Tag Archives: Issue 56

Interlochen Public Radio Presents “Show & Tell”

As part of its recent fund drive, Interlochen Public Radio Executive Director Peter Payette wanted to offer listeners a chance to get to know their public radio hosts a little better.  So, he hosted an online round of Show and Tell on Facebook.  IPR staffer Kate Botello explained the subculture of Unicornos. Aaron Selbig showed how he prevents boredom at work. Morgan Springer suggested that IPR staff aren’t as funny as they used to be.  And wait, there’s more!

IPR’s David Cassleman shows their disciplined approach to avoiding clichés in their writing:

See more of Peter’s interviews with the IPR staff here.

Michigan Radio Staff Accepts Scripps Howard Award

Via Steve Chrypinski, Michigan Radio 

Michigan Radio staff accepting the Scripps Howard Award. (L-R) Zoe Clark, Rebecca Williams, Vincent Duffy, Steve Carmody

Members of Michigan Radio’s news team were in Cincinnati April 12 to accept the station’s first-ever Scripps Howard Award for the station’s on-going coverage of the Flint water crisis.

The Scripps Howard – Jack R. Howard Award for Radio Coverage honors the best in-depth and investigative reporting of a single event or issue that was broadcast or covered online by a radio station or radio network.

Of the station’s coverage of the Flint water crisis, which continues to uncover problems with the city’s tainted water, the judges wrote: “…a gripping, comprehensive account of local and state government malfeasance. Collectively, the station’s efforts are an inspiring work of public service that put necessary pressure on responsible authorities to do the right thing for a community with few resources of its own.”

Michigan Radio’s Flint water crisis team includes Reporter/Producer Lindsey Smith and Steve Carmody, Environment Report Host/Reporter Rebecca Williams, Digital Media Director Mark Brush and Senior Editor Sarah Hulett.

The Scripps Howard Foundation considered more than 860 submissions from across the country for the 2016 Scripps Howard Awards, which were established in 1953 to recognize outstanding print, broadcast and online journalism in 15 categories.

You can view video of the award presentation and Rebecca Williams’ acceptance speech below.

MAPB Partners with WGVU for LZ Michigan

The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) has partnered with WGVU Public Media to present LZ Michigan, an event scheduled for September 23, 2017 at Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids.  The event will honor all veterans, including those who were killed or declared missing in action.

In addition to MAPB and WGVU Public Media, PBS Stories of Service, ArtPrize and the West Michigan Whitecaps are coming together to sponsor the event, which is expected to draw hundreds of veterans from around the state.

“It is important and necessary to remember, honor and celebrate our community’s veterans and their families,” said Michael T. Walenta, WGVU Public Media general manager. “Since the success and tremendous turnout at the first LZ Michigan in 2010, I have been continually asked when we were going to host another program. We are privileged to once again bring this event to West Michigan.”

Walenta announced new partnerships with ArtPrize and the Human Hug Project, a national movement out of Nashville that is raising awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Todd Herring, director of communications for ArtPrize, said a veterans art competition will be held during the week leading up to LZ Michigan 2017, along with a preview screening of the film, “The Vietnam War,” by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Ian Michael, co-founder of the Human Hug Project and a Marine Corps veteran, said volunteers with the group have hugged more than 20,000 veterans as they travel to VA hospitals across the country. “We offer a hug, a warm embrace, to remind veterans they are heroes,” said Michael. “We hope a hug can help unlock their stories because we need to celebrate their stories.”

The day-long September 23 program will include speakers, musical entertainment, military displays, historical artifacts and the WGVU Real Oldies Car and Motorcycle Show.

For more information, visit www.lzmichigan.org.

7 Mistakes Radio Stations Make With Their Mobile Apps

Seth Resler
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

Over the past decade, the smartphone has absorbed or integrated with just about every household device you can imagine, from the remote control to the thermostat to the alarm clock. So it’s only natural that radio listeners now expect their phones to take on the role once played by the radio, too. To thrive, radio stations need to ensure that they have a presence on their listeners’ phones.

A mobile-responsive website alone won’t cut it. According to eMarketer, 86% of the time that people spend on their phones is spent in apps, while only 14% is spent on a mobile web browser. So if you want to capture the attention of your listeners, you’ll need a mobile app.

