WWTV/WWUP, WTCM Team Up for JOBFest

On April 3, WWTV/WWUP-TV (Cadillac) and WTCM-FM (Traverse City) teamed up to present TC JOBfest, “the largest employee recruiting event ever held in Northern Michigan.” The event was free for job-seekers and open to the public. The media partnership offered the ability to advertise widely on both television and radio, reaching Up North audiences eager to apply for a diverse range of skilled positions.  The event was open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and was held at the Park Place Hotel and Conference Center.

Over 600 job-seekers from around the Traverse City area visited to meet local employers currently hiring for hundreds of positions, in fields ranging from construction and manufacturing to the military and the medical field.

A total of 30 area businesses were represented at this first-ever JOBfest event in Traverse City, all of which are looking to fill skilled positions with local workers.

During the event, candidates were able to connect with hiring employers and learn about employee benefits, healthcare packages, and workplace culture. There was even an open conference room at JOBfest for employers to use for interviewing exceptional applicants on-site. Northwest Michigan Works! was also present helping prospective employees write cover letters and update their resumes on the spot.

J. Steele Joins 105.1 The BOUNCE

J. Steele

Beasley Media Group, LLC; a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. announces J. Steele has been named as the new afternoon drive personality at WMGC-FM (Detroit), 105.1 The BOUNCE. He will begin his new position on April 22.

Steele most recently served as the program director and afternoon drive host at WAMO-FM in Pittsburgh.

“We are very impressed with J’s experience in this format and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit,” said 105.1 The BOUNCE Program Director John Candelaria. “His passion and skill sets are a perfect fit. The BOUNCE is fortunate to have J. on board. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.”

“When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list,” said Vice President and Market Manager Mac Edwards. “After having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success for 105.1 The BOUNCE.”

“This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid,” said Steele. “I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves in the Motor City for this incredible radio station. I am very grateful to John Candelaria and Mac Edwards for this opportunity to make Detroit BOUNCE!”

Mary Conway, Vickie Thomas, Kathy Barks Hoffman Welcomed Into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame

Former WXYZ-TV (Detroit) reporter Mary Conway and WWJ-AM (Detroit) reporter Vickie Thomas and former “Off the Record” panelist Kathy Barks Hoffman were among seven news professionals inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame during a special ceremony at Michigan State University in East Lansing on April 14.

Mary Conway

Mary Conway spent 29 years at WXYZ reporting on local and national stories including Nelson Mandela’s visit to Detroit, the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler and the elevation of Cardinal Adam Maida in Rome. During her career, she covered every U.S. president from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a reporter at WIFR in Rockford, Illinois, before joining WZZM in Grand Rapids as an anchor and reporter. Three years later she joined WXYZ and became the station’s primary automotive reporter – one of only a few women in a male-dominated field. Conway developed her passion for cars at an early age, learning from her father, who ran a gas station not far from where she grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. Her passion and knowledge of the industry led her to become one of the top automotive reporters in the city and the country.

“We are so proud of Mary Conway and this well-deserved honor,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD vice president and general manager. “Mary was an incredible reporter whose work earned her the trust of top automotive executives and praise from both her colleagues and viewers.”

Vickie Thomas

Vickie Thomas is the City Beat Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950. She attended Michigan State University and graduated cum laude from Wayne State University. Since joining WWJ Newsradio 950 in 1991, she has earned from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists. She also has received the national “Gabriel Award” from UNDA-USA for the WWJ Black History Month Series “The African-American Church: The Heart and Soul of Metro Detroit’s Black Community”. Thomas is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and started a scholarship and internship program for college students interested in the field of broadcast news, while serving as vice president of the local chapter. She also sits on the boards of the Midwest Aids Prevention Project (MAPP) and CASA Maria Family Services.

“For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit,” Entercom Detroit SVP/Market Manager Debbie Kenyon said. “Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.”

