Category Archives: December 2018

Senate Overturns Donor Disclosure Rule

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation regarding a recent Treasury Department decision which limits donor disclosure requirements for nonprofit organizations.

This past summer, the Treasury Department altered a rule which required all names and address of donors of $5,000 or more to be made available on certain tax forms. The newly passed resolution seeks to reverse this decision.

This move comes as similar legislation currently sits before the Michigan House, SB 1176, which would create a “Personal Privacy Protection Act,” that further protects the identities of members of non-profits and other donor information currently already protected from public disclosure.

EAS Alerts On Repeat?

This past week, InsideRadio reported that Emergency Alert System warnings would become a lot harder to miss under a bill advancing in Congress. It would allow the government to put the alert on repeat while a threat remains pending.

This proposal, along with other EAS rule changes, came about following the erroneous missile alert in Hawaii earlier this year.  Under the proposed Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement Act or “READI Act” (S.3238), the Federal Communications Commission would be given six months after the bill’s passage to determine how to implement the EAS repeats.

The bill stated that it would apply to any messages that have been issued by the President or administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Other proposals in the READI Act include elimination of the option that currently allows the public to opt-out of receiving certain federal EAS messages on their mobile devices. It would also establish a reporting system for false alerts like the one that occurred in Hawaii earlier this year so that the FCC can track when they occur and examine their causes.

The NAB, in a statement supporting the proposal, said the support  any move that would improve the timeliness, accuracy and availability of emergency alerts when disaster strikes and that “Local radio and TV broadcasters play a vital role as ‘first informers’ in keeping communities safe, and we understand the importance of relevant and up-to-date information when lives are at risk.”

Read the complete InsideRadio article here.

Podcaster Sued for Copyright Infringement for Using Music without Permission – Remember ASCAP, BMI and SESAC Licenses Don’t Cover All the Rights Needed for Podcasting

David Oxenford - Color
David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

It was news recently when a company that promotes poker was sued by one of the major record labels and publishing companies for the use of music in podcasts without permission. As we have written before (see, for instance, our articles here and here), the use of music in podcasts requires a license from the copyright holder of both the musical composition and the recorded performance of the music (usually, for popular music, a publishing company and a record label). In this case, one of the first we’ve seen against a podcaster for infringement of a copyright holder’s music rights (though we have heard of other situations where cease and desist letters were sent to podcasters, or where demand letters from copyright holders resulted in negotiated settlements), Universal Music alleges that the podcast company used its music and refused to negotiate a license despite repeated attempts by the music company to get the podcaster to do so. Thus, the lawsuit was filed.

As we have pointed out before, a broadcaster or other media company that has performance licenses from ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and even GMR does not get the right to podcast music – nor do the SoundExchange royalty payments cover podcasts. These organizations all collect for the public performance of music. While podcasts may require a performance license (see our article here about how Alexa and other smart speakers are making the need for such licenses more apparent as more and more podcast listening is occurring through streaming rather than downloads), they also require rights to reproduction and distribution of the copyrighted songs and the right to make derivative works – all rights given to copyright owners under the Copyright Act. These rights are not covered by the public performance licenses which only give the rights to make performances to the public. What is the difference between these rights?

The public performance right is simply that – the right to perform a copyrighted work to the public (those beyond your circle of family and friends). Making a copy of a copyrighted work is a different right, as is the distribution of that recording. Both are triggered when the podcast is downloaded onto a phone or other digital device – the manner in which podcasts were initially made available to the public. As we have written before (see, for instance, here and here), by convention (and now by the provisions of the Music Modernization Act), making available music for on-demand streaming (where a listener can choose a particular song, or a set of songs that will play in the same order all the time) has come to be considered to involve the rights of reproduction and distribution (the “mechanical royalties” covered by the MMA – see our articles here and here on the MMA).

The right to make a derivative work is another right of the copyright holder (see my article here on derivative works). A copyright owner must give his or her permission before their work is modified in some way. While that can involve the changing of lyrics to a song, it can also involve associating that song in some permanent way with other content. In the video world, that is referred to as a synch right – where the audio is “synched” to the video creating a single audiovisual work. Synch rights are not specifically defined by the Copyright Act. They have traditionally referred to audiovisual productions, but the same concept is at play in the creation of a podcast, where the music is synched to other audio content to create the podcast. In the Universal Music complaint against the podcaster, Universal complains that the podcaster violated not just the public performance rights of the copyright holders, but also their rights to authorize the reproduction, distribution, and the derivative works made from their copyrighted material.

This is all a long way of saying that podcasters need to get permission for the use of music in their productions. Many podcasters have commissioned original works where they license from local artists the recordings of music written and performed by those artists. Some online services have recently begun to develop, licensing music for podcasts for set fees. But, thus far, most of that music is not major label releases, but instead independent music. Right now, for major label releases, you need to get permission directly from the copyright holders to use their music. The bottom line – don’t use music in podcasts without getting permission.

David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline. Access information here. (Members only access).

There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your MAB membership.

