association of Broadcasters

There are two items of particular note for broadcasters from the September 29 FCC open meeting. The first, the FCC’s proposal designed to open up the MVPD set-top box marketplace, actually did not result in a vote. While the Chairman had adjusted his initial proposal substantially to meet a number of objections (including from NAB), Commissioner Rosenworcel apparently was still not comfortable with where the draft order was at the time of the meeting, so the Chairman was forced to pull it from the agenda. Commissioner Clyburn supports the Chairman and the two Republican Commissioners whom oppose his plan. The item remains under consideration, although it’s not clear if it will be voted soon or if it will linger for some time.

One proposal that did come to fruition that is a “plus” for broadcasters is the FCC’s order modifying its broadcast foreign ownership rules and policies. While the full text of the order has not yet been released, the meeting presentation and press release indicate that the changes adopted today will permit broadcasters to seek approval for foreign investment using the streamlined processes that are in place for other communications outlets and also will simplify the requirements for compliance with the foreign ownership limits. Below are some of the key modifications adopted:

Foreign Ownership Approval Process

  • Broadcasters can use the same procedures for obtaining approval for foreign investment that have been available to wireless licensees since 2013. The approval process involves the filing of a “Petition for Declaratory Ruling” under Section 310(b)(4).
  • Broadcasters can now file Petitions seeking Commission approval for:
    • up to and including 100 percent aggregate foreign ownership of its controlling U.S. parent;
    • a proposed, controlling foreign investor to increase its equity and/or voting interests in the U.S. parent up to and including 100 percent at some future time without filing a new petition—this applies where the foreign investor would acquire an initial controlling interest of less than 100 percent; and
    • a non-controlling foreign investor named in the petition to increase its equity and/or voting interests in the U.S. parent at some future time, up to and including a non-controlling 49.99 percent equity and/or voting interest.
  • Broadcasters are only required to disclose in their in Petitions for Declaratory Ruling those parties that hold attributable interests.

Calculating Compliance

  • Publicly traded broadcasters are no longer expected to conduct shareholder surveys.
  • Publicly traded broadcasters are now expected to use “reasonable” measures to assess the citizenship of reasonably identifiable shareholders.
  • The Commission has eliminated its existing presumption that all unidentifiable shareholders are wholly foreign. Rather, where citizenship is not and cannot reasonably be known, the Commission’s new standard effectively applies the citizenship ratio of identifiable shareholders.

WGVU’s Walenta Appointed to Governor’s Council

Michael Walenta
Michael Walenta

On September 23, Governor Rick Snyder announced the initial appointments to the Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education. The council consists of 15 members appointed by the governor.

Among the 15 appointed were Michael Walenta, General Manager of WGVU Public Media at Grand Valley State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and cinematic arts and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University. Walenta is currently on the board of directors of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters.

The Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education was created to promote, within schools and the general population of Michigan, implementation of genocide education by identifying strategies for providing and enhancing genocide education to students and identifying programs and resources to train teachers in providing genocide education.

Please see the complete release and list of appointees here.  Members will serve two-year terms expiring on August 26, 2018.