On May 14, the MAB hosted its annual State Capitol Advocacy Day, an event that brought many broadcasters to Lansing to meet with the state lawmakers on the issues affecting our industry.
Overall, MAB members met with 54 legislative offices during the Advocacy Day.
We discussed the need to reform public notice, our support for legislation to create open records for the State Legislature and the Governor’s office, updated the state legislature on the spectrum repacking efforts. The MAB also hosted a legislative lunch for the lawmakers and staff.
Looking for a brief explanation of the online public inspection file and Quarterly Issues Programs List, and how they will be viewed in connection with the upcoming license renewal cycle – including the potential fines for violations of the rules? The Indiana Broadcasters has just released this video of me discussing those issues available here.
We have written in more depth about these issues, including our discussion of the importance of the online public file for the renewal process (here and here), the importance of Quarterly Issues Programs lists (here) and the required content of the online public file (here and here). With the license renewal filing process starting for radio stations in June (see the schedule of filing for stations, which is done on a state by state basis, here) and for TV a year later, these obligations, while basic, are very important. So if you have questions about these issues, check out these resources, and contact your own legal advisor for more information.
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.
#MABsummer registration is now open. Hotel block room rates expire July 8. Learn more, register for the conference and reserve your room at MABsummer.com
Walberg is currently serving his sixth term in Congress as the representative of south-central Michigan. The diverse constituency of Michigan’s 7th District encompasses Branch, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, and Monroe Counties, along with parts of Washtenaw County. Since first taking office, he has hosted hundreds of coffee and town hall meetings to better understand the thoughts and concerns of the district.
Prior to his time in public office, Walberg served as a pastor in Michigan and Indiana, as president of the Warren Reuther Center for education and Community Impact, and as a division manager for Moody Bible Institute. He also served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983 to 1999, and is proud to bring his reputation as a principled legislator, fiscal reformer, and defender of traditional values to Washington.
In the 116th Congress, Walberg serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.
He and his wife, Sue, have been married for over 40 years, and enjoy spending time outdoors and riding on their Harley. They live in Tipton, Michigan, where they raised their three children: Matthew, Heidi and Caleb.
Julie Brinks serves as Vice President and General Manager of WOOD-TV (NBC), WOTV-TV (ABC) and WXSP-TV (My Network) and associated digital services including woodtv.com and wotv4women.com, serving Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.
Brinks has accumulated over 30 years of experience in local and national sales management, local programming and content, new business development, operations and strategic planning across multiple media platforms. Prior to joining Nexstar, Brinks served as General Manager of KOHD-TV (ABC) and KBNZ-LD (CBS) in Bend, Oregon, where she focused on brand development, local content leadership and excellence in viewer and client experience. During her tenure, she oversaw the launch of the stations’ news programming, managing all aspects of local branding, creative development, news set construction and talent recruitment.
Brinks has also held a position as Principal Consultant for Vici Media where she provided strategic direction, digital marketing and revenue development services to broadcast groups and individual stations as well as VP / General Manager of KGUN-TV (ABC), KWBA-TV (CW) and four radio properties in Tucson-Sierra Vista, Arizona. Additionally, she served as VP / General Manager of WPBN-TV (NBC) and WTOM-TV (NBC) in Traverse City- Cadillac, Michigan, where she developed and led highly effective teams and implemented sales, marketing and digital media initiatives.
Brinks earned her Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts from Central Michigan University and is also a graduate of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation’s Broadcast Leadership Training (BLT) program. She has been a member of Rotary International and served on numerous community boards including the American Red Cross, Junior Achievement and City Club of Bend. She also worked as Chair of American Heart Association’s “Go Red” for Women and was a founding member of Haven Totes, Inc., a Tucson-based organization that provides life essentials for children and families in need.
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
Chances are that most radio program directors in America can rattle off their latest ratings numbers without having to look them up. Whether it’s 12+ numbers or a specific demo, we usually know exactly how the station is performing at any given time.
But do you know how your station is doing digitally?
Here are four numbers that every radio program director should know off the top of their head:
1. Number of Unique Website Visitors
You know the size of your on-air audience, but do you know the size of your online audience? You should. While it’s good to check your Google Analytics stats on a weekly basis, comparing this number of monthly visitors over a year or more will give you a better sense of the larger trend. Hint: The number should be going up.
Also Good to Know: Where that traffic is coming from, and what your most visited web pages are.
2. Number of Email Addresses in the Database
Everybody always wants to talk about social media because it’s sexier, but the email database is the tried-and-true stalwart of online marketing. If you have 20,000 active users in your email database, you know that you can reach those people. If you have 20,000 fans of your Facebook page, your reach is still subject to the whims of Mark Zuckerberg’s algorithm. Know the database, grow the database.
Also Good to Know: The Open Rate, Bounce Rate and Unsubscribe Rate.
3. Total Streaming Hours
One of the most important actions a visitor to your website can take is to click the “Listen Now” button and stream your radio station. Of course, they can stream other ways as well — through your mobile app, on a smart speaker, via TuneIn, etc. Just as you want to track how much people are listening to your station over the air, you also want to know how much they’re listening online.
Also Good to Know: The number of Unique Listeners.
