Category Archives: September 2018

Check IPAWS Certificate for Rescheduled National EAS Test

Stations are reminded that the previous IPAWS digital certificate expires September 24, 2018. To ensure a successful NPT test on the rescheduled date of October 3, you must install the updated CA file. Otherwise, CAP alert messages may not be authenticated after Sept. 24. This applies not only to the NPT, but all CAP messages using that required authentication certificate. Log on to your equipment vendor website to download the most recent certificate update.

As you are aware, due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence, FEMA rescheduled the National Test of the EAS system to Wednesday, October 3. It will be fed via IPAWS at 2:20 p.m. EDT. All broadcasters and cable systems are required to receive and relay this test. Once the test is completed EAS participants are required to submit Form 2 by 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 3 on the ETRS site:

Participants should monitor this test to assure that it was received and relayed correctly and there were no problems with the quality of the audio. This information will be required on Form 2.

The Robinson Report – Relevancy Revisited (Pt. 3)

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.

Kevin Robinson

By: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“Quality, relevant content can’t be spotted by an algorithm. You can’t subscribe to it. You need people – actual human beings – to create or curate it.”

Kristina Halvorson, Content Strategy for the Web

When you make a move – a big cross-country move – you’re certain to stumble over irrelevancy.

That’s exactly what happened to us here this year.

During our move – Back Home Again In Indiana – THIS TV …

… could not be given away. Who wants low-def?

And who needs FREE hours…

… with super-fast  dial up?

Media friends can count the number of lost relevancy here …

… and ONE of these jammed more often than the other …

… BOTH, at one time, vitally relevant to journalistic reporting.

It’s not things that create relevancy.

It’s people.

So, the shiny NEW toy “podcasting” was met here with a cynical eye.

Because most of them, MOST of them, suck.

The content and assembly is pedestrian at best.

The sonics are foul.

Most are TOO long.

Anticipation certainly rose with the dawn of  the Podcast Movement.

Brilliancy induced to this growing on-line and downloadable wave.

Radio Royalty like Buzz Knight, Dave Beasing and Caroline Beasley.

Talent that have guided great brands.

But now two different chapters are upon us.

The BIGS, those who build platforms and national formats, are buying in.

Big time.

The same who homogenized radio with plug and play solutions.

And  there’s a sea of what Fred Jacobs names PodFade

Under-invested Podcasters.

Both of which might taint the whole movement.

If you’re considering a Podcast, find a niche.

Stay relevant.

Shoot an email or call this way for a :45 second coaching template for newbie Podcast creators.

A 10-point ‘test’ to see if you’re fit for a robust and lasting offering.

Cobbled from the best practices from the best Podcasters.

There is no shelf life for Podcasts,  only bad ones.

People, not pyrotechnics, will raise its relevancy.


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.  He lives in Indiana with his wife of 32 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or [email protected].

Do Not Use Photos on Your Radio Station Website Unless You Have the Rights

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

Radio stations can pull all of their digital tools together into a single overarching strategy using Content Marketing. At the heart of a Content Marketing strategy is online content housed in a blog or news section of the website. This content is more likely to go viral on social media and generate traffic from search engines if it includes images.

Yet images are one of the most dangerous potential pitfalls for companies publishing posts written by multiple authors. That’s because if one of these authors uses an image that the company does not have permission to use, the company leaves itself open to a lawsuit.

Radio Ink recently reported that Entercom was forced to write a check for an undisclosed amount as a settlement with photographer Jesse Cuervas after their (almost) morning DJ Kevin Kline used one of Cuervas’ photos as part of a controversial social media post. The fact that unauthorized use of photos can lead to unexpected costs shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the radio business. After all, broadcasting attorney David Oxenford has written about the issue in his Broadcast Law Blog here, here, here, here, here, and here — and that’s just in the last few years! Entercom isn’t an isolated case – many companies have been fined these past several years.

The point is, using unauthorized images could impact your radio station’s bottom line. Here are some steps that you can use to avoid this problem:

1. Write and distribute a clear policy regarding images.
Work with your station’s legal team to develop a clear policy. It should address is the difference between images that can be used for editorial purposes and images that can be used for creative or commercial purposes. For example, a photographer may make a photo of Twenty One Pilots available for somebody writing a news story about the band, but that doesn’t mean you can also use the photo to promote your station’s contest giving away tickets to the band’s next show. Your lawyers should help you clarify this distinction.

Of course, it’s not enough to have a policy. Every person on your staff who has the ability to publish online content must also be aware of and understand this policy. Proper communication and training is key. In all likelihood, this is a policy that you will need to reiterate at frequent intervals.