Brandeis Hall Will Hold Attendees Accountable at the #MABshow

Brandeis Hall will tell you that accountability is about delivering on a commitment; It’s responsibility to an outcome, not just a set of tasks. It’s taking initiative with thoughtful, strategic follow-through. Teach people how to be accountable and they will take ownership of outcomes and work harder and longer to achieve success.

Radio One’s Vice President of Revenue Development will share from her experience and wisdom on this topic alongside a growing and dynamic list of speakers on deck to present sessions on March 5 and 6 during the 2019 Great Lakes Media Show at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.

Brandeis started in radio when a station manager heard her voice and asked her to host the morning show on    a college radio station.  She told him she had to finish high school first, but joined the station the following August.  Within three years, she KJCR’s Development Director, responsible for the station’s underwriting and public funding.  WBAP in Dallas/Ft. Worth then recruited Brandeis for their Promotions Department. Free concert tickets, mugs and t-shirts, cool remotes; how could anyone say, “No?”

In the 1990s, France’s bi-lingual Radio 74 asked Brandeis to cross The Pond and direct their English-language programming and production.  Eventually, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation lured her over the border into Geneva to help them create and launch Switzerland’s first English-language FM Radio station, WRG-FM (Now WRS-FM). Despite living adjacent to the Alps for 7 years, she remains an appalling skier, but can identify an impressive range of Western European cheeses.  Ultimately, her path brought her back to the Dallas/Fort Worth market, where she worked for two Dallas stations in sales,  production, and management before joining the hardworking team at the Radio Advertising Bureau.

As Vice President of Professional Development, Brandeis trained tens of thousands of radio sales and management professionals throughout the United States, Africa, South America, and Europe and was a frequent speaker at radio and other media conferences.

Brandeis currently works for Radio One as Vice President of Revenue Development.  In this role, she creates curriculum and oversees the sales and management training for hundreds of radio professionals; creating a Revenue Culture in Radio One’s 15 markets across the U.S.

When not travelling for business, Brandeis packs her bags and globetrots for pleasure and buys supplies for household DIY projects she rarely completes.

Technical Details Released for Inauguration Broadcast

The MAB has sent technical information concerning television, radio and web feeds to MAB and MAPB members for its live broadcast  of the Gubernatorial Inauguration on January 1, 2019.  The program will air 11 a.m. to 11:56:46 a.m.   The technical details also include embed code for television and radio stations to put on their websites.

The technical details may also be downloaded here.  Television and radio stations that have not previously notified the MAB of their intent to air the broadcast should send an email to [email protected].  There is no charge to air the broadcast.

It is vital that in the first few days of the new administration we demonstrate the power and popularity of broadcast media. Airing the Inauguration program has been a great way to demonstrate this power.

Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer

The broadcast will be hosted by Vincent Duffy and Zoe Clark of Michigan Public Radio. Vincent is a former local market anchor and Zoe has done numerous appearances on television, appearing regularly on Tim Skubick’s “Off The Record” TV program. The production of the broadcast is being handled by Detroit Public Television and is underwritten, in part, by AT&T Michigan.  The production of the broadcast is being handled by Detroit Public Television. It will be closed-captioned and up-linked on Galaxy 17 as well as through a PBS transponder on AMC 21.

The MAB also is making the program available for radio, and we encourage news/talk  and other stations to carry it. We will provide an Internet feed, but stations are also free to use the audio from their local public television station.   Affiliates of the Michigan Public Radio Network will be able to receive the broadcast through NPR’s Content Depot.

We will also provide all stations (TV and Radio) with an embed code of the television broadcast for their website.

Questions? Contact the MAB’s Dan Kelley at 517-484-7444 or [email protected].

Sellers: Stop Using Rankers and Start Doing This …

Paul Weyland

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:  Paul Weyland
President, Paul Weyland Communication Strategies

Paul Weyland will be speaking at the Great Lakes Media Show, March 5-6, 2019 in Lansing.  For more information and to register, click here.

Having just returned from another week in the field, I’m surprised again at how few tools radio account executives are really using when pitching local direct clients.

The last thing clients need to see is your ratings, rankers, complicated rate cards, descriptions of your format or program, or information about how powerful your station is. If they ask for that stuff, you can always provide it for them. But what the client is really looking for are specific ideas that will help make the cash register ring.

In other words, the client is looking for evidence that your plan for their success is better than their own plan. That being said, here are a few things you can say about radio/broadcast media that, combined with a killer creative idea and a calculation of return on advertising investment, might sway a buyer into using you to tell their story. If you like these ideas, add them to your pitch.

Why Radio?

King for a Day with a Putter: How many times have we seen great golfers play a brilliant long game, hitting the ball hundreds of yards to land close to or on the green … and then completely blow it when they try to putt it in? Yes, putting is truly the great “equalizer” in golf. Yes, putting really does help level the playing field in golf. In spot advertising, time is the putting green.

The biggest account in a category on your station intimidates smaller local competitors with massive buys. But remember this: the largest advertiser on your station can only run 60 seconds or less. And your smallest account can also run 60-second commercials.

