On August 25, MacDonald Broadcasting’s WQHH-FM(Lansing) hosted their third annual school backpack giveaway at the Lansing Mall. The station gave away over 1,000 backpacks to K-12 students to help them get started with the new school year. The backpacks were stuffed with pens, pencils, notebooks and other school supplies.
WQHH station personalities and other station staff were on hand. In addition to the backpack giveaway inside the mall, the station was outside the mall with fun activities like facepainting, a bounce house, a live dj, food and more.
Barry Baker, retired General Manager of Delta College Public Broadcasting, passed away August 30, 2016. His funeral was held at the Davidson/Hermelin Chapel at Clover Hill Park on Thursday, September 1. The Rabbi David Nelson officiated.
Surviving are Barry’s wife Sherri Baker, his son Brett Baker and daughter Carrie Platner; his sister Marlene Krauetzker and brother James Baker. Grandchildren Dillian Tacey and Ryan Harris. His parents Marcia and Paul Baker predeceased him.
Barry was a valued member of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters prior to his retirement and served on many committees. Barry was an active participant in the MAB Foundation, annually attending the Career Fairs, speaking at conferences and serving as a mentor at the speed networking events. Barry loved speaking to the students that attended these functions and encouraging them in their careers in broadcasting.
Barry was witty, personable and a kind man who approached each issue with great wisdom. He will be missed by his friends at the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters and broadcasting associates across the nation.
Barry Baker was Executive Director of Communications Technology & General Manager for Delta College Public Broadcasting. Before coming to Delta College in 1997, Baker served as Executive Director & General Manager for Southern Minnesota Public Broadcasting stations KSMQ-TV and KMSK-FM from 1978-1997. From 1974-1978 Baker was Director of Operations and Production for the New Hampshire Public Television Network, where he won an EMMY in 1977 as Executive Producer/Director for “Best Entertainment Program.” From 1971-1974 Baker worked at public TV stations WSIU/WUSI in southern Illinois and was an instructor in the mass communications department at Southern Illinois University. Baker worked as a producer/consultant for the University of Western Ontario from 1970-1971. His initial exposure to the broadcast industry began in 1966 at Detroit Public Television as crew supervisor and studio director and as an engineer for ABC network owned WXYZ-TV/AM/FM in Detroit. Baker is a graduate of Wayne State University.
Barry retired from Delta College in March of 2015.
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
Events can contribute significantly to a radio station’s bottom line. Many stations host marquee concert festivals and other signature events to generate revenue from both tickets sales and sponsorships.
An event’s digital presence can make or break it. When a radio station announces an event on the air, listeners and potential sponsors frequently turn to the web to get more details. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, it could mean the station loses out on ticket sales or event sponsorship dollars.
Pay special attention to the webpage that you create for your radio station’s event. Here’s a list of features to consider:
1. Easy To Navigate It should be easy for your listeners to get to the page about your event from the radio station’s homepage. Let’s say, for example, that WKRP is hosting its annual Big Field Day Festival. Many people will hear about the concert on the air and type “wkrp.com” directly into their browser to get more info. They will then try to navigate to the festival page.
If you put the event in a rotating slider, but not the main navigation, they may not be able to find it. Most people look at a site’s navigation first (particularly on radio station websites, which tend to be very crowded below the menu). If you have an heading like “Concerts” or “Events” in the menu, with a “Big Field Day Festival” link as a submenu item, people are more likely to find it.
Don’t be afraid to put the event as a sub-menu item under two different headings in your main navigation. Different people may expect to find it in different places. For example, on our website, we have “Webinars” listed under the heading “Events,” but “Webinar Recordings” under the heading “Resources.” Both links take you to the same Webinars page (it contains both upcoming webinar listing and past recordings), because we’ve discovered in our usability tests that people look under both headings for our webinars.
Also, it’s better to use the phrase “Big Field Day Concert” or “Big Field Day Festival” than just “Big Field Day.” Believe it or not, not everybody knows what Coachella and Lollapalooza are, and adding that extra descriptive word can make it much easier for people to find what they’re looking for.
