Category Archives: 2017

WKAR’s ‘QuizBusters’ Announces Final Season

The long-running high school game show “QuizBusters”  will begin its final season this fall,  WKAR-TV (East Lansing) announced on July 5.

The award-winning original series first aired on Michigan State University’s public television station in 1989. In that time, as many as 100 different school districts, including home school groups, have sent teams to compete on the quiz show.

“I have been humbled by the outpouring of support and words of kindness from viewers and, especially, my former contestants,” said Matt Ottinger, “QuizBusters” host and producer, in a statement on WKAR.org. “While we have fun playing the game in the studio, we don’t always see the greater impact in the community and the memories we are creating for the students.”

The final 29th season of “QuizBusters” will begin October 7 and continue through the Grand Championship Series in Spring 2018.

WKAR Public Media is part of Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences. WKAR provides mid-Michigan and the global community with award-winning original programming and the best from PBS and NPR via television channels WKAR-HD, WKAR World, WKAR Create and WKAR PBS Kids; and radio broadcasts at 90.5 FM, 94.5 FM, AM 870 and WKAR Radio Reading Service.

How to Back Up Your Radio Station’s Soundcloud Files

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

Last week, Soundcloud.com laid off 40% of its workforce — 173 of its 420 employees. Despite having over 175 million users in 2014 (the last year the company released numbers for), the audio hosting website has struggled to find a profitable business model. In 2015, it lost over $50 million. Spotify and Twitter flirted with the idea of acquiring Soundcloud, but neither deal materialized; instead, SiriusXM invested in the company.

I am not in the business of speculating about the future of tech companies. However, so many radio stations use Soundcloud as a means of sharing audio clips — from morning show bits to artist interviews — that I think it’s worth issuing a warning: If your station has important audio files hosted on Soundcloud, make sure that you have them backed up on a local hard drive.

Some tracks can be downloaded by logging into Soundcloud and clicking the small ‘Download’ button beneath the track itself. However, not all tracks are downloadable directly from Soundcloud; it depends on the settings of the user who uploaded the track.

If you don’t see a ‘Download’ button beneath the track, you can use a third party website to download it. This usually involves copying the URL of the track you want to download, pasting it into the other website, and clicking a button to grab the clip. I have found mixed results with these third party sites, but here are a few that worked for me:

  1. Anything2MP3.com
  2. SCDownloader.net
  3. 9SoundcloudDownloader.com

Another option is to install an extension in your web browser that allows you to download Soundcloud tracks. For example, the Soundcloud Downloader Free extension for Google Chrome adds a ‘Download’ button beneath Soundcloud tracks to make it easy to back up your files.

I can’t predict what will happen to Soundcloud, but you can protect your radio station from any unpleasant surprises by taking some time to back up all of your Soundcloud tracks today.

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

Michigan Radio Wins Two PRNDI Awards

Michigan Radio was honored on June 24 with two awards from the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI).

The station received a First Place award in the Large Newsroom-Nationally Edited Continuing Coverage category for its on-going reporting about the Flint water crisis.

“The reporters at Michigan Radio took our commitment to keep the story of the Flint water crisis in front of a national audience very seriously,” said Vincent Duffy, Michigan Radio News Director. “This award is really a credit to the whole Flint team and our entire newsroom for their work that aired on NPR. I’m really pleased that the fantastic work done by Michigan Radio reporters has been recognized in this way.”

The station also received a Second Place award in the Long Documentary category for “Out From The Shadows: Living Undocumented.” The hour-long documentary by reporter Dustin Dwyer of Michigan Radio’s State of Opportunity team looked at what life is like for illegal immigrant families in the Grand Rapids area facing the prospect of deportation.

Michigan Radio has the state’s largest and most recognized radio news service, with more than thirty-five awards received in 2017 for news excellence. Michigan Radio broadcasts at 91.7 FM in southeastern Michigan, 91.1 FM in Flint, and 104.1 FM in western Michigan.

