Tag Archives: Issue 126

MABF Scholarship Recipient Jessie Fidler is Making it Happen!

Jessie Fidler

“I’m Jessie Fidler! I’m currently a senior at Ferris State University where I’m studying both Television & Digital Media Production and Marketing. I’ve had two internships so far at the Traverse City Film Festival and Michigan Medicine in Video Production and Communications. What I love most about being a ‘storyteller’ in video production is the ability to make people laugh, inspire them or just leave them with a better feeling.”

“Through my professional experience so far, I’ve learned that consistency and hard work will bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. I am very grateful for receiving a MAB Foundation Scholarship last year and I was able to put the money towards my tuition. After graduating, I hope to find another internship in storytelling and build my career in digital media production.”

Jessie Fidler, Ferris State University ‘19

Sponsor a Scholarship to help Impact a Student’s Life!

2017/2018 Chairman of the MAB Board Peter Tanz (Midwest Communications) and Midwest Communications Southern Michigan Broadcasting Scholarship Recipient Regan Blissett (Grand Valley State University)

Do you want to encourage the next generation of broadcasters?

Does your station need an EEO boost?

Could you use some positive PR?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, the MAB Foundation has a great opportunity for you! The MABF Station Sponsored Scholarship Program lets you award a one-time broadcasting scholarship to a Michigan college student and may help you to earn EEO credit.

The MABF will collect and coordinate all applications, you’ll get to choose your winner and meet him or her at the Media Show in March 2019.

This is an easy and affordable avenue to gain possible option A points and encourage the future of the broadcast work force at the same time. Interested stations must agree to assist in broad outreach by airing PSAs about the scholarship opportunity.

We hope you will take advantage of this program.  It is available to you to assist your station in EEO requirements as well as to help preserve and advance the broadcast industry in Michigan. Please contact Rachel Krause, [email protected] or 517-484-7444 if you’re interested in learning more.

How Radio Commercials Are Different From Podcast Sponsorships

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

Podcasts represent a great opportunity for radio stations to add to their sellable inventory without driving ratings down or program directors crazy. But before your radio station’s sales team starts pitching podcasts to clients, they should understand the differences between podcast ads and radio commercials. Here are some of the key differences:

1. Podcasts use host-read ads, not produced spots.
Podcasting is a more intimate medium than radio listening. People often listen to radio in the background, so commercials have to grab listeners’ attention to cut through. With podcasts, people listen more actively. That’s why podcasts are often described as a “lean in” medium. Blaring commercials with music, sound effects and cheesy announcers are too jarring for podcasts. Instead, most podcast commercials are copy points read by the host, sometimes with a fair amount of improvisation.

2. Podcasts are not as strict about commercial length.
On our airwaves, we adhere to strict clocks. With podcasts, things are much looser. Podcasts ads don’t have strict 30 or 60-second time limits. This is good for creative on-air talents, but bad for long-winded ones.

3. Podcast spotloads are much lighter.
Podcasts do not run 6 spots in a single break, or 12-15 minutes of commercials in an hour. Depending on their length, podcast episodes often have a pre-roll break, one or two midroll breaks, and a post-roll break. At most, I’ve heard three different sponsors in a single break, and that is rare.

4. Podcasts often contain direct response ads.
Many podcast ads feature a host directing listeners to a custom URL (such as “Acme-dot-com-slash-Awesomecast”) or asking listeners to type in a custom discount code. These podcasters get paid every time a sale is attributed to their ads through these URLs or codes. Some companies, such as Audible, set up turn-key advertising programs so that any podcaster can run direct response ads for them without requiring prior approval.

5. Podcast ads can be dynamically inserted.
Many podcast hosting companies now offer the ability to dynamically insert ads. “Baked in” ads are ads that are recorded at the same time that the rest of an episode is recorded; the baked in ad is permanently part of the episode, so everybody who downloads the episode hears the same ad. Dynamically inserted ads, on the other hand, are not included in the original episode recording, but inserted when a listener downloads the episode. For example, if I download a five-year-old episode of Hardcore History today, I may hear a different ad than somebody who downloaded the same episode when it was first published.