Our sister company, jācapps, has built over 1,000 mobile apps for radio stations. In that time, they’ve learned a thing or two. They’ve also seen some common mistakes made by radio stations when it comes to their mobile apps. Here they are:

1. They Don’t Know Where the Mobile App Fits Into Their Overall Digital Strategy
When it comes to digital strategy, always start by setting goals: What do you want your listeners to do? Once you have clearly stated goals, then you can start to think about how your different digital tools — including your mobile app — help your station achieve those goals. For example, if one of your station’s goals is to capture data about listeners, is your mobile app set up to do that? If one of the goals is to drive online listening, does that app put that functionality front and center? You don’t need an app just to have an app; you need an app to achieve specific station goals. Know what those goals are.

2. They Include Too Much Stuff
When it comes to deciding what goes into their mobile apps, radio stations have a tendency to cram everything in. This can result in an app that is difficult to navigate because it’s overloaded with things that listeners don’t really care about. Just because something is on your website, that doesn’t mean that it should be in your mobile app. Be judicious with what you include: live streaming, blog content, podcasts, and concert listings should rank high on the list. But that doesn’t mean that you also need to include the playlist from the Saturday night techno show. Less is more.

3. They Don’t Showcase Their Brand in The App
Your mobile app is an ideal place to place to strengthen the connection between your station and its listeners. Make sure that your app showcases your station’s brand properly. The station’s logo should appear in the header of every screen in the app and important content, such as “WKRP’s Phone Scams,” should be named so it aligns with the station’s on-air programming.

4. They Only Think About Smartphones
While smartphones are one of the most important places for radio stations to make apps available, they are far from the only place. As more cars roll off the assembly line with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto in charge of the dashboard, stations need in-car apps to maintain their presence in vehicles. As smart TVs and home streaming devices like Apple TV and the Roku penetrate more homes, radio stations will want to be available there as well. And as smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, see increased sales, radio stations will want to make themselves available as “skills” on these devices.

5. They Don’t Perform Usability Tests on Their App
One of the most important tests we run on radio station websites is a usability test, in which we invite average people to think out loud as they use a website. This helps us figure out how websites get used in the real world and uncovers any tasks that people find challenging.

A usability test can also be run on a mobile app. Pay a handful of testers to come into the station. In one-on-one sessions, ask them to open the app and perform basic tasks: listen to the station, find the venue for an upcoming concert, set the alarm clock up, etc. Watch to see how easily the testers are able to perform these tasks. You’ll quickly discover any issues that need to be fixed.

6. They Don’t Promote the App
Many radio stations develop a mobile app, only to let it languish in the app stores. Once you’ve got a mobile app, develop a plan to tell your listeners about it. You have a number of tools at your disposal: live on-air mentions, sweepers and recorded promos, your website, your email database, social media, signage at on-site events, etc. You should even promote it on the side of the station van!

Occasionally, we hear radio broadcasters object, worrying that if fans listen to the station through a mobile app, the station might lose a PPM meter. While there is this risk, we think it misses the larger picture. These days, people expect to consume media when they want, where they want and on whatever device they want. It’s important for radio stations to make their content available on as many platforms as possible.

7. They Don’t Monitor the Analytics on a Regular Basis
You would never put a radio station on the air and then ignore the ratings. Yet many stations build an app but never look at the analytics to see how it’s performing. Set aside a regular time, such as your Weekly Web Meeting, for your staff to review your app analytics as a group. Pay attention to how many downloads the app gets, the reviews it is receiving in the app stores and any data points related to the goals of your digital strategy.

Webinar: Mobile App Strategy
If your radio station needs a mobile app, or if it needs a better app, our sister company, jācapps, is happy to help out. Next month, we’ll be teaming up with them for a webinar on mobile app strategy. Please join us!  Register here.

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

Are Any of Your Salespeople Hooked on This?

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.

Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer

Let politicians deal with the opioid epidemic.

Sales managers need to address this career-threatening addiction:


Salespeople get hooked on it. This usually happens when a prospect says, “I’m interested, call me next week.”

The salesperson dutifully makes a note to call next week and leaves.

And guess what?

When she calls back her “interested” prospect doesn’t pick up the phone.

Her “interested” prospect doesn’t return her calls or emails either.

What to do?

Make sure to teach your salespeople this magic question to ask every prospect who feigns interest: “Are you willing to work with me on a calendar basis?”

Real prospects put your salespeople on their calendars for a next step.

They engage.

However, information seekers, will blow the smoke of “hope-ium” at your salespeople to mollify them.

Plan an intervention.

Teach them the magic question at your next sales meeting.

