All posts by MAB Staff

NAB Urges TV Band Repack by Region

According to a report in TVNewsCheck, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says that the most logical way to conduct the post-auction repacking of the TV band is on a regional basis with the most populated regions going first. The NAB believes such approach would minimize disruption of service to broadcasters and viewers and get the spectrum in the hands of the wireless buyers “as quickly as possible.”

Department of Labor’s Proposed Overtime Rules Move Forward

According to an HR Morning article written by Christian Schappel, The Department of Labor’s (DOL) revised rules regarding the white-collar overtime exemption regulations has advanced.

The final ruling is now in the hands of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This will be the final step before the rule is published and made public for all to see.  Based on past practice, it should be approved in four to six weeks, perhaps longer.  Employers may be able to see the final rule by early to mid-May.

Congress Has The Right to Disapprove

Congress has the right to disapprove “major” final rules promulgated by federal agencies, like the DOL. However, the disapproval can be shot down by a presidential veto. The act states that if a major rule is submitted to Congress with fewer than 60 session days remaining on the legislative calendar, then the next Congress will have a similar 60-day period to consider the rule. And according to recent calculations by the Congressional Research Service, if the DOL’s overtime rule isn’t released by the OMB by May 16, the rule will be at the mercy of the next Congress and president.

HR 4773, The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, was just introduced in the Senate and House by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and cosponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), would delay publication of the Labor Department’s expected regulation, dramatically expanding mandatory federal overtime pay, despite widespread opposition from stakeholders. The bill would require the department to first conduct a comprehensive economic analysis on the impact of mandatory overtime expansion to small businesses, nonprofits, and public employers.

Rundown of the Act

    • Drastically increasing the FLSA’s salary threshold. The current minimum salary a worker has to be paid to be exempt from overtime is $455 per week or $23,660 per year. Under the proposed rule, it would jump to $970 a week or $50,440 per year. The DOL calculated that $50,440 would equal the 40% of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers.
    • The highly compensated employee threshold will also climb. The total annual compensation requirement needed to exempt highly compensated employees would climb to $122,148 from $100,000 — or the 90th percentile of salaried workers’ weekly earnings.
    • The salary thresholds will automatically increase. For the first time ever, the salary thresholds would be tied to an automatic-escalator. The DOL is proposing using one of two different methodologies to do this — either keeping the levels chained to the 40th and 90th percentiles of earnings, or adjusting the amounts based on changes in inflation by tying them to the Consumer Price Index.
    • No changes to the duties tests have been proposed. The DOL didn’t suggest changing the executive, administrative, professional, computer, or outside sales duties tests (see them here) as of yet. However, the agency sought comments on whether they should be changed and whether they’re working to screen out employees who are not bona fide white-collar exempt employees. Early indicators were that the DOL would look to adopt a California-style rule in which employees would be required to spend more than 50% of their time performing exempt duties to be classified as exempt.
    • Discretionary bonuses wouldn’t count toward salary threshold. In the proposed rule, discretionary bonuses weren’t part of a person’s salary calculation — but that could change depending on the comments the agency received. Currently, such bonuses are only included in calculating total compensation under the highly compensated employee test. But the DOL said some stakeholders are asking for broader inclusion of bonuses in salary calculations.

NOTE: The MAB researched the impact on broadcasters and according to MAB Human Resources Attorney Terry Kasiborski, Washington Attorney David Oxenford of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, and NAB SR. VP & Corporate Counsel, Bart Stringham, there doesn’t appear to be any changes to the exemptions afforded certain broadcast personnel like reporters, anchors, engineers and outside sales reps.

Stay tuned!

Statewide Tornado Drill/EAS Test – April 13, 2016

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 1:30pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 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 13, the test will be postponed until April 14, 2016. If there is a threat of severe weather on April 14, 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. Download the available graphics package.

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 13, 2016

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 7 (one week from the test).