Ads can be dynamically inserted by time or by geography. Somebody in Los Angeles might hear a different ad than somebody in Topeka. This allows national podcasters to sell to local advertisers.

Before your sales team starts selling podcasts, make sure they understand these key differences. You may want to gather them in a room and listen to a range of different ones, from entertainment shows like comedian Joe Rogan’s to public radio shows like Invisibilia, to hear how different podcasts are handling advertisements. Using these as a starting point, decide what makes the most sense for your station’s shows.

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

Who Has The Rate Resistance Problem? Could It Be You?

Paul Weyland

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:  Paul Weyland
President, Paul Weyland Communication Strategies

Some of us met up at the Radio Show in Orlando and discussed rate resistance. Several people thought advertising agencies were becoming more demanding than ever. Others complained about local direct clients. “Especially in small and medium markets, they just don’t have the budgets anymore to buy broadcast.” More on that in a minute.

The greater truth is this. Those with the biggest objections to higher rates and higher budgets are not the agencies and not the local decisionmakers, but instead our own local broadcast salespeople. Huh? Yes. In fact, I’m ashamed to say that most resistance to radio advertising rate increases and higher budgets for local direct clients comes not from clients themselves, but instead from radio and TV sales reps.

One of our Radio Show group said he’d heard that salespeople usually ask clients for no more money per month than they, the radio reps, make in their monthly paychecks. I had to agree with him, because I personally had that very experience. As a first- and second-year rep, nearly all of my local direct orders were under $2,500 per month. Why? After thinking it over much later, these were my only reasons. Number one, that’s about the number that the other, more seasoned sellers at our stations were asking for. But Reason Number Two? At that point in time, $2,500 seemed like a lot of money to me.

For me, that cycle finally broke in Year Three, and it happened totally by mistake. I was pitching a car dealer on a big idea, and instead of asking for my usual $2,500 a month, I took a chance and told the client that the cost would be $5,000. And the client said, “A week?” And instead of saying, “No, a month,” I said, “Yes, sir,” and to my complete surprise, he told me he’d spend that “from now on.” So at that point, the spell was broken for me. I figured that if this client had no problem accepting a larger budget, maybe the same might be true for other customers, and it turned out I was right.

My epiphany came in my third year. For others, this revelation might have come earlier, but in my experience, that would be rare. In fact, I know a lot of seasoned media reps who are still shy about asking for real money.

Maybe they’ve been shot down enough times by now that they’re convinced it’s just easier to ask for a less robust budget, get the sale, and get out, because that’s what works for them.

However, even the happy-go-lucky salesperson might be tempted to ask for much more money if he or she could be convinced that they could get easy yeses from their clients. So let’s discuss some ways to make that happen.

Use iron-clad, evidence-based logic in your presentation. By knowing a few details about your client’s business, you can get the confidence you need to ask for more. How much more? How about four times more? In other words, instead of asking for, say, $2,000 per month, why not ask for that much per week?

Knowing the client’s average sale and her gross margin of profit means everything. Armed with this information, not only can you close much bigger deals, you can also more easily manage your client’s expectations about advertising results. Otherwise, when a client calls and says, “Cancel my advertising. It’s not working,” you have nothing with which to defend yourself. Why would you ever put yourself in that position?

Understanding ROI gives you power. And power leads to confidence. No more mediocre pitches.

Let’s take a furniture dealer, for example. Let’s say your local furniture store’s average sale is $1,000. The owner’s gross margin of profit is 40-45 percent (go to www. paulweyland.com and download the free ROI PDF). So for each thousand dollars a week spent on your station, how many sales would the client have to make to break even?

Well, if the client’s cost of goods is $650, that means gross margin, the amount she could reinvest in her business, would be $350. So how many $350s would she need to pay for the $1,000 she invests on your station? Less than three new customers. How many people are listening to your station? How many people come to your website in a week? Three people out of whatever your number might be seems like a pretty good calculated risk to me!

Understanding this concept means you have everything you need to defend doubling, tripling or quadrupling the amounts you’re pitching. It takes away the client’s meager budget suggestion and gives the control to you.

