Tag Archives: Issue 121

Meet your MAB Board Member of the week: Michael Renda

Michael Renda, At-Large Director (WJBK Fox2 Detroit)

Michael Renda began his broadcast career in radio at WOHO in Toledo, Ohio in 1977 as a Local Account Executive and very shortly thereafter 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 in 1989.

After a five year tenure as General Sales Manager at WLWT in Cincinnati, Renda returned to WJW 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 Fox 29 in Philadelphia in April 2007.

Chicago was next and another VP and General Manager position at WFLD/WPWR, 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.

Nielsen Announces 2019 TV Market Rankings

Nielsen has unveiled its television market rankings for 2019, and rankings of Michigan markets have been slightly adjusted.  Markets are ranked by the number of TV households in a DMA.  Detroit remains the #14 television market in the country.  Other markets saw some slight adjustments:

  • Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek shifted from #43 in 2018 to #49 in 2019.
  • Flint-Saginaw-Bay City moves from #71 to #65.
  • Lansing moves from market #115 to #110.
  • Traverse City shifts from market #118 to #120.
  • Marquette is bumped from #180 to #182.
  • Alpena remains as market #208.

See the complete ranking of Nielsen TV markets here.

WKAR Partners with MET To Provide Books For Kids

via WKAR.org

(L-R) WKAR Education Director Robin Pizzo, MET’s Whoodini and MET Executive Director Robin Lott. Photo credit: Amanda Pinckney/WKAR-MSU

Through 12 days in September, listeners of WKAR Radio (East Lansing) combined efforts with Michigan Education Trust (MET) to provide more than 600 books to capital region children in need.
The public radio station from Michigan State University recently concluded its annual fall on-air fundraising campaign encouraging listeners to support the capital region’s source for NPR News and classical music.

Through a special partnership with MET, every donation made to WKAR during the station’s fall campaign will provide a book for a child in need in our community. More than 600 books will be donated to children in the capital region.

“Each year, our listeners step up with financial support to provide news that matters and music that inspires for their community,” said ShaDonna Crosby, WKAR director of annual giving. “Partnerships like this can channel the generous energy of our audience back to the community in so many ways.”

“We’re so glad to partner with WKAR on this important project,” said Robin Lott, executive director of Michigan Education Trust, the state’s prepaid 529 college savings plan. “Reading plays such a vital role in every child’s education and their lifelong learning process.”

The fundraising drive concluded at midnight Sept. 30 and raised more than $97,000.

WXYZ-TV Celebrates 70 Years of ‘7’

WXYZ-TV (Detroit)  is celebrating “70 Years of 7.” For 70 years, the station has served Southeast Michigan.  October 9 will mark the 70th anniversary of the day the station signed on the air from studios in the Maccabees building in Detroit.

WXYZ will recognize this historic milestone with an on-air and social campaign that celebrates the moments that made us proud to be Detroiters. The station will look back at the news events that defined them and the most memorable sports events of the past seven decades. The project will also look ahead to the next 70 years and showcase the technology that will keep the station connected.

“It’s an honor to look back at the past 70 years and the incredible impact WXYZ has had on this community,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD vice president and general manager. “It’s even more exciting looking to the future as WXYZ continues to evolve as a media organization and serve the community at the highest level on every platform. This station has always been about the passion of the remarkable people who work here and their dedication to deliver great story-telling with fair and balanced content on all platforms.”

On October 9 at 7:30 p.m., WXYZ will broadcast a “70 Years of 7” half-hour special that explores the impact of the station on the community. The special will be streamed live on WXYZ.com, Facebook and OTT platforms.

For more on “70 Years of 7” go to http://WXYZ.com.

Blarney Stone Enters LMA with Henderson Stations

Jerry and Sheryl Coyne’s Blarney Stone Broadcasting has taken over operations of Roy Henderson’s three stations in Traverse City and debuted new formats on two of them, while relaunching the third.

