Category Archives: October 2017

The Power of Testimonials

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

Nothing is stronger than a testimonial from a listener. We can say anything we want about the station, but in the end, when it comes from a real sounding listener, it always has more credibility. There are a few tricks to gathering, producing and making these sound good. Use these powerful ideas and ramp it up today!

Live testimonials sound more effective than those recorded on the phone. They are warmer, and have a more credible sound.

Always have a digital recorder at station events/remotes. Assign one person to do nothing but gather testimonials. Preferably one who is not shy and has an outgoing personality. Make sure you use a good mic and recorder. An old fashioned cassette machine can handle this well if you do not have a digital recorder.

Stay away from “stroke” testimonials. By “strokes,” I refer to listeners saying generic statements such as:

  • We love you.
  • You’re the best.
  • Anything that has listeners “screaming.”

Go for authenticity. Whether they are locally done or from a production package, they must sound authentic and describe the experience the listener gets when listening to your station.

When gathering, ask specific questions (see below). Once the question is asked, make sure to:

  • Allow the listener to finish the thought. Do not interrupt.
  • Keep the mic close to them.

Good questions to ask:

  • What do you think of the music played on WXXX?
  • Where do you listen to WXXX?
  • What’s your favorite part of WXXX?
  • What do you like most about the WXXX morning show?

These types of questions will get you answers that will playback as good benefits.

The key here is get comments where listeners describe the “positive experience” they get from listening to your station.

Good places to run testimonials:

  • On the top hour ID. String a few together for a powerful top hour presence.
  • On jingle sweeps. Use a jingle bed with listeners over it, and tag with sung calls.
  • In a promo starting with a line something like: “There are many great reasons to listen to WXXX, but nobody says it better than our listeners!”

Listener testimonials are powerful. Keep them real and they will work for you today.

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

The Dreaded “Got-a-minute?” Meeting

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.

Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer

How long is a “Got-a-minute?” meeting in your office? I’m guessing it’s more than a minute.

Shoot, I remember a “Got-a-second?” meeting that lasted an hour and a half!

Salespeople ask you for a minute whenever they have a fire for you to put out for them.

Could it be that you’ve trained salespeople you’re willing to do their firefighting for them?

Why not? After all, you know more than they do and you’re their boss.

Here’s why not.

Your real job is developing your salespeople so they can do their jobs better.

Yes, developing people takes a lot more time on the front end. As a sales manager, the quick and easy thing for you to do is this:

• Give people the answers to their questions.
• Solve their problems for them.
• Put out the fire.

Then, move on to your next “Got-a-minute?” meeting.

This can go on all day.

And it probably will unless you change your approach.

Developing people starts with your willingness to coach.

Chris Lytle’s Critical Rule of Coaching is to ask at least seven questions before you give an answer.

“But, Chris, I don’t have the time to ask seven questions,” you say. “There are salespeople lined up at my door waiting for me to fix things for them.”

You have to make the time.

Coaching builds loyalty. To ask seven questions, you have to quiet your mind and listen to people.

When people feel listened to and not judged, they become more confident and committed.

Because people rarely resist their own ideas.

And you cannot possibly ask seven questions in a row unless you really are listening.

“You can’t influence someone’s thinking until you know what they’re thinking.” The late Norm Goldsmith said this to our Leadership Institute participants every session.

You won’t know what someone on your sales team is thinking until you ask.


That’s your signal that you have an opportunity to develop someone.

Reprinted by permission

Smitty Returns to WGFM/WCHY

Nate “Smitty” Smith

Nate “Smitty” Smith has rejoined the airstaff of Black Diamond’s WGFM/WCHY (Traverse City).  Smith left the stations four months ago, but has returned to his afternoon shift.

“It’s absolutely incredible that I’m coming back to the Northern Michigan rock waves,” Smith told All Access. “The listener support that I’ve received, has blown me away and I couldn’t be more excited to rejoin the Black Diamond and Rock 105 & 95.5 family.”

Black Diamond co-owner/CEO Mike Chires said, “Smitty helped build Rock 105 & 95.5 into the leading rock station in Northern Michigan, especially his hometown of Traverse City.  That was proven by the unbelievable listener response when he departed four months ago. Based primarily on Smitty’s actions since he left, we welcome him back to our Black Diamond Broadcasting family. I know his loyal listeners will be thrilled about his return to afternoon drive.”

One of BCBC’s Favorites is Back Again!

Jay Kruz

Michigan native Jay Kruz will be back at BCBC this year to impart his wisdom on our future broadcasters. Kruz’s sessions are highly rated by students year after year-they love his approachable attitude, awesome hair and endless stream of industry knowledge.

Named one of Radio’s Rising Stars by Radio Ink Magazine and one of broadcasting’s “30 Under 30 in America” by Edison Media, Jay Kruz is the Program Director and Afternoon Host at Mix 94.9 in Cincinnati.