And whatever you do, never put information seekers into your company’s sales projections. Because you can’t afford to have your CFO hooked on “hope-ium” too.

Chris Lytle is the author of The Accidental Salesperson: How to Take Control of Your Career and Earn the Respect and Income You Deserve and The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Team to Record Profits. Because sales managers are pulled in so many directions, Chris built this resource for you.

Reprinted by permission

Gen Z—A Group That Loves AM/FM—Is Next Great Radio Demo.

Reprinted by permission of insideradio.com.

While marketers and media expend massive energy and resources courting Millennials, their younger counterparts known as Generation Z shouldn’t be ignored. These young Americans (born after 1996) represent 23% of the U.S. population and are a diverse and influential demographic with rising spending power. And, in good news for broadcast radio, they also listen to significant amounts of AM/FM.

“It is critical that brands learn to understand and honor Gen Z’s defining attributes and values if they want to connect with and better activate against a demographic that is already changing the face of media and our culture,” says Radha Subramanyam, iHeartMedia’s president of Insights, Research and Analytics.

There are 74 million Generation Zers, about equal to the number of U.S. Millennials and Baby Boomers. According to a new report by iHeartRadio, radio is hugely popular with teens, with 81% saying it will always be part of their lives. And, in a key finding for brands, radio connects with 9 in 10 teens, the report said and is key for discovery. Three-quarters of Generation Zers said they use radio to find new music and two-thirds rely on radio to uncover new products, movies and events.

“Gen Z is an exclusive group that can be exceptionally hard to reach, but advertisers can connect to them in a big way with radio,” Subramanyam notes.

Generation Zers are also a diverse group, with 55% identifying as non-Caucasian and many were raised in non-traditional households, including one-third living with a single parent. They are active on social media and raised with digital technology as an integral part of their lives.

However, just because Gen Z is a diverse, socially conscious and tech-savvy group doesn’t mean they are replicas of the slightly older Millennials demo. In fact, “it would be a huge mistake to apply the same marketing strategies to both groups,” Subramanyam says.

For one, Generation Zers are more financially conservative, largely due to growing up during the most recent recession. They are also loyal customers, but thanks to their diversity and non-traditional upbringings, many reject labels, making it difficult for brands to win their business. That’s where radio can be a powerful tool, Subramanyam contends, as it fits with both Generation Z’s habits and sensibilities.

“It is interactive thanks to call-ins and social media; it is inherently mobile because it is available on everything from phones to cars; and radio DJs fill the desire of Gen Zers for authentic heroes by being funny, passionate, local and relatable,” Subramanyam says.

Amplifi Media and Jācapps Align To Form SonicAi

New company to develop “skills” for emerging Amazon Echo and Google Home Devices

Two of radio’s leading visionaries, Steve Goldstein and Fred Jacobs, and their companies, Amplifi Media and jācapps, have teamed together to form SonicAi, a joint venture dedicated to strategizing and creating voice command solutions for the radio and podcasting industries. Initial development will focus on the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices.

Joining the partnership, as co-founder, is industry executive Lee Davis. Goldstein’s Amplifi Media and Davis will focus on sales, marketing and “skills” architecture. The jācapps team will handle product development and customer service. Together, based on their decades of combined research, programming and marketing experience, they have created the smartest solution for content creators to expand in-home listening with creative strategies.

The introduction of these devices into homes creates a significant opportunity for the radio industry and podcasters. Research has shown that in-home radio listening has been declining, but now with the ability to access a radio station’s stream or programming (such as podcasts), using voice commands, these devices are a breakthrough for audio content creators.

According to Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey13 (to be released in May), 11% of homes already have one of these devices, with brisk sales underscoring the opportunity for the audio industry.

“This partnership is designed to maximize the in-home opportunity for radio stations and podcasters. We think this is a seismic change that needs to be seized upon and mastered,” says Steve Goldstein. “That’s why we have developed solutions to make it easy for consumers to find and access a brand’s audio content. We also think audio content creators will be more successful with enhanced choices beyond basic streams. We call these ‘smart skills,’ and we plan to have a full suite of offerings.”

“Teaming up with Steve and Lee, while turning the jācapps team loose, is where SAi is headed,” says Fred Jacobs. “We’ve been ahead of the curve with jācapps, radio’s leading developer of mobile solutions since our launch in 2008. Our team specializes in great customer service and outstanding development and we’ll work with stations and audio content creators to unleash the potential of these devices as they are rapidly showing up in kitchens, dens and on nightstands. They are the new radios for the home.”

