Category Archives: June 2018

Goldsen Elected NAB Radio Board Second Vice Chairman

Bruce Goldsen

At the National Association of Broadcasters’ Board of Directors meeting, held June 12-13, the NAB Executive Committee elections took place and Michigan’s own Bruce Goldsen, President of Jackson Radio Works, was elected Radio Board Second vice chairman.

Goldsen, who is a Past MAB Chairman and Board member (and still on the board as a honorary member) has been an elected NAB Board Representative as well as a longtime trustee with the MAB PAC.

Other appointments at the meeting included:

Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group, was unanimously re-elected as NAB Joint Board chair by the NAB Joint Board of Directors.

Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television, was re-elected as NAB Television Board chairman. Emily Barr, president and CEO, Graham Media Group, was re-elected first vice chair of the Television Board, and Ralph M. Oakley, president and CEO, Quincy Media, Inc., was re-elected as second vice chair.

It was announced that John Orlando, CBS executive vice president, Government Affairs, will assume the designated TV network seat on the executive committee.

Randy D. Gravley, president and CEO, Tri State Communications Inc., was re-elected Radio Board chair by the NAB Radio Board. David Santrella, president, Broadcast Media, Salem Media Group, was elected Radio Board first vice chair.

Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media Group, was re-elected to the Radio Board’s major group representative seat.

FCC Announces Experimental NextGen TV License for WKAR at MSU

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly speaks at June 20 press conference. Photos courtesy of WKAR Public Media.

On June 20, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly announced the granting of a special license allowing MSU and WKAR Public Media (East Lansing) to launch an experimental Next Generation TV broadcasting station. Based on the ATSC 3.0 digital TV standards, NextGen TV adds internet-style information and interactivity, plus advanced technologies such as 4k ultra high-definition video and multichannel, immersive audio, to over-the-air television broadcasts.

The announcement was held at a press conference at the WKAR studios in East Lansing.

(L-R) WKAR Director of Broadcasting Susi Elkins, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and Dean of MSU College of Communication Arts & Sciences, Dr. Prabu David.

WKAR will be the first public broadcasting station in the U.S. to receive FCC authorization to begin experimental ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.

With the experimental ATSC 3.0 station as a testbed, MSU will open the NextGen Media Innovation Lab, a new research facility alongside WKAR studios in the Communication Arts and Sciences building on the MSU campus.

The lab will serve as a collaborative research hub exploring the potential of ATSC 3.0, with an emphasis on outcomes related to traditional public media content, such as education, health, local news and emergency alerting, plus new areas such as connected vehicles.

MAB Members Help OK2SAY Save Lives

OK2SAY is a MAB partner; MAB member stations have been airing OK2SAY public service announcements.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has released the OK2SAY student safety program’s 2017 Annual Report.

OK2SAY is an effective prevention-based reporting mechanism tool, logging in more than 14,000 tips from students across Michigan since September 2014.

“Since the programs’ inception, I’ve been a firm believer in the power of OK2SAY,” said Schuette. “OK2SAY has done more than save lives, its stopped violence and ensured that Michigan students have a safe place to learn and grow. We have come very far since this program started, but it is apparent that students and schools continue to need the program.”

To date, OK2SAY presentations have been presented to 500k students across Michigan and has reached 230 new Michigan new schools.

OK2SAY received 4,605 tips in 2017 which is an increase of 72% compared to 2016. Tips were received in 30 categories, the top five are as follows:

1,205 tips on suicide threats
961 tips on bullying
456 tips related to “other”
390 tips on self-harm
311 tips on drugs

2017 was the most successful year yet and 2018 is already on track to beat the record numbers.

“OK2SAY continues to be a valuable, even life-saving, resource for our students and the Michigan State Police is proud to support this important program,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. “No information or tip is ever too small to report because you never know when your tip could be the one that prevents a tragedy.”

See the report here.