Kathy Barks Hoffman

Kathy Barks Hoffman currently is Vice President with PR firm Martin Waymire. She was formerly the head of AP’s Lansing Bureau and was a reporter for The Detroit News and Lansing State Journal.  She also spent many years as a panelist on public television’s “Off the Record” public affairs program. Before joining Martin Waymire, Kathy was a director in the Public Affairs Practice of Lambert, Edwards and Associates in Lansing.

In a Twitter post, Hoffman said, “I’m so honored to have been accepted this year, and to be among so many other great journalists who will be inducted this year.”

Other 2019 Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame inductees included former Lansing State Journal  reporter/columnist John Schneider, former Automotive News Publisher/Editor Peter Brown, former Detroit Free Press photographer Mary Schroeder and the late Detroit Free Press restaurant critic Sylvia Rector.

City of Norway Honors ‘The First Voice of WJNR’

Aaron Harper

On April 15, the Norway City Council recognized retired broadcast journalist Aaron Harper for his programming and community involvement with a resolution of appreciation.

Harper was the first employee and news director at WJNR-FM (Iron Mountain) and well known as “The First Voice of WJNR.”  Harper retired in January from WHTO-FM/WJNR-FM/WOBE-FM.

According to an article in the Iron Mountain Daily News, Norway City Manager Ray Anderson congratulated Harper on his “well-deserved” retirement, saying the community will miss hearing his voice in the news.  Mayor Candy Brew added, “He did a fine job for many years.  I hope he has a great retirement.”

Also planned is an Aaron Harper Day celebration on Sunday, April 28, at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds in Norway.

Do you know about Broadcast Compliance?

When you need to recruit candidates for an open position, Broadcast Compliance Services lets you determine precisely where your job postings go on a local, regional or national level. Then you can easily monitor, document and report your EEO efforts. The BCS system even helps you complete the FCC’s electronic filing form.

Broadcast Compliance Service provides you with access to thousands of contacts nationwide. These resources are updated on a regular basis by a staff dedicated to making this the most current database available for EEO purposes. Plus, you can add your existing resources to this database and know that they will be updated.

And … it’s FREE for MAB Members!

Find out more information HERE (Must have password to access).

Meet your MAB Foundation Board Member of the Week: Wendy Hart

Wendy Hart

Wendy Hart is Vice President of Operations for Spartan Sports Network, Inc., the state of Michigan’s largest and most listened to sports network.  Hart helped found the Network in the early 1990s and is responsible for day-to-day operations and corporate strategy, strategic direction and branding.  She oversees the development and implementation of digital media platforms and sports broadcast operations. She also co-owns WGHN-AM/FM  (Grand Haven) and is a member of the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. A graduate of Illinois State University with a B.A. in Mass Communications, Hart resides with her family in Haslett.

Here’s What I Look for When I First Look at a Radio Station’s Website

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, Fred Jacobs pops into my office and asks me to take a quick look at a radio station’s website to see what I think. When I’m doing a five-minute diagnosis of a website, here’s what I look for:

1. Is it built in WordPress?
I always start by pulling up the station’s website and taking a look under the hood. In my Google Chrome browser, I go to View > Developer > View Source. This allows me to see the HTML code for the website. I search the page for “wp-.” If the site is built in WordPress, there will be multiple instances of “wp-.”

A radio station website doesn’t need to be built in the WordPress platform to succeed, but it does need to be built in a Content Management System (CMS) platform. A CMS makes it easy for radio stations to consistently publish new content. WordPress just happens to be the most popular CMS platform.

2. Does it have Google Analytics installed?
While I’m poking around the HTML, I also search the page for “ua-.” If I come across some code that looks like this…

<!– Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics –>
<script async src=”https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-XXXXXXX-X”></script>
<script>
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
gtag(‘js’, new Date());

gtag(‘config’, ‘UA-XXXXXXX-X’);
</script>

… then I know that the site has Google Analytics installed on it. This is a good sign — it means that the station has the ability to collect data about how visitors are using the website. Of course, whether anybody is actually looking at that data or not is a separate question.

