Tag Archives: Issue 69

Cyber Security FOIA Exemption Passes Committee

A bill exempting critical energy infrastructure and cyber security related information from FOIA was reported unanimously by the House Committee on Communication and Technology. HB 4973 exempts cybersecurity plans, assessments or vulnerabilities from FOIA requirements. Under current law FOIA exempts “records or information of measures designed to protect the security or safety of persons or property” from being disclosed. HB 4973 adds language that says “or the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information systems.”

An exemption would be carved out for information that identifies or provides a way of identifying a person that may become a victim of an incident involving cybersecurity. Exemptions do not apply to information submitted as required by law or any information required as a condition to receive a government contract.

WDIV Detroit’s Paul Gross named Fellow of American Meteorological Society

By Dave Bartkowiak Jr., ClickOnDetroit.com

WDIV-TV (Detroit) Meteorologist Paul Gross is being recognized with high honors from the American Meteorological Society.

Paul has been named a Fellow of the Society and has won an Emmy from the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences.

The University of Michigan’s atmospheric science department will be releasing this in the department’s next newsletter:

Paul Gross, AOS class of 1983, received two high honors this summer. American Meteorological Society President Roger Wakimoto recently informed Paul that he has been named a Fellow of the Society. Only a handful of broadcast meteorologists have been honored with Fellow status in the AMS. Paul is a former chair of the AMS Board of Broadcast Meteorology and the AMS Committee on the Station Scientist, and has worked as a meteorologist at Detroit’s NBC affiliated television station, WDIV-TV, since 1983. He is also one of very few broadcast meteorologists who not only has earned the AMS’ Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation, but also the Certified Consulting Meteorologist designation. Paul is highly regarded internationally for his work, and is also considered one of the leaders in communicating the truth about climate change. Being named AMS Fellow comes just one month after Paul was honored with an Emmy from the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences. He was recognized for all of the extra science and environmental information he puts into his weathercasts. This is Paul’s eighth career Emmy, among fourteen total Emmy nominations.

“This was a real stunner,” Paul said about the honors. “A total surprise. I had no idea I had even been considered until I received the e-mail from the President of the American Meteorological Society. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. When looking at the list of AMS Fellows, I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of being mentioned in the same sentence as the meteorologists on that list. Some of those men and women are people I have looked up to my entire career, while others are people I only know through their work and contributions to the advancement of our science. This is such a significant, and yet humbling, honor.”

Follow Paul on Twitter here.


WOTV’s Maranda wraps Park Party season in Battle Creek!

WOTV-TV (Battle Creek) Maranda’s Park Parties
traveled to six communities across West Michigan, including an event at Northwestern Middle School in Battle Creek. Around 5,700 children and families turned out at the final Park Party of the summer on July 27, bringing this year’s total party-goers to an estimated 35,800 participants!

Maranda is WOTV “4 Women” kids and family expert. She hosts a weekday half-hour program, “Where You Live.”

“It has been an amazing summer visiting so many wonderful communities across West Michigan and impacting the lives of so many families across our area. We couldn’t do it without the amazing support of our great sponsors from WOOD TV8 and WOTV 4 Women and from the communities we visited. A huge thanks to everyone who joined for Park Party season 2017,” Maranda said.

This year’s Maranda Park Party season was full of free fun and lots of great giveaways! In a partnership with the Michigan Department of Education and local area school districts, more than 13,500 free lunches were provided to kids under the age of 18! Maranda’s generous partners also stepped up in a big way. Meijer gave out an estimated 25,000 packs of fruit snacks, Priority Health painted the park green- outfitting kids with more than 28,000 brightly colored backpacks and kids were able to keep cool thanks to 30,000 Country Fresh ice cream sandwiches and 40,000 bottles of Aquafina water provided by Pepsi.

Maranda and the team passed out 20,000 bags of Cheeze Kurls and nearly 2,500 prizes! It was a picture perfect forecast for the entire park party lineup resulting in almost 36,000 smiling faces! This season Maranda and the Park Party crew visited the following locations:

  • June 22 – Lamar Park, Wyoming
  • June 29 – Smith Ryerson Park, Muskegon
  • July 6 – Bronson Park, Kalamazoo
  • July 13 – East Kentwood High School, Kentwood
  • July 20 – Kollen Park, Holland
  • July 27 – Northwestern Middle School, Battle Creek

Fentzke Named as New GSM at WWMT

Brian Fentzke

WWMT-TV (Kalamazoo) has announced that Brian Fentzke has been promoted from Local Sales Manager to the station’s General Sales Manager.

Fentzke has an extensive marketing background which began at Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Advertising. His first job landed him in Detroit as an Assistant Media Planner at Doner Advertising. In 2001 he became a National Sales Rep with Adam Young Television.