The biggest account can run only two commercials per hour (or whatever number your programmer decides is the maximum), and a smaller account could also run an equal number of commercials per hour — for a day. Or two. Or three.

So in broadcast, at least for a while, for a daypart or for a program, the smaller advertiser can sound as big as the biggest player.

Online Reputation Management: For clients who insist on spending lots of money on the Internet, a companion radio campaign is one of the best strategies for online reputation management.

Yes, they say “word of mouth” is the best form of advertising. And radio is literally the best word-of-mouth medium. Help your clients control bad word of mouth by selling them a positive radio campaign, an insurance policy against bad word of mouth.

People become familiar with companies they hear about all the time on the radio. In fact, many of those listeners become customers of that advertiser. So if they see a bad online review or a negative comment, they’re more likely to write that comment off to just one or a couple of bad experiences, without writing off the advertiser.

The Last Word: A radio ad is frequently the very last thing a consumer hears before leaving the car and making a buying decision. I know from personal experience that on more than one occasion, while out running errands, I have heard radio ads that absolutely influenced my purchasing decision. More than once, I chose a different restaurant. One time I actually turned around on the way to a specific store and chose a different place to buy a piece of furniture, based entirely on one radio spot. You (or a potential client) might have had a similar experience.

Who’s in Charge of Writing Your Story?: When building a case (your pitch) to local decision-makers, always throw this in. “The question becomes, are you going to write your own story, or are you going to let a few naysayers and your competitors write your story for you?”

Clients should be using radio to sell their stories to your universe of consumers. Tell compelling stories about why your audience should contact your client. Make the stories about the consumers, not about the client. Identifying and solving consumer problems is the objective of the commercial. One subject per commercial, then rotate commercials.

Now get up and go out there and sell something!

This article originally appeared in RadioInk Magazine.

Paul Weyland helps broadcast stations sell more longterm local direct business. Reach him at paulweyland.com or call 512.236.1222.

Digital Gifts for the Radio Broadcaster Who Has Everything

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

Looking for a last-minute stocking-stuffer for your Secret Santa? Here are some gift ideas for every colleague in your radio station. Best of all, they’re free!

For DJs

For the Program Director

For the Digital Team

For the Promotions Director

For the Sales Team

For Management

I hope you find these tips useful. Happy holidays!

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

Key Code Media Opens Detroit Office

Key Code Media announced this week the opening of their newest office in Detroit. This office is the re-seller of media technology and system integrations’  eighth location nationwide.

The new location is convenient to customers and production facilities looking to plan future media workflow advancements and technology upgrades, according to an announcement on the company’s website. Key Code Media will also gain a location to better stage equipment workflows for customer presentations and installations. At the core of the office is a state-of-the-art remote conferencing system, allowing customers to gain greater access to Key Code technicians located across the U.S.

The Detroit office is located at 26075 Woodward Ave, Suite 100, in Huntington Woods.

“This facility is really about getting the Detroit community better access to media technology, demonstrate new workflow products, and training. No other company can provide greater access to media manufacturer products and, most importantly, technical support,” said Lisa Jackson, Key Code Media Detroit Sr. Account Manager.

About Key Code Media

Founded in 2001, Key Code Media designs, integrates, trains, supporting live production, post production, and media automation solutions. Our focus is on helping our clients maximize their budget, consulting around your objectives, outcomes and workflow.

Key Code Media supports production systems nationwide for broadcast, entertainment, sports, government, education, reality television, pro audio, and a majority of the U.S. Fortune 100 corporations. Founded in 2001 by Mike Cavanagh, Key Code Media has expanded in Burbank, Irvine, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Detroit and New York, with revenues exceeding $35 million per year. In 2018, Key Code Media acquired Burst Communications (Burstvideo.com) expanding our geographic coverage with offices in Newport Beach, CA, Denver Colorado and Dallas Texas. Burst Communications has strong competencies in broadcast design, production studios and full Audio Video Crestron automation systems.

WYCD Raises Over $651K For St. Jude Children’s Hospital

(L-R) WYCD’s Tim Roberts, Holly Hutton and Rob Stone

On December 6 and 7, Entercom’s WYCD-FM (Detroit), with the help of their incredible listeners, raised $651,900 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital during its 2018 Country Cares Radiothon.

The event was held at Art Van Furniture in Canton, Mich.  This is the 18th year the station has held the Radiothon for St. Jude.

WLNS Holds 11th Annual Day of Giving

WLNS Anchor Lauren Thompson.

On December 6, Nexstar Broadcasting’s WLNS-TV (Lansing) held it’s the 11th annual Day of Giving, collecting non-perishable items like cereal and canned soup.

All donations went to help those who are struggling in our community.  WLNS crew members accepted donations throughout the day at the station’s Lansing studios as well as Consumers Energy Headquarters in Jackson.

The effort this year ending up with more than 3,000 pounds of food donated along with cash donations.  One local business, Auto-Owners Insurance, made a $5,000 cash contribution to the cause.