Tag Archives: Issue 70

NAB Recognition: WCZY-FM (Mt. Pleasant)

This article originally appeared in a recent NAB Public Service mailer

Latitude Media’s WCZY-FM (Mt. Pleasant) provided critical coverage as eight inches of rain flooded its listening area from June 23 to 25, causing more than $100 million in damage.

WCZY provided information on the 130 roads that closed as pavement crumbled beneath the water, in addition to broadcasting updates from the head of the emergency management team.

On June 26, WCZY collected donations for the local American Red Cross chapter to assist people staying at a temporary shelter.

“Although our staff is small, they really shined big for our community during this unprecedented crisis,” Owner Bob Peters said . “This is why local radio is so important to the communities we serve and why my wife and I are so proud to be local broadcasters.”

The MAB would like to congratulate Bob & Laurie Peters and their staff for outstanding community service!

FCC Watch: Lots of FM Translator Filings

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

First, a compilation of FM Translator applications filed by AM licensees during the July 26 – August 2 filing window:

Benton Harbor, MI:  Gerard Media LLC seeks 106.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WHFB-AM, Benton Harbor.

Cadillac, MI:  MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting, Inc. seeks 106.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WATT-AM, Cadillac.

Charlotte, MI:  West Central Michigan Media Ministries seeks 92.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned KTGG-AM, Okemos.

Detroit, MI: WMUZ Radio, Inc. seeks 107.1 Mhz, 60 watts, for co-owned WRDT-AM, Monroe.

East Lansing, MI: Townsquare Media Lansing License, LLC seeks 102.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WVFN-AM, East Lansing.

Escanaba, MI:  AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC seeks 93.5 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WCHT-AM, Escanaba.

Flint, MI:  Cumulus Licensing, LLC seeks 107.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WWCK-AM, Flint.

Gladwin, MI: Apple Broadcasting Company, Inc. seeks 96.5 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WGDN-AM, Gladwin.

*Gladwin, MI:  Hayco Broadcasting seeks 100.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WCSM-AM, Celina, OH.

Hancock, MI: J&J Broadcasting, Inc. seeks 107.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMPL-AM, Hancock.

Indian River, MI: Black Diamond Broadcast Holding, LLC seeks 98.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WCBY-AM, Cheboygan.

Grand Rapids, MI: Radio License Holding CBC, LLC seeks 106.1 Mhz, 75 watts, for co-owned WJRW-AM, Grand Rapids.

Hastings, MI:  Barry Broadcasting Co. seeks 93.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WBCH-AM, Hastings.

Hillsdale, MI:  WCSR, Inc. seeks 99.5 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WCSR-AM, Hillsdale.

Iron River, MI: Iron River Community Broadcasting Corporation seeks 97.9 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WFER-AM, Iron River.

Lansing, MI: The MacDonald Broadcasting Company seeks 93.3 Mhz, 125 watts, for co-owned WXLA-AM, Dimondale.

Lansing, MI: Townsquare Media Lansing License, LLC seeks 107.7 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WJIM-AM, Lansing.

Lapeer, MI:  The Calvary Bible Church of Lapeer seeks 106.9 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMPC-AM, Lapeer.

Lowell, MI: WYGR, LLC seeks 99.5 Mhz, 100 watts, for co-owned WYGR-AM, Wyoming.

Ludington, MI:  Synergy Media, Inc. seeks 106.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WKLA-AM, Ludington.

Manistique, MI:  AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC seeks 98.5 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WTIQ-AM, Manistique.

Marquette, MI:  Taconite Broadcasting, Inc. seeks 106.9 Mhz,  250 watts, for co-owned WZAM-AM, Ishpeming.

Menominee, MI:  Radio Plus Bay Cities, LLC seeks 100.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WAGN-AM, Memominee.

Midland, MI:  Steel Broadcasting, Inc.  seeks 107.7 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMPX-AM, Midland.

Munising, MI:  Great Lakes Radio, Inc. seeks 97.7 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WQXO-AM, Munising.

Niles, MI:  Marion R. Williams seeks 107.5 Mhz, 80 watts, for co-owned WNIL-AM, Niles.

Otsego, MI:  Vintage Radio Enterprises, LLC seeks 98.9 Mhz, 80 watts, for co-owned WAKV-AM, Otesego.

Petoskey, MI:  MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting, Inc. seeks 104.7 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMBN-AM, Petoskey.