After two years, he was recruited to come work for Blair Television where he was a National Sales Rep and represented over 75 stations nationwide which included WOOD-TV, WOTV, and WXSP. His business relationship with WOOD-TV allowed him to move to Grand Rapids and work the local side of the business. He quickly became a successful Local Account Executive during his 11 years at WOOD-TV. Brian joined WWMT-TV (Newschannel 3 and CW7)  in February 2016 where he led the sales team in this ever changing industry.

“Brian has a solid understanding of the business and more importantly understands how new technology will drive ad revenue across all our platforms.” said Fred Corbus, General Manager for WWMT-TV and CW7.

WXYZ Partners on ‘Detroit 67: Perspectives’ Exhibit

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) has announced that they have partnered with the Detroit Historical Society on the exhibit, “Detroit 67: Perspectives,” a ground-breaking exhibition that explores 50 years of the region’s social, cultural, economic and political climate leading up the civil uprising in the summer of 1967.

The exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum examines Detroit’s history over the past 50 years, focusing on the individuals and organizations dedicated to tackling the challenges that still exist today and embracing the opportunities for progress. “Detroit 67: Perspectives,” is part of a comprehensive community-wide effort that reflects on the past, engages in the present and works to create a shared vision for the future.

Incorporated in the exhibit are three WXYZ videos. One video depicts life in Detroit in the summer of 1967 and is included in a living room display that gives museum goers a chance to experience the civil unrest in July of 1967 through television reports from those days. A second video explores the events that shaped Detroit in the years after the 1967 rebellion.

A third video is embedded in the final phase of the exhibit that focuses on moving the region forward. The WXYZ Detroit 2020 video is presented by 7 Action News Anchor Carolyn Clifford, a native Detroiter. It includes outreach opportunities available to Metro Detroiters and encourages people to get involved in the effort to improve the region.

“We have an opportunity and an obligation to be a catalyst for positive change as we help move our region forward,” said Mike Murri, Vice-President and General Manager of WXYZ and WMYD. “We hope through this partnership, we can work to unify our region and inspire people to take action to keep our community strong and vibrant.”

“The Detroit Historical Society is pleased to partner with WXYZ to help our community look back to move forward,” said Bob Bury, Executive Director of the Detroit Historical Society. “Our partnership provided key historical coverage from 1967 that is part of our groundbreaking exhibit and WXYZ’s commitment to looking forward has helped Detroit 67 take this experience outside the museum walls and into the community as a catalyst for change.”

The exhibit is the centerpiece of “Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward,” a five-year project engaging hundreds of thought leaders, scholars, community partners, businesses, the nonprofit and policy community, and residents of all backgrounds and perspectives.
The Detroit Historical Museum is located at 5401 Woodward and is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

(photograph courtesy of Morley Companies, Inc.)

Arbitrators Side With Radio and Reduce SESAC License Fees

The Radio Music License Committee (“RMLC”) has announced terms of a settlement agreement that brings an end to almost three years of antitrust litigation commenced by the RMLC against SESAC. This agreement is related to the public performance by radio stations of musical works in the SESAC repertory.

The settlement is historic insofar as it represents the first time in SESAC’s 85-year history with radio broadcasters that the performing right organization’s license fees will be subject to determination by a third-party arbitration panel. The highlights of the settlement include:

  • In the absence of a voluntary agreement on industry rates, the parties will participate in binding arbitration to set reasonable license fees to be offered the radio industry through the RMLC.  The binding arbitration period will encompass 22 years commencing 2016 and no historic SESAC rates may receive precedential value.
  • SESAC’s rates will be frozen at existing 2015 levels, with no further rate changes until the parties’ negotiations or arbitration are concluded covering rates for the license term 2016 through 2018.
  • SESAC will continue to offer its existing All-Talk Amendment discount of 75 percent.
  • SESAC will refrain from pursuing pending audit claims or instigating new audits.
  • The RMLC will be reimbursed by SESAC for the legal fees it incurred in prosecuting the antitrust case against SESAC.
  • The scope of rights to be covered under future SESAC licenses will mirror the coverage that traditional operators currently enjoy with SESAC’s competitors (ASCAP and BMI), and SESAC commits to consolidating (as of 2016) its current three separate license structure for over-the-air, HD radio and streaming into a single license.
  • SESAC’s writer and publisher affiliates will have greater ability to license works directly to radio station operators.
  • In terms of pressing copyright infringement claims against non-licensed stations, SESAC will honor more stringent notice requirements.
  • SESAC will enhance its online repertory search offerings in order to support more user-friendly identification of SESAC works.
  • SESAC will facilitate a process that will enable the RMLC to achieve funding to support the cost of future arbitrations.