There are recorded radio PSAs for severe weather week available:

PSA #1 :30 Download (Statewide Tornado Drill)
PSA #2 :30 Download (Outdoor Warning Sirens)
Additional scripts for TV/live read: Download

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:

Ron Leix
Public Information Officer (PIO)
Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division
Phone: (517) 284-3962
leixr@michigan.gov

Michigan Association of Broadcasters contact:

Dan Kelley
Technology Manager
Phone: (517) 484-7444
dkelley@michmab.com

Traffic Director Spotlight: Lisa DeAngelo

lisad_350Lisa DeAngelo 
Krol Communications, Owosso

Lisa DeAngelo wears many hats at WJSZ-FM in Owosso.  Not only is she the Operations and Office Manager, she is also the Traffic Director, Production Director, and Midday host on the station.  Lisa has been with Krol Communications since December 2009.  She began her radio career in 1992 at WYCD-FM in Detroit as a Producer.

Q1: What is your favorite comfort food?
Lisa:  Chocolate or Mac ‘n cheese.

Q2: Which Superhero would you be and why?
Lisa:  Batman, because I LOVE his gadgets and cars. 

Q3: When I’m not working, I’d rather be…
Lisa: On a cruise or at a concert.

Q4: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Lisa:  Pink, because she is an amazing artist and vocalist and has inspired me through tough times in my life.

Q5: Best advice you have ever received?
Lisa:  “Honor your truths”…from a wonderful mentor in Radio. He taught me to embrace my sensitivity and always be genuine in a very volatile business.

Q6:  Tell us something about yourself that very few people know:
Lisa:  
I love being a Radio Personality, but I was so scared of public speaking that I actually dropped my Radio Announcing class at EMU.

WJRT-TV (Flint) Meteorologist John McMurray Retires

After more than four decades of delivering weather forecasts at WJRT-TV in Flint, Meteorologist John McMurray has retired at age 73.  On April 1, the station said goodbye with a look back at what’s made John such a big a part of the lives of viewers and station staff alike:

In an article published in Mlive, Jayne Hodak, News Director at the station said McMurray is going to be missed. “He’s that person people have always been able to rely on,” she said. “So many viewers rely on his forecasts. He never over-hyped storms, he just gave you the information you needed in a manner you could understand. He’s truly one of the best in the business.”

The station is currently conducting a nationwide search for his replacement.

Dr. Charles Ganzert Passes

Ganzert_300The MAB is sad to share the news that Dr. Charles Ganzert, a professor in Northern Michigan University’s (NMU) Communication and Performance Studies department, passed away early Thursday morning, March 31, with his spouse by his side.  Dr. Ganzert was 63 years old.

Dr. Ganzert was past Chairman and Honorary Board Member of the MAB Foundation. At NMU, he served students and the university for 23 years. He received numerous awards during his tenure for his outstanding performance, and was even slated to formally receive NMU’s Distinguished Faculty Award on April 25, 2016.

Dr. Ganzert received both his master’s degree and doctoral degree from Ohio University. His experience in media began when he worked with the student radio station at Virginia Tech. In 1980, Dr. Ganzert took a job with WYSO, a public radio station in Dayton, Ohio where he worked in programming, public affairs and production. While at WYSO, he produced a series titled: “Tis Sweet To Be Remembered” and was awarded the Ohio Educational Broadcasters Program of the Year Award in 1986. Dr. Ganzert won two MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards through WNMU-FM (Marquette) and completed a book project with other faculty from Ohio University, Kent State University, and Kenyon College called “Oral History Done Right.”

Details on services are forthcoming.

WBUP-TV (Marquette) reporter Caleb M. Scanlon spoke with James Cantrill, Department Head and Professor, Communication Studies at NMU about “The Legacy of an Educator,” Dr. Charles Ganzert:

WKAR-FM, Interlochen Public Radio Offer Live In-Studio Music Broadcasts

In the last several weeks, we’ve noticed a couple of instances that are reminiscent of the days when radio stations featured live musicians in their studio.  Both WKAR-FM (East Lansing) and Interlochen Public Radio (Interlochen) shared some examples recently through social media and regular websites.

On March 24, WKAR-FM presented a performance of Brahms Scherzo in c-minor as part of the station’s “Live From Studio S” series.  The performance featured Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s assistant concertmaster Hai Xin Wu & Michigan State University College of Music collaborative piano professor Zhihua Tang (who is hidden from view in this video):

 


 

 

Also on March 24, Interlochen Public Radio hosted siblings Penny and Radel Rosin of Grayling, who perform under the name “Oh Brother, Big Sister.” While the duo has already released two albums, they treated Interlochen listeners to a new song titled “Michigan Daydream.”

