Tag Archives: Issue 88

Help us kick off the MAB’s 70th Anniversary!  

The MAB Foundation is asking MAB members to donate $7 per month to help celebrate.  These donations will contribute to the continuation of the educational programs that have benefited Michigan broadcasters over the years.

For the price of one latte a month…YOU can help mold the future of our industry.

​The MABF sustains the longevity of the broadcast industry through education, awareness and resources as a stepping stone into the business.

Your gift to the MABF helps fund the future of the industry by educating and recruiting young, fresh, and talented people through career fairs, conferences, and award ceremonies. Your tax-deductible gift will help fund the future of broadcasting, think of it like life insurance for the industry.​

Go to  SEVENfor70.com to make your gift

The MAB is Here For You, Because of You

Peter Tanz

By: Peter Tanz,  MAB Chairman
Vice President, Midwest Communications (Kalamazoo)

We welcome in a New Year with excitement and anticipation.

THANK YOU  to everyone who volunteered in 2017, served on committees or boards, those who attended events or participated in MAB programs.  You are this association.  Without your participation,  ideas, financial and inventory support of the NCSA program, MAB would not exist.

With continued corporate consolidation, one might question the need for our state association. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters is concerned with YOU and your station(s) specifically.  Your personal success and the success of your station(s) in Michigan are the MAB’s main priority.

The MAB is the only association that advocates on your behalf to prevent onerous laws and taxes from impeding your ability to succeed on a state level.  MAB keeps you informed of these issues and helps to create a strong relationship with local and federal lawmakers.  The NAB depends on the MAB for the grassroots efforts to encourage and grow Michigan lawmaker relationships.

The advocacy, training and education offered by the MAB is to serve you, the members. If you have not paid your 2018 dues or if you are not airing the NCSA/PEP spots at the level you should (50 spots a month on every signal), realize that you may be limiting your station’s success.  All these services are available to you and your employees. (Click here to learn more about MAB member benefits.)  Be a proud member of the MAB.

This will be a very active political year. The Michigan House, Senate, Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State are up for election this year.  All U.S. House members (two open seats in Michigan) and one of our U.S. Senate seats are up for election in 2018.

The 2018  political season is the first where every station’s public file will be on-line and accessible by the public. There will be much outside interest in how you and your team handle political requests.

Your MAB will help you and your team accurately navigate all things political in 2018 with political advertising seminars and the MAB legal hotline.  This could be one of the busiest political advertising years in a long time.

The MAB and our Government Relations firm, Kelley-Cawthorne, keeps an updated list of candidates and issues on the members only section of the MAB website, MichMAB.com.  If you are a member and can’t remember your member password, call the MAB at 1-800-968-7622.

Finally, thank you to the dedicated staff at the MAB.  Our professional team diligently works every day to ensure the success of all MAB members. Michigan has one of America’s best state broadcast associations thanks to our experienced, hard working and wonderful team.

It is my honor to serve you as your Chairman and I look forward to working with you to make 2018 a GREAT New Year.

WKAR Presents PBS Kids Day on January 27

WKAR PBS Kids Day 2017. Photo credit: WKAR/MSU

WKAR Public Media is once again presenting PBS Kids Day this year, Saturday, January 27 at the WKAR studios in East Lansing.

This year, Kids Day will celebrate WKAR Family and the PBS Kids 24/7 channel first birthday.  The open house and party, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will feature lots of fun activities and games for kids:

  • Get Your Feet Wet LIVE with sister/brother duo Laura Sams and Robert Sams
  • Special address by Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO (10:30am)
    Splash and Bubbles!
  • WKAR’s own Curious Crew with host Dr. Rob Stephenson
  • Fun and resource sharing with family agencies from across the capital region

Last year, PBS Kids Day at WKAR had over 1,500 people attend.



Apple’s Podcast Analytics (Beta) Has Been Released. Here’s How to Access It.

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

For years, podcast analytics have been lacking. Podcasts are measured in terms of “downloads” — the number of times an audio file is downloaded from the podcast hosting service to a device. Of course, just because somebody has downloaded an episode, that doesn’t mean that they actually listened to it — or how much of the episode they listened to. While more downloads is obviously better, the podcasting world has been missing the metric that we in the radio industry call “Time Spent Listening.”

The reason for the missing TSL measurement is because podcasters get their stats from their hosting companies, not podcatchers. A hosting company, like Libsyn, Blubrry, Spreaker, Audioboom, et al., is the place where the podcast audio files live, much in the same way that GoDaddy is the place where website files live. But people don’t go to GoDaddy to access websites — they use a browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. In the same way, people don’t go to the podcast host to access podcasts; they use a podcatcher — an app that pulls the audio files from the host through an RSS feed. There are a number of podcatchers out there, such as Stitcher, Downcast, and Pocketcasts. But the big dog in this space is the Apple Podcasts app. In fact, roughly two thirds of all podcast listening happens through the Apple Podcasts app and iTunes. By comparison, the other podcatchers each capture a very small percentage of podcast listening.

