Category Archives: April 2016

Mojo Invites Listeners to “Make Out with the Mustang”

MOJO-1_700Last week, WKQI-FM’s (Detroit) “Mojo In The Morning” gave 20 listeners a chance to win a customized 2015 Mustang from Szott Ford in Holly.  How?  By “Making Out with the Mustang.”

Makeout with the Mustang winner Eve Kelley of Davisburg, MI.

Contestants had to hold their lips to the Mustang and the one who did it the longest, won the vehicle.

According to WKQI Program Director Tony Travatto, the contest started Monday morning (4/18) at 8:30am.  Contestants immediately began dropping within the first couple of hours.  By Wednesday night it was down to the final three.  Early Thursday morning it was down to 2, and finally after nearly 69 hours, they had a winner.

The runner-up won an all-expense paid weekend in Las Vegas to the iHeartRadio Music Festival.  This is the second year in a row “Mojo In The Morning” has held the contest.  Last year’s contest went 71 hours.

WGVU Presents Kids Day at the Air Zoo

On April 24, WGVU-AM-FM-TV (Grand Rapids) invited viewers and listeners to visit the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo for just $5 per person with tickets available through sponsor Flagstar Bank.

The Air Zoo is a favorite Kalamazoo area destination attraction…it has been voted the “Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners” and “Best Place to Spend a Day with Your Family” three years in a row. The Air Zoo features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, amusement park-style rides, Full-Motion Flight Simulators, RealD 3D/4D Missions Theater, as well as historical exhibits and educational activities.

See more about the Air Zoo here:

Nominations Needed for 2016 Public Media Impact Awards

Last year's winners with (on far right) Eric Smith, MAPB Board President : (L-R) Robert Barclay Volunteer CMU Public Broadcasting Network (Mt Pleasant), Barry Baker Former General Manager, Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting (University Center)
Last year’s winners with Eric Smith (on right), MAPB Board President. Robert Barclay (on left), Volunteer, CMU Public Broadcasting Network, (Mt Pleasant), and Barry Baker (center), Former General Manager, Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting (University Center).

This year marks the 31st year of honoring Michigan’s public broadcasters. Two awards will be presented – one award for Donors and one award for Professionals – for their contribution to public broadcasting in Michigan. This award will be presented at the Annual Awards Banquet as part of the Advocacy Conference & Annual Meeting of MAB on August 31 at The Inn at St. John’s which is attended by owners and operators of broadcast stations, lawmakers and other dignitaries.

• To recognize outstanding individuals or foundations involved in public broadcasting for their innovativeness and creativity.
• To inspire others involved in public broadcasting to greater achievement in the field of public radio and television.
• To increase awareness of public broadcasting and the contributions talented individuals make to the industry statewide.

Donors and Professionals involved in Michigan public radio or television are eligible for nomination. Nominations can be made by colleagues, supervisors, and/or station managers. Activities for which the person is nominated may be long-term, to recognize lifetime contributions to public broadcasting, or more recent, to reflect a concentrated period of achievement.

Nomination Process
Deadline for nominations and supporting material (i.e. letters of support, photos, and videos) is Wednesday, June 8, 2016.  Download the nomination form and complete information here or contact Ann Walters at the MAB: [email protected].

There will be up to two awards given — one Professional (including volunteers working in public broadcasting) and one Donor (individuals or foundations). The recipients will be recognized at the 2016 MAB Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

Gordon Bolar to Retire

Bolar_400It has been announced that Gordon Bolar, General Manager of WMUK-FM (Kalamazoo) (Western Michigan University), will retire on June 30, 2016.  A search is currently underway for a new General Manager for the station.

Bolar has served as WMUK’s General Manager for the past five and a half years. Prior to that he was the station’s Development Director for five years. He has more than 21 years of experience in public radio and public television, and served as Development Director for KAKM and KSKA in Anchorage, Alaska and for WGVU TV and Radio in Grand Rapids.

Detroit’s Drew and Mike Together Again

DrewMike_400Former WRIF-FM (Detroit) personalities Drew & Mike are back together, this time around not on the radio, but talking about Detroit with a new podcast.

Drew Lane told Deadline Detroit that “he expects to produce a podcast five days a week, though he said Clark only wants to do it twice weekly. So Lane said he’s looking for other co-hosts, and one person who has expressed interest is (WJBK-TV) Fox 2’s Charlie LeDuff.”

