Category Archives: August 2017

WPHM’S Gilmer Retires

Bill Gilmer

Bill Gilmer, veteran broadcaster and News Director of Radio First’s WPHM-AM (Port Huron) has retired. His last day on the job was this past Friday, August 4 and that included a morning on-air retirement party hosted by WPHM Morning Host Paul Miller at Freighters Eatery & Taproom in Port Huron.  Gilmer was working right up to the end — he spent part of Thursday covering an event celebrating progress in restoring the St. Clair River.

Gilmer began his radio career in Port Huron in 1979 when he was hired by John Wismer at WHLS. He has been the director of the Blue Water Festival, former board president of Main Street Port Huron, a Port Huron City Council member and vice president of the Michigan Waterways Council of the the Girl Scouts of America.

“I got to go from records and chart machines to all digital equipment.  A lot of new knowledge in those years as far as the traditions of doing news and doing broadcasts on the radio,” Gilmer said in an interview with Port Huron’s “The Times-Herald.”

Gilmer said he will stay busy on the 10-acre farm in Wales Township he shares with Dr. Annette Mercatante, a medical health officer for St. Clair County.

Are you Registered Yet?

The 2017 MAB Advocacy Conference is less than two weeks away Time is running out to register to attend the annual business meeting, Advocacy sessions and Awards Banquet!


Are you registered to join the MAB on August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville?


This Advocacy Conference is designed to offer legislative insights on federal, state, political and issue advertising that could impact station’s bottom lines. You’ll hear from a line-up of top speakers, including:
  • Dr. Esther Thorson, MSU School of Journalism Professor and expert on “fake news” trends and news consumption patterns;
  • Rick Kaplan, General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Legal and Regulatory Affairs for the National Association of Broadcasters;
  • Rob Elhenicky, Partner & MAB Lobbyist with Kelly Cawthorne;
  • David Oxenford of Wilkinson Baker Knauer LLP.
  • John D. Pirich of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; and

The important Advocacy Conference is  FREE to MAB members. Register here

Left: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) / Right: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12)

The MAB is thrilled to welcome two Washington D.C. lawmakers home to Michigan as part of this year’s  Awards Banquet:

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will be honored with the MAB’s Lifetime of Distinguished Public Service Award.
  • Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12) will be a special guest at this year’s Banquet  to present the MAB Lifetime Achievement Award to 2017 honoree Marla Drutz, vice president and general manager at WDIV-TV (Detroit).

Other 2017 Awards Banquet honorees will include Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees Rob David of Handyman Productions, Erik Smith of WXYZ-TV (Detroit), and Radio Reader Dick Estell of WKAR (East Lansing), as well as Legacy Award recipient Linda Lee of WYCD-FM. Both Estell and Lee will be honored posthumously.

CMU Public Radio’s John Sheffler and Detroit Public Television supporter William H. Smith will be  honored with MAPB Public Media Impact Awards.

The annual MAB Awards Banquet is a fundraiser for the MAB Foundation, which awards more than $26,000 in scholarships to deserving broadcasting students each year.

Awards Banquet tickets are still available for $170 per person. Click here to reserve your tickets and be a part of the celebration.

We look forward to seeing you on August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville!

WEMU Expands Local Content On Weekdays

Eastern Michigan University’s WEMU-FM (Ypsilanti) has announced that beginning August 6, the station will begin airing an extra hour of NPR’s Morning Edition with David Fair anchoring the additional hour of coverage from 9 to 10 a.m. with a focus on an expansion of local content.

The station reports that locally-produced Civic Matters with host Mary Morgan will be heard Monday at 9:50 a.m. Airing Tuesdays at 9:50 a.m.  will be a new feature with host Deb Polich titled creative:impact, which will explore how the creative industry helps keep the community moving forward. Wednesdays at 9:50 a.m., the station will air updates on their partnership with Concentrate Media’s On the Ground project currently underway in Ypsilanti.

Thursdays at 9:50 a.m. will feature a replay of WEMU’s long-time feature, Cinema Chat.  And, Art and Soul with Lisa Barry will be replayed Friday mornings at 9:50 a.m. while the station works on developing a feature focused on issues important to our community.

In a post on the station’s website, the move is being made for two reasons: to allow Music Director/On-Air Host Linda Yohn time to focus more on her transition to retirement and to bring listeners and supporters even more great local news content focused on topics that aren’t being covered thoroughly enough by other media.  Yohn will move to a 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. air shift while Michael Jewett will move to 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 pm.  Yohn announced her retirement in February, but will remain with the station until early December.