WLEN Raises Over $2,000 for Lenawee American Cancer Society Relay for Life

Over 100 pies were donated from local businesses and celebrities and were auctioned off at the 19th annual 103.9 WLEN-FM (Adrian) Pie Auction. $2,572 was raised for the Lenawee American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

The auction was held June 20.

One sponsor, County National Bank, donated $2.50 for every pie sold up to $250 to support Lenawee Relay For Life.

What exactly is Relay For Life? Their website, acsevents.org, describes Relay For Life as: “… a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps.

WLEN is thanking their listeners for once again supporting the Lenawee American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

NAB Files Comments with the FCC on C Band

According to the Radio World report, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering whether C Band spectrum should potentially be opened up for sharing with wireless operators.

The National Association of Broadcasters filed comments with the agency urging the agency to require supporters of the proposal to submit specific and detailed technical reports to the commission. “That is the only way to allow stakeholders to provide informed comments and analysis to guide the commission’s decision-making process,” the NAB said. Chairman Pai plans to put the item up for a vote at the July 12 open meeting.

FCC Rejects LPFM Objections against Pending FM Translator Applications

According to the Broadcast Law Blog, the FCC’s Media Bureau released a decision letter rejecting an objection filed by three groups advocating on behalf of LPFM stations against almost 1000 FM translator applications.

The grounds for the objections included claims that Section 5 of the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA), an act setting some ground rules for the relationship between LPFM stations and translators, mandated that the FCC evaluate each of these applications for its individual impact on LPFM opportunities in the future. Once the objection was rejected, the FCC resumed processing of pending applications.

The Audio Division noted that the Section 5 of the LCRA, which says that translators and LPFMs are equal in status and that the FCC needed to provide opportunities for each of those classes of stations, did not apply to evaluations of modifications of existing translators, but instead only to applications for new translators.

Whitmer Airs First TV Ads

Gretchen Whitmer

According to a report in MIRS, the “Build a Better Michigan” committee launched an ad across the state featuring Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer. This is the first series of ads for Whitmer who, according to the recent polls, does not have the name recognition with the voters. The committee is running the ads for the next five weeks. The ads began airing statewide on both broadcast and cable TV with the first week broadcasts focused on the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint television markets.

Redistricting Petition Certified by the Board of Canvassers

Supporters of the Voters Not Politicians (VNP) redistricting proposal landed a victory after their petition was certified by the Board of State Canvassers on June 20. The board approved the petition by a 3-0 vote with one board member absent.

The certification comes following the Court of Appeals’ unanimous rejection of arguments from VNP’s opponents, Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution (CPMC). The court ruled that the proposal to create a citizen commission to oversee drafting of Michigan’s legislative and congressional boundaries does not amount to a complete overhaul of Michigan’s Constitution.

The Supreme Court last week issued an order denying CPMC’s request to stay the appeals court decision, which ordered the proposal be certified as having sufficient signatures to be placed on the November ballot. An appeal is still pending before the Supreme Court.

What Do Broadcasters and Media Companies Need to Know About the GDPR?

By: Emilie de Lozier, Aaron Burstein and Joshua Bercu, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP

By now, you have probably heard that the European Union (EU) has a new data protection law on the books, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – but what are the new rules, and how might they apply to broadcasters? Below we address these and other commonly asked questions about the GDPR.

What is the GDPR? The GDPR is a new European privacy law that, as of May 25, 2018, generally governs how organizations – including those EU-based and many that are not – collect, use, disclose, or otherwise “process” personal information. While some limited exceptions exist (e.g., businesses with fewer than 250 employees are exempt from some requirements), the GDPR imposes an array of obligations on companies subject to it.

Who does the GDPR apply to? The GDPR clearly applies to companies established in the EU that collect personal information about individuals in the EU, but it also claims a broad extraterritorial reach. Indeed, it can apply to organizations, including broadcasters, without an EU presence. For instance, it can apply to broadcasters who collect or use data to provide services like streaming TV or radio to individuals in the EU. It also can apply to broadcasters who use website cookies and other online tracking mechanisms to “monitor” individuals in the EU (e.g., profiling for behavioral advertising). That said, it remains to be seen whether regulators will enforce the GDPR against companies that for the most part are not serving EU citizens and do not have EU operations, but may occasionally and unknowingly acquire data of an individual in the EU or an EU citizen in the United States.