2. Use a stock image provider.
While there are several stock image websites out there that offer photos that can be used for free, these are probably going to be insufficient for most radio stations. These sites are great if you need generic birthday cake doodles, but if you need photos of popular bands or the local football team, you’re going to have to pay for them. Set up an account with a service like Getty Images or Shutterstock. Make sure that everybody who needs access to images can get it easily. When writers don’t know about the account or can’t log in, they’re going to be tempted to do a Copy & Paste job that could cost you thousands of dollars.

3. Make it easy for staff members to get answers.
If somebody on your staff has a question about whether or not they can use an image, make sure they know who to ask. Establish a point person for questions about images. If you have staff members who may have questions after hours, make sure they know how to contact this point person. Make sure that all questions are answered in a timely manner. If you leave your staff guessing, you increase the chances that they’ll use an image without permission.

It’s easy for radio broadcasters to think they can get away with using images when they don’t have permission, but these days, the rights holders are more vigilant than ever. Don’t get caught making this mistake — it could cost your station a lot.

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

Environmental Journalists to Gather in Flint, October 3-7

The Society of Environmental Journalists has announced their 28th Annual Conference, October 3 through 7.  Hosted by the University of Michigan-Flint, the Society expects over 400 journalists, students, educators and others to attend.

Nine reporting tours will visit the lush forests of Northern Michigan, study Great Lakes research and Canada’s Chemical Valley, take a schooner to explore the toxic legacy of the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay, see self-driving cars and meet with EPA emissions experts, visit Detroit’s waterways and explore the city’s recovery and land re-use.  The tours will also include a check on Detroit’s garbage as well as an opportunity to meet Flint residents who are experiencing the water crisis.

Friday and Saturday sessions will include freelance journalists pitch slams, a plenary session to discuss the future of news, session tracks including the craft of journalism, climate, water, energy, the nation, the globe and environmental film screenings.

For more information on the conference, click here.

Lansing’s Midwest Communicatons, WSYM-TV Team Up for Teddy Bear Posse

The radio stations of Midwest Communications/Lansing: WWDK-FM (94.1 Duke FM), WLMI-FM (i92.9), WJXQ-FM (Q106 FM) & WQTX-FM (Fuel 92.1) have joined up with WSYM-TV (Lansing) to launch the annual Teddy Bear Posse campaign in Mid-Michigan!

The campaign is to collect new teddy bears and stuffed animals for local law enforcement agencies and first responders. These agency use the teddy bears to comfort small children involved in traumatic events and situations.

Collection boxes are located throughout the Mid-Michigan area for listeners and viewers to drop off teddy bears.  The collection effort continues through September 23.

WZZM-TV, Kendall College Design ArtPrize News Set

WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has gotten into the spirit of the city’s annual ArtPrize event for the fourth year in a row, teaming up with Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) to create not just a news desk like in years past, but a fully functional performance space that is also an entry in the competition.

“ArtPrize is so unique – there is nothing else like it,” said Janet Mason,  WZZM-TV President and General Manager. “The artwork and conversations with the artists stimulate the senses, and at the same time, we get to show off our beautiful, vibrant city. We are proud to be a partner of ArtPrize and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.”

This year the station wanted to do something different, to move beyond the desk and create a performance space, so once again they turned to KCAD, their artistic partner over the years.

KCAD Professor Bob Marsh said, “I am truly appreciative of the relationship that has been fostered between WZZM and KCAD. The opportunity to work with a client, consider a budget, deal with the logistics of fabrication, and have the work realized by a set deadline are relevant and exceptional experiences to have as an undergraduate art major.”

Artist Emma Riley began working on the project months ago under the supervision of Professor Marsh. She is a junior studying Sculpture and Functional Art. She has skills in stone and wood carving, clay and metal fabrication, and various mold making techniques which made this project perfect for her.

“I was thrilled and nervous about the project,” said Emma. “This partnership exposed me to working with a budget as well as a federal entity; it sharpened my time-management and problem-solving skills and enhanced my self-confidence and level of professionalism. I’m really delighted at how everything turned out and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with 13 ON YOUR SIDE.”

The piece transforms the interior of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum into a garden space from which WZZM talent can broadcast the news. There are various performance areas as well as a space encouraging interaction with the audience.

The installation can be found on the second floor of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and will serve as the news set for WZZM-TV throughout the event.

Visitors are encouraged to come out and visit with talent and staff and watch the news in action. They may even get a chance to be on TV.

For the second year in a row, the set is an official entry in the ArtPrize competition:

WILX-TV Teams Up with Red Cross for Hurricane Victims

On September 17, Gray Television’s WILX-TV (Lansing)  raised over $3,500 for the American Red Cross over the phone and through the station’s website.

