Tag Archives: Issue 62

DPTV Announces Summer of Badges Program

Detroit Public Television (DPTV) and 45 partner organizations have announced a program to help Detroit area school children to learn during the summer months with the Summer of Badges program. Summer of Badges, is a continuation of Digital Adventures and digital badging, takes learning outside the confines of the classroom and stretches far beyond the average school year in a way that is fun for kids.

With DPTV’s partner organizations, anyone, anywhere can find opportunities that will allow them to explore their interests and earn a digital badge.

While kids can select any badge from any of their partners badges, every two weeks the Summer of Badges program will focus on three “featured” badges:

June 1-14: Reading and Writing
· Wild About Reading
· Book Reviewer!
· Detroit PBS Kids Reading Program
July 1-14: Math and Engineering
· Bat-gineering
· PBS Kids Odd Squad
· SciEngiMathePloration Challenge

The TOP 10 badge winners, for each of the two week brackets, will receive a complimentary gift card.

Digital Adventure and the Summer of Badges program contribute to DPTV’s dedication to maximizing kids’ learning outside of the classroom. For more infomration on the program, visit www.digitaladventure.org.

Reminder: The MAB Foundation is Looking for Broadcast and Media Students!

Do you know an outstanding broadcasting, media, sales, engineering or journalism student that has great ideas and would love to become more involved in the broadcast industry?

We want to hear from you!

The MAB Foundation has a great opportunity for Michigan students to get involved and play an integral role in the MAB Foundation!

The MABF Student Advisory Committee is looking for exceptional, forward-thinking individuals who are currently enrolled, or will be enrolled in a Michigan high school, college, university or trade school during the 2017-2018 school year to join our Student Advisory Committee.

Would someone you know like to add this great experience to their resume?

To apply, the student must first be nominated by an adviser. They must then complete the application and return it via mail or email to be considered for a one-year, renewable term beginning at the Broadcasting Career Builder Conference in November and ending in August 2018.

Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2017. All applicants will be reviewed and selected by the MABF Education and Scholarship Committee.

Click here for a link to the application

Please email the name of your nominated student(s) to [email protected]!

Thank you!

4 Things You Can Remove From Your Radio Station’s Homepage

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

The website homepage is more important for radio stations than it is for many other businesses that use a Content Marketing strategy to attract web traffic. For most businesses, the strategy works like this: create online content (blogposts) and share that content through social media and search engines to pull people back to your website. This means that in a successful content marketing strategy, most visitors come to the website through a side door (a blogpost), not the front door (the homepage).

But radio stations have a third channel to drive traffic to their websites: their airwaves. Listeners hear the website mentioned on the radio, go to a browser and type in the station’s url directly. As a result, radio stations see a much higher percentage of their traffic come through the homepage than other businesses. In Google Analytics terms, website visitors who type the url into their browser are called ‘direct traffic.’

Because radio stations typically see so much direct traffic, the design of the homepage is critical. Unfortunately, too many radio stations cram too much stuff onto their homepages. As I’ve seen in the course of running many usability tests on radio station websites, the result is an overwhelming and frustrating mess.

Most radio stations would benefit by removing unnecessary elements from their homepage. The key to doing this is to understand what role different webpages play in your online strategy. After all, not all webpages serve the same purpose. Some pages, such as blogposts, are there to attract people to the website in the first place. Others, such as contest pages, are there to capture data from your listeners. To accomplish the goals of your digital strategy, you need to not only know what the purpose of each webpage is, but also when to present that page to your website visitors.

With that in mind, let’s look at some elements which you can remove from your radio station’s homepage:

1. The Slideshow
If there’s one element that is single-handedly bringing down the quality of every radio station website in America, it’s the slideshow. The slideshow was designed to showcase multiple different stories on a website. It makes sense for bloggers, news stations and sports stations. It has no business on a music station’s website.

Yet almost every single music radio station has one. Why? Because the slideshow prevents fights inside the station. When the morning show is demanding some homepage real estate to promote their signature bit, and the MD wants to showcase a hot new band, and the promotions director wants to plug this weekend’s street team stop, and the sales manager needs a little something to close the deal with Dunkin’ Donuts, it’s really useful to dole out homepage slides like you’re Oprah Winfrey giving away cars. (“You get a slide! And you get a slide!”)

But this does nothing for the listeners.

Think of your homepage as a billboard for your radio station — it’s a chance to make a first impression. What’s the first and most important thing you want your listeners to know about your station? That you’re giving away coffee coolattas and tickets to The Fast and the Furious 26?


You want people to know what type of music you play and the other important features of your station. The homepage is the place for core artists, positioning statements and perhaps photos of the morning show cast. For the sake of your listeners, axe the slideshow, even if it means that your staff argues more.