Students will get the chance to learn from Jay in two new sessions:

You Don’t Need Permission

You don’t need someone to create opportunity for you… there are dozens of ways to do it yourself!  Jay Kruz presents real life examples of media personalities and behind the scenes staff who didn’t wait for the chance to shine in “You Don’t Need Permission.” Hear the story of how a geek from Michigan became the lead animator for a major national video game. Find out how a well-known radio voice over artist found a path that others weren’t taking and created a lucrative career. From YouTube stars to internet radio creators, podcasters to producers – Jay will show you why You Don’t Need Permission from anyone to jump start your career.

How to Create a Winning Student Broadcast Awards Entry

The Michigan Student Broadcast Awards deadline is coming up in December, do you know what your entry needs to win?  Watch and listen to past winning entries and learn how to incorporate their winning features in your entries!  Also get a review of this year’s categories and ask your questions about topic ideas and technical concerns.  Fine-tuning your entries now will lead you down the path for success at the awards ceremony in March 2018!

Jay is the perfect person to speak with students about the Student Broadcast Awards.

Make sure your students know about and plan to attend this important career building conference!

Friday, November 10
Lansing Community College West Campus (NEW!)
5708 Cornerstone Dr., Lansing MI
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Early registration is only $20 until October 27 and includes lunch!
($35 after October 27)

Register for BCBC 2017 HERE and check out the full event schedule at

Are you interested in getting involved with BCBC?  We’re looking for Speed Networkers!  Contact Jacquelen Timm,, to learn more and sign up!

Jay Kruz as a high school student with adviser Bill Keith with his handful of winning Student Broadcast Awards entries

Nielsen Releases New Local Television Market Rankings

Nielsen is out with its lastest annual rankings of the top local TV markets.

The biggest mover in the Top 10 is the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose market which drops from No. 6 to No. 8. Elsewhere in the Top 10, Washington, D.C. moves up one spot, from No. 7 to No. 6. Houston moves from No. 8 to No. 7. Atlanta and Boston switch positions: this season Atlanta is No. 9 and Boston is No. 10.

Michigan TV markets saw some slight shifts from this year to last.  Detroit moves from No. 13 to No. 14, Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek moves No. 44 to No. 43.  Flint/Bay City/Saginaw from No. 72 to No. 71.  Lansing No. 113 to No. 115.  Traverse City/Cadillac No. 119 to No. 118.  Both Marquette and Alpena remain at the market No. 180 and No. 208 positions, respectively.

A complete list of the Nielsen rankings, including population estimates is available here.

NAB Asks FCC to Act on Translators, Ownership Rules

NABAccording to a report from InsideRadio, the NAB’s VP of Legal and Regulatory Affairs Rick Kaplan met with the FCC Chief of Staff Matthew Berry to discuss translators and media ownership rules.

The NAB says interference issues between full-power FMs and translators “remains a persistent problem” and Kaplan petitioned the FCC to adopt the proposals submitted by the NAB group to “facilitate efficient disposition” of the conflicts. Most notably, the NAB suggests the Commission give operators the ability to relocate translators anywhere on the FM dial as a “minor change” to a facility—instead of only to an adjacent or IF-related channel—to resolve interference complaints.  Additionally, since the FCC plans to revisit its media ownership rules, Kaplan made a case for a petition which seeks to change how ownership caps are calculated in embedded markets.

FCC Watch: WZMQ-TV Marquette and WLLZ-LP Traverse City Sold

Here’s the latest Michigan-related FCC broadcast filings.

October 18:  MMRC, LLC filed an application to assign the license of WZMQ-TV (Marquette) to WZMQ, LLC.  The purchase price of the station is $103,475.00.  WZMQ, LLC is owned equally by Brian M. Lilley and Kevin T. Lilley of Erie, PA.  A time-brokerage agreement went into effect October 10.

October 18:  Educational Media Foundation filed an application for station license (to cover minor change CP) for non-commercial WLKB-FM (Bay City).  The station operates on 89.1 mHz with 50kw ERP, vertical only.

October 12:  The Board of Trustees, Michigan State University filed a minor change application for FM translator W233CH (East Lansing).  The application proposes to change frequency from 94.5 mHz to 105.1 mHz and increase ERP to 250 watts.  The translator rebroadcasts WKAR-AM (East Lansing).

October 12:  The Board of Trustees, Michigan State University was granted a license for an auxiliary antenna for WKAR-FM (East Lansing).  The auxiliary facilities call for 16.3kw at 140.9 meters HAAT on the existing WKAR-FM tower.

October 10:  Great Northern Broadcasting System, Inc. received approval to transfer the license of WLDR-FM (Traverse City) to N Content Marketing, LLC.  Both companies are owned by Roy E. Henderson and there was no cash consideration.

October 10:  Roy E. Henderson received approval to transfer the license of WARD-AM (Petoskey) to N Content Marketing, LLC.  The assignee is a new LLC established by Henderson and there was no cash consideration.

October 10:  Roy E. Henderson received approval to transfer the license of WBNZ-FM (Frankfort) to N Content Marketing, LLC.  The assignee is a new LLC established by Henderson and there was no cash consideration.