4. Number of Mobile App Installs
It’s a mobile world, baby. People carry their phones at their sides 24/7, so you want to make sure your station is on them. Know how many people have downloaded your app because it can have a significant impact on your listenership.
Also Good to Know: The number of Sessions (i.e., not just how many people have your app, but how often they’re using it).
For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.
Alpha Media’s WSGW-AM (Saginaw) has announced that its long-running Listen to the Mrs. Show, on the air for 66 years, is becoming a podcast. Station News Director Ann Williams and Talk Host Art Lewis will continue to host the show, which focuses on food, including recipes and cooking tips and lifestyle topics.
Operations Manager Dave Maurer said, “While we still like to hear from people raving about a great dish they had and sharing the recipe, the days of listeners calling to ask if we have a meatloaf recipe have given way to the internet browser. Our new approach is sharing food trends, new cooking methods, and lifestyle information.”
Maurer said that Lewis has wanted to take the show national but, “The cost of satellite time and finding affiliates was a daunting task. Now, through podcasting, we can go beyond a local and national audience and reach all over the world through the Internet.”
Alpha Media Regional Director of Engineering Geary Morrill, based in Saginaw, was the featured guest this week on Kirk Harnack’s TWiRT (This Week In Radio Tech) Podcast, discussing the rise of his career beginning in the ’70s and the process today of finding, hiring and training new engineers.
Special thanks to Kirk Harnack for sharing. You can find the TWiRT podcast library here (it is a wealth of great tech information and ideas).
How did we broadcast engineers learn our craft? What experiences, resources, and people helped become broadcast engineering professionals? Geary Morrill got started with the likes of Steve Church, Vern Post, and Dave Gorman. Now Geary joins us with ideas and solid advice for finding and encouraging the next generation of audio, video, RF, and IT engineers.
On Wednesday, Cadillac-based Freelancer Television, licensee of two LPTV stations and NewsNet, broke ground on an expansion to it studios in Michigan.
The 3,500 square foot addition will consist of three studios, each with their own control rooms, as well as a new, state-of-the-art master control room overseeing the operations of both NewsNet and Freelancer Television Broadcasting’s local stations, WMNN and WXII-LP. NewsNet promotes itself as the 24-hour news network focused on delivering headlines without talk and opinion-based programming.
Since launching on January 1, NewsNet has operated out of those stations’ existing studios. A combination of factors led to the decision to add additional studio space to the company’s 2,200 square foot building.
“When we launched NewsNet, we wanted to operate ‘lean and mean’ from the existing facilities of our local TV stations with the idea that we would add additional space once the network was on-air,” explained Eric Wotila, President of NewsNet. “Now that we’re up and running, we’re thrilled to be moving forward with this new addition, which will benefit NewsNet as well as our local stations.”
Staff at NewsNet are excited about the construction of the new studios. “I think it will really benefit our ability to gather news and present it in an efficient manner,” said NewsNet Anchor/Producer Remington Hernandez. “Space has always been an issue but with more space we’ll be able to efficiently produce more content.”
“It’s amazing how much we’ve grown over this short time,” explained NewsNet Chief Meteorologist Morris Langworthy. “I’m very excited that we’re more than doubling the size of our workspace, and I’m eager to explore the potential the new space holds.”
NewsNet’s new studios are expected to be completed and on-air this fall.
At a banquet held May 2, the Detroit Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ Detroit) announced winners of its 2019 Excellence in Journalism Awards.
Broadcast winners for various stories include Detroit Public Television, WDET-FM (Detroit), WJR-AM (Detroit), WJBK-TV (Detroit) and WXYZ-TV (Detroit). A complete list of winning entries with comments from the judges is available for download here.
In addition, the chapter announced that Lindsey Smith and Kate Wells of Michigan Radio were 2018 Journalists of the Year.
In a release, SPJ Detroit said “Lindsey Smith and Kate Wells have continually demonstrated a strong commitment to quality journalism, attention to detail, energy and absolute enthusiasm about their work. They also have the ability to develop sources on complicated stories, treat victims sensitively and tell difficult stories with a sensitive, yet compelling narrative style. The talents of their partnership can he heard in the podcast series Believed.
Beasley Media Group announced May 9 that Heidi Raphael has been promoted to the position of Chief Communications Officer at the company.
Raphael, who joined Beasley Media Group in May of 2017, most recently served as the Vice President of Corporate Communications. Previously, she held the position of Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Greater Media, Inc., where she spent 20 years prior to the company being sold to Beasley Media Group.
“Heidi has proven time and time again that she is most deserving of being promoted to the position of Chief Communications Officer,” said Chief Executive Officer Caroline Beasley. “While she’s only been at our company for two years, she’s accomplished more than others would in five! We are so very proud and lucky to have her in our Beasley Media Group family.”
“It is such an honor and a privilege to work with Caroline and all the incredible people at Beasley Media Group,” said Raphael. “I am so very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such an innovative organization that makes a difference in the industry and the communities it serves. I am proud to be on their team!”
Raphael currently serves on the boards of the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation, the Broadcast Education Association and the Florida Association of Broadcasters. In addition, she is a member of the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group Executive Committee.