Category Archives: April 2017

Public Media Impact Award Nominations Now Open!

View More: http://benjamindavidphotography.pass.us/mabsummer2016This year marks the 32nd year of honoring Michigan’s public broadcasters with the MAPB Public Media Impact Award.

Two awards will be presented – one award for Donors and one award for Professionals – for their contribution to public broadcasting in Michigan. The awards will be presented at the Annual Awards Banquet as part of the August 2017 Advocacy Conference & Annual Meeting at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, MI, which is attended by owners and operators of broadcast stations, lawmakers and other dignitaries.

Purpose

  • To recognize outstanding individuals involved in public broadcasting for their innovation and creativity.
  • To inspire others involved in public broadcasting to greater achievement in the field of public radio and television.
  • To increase awareness of public broadcasting and the contributions talented individuals make to the industry statewide.

Eligibility
Donors and Professionals involved in Michigan public radio or television are eligible for nomination. Nominations can be made by colleagues, supervisors and/or station managers. Activities for which the person is nominated may be long-term, to recognize lifetime contributions to public broadcasting, or more recent, to reflect a concentrated period of achievement.

Nomination Process
Deadline for nominations and supporting material (i.e. letters of support, photos and videos) is Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

Visit the MAPB Award Page here for more information and to access the online nomination form.

 

MABF’s Student Advisory Committee Shines Brightly

As this school year comes to a close, it’s time to recruit new student talent to join the 2017-2018 Student Advisory Committee. Do you know a Michigan broadcasting student with great ideas who can help guide the MABF into the next few years? Prospective students must first be nominated by an advisor. Please send in your student nominations to mabf@michmab.com and have your student fill out an application and submit it to the MABF by Friday, June 30, 2017. 2017-2018 SAC applications can be found here.

The 2016-2017 MABF Student Advisory Committee is, without a doubt one of the best, most active student committees the MABF has had over the past few years. This year’s committee, comprised of fifteen high school and college students from throughout the state, was integral in the planning of the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) and has proven that they are passionate and committed to the future of the industry through their production of a new student-focused e-newsletter.

During the committee’s first meeting at the Broadcasting Career Builder Conference (BCBC) in November 2016, the students gave input on the types of educational sessions students want to attend. Suggestions such as educating students on social media outlets and giving information on the state’s different college broadcasting programs were discussed. As a result of this meeting, the MABF offered two career sessions at the GLBC in March, “Picking the College that is right for YOU” and “Connecting the Dots: How Social Media, Blogging, and Podcasting Fit into a Station’s Digital Strategy.” Both of these sessions were very popular and highly attended by college and high school students. The MABF thanks the Student Advisory Committee for their input and looks forward to gathering further suggestions from them for BCBC 2017.

The planning and production of the MABF’s new student e-newsletter, “Beyond the Classroom,” is the committee’s answer to solving the issue of student outreach. The goal of the bi-monthly e-newsletter is to directly inform broadcasting students statewide about the benefits and offerings of the MABF as well as new job and internship postings. The students write articles for each newsletter and provide suggestions on new and relevant topics to cover. The MABF is working hard to grow the e-newsletter reach and encourages you to subscribe to receive the e-newsletter by texting “MABF” to 22828 or clicking here.

You’re a Radio DJ. You’ve Lost Your Job. How to Take Control of Your Online Presence

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

Stay in the radio business long enough, and sooner or later you’ll find yourself out of work. It’s a rite of passage.

But, that doesn’t change the fact that in the moments immediately following your dismissal, you’re prone to panic. I’ve been there more than once or twice: carrying a box full of office supplies and old backstage passes out to the car. You may not feel this way now, but one day you will wear this battle scar as a badge of honor.

You’ll go home and work the phones immediately in the hopes of shaping the story before it gets out. I’m always reminded of this scene from Jerry Maguire:


Once the shock wears off and you’ve called all the people you need to call, it’s time to come up with a gameplan. There’s a good chance your future employer will look you up online, so it’s time to take control of your digital presence. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Set up a website
You need a central place on the web where you can direct both fans and potential employers. Purchase a domain for your on-air name, preferably one that ends in “dot com.” If there are common misspellings of your name, purchase domains for those, too. Even if you are using a hosted service like Blogger or WordPress.com, purchase a domain name and redirect it to your site. You can do this at any domain registry site, like GoDaddy or 1and1.com.

