Category Archives: August 2017

Tom Szczepanski named as Detroit Public Television’s Chief Operating Officer

Detroit Public Television President and CEO Rich Homberg announced August 14 that Tom  Szczepanski will begin as DPTV’s Chief Operating Officer on September 18.

“With Tom joining the DPTV team, we are even better positioned to tell the story of Detroit – which we believe is, today, the most important city in America,” Homberg said in his announcement.  “As university partnerships become more important to us, Tom will be able to use that experience to help build new ‘win-win’ situations.”

Szczepanski comes to DPTV from the University of Michigan, where he has served as Assistant Vice President of Development, Marketing and Annual Giving. His experience also includes consulting the Detroit Medical Center and senior executive roles at global advertising agencies. He began his career at the Detroit Free Press.

“As media continues to evolve quickly, we also need to move at high speed, but do it in a very thoughtful way. Having a COO with a range of the right experience will help the organization through a time of change, helping to ensure that DPTV continues to have a lasting impact in this community, ” said DPTV Board Chair Arthur Horwitz.

Szczepanski is a native of Metro Detroit and graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy.

Michigan Radio recognized by National Association of Black Journalists

Lester Graham

Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham was honored August 12 by the  the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

Graham received  an NABJ “Salute to Excellence Award” in the Radio Documentary: Top 15 Markets category for “Separate and Unequal.” He also was a Radio News: Long Form award finalist for “The Kerner Commission and why its recommendations were ignored.

The documentary “Separate and Unequal”  examined the findings of the Kerner Commission, which was created to address the inequities that were the root cause of the riots and civil disturbances of the summer of 1967. The commission’s recommendations were largely ignored. It also examined attitudes about race in today’s America, including its impact on education and police relationships.

Both of these pieces were produced in cooperation with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative (DJC), a partnership of five media outlets reporting on Detroit’s future after bankruptcy. The partnership includes Michigan Radio, WDET, Detroit Public Television, Bridge Magazine and New Michigan Media.

The NABJ’s “Salute to Excellence Awards” recognize journalism that best covers the black experience or addresses issues affecting the worldwide black community during the year. The awards were presented at the organization’s annual convention in New Orleans.

Michigan Radio is an NPR News Station and broadcasts at 91.7 FM in Detroit and southeastern Michigan, 91.1 FM in Flint, 104.1 FM in western Michigan and is available online at Michigan Radio is licensed to the University of Michigan and broadcasts from studios located in Ann Arbor.

Make it Memorable

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

I recently just returned from my first real vacation in many years. I joined some of the members of my high school class for an 8-day Caribbean Cruise.

We sailed aboard Carnival’s Splendor and it was wonderful.

Behind The Fun

Carnival offers a special behind the scenes tour of the ship on the last sea day of a cruise. It’s a very extensive tour that starts on the bridge and time with the captain, Splendor’s Roberto Tine.

Next, we travel to the ship’s engine room and visit with Splendor’s Chief Engineer Mario Testa.

What we basically learn is that everything on today’s cruise ship can be fully automated, but a full staff of people man the controls and make the decisions.

The Carnival Splendor can carry 3,012 guests along with a crew of 1,150.

The Key People

One of the light boards on the ship had pictures of the key personnel on the Splendor and showed four people, the captain, the chief engineer, the head of hotel operations and the cruise director.


MarQ Anthony

The person just about everyone on the Splendor came in contact with was cruise director MarQ Anthony.

His Facebook page really tells the story of this dynamic personality. People write on his page things like: We will definitely be returning just for MarQ and his funny, crazy self. He blew it away. Truly an epic vacation. The most memorable moments of the cruise included the very talented, energetic and hilarious MarQ, our cruise director. I won’t forget this cruise anytime soon! Carnival has a jewel with MarQ and some other staff members on that ship. MarQ was fantastic, phenomenal, amazing and overall the most energetic and fun person I’ve ever met. He made every single event my mom and I attended on the ship memorable and we had a great time. The best part was seeing how much he enjoyed everything he did and his effort to connect and build relationships with people throughout the cruise. We looked forward to hearing his wake-up calls and getting into any event he was involved in on the ship. We loved you MarQ and we look forward to (hopefully) seeing you again!!!

I have to say, I concur with everyone’s comments and MarQ IS Carnival in my mind.

People Attract People

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how it’s people that attract people. I wrote that article to emphasize how it was the radio personalities that put a fire in my belly to be a part of the radio business. I worked in radio for over four decades and then seven years ago I transitioned into teaching when I became a broadcast professor at a university. I wanted to light fires in the bellies of my students for the radio industry.