2. Blogposts
Blogposts and news stories are great pieces of content to drive people to your radio station’s website from social media and search engines. Once people are already on your station’s site, however, these pieces of content have served their purpose. There is no reason to send them there now; instead, you want visitors to accomplish one of the goals of your website: stream the station, sign up for the email list, enter a contest, etc. So don’t use valuable homepage real estate to send people to your station’s blog; use it to steer them towards one of these goals.

This doesn’t mean that you’re preventing people from reading the blog once they’re on the homepage; you should still link to it in your site’s main menu. It just means that you aren’t going to go out of your way to send them to a blogpost when you could be sending them towards one of the site’s goals.

3. Social Media Widgets
By the same token, the point of having social media accounts is to attract people to your station’s website so you can get them to accomplish one of your goals. Once they’ve come to the site, the last thing you want to do is send them back to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Instead, keep them on your website. Remove any widgets that display your station’s latest tweets and status updates (but keep a link to your social media accounts).

4. The Weather
The weather appears on radio station websites as a holdover from a bygone era. People don’t go to radio station websites to find out the weather — there’s an app for that! (Though I prefer to ask Alexa while getting dressed.) Weather may still have a place on your radio station’s airwaves — even if it’s more likely to be motivated by sponsorship dollars than listener demand — but it has no place on your radio station’s homepage unless you are running a news station.

When it comes to radio station homepages, less is more. Use this prime real estate to make a first impression and drive your listeners towards the site’s goals. Remove anything that doesn’t advance this strategy.

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

FCC Watch: FM and FM Translator Changes

Here’s the latest Michigan-related FCC broadcast filings:

On June 6, AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC filed a construction permit application to reduce the effective radiated power of WCMM-FM (Gulliver) from 100kw to 60kw.  The application states that the power reduction is needed to eliminate market coverage overlap.

On June 5, Up North Radio, LLC filed a license application to modify the license of WBZX-FM (Big Rapids) to cover replacement of its antenna.

On June 2,  Educational Media Foundation was granted an application for minor changes to FM translator W262BD (Dimondale).  The application is to increase the effective radiated power of the translator from 22 watts to 99 watts.  The translator rebroadcasts the signal of WWSJ-AM, St. Johns.

On May 31, Caron Broadcasting, Inc. filed an license application to cover a construction permit for FM translator W224CC (Detroit).  The construction permit was for a power increase from 70 to 90 watts effective-radiated power. The translator rebroadcasts the signal of WLVQ-AM, Detroit.

On May 25, WRVM, Inc. received approval for a minor-change application for FM translator W237AW, licensed to Iron River, MI. The application was for a power change from 50 to 55 watts effective radiated power. The translator rebroadcasts the signal of WMVM-FM, Goodman, WI.

Detroit Pistons Move to WXYT-FM

The Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA) have entered into a multi-year radio broadcast agreement with CBS Radio’s WXYT-FM (97.1 FM The Ticket-Detroit).

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The deal coincides with the Pistons move to a new venue.

Senior VP/market manager Debbie Kenyon says the station “always maintained a strong relationship with the team” and it “looks forward to being a part of the team’s inaugural year at Little Caesars Arena.”

As Pistons flagship, WXYT-FM gets regular-season, preseason and postseason play-by-play rights across its broadcast and streaming platforms. Pistons games also stream on the team’s own app. WXYT-FM will carry pregame and postgame coverage, interviews with players and coaches and other coverage during the NBA season.

Mark Champion will return for his 24th season as the play-by-play voice, partnered with “Bad Boy” Rick Mahorn, who will be serving his 16th season as basketball analyst.

Game broadcasts that conflict with scheduled Detroit Red Wings or Detroit Tigers broadcasts on 97.1 FM The Ticket will be carried on sister station WWJ 950 AM.

This Word Increases Your Personal Power

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

Sarah and I are on a two-hour drive to a vacation cottage we’ve rented in Michigan.

Our three cats are along for the ride.

We’re making great time on I-94.

Until . . .


We hit the mother of all potholes. We watch as the tire pressure indicator drops from 32 to 24 to 4 to zero psi in a few seconds.

The first thing I say to her is, “Well, this is inconvenient.”

Because, that’s all it is.

“Inconvenient” is a fine way to describe things you don’t like, but which aren’t disastrous.

We hit a pothole. There is no collision. There are no injuries.

I learned to think this way from the late Larry Wilson, the sales and leadership guru.

I was watching one of his videos and he said,

“Personal power is having access to and control over the energies and emotions required to optimize and maximize your performance.”

