In conjunction with Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, April 16-22, broadcasters and emergency management partners statewide are encouraged to participate in a statewide tornado drill at 1:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 19.
Test details and a severe weather prepardness handbook will be distributed to broadcasters this next week via email and on the MAB website.
With the endorsement of the MAB Board of Directors, the National Weather Service will conduct the test with the Tornado Warning EAS Code. The MAB received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code (“TOR”) for this statewide test.
As with last year’s test, participation by broadcasters is voluntary.
In 2016, some areas in the state received multiple EAS alerts from the NWS weather radio. After reviewing the results of last year’s test, the weather service has corrected the issues regarding those multiple alerts.
In addition to the EAS activation, areas of the state may also be testing outdoor tornado sirens, which may alarm some members of the public. Your assistance in informing the public before the test is requested.
According to eMarketer, people spend 86% of the time they spend on their smartphones using mobile apps, and only 14% of their time using a mobile web browser. If your radio station wants to reach its listeners through their phones, it’s not enough to have a mobile-responsive website; your station needs a mobile app as well.
What should your radio station look for when building a mobile app? Here are seven key features:
The number one feature radio listeners look for in a smartphone app is the ability to stream the radio station. According to our 2016 Techsurvey, 84% of radio listeners own a smartphone. If they’ve downloaded your app, they can listen to your station wherever they are — at work, in the car, at the gym, at home, etc. 2. Registration/Data Collection
Once upon a time, advertisers were primarily interested in reaching the most consumers. Today, they are focused on reaching the right consumers. After all, a golf store doesn’t want to pay to reach a bunch of people who don’t play golf.
To connect your advertisers with the right people, your radio station will need to collect data about its listeners — above and beyond the data provided by Nielsen. Your radio station’s app can play a crucial role in that process. Make sure you are building an app that is capable of gathering data from listeners through registration forms, contest entries, social media integration, and more.
3. Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities
Digital revenue continues to be the best growth opportunity for radio broadcasters. According to a recent study by Borrell Associates and the Radio Advertising Bureau, digital revenue for radio stations is expected to grow by 22% in 2017. Make sure that your station’s app gives your sales team opportunities to generate revenue.
4. Push Notifications
A push notification is a message that pops up on a listeners mobile device, even when the app generating that notification isn’t currently being used. Push notifications are an effective way to alert your listeners to time-sensitive issues. For example, you may want to let listeners know when an on-air contest is happening, when tickets to a big concert go on sale, or when there’s an emergency in your community.
5. Social Sharing Buttons
As part of a Content Marketing strategy, social media is a very effective way to attract people to your radio station’s website. You want to make is easy for listeners to share your radio station’s online content, such as blogposts, on their social networks. When they do this, they bring their friends back to your website. If your mobile app is showcasing your station’s online content, make sure it also makes it easy for people to share that content.
6. Alarm Clock
In our 2016 Techsurvey, we saw the smartphone overtake the clock radio as the primary device used to wake people up for the first time. So if you want listeners to continue to wake up to your radio station, you’ll need an alarm clock feature in your app. 7. Podcasts
While podcast listening has seen steady growth over the years, it still hasn’t achieved mass adoption. In our 2016 Techsurvey, only 28% of radio listeners reported listening to a podcast in the last month. The reason for that is simple: Listening to a podcast requires several steps: You have to download a “podcatcher” app, find a podcast, subscribe to the podcast, and then download the latest episode.
Radio stations are very well-positioned to take advantage of the podcasting medium, in part because they can make it easier for their fans to listen to podcasts by including them in their mobile app. This cuts the number of steps down, making a station’s podcasts accessible to more people.
Mobile Strategy Webinar
Our sister company, jācapps, has built over one thousand radio station apps. Next month, join us as we co-host a free webinar with the jācapps team: “Mobile 101: What Every Radio Station Should Know About Mobile App Strategy.” Register here.
For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.
Last Friday (3/17), FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made a guest appearance on Paul W. Smith’s WJR-AM (Detroit) morning show. The Chairman had been an occasional guest while serving as a Commissioner.
Pai called the station in advance to let them know he would be in town. He dropped by Smith’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration show, which was broadcast live from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. See highlights of the show below:
The magic is in YOUR words – as they draw the senses into the reader’s mind.
Write creative as though Tom Hanks is your new voice talent.
With copy no more than 12 words – the number before you need to breathe.
On every piece of imaging – or advertising.
Sure, you’ll need to engage the Right Brain.
But, the cold drink from the garden hose and the smell of Grandma’s Sunday chicken will be well worth it.