For more information, contact Lee Davis at 888-776-6422.

Visit www.sonicai.com to learn more and to see a video of how it works.

About jācapps – jācapps is the leading developer of mobile applications for the radio industry. With over 1,000 apps developed, jācapps focuses on creating strategic mobile solutions. The product from SonicAi fits into the company’s App Everywhere™ strategy, providing mobile connectivity on smartphones, in cars via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Ford’s Smart Device Link, and now, in the home.

About Amplifi Media – Amplifi Media works with companies and podcasters in the strategy and development of innovative content, marketing, branding and monetization for the fast-growing on-demand audio/podcast sector.

About Lee Davis – Davis is a media executive who has held senior leadership positions with some of the top media companies in the United States, including CBS and Univision. During his career, Davis has run some of radio’s top brands including sports powerhouse WFAN, news leader 1010 WINS and Spanish Language giant, Univision Radio.

Former FCC Mass Media Bureau Chief Roy Stewart Passes

Roy Stewart

Former FCC official Roy Stewart passed away on Monday, April 10 at age 78.  Stewart joined the FCC in 1965, became head of the Mass Media Bureau in 1989, then moved to the license policy office before retiring in 2009.

Stewart appeared at many MAB summer conferences over the years.

In an piece appearing online via Broadcasting and Cable, former FCC chairman Dick Wiley called Stewart “the finest regulatory official I ever worked with,” both inside and outside the FCC. Wiley became partner in mega-communications firm Wiley Rein after leaving the commission, so dealt with Stewart in that capacity as well.

Wiley called Stewart “tremendously knowledgeable and very responsive.” Wiley said when, as chairman, he faced a “huge backlog” of petitions to deny, he promoted Stewart to what was then the Transfer Branch to try and clean them up. “And he did it,” said Wiley. “He was highly regarded by everyone who dealt with him and was a terrific government official and public servant.”

His obituary can be found here.  Services were held April 17.

Radio One Sells WCHB-AM to Crawford

Radio One has announced that is has sold its Detroit AM station, WCHB, to Crawford Broadcasting.  The announced sale price was $2 million and is subject to FCC approval.

Radio One will continue to operate three stations in the Motor City, WPZR-FM, WDMK-FM and WGPR-FM.  WGPR is operated under a local marketing agreement.  Crawford is adding WCHB to its Detroit cluster that includes WMUZ-FM, WEXL-AM and WRDT-AM.

According to published reports, Radio One intends to move some of its programming from WCHB to one of its existing FM stations in the market.  Crawford has not announced its plans for the station.

MAB Board Profile: Shannone Dunlap

Shannone Dunlap

MAB News Briefs is pleased to bring you profiles of your MAB Board of Directors.

Shannone Dunlap is Market Manager for Alpha Media and its cluster of stations in Saginaw.

A 30-year marketing/media veteran, Shannone was hired in August of 2007 to lead the local radio stations then owned by NextMedia, with over 40 employees who live, work and play in the Great Lakes Bay. Ownership of the cluster transitioned to Digity Media in 2014 and then to Alpha Media February of 2016, where On-Air, Online and On-site is the company’s philosophy.

The properties provide entertainment through music and talk, as well as education and local information to the community through traditional radio broadcasts, internet radio stations, over seven websites and dozens of social media outlets, mobile apps and digital assets.

Shannone also holds the Secretary position of the Executive Committee for the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum and serves on the Great Lake Bay Regional Alliance Ambassadors Advisory Board and is an active board member for the Saginaw County Business and Education Partnership.

Prior to her current position, Shannone pursued advancement in her broadcast career and worked in Flint, MI, Indianapolis, IN and Buffalo, NY.  Before radio she worked in newspaper in the sales department and in graphic design, starting her marketing/media career in 1987 at an advertising agency as the creative director.

Shannone: “I’ve enjoyed the journey… it has truly been an evolution in what we use and how we use technology in our lives both professionally and personally. My career has enriched my life by giving me opportunities to be involved in the communities I have lived and worked through non-profit and civic organizations touching lives and being a better citizen.”

Shannone currently resides in Swartz Creek, Mundy Twp. MI with her 9 year old daughter.  Michigan is home for Shannone and being a part of the growth and sustainment of her community is in her blood.

Shannone is serving her first term on the MAB Board of Directors.