There are plenty of inexpensive website building programs out there. My recommendation is that you set up a self-hosted WordPress site. This isn’t hard to do, but if you’re not technically inclined, you can easily hire somebody to create one for you. One of WordPress’ big advantages is that once it’s set up, you can update it yourself with a backend that’s as intuitive as Microsoft Word. Plus, the platform is so popular that you can always find a WordPress developer for hire.

Your website doesn’t need to be fancy. A headshot, a brief bio, an aircheck and links to your social media profiles is enough. If you’ve got a blog, you get bonus points, but make sure you update it regularly and that you’ve posted recently. An out-of-date blog looks bad.

This photo was taken at the mall
This photo was taken at the mall

2. Get a professional headshot
Go to a photography studio and get some professional photos taken. You’re going to need them: for your website, for your social media profiles, for your YouTube aircheck.

Don’t cheap out on this. No, you can’t have your friend take a photo of you standing in front of a white wall. Shell out the $100 and get it done at one of those mall stores.

3. Update your LinkedIn profile
Many potential employers will take a look at your LinkedIn profile, so spend some quality time updating it. Make sure it’s complete, listing all of your past employers, along with a full list of your skills. You can upload files to your LinkedIn profile, so post your aircheck here to make it easy for people to listen to. Make sure you have a good number of connections, but don’t connect to people that you don’t really have a professional relationship with. LinkedIn shows you how complete your profile is — the more, the better.

4. Post your aircheck to Soundcloud and YouTube
No doubt, you’ve edited together a 3-minute aircheck demo before, but it may have been a while. If you don’t have access to an audio workstation anymore, you can download free or inexpensive software like Audacity or Garageband to get the job done.

Forget about burning your aircheck to CD; nobody has time for that anymore. Instead, create a Soundcloud account and upload your aircheck. Soundcloud is ideal for short pieces of audio because it is free, its audio player can easily be embedded on a website, and it integrates very nicely with social networks like Facebook. When somebody asks you for your aircheck, email them a link to your Soundcloud demo, don’t attach an Mp3 file; clicking is easier than downloading, especially if your email is received on a mobile device.


You may want to upload your aircheck to YouTube as well. Like Soundcloud files, YouTube videos are easy to embed on websites and share over social networks. The easiest way to make a YouTube video is to use a slideshow program like Powerpoint or Keynote. Create a single slide with your photo and name on it. Import your aircheck as audio. Then export the entire thing as a movie file and upload it to YouTube. Make sure you include a link to your website in the description of your video on YouTube.

5. Take control of your social media presence
Hopefully you have been actively using social media throughout your career, but if not, now is the time to start. At the very least, you should have a Facebook page (not just a personal profile), a LinkedIn profile, and a Twitter account. Use a program like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to manage all of your social media profiles from one place. If you haven’t been posting regularly, start. Aim for at least once per day.

Now is a good time to start participating in various online communities. Join discussions in some LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ groups. There are several that focus on the radio industry, including this Facebook group.

Bonus: Launch a podcast
Want to keep your skills honed? Start podcasting. It’s not likely to replace your income, but it can be a good way to stay involved. Plus, it’s a great skill to put on a resumé. Start with our podcasting guide or join the Podcast Movement Facebook group. Better yet, book a trip to the Podcast Movement conference this summer. It’s easy to teach yourself and the equipment is relatively inexpensive.

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

This Close is Shockingly Simple

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.

Lytle_275-252x300
Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer
InstantSalesTraining.com

“Send me a proposal.”

I dread hearing those four words.

“Send me a proposal.”

Those four words can add hours of work to your day.

“Send me a proposal.”

Those four words can add days to your sales cycle.

Look, not every sale is an enterprise solution. Not every product can be customized. Sometimes we’re just out there selling stuff that solves a common business problem.

Quick story.

I’m meeting with the CFO of a broadcast company. We’re 90 minutes into the discovery phase.