2. The Basic Info Of course, you’ll need to include all of the basic info about the event on its webpage:
It’s better to use bullet points for these than a big block of text. For the most part, people don’t read the internet — they scan it for the information they are looking for. Make it easy for them.
3. Vanity URL
You’ll want a unique URL for the event’s webpage so that it can be shared on social media and indexed by search engines as an independent page. Give that page a vanity URL — that is, an URL that’s easy to say and easy to remember, like “wkrp.com/bigfieldday.” This way, you can encourage listeners to go directly to the event page on the air in live jock reads, sweepers and recorded promos.
4. Clear Call to Action
What do you want people to do when they come to the event’s webpage? Whether you want them to buy tickets, register, or simply add the event to their calendar, make it obvious. I’m a big fan of Big Red Buttons — links that stand apart from the rest of the page by using color, whitespace and direct language.
Keep in mind, you may have two calls to action on the page: one for listeners (“Buy Tickets”) and one for potential sponsors (“Learn About Sponsorships”). Make sure that both groups of people know exactly what to do when they come to your site or you could lose out on revenue.
5. Squeeze Page Format
To further encourage visitors to take the action you want, remove all of the other options. In other words, if you want people to click the Buy Tickets button, create a “squeeze page” removing all of the other links. Remove the main navigation, the sidebar, and the footer. (For an example, look at one of our webinar recording pages and notice that you only have two options — fill out the form or hit your browser’s Back button.)
6. Social Sharing Buttons
Making it easy for people to spread the word about your event on social media. Include buttons that allow people to instantly share the link on their favorite social networks. You don’t need to include every social network under the sun, but it’s a good idea to include buttons that share the link on Facebook, on Twitter, by email and by printing the page. If it’s a business-oriented event, you may want to include LinkedIn as well. These buttons will increase the chances that your listeners will share your radio station’s event on social media.
7. Search Engine Optimization
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a very important step that radio stations often overlook because, well, it just sounds intimidating. SEO is just the art of making sure that when people look for things in search engines like Google and Yahoo!, your things are the things that they find.
SEO is very important for big radio station events because when people hear about the event on the radio, many will immediately search for it on Google. I’ve seen radio stations have massive website traffic spikes on the day that they announced their concert lineup. Sure enough, this traffic came from people who searched for the name of the concert (not the name of the radio station) on Google. For example, they would hear about “Big Field Day” on WKRP, and then search for “Big Field Day” on Google to get more details.
Make sure that you know what people will see in their Google results when they conduct that search — optimize your webpage for search engines. If you use a tool like the Yoast SEO plugin (for WordPress websites), you can easily tailor the Google search results snippet.
By making sure you’ve done these things, you can help ensure the success of your radio station’s next big event. I recently hosted a webinar that offers more “Digital Strategies for Radio Station Events.” You’ll find more tips like this in it: view here.
For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at email@example.com or 1-800-968-7622.
“Any change, even for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”-Arnold Bennett
Change is inevitable and everywhere. Experts tell us that 85% of all products and services we are now using will be obsolete in five years. 10 years after their graduation, 80% of college students are working in something totally unrelated to their college degree. With these staggering figures it is obvious that we are more controlled by change than us controlling it. The number one request I receive when associations call about presentation topics is Change/Transition. Everyone is looking for a way to not only make the changes successful, but make them less stressful. So, how do you avoid a “train wreck,” as I heard one national leader comment? What do you do to make the inevitable changes your organization must go through to grow and stay ahead of the competition? Are there common steps to make change productive and even invigorating? Here are eight ways (and a bonus) to avoid disaster during change.
1. Recruit with scrupulous honesty. Get people on your side by telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Don’t hold anything back. Cast your vision leaving no stone unturned. Find
people who will stand with you so that when the chips are down no one who is on your side will be able to say you misled them. Be careful who you talk to. Find the hardest people to convince first. This way they are in on the decision and the information. This makes recruiting the easiest followers even simpler (saves the best job for last). While recruiting, tell your vision. Reveal the pitfalls you anticipate. Express what is on your heart. Leave yourself open. By being honest it will encourage your recruits to be open and honest with you. You will need their support when the going gets rough.