Then, he told his audience,

“Most people never think about what they think about. Have you ever thought about that?”

What a question. It stopped me in my tracks.

Too often, we think about the event. In this case, the flat tire.

Then, we think about how we feel.

But, what causes the feeling is what we think about the event. And, then, what we say about the event to ourselves.

I could have thought and said, “Well, that ruins the first day of our vacation.” I might have gotten mad about having a flat tire.

But, saying: “This is inconvenient” put things in perspective and I felt neutral about the flat tire. I wasn’t happy about it, but I wasn’t mad either.

Truth is, we have a late model Cadillac ATS. We can drive up to another 50 miles on a flat tire.

So, we drive to a GMC dealership in Benton Harbor and pay $175 for a new tire.

No biggie. Just a minor inconvenience.

Larry Wilson taught me to think about things like flat tires, late flights and cancelled appointments as . . .


I believe that idea has added years to my life. Because I’ve learned to think about what I think about, I don’t get angry about the small stuff anymore.

Start thinking about what you think about.

It’s pretty important.

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

WDTW-FM Detroit Flips to Variety Hits

iHeartMedia has changed the format of classic rock WDTW-FM (Detroit) to a variety hits format, expanding the former classic rock station’s library to include artists like Huey Lewis, Bryan Adams, Billy Joel and more.  The change occured during the Memorial Day weekend.

RadioInsight reports the station is now positioned as “We Play Anything,” returning the Variety Hits format to Detroit for the first time since Cumulus flipped “93.1 Doug-FM” WDRQ to Country in December 2013.

Richards Promoted To PD At WDZH-FM

Ian Richards

CBS Radio has named WDZH-FM (Detroit) Assistant Program Director/Music Director/Afternoon Host Ian “Slacker” Richards to Program Director.

Richards started his radio career in Flint back in 2003 as an intern at WQUS-FM, then moved on to WRCL-FM as on-air personality and music director.  In 2010, while still working at WRCL, he joined WDZH as a part-time on-air personality.  In 2012, he joined WDZH full-time as afternoon on-air personality and music director.  He added assistant program director to his title in October, 2015.

CBS Radio VP/Programming-Detroit Tim Roberts said “Ian has demonstrated over and over an in-depth knowledge of the Top 40 format, music and artists. He is also a natural leader both on and off the air for our staff and the WDZH brand.”

“I am excited to take WDZH to the next level and grow as a programmer! I’d like to thank our Market Manager Debbie Kenyon and some of the best programmers in the industry who helped me get to where I am today,” said Richards.

Richards will continue to host afternoons on the station.


Former Detroit Personality Joe Wade Formicola Dies

Joe Wade Formicola

Former Detroit country radio air talent Joe Wade Formicola died May 31, following a brief illness. His death comes less than a month before he was to be inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame.

Formicola hosted mornings at former country station WWWW-FM (now WDTW-FM) in Detroit from 1987-95, where he won the CMA Personality of the Year in 1988, before moving to WYCD-FM for a number of years. He was also a nationally syndicated personality with Westwood One from 2010-15.  Early career stops included serving as PD of KENR-AM in Houston in 1979 before moving on to the OM/PD chair at WKIX-AM, Raleigh, NC.

WYCD Program Director Tim Roberts wrote “My heart is saddened by the passing of another great member of the WYCD family.”  Formicola’s passing comes a few months after fellow 2017 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee Linda Lee’s death following a battle against cancer. “Joe and I worked together years ago and of course, he worked with Linda here,” Roberts added.

Both Formicola and Lee will be inducted into the Country Radio Hall Of Fame posthumously at the ceremonies in Nashville, June 21.

Michigan’s own (and radio’s best friend) Art Vuolo prepared a video tribute to Formicola:

Detroit Meteorologist Jim Madaus Signs Off For Final Time

Jim Madaus

After 40 years of tracking the Midwest skies, Jim “Mad Dog” Madaus has retired.  The longtime chief meteorologist at WWJ-TV (Detroit) officially signed off from the television station after his 11 p.m. broadcast on May 31.

“I ended up working at one of the best stations in the city with the nicest people,” he said in a CBS Detroit article. “But, on the other hand, I’m looking forward to retirement and enjoying life and traveling, doing whatever I want to do.”

Madaus has been broadcasting for 42 years, 33 of which were spent in Detroit, the article said. He most recently hosted CBS Detroit’s First Forecast at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Prior to CBS, Madaus worked at WXYZ-TV, WCSX radio and served as chief meteorologist for WJRT-TV in Flint, WMTV-TV in Madison, WI and WREX-TV in Rockford, IL. He has received several awards throughout his career, including Best Weathercast in Detroit from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.