All posts by MAB Staff

WZZM-TV Launches Project to Help Flint


WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids)
has launched a project to help their neighbors in Flint.

The “Water for Flint” campaign is a partnership with Sleep Doctor stores. They are collecting cases and jugs of bottled water, and have sent several truckloads of water to Flint already.

Their campaign has inspired additional efforts by a number of local companies, schools, and other organizations. Pictures are below:

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WXYZ-TV Takes Part in Special Effort to Help Flint

WXYZ TVWXYZ-TV (Detroit) took part in a special effort to assist Flint during the ongoing water emergency.

According to WXYZ-TV’s website, 7 Action News was the exclusive broadcast partner in a campaign that was launched by Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, Councilman Andre L. Spivey, representatives from Faygo, and the United Way to raise funds for water.

As part of the campaign, the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers and D&B Distributors provided bottled water to the effort below wholesale cost.

The United Way set up a website where donations are still being accepted. You can visit www.detroit2flint.com to make your donation.

“In Detroit we have concerns as it relates to affordable water for residents, and we are working on solutions to address this issue; however, for a community to not have access to clean water is unconscionable… we must do our part!” said Councilman Spivey.

Traffic Director Spotlight: Scott Czubak, WHTV-TV Lansing

Scott CzubakScott Czubak
WHTV-TV My 18

Scott Czubak is the Traffic Assistant/Producer at WHTV-TV My 18, where he has been since September 2010.

Q1: What is your favorite comfort food?
Scott: Apple pie with vanilla ice cream

Q2: Which Superhero would you be, and why?
Scott: The Flash because I have so many duties I have to be quick to get everything done by the end of the day.

Q3: When I’m not working, I’d rather be…
Scott: Attending MSU, Detroit Lions, or Chippewa football games! I also love working in my vegetable garden or at the beach in Grand Haven, MI, or if I could ever go back, in Jamaica Mon!

Q4: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Scott: Barry Sanders. He’s my childhood hero.

Q5: Best advice you have ever gotten?
Scott: “Don’t complain, just work harder.” – Jackie Robinson

Q6: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know…
Scott: I’m a very handy guy. I love doing home improvements. I also love working in my garden.

Bills Expand FOIA to Legislators, Governor

Several bills introduced last week would expand the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to include State Legislature and the Governor’s office, two entities currently exempt from FOIA. The goals of the bill are to add more transparency to the Legislature and the Governor’s office. House Bill 5216, introduced by State Representative John Bizon (R-62), would expand FOIA to State Legislature. The bill has been referred to the Michigan House Government Operations committee. Senate Bill 716, introduced by State Senator Coleman Young II (D-1), expands FOIA to the State Legislature and the Governor’s office. SB 716 was referred to the Michigan Senate Committee on Government Operations. Michigan is one of three states that exempts their governor and legislature from the state freedom of information law. MAB is tracking.

NAB Launches Program to Foster Broadcast Technology Innovation

NABThe National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced their new initiative, PILOT, formerly NAB Labs.

PILOT was created to bring together leading edge companies, organizations, and educators in order to advance broadcast technology and broadcaster innovation.

“As the definition of what it means to be a broadcaster broadens, it is critical to work with traditional and new media partners on innovations to better meet the needs of future generations of consumers,” said NAB Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Sam Matheny. “PILOT will build these partnerships among visionaries who share the goal of tackling the challenges and opportunities facing the broadcast industry in the 21st century. I am especially happy to have John Clark leading this effort and look forward to working with him to build an engaging future.”

More information about PILOT can be found at http://www.nabpilot.org/.