He’s hesitant to invest in sales training. His sales managers are having trouble finding good candidates to train. There is too much turnover.

I happen to be selling an aptitude test for evaluating potential employees. I steer the conversation toward selecting better salespeople.

“This is exactly what we need,” says the CFO. “Send me a proposal for fifteen of them.”

(The tests cost $100 each.)

“I brought an order form,” I reply.

Silence.

“That will work,” said the CFO.

Done deal.

“I brought an order form” is the shockingly simple close that will work for your salespeople too.

When will you teach it to them?

Chris Lytle is the author of The Accidental Salesperson: How to Take Control of Your Career and Earn the Respect and Income You Deserve and The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Team to Record Profits. Because sales managers are pulled in so many directions, Chris built this resource for you.

Reprinted by permission

My oh MAYA

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

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:  Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
Dick Taylor Blog
https://dicktaylorblog.com/

Have you ever heard of the MAYA Principle? Neither had I. But I saw an article in The Atlantic titled “The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything, what makes things cool” and I wondered if there might be some application for radio.

MAYA

MAYA stands for “Most Advanced. Yet Acceptable.”

It means that as you design your product or business for the future you need to keep it in balance with your users’ present. In other words, as Tony Bennett might have sang, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

This 1931 jazz composition by Duke Ellington was given the MAYA treatment by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in 2014. Proving anything that’s old can be new again.

Age of Distraction

I doubt anyone would take issue with the statement that the 21st Century is the “Age of Distraction.” I also am sure that when your computer, smartphone, tablet, software says you have an update, you sigh a big sigh and utter something like “Uff da. Fina mina doh.” (Translation: Oh boy. Here we go again.)

Sequels

Hollywood and television have long understood MAYA. To date we have twelve Star Wars movies, ten Halloween movies and CSI grew from Las Vegas to Miami and New York. I’m sure you can think of many others.

The reason is each is new but familiar.

Change

We humans are a fickle lot.

We hate change and we love change.

What we really like is what Derek Thompson calls “the simulation of innovation, which pushes the right buttons for novelty while remaining fundamentally conventional.”

________ R Us

Remember when Toys R Us had everyone copying their success by calling themselves “R Us” too. The iPod, iPhone, iPad had lots of imitators as well, as if putting a small “i” in front of your name made you cool.

Well, it can.

Ask Bob Pittman.

He changed Clear Channel Radio to Clear Channel Media & Entertainment before abandoning the old CC brand to adopt its successful App brand for the entire company. Voila, iHeartMedia.

“iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc.

Car Radios

I recently drove a Toyota Rav4 rental for a week in Florida. The radio was a trial. Thank goodness it had a volume and a tuning knob. Everything else was activated by the touch screen or the myriad of buttons on the steering wheel. (Don’t get me started about the HD reception.)

Laurence Harrison, Director of Digital Radio UK did a presentation at the Connected Car Show in 2016 on what the consumer wanted in their car radio. Here’s some of what he told his audience.

  • 77% want LIVE radio.
  • 82% said a radio was a MUST HAVE.
  • 69% said if they could only chose one entertainment option it would be radio.
  • Digital is the future of radio.
  • Want better radios.
  • Listener centered design.
  • Metadata to make it smart.

Summing it all up, consumers want a car radio that’s broadcast digital, with a simple, easy-to-use interface (that’s familiar) and an app-like experience that is safe according to Harrison.

Raymond Loewy

The MAYA principle was the design approach brainchild of Raymond Loewy. You may not know his name but you know his work. Loewy designed the Coca Cola bottle, the logo for Air Force One, the logos for Shell, USPS and Greyhound. He also designed some of the iconic cars of the 40s – 60s and so much more.

Loewy understood us fickle humans. We want change, just not too quickly. He was a master of giving consumers a more advanced design but not more advanced than what they were able to deal with.

Apple

Steve Jobs was good as applying the principle of MAYA with the introduction of the iPod and its evolution. The iPod over time removed most of its buttons creating the entrance for the iPhone.