First Impressions

We never get a second chance to make a first impression. For my fiancé this was her first cruise. For me it was my second one but my first was about three decades ago, so it was like the first time for me too.

Good first impressions come from projecting a positive image and doing that comes from your attitude. MarQ led a team of people on the Carnival Splendor that had a positive attitude. Anna is the head of training and staff development on the Splendor and was the person who led our group of 16 people on our tour. (Note: the Behind The Fun tour of the ship is limited to a maximum of 16 people.)

The crew’s section of the ship is like a city within a city. It’s not as flashy as the guest accommodations but it is clean, comfortable and Carnival makes every effort to ensure that their team members are happy and well cared for. The hiring business model appears to put hiring people with the right attitude first. Everyone on the Carnival Team was upbeat, positive and fun to be around. They don’t just make a great first impression but reinforce that impression with every encounter.

8-Days, 4-Islands

The cruise was a wonderful vacation. We visited four islands over our eight-day cruise, we saw many wonderful and amazing things, we even rode a Segway, but what we will remember forever were the people of the Splendor and how they made us feel.

In the end, it’s not about stuff or things, but people-to-people encounters.


So much of the cruise experience could be fully automated, but it would pale with the experience we enjoyed because of the wonderful people on the Carnival Team.

Almost every radio station impacts more people with their broadcast signal than the 3,012 guests aboard the Splendor, but they lose their advantage when they automate and voice track their product. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Clayton Christensen wrote in the “The Innovator’s Dilemma” that businesses are disrupted not because they ignored threats to their business but because they didn’t recognize the threats to their business.

Radio can’t dilute its core business while in pursuit of possible ancillary activities.

Radio’s core business is talented people totally engaged and focused on their service area, 24/7.

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  

How to Add a Cover Video to Your Radio Station’s Facebook Page

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

This Spring, Facebook began experimenting with allowing users to add a cover video to their Facebook business pages. The feature is now available to all pages. To see an example, check out the Jacobs Media Facebook page.

Adding a video is simple: Navigate to your Facebook page, click the “Change Cover” link in the upper left corner of your cover photo and choose one of the video options. (You can find more detailed instructions here.)

The optimal dimensions for the video are 820 by 456 pixels and the video must be at least 820 by 312 pixels. If you are using a video editing program that doesn’t allow you to create a video with custom dimensions — my version of iMovie didn’t — don’t worry, you can drag an oversized video to the optimal position; it just takes some trial and error. (That’s actually the seventh incarnation of our cover video that you see on our page.)

The video must be between 20 and 90 seconds long. For our video, I looped a 9-second video to make it 27 seconds long, then uploaded it.

If you don’t have an experienced video producer on staff, you can always cheat the way I do: Create a Powerpoint slideshow with fancy transitions, export it as a movie file, import it into video editing program and add music and sound effects. You’d be surprised how far a couple of swooshes and a “Ken Burns Effect” can go!

As always, make sure you have the rights to any music or images you use in your cover video. You don’t want to run into any legal issues.

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

The Robinson Report – It’s Not JUST Radio

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.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“Social Media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to the community” – Simon Mainwaring

As with – Radio.

Perhaps it was the long hallway of empty studios – with whirling servers in solid control.

Or Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly’s decades-old tirade about the high theater of American’s pastimes in his It’s Not Just Sports tirade.

Regardless, more than halfway through 2017 and less than 150 sleeps until Christmas – a reminder that It’s Not JUST Radio.

It DOES heavy the heart see Group Heads applaud voice-tracking dozens of markets – into unmanned radio stations.

Or walls of market-specific voice-tracking pits.

We can still connect listeners – with true emotion.

Even with pre-recorded tracks. Just put effort into it.

Going beyond the automated control rooms, vacated transmitter sites (nearly every action dictated by programmed computers), there remains high radio theatre all over America.

For those with actual live talent in their studios, you have the ability to connect with a story – now.

There is an unselfish child who is showing unreal courage, in face of terrible medical odds, resting at St. Jude’s.

Will you connect your listeners with a family in dire need this upcoming holiday season (Yes – someone will be playing Christmas music in 90 days.)?

Perhaps you know the story behind Boston’s debut album. Still amazed.

The feeling of witnessing listeners of non-commercial radio, rising to meet a critical need sends chills down the spine.

At my first radio post, a coverage map hung on the studio wall.

Glaring at it, I would imagine the potential connection with Listeners in the southern half of The Hoosier State.

And I still imagine.

Because It’s Not Just Radio.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin was a featured speaker at the 2017 Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) in Lansing.  He lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or

NAB Recognition: WCZY-FM (Mt. Pleasant)

This article originally appeared in a recent NAB Public Service mailer

Latitude Media’s WCZY-FM (Mt. Pleasant) provided critical coverage as eight inches of rain flooded its listening area from June 23 to 25, causing more than $100 million in damage.