2. Build support among like-minded people. Who can you trust? Seek out people who are discontented with the status quo in the same way or for the same reasons you are. Wander among your people and ask questions that bring out the discontent they are suffering. “Are you satisfied with the programs we are doing?”, “Are we getting the results you feel we could get if we put forth our best effort?”, “How would you change things if you had the opportunity?” Take notes and find those who agree with you. Then talk about the vision you have and the bright future everyone will enjoy together. Include their comments and suggestions where you can to build support.
3. Whenever possible, make only one change at a time. People can only take so much change. After several moves even the most supportive individual needs to stop and take a breath. Making one change at a time allows the new habits to sink in and adjustments to be made. It also allows for preparation for the next change. In my Adapting to Change presentations, I use an exercise where we have participants pair off and make several successive changes. Some complain on the first round. Over half complain on the second round. No one will even attempt the third round – which I immediately use to make my first point. Too much change makes everyone grumpy. Remember the personality styles of your staff and that not everyone reacts favorable to change. Some need time to prepare or get over the experience. Make transitions gradual and more people will follow you.
4. Keep the basic issues clear. Remember why the changes are being made in the first place. During every transition period there is a time of confusion. Other issues are brought up that may not even relate to the goal you have set for the organization. Objections will be made and your followers will wonder, “Why are we doing this in the first place?” This is the time to constantly re-cast the vision and keep it in front of your people. There is disturbance and people will try to get away with whatever they can to take advantage of the tumult created by the transition. Keep everyone focused on the goal. Talk about the basic issues and the original discontent that your strongest followers expressed when the process began.
5. Know the territory. Never lead without knowing where you are going. Always keep your own personal “road map” in front of you. When uncertainty arises, it will benefit the people that you
expected and can still lead them through the wilderness. Moses knew there was a desert between Egypt and the Promised Land. Columbus knew the ocean was big when he set out for the New World. Patton studies Rommel’s tactics before going into battle with him. All three knew the territory they were going to pass through at the outset of their journeys. Wise leaders can anticipate the next three moves and know where the river is shallowest to cross.
6. Seek to make changes by addition. Everyone equates change with loss. We think first about what we are going to lose. Remember Windows 3.1? When Windows 95 came on the market it didn’t
fare well in sales because no one wanted to lose their “Windows.” They didn’t want to lose the File Menu (now known as the “Explore” menu when you Right-Click the “Start” button they had gotten used to. Microsoft learned they had to sell the advantages and the benefits in the new programming. People are more prone to accept change when you sell the benefits to them. It helps them focus on “gain” rather than “loss.” Think about basic changes you have been forced to make. If you didn’t initiate the changes you thought first about, what you would miss. Your people will, too.
7. Avoid future shock. Don’t change things so quickly that everyone is stunned into inactivity, revolt or shock. Remember as you make one change at a time, do so gradually. Allow time for adjustment but don’t move so far into the new transition that no one is with you. John Maxwell says, “A leader who gets so far ahead of his/her followers becomes a target.” History bears this out. One night in 1863 at the battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson went out with a small patrol to reconnoiter the battlefield. On his return a Confederate sentry thought he was the enemy and shot him. He died of his wound days later.
8. Change is most effective when those most affected are involved in the planning. Learners learn best when they are involved in the learning process. People are most motivated when they are
involved in the change process. Involve as many in the planning and execution of your changes. Allow everyone to buy in and have ownership from the very beginning as you cast vision. Let it be their vision. Remember how you looked for discontent? How you enlisted with scrupulous honesty? This is where it pays off in your people’s involvement in the dream and the transition process. Celebrate victories and make the celebrations worthwhile. Reward those who have put forth the most effort (particularly, the ones “behind the scenes”).
Bonus: Use the Four Levels of Change as your formula:
Knowledge – Begin by educating everyone as to what the change is about and what the results/benefits will be. Why do we need to change? What do your people need to know?
Attitude – Encourage a culture of change and anticipation. Get your motivators working for you.
Behavior – Next behavior will change as positive attitudes influence the organization’s culture.