Port Huron, MI: Liggett Communications, LLC seeks 92.7 Mhz, 125 watts, for co-owned WHLX-AM, Marine City.

Port Huron, MI: Liggett Communications, LLC seeks 107.7 Mhz, 195 watts, for co-owned WHLS-AM, Port Huron.

Saginaw, MI: The MacDonald Broadcasting Company seeks 92.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WSAM-AM, Saginaw.

Sandusky, MI: Sanilac Broadcasting Company seeks 95.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMIC-AM, Sandusky.

Shepherd, MI:  Latitude Media, LLC seeks 92.3 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WMMI-AM, Shepherd.

St. Joseph, MI:  WSJM, Inc. seeks 106.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WSJM-AM, St. Joseph.

Sturgis, MI:  Impact Radio, LLC seeks 106.9 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WRCI-AM, Three Rivers.

Tawas City, MI:  Carroll Enterprises, Inc. seeks 106.9 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WIOS-AM, Tawas City.

Whitehall, MI:  Radio License Holding CBC, LLC seeks 99.1 Mhz, 250 watts, for co-owned WKLQ-AM, Whitehall.

*The location of this proposed translator may be a typographical error, given the distance between the primary station and the translator location.

Other recent FCC Filings:

August 7:  Edgewater Broadcasting, Inc. filed an assignment application to transfer FM Translator W273CI (Grand Haven) to Smile FM.  The station will rebroadcast WMCQ-FM, Muskegon.

August 7:  Underwood V Radio, Inc. filed an application for license for low-power FM WFCB-LP (Ferndale).

August 7:  Family Life Broadcasting System was granted a license for FM Translator W284BQ (Detroit).  The license  covers a minor change application.

August 4:  Educational Media Foundation filed an application for license for FM Translator W262BD (Dimondale).  The license application follows minor change permit.   The translator rebroadcasts WWSJ-AM (St. Johns).

August 3:  Educational Media Foundation filed an application for license for non-commercial WAKL-FM (Flint).  The license application follows a minor change permit.

August 3:  Michigan Community Radio was granted a construction permit for changes for FM Translator W260CQ  (Plainfield Township).  The application is for an increase in ERP.

July 27:  AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC was granted a license to cover for WCMM-FM (Gulliver).  The station reduced its ERP.

Jacobs Media Presenting Email Marketing Webinar on Thursday

When: This Thursday, August 10,  2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT

Email can be a powerful marketing tool for radio stations, but many don’t have the manpower to take full advantage of it. In this webinar, Seth Resler will show you how to automate your email campaigns to save your staff time.

You’ll learn:

    • How to create an automated campaign to email out new website content
    • How to create an automated campaign to recycle older email content
    • How to increase registrations for your email database

The webinar is free.  Interested stations can register here.

Brian Abel Joins WXYZ

Brian Abel

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) announced that Brian Abel has joined the station as a reporter for “7 Action News This Morning.”

Abel comes to the station from E. W. Scripps’ sister station KSHB-TV in Kansas City.  There, Brian was the lead reporter during the station’s coverage of the 2016 election.

He also was assigned to stories picked up nationally, including the tragic death of a young boy on the nation’s tallest waterslide, the death of two firefighters battling an arson fire, a triple shooting in an Olathe bar investigated as a hate crime, a massive construction fire forcing the evacuation of an Overland Park neighborhood, devastating tornadoes and a Missouri bill to consider sex between legislators and lobbyists as a “gift.”

Prior to Kansas City, Abel was primary anchor for WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, N.D.

Abel was born and raised in the Grand Rapids suburb of Lowell. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in journalism.

GMR Extends Interim Music Licenses

On August 8, The Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) announced that music licensing firm Global Music Rights (GMR) has extended its interim licensing extension through March 31, 2018.

The original interim agreement was set to expire September 30,  2017.

RMLC’s antitrust litigation against GMR in Philadelphia remains ongoing and the RMLC asked GMR to offer extensions of its interim licenses.  Initially, GMR stated that it was willing to offer interim license extensions to all radio stations, except those that are “owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania.” As for these Pennsylvania-based entities, GMR stated (including on its website) that it would not do business with those entities after their current licenses expire.

After legal filings and discussions with GMR and the court, GMR has committed to the court that it would offer license extensions to all stations, including those “owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania” through March 31, 2018.

