Category Archives: November 2018

Entercom Launches Podcast Hosted by WXYT’s Mike Valenti

Mike Valenti

Entercom has announced the launch of the “Always Aggravated” podcast hosted by WXYT-FM (Detroit) sports broadcaster Mike Valenti. New podcasts will be posted weekly to Radio.com. The podcast is a chance for fans to go behind the scenes with Valenti and his cast of characters from his daily afternoon show airing weekdays from 2-6 p.m. ET on 97.1 The Ticket. The program will be filled with special guests, including talent from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college sports, music and more.

“Mike is an extraordinary talent who is loved by Detroit sports fans,” said Entercom Detroit Senior VP/Market Manager Debbie Kenyon. “This podcast will be an extension of his show, giving fans access to an unfiltered Mike Valenti.”

“This podcast is something that I have wanted to do for a very long time,” said Valenti. “It gives us the chance to go beyond what we are able to discuss in our daily show. Nothing is off limits and I am very excited about the opportunity to appeal to listeners around the country.”

WJR’s Tom O’Brien to Retire

Tom O’Brien

Cumulus Media has announced that Vice President/Market Manager Tom O’Brien will retire at year-end after a brilliant 40-year career as a Detroit radio fixture. O’Brien joined WJR-AM( Detroit) in 2004 as Director of Sales and was promoted to Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus’ three-station cluster in 2011.

“Working with the team at WJR, The Great Voice of the Great Lakes, and Cumulus Detroit has been a privilege. Thank you to my first boss Tony Salvadore, my last boss Dave Milner, and all the team members and clients in between for a really enjoyable career,” O’Brien said.

Prior to joining the Cumulus Radio Station Group, Tom was General Sales Manager and Station Manager at WWJ-AM (Detroit) for 14 years, and also held positions as local Account Executive and Regional Manager for Interep.

“We thank Tom for his significant contributions to radio, to Cumulus, and to the Detroit community and wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Dave Milner, Cumulus Media Executive Vice President for Operations.

 

Fred Jacobs Inducted to Radio Hall of Fame

Fred Jacobs

On November 15, Jacobs Media Strategies Founder/President Fred Jacobs was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame at ceremonies in New York City. His inclusion recognizes his contributions to radio broadcasting over more than three decades. Fred is the first radio consultant to ever be inducted.

The MAB thanks Jackson Radio Works’ Bruce and Sue Goldsen and MAPB Chair Gary Reid for representing the MAB at the induction ceremony.

Watch Fred’s acceptance speech, with an introduction by his brother and the Vice President of Jacobs Media Strategies, Paul Jacobs:

NAB Requests Ownership Expansion in December FCC Vote

According to a report in Inside Radio, the next FCC open meeting on December 12 is scheduled to bring its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to a vote seeking public recommendations on a variety of rules, including local radio ownership.

The National Association of Broadcasters requested that companies be allowed to own as many as 10 AM or FM stations in the biggest markets. The NAB advocated for allowing a company to own up to ten stations in the largest markets, with no limits on how many of those stations are FMs or AMs.

FCC to Kick Off Quadrennial Broadcast Regulations Review in December

On December 12, the FCC will officially launch its latest ‘quadrennial’ review of broadcast ownership rules. The review is a  congressional mandate.

In his monthly blog post, the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote: “On the media front, we’ll be kicking off a review of our media ownership rules — a review we’re required by statute to conduct every four years. The 2018 Quadrennial Review, as it’s called, will begin with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which seeks public input on the relevant rules, such as the Local Radio Ownership Rule, as well as several diversity-related proposals.”

The rules up for review are the local radio ownership rules, local TV ownership limits and the dual-network rule.

MIOSHA Changing State Rules for Federal Regulations

The Snyder administration is rescinding state rules in favor of making reference to the federal regulations when it comes to the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration (MIOSHA). The agency submitted 27 rules packages over the past few weeks that rescind various state rules in favor of the reference notation.

“The focus has not been on Michigan requirements that exceed federal OSHA requirements, but to replace Michigan specific rules and rule numbers with the equivalent federal language and rule numbers,” Jeannie Vogel, spokesperson for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), said.

“This will assist employers and employees in making the requirements in Michigan more consistent with the requirements in surrounding states, as well as federal OSHA.” According to LARA, the rule changes will not mean changes in health and safety requirements for employers.

The Importance of Assessing the Safety and Security of Broadcast Stations and Their Personnel

David Oxenford - Color
David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

A topic not much discussed among broadcasters, but one that should be paramount in the future planning of all broadcast companies, is insuring the security of their stations and the safety of their employees. This is an issue on which all broadcasters should be focusing. Last month, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association for the second time featured a panel at one of its conventions dealing with this topic. While many might think that security issues won’t arise at their stations, in fact it can be an issue at any station in any market. Listening to the stories told by the participants on these panels, and in later discussions with audience members at the two WBA conferences where the panel has now been featured, and judging from news reports, the topic is clearly one that all broadcasters should be considering. Video of the panel held last month is available here.

