Category Archives: October 2017

Lansing’s WLNS-TV Tracked Arrival of New Anchor

Bonney Bowman

Bonney Bowman has joined the staff at Nexstar’s WLNS-TV (Lansing) as a new morning news anchor.  Bowman joins the station from KTVA-TV in Anchorage, Alaska.  And rather than fly to Lansing, she elected to make the 3,800-mile journey by car.

Bowman explained to  that it was cheaper to get her car to Lansing if she drove and she has some companions for the trip, including her mother.

“I have two dogs and two cats,” Bowman said. “And we flew them up to Alaska when I moved four years ago. It was extremely challenging and expensive, so we thought this time, let’s just drive.”

WLNS tracked Bowman’s 8-day trip with updates on the air and web.  In addition, Bowman provided her own updates, including video on her Facebook page.

WDIV’s Andrew Humphrey to Receive Alumnus of the Year Award

Andrew Humphrey

On October 26, WDIV-TV (Detroit) Meteorologist and Reporter Andrew Humphrey, CBM, will be at the University of Michigan to receive the Climate & Space (CLaSP) department’s Alumnus of the Year Award and give an accompanying lecture.  His lecture is titled “Broadcast Meteorology: Weather and Communications in the 21st Century.”

Humphrey is an Emmy award winning meteorologist and reporter and has earned the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) distinction and delivers science and technology reports for “Tech Time With Andrew Humphrey” on the station.

Prior to WDIV, Humphrey was chief meteorologist at WUPW-TV in Toledo.  He was also seen around the world on CNN and CNN International and got his start in Washington, D.C. at NBC’s WRC-TV and then Fox’s WTTG-TV.

Born and raised in Silver Spring, MD., near the nation’s capital, Humphrey went to school in Wolverine country, earning his BSE in Meteorology from the University of Michigan. He went on to earn his MS in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he wrote his thesis on “The Behavior of the Total Mass of the Atmosphere.”

His awards include the 2009 Emmy award for weather anchoring from the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the 2006 Spirit of Detroit Award from the Detroit City Council and the 2000 Community Service Award from NABJ.

WNMU’s Walton on Candidate Forum Panel

Nicole Walton

On October 24, WNMU-FM (Marquette) News Director Nicole Walton participated on a media panel along with representatives from the Marquette Mining Journal and WLUC-TV for a candidate forum between two candidates: Democrat Sara Cambensey and Republican Rich Rossway.  Both are running for the 109th District State Representative seat formerly held by John Kivela who died earlier this year.

The forum aired on both WNMU-TV & FM as well as WLUC-TV.

Here’s What I Look for When I First Look at a Radio Station’s Website

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

From time to time, Fred Jacobs pops into my office and asks me to take a quick look at a radio station’s website to see what I think. When I’m doing a five-minute diagnosis of a website, here’s what I look for:

1. Is it built in WordPress?
I always start by pulling up the station’s website and taking a look under the hood. In my Google Chrome browser, I go to View > Developer > View Source. This allows me to see the HTML code for the website. I search the page for “wp-.” If the site is built in WordPress, there will be multiple instances of “wp-.”

A radio station website doesn’t need to be built in the WordPress platform to succeed, but it does need to be built in a Content Management System (CMS) platform. A CMS makes it easy for radio stations to consistently publish new content. WordPress just happens to be the most popular CMS platform.

2. Does it have Google Analytics installed?
While I’m poking around the HTML, I also search the page for “ua-.” If I come across some code that looks like this…

<!– Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics –>
<script async src=”https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-XXXXXXX-X”></script>
<script>
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
gtag(‘js’, new Date());

gtag(‘config’, ‘UA-XXXXXXX-X’);
</script>

… then I know that the site has Google Analytics installed on it. This is a good sign — it means that the station has the ability to collect data about how visitors are using the website. Of course, whether anybody is actually looking at that data or not is a separate question.

3. Do they publish original content on a regular basis?
Next, is the radio station creating original content on a regular basis? Sometimes, the homepage will have a blog or news section on it; sometimes, I’ll have to search through the main menu to find it. If I find a blog or news section, I check to see whether they are creating original content on a local level or simply importing it from a national service. I also check to see how often new posts are published. And I take a quick look to see how good the content is: Are the headlines well written? Is there just an embedded video or audio file with no text description?

4. Is it obvious where this radio station is and what they play?
One of the best ways to see how good your station’s website performs is to run a usability test on it. At this point, I’ve run usability tests on enough radio station websites that I know some common issues to look out for.

One common issue is that the website does not make it clear where the radio station is, what type of programming the station airs, or even that it’s a radio station at all. When somebody tunes in to your station on the radio, of course they know what city it’s in — they’re in the same city!

But website visitors can come to your website from anywhere in the world. Often, they come by clicking on a link found on social media or in search engine results. So don’t assume that people who come to your website know what the radio station is all about. The homepage — especially the header — needs to make it very clear.

5. Is the language in the menu clear?
Another common issue that shows up in website usability tests is vague or confusing language in the main menu. For example, some stations will use the term “On Air” when they should use “DJs” (after all, aren’t the commercials and the music also “on air”?). Others will have a link for “Concerts” and another link for “Events” (aren’t concerts also events?).

