Tag Archives: Issue 47

Murrow Awards Deadline is Thursday

Murrow_2017_300This Thursday, February 9 is the deadline to enter the prestigious 2017 Edward R. Murrow Awards. The deadline includes Murrow, Student Murrow and Kaleidoscope entries, which must be received by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, Thursday, February 9, 2017.

Judging will take place in March, with regional winners announced in April and those winners automatically move on to the national competition.

For more information, click here.

P&G Wants MRC Standards for Digital Measurement

PG_300At the annual IAB Leadership Meeting on January 29, Procter and Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard told the audience that P&G will accept only the Media Rating Council (MRC) validated viewability standard for media transacting and that the company expects all of its agencies, media suppliers, and platforms to adopt the standard in 2017.

Radio Ink writes that “radio executives have long been concerned that advertisers were throwing buckets of money at all forms of digital and social, mostly because it’s the shiny new thing, not necessarily because it’s increasing business. And that’s been a big challenge for radio in recent years.”

AdAge reports that P&G will conduct a review of all media-agency contracts, after the company found a surprise in its dealings with at least one agency, plus requirements that everyone use industry-standard viewability metrics, fraud protection and third-party verification. The company says it will no longer pay for any digital media, ad tech companies, agencies or other suppliers for services that don’t comply with its new rules.

9&10 News Announces New Creative Division: Mane Content

Mane9&10 News (WWTV and WWUP-TV, Cadillac/Sault Ste. Marie) have announced a new creative division named Mane Content, a full service video production group.

Mane Content provides video content for various platforms from television commercials to social media content to sales videos. They are a group of creative professionals with all the gear and the passion to create the perfect video for brands.

The award winning creative team consists of copywriters, videographers, directors, editors and a licensed drone pilot. Mane Content works with clients to keep the creative process simple while making sure that the video receives results.

Tessia Klix will head up the new division as Creative Director and Hans Schoonover has expanded his role into Project Manager.

Mane Content was formally known as 9&10 News Creative Services. Growth in the industry caused the team to expand into its own division.

“The creative industry has been growing for years. We have found that people want to be entertained and they want a reason to connect, visit, subscribe or follow a business. We offer that and more. The Mane Content team is a group of extremely talented creative professionals. Everyone has such a passion for creating great video, it is truly inspiring to watch a project come to life with the expertise of this amazing team,” says Tessia Klix, Mane Content Creative Director.

FCC Watch: Three Station Sales Filed at FCC

WJML_350Longtime Northern Michigan broadcaster Rick Stone has sold his Stone Communications radio stations WJML-AM (Petoskey) and WJNL-AM (Kingsley) to Grand Rapids-based Mitten News LLC, headed by John P. Yob.

The application was filed with the FCC on January 30.  The purchase price was $700,000 and also includes an FM translator.  Approval of the sale is awaiting FCC action.

Fenton "Bud" Kelley
Fenton “Bud” Kelley

Kelley Enterprises of Muskegon, Inc. has sold low-power/class A television station WMKG-CD (Muskegon) to WMKG-TV, LLC for $225,000.

The application was filed with the FCC on January 31.  WMKG-TV, LLC is headed by Steve H. Kanzer of Boca Raton, Florida.

In a December, 2016 Mlive article, Kelley Enterprises owner Fenton “Bud” Kelley said “It’s past my retirement time.”  Kelley started the low-powered station in 1990.  He was also chief engineer for Muskegon’s first local channel, channel 54, a full-powered station that also had the WMKG call letters.  That station went dark in 1971.

Sovereign Communications Acquires WDBC-AM/WYKX-FM

WDBC-WYKX_345Upper Peninsula based Sovereign Communications has reached an agreement with KMB Broadcasting to purchase their Escanaba radio stations, WDBC-AM and WYKX-FM.