WCZY provided information on the 130 roads that closed as pavement crumbled beneath the water, in addition to broadcasting updates from the head of the emergency management team.

On June 26, WCZY collected donations for the local American Red Cross chapter to assist people staying at a temporary shelter.

“Although our staff is small, they really shined big for our community during this unprecedented crisis,” Owner Bob Peters said . “This is why local radio is so important to the communities we serve and why my wife and I are so proud to be local broadcasters.”

The MAB would like to congratulate Bob & Laurie Peters and their staff for outstanding community service!

FCC Watch: Lots of FM Translator Filings

Here’s the latest Michigan-related FCC broadcast filings.

First, a compilation of FM Translator applications filed by AM licensees during the July 26 – August 2 filing window:

Benton Harbor, MI:  Gerard Media LLC seeks 106.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WHFB-AM, Benton Harbor.

Cadillac, MI:  MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting, Inc. seeks 106.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WATT-AM, Cadillac.

Charlotte, MI:  West Central Michigan Media Ministries seeks 92.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned KTGG-AM, Okemos.

Detroit, MI: WMUZ Radio, Inc. seeks 107.1 Mhz, 60 watts, for co-owned WRDT-AM, Monroe.

East Lansing, MI: Townsquare Media Lansing License, LLC seeks 102.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WVFN-AM, East Lansing.

Escanaba, MI:  AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC seeks 93.5 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WCHT-AM, Escanaba.

Flint, MI:  Cumulus Licensing, LLC seeks 107.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WWCK-AM, Flint.

Gladwin, MI: Apple Broadcasting Company, Inc. seeks 96.5 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WGDN-AM, Gladwin.

*Gladwin, MI:  Hayco Broadcasting seeks 100.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WCSM-AM, Celina, OH.

Hancock, MI: J&J Broadcasting, Inc. seeks 107.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMPL-AM, Hancock.

Indian River, MI: Black Diamond Broadcast Holding, LLC seeks 98.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WCBY-AM, Cheboygan.

Grand Rapids, MI: Radio License Holding CBC, LLC seeks 106.1 Mhz, 75 watts, for co-owned WJRW-AM, Grand Rapids.

Hastings, MI:  Barry Broadcasting Co. seeks 93.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WBCH-AM, Hastings.

Hillsdale, MI:  WCSR, Inc. seeks 99.5 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WCSR-AM, Hillsdale.

Iron River, MI: Iron River Community Broadcasting Corporation seeks 97.9 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WFER-AM, Iron River.

Lansing, MI: The MacDonald Broadcasting Company seeks 93.3 Mhz, 125 watts, for co-owned WXLA-AM, Dimondale.

Lansing, MI: Townsquare Media Lansing License, LLC seeks 107.7 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WJIM-AM, Lansing.

Lapeer, MI:  The Calvary Bible Church of Lapeer seeks 106.9 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMPC-AM, Lapeer.

Lowell, MI: WYGR, LLC seeks 99.5 Mhz, 100 watts, for co-owned WYGR-AM, Wyoming.

Ludington, MI:  Synergy Media, Inc. seeks 106.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WKLA-AM, Ludington.

Manistique, MI:  AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC seeks 98.5 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WTIQ-AM, Manistique.

Marquette, MI:  Taconite Broadcasting, Inc. seeks 106.9 Mhz,  250 watts, for co-owned WZAM-AM, Ishpeming.

Menominee, MI:  Radio Plus Bay Cities, LLC seeks 100.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WAGN-AM, Memominee.

Midland, MI:  Steel Broadcasting, Inc.  seeks 107.7 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMPX-AM, Midland.

Munising, MI:  Great Lakes Radio, Inc. seeks 97.7 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WQXO-AM, Munising.

Niles, MI:  Marion R. Williams seeks 107.5 Mhz, 80 watts, for co-owned WNIL-AM, Niles.

Otsego, MI:  Vintage Radio Enterprises, LLC seeks 98.9 Mhz, 80 watts, for co-owned WAKV-AM, Otesego.

Petoskey, MI:  MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting, Inc. seeks 104.7 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMBN-AM, Petoskey.

Port Huron, MI: Liggett Communications, LLC seeks 92.7 Mhz, 125 watts, for co-owned WHLX-AM, Marine City.

Port Huron, MI: Liggett Communications, LLC seeks 107.7 Mhz, 195 watts, for co-owned WHLS-AM, Port Huron.

