Category Archives: Broadcasting Industry News

Conclave Offers Discount to MAB Members

conclave_700MAB members can save $50 on their registration for the 42nd Conclave Learning Conference, to be held in Minneapolis, MN July 26-28, 2017.  From strategy sessions on generating ratings and revenue, to effective use of social, mobile and podcasting, attendees will gain actionable takeaways to implement at their stations immediately.

Returning are the highly rated and favorite sessions among attendees like, “Ask Me ‘Almost’ Anything,” where industry favorites take questions from the audience on radio’s future and its growth.

Also, Conclave will host the third annual, “Speed Mentoring Breakfast,” giving everyone access to decision makers to help advance their career.

Complete details here:

When registering, use the promo code STA42 to access the discount.


jacapps Adds Sari Zalesin, Shifts Alex Burnstein to Marketing Director

Sari Zalesin (left) and Alex Burnstein (right).
Sari Zalesin (left) and Alex Burnstein (right).

On February 6, Bingham Farms-based jacapps, a leading radio mobile app developer, announced an expansion of its sales force by adding former radio programmer, salesperson and on-air talent, Sari Zalesin, to focus on new product lines for radio. The company is shifting Alex Burnstein, who has held that role for the past seven years, into the newly created position of Director of Marketing.

jacapps President Paul Jacobs said, “Sari brings a unique set of skills and relationships to our company. She’ll provide hands-on advice to our radio clients about how to promote and increase the effectiveness of their mobile apps, how to implement apps in platforms like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and much more.”

Adds jacapps COO Bob Kernen, “Sari’s deep experience in radio will help the managers tasked with making key decisions around mobile strategy. She has an understanding of the challenges they face, as well as how to execute mobile promotions in key sectors that include on-air, programming, and sales. She will be a valuable resource to jacapps clients as she helps them optimize their mobile apps strategies.”

Zalesin will focus on bringing jacapps’ unique mobile solutions for audio content providers to the rapidly expanding market for mobile. That includes radio, but also digital pure-plays such as streaming radio and podcasters. “I’m excited to be joining this innovative, dynamic team that have long been leaders in the mobile space,” says Zalesin.

Sari comes to jacapps with nearly three decades of radio broadcasting and voice over experience. She has held the title of Music Director/Talent Liaison and National On-Air Talent at XM Satellite Radio, as well as legendary radio brands that include WLLZ/Detroit, WCSX/Detroit, KZPS/Dallas, and WLUP/Chicago. Sari made national history when she became the first female public address announcer during the Dallas Stars’ inaugural NHL season. Most recently, she has been an Account Executive for The Walt Disney Company/Radio Disney, CBS, and

Alex Burnstein is taking on the leadership of jacapps’ newly formed marketing team. “Alex has been with us since the beginning,” says Jacobs, “Her knowledge of our clients and their businesses will help us to better serve them, while also helping us to open up new markets for our company. jacapps is undergoing a tremendous growth spurt, not only in radio, but across other verticals that include health care, B2B, and others. Alex is one of the most experienced players in the mobile apps space whose broad knowledge of our business will help us continue that growth.”

“From my sales experience at jacapps,” comments Burnstein, “I am privileged to have a unique understanding of how our clients can benefit from a properly implemented mobile strategy. I’m excited to share this knowledge with all of the different businesses that we work with.”

Television Groups Announce Spectrum Proceeds

Without mentioning any specific call letters of affected facilities, major broadcast groups have begun announcing the proceeds they expect to receive from the FCC’s broadcast spectrum auction, now that the commission has lifted the quiet period for broadcasters.

Fox Broadcasting said last week that it expects to receive about $350 million from its participation in the auction. Tribune Media announced that it expects to grab $190 million.  Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it expects to receive $313 million for its spectrum.  Gray Television said it anticipates $90.8 million in broadcast spectrum auction proceeds, bringing the total from commercial TV groups to $943 million, so far.

In a article published Februrary 13 in Tom Taylor’s NOW Newsletter, it was reported that E.W. Scripps Broadcasting will get “nothing from the spectrum auction – prices were too cheap for its taste.”  Scripps Senior VP/Broadcast Brian Lawlor is quoted as saying “none of the spectrum we or our [potential channel-share] partners offered was selected during the auction process because the prices available in the auction fell below the value we ascribed to it.”

The only specific full-power facility in Michigan, so far, affected by the spectrum auction is WCMZ-TV in Flint, owned by Central Michigan University.  See story here.

Murrow Awards Deadline is Thursday

Murrow_2017_300This Thursday, February 9 is the deadline to enter the prestigious 2017 Edward R. Murrow Awards. The deadline includes Murrow, Student Murrow and Kaleidoscope entries, which must be received by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, Thursday, February 9, 2017.

Judging will take place in March, with regional winners announced in April and those winners automatically move on to the national competition.

For more information, click here.

P&G Wants MRC Standards for Digital Measurement

PG_300At the annual IAB Leadership Meeting on January 29, Procter and Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard told the audience that P&G will accept only the Media Rating Council (MRC) validated viewability standard for media transacting and that the company expects all of its agencies, media suppliers, and platforms to adopt the standard in 2017.

Radio Ink writes that “radio executives have long been concerned that advertisers were throwing buckets of money at all forms of digital and social, mostly because it’s the shiny new thing, not necessarily because it’s increasing business. And that’s been a big challenge for radio in recent years.”