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 lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or [email protected].
One of the things you often hear people say is you need to “think outside the box.” You’ve probably heard this cliché so many times that you want to punch that proverbial box out. So when I heard Ziad Adbelnour say “Don’t think outside the box. Think like there is no box,” it got me thinking how you might do this for today’s radio.
I just spent a week in Orlando. I went to Disney World and experienced an environment Imagineered by Walt. Imagineering, Disney said, was a blending of creative imagination with technical know-how.
Carousel of Progress
I first experienced Walt’s Imagineering at the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York City. My dad worked for General Electric Company. We got discount tickets to the fair and went both years, a couple of times each year. My favorite exhibit was GE’s “Carousel of Progress.”
It was a theater that revolved around a center series of stages that showed how technology evolved over time improving the lives of families and ended with a glimpse into the future.
That exhibit still exists in the Tomorrowland at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando and I went to re-live one of my fondest childhood memories.
Walt conceived of the Carousel of Progress himself.
8 Principles of Imagineering
Alex Wright explained the way Walt Disney worked in his book “The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland.” There are eight principles: 1) Area Development, 2) Blue Sky, 3) Brainstorm, 4) Dark Ride, 5) Elevation, 6) Kinetics, 7) Plussing and 8) Show.
So how would these apply to radio? Let me take a whack at that.
Area Development: means the first impression your radio station gives off; the grounds, lobby and overall look your facility make on everyone who comes to your station. Have you stopped seeing what others see when they arrive? Look at your property again with fresh eyes.
Blue Sky: means when you start thinking about anything new generate as many ideas as you can. Anything is possible. Nothing is out of bounds. The sky’s the limit.
Brainstorm: When any group brainstorms the only rule is there are no rules. Nothing is a bad idea. The whole reason for brainstorming is to generate as many ideas as you can.
Dark Ride: While in a Disney theme park this means a ride that is all indoors, where every element can be controlled, in a radio station, this should mean the layout of your broadcast studios. Are they able to be lit to individual tastes? Does everything work as it’s supposed to and kept in operational condition through preventative maintenance? Is the chair comfortable? Can a person(s) stand if they want? How about the HVAC? When I toured the famous RCA recording studios in Nashville where Elvis recorded, I learned that they had multiple light conditions to bathe Elvis in the kind of mood lighting to fit the song he was recording. When recording “Are You Lonesome Tonight” Elvis decided none of the available lighting schemes worked and so he had every light turned out and the band, engineers and Elvis recorded the song in total darkness. If you listen to the end of that recording you can actually hear Elvis bang his head against his microphone because he forgot where he was and couldn’t see it in the dark.
Elevation: A series of drawings to bring clarity to the project and guide construction activities. In radio, this would be a fully written out plan of action so that everyone is on the same page in executing the plan.
Kinetics: Walt wanted to know how everything would move in one of his attractions giving it life and energy. For radio, our remotes need some serious kinetic thinking. Taping a station banner to a card table and calling in the breaks on a smartphone is not getting the job done for the listener or the advertiser.
Plussing: This is perhaps my favorite one of Walt’s eight principles. With Disney, nothing was ever finished. He was always thinking how everything could be made better. Plussing is non-stop Imagineering to provide continual surprise and delight to all.
Show: For Disney everything was part of the show. It’s why all of the people who work at Disney are considered cast members, even the people picking up the trash. How important is it to be so fanatical? Very. In addition to Disney World, I spent a day at Universal Studios in Florida. I only have one word for that day’s experience: disappointing. I won’t ever be going back. Those that were with me maybe summed it up best when they said of the rides, “they are all the same ride, only a different movie is played.”
More Outside the Box Ideas
One of the things I try to do in this blog is look at other industries and find the lesson for radio, broadcasting or education that can be applied.
Another is reading a variety of things that literally have nothing to do with one another. Being a curious personality helps here, but it also exposes you to new worlds.
In fact, my office at work and home is filled with a variety of knick knacks that to the casual observer have nothing to do with one another. That’s because they really don’t. But they caught my attention and stimulate my thinking.
“Today you hear people talk about ‘thinking outside the box.’
But Walt would say, ‘No! Don’t think outside the box!
Once you say that, you’ve established that there is a box.’
Walt would refuse to accept the existence of a box.”
-Jim Korkis, Disney Historian
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 frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.
On March 21, 2017, an application was filed with the FCC to transfer the license of WMXG-FM (Stephenson) from Escanaba License Corporation to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC (Armada Media/Radio Results Network).