Here are some common menu mistakes that I look for.

6. Are there clear calls to action?
The most important question you can ask when it comes to your radio station’s digital strategy is this: “When people come to our website, what do we want them to do?” I can usually tell if a station has asked this question just by looking at the site. Sometimes, they will be driving me to clear call to action, such as a big red “Listen Now” button or an email newsletter registration form.

Unfortunately, most radio station websites don’t steer me towards a few clear actions. Instead, they are cluttered with too much content, too many links, and too many choices. This is a sign that even if a radio station’s website is good at attracting visitors, it’s not very good at converting them. The station needs to set clear website goals.

By asking these questions, I can usually get a good sense of how a radio station’s website is performing. Yes, I always want to spend more time diving deeper into analytics before making a complete diagnosis, but this will do in a pinch.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at mab@michmab.com or 1-800-968-7622.

The Robinson Report – Legend

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.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“I won’t be a rock star – I will be a legend.” – Freddie Mercury

Tom Petty – Dead.

The news swept the music industry and shocked the world.

Not a Bucket List concert for me – but I still have a bright red disc of “Change of Heart.

Legend is fleeting – and mortal.

You can learn much by associating with legend, if you identify them.

Like Bill Drake.

Bill Drake was a large figure – in stature and legacy.

Click HERE if the name stumps you.

Bill was considered one of the fathers of music radio as we know it. His talent stable was legend – Boss Jocks on Boss Radio.

Bill held school on music nuisances with names like Diddy Bop, Chin Boogie and his detest of “story songs.” From his “corner office” in a San Fernando Valley strip mall, the tall Texan, who paid cash for everything while living in a motel, passed somewhat quietly nearly nine years ago.

I’m a better programmer because of those 3 p.m. “sessions” in The Valley.

Also, I’m reminded of a few legends I’ve had the honor to call – colleagues.

Dick Biondi, John Records Landecker, Clark Weber, Bob Hale, George Johns, Glenn Beck, Bob Dearborn, Guy Phillips among many others.

I am the broadcaster I am today in large part because of these associations.

Which leads me to this.

There are living legends – today – from which YOU can learn.

These top-of-gamers are insightful, engaging and accessible.

Fred Jacobs – who invented many things, among them Classic Rock – shares ideas weekly (if not MORE often).

Tracy Johnson – offers webinars on talent development – FREE!

Lori Lewis – radio’s digital Gold-Standard – shares what she’s learned – and applicable in all businesses.

Dick Taylor – now spreading his genius in academia – writes a transparent and brutally honest blog – which you can read – FOR FREE!

Roy Williams – “The Wizard of Ads” – will add YOU to his Monday Morning Memo – FREE!

Seth Godin – has been blogging before it was a thing as his stuff transfers not only to media but all creative (and business) – also FREE!

Connect then learn from the talent above and who you consider genius while they are still  accessible.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top Three 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 he has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin was a featured speaker at the 2017 Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) in Lansing.  He lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Finding Success

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

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: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

When I was growing up, kids, when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” would respond with things like: Actor, Postman, Astronaut, Scientist, TV Star, Pilot, Explorer, Teacher, Disc Jockey etc. The answers would be as varied as the career choices out there.

Today, when kids are asked the same question, the answer for boys and girls is the same: “RICH.”

As if money were the only definition of “success.”

“There is only one success…
to be able to spend your life in your own way.”
-Christopher Morely

Defining Success

I really like the words of Christopher Morely. For time and money are inversely proportional. You can save time by spending more money or save money by spending more time. The choice is yours.

Success as most people talk about it sounds like a goal. Goals are dreams with a deadline.

Where does being happy come in? Shouldn’t happiness be included on your personal road to success?

You can have all the monetary success in the world, but if you aren’t happy, are you truly successful where it counts?

Success can be measured.

Happiness is limitless.

People will often tell you to work smarter, not harder. But the reality I’ve found is there is no short-cut to monetary success. The success secret is finding work that you love, work that makes you happy.

Adversity

Let’s face it, no matter how good your plan, life will get in the way.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
-Mike Tyson

Michael J. Fox certainly has had his share of success, happiness and adversity. Fox has been living with Parkinson’s for 26-years. Fox is working, laughing and defying the odds. Recently he shared his “6 Rules for Surviving Adversity.” When I read them, I thought they are perfect for anyone of us in the world of mediated communications. Since the passage of the Telcom Act of 1996, those of us in radio and television have seen massive consolidation resulting in RIF’s (Reduction In Force).