For a hosting company like Libsyn or Blubrry to report to a TSL metric back to its clients, it needs to get that data back from the podcatchers. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t share its data. Without data from the biggest player in the space, there’s not much podcasters can do.

That’s why it was such a big deal when Apple announced at its Worldwide Developer Conference this summer that it would would introduce Podcast Analytics before the end of the year. Podcasters have been salivating at the idea of logging into their Apple Connect account and being able to see how long people are listening and when listenership drops off, allowing them to improve their podcasts.

Just in time for Christmas, Apple has now rolled out the Beta version of Podcast Analytics. If your radio station has submitted a podcast to Apple’s directory, you can now log in and see the stats:

  1. Log in at https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/.
  2. At the top, click on “My Podcasts,” and select “Podcast Analytics” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Explore.

Apple doesn’t use the term “Time Spent Listening.” Instead, it provides Total Time Listened (an aggregate number of all listening expressed in hours and minutes), Time Per Device (the average amount of time listened to per episode expressed in minutes), and Average Consumption (expressed as a percentage of the episode).

It also allows you to look at individual episodes as a graph to see where listeners are dropping off.

These new metrics could be a gamechanger for podcasting, providing potential advertisers with the information they want to see before sponsoring a podcast. Dive in!

Read more Apple’s New Podcast Analytics: First Impressions here.

Podcasting Guide
We’ve created a Podcasting Guide for Radio Stations to help your station launch its first podcast.  Get the guide here.

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

The Robinson Report – 2018

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

Start small – start now. This is much better than, “start big, start later.” One advantage is that you don’t have to start perfect. You can merely start – Seth Godin

Great things comes from small change.

We often mark the New Year as a harbinger for change.

Developing a habit often comes from slowly inching  past a fear.

And that could change everything.

As 2018 is here, start small.

Over seventy Robinson Reports have been published – one at a time.

Work toward fitness.

Toward writing that screenplay.

Toward launching that side business.

One step – one day at a time.

Need motivation?

Download THIS Nike poster from 25 years ago:

Do something for a day – see what happens.

Put a bunch of those days together – watch the journey becoming real.

Then – the light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter.

And doing so will change how the rest of the year plays out for you.

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].

WCSR’s Bob Flynn, Juli Morgan Go Bald for Charity

All photos courtesy of the Hillsdale Daily News.

On December 29, after promising station listeners that they would shave their heads if a goal of raising $15,000 from listeners for the Salvation Army was met, WCSR-AM/FM (Hillsdale) air personalities Bob Flynn and Juli Morgan did what they dubbed “Bob and Juli Go Britney 2007,” a reference to Britney Spears’ highly publicized buzz cut.

The station spent a day of Salvation Army bell ringing on December 15 and raised a total of  $18,091.10 in just six hours.  With additional corporate sponsorship the grand total raised was just shy of $24,000.

(L-R) WCSR’s Juli Morgan, Bob Flynn and Salvation Army Captain Sean Gray.

The station live-streamed the shaving event on Facebook.  Morgan donated her 12-plus inches of blonde hair to Children with Hair Loss,  a non-profit organization.  Flynn acknowledged on the station’s Facebook page that his hair would likely become bird nest building material!

Benton Harbor’s WIRX-FM Donates to MI JOURNEY

Midwest Family Broadcasting’s WIRX-FM, Rock 107 in Benton Harbor, has chipped in to help promote mental health in southwest Michigan.

On December 20,  Rock 107 Morning Host Brock Havens stopped by MI Journey in Benton Harbor to drop off a check for $2,400 to help run MI JOURNEY programs for those in Southwest Michigan who are struggling with mental illness.

“It’s going to help with our recovery programming because one thing that’s unique about MI JOURNEY  is that all staff have been there, have had serious mental illness and have gotten better,” said MI JOURNEY Executive Director Anna-Magdalena Christianson. “So we know what it’s like to be there, what it’s like to get better, and we’re kind of like guides.”

WIRX raised the money for MI Journey with its 3 Day Ride and Bike Bash this year.

WILX-TV’s Mike King Interviewed about Television’s Future on ‘MSU Today’

Mike King

By: Russ White, MSU Today

MSU alumnus Mike King is regional vice president for Gray Television and general manager of WILX-TV 10 in Lansing.

King recalls the limited options of the television world in the early ’80s when he entered the business and how the content options for consumers have exploded. “The content is still important,” says King. “The platform has really become more agnostic to us.”

Listen to the interview here:

King says Channel 10 now delivers its content through the web, mobile, Hulu, and Amazon. And local news is still important to people, and it’s something they find more difficult to find online.

“We are really focused on providing local content on multiple platforms. We’ve always been about content. Now instead of having one television signal we have multiple channels that we’re delivering to.”