While the panel was premised on protecting journalists who often are the highest profile “faces” of a TV station, from the discussion it was clear that the need for security planning is one that applies not just to TV stations with news operations, but even to radio stations and other media outlets that can, for one reason or another, be targeted by someone with a grudge against the outlet or one of its personalities. We have seen high profile incidents like the shooting of the Roanoke TV journalists or the employees of an Annapolis newspaper, and we have seen just in the last few weeks pipe bombs sent to news organizations and threats against cable TV hosts. But, as discussed at the WBA panel, there have been many less publicized incidents. Two of the panelists discussed their experiences, one a shooting at a small community-run radio station and the second an intruder making threats and smashing station property in broad daylight at a small market TV station. These incidents, beyond simply raising questions of employee safety, raise both practical and legal issues for all broadcasters.

As discussed in last month’s panel, the practical issues can be as simple as the question of how to conduct operations when your station has become a crime scene. The manager of the Wisconsin community radio station where a night-time intruder shot the on-air DJ discussed not only the security review that the incident prompted, but also the operational issues that resulted from the incident. While police investigated the incident, station employees could not get into their building to operate the station. This highlighted the need for disaster and emergency planning for all stations, not just because of incidents like this, but for any eventuality (e.g. flood or chemical spill) that could make a studio inaccessible. How does a station deal with the lack of access to their main studio? Can they keep operating if that happens? Have they made plans for such an event?

On these panels, law enforcement officials emphasized the need for planning and staff training sessions so that employees know what to do if a threat arises. Many businesses already undertake this kind of training, and local law enforcement authorities are often willing to help conduct the sessions. In the small market TV incident discussed on the panel, a stranger started banging on the front door of a TV station and then retreated to the front lawn of the station using a crucifix he had stolen from a local church to start attacking the sign identifying the station. In the video show during the discussion, a station employee can be seen running out to confront the attacker. Questions were raised as to whether the better and safer approach might have been to shelter in the studio building until law enforcement authorities trained in dealing with such situations arrived on the scene, especially without knowing what other weapons the individual might have had. Would your employees have known what to do in such a situation?

The discussion looked at other instances where stations should be assessing the safety of their employees. While technology has made it possible for station employees, by themselves, to broadcast from all sorts of remote locations, should they do so? Should the station be thinking about security before sending an employee to do a broadcast from a news scene or any other remote location – especially if the employee is going on their own?

Planning for these situations is important, and as I said in my remarks, there are already lawyers thinking about potential liability for stations that don’t do enough to keep their employees safe. Stations should be thinking about how to ensure a safe workplace, and taking active measures to reduce risks. Some companies have already started to review social media accounts of their stations and their on-air employees to try to identify threats early – as some online remarks may be indicative of real potential threats to station personnel. The FCC has eliminated the requirement that stations have a manned main studio accessible by the public during all business hours. While some stations feel that they need to maintain an accessible main studio to show their connection to their communities, others have decided that security is more important. Stations should make educated decisions about such matters, assessing the security implications of their choices.

These are not easy decisions, and there are no clear answers as to what stations need to do to keep their employees safe on the job, while still interacting with the community to provide the localism on which broadcasting thrives. In today’s world, journalists and broadcast companies are often vilified by public figures and even by private individuals who do not, for one reason or another, like what is being broadcast. Because of the attention they get, stations need to be thinking about these issues, and planning for the security issues that may come their way. We will be writing more about these questions in future articles, but start thinking about these issues now.

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.

All Things Christmas! It’s All About How You Decorate the Station

Gary Berkowitz

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: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

Whether you’re an all “All Christmas” station, or just spice in Christmas music with your regular format, there are a few easy steps to make it sound as special as the holiday itself.

The on-air presentation should remain up and contemporary. Sometimes when stations go to all Christmas music, the jocks tend to “soften” or bring the presentation down. If anything, the on-air delivery should be up, fun and exciting.

The jocks should always open with a line like: B106.1 The Christmas Music Station. (Please do not refer to the music as “Holiday Music” always call it Christmas music). Other key Positioning lines to consider:

  • 100% Christmas Music
  • All Christmas Music, All the Time
  • Non-Stop Christmas Music
  • All Your Christmas Favorites all season

Reinforce these lines every time. Not just sometimes. It’s critical to drive home the “All Christmas” message.

The goal is to “dress up the station” with Christmas cheer. This is a 6-week tactic. Sound great and get all the ratings credit.

Dress the website for Christmas. Use the line “The Christmas Music Station.” It’s very important that when a listener goes to the website, it reflects what you are doing on the air. Same for Facebook pages. Do what you can with them to make it look like Christmas.