Apple wasn’t about to repeat the disaster it had with the Newton, a product that was more advanced than consumers were ready for. Google Glass is another such product that made too big a leap.

Knowing Your Customer’s Current Skill Level

For the consumer to embrace change, change must be introduced gradually over time.

The Air Pods might seem like a contradiction to this but when the iPhone7 introduced them and took away the headphone jack the percentage of wireless headphone sales to wired ones had already crossed a tipping point. iPhone7 sales are an indicator that it was MAYA time for this innovation. Apple didn’t have to explain the concept to its consumers, they were already there.

Consumers are not going to spend their time and money on trying to learn your product if there’s a product out there that is easier to use and more familiar to them.

And, that is the challenge for radio.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequenty at https://dicktaylorblog.com.  

WZZM 13 Wins Second TEGNA Community Empowerment Award

WZZM_700WZZM-TV, the TEGNA owned ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, won the parent company’s Community Empowerment Award for the second year in a row. The award showcases the initiatives and work that stations do to help their respective communities.

“It has been the highlight of my career to be able to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives and work hand-in-hand with my colleagues to improve our community,” said Program and Community Director Catherine Behrendt. “This award is recognition of that work and I’m proud of our team for having received it.”

WZZM 13’s sustained commitment and willingness to go one step further was evident in the examples they submitted.

New Heights: Restoring a City was an hour-long documentary that examined the history, the challenges, and the work being done to restore a more hopeful future for the city of Muskegon Heights. It also inspired others to do more, and with the help of TEGNA grants, launched an effort to bring back the much-loved Muskegon Heights High Step Marching Band.  See the full special here.

Water for Flint was an effort that collected tens of thousands of gallons of donated bottled drinking water for the people of Flint, whose own water was tainted with lead.

LOVE>hate (Love Is Greater Than Hate) was launched after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. At a time of great tragedy, how might people be reminded that the world is filled with many, many good people? A series of stories and on-air messages reminded people that love has a much greater impact on the world. WZZM 13 also hosted a Dance for Unity in downtown Grand Rapids to give people a chance to come together.

13 Friends for Life turned twenty this year. The breast cancer awareness campaign is credited by a number of women for having saved their lives. They saw the message, got a mammogram, discovered cancer, and were successfully treated – all because of 13 Friends for Life.

And, finally, Toys for Tots served thousands of children and their families during the holiday season—making sure all those kids had presents under the tree at Christmas.

TEGNA honored the winners and finalists during its annual Employee Awards ceremony at corporate headquarters in McLean, VA.

“Our employees are living our purpose by empowering those they serve. It is always an honor to come together and celebrate their many achievements,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO, TEGNA. “Today’s award winners helped TEGNA reach new heights over the past year and their continued dedication and hard work is vital to our success. I congratulate all of our winners and finalists on their outstanding performance.”

WZZM 13 was also a finalist in the Diversity & Inclusion Category.

Liggett Communications Launches #SharePortHuron Campaign

PortHuron_700
Liggett Communications dedicates over $250,000 in advertising to Tourism in Michigan’s Thumb Area with Radio Station Social Media Campaign called #SharePortHuron

Local Port Huron area radio stations WSAQ-FM (Q Country 107.1), 96.9 WBTI-FM, News/Talk 1380 WPHM-AM, Rock 105.5 WHLS-AM/FM in partnership with the Bluewater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (bluewater.org) are announcing the most aggressive tourism campaign ever launched in the greater Port Huron area.

A truly unique program called #shareporthuron began April 3, featuring no less than $250,000 in advertising time dedicated to generating interest, excitement and tourist traffic to the Port Huron and greater Thumb area.

“We decided to make our citizens and visitors to our area our primary marketing team by asking them to share their favorite pictures and videos with three specially designed social media pages and a custom website developed by us at www.shareporthuron.com,” explains Radiofirst, Liggett Communications, General Manager Scott Shigley. “Then each Friday throughout the months of June, July, and August we will be giving away $1,000 in cash every week to the person who provides the picture or video that has the most combined “likes” across our #shareporthuron social media platforms.”

