Tag Archives: Issue 4

MAB Testifies on a Drone Bill in Senate Transportation Committee

Last week, MAB Government Relations Manager Elena Palombo testified in the Senate Transportation Committee in opposition to Senate Bill 432 – legislation that prohibits drones from operating within 1,000 feet of Mackinac Bridge. The MAB asked the committee to consider amendatory language to the bill, which will allow FCC-licensed TV and radio stations, and their sub-contractors, to use drones for news-gathering purposes to the extent allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The MAB also requested that SB 432 sponsor and committee chair, Senator Tom Casperson (R-38), include the association and individual media outlets in the Drone Task Force, set up by Senator Casperson. MAB will keep you updated on this legislation as issues develop.

MAB is working on a separate, stand-alone bill that would potentially exempt all commercial drone operators from legislation restricting the use of drones.

Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty at Pointer Institute, Featured at GLBC

Al TompkinsThe MAB is excited to bring you on-trend topics about news gathering and reporting with Poynter Institute’s Al Tompkins! Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. For almost 10 years, thousands of people each day read his online journalism story idea column “Al’s Morning Meeting” on Poynter.org.

Aim For The HeartTompkins is the author of the book “Aim For The Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters,” which was adopted by more than 75 universities as their main broadcast writing textbook. He also co-authored four editions of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s “Newsroom Ethics” workbook. Tompkins joined Poynter’s faculty from his job as news director at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee. For 24 years he worked as a photojournalist, reporter, producer, anchor, assistant news director, special projects/investigations director, documentary producer, and news director.

Al will be at The Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference in Lansing on Tuesday, May 3, where he will present four one-hour sessions:

  • Turn the Story Fast: How to Find Focus, Gather Quickly, Make Deadline
  • Covering Suicide & Mental Health Stories: What Hurts, what Helps
  • Ethics on Deadline: How to Make Tough Calls when Time is Tight
  • Jaw-Droppingly Cool Online Tools and Apps

Click here for information and to register for GLBC. Members can register for the full day for only $159!*

* Member rate, early registration.

AM Revitalization Rules to Take Effect February 18

The FCC’s AM revitalization rules have been published in the Federal Register on January 19. The publication sets the effective date of the new rules as February 18, and establishes the framework for the one-time FM translators-for-AM stations filing windows in 2017, the continuation of “MATTOON Waivers” and the 250-mile window for moving existing translators for use as AM simulcasters. The new rules also modify the community coverage requirement for existing AM stations to reduce required coverage to 50% of the area or 50% of the population of the community, delete the Ratchet Rule, and adopt new rules for Modulation Dependent Carrier Level control of transmitters.

Associate Member Highlight: Radio Music License Committee

Bill VelezBy: Bill Velez, Executive Director at Radio Music License Committee

I owe my job at the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) to Michigan’s own Ed Christian of Saga Communications.

My first job out of college in 1972 entailed licensing radio stations at American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).  Ed was one of my radio accounts, and I did a favor for him at the time.  I had no idea when I approached the RMLC for a job in 2007 that Ed was the Chairman of the RMLC.

Like they say, what goes around, comes around!

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Small Business Opportunity For Radio

By: Paul Jacobs, Jacobs Media

Paul JacobsOur recent blog post focuses on an amazing story that unfolded this past Sunday during the Super Bowl.  Intuit, the huge company who created QuickBooks and TurboTax, recently held a contest (“Small Business Big Game”) that gave away a $5 million ad in the game.  As you’ll read in the blog post, the winner is a small coffeemaker with eleven employees from Round Lake, New York called Death Wish Coffee Company that bested 15,000 other entrants.

While this is a cool promotion generating a lot of buzz for both Death Wish and Intuit, there is something bigger going on here.  For years, American Express, a company that services all of the major retail corporations, has championed “Small Business Saturday,” which generated $14 billion in revenue in 2014.

These big companies see an even bigger opportunity in small businesses.

In radio, we’ve seen a decline in advertising spending from global corporations.  Brands like Starbucks, Target, Costco, and Lowes don’t spend much (or anything) on radio.  And traditional big spenders like Budweiser and Coke have also cut way back.

So the idea here is to take note of what AmEx and Intuit are doing and create your own small business (or local business) initiative in your markets, whether you’re in Cedar Rapids, Chattanooga, or Chicago.

If AmEx and Intuit can capitalize on small businesses and their futures, the radio industry should as well.  Who is more in tune with their local community and its business leaders than radio?
So we’ve developed the concept of “Small Business September” – an entire month dedicated to promoting small businesses in your community. You don’t have to do it in September – it just sounded good.  The concept champions local small businesses, business associations and merchant groups, and engages them via radio through a series of promotions, events, online directories, and resources, and even an awards program (“Local Retailer Of The Year”).

There are many ways to pull this off, and I would be happy to do some brainstorming with you for your specific situation or opportunity.  Every market is different. Here in Detroit, we’ve got 83 suburbs, and many of them have their own downtown districts. It’s a target-rich environment.  Other cities are configured differently.

So let’s talk about ways your station or cluster can develop a strong local business initiative to strengthen your grip on this important business category.

Email me at [email protected], and we’ll schedule a call.

I look forward to speaking with you.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

WZZM-TV Launches Project to Help Flint


WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids)
has launched a project to help their neighbors in Flint.

The “Water for Flint” campaign is a partnership with Sleep Doctor stores. They are collecting cases and jugs of bottled water, and have sent several truckloads of water to Flint already.

Their campaign has inspired additional efforts by a number of local companies, schools, and other organizations. Pictures are below:

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WXYZ-TV Takes Part in Special Effort to Help Flint

WXYZ TVWXYZ-TV (Detroit) took part in a special effort to assist Flint during the ongoing water emergency.

According to WXYZ-TV’s website, 7 Action News was the exclusive broadcast partner in a campaign that was launched by Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, Councilman Andre L. Spivey, representatives from Faygo, and the United Way to raise funds for water.

As part of the campaign, the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers and D&B Distributors provided bottled water to the effort below wholesale cost.

The United Way set up a website where donations are still being accepted. You can visit www.detroit2flint.com to make your donation.

“In Detroit we have concerns as it relates to affordable water for residents, and we are working on solutions to address this issue; however, for a community to not have access to clean water is unconscionable… we must do our part!” said Councilman Spivey.