With this acquisition, Sovereign will own a total of 17 stations in the U.P. region, which includes stations in Sault Ste. Marie, Newberry, Marquette and Iron Mountain. President of Sovereign Communications Bill Curtis said the purchase price of the deal was just under $1 million.

Curtis told WLUC-TV that “We couldn’t be more excited about this purchase.  We’ve wanted to own these heritage stations for a long time and I’m delighted (KMB Broadcasting President/CEO) Mr. Cooke decided to sell them to us. Having WYKX-FM ad WDBC-AM in our company will allow us to serve the local communities as well as our advertisers and listeners in even greater ways. I look forward to a smooth transition as we bring the Escanaba staff and operations into the Sovereign family.”

“We’re extremely fortunate to have some of the best people in the radio business on our team,” Curtis said. “They’re passionate radio professionals that are excited about our growth and are ready to take on additional responsibilities and play an even more important role in the larger company.”

“Personally, as a kid that grew up in the U.P. and started in the radio business at 15-years-old, seeing Sovereign Communications continue to grow is a real dream come true for me,” Curtis said.

President and CEO of KMB Broadcasting James Cooke was feeling mixed emotions over the deal.

“It’s with mixed emotions that we decided to sell WDBC and WYKX. We have owned the stations since 1978–longer than any other owners in their histories, dating all the way back to 1941 in the case of WDBC,” Cooke said.

“Over the years, our dedicated and talented staffs have enabled both stations to provide the highest quality broadcast service to listeners and advertisers in Delta County and the surrounding counties,” Cooke said. “The quality of that service has been recognized by both the National Association of Broadcasters (WDBC won its prestigious Crystal Award”) and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (WYKX won it’s Station of the Year award, two years in a row).”

“We must appreciate the service of those employees over the many years,” Cooke said. “However, my wife Betsy and I have both reached retirement age and are pleased to have reached an agreement to sell the stations to Sovereign Communications, a respected U.P. broadcaster who we fully expect will continue the station’s award-winning service to the central U.P.”

The sale is subject to FCC approval.

Watson Upped to GM at WWJ-TV/WKBD-TV

Brian Watson
Brian Watson

Brian Watson has been named General Manager of CBS-owned stations WWJ-TV/WKBD-TV (Detroit).

Watson has been station manager and director of sales for the station since 2016. He’ll continue to lead the sales team in his new role.

Peter Dunn, President of CBS Television Stations told TV Spy: “As we expected, Brian has done a terrific job of making a smooth transition from heading up our sales team in Detroit to taking on the additional responsibility of leading the entire duopoly. We are pleased to officially promote Brian to general manager and look forward to counting on him to continue to build on our success in this key market.”

Watson started working at the station in 2012.  Prior to that, he spent 14 years at WUPA in Atlanta.

Chris Monk Joins Cumulus Media as RVP in Flint/Saginaw

Chris Monk
Chris Monk

Cumulus Media has appointed Chris Monk as Regional Vice President for the company’s nine radio stations in Saginaw and Flint. In his new position, Monk will also serve as Market Manager in Saginaw and oversee the Flint stations.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Monk, as he was previously Market Manager for the Flint stations from 2007-2012 when they were owned by Citadel Broadcasting.  Monk returns to Michigan from Ft. Wayne, where he was Vice-President and Market Manager for Adams Radio Group.

Monk was also Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Alliance 180, LLC, in Boyne City as well as Vice President and General Manager for Northern Star Broadcasting in Traverse City.  He holds a B.A. in Radio/TV Management from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, and an M.A. in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor/Gaylord, MI.

Monk served on the MAB Foundation Board of Directors from 2003-2012, serving as Chairman in 2010-2011.

Entercom Enters Michigan with CBS Merger

EntercomCBS_350On February 2, Entercom Communications Corporation and CBS Corporation announced that Entercom will take over CBS’ radio assets in a “tax free merger.” The combined company will be known as Entercom and will be headquartered in Philadelphia.