October 6:  Interlochen Center for the Arts filed an application for station license (to cover a minor change CP to change site, ERP and directional pattern) for non-commercial WIAB-FM (Mackinaw City).

October 6:  Smile FM was granted an application for a minor change in licensed facility for non-commercial WSMO-FM (Mount Forest).  The application was for a new tower location and increase in ERP.

October 5:  Gospel Opportunities, Inc. filed an application seeking a CP for a minor change for non-commercial WEUL-FM (Kingsford).  The application is to correct coordinates, elevation and tower height.

October 4:  Leland Straw Memorial Education Fund, Inc. filed an application seeking minor change for the CP for LPFM WBSV-LP  (Berrien Springs).  The application seeks to move to a new transmitter location with a second-channel waiver request.

October 4:  Carroll Enterprises, Inc. filed an application for modification of station license to convert WHST-FM (Tawas City) from non-commercial to commercial operation.  Carroll received approval to acquire the station nine days later from Northern Christian Radio, Inc. (October 13).

October 3:  Radio License Holding CBC, LLC was granted a CP for a minor change in licensed facility for WLAV-FM (Grand Rapids).  The CP seeks to change the transmitter location of the station to the tower of WFUR-FM and decrease HAAT.

September 29:  Battle Creek Community Radio filed an application for license modification for LPFM WGPG-LP (Battle Creek).  The application covers replacement of antenna.

September 27:  Baraga Broadcasting, Inc. filed an application for station license for non-commercial WGZR-FM (Alpena).  The CP was for a new site and ERP increase.

September 25:  Edgewater Broadcasting, Inc. received approval to transfer the license of FM Translator W273CI (Grand Haven) to Smile FM.  The purchase price was $22,000.  The translator rebroadcasts non-commercial WMCQ-FM (Muskegon).

September 20:  P&P Cable Holdings, LLC filed an application to transfer the license of LPTV WLLZ-LP (Cedar-Traverse City) to Freelancer Television Broadcasting, Inc.  The purchase price of the station is listed as $100,000.  Freelancer Television Broadcasting, Inc. also owns  WMNN-LD (Lake City-Cadillac) and holds CPs for additional stations in Colorado.

September 20: Educational Media Foundation filed an application seeking a minor change in licensed facilities for FM Translator W261BH (Flint).  The application seeks to reduce ERP and increase HAAT.  The translator rebroadcasts non-commercial WAKL-FM (Flint).

Call Letter Changes:

October 10:  WCHB-AM (Taylor) to WMUZ-AM
October 10:  WEXL-AM (Royal Oak) to WCHB-AM

Remember the MAB When Budgeting for 2018

It’s important to set aside the right amount of funds to make sure you and your staff can fully participate in the wonderful recognition, networking, educational and career-building opportunities the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and MAB Foundation offer each year. Below is a brief glimpse of some of the amazing events and programs in store for 2018. Be on the look out for these great opportunities and more . . .   

  • Great Lakes Media Show Registration | $159/member
  • Radisson Room Rates start at $133 per night, single occupancy*

The 2018 Great Lakes Media Show (formerly known as GLBC) will take place on March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center. Learn more at

  • Advocacy Conference Registration | FREE for members
  • Hall of Fame Awards Banquet | $70/person**
  • Grand Hotel Room Rates start at $433 per night, single occupancy*

The 2018 Summer Advocacy Conference and Awards Banquet will take place on August 13 and 14 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

  • ABIP | FREE for members
  • BEA Entry Fee | $45/entry
  • Career Fair Booths (Up to 5 opportunities) | $290/each
  • EEO Service through BCS | FREE for members
  • Job Bank | FREE for members
  • Legal Helpline | FREE for members
  • MAB News Updates | FREE for members
  • ‘P1 Learning’ Online Training | FREE for members
  • Webinars on Topics Important to You | FREE for members

*Room rates for MAB events will be finalized and posted at on by December 1, 2017.

**Listed Awards Banquet ticket price is based on guest lodging at the Grand Hotel. 

There are a variety of Sponsorship Opportunities available for all MAB and MABF programs and events. Contact Jacquelen Timm at 1-800-YOUR-MAB or to design a sponsorship package that fits your business or organization.

Cybersecurity FOIA Exemption Bill Gets a Committee Hearing

Last week the House Communication and Technology Committee held a hearing on legislation that would exempt critical cybersecurity data from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). House Bill 4973 exempts from FOIA cybersecurity plans, assessments or vulnerabilities. Similar legislation last term received intense push back, particularly from environmental groups, for attempting to exempt from FOIA critical energy infrastructure information.

Michigan State Police testified in support of this legislation stating that it would help ensure private entities are reporting cybersecurity threats to the department because entities are worried their sensitive and proprietary information could be released under the current FOIA provisions.  Under current law, FOIA exempts “records or information of measures designed to protect the security or safety of persons or property” from being disclosed. The bill would also add “or the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information systems.”

Vote on HB 4973 is expected this week.