AdAge reports that P&G will conduct a review of all media-agency contracts, after the company found a surprise in its dealings with at least one agency, plus requirements that everyone use industry-standard viewability metrics, fraud protection and third-party verification. The company says it will no longer pay for any digital media, ad tech companies, agencies or other suppliers for services that don’t comply with its new rules.

9&10 News Announces New Creative Division: Mane Content

Mane9&10 News (WWTV and WWUP-TV, Cadillac/Sault Ste. Marie) have announced a new creative division named Mane Content, a full service video production group.

Mane Content provides video content for various platforms from television commercials to social media content to sales videos. They are a group of creative professionals with all the gear and the passion to create the perfect video for brands.

The award winning creative team consists of copywriters, videographers, directors, editors and a licensed drone pilot. Mane Content works with clients to keep the creative process simple while making sure that the video receives results.

Tessia Klix will head up the new division as Creative Director and Hans Schoonover has expanded his role into Project Manager.

Mane Content was formally known as 9&10 News Creative Services. Growth in the industry caused the team to expand into its own division.

“The creative industry has been growing for years. We have found that people want to be entertained and they want a reason to connect, visit, subscribe or follow a business. We offer that and more. The Mane Content team is a group of extremely talented creative professionals. Everyone has such a passion for creating great video, it is truly inspiring to watch a project come to life with the expertise of this amazing team,” says Tessia Klix, Mane Content Creative Director.

FCC Watch: Three Station Sales Filed at FCC

WJML_350Longtime Northern Michigan broadcaster Rick Stone has sold his Stone Communications radio stations WJML-AM (Petoskey) and WJNL-AM (Kingsley) to Grand Rapids-based Mitten News LLC, headed by John P. Yob.

The application was filed with the FCC on January 30.  The purchase price was $700,000 and also includes an FM translator.  Approval of the sale is awaiting FCC action.

Fenton "Bud" Kelley
Fenton “Bud” Kelley

Kelley Enterprises of Muskegon, Inc. has sold low-power/class A television station WMKG-CD (Muskegon) to WMKG-TV, LLC for $225,000.

The application was filed with the FCC on January 31.  WMKG-TV, LLC is headed by Steve H. Kanzer of Boca Raton, Florida.

In a December, 2016 Mlive article, Kelley Enterprises owner Fenton “Bud” Kelley said “It’s past my retirement time.”  Kelley started the low-powered station in 1990.  He was also chief engineer for Muskegon’s first local channel, channel 54, a full-powered station that also had the WMKG call letters.  That station went dark in 1971.

Sovereign Communications Acquires WDBC-AM/WYKX-FM

WDBC-WYKX_345Upper Peninsula based Sovereign Communications has reached an agreement with KMB Broadcasting to purchase their Escanaba radio stations, WDBC-AM and WYKX-FM.

With this acquisition, Sovereign will own a total of 17 stations in the U.P. region, which includes stations in Sault Ste. Marie, Newberry, Marquette and Iron Mountain. President of Sovereign Communications Bill Curtis said the purchase price of the deal was just under $1 million.

Curtis told WLUC-TV that “We couldn’t be more excited about this purchase.  We’ve wanted to own these heritage stations for a long time and I’m delighted (KMB Broadcasting President/CEO) Mr. Cooke decided to sell them to us. Having WYKX-FM ad WDBC-AM in our company will allow us to serve the local communities as well as our advertisers and listeners in even greater ways. I look forward to a smooth transition as we bring the Escanaba staff and operations into the Sovereign family.”

“We’re extremely fortunate to have some of the best people in the radio business on our team,” Curtis said. “They’re passionate radio professionals that are excited about our growth and are ready to take on additional responsibilities and play an even more important role in the larger company.”

“Personally, as a kid that grew up in the U.P. and started in the radio business at 15-years-old, seeing Sovereign Communications continue to grow is a real dream come true for me,” Curtis said.

President and CEO of KMB Broadcasting James Cooke was feeling mixed emotions over the deal.

“It’s with mixed emotions that we decided to sell WDBC and WYKX. We have owned the stations since 1978–longer than any other owners in their histories, dating all the way back to 1941 in the case of WDBC,” Cooke said.

“Over the years, our dedicated and talented staffs have enabled both stations to provide the highest quality broadcast service to listeners and advertisers in Delta County and the surrounding counties,” Cooke said. “The quality of that service has been recognized by both the National Association of Broadcasters (WDBC won its prestigious Crystal Award”) and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (WYKX won it’s Station of the Year award, two years in a row).”

“We must appreciate the service of those employees over the many years,” Cooke said. “However, my wife Betsy and I have both reached retirement age and are pleased to have reached an agreement to sell the stations to Sovereign Communications, a respected U.P. broadcaster who we fully expect will continue the station’s award-winning service to the central U.P.”

The sale is subject to FCC approval.

Watson Upped to GM at WWJ-TV/WKBD-TV

Brian Watson
Brian Watson

Brian Watson has been named General Manager of CBS-owned stations WWJ-TV/WKBD-TV (Detroit).

Watson has been station manager and director of sales for the station since 2016. He’ll continue to lead the sales team in his new role.

Peter Dunn, President of CBS Television Stations told TV Spy: “As we expected, Brian has done a terrific job of making a smooth transition from heading up our sales team in Detroit to taking on the additional responsibility of leading the entire duopoly. We are pleased to officially promote Brian to general manager and look forward to counting on him to continue to build on our success in this key market.”

Watson started working at the station in 2012.  Prior to that, he spent 14 years at WUPA in Atlanta.