Drew & Mike were together on WRIF from 1991 through 2013.

Ben C. Fisher Passes

Benjamin Chatburn Fisher, a preeminent Washington, D.C. communications law attorney and investor in Mid-West Family Broadcasting, died April 14, 2016 at age 93.

Fisher’s legal career spanned over six decades.  In 1952, he joined the law firm Fisher, Wayland, and Southmayd, which he father founded.  The firm later became Fisher, Cooper and Zaragoza.  Later, it merged with Shaw Pittman, then combined with the Pillsbury Winthrop law firm.  Fisher retired from his practice at age 86.

In addition to his legal work, he also served at the first Chairman of the U.S. International Telecommunications Union (ITU), was President of the Federal Communications Commission Bar Association.

See his complete obituary here.

Mid-West Family Broadcasting has stations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and in Southwest Michigan/Northwest Indiana.

Editorial: The Radio Road Trip Lives

Sean Ross webBy: Sean Ross
[email protected]
Twitter: @RossOnRadio

You don’t have to go on a road trip to hear small-town radio anymore. Not every small-market station streams, but I come across interesting small-market stations in my various listening apps on a regular basis — often discovering them in the course of searching for some other station.

You don’t have to listen to small-market radio if you go on a road trip. If you’re a satellite subscriber, it’s likely that you’ve cheerfully given up on futzing around for a new station every hour. We drove from New York to Florida in December, and the song I’ll remember the trip by was not a current or developing hit, but “When I Was a Boy” by Jeff Lynne’s ELO, then being showcased on Sirius XM’s triple-A The Spectrum channel.

But, I recently drove the 5-1/2 hours from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. Both ways. Without satellite. Without streaming. That means about three hours each way with only small-market music FMs. Many people wouldn’t consider doing that now, but if you’re reading a Ross on Radio column, there’s a better-than-average chance that you would.

Just as there is still excitement in hearing an “oh wow” song on the radio — even if it’s a song readily available on your phone — there is still excitement in hearing local radio locally. A few weeks ago, I surfed across a station in Hazard, KY, talking about the difficulty of finding younger coal miners. There was ample and fascinating “sense of place” there, but it was still somewhere else. Large or small-market, it’s different knowing what you’re hearing represents the place you are.

To that point, there was also excitement in scanning across “Bohemian Like You” by Dandy Warhols, never a consistent hit on U.S. radio, in St. George, Utah. That moment of wondering “how would this song end up on the radio here, of all places,” was barely diminished by figuring out that it was the Dixie State University alternative station, KXDS (Radio Dixie 91.3), operating with a translator in the commercial frequencies. (To drive the Mountain West is to rarely have the frequency on your car radio match the dial position being given by the station.)

The Dixie State station had its own sense of place. The ads were for campus organizations. One tried to recruit students for chemistry club by promising, “You could be the next Walter Wh…,” before the announcer trailed off, and allowed that nobody would actually be breaking bad.

Some other observations from 5-1/2 hours spent largely off the grid:
There are always the stations covering multiple positions by necessity. CHR, Adult Top 40, and Hot AC are closer than ever, but KLGL (Eagle 94.5) Richfield, UT, which was positioned as a Hot AC, still played “Undone (The Sweater Song)” by Weezer, “Please Forgive Me” by Bryan Adams,” and “Alright” by Janet Jackson in the course of my listening.  To Eagle’s credit, it all flowed well. I kept listening for some provocative segue that I could include in “Radio’s Best & Worst,” and barely found one until “Alright” went into Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man.” Weezer went into OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars,” which wasn’t jarring at all.

Radio road trips used to be defined by the unavoidable current song, or better yet by the developing song discovered in market after secondary market. That changed with the tightening of major-group-owned radio in medium markets, and although I certainly heard “Stressed Out” enough times, you are as likely to remember the trip for hearing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar, or some other reliably testing library title more than twice, even in the major-markets.

But, you also hear the records that have disappeared. I’ve heard “Getting Jiggy Wit It” three times this week. I heard “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie more than once. Of course, your chances of the latter have been bolstered by the recent boost in super-soft ACs. Las Vegas and Salt Lake City have had the format for years. But St. George has one, too. I heard at least four supersoft ACs.