“With hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in our community we felt like it was our obligation to create a fun and exciting way to showcase all the incredible things to see and do in our communities. And, with the promotional partnership of the Bluewater Convention and Visitors Bureau and other community partners we were able to put #shareporthuron together and we couldn’t be more excited. The citizens of Port Huron and surrounding area are rightfully proud of our growth and this gives them a perfect outlet to share that enthusiasm…and having a chance to win $1,000 serves as a huge incentive to push our message out as far as possible.”

Former Bad Axe Broadcaster John Thomas Vobbe Dies

Contributed by Frederick R. Vobbe

John Thomas Vobbe
John Thomas Vobbe

John “Jack” Thomas Vobbe, age 76, of Bad Axe, Michigan, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2017, at the Huron County Medical Care Center in Bad Axe. He was born on February 21, 1941, to Gayle and Jeanne Vobbe in Toledo, Ohio, who preceded him in death.

John attended DeVeaux elementary and DeVilbiss High School, class of 1959. John also attended the University of Toledo.

Growing up in Toledo, John had a fascination for radio broadcasting, tape recording, and pop music. John was a broadcaster most of his life beginning at McKinley School’s (Toledo) educational radio station, WTDS-FM. In his spare time he would record radio shows with his friends in his parent’s basement, and collected the latest rock and roll 45s. In high school he DJed “sock hops” for private and company parties, and delivered The Toledo Blade newspaper. He also worked for the family business, Vobbe’s Grocery, near the corner of Page and Cherry Streets in Toledo.

After finishing school John obtained a Federal Communications Commission 1st Class radio broadcast license. His first job was with WATH-AM/FM in Athens, Ohio, serving as a Staff Announcer and Chief Engineer. He took the name “Jack Thomas” when on the air.

After a decade in Athens he moved to WLEW-AM/FM in Bad Axe, Michigan, in 1973 in a similar role.

At both stations he set up remotes, assisted in news broadcasts, assembled music libraries, and repaired the station’s broadcast equipment. John was proud that he entertained his audience with clean humor, including “On This Day in History”, and “Jack’s Birthday Book” where he kept a list of area listener’s birthdays and mentioned
them on the air. John always found entertaining stories and trivia to tell listeners. John was also involved in providing background music to many businesses in the community, especially during Christmas. He always thought Christmas music in the downtown business district made people feel better and gave them time to reflect on the year and their gifts in life.

After retiring from WLEW in 2006, John worked part time briefly for WCPT-FM (Chicago) and was on the air as “Brother Jack.” John also volunteered his engineering knowledge to other stations and engineers when they needed a hand, a part to repair something, or advice on a solution to a problem or where to go to get something
done. He knew people from New York to San Francisco.

John was involved in the region by being a member of several service clubs, and Lutheran churches. He contributed to a large number of non-profit agencies either with time or money, including Lutheran service groups, Huron (MI) and Lucas (OH) County animal shelters, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Paws and Whiskers Shelter, Huron County Special Olympics, Make a Wish, Oesterlein Service for Children, and Huron Council for Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect. John was always one to help another in need, even if it meant setting aside his needs for someone else. His heart was as big as the Thumb of Michigan.

Surviving are his children Sarah Vobbe of Almont MI, Kathryn (Larry) Shisler of Sheboygan, WI, Gayle E. Vobbe of Columbus OH, and Carl Vobbe of Bad Axe, MI and his siblings Katherine (Don) Eschenburg of Almont MI, and Frederick (Debbie) Vobbe of Lima OH.

John and his siblings wish to thank the staff and especially the caregivers on Floor 2 of Huron County Medical Care Center, (who he called his angels), for their love, attention, and companionship in his final days.

At his request he was cremated and buried with no funeral or service next to his parents in the SE section of Ferguson Cemetery in Almont, Michigan. John asked that in lieu of flowers or remembrances that we each say a quiet prayer, and pick up the job of doing a little something every year to help kids and cats. He said, “You don’t have to give a lot, if enough people care to give a little.”

WHTV (Jackson/Lansing) to Cease Broadcasting April 30

WHTV_300As an apparent result of the recently concluded spectrum auction, Spartan TV, LLC (Venture Technology Group) has announced, via the station’s website that it will shut down WHTV-TV at midnight on April 30, 2017.

