Tag Archives: Issue 6

Michigan Radio Covered by Columbia Journalism Review

Michigan Radio’s coverage of the Flint water crisis was the recent subject of an article at the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR).

For those efforts, Michigan Radio has won applause from listeners and industry peers. Steve Carmody is proud of what the service has done—but he also thinks about what might have been different.

“It just gnaws on me that when people were saying they can’t drink this water in May or June of 2014, I was taking, ‘Don’t worry, it’s safe’ as an answer” from state officials,” he said in recent interview. “It just sticks in my craw. I should’ve seen this earlier. That will bother me for the rest of my career.”

According to CJR, despite the fact that early pushes for more information did not happen, Michigan Radio took up the Flint water crisis as a priority once the public health concern became evident.

Read the in-depth article here.

FCC Submits Fiscal 2017 Budget Request to Congress

The FCC has submitted its budget request for fiscal year 2017 to Congress, asking for $358,286,000 in budget authority from regulatory fee collections, a decrease of 6.7% from FY 2016. The request includes over $44 million earmarked for the Commission’s move or renovation of existing space. The new proposal asks for an installment of $17 million for the same purpose. That is the second portion of a total $44 million ‘ask’ made last year for the move. The FCC anticipates that the General Services Administration will award the contract for the move or space reconfiguration this spring. The agency tells Congress that the new contract will use space more efficiently, reduce the FCC’s footprint, and save up to $119 million over 15 years through reduced rental costs.

Get a First Look at Techsurvey 12 at the 2016 Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference

Fred JacobsSessions presented by Fred Jacobs & Paul Jacobs of Jacobs Media

 

In this two part session on Tuesday May 3, be one of the first in the country to review the results of Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 12, an annual national web survey that tracks a highly evolving and changing media environment.

Previous Jacobs’ Techsurveys have been uncanny in their ability to predict consumer behavior, while providing actionable data. From the “cell phone only problem” in the first survey, to the satellite radio slowdown, to the rise of smartphones and tablets along with the ascent of Pandora, these national research studies have been predictive and an important part of the digital planning process.

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

*early, member rate

Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and Student Press Law Center Coalition Requests MAB Support

The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and the Student Press Law Center are working together to build a coalition to push for legislation in Michigan to protect student journalists, including student broadcasters, from unwarranted censorship.

The legislation is modeled on legislation that unanimously passed North Dakota’s Republican-controlled legislation earlier this year. In short, the bill would roll back the decision in a 1988 Supreme Court case (Hazelwood) that allows school officials to censor student journalism as long as they can prove a valid educational purpose. It is a vague and troublesome standard that often leads to unwarranted censorship.

The legislation would not protect student expression that: a. Is libelous or slanderous; b. Constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy; c. Violates federal or state law; or d. So incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of an unlawful act, the violation of institution or state board of higher education policies, or the material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the institution.

The coalition, led by MIPA, has requested MAB’s support in this effort, and the MAB Board voted unanimously to send a letter of support for this legislation. You can learn more about our group at www.newvoicesmi.com.

Traffic Director Spotlight: Sally Rappette, Radio Results Network

Sally RappetteSally Rappette
Radio Results Network, Escanaba

Sally Rappette is the Traffic Manager for Radio Results Network in Escabana. She has been in traffic for over four years.

Q1: What is your favorite comfort food?
Sally: Cheese

Q2: Which Superhero would you be, and why?
Sally: The Black Widow … she has a cool uniform.

Q3: When I’m not working, I’d rather be…
Sally: Farming

Q4: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Sally: My husband

Q5: Best advice you have ever gotten?
Sally: What goes around comes around.

Q6: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know.
Sally: I was in the Air Force.

WLNS-TV to be Acquired By Nexstar

According to the Associated Press and Lansing State Journal, Nexstar has announced that it is buying rival TV station operator Media General after Meredith agreed to allow Media General to get out of a takeover bid for Meredith.

Media General is the parent company of WLNS-TV (Lansing), the Lansing-based television news station that covers eight counties in mid-Michigan. Media General has owned it for two years.

Editorial: How Radio Can Use the Web to Take Advantage of Past Interviews

Seth ReslerBy: Seth Resler, Jacobs Media

Recently, the rock community has seen an unfortunate spate of deaths: David Bowie, Scott Weiland, Glenn Frey, and others. How should radio stations respond online?

In our conversations with listeners, they’ve told us their first instinct when they hear news like this is to turn to Google. After a quick search, they will usually click on a trusted news source like CNN or NPR. In other words, (music) radio’s role is not necessarily to suddenly transform into a journalistic outlet.

So what role does a radio station’s website play?

One key role is to help listeners reminisce. While listeners may not be turning to your station’s website for the date, time, and cause of death, they are looking to your station to help them celebrate the life of the artist and perhaps even learn more about his/her career and achievements.

A great way to do this is to resurface older content. If you have recordings of past interviews or performances* that you can post online, do so. Create a page dedicated to the artist with a designated vanity URL, such as yourstationnamehere.com/david-bowie. Promote that page on the air with both live mentions and production elements.