That means, despite anything to the contrary on GMR’s website, GMR has agreed to offer all U.S. commercial radio stations, including stations “owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania,” the opportunity to extend their existing interim licenses until March 31, 2018. GMR will offer these interim license extensions on the same terms (including price) as each station’s existing interim license, except for the new end date. If you wish to negotiate an extension of your interim license with GMR please contact GMR directly before your current license expires on September 30, 2017.

If GMR refuses to offer you an interim license extension on the same terms as your existing license, please let Bill Velez at the RMLC know so that we can address it with the Philadelphia court.

Velez can be reached at [email protected] or (615) 844-6260.

In the meantime, RMLC intends to continue to pursue its litigation against GMR.

WPHM’S Gilmer Retires

Bill Gilmer

Bill Gilmer, veteran broadcaster and News Director of Radio First’s WPHM-AM (Port Huron) has retired. His last day on the job was this past Friday, August 4 and that included a morning on-air retirement party hosted by WPHM Morning Host Paul Miller at Freighters Eatery & Taproom in Port Huron.  Gilmer was working right up to the end — he spent part of Thursday covering an event celebrating progress in restoring the St. Clair River.

Gilmer began his radio career in Port Huron in 1979 when he was hired by John Wismer at WHLS. He has been the director of the Blue Water Festival, former board president of Main Street Port Huron, a Port Huron City Council member and vice president of the Michigan Waterways Council of the the Girl Scouts of America.

“I got to go from records and chart machines to all digital equipment.  A lot of new knowledge in those years as far as the traditions of doing news and doing broadcasts on the radio,” Gilmer said in an interview with Port Huron’s “The Times-Herald.”

Gilmer said he will stay busy on the 10-acre farm in Wales Township he shares with Dr. Annette Mercatante, a medical health officer for St. Clair County.

Are you Registered Yet?

The 2017 MAB Advocacy Conference is less than two weeks away Time is running out to register to attend the annual business meeting, Advocacy sessions and Awards Banquet!


Are you registered to join the MAB on August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville?


This Advocacy Conference is designed to offer legislative insights on federal, state, political and issue advertising that could impact station’s bottom lines. You’ll hear from a line-up of top speakers, including:
  • Dr. Esther Thorson, MSU School of Journalism Professor and expert on “fake news” trends and news consumption patterns;
  • Rick Kaplan, General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Legal and Regulatory Affairs for the National Association of Broadcasters;
  • Rob Elhenicky, Partner & MAB Lobbyist with Kelly Cawthorne;
  • David Oxenford of Wilkinson Baker Knauer LLP.
  • John D. Pirich of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; and

The important Advocacy Conference is  FREE to MAB members. Register here

Left: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) / Right: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12)

The MAB is thrilled to welcome two Washington D.C. lawmakers home to Michigan as part of this year’s  Awards Banquet:

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will be honored with the MAB’s Lifetime of Distinguished Public Service Award.
  • Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12) will be a special guest at this year’s Banquet  to present the MAB Lifetime Achievement Award to 2017 honoree Marla Drutz, vice president and general manager at WDIV-TV (Detroit).

Other 2017 Awards Banquet honorees will include Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees Rob David of Handyman Productions, Erik Smith of WXYZ-TV (Detroit), and Radio Reader Dick Estell of WKAR (East Lansing), as well as Legacy Award recipient Linda Lee of WYCD-FM. Both Estell and Lee will be honored posthumously.

CMU Public Radio’s John Sheffler and Detroit Public Television supporter William H. Smith will be  honored with MAPB Public Media Impact Awards.

The annual MAB Awards Banquet is a fundraiser for the MAB Foundation, which awards more than $26,000 in scholarships to deserving broadcasting students each year.

Awards Banquet tickets are still available for $170 per person. Click here to reserve your tickets and be a part of the celebration.

We look forward to seeing you on August 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville!

WEMU Expands Local Content On Weekdays

Eastern Michigan University’s WEMU-FM (Ypsilanti) has announced that beginning August 6, the station will begin airing an extra hour of NPR’s Morning Edition with David Fair anchoring the additional hour of coverage from 9 to 10 a.m. with a focus on an expansion of local content.

The station reports that locally-produced Civic Matters with host Mary Morgan will be heard Monday at 9:50 a.m. Airing Tuesdays at 9:50 a.m.  will be a new feature with host Deb Polich titled creative:impact, which will explore how the creative industry helps keep the community moving forward. Wednesdays at 9:50 a.m., the station will air updates on their partnership with Concentrate Media’s On the Ground project currently underway in Ypsilanti.