The immediate impact of this settlement is that, pending resolution of license fees effective as of 2016, stations will not have exposure to further SESAC rate increases and the industry now has the opportunity to obtain sustained SESAC fee relief. Stations wishing to avail themselves of the benefits of the settlement will need to execute an authorization form [to be mailed out shortly.

In announcing the agreement, RMLC Chairman Ed Christian said, “Litigation is always a last resort, but the RMLC felt compelled to file this lawsuit in order to impose some rate setting parameters upon SESAC that would mirror the antitrust consent decree process that has been in place with ASCAP and BMI for decades and that has achieved equitable license fees for the industry.

Echoing this sentiment, the RMLC’s Vice-Chairman, John VerStandig, stated “This settlement effectively bars SESAC from arbitrarily seeking unreasonably high rates from a radio operator at the risk of copyright infringement exposure. The process of arriving at reasonable fees now agreed to eliminates that exposure.”

Christian further noted that “the RMLC received excellent representation in its antitrust action from lead counsel Margaret Zwisler and her team at the Washington, DC firm of Latham & Watkins. The RMLC’s longstanding music licensing counsel, Bruce Rich, of the New York City firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, acted as settlement agent to negotiate the final terms of the settlement.”

You’re Launching a New Radio Morning Show. Here’s Your Station’s Digital Plan.

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

From time to time, I get asked what a radio station’s digital strategy should be when launching a new morning show. There’s no limit to what a station can do, but to start, I would implement a plan to create content on a daily basis that can be shared over social media. Then use that content to grow a morning show email list. This will enable the show to continually engage with the audience and drive more listenership. (If this sounds like a version of Content Marketing, that’s because it is.)

Here’s how it works:

Before the Show Launches:

1) Set up your social media accounts.

Facebook is far and away the most important platform for reaching your audience, so set up a Facebook page (not a profile) for your morning show. I strongly recommend setting up Twitter and Instagram accounts as well. Even if your morning show is not going to use Snapchat or YouTube right away, it’s a good idea to claim your morning show’s handle on these networks so nobody else gets them.

I strongly recommend using a social media management tool such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to cover all these different social media accounts. It will take a little time to learn them, but once you do, they will greatly speed up your social media engagement.

2) Brainstorm a list of “influencers” in the market.

Influencers are people or institutions in your market important and famous enough to have their own followings, but small enough they are still impressed the local radio morning show talks about them on air or online. Gather the team together and brainstorm a list of influencers in your market, including:

  • Local bands and music venues
  • Local sports teams and athletes
  • Local television personalities
  • Writers for the city papers
  • Bloggers
  • Colleges and universities
  • Popular restaurants, chefs, and breweries
  • Events, such as festivals or fairs

Once you’ve compiled a list of influencers in your market, follow them on social media. You can start engaging with them online before the show launches. If your hosts are new to the market, have them introduce themselves online. While Facebook is generally good for reaching a large number of listeners, Twitter can be even more effective when reaching out to other influencers. So say hello!

3) Create a free customized show prep service.

Many of the influencers on your list will have websites where they are publishing their own content, whether it’s news, blogs, or videos. You can subscribe to the RSS feeds for these sites and pull all of that content into one place where it’s easy for you to find each morning; you’re essentially creating a free, customized show prep service.

This video will also show you how:

Here are detailed instructions

4) Set up an automatic RSS-to-Email campaign to send show recaps to fans every morning.

Once the show launches, you’ll want to create daily website posts with shownotes (explained below). You can set up an email campaign to automatically send these posts to fans over your morning show each day. You’ll do this using a feature called “RSS-to-Email Campaigns.” The big advantage is that once the campaign is set up, you will send out emails every day without ever having to lift a finger. In fact, we use this type of campaign to send out the Jacobs Media blog post every weekday morning.

Here are more details on how you can create an RSS-to-Email campaign.

5) Set up the radio station website to capture email addresses for the morning show mailing list.

The digital goal here is simple: Grow the morning show’s email list so you can use it to encourage people to listen to and engage with the show. It will also come in handy when your morning show wants to sell tickets to a station concert, raise money for a charity, or drive attendance to a station event.

There are a number of places on your website where you might want to encourage people to sign up for the mailing list, but one of my favorite techniques is pop-up windows. I have seen pop-up windows, when used strategically, increase email registration by over 500% — including on our own website. You can set your pop-up windows to appear on morning show posts and to simply ask, “Would you like us to email you a daily recap of the show?”

6) Create production elements that drive people to the radio station website.

Create simple sweepers that say let people know about the shownotes page and the email list. For example, “Want links to the things we talked about on this mornings show? Go to wkrp.com/morningshow.” Or, “Want us to email you a recap of the show every day? Sign up for our email list at wkrp.com/morningshow.”