WILX teamed up with the Red Cross to provide a phone line to viewers and a specific time to call in for donations for people affected by Hurricane Florence.

Callers helped News 10 to raise $3,280 for the storm victims, with another $260 coming through the web.

Ninety-one cents of every dollar goes to relief efforts, said Kelly King, executive director of the Red Cross Mid-Michigan Chapter.

Those still wishing to participate can visit the WILX Red Cross donation site to donate.

WWMT-TV Names Matt Johnson as News Director

Matt Johnson

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s WWMT-TV (Kalamazoo) has announced that Matt Johnson will take the reins as News Director on October 10. Johnson is coming to West Michigan from the Sinclair station in Columbia-Jefferson City, Missouri.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Missouri and has served in many different news roles including reporter, anchor, assignment manager and news director.

“Matt’s strong credentials and wealth of news experience position him well to take the helm of our news team,” said Fred Corbus, WWMT-TV/CW7 General Manager. “I am thrilled to bring him on board as he offers exemplary leadership, judgment and a passion for news. He is excited to build on the success of our growing news operation, to provide accurate, timely information to viewers on our traditional and digital platforms.”

Johnson grew up in Minnesota, so he is no stranger to snow. He and his wife, Maureen, have two children and look forward to calling Kalamazoo home.

One Station Sale Receives FCC Approval; Two Others Filed

In the past week, one station sale in Michigan has been approved by the FCC with another two just filed, seeking Commission approval.

On September 14, the FCC gave approval to Edwards Communications, LC to assign the license of WHAK-AM (Rogers City) to John Yob’s Mitten News, LLC.  The reported price for the station was $12,000.  Mitten News has been operating the station under a Local Marketing Agreement since May 18.  WHAK operates on 960kHz with 5kw days, 140w nights.

Edwards continues to own and operate WHAK-FM (Rogers City), WHSB-FM (Alpena), WKYO-AM/WIDL-FM (Cass City) and WWTH-FM (Oscoda).  The company also owns several stations in Wyoming.

Mitten News currently owns WJML-AM/WJNL-AM (Petoskey-Kingsley) and WWMN-FM (Thompsonville).  In addition, the company has a pending application to acquire WYPV-FM (Mackinaw City) from Michigan Broadcasters, LLC.  That application was filed in mid-August. Mitten News is operating WYPV under a Local Marketing Agreement.

Darby Advertising, Inc., owned by Kent D. Smith, seeks approval to sell WUPN-FM (Paradise-Sault Ste. Marie) to TSE Broadcasting, LLC.  TSE is owned by Timothy S. Ellis of Sault Ste. Marie.  WUPN (“Eagle 95.1”) is a class C3 facilitiy, operating on 95.1mHz with 25kw at 71 meters.  The sale price was listed in the application as $296,000.  The sale also includes an FM booster.  TSE has entered into a Local Marketing Agreement to operate the station until the sale is approved.

David L. Smith has filed to sell WMJT-FM (McMillan-Newberry) to Two Hearted Media, LLC.  Two Hearted is owned by Travis Sumbera of Newberry.  The sales price announced was $100,000.  WMJT (“Eagle 96.7”) is a class C2 facility on 96.7mHz with 50kw at 126 meters.  Two Hearted has entered into a Local Marketing Agreement to operate the station until FCC approval is obtained.

In early August, David L. Smith filed to swap the license of WWSS-FM (Tuscarora Township) for Black Diamond Broadcast Holding’s WCHY-FM (Cheboygan).  The applications filed for that swap are still pending.

WQBX-FM Enters Partnership for Alma College

Alma College Director of Athletics Steven Rackley has announced that the school and WQBX-FM (Alma) have entered into a partnership that will have Alma’s coaches appear on a weekly radio show and WQBX broadcasting home events.

“We’re thrilled to be working closely with WQBX,” said Rackley. “It allows us to expand our reach in the community and helps out a station with which we’ve had ties for a while.”

“WQBX is thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Alma College,” said Jeff Sommerville, Vice-President of the station and host of the Coaches Show.  “This will help bring the excitement of Alma College Athletics to Scots fans both locally and worldwide.”

The station has aired the “Alma Coaches Show” from Pizza One in downtown Alma at 7:15 p.m. every Wednesday for the last three weeks.

In addition, WQBX will add to Alma’s webcasts of its home events.  Sommerville will appear on Alma’s football and men’s basketball live streams as a color commentator alongside Topher Goggin. The audio feed will also be distributed on-air and streamed through the WQBX website.