Thursdays at 9:50 a.m. will feature a replay of WEMU’s long-time feature, Cinema Chat.  And, Art and Soul with Lisa Barry will be replayed Friday mornings at 9:50 a.m. while the station works on developing a feature focused on issues important to our community.

In a post on the station’s website, the move is being made for two reasons: to allow Music Director/On-Air Host Linda Yohn time to focus more on her transition to retirement and to bring listeners and supporters even more great local news content focused on topics that aren’t being covered thoroughly enough by other media.  Yohn will move to a 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. air shift while Michael Jewett will move to 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 pm.  Yohn announced her retirement in February, but will remain with the station until early December.

The Sales Contest

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 me tell you a story because that’s what I do.

Some of you will remember when I used to tour with Radio Sales $101. It was a one-day seminar for new radio advertising salespeople that cost $101.

Clever, huh?

We got a call from a budget challenged sales manager that went like this:

“We can’t afford to send our whole team to your seminar in Columbus. So we’re going to have a sales contest to see who gets to attend,” he said.

“I hope you’re planning on sending the loser,” I replied.

“We’re planning on sending the winner. Why would we send the loser?”

“Because the winner of your sales contest will have the least need for sales training,” I said. “And the loser will have the most need for the training.”

“But we reward people who sell well with extra training,” he objected.

I tried to reason with him one more time. “Why not reward the winner with a weekend at a nice hotel in the city and some theater tickets? Make the loser sit through six hours with me.”

There’s nothing wrong with training and retraining your best salespeople. The lapse in this sales manager’s logic was thinking of sales training is a reward for, and not a driver of, performance.

You can also be using your sales training program as a recruitment tool. Many entry level people want to know what you’re going to do to make them successful. Their friends are talking to them about the training they’re getting in their first jobs.

Ongoing learning should be part of your retention program, too. Market your sales learning program to your current team. Let them know that you have a budget for their ongoing development and how much it is.

Here’s why: When salespeople think of your sales department as a place to grow rather than just a place to work, they will stay with you longer.

Reprinted by permission

Social Media Is for Traffic Spurts; Google Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

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

When I talk to radio stations about ways to increase incoming traffic to their website content, they inevitably focus on social media. While social media is an important channel for driving people to your website, it’s only one of the channels available. Another equally (if not more) important channel is search engines — especially Google. Yet all too often radio stations overlook the importance of search engines.

There is a difference between the web traffic that comes from social media and the traffic that comes from search engines. In my experience, social media can result in erratic spikes when a blog post goes viral, but it’s difficult to predict or recreate. Search engine traffic, on the other hand, is steady and, over time, predictable.

On our website, Fred Jacobs writes a daily radio industry blog. From time to time, we invite guest authors to write a “Top 5” list for us. The feature, called “The Guest List,” has proven to be very popular. In fact, several of these guest posts have gone viral on social media immediately after being published.

But the Guest List post from morning DJ Sheri Lynch (WLNK/Charlotte) — one half the Bob & Sheri show — is different. In January, we published a column by Sheri titled, “The Top 5 Radio Topics That Get the Phones Ringing.” On the day it went live, it performed well. But then something unusual happened…

Several months later, Fred pointed out that the column was continuing to show up in our list of top posts. Every day, Sheri’s list would get several dozen pageviews. And to this day, while other posts come and go, Sheri’s shows remarkable consistency.

I dug a little deeper and discovered that the incoming web traffic for the post is coming from Google. People are searching for variations on “good phone topics for radio,” and Google is sending them to Sheri’s column.

While nobody knows exactly what Google’s search results algorithm is, we know it looks for signs that people like what they see when they click on a particular result (for example, a low bounce rate). Once Google determines that a particular piece of content does, in fact, do a good job of addressing people’s search queries, it continually sends people there. This is what is happening with Sheri’s post. Every day, Google sends more people to it.

Source: Google Analytics (Jan 1 – Aug 3, 2017)

Over time, that incoming traffic adds up. Sheri’s guest post is now our most popular blogpost for 2017 and our second most popular webpage behind our homepage. That trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

There’s a lesson in Sheri’s post: When you sit down to think about how you can drive more people to your radio station’s website, don’t focus solely on social media while forgetting about search engines. Social media can deliver a nice one-time boost, but for reliable traffic day in and day out, search engines are key.

You can find our Search Engine Optimization resources here.

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