The Sales Contest

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.

Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer

Let me tell you a story because that’s what I do.

Some of you will remember when I used to tour with Radio Sales $101. It was a one-day seminar for new radio advertising salespeople that cost $101.

Clever, huh?

We got a call from a budget challenged sales manager that went like this:

“We can’t afford to send our whole team to your seminar in Columbus. So we’re going to have a sales contest to see who gets to attend,” he said.

“I hope you’re planning on sending the loser,” I replied.

“We’re planning on sending the winner. Why would we send the loser?”

“Because the winner of your sales contest will have the least need for sales training,” I said. “And the loser will have the most need for the training.”

“But we reward people who sell well with extra training,” he objected.

I tried to reason with him one more time. “Why not reward the winner with a weekend at a nice hotel in the city and some theater tickets? Make the loser sit through six hours with me.”

There’s nothing wrong with training and retraining your best salespeople. The lapse in this sales manager’s logic was thinking of sales training is a reward for, and not a driver of, performance.

You can also be using your sales training program as a recruitment tool. Many entry level people want to know what you’re going to do to make them successful. Their friends are talking to them about the training they’re getting in their first jobs.

Ongoing learning should be part of your retention program, too. Market your sales learning program to your current team. Let them know that you have a budget for their ongoing development and how much it is.

Here’s why: When salespeople think of your sales department as a place to grow rather than just a place to work, they will stay with you longer.

Reprinted by permission

Social Media Is for Traffic Spurts; Google Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

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

When I talk to radio stations about ways to increase incoming traffic to their website content, they inevitably focus on social media. While social media is an important channel for driving people to your website, it’s only one of the channels available. Another equally (if not more) important channel is search engines — especially Google. Yet all too often radio stations overlook the importance of search engines.

There is a difference between the web traffic that comes from social media and the traffic that comes from search engines. In my experience, social media can result in erratic spikes when a blog post goes viral, but it’s difficult to predict or recreate. Search engine traffic, on the other hand, is steady and, over time, predictable.

On our website, Fred Jacobs writes a daily radio industry blog. From time to time, we invite guest authors to write a “Top 5” list for us. The feature, called “The Guest List,” has proven to be very popular. In fact, several of these guest posts have gone viral on social media immediately after being published.

But the Guest List post from morning DJ Sheri Lynch (WLNK/Charlotte) — one half the Bob & Sheri show — is different. In January, we published a column by Sheri titled, “The Top 5 Radio Topics That Get the Phones Ringing.” On the day it went live, it performed well. But then something unusual happened…

Several months later, Fred pointed out that the column was continuing to show up in our list of top posts. Every day, Sheri’s list would get several dozen pageviews. And to this day, while other posts come and go, Sheri’s shows remarkable consistency.

I dug a little deeper and discovered that the incoming web traffic for the post is coming from Google. People are searching for variations on “good phone topics for radio,” and Google is sending them to Sheri’s column.

While nobody knows exactly what Google’s search results algorithm is, we know it looks for signs that people like what they see when they click on a particular result (for example, a low bounce rate). Once Google determines that a particular piece of content does, in fact, do a good job of addressing people’s search queries, it continually sends people there. This is what is happening with Sheri’s post. Every day, Google sends more people to it.

Source: Google Analytics (Jan 1 – Aug 3, 2017)

Over time, that incoming traffic adds up. Sheri’s guest post is now our most popular blogpost for 2017 and our second most popular webpage behind our homepage. That trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

There’s a lesson in Sheri’s post: When you sit down to think about how you can drive more people to your radio station’s website, don’t focus solely on social media while forgetting about search engines. Social media can deliver a nice one-time boost, but for reliable traffic day in and day out, search engines are key.

You can find our Search Engine Optimization resources here.

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

Are your ‘Personalities’ difference makers for your station?

Gary Berkowitz

By: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

Some new tips for programming and management:

There’s a lot of noise out there in radio-land these days. Digital. Internet advertising. Podcasting, Apps, Alexa and many others. Now don’t get me wrong, I think that’s all important. Very important. But, we may need to slow down for a second and look at an area that is a key reason listeners listen and that is the on air personality. Whether you have talk show hosts or DJs on a music station, listeners enjoy and more importantly want their local radio stations to have personalities.