No further information has been announced, although its expected the FCC will soon be releasing a complete list of stations that are giving up their spectrum and either shutting down, changing channels or moving to a shared-channel arrangement, along with the auction amount each broadcaster is receiving.

WHTV has been on-the-air since August 20, 1999.  The station is a MyNetworkTV affiliate and is operated with a joint sales agreement with E.W. Scripps’ WSYM-TV in Lansing.

WYCD’s Linda Lee Dies After Cancer Battle, Remembered For Positivity

via WYCD-FM (Detroit).  Video tribute from Art Vuolo, Jr.


Linda Lee, legendary broadcaster, Specs Howard School grad and WYCD 99.5 FM’s award-winning afternoon drive co-host, died Friday (3/31) after a seven-month cancer battle.
She’s survived by her husband Jeff Young, daughter Gina (Dan) Holmes Mills, and step-daughter Alexa Young.

Lee, a Detroit native, revealed her Stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis in September 2016, just a few months after celebrating her 20th year on-the-air at Detroit’s WYCD last July. She was diagnosed two weeks before her daughter’s wedding.

Linda Lee
Linda Lee

Lee began her tenure at WYCD as a member of the morning show in 1996. She later teamed up with co-host Chuck Edwards for the long running “Edwards & Lee” afternoon drive show. Edwards & Lee were together for 16 years – collecting a number of national accolades – before Lee paired with Rob Stone after Edwards moved to mornings in late 2015.

“From the get go, Linda and I forged a friendship that’s lasted for nearly 20 years,” Edwards said. “I could get very mushy about Linda’s attributes, but the glue that kept us together was that we made each other laugh.”

A hearty laugh was her hallmark. Always a fan favorite, Lee was known as personable and warm, the kind of person who never met a stranger.

“Linda had the biggest heart in radio and was one of the most positive people I’ve ever met,” said Tim Roberts, longtime friend and CBS’ VP of country music programming. “Her efforts to help the everyday blue collar worker or friend in need in Detroit were unmatched in radio. It’s easy to understand why people loved her so much, she poured it out every day.”

Her friends are everywhere, from those who listen to her while they work the line to the biggest names in country music. The day Lee celebrated her 20th year at WYCD, Stone arranged for country stars to call and congratulate her; names like Keith Urban, Justin Moore and Frankie Ballard. Big & Rich sent a video message.

While the congratulatory calls were a testament to the imprint Lee left on the industry, she was mostly thankful to spend two decades doing what she loved, in a city that she loved.

“They’ve flown by, right here in my hometown,” Lee told Billboard in July, speaking of her 20 years at WYCD. “I’ve been blessed beyond measure. I am having as much fun today as I had 20 years ago when I first got into the business. Every day is exciting. I can’t believe I get paid for it.”

Even at the end, when the prognosis was dire, Lee stayed positive and strong. Her final messages on Facebook were a testament to her spirit. “Good morning all my AWESOME family & Friends!!” she wrote. “You may have already heard the bad news that my small cell cancer spread during chemo, and was impeding my breathing big time. BUT….KEEP THE FAITH and PRAYERS coming, because God is GREAT” Debbie Kenyon, CBS Detroit’s market manager and senior vice president, described her as a person whose glass was always “90 percent full.”

That’s just who she was.

“My favorite thing about Linda Lee is her tremendous positivity,” Stone said. “No matter what the situation, Linda always finds a way to put her smiling, optimistic spin on things. If we all were as positive as Linda, the world would be a happier place.”

She was also a passionate fan of country music, explaining it this way on WYCD: “Country music is like a ‘best friend,’ always there for you in all your times of need,” she wrote. “There is a country song to describe all the monumental and ordinary moments in my life. And, all it takes is a few bars of a song that has touched my heart, and instantly I am taken back to a time & place in my life, and all the memories that go with it.”

Lee was trying hard to get healthy enough to make the trip to Las Vegas to accept her first Academy of Country Music award as a major market personality on Sunday. Co-host Rob Stone will accept the award on her behalf.

Rest easy, Linda.