You also really notice the rise of the Classic Country format on a road trip. It was the thing most often encountered on the handful of music AMs I came across, but it wasn’t only on AM. I would have been happy with either “Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard on Me” by Juice Newton or “Baby I Lied” by Deborah Allen. Within an hour, I’d heard both.

When you do hear recent songs that you wouldn’t hear in the major markets, they tend not to be brand new but mid-chart records that other stations have dropped. Ellie Goulding’s “Something in the Way You Move” disappeared almost instantly from major-market stations. I heard it repeatedly on this trip.

Some things don’t change. There is always that hour-or-so stretch where your only choice is one Country station and one station playing choral religious music. Also still true, the first other station you find after that sounds really good. Even if you’re traveling during the week, there will always be the station you can’t hear in regular format. I heard a “Greatest Hits” station playing Scott Shannon’s countdown on Sunday night. When I came back 24 hours later, it was running Tom Kent.

The biggest change is the consistent availability of big-sounding imaging. On a road trip of the past, a great legal or promo always helped establish a small-market station as something special, even if a weak part-timer came along to kill the vibe a few songs later. These days, everybody has good imaging, and you won’t necessarily hear any part-timer in a small-market or any part-timer in a large one. That said, one of the trip’s happiest moments was turning on KLUC Las Vegas at 8:35 on Sunday morning and hearing it hosted.

In fact, while there have been road trips where the small-market radio made the larger-market stations sound bad, just by being more essentially radio, the market sizes were pretty evenly matched this trip. Salt Lake City radio, in particular, impressed me. After decades as the most-overradioed market in America (the geography of Provo and Ogden essentially gave it enough radio stations for three cities), it’s a rare instance of competition truly making everybody better, not just bankrupt. I’m also prepared to declare KZHT vs. KUDD (Mix 105.1) the best CHR war of the moment.

That holiday drive to Florida was a disappointment, from a radio standpoint, because it didn’t stack up to similar versions of that trip from my formative radio years. This drive put me back in touch with some of the things I used to love about radio road trips. The marathon drive was more than worthwhile.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: Body Language Mistakes

By: Brian Marriott, P1 Learning

P1-BodyLanguageYou walk into your sales appointment and find yourself waiting in the lobby. No worries! Perfect time to catch up on a few emails, check your pocket mirror for any remaining lunch remnants, perhaps you’re nervously tapping your foot without noticing. After all, you’re in the lobby, who cares, right? Well… maybe it wouldn’t hurt to freshen up on your proper body language skills. After all, your body language does more than just enhance our communication skills. It makes us seem more trusting. We emit confidence without saying a word. And, it’s just proper etiquette when you get down to it.

Nowhere is body language more important than in sales. Great body language helps salespeople work their way through dealings with a prospect, makes them seem more in control and cuts through tension like a warm knife to butter. But, a poor showing does nothing but leave salespeople with egg on their face, and might just put a potential sale out of reach.

So, what sort of faux pas can a salesperson make with their body language? With help from our partners at ej4, here’s a start.

Getting Face Touchy – Not only is touching your face considered to be a sign that you’re distrustful, but it’s one of the easiest slip ups on the etiquette bar. Remember, you have to shake this person’s hand after the meeting’s over.

Your Shoulders Aren’t Directly Aligned to Theirs – The farther away your shoulders seem from theirs, the more disinterested you come off in their eyes. Same goes with slightly skewed feet positions.

Scratching Your Head – A dead giveaway that you have serious doubts about what you’re saying. If you accidentally scratch the back of your head when talking about pricing, there’s a good chance the prospect thinks those numbers are phony.

Folded Arms Across Your Chest – By folding your arms, you sound the alarm on all sorts of things. A prospect might think you’re being cold. Or you’re reserved. Or worse, that you’re hiding something from the conversation, even though you may not be.

Breaking Personal Space Rules – The appropriate amount of space between you and the prospect starts immediately after the handshake. A really close handshake might just leave you standing closer than you’d like when the obligatory chit chat happens. And you can’t just back up awkwardly, either. So you just stand there until the prospect directs you otherwise.

Falling in Love With Your Phone – Cell phones, tablets – all handheld devices, really – cause you to lose focus. Next time, look around the room at the other people waiting. What are they doing? Odds are they’re buried in their phones. So be the odd one out and put away your phone until your leave your meeting.