King says WILX is now a multimedia marketing organization, not only one television signal. The goal is still to sell advertising, but “it’s not just about delivering TV commercials anymore. And consumers want to be reached via multiple platforms.”

King tells how ATSC 3.0 is a new delivery standard for television stations. “It will allow for more two-way interaction with consumers and slicing of the signal so we can deliver even more content over the same amount of bandwidth.

“To simply be in a one-channel advertising-supported business model isn’t sustainable any longer.”

So what and how will we be watching 5, 10 or 20 years from now?

“I wish I had a crystal ball. But as a company – Gray Television – we are going to be in the local news and content business. What I can’t answer is how you’re going to consume our content.”

For young people who want to get into broadcasting and communications, King says to be a good storyteller first and foremost.

“And you do need to understand how consumers are consuming the media. You can’t just go into broadcasting anymore. It’s really about figuring out the news and information people want in their lives and then understanding the multiple channels on which they want to receive that information.

“It’s about standing above the noise and staying on top of the rapid pace of technological change.”

WDIV-TV, Graham Media Group Launch Podcast Series

Roger Weber

On December 21, WDIV-TV and its parent company Graham Media Group launched a new podcast featuring “stories of the incompatible.”

Hosted by long-time TV reporter and anchor Roger Weber, “Mismatch” delves into stories where two people or things that are not suited to each other are together.​

Weber said that during his time as a reporter and anchor, he encountered people who didn’t line up with each other, circumstances or expectations.

“Mismatches create challenges and consequences,” he explained.​

Stories coming in Season 1 include the tragic love story of an heir to an automotive fortune and a woman with no money or social standing. The apparent mismatch ends with a terrible tragedy on the couple’s honeymoon.

Another episode includes how an interview between a baseball Hall of Famer and President Richard Nixon came to be, and also features a man who is contacted by a family that gave him up for adoption 38 years earlier.

Both episodes are available today on popular podcast apps and at: http://www.mismatchpodcast.com. Six more episodes will be released weekly starting Dec. 28.

“Mismatch” is produced in partnership with WDIV-TV, one of Graham Media Group’s seven TV stations. Joining forces with Weber is Zak Rosen, a Detroit-based producer who has lent his expertise producing and editing.

“When I use the word ‘podcast,’ most people under 40 know what I’m talking about,” Weber said. “On the other hand, my fellow Baby Boomers often react with a puzzled expression. They either don’t know what podcasts are, or they don’t know how to get them. The technology isn’t an obstacle. It’s a gateway to great storytelling. I can’t wait to share these stories and so much more.”

The new podcast, is part of Graham Media Group’s launch of its podcast division, which will offer compelling and original audio content across popular podcast services.

It’s convenient, and you can listen anytime, anywhere.

“We are excited to partner with our seven TV stations and other content producers to bring superior audio content to new audiences,” said Catherine Badalamente, Graham Media Group’s vice president of digital media. “This allows us to leverage our storytelling talent and community connections to bring listeners more of the content we know they love.”

Badalamente described Weber as a master storyteller.

“Roger is one of the all-time great storytellers,” she said. “For more than 40 years, he’s been skillful at telling the big stories with honesty and heart.”

Weber described “Mismatch” episodes as compelling, comical and, at times, inspiring.

“More often than not, interesting stories feature a mismatch,” Weber said.

Emily Barr, the president and CEO of Graham Media Group, said “Mismatch” and GMG’s new podcast division build on the company’s reputation for compelling storytelling.

“Our stations are the voices of our communities and full of smart and engaging storytellers,” said Barr. “Podcasts are a natural extension of what we are really good at doing. Graham Media Group has some great podcasts in the hopper. We are excited to share them.”

Go to mismatchpodcast.com to listen and to learn more.

WBCT-FM’s ‘The Canuck’ Dies in an Auto Accident

John Wiechenthal

On December 21, WBCT-FM (Grand Rapids) 19-year veteran part-time on-air personality  John “The Canuck” Wiechenthal died in an auto accident in Kentwood.  He was 39 years old.

“He was the guy you wanted to be around and you knew if you were going to be hanging out with him, you were going to have a great time.”  WBCT Program Director Dave Taft told WZZM-TV.

Taft and Wiechenthal have been friends for nearly two decades. Taft remembers when Wiechenthal was hired at B-93.

“He was one of those guys who just kept calling the radio station over and over, ‘I want to work there, I want to work there,’ to the point where he drove us crazy and we hired him just so he would stop calling,” he said.

Wiechenthal, a father of three, worked two jobs: as a full-time  dispatcher in Ionia County and as a part-time radio personality with B-93 for the past 19 years.

On B-93, Wiechenthal became known as “The Canuck.”

“He’s from up near the Toronto area so he had a love for his Toronto Blue Jays and definitely the Toronto Mapleleafs,” Taft said. “He would have been here Saturday night, 7 to midnight.”

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today, January 4, at Christ Lutheran Church (44th and Byron Center) in Wyoming. A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. on Friday, January 5, at the church.