The other day I was scanning through Rick Sklar’s “Rocking America.” It’s the story of what is arguably one of radio’s most successful radio stations ever, WABC in New York. In his book, Rick details what made WABC so successful. He devotes a full chapter to the on-air personalities and how important they were the the station’s success.

I would like to share just a few of his quotes from “Rocking America.” After you read them, ask yourself: How is my station with our on air people? Would my listeners think of our personalities like New York listeners thought of WABC’s? Could this be the missing link for greater success on my radio station?

From “Rocking America …”

  • The impact of WABC cannot be summed up in a corporation’s profit and loss statement. To the listener, radio is a personal medium.
  • During the dozen years of its heyday, WABC, its music and its air personalities became an intimate part of the lives of tens of millions of people who lived in the Northeast.
  • Mornings without Herb Oscar Anderson or Harry Harrison, afternoons without Ron Lundy or Big Dan Ingram, evenings without cousin Brucie were unthinkable to WABC listeners.
  • Those voices, each so unusually amiable and delivered with the warmer than life resonance of the WABC sound, were friend, family and counselor all in one.
  • The songs they played were so popular that they became the national hit music for America. Their appeal crossed every demographic barrier.

Think about it. Can you say these things about your on air personalities? I believe that on music driven stations we sometimes focus too much on content and not nearly enough on how our jocks sound and come across to the listener.

Let’s discuss this. I’d love to know what you think. Call me (248) 737-3727 or email .

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations.

How to Cure Millennials of Career Impatience

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.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Columnist

Millennials expect promotions and pay raises to come early and often. Here’s how leaders can channel this desire to their benefit.

A consistent complaint about Millennials is their unrealistic timeline for being promoted. They want a pay bump in a few months, a promotion a few months later and the title of CEO by end of their first year. Growing up in fast times and coming of age in an on-demand culture, Millennials have little patience for stagnation, especially when it comes to their careers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of April 2016 Millennials held an average of 7.2 jobs from age 18 through age 28. A 2016 Gallup report revealed that 21 percent of Millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year — more than three times the number of non-Millennials. What’s more, this Millennial turnover is costing the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.

As work cycles continue to spin faster and project timelines become shorter, Millennial employees will move up or move on with greater frequency than previous generations.

Leaders need to get more comfortable with the accelerated career advancement expectations of Millennials and arm themselves with a few strategies to satisfy their desire for career progression and stop job-hopping.

To fully satisfy the diverse needs and desires of your Millennial team, consider using a combination of these approaches.

1. Mine the Motivation

Millennials are accustomed to external motivators. Perks, trophies and praise were used to motivate Millennials as they grew up. Because of this, many Millennials lack the internal motivation to overcome career impatience. If you want to deepen the determination and motivation of your Millennial employees, it’s up to the leaders to cultivate it.

The responsibility rests on leaders to cast a compelling vision and help Millennials discover their personal (intrinsic) motivation in achieving the vision and progressing within the organization. Help them to identify the necessary grit that won’t let them quit.

Millennials who gain early clarity on their internal motivations and career progression goals will be able to adjust their expectations and will be better equipped to explore cross-collaboration opportunities to gain more experience and to put their anxious ambition to good use.

2. Commit to Coaching

Coaching is the leadership style that resonates most with Millennials. Millennials were raised in organized activities where they were consistently surrounded by coaches. They view coaching as their path to greatness. The best coaches train, guide and advance while taking deep interest in those they coach.

Effective coaching builds trust, instills loyalty and helps Millennials become valuable faster. Coaching allows a leader to reflect on the progress and impact a millennial is having at the organization and recommend the right opportunities where they could continue their growth and development.

Coaching allows leaders to anticipate when a Millennial is struggling, frustrated, bored or underemployed before they decide to leave the company. Leaders should reemphasize there is no quick remedy for job satisfaction. It’s a slow, uncomfortable and complicated process.

3. Connect With Contribution

Parents encouraged Millennials to have a say at an early age. Access to the Internet also gave Millennials a platform to contribute and have a voice. They now carry this desire to contribute into the workplace. Leaders that create opportunities for Millennials to contribute and cocreate will be rewarded with Millennial loyalty and longevity.

Too often organizations underestimate the ability and desire Millennials have to contribute. Underestimating leads to resentment and underemployment leads to impatience. Create environments that encourage and channels that enable contribution.

4. Motivate With Movement

To satisfy Millennials’ desire to gain transferable skills, get them moving throughout the organization. Millennials don’t view career paths as linear like a ladder but rather multidimensional like a military cargo climbing net. They might be interested in moving left and then back down before moving up.