The asset purchase agreement sets a price of $325,000, including a building in downtown Escanaba.
AMC Partners already has an LMA in place for WMXG and its currently simulcasting its news/talk AM station, WCHT.
In a separate release posted on the Radio Results Network website, the company announced the purchase:
Armada Media Purchases WMXG Radio Frequency and Building
Armada Media, based in Fond du Lac, WI is pleased to announce the purchase of WMXG-FM, 106.3 and the building at 1101 Ludington Street in downtown Escanaba.
WMXG will join Bay Cities Radio – a 5 station group based in the Marinette & Menominee market and Radio Results Network – a 9 station group based in Escanaba, Marquette & Manistique.
“We are excited to be able to expand our coverage even further into the Central U.P. market as the premier media company in Upper Michigan. We have exciting plans for the building and frequency which we plan to unveil in the coming months,” says General Manager Jesse Huff. “This now gives us 15 radio stations in the Central U.P. that are each committed to great local radio and serving as a resource for the communities in which we serve. We now have even more resources and opportunities to offer our listeners and advertisers.”
Chris Bernier, President and CEO of Armada Media Partners says, “We plan to make this the crown jewel of broadcast studios for small market radio in the Midwest. We have some great ideas and this 12,000 square foot building gives us the structure to turn our vision into a reality.”
“We truly enjoy doing business in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” says Bernier. “We serve some amazing communities with one of the most experienced and talented staffs that you’ll find anywhere. This is a great opportunity for us further establish our roots in these communities.”
In addition to the stations in Upper Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin, Armada Media also owns radio stations in Watertown, South Dakota; North Platte, McCook and Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Ortonville, Minnesota.
MLive reports that longtime Mid-Michigan air personality Johnny Burke will be returning to the air, beginning this coming Monday, March 27 on WRSR-FM (103.9 The Fox).
Burke will be heard weekday mornings 5:00 – 9;00 a.m. on the station.
Burke left WHNN-FM in Saginaw 14 months ago. Joining Burke on the new show will be longtime Mid-Michigan newscaster Hal Maas, MLive Chief Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa and Art Neil will be featured as the “Monday Morning Quarterback,” recapping the weekend’s sporting events.
Burke toldMLive: “(103.9 FM) is a locally owned station by a smaller group of people from Michigan. We’re going to keep that local feel in mind.”
Midwest Communication’s WHTC-AM (Holland) has announced that the station is now heard on both the AM and FM bands!
Midwest announced that they have placed an FM station at 99.7 FM, that will simulcast all of WHTC-AM programming on FM. The addition of the FM station will enable listeners to clearly hear 1450 WHTC programming with a better range and with no interference from electrical noise or thunderstorms in the area. The new station, on the FM dial at 99.7, has official call letters of W259CO but will be known as The New 99.7 FM. All current programs on WHTC will be simulcast at 99.7 FM, 24 hours a day.
In a press release to listeners, Market Manager Kevin Oswald said, “Midwest Communications has made a significant investment in radio for our area and we’re proud to announce the New 99.7 FM. For years we’ve been the station you turned to for real news now, weather, sports, traffic, talk and more on 1450 WHTC. Now, all we do for you can be found on the New 99.7 FM. The advantages to our listeners and advertisers are exciting as we again increase the ways we reach our audiences. You can now hear WHTC at 1450 AM, 99.7 FM, streaming online at whtc.com, on our smartphone app, and with the NextRadio app. Our FM coverage and quality of signal will enhance our already strong AM station. This adds another way that WHTC serves the greater Holland/Zeeland area with total media coverage, including on-air, online, texting, mobile, live on-site broadcasting, email, video, streaming audio and podcasts. Midwest Communication’s existing local FM radio station, 92.7 The Van will continue to bring Classic Hits to the greater Holland area, with a strong on-air and on-line presence and local event-centered live broadcasts. “
TVSpy.com reports that WXYZ-TV (Detroit) reporter Kim Russell and station photographer Jeremy Johnson were shot at while covering a story last week in the Motor City.
Russell says that she and Johnson were shot at while “doing our jobs” following up on a local man accused of shooting two police officers. She and Johnson went looking for relatives of the suspect, but came under fire.
“We could not see the shooter, but a neighbor down the street said, ‘Yeah, that person at that house you were going to has a reputation and has shot at people before,’” said Russell. “So clearly that was their way of saying they did not want us there.”
Russell said she and Johnson were unhurt. She then tweeted out a warning to other journalists and also lashed out at detractors who said her story was fake news.
Read more and see Russell’s Facebook video account on the incident here.