Members Reach Out to Help Flint

Karole WhiteBy: Karole L. White, MAB President/CEO

Members all over the state are helping the people of Flint who have been impacted by the water emergency, through water donations and fundraisers. Michigan broadcasters are standing with the the city of Flint to assist in anyway that they can. Every member is to be thanked for their efforts. No group deserves our thanks more than the stations serving the Flint market at “ground zero.” They are not only helping their community to deal with the water restrictions, but in many cases, they are providing direct help to their own employees.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) has a seat on the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), along with other specialists. Captain Kelenske is the Michigan State Police Commander of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. In our capacity on the SEOC, it is the MAB’s responsibility to help facilitate communications between the state emergency management team and broadcasters. We recently distributed a Public Service Announcement alerting your audience how to get water and other help. The PSA is available on our website (click to download). It is audio only, so television stations will need to put up a slide graphic. We will have it translated into Spanish very soon.

Do not forget to send us photos and a write up of any programs, fundraisers, volunteer projects, town halls, or special coverage that you do for the Flint Water emergency. We are putting together a web page showing all that our members are doing. Send your contributions to dkelley@michmab.com.

Detroit Public Television Announces Partnership with the Detroit Historical Museum to Expand Coverage of Detroit’s Stories

DPTV (Detroit) has recently signed a two-year trade agreement with the Detroit Historical Museum for over 1,100 square feet of editorial office space. DPTV will be able to expand its already robust coverage of the city’s successes, struggles, and re-emergence; and The Detroit Historical Society receives a promotional package to utilize DPTV’s available broadcast and online platforms to bring additional awareness to its exhibits and programs.

“This is a mutually beneficial partnership,” said Bob Bury, Executive Director and CEO of the Detroit Historical Society. “We are excited about both the opportunity to interact with Detroit Public Television staff at the Detroit Historical Museum on a daily basis ,and enjoy the increased exposure that comes with originating local programming from our unique exhibit spaces that tell our region’s story.”

“The Detroit office will allow DPTV to expand our growing number of production initiatives in Detroit,” said Rich Homberg, President and CEO of Detroit Public Television. “We want to tell stories of the people of Detroit by assisting the Detroit Historical Society in collecting living memories of the city. The offices will serve as a vital base for both organizations as we convene conversations with leaders and citizens about the revitalization of Detroit and visualizing the city’s future.”

Editorial: A Core Artist Just Died. Here’s How Your Station Should Handle it Online.

Seth ReslerBy: Seth Resler, Jacobs Media

Sadly, we’ve seen way too many rock stars pass away in the past few weeks: Scott Weiland, David Bowie, Glenn Frey. So what should your station’s digital response be when these tragedies occur? Here are some things you can do:

1. Do No Harm on Social Media.

First and foremost, make sure that every public-facing member of your staff knows better than to make light of the situation on social media. A poorly worded tweet can do a lot of damage, and a person’s death is not a good time to go for laughs. If you have doubt about whether or not something might be misinterpreted, skip it.

2. Create Online Content.

Even if you’re not going to drastically change your on-air programming in response to a death, you can use your website to pay homage to the departed. Create a blog post or page on your website celebrating the life of the deceased artist. Here are some ideas:

  • Have each DJ write a short paragraph about their favorite song by the artist and embed YouTube videos to accompany each paragraph.
  • Create a short listicle celebrating the artist. For example, “The Top 5 David Bowie Personas.”
  • If you have recordings of old interviews or performances, post them along with a remembrance.

Remember, if you include images in your content, make sure that you have paid for the rights to use them. Violating copyright can result in hefty fines.

3. Invite Listeners to Comment, but Police the Comments Carefully.

At the end of your content, invite listeners to participate by sharing their memories in the comments section of the page. Just make sure that somebody is keeping a watchful eye on what’s posted. Immediately delete any distasteful comments.

4. Create a Vanity URL that Redirects to Your Content.

A vanity URL is an easy-to-remember URL, such as “yourstationname.com/glennfrey.” Encourage your air talent to give out the URL when they talk about the artist. Create imaging production directing people to the URL. Create additional vanity URLs for common misspellings, such as “yourstationname.com/glennfry.”

