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Radio Grows Communication Skills

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

Having been in higher education for the past seven years, I heard a lot about the need for students to be fluent in the STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

A recent study from CSIRO found that STEM skills were indeed important during the period of 2009-2016, but that in the future occupations requiring communication skills will grow the fastest. As our world becomes more technologically enabled, what will keep humans from being replaced by robots will be their ability to connect, communicate, understand and build relationships.

Google It

We live in a world where skills change quickly and facts can be Googled from one’s smartphone. In order to be successful in the 21st Century, everyone must be able to work collaboratively and learn to be emotionally intelligent.

Those who possess the skills such as active listening, empathy and teamwork will grow in demand across all work sectors.

While we will still need people with STEM skills going forward, the numbers needed will decline as the work of programming will be done through artificial intelligence by the very machines that need it done.

Jobs requiring a high level of interpersonal and/or problem-solving skills are the ones that can’t be automated.

Radio’s Role in Developing Key Communication Skills

I was working in commercial radio when I was in the 10th grade in high school. What it taught me that school didn’t, was verbal communication skills. Being a radio personality means having to develop public speaking skills and being able to speak extemporaneously.

In radio, you learn how to serve a listener – both over the air, on the phone and on remote broadcasts.

Working in radio brought me closer to the community I lived in. I covered elections, breaking news, births and deaths, and was active in local charities.

Over my high school and college years, my radio work would see me hosting talk shows, buy-sell shows, gathering-writing-and-reporting news, playing Top 40 music, beautiful music, Irish music, Polish music, country music and middle-of-the-road music.

Each radio assignment required different communication skills.

Radio & Education

A quick check of the number of high school radio stations in the United States on Wikipedia shows about 250 currently on the air.

Students who are exposed to radio work as part of their high school education will not only find it to be a fun and exciting experience, they will also be acquiring the very critical communication skills that will help them grow personally and professionally.

People who can create exciting, engaging, stimulating and fun radio have what it takes to be successful in life.

Ronald Reagan

Our 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, was called “the great communicator.” President Reagan learned those critical communications skills as a radio broadcaster. First at WOC-AM1420 in Davenport, Iowa.

When WOC consolidated (yes, that kind of thing was happening back in the 1930s too) with WHO, Reagan would go on to recreate Chicago Cubs baseball games.

While doing one of these recreations in 1934, the wire service feeding the play-by-play descriptions of the game went dead. Reagan, knowing that other stations were also broadcasting this game, knew he had to hold his radio audience and would improvise saying hitters on both teams were hitting foul balls off of pitches until the wire was restored.

Radio builds your character in moments like that.

Orson Welles

The Mercury Radio Production on CBS, “War of the Worlds,” brought Orson Welles to the attention of Hollywood. One of the aspects Welles brought to the movie industry was his extensive radio experience. In his greatest film masterpiece, “Citizen Kane,” Welles used a combination of live sound with recorded sound to create an almost three-dimensional audio illusion for Charles Foster Kane.

Radio is what inspired Orson Welles to push the aural possibilities of the film medium.

Theater of the Mind

Radio has the ability to take a listener anywhere.

Radio also has the ability to provide the foundation to take the radio performer anywhere as well.

No matter what you want to do with your life, radio will give you the communication skill set to get you there.

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.

Broadcasters Helping Texas

WXYZ and WMYD Take Action for Texas
In the midst of the unprecedented destruction from Hurricane Harvey, WXYZ-TV and WMYD-TV in Detroit have taken action for Texas with a multi-platform relief effort that includes a special volunteer phone bank to assist in this time of great need. Read more Here … 

TEGNA Launches ‘Texas Cares’ Initiative to Raise Money for Hurricane Harvey Victims
On August 28, TEGNA Inc. launched Texas Cares, an initiative to support those in need following Hurricane Harvey. TEGNA-owned WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) is participating in the effort. Read more here…

Broadcasters Foundation Expediting Emergency Grants for Texas Broadcasters 
As local Radio and TV stations across Texas mobilize their communities to help their fellow Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is expediting $1,000 grants for individual broadcasters personally harmed by the record devastation wreaked by the storm. Read more here…

TEGNA Launches ‘Texas Cares’ Initiative to Raise Money for Hurricane Harvey Victims

Is your station or company doing something to help the hurricane victims in Texas?  Let us know about it! Email  [email protected]


On August 28, TEGNA Inc. launched Texas Cares, an initiative to support those in need following Hurricane Harvey. All money raised by TEGNA’s stations will be donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The TEGNA Foundation has matched the first $100,000 of donations.

TEGNA-owned WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) is participating in the effort.