Organization – Finally, you will see organizational change take place as behaviors become habits and the team is marching along to a new beat. Unfortunately most organizations start by changing the organization, forcing new behaviors, trying to change negative attitudes and finally, educating as a last resort. When change comes, it doesn’t have to be a disaster, or a “train wreck.” It can be the most invigorating process your organization goes through if you cast a bold vision, carefully plan your steps, execute with determination and take it one step at a time.
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It is with a sad heart that MAB announces that MAB Past President (1974) Peter Kizer passed away August 24, 2016 at the age of 86.
Kizer was one of the founders of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NAPTE), former owner of Federal Broadcasting, which owned WWJ-AM along with eight other TV and radio stations, and was former General Manager of Channel 4 Detroit (then WWJ-TV).
He is the beloved husband of 59 years to Kay Kizer. Loving father of James (Rebecca) Kizer, Robert (Joel Cheng) Kizer and Jennifer (Don) Fuller. Grandfather of David, Kathryn, Nathaniel, Patrick, Abigail (Jon), Eleanor (Mike), Christopher, Blair (Tim), Matthew and Nicholas.
Kizer was born in Princeton, Illinois on November 19, 1929. He was a former resident of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and most recently was living in Naples, Florida.
Heritage Broadcasting’s WWTV/WWUP-TV (Cadillac) is pleased to announce that Sean Mahon has accepted the role of 9&10 News/Fox 32 News Director.
Mahon returns to 9&10 News from WDIV-TV (Detroit).
His career started at 9&10 news in the late 1990’s as Chief Photojournalist. Mahon has been nominated twice for Emmy Awards.
“Sean is highly regarded with colleagues throughout the state. His exceptional ability to inspire and communicate with others along with excellent leadership skills and modernistic views will be a welcomed addition to our 9&10 News Team,” says Kevin Dunaway, Vice President/General Manager.
Mahon will begin his new position September 12.
In April 2016, Kevin Dunaway was promoted to Vice President/General Manager of 9&10 News leaving a News Director Position opened. During the transition, Nick Lilly presumed the role of Interim News Director while a search was conducted. Nick’s time and dedication to 9&10 News is paramount and greatly appreciated.
TV Newscheck reports that the Department of Justice has said it will approve Nexstar Broadcasting’s $4.6 billion purchase of Media General with the requirement that Nexstar sell seven television stations in six markets, all outside Michigan.
Nexstar currently owns one television station in Michigan, WJMN-TV (Marquette). Media General owns WOOD-TV/WOTV-TV/WXSP-CD (Grand Rapids) and WLNS-TV (Lansing). In addition, it has a joint sales and shared services agreement with WLAJ-TV (Lansing).
No closing date on the transaction has been announced yet.
According to the report in Broadcasting & Cable, the FCC closed the first stage of the forward auction, failing to meet the $88.4 billion target bidders needed to cover the cost of payments to broadcasters. The auction netted $22.45 billion after the bidding credits and discounts were applied.
“Bidding in the forward auction has concluded for Stage 1 without meeting the final stage rule and without meeting the conditions to trigger an extended round. The incentive auction will continue with Stage 2 at a lower clearing target,” the FCC said.
The second stage of the reverse auction will begin September 13 and has reduced the spectrum it is buying from broadcasters—from 126 MHz to 114 MHz. A tutorial for the second stage is available for viewing here. MAB is monitoring.
According to the Broadcast Law Blog, August 30 was the new effective date for the FCC application fee increases. These application fees are paid with most FCC applications – including applications for the purchase and sale of broadcast stations, applications for new and modified station technical facilities, for special temporary authority with license renewal applications and even with Biennial Ownership Reports, which must be filed by commercial stations in December 2017.
An application fee filing guide for media services is available HERE.
A divided opinion of the Court of Appeals has held the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) is a public body but, it is not subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Act because of a legislative amendment in the Insurance Code. That amendment, the court said, “did not alter, amend, change or dispense with any provisions of FOIA, at the time of that statute’s enactment, the Legislature was not required to reenact and republish FOIA.”
The court ruled after the case was remanded to it by the Supreme Court, which directed the Appeals Court to determine if the MCCA was a public body, as defined under the FOIA, and was therefore subject to the FOIA’s provisions.