On the situation with needy, greedy advertising agencies and their rate-grinding, I can’t tell you what to do. That’s entirely up to your station’s management and what they feel is best for your station. But with local direct clients, I guarantee that most of them are underspending. Calculate their ROI and see for yourself.

For smaller markets, use the small-market advantage to ask for much more money than you’re getting now. You tell clients, “Well, thank heavens you’ve got the small-market advantage.” “Huh?” they say. And you reply, “Your gross margin and average sale are the same as your brothers and sisters in the larger markets, but here in a smaller market we have smaller rates, so you could literally own the media in our town.” Use this argument and you’ll land bigger contracts.

I practice what I preach. I have taught this technique in all-sized markets in every state in this country, and many other countries as well. And do you know what? Out of all of those thousands of media reps I have encountered through the years, I have only heard of two of our salespeople who were actually murdered for asking for too much money. So your odds are good! Give it a try and see for yourself. I mean, come on. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

This article originally appeared in RadioInk Magazine.

Paul Weyland will be speaking at the Great Lakes Media Show, March 5-6, 2019 in Lansing.  For more information and to register, click here.

Paul Weyland helps broadcast stations sell more longterm local direct business. Reach him at paulweyland.com or call 512.236.1222.

WZZM Anchor Starts a New Career

Jennifer Pascua

My West Michigan host/WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) 13 on your Side Anchor Jennifer Pascua has announced that she is leaving the station to write a new chapter in her life story.

“At the age of 42, I’m going to be graduating with a Master’s degree in Communication from GVSU in December,” said Pascua. “I knew that I wanted to take the skills I learned both in the classroom and in my 25 years of TV/Radio Broadcasting and parlay it into a new beginning.” She will be joining the Serendipity Media team based out of Grand Rapids. The publisher-marketing agency created a leadership role for Pascua as its new Digital Content Strategy Manager in early 2019.

During her 13 years at WZZM, Pascua has reported, anchored and fill-in anchored on every single newscast. She was a major player in launching the Weekend Morning News and My West Michigan. She has been an active community member in West Michigan and has been involved in a variety of boards and non-profit committees.

“We are going to miss Jennifer’s creativity, storytelling and passion for life,” said Janet Mason, WZZM-TV President & General Manager. “She is a breath of fresh air as she approaches everything with enthusiasm. We wish her much success in the next chapter of her life.”

Pascua said, “It’s time for me to step aside and have someone else have the opportunity to experience what has been an exciting rollercoaster ride. What other job allows you to rappel off the second tallest building in Grand Rapids, learn how to swim late in life and interview a soon-to-be President? But, as life happens, one’s goals and dreams change, and I’m ecstatic to see where I can go in my new career. West Michigan has been home for me and my boys and you’ll still see me around at community events, at all the restaurant openings and of course, on social media.”

Pascua’s last day on the station will be on Friday, December 14. Until then, she’s looking forward to creating more memories and sharing her contagious laugh and smile with her loyal viewers.

Live From Here with Chris Thile is Coming to Detroit

Michigan Radio will welcome Live From Here with host Chris Thile to Detroit on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 5:45 p.m. (EST) for a special live broadcast performance. The show will take place at the historic Detroit Opera House in downtown Detroit, and marks the show’s first visit to Michigan.

Tickets are now on sale through the Detroit Opera House box office, through Ticketmaster (Phone: 800-745-3000) and online at livefromhere.org.

Tickets for the show are priced at $35 – $70. A limited number of special VIP tickets which include premium box seats and a private post-show meet and greet with Chris Thile and the Live From Here cast are also available. To purchase VIP tickets, click here.

Bringing audiences together on Saturday evenings with music and comedy has been a tradition in public radio since Garrison Keillor launched A Prairie Home Companion in 1974. Musician and songwriter Chris Thile continues that tradition with Live From Here, featuring a unique blend of musical performances, comedy and audience interaction.

Mandolinist Chris Thile is among the most highly acclaimed musicians of his generation. The Grammy winner started the band Nickel Creek and currently leads the acoustic quintet Punch Brothers. Each week on Live From Here, Thile welcomes a wide range of well-known and up-and-coming talent to share the stage and create a beautiful listening experience.