The GDPR applies to both “controllers” and “processors” of “personal data” of EU citizens. “Personal data” is broad. It includes any information that relates to an identifiable natural person, including, for example, online identifiers and other similar information that has not always been considered personally identifiable information in the United States. Controllers and processors also are considered broadly. Generally speaking, a “controller” is a company that directly interacts with consumers (e.g., by providing a website) and collects their personal data. And a “processor” provides data processing services on behalf of a “controller,” such as, for example, cloud computing and storage.

If the GDPR applies, what do I have to do? Among other things, companies subject to the GDPR must have a “legal basis” for processing personal data. Consent offers one such basis. Consent must be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous,” and it cannot be inferred, so companies must allow consumers to “opt-in.” At a high level, to ensure that consumers are informed about data practices, privacy policies and other discussions of data practices should be written in clear and plain language (not legal jargon) and state, among other things, the specific purpose or purposes for processing individuals’ data. Importantly, consent previously obtained may no longer be valid if it does not meet the GDPR’s more stringent requirements.

Is GDPR compliance really that simple? The short answer is no. Obtaining consent, or otherwise establishing another legal basis for processing personal data, is only the beginning of GDPR obligations, not the end. Other obligations relate to access, accuracy, data security, data minimization, accountability and providing a “right to be forgotten,” just to name a few. Companies subject to the GDPR may need to establish new internal mechanisms in order to address the expanded rights available under the law and the requests that can be made. As just one example, the GDPR provides the right to receive one’s data in a “machine-readable” format and transfer it to another company entirely.

So if I have good in-house practices, I no longer need to worry? Unfortunately, not quite. Companies subject to the GDPR may require greater oversight over, and cooperation with, vendors and other partners (e.g., cloud providers that provide storage). If your vendors and partners are processing data you obtained from consumers in ways inconsistent with the law, you could be on the hook.

If the GDPR is primarily an EU law, why are U.S. companies so concerned? U.S. companies are worried for several reasons, but one that may drive much of the anxiety is the exorbitant fines available under the GDPR: Severe violations of the GDPR can result in fines up to 4% of a company’s annual global revenue or 20 million Euros – whichever is higher! The GDPR also makes it easier for individuals to bring private claims against companies in EU court and/or complain to EU data protection authorities. EU data protection authorities also present a bit of an unknown – their enforcement priorities remain to be seen, but it’s clear that at least some intend to aggressively enforce the new law.

OK, I think I understand the GDPR and how it may or may not apply to me. Is that all I really need to focus on in terms of new privacy laws? For now, maybe. But the emergence of the GDPR could have trickledown effects both home and abroad. In particular, the GDPR to date has at least started some conversations about whether the U.S. needs to respond through legislation or other modifications to its consumer privacy approach. Time will tell, but for now, stay tuned!

The GDPR framework is complex, and detailed analysis of compliance should be undertaken with counsel qualified to interpret all of its nuances. So note that this article provides only a general description of the GDPR and should not be viewed as legal advice. If you think that your operations may trigger GDPR obligations, get that legal advice to provide a full analysis of your compliance obligations.

Note: 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 membership.

 

 

How Commercial Radio Broadcasters Can Learn More About Public Radio

Seth Resler

Editor’s Note: Our MAB Digital Guru’s weekly post usually appears in our Web/DIgital/Social section of MAB NewsBriefs.  Again this week, however, I’ve elected to put Seth’s piece in our programming section.  -Dan Kelley

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

The spheres of commercial radio and public radio are, for the most part, completely isolated from one another. Broadcasters don’t pay much attention to what their counterparts on the other side are doing. But as we move towards a world where on-demand audio is enabled by podcasts and voice commands, commercial radio broadcasters can learn a lot from public radio broadcasters. Sure, Bubba the Love Sponge is never going to need to run down the day’s stock market numbers like Kai Ryssdal; but there’s a lot of insight that can be gained by watching what public radio is doing.