3. Do they publish original content on a regular basis?
Next, is the radio station creating original content on a regular basis? Sometimes, the homepage will have a blog or news section on it; sometimes, I’ll have to search through the main menu to find it. If I find a blog or news section, I check to see whether they are creating original content on a local level or simply importing it from a national service. I also check to see how often new posts are published. And I take a quick look to see how good the content is: Are the headlines well written? Is there just an embedded video or audio file with no text description?

4. Is it obvious where this radio station is and what they play?
One of the best ways to see how good your station’s website performs is to run a usability test on it. At this point, I’ve run usability tests on enough radio station websites that I know some common issues to look out for.

One common issue is that the website does not make it clear where the radio station is, what type of programming the station airs, or even that it’s a radio station at all. When somebody tunes in to your station on the radio, of course they know what city it’s in — they’re in the same city!

But website visitors can come to your website from anywhere in the world. Often, they come by clicking on a link found on social media or in search engine results. So don’t assume that people who come to your website know what the radio station is all about. The homepage — especially the header — needs to make it very clear.

5. Is the language in the menu clear?
Another common issue that shows up in website usability tests is vague or confusing language in the main menu. For example, some stations will use the term “On Air” when they should use “DJs” (after all, aren’t the commercials and the music also “on air”?). Others will have a link for “Concerts” and another link for “Events” (aren’t concerts also events?).

Here are some common menu mistakes that I look for.

6. Are there clear calls to action?
The most important question you can ask when it comes to your radio station’s digital strategy is this: “When people come to our website, what do we want them to do?” I can usually tell if a station has asked this question just by looking at the site. Sometimes, they will be driving me to clear call to action, such as a big red “Listen Now” button or an email newsletter registration form.

Unfortunately, most radio station websites don’t steer me towards a few clear actions. Instead, they are cluttered with too much content, too many links, and too many choices. This is a sign that even if a radio station’s website is good at attracting visitors, it’s not very good at converting them. The station needs to set clear website goals.

By asking these questions, I can usually get a good sense of how a radio station’s website is performing. Yes, I always want to spend more time diving deeper into analytics before making a complete diagnosis, but this will do in a pinch.

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

Hoadley To Challenge Upton in 6th Congressional District

State Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-60)

State Representative Jon Hoadley (D-60) announced he is running for the 6th Congressional House District in Michigan which is currently held by Congressman Fred Upton (R-6). Upton held this seat since 1986.

Traditionally, Michigan’s 6th Congressional is a Republican seat; however, Upton’s 2018 win was very close: 50.2 percentage compared to 45.7 percent of the vote for the Democratic challenger.

Hoadley currently serves as the minority vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee. He is in his third term in the House, so he cannot seek re-election for the 60th House District in 2020.

FCC Seeks Comments on Proposal to Allow All-Digital AM Radio Transmission

David Oxenford - Color
David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

On April 11, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the receipt of the Petition for Rulemaking asking that the FCC allow AM stations the option to operate an all-digital facility. We wrote about that Petition here. Currently, AM digital operations are allowed only in a hybrid mode – where the station transmits both an analog and a digital signal. Proponents of the all-digital operation argue that the full digital operation allows for better reception and increased stability of the transmission, and submit that it is time for stations that are willing to transmit in this better system to be allowed to do so without having to seek experimental authority – the only way in which an all-digital AM transmission is now allowed.

Some have suggested that, in order for the FCC to move this proposal forward on a timely basis, industry support is needed. Comments on this Petition for Rulemaking, specifically seeking comments on allowing operation in the MA3 All-Digital Mode of HD Radio, are due on May 13. If you are interested in having the option to operate an all-digital AM station, comments urging the FCC to move forward on this Petition should be filed by that deadline. Once comments are received, the FCC will consider them and, if they sense enough industry support, they will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking additional comments on rules for implementing this proposal. FCC approval for an all-digital AM service will not happen overnight, but this Public Notice and the comments due in May are certainly the first step in this evolution of AM radio.

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.