5. Send an Email Campaign.

Send an email campaign to your listeners inviting them to click through to your content and share their memories in the comments section.

6. Invite Your Listeners to Contribute Audio.

Your station can invite listeners to share their memories in audio form so that you can use them on the air. Use Speakpipe to allow listeners to leave voicemail messages on your website. If your station’s mobile app was built by jacapps, this is a good time to take advantage of the Open Mic feature, which allows people to contribute audio from their smartphones.

While you may be limited in your on-air response when a major artist dies, you are not limited on the web. Your listeners have strong emotional connections to these musicians. Use your website to help them celebrate the lives of the artists who have left us.

As always, if you need help, please feel free to reach out to me.

Please contact me with questions, comments, and thoughts.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Update from the NAB

Bruce GoldsenBy: Bruce Goldsen, Jackson Radio Works & NAB Radio Board Member

Congress Passes Legislation That Grandfathers Joint Sales Agreements: Legislation passed in December limits a 2014 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision that made most television joint sales agreements (JSAs) count toward strict ownership limits, violating media ownership rules.

Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) Announces Reduced Streaming Rates: As a result of NAB advocacy, the CRB reduced royalty rates for radio broadcasters’ streaming services by 32 percent in 2016, moving rates in the right direction.

Bipartisan House Majority Opposes a Performance Tax: Once again, holding off the record labels in an attempt to tax radio, broadcasters secured a bipartisan majority of Congress to support the Local Radio Freedom Act, acknowledging the important role stations play in their local communities.

Retransmission Consent Process Remains Intact/FCC Delays Action on Eliminating Exclusivity: NAB continues to work to ensure policymakers understand how the retransmission consent system benefits TV viewers and prevented government interference in these private, market-driven negotiations. Numerous high-profile legislators also urged the FCC not to upend programming exclusivity rules, and the FCC has delayed action on its harmful proposal.

FCC Supports AM Radio Revitalization: The FCC voted unanimously to open an application window for FM translators that would be limited to AM radio licensees. The FCC also approved various technical measures to aid AM stations and made additional proposals to reduce regulatory burdens on AM broadcasters.

Major Phone Carriers Announce Support for Radio Chips in Cell Phones: Broadcasters have worked tirelessly to promote access to radio receivers in mobile devices. In 2015, AT&T announced it will unlock FM radio in all of their future Android smartphones. T-Mobile soon followed with a commitment to activate chips. These major carriers will join Sprint in providing U.S. consumers access to a free entertainment and emergency information option through FM radio through their phones.

NAB Political Action Committee (NABPAC) Achieves Record-High Participation: Broadcasters’ grassroots engagement is making a difference in Washington, D.C. In 2015, NABPAC achieved a record-high annual fundraising total of $1.17 million. Through NABPAC, broadcasters are engaging in the political process to help shape the future of the industry. Learn more at NABPAC.com.

If you’re not currently an N.A.B. member, I hope you’ll consider joining our organization. Its mission is much different than that of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters; one concentrates on state issues, the other on federal legislative and regulatory matters of vital concern to ALL television and radio broadcasters.

As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me with any questions or comments at bgoldsen@k1053.com.

Sincerely,
Bruce Goldsen

Local 4’s Community Effort Helps Residents of Flint

Hank Winchester WDIV Water EffortsFrom in-depth news reports to community outreach campaigns, WDIV-Local 4 (Detroit) has made it their mission to help their neighbors in Flint during this water crisis. The station’s consumer investigative unit, “Help Me Hank,” headed up by Hank Winchester, has joined forces with Art Van Furniture and Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties to collect safe, bottled water for residents of Flint. Several truckloads have been delivered in the past two weeks, and more are on the way.

Local 4 viewers generously donated thousands of dollars during a Local 4 News phone bank last week, benefitting the Child Health & Development Fund. The funds raised go to help the children of Flint with ongoing health issues. For more information, please visit the station’s website: ClickOnDetroit.com.