With the merger, Entercom enters Michigan with the acquisition of Detroit stations WWJ-AM, WDZH-FM, WOMC-FM, WXYT-AM/FM and WYCD-FM.

Nationwide, the combined company will have 244 stations as well as digital assets and events.  Entercom will have stations in 23 of the top 25 U.S. markets.

When the deal is completed, the new board of directors will consists of five current Entercom directors, including current Entercom President and CEO David Field as Chairman of the Board, and four directors nominated by CBS Radio. Andre Fernandez will continue as president and CEO of CBS Radio through the closing of the transaction.

The transaction is expected to close during the second half of 2017, subject to certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Walden Applauds Pai’s Move to Increase FCC Transparency

(L-R) Greg Walden (R-OR) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
(L-R) Greg Walden (R-OR) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

U. S. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued a press release commending FCC Chairman Pai on taking steps to increase the agency’s transparency by releasing the text of two proceedings for public comment.

The lawmakers wrote, “This is the type of transparency we’ve been urging the FCC to implement for the last several Congresses. Then-Commissioner Pai and Commissioner O’Rielly had long pushed for greater transparency during Chairman Wheeler’s tenure…We applaud Chairman Pai’s decision to release the text of the FCC’s proposed AM revitalization and next generation broadcast items. We’re glad to see these items being advanced and look forward to working with Chairman Pai to create a more open, transparent and accountable FCC.”

In January, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 290, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2017, sponsored by Chairman Walden. H.R. 290 contained provisions that would make the FCC more efficient, transparent and accountable through reforming the commission’s processes and ensuring the FCC regulates in an innovative and dynamic way. Part of the bill included the transparency reform FCC Chairman Pai announced.

FCC Deregulates Public File Requirement Re: Letters from the Public

Ajit Pai
Ajit Pai

New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai chaired his first Commission meeting with a Commission consisting of two Republicans (Pai and Michael O’Rielly) and one Democrat (Mignon Clyburn). The Commissioners unanimously approved a proposal to eliminate a rule requiring commercial TV and radio broadcast stations to maintain copies of correspondence (both letters and emails) from the public in a locally maintained public file. Full language of the Report and Order is available here.

The Commissioners stated that, in today’s world of social media, the requirement for the retention of letters in a paper public file is no longer necessary. National Association of Broadcasters’ EVP/Communications Dennis Wharton commented, “NAB applauds the FCC for its bipartisan decision to eliminate archaic correspondence file requirements and we thank Commissioner O’Rielly for his leadership on this issue. The order serves as a strong demonstration of Chairman Pai’s commitment to curtailing burdensome regulations that hinder broadcasters’ ability to operate, create jobs and serve the public interest.”

David Oxenford writes that the change will become effective once published in the Federal Register, following approval of rule change by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.  Until that publication, the rule remains in effect, so stations shouldn’t rush to the dumpster with their correspondence files just yet.

Scott Flick, in the CommLawCenter, notes that TV stations have been required to have all other portions of their public file online for a while now. Radio stations, on the other hand, have only recently begun to move their public files online, with commercial stations that are located in the top 50 markets (and which have five or more full-time employees) having to have uploaded all documents (except for the political file) by December 24, 2016. Because such stations have only had to upload their political file documents on a going-forward basis since June 24, 2016, unless such a station elects to also voluntarily upload all of its last two years of political documents (the political file retention period), it cannot eliminate its physical public file until June 24, 2018, at which point the station will have uploaded on a going-forward basis two years of political file documents.

All other radio stations, including noncommercial stations, are not required to upload their public file documents until March 1, 2018, and again, that excludes political file documents, which only must be uploaded on a going-forward basis beginning on that date. As a result, radio stations in this “Second Wave” won’t have all of their public file documents (including political file documents) online until March 1, 2020. Consequently, these stations won’t get the benefit of eliminating their physical public file until 2020 unless they elect to upload all public file documents, including the political file, earlier than that.