“Harvey’s devastation has shattered the lives of millions across Texas,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, TEGNA. “Our stations are coming together to serve the greater good of our communities and help those who need it most. Our stations in Texas are providing important, life-saving information and aid during this catastrophic storm. In Houston, while KHOU’s building was flooding, the station continued to provide vital coverage across platforms. I am incredibly proud of the work our stations are doing to keep their communities informed and safe while providing help and relief to those who need it most.”

All 46 TEGNA stations in 38 markets are reaching out in their communities to help raise money for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. As part of the Texas Cares initiatives, all stations are running stories on-air and across social media informing viewers how they can help. All stations have a dedicated donation page on their website. Donations to the Texas Cares initiative are tax deductible and proceeds will go to the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

The company reported that in the first 24-hours of fundraising, over one million dollars has been raised.

Gonzalez Appointed Director of Digital Engagement at WLEN

Ashley Gonzalez

Lenawee Broadcasting Company/WLEN Radio (Adrian) has announced that Ashley Gonzalez will assume the position of Director of Digital Engagement. Ashley joined Lenawee Broadcasting in the sales and marketing department earlier this year. In addition to her duties in sales and marketing she will add digital, and will be in charge of digital development across 103.9, 96.5 and www.wlen.com,  along with other digital products currently in planning. She will also be in charge of client engagement with all digital products and services.

Ms. Gonzalez came to LBC with many years of business experience. She is a native of Adrian; has a bachelor’s degree in Business from Siena Heights University and a master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago.

MAB Board Profile: Michael Renda

mikerenda_275MAB News Briefs is pleased to bring you profiles of your MAB Board of Directors.

This week’s profile is Michael Renda.   Michael is Vice President and General Manager for WJBK-TV (FOX 2) in Detroit.

He began his broadcast career in radio at WOHO in Toledo, Ohio in 1977 as a Local Account Executive.  Shortly thereafter, Michael moved to across the street to WTVG-TV in the same capacity.  Storer Television was the next stop for Mike, moving to Chicago as the National Sales Representative. Stops in New York and Cleveland followed with Renda taking the General Sales Manager position at WJW-TV in 1989.

After a five year tenure as General Sales Manager at WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, Renda returned to WJW-TV in Cleveland, this time as VP and General Manager. Renda served as WJW’s General Manager for 10 years before accepting a similar position at WTXF-TV (Fox 29) in Philadelphia in April 2007.

Chicago was next and another VP and General Manager position at WFLD-TV/WPWR-TV, overseeing both the Fox and MyNetwork Television stations from September 2009 through January 2013.

Renda graduated from Miami University (Ohio) in 1976. He’s married to Susan and has two children, Matt and Emily.

In August, Michael began his second year on the MAB Board of Directors.

Michigan’s Broadcasters To Honor Rep. Candice Miller

RepresentativeCandiceMillerOfficialPhoto)_300The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) will honor Representative Candice S. Miller (R-10th) with the Lifetime of Distinguished Public Service Award during the Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Award ceremonies, Tuesday, August 30.

The awards ceremony wraps up the 2016 Advocacy Conference, held August 30-31 at the Inn of St. John’s.

Congresswoman Candice Miller is currently serving her seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Michigan’s 10th Congressional District. Prior to being elected to Congress, Representative Miller served the State of Michigan at various state and local levels. In 1980, she was elected Harrison Township Supervisor, becoming the youngest Supervisor in her township’s history and the first woman ever elected to the post. In 1992, she was elected Macomb County Treasurer, becoming the first Republican to win a countywide office in Macomb County in more than 60 years. In 1994, she was elected Michigan’s 40th Secretary of State, defeating a 24-year incumbent to become the first women to ever hold the office and the first woman to ever win a partisan statewide office in her own right. After two successful terms as Michigan’s Secretary of State, she was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002.

In Congress, Representative Miller is the Chair of the Committee on House Administration – currently serving as the only woman chair of a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Until recently, she also served as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security and as a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Throughout her tenure, she has be a staunch advocate of initiatives to preserve, protect, and restore the Great Lakes, as well as promote Michigan industry.

For more information on the Advocacy Conference or to register, click here.

Tuesday (3/29) is Decision Day for Broadcasters in Spectrum Auction

March 29 is “D-Day,” as in decision day for television broadcasters who have applied to participate in the FCC’s Spectrum Auction.  They must decide whether and how to give up their spectrum.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, has confirmed that the Commission is on track to start the auction on March 29 and should begin the reverse auction bidding in May as planned.  In an story published by Broadcasting and Cable, Wheeler said that “if he had to guess, the auction, both the forward and reverse portions, could be finished by August or September.”

The FCC’s list of applicants in the forward auction shows that its not just wireless companies and venture capitalists that are interested. Companies with cable and broadcast interests are also on the list of potential auction participants. Though a company has registered to participate in the forward auction does not necessarily mean that they will bid, according to a Broadcasting and Cable report.