Being a Stiff – Unless you’re auditioning to be one of the Beefeater guards outside the Tower of London, don’t tense up. When you appear frozen into place, it adds discomfort to the meeting.

Eye Contact – I saved this one for last simply because it’s the most profound error. Not making eye contact shows you’re disinterested and aren’t appreciative of the prospect and their time. There is no excuse to not give eye contact. And yes, it’s true that sometimes we tend to look away for a few quick seconds to readjust, but getting into that habit makes it easier to look away longer.

Your Facial Expressions Are Not Natural – Your smile doesn’t feel genuine. Or you don’t smile at all and just appear stone-faced and serious. We’ve talked about artificial smiles before, but it bears repeating: always be natural with your facial expressions.

Need more advice on nonverbal communication skills at the workplace? Login or sign up for a free 7-day demo here and see why our Body Language courses can help boost your chances to impress prospects.

Editorial: How to Launch a Successful Radio Station Blog

Seth ReslerBy: Seth Resler, Jacobs Media Strategies

Last week, Kim Komando delivered the keynote address at the Radio Luncheon at the NAB Convention in Las Vegas. Kim hosts a successful syndicated talk radio show that focuses on consumer technology. She can be heard on nearly 500 radio stations by over six million people. She explained to her fellow broadcasters how they could use their websites to grow their audiences:

“Your website must offer unique, original, engaging content that’s not a repeat of something that you have broadcast earlier, or just a whole bunch of links to other things.”

Kim is, of course, explaining how Content Marketing works. Content Marketing is the digital strategy used by thousands of companies around the world to attract customers. It takes all of the different digital tools — from social media to email to analytics — and pulls them together into a single coherent plan. (This short video shows how it works.)

Not surprisingly, at the heart of Content Marketing is content. What we’re really referring to is a blog — a section of your radio station’s website that is regularly updated with new content. As people discover this content on social media, find it in search engines, and hear about it on your airwaves, they will come back to your website. Once they are there, you can encourage them to take an action, such as sign up for your email list or enter a contest.

The reason that, as Kim says, your digital strategy must be more than just providing “links to other things” is because you can only encourage people to take these actions (like signing up for your email list) if they come to your website. You can’t grow your email database by sharing a link to TMZ on Facebook.

Nope, you’re going to have to create your own content.

Your station needs to produce a blog.

But how?

Last week, I gave a webinar on how to launch a station blog in 12 simple steps.

Spoiler alert! Here are the 12 steps:

  1. Create a “blog” section on your website.
  2. Envision your audience.
  3. Write content guidelines.
  4. Establish an editorial process.
  5. Develop a list of blog topic formulas.
  6. Implement a content calendar.
  7. Set achievable goals.
  8. Set up your analytics.
  9. Adopt a proactive social media strategy.
  10. Optimize your blog for search engines.
  11. Promote your blogposts on the air.
  12. Hold a weekly digital strategy meeting.

Even if you are successfully publishing a blog on your station’s website, you may want to check out the webinar for ideas on how you can improve the process.

To help you implement these steps, I’ve also created a printed guide: 12 Steps to Launching a Successful Blog.

Watch the Webinar

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Traffic Director Spotlight: Pam Petrick

Pam-Petrick_400Pam Petrick
Results Broadcasting, Iron Mountain

Pam Petrick is the Traffic Director for WHTO-FM, WOBE-FM, and WJNR-FM (Iron Mountain)

Q1: How long have you been in traffic?
Pam:  17-1/2 years, all at my current employer.

Q2: Favorite comfort food?
Pam:  Cheese ravioli with homemade Bolognese sauce.

Q3: Which Superhero would you be and why?
Pam:  Ironman.  Billionaire philanthropist, come on, do you have to hear any more?

Q4: When I’m not working, I’d rather be…
Pam:  Camping with my husband, step-daughter and 14-month-old son.

Q5: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Pam:  My deceased father or someone that is living…Theresa Caputo the Long Island Medium.

Q6: What’s the best advice you have ever received?
I usually don’t get advice, I’m the one giving advice. My famous saying is “if you can’t remember, then take notes…even if you think you can remember, take notes anyway!”  I feel this especially applies to the traffic department.

Q7:  Tell us something about yourself that very few people know:
I have bowled three perfect 300 games.