For starters, the players in the public radio space are, by and large, much farther ahead when it comes to podcasting. Part of that stems from the fact that it’s simply easier to take a talk radio show and make it available on demand when there’s no music that needs to be removed. An episode of Fresh Air can be posted online without any major changes, while most commercial radio morning shows cannot. But public radio companies like NPR, PRX and WNYC have also made significant investments in the space. Every commercial radio programmer and on-air talent could benefit by looking at what they’ve done.

If you’re working at a commercial radio station, what’s a good way to learn more about public radio? Here are three places to start…

1. Listen.
If your primary exposure to public radio comes from their morning and afternoon drive news shows, it’s worth spending some time with their other programs you may not be aware of its breadth. Public radio’s offerings are incredibly diverse. Here’s a list of different shows to sample that I’ve selected because they show a range of different styles:

    1. This American Life: Led by Ira Glass, This American Life set the gold standard for storytelling journalism. Just as Howard Stern inspired a generation of shock jocks and Rush Limbaugh inspired a wave of conservative pundits, Glass has spawned countless disciples, many of whom have gone on into podcasting. After you’ve checked out This American Life, listen to the massive podcasting hit Serial, which is produced by the same team, and you’ll hear the stylistic influences.
    2. Death, Sex and Money: Lest you assume that all public radio programs are stuffy, Ana Sale hosts this podcast featuring one-on-one conversations with celebrities and other guests that tackle difficult topics that aren’t normally discussed in polite conversation. It’s NSFW but it will convince you that public radio broadcasters can be every bit as edgy as their commercial counterparts.
    3. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!: Game shows aren’t just for television. This format offers a lighter take on the week’s news and can serve as an inspiration for commercial broadcasters who are more focused on entertainment than journalism. The show is also recorded in front of a live studio audience which adds to the fun and the complexity of the production.
    4. The Moth: This show is an excellent example of how radio broadcasters can crowdsource their material. It compiles recordings of storytellers from around the country. (It’s also worth going to a live Moth storytelling event. If you dare, get up on stage and share a story.)
    5. 2 Dope Queens: WNYC in New York has invested considerable time and energy into podcasting, often using the medium to showcase people from backgrounds that are otherwise underrepresented in radio. This show, hosted by African-American comedians Jessica Williams (former The Daily Show correspondent) and Phoebe Robinson, is a prime example. It’s been such a big hit that it’s now a television show on HBO.
    6. Up First: Voice-activated smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are making it easier for people to consume audio at home. A number of media outlets, including The New York Times and ESPN, are taking advantage of this trend by offering short, daily podcasts that people can consume first thing in the morning. NPR’s Up First is a good example of a daily podcast that aims to build daily listening habits.

2. Learn.
The audio content that public radio creates often takes a very different form than what we create in commercial radio. I can hit the post on a Linkin Park song without breaking a sweat, but I’ve never used a shotgun mic to record B-roll audio in the field. How do public radio broadcasters do it?

Fortunately, NPR actually makes many of the secrets of their trade available online. Spend some time on NPR’s training website and you’ll refine your skills and even pick up some new ones.

3. Read.
If you want to find out even more about how public radio broadcasters practice their craft, there are two books worth picking up:

  1. Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production: Jonathan Kern, who spent years training NPR staffers, explains exactly how they do what they do in this classic tome.
  2. Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio: Jessica Abel, a cartoonist by trade, loved narrative radio so much that she decided to write a behind-the-scenes book about it in graphic form. It’s a unique way to get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of shows like Planet Money, Radiolab, and Invisibilia.

As commercial radio broadcasters, we rarely take the time to look outside our own market or format. But if you really want to excel at your craft, it’s helpful to look for inspiration outside of your usual surroundings from time to time.

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