Henderson’s WBNZ-FM (Frankfort) has flipped from a simulcast of WLDR-FM (Traverse City) to Sports simulcasting Blarney Stone’s WGRY-FM (Roscommon) as “Up North Sports Radio.“

Blarney Stone’s WQON-FM (Grayling) is now simulcasting on Henderson’s WOUF-FM (Beulah), which also had been simulcasting WLDR-FM.

And Henderson’s WLDR-FM Traverse City has been relaunched under the LMA.  The on-air lineup on WLDR-FM will also feature The Morning Scramble with Lorri & Mike, JJ in middays and Maria Miller in afternoons.

The addition of Henderson’s stations replaces the proposed deal that Blarney Stone had in 2016 attempting to purchase six stations from Northern Broadcast. That deal never closed.

WDET/WRCJ’s Christopher Felcyn Passes

Christopher Felcyn

Christopher Felcyn, a longtime Detroit radio personality and host of “The Well Tempered Wireless” for classical music station WRCJ-FM (90.9), has passed away.

Felcyn, 67, died at his home on September 28.

“He was one of the best interviewers in the business, a talented pianist, and an ultimate professional with wit and creativity in sharing classical music,” Detroit Public TV, which manages WRCJ, said in a statement, announcing Felcyn’s death. “Chris and his passion will truly be missed.

A Detroit-native, Felcyn was the host of classical/jazz music program “The Listening Room” on Sunday mornings on WDET-FM (101.9), and later on WRCJ for more than 30 years. He hosted “The Well Tempered Wireless,” a mid-day weekday show up until his death.

Robert L. Friedle: 1943-2018

Bob Friedle (right) accepting the Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Award from then-MAB Chairman Chris Warren in 2015.
The MAB is sad to report that longtime Michigan broadcast engineer, Robert L. Friedle passed away on Monday, October 1. 

Bob was well known in the Tri-Cities area, having worked for many of the local stations.  He was honored with the MAB’s distinguished Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Award in 2015.

Bob joined the U.S. Air Force after graduating from high school in 1961, where he developed his love of electronics and technology. He proudly served in Vietnam working with radar systems and was later honorably discharged from the military in 1969.  In 1989, Bob became a radio station owner for a newly created station known as WTCF (now known as WSGW-FM), which went on the air in 1990. Bob sold thestation in 1998, but continued to work as a radio station engineer until his retirement in 2011.

Services were scheduled for Friday Morning, October 5  in Bay City.

Cumulus Taps Bruce Law As Grand Rapids Market Manager

Bruce Law

Cumulus Media has announced that it has appointed radio broadcasting executive Bruce Law as Vice President/Market Manager for its Grand Rapids radio station group. Law, a Michigan native, was previously President, Saga Communications of NC in Asheville, N.C., where he also served as Vice President/General Manager. Prior to that, Law was Market President for Townsquare Media in Quad Cities, Iowa/Ill.

Bob Walker, Executive Vice President, Operations, Cumulus Media, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Bruce back home to Grand Rapids. His passion for these brands and for Western Michigan is obvious and we are glad to have him on the team.”

Law said, “I am excited to be back home in Grand Rapids working with brands I have admired since I started my career in radio. Thank you to Mary Berner and Bob Walker for this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.”

Cumulus Media owns and operates five radio stations in Grand Rapids, including: WBBL-FM/107.3 (Sports); WHTS-FM/105.3 Hot FM (CHR); WJRW-AM/1340 (News/Talk); 97 WLAV-FM (Classic Rock); and WTNR-FM/NASH FM 94.5 (Country).

Salespeople: Here’s How To Make Live Reads Work

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

If you were to ask any successful PD what the secret to their success was, I am sure they would tell you that being sales-friendly is one of them. I certainly believe that, and continue to be sales-friendly myself. Which takes me to live reads, arguably one of the most requested and successful tactics for today’s radio advertiser. To get some solid advice on how to make live testimonial reads more successful, I spoke with Peter Connolly. Peter owns LIVE, The Personality Advertising Specialists in Detroit. He creates and manages live local radio endorsement campaigns all over the U.S.