Be transparent and proactive in your communications about the available opportunities throughout the organization. Networking or social events, job shadows and online job directories are good examples of ways to help Millennials explore movement throughout the organization.

At Taco Bell’s corporate office, the company has a strategy where they loan their employees to other companies. If an employee notices another company is working on a project they are interested in, they can request to be loaned out on a temporary basis to work on that project — a nontraditional approach for a generation that approaches career and learning nontraditionally.

5. Develop for Departure

Offer the training, coaching and mentoring necessary for Millennials to develop themselves out of their current role or the organization. Why develop someone out of the organization? Because the alternative of not developing someone and having them stay and underperform is much worse.

Liz Wiseman, author of “Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work,” writes that a rookie mentality — approaching work or a job/task for the first time or from a new perspective — is the key to faster learning, better performance and persisting through failure. Departing Millennials can make room for new “rookies” ready to perform better and can bring a rookie mentality to their new role or company further advancing themselves or the organization.

If Millennials depart your company, they might not know how good they had it because they have nothing to compare it to this early in their career. When they experience the lack of development at another organization, they will boomerang back to your company. These will become your best company ambassadors. Leverage them wisely.

(This is 1 of the 47 strategies Ryan shares in his new book, The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work.)

This article was originally posted on Ryan’s column, Next Generation Insights.

Reprinted with permission.

Radio to Pay 60 Percent Less In Royalties to SESAC

According to an Inside Radio report, the radio industry will pay less in royalties to SESAC under an agreement reached in an independent binding arbitration with the for-profit performance rights organization.

Under the agreement, stations will pay 60 percent less than what SESAC had been charging on its rate card. The settlement retroactively covers the period from Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2018.

In a statement, the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC )called the arbitrators’ decision a “significant favorable step in the right direction” for the radio industry, since it brings SESAC’s license fees and rate structure more into line with the rate formulas used by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and BMI.

The settlement also includes SESAC transitioning to a percentage-of-revenue license structure rather than its traditional rate-card approach.

Post-Incentive Auction Window Opens for Modifications by Repacked TV Stations that Can’t Build on Their Assigned Channel

According to a report by Broadcast Law Blog, the FCC announced the first of the post-auction filing windows for TV stations that have to move from their current channels as a result of the post-spectrum auction repacking.

The first window, open from August 9 to September 8, is for a limited number of TV stations that fall into two classes: (1) 25 repacked stations that were granted a waiver of the July 12 filing deadline for applications for initial construction permits because the FCC agreed that those stations were unable to construct the facilities that the FCC assigned to them when they were repacked; and (2) any repacked station or any other station entitled to protection that is predicted to experience a loss of population served in excess of one percent as a result of the repacking process.

Read more here.

NWS to Test Snow Squall Warnings This Winter

State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) Chairman Gary Blievernicht (WKAR-TV/East Lansing) has announced that the National Weather Service (NWS) will be testing/evaluating Snow Squall Warnings this coming winter.   Stations are encouraged to consider airing the SVS-coded tests this winter as a part of a project coming from the NWS Detroit office.

The test coverage area includes:

  • Midland Bay Huron
  • Saginaw Tuscola Sanilac
  • Shiawassee Genessee Lapeer St. Clair
  • Livingston Oakland Macomb
  • Washtenaw Wayne
  • Lenawee Monroe

The Snow Squall Warning will be issued based on….

  1. Visibility less than 1/2 mile.
  2. Sub-freezing ambient road temperatures (or plunging temperatures that would produce a flash freeze).
  3. Wind gusts 20 mph or more.
  4. Forecaster judgement of impact, i.e. clear evidence that a snow squall could lead to dangerous conditions and possible multi-car accident (pileup) when one of the above criterion isn’t quite met.

Additional details:

  • The test will likely start somewhere between December 1 and 8.
  • The text product will be ARBSQWDTX with a WMO ID of WWUS51 KDTX.
  • The VTEC (and thus, eventually the WEA code) will be SQ.W.
  • The EAS code that will be used is SVS. This will come from the NOAA Weather Radio SAME.
  • The NWS has never used an EAS code SVS.
  • The NWS will not use the SVS EAS code for any follow up statements for TO.W or SV.W (tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings).
  • The text will have “Bulletin – EAS Activation Requested.”

As this is mostly a life threatening travel issue, stations in the Southeast, East Central and Lenawee/Washtenaw local EAS groups pass this information along from NWS to LPs to all radio stations.