Live from Here is produced and distributed nationwide by American Public Media, and is heard by 2.6 million listeners each week on nearly 600 public radio stations. The radio variety show airs Saturdays at 6:00 PM on Michigan Radio (91.7 FM Ann Arbor/Detroit, 104.1 FM West Michigan, and 91.7 FM Flint), and is repeated at 9:00 PM on Sundays.

Chastain Appointed WLNS-TV VP/GM

Nexstar Broadcasting has announced that Scot Chastain has been named Vice President and General Manager of CBS affiliate WLNS-TV (Lansing) and associated mobile/digital services, including WLNS.com.

Chastain comes to Nexstar with over three decades of executive and professional experience across all facets of the network and local broadcast television business including marketing, promotions, production, new business development and a strategic planning across multiple media platforms.

Before Nexstar, Chastain served as Owner and Principal Marketing Consultant for 630 Marketing where he provided strategic marketing direction and event production consulting services for a variety of business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients in media, among other industries.

Prior to that, Chastain spent over 20 years working for the NBC Television Network where he held a number of senior level positions during his tenure. In his most recent role, he served as Executive Vice President, Affiliate Marketing and Development where he led a bi-coastal staff responsible for developing and distributing all network marketing and sales marketing content across more than 240 NBC owned and network-affiliated television stations.

Earlier in his career at NBC, he served as Senior Vice President of Affiliate and Marketing Development and before that, he held various positions of increasing responsibility in the Affiliate Advertising & Promotion Services department, including Manager, Director and Vice President.

Prior to joining NBC, Chastain served in various staff and management-level roles in marketing, promotions and production at local broadcast stations including WDSU-TV (NBC) in New Orleans, LA; WXII-TV (NBC) in Winston-Salem, NC and KBTX-TV (CBS) in Bryan, TX.

Mr. Chastain will assume his new responsibilities immediately and report to Theresa Underwood, Senior Vice President of Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.

WLEN Hosts 1st Senior Cleaners Closet

L-R) Cari Rebottaro, Rachel Cordle, Kathi Tice-Taylor (Lenawee County Department of Aging). Julie Koehn and Kathy Williams (WLEN).

During the month of October, WLEN-FM (Adrian), along with Home Instead Senior Care, TLC Community Credit Union, Tuckey’s Big Boy in Tecumseh and the Lenawee County Department of Aging hosted the 1st Senior Cleaners Closet.

Every year, the Department of Aging helps over 2400 seniors in Lenawee County, keeping people independent and in their homes longer. They provide many kinds of assistance and one of those services is home cleaning. Most of the funds they receive cannot be used for cleaning supplies and many seniors; especially those on fixed incomes are not able to purchase the supplies that the cleaners need.

A month long collection drive was established by WLEN to collect those supplies as well as raise awareness for the services of the Department of Aging. Hundreds of supplies were collected to be used in senior homes all over Lenawee in the coming year.

Former WJR-AM General Manager Bill James Passes

Bill James

The MAB is sad to announce that former WJR-AM (Detroit) General Manager Bill James has passed away at the age of 85.

James began his career as an engineer for Ford Motor Company, and moving on to CPA giant Touche Ross (now Deloitte & Touche) where he was named a Partner. Bill was then recruited by Capital Cities Communications, where he was named General Manager at various media operations, including WJR, where he succeeded James Quello in 1969.  Later he created and grew Capital Cities’ very successful Cable Television Division, until it was sold to the Washington Post, following the purchase of ABC by Capital Cities.  He went on to start and operate his own cable television company, James Communications.  Bill served on the Board of Directors for AAA, and as Chairman of the Board of Beaumont Hospital.

James is survived by his wife of 63 years Jane (Mehrer); children Martha Quay (John), and William James (Babette); plus grandchildren and great grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, December 1st at 10:00 a.m. at Christ Church Cranbrook (Bloomfield Hills) to celebrate a life well lived.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be sent to Beaumont Health Foundation in support of their Nursing Education and Training Fund, P.O. Box 5802, Troy, MI 48007.