Tag Archives: Issue 77

WYCD Teams Up With Red Cross

CBS Radio’s WYCD-FM (Detroit) has teamed up with the American Red Cross, supporting  its blood drive efforts for those who were injured in the Las Vegas and in need of support elsewhere.

Roxanne Steele, mid-day host on the station, told the Oakland Press, “Country music fans are uniting on social media with positive thoughts and prayers … (They) are some of the most devoted fans to their music I’ve ever known and I’ve worked all formats in radio. People are angry and sad but also still spreading love to stay positive and not let evil win.”

WKAR Announces NewsTalk and New Programming

WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University has announced the launch of WKAR NewsTalk, a fresh radio lineup of new shows and longtime favorites for newshounds, talk radio junkies and global citizens of Michigan’s Capital Region.

WKAR NewsTalk is heard on AM 870 during daylight hours and streaming around the clock on wkar.org. New additions to the schedule are Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, This American Life,
Hidden Brain and It’s Been a Minute.

“There’s a growing audience for fact-based news and reasoned talk that explores the complex issues we face today,” said Peter Whorf, WKAR Radio Station Manager. “This new lineup showcases the journalistic excellence of the BBC and NPR, combined with the analysis and deep-dive conversations of brand new programs such as Shankar Vedantam’s Hidden Brain and Sam Sanders’ It’s Been a Minute. I’m especially eager to share with our listeners the
premieres of NPR’s newest offerings.”

The nation’s best mix of classical music, plus local and NPR news, continues to be heard on 90.5 FM in the Capital Region. Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! and This American Life have also been added to the 90.5 FM schedule.

This American Life presents news stories on a weekly theme, with an occasional comedy routine thrown in. The show airs on WKAR NewsTalk Saturdays at noon and on 90.5 FM Fridays at 6 p.m.

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is NPR’s weekly hour-long quiz program, hosted by Peter Sagal. Each week listeners test their knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what’s real news and what’s made up. The show airs on WKAR NewsTalk Sundays at 2 p.m. and on 90.5 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.

It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders provides an irreverent, casual space for listeners trying to keep up with the pace of current events. Sanders talks with journalists, newsmakers, and listeners about news, popular culture, and the internet — stories big and small, about all subjects, with equal vigor and interest. The show airs on WKAR NewsTalk Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m.

Hidden Brain uses science and storytelling to help curious people understand the world, current events and themselves. Hosted by popular Morning Edition contributor Shankar Vedantam, the show airs on WKAR NewsTalk Saturdays at 1 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

WKAR NewsTalk continues to be the Capital Region destination for BBC Newshour, BBC World, Current State with Reginald Hardwick, Current Sports with Al Martin, Ondas En Español with El Chayo, plus Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Listeners in East Lansing and Meridian Township can now tune in to WKAR NewsTalk 24 hours day, thanks to an FCC project aimed at enabling AM stations to broadcast at night using FM translators. For those in range (an estimated 50,000 listeners) the service can be heard on 94.5 FM.

The Robinson Report: The 2.5 Million Dollar Day

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.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare to win” -General George Patton

July 5, 2008.

The Williams sisters had three short hours for both their emotions and muscles to recover.

Previously that morning, Venus dispatched Serena in short order for her fifth Wimbledon Singles Title.

Later that same day, the sisters would also take the Women’s Doubles Title.

During their win, NBC’s John McEnroe remarked that with a Williams’ triumph, collectively the girls would walk away with a 2.5 million dollar day.

The money was right.

Wrong to assume their paycheck involved – just this one day.

That day – THAT day had years behind it.

Invisible is the sprout of their journey – the thousands of balls pounded on the Compton public tennis courts or the years of adjustments to refine their game.

Just as Brooks Koepka stunned the golfing world this Father’s Day, tying a US Open record while raking in a record $2.1 million day.

THAT day – arrived only after hundreds of range and weight room hours while pounding the field on The European Challenge Tour.

Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Ryan Seacrest – all have landed record contracts.

From the will to prepare for their big paycheck.


It’s a discipline that still evades media – on all sides of the building.

Run an off-air ‘scrimmage’ with a new player before exposing them to air.


Seller in front of a BIG pitch – practice that presentation before the client meeting.


The often-used quote from General George Patton – eludes media.

Practice.  Practice. Practice.

Those Williams Sisters?

They grabbed their sixth Wimbledon title last year.

YOUR ‘million-dollar-day’ awaits – after in putting the preparation to arrive there.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top Three of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink and he has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin was a featured speaker at the 2017 Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) in Lansing.  He lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or [email protected].