Saginaw, MI: The MacDonald Broadcasting Company seeks 92.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WSAM-AM, Saginaw.

Sandusky, MI: Sanilac Broadcasting Company seeks 95.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMIC-AM, Sandusky.

Shepherd, MI:  Latitude Media, LLC seeks 92.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMMI-AM, Shepherd.

St. Joseph, MI:  WSJM, Inc. seeks 106.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WSJM-AM, St. Joseph.

Sturgis, MI:  Impact Radio, LLC seeks 106.9 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WRCI-AM, Three Rivers.

Tawas City, MI:  Carroll Enterprises, Inc. seeks 106.9 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WIOS-AM, Tawas City.

Whitehall, MI:  Radio License Holding CBC, LLC seeks 99.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WKLQ-AM, Whitehall.

*The location of this proposed translator may be a typographical error, given the distance between the primary station and the translator location.

Other recent FCC Filings:

August 7:  Edgewater Broadcasting, Inc. filed an assignment application to transfer FM Translator W273CI (Grand Haven) to Smile FM.  The station will rebroadcast WMCQ-FM, Muskegon.

August 7:  Underwood V Radio, Inc. filed an application for license for low-power FM WFCB-LP (Ferndale).

August 7:  Family Life Broadcasting System was granted a license for FM Translator W284BQ (Detroit).  The license  covers a minor change application.

August 4:  Educational Media Foundation filed an application for license for FM Translator W262BD (Dimondale).  The license application follows minor change permit.   The translator rebroadcasts WWSJ-AM (St. Johns).

August 3:  Educational Media Foundation filed an application for license for non-commercial WAKL-FM (Flint).  The license application follows a minor change permit.

August 3:  Michigan Community Radio was granted a construction permit for changes for FM Translator W260CQ  (Plainfield Township).  The application is for an increase in ERP.

July 27:  AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC was granted a license to cover for WCMM-FM (Gulliver).  The station reduced its ERP.

Jacobs Media Presenting Email Marketing Webinar on Thursday

When: This Thursday, August 10,  2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT

Email can be a powerful marketing tool for radio stations, but many don’t have the manpower to take full advantage of it. In this webinar, Seth Resler will show you how to automate your email campaigns to save your staff time.

You’ll learn:

    • How to create an automated campaign to email out new website content
    • How to create an automated campaign to recycle older email content
    • How to increase registrations for your email database

The webinar is free.  Interested stations can register here.

Brian Abel Joins WXYZ

Brian Abel

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) announced that Brian Abel has joined the station as a reporter for “7 Action News This Morning.”

Abel comes to the station from E. W. Scripps’ sister station KSHB-TV in Kansas City.  There, Brian was the lead reporter during the station’s coverage of the 2016 election.

He also was assigned to stories picked up nationally, including the tragic death of a young boy on the nation’s tallest waterslide, the death of two firefighters battling an arson fire, a triple shooting in an Olathe bar investigated as a hate crime, a massive construction fire forcing the evacuation of an Overland Park neighborhood, devastating tornadoes and a Missouri bill to consider sex between legislators and lobbyists as a “gift.”

Prior to Kansas City, Abel was primary anchor for WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, N.D.

Abel was born and raised in the Grand Rapids suburb of Lowell. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in journalism.

GMR Extends Interim Music Licenses

On August 8, The Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) announced that music licensing firm Global Music Rights (GMR) has extended its interim licensing extension through March 31, 2018.

The original interim agreement was set to expire September 30,  2017.

RMLC’s antitrust litigation against GMR in Philadelphia remains ongoing and the RMLC asked GMR to offer extensions of its interim licenses.  Initially, GMR stated that it was willing to offer interim license extensions to all radio stations, except those that are “owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania.” As for these Pennsylvania-based entities, GMR stated (including on its website) that it would not do business with those entities after their current licenses expire.

After legal filings and discussions with GMR and the court, GMR has committed to the court that it would offer license extensions to all stations, including those “owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania” through March 31, 2018.

That means, despite anything to the contrary on GMR’s website, GMR has agreed to offer all U.S. commercial radio stations, including stations “owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania,” the opportunity to extend their existing interim licenses until March 31, 2018. GMR will offer these interim license extensions on the same terms (including price) as each station’s existing interim license, except for the new end date. If you wish to negotiate an extension of your interim license with GMR please contact GMR directly before your current license expires on September 30, 2017.

If GMR refuses to offer you an interim license extension on the same terms as your existing license, please let Bill Velez at the RMLC know so that we can address it with the Philadelphia court.

Velez can be reached at or (615) 844-6260.

In the meantime, RMLC intends to continue to pursue its litigation against GMR.