After the Show Launches:

1) Every day, create a “Shownotes” post for with links to everything mentioned in that morning’s show.

The Shownotes Page is a concept borrowed from the world of podcasting. It’s just a blogpost with a list of links to everything discussed during that day’s show so listeners can get more information if they want. If you talked about the upcoming arts and wine festival, a news story about a local robbery gone haywire, or last night’s football game, include the corresponding links. It’s easiest to pop open a Word doc or WordPress window during the show and keep a running list going, then take a few minutes to add the links in once the show is over.

2) After each show, pro-actively share that day’s Shownotes post on social media.

After every show, go through a fifteen-minute post-show routine: Publish your shownotes post, then pro-actively share this post on social media. You’re not just going to share it on the station and morning show’s social media accounts; you’re also going to tag the people and organizations that we’ve linked to in the show. The hope is that these influencers will then re-share the shownotes post with their following. That’s how the post goes viral, growing your audience.

Here’s a detailed tutorial on how to share your shownotes posts.

3) Plug the Shownotes posts and the email list on the air.

In additon to the production elements that you’re running on the air, don’t forget to use live on-air mentions to drive listeners to your shownotes page. You can also encourage them to sign up for the email list.

4) Review your digital metrics every week.

Program Directors love on-air talent who ask questions about the ratings. When DJs show interest in how they’re performing, it speaks volumes. By the same token, find out how your digital strategy is doing. On a regular basis, get together with your PD and your digital team to review key metrics from Google Analytics and other sources. Ask questions, like:

  • Are you driving traffic back to your station’s webpage?
  • Which social media channels are most effective?
  • Which influencers are most likely to engage with the show?
  • Are you growing the email list?

Over time, you will start to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Adjust your digital strategy accordingly.

Webinar: Digital Tricks for DJs
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the digital space. There’s a lot more you can do, including playing with video, contests, and podcasts. But if you’re looking for a place to start, I recommend the steps above. For those who want some more details on these steps, check out the webinar I hosted called, “Digital Tricks Every Radio DJ Should Know.”

Watch the webinar here.

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

Bill Seeks Royalties for Pre-1972 Musical Works

According to a report in RadioWorld, legislation has been introduced to establish copyright protections for performances of pre-1972 musical works. Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) are sponsoring H.R. 3301, named “the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act.”

According to Congressman Issa “this is an important and overdue fix to the law that will help settle years of litigation and restore some equity to this inexplicable gap in our copyright system.”

Viewer Protection Act Introduced

U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and 10 cosponsors formally introduced the Viewer Protection Act, H.R. 3347, legislation aimed to address any funding or timing insufficiencies relating to the upcoming post-incentive auction repacking.

The Viewer Protection Act aims to ensure that full-power television broadcasters, radio stations, low power television stations, television translators and MVPDs are all covered for eligible repack expenses and authorizes an additional $1 billion to cover those collective costs.  The bill also requires the FCC’s Media Bureau to modify the 39-month repack timeline where additional time is needed due to reasons outside the station’s control.  Additionally, it authorizes $90 million for consumer education relating to the repack.

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12) cosponsored the bill. The legislation has been referred to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Snyder Urged to reject Microsoft White Space Proposal

The MAB reached out to Gov. Rick Snyder and members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation urging the lawmakers to reject Microsoft’s attempts to secure free TV spectrum for a nationwide channel (aka ‘white space’) to use for unlicensed devices. Microsoft is asserting that it is urgent that the FCC reserve a vacant UHF white space channel in every market nationwide before the repacking is finalized.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) also filed comments with the FCC stating that the Microsoft proposal to grant access to 18 MHz of TV spectrum for unlicensed use, should be denied as it will cause direct and immediate harm to translators and low power television stations displaced by the spectrum repack following the incentive auction.

In even a best-case repacking scenario, the capacity simply does not exist to successfully accommodate all of these broadcast television station moves. By design, the incentive auction is already shrinking the broadcast television band and there will not be enough spectrum to keep all broadcast television translators and LPTV stations on the air. This disproportionately harms diverse, niche and rural broadcast viewers that are served by translators and LPTVs.

Broadcasters are not alone in opposing this move. A number of rural and agricultural organizations, including National Assoc. of Wheat Growers, National Assoc. of State Departments of Agriculture, National Black Growers Council, National Farmers Union, and Rural & Agriculture Council of America wrote a letter to the FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in opposition to the Microsoft proposal.  “Our members rely heavily on local broadcast stations to stay up to date on the important issues in our communities and the rest of the country,” the letter stated. “When local broadcast stations go dark, rural communities are deprived of a vital source of information that is essential for managing our day-to-day lives.”