Have high production values. Use lots of holiday jingles. If you cannot get new Christmas jingles in time, take your current ones, and be creative. Add bells, chimes and ho-ho-ho’s to make them sound Christmas.

It’s all about Christmas. All live liners and recorded sweepers refer to Christmas.

Get involved with Christmas promotions. Local sings, shows that are coming to town (Radio City Music Hall Christmas, etc.). Look at a contest tactic like “Christmas Song of the Day.”

Attention diary markets: Change your SIP. Make sure it says, “Christmas Music,” “Xmas music,” etc.

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

How to Use the Holidays to Crowdsource Blogposts for Your Radio Station

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

Can you feel it? We’re in the home stretch before the holidays. Pretty soon, the snow will start falling, the record label reps will stop calling and we’ll all get more than our fill of Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song.”

One of the fun things about the holiday season is that it provides an opportunity to seek out content from local community members. I’ve written about how to ask guests to contribute to your radio station in the past, and usually this involves asking one person to write a single blogpost. But there’s another way to do it: You can ask multiple people to contribute to a single blogpost. To do this, pose a question that different people will answer differently. Then, compile their answers into a blogpost. For example, here’s a blogpost in which I asked contributors how they would spend $100,000 to market a podcast.

To create a blogpost like this, first identify the people in your local community that you want to pose your question to. These can be a variety of influencers in your market, including athletes, local band members, journalists, chefs, religious leaders, comedians, etc. You want to target people who have their own following in your market because you want them to share your blogpost with their fanbase.

Once you have your list, find their email addresses online and craft a short email that explains what you are doing and what question you’d like them to answer. For the podcasting blogpost above, I sent out this solicitation email:

Our founder, Fred Jacobs, has a blog that is widely read by the radio broadcasting industry. We’re working on a podcast that gathers together the input from a dozen experts about podcast marketing. We’d love to include you. Would you be willing to write a paragraph or two in response to this question:

“If you were launching a brand new podcast and you had $100,000 to spend on marketing it, how would you spend the money?”

Don’t forget to ask people for their job title, headshot, and a link to their website so that you can include these in the post.

Not everybody will respond, so it’s a good idea to ask for more answers than you need. Also, you may want to aim for a diverse group of respondents. This might mean a mixture of people with different jobs, genders, ages, ethnicities and physical locations.

Of course, the big question is, “What should we ask them?” Here are some idea starters for the holidays:

  1. What’s your favorite holiday song?
  2. What’s a great local gift to give somebody this holiday season?
  3. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
  4. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?
  5. What’s your favorite holiday recipe?
  6. What’s your favorite holiday cocktail? Provide the recipe.
  7. What’s your favorite holiday movie or TV special? Why?
  8. What’s your favorite thing about [your city] during the holidays?
  9. Tell us about a holiday tradition that you have.
  10. What do you want for Christmas this year?

Once you’ve gotten enough responses, publish your blogpost and share it on social media. Be sure to tag all of the contributors in your social media post. Also, email them the link to the published post and invite them to share it on social media as well. If they do, the post may go viral.

Because it’s easier to write a single paragraph than an entire blogpost, inviting multiple contributors is often a more effective way to crowdsource content. If your station has never enlisted local community members to be a part of its blog, give it a try this holiday season.

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

Discover the Power of Investigative Reporting with Marisa Kwiatkowski at the #MABshow

In 2016, Marisa Kwiatkowski and her colleagues launched an investigation into USA Gymnastics that revealed top officials at the sport’s national governing body failed to report many allegations of sexual abuse by coaches and showed how predators exploited a lax culture to prey on children.

Marisa is a reporter for The Indianapolis Star, where she handles investigations relating to social services and welfare issues, including child abuse and neglect, poverty, elder abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence and access to mental health services. She joins the exciting line up of presenters who will be on hand for the 2019 Great Lakes Media Show on March 5 & 6 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. 

As a result of the investigation into USA Gymnastics , more than 330 women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Larry Nassar, a longtime team physician who worked in four Olympic games. Nassar was convicted of criminal charges and sent to prison. The series also spurred Congress to pass a bill that would make it a federal crime for national governing bodies to fail to immediately report alleged sexual abuse.

In 2013, Marisa received two national awards, as well as state and regional awards, for her coverage of the difficulties of children with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities to receive appropriate mental health services. She found parents falsely admitting to neglect in order to secure services for their children. After Marisa’s series published, state officials pledged up to $25 million per year to close the funding gap.

Marisa has earned more than 50 journalism awards, including Indiana Journalist of the Year, IRE’s Tom Renner Award, a Sigma Delta Chi Award in public service, the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism and the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award. Prior to The Star, Marisa worked for media outlets in northwestern Indiana, South Carolina and Michigan. One of her articles, “The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons,” became the most-read piece in The Star’s history.

Learn more about the 2019 #MABshow at GreatLakesMediaShow.com