Former Michigan Speaker of the House Curtis Hertel Sr. Dies

CurtisHertelSR_300Former Michigan Democratic Speaker of the House Curtis Hertel Sr. passed away Sunday, March 27 at age 63.

Hertel Sr. was first elected to the Michigan House in 1980 and served his Detroit district until 1998.  In 1993 and 1994, he was co-speaker with Republican Paul Hillegonds and sole speaker in 1997 and 1998.

Hertel comes from a family of lawmakers.  Two brothers also served in the State House, Senate or U.S. House.  His son is current state Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-23rd).

Funeral arrangements are pending.  Hertel is survived by his wife, Vicki, four children and five grandchildren.

Associate Member Highlight: Radio Music License Committee (RMLC)

RMLC-Logo-RThe Radio Music License Committee (“RMLC”) represents the interests of the commercial radio industry (some 10,000 commercial radio stations) on music licensing matters. It is structured as a 501(c)(6) non-profit Tennessee corporation based in Nashville. Its Directors, who volunteer to serve without compensation, reflect a diverse group of station owners and management. The RMLC’s staff consists of Executive Director William Velez, and  Staff Accountant/Data Manager, Rebekah Smith.

The objective of the RMLC is to achieve fair and reasonable license fees with the music licensing organizations (such as ASCAP and BMI) on behalf of radio stations. The RMLC is dedicated to negotiating licenses that reflect the realities of the current and changing state of the radio business.

In 2016, the RMLC heads into a year that will feature a binding rate arbitration with SESAC and license fee renewal negotiations with ASCAP and BMI on behalf of the radio industry.

Bill_Velez_350A fun fact about RMLC’s Bill Velez (pictured left):

“I owe my job at the RMLC to Michigan’s own – Ed Christian (Saga Communications). My first job out of college (1972) entailed licensing radio stations at ASCAP. Ed was one of my radio accounts and I did a favor for him at the time.  I had no idea when I approached the RMLC for a job in 2007 that Ed was now the Chairman of the RMLC. Like they say, what goes around, comes around!”

Some of the RMLC’s license negotiation goals include:

  • Implementation of licenses that fairly and accurately reflect station/industry economic performance, with the least amount of administrative intrusion;
  • Program period and/or blanket license “carve-out” alternatives that offer the potential for further fee discounting based upon a station’s ability to make strategic music programming choices and/or license music directly from copyright owners;
  • Negotiation of licenses that provide the broadest scope of rights possible with respect to new media applications (e.g., streaming, HD multicasting, mobile, and other “through-to-the-listener” applications); and continuation of the existing, court-mandated RMLC funding mechanism.

In terms of overall industry outreach, the RMLC:

  • Provides information concerning industry license negotiations via staff participation at industry conferences such as the MFM/BCCA, NAB venues, and various state association events;
  • Solicits appropriate feedback from all interested parties within the industry relative to music licensing issues;
  • Raises funds from the industry in the amounts required to conduct effective negotiations and/or court litigations;
  • Conducts research concerning the use and value of music to the radio industry;
  • Evaluates legislative action required to remedy music licensing inequities;
  • Identifies appropriate strategies to minimize the impact of other music licensing cartels; and
  • Responds to the needs of members who seek advice and counsel on various music licensing matters.

For more information on RLMC, visit their website here.

Sign Up Today! GLBC Career Fair

View More: http://benjamindavidphotography.pass.us/mab2015Register today to showcase your station or school program at the MABF’s premiere, most-attended annual Career Fair. The Career Fair will be held on Tuesday, May 3 in conjunction with the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo in Lansing. Stations may receive EEO credits for participating and promoting the event. Attendees will be recent graduates and ready to start their careers.  Booths are filling up quickly! Click here for more info and to register online.

Students! Want to attend this career fair? Register for GLBC as either a student, or for a free exhibit hall pass.  Both will get you into the fair. Find out more here.