But there’s no reason to wait until a core artist dies to recycle your old content. As radio programmers, we constantly focus on finding new content to put on the air. It rarely crosses our mind to pull older material out of the vault. But websites are an ideal tool for showcasing past bits. You have listeners who are interested in hearing your station’s 1985 interview with Sammy Hagar or your 1991 interview with Kurt Cobain. Make them available online and promote them on the air.

In the Techsurvey that we’re wrapping up this week, we have a question about website visits by listeners like yours. I’ve been looking over Fred’s shoulder at the data as it’s been coming in, and I can tell you that more people stop by radio station websites every week than you might think.

If you’re programming a station with a long history, develop a proactive plan to use the web to capitalize on your heritage. Take inventory of your archive. Once a week, aim to add a new piece of old content to your website and promote it on the air. Finally, make sure your website has a robust search feature so listeners can find what they’re looking for. Before long, you’ll find that your website hosts a treasure trove of material for passionate music fans.

As always, email me with your questions or comments.

(*Check with your legal team first.)

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.

Editorial: Improve Station Awareness

By: Lund Management

There’s a factor in all ratings, even PPM metered markets, which goes beyond actual listening. The stations that are better branded and own a market image produce better ratings. The truth is that brand awareness brings about business. It’s true for Nike and Starbucks, two of the best brands around. Scott Bedbury counts those two brands on his marketing resume and offers this advice: “A great brand is in it for the long haul. It taps into emotions and becomes a powerful connecting experience.”

In broadcasting, a well-branded station has tremendous top-of-mind awareness, and that translates into bigger cume. In diary and telephone ratings, that alone becomes a ratings halo that can transcend actual listening. It’s the first station people think of when asked for a station name. As with Starbucks and Nike, it’s the “experience.” Our challenge as programmers is about sharing experiences with listeners and making them feel good about themselves and about the time they spend with the station. It’s being an essential ingredient in their routine because you give them what they need. In branding, it’s an emotional response that connects.

Begin the branding process by identifying your unique offerings in addition to your music product.

  • What is it about your station that your listeners and viewers cannot live without?
  • What do you do to drive audience passion?
  • What does your morning show do that is different from other stations, and why is it better?  Avoid being too similar, and don’t do a midday request show because everyone else does.  Make your offering unique.
  • Personalize your weather to your market activities and listener needs.
  • Are your website and social media truly interactive?
  • Are your promotions super-serving the listener?

A brand is the trip, not the destination.  Make your station a strong brand that is top-of-mind and on the “most respected, most listened to” list in one’s brain.  We have assembled the best branding tips for stations in one easy to use guide.  To better brand your station and its key benefits to listeners, get the Lund Branding and Marketing Guide in the Radio Resource Center.

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.

Engineering Spotlight: Tom Bosscher, WCSG-FM Grand Rapids

We’re pleased to begin a new spotlight series featuring the hardworking engineers at our stations.
To nominate an engineer for a spotlight, please email Alisha Clack at clack@michmab.com.

Tom BosscherMy name is Tom Bosscher. I am the chief engineer for WCSG-FM, Grand Rapids, and I have been employed here for 20 years. They haven’t caught on yet.

My cousin Rick Bosscher and I taught each other electronics when we were ten years old. We received our amateur radio licenses when we were 13. In high school, Rick challenged me to go for the FCC 1st class Radio Telephone License, just for the fun of it. So we both did. The summer out of high school, WION in Ionia was looking for a licensed person to take meter readings for their directional AM. So, you could say I started my career at a 5,000 watt daytimer! A few months later, I was working full time at WOOD-AM-FM. I also was employed at WLAV and spent 13 great years working for Dave Gale at WCUZ. Dave and I started to work at WCSG as contract engineers in 1985, and ten years later it became a full time situation. Oh, my cousin Rick has been the RF supervisor for KFMB, San Diego for some 35 years.

Something most people don’t know? I have six sisters, three older, three younger. As a child, I was not allowed to talk. I’m still working on that social skill. On the bright side, at the age of 63, I have nine of the best grandchildren a guy could have. I also teach amateur radio courses for all three levels of licensing.

Best advice? Ask. Always ask. Ask those who use the equipment. And second? Inform. Always inform. Inform those who own the station. And third best? Learn how to fake sincerity.

House Holds Off on ‘Gag Order’ Fix

Last week, the Michigan House of Representatives scheduled HB 5219 for a floor vote but pulled the bill before the vote could take place. The bill is designed to clarify what local municipalities can say on ballot proposals using taxpayer dollars. HB 5219 currently states that local entities can provide factual and strictly neutral mass communications on the direct impact of local proposals unless it can be reasonably interpreted as attempting to influence an election. Local groups and some lawmakers have said the language is too ambiguous and could lead to expensive lawsuits for local governments.

The bill comes after Public Act 269 was signed by the governor earlier this year. The law prohibits local governments from issuing information to voters by a variety of means, including television and radio, 60 days before an election.