Here are the things Fox says we should keep in mind:

  • Exercise: “We’ve learned it will prolong your ability to operate positively in the world,” says Fox. I’ve learned that logic won’t change an emotion but action will. If you find yourself in a pickle, start doing things. Helping others will especially help you too.
  • Pacing: “It helps me think – the physical motion creates intellectual motion,” says Fox.  He isn’t the first person to discover the benefits of improved thinking by being in motion. Steve Jobs, I’ve read, liked to conduct meetings while walking. He said it helped both him and the person(s) he was talking with to think more clearly. Plus, meetings don’t drag on when people are standing or walking.
  • Acceptance: “It isn’t resignation, and it freed me to actively deal with and endeavor to change my situation (in dealing with Parkinson’s),” Fox adds. “My happiness goes in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” For many of us who were RIF’d or took on the work assignments of all those people who no longer work by your side, acceptance is critical. I remember losing my promotions department, my national sales manager and local sales managers, and as each position was eliminated, it became the new additional job of the market manager. Until the day they eliminated my position. I know what it means to embrace acceptance.
  • Honesty: Don’t remain silent or ashamed about the position life has handed you. Fox says that once he went public about his condition with Parkinson’s “it was empowering to have people understand what I was going through – I immediately felt better.” Be honest about your situation and seize the opportunity to re-invent yourself and your life. Change is life’s only constant.
  • Optimism: “I hate when people say, ‘You’re giving them false hope.’ To me hope is informed optimism,” says Fox. I love that way of looking at life. You always have a choice to how you react to the things that happen to you. You can be angry, you can be sad, you can sink into a depression – OR – you can look at things with “informed optimism” and explore new opportunities.
  • Humor: “I laugh at [my involuntary movements and the scenes they create],” says Fox. “There are times I love these things.” Laughter IS the best medicine for anything that ails you.

Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
-Norman Cousins

Norman Cousins used laughter to get well when everything else his doctors had been trying failed. He chronicled his miraculous recovery in a book “Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient).” It was the first book by a patient that told how taking charge of our own health is critical. Cousins used laughter, courage and tenacity to mobilize his body’s own natural resources. He showed how effective and powerful a healing tool the mind can be.

Do What You Love

Take a moment to reflect on all the things you were passionate about when you were growing up as a kid. Can you combine any of them, or age them, or make them fit into a 21st Century world? When you look to your past, you might just discover your future.

None of us were put here to do just one thing.

I’m sure you had many things you wanted to do with your life when you were young.

And finally, remember the words of a great broadcaster, David Frost who said:

“Don’t aim for success if you want it;
just do what you love and believe in,
and it will come naturally.”

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.  

Lawmakers Introduce “The Honest Ads Act”

According to a report in The New York Times, Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) drafted legislation to increase transparency in online political advertising. The measure called “The Honest Ads Act” attempts to align rules for online advertising with those broadcast on television and radio.

The Act would require online companies like Google and Facebook to include disclosures identifying the purchasers of ads and maintain a “public file” of ads about candidates and issues of national importance. The new rules would apply to any entity that spends a cumulative $500 on online ads during an election cycle.

FCC Votes to Eliminate Main Studio Rule

On October 24,  the FCC voted 3-2 to eliminate the almost eight-decade old requirement that radio and television broadcasters maintain a main studio in or near their community of license.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had said it had become outdated because in the digital age the community has access and can engage with stations via social media or email without having a physical studio nearby.

He also said maintaining a physical address is an expense better put to other uses, like adding more local programming. Broadcasters have said that expense can range from $20,000 a year to several hundred thousand dollars.

Despite elimination of the studio requirement, stations are still required to have a local, toll-free telephone number and to maintain any portion of their public files that are not online at a publicly accessible location within their community of license.

Dennis Wharton, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications ,released a statement, saying,” NAB supports elimination of the main studio rule, which has outlived its usefulness in an era of mobile news gathering and multiple content delivery platforms. We’re confident that cost savings realized from ending the main studio rule will be reinvested by broadcasters in better programming and modernized equipment to better serve our local communities. We applaud the FCC for continuing to remove unnecessary and outdated broadcast regulations.”

The order will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Updates on Legislative Races:

The MAB will continue to offer this segment in the News Briefs as new candidates announce their intentions.

  • Former Representative Jeff Irwin announced he will seek election to the 18th Senate District next year, with the seat currently held by term-limited Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor).
  • House Majority Floor Leader Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway) announced his campaign for the 25th Senate District in 2018’s election, with the seat currently held by term-limited Senator Phil Pavlov (R-Saint Clair).
  • Former U.S. Representative Kerry Bentivolio announced that he will seek election to U.S. House District 11 in 2018 as a Republican.
  • Democrat Jocelyn Benson announced her intent to run for Secretary of State last week, having previously been the party’s candidate in 2010.
  • Representative Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) announced his campaign for the 11th Congressional House District last week.
  • Representative Laura Cox (R-Livonia) has announced she will run for the 7th Senate District in 2018, with the seat currently held by term-limited Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton Twp).

House Committee Approves Critical Infrastructure FOIA Exemption

Legislation exempting critical cybersecurity data from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was unanimously reported from the Michigan House Communications and Technology Committee last week.

Under the bill, HB 4973, the state’s plans to protect its information technology infrastructure and any assessments of the plans or equipment would not be public information.

Michigan State Police (MSP) testified in favor of the bill, stating that the legislation would help ensure private entities are reporting cybersecurity threats to the MSP and are not withholding cybersecurity incidents because the vulnerable information can be requested under FOIA.

The bill now goes to the full House for action.