GB: What are the most important strategies for a live read, testimonial spot to be successful?
PC: An AE, PD, or any manager should be able to do a marketing gut check and immediately tell if this is the right customer for a live read campaign. Only start a live read testimonial campaign if you believe the results will be dramatically better versus a recorded :30 or :60. The client must have a strong story to tell in two short sentences.

Focus on the client’s needs. A few years ago, while working with Steve Marx (our sales consultant), he became frustrated when he realized we ditched our customer focus and had a one-size-fits-all “live read” solution to everything. We went from highly customer-focused to a “live read drive-through,” and the first step was skipping over the critical step of understanding customer’s unique strategic and tactical needs and challenges.

GB: When you book airtime on a radio station, what is the first thing you expect the salesperson to do?
PC: They must take the live endorsement work seriously. Get me as close to the talent and any other resources they have for maximum return on investment. I want them to make sure their talent has all the tools necessary to win for our client. If there are any problems or issues, bring them to your agency or account’s attention at once. All of us want client success.

GB: What is the biggest mistake a salesperson can make that will get in the way of a successful live read?
PC: If a salesperson does something that loses our trust, we are probably done.

GB: If you cannot coach the talent, what are some tips you would give the local salesperson for coach?
PC: We never start a campaign without meeting talent in person. If our talent is in Rough and Ready, California or Two Egg, Florida, we go there. How can we expect talent to have clarity and belief in our client’s product and goals, and most importantly, to be personal with our client’s messaging as a partner if we don’t take the time to meet them in person?

GB: Can a PD be helpful with a live campaign? How?
PC: Yes. PDs are the best asset to a client and AE, especially for a live read campaign. We know PDs are the ultimate marketer and primary talent coach at a radio station. Often, we reach out to a PD to use their relationship and expertise to fix a delivery issue. PDs can have exposure to research, ideas and events we need.

GB: How long should live reads be to be effective?
PC: We only do :60s, and we have many campaigns that span six to eight years. We never expect a live read to go longer than one minute (some PDs think we do). Often, some of our best live reads are less than 60 seconds. It’s most important that they be very personal, clear, and well prepped units. We want these to be longterm, multi-year campaigns with key accounts. Unfortunately, some customers are not set up for long-term annuals.

GB: Should they have music under them or not?
PC: Never.

GB: How should the salesperson manage the client’s expectations?
PC: We have some clients that have tethered us to digital performance metrics. Radio and especially live read results are far broader than digital metrics and lead generation. For strategic and tactical battles, radio and live reads are still an incomparable tool for providing far deeper, longer-lasting results. Make a list of results that you can track over a continuum.

We also do a lot of agency work. Agencies are expert at looking more deeply at sales results that are far broader than those of a digital vendor. These campaigns have resulted in and contributed to staggeringly higher market share, far higher web sales, far higher phone metrics, and have made unfair gains in market share at a far lower budget. Finding these results is very tough, as we’re dealing with humans. I always ask the clients’ salespeople, who interact with actual customers, for their input.

In conclusion, as a programmer, I like live reads. They help a person’s personality come out, and if done right (and not overused), can form a strong bond with the listener. It can be useful content as it’s (hopefully) helping a listener solve a problem or need. I’ll take a sincere live read any day over a loud, screaming recorded spot or senseless talk for talk’s sake.

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

Your Digital Staffer is Leaving – Here Are the Passwords You Need to Secure

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 is an industry with traditionally high turnover. When an employee leaves, it’s important the station has everything they need from them to keep things running smoothly. That’s especially true when a digital staffer moves on because stations maintain so many different online accounts.