Regular Television Viewing Up by an Hour

A new study by JD Power shows that while consumers are satisfied with over-the-top streaming TV services compared with traditional cable TV offerings, they also are spending nearly an hour more a week watching regularly scheduled programming than they did two years ago.

The research also found that destination TV viewing has reached a three-year high. Despite growing satisfaction with streaming video services and widespread use of DVR and video on-demand, JD Power discovered that the number of hours spent watching regularly scheduled television programs has increased by nearly an hour between 2015 and 2017.

In a typical week, households have spent an average of 17.4 hours watching regularly scheduled programming this year, up from 16.6 in 2015. Reinforcing this trend, the survey also found that the percentage of customers planning to cut the cord on pay-TV during the next 12 months has declined to 8 percent from 9 percent in 2016.

Read more here.

Preparing Future Broadcasters: WDIV’s Mara MacDonald will Address Students as BCBC’17 Keynote Speaker

The MAB Foundation is excited to announce that Mara MacDonald, Reporter at WDIV-TV (Detroit), will address students as the Keynote Speaker at this year’s Broadcast Career Builder Conference (BCBC) on November 10. Mara’s experience as a reporter and her love of Michigan, combined with her ability to dig up the truth and hard hitting interview skills, make her the perfect person to address the future broadcasters that attend BCBC.

BCBC ’17 is quickly approaching! The MAB Foundation is looking forward to meeting future broadcasters and educating students about our exciting field. This conference is definitely one of our favorites because it gets both students and current broadcasters involved in the learning experience.

Make sure your students know about and plan to attend this important career building conference!


Friday, November 10
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Lansing Community College – West Campus
5708 Cornerstone Dr., Lansing

Early registration is only $20 until October 27!
($35 after October 27) and includes lunch!

Register for BCBC 2017 HERE and check out the full event schedule at MyBCBC.com.

Are you interested in getting involved with BCBC?  We’re looking for Speed Networkers!  Contact Jacquelen Timm, [email protected], to learn more and sign up!


“Sitting in the WDIV lobby, waiting for my job interview, I was the most nervous I’d been in my entire life. I’d been considering a network job when the call came from Local 4. This was home. I was born here and grew up here and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, coming home to work on the #1 station is exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.

“When they inevitably asked why they should hire me, I gave them 2 reasons: my family is here and I’d rather be dipped in a vat of hot oil than embarrass them and what happens here matters to me, it’s not just another story.

“That was 2004 and after my first week, Devin Scillian looked at me and said ‘It’s like you’ve always been here.’

“I graduated from the Detroit Country Day School — Go Yellowjackets! And went on to get my degree in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I then started working my way up the ladder in TV with stops at WLNS in Lansing, WRIC in Richmond, Va., and WITI in Milwaukee, Wisc. I won a slew of awards along the way.

“People ask me about my first name all the time. Mara is a Latvian name. She’s a goddess in Latvian mythology. Not a surprising pick since my dad is an immigrant from Latvia. If you ever see us out and about and hear an unfamiliar language, we’re speaking Latvian. I’m on Facebook, and @maramacdonald on Twitter where in between tweets on the news of the day you may just spy a couple in Latvian.”


  • Favorite vacation spot in Michigan: Bay Harbor
  • Favorite book: Can’t narrow it down to one but love everything from To Kill A Mockingbird to Game of Thrones
  • Favorite movie: Anything 007
  • Favorite Song: Pearl Jam’s cover of The Who classic “Reign O’er Me”

FCC Reminder to Video Programming Distributors – Including Broadcasters – on Accessibility Obligations

David Oxenford - Color
David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

With the recent hurricanes and the tragedy in Las Vegas, the FCC Public Notice issued last week reminding all video programmers of the importance of making emergency information accessible to all viewers seems very timely. The public notice serves as a good refresher on all of the obligations of video programmers designed to make emergency information available to members of the viewing audience who may have auditory or visual impairments that may make this information harder to receive. As the FCC also reminds readers of its notice of the ways in which to file complaints against video programming distributors who do not follow the rules, TV broadcasters need to be extremely sensitive to all of these requirements.