NAB Supports FCC’s Decision to Raise Regulatory Fee Threshold

According to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) supports the FCC’s decision to raise the regulatory fee exemption threshold from $500 to $1,000. In the comments filed by the NAB, it writes that the cost of collecting payments would most likely exceed the actual amount of the payment, while smaller and rural TV and radio stations would benefit significantly from the decision.

FCC Seeks Public Comment on Blue Alert Legislation

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously in favor of an event code that would create a streamlined way for the media to issue Blue Alerts when a police officer has been threatened or harmed. The proposal will now be up for public comment for three months.

According to the FCC, the alert would go out when a suspect is at large and there’s “actionable” information for the public — such as a clear description — in circumstances that involve an imminent, credible threat to a law enforcement officer or when a law enforcement officer is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. Under the proposal, the state and local officials would deterimine when or whether to issue Blue Alerts.

Feeling Lucky? Be a Winner at this year’s Advocacy Conference

Great prizes are in store for you as part of the Annual MAB Foundation Raffle!

You could win $300 cash, four tickets to a Detroit Tiger’s Game or an overnight stay with a choice of golf or skiing at Crystal Mountain Resort.

Raffle tickets are $10 each and benefit the MAB Foundation. They will be available at the 2017 Advocacy Conference on August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville. There also is an option to purchase your tickets online when registering for the conference. Register for here …

MAB’s Palombo Meets with D.C. Staffs, Attends ‘Service to America Awards’

MAB Government Relations Manager Elena Palombo went to Washington, D.C. last week to meet with the Michigan Congressional legislative staff to discuss issues affecting our members including: post-spectrum auction repack, preserving ad tax deductibility and opposing legislation that imposes performance tax on our radio members. MAB was also on hand to help celebrate our member WDIV-TV winning the NABEF Service to America Awards. We send warm congratulations to the station and the staff for winning this prestigious award

Snyder Picks Mason as the New MEDC CEO

Gov. Rick Snyder has tapped Jeff Mason, Executive Director of the state’s University Research Corridor, to replace Steve Arwood as the CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Mason will still have to be approved by the MEDC Executive Committee, which will meet on July 11 to consider Snyder’s nomination. Mason has led the University Research Corridor since 2009. He was previously at the MEDC in various positions from 1999-2009.

“Jeff has a long history of commitment and dedication to improving Michigan’s economy and growing jobs – from his previous time at MEDC to the past eight years with the University Research Corridor,” Snyder said in a statement.

Get the Scoop on ‘Fake News’ and Other Important Issues

Learn from the experts at the 2017 Advocacy Conference & Annual Meeting.  This year’s line up of speakers will offer valuable insight on the “fake news” phenomenon and other current issues that are important to the broadcast industry.

Dr. Esther Thorson

The MAB is excited to host Professor Esther Thorson, PhD from Michigan State University’s School of Journalism.  Dr. Thorson is a nationally recognized expert on news consumption and will discuss recent “fake news” issues.  She will highlight some of her recent work on news consumption patterns regarding fake news and fact-checking efforts as well as several new political socialization projects and how news stories about controversial and politicized subjects (e.g., global warming) can be rewritten to reduce wholesale rejection.

This year’s Advocacy Conference speaker line up also features Rick Kaplan, General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Legal and Regulatory Affairs at the National Association of Broadcasters. Rick will give members an update on what the NAB is doing to advocate on a national level for the broadcast industry.

Rob Elhenicky, Partner & MAB Lobbyist from Kelley Cawthorne, John D. Pirich of Honingman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP and David Oxenford of Wilkinson Baker Knauer LLP also will be on hand to bring attention to important Michigan legislative updates, focusing on issue advertising. You don’t want to miss out on this insightful opportunity to forecast the issues on the horizon and be prepared from the coming year.

The 2017 Advocacy Conference will take place on August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville. Register now to attend.