Here’s a checklist to help you make sure that you get all of the credentials that you need:

  1. Website Backend: Make sure you can log in to the back end of your website. If your website is built on a platform that uses a different login for each person (as opposed to a single login for everybody), then you will want to either delete the departing employee’s account or, if you want to keep the account so that any blogposts they published stay under their byline, simply change the password for their login.
  2. Website Hosting: This is where your website files actually live.
    Domain Registrar: This is where your website URL is registered. Often, it’s the same as your hosting company, but not always.
    Facebook: Facebook pages and groups do not use logins and passwords like many other services. Instead, a person’s personal account is attached to a business page or group. Remove the departing employee’s personal account from the page or group administrators.
  3. Twitter: Twitter uses a single login with a password. You will want to make sure that the email address associated with the station’s Twitter account goes to somebody besides the departing employee. You will also want to change the password. Remember, if you are using other software that automatically connects to your Twitter account, such as Hootsuite, you will need to update the credentials there, too.
  4. Instagram: Instagram uses a single login like Twitter.
  5. LinkedIn: LinkedIn works like Facebook, with personal accounts connected to the business. Remove the departing employee as an administrator on the business.
  6. YouTube: YouTube, which is owned by Google, uses a single login; it’s probably the same as the station’s Google login.
  7. Other Social Media: If your station is on Snapchat, Pinterest, or any other social networks, be sure to get those logins as well.
    Social Media Management Tools: TweetDeck, Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.
  8. Google Analytics: You can add multiple users to a Google Analytics account, so remove the departing employee.
    Email Marketing Service Provider: Constant Contact, Mailchimp, AWeber, etc.
  9. Podcast Hosting: If your station produces podcasts, your audio files reside with a hosting company like Libsyn, Blubrry, or Omny Studio.
  10. Audio Sharing Accounts: Soundcloud, TuneIn, etc.
  11. Apple ID and Podcasts Connect: If you have submitted podcasts to iTunes/Apple Podcasts, make sure you have this login.
    Mobile App Developer Accounts: If your station has a mobile app that’s available in the Apple or Google app stores, get the logins for the developer accounts.
  12. Smart Speaker Developer Accounts: If you built a skill for the Amazon Echo in house, you may have an Amazon developer account.
  13. Streaming Service Account: Stream Guys, Triton, etc.
    Other Podcast Directories: Stitcher, etc. (Google Podcasts does not require an account.)
  14. Video Hosting Services: Vimeo, Wistia, etc.
  15. Survey Software: Survey Monkey, Survey Gizmo, etc.
  16. Webinar Hosting Service: GoToWebinar, WebEx, etc.
  17. Stock Photography Site: iStock, Getty Images, Shutterstock, etc.
  18. Online Form Builder: Formstack, Gravity Forms, etc.
  19. Contesting: Triton, Aptivada, WooBox, etc.
  20. Online Advertising Accounts: Google Adwords, Google Place Listing, etc.
  21. Website Ad Management: DoubleClick for Publishers, etc.
  22. Design Software as a Service: Canva, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, etc.
  23. Text Message Management: EZTexting, ClubTexting, Join by Text, etc.
  24. Affiliate Marketing Accounts: If your station makes money by selling products or services for a third party, such as Amazon or Audible.

A few best practices regarding accounts and passwords:

  1. Make sure you have all these accounts compiled into a single document hosted in a secure place where the appropriate staff members can access them.
  2. Change the password for all single login accounts and update this document accordingly when an employee leaves.
  3. Remove the employee as an admin or a user from all multi-user accounts.
  4. For all single login accounts, it’s best to use a generic role-based email address, such as “[email protected],” which forwards to multiple appropriate staffers, instead of attaching accounts to a single employee. This way, it’s easier to recover passwords if an employee is indisposed and easy to remove somebody from the email address forwarding when they move on.
  5. For most of these accounts, you will not have a representative as a point of contact. However, if there are any where you do, make sure you also get that person’s name, phone number, and email address.

Don’t wait for an employee to exit to start scurrying around the station, shoring up your digital assets. Take the time to get out in front of this issue so you’re prepared the next time an evitable departure occurs.

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