What are these obligations? These are some of the obligations highlighted by the FCC’s reminder:

  • For persons who are visually impaired, rules require that emergency information that is visually provided in a newscast also be aurally described in the main audio channel of the station.
  • When emergency information is provided outside of a newscast (e.g. in a crawl during entertainment programming), that information must be accompanied by an aural tone and then an audio version of the emergency information must be broadcast on a secondary audio channel (SAP channel) of a TV station at least twice. See our articles here, here and here about this obligation.
  • For persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Commission requires that emergency information provided in the audio portion of a broadcast also be presented visually, through methods including captioning, crawls or scrolls that do not block any emergency information provided through other visual means (like other captions or crawls).
  • For stations that are permitted to use electronic newsroom technique (ENT) captions, where ENT does not provide captions for breaking news and emergency alerts, stations must make emergency information available through some other visual means. See our post here on this obligation.
  • The FCC suggests, but does not require, that stations make emergency information available through multiple means (maps, charts and other visual information) and in plain language, so that all viewers can understand the nature of any emergency.

Emergency information is described broadly as information “intended to further the protection of life, health, safety and property, i.e., critical details regarding the emergency and how to respond to the emergency.” The FCC gives the following examples of the types of emergencies that may be covered: “tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes, icing conditions, heavy snows, widespread fires, discharge of toxic gases, widespread power failures, industrial explosions, civil disorders, school closings and changes in school bus schedules resulting from such conditions, and warnings and watches of impending changes in weather.” Note that, for the school closings and bus route changes, the FCC has, for now, exempted this information from the requirement that crawls be converted to audio for the SAP channel, given the likely length that such messages would take (see our article here). The kinds of details that trigger these obligations include the areas that will be affected by the emergency, evacuation orders, detailed descriptions of areas to be evacuated, specific evacuation routes, approved shelters or the way to take shelter in one’s home, instructions on how to secure personal property, road closures and how to obtain relief assistance.”

The Commission notes that, in wide-spread emergencies like a hurricane, notices may need to be provided far beyond the local area directly hit by the emergency, as other areas can also be affected by the event.

Paying attention to the rules highlighted here and provided in more detail in the FCC’s Public Notice are very important, not just as it is important for broadcasters to serve all members of the public in their viewing areas, but also because there has been active enforcement in this area. The enforcement of these rules do not appear to be a partisan issue, as certain accessibility obligations have even be made more stringent during the term of this administration otherwise noted for its deregulation in other areas. So pay attention to this important reminder from the FCC.

David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline. Access information here. (Members only access).

There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your MAB membership.

FCC Considers Dropping Paper Copy Rule

The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that eliminates rules requiring broadcast and cable entities to keep paper copies of FCC rules. Currently, the FCC has rules that require low power TV, TV and FM translator, TV and FM booster stations and cable television relay station (CARS) licensees to maintain paper copies of commission rules.

In announcing the NPRN, the FCC said: “Because the rules are now readily accessible online, many parties believe that the paper copy requirements are outdated and unnecessarily burdensome. While regulated entities still would be required to be familiar with the rules governing their services, elimination of the paper copy requirements would give them flexibility to determine how to fulfill that obligation.”

This rulemaking is part of the Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative that the FCC launched “to reduce unnecessary regulation that can stand in the way of competition and innovation in media markets.”

FCC Chair Calls on Apple to Activate FM Chips

Ajit Pai

According to a report in InsideRadio, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called for Apple to activate the inactive FM chips in the company’s iPhones to promote public safety. The call comes in the aftermath of the hurricanes that ravaged the coastal United States.

The tech titan is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted turning on the chips that enable FM radio signals to be received over the air.

“I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria,” Pai said in a statement.

Cumulus Re-Signs Robby Bridges in Detroit

Robby Bridges

Cumulus Media has announced that it has re-signed Robby Bridges as Director of FM Programming in Detroit.  Bridges oversees WDRQ-FM, WDVD-FM, Classic Country WDRQ-HD2 and is also heard afternoons on WDVD.

Cumulus/Detroit Operations Manager Mike Wheeler told All Access, “Robby is an ideal programming partner. He lives and breathes these radio stations, and that love shows in what comes out of the speakers and in the quality of the team he’s built.”

Bridges said, “These are very special radio stations powered by a very special team of people! It’s kind of crazy to think that this spring, I will mark four years in Detroit, ten with Cumulus and 25 in radio.  What a journey!”

Bill to Ban Medical Marijuana Billboard Advertising Passes Committee

The State Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation that bans billboard advertising for medical marijuana. Senator Rick Jones (R-24), Senate Judiciary Committee chair and bill sponsor, said in a press release that the legislation is in line with a similar ban on tobacco billboard advertising.  SB 463 bans billboards for medical marijuana, dispensaries and businesses that provide access to the drug and imposes minimum penalties of $5,000 per each day of violation. The bill now goes to the full Senate committee chamber for a vote.